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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  November 29, 2009 10:00am-11:00am EST

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i'd start with the constitution because i believe we should start looking at things like the electoral college, and i know those might be fighting words here but i am happy to engage. and think about how we launch and improve our system. our system was great made for the 18th century, but we are now in the 21st century and there have been kinds of systems devised that can be applied that can do things -- that can make the electoral system more reflective of the will of the people. at the end of the day, if you want consents to come from the governed, we have to look at how we vote and the system in place that offered choices for who we can vote for in order to be able to maximize consent of the governed. . .
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>> the top two vote getters are the primary, the only names to appear on the november of ballot. the primary is the biggest threat to the existence of
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third party is in our 50 years. my question is, in almost 200 races, almost only two candidates. they ran unopposed race. what is your position on the top to primary and how do you think this will affect third-party candidate races nationwide? thank you very much. >> i don't like that idea because i rightly think each of the political parties should have whoever their nominee is on the ballot during the general election. the ballot access rules ought to be relaxed. that is just kind of an extension of this open primary system that some states try to put in that can end up with two candidates from the same party being on the general election ballot. i don't think that is a good idea, and i don't think that is the way we should be doing a
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race. i have to say that for all of the criticisms given of parties and so forth parties are simply an expression of a very fundamental right that is contained in the first amendment which is the right to associate with people who have the same beliefs and views that you do. i don't have a problem with political parties. in fact, i'd think that they are not that much different from other organizations like the sierra club or the national rifle association because they represent issues that the people who are members agree with. i do think we ought to have a system where people can form political parties easily collected them on the ballot, and run their nominees for election. if nobody votes for them than they don't have the idea that the majority of voters like. let the voters make that decision. >> following up there was a
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study in may of 2009 that said we are at our highest point in 70 years for people self identifying as independents. i am not for the top two. we ought to get away from the number two. what is happening is it is a funnelling process. what it does, it is very unlikely that an independent or third-party candidate would emerge in that talk to. that is exactly the opposite of what we should be trying to do, which is expand choice in the general election. people should learn more about this system. i don't want the media reducing taurus. i don't want debate commission's or the parties, i want to make it possible that more people and more choices are in front of th. that is why at the the federal election commission going back,
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we need to review campaign finance laws which i am in favor of more like tax policy and we have to say we don't want to just not have a corrective effect. you want to also look at how can governments facilitate the people and how can we reward behavior do want to see. >> a little bit late. i want to get to as many people as possible. >> with all due respect to theresa, the whole problem with having the extensive tax policy we have is because you have government bureaucrats deciding what social policies should be encouraged and what shouldn't. i have to agree completely with
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what james bennett said when he said the biggest problem in washington is that the government is too big and too powerful. what is true for tax policy is also very true of federal campaign finance laws. look, the commissioners i serve for all very well meaning people. there were six people over a federal bureaucracy of almost 400 individuals. you do not want government bureaucrats making decisions on what kind of political activity should be encouraged or discouraged in the political a arena. people should be free tax act as they want to and to speak as they want to. i say to you, compare the federal system with two states, virginia and utah, that have no restrictions. they do require disclosure.
