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1816 Maryland's 5th congressional district special elections

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The 1816 special elections for Maryland's 5th congressional district were to fill two separate vacancies. The 5th district was a plural district, with two seats. Both seats were vacated, the first by Representative Nicholas R. Moore (DR) in 1815, before the 14th Congress even met,[1] and the second by Rep. William Pinkney (DR) on April 18, 1816 after being named Minister to Russia.[1]

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  • ✪ The Broken Branch: How Congress is Failing America and How to Get it Back on Track
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Richard Hunt: Good evening. I’d like to welcome you to the National Archives and thank you for joining us for tonight’s program which is done in partnership with our friends at the United States Association of Former Members of Congress. I’m Richard Hunt, Director of the Center for Legislative Archives at the National Archives. We house the official records of the House and Senate at the center, dating back to Congress’ beginnings in 1789. We are one of the premiere destinations for researchers who use records to study the history of Congress. Our distinguished panel tonight provides a living record of modern congressional history, as they have been eye witnesses and participants in the historic events of our own time. It is my pleasure tonight to introduce our moderator who is a familiar figure to all Congress watchers. Steve Scully is CSPAN’s senior executive producer and political editor responsible for the nation’s campaign programming. Steve is also one of the regular hosts of the Washington Journal, a daily live public affairs program, as well as other CSPAN programs. Steve, the floor is yours. Steve Scully: Thank you. Thank you very much and thank you for being here. Every Rolodex in Washington, D.C. has two names, Norm Ornstein and Tom Mann. They are the coauthors of the book, The Broken Branch. They are signing it afterwards and I mention this because Tom is a new grandfather. So, he is starting the college fund. [laughter] Steve Scully: Tom is with Brookings Institution, one of the leading think tanks here in Washington, D.C., and then Norm Ornstein is with the American Enterprise Institute, and gentlemen, thank you for being with us. Let me introduce to you the rest of the panel, three former members of Congress, Matt McHugh is a former senior advisor of the World Bank, but more significantly, he is one of the famous Watergate babies. How many came in 1974? Matt McHugh: Oh, we had 91 new members, 75 Democrats and 16 Republicans. Steve Scully: Of course he was elected the year which Richard Nixon resigned, something that you two gentlemen first came to Washington in ’68, so you remember well, and served under four Presidents, Gerald Ford through George Herbert Walker Bush. Connie Morella lives not too far from here. She’s also now a teacher at the American University, where I went to college many years ago, so a plug for AU grads. She began her career in Montgomery County, Maryland. She served in the Maryland House of Delegates. She was elected to the House of Representatives in 1986, where she served until 2003. She has worked with four presidents from Reagan to George W. Bush, and also served in the Bush administration. Dennis Hertel [spelled phonetically] is a lawyer, a graduate of Eastern Michigan University and Wayne State Law School. He’s joining us at the end of the panel. He began his career in Michigan politics in the Michigan House of Representatives in the 1970s. He served in the 14th Congressional District of Michigan, from 1981 until 1993, serving under two presidents, George Bush and Ronald Reagan. And Math McHugh is joining us, as we said, one of the Watergate babies, our three former members and our thanks to the National Archives for hosting us here. I have done is I’ve gone through the book and I’m going to begin with Norm Ornstein and Tom Mann, and from time to time kind of go back to your own writings as we like to do at CSPAN so often. So, let me take out a few interesting portions. You write Congress: A culture of corruption, the demise of deliberation, and the rise of extreme partisanship. Norm Ornstein. Norman Ornstein: Well, you know when we were writing at that time, a culture of corruption really was centered around Tom DeLay and Jack Abramoff, among other things, and you had what I think we pretty much called the new gilded age, a sense that money and politics in a variety of different ways, including a kind of pay for play with earmarks, including different ways of funding campaigns, bringing in interests, and just as in the gilded age, finding ways in which you could extract money and return for favors, and in return for trying to preserve a majority. It didn’t start there. It goes back a little bit further and I would add one other element on it. This part, Steve, which is, as I look at it now in a post-citizens united world and I must say I was chilled a little bit reading Jane Mayer’s piece in the New Yorker this week about the role of money and transforming North Carolina politics. It’s worse. It’s worse than it was and you know, in terms of deliberation, the whole book as you know is a lament on our part for a return to the regular order, something that I think has been shared by a lot of people in both parties. I see that Don Wolfensberger, who is a long time staff director on the Republican side of the Rules Committee, who writes quite eloquently about the regular order, in his columns at Roll Call and other places. It didn’t get much better when we moved from Republicans to Democrats, and as we’ve moved back, and especially as we look at what happened in the Senate over the last couple of years, with the explosion of filibusters. It’s not as if we see much light at the end of the tunnel. Steve Scully: And Tom Mann, you talked about the constructive center versus the polarized extremes. Explain. Tom Mann: Well, now there is no constructive center. What has happened over a period of decades, really beginning in the ‘60s with the reaction to the counter-culture, the war in Vietnam, then the Voting Rights Act, which transformed the politics of the south, the Roe versus Wade decision on abortion, the anti-tax movement, what you had is that interest groups that used to deal with both parties picked one or the other and alignments began to firm, the center of gravity in each party moved toward their bases. A whole dynamic developed in which it was much tougher for a Connie Morella to, one, be a Republican and to thrive as a Republican in an era where the building of coalitions across parties became almost to a vanishing point. It’s first of all because of the philosophical differences, the contrast in values between the party, but then because the parties were in a position of such parody, the stakes were so high and who would control the majority that every piece of legislation was analyzed for its strategic value in the permanent campaign to take control of the Congress, and that continued to develop over a period of time. Newt Gingrich certainly contributed to it. Newt helped bring the Republicans to power, but he did it by bringing the Congress to a position of disgrace. He -- we had him in a group of new members of the class of ’78, who talked about their experience in Congress. Dick Cheney was a part of that and Geraldine Ferraro, but Newt said this long-term democratic control has to end and we agreed with that. You know, we need change in party control, but Newt said the way to do it was to “de-legitimize the institution,” and so that has now added to the permanent war that the parties are engaged in up on Capitol Hill, and the grand irony is that we are in a state of economic crisis and yet the battles are being waged between two parties. And let me end by saying it isn’t two equally polarized parties, especially since the election of Barack Obama, but in ways that are measurable before it, it’s the Republican Party that has become a party that’s more conservative, more aggressive and hardball, and it’s exercise of power willing to be a parliamentary-like party of opposition, but to use the tools of our system that were designed to check and balance, and including using the filibusters. So, we now have a situation in which we have a president who has tried to negotiate with the Republicans, to embrace some of their positions, and each time he does, they sort of back up, walk away from him, so that angers his party and the Republicans then obstruct, and say, “The President can’t get anything done. He’s not a strong leader,” and whatever he does they say is “socialism” or “fascism.” I mean that’s the nature of politics and Congress, and that’s not what the institution was designed to do. Steve Scully: So, let’s turn to our Republican here in the panel, representing [inaudible] -- [laughter] Steve Scully: -- and by the way, let me remind you, at each end there are microphones, so in about 55 minutes we’ll take your questions. Is there room in the Republican Party, Representative Morella, for your brand of Republican politics? Connie Morella: Well, thank you and I’m delighted to be here. Thank you all for coming. It’s great to be here with two of our, not only writers of a book, but people who understand Congress and has followed it, and thank you, Susan, my colleague. So, that being said, I was in Congress -- I was elected in 1986, as you mentioned, and for eight years I was a minority in a minority party and for eight years I was a minority in a majority party, and so what I would submit is I had a very competitive district, and this is something we’ve been losing, because competitive districts make you work very hard. It’s like Charlie Cook said, “I would go to the opening of an envelope, but that’s good.” You’re in touch with your constituency. We don’t have that. So, whenever I vote against the party, I was out of the box. I was different. And so it’s like Louis, was it Lawrence Ferlinghetti, wrote Coney Island of the Mind, and he says, “A poet like an acrobat is suspended on high wire.” I would say the moderate in Congress is like that acrobat, suspended on high wires, and that’s why you don’t have any center, and this is the year of redistricting and this has been going on every ten years, there’s a little more carving up of districts. You can’t hold the politicians for making the decision at fault, because they’re not mandated to have, as some states do, independent commissions, bipartisan commissions, in order to do the carving, so they’re going to protect their own. When they -- this is a long answer, isn’t it? But when they protect their own, then that person who’s running doesn’t have to worry about the center, worries about who’s going to be on the majority people voting in the primary, and they’re going to be on the left if it’s a safe Democratic district, and they’re going to be on the right if it’s a safe Republican district. If they don’t need to cross over to get the votes; so therefore, they don’t have to even know each other. They don’t have to work with them. They just take care of their own majority and their district, and that’s what’s happened to my Republican Party. I mean it has shifted from the time I was first elected to where it is now, and it has because of the safe districts, and the polarization has taken place. So, I have, in answering your question, I’ve see a shift occurring, actually in both parties, both parties, but I