tv C-SPAN Weekend CSPAN November 28, 2009 2:00pm-6:15pm EST
more nationally oriented in terms of party identification among voters, you'll see a group of new style bipartisans, one with new commitments more than traditional party identification, and elections will be more competitive. for some time, a number of scholars were skeptical about these byproducts. john coleman noted that -- he particularly made note of the troublesome issue of weak turnout. i wrote a few things about a couple of party conferences to suggest much of the same. if party organizations were more active in the past, why were
average citizens less likely to be involved in party activities? you might consider young voters. when 18-year-old were given the right to vote in 1972, about 50% did so. by 2000, at the heart of the party resurgence, that figure had dropped to 35%. and of course the problem went much deeper. simply stated, young americans are tuned out to politics. not civic life, because they are subtly engaged, but not politically engaged. robert putnam said that very little of the net decline in voting is attributable to individual change, and all of it is generational. what were these revivalist parties doing about it? what were they doing about this engagement? in the fall of 2003, john and i conducted a telephone survey of 805 local party leaders to get better understanding of the
relationship between these revivalist committees and young voters. our finding found that most leaders saw a disengagement as a serious problem, but few local committees were doing much about it. we argued that many party leaders perceived it to get nonvoters to be more costly than it was to persuade existing voters. the decline took a dramatic turnaround. i think it is safe to say that the 2000 election triggered one of the most significant transformations electoral history. for younger voters, 18 to 29, it skyrocketed from 40% in 2000 to 50% in 2008, and there are
numerous other measures of engagement. they all say the same thing. activating engaged electorate. there are theories of what happened. the vanishing voter project points to the importance of issues of concern. americans have historically voted in higher numbers when the nation confronts big issues. another policy that makes a lot of sense is that the turnout in 2004 or 2008 reflected the closeness of the 2000 election, particularly for young voters who are think to a pretty good job of cost benefit. every vote seemed to matter, and it came down to 535 votes in florida. obviously the outcome of the election was very important. there are changing attitudes about politics, filled with a number indicators' to suggest more trust and efficacy in the
system, and i think it is also worth exploring the declining number of press winnable voters. 33% in 2004. only about 2% of voters made up their mind on election day of 2004, 2%. it had traditionally been 10%. i believe as there are fewer and fewer persuade voters, organizations turned to mobilizing traditional nonvoters, and of course that would be young voters. there is still another possibility, and that is the party organizations made a difference. perhaps the activities of these revivalist parties that paul tarp about actually have happened. there is some evidence to suggest but that is happening.
then of course there's the obama ground war. the reasonable guess is that the obama team had four times as many ground troops as did john kerry and al gore. this was especially true in swing states. for example, john kerry had 10 field offices in new mexico, for obama had 39. and the list of the obama net route campaign activities, which we're all starting to know, is impressive in that it laid out all that they have to do in the course of the campaign. they sent out about 7000 different e-mail messages and have a list of 13 million addresses and so forth and so on. supporters received no less than 20 texts. month during the campaign, and it all seem to work and pay off. according to circle, 64% of 18- 24 year-old and 43% of 18-29 year-old were first-time voters.
that helped obama. the margin of victory for those under 34 obama was 68% to 32%. john mccain received a majority of votes from those over 35. few of us were surprised to hear meghan mccain suggest the republican party was on the principles of becoming irrelevant to young people. now, it is a bit early to say, but some of us are starting to think that the top down television based model that dominated politics since the 1960's has been transformed by the obama approach. he absolutely perfected it. i am running out of time, and i do not want go over. a long and short of it is that
this is an interesting opportunity. the parties of the 21st century are confronted with a rare chance. elections have connected a meaningful commitment and a renewed interest and activism, especially among young people. but the challenges of keeping this momentum are numerous. several steps can be taken, such as close coordination between candidates' efforts and party commitments. there must be a focus on local party structures, what ray was talking about a few minutes ago. parties like moveon.org have had interpersonal connections. organizations must shift focus. young voters care about issues. related parties must work to integrate social events. the party chart in the role of the political system as well as
the democratic character of our nation, the most consequential of, of activity will likely be what it does to the spirit of the electorate and what it does to the spirit of young voters. call party organizations will surely continue to provide candidates with cutting edge services and activities will foster an affinity for politics among young people, the revival of party organizations can only be sustained when new people, young people, feel connected to the process. party organizations must seize this opportunity. thank you.
>> today i am going to present a broad overview of organization across the u.s. using data are collected in 2008 from county party leaders. i will highlight were counterparties stand on a variety of activities, some of which we have looked up for in previous conferences here as well as elsewhere and some of which we haven't. i will put the changeover to the existing extent, and in the end i will demonstrate the state of local party is strong. they are at least effective today as the past and often more active, and also very involved with other organizations in their communities. i'm also going to present data on how to control local organizations, who controls these resources but i find to be rather prevalent in committee party said highlight significant changes over time, as well. finally, because my data reveals
pretty significant variations between parties in different counties and their level of strength and activity, i also will demonstrate what kinds of counties are like the to have strong or weak party organizations and suggest some of the applications of disparity. now, i have a lot of new data to share with you, so i will go through it quickly, but please feel free ask for clarification during the q and a. in this audience, it is quite pleasant to not have to say why, but i will submit to highlight why it is important to study local party organizations. in particular, local political factors are the political actors most likely to be in contact with the average citizen. so just in line with professors say -- professor shea's work, these people are likely to engage for the first time in the process. they affect to hold local offices, making a lot of policies that most directly affect our lives, and they hold
higher level offices, those people on the pipeline, and the work for this campaign. finally, for the political scientist among us, there are a lot of violations and local parties, which makes them ideal to use. for all these reasons, it is important to get a better understanding of counterparties. if strong, they can fulfil the essential role of in the trading activity as voters, supporters, or candidates themselves, and if they're weak, they may not fulfill this role so well. but only a few major comprehensive studies of parties have been done in recent decades, which i will not go into right here because you have heard them, but i will say that it has been several decades since there was a survey of all parties in the u.s., from the weakest, most rural parties through los angeles county. today i will present data from a survey of that nature. in late 2007 and early 2008, i
attempted to survey every county party chair in the u.s.. i eventually was able to identify about 5500 of them out of about 6300's county party leaders, and i surveyed each of them. i got about 2300 back, a 43% response rate, giving me a good spread of organization. if the county is colored, i have at least one party survey from those counties. i see that a strategic ref the rep. i will not throw out the table, but it is also representative geographically. counties are a little less world, because some rural counties do not have county parties, but otherwise, they are quite similar. to start off, i will say that counterparties are active, or at least report being active, in elections at every level.
between 60% and 90% report that their counterparties are somewhat or very active in elections for local, county, state, and federal offices. counterparties play important roles in national elections, but in some ways they have a monopoly on who runs for and who is supported in local level elections. so that is what i mcorp to talk about here today. i will start off saying how resolve parties are in local offices. this reports that the party commonly recruit candidates to run for local offices. although there is a lot of work in higher offices talking about the campaign, talked about the decrease in party control about who runs. this is not really the case at the county level. so these data, as well as my own
conversations, talk about finding high-quality candidates to run for somewhat lower- prestige offices, starter offices in the pipeline, it can be difficult. to the county party plays an important role in bringing candidates in to contest the elections. but county parties can also shape the candidate pool and a different way. in particular, this slide presents the proportion of county party leaders who report different types of medical equipment. now, there have not been very many studies any level, and i am sure that no study has ever looked at humboldt county party are in these activities, but what these data show is that a fairly small proportion of county party leaders recommended candidates that they do not run for office, making sense, given the difficulty of sometimes finding local candidates. a fairly high proportion of candidates somewhat more often takes are the primary elections.
we can of course then -- understand reasons why they try to get a stronger candidate for the general election, but we also have researching that these types of activities can deferentially affect different candidates. my work is on gender representation, and party's delegate keep -- that gatekeeper run fewer women candidates. this certainly merits further study. now wants the candidates are chosen, of course parties are also active in elections, and my data show that counterparties are actually quite active and elections in a variety of ways. so can a party activity is important for several reasons. it helps ensure voters are informed about these local issues, insures voters are presented with a choice of candidates, and also, some of these activities are ones that party leaders indicate actually
see if they are going to govern better, connected with groups that will help train on city government issues, zoning, and things like that, to produce better government, as well. and you can see that over 60% of democratic and republican party organizations are involved in all of these activities. and on average, each party organization was active in about 12 of the 16 activities. now while i could not find a way to show the slide in any clear way, if you compare this to measures in 1980 and 1996, we see that parties are at least as active, the help arrange an chronology of the institution when they first run for office.
they are becoming a little more active than democrats, particularly when it comes to campaign ordination record nation. parties are more active than in the south. it is a pretty good deal of variation between the parties. these figures contain distribution of a party activity index combining all the factors, and you can see that there is definitely room for parties to move and become more active in a variety of ways. as much as county party activity is less active, there can be an occasion for the representation of people in these areas, whether they are
integrated, registered to vote, talent to run in elections, were contested. -- challenged to run in elections or contested. i found that they can. so if you look at county characteristics like income, education, race, age, population density, and region and put them into a model, you find that there are some patterns. for democrats, parties are stronger. republicans are stronger in areas of wealthy residents, and this is controlling. counties are weaker in rural areas and with substantial minority populations, suggesting that these may have fewer
opportunities to be brought into the political system. of course, these residents might benefit from other groups like -- besides party organizations. so i asked about interest groups in these communities, and given resource constraints, any of you will know that they certainly can benefit from cooperating with community and interest groups. in fact, over half of the party leaders in my survey indicate nonparty groups are somewhat or very politically active in their counties, said the scene to be playing a significant role in county politics. in particular, my data revealed that these people are involved in supporting parties and candidates in a variety of ways. over 40% of parties reports sometimes or often receiving financial contributions, volunteers, endorsements, and help with scripps, some of the standard activities you would expect to be involved in, but we
also see other assistance from party groups including sharing donor lists, producing registered campaign materials, and a variety of other materials. it is also interesting to wonder what groups are supporting counterparties. clerk -- this portion represents portions of parties that received campaign support regularly from various groups, and they reflect that there are differences between democrats and republicans along the lines he might expect -- you might expect. more support for democrats in teacher and labor unions, minority groups, civil rights groups. republicans received more assistance from taxing and development groups, religious groups, agriculture and farming, and other organizations. it is also worth noting that these distinctions are not as large as you are expecting, and not as significant. despite exceptions, those
parties receive local assistance from groups we might not expect given the rhetoric at higher levels. i previously noted that it is possible that political activity by these types of community interest groups could make up for activity by counterparties in certain types of counties, and looking at the same model for nonparty group activities, it reveals that at least in some cases that is the case. well lawn party groups like -- while nonaprty groups are less active, there are more active with residents. there might be a degree to which they can make up with weaker counterparties in terms of getting people involved in the immediate area. there is not very much work at present with the attraction between parties and other groups at the local level, so i hope that this demonstrates this interaction is common and spurs more research on it, because
certainly there is a corporation going on there. so far i have presented research demonstrating counterparties are active, their state is strong, and on party organizations are active, as well. but i have not said anything about the control of resources. so i want to briefly present a bit of data about party leaders. a look at who is recruiting these candidates, who is gay taken -- gate keeping. this presents challenges for 1980 through 2000. and we can see that in some way, party leaders have become a bit more like the general u.s. population. those republicans and democrats have more racial minority party leaders, and democrats have more female party leaders. also there much more highly educated than in 1980 and certainly than the general u.s. population. but we also see that the leadership still looks pretty of like the population as a whole
-- unlike the population as a whole. and in the sense that there is gate keeping and who gets support based on what party leaders look like, this could promote further political inequality. but perhaps more striking are the changes in ideology. these figures demonstrate significant ideological polarization among party leaders in the past several decades. call leaders in 1980 fell toward the middle of the political spectrum, you can see in my recent survey that very few leaders describe themselves as moderate. republicans are more extreme than democrats, but it is deftly the case that have leaders from both parties put themselves in one of the two most extreme ideological categories. so my views demonstrate the people leading party organization certainly do not look like the rest of the u.s. population and the people controlling do not look like population.
to conclude, the data i have presented here from a 2008 survey of party leaders demonstrates counterparties are strong and active in identifying candidates recruiting them, controlling who runs for county and local elections, and supporting these candidates in a variety of ways. local interest groups are also active in recruiting candidates to working with the parties, and while there is some variation in party strength and nonparty group's strength across counties, there definitely are some powder to in this as well. several counties are least likely to have strong party is -- rural counties are less likely to have strong parties, republicans build stronger parties in wealthier districts, and the greater the minority population, the weaker will be county parties. all this can have implications to representation of citizens, and in any case, the data demonstrate that county parties
are active and have strong potential. i hope to encourage further research, including my own, on what these implications are. >> that afternoon. glad to be here. -- good afternoon. glad to be here. glad to be anywhere. we are talking about mahoney county, jim's home county, and we have been studying at of those of us who are co-author in these papers. this is the fourth paper that looks at the way in which the mahoney county home democratic party works with, runs,
cooperate with, or does not, with the democratic presidential campaign going on in that particular year. to take a paul's question, i think that we are talking about steps to tory parties, the local state statutory in ohio. there are statutory loss -- laws, and that is what we look at to determine leadership and members and how they interact. we have a variety of crooks in this paper. you know the story about crooks. things are in this paper about how things worked out. we did take the view, however. let me introduce what dr. blumberg was hearing. we started with her because she was recruited by the local party
to be the coordinator of the campaign for the election in 1996, so it was through our eyes -- her eyes that we watched this unfold and got the sense of how the court made campaign works and what the characteristics work in 1996, and then if we fast forward to this 2008 obama campaign, which many of you have talked about, and sara lewis is not with us today, she is in coaster rica. she was an obama volunteer, and her brother was a staffer in mahoney county for the obama campaign. so we look at what they were doing. putting some paper together, and jon green and i were along for the ride in terms of thinking about how this all works. the point of it is is that we are looking at it through the woodlands of doing -- through the lens of the same local
party for four presidential elections and what role it did or did not have in the elections, so that is really the point. the paper did not go into it. before, just to put them on political boss, they put the county into perspective that president obama received 52% of the vote in ohio and 64% of the boat in mahoney. mahoney is a reliable democratic county. they contributed 13% of the obama margin in ohio, fifth best in the state. and that is typical. they look to mahoney to generate -- democrats look to mahoney to generate a plurality. so it is marginally important to
the presidential campaign, although in this case, as we point out in the paper, the obama campaign took a different course of action. it copied, in some respects, the strickland gubernatorial campaign, looking for votes outside of urban areas. typically in ohio campaigns, the democratic candidates concentrate heavily on urbanized areas and older industrialized areas to generate their vote and they -- strickland 1 many counties in ohio, of course. in some respects, that was a replica.