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governing magazine rates utah and virginia as having two of the best run governments in the united states. you tell me whether you think virginia government or utah state government, are they somehow much more corrupt than the federal government, the federal system? most people in the state would tell you did think that probably have a cleaner government than the federal system. >> i promised the gentleman behind christina. >> thank you. my name is karen rose. i live in seattle washington. one question was just asked. i want to go back to the question. i voted for ralph nader, and i am still repenting for that sin. >> i hope that this tongue in cheek. >> the question about voter turnout. very ms. is there a correlationn an increase of voter turnout and support for the third party and from the campaign finance reform
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purses the lower turnout? other than every four years high-profile election voter turnout in the united states is very, very low. i just went out to dr. bennett's point, he mentions a wrong which is a good example. i believe in afghanistan had 28 candidates on their ballots including some women. i think it is a very good point thank you. >> any comments on that? >> you addressed this. >> yeah, well, put it this way. if you honestly believe that there is not that much difference between the democrats and the republicans, why vote? that's the point. i think a lot of issues that should have been debated -- ralph is good at this. you may not agree with his positions, but the idea is he wants to put the stuff on the
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table and get it out there and people want to talk about this. he wants to talk about labor issues and trade issues. and you don't really get this very much. everything is clustered in the center. the idea is to spread the ideas about. you know, hans has been talking about the fact that, well, if you have multiple parties government may not be as easy, governing may not be as easy and it may be different. well, that may be a very good thing, frankly. how effective are these people anyway? talk about the sec and the madoff situation, the federal emergency management thing and katrina. there is always the united states postal service. i don't know where they get the service from, but nevertheless. it may be a good thing to have less government and less
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effective government. we may be very fortunate we don't get all the government will pay for. >> can i answer the gentleman's question? there have been studies on this. a good book to read would be thomas patterson's "the vanishing voter" where he interviewed something like 90,000 voters. there is a correlation. first you see a correlation in interest in the election itself a new look at the that turned out for ross perot compared to the other debates that didn't have a third party. and that is one of the things that people site. conveniences'. i can't get to the polls. but it is one of the factors, there is not the range of choice. there are a number of studies that have been done on this. there probably should be more. i am going to defend this service here and say that i think it would be fair, more fair to say that there are
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things that are ineffectively regulated, there are things that are overregulated, and there are things that are underregulated. we could probably be here another 2,000 years. what we need to do, the system is broken. even the commissioners at the sec sent a letter to congress and said let's fix the presidential financing commission. one answer is not just do nothing or have no government. we actually have to work at these are questions. they are not fast answers. >> the woman on the aisle on the right side. >> thank you. my name is anna belle fisher. i live in northern virginia. professor bennett, i live in seattle, washington. i know how things go. i would like to throw a couple things out to you all. i do believe the american -- i
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think to the gentleman in seattle, people don't vote because they don't have choices. alexandria just changed the way that, against the public opinion in alexandria, virginia, how we are going to elect the next mayor and council and school board in order to increase voter turnout so that it would be in the election cycle. washington state has of million things on the ballot in election year. so i am for proportional representation. i agree with that. i am against campaign finance reform. in a virginia anybody and the mother can set up a pack, and that would go against the finance laws. what do you think of having open primaries where you have now the heads of the democratic republican parties say, oh, yeah, you can vote in the open primaries, but you have to declare your party.
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rather in the general you can vote however you want. that would be the first thing. it would allow more people who choose to run for office to be on the ballot without, perhaps, gathering the signatures. the second thing is, i think if there is any movement, and i do believe today with the health care reform debate, with the other issues that are coming up today, there are many more people now who are looking at voting for an independent person, but i believe it has to start at the local level, the local and state level. you can't have somebody running for president who has never held office before. i am throwing those two issues out to anyone out there. man the best person win in virginia, and made the election be over soon. thank you. >> jim, to you want to start? >> i'm not quite sure what your
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question was. beyond that, i am for a dank. i think it is an american to try to close things down and the press people and keep people off the ballot. i think we need to do whatever we can do tend to encourage new voices and new choices. it's very important. i don't know if moving elections, for example, to a presidential year would guarantee better people in office or what not. it just seems to me that we need a lot more issues and ideas on the table. that is kind of what -- where i come from in this. [inaudible question] >> that would be fine. that helps open up the process. that is exactly what i was saying. i am in favor of anything that opens the process up.
