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asbillheassured them you know hardworking highly productive of the department of commerce and thesmall business vision and we will endeavor to continue to do the type ofjob that will make you an odd community about the spanish speaking peopledo business enterprise and so this letter was written throughoutthe thirty yearsnow i was at the outset that yeah i won against any reflection on the day i think it's a fineorganization but says these allegations had been made i now offer you theopportunity to a make you are but i would appreciateallthree or so what and i might say that only allah what ii tried to highlight the now the allegations and the
answers with respect to the allegationsthereis as itis at the request of counsel at the committee raises brieflyso that you can gothere iswhichever you prefer ifyou'd like to take five minutes or ten minutes now it can do that to try to finish third year we canreconvene to gowith that one
communityis wondering if it's possible that i don't have any more questionsthat mr german it's possible we could continue finish before wecome back this afternoon with a witnessi meanthere's no objection in recessionand they also became lunchtime for thecommittee and right time for us public television coverage of the senate watergate hearings willcontinue after this gas station identification on averagecoverage of red herrings as being broadcast as a public service where local public television station
this is pbs public broadcasting servicethepittsburgh asbapowerfb
and that continues its coverage of hearings by the senate select
committee on presidential campaign activities yet again and back correspondent jimlehrer as we go back now mr fernandez is ready to respond to thosequestions posed by senator montoyathe state of the citythey haven't deliveredusinterrogator i wonder if the witnesses and the response or mr sutherland to a question thathe is a gemini like to afterthe letter in the photo op foridentification an induction into the recordhere's your rejection letter of years in tomorrow's leaders of that andmake sure that your family the last question i asked him what this was
he cared too well you any rebuttalto statements made in the letter with respect to himand to admit you may say to do soanswers cinnamontoast questions i like to make a statement for the record we've seenhere to be departing at least for the moment the priestess matterand i have a few things that i would like to say about that yesterdaymr fernandez was accused of some rather seriousthings i must've priestess in order toput those accusations in their proper lights ilike to point out that this decreases is a man who iscurrently under federal sentencefor as i understand it true
the statements were obviouslyrendered and so on their way tomaking false statements was a federal planas a result all of the pleabargain under which this sentence was renderedhas decreased this was also ableto have several additional substantialfederal charges dropped ithink it is important to point out and consideringmr priestess testimony that he is a manwho stands convicted of making false statementsi would also like to point out that in the opening
statement made by mr priestess councilit was emphasized them is to priestess was appearingvoluntarily and without offer of immunityso suddenly turned out to be incorrectand that as a result of the same plea bargain under whichmr priestess was sentenced he wasgranted immunity from all of the additional charges growingout of his activities and for mrfernandez on the other hand is appearing herewithout any grant of immunity nor as mr fernandezas for any grant of immunity he has made astatements falling unfairly of the facts as he rememberson all of his transactions worth mr
priestess and has made them would fall out at a right toclaim a fifth amendment privilege and to refuse to answer anyquestions that with regard to the questions raised bysenator montoya mr fernandez feel that these questions i hadnothing whatever to do with the investigation of the presidentialcampaign activities but neverthelessout of courtesy to a very distinguished senator mr fernandez willattempt to answer these questions also forty andthirty like you're much i'd say that as iunderstood mr priester statement on yesterday on the question put by counsel thatrecords to immunity have to do with immunity granted by this committeenot community or its equivalent as it might be given the prosecutingattorney us attorney i might also say without any criticism marcus
weather service council that the committee i believewill do the testimony taken before its wealth under oath byaffidavit and other statement on its merits take into accountall those factors that that might be made to appear in the record allthose matters that you mention that really haven't already proven oneform or the other that should not be prejudicial to the status of thestanding and this decreases or should it be prejudicial that's what that is but iwould point out that these statementsof buddhist priest dismissed commanders for tremendous will be considered impartial bythis committee and all the time the circumstances as well on the question of therelevance of the questions when troy i'm happy to hear that councilhas no objection to their answering i think that we've conducted a pretty freewheeling
inquiries so far all that we can proceed apace withour answer to to these charges which to continue thenplease mr fernandez yesmiller head of the national economic development associationthat the letters that may eleven nineteen seventy two and it was signed by alfredare the locals executive vice president and chief operating officerthis letter to put it in its proper context was submitted by muchavailable as soon after i was attacked on the floor of thehouse of representatives by congressman henry b gonzalez of san antoniotexas mrgonzales according to the congressional record which i have writtenattack may approximately
