Skip to main content

tv   Book TV  CSPAN  November 29, 2009 12:00am-1:00am EST

12:00 am
>> thank you. >> thank you. >> at attorney theresa the motto and economics professor james bennett argued the two party system is an artificial creation designed to exclude any party other than democratic or republican from winning. the cato institute in washington d.c. hosts the 90-minute event. ..
12:01 am
>> weird buzzing sound on the television. thank you very much. the cato institute as many of you know, stance for individuals liberty and limited government. competition offers a means to the end and competition in the markets express liberty and creates choices coming electoral competition authors alternatives indeed
12:02 am
as james madison understood. classical liberals will be skeptical of government efforts to suppress electoral competition by fostering were protecting in the party or the two major parties in the united states today. we should also say that third parties in other countries are associated with systems of proportional representation and in those systems, we can see for example, classical liberalism have been more true form of representation thinking of the free democrats in germany who sometimes hold power significant offices to meet with public policy and a lot. in the end classical liberals are likely to say
12:03 am
that more competition is better them less a big government control over electoral competition is unlikely to serve the cause of liberty of the long run. consequently third parties and the american system their access to the ballot and the electoral system is what we're talking about today. first speaker is our author jim benetton it scholar at george mason university and holds the chair of political economy at public policy and the department of economics he received his ph.d. 1970 from case western reserve and specialized in research with public policy and bureaucracy labor unions and health charities. founder and editor of the labor research and publish more than 60 articles in professional journals such
12:04 am
as the american economic review and public choice. he has written it many books, the author of destroying democracy published by the cato institute in 1986. please welcome jim bennett, our author day. [applause] >> thank you. thank you to our host here at cato institute who was a little surprised to learn that around later re teeing a forward to this book by credentials crumbled and the after words was written by bill read past chair of the national libertarian committee and i am sandwiched between the two extremes of the political expect from. it is great something has to be seriously wrong when you have ralph nader preissing
12:05 am
my work on the one hand and bill read path on the other. as mentioned i a professor of economics at george mason and we pride ourselves on our specialty of public choice. this is the economics of politics. i came to this issue because of the fact that i became to notice that candidates despite the excitement that they start with the soon fade in the political arena and were not considered seriously by the time the elections arose and i began to wonder what was going on. as an academic you would say what else has been done in this field? i found very little has been done the political science academics and accordingly
12:06 am
the domination of politics by the demopublicans that is what i call them i am old enough that george walsh pointed out there is not a dime's worth of democrats between the republicans and republicans so that is why i call them the demopublicans to the political science community apparently, having the demopublicans dominate the field is not only how things are about how they should be. i take exception to that pregnancy as many voters also have apparently come to the conclusion that voting for candidates outside the republicans is somehow suspect if not unpatriotic or subversive. we in the two approaches to
12:07 am
problems. we need more issues put before the american voters and widen the range of political debate that is why a teach what these third parties have done. third parties have traditionally challenged the status quo and they have led to changes and new ideas. throughout nation's history before the civil war, we had dozens of different parties. just with interesting names names, anti-masons, and no net things, a bull moose and the conservative party a libertarians, the reform party and so on and so forth. many parties had good ideas some opposed slavery and others had ideas that were not so good like the prohibition party and you can imagine what's in their agenda was. early in the nation's history had rough and tumble
12:08 am
politics and a very high rate of turn out in the election. what happened? elections and virtually all political discourse is dominated by the democrats and republicans. being a libertarian, one of the first things i do let's go to the document that a lot of people to not put could credence into the constitution of the united states and ask what does this say about political parties? the answer is nothing, however in the debate are patriot such as james madison and benjamin franklin and so one, a great deal was said about the notion of faction. faction in today's terminology is special interest and parties were considered to be special interest who wanted to use
