Jul 7, 2014|
"He says the only way to “fix” Washington is to make changes to the constitution. Sidney’s book entitled 'Repair Washington' is a guidebook for how a constitutional convention is called (36 states have to call for it) staffed, funded and how it creates its goals. For anyone fed up with Washington DC and what is not happening…this is a very thought provoking book. He echoes what so many have said…people go into politics to make money! His solution…one six year term for President. Two term limits for Senators and Congressmen. People are getting fed up with what’s going on or not going on in Washington. How can Washington be fixed? Sidney Pulitzer, local businessman & professor at the AB Freeman School of Business, says change term limits. He says people are going into politics to make money. Are term limits the answer? What do you think?
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-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Is it it just hearing your story helps explain it to others. And -- -- encourage all of you to call in this hour that this is a very different our think you can learn a lot very very thought provoking. But 260187. Sydney Pulitzer is a local businessman investor an adjunct professor of entrepreneurship. At the Freeman school of business at Tulane University. He like many Americans believes that Washington is broken. And echoes what too many others feel but those who go into politics. Going to -- to make money. But Sydney Pulitzer is a man with a solution. Changes to our constitution. That he believes is the only thing that will fix our governmental system. His just released book entitled repair Washington. Is a guidebook. On how to call a constitutional convention. And why it is desperately needed to be done. -- -- I've known you many many years I've heard about. He's writing this book and I said the minutes it's done please come on and I'm still thrilled that you decide to do that. Let's start at the very beginning. Repair Washington. How broken arm. By Angela it's an honor to be on your show thanks for having me Washington is broken and most Americans think so. In polls taken in 2011. 82% of Americans disapproved of congress. And only 8%. Believe Washington could solve our problems. A poll taken in 2012. By Gallup which is highly respected pollster. Gave congress a 10% approval rating and today's senate is considered the most do nothing senate in the history of our country. Americans are frustrated. They're really frustrated with the dysfunction in Washington. And we know something has to be done and just voting in elections is not gonna -- Well we didn't get here overnight I mean literally it has been this has been coming. But this just an escalated to an -- and people are very very frustrated. At the sort of do nothing I think more than anything else coupled with what you gonna touch on as well. Of the almost a self centered -- of those who go and what happened to. Going there to help the community going there to help -- state going there to help your country. Well in the country first started. The average life expectancy and constitution was written. And 1780s. Was 46 years. So the founding fathers could never expect that we will have a life expectancy at birth today of 79. And as you get older the life expectancy -- increases so as a result we now have professional Korea politicians. They go they have to be elected and stay in office but for the first 150. Years. We had people go to serve the country. They would citizen patriots. And it was a personal sacrifice. To serve many of them didn't have the money their friends -- -- help pay for them. Because they didn't make any money in Washington. And without the help they would've gone broke. But today they go to Washington and they expect to make money for themselves. They do with the political party wants and then now and then they do something for the country. And I spent eight years in my life doing the research on this book. And that life expectancy changes one of the most dramatic changes the founding fathers. Could never have thought they would they would be shocked today if they came back. And saw people living so much longer in fact. The the most extreme part of it just to give you an idea. Is we have a trade representative's this year who has served. For fifteen years. And the house. And knee he is now going to retire I believe but fifty years is longer than the average person lived in the constitution. Right. Started the book you've. Written called repair Washington practical legislation for a constitutional dimension he gonna have to explain in a minute why when he constitutional convention. But this -- really isn't so much about politics. No no it isn't it it's about changing the way our government works because parts of the government the way it operates is is obsolete. And establish the politicians fall part of it is the change in life expectancy. Television has made a major change. And as a result. It's not really about. The book is not about Democrats or Republicans it's not about liberals -- conservatives. Its about Americans about all of us and what kind of country we want to leave for my children grand children. And as -- that I spent eight years of research on this and I'm convinced. That congress is not going to make the changes that have to be made. They like what they're doing they like their power they're certainly not gonna. Putting in two term limits. And polls taken show that between seventy to 82% of Americans in every -- somewhere and that number. 12 term limits. And my book has a variation on those term limits is suggests three years that a house. The continuation of six years in the senate that only two terms in both houses. And the president serve for only 16 year time -- you know we're gonna we're gonna break that down. Because I think that this is sort of the essence it. My first question is if if they don't want change. They're not going to vote themselves. The two terms it has to come from us which are so right so. We how do we get a constitutional convention without them. Well the founding fathers. Sort of anticipated what happened they really were amazingly brilliant and very practical. People and they visualize a Washington grown too big and too powerful. And so they put an article five of the constitution. The right to amend the constitution. By calling constitutional convention and perfectly legal. What is does it applies 34. In other words two thirds of the states. Who passed legislation to call -- convention. And that's the main thrust of my book. There are other books