so we had four cycles. the first one, the coordinated campaign, look, it worked well with local parties. local parties made recommendations on who should lead and recommendations on some issues, local issues that the candidates should talk about. and so the local party was very involved. we will generate as many democratic votes as we can for president clinton and all the democrats, even the weaker candidates. even the weaker candidates will get pulled into office by this strong drive, and we will all work together, marching the same approach, a court did campaign. -- coordinated campaign. we did the campaign, and one promise was that in order to
serve in ohio three or four weeks before the election, we went to florida, so it was a little more difficult and we were skeptical about the way that campaign was handled. we give a lot of attention to that. the third effort, we took street interests, and john did other work. we did a lot of work, because we contend it was that in the 2004 election, it was recognized that some people have said here that they did a ground war, it was necessary and critical to winning elections. you cannot just have a tv model. but i think that they felt that the parties did not have the capacity any longer to do what was necessary. so we will create capacity. we used that as a 527, and they
did a tremendous job in mahoney, and they had union leaders. the head of the council headed this up. our view was that they are contracting out party work. their contract and out. we saw that occur in the to doesn't for election, and they did a tremendous job on voter registration. they were registered, the candidates had been nominated, and they were working. they hired staff and registered every -- and they concentrated in demographic areas where they predicted it to be more democratic in terms of registration efforts, and you have a lot of college students doing a terrific job.
my observation was that there was a bottleneck on election day. they did a great job. they did not have it down hard to get think that had we had the early voting in ohio in 2004, we would have had -- i do not know if we would have had a different outcome, but it would've been more successful in generating the vote. but i think that they have to get the boat out on election day, all those stories about wines and weightings -- they had to get the vote out on election day, all of the story about lines, about waiting. they did not seem what to do on election day. the party leader was there, he knew what boat happened and what didn't. that knowledge was not there.
and you have college kids running around who did not know what to do. it was a bottleneck. but to go to our story and what we were doing, that struck me, at any rate, as an interesting characteristic, especially as we phosphoric -- fast forward from 2004 to 2008. the obama campaign did not contract the work out. they decided code-talkers can mitigate this. it really did think the local party should do it. they created this tremendous campaign effort in mahoney county where they had three offices of their own. unheard of. 35 staffers. i did not note any campaign -- i was around during nixon, i do
not know when they ever hired that many. they could do it. for me, that is the explanation for why obama accretive this tremendous campaign organization -- created this tremendous organization. but we look on here, we talk about it, and the statutory party leaders were actually people from out of state running this organization. their job was to follow. we do not want to hear from old so-and-so. they were not going to hear any of that.
this is the model you follow. it is better. we bring people out of state. it highlights the point that in 1996, we select the person who is going to court in a campaign, and i think we look at the way they did it. today we send in people from, god forbid, massachusetts and these foreign places. they send people in to run these campaigns and i think they did it on purpose. i do not think it was that they could not find anybody to do it. it was just a good way of keeping the model they wanted, which to some extent, they have created in the primary and want to move away from. but i think it is very important. they could do it their way, because they have the money. and they could keep control of it, and they do not want to hear too much locally. in ohio, the crooks have some
differences of opinion as to whether mahoney county was distinct in the way it was treated, because all local chair was not in good standing with the existing party leadership. she had been with a different party leader. i do not know if that is true. i do not know if there is any place in ohio with all local party having a big role in the campaign the way it had in the past campaigns. particularly when we move back up to 1996, and mahoney had a very significant role doing a lot this work. so i think that that is our point. the point of it is that paper looks at this in sort of a panel study overtime, where we see a variety of patterns. this is evolutionary.
certainly, the relationship between the national presentation of the campaign on the democratic side and the local democratic party is very different for each of these elections, and that is what we wanted to share with you, because we kept looking at the same local statutory party and its relationship over these four elections. but the obama campaign was phenomenal and very successful, but it was its own separate entity. it did not court may very well with of the local parties. the party people did not seem to complain very much. many of them when a long -- went along and took their obama manual and did what obama people were telling them to do. so i think that is it. i will yield the rest of my time to your questions you might have
for the other papers. some of this is -- we are going to pull this all together for you as to what it is about. thank you. [laughter] >> these are really good papers, and they all are related because the look of money organization, personality, politics, and the impact of a really big election. i asked the panelists if they would briefly addressed the question of what they think the party is in a minute or two. maybe bill wants to jump in again. just because you all do that different definition, what do you think of party is? >> i take bill's statutory definition of a party treat many things fall from the --
statutory definition of a party. many things follow from that. but i'm not sure it is true about the extended party. we're institutionalizing a new form of politics since 527, and it is working right now, but that is because we are a highly polarized environment right now where a little bit of effort could make a difference. what the outcomes are more certain? what is going to happen? what will happen to the party infrastructure that will not be built up? they can come and go. so these extended party networks, maybe that is a good thing. but to me, organizations tell me they are not institutionalized in the sense that they do not control their environment. so anyway, the party network
allows us to think of dynamics with these organizations, but we also lose something analytically, transparency, building a party infrastructure there permanently. >> when i left graduate school, they got a copy of a textbook, 1st edition, with a tripod model of parties is instituted. i went to see if he cited ralph goldman, and sure enough, he did. ralph goldman has a tripartite you've parties. but when coleman levels his attack on organizational works, it is centered on how organizations left out voters.
he seemed to be suggesting that it was still a tripod. but the report from organizational scholars was that we should not think of them together, but use a model where organizations have of voters as customers. in government, elected officials are reluctant sales representatives. but lately, i must tell you that i have the feeling that what is happening in congress right now will affect partisanship. if people see this majority, this filibuster-proof majority, they do not get what they voted for brown -- done.
so what difference does it make? a long answer, but it still is evolving. >> with this grant turn effect of parties, my work is as organization. one thing that is maybe a little distinct is that are more sympathetic to this expanded party network, as well. " certainly parties as i define them, i am fond of partisans. i like talking to them and think they do good work in addition to this nonsense they also do. but i also think that there's a lot going on with this party network, talking about the nonpartisan groups, these community and interest groups. from talking to parties, they often work very closely with party leaders and organizations,
so i think that there is a lot to be said about it. >> just to add a party statute is probably the same in organization at the state and local level, but this party we have looked up at one time was a party in control. it was a machine that did a lot of things, a very strong party, and then it weekend. and then there were changes. only about five sentences in the statute, but organization is much different today than it was 60 years ago. >> mine is different. i'm very interested in party organizations, and i would go back to the literature and say
that to understand political parties, you do need to look at them from an organizational perspective. but it is not a legal definition. as the world changes, certain parts the parties grow and focus on hard money or get thrown out like soft money. i would not go with that definition or with the public opinion definitions, either. i would look at parties of multilayered coalitions to the court who have the cheers of the dnc and rnc and state parties. they are the core, and our word, i would like to party members. -- out word, i would look at party members. they give money to up work candidates. it seems to me that the majority of the majority of the house gives money to democrats, more than most parties, and i do not
consider him part of the organization. and outside of that, i would consider groups that give virtually all of their support to one party as party allies, and they would need to be considered, also. i would not throw them out, but i would not give them much weight. and then there are independent voters and journalists, and i would keep them out, as well. the way i conceptualize them is an organization with different lawyers outside, and the key is to understand relationships are based on money, on who founded who, and most of them were founded by former party leaders. i would did point out that a core group really does coordinate most strategy. that is what groups are, having a tremendous impact on the flow of the system. the one way i would break these
groups of parties is the idea that party leaders have never set particles and implement those goals and because those party members neglected those leaders, they are going to be loyal to those goals. and party allies, because they are geared to the agents of the principles formed them. we talked about interest remembers. even though they give 90% to 100% of money to one party, they are likely to go their own way based on contingencies of candidates and that sort of thing. we have time. let's open up the floor to questions. right here. >> hello. the question for ray.
a story i heard about but did not see documented in 2008 was that the obama campaign was approaching major donors, saying if you want to affect change this year, give money to my campaign rather than your group. i'm wondering if he saw any of this in the evidence you collected. it looks like interest groups do not have plenty of money on their own. >> they do have plenty of money. the impression i got was about message, mostly. he basically told the people who put together the 527's, we do not need you guys. that is how confident they were. but they had some organizations that were involved in helping with the grass-roots effort. it did not play a larger role, except in congressional rates. that is the ideal situation for candidates.
i control the money, i control the message. questions? >> this question is for ray. i'm wondering, which interest groups, which sets did you find driving the increase in spending in 2008. >> i did a global study. i did not break it down. that is the next level, but in the first place, where would look to see is the congressional races. my guess is that is where they were spending a few dollars and making a difference. on the republican side, they seem pretty disorganized year. -- here.
they did not like mccain, so they were running the ads in the past. that is a good question. >> if these are groups spending money, and the leadership of the groups are former party committee leaders or longtime political consultants, that is one thing. on the other hand, if it is a pac that gives 55% to one party and is run by lobbyists, that has different implications for our understanding of political parties. >> i have a question. anyway, it is hard to deny our
impressive the machine was in 2008, but i am still struck with how to put this into perspective, because to some extent, this came to be sent a fund-raising. we do not have the counter- factual. what with fund-raising have looked like it they accepted it in the general election, and if they were able to shift the money over, is it really as impressive as when you have that huge spike relative to the dnc, and that would be relative to long term implications. i'm wondering if you have a sense, and maybe one way to think about it is to think about the dnc fund-raising in 2008. one could look at the number and say, well, it is amazing to could raise as much, or you could look at it and say it is
shocking they did not raise more, given how energize the base was. maybe they should have been able to raise a lot more than 260 million they raised. >> part of it is that they started so late during the joint fund-raising committee. the mccain campaign had primaries, and the obama campaign did not have a lot of time to do that. i and the should have done better, giving you can raise 50,000 -- they -- i think that they should have done better, given that you can raise $50,000. i was scratching my head. where is the money? he was just raising from small donors, that is not true. he had oprah and the chicago crowd. why wasn't that money going to
the dnc, as well? others were upset. i do not know the details. >> i have a question for melody. what is the correlation between the strength of the two parties across the county? positive or negative? >> positive. it is not as strong as some may have expected. but it is positive. it is around 24. some of it is this county core list. more urban parties are stronger, regardless of partisanship of voters or other factors. it is harder to get meetings together if parties are weaker. so some of it is at the county level, and party strength works
the same for both parties. i think also there is a little bit of maybe a culture throughout the county of political activity. when i did interviews and talked to leaders, democratic and republicans, there was a sense of people in our county are used to be political and active or people in our county just are not. so i am not for whether we can trace that back to political campaigns in the county or whatever, but there does seem to be something. >> what i'm wondering is if there is an electoral competition explanation. if that were true, you expect a negative correlation. >> it is true that in some areas, the county party will be stronger for whatever party does really well in elections, but there is also a disconnect
between national and local level elections even now, even outside the south. there are certainly counties with a local party or a machine that does well in elections is different from the national party. that can lead to different strengths. >> by chance, do you recall what the correlation was like in 1980? my other question is that i wonder if you know about a competition matter compared to, say, 1980. my gut tells me they are more competitive and that may lead to greater parity. at local level. >> i do not know of local election data besides that i collected in 2008, so i am not sure. >> based upon the experiences of the obama campaign, in which a
lot of young people were involved, the past history parties has been that we want young people to be involved in the election. we want old people to run things. we had a slight example of that and the supreme court ruling that the charter change up the road prohibited and 18-year-old for running for mayor -- an 18 year-old from running for mayor because he is underage. the question is, do you think that the parties will change from that because of this, or are we going to go back to the same old problem again? >> he is an allegheny student and an interesting guy. i think that to debut reasons
they are paying more attention to young voters -- i think that there are two reasons they are paying more attention to young voters. they can be interested in politics. this organization of 2004 and 2008 tells you that for all americans between 2000 and 2004, it was a 3% turnout. for those under 30, it was 11%. some young voters are already coming to the polls, they are on the playing field right now. secondly, i think that as the number of undecided voters decreases and we're seeing that in data, people are polarizing and making up their minds early, pushing party organizations and candidates committees to turn to groups traditionally on the sidelines, the nonvoters. it is cheaper to persuade an existing voter to come to your side.
getting folks out to vote is expensive. we know that from gerber and green and others. it is expensive to do. but when everyone else has already made their minds -- for those two reasons, i think they will be targeted by the parties of intent. >> go ahead, howard. >> my question is directed at paul. it is about the definition of party. your principal analogy there becomes, i think, problematic, when i go back to earlier this year. there was an incident from michael steele and rush limbaugh, and i do not remember the details of limbaugh, but steele said something like he does not speak for the party, and there was a flood of angry e-mail and phone calls and he immediately backed off.
what does this say about how we define the party? don't we need to incorporate some of these people we have been reluctant to incorporate? what does that do to the principal agent model? >> commentators like rush limbaugh would be considered party allies, and so what political consultants -- so would political consultants. it makes no difference, but they have a lot of freedom to defect from the party. they have the most freedom, and occasionally they will, but for the most part, they are and the parties outlying camp. so michael steele back pedaling from his statement about rush limbaugh does say something about the party in that their
former leadership may not be as strong as it once was, but it may say something about michael steele's stature in the republican party, is backing within the republican party. he was not the strongest party chair, even though his party is out of power, and that is when the chair should be very strong. . no carrierringconnect 1200
one of the consequences of act with their tremendous frustration be determined this -- they had the mayor of youngstown and the cycle of elections. i think it is because they had registered so many african- american voters that that vote was available. it was not a party activity, but he was able to reach to that vote and win the election. i think that is partially an answer. i do think it leaves a vacuum. it is partially true with the obama campaign, at least on a local level, that i am not sure
there really is any additional infusion of life. i think we have gone back to party business as usual. we have had a change in leadership since then. i don't really think the party is going to be any different. >> certainly, the party leaders -- one thing that was left behind by the state and national party were voter files. it was really interesting to see that a lot of these local party organizations were transitioning to a much more professional way of getting out the vote and reaching voters. in part, it was because some of these had been collected because technology it's cheaper. a lot of them are passed down from higher level organizations. i also have local party leaders, particularly in more rural counties, complaining that the
higher level party leaders were given more money. they were frustrated that they thought the resources they were getting were not very useful. >> i want to thank all of you for outstanding presentations. i am sorry, i am a doubting thomas. when i first accepted my first teaching job at the university of cincinnati, i did a survey of the republican and democratic county organizations and i got a 50% response rate, like you did, melody. i came to the conclusion that the party organizations were hollow shells. you might have had people appointed to the basic precinct committee level, but they really did not do anything. what's dan suggested was the
obama campaign did not trust the party organization to put in their own people. you have all reassured us the party organizations are alive and well, but we still have [unintelligible] my home county, cuyahoga, is vying for the most corrupt county in the country. my next question for you, bill, is whether there are gun-toting democrats. it is very clear as the scandal emerges that the organization goes where the money is. the money is the record, the material benefits are being dispensed by all of these separately-elected county officials.
even the county prosecutor is getting contributions from his assistant county prosecutors to the tune of $2,000 per person. he is leading the charge for the county executive's system. again, we seem to have a system that his candidate-centered because the party cannot deliver records. what is your response? >> i think that is what i am getting at. that is to say, the money in the campaign, as it leaves, does not take everything. what is left over is good will, for a lot of folks, of victory. there are modes of how we do this. we all came together. we know we can do this. it is an opportunity for parties to grab that while it is there. i do think it is leading.
a few people suggest young votes are falling back. they are pulling back. it is an opportunity to pull them in in meaningful ways, or it will be lost. i do a lot of local party stuff. that is the argument. >> i will say, and while i would not wish reading a dissertation on anyone, i am finishing my this year and a lot of it shows that party strength does have strong effects on who runs for and who wins in these kind of elections. there is some evidence that they [inaudible] >> one more question? >> my name is christine. in 2004, i worked for act and it is something that i am proud of.
professor, could you contrast the total amount of money that obama raised compared to what he raised just on the internet? >> i think he raised -- more than half of his funds came in on the internet. >> i am wondering if you have an idea what model we can use to get the use of the nation involved and keep them involved -- get the use of the nation involved and keep them involved. -- get the youth of the nation involved and keep them involved. what has been the best model so far? how do we keep the young people out? >> we listed at the end of one chapter a checklist of
suggestions, a checklist of opportunities that local parties might use to draw young people in. this was pulled from a profile of successful counties. it was things like social events where young people wanted to be there. maybe we should let the pot luck dinners slide. reaching out to the young people through communication they are used to. i understand that e-mailed will be obsolete soon. i have no idea how that is possible. parties need to be on to that technologically. we need to give them meaningful positions in committees. they used to feel as though they account. young people are very active in the civic world because they get
a payoff. if there is not something concrete that they do for the party, they will skip it. i would be happy to send you that section of the book if you want to know the checklist. >> we have had an interesting panel. i want to thank the panelists. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] >> coming up next, a senate hearing on internet companies using misleading sales tactics. following that, strategist discuss the changing role of the media in elections. also, a discussion on u.s. troops in afghanistan with david axe.