12:09 am
the power of the state to benefit themselves and their members. even two-day surveys have shown throughout the world, a deep public distrust of political parties ever wear wear -- everywhere. pulling parties are ranked lower than owe boyer's. yes. will were. that tells you something we have political parties and by the end of the civil war it said democrats and republicans were entrenched as the two major parties a duopoly controlling politics. how did this occur? there is a number of reasons. i have four reasons. first come with the elimination of multi member districts. at-large elections were sharply restrict should buy the apportionment act that require congressman to be
12:10 am
elected in a single member districts so candidates with the most votes to is the sole representative. french sociologists shows a simple majority single ballot system strongly favors two parties. this is a phenomenon voting for a long shot candidate who may prevail as their fourth choice is widely viewed today as throwing away one spoke. in a winner-take-all system so it discourages single member districts and discourages voting for third parties and independent candidates and incidentally that the electoral college winner-take-all practice also encourages the two-party system. politically, a single member districts make some sense in today's world. take the concern of people
12:11 am
from upstate new york about being dominated by the people in manhattan. the second and most important impediment is there reform where government is being reformed by politicians we always grab our wallets. the idea of the australian ballot the government will provide the balance. prior to the 1890's, ballots were privately printed by the parties themselves so any party could print up a ballot if they wanted but in the 1890's in response to a lot of corruption that occurred in the 1980 elections governments begin to supply a single consolidated balance for all
12:12 am
candidates for all offices. this was the austrian ballot and by 1910 only two states did not use steel strike in bala. one of those come the south carolina permitted the use of private pilots up until 1950. control of the ballot by gulf allowed government to control who gets on the ballot and a major justification for the australian ballot is non serious candidates can be excluded. as those patronize same condescending e elites who know what is best for the rest of us or are well aware , too many choices confuse the voters. so we have to look after the voters to avoid confusion. a major parties never did and still don't have a problem getting their candidates on the ballot
12:13 am
because access is based on the number of votes received in the previous election by candidates outside the duopoly have serious impediments due to ballot access laws. some states require tens of thousands of ballot signatures on petitions just to appear on the state ballot. in oklahoma, 2008, more than 40,000 signatures were required on the ballot. the emphasis is on the word bala. -- bala it. the slightest discrepancy can not only have a name thrown out but a whole page of petitions john introduced me as jim bennett if i put down my name as a james bennett then that would be considered an and valid
12:14 am
petition signing failing to dot the i's or cross the t's all of those things can invalidate so the real issue is you probably need a tender 20% more than the minimum to be sure to get on the ballot and the democrats and conservatives hire lawyers to challenge the petitions and the third party candidate needs to of course, hired counsel to oppose the council that the duopoly brings to bear on the problem. stringent access laws spread like wildfire in the 30's two sort the communist party candidates although the communist party was never a serious contender in any election. but the same restrictions that apply to the communist party also applied to the
12:15 am
third parties and independent candidates but certainly not to the democrats or republicans. clearing hurdles throughout the nation nearly to get on the ballot exhaust the energies and resources of independent candidates and third-party is. over one pie eight -- 1.5 million signatures were needed if a third party candidate would appear on every ballot in every state of the union. coupled with the early filing deadlines the republicans and democrats from the ballot by definition but when you submit petitions they have to be presented weeks or months in advance of the time prior to the printing of the ballots. this imposes serious expense
12:16 am
and difficulty is for people outside of the duopoly. third-party candidates are viewed as boilers out to deny the democrats and republicans their right -- rightful offices. witnesses and ralph nader who was an appropriately blamed for denying the inventor of the internet to the presidency. in truth, the ballot clutter has never occurred and after all, even crazy people who want to be on the ballot have some rights under the constitution. what has been sold to the american public as a good government measure is simply a way to eliminate political competition at the ballot box there are other rules that demopublicans have passed it to eliminate challengers.