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>> with the primary system, look, yeah, you want to have an open election system, but you also want the parties to be able to a have some control over what they do. all of those parties do not want people coming in and voting in there primary fights who don't really believe in their ideas and are only there to spoil the choice. i recall one of the green party candidates said one of the reasons she got defeated was because in the democratic primary election in one of her prior elections republicans crossed over the line to vote for the opponent to her so that she would lose. i think that party is, we have gone a long way, as jim bennett describes in his book, toward having the government take over many things that the parties did previously. while i agree with some of
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those, i don't agree with his criticisms of the australian ballot with the main part of was to make sure we had a secret ballot, which is vital to democracy. i don't think that switching to a primary system where the parties have absolutely no control over the process and no control about who comes in to vote, i don't think that is necessarily a good thing unless you really want to destroy having any parties at all. >> the gentleman in the second row from the back. close to the end. >> yes. grass roots director of citizens in charge and the citizens charged foundation. i want to give teresa an opportunity to expand on some of her proposed solutions. the funds would presumably be controlled by the existing parties and people in power. i wonder if you can address how that would help third parties out if you have to go and is essentially not on the door of the existing powers to get into
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that. >> one of the reasons i am in favor of public financing is to help encourage participation so you don't have to be born a billionaire will have access to a billionaire is rolodex. i don't think that's what the founding fathers had in mind in terms of citizens being able to run for office. public financing allowed small start candidacies, people who were running independent, small parties to have at least of little bit of a contribution in order to be able to get to the point where they can compete and have their candidacy in front of the american voter. i will give you an example. ralph nader is one of the only candidates in the last three elections to qualified for public financing for matching funds in the primary. first of all, the statute is
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written so that you are not going to get, as a minor party or independent, general a election financing unless you have already proved you can garner 5% of the vote. that is of no use in the current election. what it does allow and what was critical is to be able to have funds to be a will to overcome the ballot access problems. if you're not on the ballot you're not on the raiders' green. right in votes rarely when in history, and right and notes, another flaw, not even counted. one of the chapters in my book does talk about how the supreme court has enshrined the two-party system and has become the protector of the incumbent,
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instead of the defender of people who are trying to participate in the system. the last chapter of the book does deal with the number of solutions him everything from whether or not the electoral college to have to make it more fair to people to have a chance to run. i discussed the national vote plan act. a discuss redistricting. at the local level the impact to this woman's question here, oftentimes we don't have two parties. we just have one party. there is nobody else even running in these elections. so your choice has become one individual. sometimes they just even cancel the election. they did that in florida because it was a foregone conclusion. do we really want a government where the elected are foregone conclusions because nobody else had a chance to run? i don't think so. >> one last question. the gentleman here, and then we
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will go to bonds. but for the microphone please. >> thank you. my name is arnold came, and i live in maryland, a one-party state. i would like to thank you all for having this discussion. it is a very interesting discussion. what can we do to get politicians to understand the election process? in other words, and the standard rules. another, how can we get the election process working in the 201st century to make seeing that they allow -- they have third parties dominate. thank you. >> thank you. jim? >> well, i think i outlined the fact that what we need to do is to remove impediments to participation. the main impediment is ballot access laws and make it easy for people to get on the ballot,
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have a free-for-all. the more the merrier kind of thing and have it sorted out by the american people. that is what i think we need to do is to open up the process rather than have it close as it is now to a great degree. >> theresa? >> well, the easy thing would be to read my book, "grand illusion". i do talk in the last chapter in great detail about the kinds of things we can do in this country to make it a more fair system and have maximized better choice and importantly filled the voters' rights by helping agnon's the can of its rights to be able to run for office. thank you. >> in that light it also may be that a contribution to the cato
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institute would have been. >> don't forget heritage. well, actually want to go back to an earlier question. that is on public funding. their is a fundamental problem with public funding. theresa mentioned the fact that the sec commissioners are to congress to say you have to fix it. they were talking about the fact that there wasn't enough money in the funds to pay for it. the american people don't want to fund it. it is purely voluntary. when the program first went into place about 25 to five at one point it went up to 30 percent of the people that the voluntary checkoff. in the last year they did numbers down to about 8%. the only way you can find a public funding program for alexian's -- and i don't care whether it is on the federal level, the state level, is through taxation. that is a fundamental violation of my first amendment rights to
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associate with people that i want to associate with to use my tax money to pay for the political campaigns of somebody who i fundamentally disagree with. that is such a violation of the bill of rights that it is hard for me to believe people keep pushing the public funding idea. and frankly raising money when you are a candid camera going out raising private money. mine experiences people give money to of peoples to idea the lie. if he can raise any money is because people don't like your ideas and they don't like the solutions you are proposing to the problems problems be have. i just don't have a problem of people going out and having to raise money. if you take off the limits on campaign contributions people will be able to raise the money to run campaigns and they are not going to have to be billionaires' to do it. >> those of you that did not get to ask your questions will be
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able to ask them of our panelists now that we are calling to lunch. i want to join you in thinking of three of them for coming here today. go have lunch. no taxpayer money involved. [inaudible conversations] >> theresa amato was the campaign manager and in-house counsel for ralph nader in both 2000 and 2004. mr. bennett is an economics professor at george mason university. >> from the 2009 book transnational former senator bob graham presents the how-to book for the american republic on making government responsive to the people. this is about an hour.