>> today on "the communicators," meredith at well baker talks about high-speed internet access and other telecom issues at 6:30 p.m. eastern here on c-span. on "america and the courts," recent changes on the supreme court. the retirement of justice souter and the addition of some -- of justice sonia sotomayor. that is at 7:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. >> "american icons," three nights of c-span original documentaries on the iconic homes of the three branches of american government continues tonight at 8:00 p.m.. the capital, the history, art, and architecture of one of america's most symbolic structures. "american icons," tonight at 8:00 p.m. on c-span. get your own copy of "american
icons." it is $24.95 plus shipping and handling. order online at c- span.org/store. >> on this vote, the yays are 60. nays are 39. 3/5 have voted in the affirmative. the motion is agreed to. >> with that vote, the senate moved its health care bill to the floor. starting monday and through december, follow the entire debate and how the bill would affect access to medical care. the public option, taxes, abortion, and medicare, live on c-span2, the only network that brings you the senate, gavel-to- gavel. >> in a report issued by the senate says three internet companies have collected $1.4 billion from customers using misleading practices. we will hear from two of those customers during the senate hearing. mr. rockefeller from west virginia chairs the committee. this is about an hour, 30
minutes. >> this hearing will come to order. i will make an opening statement. every single day, millions of american consumers sit down in front of computers to make travel plans, to send somebody some flowers, or to order movie tickets for sundry other transactions. for many americans, shopping online is now as routine as going to the gross restore for milk -- grocery store for milk. 59% of all americans have purchased goods or services over
the internet. shopping online is an exciting new way for people to learn about products and compare prices, and to find a good bargain. in tough economic times, when americans are doing all they can to make ends meet, every nickel, every dollar counts. but, when we go online to buy things, we all have a few important expectations about how we should be treated. that is regardless of how and where we make a purchase. first of all, we expect the merchants that we do business with to treat us honestly, fairly, and we expect that on the internet. we expect online merchants to clearly explain their prices and their turns to us -- their terms to us, so we know exactly what
we're getting if we decide to spend our money on their website. when we agreed to buy something, we expect merchants to protect our credit card and other financial intimation that we share with them. that is why it is so darn disturbing to me to learn through our investigation we have done in this committee come over 300,000 pages of research, what has happened to millions of american consumers every day who are shopping on the internet, including the conservatives -- customers we have invited today. what is happening is that many on-line merchants have decided to betray their customers' trust. for few extra dollars in profits, these merchants pass their consumers' personal billing information on to mysterious companies with various names that have a long, troubling history of misleading
sales practices. from the consumer's. of you, here's how it happens. -- consumer's point of view, here is how it happens. your shopping online and you decide to send somebody flowers or decide to buy a plane ticket or movie ticket, or even order a pizza. you type in your home address and your e-mail address and other information necessary to process the sale. at the end of the transaction, you pull out your wallet and you press "purchase." our committee has been investigating what can happen to you after you have made that purchase. it is truly unbelievable.
while you think that you're going through the final checkout process, and i associate this through buying books on aol.com -- there is a definite process that takes a number of steps -- what is really going on is that some very sophisticated online businesses are tricking you into signing up for useless membership clubs. these businesses take the credit card number you type in for your purchase and they use it to enroll you in a bogus club with names like "reservation rewards," "value max shopping service." most consumers do not realize they have been scam until months later, when they notice the club has been charging their credit card $10.95 per month or whatever. why does this matter?
a $10 monthly charge may not sound like a big deal to some people in this room. there are these numbers to consider. today, as we conduct this hearing, there are more than 4 million american consumers whose credit cards are being charged by these clubs. most of these 4 million customers do not even know it is happening. according to a report, the commerce committee staff presented to me these on-line scams and they have made more than $1 billion through these tactics and charged more than 30 million american people. consider these numbers for a moment. that is a lot of money and simply outrageous to me. frankly, i think it is un american and i suspect you share my views. what i find most outrageous about these scams are the reputable online businesses that
are willing to take part in the scams. committee staff has provided me with a list of 88 well-known online businesses that have each made more than a billion dollars through sharing customer credit card information with scanners. they get what they want. we have printed copies of this anybody is interested. several of them have already withdrawn since they knew this was going on. usair, continental airlines, they have withdrawn from all of this, or say they are about to get rid of all of this. we have all heard of these companies and we have probably shop at some of the website. conclusion? america is a country of businessmen and women. we have great respect for enterprising people who have developed good products and sell them in our competitive marketplace.
we are here today because we want to highlight the important point that tricking customers into buying goods and services they do not want is not ok. not even close. it is not ethical. it is not right. it is not the way business should be done in america and it should be stopped. it will be stopped. consumers should not have to worry that their favorite web sites are ripping them off during the checkout process. the process is complicated. we have not completed this investigation yet, but what i have learned about these business practices so far is very troubling, and to be frank, with my colleagues who are here, starting with this hearing, i am thinking we need to start thinking about legislative steps to make sure this process comes to a complete halt. we did it with telemarketing. we can do it on the internet.
that is the end of my statement. do you have a statement? >> i want to commend you for holding this hearing. the chairman has a great reputation for fighting fraud and having this hearing to talk about these issues is extremely important to the people of the country as well as the people of america. the people in florida, who i represent, we have too many hard-working floridians who are being scammed in transactions like that. one of our great floridians, mr. ray francis, is here today. he has fallen prey to these predatory techniques on these post-transaction marketers. people are often unaware they have signed up for these scams. that is why they are scams. i met with him today. he is an american hero. he served our country bravely in the army. he was so committed to be in the
airborne that when he sought to enlist, they said he could not be in it. he fought and fought. they said, you have to give up your $12,000 bonus we were going to give you and he said, that is ok. that is why i am volunteering for the army. he was injured in iraq fighting for freedom. scammed -- he gets scammed. he helped figure out what they were doing and why they're doing it. you will hear more from him today. i call this post-transaction marketing "click and scam." you buy something like a book and then all the sudden, this pop up comes up and you think it is a normal disclosure that no one reads. you click it to go through your transaction and now you are signed up for $10 a month. these fraudsters are stealing
from our people. my attorney general is doing a great job going after these people and he has filed several actions. we need to do more. you are drawing light to this problem. i appreciate it because the people of this country need to know through information that these scams are out there. the best prophylactic they can have against these scams are knowing about it. we need to increase penalties or help on the enforcement side so we can stop these fraudsters. i appreciate you having this hearing. >> thank you, senator. >> thank you very much. in the last congress, there were a couple of hearings on the issue of internet privacy. what is happening to the information they have on all of us? what sites do they visit? where do we navigate? i said then that if somebody
followed you when you went to the shopping center and made notes about where you went, everything you look at, the question would be, why are you following me? secondly, who are you selling the information to? the privacy issue is very important. two hearings on it. i hope we will get legislation together, which i have been working on. this is another piece of this issue, the internet. the online activities. first of all, advertising on the internet is what supports the internet. the internet is a remarkable thing. no one wants to withdraw the support that is necessary for the internet to exist and survive. online commerce is very important. that is what we are talking about. the question for all of this with online commerce is, who uses our credit card information and for what purpose? when you put your credit card information in to purchase something, you would always
expect, especially on a reputable website, that that is not going to be shared with anybody. that is protected. we find out now by some good work from investigators on our staff that that is not the case. the issue of post-transaction marketing, and data passing, that is a fancy way of describing practices that are engaged in by people that should be ashamed of themselves. they should be ashamed of themselves. websites -- fandango has done that. pizza hut, continental airlines. you have people go to website that you know our web -- are reputable, and then they do this bait and switch. that website is used by somebody else to pop something else up that says "free." it is a monthly billing thereafter.
the reputable website shifts your financial data to the company that pops up the ad and is trying to sucker you into this. that is unbelievable. when you see things that are shameful, it seems to me that you would expect that that would stop immediately. shame is not always an emotion that persuades people making a lot of money to stop. my understanding is that some of the web sites have changed their practices since this investigation began. we welcome that. there are others out there and i think this is an important reason to have a hearing. the root cause of the question, who gets financial information and how was it used? how was it misused? this investigation has turned up some shoddy business practices that have to stop. i do not think they will stop on their own, necessarily. the chairman suggested there might need to be required
legislation here. i appreciate that work and the work of the committee. let me quickly say, i appreciate the witnesses who have been here and will present testimony. thank you for traveling and being with us and shedding light on these issues. >> thank you, senator. the work that web loyalty has done -- they have pulled back and it is insufficient. some of our legal scholars will make that very clear. re france, we are proud to have you here. linda lin quist -- lindquist. we also have a professor from the new york university school of law. you are one panel. professor robert meyer, university of pennsylvania, who has done a lot of work on all of this.
mr. france, let me go to your first. pull that microphone up. i would like to thank you for your service to our country and your bravery. you track down $12,000. >> it is actually $13,000. >> ok. we have to defend you from some scams. we are going to. in your testimony, you made the point that when you made a purchase on a website, you got automatically signed up in a so- called membership club called value max. value max started charging $19.99 per month. >> that is correct. >> [unintelligible]
>> that would seem fair. forget my questions and make a statement. >> ok. >> questions will follow. i do this quite frequently. >> it is your show, sir. >> that is true. [laughter] >> i would like to thank you, chairman rockefeller, for inviting me to speak. i would also like to thank the senator of my beautiful home state of florida for his kind words. it was greatly appreciated. my name is ray france and i am a former paratrooper and combat veteran. i fought in afghanistan and iraq. in iraq, i received a traumatic brain injury when my humvee was struck by an ied that exploded next to my vehicle. i was awarded the purple heart and i have a service-connected
disability. earlier this year, i paid to use a service from an on-line company to look up information on the internet. i used this company in the past and was familiar with their website and their services. on this occasion, like before, i got the information i was looking for, entered my billing information, and complete the transaction. the next day, the fee posted to my account as usual. two or three months later, i was notified by my bank that my account had been overdrawn. i was unsure how this could happen because i live on a fixed income and i support myself within those means. i went to the bank to figure it out. at first, there were only able to tell me it was due to an automatic with a drawl that was active at the time. eventually, they gave me the name of the company that made the withdrawals, value max. the bank manager informed me this had been a reoccurring
transaction that i had supposedly agreed to. they were unable to give me more information. i had no idea who this company was and still to this day do not know what they do. i searched the web in hopes of finding some way of contacting the company. what i found were hundreds of lbogs -- blogs asking the same question. i finally found an e-mail address. i e-mailed them and found a reply. later, i found a phone number. the person repeatedly asked for personal information on myself, social security number and e- mail addresses. when i was reluctant to give this information, i was told i reached the long -- the rahm division of the company needed to call another branch in another state. this process repeated itself quite a few times and threw it all, i still have no answers. i decided to write the better business bureau. quite some time passed, and then i received an e-mail from the
better business bureau. value max had told them it would refund my money, but it was my fault because i agreed to a "free" four-day trial and then at a fee every month after that. i had agreed to this when i used the service of the company had mentioned earlier. in total, this took over eight months and the refund took longer. if my count had not been overdrawn, who knows how long before i would have noticed the withdrawals? i am a disabled vet who loves his country and serve it with pride. i may not have it as bad as some soldiers, but i have a lot of challenges i face due to my disabilities. this company, value max, caused me financial and mental torture. it took me close to a year to recover my money that i did not give them permission to take. i am 27. i use the internet constantly.
i understand it and unable to utilize it with these. i ever earned college credits. that said, i believe i would not have agreed to a financial obligation i knew nothing about nor wanted. it is still unclear to me how they were able to access my account. that is come on as to consider the fact this company chooses to use this cd method in correlation with other companies to take advantage of customers. this is nothing short of theft. my country promised to take care of me when i returned, but without laws against unethical practices, this is a problem that must be resolved. if not today, tomorrow or next week. the bottom line is if left unchecked, these practices will spread out of control. it is imperative that the leaders of this country are
proactive and aggressive in putting an end to it. thank you. >> thank you very much. >> good afternoon. my name is linda and i am from wisconsin. in april of 2007, 19-year-old daughter and i went to live in atlanta. my daughter had sustained a foot injury in 2007 while skiing and was a quadriplegic. she started to get move -- movement back in her legs and my husband and i agreed she had to go to a facility in order to give her the best opportunity for recovering. this would mean my husband would have to care for our other three children back in wisconsin. one of the best things about being in atlanta was meeting in socializing with other families in the same situation. one of our favorite things to do was to go to the movies.
in july of 2007, i started purchasing tickets from a -- from movietickets.com. at the end of the transaction, on the confirmation page, was a coupon stating "get $10 off your next purchase." i clicked on it because it seemed it was a legitimate offer from the website and i thought there were reputable. the next page needed my personal inclination and i decided i did not have enough time to fill it out. i closed out of the website. approximately two weeks later, i purchased tickets again. this time, i did started to fill up a personal information. after going to the next page, i realized that this was probably a scam. at no time did i ever include my credit card information are knowingly agree to any terms or conditions. after four months of physical rehab, my daughter was making great improvement and our stay ended up being lengthened.
we finally returned home in august of 2008 and in october, my husband was paying our bills and asked me to take a look at the statements. there were two charges for $10, one from reservation rewards and one from shopper discount. i did not know what they were for, but i told my husband i would find out. i called the 800 number that was listed on the statement. i spoke with the customer service representative, who told me i had signed up for reservation rewards and shopper discounts on line after a movie ticket purchase. i told the representative i had not knowingly signed up for the service and ask how they had got in my credit card number. she stated that the website gave them my credit card number. i asked what service i was paying for. she stated they offered coupons and discounts for restaurants and hotels. i told the representative that i had never gotten any
correspondence from them by their online or via mail regarding membership. i ask her to cancel my membership and tell me how much money i had paid. she replied that i had paid $320. i was shocked. i asked if i could get a refund for my money. since i had no idea i had subscribe to this. she stated she would cancel my membership and could credit the last month's payment of $20. i did not think i had any other options as far as getting money back, but the more thought about it, the more upset i was with movietickets.com. i thought it was a reputable website when they were allowing this scam. i went on the website and send an e-mail regarding the money i had lost due to them giving my credit card number to a scam. 30 days later, i got correspondence from them stating that i would be getting a full refund.
