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Senate Proceeding on Sep 22nd, 2010 :: 5:32:00 to 5:43:05
Total video length: 9 hours 49 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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Benjamin L. Cardin

5:31:57 to 5:32:18( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: that's the most efficient and effective way t that's what we need more than anything else. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from mr. cardin: mr. president, i take this time to talk about an

Benjamin L. Cardin

5:32:00 to 5:43:05( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Benjamin L. Cardin

Benjamin L. Cardin

5:32:19 to 5:32:39( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: issue that came up frequently during my town hall meetings in maryland in august, and that subject dealt with campaign finance reform and what we need to do to restore public confidence in our election system. now, i must tell you, there wasn't a single person in

Benjamin L. Cardin

5:32:40 to 5:33:00( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: maryland who told me that we need more special interest corporate spending in elections. there wasn't a single person who told me that there's too much disclosure of information as to where contributors come from. it was just the reverse. people in maryland believe that there's too much special

Benjamin L. Cardin

5:33:01 to 5:33:21( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: interest money in our campaigns, and they believe they have a right to know where all campaign contributions and expenditures come from, and they want true campaign finance reform. and the interesting thing, mr. president, is that we know how difficult it is to pass

Benjamin L. Cardin

5:33:22 to 5:33:42( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: campaign finance reform legislation. i was part of the congress that passed in 2002 the bipartisan campaign reform act. it wasn't easy to get itdon. -- it wasn't easy to get it done, and it was a bipartisan bill, and we made strong headway in that legislation to restrict corporate money, and i must tell

Benjamin L. Cardin

5:33:43 to 5:34:03( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: you, i think the public appreciated the efforts that were made, appreciated it was bipartisan, and knew that we did make progress in limiting what corporations can spend in federal elections. corporations can participate. they can have their employees work for political action committees. but it's very transparent, very

Benjamin L. Cardin

5:34:04 to 5:34:24( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: open, and it's limited. so that we have some control of the amount of special interest money coming into our federal elections. then comes citizens united, the supreme court case that reversed the actions of congress, that reversed the 2002 bipartisan

Benjamin L. Cardin

5:34:25 to 5:34:45( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: campaign reform act. it was a decision 5-4 by the supreme court where the so-called dish use this term gently -- the so-called conservative justices -- who in my view are the most judicial activists -- reversed the precedent and reversed congressional action and expanded what corporations can

Benjamin L. Cardin

5:34:46 to 5:35:07( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: do in federal elections. i was listening bennett talk about how unfair it was that a documentary was treated differently. well, as justice stevens said in that case -- and i want to quote what justice stevens said. he said, "essentially five justices were unhappy with the limited nature of the case before us, so they changed the

Benjamin L. Cardin

5:35:08 to 5:35:28( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: case to give themselves an opportunity to change the law. there were principalled, narrowed paths that a court who was serious about judicial restraint could have taken." so they could have dealt with the issue that senator bennett talked about but, no, instead, they opened the door completely

Benjamin L. Cardin

5:35:29 to 5:35:49( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: for corporations to spend money in federal elections. let me just quote from public citizen congress watch, they are. their research director taylor lincoln said, "the supreme court has completely lifted restrictions on corporate spen on elections.

Benjamin L. Cardin

5:35:50 to 5:36:10( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: mosque in the exact opposite -- moving in the exact opposite direction that the people of this nation want us to move in dealing with campaign finance reform. reversing the actions of congress and indeed reversing their own decisions. now, this wasn't the first time. i could give you a lot of chapter and verse how these so-called -- again -- judges that are -- justices that are

Benjamin L. Cardin

5:36:11 to 5:36:31( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: supposed to be conservative have been judicial activists. they did that in the lilly ledbetter case. i know the presiding officer is awear of that, where in lilly ledbetter, where they reversed previous precedent and made it virtually impossible for a woman to be able to bring a case based gender discrimination in

Benjamin L. Cardin

5:36:32 to 5:36:52( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: the workforce. we took that supreme court decision and the congress did the right thing. we made sure that the intent of congress was carried out, and we passed a bill that gives general tear equity and opportunity to bring an effective suit if you're discriminated against in

Benjamin L. Cardin

5:36:53 to 5:37:13( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: the workforce. we need to do the same thing on campaign finance refomplet the supreme court has acted. i disagree with their decision. now congress needs to act in order to restore some confidence with the american people, and i applaud senator schumer and i had efforts in bringing forward legislation -- the disclose act.