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>> it is a delight for me to introduce our most distinguished native born and raised and dedicated to this community of one of the things. born here. went to miami high. went to the university of florida. went to harvard law school and came back. after years in the florida legislature he moved on to be our governor for two terms, our center for three terms. in all cases had a distinguished career and was one of the few people in the national legislature that people from both sides of the aisle respected and worked with. so he has had a distinguished career. he is still called on by the legislature in terms of committees, one dealing with the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and one on the financial crisis. but i think the most important
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thing particularly with the work you're going to hear about today deals with his interaction with people and with his commitments to our democratic process and his belief that everybody has to participate. by the way, bob ... to everybody. if you ever walk with him every 3 feet he stops to talk to somebody else and gets out a notebook and has to write down what they had to say. the workdays, 365 days plus of those where he works at different occupations to see how the average person was doing. in this case he is starting on what i think is a new career to try to get people to get involved in the political process so that it works as it should work. and i think the things he does and the way he works and now the center of this area and the university of florida, i think
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he is going to do even better now than he did as our representative to be with that i would like to introduce bob gramm. [applauding] >> thank you. thank you, france. let me say something about the gentlemen that you just heard from. he is excessive comments this afternoon are not indicative of his personality. bob mccabe was the longtime president of this great educational institution. he is not always thought of to be great by his friends and admirers. he was also selected by the macarthur foundation to receive a genius award. so you are in the presence of a certified genius. bob has made many contributions to this community, and his wife
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who happens to be my wife's best friend is also probably the most distinguished historian of southern florida. friends, first i want to thank you for being here. this is one of the most important cultural events in the life of our community. it is an opportunity for people who care about ideas and books to come together to not only to learn about some recent writings, but also to share your values and thoughts. this is an indication to the world which sometimes things that all of the people who live in miami are interested in beach and sun. but there are many, many of our fellow citizens who are very engaged in the ideas and actions of the moment. and that, in many ways, is the
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summary of the book that i am going to be talking about. but before i start on that and going to ask you to questions. the first will be geography, and the second will be biography. first, how many of you have ever been to south beach, please raise your hand. okay. you did very well. congratulations. now we are going to come to the biography. how many of you know barbara capitman? okay. smaller, but not insignificant group. barbara is why there is a sow beets today. let me tell you the story. south beach was developed largely in the period after world war i and became a lot major national and international tourist destination.
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but by the 1970's it was falling down to hard times. disney had been constructed, and many people prefer to it as the iron curtain that kept tourists from moving further south. they felt that miami beach had become an integrated place. frankly, they thought there were too many elderly people that live there, and as one who just celebrated my 703rd birthday i take great offense at that, and that it was no longer attractive for tourists. so in 1976 the city government of miami beach announced a plan, plan to convert miami beach, particularly south beach, into a new international resort. in many ways they took their ideas from disney world. this was going to be disney world south. one of the consequences of disney world south was that much of south beach would be leveled
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in order to create the platform for this new destination. there was mutts applause to this plan. it appeared to have the support of the economic and political power structure, not only of miami beach, but of much of florida. one woman stepped forward. her name was barbara capitman. barbara came from a family that had influenced the art deco movement. art deco was essentially the application of industrial designs to non industrial settings including architecture, but also at everyday appliances. if you go to the wilsonian museum on south beach you will see at example of the extent of art deco influence, particularly in the 30's and 40's. she came out of that. she had a knowledge and the
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passion for that form of design. second, her recently deceased husband had been a professor of marketing. they had to share ideas about how do you persuade and influence people, particularly in areas of consumer choice. with those two elements she said you are making the big mistake. the future of south beach is not going to be to replicate mickey mouse. the future of south beach is going to be to save this special architecture, to save the romance and nostalgia that for many americans they associate with south be. i am going to lead the effort to overcome all of these groups that are abdicating its destruction. in three years based on her
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knowledge of and ability to influence key decision makers in miami beach in dade county, in florida, and in washington south beach became the first national historic district that commenced in the 20th century in the been at states of america. a very audacious objective brilliantly executed and achieved. she then spent the rest of for life trying to convince the local governments. i show my age by not using the modern word miami-dade county, and miami beach to develop the ordnances and other necessary legal cap mechanisms to protect this national historic district. unfortunately she died three years before the full realization of her effort.