i am a college-educated person who is on line every day. i have made hundreds of on-line purchases with in the last 10 years. i have seen many scams and offers on the internet. i have only been lured in by one, this one do to the fact the scam was associated with a reputable website and required one click. last week, when i purchased airline tickets for my son, what should appear on the confirmation page but a cash back offer? you can bet i will be sending an e-mail regarding my disappointment in their choice of an affiliate's. thank you. >> thank you very much. professor? >> good afternoon. my name is robert and i am a professor of marketing at the wharton school of the university of pennsylvania, where i have served on the faculty since 1990. my research has focused on consumer decision making, especially the psychological
processes that allow us to adopt novel goods and services. i have practiced the teach -- i have practiced marketing at executive levels in the u.s. and abroad. i was invited to offer testimony on a post-transactional marketing method used to sell memberships and third-party benefit programs online. i became familiar with these practices while serving as an expert in a class-action suit involving a marketing company in 2007 and was serving as an expert for the attorney general's office. my opinion of the practices is threefold. the sales methods used do not constitute marketing as the term is understood and practiced by ethical businesses and taught in major schools. in almost all cases, membership programs being offered are limited -- have limited value. there is no way to communicate information about the programs
that allow informed choices. the firm's displayed little interest in building more nurturing long term relationships with customers. the sales methods are the cornerstone of the scheme in which firms seek to earn profits by luring customers to pay for memberships they would not subscribe to given full awareness. second, while the content of the sales practices vary, the deception is achieved through a coordinated set of communication. these include the use of web design that obscure the relationship that exists between the first and third parties sellers, offering enticements of free premiums or incentives that consumers will have little chance of obtaining, creating false belief that no financial risks are incurred, and by creating exit barriers to make it difficult to avoid or recover unintended membership payments, such as by making continued membership the default option for consumers who are not fully cognizant of what they signed up for.
third, the architecture achieves deception by exploiting psychological biases that limit the ability to make fully informed choices in the market. the most general of these is the creation of web environments leading consumers to make decisions using automated processes that do not fully consider all the information available in a website. examples include site designs that create the false impression that the offer is being made by a familiar, trusted seller, designed that misdirect the attention away from text that might describe it for nature of the transaction, and by exploiting tendencies to tuesday faults or except options when there is confusion about what the correct course of action would be in website. i should note the lack of --
these are targeted at companies that do not have extensive means. small cash enticements' represents significant financial -- financial assets. older consumers have limited experience navigating the web. these consumers might be taken in for no other reason than harboring believes that the sellers follow the same norms of ethical exchange they have come to expect in traditional markets, where payment for goods and services is a choice to the consumer, not something one has to opt out of. finally, the persistence of these schemes also poses a long- term risk to businesses that conduct sales in an ethical manner of the web. as these practices proliferate, the negative experience of consumers who are taken in may serve to foster feelings of mistrust toward legitimate sellers coming impeding the growth of a major modern channel of commerce. thank you. >> now, professor?
>> chairman rockefeller, members of the committee, thank you for inviting me to testify on aggressive sales tactics on the internet. i am an associate professor at new york university school of law. i teach courses in e-commerce and sales. the key question regarding the marketing in this hearing is whether consumers are legitimately agreeing to these transactions, whether they are being tricked into them. a general assessment based on the norms of commerce and research is the consumers might need further protection from his marketing practices. the. point is that these techniques violate consumer expectations. one of the established norms of on-line commerce as sellers require consumers to complete a check a process including interim payment information when they want to make a purchase.
this allows consumers to be comfortable with purchases and facilitates activity. these marketing techniques interfere with these norms. the timing of these offers interrupt the standard checkout process of the original vendors, increasing the likelihood consumers and the subscribing to a service without noticing. there were prompted to enter an e-mail address instead of payment information. what i would like to highlight is that these practices violate norms of on-line commerce. consumers associate purchases with payment details. the next question is, is fine print explaining the transaction substituting this deviation from the norms? my second point is that the current method of disclosure of the terms of these offers is insufficient to provide adequate notice. the basic idea of relying on disclosures as people do not
need it. for example, i have studied the extent to which people click on and read the fine print. we found that only one or two out of every thousand shoppers chooses to read the contract. those who do click on the contract spend too little time on it to actually read it. in a follow-up study, which on the prominence of the disclosure did little to increase the probability the contract would be read. consumers are unlikely to read the fine print even when sellers put the terms right in front of them and require explicit agreement by clicking a box below the terms. consumers are inclined to read the fine print, but marketers structure and display print in a format that discourages reading. these marketers present offers in a format that is deceptively similar to that when used by the original than duran includes a selected vendor's brand name and
logo. the consumers used to believe they are dealing with other vendors and they're lulled into complacency. the study suggests it is a problem. even fewer than two in 1000 consumers read fine print when they are dealing with bigger sellers. this makes sense because consumers feel less of a need to read the fine print. these marketing firms often exploit this trust. another way in which the marketers to reading is by identifying the offers as rewards that consumers should be grateful to receive. they flash words like "congratulations" on the page. only a few aspects of the product or service are shown. the bells and whistles have the effect of diverting attention away from important information. the bad news is suspiciously hidden. the terms related to the
automatic transfers of payment information appear in small print in the left or bottom of the page and under another layer of unrelated titles such as "congratulations." the rebel then disclosures appeared at the end of the paragraph. -- the relevant disclosures appear at the end of this paragraph. the way the information is displayed affects how people pay attention to it. even the consumer who does take a quick look at it can be -- may not understand it. first-come automatic transfers of payment information from non- vendors to marketers should not be allowed. consumers should be asked to enter their credit card information that each transaction. this will preserve the norms. second, they should have to identify themselves. third, they should clearly explain fees and services. finally, they should explain how
consumers can cancel or seek a refund. thank you very much. >> thank you. before i go to you, professor cox, people talked about fine print. it is the greatest scam of all time. i see chart of there. do any of them have fine print? >> yes, they do. >> yes. i would like to see that. i would not make this a metropolitan art show. all right. that is not as good as some that i have seen. they will have $10 in bright blue, a big square at the top, and then there will be five more
of those paragraphs, small print, which -- i am not 20/20, but i am good. if i had a galileo telescope, i would not be able to read that fine print. it is impossible. in that fine print is all of the damage they are going to do to you, but you do not read it. underneath, in the same bright blue, underneath that in big print is "yes." what do you do? you go, $10, yes. you do not read anything in between. i just want to make that point. professor cox? >> thank you, mr. chairman. for over a decade, i was an
assistant attorney general. i was a law professor. i attempted to combat and call attention to these practices. these practices drain the financial accounts of americans without legitimate purpose, cause cynicism, and harm competitors who are trying to be honest. i would like to make three points. first, these practices are not limited to the internet. they are part of a bigger problem. the essence of this marketing is the sale by retailers and financial institutions of special access to consumers' accounts so third parties can charge them without obtaining account numbers. it occurs through every channel of marketing, including direct mail, telemarketing, as well as internet transactions. it involves all the nation's' largest financial institutions and continues to involve the vast majority of the largest banks, credit card issuers, and credit card companies.
it is not something that is widespread among independent and community bankers. it works by circumventing the short hand methods we all used to signal consent to a transaction. we know we are done when we hand somebody our credit card. we read them the number over the phone or enter it over the internet. this problem is that with those with mental impairments due to illness or other reasons and those who do not speak english as a primary language. they are victimized by the complexity of these transactions. i second point is that it is difficult to control the problem with existing laws and other consumer protection laws. they are fully disclosed, even in a fundamentally misleading context. some courts struggle with whether the consumer should be held responsible for carefully reading the fine print. this is like blaming the victim
for being pickpocket in a street where there is a sign that says "be aware of pickpocketing." this causes confusion in court. this debate of law about deceptive practices is distinct from the larger and more important point. reacquired account marketing is a giant, in seriousness in -- machine. millions of consumers have accounts charge without the knowledge and without wanting the products. the evidence on this is absolutely overwhelming. i would like to say, your staff report on this, i literally got up and cheered when i read it. it is detailed, throw, and beautifully presented. it is consistent with all of the other information about this form of marketing and other direct marketing channels. for example, the attorney general did a phone survey of people who were supposedly active, paying members of membership clubs. it involved a direct mail
solicitation involving an agreement between national bank and a membership club. they found nobody who was aware they were a member, even though there were paying for it. the iowa attorney general did a mail survey with members and found essentially the same result. in my experience, prosecuting several of these cases, including one against a mortgage company where mortgage accounts were charged through direct mail and telemarketing, they did a survey of the consumer services representatives with fleet mortgage, and you got almost the same responses that were reported in your staff report from those representatives. "this is a fraud." "this is a scam." "why do we allow our customers to be charged?" third, unlike the regulatory problems where you have to balance how you intervene in
markets, this is one of those rare cases where there is a clear and obvious solution. prohibit retailers and financial institutions from selling access to consumers' accounts to third parties. there is no legitimate commercial reason to do it. consumers mostly already think this is the law and it should be. it is with great appreciation that i thank you for calling this hearing. i have been trying to call attention to this problem and you have already made more impact on this than a decade worth of work by many other people who are trying to combat this problem. thank you very much. >> thank you, professor cox. you are kind to the committee and its staff. mr. france, i want to invite you to go back to where you were because it is important to get this on the record so that we
can achieve what some of you have called for. we are already at the part where you said, value max started charging $19.99 per month. had you ever start of them before? >> never before, sir. >> did you ever authorize value max to charge your credit card? >> in no way knowledgeable to me, sir. >> did you ever give them your credit card number? >> no, sir. >> if you had been asked to type in your 16-digit credit-card number to join the club, which you have done it? >> no, sir. >> thank you. ms. lindquist, thank you for coming up today from wisconsin -- over -- what ever. your testimony as you were using a web site called movietickets bought, and you thought you were buying movie ticket. it turns out you bought
memberships in preservation rewards and shopper discounts, and they were charging you $10 a month. >> yes. >> had you ever heard of either of these clubs before they started charging you $10 a month? >> no. >> did you ever authorize them to credit your card? >> no, not knowingly. >> did you ever give reservation rewards or shopping discount your credit card number or your bank account number? >> no. >> if you been asked to type in your 16-digit credit-card number to join the clubs, would you have done so? >> no. >> i am very sorry you both got caught in the scam. you clearly did. you're clearly highly literate, thus taking away this thing that people can get stamped -- scammed when they do not know
the internet will. one woman got scammed and she is in a rage about it. she might come tearing in here in a few minutes. millions of other americans have been ripped off in the same way that you two have been. it is outrageous and we will find a way to stop it. one of the most disturbing things we have learned in our investigation is there are hundreds of websites like these that are selling customers' information to these bogus membership clubs. we have discovered that every time a customer gets tricked into joining one of these clubs, the online merchants get what is known as a bounty. they literally put a price on the customer's head. how does it make you feel to know that they got paid a bounty
for selling your credit card information to value max club? >> hard to put that into words. i am disgusted that they could even do that and enjoy it and profit off of it and believe they are doing right, or that they can even sleep. especially if they are american companies, because we claim that america is the greatest country in the world. it starts with taking care of our fellow citizens and not taking advantage of them. "discuss the" would have to be the best way to describe that. -- "disgusted" would have to be the best way to describe that. >> it is shocking that they can sell my credit card information to a not-known company. everyone i talk to about my coming here, it is happened to some many people i know. they were charged a month or
two and found it. maybe that is the goal of the companies, to charge the people 10 or $20, and multiplied that by millions of people. >> like 30 million people. you are right. my time is up and i turn to the senator. >> my understanding is you say that you were charged by this company and never received any product. is that correct? >> correct. >> no mailing? >> no. >> no coupons? no product of any kind? >> nothing. >> does this sound like a frog to you? >> yes. >> someone is charging you because they say you purchase something from them, but he received nothing. they are charging your bank account. it seems to me -- maybe one of the professors can suggest this, but it seems to me if someone is taking money out of your checking account and giving you
nothing in return, that is something beyond just shameful. there must be a legal term there. the other issue that i find really troublesome here is that reputable sites -- i'd buy movie tickets online from time to time. you go to the sites because they're reputable, presumably. reputable sites are being reimbursed by the companies that are scanning you. i assume they are being reimbursed because they're able to be a writer on that website. that is where they get the customers. you show up wanting to make a transaction, buying a ticket for a movie, and that brings you to this page. they pop up with some sort of an ad that suggest you get something free, and then the reputable website gives that company your -- provides that
company with your credit card number. >> i know. >> that is just unbelievable to me. that is so -- in addition to being shameful, that is so dishonest. professor cox said it. this is a very important hearing in the sense that my hope from this hearing is that we will find ways to shut down this activity. . you indicate that you have no knowledge as to how somebody got your credit card information? >> absolutely not, unless the
company gave them my credit card information. >> mr. cox, you worked for the attorney general's office in minnesota? >> i used to run at the consumer protection division at the minnesota attorney general's office. 5 1/2 years ago and went to university of minnesota law school. >> what you make of the notion of somebody extracting money from somebody's accounts adding it to their credit card, without them supplying a product, without them knowing they purchased something. that seems like a frog. >> -- that seems like fraud. >> the fundamental problem here is that disclosures are made and
when you try to attack the problem, you get into a legal battle about the sufficiency of the disclosure. you have to shift the battle. who in god's name agrees that we should allow a practice where everyone who wants up getting charged is not aware, essentially everyone, may be 1%, 2%, it is not aware they are being charged for something they do not know and do not want. it partly works because you would think the market might self correct by the reputational hit to the retailers, the legitimate sites, the banks involved. the problem is when a charge comes through, it comes through with the name of the membership club and all the dirattention is focused to the club. >> the very reputable websites are playing ball in making money off of this dam.