two weeks after i visited san antonio texas in therole as chet national chairman of the national hispanic finance committeei went into san antoniotexas which is a hotbed of democratic activity very little republicanparty activity and iran in a storefront office in downtownmain downtown san antonio i put a bigstaging re elect the presidenti called a press conference at the tv people are radionewspapers without israelis aren't lining the purposes of the nationalhispanic financed them imean the two party system of apartheid to the spanish speaking peoplewherever we were located i emphasize very strongly the trackrecord of president nixon and the administration with respect to spanish speaking people
i urge the people of barry county texas which is the county surrounding san antonioto do everything in our party support our financial campaign and tosupport the president in his bid for re election approximately tendays two weeks later democratic congressman henry bgonzalez attacking on the floor of the house of representatives and he attacked me andpossible conflicts of interest he attacked me on the groundsof the possibility of wrongdoing while i was chairman of theboard and president other national economic development association it was abeautiful piece of character assassination done under thesanctity their privilege of the house of representatives in otherwords i don't think it would damage as think he made against me you knowmr gonzalez by innuendo by
to suggest the phrases ofwind up at the picture as to my character and asdo my act qualities as a national leader among spanish speaking peoplei received a copy of a congressional report from the front of mindi read it in great detail in the great amazing because i've never beenattacked by any congressman anywhere anytime and this is all new to meand i was enraged eye contact with some of my mexican americanfriends in san antonio texas and asked them what it should fly to san antonio andcalled for a press conference than rebut congressman gonzalez i was toldby my friends who knew this congressman that that was not necessary answer that had never met the manwho has not to my knowledge that this was not necessary that this was atechnique used by congressman gonzalez whenever he can but mexican american leadershipanywhere in his terms a threat to his congressional domain
that you would lash out in every direction hoping that the recipientof the whiplash would fight back and therefore we would be in newspapers for the next ninetydays i was urged to ignore this attack i was told that ifi did not follow the advice that i could not get anything accomplished withrespect to my fundraising activities in san antonio texas i swallow mypride i took my beating and moved on to the next they get an ordinancethat springs to mind that ilearned from my father a mexican immigrant from mexicohe told me as a boy song if you over as an adult work of themany guns i want to remember some the morning the camels havedied from envy and jealousy than from cancer we have this propensityto cannibalize our leadership and i'm no different than any other mexicanamerican trying to service people in this country i have a thought crime founder of the national
economic development association i was particularly asto share this organization because of my background i thinki have an expanded background in finance economics marketing andmanagement and certainly my background in the field of finance a second to nonewith respect my area of expertise second to none anywhere in the united statesi was urged by the members of the war i was urged bysome other people from the administration to take charge of thisorganization i we highlight the fact that at the time that i organizedthere were some thirteen thousand five hundred and shared banks in the united statesonly one organized men and controlled by spanish speaking people there were fourthousand five hundred insurance savings and walls none organized medicine controlledby spanish speaking people i was urged on to provide my
leadership my expertise my management know as a volunteerto lead our people out of the economic doldrums i accept that thisassignment and i'm proud of everything i did while i was chairman of the nationaleconomic development so silly this letter was written by mr alfredit or those who participated in the coup d'etat against me when i was chairman of the boardit and i'm a big boy i don't i can't worry about things like thatthose things happened i was chairman for fourteen months some surprise that lasted as long as idid let's go down those of a series of allegations timesreveals beginning on page two it stays herefirstly the allegation that mr fernandez uses position that neither for his personal financialbetterment is true and while the illegality would be difficult to provethere is no doubt that certain of his actions were improper what action i don'tknow the dispersal financial buttermilk dough out
wasn't true i don't know anything about that when i organized me that ithat less of myself and researching i certainly i still on the corporationwhich is a small corporation i think you have five employees working under its directionand got there and the fear they're putting you divest yourselfset aside notparticipating in any amendment activities of the organization i remove myself i'm sorryan organization i made no no i will attempt to managethe organization directly or indirectly but that did not disqualify theorganization from entering into contact with respect reputations forcharitable or so they can do whatever they want to harvest corporation and hedoes it for the first six months the