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but there is now a st. -- i believe it is tenth street, which is named for barbara. i cite her because she is emblematic of the kind of person that i believe all americans can be if they have a sufficient amount of internal self-confidence and a willingness to acquire the competencies' to be an effective citizen. this book "america the owner's manual" is devoted to preparing all americans for active and effective and hon. citizenship. i have defined, and this is totally my doing. i do not hold anybody else responsible. what i consider to be the ten essentials skills of effective
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citizenship. barbara had most of the skills. she had the skills threw her experience in marketing with knowing the customer and how to influence the customer. because of her background in art deco she had already done the research as to why this was an important part of american culture which deserve to be protected and enhanced. and barbara unfortunately is the example which is becoming increasingly rare in america. those of you who are my generation and a generation younger have lived through the time of massive decline in citizenship in america. by almost any indicator of
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active citizenship, basics like boating, volunteering, joining organizations that have a civic objective, working with your neighbors to solve a local problem. americans today are dramatically less likely to do any of those than they did two generations ago. i put a lot of the blame of that on several institutions. one of those is our educational institution. as bob said, i graduated from miami senior high school in 1955. i had gone to elementary and junior high before that. between the seventh grade and the 12th grade i had taken the amount of civics which was typical for americans of my generation. three courses, three one-year courses including a basic introduction, a course that was called problems and democracy where you learned to analyze
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issues and discuss them intelligently, and how to be a citizen. but the competencies', the skills of effective citizenship. in the spring of this year by oldest granddaughter graduated from the public school in tallahassee. she had also taken the amount of civics which is typical across the country today. she had taken one semester of civics, not the three full years i have had, but one semester. and what she had taken is what i call spectators civics. if any of you ever took a course in music appreciation for art appreciation from my experience you learn to appreciate beethoven's ninth symphony better, but you don't learn to play any of the estimates in the orchestra that are necessary to produce beethoven's ninth
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symphony. that is what we are doing in what little civics is being taught today. we are training our young people to be spectators got to sit in the stands and watch democracy, but with none of the skills required to be an active participant in our democracy. this book was written for a general audience, but with a particular focus on high school and college students. the publisher seeking press is a college press, and it has marketed the book and promoted the book primarily to the collegiate audience. i am honest enough to say that it is doing quite well. i think that there are a number of evidences of this fact that we have not given adequate attention to citizenship in
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america. we saw some of it in august when one of the most important issues facing our society which is how do we provide health care for all americans turned into a screaming match with the permission that had no factual basis being shouted out as if it were biblical truth. and the people in the audience frequently not having the analytical skills to be able to understand what was true and what was shouted fantasy. we also have seen a decline in people's willingness to participate in groups that have been dedicated to effective citizenship. one of the other case studies in the book is about another woman who lived on the other side of the country.
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i will give you another barograph test. anybody here know who can this light lietner? well, candice lietner in 1978 was a mid 30's mother, a housewife, and sacramento california. she had to twin daughters. one of her twins was killed, killed by a drunk driver. candace grieved as any mother would, but she decided she was going to do more than just grief. she was going to make a difference. and so with a small group of for neighbors in her neighborhood in sacramento they put together an organization. one of the most significant things they did was to select a name for the organization. the name that they selected stated not only the objective, but also inferred what the
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problem was. the name was mothers against drunk driving. these initial members were all mothers. not all have suffered as candice had done, but all could empathize with a mother who had lost a child to the drug driver. but what the title inferred -- they could have selected californians against drunk driving, or drivers against drunk driving. they selected the word mother first because it is one of the most emotive words in the english-language. seconds because it pointed to the fact that drug driving vings overwhelmingly a masculine event. most are drivers then and now are men. the organizations that are responsible for governing truck driving from police to
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prosecutors to the court system are overwhelmingly men. in 1978 there was an attitude that john driving wasn't sn't tt serious. if you were a prosecutor it was not typically at the top of the list of things that you would spend a lot of time on. in our popular culture, movies of that era depicted trunks as being sources of humor, people who fell out of the car door on the streets, people laughed about there odd behavior. they are not treated as murderers do in 1978 had killed 25,000 americans. she launched this effort. in less than ten years she had every state in that nation adopt what she considered to be the two most important things to do. one was to raise the aged drinking from 18 to 21.
