During the Motorhome Diaries‘ week long stay in Washington DC, Jason Talley had the opportunity to talk to John Tate, the president of the Campaign for Liberty. This interview focuses primarily on the current effort by Campaign for Liberty to pass legislation to audit the U.S. Federal Reserve.
Date: June 16, 2009
Jason Talley: Hello everybody, today we’re in Northern Virginia and I’m here with John Tate, the big kahoona from the Campaign for Liberty.
John Tate: I guess. The chief cat herder.
Jason Talley: I’m missing these cats that you have working for you, but they’re all great people.
John Tate: Absolutely.
Jason Talley: I guess I should throw in there a lot of people who watch Motorhome Diaries, have already met Alison Gibbs, because she is the one that flew down, sprung the Motorhome Diaries crew from that jail in Mississippi. But yeah, you’re working really hard. And volunteers, I attended your CPAC event and that room had so much energy. Tom Woods, Andrew Napolitano, yourself and Ron Paul spoke.
John Tate: Everywhere we go we get thousands of people to show up, even to this day.
Jason Talley: It’s amazing what you were talking about earlier. The liberty movement hasn’t seen this type of organization before and we can credit Ron Paul for that. But then, of course, the Campaign for Liberty is continuing that.
John Tate: Yeah, one of the things, like you were saying, is for years there’s been this disparate group of libertarians, constitutionalists, people that have been fighting in many different ways, some successfully, some not so successfully, and one of our goals at Campaign for Liberty is to try and bring as many of them together in an organized fashion, fight some battles and be successful at both the national and state level.
Jason Talley: Let’s talk about one of the clear successes – and of course, it’s not done yet, there’s a lot of work to do on it – but this Audit The Fed bill, tell me about the Campaign of Liberty’s approach to that.
John Tate: Well, our approach has been a massive effort to get our members, supporters and not just our members and supporters, but we’re in the process now of compacting over 2.5 million Americans who are not affiliated with Campaign for Liberty or the liberty movement per se, to get them to contact their Congressman and Senators and get them on the bill.
Our goal all along has been to get as many co-sponsors as possible. Early in this process, the Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Barney Frank, told Ron if he could just show support for the bill, he’d get hearings on the bill later in the year. I think we’ve gone a long way to show that there is support for this bill. Not just in the 208 member of the Congress who have co-sponsored it, but across the country from people from all walks of life. Our goal is to contact as many of those people as possible, get them to put pressure on their Congressman and senators, and I think so far we’ve seen great success. In fact I would say both Congressman Paul and myself have been pleasantly surprised at how fast this bill has moved.
Jason Talley: So what can the folks do to help push this issue?
John Tate: Well, there are a couple of things right now. One, of course, is for those people who live in districts where the Congressmen are not cosponsors of the bill, to keep the pressure on to get people to co-sponsor.
Second is to start contacting, one of the things we’ve done is an effort to get Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House, to schedule it for a vote. The way bills go through Congress, technically, is that they go through sub-committee, have hearings, get passed up with the committee, have hearings, and get passed up and then they go to the floor for a vote.
The fact is the Speaker of the House can call a vote on any bill she wants at anytime. That’s one effort we’re working on. The other thing, actually I’ve been talking with Congressman Paul today about this… is starting to put a little friendly pressure on Congressman Frank to hold those hearing. I know that they’re very busy right now on socializing medicine and cap-and-trade and other Obama’s agenda items. But we think we can get hearings if we keep the pressure on, if the co-sponsor list continues to grow, and sort of make sure that Barney Frank does what he agreed to do.
Jason Talley: Right, right, the chairman of the committee. So tell me why is it important that we audit the Fed and then maybe as Ron Paul’s new book is going to suggest, ending the Fed.
John Tate: Well boy, this could be a long discussion, but I think one of the reasons we’ve seen such success with this bill to audit the Fed is the fact that the Fed themselves have really helped in our efforts.
They went before Congress, and Congressman Grayson and Congressman Paul asked “Okay, can you just tell us what happened to the money from the bailouts?” and they’re answer is “No”. They refused to tell anyone where the money is going, what they’re doing with the money, who’s getting the money.
And there are certain sections, technically the Fed can be audited with three major exceptions, which I won’t go into. And basically it’s the three areas that you take those out and you really can’t audit the Fed. I think it’s important… number one as Congressman Paul said, this is a first step towards ending the Fed. The Fed has complete power over our money supply, they are printing money. Obviously trillions and trillions of dollars go that nobody knows anything about. This bill is a very good first step to letting the American people know, hey, what’s going on with their money.
Jason Talley: Those in the freedom movement haven’t really had a vehicle to use to be politically active. Full exposure: I don’t believe personally in the political process, I used to, but I’m an anarchist. But I would encourage people that do still believe in the political process to get involved and get involved with the Campaign for Liberty. John Tate, thank you, I do appreciate it.
John Tate: Thank you, I appreciate it.