written with -- amendments but you're not gonna get any amendments passed out Washington. The only way the only way we're going to make a change is to call a constitutional convention. And then when it recommends amendments then it takes three quarters of the states. To ratify. And that's -- way will get term limits that's who we can get six week elections as the British do it. That's the way we control how much money goes into each candidate and who can give it. And get some real reform on who gets to serve us in Washington. I want everybody just listening who has any thoughts on this to give us a call 260187. They. -- Pulitzer saying some very strong things and perhaps some things that you thought about. Well he's got a game. So that's the bottom line 260187. Day. We're going to take a break we're gonna come back and we are again going to continue the discussion with -- Pulitzer author of repair Washington. And in the Sydney Pulitzer is a man on a mission is a local businessman. He's adjunct professor of entrepreneurship that Tulane. But he has written a book I think so many of us have wanted to -- it's called repair Washington. He's talking about the only way that we can solve our issues and Washington is by having a constitutional convention. By having that having amendments that will change our elect coral system actually and more. But and then he talks about how -- we have a constitutional convention but let's go to the need for electoral reform. You would touched on it. One term presidents six years. To term. Three years each congress people. Two -- six years each senator's. So they are not constantly running for reelection. That we don't need a professional. Politicians. -- tried. And tried the professional politicians. Will tell you that they are needed because the government and so complicate. The fact of the matter is it's complicated because they've made -- so. And patriots citizen patriots and congress would reduce the size of government is. Is so much pay off going on because of the way the election system works. That only a constitutional convention has any chance. I'm making changes. The election process itself is totally broken in this country. The the first thing we have to do. Is to make those term limits and Angela just mention. The next thing is we have to shorten the elections right now let's really talk about that as an enormous. They they start. Running for office and is the last election is -- And the British run an election for six weeks. So we should have a six week election. Where we simultaneously. Select whoever the candidates offer each party. That awful week break. And then six weeks to elect who was gonna hold the office and during those six weeks is the only time. That politicians can run it. And people who give money have to has to be controlled. Right now. Corporations. And pacs. Give formal money. Than citizens do and they don't vote corporations don't vote -- don't vote we the citizens vote it's -- country it's not the country. Corporations are packed the packs -- put together a pop politicians. And used to attack their opponent. That's destructive to electing the best person. And corporations. Give huge amounts of money. The amount of money totally spent and the last election. Was close to six it's estimated close to six billion. Dollars. And that six billion dollars obligates -- over three trillion budget. When the election is over. The people who gave that money to buy the TV spots to get the candidates elected. Control of government -- lobbying system. And that's why if you wondering when the elections old -- somehow the government gets disconnected from the the citizens is the -- is no longer responsive to us if responsive to the big money. So one of the reforms as we must limit. Donations can be given only by citizens. And the only Muslim and -- no more than ten grand per citizen beacon adjusted for inflation. But that way politicians and to office without any obligation. To anybody other than to the citizens and to the betterment of this nation. And and by doing that not that they could raise a lot of money individually. But with 101000 dollars a pop but you also if you if you limit the time. That the election period is six weeks and then six -- you're not buying this millions of dollars worth of television spots and newspaper -- There is a control over -- And I'm speaking for myself but I would imagine there are those out there. Whose eyes rolled back and their heads like mine duke went you know somebody's already running in the elections a year and a half away. It's like enough already. That's right it's that they just go and get your message out in six weeks. It is that's funny enough the British do it and if they can only spend their money during that six weeks they don't need that much more money. So it can be a very effective election and it doesn't make the field -- and even for the incumbents. And so difficult. For a challenge. With fresh ideas to come in one of the biggest problems in Washington is not that we just have these professional -- politicians. But they have created what's called -- senior party's list. That means you get to be chairman of the committee. We knew walking around with a -- And these are the guys who have the most talent but there's so. They don't have the energy to make good things happened and now they can even talk to each in which if we have two term limits we clean house. You ask how many Americans would like to see is just clean house and get fresh blood across the board you'll be amazed -- how many say yeah. That sounds one. You know it does sound wonderful I'm still. Thinking it is almost a dream that it could happen. Even though you do have a chartered by how we do a constant constitutional convention we will get back to that but I think if we just think in terms of the average citizen. What does this mean it means that a president who is elected will not be running again. So that the awareness is on what can I do from a country for six years. That tried you wanna make a record for history and is only one interim election in the middle. And half of the congress will not be able to run again. So it's it's going to be a change. And the whole way our system operates. Which you know when you think about it. We have term limits here in New Orleans for the city council for instance if that's helped. And that has helped and for the state legislature as well. So it isn't something so foreign that we all how can that happen it has happened on local and state levels. And it and it's improved -- government. It's it's clearly we've