-- off of this scam. maybe we should tell them they have a liability. you better find out who is using your web page and you better find out who you are providing financial information on your customer's to. if you buy an airline ticket to come out here, and if that company provides your credit card to somebody else, shame on them. they have some liability, in my judgment. they may not now, but maybe we ought to find out if there ought not be some way. he started talking about your personal situation. tell me about your daughter. if she better as a result of your trip? -- is she better as a result of your trip? >> she is doing a lot better. she is a very lucky. she is still working and still wants to get as far as she can. >> good for her. >> thank you. >> thank the senator.
these are available. these are the backs of some very big companies. they like their $10 every month, $20 every month, and the money goes up or down at the discretion of the scammer. if you would like a copy, we would be happy to give it to you. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and to all the witnesses for your testimony today. i wanted to talk about legal issues with the professors. i also had the honor of serving in the attorney general's office in florida and go after deceptive trade practices. our focus in that office now, going after these different vendors, i want to ask to follow-up on what senator dorgan said. it's seems to me that the attorney general could go after
one of these reputable companies who are in tabling these scam artists to steal the information from unsuspecting customers -- who are enabling these scam artist to steal the information. if an airline operator allows them to operate on their website without proper disclosures and to take money from consumers, this annuity scammed, month after month, could be attorney- general. the unfair and deceptive trade practices act or some other statute and hold these folks accountable? >> mr. chairman, senator, yes, these cases are a little more difficult to prosecute under what is called udap authority. they are extremely costly. they did not give a lot of money to the attorney general's office and you have to make tough choices about going after bad guys. as an academic, i will plug my
article. that is one of the suggestions i make in my article. to go after these other entities, and frankly i think the hearing here is probably more effective at doing that than anything else. the answer your question is yes, and it should happen. >> professor? >> my answer is similar. i believe that going under udap may be more effective. the disclosures are not effective. some court might say that in order to have a sense, particularly with fine print contracts, consumer transactions, it must be noticed and unambiguous. i'm highly suspicious that given the with the offers are presented, i believe that some courts would believe that it was not meaningful and not valid.
however, there might be other courts to believe the disclosure was in fact valid. that is why i think going under udap may be more effective. that does not mean that it does not have a bite, but it might not be as certain. >> i agree, if i was still in the a.g.'s office, i would love to go after the case because it is not just deceptive, it is not fair. if you are buying movie tickets and somebody signed you up for an alleged product or service you never received a new charge monthly for it, it is outrageous, unconscionable. i think senator dorgan is right, there should be -- you should be prohibited from selling financial information. businesses who are working on the internet should be no different from businesses working in regular commerce. if i went to 711 to buy coffee
and use my credit card and they took my financial information and sold it to somebody else and started charging me $10 per month, we all recognize that as outlandish. and outrageous. it is no different on the internet. we are so accustomed to e- transactions, and nobody reads them. i don't read them, nobody reads them. and they know that when it put them out there. it is one thing to give you information about we can or cannot do when you use this service, it is another to buried deep within that you are buying a service which is probably not even a real service or product. i support the comments made by my colleagues earlier that there should be prohibition in the law to prevent, unless all sorts of groups are jumped through that show knowledge and consent by the consumer that your financial information be sold to somebody else. shame on these companies, these
reputable companies who are allowing this to occur on their websites. i want to thank you again for coming forward and spending your time and being involved. your shining a light on the problem that is probably affecting thousands of americans, and with your willingness to come forward, without it, we may not know about it. i appreciate you and the staff for bringing this issue forward, and thank you for all the experts who testified today. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator. senator rudolph? >> thank you very much chairman rockefeller. i want in particular to thank you for doing this investigation and doing this hearing today because i think it raises consumer awareness in such a way that really brings some light to the process. as one of our witnesses said earlier, you can do a lot of things, but a hearing like this
i think brings it out to the public. i am reminded of my days as state attorney general where we used to say when we worked in the consumer protection context, a good business once bad business out of business. as senator lemieux just said, any legitimate business that is teaming up with scammed operators, i would not call them good business anymore. the good businesses should be stepping forward, distancing themselves from this kind of behavior, working with prosecutors, with state district attorneys, attorneys general to get this done. iand to get people prosecuted ad say we will take this seriously. i have a case in mexico that i believe prof. meyer has
highlighted, and here you have a santa fe woman who was bilked out of $700 after multiple purchases to website to purchase material for a real-estate business. you described in your written testimony the confusing charges that appeared on her credit card long after the original online purchase, and she did not have a clue what was going on. it goes to, prof. cox, what you said, the sufficiency of these disclosures. what i want to ask any of the witnesses here, we ought to be putting people that do this in jail. these are the same kinds of operators that we put in jail and new mexico doing telemarketing fraud. i would ask the witnesses that have the expertise here to tell
me, should the federal trade commission update its existing rules for telemarketing and mail order sales to address these new online scams, or does the agency lacked authority? how do we get at so that the state prosecutors, attorneys general, others, could focus on this area and make sure that the bad guys are brought to justice? you can all jump in. just not all at once. >> i will add one little thing, i was one of the youngest members of the udall for prosecutor campaign staff. >> thank you for that. >> the problem, the civil enforcement problem here it, is this thing is rotten at its
core. it is not a matter of separating the good parties from the bad part is, which is usually is in other contexts. this type of practice should not be allowed. i have never seen it, ever, in any of its modalities, ever do anything but result in charge millions, overwhelm 99% of people being charged with things they do not know. the problem is regulatory. on the federal trade commission, i am not sure what the percentage is these days, it primarily runs through banks and the federal trade commission has limited jurisdiction there. it is a difficult problem to sort out where the regulatory needs to happen to control fundamentally this problem of selling access to consumer accounts by retailers and financial institutions. >> do either of you -- >> my view of it is as the web
increases, it basically opens the door to a wide array of exploiting people's frailties and vulnerabilities and processing information. a lot of the existing legislation was designed for a previous world and needs to be updated. i agree with professor cox that the structure of these businesses is such that the only way these companies make money is thrown open, outright deception. the one thing i have noticed is they are incredibly good psychologists. you basically get them to cut back in one area and find ingenious ways of getting people to come in these programs through different ways. they're constantly doing online experiments. if they find out that people catch on, they keep doing the experiments and find one that works. >> the folks ought to know that
chairman rockefeller and a.g.'s and his church attorneys are going to focus on them and bring this out into -- and the district attorneys are going to focus on them and bring this out into the sunlight. thank you for this very important issue. i think you have done the american people a big favor focusing on consumer protection in a new way that i did not think has been done and the commerce committee in a long time. thank you. >> thank you, senator udall, very much. senator? >> thank you very much. professor cox was on the udall for senate committee? i was distracting him because i was trying to figure out if he had jumped ship on mondale. it appears you did not. >> i ran get-out-the-vote for jimmy carter in illinois. very poorly, i might add.
i actually got notices of how bad it was. >> i wanted to welcome you, professor cox, and for being very active in a number of important consumer issues. you have helped me on some of the work we're doing what cellphone issues that have emerged again this week with the early termination fees from verizon and other things, so thank you for that. i know that you were working with the attorney general, and did you file a suit and similar things like this before? >> senator, yes. i fought against the predecessor against u.s. bancorp, against about five suits, including fleet mortgage company. we tried to do the same thing, go up the chain and hold people responsibilite at the financial institution level. we had some success, but then it
just died away. i am deedee that you are looking at this problem. -- i am giddy that you are looking at this problem. >> are there things that you would suggest to curb the abuses online? >> thank you, senator. again, this has an actual easy solution, which is rarely the case. financial institutions and retailers should not sell account numbers and access to accounts to third-party sellers, period. there is no legitimate commercial reason to allow that. in my testimony, i explained some of the attempted justifications, and they're almost pitiful. there's not much argument here. you get into a more tricky legislative problem when you get sellers retaining account information and later reusing it. >> for a run purposes? >> right, for instance, you might let a website that you
order contact lenses from every quarter retain your information and regular the bill that information. but that information can also be misused in ways that mimic this problem. i think you can attack that problem, but it is trickier legislative issue. there's an obvious and clear solution to this, and it is to shut down access to consumer accounts. >> has there been any attempt by online retailers to try to stop this? to try to put their pressure on this? or just because they are giving access, so why should they do anything? >> the online retailers are profiting from selling this. if you look at section 502 and title 5 of the privacy provisions, section 502 has something that pretty much on its face says that financial institutions, a big part of the problem, cannot make those sales, but the sec and other
federal banking regulators and acted regulations that essentially completely circumvented what i thought was the intent of that legislation and allowed access to consumer accounts on the actual sharing of the information being encrypt it. but then the membership clubs said they consented and a decrypt the numbers, so it did not effectively do anything, although on the face it seemed to solve the problem. >> what do you think? the evidence also shows these people may be know this, but these people who get stuck in one of these, too much of them eventually canceled? >> you can sort out and to certain subgroups, great question, the consort into subgroups who the people are. some people will cancel within the 30 day trial. what is interesting, and a large data base sample, it shows that in fact most people who wind up
getting this catch it after it is initially build, not during the 30 days, which is counter- indicated if he thought it worked the way that you thought it did. most people catch it around 60- 90 days. some people do not catch it. when it is billed annually, they will sometimes be billed three, four, five years. when i talked with consumers to have this problem, the senate look like an annual bill, said look at your credit card or bank statement or more to account for the year before and fun at how long this is happened. -- and find out how long this has happened. these companies live on customers to renew and that are automatically renewed. >> i have got into these situations, those kinds of customers, and then i try to fix it. eventually do most people cancel?
>> of course, because essentially it nobody really -- when you boil it down, at the end of the day, i just cannot imagine why anyone, why anyone would say we want people to sell products or the people being charged have no idea they're being charged for it and do not want it. it is absurd. >> i am out of time. >> i just wanted to add in terms of multiple charges, for people who did not cancel, essentially every year they increased the charge by a couple dollars. they keep increasing the charge until finally you catch it. as professor cox said, it could be three, five years before some people find out. >> so there is an art form to seeing how far you can raise it without getting people to suspicious. senator nelson? >> thank you, mr. chairman.
mr. franz, i am sorry that you had to go through what you went through just get back your money, not even to speak of all of the trauma and time and so forth that you had to go through. >> thank you, senator. >> but you are an example of what is happening with this explosion of technology. people now instead of using a crowbar to steal now use technological improvements, and they're doing the same thing. and they're doing it with a lot of deception, as the chairman's hearing has pointed out, and this committee has been handling a lot of other things called phishing, and pharming, and
spoofing, which is another one we just had in florida, a case. that is when you look on your cell phone and you see the number that is calling. well, if you alter that number to make it appear like you are local, what happened to this lady, a single woman, suddenly, she is getting a call from her own residence. of course, somebody was doing this to play a prank. the lady was absolutely petrified. she thinks somebody is in her house. or one of the worst ones is that they call 911, masquerading as a certain number home and say there is a burglary going on. 911 dispatchers the swat team, and you could imagine what mayhem might happen on an unsuspecting household when the
police suddenly break-in. this is what technology has gotten us to, and this is what has to change. so thank you for sharing your story with us, mr. franz. >> you're welcome. thank you for having me. >> we will try to do something about it, and thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator nelson, very much. i would point out again, this is not just a few people we're talking about. at any given point, i think the fact is there are about 4 million people being scammed, and we have comments hear from people from 2003, 2002, over the years we're talking about tens of millions of people. the amount may be small, but the amount is not small to those who are struggling to get by. you have made that point very well, as did you, mr. frnace.
-- mr. france. $10, $19.95, could put you in bankruptcy, could add to what ever trauma are taking place in your life. a question for our experts. there are thousands and thousands of businesses out there on the internet trying to sell goods and services, and they have to convince us the product is good if they want us to purchase from them and stay with them and be seen as a trustworthy company. then, only after they have convinced us that their product is trustworthy, they are trustworthy, their product is worth it, then we pull out our credit cards and enter the 16 digits to complete the purchase. in fact, according to visa's new rules for merchants, to complete and valid online purchase,
of fandango or other businesses, they say they're protecting information, but you are also giving authorization to transfer your personal identifiable information to some selected partners. so the authorization stems from this type of conduct, which is not enforceable because the consent is not ambiguous enough. it would clearly seem to me that there is no reasonable way in which this would be a legal way of transferring payment information, without the consumer ever entering the numbers themselves. of course, it has been, but i do not think it should be. >> i think from the other related part of that is that, how is it that consumers
finally -- suddenly find themselves out of having to agree to the transfer of this information? i think the answer there is that in many circumstances, consumers are making these decisions using very quick ways of automated processing and they are not really aware of, and many cases they think they're still on the original site. they think what they're looking at is part of the original purchase process on the original site. with mr. france, i was taken in by that site as well. what happened there, you go to the site, you think you are getting information, and there is a little part where you have to in my case, i had to pay $1 on a credit card to be able to get the information, and then you click a red button that says you are giving them information, and what happens next is you are not giving the information but suddenly or add a new page and you were wondering, where is the information?
the new look for a button to click to the information and there is a red but at the bottom that says show my report. you click on the report, and as soon as you have done that, you become a member of this program. it would be the thing where you would have no awareness whatsoever of what you had agreed to do. >> you said, prof. cox, in your testimony that this membership club industry, "would cease to exist almost overnight if it had to sell its product like every other retailer." can you explain that. >> thank you, mr. chairman. if nobody is aware that they are actually buying your product, that it rather suggests that you are going to have a problem actually selling your product if you have to convince people to pay you the money that you demanding for the service. after 10 years of observing
this, i have no question that if they had to sell this in a legitimate way, these companies would not exist. >> my time is out. one of the things i regret about this hearing, actually, is the lack of focus on the eve of this and lethality of -- is the evilness and lethality of small print. he put something in small print, it is like taking a prescription in a brown paper bag, and then there is this paper which you throw in because she cannot read it or you would have to -- because you cannot read it or you would have to set aside in evening. it is a flat out practice that we allowed to continue. senator lemieux? >> thank you. i just have one final question. is there any thing that we did not talk about today it would
offer suggestions on how best to combat this fraud? we'll start with prof. meyer and go down, and finish up with our citizen consumers and see if there's anything else they think of that would help prevent this from that from happening to other unsuspecting americans. >> some of these had been mentioned before, which i think it is really important that if you have a handoff from one site to the next that the consumer really needs to know that they are no longer dealing with the original merchant. as an example, i had this figure on the right, this is a case where a customer was at a vista . site, buying online labels, and this is a site that they had been taken to. . the site, there are all these references to the fact that it is vista print thanking you, everywhere. only on the page, you look at the fine print at the bottom to you find out this is actually a
site that has nothing to do with vista print or any of the other merchants that happen to be named there. i think one of the reasons why this happens is that customers are lured into not looking at things carefully and make decisions quickly, but if he could sharpen the antennas and say, you are no longer in a safe zone, you have to be weary, look at the fine print, that would be one small step. >> they are trading off the credible brand. >> absolutely, and there is no reason to not think that you could not totally trust would ever offer they provided. >> what i would like to highlight is the importance of preserving online norms. the reason people do not delve into the fine print is because they know what certain steps, they are expected -- there are expected consequences.
if you enter credit card information, you expect it to be liable for something. if the enter e-mail information, you expect to get an e-mail. that is extremely important. otherwise, trusted on-line markets will be damaged and people might be reluctant to enter online transactions. the second point i would like to make is that disclosures in the form of fine print are terribly and effective at alerting consumers. much of our current law -- are currently not effective at alerting consumers. much of our current law says consumers know what they're getting into and are consenting to the transaction described in the fine. . research studies have shown that is not the case. this is not the way consumers behave. i like to highlight the importance that disclosure is really not that effective of reducing these consumers into these transactions. >> i would just like to thank you, because i always tried to
teach students the value of the "anything else" question, but i have been heard today. >> and a thing else that you can think of, mr. france? >> i think one of the biggest steps, like mentioned earlier, is to actually hold these reputable, one time reputable companies responsible for allowing these other sites to come in and do that. essentially, they are one in the same. they may not be taking as much money, but by allowing this, they're just as guilty. if we can discourage them from allowing these companies in, i think we will see a lot less of this problem in the future. >> thank you. ms. linda qwest? >> i agree with mr. france that the reputable websites have to be held responsible.
