Dylan Ratigan Show | January 10, 2012
>>> how did mitt romney come to be?
>> believing in free people and free markets . ?
>> pull back the regulations that are strangling the american entrepreneur ship.
>> we have to lower tax rates .
>> get government out of the way.
>> lower taxes, less regulation, and praising the people who create jobs.
>> oh right. your platform. free markets . deregulation. corporate money in politics.
>> i spent my life in the private sector. i have learned thfrom that. i learned the lessons of a free economy over 25 years. corporations are people, my friend.
>> you're mad at mitt romney ? for god's sakes, it's like mitt romney answered the republicans eharmony add, and now you're saying it's unfair.
>> as we watch the latest auction unfold today, the the growing movement to get money out of our political process is spreading like wildfire growing on the ground across the country. take a gander at this nice piece of technology. the folks at united republic advanced a heat map . where is the actual point of action? these are the hot spots that show where each of the 6,000 volunteers from the more than 300,000 on the get money out list. if you haven't signed up yet, what are you doing? all 50 states are in it. it's fabulous. they are working on resolutions. every state, in fact, and many communities are doing so. one has been the passage of these resolutions calling upon washington , d.c. to pass a c]nstitutional amendment that says corporations ain't people and money is not speech. the biggest success stories so far have come in the two most influential cities. new york city and los angeles . we haven't even gotten into the legitimate court action that came out of montana that makes the rest of this look like tidally winks. here with an update on the bat is nick penman. thank you so much. last summer you got this going. for taking that ball and providing the tools for us. tell us how do we use that map? how do we get more people to help you?
>> let me start with the fact that the country is rebelling against the system that's taking place today in new hampshire. it's like there are two sets in american politics on the stage now. one is the rotten old set that's broken down. the politicians are on right now. the other one is the one that we are building behind the scenes . meaning, we the people, who reject the current system. that involves the city resolutions and involves more people signing up. the point is that people are coming around the country and getting together to say we reject the way washington is run and we reject the way the supreme court thinks about our campaign finance system.
>> is the nature of the campaign, the primary so far, what we saw with iowa and the $16 million and the assassination of newt gingrich s that helping you with recruiting?
>> of course. but ? we actually don't need a whole lot of help. the public is infearuated about it. a poll came about. 50% of the public said members of congress are corrupt. that's the word they used. that's astonishing. 82% of the public back in july said they felt like members of congress were exchanging campaign favors for legislative favors. it's like the public is there. they get it. it's just an issue of fixing it.
>> i see two barriers. one, how do you transition from the symbolism of these resolutions? and how do you get enough of them to turn the symbolism of municipal resolutions like montana has that says we are not doing this anymore?
>> the purpose of the resolutions is to scream as loudly as we can that we want the system to be fundamentally remade. yes, the resolutions are symbolic. but it changes the climate about the issue. we want to force presidential candidates to talk about this. we want to force the courts to rethink their position. they are only going to do that if we rise up and produce these all over the country.
>> doesn't the organizing give you the ability to have communities in small and big towns find each other? then they are better suited to actually take legislative action on a state level. you can't organize for a legislative action on a state level if you don't know who the other person is. it would seem these are a good way ? for people to find each other.
>> it's a perfect start. so it's a very reasonable task for people to get done. our hope is to grow these things and get 100 of these done by the end of 2012 .
>> we're going to need like 10,000.
>> a hundred is a good start. it's enough to create a conversation. i want to point out, too, we should be doing these things both in vermont and also in mississippi. this is not a liberal versus conservative thing. this is an all-american cause.
>> how significant is it that it montana , who is in the macho and independent spirit of the country, is the first state with the direct rejection of the citizens united decision as a violation of state's rights?
>> it's massive. it would be logical for a state like vermont to do it. but coming out of montana , it's huge. think about it. you have a state supreme court that's bucking a very e recent supreme court decision. they are not overturning something that occurring 15 or 20 years ago when we lived in a different mind set or cultural era. this was two years ago. they are already saying, forget it. we have every right to regulate money and politics in this country.
>> and joining us now is jimmy williams , susan del percio, and david . very nice to have you here. susan , you're probably the most skeptical of this entire undertaking, which is why i will come to you first. i learn more when i talk to you about this. if they don't support the resolutions, there you protest against them? or only vote for candidates that support this resolution. i just wonder until you force people really into doing something more than signing up, i think you're not going to have any real traction on the issue at hand, which is that constitutional amendment .
>> and jimmy, you spend a lot of your career transitioning sentiment or desire, whether it was as a citizen working for your community tran sissing your interests or the interests of your community into legislation. what's your advice to the people? your assessment of how you convert the energy? the occupation now 60% out there. they are advocating to move in that direction. they are interested in pursuing this agenda. nick is having success with you and the whole community at united republic . how do you ? convert the energy on a municipal level and how do you grow it in a way that ultimately can result in legislation?
>> there are two things going on here. you have a country that's remarkable upset. here's the deal. the deal is you have the anger and sentiment. you're asking how do you tap into it? your book talks about it. you have to make the problem real in real peoples' lives. it is not a conservative issue. it's not a liberal issue. it's not an independent issue. this is an american issue. people are upset. you have to give them something to be for. this is something to be for. to clean up washington . you and i talked about this in august. we have got to find a way to make people -- they it don't have to love their government, but they have to respect their government. and right now, they disrespect their government.
>> david , you have done a good job channelling what i would argue is a traditional american capitalist narrative through the lens of the green bay packers . i mean that. that was a serious statement. the green bay packers are the only fan-owned team in the nfl. they represent the best about capitalism. they represent the best about fighting "greedy bastards." the fans are the shareholders. and the management to achieve this, i'm interested in how you would sell to ? a room of skeptics, a room of people that believe this may be a partisan issue on either side, why this is a justice issue? this is the same as the voting age being lowered to 18 so people could vote for their president?
>> nick and i were talking about this. we both know people in business, very successful people in business, who do not like being hit up for campaign contributions day after day after day, but feel they have to because their competitors are doing it. so everybody is unhappy, even if they are playing the game. if you don't like it, if it doesn't smell like to you, chances are, it's not right. so what we're talking about here is not simply a populous movement. but even the people in the game today and aren't getting everything they want out of the government, even though they are playing the game, they hate it just as much. the way i sell it is, look around the room. people you think you have nothing in common with, they feel the same way. the dots you're connecting is emblem attic of that. the green bay packers are an example of what can happen when people can come together and own something together.
>> it's interesting. what david just said is fascinating. i have had more of my former colleagues in the lobbying world pick up the phone and call me, not e-mail me, but pick up the phone and go, i love that ? you're doing this. this is awesome stuff. you're going to save me a fortune. my response is will you come on tv and talk about that? hell, no. you're a great profile encouragement. i'm so glad you're my friend.
>> it would seem we have an impeasing number of folks who are coming on television and talking about it. and i know that we are all grateful to you, jimmy, for helping to spark this whole thing early last summer. to susan , for tolerating my wild rant last summer and maintaining a pleasant face at the time. for david , for teaching us about the green bay packers . and to the rest of the executives who are proving that ideas can be made into reality by simply making the decision to align your interests with other people to achieve it. congratulations. if people want to learn more about what nick is doing, you can visit his