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a disproportionate number of drug drivers were in that young guest age group. second, to reduce the level of the alcohol in your bloodstream that was necessary to define a person as being drunk. it is now the .08% of your blood being alcohol call. she did this by getting a person who was not a particular advocate of a strong federal government in social policy who had run on a platform that government was not the solution. government was the problem. that person was ronald reagan. can this later went to went to l on ronald reagan. how could she convince them to support national legislation that would have imposed these standards in light of his professed opposition to a big
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national government? what she found was that beyond the president's political philosophy he had a great weakness for children. if you read his biography you will see that on many occasions if a child wrote the president a letter and describes some problem that the child was having in their family are in their school or neighborhood he would not only read the back but would send them a small check to help them do whatever they had been unable to do. so when she got her 15 minutes with ronald reagan in the oval office she did not talk about the theory of drunk driving more about the specifics of what changes. she talked about children and how they were being disproportionately slaughtered because of this. and with that ronald reagan
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turned to his chief of staff and said, i know this may sound out of character for some of my supporters, but i am going to help badly accomplish her objective. there was an example of a woman who made a difference because she was willing to acquire the competence is necessary to do so. i think that in order to lift ourselves out of this sorry state of citizenship we are going to need to do a number of things. the art going to need to have regenerate our journalism. the reality is that journalism across the board, radio television, notably newspapers are in a very difficult time. and in that difficult time the first thing that typically goes is the local news coverage, which is exactly the news
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coverage that alerts citizens to problems in their community. if you don't know that there is a problem in, for instance, the school's of miami-dade county you are not likely to become a civic activist to try to resolve that problem. another area are our political parties. used to be that political parties saw as one of their principal responsibilities to encourage citizenship. ellis island had tables or the republican and democratic party so as people were making their first chance in the united states they were also being asked to begin the process to become citizens and hopefully to join the party that was soliciting them and become loyal supporters. yes, they have a self-interest. but they were also serving a broader national interest. today political parties say the only people we want to show up to a vote is our base, the people that we are confident our
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corn to vote for our candidates. we will actively discourage other people from appearing. unfortunately this has been a particular problem in florida. some of you who were around in 2000 got a good case study of how that worked. but i think most of the challenge is going to be directed toward education. we need to increase not only the amount of citizenship preparation, but the quality of citizenship preparation with a much greater emphasis on preparing people to be able to be active, and cage citizens. this book had its origins in an experience that i had over 30 years ago as a state legislator. i was chairman of the florida committee on education. we were holding our pre legislative session hearings in schools around the state.
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on this particular day we were at wilson high school in jacksonville. no family relationship. when students were asked if they would like to come and tell us anything they came in large numbers. they had a complaint, and it probably was a complaint that many of you experienced. that was battered in the cafeteria. i wasn't surprised that the food was bad. i was surprised that they came to the state legislature to get a solution. i asked them, will we be the first people you talk to? and they said, no, you are actually the third. that made me feel better that they had exhausted the more obvious efforts and had turned to us in despair. well, i asked, who was one into?