>> thank you again, mr. chairman. i think we have got a good direction from the witnesses and think for holding this hearing. >> i agree, senator, and thank you. we're going to have a vote on a very good judge that turned out to be controversial but is not, and in about 10 minutes, so we need to close. i want to ask one question, put something on the record. i ask and give consent to place several items on the record. one is a copy of the staff report called "aggressive sales tactics on the internet," which was circulated to members yesterday. the prepared statement of robber mckenna, the attorney general of washington, a prepared statement of a professor at the harvard business school, and letters submitted by the ceo of web
loyal and statements by members of the committee who wanted to be here but were not able to be here because, as usual, there are many hearings going on. a final question, from our experts. i guess you, professor. the opinion recently announced their reincarnation. they have decided to pull back a little bit. it is interesting. i get a letter from the ceo of usairways group, inc., saying they're not going to do this anymore. we have not even had the hearing. i got this yesterday. continental airlines will check in and probably pull out of the whole thing. it just shows how fragile this whole situation is and how devastating it is and how easy
it is to make it devastating. so their opinion is to pull back. what they're now going to require their customers, consumers, is to enter the last four digits of their credit card for proof of acceptance of their offer. now, they announced this move just yesterday, and in fenian just announced this in a move last week. i understand that you recently enrolled in one of these programs after purchasing movie tickets at fandango. did they ask for the last four digits of your credit card as proof of enrollment? >> yes, i thought it would be a good experience before the hearing to enroll in this. i want to see if the confirmation emails disclosed anything. yes, i did purchase a movie ticket to see "where the wild
things are," which i did not go to, and i receive a pop-up, $10 everywhere, asking me to please claim my reward. i entered my e-mail address. and the last four digits of my credit card number. i was too lazy to pick up my credit card from my wallet, far away from the chair in which i was sitting. what i did, i went to my count and where i saw the billing information, there were little stars with a credit number, except for the last four digits of the credit card number, which i copy/paste it into the box that requested it and collect "i agree." i do not think it is enough notice. it is better, but it is not enough notice for two main reasons. these offers appear to come from the original vendor. so it seems when one is dealing with the original vendor, given
the practices online and offline, when giving the last four digits of a credit card number as a way of verifying the identity, not as a way of paying, if the call the credit card number, ask for the last four digits of the credit card number or your social security number, inserting the last four digits of the credit card number to not require any extra effort. it did not require that much more attention because i thought that fandango was offering a $10 for being a loyal customer. they had another thing that said, "limit, one per customer," just in case people are flooding the services. i do not believe these are enough. they are clearly better than the default, but they are not enough. >> i agree, and thank you for that.
the word is that senator mccaskill is on her way over here at about 127 m.p.h., if she wants to get a question in before it the vote, so i will defer to her the moment she gets in. my closing thoughts, this investigation i think starts and ends with the american consumer. everybody is taking advantage of everything they can. there is always a temptation, and when it comes up, like telemarketing, we stop it. when it comes up here, we have to stop it. you could argue whether should be the ftc or legislation, but we have to stop it from happening ever again and expose it to those who continue to do it. my message to consumers, i guess, would be very careful. make sure that your glasses are good so that you can read the fine print, but you'll probably never get there on that, and that is a subject that makes me very angry, the use of fine
print to deceive the americans, all the many subjects we have not yet covered. the use of small print to hide and pharmaceutical secrets, does this mix with that, etc., all of this is in the fine print. they say you should have read the fine print. that infuriates me. i think this is a huge problem, main street problem, american problem. it is classic creed. the sad part is these big companies are getting $10 per month, $19.95 per month, and these web companies can raise it to whatever they want. there is nothing stopping them, right? they can raise it to whatever they want. they try to figure out what the break point is where you go bananas and you suddenly realize, and then you close it
down. at fine arts, beware if you are a consumer. i worry about this, frankly, because the holiday shopping season is just beginning, were all over the country people and economic distress will be spending a few dollars they have on holiday shopping because they have children and grandchildren and that is what parents and grandparents tend to do. my second thought is, my message for the companies to profit from tracking consumers into joining their clubs, and then they say what they do is legal. and they operate within the law. i am not a lawyer, but this is what i think. it just because you say we do is legal does not make it right. professor cox, unlike the finish my sentence. >> amen. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] >> up next, the changing role of
the media in elections, and then a discussion on u.s. troops in afghanistan with freelance journalist david ash. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> three nights of c-span coverage on american icons continues tonight at 8:00 p.m. the capital, the history, art, and architecture of one of america's most symbolic structures, american icons at 8:00 p.m. on c-span. get a copy of the three disk dvd set, just $24.95, plus shipping and handling, ordering online. >> tomorrow on "washington journal," a look at the latest news with james joyner, editor of the outside the beltway blog, and adele stan.
then a halt of new construction of israeli settlements on the west bank, a discussion with jeremy ben-ami, and tim brown, co-founder of the 9/11, never forget foundation. we begin with the day's news and your calls at 7:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. -- at 7:00 a.m. eastern. >> the yeas are 60, the nays are 39. the motion is agreed to. >> with that vote, the senate moves the health care bill to the floor, starting monday and through december, followed the entire debate and how the bill will affect access to medical care, the public option, taxes, c-span2, the only network that brings you the senate gavel-to-
gavel. >> the role of immediate and elections was the topic of this panel. it includes joe locke cart, -- jo la carte, former press secretary for bill clinton. from tulane university in new orleans, this is about one hour. >> we need to have the spotlight on the ongoing recovery effort and coming here and seeing it is the best way to do that. thank you. again, from all of us, thank you to all of our friends who not only came, but came to play, suited up. great job all around, and thank you for not pushing us, understanding not just these issues but taking an interest in the restoration which is a national issue. the sooner we focus on that, it is a bipartisan issue, we could make this an annual event. discussed at lunch.
i hope we can make this an annual event. if there is one thing, we are happy partisans. we have been warned for a long time with some stability in our private sessions. one thing partisans can agree upon is that really the bad guy in all of this is the media. when i was first knowing james and his friends in the first clinton white house, it was said that he needed psychiatric treatment and we bonded on the spot. when i was first working in the 1992 when i was first working in the they want to talk to me about my relationship. they wanted to talk to me
about my relationship. i went in to defend my man and my honor and they said, james carville -- who is he? we care about your relationship with the "the washington post" a postnnreporter. there has always been that tension, this love-paid, because we need the media to do what we need to do -- there has been this love-hate relationship. most recently, the cheney fight with "the new york times" was i wanted to put somebody on the plane in air force two, and i said if we don't, we will get a bad start. he said, we will get a war story if i throw them out at 35,000 feet. -- will get a worse story. [inaudible] within three questions, and hilary rosen pointed this out.
i am sorry. it is the media. how soon we got to issues dealing with the media and the present to which we receive our political information -./ were steady not just how we deal with them but how they are regurgitating the information that we need to get out. everybody here has dealt with them. it is what they do in addition to what they are supposed to be doing, organizing a turnout. everybody has to be engaged in getting the message out and campaign, for a candidate or four issues. it is critical we understand if it is bifurcated or in different levels, how do we deal with it? when our founders were putting this country together, they were concerned about two things -- [inaudible]
that would be necessary for a free democracy. the first was virtuous leaders. the second was a free press. to have a free press -- for a democracy, you need informed citizens who could only be informed to a free press. the notion of a bipartisan press is a new phenomenon. where we get confused it is where we don't know. there are lots of issues relative to the media and politics -- i will turn it over to jeff who does work for the premiere leader, or has been the leader -- there has been competition with "the new york times", but it has been a leader in driving where the nets go, where everybody follows. i do not share of my conservative friends say. you can compete with them but you cannot make them go away.
it is not a good or bad thing. he is working for the best. he is the best. we keep saying what a great panel this is, but they absolutely are and they have done it on the front lines for lots of years and lots of issues in front of us relative to how we go forward, keeping our citizenry as informed as they need to be to fulfill our founder's mission of the free state. jeff, it is yours. >> mary, thank you very much. given the financial pressures of the news business, we hope we will not go away. some days we wonder. most of you have seen our panelists most of you have seen our we have a long time consulting with us.
she now has eight new website -- it is called zowatics. also, one of the leading democratic strategists of our time. she worked on the clinton credit -- presidential campaign in 2008. he has worked on both sides of the media, on the broadcast cited abc and cnn as well as standing behind the podium at the white house. he just got back from a chart with president clinton to europe. mark mckenna, and he has worked for george w. bush, john mccain and in richards. he is the -- the only person who has done that -- and work for anne richards. steve schmidt has worked from coast to coast and for john mccain. and david winston, a longtime republican consultant who has
worked in house and senate races and advised the house and senate leadership. he has been involved in a rare fact -- he worked with house republicans in 2002 to get their approval ratings over 50%, which almost never happens in congress. they could use you now, both sides could use you now. i think it is the perfect time to be holding this discussion because we still have last year's presidential campaign fresh in our minds and we can see the next one right around the corner. let's talk about those. what is the most significant change that you have seen it in the last three presidential campaigns, beginning with 2000 through 20008 in terms of media? how you deal with the media, how the media has changed, and what lessons can be drawn from the most recent campaign for the next one? >> i think it is technology.
in 2004, there was no youtube. this time, youtube was a tremendous for to get information out. -- forum to get information out. things are moving so fast. i remember in my first presidential campaign, we had a facts machine. and you could send the documents -- a fax machine. now we are in an instantaneous age, where everybody with a cell phone can walk into a fund raiser and san francisco and take a presidential candidate. suddenly, two weeks of the campaign is whether or not people are better or not. that is why they turned to god and guns. technology is making things happen so fast and you have to try to keep up with it. >> how do you deal with that type of technology? >> a lot of the time is fine.
the media, up from the advertising. point of view, you're able to share video images without paying for. -- paying for it. from the other point of view, you have this power for asias pn in new sources so that it is completely different getting information out that it was 10 years ago. the other problem is the diversity of all these different websites, news organizations. it is harder to get critical mass to tell any one story. i am talking about in a presidential campaign, because those of us who work in congressional races, it is the opposite problem. instead of too much information and trying to amass a critical amount of information for one
story line, often in a senate race or governor's race, especially with the death of so many newspapers, we are fighting to get stories covered, even with websites out there. >> how have things changed since when you were in the white house press room, for good or bad? >> i think even as recently as 10 years ago that communication experts were people who were trying to manipulate and work the filter. there was a filter between the public and the president or an aspiring politician. and that was things like "the new york times", the television networks and radio. the filter has become so diffuse that it is almost gone. i remember feeling this as i was leaving the white house. communications people are now what network television programmers used to be. you look at the 24 hour day and your program for the morning, afternoon, evening, each with
slightly different messages. use every channel available. you are no longer trying to convince 15 people of your case so that they will tell everyone. you are telling everyone directly. it is more interesting. but it is very different from even eight years ago how communications people handle the politics. the presidential races are about a narrative, and people get tons of information, seek out information, and so the role
of the 30-second spot is just a drop in the ocean. what we're trying to do is not persuade people walk and up on television, trying to put 2000 points behind it to persuade somebody. what we're trying to do very often is to drive the news coverage of the race. in 2004, we got to the point where we are producing spots, get up at the morning at 6:00, we get on a call, say we will produce a spot. we would put it out by 6:30, say here is a spot that is going up today.
two hours later, we scrambled up some spot. at one point in the campaign, we would actually put it on the air once somewhere. by the end, we were driving the coverage. this is a question we have, as we're doing this, where do you draw the line, what is legitimate to cover behind the scenes? legitimate to cover? >> i think the first question that those new but -- news organizations ask is is there any money behind this advertisement? there is a 24-hour cycle, so it will pop up there. is that a waste of time? at the other side, at the same time, the other side is doing it. your communication shop has to respond. who wins in that? >> i think it is a fight to
control the dialogue that takes place largely on cable television. in a country of 300 million people, when you combine all audiences on these cable channels, it may be 6 million people. she middle of lee. there is a fight that takes place, -- cumulatively. there is a fight that takes place to get the attention in the media that they are going to get the attention of the other campaign, the campaign response. the campaigns have to fill the cable news vacuum. i agree with what joe said, that you are a television programmer to some degree, and you need to put on a show on a daily basis when you are doing this and in need to communicate, certainly, through all the social media today, and all of the other aspects of how you communicate outside of the filter, which is
gone. it does not exist anymore. as was pointed out, the cell phone camera and a blog has the ability to impact the presidential race, and exactly the same way that a front page "new york times" story would. >> how did you deal with that? did you have people who were assigned to doing the fake ads or monitoring the social networking site, other people dealing with the mainstream media, or is it all one now? . media or is it all one now and without a sense of what is more important? >> i think you have to view it holistic lee. -- wholistically. it is embedded in the communications operation. communications operation. it is a stream of information
that never ceases. it moves 24 hours a day, seven days a week. you are constantly trying to control the flow of that stream that is most advantageous to your side. >> given all these changes, where our voters in this? are they getting more information, less information? is it harder to find the information? >> finding the information is a dynamic that for everybody up here is the problem in terms of if you are trying to drive a message. there are a couple key things that emerged. one, this new technology is nationalized politics and the discord surrounding it. it is really this national exchange. even though you may be looking at somebody from california or florida. they are hearing the same thing. going back to the 2004 race,
bush was out in utah and did some statements. yes, but it was on cable. you do not do something just in utah and assume it will stay there. it goes everywhere. the second thing that has been a surprise to a lot of folks has been met and main idea of when the story hits, it really permeates. when you take a look at supreme court nominees, all week into their nomination process, their name recognition is in the mid- 80's. and the third thing is that paid me get used to be your delivery system and used to be where you emphasize the message. i think you have now seen at moved to earn media. you're director of communications is a critical personal. >> how has the process of
placing a story or shaping a story changed in all this? where does the story began it, if you have it -- the beginning on a blog now? do you begin it in print? does it matter? how does that change the front end of this? >> i think it used to be a direct process. you pick up a phone and you call somebody. exchange information and decide where you wanted to go. -- wanted to go. there are a lot of different places to go now. there are these blogs -- the druge redge report. the big difference is that if you get a story you want to deliver, you have to have the goods and deliver the goods as well. the goods would mean the film of someone saying or doing
something, the tape recording or some other technological advantage that you have. if you get that, it adds credibility and makes it something more interesting, not just for the tv but for the print press as well. >> if you don't have the goods, is it easier now to get the idea of a story out there than it used to be? >> let somebody else put that together you mentioned -- you mentioned drudge. that is the biggest platform. it was a fascinating development when i began to see "the new york times" leaking their stories on drudge. everybody gets the >> live, local, and late-breaking,. -- everybody gets the drill now. how deep -- >> how do you leak a story to drudge? >> i don't know.
>> i would walk out of meetings and see it 30 seconds later. was there someone in your shop who handled that kind of thing? >> absolutely. >> how do you do it? >> i am not allowed to tell. absolutely. i think today, whether it is drudge, another critically important part of this is the segregators. in the 2004 campaign, the most important agar gaidar was mark halpern -- aggragator was mark halpern. now it is a political.com. and it begins to shape today's story. it has an impact on cable
producers, and impact on what people are going to talk about that day. you are in the business of placing information out there and places that people are going to see it, where it will get the most amount of attention, where you will get your opponent's attention. and shape the field you are playing on. >> drudge is the most mysterious, weird guy ever. >> he wears a hat. >> that is why i wear a hat. i think obama or somebody on, maybe the greatest premium is -- on any campaign is someone who has a line into drudge. >> it is not just one or two people. there is a point in time where matt drudge because he was new held a premium position.
he told an important position, but now you have to have the story and multiple ways to tell the story. there was a time in which i think our republican colleagues had cornered the market on talk with you. that was very influential and as a way of bypassing the washington establishment and bringing the story from the ground up. now there are many, multiple ways birkhe. by the time a group like us figures it out, we are on to something else. social media has the potential to dwarf the kinds of things we know how to do, if it is that 30-second spot. the main thing now is you have to feed your narrative in so many different ways, and there is no one stop. getting something placed prominently on drudge does not get to all the way there. it is just one piece.
