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Good morning. I'm Morgan Holm. You're listening to, a special live broadcast of the Senate Rules Committee hearing on allegations of election fraud by Oregon Senator Bob Packwood, OPB. Tess Vigeland is with us here in our Portland studio. And political analyst Bill Lunch joins us from Corvallis. Good morning to both of you. Good morning. While we're waiting for the committee to actually begin here, Tess, why don't you go ahead and outline for us exactly what the procedure will be when we get to it? Well, we'll hear from both sides of this issue. Attorneys for both Packwood and for the group Oregonians for Ethical Representation, which is the group that was formed shortly after the allegations surfaced late last November. Each side will be given 30 minutes to present its case to the committee. We have to lead counsel who will be presenting those cases. Catherine Meyer is lead counsel for Oregonians for Ethical Representation. She is an attorney with Meyer and Glitz and Stien, which is a law firm in Washington, D.C.. James Fitzpatrick will be representing Senator Packwood.
He is an attorney with Arnold and Porter and a very heavy hitter. Also back in Washington, D.C. Once the two of them are finished making presenting their arguments, which have already been outlined in briefs submitted to the committee in March, then we will hear questions and answers from committee members. Bill, let me ask you a question real quickly here. We'll get some technical details worked out. This is looking at the membership of this committee. This is really an inside baseball committee, about the most inside baseball committee you can get in the Senate. Four of the in fact, I think the four longest serving members of the of the Senate are on this committee, Claiborne Pell and Robert Byrd and Daniel Inouye, all Democrats and Bob Dole of Kansas, Republican. What can you maybe tell us give us a little bit of context for this committee and tell us what sorts of things we're likely to see from the questions and and just the general approach that these senators have? Well, there's a distinction to be made here, which is an important one. And that is this Rules Committee investigation concerns whether or not Senator
Packwood committed the equivalent of fraud in the 1992 election when he failed to disclose information about the investigation of sexual harassment that was going on at that time through a newspaper. More than that, those who are the petitioners, those who are making the claims against him, say that he did more than just fail to disclose that he actively tried to stop information from coming out, which, had it been available to the public in Oregon, would have changed the election outcome. This is an unusual kind of claim for them to be making, or it's unusual for the Rules Committee to be hearing this. But it's quite serious because when Senator Packwood was seated, he was seated, as the saying goes, without prejudice, which means that there was awareness on the part of those seating him, that this would come up and could be reviewed in a significant way. Well, I can hear from the committee chambers at this point. They've begun. So we're going to go ahead and switch to that. And the voice will be hearing is Wendell Ford, the Democratic senator from Kentucky,
who is the chairman of this committee, have minutes of questions to each counsel or each member. Of the first five minutes are four questions directed to the petitioners, counsel and her answers. The second five minutes are for the questions directed to Senator Packwood counsel and for his answers. If we agree to assume jurisdiction to proceed further in this case, in this committee, we would invite every disgruntled voter in every state, in every state election from now on to file a similar petition. And we'd be obligated to review the facts in each case and make a determination on the merits of each petition that is unthinkable and unworkable. No purpose whatsoever that relates to the integrity of the Senate or the sanctity of the electoral process would be served by any further proceedings in this committee. I urge the committee to dismiss the petitions. Secondly, Senator McConnell has asked that the statement be placed in the record. So read without objection. Senator McConnell's statement be in the record, if
anything, further from senators. Now, under the previous statement, Myanmar, you will have five minutes to sum up and then Mr. Fitzpatrick will have. We're going to break away from our coverage of the Senate Rules Committee. At this point, our satellite time is just about out and we would not be able to give you both sides and equal time of the closing statements. So we'll just spend a few minutes here before we return to our normal schedule and discussing a little bit about what we've heard this afternoon. Tess Vigeland joins me here in our Portland studio. And Bill Lunch is with us in our Corvallis studio. Tess, what stood out to you from this last three hours, basically, of this hearing about the arguments that both sides made? I would have to say that obviously most of the arguments were centered on the constitutional basis for being able to unseat Packwood from the Senate. It deals with the whole aspect of whether the Senate has authority to decide the elections, returns and qualifications of its members.
