Robert Pastor, Exec. Dir., Cmsn. on Federal Election Reform with John Capozzi, DC Resident
||Tuesday, April 19, 2005
The following is a partial transcript of a conversation between John Capozzi, a DC resident, and Robert Pastor, executive director for the Commission on Federal Election Reform on the bipartisan Federal Election Reform Commisssion headed by Jimmy Carter and James Baker. The text of the conversation is below. You may watch the full interview (total running time 27 minutes and 46 seconds) by Clicking Here. The interview begins to address DC issues at approximately the 20 minute and 16 second mark.
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John Capozzi: "Professor Pastor, I live in DC, and I’m actually an AU alumni, and I was real disappointed when I noted the press conference yesterday from the commission because you did leave out the people in DC.
My questions are do you actually live in DC and is there going to be a commission that you’re going to represent that is going to look for the interests of DC voters who are the only taxpaying Americans who don’t have representation, who need that representation, and for some reason, it’s been left out in this group, but I’m hoping you’ll be able to address that.
And there’s a group called DC Vote.org, which certainly explains the issue in depth in terms of why DC residents need representation."
Robert Pastor: "Well, first of all, it’s great to speak to an American University alumni. American University is honored to be organizing this commission under its new Center for Democracy and Election Management.
I am a resident of the District of Columbia, I am very upset that I do not have the right to vote for members of Congress and members of the Senate but the Commission on Federal Election Reform decided that it would not address that issue for the reasons that I just mentioned on the electoral college, that I think there was a feeling that this would be very divisive and that it would be very difficult to reach a consensus and think both President Carter and Secretary Baker felt that it would be better to focus on those areas that we can have a consensus and change the system.
But, this is a very important issue, one I am personally concerned about, and I think that any resident of the District of Columbia should make their views known, because they have a right as a citizen of the United States, and indeed, this is the only democratic nation in which the citizens of the capitol do not have a right to vote for representative in the legislature. There are, of course, many different routes that could be taken from giving it the right of a state, or to giving its citizens the right to elect Congressmen and Senators, for example, in either Maryland or Virginia.
So there are many different ways that it could be done, but it won’t be done by our commission I am afraid."
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