see it particularly in the Republican Party. The ideological thrust has become cemented pretty much. It’s been hard to break into it and I think the same thing has happened with what we used to call the blue dogs. I mean they have been the out of the box independents in their party, and they found it difficult this last election, you know, pointed that out. So, I think the moderate -- I was at Harvard and as a residence fellow and I took as my theme an endangered species, a moderate in the House of Representatives. Alas, if I were to go back for a sequel, I think I would have to say a just about extinct species. Steve Scully: Well, let me turn to Congressman Hertel and Congressman McHugh, and I want to frame this question moving from politics to policy. The book is titled The Broken Branch. When it comes to domestic agenda issues and the budget process as we saw this summer and now into the fall, is the process broken? Dennis Hertel: [unintelligible] tell, but they’ve been saying hurdle since I was a little boy. I think it is. We saw this last week. We saw the CR, continuing resolution, that they had a breakdown just for 12 days, whether they could continue it until they came back from a recess, and it seemed like they themselves started to realize what are we fighting about for this short period of time now. We saw over the summer how it really affected the financial markets by going right down to the wire, and now we see that we have this special bipartisan commission, but we see that on the Democrat, but on the Republican side, they were saying on the news yesterday, Mr. Norquist [spelled phonetically] that all but six Republicans in the House and the majority have taken a place that they won’t consider any revenues and would never vote for any revenues whatsoever. So, I think we are seeing a breakdown in the system, but I think this reflects what’s happening in our country, very frankly. We see polls taken and 25 percent of the public thinks that -- I’m sorry, the public thinks we spend 25 percent of our budget on foreign aid. We spent far less than one percent of our budget on foreign aid and that’s being cut right now in the Congress. We look at the Wall Street Journal poll and it says that people don’t want to cut any of these programs, Medicare, defense, on and on, but they don’t want any revenues to pay for these programs and the very same poll with the very same respondents reflecting our country. I think it’s a problem of -- with all these different television channels that we have and we have the development of the Internet, we have less people having information. Less people will watch broadcast news. Less people read newspapers. We don’t have many places where people aren’t going to their own viewpoint, whether it’s on television, radio or with their social encounters, and I don’t think we’re having any referee in the system as to what is the truth and what is fair. We’re having people sending out emails, when someone’s elected to Congress, they have a pension for life, the day they’re elected, and you know, just emails that pull things down. I think what you’re seeing is right, starting in ’78 and ’80, we saw a downturn in public trust of the Congress. Today’s newspaper, it’s the lowest it’s ever been. I think it’s like 12 percent and I’m not sure they have that many relatives. [laughter] Dennis Hertel: So, I think that we have a crisis in our country and I think that the system is broken down, because we’re now just delayed in the process of even moving towards some kind of a temporary agreement to jump into the next temporary agreement, and whether it be the budget or the CR, or whatever issues before the Congress. Steve Scully: Congressman McHugh. Matt McHugh: Well, it’s difficult to be optimistic. First of all, in answer to your question, I think clearly where you have the kind of political problems and gridlock that we’re experiencing, that’s going to affect substance, it carries over into the committees and the deliberations on the floor. As Norm and Tom pointed out so well in their book, among other things, the rules were abused by the Democrats to some extent when we controlled. We controlled for 40 years. I was in the majority during my entire 18 years in Congress and that was very nice, but the truth is even Democrats sometimes bridled at the autocracy of some of the leaders of our party during that 40 year period. Steve Scully: Do you want to name names? Matt McHugh: No. [laughter] Matt McHugh: But the Republicans extended this abuse significantly, excluding members of the Democratic Party from conference committees for example, and even some committee deliberations, extending the voting time on votes where the Republicans were interested in passing a bill. All of this exacerbates the relationships on the Hill, but it also makes for poor legislation, because in order to get legislation when you have so many competing interests, legislation that’s fair and reasonable, and effective, you have to have the participation of the various interests that are represented in the Congress, and if you exclude one of the major parties as the Republicans did with the Democrats, and to some extent, Democrats did more modestly with Republicans, you get bad substance. You get bad legislation, or you can’t get anything passed at all, which is the point we’ve reached now. I guess this one point I would like to reinforce, that Dennis touched on, which is that we can talk about all the rules and the practices as we should, and as their book points out in so many good ways, but ultimately there’s a change of attitude that’s required, first of all in the Congress itself, but ultimately in the body politic, in the country, among the people. There’s a certain disconnect between what people say they want and what they actually reward or punish in the political spectrum. People say they want more bipartisanship, more compromise, more civility, and yet, as Tom pointed out, when the President went out of his way in my opinion to try to deal with Republicans on a give and take basis, he was virtually resisted on everything, implacable opposition. Now, you would think that if people really wanted compromise and accommodation, they would not support people that were implacably opposed to every proposal. The fact of the matter is the Republicans won a very significant victory in 2010. They were not punished politically. They were rewarded as they see it, with some reason. Obama on the other hand is seen as sort of a weak fellow who is, in trying to make compromises, has disenchanted his own party base and has gotten virtually little credit for it from the public, as his polls indicate. He’s gone down in the polls. Now, the economy obviously has a lot to do with this, but his methods of accommodation or as Democrats would say, appeasement, in some cases, have simply not worked politically. So, there is, as Dennis has said, some disconnect here between what people say they want and what actually they approve at the polling booths, and there has to be a change of attitude in terms of not only what people say, but what they actually do. Steve Scully: Well, let me pick up on that point. Norm Ornstein, the poll yesterday, ABC News, Washington Post, while the President’s numbers are down, they’re even lower for Congress. Only 14 percent of the American people approve of the job of Congress, the lowest it’s ever been, and it’s probably a plus or minus five, so it may be nine. [laughter] Norm Ornstein: It’s not surprising and you know, Matt I think is spot on in what he said, but what I see is a couple of things. I saw the 2010 elections as a rejection of what had been, but a lot of it was a yearning for, even among those who participate in the tribal politics that we have, for people to come together and start to solve some problems, and you could see a result of this in December of 2010. The lame duck session, we had the President and Republican leaders get together to reach an agreement on a tax deal, and it involved a tradeoff where Obama agreed to extend the Bush tax cuts for two more years and got for that in return some additional stimulus at a time when he felt it was really necessary with a flagging economy, including a cut in payroll taxes, for example. When voters were asked about the compromise, a substantial majority approved of it. When you parsed out the specific elements, a majority disapproved of just about every one. What voters were saying is we may not like the specifics, but it doesn’t matter. You’re getting together. That was then promptly forgotten and I look out at voters now who are unhappy and angry, as they were going into 2010, as they were going into 2008, as they were going into 2006, and a part of the problem is where do you turn? Who do you punish? How do you punish them? And because a small sliver of voters really decides who’s going to run in particular districts, my guess is that whatever outcome we get is not going to improve things, but worsen the problem and for some of the reasons that Connie mentioned, we’re going to see both parties become more polarized. If you look, for example, at North Carolina, the redistricting process is targeting three blue dog Democrats for extinction basically, and there’ll be more of those, and when you look at what’s happening on the Republican side, some of the vulnerable Republicans are the Tea Party types who came in, who are now being challenged by real tea partiers with steroids because they’ve gone Washington, meaning they’ve gone back home and said, “You know, maybe it was a little more complicated than we thought. You’re out of there and now we’re going to get people who understand it’s not complicated. It’s all black and white,” and you got to be careful and you’ve got to be fearful as well, because there’s isn’t an institution other than the military, and that includes the Supreme Court, where we have a new poll that shows support plummeting, that is getting significant approval for leaders, from the American people. If you lose the basic confidence in institutions and leaders, then when you hit another crisis and you do get what we almost always need, which is a broad bipartisan leadership consensus. Trust us, this is going to hurt, but we’ve got to do it. You’re going to have voters saying, “Why should we trust you?” So, there are reasons to be even more concerned. Steve Scully: We go back to the book, Congressman McHugh, Norm Ornstein and Tom Mann say that the institution of Congress needs serious reforms, but they also say this, “No package of institutional reforms will force lawmakers to develop a strong sense of institutional identity and loyalty.” Matt McHugh: Yes, and that’s something that’s hard -- you cannot pass a rule that imposes that and that is something that’s -- Steve Scully: But, why? Matt McHugh: -- different than it is -- Steve Scully: Why is that so hard? Matt McHugh: To pass a rule? Steve Scully: No, no, no, to have that loyalty. Matt McHugh: To have the institutional loyalty? Well, I think it’s, as they have said, there’s a permanent campaign and so the priority is put on winning the campaign. It’s not on protecting the integrity of the institution and its viability. That’s a change from when I was in Congress. When I served, there were Republicans in addition to Connie, like Barbara Conable [spelled phonetically], or Mark Hatfield, Bob Michael. These were people who in many cases were Conservative John Rhodes, Republican leader, Jerry Ford, before him. These were people who were partisans. They would vigorously support their positions on the conservative