As we heard from Packwood's attorney, Packwood is really concentrating on a Supreme Court case from nineteen sixty nine that dealt with the qualifications of senators, meaning their age, their residency requirements and their citizenship of the United States. Packwood's opponents, however, say that there is a big difference between elections and returns and qualifications, and that it's the election that they are contesting at this point. And what went on during that election, as we heard, some of the senators say they believe the election is what happens on the day of the election. Catherine Meyer, however, argued that the election is indeed what's what's involved with the entire campaign. But I sensed certainly from a lot of senators on both sides, both Democrats and Republicans, that there is a real hesitancy to take a look at making the unprecedented move of taking this to the Senate because of what what Dianne Feinstein termed the Pandora's box that that it opens. Once you say that because a senator has
has lied to reporters or because they have admitted facts during a campaign, does that mean that they are automatically going to be subject to to some sort of Senate oversight? And if that's that's the case, I think the senators themselves were even saying that, well, you know, does that mean that every single election is going to be contested? Because in the heat of a campaign, a lot of things are said and done that don't come to fruition. So I would say that, again, there is a lot of hesitancy on the part of a lot of these senators on this committee to to take that one step farther. Bill, what's your perspective on that or what what was your impression of the hearing? Well, I think that on the constitutional issues, test is right. It does have to do with the whole matter of the qualification for office as far as the constitutional standard is concerned. But there is another issue here, and that is historically both the Senate and the House
have been willing to look at what's called the integrity of the election process. And what that means is that where they've had clear examples of fraud or bribery or intimidation of voters, that sort of thing, then they have been willing to look at whether or not a member might be excluded in terms of being seated initially or perhaps as is being argued by the plaintiffs in this case, removed from office after the fact that they had been seated. So was the integrity of the election in Oregon in November of 1992 compromised by the behavior that Senator Packwood is alleged to have carried out? And for that, you would need, as Catherine Meyer said, an investigation of what he did. And then if there was a finding that the integrity of the election had been compromised, essentially the parallel to what if there had been bribery of, say, state election officials to miscount the ballots, then he might be
excluded. But I also agree with Tess that the tone of the questioning was very skeptical from senators on both the Democratic and the Republic. And sides, and it seemed to me that the critical questions were asked by Pat Moynihan and Dianne Feinstein, Moynihan reached back. He is a former college professor, I should add. And so this is probably his tendency. But he reached back into the historical record to find the comments of James Madison on this question. When the Bill of Rights was being debated before Congress during the very first Congress and asked about whether or not essentially this Congress ought to add to those kinds of requirements. And then Feinstein asked the very practical question, essentially, which I would paraphrase this way if we have negative advertising in a Senate campaign, which virtually all of them do now, what would prevent the losing party in such an election from coming forward to contest the outcome? And the response by Catherine Meyer was that
the committee could establish as broad or as narrow a test for what they would consider as they would like. But I think that the overall tone of this is not going to be favorable. It would appear, at least for the people who are contesting the election outcome, at least in the rules committee. We've got just about 45 seconds here, Bill. But do you think it is significant that Secretary of State Phil Kiesling today decided not to pursue anything on a state level, as they mentioned a couple of times, and that. Well, it's it's interesting that he did that. I suspect this has to do less with Phil Keasling and more to do with the Department of Justice, because this is the kind of matter that would be handled over at the Department of Justice by the lawyers rather than Phil Kiesling personally. OK, Bill Lunch, I thank you very much for joining us from KUSI in Corvallis. My pleasure. And Tess Vigeland, thank you for joining us here in the studios of OPB in Portland. You've been listening to a live broadcast of the Senate Rules Committee in Washington, D.C. The views expressed on this program are not necessarily those of Oregon
Public Broadcasting and its member stations. Pete Henry is the engineer for AP Radio National Public Radio, provided technical assistance in getting the signal to us. You're listening to the stations of OPV, Oregon Public Broadcasting. Our stations are Kopb ninety one point five FM in Portland, Kokabee ninety one point three FM in Bend Carbon ninety point nine FM in Pendleton and Quassey 550 AM Corvallis. The contributor supported radio stations of Oregon Public Broadcasting. I'm Morgan Holm, coming up this afternoon on our AM station. In just about 60 seconds, you'll hear Marketplace followed by All Things Considered and on our FM station. Good afternoon, this is Oregon Considered for Monday, May 10th, 1993, I'm Morgan Holm. In this half hour. We'll review the highlights of the Senate Rules Committee
hearing in Washington, D.C.. That hearing was designed to let senators consider legal arguments about whether they can act on an accusation of election fraud by one of its members, in this case, Oregon's Bob Packwood. At least one senator worried about the implications. I'm concerned because I see your request as one that really opens a Pandora's box for this body and could have such broad application and implication. Future campaigns, federal campaigns. Also, Oregon's secretary of state declines to pursue an investigation of similar charges at the state Capitol. Campaign finance reform and land use topped the agenda. Those stories and more after a roundup of regional news and weather.