12:17 am
the sore loser law prevent those who lost a primary from running as an independent and taking votes away from the party from which ran in the primary. and diffusion laws prevent having a candidate endorsed by multiple parties that would benefit independent candidacies for republicans and democrats don't reduce. by enacting such was the demopublicans need to stifle and oppress there party's. there is little wonder that the turnout is so though the rate typically have a realistic to raise between tweedle dee and to rebuild on at the ballot box. campaign reform a time you
12:18 am
hear politicians are reforming something the news of the general public is inevitably bad. money is the lifeblood of politics. campaigns and conventions benefit the democrats and republicans. federal laws coach and the possibility in independent might make an effective run for office was just a couple of wealth build backers but with government money come strings and these strings benefit the duopoly and the challengers it is another way to privileged the late over outsiders in protecting status quo. all the limits have loopholes with contributions
12:19 am
corporations always looking for welfare handout have very little interest in third parties both the left and the right like ralph and bill and others in my opinion agree on one thing certainly which is the ending of corporate welfare. the only candidate of the demopublicans that got a significant sum was ross perot 1996 who got roughly 18 of the $2,304,000,000 distributed. and third parties and independents even if they do get tax funds for their political campaigns, and
12:20 am
they get it after the election. so you need to get at least 5% of the vote to in order to get federal money and of course, you have to have the election to determine if you get 5% of the vote so the simple fact is tv time bought in december when the election was in november is not helping. by the way incumbents in office already have enormous advantages over challenges like the congressional frank, is a joint news letters come access to the media and gerrymandering districts. and the incumbent protection act intends to exclude outsiders. the fourth impediment involves the media. here we have a self-fulfilling prophecy.
12:21 am
the media refuses to give serious news coverage independence because they are unlikely to win and of course, they're unlikely to win because let demopublicans stop them from all parts of the election process which includes media process if you can i get your views and positions out to the public, you certainly will not get elected. yet another good government news demopublicans established the commission on presidential debates in 1987 to decide who will appear and the rules for participating. guess who cochairs this group? it is headed by the former chairman of the democratic and former chairman of the republican national committee's you can bet your
12:22 am
last nickel the commission has little interest to bring on duopoly candidates to the public. to participate have to get 15 percent of the vote which guarantees a role for the democrat and republican candidates and ross perot got 19% and in 1976 was denied access to the debates even though he got well over the at limit in 1992. hypocrisy is not the strong point* it is not a serious consideration when it comes to political maneuvering. and then we can talk about the united states signing the copenhagen document talking about political freedoms that requires
12:23 am
separation between the state and political parties, you're right. signatories agree to respect to read a citizens to seek political office individually without discrimination. right. as i mentioned before hypocrisy is not a serious problem when it comes to politics. i will note in the last presidential election there were seven candidates and they were pointing a finger at us for the way that we do things. in my book guide discuss the role of third-party and independent candidates in the 2008 election and unfortunately almost a non role and recently surveyed how other countries have elections in virtually everywhere parties are coming in increasing part of the state through subsidies however ballot access laws
12:24 am
are typically nowhere near as severe as those here in the so-called land of the free. let me wrap but because people here have a lot more experience than i do and i think they should have the time. i am just the ivory tower academic the first i will talk about ideally what i would like to see. we need to dramatically reduce the size and scope of government with and sharply reduce its powers and privileges it hands out we need to slash government spending and transfer payments. to be honest, in my view a great deal but the government does all levels is simply unconstitutional. a limited government means who actually serves in
12:25 am
government does not matter very much and the incentives to restrict participation in elections would decline markedly. we would benefit by taking some lessons on government. the typical swiss system cannot tell you who the president is. having advanced my ideal solution and lusted mid it has the same likelihood of being adopted as the likelihood that i am struck on a meteorite on the way home from this event barbara and if we try to repeal the have a multi member districts that is appealing but unlikely to happen simply because the differences between rural districts and urban districts and unlikely we will return to the privately printed paper