side, but they also had an institutional loyalty and a respect, not only for the institution, but a respect for their colleagues on the other side who had a different point of view. That’s call civility, where you’re willing to listen to the people on the other side, respect their positions, even if you disagree with them. That has changed or at least it seems to me it’s changed, and I don’t know how you restore that without a fundamental change of attitude on the part of not just the politicians who get elected, but on the part of the people out there. As Dennis said, you know there are people generally speaking, who are now more anti-government than ever. At the same time, they have a sense of entitlement about their own benefits. They just don’t want to pay for them and this kind of attitude permeates the political process, and it doesn’t start with the politicians. It starts with a general feeling on the part of the people out there, which is reflected by the politicians. Doesn’t excuse them. They’re supposed to educate and lead, and they’re not doing enough of that, but ultimately it’s an attitude problem, not a rules problem. Dennis Hertel: We were all in the House, you know, and Speaker O’Neill said, but it’s a saying goes well before him, the enemy wasn’t the other party. It was the other body, the Senate. You know, that really was the battles that we had very often in conference committees. We didn’t see our partisan opponents on our committees or in the House as enemies at all. We saw them as partisan people with different opinions, strong opinions, that they weren’t going to change, that they fervently held to. But they believed in the Constitution. They were there to accomplish something. One of my best friends in Congress is here tonight, Bob Carr, one of our best friends, Bob Davis, who is a Republican and, you know, I went before the Gulf War and for two weeks we did pro and con on radio every day over there. We’d done that back in Michigan on issues too. He was from Northern Michigan, I was from Detroit, you know, and after we would go at it on a radio interview or a debate in a public forum, we’d go out and have a drink and have dinner, and we didn’t think anything of that and we didn’t change each other’s views or disrespect each other’s views, but when you have that kind of a conversation with people from the other party, then you are able to understand their viewpoint and you’re able to reach some accommodation. I think what the public and what you were talking about before, Tom, is the public expects, and Norm also, the public expects that you’re supposed to accomplish something for the public good and that that’s why you’re in government. That’s the idea. You’re representing the people and that you can’t always have your way, but that if you can move the ball forward from your viewpoint and compromise, and get some of what you think should be done into the bill, into the budget, and so forth, that your viewpoint is being listened to and resolved, and that also goes to the minority as well as the majority. What we’re seeing now is just the opposite of all the things I’ve just said. These people are the enemy. They are not acting in good faith. They don’t believe in our country and you know, extreme accusations of that sort in our politics that we didn’t have in the last generation. Steve Scully: Inside the White House, Tom Mann, there was speculation in July that the President and a speaker were working on a compromise, and the speaker was getting a lot of pressure from outside groups, both outside, within the Republican Party, the Tea Party Movement, and others. So, can you address how this is influencing the process? Tom Mann: Listen, I think, as Dennis mentioned, initially, or maybe it was Connie, every Republican in the House save six have signed a pledge of they will under no circumstances agree to any new taxes, new revenues. There are outside groups that register that pledge. There are groups that challenge Republican candidates and primaries, or threaten to if they don’t sign or if they in some way violate that pledge. The reality is John Boehner-- can be a practical politician. He has legislated with Democrats in past times, but now I see him as a [unintelligible] amid forces. Yeah, he was really trying to work something out, but he came back to his leadership and talked about the sort of tax component is pretty modest, but they said, “No.” It was over. That was it. There was no way of compromising on that matter and that’s what’s the difference between the parties. The democratic presidents and most members are perfectly willing to acknowledge that the Social Security and Medicare programs have to be adjusted to meet the tremendous fiscal strains on those programs. They don’t say, “Under no circumstances will we ever change Social Security or Medicare,” but on the other side of the aisle, you’ve got this blockage. So, you really can’t get anything done. So, I don’t think there’s much hope to be put on leaders who are somehow going to rise above and bring everyone with them. It’s as foolish in my view as the widespread notion in this country that what we need is an independent or third party candidate for the presidency. Somehow they will come forward, speak the truth, and mobilize the radical center. Well, our former members here were talking about that so-called radical center. The fact is the public has sorted itself into one party or the other, based on certain ideological views. The politicians have led them in that process, but they’ve done it. So, there’s not, there’s really not much of a chance of finding this great mass of moderate, pragmatic voters that -- it turns out the most educated, most informed voters are the ones who have the strongest partisan views and the thickest partisan lenses for viewing the world. The ten percent or so of swing voters are the one who pay relatively little attention to what’s going on, have little information, and their simple rule is God, if things are going well, keep them in power. If things are going badly, kick them out. Well, kick who out, as you were -- if we had a parliamentary system, we could operate like that. We have a government elected and empowered. It could get its program through and then it would have three or four, or five years you know, to try to see if it’s working, and then the public would know if they’re the party of power, but under the circumstances that we have, not we’ve got a midterm election right afterward. You shrink the electorate by a third and you get an overwhelming vote against the president’s party. The public hates conflict and gridlock, but that’s what they produce. They didn’t mean to. They didn’t have much of a way in our system of making the kind of strategic choices that would empower one party or the other to actually try to get something done. So, I think there is no hope to matters that ignore -- [laughter] Tom Mann: -- no, wait, that ignore the reality of the two political parties that try to -- well, why can’t we all just get together? Let’s form a bipartisan commission. Let’s practice civility and nice talk. Let’s elect a non-partisan president. Nonsense and the public really has to face up to the fact that we now have two parties with very different a set of values and programs, and they can’t work together. They, you know, you’d like them to, but the times have changed. So, they got to make a real choice. Steve Scully: Well gee, on that uplifting partisan note -- [laughter] Steve Scully: -- we’ll end it right there. No, I’m just kidding. Could I -- let me go to Connie Morella and then we’ll go to Norm Ornstein. Connie Morella: Yeah. You know, I served with John Boehner, Conservative, you know, a good member of Congress, but right now he’s got 87 brand new members there and I’m sure he bleeps at night sometimes, when he’s trying to bring them together. He’s got a herd of people who have not been in office before, who were elected by left hated Tea Parties or people who are on the extreme right, the centrists, you know, they didn’t have a chance, because the die was cast in the primary and so they need to learn more about compromise. Incidentally, I don’t think this is a one sided thing, because I could come back with the Democrats saying, “Absolutely not, I will not yield on this issue,” just as the Republicans have also, but you know one of the things is they don’t know each other. They really don’t know each other and I’m sort of saddened that we no longer will have the House pages, because the House pages knew every member of Congress. Members of Congress would go to pages and say, “Who’s speaking now?” [laughter] Connie Morella: I’m serious, because they had to memorize the members on the other side of the aisle, what they look like, where they were from, et cetera. So, you have -- I noticed a couple of trips this summer, because I think CODELs [spelled phonetically] are good ways for members to get to know each other and know their families, and develop a kind of respect. It comes from knowledge, but I noticed that two of the groups that went over to Europe, and I’m not sure they were CODELs in the event, privately financed just Republicans and just Democrats. I’d never really heard of that before to that degree, the numbers, and you probably know what I’m referring to, but I thought what a mistake. You’re supposed to have them come together. They’re working together and the best interest of the country, regardless of their party or where they’re from, its country, constituents, and conscience I think are the three Cs. So, I think that’s part of it. I think it’s also the social thing. I mean you can blog anonymously, you know in the Web 2.0, you can do all kinds of things and I think that’s sad, but I must say, I can remember you know, when you have competitive districts, you have to reach out and you begin to like it, and the other party comes to you, and they will say, “Morella, would you be on my bill? I think this is something that will help your constituents,” and I would go to them and say, “You know, Matt, I think this is something that is right up your alley. I’d love to have you come with me on a bill.” I’ll give you an example of maybe a couple of the victories that occurred, that were bipartisan. One is that 20 years ago, which was made at 1990, we established the Office of Research on Women’s Health, right at the National Institutes of Health. It was really done by letter and meetings of Olympia Snow, Barbara McKowski [spelled phonetically], Pat Schroder, and Connie Morella. The four of us were out at NIH, wrote letters, and then the legislation passed. It now has celebrated its -- this is the 21st year and the woman, as an aside, Dr. Vivian Pinn, who was the first director, is now going to retire. She’s been there from the very beginning and you know women used to be treated like little men. In fact they even used male rats for the research and that has all changed with the -- Matt McHugh: That’s good. Are you being redundant [inaudible] -- Connie Morella: [inaudible] female rats, after you [unintelligible]. I would also -- so, I submit that that is an example and there are many examples where by far [inaudible] -- Male Speaker: [inaudible] the famous Connie Morella: -- happen. Dennis Hertel: -- golf game that came up again this week in the news between speaker Boehner and President Obama -- Male Speaker: [affirmative] Male Speaker: -- Tip O’Neill and Minority Leader Michaels, Bob Michaels, used to play every week -- Connie Morella: [inaudible] yes. Dennis Hertel: -- and when Jerry Ford called