Benjamin L. Cardin

5:37:14 to 5:37:34( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: and, mr. president, this bill is consistent with the supreme court decision. i disagree with the supreme court decision. i don't believe corporations are equal to individuals, as far as spending money and contributing in a campaign. we'll debate that issue on another day. that's not what this bill does. this bill does something that i thought just about every member

Benjamin L. Cardin

5:37:35 to 5:37:58( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: in this congress agreed on, and that is the public has a right to know who's spending money in a campaign, to disclose where you're spending money. where it's coming from. if you as a candidate for the united states senate put an ad on television, you got to identify it as your ad. the public has a right to know

Benjamin L. Cardin

5:37:59 to 5:38:21( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: who is responsible for the money being spent and the ad being put on television. but that's not true under citizens united. corporation can now spend money without accepting responsibility for the ad and without the public knowing the source of the ad. now, that's just plain wrong. we have an opportunity to

Benjamin L. Cardin

5:38:22 to 5:38:42( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: correct it, consistent with the supreme court decision. this is not about trying to reverse the supreme court decision. i'd like to do that, but that's not what this is b this is about making sure the public knows who's spending money in a campaign. and i said i thought everybody agreed on this. let me just quote from the two

Benjamin L. Cardin

5:38:43 to 5:39:04( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: leaders of the republican party in the house and the senate. senator mcconnell said, "public disclosure of campaign contributions and spending should be expected so voters can judge for themselves what is appropriate." our republican leader is right on that.

Benjamin L. Cardin

5:39:05 to 5:39:27( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: the house republican leader boehner said, "i think what we ought to do is we ought to have full disclosure. i think the sunlight is the best disinfectant." now, i can quote lots of democrats and lots of republicans, because quite frankly i don't know of members who are against disclosure. yet some of my colleagues will

Benjamin L. Cardin

5:39:28 to 5:39:49( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: be voting -- and me -- it's hard for me to understand why when this bill is nature proly focused, its -- when it bill is narrowly focused, its principal objection is know where the money is coming from.

Benjamin L. Cardin

5:39:50 to 5:40:10( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: making sure foreign corporations can't contribute? i thought that's what we all greeagreed on. government contractors restrecting what they can dovment and it is consistent with the supreme court decision. 8 of the 9 justices acknowledged that it would be okay for congress to enact legislation concerning disclosure.

Benjamin L. Cardin

5:40:11 to 5:40:31( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: so i come back to our responsibility. we're not on the supreme court of the united states. that's not our responsibility. our responsibility is to enact laws. our responsibility is to respond to the needs of this nation, to respond to what our constituents want us to do. and, quite frankly, our constituents want us to take up

Benjamin L. Cardin

5:40:32 to 5:40:52( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: campaign finance reform. they want us to do a lot more than just the disclose racquet when this comes to campaign finance reform. i'm one of those who supports public financing of campaigns. i think it would be far better for the people of maryland and this nation to have less special-interest money financing campaigns.

Benjamin L. Cardin

5:40:53 to 5:41:14( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: irthink it would be better to have some public way in which they could know the candidates running. i think we should require our networks to provide air time for debates. think that would be a better way. that's not today's debate. but today's debate is whether we can move the ball forward on campaign finance that makes sense. in other words, let's not move backwards.

Benjamin L. Cardin

5:41:15 to 5:41:35( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: let's at least do what the supreme court told us we can do in regards to corpo spending. let's do what members of this body have said we should do, and that is require that we disclose the source not only of those who contribute to our campaigns but those who spend money on behalf

Benjamin L. Cardin

5:41:36 to 5:41:57( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: of getting us elected or defeated. we have a right -- the voter has a right to know that. and those who are responsible for the ad should have the courage to disclose the moneys that they're spending and take responsibility for the ads that they produce. mr. president, i could go on with some additional information that we have.

Benjamin L. Cardin

5:41:58 to 5:42:19( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: some of these organizations are located -- are organized under the internal revenue code. i could show you that we're not going to be able to have adequate enforcement of that. but one thing we can do that i would hope all of us would agree is to pass the disclose act so the public has the information to judge who is gating involved

Benjamin L. Cardin

5:42:20 to 5:42:40( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: -- who's getting involved in our campaigns. and then i would hope that democrats and republicans could join together to make sure that the integrity of our election system is strengthened. confidence in government depends upon the people believing that our elections are open and fair. we spend a lot of time in countries making sure that they

Benjamin L. Cardin

5:42:41 to 5:43:02( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: are election process is right. we need to do a better job here in america. it can start this week by allowing us to debate the disclose act. let's not hide behind the filibuster. let's allow us to bring it forward. let's have the debate on this floor, and let us respond to our constituents so they have the

Benjamin L. Cardin

5:43:03 to 5:43:05( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: right to know who's spending money in this election.

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