12:26 am
ballots. lot of this has to do with what happened down in florida. realistically what we need to do is to regulate the elections process and get government out of politics. first, repeal of ballot access laws for the modern technology can cope with many candidates in the unlikely event that suddenly everybody wants to run for the presidency, we can set reasonable limits they have to get 500 signatures and have a modest filing fee of $2,500 and have a refundable if you get 1,000 votes or whatever. repeal of the sore loser lot. number three, repeal of restrictions on campaign finance for all donations are illegal despite the source, but i would suggest we require prompt and public
12:27 am
disclosure on the internet. politicians can still be bought but at least we would know who is doing the buying and all parties subsidies for the taxpayer. i think a bill read pathe has a wonderful idea about initiating instant runoff voting nassetta picking one candidate voters would express preference by ranking 12 or three their resolve said it would be transferred this would give a great deal of interest and independent candidates because of the fact that the public would be interested in these people and in addition another major blessing would be it would probably reduce negative campaigning i have heard
12:28 am
more of a 20 year-old master's thesis then i want to talk about. those are basically my suggestions and john says i have one minute so before i am accused i will sit down. [applause] >> before turning to theresa i want to mention we will recognize three of our distinguished guest, ralph nader who ran as a third-party presidential candidate twice at least. [applause] of this the second time in just a couple of months. if you keep doing that you will become a libertarian. [laughter] and featuring the national
12:29 am
libertarian party bill redpath is here also. [applause] and also christina towbin from free and equal elections organization. you may want to keep his name in mind as time passes. that doesn't constitute an endorsement of the cato institute but a rogue element exercising freedom of speech private in a deep fear of violating campaign finance laws. author grand illusion will be the next speaker the myth of voter choice in a two-party tyranny. she was a national presidential campaign manager and in-house counsel for ralph nader 2000, 2004. graduating from harvard university and new york university law school she founded the citizen advocacy
12:30 am
center in suburban chicago and works with nonprofit organizations. she has been a fellow at the harvard institute of politics at the jfk school and also of harvard law school a proud speaker on the topic, theresa amato. [applause] >> good afternoon. thank you john and cato institute for posting a form on ballot access and the important discussions we hear today. they kiefer coming because it is quite a turn now to hear about systemic barriers for entry into barriers it is not the kind of thing that makes the front page of the major newspapers every day and it is very nice if you to share in this for this to be covered. i would like to encourage others think tanks and the
12:31 am
media to post these kinds of discussions because it is a topic you don't hear quite often enough's. let me say congratulations to jim bennett for producing an excellent book i will hold up again because i read his book and the first thing unnoticed in the first paragraph he said he took a swipe at lawyers. [laughter] and then later he makes a crack about harvard trained people and i thought oh no. men throughout the book he talks about the kooks those who work for good government and i thought i spent my whole life doing that. but when i read his book i thought i am his perfect nightmare.
12:32 am
except for two things. one, i do agree with the major premise of his book that the system is rigged against the two parties or in favor of the two parties to keep out challengers and competition from minor parties and independent candidates. and unlike most academics i and the experience of being in the irena trace was for a minor party presidential candidate when ralph nader chose to run on the green card ticket in 2000 and a national campaign manager when he chose to run again in 2004 despite all of the hullabaloo and outcry against his right to present his views to the american people. unlike most people on the planet because once you have run on the presidential campaign you will never do it again, if you are sane
12:33 am
have had this experience twice. i have the battle scars and i know how difficult it is first hand in order to prevent alternative choices become more voices to the american people every four years when the host a national presidential election. i would agree with 90 percent of what jim bennett said up until the last five minutes and that is where we diverged in solutions. but he has laid out a part of the problem so what i will do instead is tell you some of the firsthand experience is that we had and i will start february 2000. ralph nader called me up and said would you like to run my presidential campaign?