Good afternoon, I'm Nancy Marshall with a look at Northwest News. Senators sharply questioned today whether they could nullify Senator Bob Packwood selection because of allegations that he won by lying to the media about his sexual behavior. The committee heard oral arguments from lawyers arguing for and against petitions by more than 250 Oregon voters seeking to oust Packwood from the Senate. The committee adjourned without making an immediate ruling. Challengers represented by attorney Catherine Mayer contended that Packwood defrauded voters by lying to reporters, thereby delaying until after the election. Any news stories about his unwanted sexual advances? Packwood attorney James Fitzpatrick argued that neither the Senate nor his staff lied about his contact but conduct, but responded cautiously to specific questions asked by the media. Oregon Secretary of State Phil Kiesling has repeated his refusal to investigate that election law complaint against Senator Packwood. Kiesling first ruled in early January that alleged sexual harassment by Senator Packwood,
if it did in fact occur, was not covered by state election laws. That ruling prompted Packwood's opponents to file a follow up complaint. But Kiesling said today that his original decision stands. Kiesling emphasized that his refusal to investigate did not mean that the allegations against Senator Packwood were untrue. A coalition of public interest groups announced today they'll be taking campaign finance reform to the voters if the legislature doesn't act. The Senate passed a campaign reform initiative last Friday, including contribution limits and voluntary campaign spending ceilings. But initiative backers say they see little chance the Oregon House will approve the proposed statewide ballot measure and send it to voters. Portland Democrat Mike Burton says the initiative is, in his words, dead on arrival in the Oregon House coalition, including Common Cause and the League of Women Voters plans a petition drive to get the seventy thousand signatures needed to put the measure on the ballot if the House kills it.
The Oregon Senate today approved a measure to stop racial bias in the enforcement of certain drug laws, specifically motor vehicle searches. The bill requires police to pull over a vehicle to give drivers a written notice of their right to refuse to have the car searched. Taking a look at our forecast in the Willamette Valley in Portland vicinity, it'll be unseasonably warm tonight. Partly cloudy lows near 50 tomorrow, mostly sunny, with highs in the lower 80s in the Columbia Gorge. Unseasonably warm once again tonight, partly cloudy lows around 50. The wind from the east at five to 15 miles per hour, except for 15 to 30 miles per hour in the western portion of the gorge tomorrow. Partly cloudy highs in the 80s. The wind from the east at 10 to 20 miles per hour in the Cascades tonight, partly cloudy. The freezing level, twelve thousand feet, minimum pass. Temperatures near thirty five tomorrow, partly cloudy. The freezing level once again. Twelve thousand feet afternoon past temperatures in the 60s in central Oregon Redmann.
And then tonight, once again, unseasonably warm tonight. Fair lows in the lower 40s tomorrow, mostly sunny highs in the mid 80s in Pendleton and the Columbia Basin. Tonight, fair lows around fifty tomorrow. Sunny highs near 90 in Baker City in the northeast mountains tonight. Fair lows in the 40s tomorrow, mostly sunny highs in the 80s in burns and vicinity tonight. Fair lows in the 40s tomorrow. Mostly sunny highs in the 80s on the Oregon coast tonight, partly cloudy lows near 50 tomorrow, partly cloudy with highs near 70.
