tv Democratic State Attorneys General Discuss Progressive Agenda CSPAN October 14, 2021 11:29pm-12:19am EDT
this runs 45 minutes. >> we have our generals on our panel here from north carolina from minnesota, massachusetts and michigan. for us this is a really important time. we also have 30 races that are up in 2022 and because of that, there's a lot of issues on the line so i just want to make sure everyone has a little bit of background on what we are doing today and how we are able to
find some of the conversation so we will be talking to our attorney generals. we've witnessed how crucial the work was during the prosecution. can you please describe the effort and accountability and what specific abroad lessons carrying out a successful osprosecutions. >> everybody wants to see the investigation and prosecution be objective and independent and i peoplet. do have the sense that maybe that is not always the case. when my office was brought in it was brought in because people wanted to know no matter what the charges are, or they based on the law and the facts as opposed to some prior
relationship. in rural minnesota the governor either has to or the county has to ask us to come in. since then, a lot of the counties have called us when they have officer involved deaths and we declined some after receiving them and reviewing the cases. in the middle of the case there was a tragic situation for a 20-year-old kid was shot and killed when the officer confused a taser with a gun. i think that all of us played
one role or another whether it's convening the conversations which we can do or play that role of prosecutors or just the voice for fairness and injustice and they have been considered in the course of a tragic situation and i will let my colleague speak for themselves. it's been productive and helpful and i do think that one of the tragedies of congress not passing the senate republicans not passing, the justice and policing act is that it would have given state and federal practice authority which would have put us the legal authority
for those who have chronic problems and so we worked on it and we will continue to be a force for safety and human rights together because we can have both. including the coalition and the letters in the department of education and disciplinary actions can you tell us why it's important to you? >> this has been an area for us to be working so as the prosecutor in michigan the most popular county that was responsible of all the criminal
cases that come out of the state of michigan, wayne county and people of color and really didn't empower the voices. to have the department of education reverse you heard of these harmful policies in the administration that put in place on discipline but to go a step further by recognizing not only because they have a lot of racial lines but also based on their orientation and identity so the biden administration was incredibly responsive and i'm excited to say that we are
meeting with the department of education and the department of justice next week to hear our thoughts and policies of the practices in michigan so that finishing the education moving opportunities instead of ending up in the criminal justice system so i've seenth firsthand in these practices and i visited an elementary school outsidech of detroit and it's a trauma informed approach in the wake of a lot of adversities. we are so confident when they are disciplining a student and
must only use this as a last resort and so with all of the kids returning to in person learning and in the state reminding them theirth obligatin to make the programs a success when you have local, state and federal officials and when you finally have the chance to do that again working with the biden white house and i'm feeling very confident we will make progress in the near future and it's going to impact. >> can you tell us a little bit about having served under the administration how you were able to work with those
administrations? >> i served under the obama administration. we did have some battles on our successful challenges. they changed positions during the course of the litigation but to get them to regulate that sort of thing is normal. i'm so grateful to wake up each morning with the biden harris administration we will push initiatives and look for opportunities to partner with them on addressing climate change and access to healthcare and dealing with economic insecurities and the e
reproductive rights like we did the other day to successfully hold that from going forward in texas. one of the things that has been so destructive is what the trump administration did with respect for the constitution and the rule of law. it's refreshing to have an administration that believes in those things but the consequences of those years are significant and we find ways to partner to push back and try to make things right again going in
the direction of quality injustice. is there an opportunity for all? >> i will finish up the conversation on criminal justice. you werepp attacked by governor cooper on the task force on racial equity and criminal justice which led to dozens of recommendations in that system. can you talk about the process led to the recommendation and the role as you get help with to implement those? >> i want to say a word of appreciation for what he did in minnesota. he did what we want all prosecutors to do which is to do an independent assessment of the evidence andor then decide if te charges are appropriate and if so, what charges.
and as we would expect above approach and secure inappropriate conviction so thank you. what happens is it was a spark to really reckon with our history with race and being from north carolina and race issues and with the governor asked me and i was able to cochair with our north carolina supreme court a task force. it was a broad task force. we had public defenders,
community leaders, mayors, policymakers and sheriffs and chiefs of police, prosecutors, we had the full array of perspective represented on the task force and we met an untold number of hours from december basically weekly and we came up with a report i'm very proud of. this wasn't about a report you stick up on a bookshelf. it was about identifying the recommendations and implementing them and that's what we have been doing this year. we just had a bill signing at the governor's mansion about two or three weeks ago of a comprehensive criminal justice reform piece of legislation that impacted the way officers are recruited and how they are trained and as a variety of accountability measures to make
sure that when they don't do things the right way they either get corrected or if they are not appropriate to be in that line of work we feel very positive about what we are getting done here. it's the criminal justice system from start to finish and we've identified solutions to address the disparities and i feel positive about what we've accomplished what we know we have so much further to go. >> thank you forha that.
since president biden's inauguration especially during the pandemic many leaders and organizations: president biden to prepare $50,000 of federal student loan debt and they cowrote a letter to congress in support of a resolution to. i want to know why it's important to take that on and how is it using the states platform that you have this is the work that we do every day.