Tip O’Neill to say he was going to run for president and just wanted to let him formally know, Speaker O’Neill said, “Well, you know, Mr. President, I’m going to have to fight against you every day and I’m going to have to attack you, and your policies every day, but if you win, Mr. President, let’s do what we did when you were a minority leader. I’ll come to your office, to the White House, or if you can get away ever for a golf game as we used to when you were a minority leader, Mr. President Ford, we’ll take these problems that we have and we’ll put them in this pile for the staff to work out, and we’ll take these problems over here and we’ll put them for us to work out, and we’ll put these problems in the middle and we’ll fight over them until we solve them, but Mr. President, I want to wish you the very best. Well, that’s how it was. That doesn’t mean that it can’t be that way again and I think that the difference will be when the public demands that it be that way again, very frankly. I think the personalities are there and people still are in politics because they like to make deals and get things done, and accomplishments on behalf of their constituents, and for their satisfaction of moving things forward as far as policy, but I think it depends on the public. Norman Ornstein: Well, you know, a part of the pain that I feel is -- and Tom is right that we have two parties with very different views and values, but there is an enormous middle ground and a whole host of issues, and the tribal politics now just pull it all apart. One example -- I mean, you know, you could use number in the health policy field. The fact is the Affordable Care Act is basically the Republican alternative from 1993 to the Clinton healthcare plan, which was Grassley, Hatch, Dernberger, Chaffee, combined with the Romney Massachusetts plan, but one part of it was these exchanges to create competition. Well, you know, they were just ripped apart as the next step towards socialism. Then Paul Ryan released his healthcare plan, which was a dramatically different way to handle Medicare, but starting in ten years with those who are now 55 and under, where you move to vouchers and people go on Medicare, they would have exchanges, where they would look to privatize it exactly the same as those. So, now it’s not what you say, it’s who says it, and you look at all of these. Of course we’re desperate to find a way out of the tribal politics, so we create these commissions where you get the informal -- Connie Morella: [affirmative] Norman Ornstein: -- gang of six and the like. Every single one of them has come up with a comparable template for how we can deal with our long term fiscal problem. Just -- very similar template to what Boehner and Obama came up with, and we can’t get from here to there. Just two other points, [unintelligible] two delegations, the congressional groups going overseas now, which were always a very good way, other than some of the Aspen institute trips that Dan Glickman [spelled phonetically] is now putting together, although even those are losing their bipartisan coloration. It’s becoming more and more either purely partisan or one group of partisans with one token from the other side, and of course the freshman orientations now are dividing along party lines, and then just if you notice now, and I think this goes back, we’re seeing a different mindset that brings us towards more of a parliamentary process. And Speaker Hastert, who when they took the majority, started with the rule that you look for a majority within the majority, and then you try and build a majority on the floor with your party alone. That’s a different way than we used to do things. Now, some of it does reflect a reality. You used to be able to find a significant number of people in the middle from the other party, who you could bring in to make a larger coalition, but it’s a mindset and just look for example at what Speaker Boehner did with this last controversy over the continuing resolution over disaster relief funding. He brings the bill up on the floor and it loses, because a significant number of republicans defect. Now, he’s got two choices. He can soften the offsets for disaster relief and replace the republicans he’s lost with democrats who’d be willing to vote for it under those circumstances, or you can do what he did, which was to move to the right to bring those republicans back. Now, in the end they cut a deal, but it’s a very different approach and mindset, and we now see that I think permeate the House in a different way. Now, I see two slight bright lights out there. One is Frank Wolf, who is more conservative than Connie -- Connie Morella: Oh yeah. Norman Ornstein: -- but who now is almost a part from the rest of his members, but taking to the floor and by name, criticizing Grover Norquist. It’s a dangerous thing, because his district is not entirely in his own hands, but, and it’s not going to result I think in a flood of people joining him, but when you get people in the body now saying those things, it makes a difference, and then I hold out a little bit of hope for Lamar Alexander, who is a problem solving moderate, who is leaving the leadership in January. Basically, he said, “If I’m a part of the leadership, I’m in the tribal council, and I’ve got to do what the leadership does, and if I’m going to solve problems, I should be outside the leadership. Now, maybe that won’t get us anywhere, but he was the first one to join on the gang of six, when there was enormous pressure from his leaders not to do so, to come up with the deficit reduction plan, and in the Senate you still got a significant number of people who might create at least an opinion leadership to move in a little bit different direction, but that’s basically the hope we have right now and frankly it’s a pretty slender read. Steve Scully: Congressman McHugh, we’ve had three change elections, 2006, 2008, 2010, with Republicans and Democrats, and I wonder if in today’s -- with the deficit, Steve Jobs, and he’s done so much in terms of technology, but if the attention span of the American people is shorter, if they want instant solutions when there are none. Matt McHugh: Yes, Steve, I think it’s true and this goes back to something that I was thinking about when Tom mentioned how the body politic has polarized, which it has the media role in all of this. In the old days, networks would spend a considerable amount of time and resources doing in-depth journalism reporting analysis. Today what you get, you get more information or you get more time on these shows, but very little in-depth information or analysis. It’s all confrontation. It’s conflict. It’s the game of politics as opposed to the substance of legislation and the needs of the country in dealing with these complicated issues, and people more and more tend to listen and watch programs that they believe in already. There’s very little available to inform them in depth and so they’re watching Fox News if they’re conservative, or MSNBC if they’re liberal, Rush Limbaugh if they’re really angry and irrational -- [laughter] Male Speaker: And then they call up [inaudible] -- [crosstalk] Matt McHugh: Glenn Beck is going to be very upset. [laughter] Matt McHugh: Well, if Frank Wolf can criticize Grover Norquist, I can say something about Rush, but in any event, this is a role that the media is now playing, which reinforces this kind of polarization, this what I would call poor information, the ill-informed public, which is reinforced in its partisanship, and so that’s another part of this. One other point I’d like to make, if I have the floor, one is that Connie is right. The House and the Senate are very human institutions. They have a lot of diverse personalities and people. It’s really important that they get to know one another and learn how to work, and respect one another. Travel, Connie mentioned, that was one way of really building friendships and understanding. Secondly, when we were initially in Washington, we spent more time here. Again, Tom and Norm had pointed this out in their book. We could change the rules to enable members and their families to spend more time in Washington. When I was here initially, the wives, the spouses, most of whom were wives and not husbands, would have organizations that were quite social. The wives and spouses got to know each other. They would bring their members of Congress, their spouses, to these social events. We’d get to know one another in this more relaxed atmosphere, but all of that is gone. There are -- Washington, too little time. They’re in and they’re out. They’re not socializing. And this sounds mundane, but I think it’s really critically important in terms of building the kind of civility that’s required to reach accommodation and compromise. Steve Scully: And when it comes to big issues that we need to address, Congressman Hertel, you’re from Michigan. Tom Friedman out with a new book and he paints the picture of how Japan destroyed Detroit, but China has the potential of destroying America’s economy, and he puts it in those terms, and when it comes to those issues, the challenges that we’re facing in this global economy, and really the inability of Congress to get things done. Put some perspective into that. Congressman Hertel: Well, I think you’re right. I think we have a very serious economic situation, and we’re seeing a lack of leadership, trust, and cooperation that -- we’ve been here before, before the first world -- or before the Civil War, for instance. You know, the Congress was inefficient, but the generation before, they had passed the Missouri Compromise trying to you know, reach compromises to avoid the terrible Civil War that lost all those lives, but that’s what we had to go through, because the leaders could not rise to leadership and we have weak presidents as well as weak Congress, and all the rest. So, and I think the difference is that a generation of go, we did have a kind of leadership that worked together, Senator Vandenberg from Michigan, republican was the one to espouse, a bipartisan foreign policy for instance. We saw Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill 20 years ago work out a reform on Social Security and tax reform. So, you know we -- it’s in recent memory where we can contrast with what’s going on today with moving towards agreement on very tough issues. I think that, as I said, it’s going to take the public to demand that and I think the public, by their turning over the Congress, is trying to demand that. They’re showing not only anger, but they want a change. They want to send a message of doing something, and as you pointed out, Tom, after they saw people come together in that lame duck session, and Norm stated it specifically, they didn’t like all of what they did, but they like the aggregate of accomplishment, and I think that’s what you see in any real reform. I think that’s what we’re going to see, hopefully in this bipartisan budget commission. They’re going to see, because you know, the cuts would be so severe that the right doesn’t want them because they’re afraid they’ll cut the defense budget too much. The left is too concerned about cutting social programs that will be harmful to people, that they have to work out within this commission, the cuts that can stand a majority vote, up or down in the House and the Senate. That will be a start, if we get there again. That will be the first time we’ve done it really since the bipartisan agreement in the lame duck, but you know we’ve got to start reaching substantive agreements that