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number one was a man named bandstands were. he said, i agree that the food is probably bad, but it's not my responsibility as mayor. the next person was dealt person who was the sheriff. he said the food is no doubt that, but it is not criminal. it's not my responsibility. we were the third. well, i told the story a few weeks later to a group of civics teachers here in miami-dade county. i said something is bad wrong, excuse the grammar, when a student gets almost to graduation of high-school and things the mayor, the sheriff, or the state legislature is the place to go for a greasy pizza on friday. i thought i would get a sympathetic hearing to this. >> to the contrary. one of the teachers, a friend of mine stood up and said i am sick
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to death. i am sick to death of politicians to don't know what the hell they're talking about telling us how to do our profession better. and the only way you can learn what is really going on is to get into the classroom and see what it's like. well, i thought she was thinking about a couple of hours on tuesday afternoon. i found out that she had a different idea in mind. she called me and said, i've worked it out. great. what's the deal? you're to come to miami carol city high-school on the day after labor day and report to run 207. you will be teaching top grade civics for the next 18 weeks. well, that took me back, but i figured i had made a commitment and i was going to keep it. one of the smarter things that i did was to find a young civics
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teacher who shared some of my ideas to work with me. this book is dedicated to dan l. morris, civics teacher. we developed a curriculum around the question, what does a citizen need to know to make it the government work for them. what does a citizen need to know to make government work for them to back we taught that for 18 weeks. in the introduction to the book we target what that experience was like. thirty years later by had retired from the senate and had the opportunity to go to harvard to the kennedy school of government as a senior fellow. as a fellow you are expected, at harvard, the only people who teach our members of the faculty. everybody else, whenever their title is, they can do something
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else. they can inspire. they can direct. our group, we lead. i lead a class of undergraduates in that same curriculum. of want to say that the harvard undergraduates of 2005 were about as severely illiterate as the high school students of carol city were in 1974. well i was there several of the faculty members, particularly a very well-known sociologists who had recently written a book called the bowling alone which details of this decline in americans' willingness to join any kind of organization. by interest me u r a g i n g me to write this as a book. you are now the victims of that
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recommendation. i hope that this will make a contribution to turning our big institutions, education, journalism, political parties and others toward a recognition of the decline that has occurred in our citizenship and the consequences that we are paying for the decline and that we don't have a lot of time left to reverse this. their is a national report card issued each year by the national conference on citizenship. their is a similar report card listed on the state of florida. the national conference report indicates that in these difficult economic times when some thought that it would be a renewal of citizenship as people wanted to work together to get through their difficulties. in fact, as has been the case in other economic declines, it has
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contributed to an acceleration of decline. 72 percent of americans said in the 2009 poll that they were less likely to volunteer. less likely to join an organization because of the economic conditions and the insularity and focus that they were having to give to their own families survival than they had been two or three years earlier in better economic times. the report on florida was that of the 50 states plus the district of columbia the average of all of those indicators from voting to volunteerism except truck rank to us as 46 out of 51 political entities. so we in florida have a particular challenge to stimulate a higher level of
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citizenship. and in a state which is as mobile, changing, growing as florida has been for the last several decades we need to have a high level of citizenship in order to bring the new peruvians in to our communities as effective citizens and affect their energies to those things that will make this a better place in which to live. one of the things that came out of the studies is that people like you, people who were readers, people who had shown a prior history of interest in the issues of the community were much more likely to be a good citizen and a participating citizens and those who didn't have your characteristics. in many ways i am speaking to the choir here this afternoon. i am going to ask each of you not only to continue what i trust have been your good patterns of citizenship, but to
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be part of an army of americans to encourage others, particularly younger americans to do likewise. this democracy was never intended to be a spectator sport. it was never intended to be an activity that was limited to a few beats. democracy by its nature is participatory, and it is available to all americans who are willing to pay the price of developing the competencies' and self-confidence to be effective citizens. thank you for your contributions. [applauding] questions. thank you. >> last week of went to a county
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commission meeting, and the county commissioner was lying. nobody stood up and said anything. i was recalling that i was going to come see you, and i remember you being on stephen colbert's show. nancy pelosi was having the same problem with the cia saying that they told her what was doing on about the iraq war. she said, no, they didn't tell me. i just wondered if you have any comments about what to do with the lie. >> well, you need to start before the live shows of. my dad was in the dairy business, and he always carried a little notebook around so that if he saw a sick cow or a broken
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fence or a truck that needed to be prepared he would write it down and be sure that it cut followed up. i have been following that trade of my dad for most of my adult life. in the particular instance that the lady talked about the question was, had members of the intelligence committee that nancy was the ranking democrat of the house intelligence committee and i was the chairman of the senate intelligence committee being briefed on some of the activities such as torture, warrantless wiretaps except for a. i was pretty sure i hadn't been briefed. so when the statement was made nancy had been. i had been. i asked what were the dates that these briefings took place. i was given for dates all of which were in 2002.
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my notebooks are stored at a library at the university of florida. i called the librarian and gave him those four dates panetta said, pulled the notebooks. well, as it turned out on three of the four dates there was no briefing held on any subject. and on the fourth state there was a briefing held, but it was held under circumstances. this is a little bit inside baseball, but the staff were present. these were supposed to be high classified briefings where staff would not normally have been present which led me to believe that three of the four meetings never took place and one of the meetings which did take place was not on the subject that was alleged to be. when i gave them that information but i haven't done another call from the cia


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