gotten rid of the good old bullies that's what Louisiana was known for the Google -- now we still have an awful lot of lobbyists who show up in that room. -- they do but that's part of it. Informing. People what they should do but part of the amendments prohibit lobbyists. From giving money and doing things that they now do. Those are things that are in the book. That we can address. And but the one thing I want to mention to you listeners Angela is the key election. That has had the most dramatic impact on the way we select and choose our candidates. If you go back to the 1960 election. It was between Richard Nixon the vice president on to a very popular Dwight Eisenhower. And -- challenges and unknown junior senator from Massachusetts. Jack Kennedy. And he was Catholic and everyone -- Catholic can't have them be elected president. Well there was a one now black and white television we didn't have color TV debate it was the first televised debate history. At the beginning of the debate the polls said that Nixon was an issue in for president he could lose. At the end of the debate the next morning the polls that Kennedy would win and he did. And one now on television. Nixon came across he had not -- the black and white TV made him look like a criminal. And hot lights -- sweat where is Kennedy had curly hair he put on makeup and he spoke with a beautiful ball stony and accent he said. We are have a total -- Eight NTELOS swift -- it was he'd tell us what happened we got there. But. He got elected. And that changed the way we operate. It's interesting that the people who listen to that same debate on radio. Thought Nixon won hands down. But just the content of what he said but seeing -- talking faces. Has made the difference in how we elect people so today. We package. What is really a television show. It's not a debate. And the questions and answers are carefully screened. And focus groups so that the candidate offends no one says virtually nothing. Offers no solutions to anything but says nice things that comes across with -- -- -- to move fall -- and whims. And we really need. To limit how much money can go on television so candidates have to produce something it was the biggest lobbyist groups Chela. Fighting this will be the television -- Because it's it's a big source of income but that's just one of many things that. But in for every -- people again myself others. We need change this is not working anymore. And it's discouraging. And it shouldn't be because we have a great system. It just needs to be refined and that's what you're talking about reality. -- -- you just made about the the television. You're right there's a lot of people. If we make these changes who will be very very unhappy. The six billion that was spent and that last election. Went through various media. So my my answer to them is yacht is not going to be -- good for business. But it's going to be good for your children in your grandchildren. Do you want a better country -- do you -- just have business as usual. On that happy -- we're gonna go to the newsroom find out what's going on. David stay with this we'll be right back talking to Sydney -- Pulitzer financial under the -- We are back with city Pulitzer who has written a book repair Washington. If you're sitting out there in your concern about what is happening or not happening in Washington DC. This is a man who has a solution and it's about calling for a constitutional convention changed the way we do business in Washington. It is a massive change but he believes very strongly it can be done before we get going again I'd like to get our caller David from Metairie thank you for calling. Well there's there's two things that are emissions from any politicians now and one is total commitment. And the other is there strictly accountable. -- weekend. We have to worry about sports count of politicians -- government for crushing -- is not well and if you don't know about their ego. There's no conscience. It's -- whale watching me. That's what most politicians associate and it. I'm sure. You're accountable and the impact and what they. Or. Germany and then now finding an honest politicians. On American soil. Well the only way that we make them to pay is we both the -- A day David yeah you know you correct. And that is one amendment proposed in my book. That sets standards of ethics. Not only the politicians but those who serve the government. In appointed are employed positions. So that in the event they do straight from doing what you want having good ethics. There's action that can be taken to correct the situation rather than us having to suffer with. Well I applaud your book but many more that much and try to get together in a group. And -- go out and try. And now I'm not gonna take it anymore. Well. And you those the very words I hear more often than not I'm not gonna take anymore I think what John Sidney is saying is here's the path. With the book. With his. Eight years he's spent in this about how do we put together a constitutional convention I asked him the break have we ever had a constitution convention no we have not. All the amendments that we have seen. Pointing is women's right to vote that was done through congress. And what you're saying congress isn't gonna do it now so we have to do it. So if David I really appreciate the call thank you very much in Sydney and now asking let's talk about. If not through congress and through brother to -- constitutional convention how do we get the convention room. Well let me just backtrack a bit on the way it used to work when it worked. The founding fathers gave two ways for amendments one -- through a constitutional convention. And that has not been used except for the original convention which wrote the constitution the first time. But the alternative way. Is where congress two thirds vote majority of congress propose an amendment and three quarters of the states. Ratify it. And congress has stopped doing that. These last amendment that the constitution. That was passed to the constitution from congress was in 1992. And it authorize congress. To set its own pay and benefits. For those in office in the next election. It was a totally self serving amendment and now they're working on a new amendment where they have control over the election process. The last real amendment that was actually passed for a real purpose. Was in 1971. 