This is Oregon considered, I'm Morgan Holm. The Senate Rules Committee heard legal arguments today about whether it should investigate allegations of election fraud committed by Oregon Senator Bob Packwood. The question center on whether Packwood lied to reporters about an investigation being conducted by The Washington Post newspaper and whether he intimidated others who could have come forth with information before the election. This was one of two Senate committees considering Packwood's case. The Senate Ethics Committee is still conducting its investigation into allegations of sexual harassment on the part of Packwood OPV. Tess Vigeland joins me now to discuss the Rules Committee hearing today to ask what was the basis of the committee hearing? Well, today we're really talking about a constitutional issue, specifically what powers are granted to the U.S. Senate as far as determining their membership and who is actually going to be seated as a senator? Now, Senator Packwood has already been seated, but today we were talking about whether this Senate committee has the authority
to look into these allegations that have been made by several actually about 250 Oregon voters and specifically the group Oregonians for Ethical Representation. Now, today, we heard from both attorneys, Packwood's attorney and also an attorney representing the voters who filed petitions with the Senate. Packwood's argument was essentially that the qualifications to be a senator are only as they are enumerated in Article one of the Constitution, namely those that we always heard of in our civics classes about citizenship, age and residency. And the Packwood argument was based mostly on a case out of the U.S. Supreme Court known as the Powell decision, which essentially said in nineteen sixty nine that those were the qualifications for someone to be seated as a U.S. senator. Packwood's attorney also argued that Packwood was duly elected, which he said was an issue as well. And he said that that was by virtue of the fact that
Packwood holds a certificate of election that was given to him by the secretary of state, that because he won the most votes, he is the senator. Now, Packwood's opponents say no qualifications are only a part of it. Catherine Meyer, who was the attorney for that side, said that you must also consider elections and returns now in the Constitution. It said that the Senate is is the sole determiner of qualifications, elections and returns. And what Meyer did was try to show that there is a difference among the three of them. She says that elections includes campaigns and not just as some of the senator said in their questioning the day of the election. When people go to the polls, she said that elections include everything leading up to the day of the election. Now, she also cited another court case where the court said, no, duly elected does not just mean that you have a certificate. And that was a later court case from 1972
which enumerated that the Senate does have the sole authority to determine qualification for the Senate. Now, the question that arose out of both of their arguments was, where do you draw the line on what the Senate can police and what it cannot? Catherine Meyer argued that this was a deliberate, unequivocal misrepresentation of fact so that Packwood did so that he could be elected. It was not campaign rhetoric. It was a concerted campaign to keep the truth from the public. And this is how she enumerated that for the Senate committee. So in answer to your question about where do we draw the line, I would say that clearly where the challenged conduct involves affirmative efforts by a candidate to interfere with the integrity of the electoral process for the purpose of affecting the outcome of the election. And in the absence of any countervailing need to protect
the personal privacy of the candidate, the Senate should exercise its authority, at least to conduct an investigation of the charges to determine whether the evidence warrants calling for a new election. Now, we just heard Catherine Meyer also point out that this is preliminary. This is not the actual Senate committee doing its investigation of these allegations. But they wanted to hear today was whether they had the authority to even start that kind of investigation. Well, on the other hand, Packwood's attorney, James Fitzpatrick, repeatedly argued that if the Senate Rules Committee even decided to do an investigation, they would really be positioning themselves at the top of a slippery slope in effect. Yeah, absolutely. That's one of the points that James Fitzpatrick, Packwood's attorney, made repeatedly. He reminded senators that the first of all, that the whole proceeding was based on what he called today unreality, that is there was an assumption of guilt during the whole proceeding today
that Packwood had indeed committed these these offenses, when, in fact, there has been no investigation. He did say repeatedly that Packwood admits to nothing at this point, but for the purposes of the hearing, they decided to go on with the legal arguments. He says that any action by the Senate on this particular issue would make the Senate essentially responsible for policing campaigns across the country. And the ramifications of that were. Well, let's hear how he put it to the committee. This proposal would turn elections into a giant game of gotcha. A losing candidate would comb the record for some snippet of personal information that the winning candidate may allegedly have misrepresented or shaded or fudged. Can one think of a single election that one side doesn't say that the other side isn't leveling with the people, isn't
telling the truth? The proposal asks the Senate be transformed into a political SCC which which would review the accuracy of statements made in a campaign as if they were contained in a proxy statement. Now, as you can see, his argument there is basically that if indeed Packwood made some misstatement, as he characterized it to the press prior to the election, what campaign has has not been through that that kind of activity. He also noted that federal prosecutors and other fraud cases never deal with the tactics, deeds and and rhetoric that there is inherent there. And this is really a subjective question of intent. You touched on this a little bit earlier, but there were strong elements of a constitutional debate in this hearing and the interpretation of what the Constitution says about the Senate and its powers. How did that figure into this committee hearing today? Well, the real question was whether the Senate has the power