organization of need and financial my interests mr medleyoh it stays here also that ideawe were like to exit which let the board ofdirectors to terminate his relationship with the national economic development associationin august nineteen seventy one this isthe nineteen eightiesand the nineteen ninetiessoon after the my resignationone of the members of the war on men in albuquerque newmexico and then you investing in a los angelesand apologize to me for years and participated inwhich resulted in the corporation
secretary of stateyou know banks and savings and loansand many of them were part of the formation of the dough it had receivedmy sanity of upwards of ten thousand dollars or whether the latest happening as anorganization have a separate policy response and such for analysisfirm research and pretty hard to prepare the surface require agenciesof course neither would not answer any more mention of any financialinstitution researchspeaking people throughout the united states to healand it is an area in which we have been largely neglected and thiswas a policy which was about the bible or indeed that
senator montoya i believe i still have copies of the recordsright here welland iwas neededdirectorsit was requesting permission for inclusion of that is justnot realisticat no time did i ever was willing to receive a ten thousanddollars fee or for that matter any kind of healthy organizing financialinstitutions will overturn term record of need itiswe have to question whether they're
being received any such fees while you werepresident lasttuesday said regardinginformation formation of savings onassociations and banksas investors in astatement beforelast tuesday'shearing is occasionsofficially unofficially known as quantitativeeasing which is in sight numerous members of the board ofdirectors are also friends of mine who participate in social politicalaction business activities with
cbsnewsand then i take exception to that point where the best availablestate's approach we took immediate steps to remove him from the lastyear malaysian andlive with my head hung out againthis committee and i don't think the backbone of this committee with respect which now it's aminority enterprise minority activities to our country it is the toughestthing i've ever done in my life to try to work the spanish speaking people into a cohesive unitwe have a tradition of not working together and be among ourselves we joke atthe mexican american is not popular puerto rican puerto rican does not onewant us to know in that it's getting the
straight diverse groups to work together to ensure that i'm going well but the gist of it isi was able to do when i organized acommittee also you know to get this entire industry perspective thanfourteen months i organized international management consulting companyand eleven also some political i recruited trainedand motivated the management of the organization are processed over one hundredmillion dollars in loans for spanish speaking does this man some fifty million dollars wereactually approved i think a sounds of taxpayer dollars that was my rule wouldneed a fully committed fully dedicated to the point were atthat time i picture was the tremendous respect the spanish speaking people becausethe rest of my life i will devote myself thepeakto working with the spanish speaking people
the young arab statesthat there is a transcript of the last board meeting when i realizedthat there was a tape recording of it and this is probablytrue because it was my policy at all means to request a taperecording of the analytic recording of the meeting so that thesecretary would be able to prepare a properly ican sense westervelt was this africa summit has taken this transcripti request this committee that the record the little pencil a lot of theseare pieces of evidence can be sudden i think i think the appropriate way to handleessentially on a level field the jurisdictional expects the committee would befrom that that document or that tape be receiving the files of thecommittee with a little determination on its relevance important recordrather than improving it as an exhibit to the record this time there is no objection to that
procedure until it hasn't really use them theproper documents and take the receiver the files thecommittee for later determination senmccain yeahthere's a nervousmr fernandez did you haveany conversations with a mr yamamoto or tonygonzales concerning grants or people who would beasked to people who would receive grants ole receive grants or contractsare there wasn't there when on discussions with heroes these twomen with respect to our country the subject thebetter
and we would berepublican and that so occasionally at ait was brought to my attention that it's also received a grand jurywe knew thatpeople were and i believe you indicated in responseto a question the staff yesterday morning that you had no discussions is it yourtestimony that he did not mean to include these gossip sessions by it oh you answeri leave us yesterday morning when the word hadany discussions with mr lombardo or ms rodriguez concerning therecipients of grants and contracts and i believe you said that you did not i donot just fall and did you
know whether joseph riley as the head ofgame as associates was receiving a contractwith the government during the period he was chairman of the washington dcvirginia and maryland gradually hispanic finance committee ido not know whether he had a contract at that time i do know that he is a management consultantin washington dc and thatas to whether he himselfmembers of the white house staff including sanaa motorola making effortsto secure our contracts for himand that was then without your knowledge that i ever was i wasand how often were you speaking to mr lombardo and mr rodriguesi would venture to say i'm an average of at least once a week during the campaign and