>> every day we try to assist with their payment plan for the assistance unit. they are facing default and needed help so this is something that is real to all of us and it's real because it's so huge. it's over $1.7 trillion and growing. it's literally keeping people from buying homes and starting businesses. it issi a drag on our economy ad of course it has had an impact on the borrowers of color. this works including debt cancellation r and debt relief n
no longer have a democracy in the united states of america. we have these massive efforts. it was the then president of the united states and but for the fact we had an attorney general in pennsylvania and wisconsin and michigan and nevada we simply would not have had an outcome where the person who won those states so joe biden won the state of michigan by 154,000 votes. that's not even close. but effort t after effort wa
made. whether it was joining with my democratic colleagues to ensure the global pandemic that people have the ability to even go to vote by mail they would never be received in time whether you had things b like the republican colleagues trying to decertify 5.5 million that would have been disenfranchised had that
the legislature from texas to georgia to try to restrict the voting rights like the smt ballot and they are not allowing the volunteers. what role does the state play in these laws? >> let me emphasize the litigation room. during the campaign season, we had people announced that they were coming to minnesota and they were going to guard the polls with weapons and were recruiting people to stand outside to claim they were protecting people's right to vote and that is intimidating.
we are on the forefront of helping to build that policy but back to the litigation strategies we joined together on the postal services. we have a critical role to play in and citizens work to make sure we protect w the vote. let's build a relationship now. call andnd let them know that yu see them as an ally in the fight for democracy and let me say rightt now all of us have to be thinking about redistricting.
that's going down right now in every nearly every ag that you know will make sure you have fair maps coming up and some folks don't want fair maps so that's something we can join together and work on together now. i will go to the next question here but before i do that i just want to say for anyone that is listening we want to encourage you to drop into some questions we will talk about reproductive healthcare and we saw the abortion ban.
even mississippi attorney general to ask the court to overturn roe v wade and access to abortion under attacks what is the role of the ag protecting reproductive healthcare. >> it's so wrong in harming people every day. to access appointments because understandably so many people get those services. they are driving a thousand
miles round-trip. they don't want time off from work. an abuser, the number just think about under this law they are forced to carry the pregnancy to term and are named citizen bounty hunters and vigilantes so many of us reacted swiftly and we are doing everything we can to suspend access to the healthcare and we will continue to be fighting the abortion ban in mississippi and finding whatever else comes. it's incredibly important that we pass this protection act.
they've done particularly in the voter suppression states taking on these forces. >> did you want to jump in here a little bit? >> besides the work just talked about in terms of the coming together on this issue i think it could be noted in order to get support from the democratic association you must be a supporter of reproductive rights for women. let me talk about states like
mine where it's already a felony and the only reason it is unenforceable today is because of roe v wade and the second that roe v wade falls this term, which we believe that it will, it will automatically become the law again. i have statewide jurisdiction criminally we know that making abortion illegal doesn't stop it from happening. it just makes them unsafe. women routinely died each and devery day from illegal abortis
and they were not properly medical staff. women are going to be pushed back in and it's not just the medical providers that often times the women having these procedures and what would occur if they would testify. to supporting and securing the health, welfare and safety all across my state i wouldn't be prosecuting these cases and then i would be working in concert with the democratic prosecuting attorneys or they wouldn't have to worry about being criminally
prosecuted so this is incredibly important in my state. it will save lives and i will tell you right now if any of the republicans running against me when, they will have special enforcement where they have all ofha the divisions and nothing t to go after women and the providers and prosecute and incarcerate them so there are interesting differences. having a republican take my place in michigan means one thing and one thing only. an unknown number of women will die in my state because of the procedures that are not performed safely. >> we will go ahead and continue
with some healthcare questions. some success at the court where they upheld the affordable care act protecting access for health care for millions of americans. could you talk about ways in office is working to protect constituents, healthcare and affordable access to healthcare? >> happy too and i want to underscore what you just said but for my fellow ag's and i and all the others on the democratic side intervened in the lawsuit to strike down the affordable care act but for us it wouldn't be c the law of the land any longer because the defendant was the trump administration that went from our side of the court room to thep plaintiff's side f the court room are giving the ae
federal law should beoo struck down. we refused and appealed the decision to the supreme court. our former colleague was the leader ofol the coalition and te positive impact and 4 million people with pre-existing conditions p but nearly 2 millin seniors whose prescription drugs were about a thousand dollars less expensive because the affordable care act with some 600,000 people who got their insurance through the exchange that otherwise they wouldn't have been able to get insurance and another half a million have subsidized through private insurance subsidies that allowed them tons purchase insurance and 70,000 young people under the age of 26 so these are hundreds and hundreds of thousands.