43 years ago. And that allowed citizens eighteen years old our old who could fight and die for the country. Also gave them the right to vote. So congress' abrogated its its responsibilities. And as a result the Supreme Court has done. More changes than they should be doing -- and that's postal legislate. But -- if you wanna get to the constitution. Itself and have a convention. The legislation I have in my book. Was the hardest part of the book and it was written and rewritten over and over and what I tried to do was duplicate. The conditions. That created a constitutional -- And it was difficult because back then we had only thirteen colonies. And they attended the thirteen states. We now have fifty states. And you can have too large a two small group so. What this legislation proposes is that there -- fifty delegates. Fifty delegates. Representing fifty states and each delegation this fifty delegations. Has between two to seven members of the delegation. And each state can appoint them are elect them anywhere they want. And I've checked on this over and over that's the best way. Where the state legislatures themselves would be happy. To to make a decision and sent people say they'll fight over who gets to go. And then the rest of the the legislation. Outlines who what the qualifications. On. They cannot be connected to Washington in any way. They have to be people of good reputation the qualifications. And there and the constitutional convention itself. Will be conducted the same way the original one Wallace it was done with secrecy. The members had acquired. Conditions under which they could relate and talked and communicate. Compromise finances -- this thing is not televised. Not televised and -- though no press is committed and the process of how to call it where to call it. Who is gonna operate all of -- in the legislation and the beauty of it it's it's only 22 and half pages it's very simple very precise. And if every state passes the same legislation. And you won't have someone take it to the Supreme Court and say hey. Is different kinds of legislation so it doesn't. While so you're saying the first step is for each state to agree that there will be a convention to legislate. -- call for Oregon convention OK then you have the convention. And that is done in private right and no media until afterwards that trying and then the excuse me. Someone will say okay let's talk about term limits. She's -- term limits. That is addressed let's talk about. How much money can be donated let's talk about how long these elections last. Right. And it is there's a whole group of things that they can go in to. For example most Americans are aware of the fact that. Well nine states elect the president Louisiana's is effectively disenfranchised. From electing a president and -- the constitution has a block vote for the Electoral College the majority. Of the votes in any state. Sets the entire Electoral College vote for that state for that one candidate. So the candidate loses has no position. So the nine largest most populous states. Have sufficient block vote to 200 and I think it's 217. Votes to elect the president so the other 41. Are basically. Disenfranchised. And all the money goes into those nine states. Well we're gonna take a break we're gonna come back and figure out how you love. How you would change -- stay with this -- -- -- -- evidently we're talking with that Sydney Pulitzer local businessman and now author of repair Washington. Practical legislation for constitutional convention. It's an easy book to read it's as he said eight years of his life you can get it hopefully at all all the local bookstores and certainly online. And your goal. Because you're not just writing the book. You are in fact going to rally the troop. A -- try to do my best to have Louisiana be the first state. Two passes legislation. And I'm going to visit with the governor and bring along some people who I think the government respects. I'm just an awesome that there are people in this state who respected and who have. Opinions that I think the state legislature and the governor would respect. And this legislation is is very very. User friendly. If we can get it going here and then in Texas. And get 34 states. We'll have our constitutional convention that's gonna change. How our children live and our children's children. The real battle is do you want more of what we've got. A do you -- -- -- life liberty and the pursuit of happiness because that's what this country's all about. It's about opportunity it's not about. Socialism welfare it's about opportunity that's what the founding fathers gave us in the constitution. That's what me. We must restore and yet -- I have to say as optimistic as -- far and that's and that's a gift. Change is difficult it's even though people may be screaming and saying -- this is madness in Washington change is difficult. Will people instinctively don't like change. But we need let me give you an example of what's happened on legislation as to how much. Special interest influence does the Federal Reserve act was passed in 1913 it had 31 pages. -- -- came after the great depression and it helped prevent another depression 37 pages that was 1933. Become the 1994. The interstate banking act 61 pages. Sarbanes Oxley 2002. He jumped to a 1458. It's. But now to give you an idea just how much politics and special interest involved. Along comes Dodd-Frank. In 2010. 2319. Pages. With over 5000 pages but the rules and still going. It's all the special interest. The voters don't have the leverage anymore it's the money -- -- age and we have to gain our power back in the only way. Only way is a constitutional convention. Will be you get reform for the elections. And get reform one how. Electoral College works. There's no reason why we shouldn't require. If you gonna raise taxes and revenue require a 60% vote of congress. Why should we have some degree of a balanced budget requirement. Surely we could use some tort reform. Law and daughter in this country. That the police in many ways have their arms tied behind their back. And I jails are full of people who have never committed a violent crime. And yet there in there because they've they've had some kind of chemical drugs situation. We need speedy trials and -- punishment. And by gosh we need to put god back in America. We've had so many judgments made by the Supreme Court that remove god. I don't find it offensive to have a cross on public property a star of David. Or whatever emblem the Muslims want this is a country that believes in -- create and we all worship different ways. Why shouldn't we have been and our government money has in god we trust on it. We have a lot of work to do and it can only be done with a constitutional convention stay with us everyone we'll be right back.