when i was writing washington dc i always made it a point to try topolice vehiclesand this was not mentioned in those conversations was the factthat the possibility that the white house that was working to secure contractsor mysterious news and so walker what is the name of hiscompany to know all systems in newport beach california and you know whetherthere were any effort made during the campaign to securecontracts will grasp of his company i know of no such efforts by iran does notdiscuss this witness them our motto orbis a writer it is that he'snow sterling was the number of those in thetestimony yesterday was taboo thought of the exhibitwhich you that divide which i'd like to read that again and ask if you have any knowledge ofthat or any participation in any member and in march second nineteen seventy
twodetroit andone with our recent discussion regarding media and our comments of the tail wagging the dogi am attaching an editorial written by anita employee opposing he pointed to a citywhere as deputy director of ongoing this is the latest example of theunwillingness to cooperate with the administrationi think before commerce on squawk on a two million dollar grant you shouldsit down with it a go and explain the facts of life i would appreciate youbeing kept abreast of this highly important matter do you have any personal knowledgeof the circumstances surrounding a memorandumyou knowi thought in the sleepy certainly the final people involved in a memorandum on
homes to gear and that i had noknowledge at such a memorandum was being prepared for looking at efforts were being made toget in a lot of cases the tollis improvisation that the national hispanic finance committee raisedone third of a million dollarsnow did you do anything that could be called the digging intothis the priest has his problems with fhadid you ever tell anybody that you were going to dig intoa recent problems are you familiar with a new storyaccording to that effect and that is in the story that appeared on september secondnineteen seventy three in the miami herald of the track i'm familiar with a new storyand that is that you store incorrectwith a reporter who interviewed me because he did not get full
disclosure as i talked to him and that he withheld certain information andsome of my phrases were distorted and specifically about thebook yes orno vote you have commented onbusinesses credibility from your standpoint i dont like askingwhether you have any reason to believe that this decreases our bears anygrudge against you i do not like to rewriteman was the day we visit secretary stands alland i completely forgotand i gather that in that you have no reasonto shadow no way getting any light on why this decreases mightbe testify falsely against rudy solas notion now are you familiar with theprovisions which deals with soliciting
oh definitelyrhodes sayswhether entering intoany contract with the united states or any department or agency either for therendition of personal services were furnishing any material supplies or equipmentto the united states and the department or agency thereof what were selling any land thebuilding to the united states or any department or agency that payment for theperformances such contracts or payment for such material supplies equipmentland the building used to be made in holland park un funds appropriated by thecongress at any time between the commencement of negotiations for and the
labor one the completion of performance under or two determination ofnegotiations for such a contract or furnishing of material suppliesequipment land the buildings directly or indirectly contribution of moneyor other thing of value or promises expressly was widely to make any such acontribution to any political party committee for a candidate for publicoffice or twenty person for any political purpose or use or asection very knowingly solicits solicits any such contribution from any suchperson or any such weapons during any such error she'll be finenow we are familiar withthat section during the events in nineteen seventy twopresented river come across a sectionin charge and that has the same question that you're not familiar with it when you
spoke to members is that we're a testimony until as minot is a disconnectseven over the questions thatemerged for some are there other questions if there are no other questions the witnessesexcuse me thank you similarly there are no other witnesses scheduledfor this afternoon in the committee will stand adjourned until ten o'clock tuesday morningso now i have that been fermented side of john prine isthe story the committee's to pursue this a broad subject of campaign financing in moredetail next week stephen hess mom are watergate regulars as as anexperiment so in this area of campaign financing primarily as an aide richard nixon in thepast has also authored several books on american politics and is now a senior fellowat the brookings institution stages up the senators vote they took a yearstever today we heard a man named ben fernandez describe the hollander
some extent why he collected fines for president nixon's campaign reelection effortis his rationale for doing this is a fairly typical of white people get inthe fundraising of a selfish motives or their altruistic motives are there areseeking lot of wealth dr alice furlaud variousreasons is because he told us pretty clearly and i think they are instructive first of all there was thequestion of personal ambitions christopher fernandez said he would have liked to have been the firstspanish american cabinet officer second we might call benefitswith different entities that that it would be useful to the spanishamerican community if they had a presence in the nixon campaign in other words he was there becauseof those wealthy and deeply felt it'ssupport in his own community and thirty might call a problematic approval he wassaying i like what nixon did in his first administrationfor the spanish americans and i am supporting him in a sense retroactively