a tremendously important and deeply satisfying and in north carolina we are one of the dozenstates that haven't expando in every opportunity, every speech i give i -underscore what we can do to help people is to say yes to the federal government to expand medicaid here in north carolina. a. >> to effectively ensure people can get access to affordable health care, we have to maintain healthcare costs so i'm using my authority as an attorney general to achieve just that. part of a coalition suing the generic pharmaceutical company for price-fixing and raising the cost of the prescription drugs. i'm scrutinizing to make sure
those don't drive up cost and i and pushing the present transparency so that people know what it actually costs them to get a procedure of one hospital as opposed to another hospital because with that information it will have a positive effect at driving costs down. >> thank you. did you want to jump in and talk a little about this? >> that was a spontaneous affirmation of what joshafsa is saying. i couldn't help myself. here's what i will add. everything is right but i will add this one it can be a source of convening statewide the dialogue on healthcare and thereby multi states. we had a task force in minnesota looking at lowering the prescription drug prices. we got people from the community, all kinds of folks to
come up with how we push this down and what we came up with is the healthcare industry is socialism for the well to do, highly concentrated market, very opaque market, no pricing signaling and things could be so much better. just like michigan and massachusetts it can also pull people together and help drive that change. i didn't mean to interrupt. i'm sorry i did.
>> we are going to switch a little bit and talk about the 2022 elections because there's never an off year for the election this year we are running for reelection with over 30 seats in place. can you tell us a little you can paint it before and you were in a hard-fought race. what's one thing y you learned down the trail that's important? >> it's important for people to know what we do. that's the most important thing that we can do and share with everyone tell people even those interested in being involved that we haveve to pay attention.
secretaries of state and attorney general's have to be now and for people who paid attention to the great work that we did during the work of the trump administration, understanding some of the worst policies that were promoted by the trump administration never went into effect because of our group of democratic ag's workins working tirelessly against them. there's a lawsuit that we filed, 86% were successful. imagine if we hadn't filed those are outlined the cases how much worse would it have been? as we talk about these different issues that are so pressing i think there are a lot of people out there that might know what their u.s. senator does or what their governor does but
attorneys general atal this time are equally as important as whoever you elect, or your governor'st office. it's important we have democratic attorneys general and in some places quite honestly i would urge people that are politically involved to go out and tell people how important the races are and i would urge you if you live in a blue state, please consider adopting these to make sure people like myself and others that work tirelessly don't lose these states and in fact moving forward to keep as
many as possible and red states where there are awful things to be pointed out. these positions matter and attorneys general matter. >> next i will ask our cochair. people have heard on the panel of the great work the attorneys generals are doing. the importance of this year and next year what is one way the people on the panel can get involved to make sure we can keep?
>> to follow what was said we have a lot of important races. we've got to get him reelected and i want to be clear if you don't have democratic d attornes general in these battleground states, that is a serious issue for democracy and what's going to happen here because we were the ones who could go to court and represent the state and successfully stopped donald trump but they are now further perpetrated do nothing but the rule of law and nothing frankly of their american brothers and sisters. i would say visit the website. we are looking to pick up seats in other states.
we have solidarity with other officers. we mentioned secretaries of state we work very closely with but the option is they are the ones that write the rules. with anti-democratic voter suppression laws and policy. support the candidates and i would encourage laser focus on who your officials are because we need a strong army to combat the gop playbook through this
year. >> you make the plug for the website just once again. you can learn about the races going on right now so we keep and help elect new as well. i know that we are running last-minute. i justst want to and on a good notece here because i know we oy have a couple of minutes left. let me know what song or podcast you are listening to. what's on your phone right now? >> this will shock my colleagues
to hear but i'm not particularly hip. i'm old school so to i listen o talking heads radio in the background. eightys alternative rock was my era. >> podcasts there's always something helpful and useful. we went out and took some policy changes based on that and then there's counter spin which is a group that kind of analyzes the news in the miscommunication and misinformation i find it extremely helpful and then i'm listening and that is my way to improve my spanish language,
listening. do you want to give a little bit on what's going on on your podcast playlist right now? >> i have a lot of 90s music [inaudible] [laughter] i also saw chris stable the other night [inaudible] >> i will close this out. let us know what you have going on. >> first and let me direct this to i saw for the first time in 25 years indigo girls in grand rapids. the support that i got if it's
any indication [inaudible] i don't get any money at all however they also have a soundtrack that goes with it and it's a very female and powering. i would recommend that you watch it and listen to the soundtrack. some of you that are listening might be a little younger and not get all the references but it is an amazing show. also alanna's morrissette. highly recommend it.
former governor and un ambassador nikki haley talks about the future of the republican party at an event hosted by the ronald reagan presidential foundation and institute in a semi valley california. nikki served at the un under the trump administration for nearly two years before stepping down at the end of 2018. she was elected twice as south