mean something for the future too, that aren’t just Band-Aids. For instance, even though it was great that they worked out something on the taxation issue in the lame duck. You’re cutting taxes and then the next month you’re yelling about the deficit, so we’ve got to have some logic in our solutions too. Steve Scully: Tom Mann. Tom Mann: I think you’re too optimistic on the so-called super committee. Sorry to be such a downer here, but really the -- this was a way of avoiding a decision early on. The republicans want to cut spending now. The democrats want to stimulate an economy that’s still teetering on the edge of another recession and put in place tax increases and then other restrictions, changes in health care that would allow us to be fiscally responsible over the long haul, but there’s no room to operate these -- it doesn’t matter who’s on the committee because they have their marching orders. You know, the republican leadership says no taxes, period. They’re off the table. Well, why even bother? You know what’s going to happen? They’re not going to do anything, but the automatic cuts don’t go into effect until the next year after the election. And so, they’ll just figure we’ll push it down the lane. Maybe the public will resolve this difference, and we’ll do something about it then. Steve Scully: So, Norm Ornstein, is he always this positive? [laughter] So Connie Morella, let me remind you if you have questions, if you could introduce yourself, we’ll get to them in just a moment. You brought up your esteemed colleagues in the other chamber. I want to ask you a Senate question. In a Senate chamber where there are 100 members, why is 60 the majority? And if you could change that, would you? Connie Morella: I would change it. Of course, I would. And I think there have been movements to try to do that. But to change it, you need 67 votes. [laughs] So I think that’s been one of the reasons it hasn’t happened. But there has been resolutions put in. Incidentally, we haven’t talked about the money chase and how members spend so much time, you know, going back to their districts, on their committees, but they’re also raising money. And the parties are also requiring that members, that Congress raise money for the party. And if they don’t, well, they just might not get something that they do want. So that’s another thing that is a problem, an impediment -- the kind of time, the money chase, which means special interests, you know, play a major role too. And that exacerbates the whole situation. Steve Scully: So let’s put this in perspective -- 1974, you’re running for the House of Representatives. How much money did you spend? Matt McHugh: I spent $58,000 and I had a -- I was a Democrat in a Republican district, and I had a primary with four Democrats running. So I had a tough primary election. I had a big general election, and I spent $58,000 total. Steve Scully: 1980, you’re running in Michigan. Dennis Hertel: $124,000. My opponent spent $500,000. By 1990, that same area was $1,000,000 for an open seat. This last election, it was $7 million in Michigan for an open seat. Steve Scully: And Connie Morella in the -- Connie Morella: I don’t -- I don’t remember. [laughter] Male Speaker: Isn’t that interesting? These guys knew exactly -- [laughter] Connie Morella: I know. They knew exactly, which just means I was thinking of issues, of course. [laughter] Male Speaker: You were thinking about the [unintelligible] at NIH. [laughter] Connie Morella: But I must say in my lost campaign, we spent a great deal of money. I mean, I had all the money I needed. I had all the endorsements I needed, all the people I needed. I just couldn’t get the votes. [laughter] Norman Ornstein: It’s a great new world in so many ways, and I cannot emphasize enough how destructive the Citizens United decision is going to be and has been and how shortsighted it was. Justice Kennedy said, “What could this have to do with corruption?” I have to tell you the number of members of Congress who have told me now that a group will come in and say, you know, we really need this amendment, and I represent Citizens for a Better America. And if they don’t get that amendment, they got more money than God. I can’t tell you where it’s coming from, and you’ll never know. But if somebody doesn’t do what they want, they could spend $20 million just stripping the bark off of the person. So just think about that. And what happens is you’re going to see a lot of amendments added without a dime being spent. Beyond that, now, I’ve had a half dozen Senators up in 2012 saying, “My opponent I can handle. But I don’t know if some alien predator group will move in invisibly behind enemy lines and spend that $20 million. So I now have to raise another $20 million just to protect myself.” Steve Scully: But the high court says it’s freedom of speech. Norman Ornstein: Yeah, well, read about North Carolina where what’s happening is candidates [unintelligible] legislative candidates are being so flooded with money against them that they can’t speak at all. This is like saying, “I’m going to put a fire hose in your mouth because I’m able to do that, and now you go ahead and speak.” And what’s happening is these outside groups with corporate money and individual money, misusing the tax code, are coming in and buying up all the prime television time by paying a premium so that candidates can’t even get the normal outlets to speak. It’s a distortion of the process. And because of the pressure that members are under to raise money for their own campaigns, for the tribe and the guard against the outside groups, every spare minute is spent doing call time. And now I can tell you I’ve had lobbyist after lobbyist tell me -- it’s not even subtle any more. I’ll go into to talk to a member of Congress. Before I get back to the office, the phone rings in the cab or the car, and they’re shaking me down for money. So this is an awful way to run a political process -- awful -- and I blame the Supreme Court, the IRS, and the feckless Federal Election Commission. Connie Morella: I remember working on the McCain-Feingold bill on the House side. We went through all of the different iterations of an amendment here and, you know, petition here and whatever, hoping that that was going to be the start of some kind of equity with regard to -- Thomas Mann: I mean, it worked for a while, and then this Supreme Court has made five decisions that basically cut the legs out from under it. Steve Scully: Very quickly, if you were running in your district today, Matt McHugh, how much would it cost? Matt McHugh: Well, if I were running against an incumbent, a republican, it would cost, you know, $7 billion, $8 million [spelled phonetically] probably. Steve Scully: And a Senate race in New York or California, Norm Ornstein, what’s the price tag? Norman Ornstein: Oh, I think the next time you have a competitive Senate race, it will be $100 million because you’re going to have the outside groups. And watch what happens this time. Spending by these outside groups has gone up dramatically since Citizens United. And now we’re going to get billions spent just on that basis. Thomas Mann: But Norm, let me say -- we refer to them as outside groups because formally they are groups that organize to only engage in independent spending. That’s why their free to take unlimited contributions from individuals and corporations. But the reality is these are appendages of the political parties or of individual candidates. So now it’s happening, of course, in the presidential contest, the so-called super PACs are being established with 501(c) affiliates that allow you to keep anonymous the donors who are contributing. Then those can make direct contributions to the super PAC. And it’s now beginning to see signs of penetrating to congressional races. So you could organize a super PAC that’s only engages an independent spending for or against an incumbent member of Congress. And, you know, you can channel money in so easily, you could collect millions, tens of millions of dollars for a single race. We’ve had a healthy debate in this country for a long time about sort of regulation versus deregulation, sort of free speech with trying to grapple with the inevitable tension between the desire for political equality but the inevitable economic inequality. It’s a tough tension to manage, and you want to maintain free speech. It’s blown up entirely. We are in a state of nature. No other country comes close to what’s going on. And every day it changes more. Steve Scully: Let me jump in, and if you stay behind the microphone that means the panel did not answer your questions. Otherwise, if you are seated after you ask your question, and tell us where you’re from. Christine Lackerby [spelled phonetically]: My name is Christine Lackerby, and I’m from here in Washington. And thank you all for being here tonight. My question has to do with redistricting. This was mentioned in the conversation, but essentially I’d just like for you all to share your thoughts with -- on the redistricting process that’s currently going on across the country and what that might mean for the next Congress. Dennis Hertel: Well, one of the problems that nobody ever talks about is that back at the beginning of the last century, they capped the House at 435 members of Congress by statute. And actually, it was a very ugly racist debate. They didn’t want more Mediterranean people and other people in the inner cities having a higher number of votes that were immigrants from [unintelligible] West Coast to the East Coast. But anyway, it’s been capped since. So in 1970, after that census, the districts drawn in 1972 were about 420,000 people. Now they’re going to be almost double that, about 780,000 under this last census. No other Western democracy has anything approaching even 25 percent of that as far as numbers, as far as constituency numbers. Steve Scully: So we need more members of Congress? Dennis Hertel: Well, you know, they said [unintelligible] how can you have more members of Congress if you raise to 500 or something? I said freshmen don’t need offices, you know. [laughter] But, you know, the fact is that -- Connie Morella: Except to sleep. Dennis Hertel: The fact is that it again is an insider’s game. It becomes more expensive. It becomes harder for a challenger. It becomes harder to communicate with your constituents in all cases. Now the second part, of course, is what we’re talking about as far as the reapportionment now. It used to take, you know, a couple weeks to do a plan even 30 years ago. Now it’s done in a few minutes. You’ve got all your plans. And it’s as partisan as can be. And then we know in the primary elections, you’re talking about -- the best election turnout we have in a general is 50 percent, right, in the presidential, of those registered to vote, 50 percent of our population. So then in a primary, we’re talking about 20 percent. So who wins the republican or democratic primary? We’re talking about 12 percent of those registered to vote in our population. Thomas Mann: The bottom line is -- oh, I’m sorry. Connie Morella: Oh, I was just going to say seven states now have bipartisan commissions that present their reapportionment plans. Seven states -- I’m sorry -- three states have independent commissions that present their findings to be voted on. Seven states have only one member, so they don’t have to worry about congressional reapportionment. But it still is in -- in most states -- it’s in the hands of the legislature and the governor. And just citing my personal case, I