12:34 am
i said, i was in illinois working for a nonprofit, the last campaign iran was forced to drink council. he said that is all right because this will be a very different kind of campaign. this will be a psittacine campaign. we will run with the people and all of the issues that are not talk about the two major parties on the table so people have a chance to communicate and talk about the things that are routinely shut out from the national debate every time we have an election. i thought about that he has spent four decades in washington and he knew the score and how difficult it was for citizens to make concrete change and has seen the government overrun by lobbyists and being marinated in corporate campaign cash and also had a personal history of being
12:35 am
able to open the process up. i thought if there were ever a time, this is the time to do a. i get to washington and i consider myself very leave rebelled-- will read a major ding government and economics and i went to law school and read the papers and thought how hard can this be? [laughter] and then reality set in. we all grew up under a myth that anybody can be president of united states. this is the national lore but if you try to be any when and if you're not a party favor of it to major parties to bad for you. it is nearly impossible to run an effective national presidential campaign outside of the two-party system because we have
12:36 am
systemic barriers even if you have supremely qualified candidates, even if you have popular support. we have systemic barriers that made it difficult to compete and there is no level playing field so when jim bennett writes the system is rigged and nobody cares i know of what he speaks. starting with ballot access, actually let's start with the regulatory system. if you have not had the pleasure of reading event code of federal regulation for campaign-finance i suggest that you do so. one person interviewed explain it to me it is like asking a lawyer i said i am a lawyer. he said is like asking a general practitioner to perform brain surgery and you have to learn all of
12:37 am
this while you do your other job 24/7. it is extremely difficult to navigate the regulatory curlicues and even the people who work at the federal election commission don't agree on what is in the code. i am sure we will hear about that from our next speaker. and as you call up for information and you find the standard answer and it is a supremely confident and talented information division and not they're fault it is just that regulations in a written for third parties and they don't know what the ideas that is as applied to third parties and independents. so they say the code is a silent so you have to ask for an advisory opinion and that could take months when you need the answer yesterday. that is one problem. the other is that people don't agree on what the code
12:38 am
says in of course, another problem that the code is not written for a grass-roots campaign. somebody at the fcc told me when i tried to paint a hypothetical that the laws are not written for a grass-roots campaign. there is a problem right there so it is extraordinarily difficult if you don't come with a cottage industry of lawyers, people who are savvy two halla laws are applied and a fundamental background understanding or a vehicle like a major party to navigate the regulatory framework. with that said that needs to be improved i would not agree to get rid of it but we will talk about that. every third party and candidate base is 51 different ballot access laws but the nightmare is
12:39 am
unbelievable because every single third party candidate will tell you the majority of resources, all the blood sweat and tears goes to going on the ballot because if not, you're not a choice. this is a system of ballot laws these are written by whom? the democrats and republicans to occupy the general assembly and state legislatures in every state. even though some states are reasonable, others are off the charts and make it intentionally difficult not on the official application but try to follow through to submit signatures, starting with the regulatory mechanism. i don't know why we continue to do this but we have you're rationally 13,000 election jurisdictions overseeing our federal election. have a problem with these jurisdictions and even if you call the secretary of
12:40 am
state or the attorney general, whichever he regulates the elections frequently to get something like they will not tell you what they are lobbying and some of them do not know their law. second, they are embarrassed that the laws are pat lee unconstitutional and has been held such by the courts but cannot get the general assembly to change it to comport to the legal status. and oftentimes they are very afraid they might be sued to submit a one to tell you anything. this is helpful if you want to run for office. also when you aggregate the laws across the 50 states and the district of columbia and makes it virtually impossible for individuals outside of the two parties to be able to compete
12:41 am
because you spent two-thirds of the campaign to where the two parties are serious spender resources doing this and there is all kinds of side effects whether you are considered are committed fraud, jim instead of james all of those little barriers that adds up to the collective that it is very rehab a candidate who can put his or her name on all 50 ballots. and addition you have a hostile media. in the case of ross campaign there were editorials that said he and pat buchanan should not even we in the picture they were " cluttering the field call "win is competition cluttering the field? that is the disdain upon
12:42 am
which the media looks at the independence and a third party candidates. it is generally about the horse race how we affect the chances? now why is it a you taking on this incredible burden to talk to the american people and have a dialogue and 40 proposing? it is rare to give a substantive story but how we affect so and so chances? you never ask the republican candidate, that is ridiculous. why is opposed as a starting opening question for third-party and independent candidates? regroup in a culture of thinking that somehow we have enshrined a two-party system when the word is not even in the constitution and. of course, the media is a big racket so a lot of campaign money goes because you don't provide free air