retroactive sanctioning cities are where fairly typical fairly benign reasonswell let's get beyond the benign reasons to becancerous reason certain speed the quid pro quo we saw aman yesterday john jay priestess who said very frankly i'm not to give up to one hundredthousand dollars depending on the story you believe and for that i expect my troubles with thefha to be over selecting their houses i'm not even a republican i don't care a damn thing about richardnixon i just wanted that the fha of how much campaign contributions do yousuppose is given for those reasons christie says the other side of the quiteclearly they were not benign reasons as you said he wanted a fix enough something on thegovernment now i would say that the majority of contributions are infact from the nineties is after all a nineteen seventy two that spatcontributed no campaign something in the neighborhood of four hundred million dollarsperhaps we could say that a few million with tainted in this way but most of
his contributions came for a variety of reasons support for a candidate in your freezeropposition were out of what might be called community chest reason that people give aspart of their obligation as being a good citizen or for symbolic what's relevant andjobs office that so there are all sorts of reasons that people in acampaign and if we're going to continue to have a system of private campaign financingalthough i personally prefer a public campaign financing system i think we have to find ways ofseparating them out allowing the legitimate reasons to come forth andfinding ways to to end those over the priest's is thatthe curfew of you stay with a private system of financing and even asidefrom the priest gives reasons you have you mentioned ago the status givers now i know the latejane wyman was one of the most successful fund raisers the democratic party tell me that peoplewho gave thousands of dollars often they're just to say well i don't get socially in thewhite house i know the president and yet you are
buying something with your money that wouldn't be available to the ordinary citizen edgewell thats right thats certainly true it i myself a republicansystem of financing primarily because the private system has become sotainted even when there's no wrongdoing there's such a feeling that it is corrupting the systemis very hard now to separate out those benign cancers reasonsand another thing i know we've heard over and over again during watergate is a lot of themischief of perpetuated by the committee to reelect president may have been really because they hadtoo much money to spend they just didn't know what to do with it so they don't approve these outlandishspy plans and these other activities just i'm going to spend them and i certainlythink that are and that can be made that if they didn't have the money they couldn't spend itlegally or illegally on the presidential level there's a definitely a number of supply ofmoney there's myrna sufficiency the problem is though that at the same timemost of the rest of politics is under finance the local politics and in fact the
earl the money is not just used for the sake of money is in fact the waythat a candidate has to tell his message so withoutelections will be a mockery and we think the only way to correct this discrepancywith you through legislation yes i think this is the one area of these hearings that we'vebeen involved in cincinnati where there should and could be corrected legislationit's interesting isn't it the interest in the hearings of fall off some of the coverageis not what it was in that we remain out the end of the most important the mostthe part of the problem with most of most readily to a solution and notmany people are paying attention but that's right because the first part of it really is a question ofmorality how do you legislate morality we can have laws on the books to preventpeople from wearing red wings or carry a hundred dollar bills and they're settled society paid atremendous price for that this question of how do we control our own publicfinancing system is key and it's clearly
right for congressional legislation feinstein thanks very muchi'll package on this was in fact the similarity committeesfiftieth day of public hearings is difficult to realize that i was beganas davis said back in may with the testimony of a man named robert earl and we stirtoday but as i said next week there will be still more testimony about this wholesubject of out campaign money was raised in the nineteen seventy two presidential electionone our forecasts say that's for the uk an impact on jim lehrer thankyou and goodnight and backersbrought to washington in november eighth and ivideotaped coverage of today's hearing of the senate select committee on presidential campaign activitythis program was made possible by grants from the corporation for public broadcasting andthe ford foundation has been a production of unpack the vision of the greaterwashington educational telecommunications association
This record is featured in ““Gavel-to-Gavel”: The Watergate Scandal and Public Television.”
1973 Watergate Hearings
Part 3 of 3
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Robert MacNeil and Jim Lehrer anchor gavel-to-gavel coverage of day 48 of the U.S. Senate Watergate hearings. In today's hearing, Ben Fernandez testifies.
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Anchor: MacNeil, Robert
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Chicago: “1973 Watergate Hearings; 1973-11-08; Part 3 of 3,” 1973-11-08, Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 19, 2019,
MLA: “1973 Watergate Hearings; 1973-11-08; Part 3 of 3.” 1973-11-08. Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. May 19, 2019. <>.
APA: 1973 Watergate Hearings; 1973-11-08; Part 3 of 3. Boston, MA: Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from