went from Governor Parris Glendening to Paris, France. So who won that one? [laughter] Steve Scully: Let me turn to this gentleman right up front. Orval Hansen: I would like to inject another issue and get your comment on it. And it’s the one that Connie just referred to. I served in the House more than 40 years ago. Incidentally, my most expensive campaign cost $30,000, and I was in a competitive district. [laughter] But -- Steve Scully: Where did you serve, by the way? Orval Hansen: What’s that? Steve Scully: Where did you serve? Orval Hansen: I served in Idaho. My name is Orval Hansen. I go way back. But, at that time, and I think Dennis and Matt could remember best of this, there was greater loyalty to the institution than there was to the party. And that has all changed. The thing that has changed now, and Connie can tell you about this, is that we’ve devised these very creative ways to design our districts. And so, we design the district to make them safe for one party or the other. So both parties are happy about the way we divide up the district because then they have -- they can’t lose. As a matter of fact, last year we had quite a change in the House, but it was only about 20 percent. And most of the time, it’s well under 10 percent, the shifts in one party to the other. What we’ve done using the computer technology and some very detailed demographic data, we can design the districts and predict the vote. And so the -- and so what happens is those of us who were in the middle -- I don’t know how Frank Wolf is still hanging on, but he’s there -- they’re all gone. And in order to win, you have to beware of a primary context. The republicans have to look to see who may sneak up on the right and the democrats on the left. And so they have to move to the extremes in order to shut out possible competition. And then having been elected, the -- when their election is a certainty, then they can raise all the money that they need or that they want. I would add that two-thirds of the members of the House could be reelected without spending a dime. Steve Scully: So are you ready to come back to the House? [laughter] Steve Scully: Let me turn to -- Orval Hansen: No, but they have a built-in advantage. Bill Proxmire proved that. But until we can deal with this problem of gerrymandering, then we’re not going to solve it. And notwithstanding the limited beginning of some of these states to develop independent commissions, the ones who benefit most from this system are the least likely to try to change it. So I think we’re -- Steve Scully: I’m going to have [unintelligible] answer this. And my mom would hate me for asking this question, but how old are you? Orval Hansen: How old am I now? I’m now 85. [applause] Steve Scully: Thank you. Dennis Hertel: Let me add, let me give a [unintelligible] for give a commercial for our Former Members of Congress Association. A congressman has been with me going to campuses, college campuses. In fact, he’s now one of our prolific speakers to our high school audiences here in the Washington area that come in from around the nation every week. And he’s just doing a fantastic job of educating them about our democracy and how it works and how our congress works. And we really salute you, Orval. Thank you very much. Steve Scully: As we can see. [unintelligible] [applause] Thomas Mann: Congressman, thank you very much for that. Norm and I are involved in a redistricting project that tries to use -- empower outside groups to marshal the tools of digital drawing of lines and transparency to try to make a difference. So I believe this is relevant and important, but don’t kid yourself. This is not a silver bullet for creating a huge number of competitive districts. Most districts are uncompetitive because people sort themselves with their residential decisions into likeminded communities. Go to California, Northern California, and try to draw a competitive district that isn’t sort of gerrymandered. It’s impossible just because there’s such a concentration of one party or the other. The real problem with partisan gerrymandering is that they do it because they can do it, because it reinforces the whole partisan war notion. They go to battle over this. The net effect of this round in answer to the first question of redistricting is we’ll probably be zero in terms of the partisanship. What Republicans -- where they have control, what they have done is shored up their freshmen members who were elected in Obama districts. Those are going to be competitive districts. They’re not going to waste a lot more sort of republican voters to make really, really safe seats. See, they’re strategic. They want more members. They want a majority, and so it would be foolish to make everything so uncompetitive. They’ve got to play the game a little bit, which is different than the interest of simply -- Connie Morella: Democrats do the same thing. I mean, look at the maps of Maryland, et cetera. Thomas Mann: Oh, Maryland is one of the worst states. I mean, Illinois just has the most sort of blatant gerrymandering. So in individual -- and Florida, look at Florida, a swing state that has -- what? -- 20 -- Steve Scully: Twenty-seven. Thomas Mann: Seven -- but I mean, I think there’s just a handful of democrats, and the rest are all republicans. And that’s a likely -- so it’s a problem in the individual states, but if you netted out across the country, it’s much more modest. And it’s not in and of itself going to create, you know, a massive number of competitive seats. But that and other things can increase the number a bit. Dennis Hertel: Well, I was going to say what the congressman said is true. It’s become more widespread. Gerry, the Congressman that did it to -- whose ancestor did it 200 years ago, for the gerrymander term, because it looked like a gerrymander, the map that they drew for this congressional seat in Massachusetts, so it’s been going on for 200 years. The difference is now it goes on within a few minutes with the new computer models. And secondly, just as the congressman said, as far as funding -- you know, since George Washington lost his first election for the House of Delegates, money’s always been the mother’s milk in very important politics. The second time and every other time, he made sure he didn’t get outspent for any election and spent more on liquor and beer than anybody else too. He won all those elections. The difference is that now it’s a constant. And even when somebody has a safe seat and doesn’t have a race, they’re out there raising full money for the process. So it never, never ends. Norm Ornstein: So the project that Tom and I are doing, we created -- our group has created an open source piece of software where anybody can draw district lines and manipulate them by competitiveness, by compactness and the like. And I will tell you, Dennis, that we did a competition in Virginia that Tom and I judge with 15 colleges and universities that drew some spectacular lines. There was a competition in Michigan. And one of the winners was a 12-year-old. [laughter] While the, you know, the polls say we can’t do any better than this, and of course they can. But the larger point here is in Utah, where Bob Bennett wasn’t even allowed to run for reelection of the Senate, it wasn’t a redistricted process. In Pennsylvania where Arlen Specter left the Republican Party because he could not win a Republican primary, it wasn’t a redistricted process. We’re in a political culture now, where basically problem-solvers and moderates are purged because of the groups of voters who are making these decisions. Connie Morella: Delaware. Norman Ornstein: And the better change -- we’re working night and day to change the redistricting process for all the reasons that Orval Hansen said, but what we really ought to be trying to do is change who votes in this process. So an open primary process, as they’re doing in California, or if we could have our druthers, we would have some version of the Australian system of mandatory attendance at the polls, so it’s not your base against my base. Both bases are going to be there. It’s the voters in the middle. Steve Scully: Let’s turn over here for a question, and then up to you over there. Luke Sullivan [spelled phonetically]: Hi, my name’s Luke Sullivan, and I’m a student at Holy Cross. And my question is about “No Child Left Behind.” And in the, you know, partisan climate that you discussed, how would you explain “No Child Left Behind” being -- be able to be passed with seemingly pretty bipartisan support with, you know, Ted Kennedy from the left and President Bush on the right. Steve Scully: Congressman McHugh? Matt McHugh: Well, I think it was a recognition that there needed to be some accountability. It was a recognition on a principle that both republicans and democrats could embrace. Now, there has been a lot of controversy about how that’s been implemented, whether it’s really working effectively, and indeed there’s an effort now to modify and reform that legislation. But I think the primary premise, as I understand it, was that we needed more accountability to show that students were actually making progress in the educational system, and this was a way of attempting to structure that accountability. And it’s -- the argument is not over the premise. The argument is over the implementation of the legislation and how it should be amended to make it more effective. Thomas Mann: It happened because President Bush, drawing on his experience as governor, picked up on the same ideas that a number of governors, democrats and republicans, had pursued. And he found common ground with the democrats on this issue. And some of the Republicans went along with it because their president was pushing it. So it was tough, and they fought it out, but they passed it. But now they can’t get the program extended at all. There’s warfare. And so what happens? The president ignores the Congress because it’s caught in gridlock and issues, you know, regs, and waivers based on certain other measures of performance. So he’s writing the law himself because Congress, for now -- what? -- four years or more, trying to do it, can’t pull it off. Kevin Hyme [spelled phonetically]: It’s really a pleasure to hear you guys talk. My name’s Kevin Hyme from Charleston, South Carolina. And I guess, going back to the election thing, I -- this was kind of for Tom and Norm, and this isn’t to do with the House, but we’re seeing right now a tremendous change in the primary dates. Florida’s changing their date. South Carolina’s changing their date. And it seems to me that there’s something a little bit corrupt in all of a sudden changing the dates in such a short period of time. I wanted to know what your thoughts were about that. Tom Mann: And the irony is that Florida moved its date up from early March until the end of January and would be fifth in the process in early March. It’s still fifth in the process in January. [laughter] Tom Mann: And we’ll be spending our Christmas in Iowa. Norm Ornstein: Well, I -- you know, I’m waiting. If this keeps going, we’ll have the first caucus at Thanksgiving. It’s -- you know, of course, what’s happened is that states want to be players. And they’re willing to violate the rules of the party and lose delegates, or at least play a game of chicken. You know, Florida is being threatened that they’ll lose half their delegates. Which party in the end is going to want to say to a pivotal state like Florida, “Screw you. We’re really going to stick it to you.” So it may work in that fashion, but it creates an