12:43 am
time for a rollout of the campaign money has to go to buying spots and some of those would cost as much as a salary of people that i work with for a few minutes because it is so expensive to break into the media market. to produce your own media like we did every how the present -- pleasure being sued because we exercise our rights to parity mastercard four trademark infringement so the regulatory scheme there is also the commission on presidential debates. is very official but a private corporation that acts as the cartel into and some of which candidates kit to reach tens of millions of people each year in order to put their points to 10 of millions of people watching
12:44 am
in a kind of logical fashion. they take an average of 15% of five polls to be qualified because they made a bad mistake and 1992 and let ross perot in the debates and they never wanted to repeat that. as a consequence of have never seen a third-party candidate in the presidential debates so ralph nader could have gone to every stadium and filled 20,000 people you would never even reached a fraction of the proportion that you would reach on television as the seven serious candidates that should be allowed to have a voice in the election. finally, these are the practical problems all but
12:45 am
really, that answer and solution are fundamentally structural. we have band-aid discussion with what is going on now about election perfection and there is a reason. in 2000 people perceived because ralph nader received 97,000 votes in florida and the margin of difference between al gore and george bush was five added 37 votes come it was somehow mr. nader's faults the we ended up with george w. bush. would like to point* out there were other eight other candidates and all of them received more than 537 votes. that is not difficult. there were a number of other factors like how we purge five reelection roles and the prevention of the u.s. supreme court, but what happened at the end of the
12:46 am
day my means third parties and independents are spoilers. it is really hard to spoil an already spoiled system. it is spoiled because of the structural problems but one of the two major parties, the democratic in 2004 made sure that ralph nader would not get on the ballot and brought 24 lawsuits in 12 weeks to stifle competition as the democratic party on the ground and in a number of states. i don't know how many people here have been sued it is very rare. imagine getting 24 lawsuits and appeared of 12 weeks before you have a cup of coffee he would open debates reading service of summons and saying this is much democracy looks like. that kind of systemic oppression to a exclude third-party and independent candidates is something we
12:47 am
should never tolerate. fundamentally all the talk created from the 5307 vote difference, the good thing is people started to pay attention of what was going on in the board of elections and how to register people to vote? why do we have the off in the system and why don't the patrols match the state capital and why is there chaos in everything done at the last minute? what we have same-day registration? what is the system and who pays attention? why don't we have uniform standards? isn't it ridiculous we have to hold plan shamed -- punch cards delight to see if it is dimpled or private or hanging chad's? and was almost a mockery of our system that people looked at to say whether
12:48 am
they doing? how can they not determine what is a bow door who was registered or what grounds constitutes proper grounds for the audit or recount? why don't the machines work? we're just asking these questions here in the 21st century? all of the perfection still will give you the equal competition if you don't have as a reform to the systemic barriers to third-party and independent candidates. i will stop for questions and i hope that you ask them. thank you. [applause] >> remember it is grand illusion by a theresa amato and "not invited to the party" by a jim bennett.
12:49 am
our final commentator is senior legal fellow where he manages the civil justice reform initiative. in addition he studies the legal aspects of elections from campaign finance and issues arriving from registration anti-crime it. before joining heritage, he served for two years as a member of the federal election and commission and as the assistant and provided expertise of the voting rights act and the american voting act of 2002 he appears in the world standard -- weekly standard and "wall street journal" and testify before state and congressional committees and made presentations to organizations such as the national association of secretaries of state and the national council of state of
12:50 am
legislatures in america and legislative exchange council. hans took a law degree at vanderbilt and received bachelor's and political science from m.i.t.. plays wellcome hans. [applause] >> i am a lawyer but i did not go to harvard. we used to refer harvard as the little red schoolhouse down the road. [laughter] i have to agree with a lot of things that were said this morning for chick-fil-a when theresa was talking about how horrible the federal election campaign act is at an difficult it is for an ordinary person to run for office. in his outline many problems he also talks about the restrictions on third parties caused by a very
12:51 am
difficult ballot access laws implemented by the state. he complains about the federal public funding program which was put in place 30 years ago and points out the problems with those states like wisconsin and that put the in-state versions of public funding for legislative candidates. those public funding programs have not achieved any of the suppose the purposes of campaign finance reform using to push them even in your public funding was challenges have a harder time to knock off incumbents and a private system. i want to skip to the end of his book that i agree with many conclusions. i agree restrictive ballot access laws should be relaxed as a matter of fundamental fairness and in the interest of democracy warner case republicans a