>> it also depends upon what you are placing. we are assuming that what we are talking about placing is nasty stuff and opposition stuff. and some of the sites we have talked about are a perfect place to do such things. but there are other -- it may be "the new york times" occasionally. it is a positive story you want to place. mary and i go back to the 1992 campaign, when we put president clinton, then governor clinton on all kinds of tv shows like "larry king." people thought it was crazy. now choosing to announce something on "jay leno," amay be another platform. the whole point is there is not just one place you do anything.
we have many platforms to deal with. some minutes is a blog, the next it is "the new york times", and you have to have a good idea of which one. you need to do a lot to get maximum impact. i do not think it is a coincidence that when the president wanted to get control of the health care issue, he flooded as much media as possible, because it is hard to change a narrative because of all of the different sources of information people have. if you want to change in narrative, you cannot just go to one place. >> and that is an important development. the narrative's they got established in 1980's and 1990's, you were hoping someone would catch it on an advertisement. then there is, once they emerge and are -- are clear and sustainable. i will go back to the 2006 election -- i will go to one
that is going on right now. one of the difficult concepts is [unintelligible] it is being driven through the media. once you have a narrative established, you are fighting over something and engage in something that i think is a lot easier to engage in then in the 1980's when you needed significant sums of money to go in one direction or the other. >> back to "the view." how did you make your decisions in the democratic presidential primary campaign with senator clinton who had an array of shows to go on. he would show up on "island to geellen degeners." how do the gender roles played in to what shows to place them on? were you ever hesitant to put
senator clinton on a softer show? if you were advising a male candidate, would you be concerned about putting him on a hard or soft show? what is your advice? >> it depends at that moment what kind of platform you are looking for. when we did all of this stuff with bill clinton it is because people knew nothing of his biography and we could not afford advertising and if he went on a meet the press, they would not ask you about your childhood in arkansas. we were looking for softer forms. for secretary clinton, almost every show was a good format for her. we were not scared of the softer ones. the only thing i was worried about where things where i thought good humor -- the tumor might be a little edgy. -- the humor would be edgy. >> what is an example?
>> she want she -- she wound up doing the daily show. "colbert" was the one that i was most worried about. but it wound up working really well. she is pretty straight ahead, and her sense of humor -- he had an edgy sense of humor. >> how you talk about candidate into appearing on "snl" and other things? >> the first thing you don't do is do it by satellite. doing anything by satellite is difficult. doing humor is impossible. it is difficult, because it is dangerous territory. there are not clear rules and elected officials like clear rules. it takes a particular kind of -- mccain was pretty good that because it was spontaneous. but for george bush, that was not a natural environment. >> the feedback you get when you
do those shows, you realize instantly you are tapping into a different audience. for hillary clinton, partially through her daughter and france, when she would do "saturday night live," she had fun. she knew she was reaching new people. >> that shows that are not "meet the press," and sunday shows have a much greater chance of changing the narrative then the establishment shows. one of the times that that narrative changed in the primaries was off of 8"saturday night live," skit about how the press was fawning over president obama. that change the dialogue or the narrative for weeks. most people who have been doing this for awhile are trained a certain way, which is "the new
york times" and "meet the press." if you do find their, you will win. they are important, but so is "the daily show." >> speaking more@@@@@@@@@ @ h @" >> she wanted to do it, so she did it. [laughter] >> did you want her to do it? >> i think the tina fey thin, most people that i work with in politics and people i have met, generally speaking, have a pretty good sense of humor. i enjoy watching "the daily show
and "colbert" and i think this stuff is hilarious. when you seek tina fey. i was "30 rock." and then you see that for the first time and you say, oh, god. you know it is going to impact. in the same way, i saw "saturday night live," impacted the 2004 election with senator john kerry. it impacts in a profound way that makes a narrative. i think a lot of people who do what we do, we rank the shows in importance. "meet the press" is more important than a late-night comedy show. that is not how people in their living rooms process the shows. they get impressions of a politician off of "loudoun," in
the same way they do all of a news show -- off of "letterman." you are a content provider. you have to provide content to a lot of different outlets. >> one follow-up. was there ever any point that you thought that " snl" impersonations could help her, could help you with tina fey, because she was taking this to such great extremes? >> i did not view it as a helpful thing. [laughter] >> did you try and talk her out of going on? >> huh? >> i think that is a yes, for the record. >> that is a classic example of reinforcing the point that i was going to make which is that more than any other format, the late-
night comedy format really drives to the simplest narrative. you talk to the riders on the show's -- the writers -- that was why obama was kind of confounding. they can never get that simple, what is the most fundamental common denominator that what people will get? and they can set it. once it is said, it is hard to undo it. >> when i hear about -- think about all hold tina fey thing. sarah palin did an interview with katie couric. a lot of people saw. 15 million people saw tina fey. -- being sarah palin. i think that is where it is going right now. we have to understand there's so much opportunity to communicate now than the way we use to,
which was through traditional media. if we find ways to get people interested, we can have profound consequences. >> we use to make decisions about some of the shows are based on the size of the audience. you would say it only has 2 million people. i don't know if we should take a candidate's time. but with youtube and at thousand -- and cable shows repeating the clips from it, something that was originally viewed by two or 3 million people gets viewed by 15 million people and it is a different calculation when you are making the decision of do i take three or 10 hours of the canada's time and bought them on that show -- of the can of its's time and book them on that show. -- of the candidate's time. >> you are trying to drive as much raw content to them as possible. it is a scary world out there. you are throwing all lot of
stuff out. you do not know what will stick. when you are doing to a 30- second advertisement, you know precisely what you are doing. you know how they will react. >> it is challenging to the kids. we are asking so much more of them now. they have to beat circus performers now -- the candidates. >> we know what shows are hot right now. one of them is glenn beck. how should republicans deal with these kinds of shows? we have seen several examples where they have apologized for being on the other side. is it absolutely deadly for a republican to be on the other side of glenn beck? >> you are getting to econoa dynamic, in terms of both sides, it is driving an
unfortunate discourse. it is forcing people to have the discourse of contradiction. we get invited onto a show and then you ask, what is your position? if it is not contradictory, then you get a callback. we found someone else. in terms of this, what you are seeing is a push toward contradiction as opposed to political argument. political argument is we argue a position and get a chance to establish a different set up a points to set a different proposition. contradiction, given this new technology, is where we are headed. that is your responsibility and how to you stop campaigns from simply contradicting each other and get them into a political discourse that matters to the electorate? >> joe and i had "hot soup," which was this exercise in the
political landscape, a bipartisan dialogue. it is all about conflict. the press is interested in driving conflict. i did a show as a representative of this gang, an unnamed cable show, and we were getting along with whatever the county park was, amby-- counterpart was, mae it was joe, and then we went to the break-in and the host said, can you cut the bipartisan crap? >> that is steve. >> that is to another interesting dynamic. the pressure is on political campaigns and political candidates. their content has to get better. you cannot contradict. to establish a narrative, it has
to be done to some sort of content. that puts more pressure on the campaigns to come up with something, an idea that will stick. as opposed to, that is a nice response but it does not have credibility with the audience. >> when you saw that the west wing of the white house decided to enact their fox strategy, what did you think about that in a moment? smart decision? what are they doing? and how has it worked out? >> i don't necessarily understand the thinking behind it, except for sometimes you get mad. when you get mad, you strike out. one of the things you learn early on and the white house is when you say something from inside the grounds of 1600 pennsylvania avenue, it carries a lot of weight. you are speaking for the president. i personally -- personally believe it is the last thing you want to do. you are just legitimizing the
upon it. the white house does not mean fox -- not need fox. they need to work harder on the reporters who are following fox. you do not ignore them in the sense that what they do does not matter, because it does contribute. but taking them on frontally is like going into battle ill- equiped. it is going into a battlefield where all the -- the other side has all the advantages. it has only helped fox legitimize what they are doing. it is not done severe damage, but it was a fight not worth having in that way. in a public way. >> de you agree with -- ? >> you need to deal with almost all media outlets. i think they will get back to the business of dealing with fox. that does not mean putting the president on the glenn beck
show. they are a partisan news organization but they are still a news organization. >> i would agree with that. you have to pick your vendors. it is illustrative of what is happening with the media. when i first started doing this, it was more of our reporting media. events what happened, it would get reported. it is out there. then it became more of interpreting media. i think what we are having now, and maybe fox is an example, a rush limbaugh and others, the media is becoming an impact of media. -- impactful media. whether it is to raise money for a conservative candidate in new york and have him user to republican as a result. i think the impact media is becoming a big force. i suppose the white house is seen at and is trying to fight the impact media by basically
shutting them down. >> one of the hardest things to deal with in campaigns is the opposite of partisan media which is of falsely equal media. were you have a story you want written about your opponent and the reporter as saying, but there must be some story on the other side. you are looking at me like i have done that to you. sometimes there is a reason to write about both candidates financial disclosures or both candidates education policy. sometimes there is just a story to write about the opponent. the faults equivalency comes from the belief that the media is completely impartial. it is easier to deal with a fox. we know what they are. they know who they are. use them or you don't. >> on the republican side, is there too much whining from this white house or sanctimony? there are not the -- it is not
as if there are not any other channels on the other side of the spectrum. >> i think people find a speech this argument that there is only one network out there. everybody recognizes that. -- it is sort of a specious argumen.t t./ the obama administration has very able communicators. it is surprising that your axelrod on fox. if they are not on their, you get caricatured. [unintelligible] that is why i love seeingkarl on television because se it --eing kar seeing karl on television. you can disarm your critics by getting out there. >> i think part of the problem
that the administration has is that perception of most people is that he has received the most fun the media coverage in the history of western civilization -- the most fawning media. when they go out and complain about an outlet, it is very diminishing. i think it is a big mistake. i think they will get off that sooner rather than later prec. the tv networks are in the business of making money. the way they make money is by selling advertisements. and the way those rates are determines are by audience share. we lived in a world with 350 channels. the audience for politics -- that four, five, 6 million people -- if what they want to see is conflict, that is what they are going to get veryso th/
they are in business to make money. the way you make money with that audience share is to have conflict. >> news use to be a money- loser, a public service. it evolves into conflict sold. now we have gone past that. we have specialized stations. there is not a lot of conflict on fox. just like there is not a lot of conflict on msnbc. they have made up their mind. the people who tune in our people who already believe that into an inn in to have their reinforced. -- and two-minute to have their reinforced. -- ammdnd tune int to have that reinforced. the problem is how do the other news organizations respond? take fox. take fox. fox starts the media covers it as if there
was not another media organization behind it. maybe 3 million or 4 million people a day. whether it started there or not. then you have others, and you have to make a decision. is this news, or is this not news? people just cover what people are talking about as opposed to really pulling back and reporting on how did this did -- and how did this get started? >> we should open up to questions from the audience. let's call this the lightning round. asked quickened answer quick. >> i want to connect the conversation with the previous panel. we have been talking about the tremendous amount of information available to people down. in the first panel, the feeling was that there was volatile and difficult to assimilate components of the electorate.
they tend to be downscale, men and women that are alienated from both parties and are pretty hard to reach with information. one of your colleagues said that the great frustration about being a political consultant is that the people with the most influence are the ones with police access to information. the least access or desire for information. is there a disparity between trying to reach those voters as being the most volatile right now and in general? >> who wants to take it? >> i will take it. first of all, for somebody who has made it television advertisements for a living, that is why we love those people. we have to saturate the airwaves in order to get through to them. second, we have to make sure we achieve message discipline so those people heroes. the people who follow things closely will be bored stiff. we are trying to get to the
people who will ultimately decide that thing. we want to figure out -- have to figure out what they want us to talk about. if we don't, they will not listen. if we repeat the message often, that is the only way we can be heard. >> i think we have two different types of voters. we have this corrected as -- information activists who are more interested and engaged in any time i can remember and have more ways, through the internet, to find information. and they are doing it. they enjoy being engaged. it is a very grassroots, bott om-up way of finding out information. most of those people are not undecided. you still have what you are talking about -- the pass of undecided or independent voter.
not all undecideds are independent voters. that is the difficulty of trying to reach those voters. in the middle of all this active information gathering, television is one way. you go to them. you don't ask them to come to you. >> the candidate or the president's schedule -- during a clinton ministration, we call them swing two voters. the number one publication that they read is "people magazine." it was in the white house once a week. the president was in it six or seven times a year. it was not a policy. you look at this presidency, if you go back and count, he has set down as many times with an espn anger as he has with a network anchor. reaching people that they cannot
get through the more traditional political tomes. >> the elites have information they can get to, but we have more refined ways of getting to those voters. we know where they live and what they read and what they drive. we are targeting marker data now. we can isolate those people and talk to them -- target microdata. >> when you overlay the voter file against consumer information, you begin it down to a level that the most democratic vehicle on the road is a subaru and the most republican is safegmc yukon. . -- a gmc yukon. with technology, there were almost be an individual profile of voters that allow for customized information to them from their neighbors and
friends in the media, on the internet advertisements. we are migrating in that direction. the other thing i will tell you -- for people who worked for president clinton. president clinton announced for president in october of 1991. so these campaigns to date never stop. outside of the audience is watching the political shows, most normal people in this country are taking their kids to the ball game or to ice-cream or they're working or they are doing whatever. they are not tuned into partisan fighting 3.5 years before the next presidential election. how do you communicate to people? it is a function of timing. a lot of people in this country do not pay attention to this stuff until it becomes time to make a decision. and that is traditionally what
used to be that election space. for all of us, it never stops. the next presidential campaign begins the day after the last one. >> final word? >> i think they are consuming a huge amount of information that is going under the radar and a lot of political people don't see that. when unemployment is at 10%, trust me, there is a lot of interest. i am concerned about it. i may lose my job. i am having difficulty with health care. the reason belittled -- political people are not seeing that is because the message does not have to do it -- there is a disconnect. my issue does not register a very high. what that means is that the quality of the content being driven by the political operation has nothing to do with individual lives. independent consumers consume a huge amount of information.