absurdity in this process which you hope will have, just as we hope in Congress, there will be a deliberative process that leads you to a conclusion. You want to have a presidential nominating process that has some deliberative elements to it. We’ve lost all of that. And if you begin to skew this further and further forward in this fashion, you don’t have an opportunity for things to play out or to really get a sense of people as they go through the hoops. So, it will be interesting to see. And there’s one other element here that’s worth keeping in mind. Most of these states are supposed to have proportional representation under the republican rules. And if they keep with that, you push this up and create another level of uncertainty. It could actually extend this process much, much longer. And that’s something that would make Barack Obama very happy, a bitterly fought out republican nominating process that continually moves to the right to accommodate that base with much less time at the end if there’s any willingness, which we may see some -- Steve Scully: But we saw that in 2008 with the Democrats, and it didn’t hurt Barack Obama. But Connie Morella -- Connie Morella: You know, I mean, I – Steve Scully: Let me -- let me follow up with a quick follow-up point because two weeks, I sat down with former President Carter. And I asked him how he was able to win in 1976. And what he said was that in 1975, he was able to campaign under the radar, make some mistakes, campaign in Iowa, New Hampshire, and then thrust into the national stage with victories in those key states. Those days are gone, and just look at Rick Perry, two debate performances and many people begin to write him off. Is the process skewed? Connie Morella: I was involved in a forum. It was at Harvard and I was just a participant, but it was on the whole presidential primary process. And they posed some interesting questions, like, yeah, wouldn’t it be nice to have one primary throughout the country all on the same day. But then it was, hey, what about those small states. They’ll be forgotten. What about the large states? They’ll be much -- it’ll be disproportionate what they would have. What about the tradition? And so no conclusion was reached except that both parties were going to be looking at it and setting up their own internal committees for it. Steve Scully: And they did that. And it didn’t work. Connie Morella: You’re right. Exactly. So my concern is that in December we’ll have the first primary, first republican primary. I don’t know where it’s going to be. But yes, what you’re saying is that it gave him an opportunity to fine tune his credo or his issues as he went along from one primary to another. Thomas Mann: But, you know, it’s the whole world of media as you were talking about has changed so much. They won’t let it happen quietly any more. Whatever -- whenever the date of the events, candidates have reasons to start early raising money, getting organized, getting support. And so there’s a contest on. I mean, my God. It’s been on for months and months and months. POLITICO makes big bucks on this. And the media organizations and the cable news networks, everything else -- this is an income generator. Everything is full bore, 24 hours a day on this stuff. And I’m afraid, you know, that the timing of these events is -- you know, it’s a shame this happened because the two parties actually cooperated this time, and they’re going to move it all back. It was going to be starting later. It’s still deliberative for the first events, but Florida Republican Party has decided they weren’t going to let that happen. Steve Scully: It was 20 years ago last week that Bill Clinton entered the race in 1992 for ’92 campaign. Next question. Aaron Huertas: Hi, thank you. My name’s Aaron Huertas. I’m originally from New Jersey. I worked for a moderate member of Congress named Jim Saxton there, who’s since retired. I work now at a group called the Union of Concerned Scientists and have been living and working in DC for several years. There’s a phrase one of my heroes, Carl Sagan, used to use which is that it’s better to light a candle than curse the darkness. I think we spent a lot of time tonight outlining the extent and depth of the darkness, and I heard a lot about where some of the candles might be. My question to you is how do we light those candles? And what sparks lighting them? Where’s the fire? How do we get it? How do we make it? And what can the groups that you work for and are affiliated with and what can everyone in the audience here tonight do to help bring about some of this change that we so desperately need? Thank you. Steve Scully: Good question. Congressman Hertel? [laughter] Dennis Hertel: I couldn’t really hear. [laughter] Steve Scully: Well, let me rephrase the question. You’re a king for the day. You can change the system. You can change one thing. What would you do? How would you, in his words, light a candle to change the system? Dennis Hertel: Oh, it’s what I’ve been talking about earlier this evening. That would be a better educated citizenry, better informed. That’s what Jefferson talked about. That’s what you have to have for democracy. I’m afraid that’s what we don’t have engaged today. Connie Morella: I also think we could look to what’s happening in other countries in terms of their elections. I happened to be in France when Sarkozy was elected. Short period. You can’t buy any television time, very heavily restricted with open -- in open debate with the various candidates. And I’m not saying we should pick up on what they do, but I think we could look a little bit geopolitically [laughs] and maybe pick up some pointers with regard to running our campaigns. For instance -- I’m thinking of presidential, but frankly, I think two years is too short for a member of the House of Representatives to have to run again. You’re elected, and immediately they’re talking about who’s going to run against you. And immediately you’re raising money. And so, you know, you don’t really have an opportunity to say I’m going to do what is in the best interest of my country, et cetera, and I’m not going to worry about next year. Maybe four years from now I will, but not next year. Steve Scully: Matt McHugh. Matt McHugh: I think it’s very hard to say any one thing that’s a magic bullet because there isn’t any one thing. And ultimately, as I said earlier, I think it’s a question of attitude as much as it is the specific changes in the laws or the rules. I think, if I have my druthers if I were king, I would try to deal with the money problem, which has become, as they have pointed out, so onerous to the system. Just to show you how ineffective I was as a member of Congress at times, the first bill I ever introduced was a bill for partial public financing where public money would be used to match small contributions as a way of trying to change the incentives for people running for Congress to go after the small contributor, a wide base of small citizens getting involved. That -- we still don’t have that type of thing at the national level at all. So it’s very difficult to make the kinds of fundamental changes that need to be made legislatively when you have the kind of gridlock you have now. Therefore, I’m kind of back to more mundane things such as creating situations in the legislature where members have more time to get to know one another, most constructive travel, more family interchange, changing the schedule so that that’s allowed in terms of their time in Washington. That doesn’t sound very dramatic, but that’s something that actually you could do. It’s not a philosophical thing so much. Steve Scully: And what candle would you light? What changes would you like to see made? Aaron Huertas: I’m not sure, and this is something that I think everyone wants to see, you know, a healthier, safer planet, a more prosperous economy, grapples with every day. How do you get the members of Congress to pay attention and do something that feels right and that’s good for the country. And given the way the system is going now, it sometimes feels ineffective to write a letter to a member of Congress or to be one of a hundred people showing up for a meeting. And when I look at some of the efforts that have sprung up to give more voice to the moderates, and what you referred to as the radical center rising up, they’re not very radical. They’re very reasonable people in a conflict-driven media environment. I’m sort of wondering if we have anyone in the country who is a sort of angry conflict-driven inspired moderate who wants to see some of this. Steve Scully: We do. He’s right here, Tom Mann [spelled phonetically]. [laughter] Aaron Huertas: And I did hear tonight from some of the former members of Congress that this is something that disturbs you and perturbs you in this setting. And I think it would be interesting to see that reflected in a more visceral way that maybe people can listen to a little more. Because it obviously is something you care about very much, and I appreciate the work that you’re doing on it. Matt McHugh: Can I come back to one thing very, very briefly, which was mentioned earlier by Dennis? One of the things that former members can do and are doing now is sending out a team of a Republican and a Democrat together to college campuses. We spend two days, roughly, meeting with students, with the faculty, but primarily the focus is on the students, to try to share with them our experiences, that we can debate issues, talk about disagreements as we do when we’re on campus, but we can do it in a civil way, in a responsible way. And so, students, unlike what they see on television with these confrontations and games, they can actually see two former members of Congress from the opposite parties meeting with them, sharing their experiences, saying politics and government can be a constructive thing, these are some of the things that we were involved with. And we come away feeling good about them, as young people, idealistic, talented people. And hopefully they come away with a better perspective on what government and politics should be like. But you have to chip away at the body politic in this way, particularly with younger people. Steve Scully: Norm Ornstein. Norman Ornstein: Yeah, and I like the phrase about lighting a candle, although I’m often reminded of John McCain’s favorite line, “It’s always darkest just before it turns completely black.” [laughter] But to keep a candle lit, let me mention, one, you might want to get involved with some of the redistricting efforts that we’re doing, including these contests in different states to try and get citizens more directly involved. But something that I’m trying to do that I’m actually going to talk to the Former Members of Congress group about. I’ve talked to the Bipartisan Policy Center and the Aspen Institute and other places. I want to set up a parallel congress or a mock congress, if you want to call it that, using former members who have spanned the political spectrum but who have a different set of values now. You know, it’s interesting. I see two things. When I talk to new members coming in, before they’ve started, it’s “This is crazy. Why do people act that way? I’m not going to be a part of it.” Get them three seconds in the atmosphere, and they’ve divided into those tribes. Get them out of it, and as soon as they’re out, they’re appalled at what they’ve seen. I think that we can -- you can find some terrific people who range from bedrock right to bedrock left, start to have some debates on the important issues that face