to decide this issue. And in fact, one of the questions that was posed to the attorneys by the committee chairman, Wendell Ford of Kentucky was he said, well, if you're saying he posed this question to Catherine Meyer, if you're saying or excuse me, he posed this question to James Fitzpatrick, If you are saying that the Senate has not the power to judge to to do this kind of investigation, does the Senate ever have the power to look into allegations of fraud or wrongdoing during a campaign? He pointed out that, you know, even though the Constitution says we do have the power to judge elections, and this was one of the exchanges that we had between Wendell Ford and Packwood attorney James Fitzpatrick. Are you saying to us that the Senate would have no power to exclude someone who stole an election, for example, bribing another candidate not to run or bribing large number
of voters, even though the Constitution says we have the power to judge elections? It would be your position that we would have to accept the results of the election even though we knew it was stolen. No, not at all. It was bribery involved. There separate federal statutes that make it good to send you up the river for that. That's far beyond the issue of whether it's a matter of discretion. One wants to get into the area of having the Senate run fraud trials on campaign mistakes. And that's where we think the line we think the line ought to be drawn, where the Senate has always drawn it, which is to look at the corruption of the election process itself. Test was it possible to get a general sense of the direction the senators on this committee seem to be heading? Well, I think that anyone who would listen to the entire hearing would definitely get the feeling that the senators were real wary of allowing this investigation to continue
just by virtue of what we talked about earlier about the slippery slope. In fact, that was, I think, very evidenced by question that Dianne Feinstein of California posed to Catherine Meyer. I'm concerned because I see your request as one that really opens a Pandora's box for this body and could have such broad application and implication, the future of campaigns, federal campaigns. How do you see this is different from a case where an individual candidate does a television spot? Which is false maligning even what some people might consider to be libelous and wins with why doesn't that taint the election? Well, it may taint the election. Let me start by saying to in answer to your concern about the Pandora's box,
the rule that this committee chooses to arrive at here can be as broad or as limited as you choose. That is your decision. There need not be contrary to what Mr. Packwood's counsel argues, a Pandora's box open simply because you decide to exercise your discretion here. And once again, that was Senator Dianne Feinstein of California. Thanks, Tess. OPB political analyst Bill Lunch is also with us from our Corvallis studio. Good afternoon, Bill. Good afternoon, Morgan. One of the key elements of this hearing today that we haven't yet discussed involves sort of the integrity of the election process. How does that fit into the Rules Committee's job here? Well, to tie in to what Tess was talking about, the Constitution indicates and historical precedent provides that the Senate and the House, for that matter, clearly do have the power to ensure what's called the integrity of the election process. And that was a phrase that those who listen to the hearing today heard repeatedly. Everybody agrees that the Senate can do that.
What does it mean? Well, historically, integrity, the election process refers to bribery, ballot stuffing, as some politicians used to call it, voting the graveyard. The attorney for Senator Packwood, Mr. Fitzpatrick, referred to it as garden variety election frauds. And in the 19th century and early in this century, those kinds of things went on with regularity. That was fairly commonplace, including, by the way, the issuance of of certificates of election fraudulently and essentially those who are challenging before the Rules Committee. The election of Senator Packwood are taking the rules that have always applied for a long time, at least to these kinds of election frauds and trying to extend them conceptually. What they are arguing is that statements made to the press, which are then transmitted electronically, such as we're doing over the radio or certainly over television, are sort of modern fraud and therefore
Live coverage of Senate Rules Committee Hearing
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Oregon Public Broadcasting
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The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia)
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"Oregon Senator Bob Packwood's lengthy political career is in jeopardy due to investigations by the Senate Ethics Committee and the U.S. Department of Justice. While those investigations are largely 'Inside the Beltway' stories, OPB Radio attempted to cover Senator Packwood in ways relevant to Oregon voters. In particular, we tried to avoid 'pack journalism,' but still cover significant events that had a bearing on the senator's effectiveness as an elected representative of the state. Our entry includes the news stories filed for our daily half-hour news magazine, Oregon Considered, and excerpts from two live broadcasts (tape logs attached). On May 10, 1993, OPB Radio was the only broadcast medium to carry the entire Senate Rules Committee hearing on a challenge to the validity of Senator Packwood's election. On November 1-2, 1993, OPB Radio again provided the only live (non-cable) coverage of the 16-hour Senate debate on whether to support a subpoena issued by the Ethics Committee for Senator Packwood's diaries. Audience response was extremely favorable. Although we do not have the financial resources of a commercial station, OPB's commitment to balanced, fair coverage has resulted in comprehensive and relevant stories for the people who vote for Oregon's political leaders. Our coverage does not include flashy, headline-grabbing 'wiggle' disclosures (thanks, Larry Sabato), but it is journalistically sound, reliable and as detailed as possible for a broadcast medium. OPB is the public radio organization serving about 75 percent of Oregon's population so we consider this kind of coverage to be our unique responsibility. OPB tries to cover the news in a meaningful way for urban and rural Oregonians, for people who read local newspapers and watch television or those who rely solely on radio for their information. WE have tried to set a standard for political coverage in this state, and this Peabody entry is a result of that effort."--1993 Peabody Awards entry form.
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APA: Live coverage of Senate Rules Committee Hearing. Boston, MA: The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from