12:52 am
sense we are a republican and not a democracy. i believe in competition something that john talked about and i believe in competition in the political arena i also think the same thing about anti-pollution laws and campaign finance law that we have on the federal level also needs to be radically change. however, i have arguments with some of the things that he says for example, the idea that doing this will lead to some sort of renaissance in the american politics were have new policies that are discussed debated throughout the political world is the overly optimistic assumption. i fundamentally disagree with the constant theme expressed throughout the book there is no difference between the two major parties, there are two sides to the same point* that would come as quite a
12:53 am
surprise to many legislators in congress who right now for the last couple months have been raging quite a fight to stop the nationalization of the health care system and destruction of our economy by the cap and tax system that is pushed by the president and his political party. those two issues illustrate stark differences in the viewpoints of the republican and democratic parties and i find it difficult to agree with a claim the two parties are bereft what did you political power and there is no doubt there are people from both parties setter like that but i think that is to of all political parties but also many individual members and candidates in those two parties and other independent parties who have fundamentally different outlooks on our constitution, government and
12:54 am
the social and economic policy and it is a denial to claim otherwise. critics as of my point* of view will point* to some members like the two senators from maine who far too often broke with the other major party but there is no party anywhere including the independent parties. talking about professor bennett's book the green party and libertarian party who agree 100% of the time on all issues or never agree on the other two issues. i also agree with professor benetton description of the federal election campaign act and it is a.k.a. mccain-feingold which i had the misfortune to try to enforce when i was on the fec. i have expressed my opinion on more than one location i got into trouble at my first hearing when i said to a
12:55 am
member who was there from democracy 21 when i compared the passage of the mccain-feingold to the passage of the alien sedition act and the fact that i said that at a hearing was slated against me publicly and the nomination fight i had to get on the ftc. as dr. bennett has pointed out the supreme court made a fundamental error when it upheld the main parts of the feca lot in the buckley v. valeo decision and having been a commissioner i think is a terrible idea to have a federal bureaucracy making decisions on what kind of political activity or political speech is acceptable under the force of federal law. i think the feca has protected incumbents and
12:56 am
made it difficult for ordinary citizens to run for office because it is a confusing law even the six commissioners to run it disagree into their breasts as lawyers to figure out what the law prohibits and what it does not. i also think mccain-feingold is directly responsible for the huge growth of 527 and other organizations like that because then 2002 it imposed a lot of restrictions on the political parties, the money they can get and activities they can they gave gin and william not like political parties in particular, there's a lot more responsible if you do not like that adds one party is running, there are things you can do and not give money to the political party or work against the candidates come it is hard to do that with a 527
12:57 am
organization. i do think, however that dr. bana makes a mistake in his book with a sweeping generalizations into a disservice to a lot of principled individuals i have met and worked with in washington. refers to commissioners to serve on the fec as political hacks who only vote the way they're political party wants them to. that is false. i know commissioners who serve including bradley smith who buy replaced and dr. bennett quotes and in his book. feca is a bad law but the commissioners did their best to try to enforce the law because they had taken in that both when they became commissioners to uphold the law. the claim the votes that they make on the commission are party-line prose is also
12:58 am
demonstrably false. if you look at the history of voting says the agency first came in 30 years ago, you will find that enforcement cases were there deciding whether someone has violated the law, the number of split votes, a six member commission, the split those for they cannot make a decision is less than 1% of all cases. most are unanimous park in terms of enforcing the law on a non-partisan basis for the the person is a democratic or republican or libertarian they do not vote on a party-line basis and the history of the ftc shows that. where split votes have occurred and they had split votes when i was there, it was in areas of policy, a new regulation and areas where the law is ambiguous and unclear.
12:59 am
i and other republican commissioners, whenever there was a place where we could vote in less restrictive view of a law that was the vote that we took. will be sought is it was not so much a party breakdown based on party lines or loyalty but the fact that most of the republican commissioners were less regulatory minded and most accredit commissioners were more regulatory minded in that area. one more fact demonstrates the republican commissioners don't like the feca law and it is not a conspiracy to keep this in place to try to keep the independent parties and other parties out. . .


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on