us, that aren’t always going to be along party lines, that are going to have a lot of vigorous debate, knock-down, drag-out debate. But it’s not going to have the game playing. It’s not going to have the tribalism. It’s not going to have the -- you’re anti-American or any of the rest of that. And my guess is that not just CSPAN but I know public broadcasting would want to do it and get the same thing repeated at the local level on stations. And it’s not as if you’re going to get 150 million people, but you might create not only a dialogue where people can begin to understand not just the dimensions of the problems but where we might actually find some common ground, you might then begin to shame the current Congress into doing some of what it should be doing which is more deliberative debate in a slightly different fashion. So that’s one area. Steve Scully: Well, we have just a couple of minutes left. Two more questions, one over here and then a final question up there. Thank you for your question, by the way. James Fisher [spelled phonetically]: My name’s James Fisher. I’m from Burlington, Vermont. I’m also a student at the College of the Holy Cross. Duverger’s law says that our system will inevitably produce two parties. Do you think the current state of partisan polarization merits structural changes to the system or can we go back to a party system wherein two parties can work with a malleable moderate center? Thomas Mann: Oh, what a terrific question. Steve Scully: Have you read the book, by the way? [laughter] Steve Scully: If not, you can buy it back there. [laughter] Steve Scully: Make a great holiday gift. And they’ll even sign it for free. It is a terrific book. Thomas Mann: Duverger did point out that the single-member, first-past-the-post systems have a tendency to produce party systems like this. If you look around the democratic world, there’s so many alternative electoral systems, like the Germans who have individual districts, but then they have compensatory proportional representation. It helps render the gerrymandering question sort of a bit irrelevant from the stake -- point of view of the stakes of the parties. There’s -- I mean, there really are possibilities to experiment with, even within our current Constitutional system. And I -- it -- multi-member districts and forms of preferential voting offers some alternatives, and I think it’s worth pursuing. But right now, I believe, and I sort of mentioned this at the beginning, but I want to stress it again, we get usually independent or third party candidates when there’s some vacant space in the political spectrum that just isn’t being tended to. And someone rushes in, creates a new set of issues and can really have an impact on the process. But what you have to say is where is that space today? Is it really missing in the center, let’s say, in the presidential politics? I would argue not. I would argue we’ve got a pretty centrist president, and we’re likely to have a quite conservative Republican nominee. So, actually, if you want a third party, it belongs on the left. That’s the only real space that exists now. A centrist independent candidate is guaranteed to produce a conservative or Republican president, just because of where the voters are and what the choices are that exist today. Unfortunately, given our electoral college and the backup election in the House of Representatives, a major independent candidate or a third party has the potential for throwing the election into the House of Representatives where the votes are one per state. That’s right. Idaho gets one vote. California gets one. It is a bizarre system. It is a relic of a bygone era and of an electoral college that simply doesn’t serve the current purposes. So I think this -- what I was going to answer the last question, too, is what to do. Try to change the conditions under which the parties have become so polarized, so they’re less polarized. Try to adjust the institutions that allow majorities to operate in a more effective way, but finally, take a look at the strategic choices that you face. Candidates have to be better at clarifying those for voters, who, after all, aren’t going to spend a huge amount of time gathering this information. And outside groups ought to be contributing to that too. What’s the difference? What would governing be like in 2013 under different scenarios for the presidency, the House, and the Senate? That’s what we ought to be talking about and hearing about rather than the silliness of the contest and the game and who said what, when, and the like. Steve Scully: Last question over here. Thank you. Raul: Hi, my name’s Raul from Pepperdine University. And my question was sort of regarding this blank space that we’ve been just talking about in the last question. And in regards to the Tea Party movement that seems synonymous now with the GOP, I guess my question is where does the Tea Party stand, and what does the future look like for the Tea Party? Is it adopted by the GOP and the Republican Party as a further radicalization to the right, or does the Tea Party then become a third party and die off with the next years? Steve Scully: I think we should conclude where we began with our Republican member of the panel. [laughter] Connie Morella: The answer is my crystal ball is shattered. I don’t know. But I do want to point out that I was listening to public radio yesterday, and they were talking about the Wall Street, you know, rebellion that you see, the protests. And somebody called in and said -- he said, “You know, I’m a member of the Tea Party and I’m all for it,” he said, “and I think all Tea Partyists should be for it too. You know, we’re against what’s happening on Wall Street.” And Kojo Nnamdi was very surprised at that. But, you know, when you think about it, it’s saying a lot. It’s saying that the Tea Party is kind of fragmented. They don’t -- they’re not all aligned with one particular issue, that they are upset. They’re rattled. They want a change. They see a deficit. And they see big spending. So we’re a bunch of frustrated people. And so, I -- the Republicans are pretty careful to say, “Yes, we want them to be with us,” but they’re trying not to say they are the Republican Party and I think for that reason. So, where they go, I don’t know because I don’t think they really have a credo of many principles. I think it’s “we don’t like what we have. We want them to do something. We want them to make sure that our future will be financially solvent and that will be just.” Incidentally, everybody has in common, both parties, is jobs, this big “J.” I think that’s going to be the big issue. Steve Scully: So let’s conclude with a very brief thought from each of you. Norm Ornstein, we’ll start with you. Optimistic or pessimistic that the institution can change? Norman Ornstein: What’s our timeframe? Steve Scully: Thirty seconds. Norman Ornstein: No, I mean, over the next -- [laughter] -- the next few years or the next century? Over the next two years, I’m pessimistic. I hold out a 20 percent hope that the supercommittee can do something that’s outside the box that could maybe be transformative, but 20 percent is pushing the optimistic envelope at this point. Thomas Mann: We’ve been through periods like this in the early 1800s, the lead-up to the Civil War, the end of the 1800s, beginning of the 1900s. This is sort of the fourth experience with it. It’s traumatizing. It’s difficult. Eventually we work our way through it, but it doesn’t happen very quickly. And ultimately, it is sort of new, if you will, sort of political alignments arising in the electorate providing support for them. We’ll get there. Matt McHugh: I’m pessimistic in the short term. In the long run, I agree with Tom and perhaps Norm, that evolutionary changes will take place. People will become increasingly discouraged and demand a more dramatic change than they are now. And it’s unpredictable exactly what that will turn out to be. To Tom’s point, it was one of the points I was going to make, was we need to keep this in perspective. In the Halcyon days of the founding fathers, they sometimes settled their political disputes with duels. We all remember what happened to Alexander Hamilton. Well, we haven’t reached that point yet, and that’s a -- Male Speaker: What time is it? [laughter] Male Speaker: That’s a bright light. Steve Scully: Representative Morella. Connie Morella: It was a great privilege to serve because I have great respect for the House of Representatives and the Senate also, too, even though things have changed. What I want to -- and that’s why I feel uneasy talking against it and saying we should do this, we’re not doing that, that should be done. Nevertheless, the institution is more important. But you know, in the House Chamber, there is a sign that is engraved which says, “Here, sir, the people govern,” Alexander Hamilton. And I think that’s what we need, to have the people recognize the power that they have so that they can be an influence on what is happening in the Congress that has made the difference in their lives with regard to major pieces of legislation where they work together. Steve Scully: You get the last word. Dennis Hertel: The last time we had this kind of back and forth between the two parties in changing elections was after World War II because of economic dislocation, a different kind, but economic dislocation is what we have today. Since I was a little boy, they said automation was coming. That’s what they called it then. What we’ve seen is we’ve lost our manufacturing jobs. It’s been coming these last three decades. And our society is changing. Our economy is changing. And things are very, very difficult, which leads to fear. It leads -- that’s transmitted into some anger. And that’s what we’re seeing in our political system. What we have to do, I think, is keep our ideals and our institutions as strong as we can as we come through this fire of change so they’ll survive and we have better economic times and we can then more fully develop our democracy in a positive way once again. Steve Scully: I would like to thank the Former Members Association. Our hosts here have been the National Archives, our three former members, our two experts, one who’s a new grandfather, so the proceeds from the book will help his grandson’s college fund. Thank you all for being here. It’s been a pleasure. [applause] Male Speaker: Thank you, Steve. [music playing]


Election results

January election

The first special election was held on January 27, 1816 to replace Moore.[2]

Candidate Party Votes[3] Percent
Samuel Smith Democratic-Republican 2,515 70.1%
Peter Little Democratic-Republican 1,069 29.8%

Smith took his seat in the 14th Congress on February 4, 1816.[1]

September election

The second election was held on September 3 to fill the vacancy left by Pickney's resignation.[4]

Candidate Party Votes[5] Percent
Peter Little Democratic-Republican 3,367 54.4%
Tobias Stansbury Democratic-Republican 2,816 45.6%

Little took his seat on December 2, 1816, at the start of the Second Session.[1]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d "Fourteenth Congress : 1815-7" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 December 2014. Retrieved 19 February 2015.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-01-06. Retrieved 2012-12-21.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-01-06. Retrieved 2012-12-21.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ [2]
This page was last edited on 21 January 2020, at 16:58
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