this is an example of political thought that wants to categorize independents. i see them consuming a huge amount of information per >> i do not think it is a monolithic thing. >> i am a student here. my question comes from opening statements. the statement was to the effect of an educated public is important for our democracy. a lot of this discussion at what i have noticed as it has centered around creating a narrative and talking about who you are talking to and how you say it. maybe this -- maybe this is my utopian view of how the vote -- i wish the future would be, i would like to see the media that educates the public and talks about the issues and focuses on
the content, not necessarily the people involved, but what is affecting our country on a greater level. what is the media's role in that? how can it serve to educate the public as opposed to presenting an argument they want to reinforce what they already believe or create an unnecessary contradiction it? what is the media's role in that? >> that is a great topic pre. one from each side. >> that is a great question. journalism and a free enterprise system response to the market and the more demand there is for your kind of thinking, the more the market will respond. i think it is starting to respond. journalism is going to a revolution and they are trying to figure out where they will land. this last week, something started in "the texas to be an," which is a non-profit, online
politco-like site that is very substantive. we will increasingly see the media responding to your desires. if there is demand, the market will respond. >> if you are depending on the media to solve this for you, you will be disappointed. we have evolved to a place where people need to have the ability to educate themselves. the media will do -- even saying the word does not mean anything anymore. what does that mean? you cannot compare what jeff as to what a eighthblogger does -- - a blogger does. they both produce content. what has happened through this evolution is the responsibility has moved to the voter, and i think the good news is that the
tools are now available to the voter to go and be an educated consumer. that was not true 20 years ago. he did not have the ability to do that. i look at my daughter doing research for school. i think what it had not been easier if i had goal in high- school or college -- if i had google? if you are depending on nbc, "the new york times", or "time magazine," to solve this, you will be disappointed. >> there is information on all of those websites and the campaign websites. >> how about a question from that side? >> thank you. as you said, campaigns last basically forever. i am an iowan. i think i am involved in the campaign just as much as most of you are.
why do campaigns last so long now? the clinton campaign is over a year, but this last clinton campaign was multiple years. >> it is because of a iowa, which we love. is there ever a point where this reaches its shipping point -- a tipping point? >> it is money. if you look at the obama campaign, it raised seven under $50 million. -- $750 million. these are substantial companies. one of the problems we had in the main king campaign is because he came back from being -- in the mccain campaign, because he came back from being in last place, the day he became the nominee, the were 38 people and the headquarters. it was an infrastructure that
was something that we wrestled with for the rest of the campaign. you do not have time to scale it up. if you have to put together a campaign, and this next campaign will be the -- the first billion dollar presidential campaign, on both sides, if you are going to put together a billion dollar campaign, you cannot do it starting in october of 1991, like president clinton. no one will ever take public money again in a campaign. it takes years to put that structure together and to execute the business plan. that is the reason for it. >> the democratic response? >> i agree with that. i think it is the demand for money. i work a lot of the country.
in our land we have a parliamentary system. we call an election. -- in ireland. >> we will take one final question. monica, we will bring you a microphone. >> you say you get your information out more and more by blogs. journalists are bound by the ethics of their five resources. i would like to talk about that. -- verifiable resources. blogs are not verifiable. >> i think we are in the middle of the revolution, and there's no real governance at this point. it got to the point where there were stories that had datelines that were traveling around the
web that were wholly fabricated about somebody being investigated. and then the mainstream media go chasing their tail. then we realized it was fabricated. over time, there will be an out that information that people will start to migrate towards either conventional or sources of media that they know have governance, editors, fact checkers. i think over time, and it may be mainstream media orblogger blogs who killed the credibility -- i think there will be a migration towards quality. >> it is a real problem. there were ridiculous stories about president of a l they took hold on the internet
and were everywhere. you had have a whole team spending time swatting these down and trying to get mainstream sources attacking them. i just talked one of our republican colleagues about al franken's rac ein minnesota -- race in minnesota. there was a story that was written on a blog from the mainstream magazine, a store that they thought should not be public. they thought it was not true. we knew -- we had talked to the source and knew it was true. could the information from the blog be used in an ad? our decision was yes, because we knew the source behind the
block. -- the blog. >> it seems to me that next time you have some newspaper editors here, it is a very relevant question for them. hem. the hard part is not when something gets put out, but when you decide what to do with the of permission. i may know it is true but not the right way, the way that we gather news. and for a long way -- time, there's been a standard of coming from blog but people are talking about two members of congress jump up and down on the house floor, and that is normally work. -- and that does not normally work. you can get anything into the dialogue. it is a good question for editors. jeff, maybe you have some sense of that. it seems to me that as the code
comes from the established media deals with the new media. >> one real-life example of how this works. in 2004, one of the debates, a story circulating in the blogs that president boris had a transmitter under his coat -- that president bush at present -- transmitter under his coat. the campaign was secretly transmitting responses. >> you mean that was not true? >> if it was, we really screwed up. [laughter] >> it was one of those debates. [unintelligible] dollars and by 2008, technology had tromped those concerns. it was not an issue. >> it was absurd on its face.
but i had a response, so i said no. that was not sufficient and the story went on for days and days, until i got a call from my good friend, one of your colleagues at the "new york times." he calls so embarrassed that he had to call. mark, i hate to ask you this. my editors are telling me i have to ask. note. -- no. i don't know how else to say appeared >> -- i don't know how it's to say it. >> i don't think there was anything active from the kerrey campaign but it had its own power. it is not even the dirty tricks of one side or the strategy. it gets to the point where if you are an editor, is a difficult decision.
everyone is talking about this. in the radio station or any starbucks, people are talking about it. >> once it is out there, i believe there was a story written and the attempt was to put an end to it. you cannot ignore what is out there, but you can do a fact check on it. that is the end of our time. thank you very much. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009]
>> today on "the communicators," merit as baker talks about internet access and other telecom issues. and don "america and the court's." recent changes at the supreme court, the retirement of justice souter, and the addition of justice sotomayor. and former deputy solicitor general at 7:00 eastern on c- span. >> "american icons." the iconic palms of the three branches of government. tonight at 8:00 p.m., the capital. one of america's most symbolic
structures. tonight at 8:00 p.m. on c-span. in to get your own copy of the three-disc dvd set. it is $24.95 plus shipping and handling. >> free-lance journalist david axe was recently embedded with u.s. troops in afghanistan. in this 40 minute interview, we talk about his experience with the u.s. army and air force. this was his second trip to afghanistan. >> my second trip was to kandahar about 2 years ago. i wanted to go back to the south and see if i could detect progress and to see if things had gotten worse. and also to explore areas of
afghanistan that i had not seen before. i spent all time in kabul, -- spent time in kabul, also. >> are there commercial flights that go into afghanistan? >> they fly into kabul, or less requently, in -- less frequently, into kandahar. it is still a typical commercial flight. >> october was the deadliest month for u.s. service troops, how concerned are you for your own personal safety? what measures you take to protect yourself? >> your required to wear the same things that they do, armor
plating and helmets. they do not provide it. you have to go online to buy it. it is basically law enforcement here. you have the same protective measures that the u.s. forces do. it is sophisticated stuff. i don't worry too much about my own safety. the logistics of the trip are far dicier than the physical danger. >> why is that? >> just moving around afghanistan does not seem to get easier overtime. -- over time. you have to contend with bureaucracy, corruption becomes an issue. for instance, i had to get a week-long visa extension just to get of the country. i was told that would not be a problem, but it turns out it was a huge problem. the paperwork and the officers i had to yell at -- it took a week
to get a week-long visa extension. >> how do you hook up with the unit, and which unit was that? >> i started at bagram outside kabul. the first step was to get press badge before, at the nato headquarters. i to talk to the -- i took a taxi to bagram and was handed off to the air force for about a week. the air force handed me off to the army in a province called logar. when the whole thing was said and done, they flew back to kabul. >> describe what is like.
how big is it? >> it is big. it is a former soviet facility. a lot of the structure is still there. they are being improved, but it is the biggest military facility in afghanistan by some measure. population wise, tens of thousands. mostly u.s. personnel. it is the main logistics' up, so there is a lot of aircraft flying in. it is sort of abuzz of activity. like a gigantic fedex facility. >> are there new troops stationed there as well? >> it is hard to find a base that doesn't have some mix of u.s. and coalition personnel. >> what you observed between the rhetoric -- the interaction of
u.s. troops and coalition forces. >> u.s. and afghan troops work fairly closely to get there. there is a mentoring relationship. they don't have the same capabilities, but they are there. a lot of the coalition and groups are not divided along national lines. >> is exclusively theirs? >> dutch operations are mostly dutch, american operations are mostly american. there peppering this -- >> did you get a chance to see some of the logistical and supply operation coming out of bagram? >> i flew with an international guard c-130 on a resupply
mission to the south. some shipments of food and water cam in on commercial -- came in on commercial aircraft, was offloaded, and was loaded onto c-130's for all or delivery to combat troops. they were carrying food and water to the marine corps contingent in the south. they took off from kabul, down to the south of afghanistan, and they get a pass over the marines location. they shouted out the back which descended on a parachute. operations like that happen every day. it is one of the major ways of getting supplies to the combat troops. >> those operations are fairly
safe. did you encounter a lot of energy fire or conference -- enemy fire or confrontation? >> they don't have an air defense network, so they -- the chances of hitting something flying that high is slim. the cargo planes are fairly safe. i imagine the mountains pose a much bigger threat. >> are they supported by f-16's? >> altitude is their biggest protection. it is fairly routine. it is not perfectly safe, but conditions are rugged. enemy fire is not a big threat. >> others fly out of bagram, what is their mission? >> you have aircraft doing all
sorts of things. some are surveillance planes that orbit around looking for things, or you have some that are combat. >> is that an everyday occurrence? >> the air force publishes those statistics. if i had to venture a guess, probably daily, a couple of times somebody drops a ball modern afghanistan. general mcchrystal himself said that air power might contain scenes of our own destruction. it is better to actually accept some risk in engagement with the taliban and not bomb them than
risk killing civilians in an errant bombing. >> is there any correlation between forces of the ground and the operations of the drones? >> you could think of them as many aircraft. -- manned aircraft. he is still talking to controllers. they use a chat program that looks like instant messenger to do a lot of communication. the guys receiving the support from the drones. they are fairly precise as far as these things go. they don't carry large weapons or fire a lot. it is a far cry from the bomber dropping to 2,000 pound bomb on a suspected taliban edition. >> back to bagram, it is also a
>> the flights leave for italy. it is hard to catch these guys for interviews, because they move out so quickly. indeed transports like going home to the united states, it could be the cargo plane coming in with supplies. that put the wounded troops on their often with a nurse or some inflight medical care to keep them safe and healthy as they fly home. >> nisei the air force handed off to the army and they handed off to a operating base. where was that?
>> it is one of afghans agricultural districts, traditionally, it grows much of the food that >> it is a paved road, maybe not up to u.s. standards. they're just trying to make a living in some unforgiving terrain. >> why does the military have a base there? >> in their minds, they're bringing the population into the coalition foaled in their building support for the afghan government. they talk to the farmers in a language they understand. the u.s. army has a battalion in the province with three companies, one in each district.
those guys are spending most of their time understanding what kind of farming is going on, how can we help? and working with the afghan government to get them on that page. it is like an agricultural commune that wears military fatigues. >> this is an actual base that the u.s. has built? or is there some sort of facility there before? >> of the often fallen it existing facilities for convenience sake. it is the former site of a turkish gravel operation. the company is a former russian base back from the old soviet- afghan war. they have expanded and improved. some of the facilities have a long history of commerce or
conflict. >> as you move further away from the air force base, what is it like to get your daily meals? how'd you communicate with c- span and others? >> it depends on where you are. it boils down to what the nature of the mission is, and leadership. like i said, it is sort of a militarized agricultural commune. there is not a lot of active combat. for the most part, they are coordinating with vets and dealing with animals. they are static enough that the company there -- there are
wooden huts and reinforced tents. they stay warm at night. it is fairly comfortable. by contrast, in kandahar, many people sleep outdoors, even in the winter. there is more compact, moving around, and it is more fluid and dangerous. there is no time to settle into a nice routine. these days, they're way over crowded. the infrastructure for u.s. and nato troops in afghanistan is sort of size for 50,000 or 70,000 strong with the new reinforcements coming in since the beginning of the year. the major bases are way overcrowded. there is no place to sleep.
at long waits for food. traffic, things like that. >> what is the local government like? >> spotty. the sub governor is co-located with the american base. actually, it's the afghan security forces, the afghan government, and the u.s. state department. these folks are working together on a daily basis. it is a challenge working with local government because there is not a mind set that the governments exist to provide services. that is what has got happen to pull together a federal system that works. >> is that largely a state department role? >> you have seen a surge of state department and other non- military government agencies,
and more u.s. troops, too. they are seeing the development and government rules to govern as civilians. for instance, when i arrived in mid october, it coincided with the arrival of the district's support team which is a u.s. state department team that sense in experienced foreign service officers to hang out with the local sub governor to try to show them that this is what it looks like. you need to be walking around and talking with your constituents. find out who has resources, and tried to make the link up. the advance party was there. more are coming. they are joined by a contingent of agricultural experts from u.s. land grant universities that have volunteered to come over and work with farmers.
>> at its peak, there will be about a dozen people. >> what is the local language, and do you speak it? >> of the local language there would be dari. elsewhere, they speak pashtu. like most foreigners, i hire interpreters. >> you don't rely on the u.s. military? >> in kabul, i hire one. if i'm embedded, i use the troops. you don't know exactly what language people are going to speak. broadly speaking, it is/north and south. my plan ahead and think the need a dari speaker, and everyone's speaking pashtu. nobody has enough translators.
in a never good enough. you may have your allotment, that they may not be the best. that is a constant struggle. until we have a large number of americans speaking dari, or more afghans speaking english, that will be a challenge. >> what was the unit that you were embedded with -- what was their mission? >> it was an expeditionary trading group that mentors the afghan national army air corps. in other words, americans that are trying to build an afghan air force on the u.s. air force model. in addition, they spent some time with the sixty second expeditionary reconnaissance
squadron, a drone unit. predators and reaper drones. >> this is a big part of the push for the afghans to take on the security role in the country. how do u.s. military officials think the afghans are coming along? >> slowly. i am not going to call them pessimists, but it is hard to be optimistic. they do their job. they're dedicated to it. the americans, that is. you won't hear them speak badly about afghans. from my point of view, it is very frustrating. to see almost no progress in the two years. i did not see major signs of
progress on almost any front. >> why you think that is? >> is a cultural issue. i am not even going to use the word reform, because that implies that they need to be like us. the initial goal was to disrupt al qaeda, and do what it took to make that happen. that meant eradicating the taliban as well. eight years later, there is very little al qaeda in afghanistan. very little taliban as well. the mission has changed too much is disrupting the organizations, but building an almost western-style society to replace the taliban as a form of
goverment, i guess. that's not going well. >> do they have any history of a unified military, a force that serve the country in the past? >> i don't know. i am not an expert on afghan history. recently, no. under the soviets 20 years ago, there is a partnership with elements of an afghan federal government ahead, just like there is today. i don't mean to equate the two, but recently there has not been a strong tradition of centralized government. >> the see any evidence of the u.s. or nato forces trying to work with local officials to eradicate the poppy fields. >> i did not see that, but
there is a good reason. we have moved past eradication. >> to what? >> when it comes to poppies, is not really in the forefront anymore. the drugs -- is the reason that the military cared it was because they were a source of revenue, are a source of revenue for the taliban. but they have multiple income streams, and that is just one of them. trying to eradicate poppy is, you cause more damage to your own effort than -- you've hurt more than helped. in to eliminating the sole source of income, you create new extremist enemies. it is better to find other ways to disrupt the taliban than to eliminate one of their income streams that other people rely eliminate one of their income streams that other people rely