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Intelligence Squared U.S. New York Audience Decides Money in Politics is Not Overregulated(September 13, 2012)
Jonathan Soros and Trevor Potter Win Debate over David Keating and Jacob Sullum
Debate will air on NPR stations nationwide and be telecast on WNET/Thirteen on October 6 at 2 PM
NEW YORK, Sept. 13, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Last night, Intelligence Squared U.S. opened its Fall 2012 season with a victory against the motion "Two Cheers for Super PACs: Money in Politics is Still Overregulated." In the final tally, Jonathan Soros and Trevor Potter won the Oxford-style debate by convincing 6% of the audience to change their minds and oppose the motion. After the debate, 69% of audience members agreed that unlimited spending in politics is corrosive and that votes can be bought, up from 63% pre-debate (see full numbers below).
Watch the full debate at WSJ Live here:
Arguing for the motion, David Keating and Jacob Sullum sought to prove that political spending widens political discourse and attempts to regulate it are mostly made by politicians already in office who don't want their competition to be financed or elected. But at the end of the evening it was Jonathan Soros' and Trevor Potter's arguments that unlimited money corrupts, leaving politicians beholden to its source, that convinced the audience to vote against the motion.
This latest intellectual matchup was IQ2US's 63rd debate and was streamed live on WSJ Live.
ABC News correspondent John Donvan is the moderator, and the executive producer is Dana Wolfe.
Key Excerpts For the Motion:
"It's basically a group of people getting together and saying, "Hey, we want to speak to our fellow Americans about what direction we think the country should go, what leaders we should elect, who should represent us, and we're not going to give any money to the candidates or the parties." That's what a super PAC is. Now, this model has been so popular that there are now 805 of them that have formed since June of 2010 when super PACs first became legal."
"I see this as fundamentally an issue of freedom of speech. Consider the legal situation before the Citizens United case. Wealthy individuals were free to speak without limit. Media corporations such as the ones that own FOX news and the New York Times were also free to speak without limit. Parties and candidates could spend as much as they wanted on political messages, although the contributions for them were limited. By contrast, unions, businesses and nonprofit advocacy groups such as the NRA or the ACLU, could not talk about their issues on the air close to an election if they happen to mention the name of a candidate for federal office."
Key Excerpts Against the Motion:
"We have no effective regulatory agency that will provide us with clean elections. A lot of what our opponents have talked about essentially arguing from the past. They're arguing from pre-Citizens United, pre-SpeechNow. We deserve disclosure of contributions. We deserve an effective disclosure regime. We deserve something that protects our -- the integrity of our political process."
"Our opponents want this to begin and end as a debate about the First Amendment, and only about their view of the First Amendment. They want to ignore the rest of the Constitution and the functioning of the government that we the people created. The Constitution created a congress that represents the will of the people, the voters. It created a president whose job is to faithfully execute the laws passed by Congress. What we have learned over the last 200 years, by sad experience, is that our government can be corrupted by campaign money so that it primarily responds to the sources of money that fund elections -- special interests and big political contributors and spenders -- rather than representing the people and seeking the common good.
Before the debate, the IQ2US audience voted as follows:
• 19% of audience agreed with the resolution
• 63% of audience against the resolution
• 18% undecided
After careful consideration of the points by the audience, Jonathan Soros and Trevor Potter won the debate: the team that moves the most votes at the end of the evening is determined the winner.
•22% of audience agreeing with the resolution (+3%)
• 69% of audience against the resolution (+6%)
• 9% undecided (-9%)
To learn more about the debate and review a detailed breakdown of how the audience voted pre- and post-debate, please visit our Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/Think2Twice
The showdown at Kaufman Center in New York City puts the leading public intellectuals in the limelight in front of a live audience for nearly two hours of heated debate.
NOTES TO EDITORS
• To view transcripts and videos, download audio or video clips or learn more about Intelligence Squared U.S., please visit: http://www.intelligencesquaredus.org/
• NPR will air the debate on stations nationwide and the podcast will be available to download. Please check with your local NPR stations for additional details or visit: http://www.npr.org/series/6263392/intelligence-squared-u-s
• WNET/Thirteen will air this debate October 2 at 2 PM
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Based on the highly successful Oxford-style debate program based in London, Intelligence Squared, Intelligence Squared U.S. has presented over 60 debates on a wide range of provocative and timely topics. From global warming and the financial crisis, to Afghanistan/Pakistan and the death of mainstream media, Intelligence Squared U.S. brings together the world's leading authorities on the day's most important issues. The Rosenkranz Foundation initiated the Intelligence Squared U.S. Debate Series and continues to provide major support.
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