episode 207: “The Red Trickle: Where Do Our Elections Go From Here?” with Paul Teller PhD
To put it mildly, the expected massive Republican Red Wave in the recent 2022 midterm elections didn’t materialize. Even though 75% of Americans believe the country is on the wrong track, the election gave us status quo. Virtually every Governor, Senator and House incumbent won reelection. Trump states elected Republican Senators and Biden states elected Democrats. And despite House Republicans getting six million more votes than Democrats (52.3% compared to 46.2%), these votes did not translate into a surge of seats for Republicans. With more and more districts tightly gerrymandered, Democrat incumbents hung on if only by narrow margins. So what happened? Was it the issues, the money, the candidates, local factors, or something else? Joining me to explore this question, and where we go from here, is Paul Teller PhD, the Executive Director of Advancing American Freedom who served in the Trump White House as Special Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs, and then as Director of Strategic Affairs for Vice President Mike Pence. Paul was also Chief of Staff for Senator Ted Cruz. Issues and candidates matter, but how we vote now may matter much more. The COVID lockdowns in 2020 provided the pretext of crisis to radically change American elections to mail-in and early voting, and in ways that now vary wildly state-by-state. Election Day is a thing of the past. Mail in ballots start coming in months earlier. Returns are not counted for days and ballots are both cast and counted under radically different and often suspicious conditions. “The reason in-person voting was always so important was someone else checks you in,” explains Paul. “A different person gives you a ballot, maybe a different person shows you how to in insert your ballot. Just different eyeballs. And so there’s less chance for fraud because there’s so many different kind of checks in the system.” The Democrats—with overwhelming media and money advantages—have mastered the arts of massive and unprecedented early, mail-in, and absentee voting. Democrats have far more control of the election machinery and almost total control of the American media and Republicans don’t. Still, Republicans seem bent on winning “hearts and minds” and on energizing their voters to show up on Election Day. But it is far easier to finesse and control the mail-in ballots than to “get out the vote.” Since the advent of massive ballot mail-in and collection drop-off processes, “votes” have become increasingly less valuable and “ballot collection” has become a key to Democrat party success. Case in point: In Pennsylvania, Oz drew 500,000 more voters to the polls on Election Day than Fetterman did. But Fetterman’s mail-in total exceeded 868,000, four times Oz’s mail-in total, netting a 655,000-vote difference in Fetterman’s favor. With boxes of ballots always seeming to show up at the last minute in close elections to push Democrat candidates into the win column, more and more American will likely never again trust our election results. There is an alternative. Same day voting. In person. With paper ballots. On a Sunday, or make it a national holiday. If Brazil can hold an election and on the same day get the results tabulated by 10 pm, we can too. Paul and I also talk about the great work Advancing American Freedom is doing and their Biden Accountably Tracker which monitors all the bills that Biden proposes, bills he signs, executive orders he issues, letters and directives the White House issues to the agencies, regulations they put out for comment and on and on … all the horribles of Biden’s bad policy choices. Elections matter.
episode 207 transcript
Episode 207: The Red Trickle: Where Do Our Elections Go From Here?” with Paul Teller PhD
Speaker 1 (00:04):
Welcome to the Bill Walton Show featuring conversations with leaders, entrepreneurs, artists, and thinkers. Fresh perspectives on money, culture, politics, and human flourishing. Interesting people, interesting things.
Bill Walton (00:25):
Welcome to the Bill Walton Show. I’m Bill Walton. Well, we had a midterm election a couple of days ago and a lot of us who were hoping for the big red wave didn’t get it. Instead we’ve got, people are calling variously the big red trickle or the big red something. Anyway, it wasn’t big and it wasn’t particularly red. And so now those of us who are conservative, who’ve been very concerned about Biden and the Biden Administration’s agenda are still concerned. And we want to know what we can do now with a slender majority in the House. And we’re still not sure what will happen in the Senate and that won’t be resolved for another month or so. But nevertheless, we, being practical people have to proceed from here. So what do we do and how do we make things happen that benefit the principles we believe in? And to talk about this, I’m delighted, I’ve got my old friend, the very brilliant Paul Teller.
Paul Teller (01:28):
Yeah, I’ll take the old part, I’ll check to that.
Bill Walton (01:35):
Well, you do have a doctorate, Paul.
Paul Teller (01:39):
I’ll check to the friend part.
Bill Walton (01:41):
Pretty well educated, but you’re also very practical because you spent a couple of decades as leader and organizer in the conservative movement. You worked on Capitol Hill, you worked for Ted Cruz as his chief of staff or liaison to the House and Senate. You worked for Donald Trump and you now are working with Vice President Mike Pence. And I think, Paul, didn’t you spend all four years in the Trump White House in one capacity or another?
Paul Teller (02:08):
Yes, sir. Yes, sir. By the way, let me just say, great honor to be here. I’m glad we finally got this done. I know I’ve been trying for a while. You are an old friend, trusted ally, and just great honor to be here. Well, yeah, all four years. Started day six, I wasn’t there on day one of the administration, but six days in, right to the very end. So yeah, all four years.
Bill Walton (02:27):
There are not many people who can say that it was, as with most White Houses, there’s a lot of coming and going. But in a way, Paul, we’ve had trouble putting this together because your busy schedule and mine somewhat. But in a way, we’re fortunate because it’s after in the midterm, we know what happened. And I’ve got a couple big questions. One, what happened? And two, where do we go from here? So first, let’s start and you talk to everybody in the movement and I’m curious about your insights. What happened? Why were we so wrong about getting 50, 60 seat advantage in the house and 53, 54 seats in the Senate?
Paul Teller (03:09):
Yeah, yeah. Well, first of all, let’s all remain optimistic. I know when your viewers are seeing this, we may have more of the answers, but as of today, two days after the election, we don’t know everything. And I’m still reminding some friends who are down in the dumps saying, you know what, we might still have both houses of Congress, which would be a great outcome. It looks like we’ll have at least one, the House, obviously. And so that’s good news. But you’re right, why wasn’t it that explosive wave that so many were predicting, myself included? I was Mr. Optimist on election night going around to the various receptions in DC saying, “Oh, we’re going to have big numbers in the House, big in the Senate.” And I think the jury is still out on a lot of it.
I think what was great at some of the conservative coalition meetings around DC yesterday when folks were talking about it, there was this sense of humility of saying, “I don’t know. We don’t exactly know what happened yet because there’s no one formula.” In other words, you can’t say, well, all the principle people won and all the moderate lost. Well, that’s not totally true. You can’t say, well it was something in the south but not the north. Almost any way you try to break it down. What’s even more confusing if you look at certain states, New York being a perfect example, Republicans lose the governorship. But it looks like that despite that Lee Zeldin had coattails somehow and brought in some new, many new Republican members of the House. The reverse might be true in Nevada where Republicans do win statewide, Senator Laxalt, maybe the governor’s race as well as they’re both looking great. But the House seats we thought we would flip in Nevada may not flip.
Bill Walton (04:49):
Paul Teller (04:49):
There’s just a lot of division. Anyway, it’s a long way of saying I think it’s a little bit too soon to make any sort of sweeping conclusions, but it does look like we didn’t quite connect with independents and swing voters in certain areas the way we thought. And we just have to kind of play it out and see, learn more of that data as we get it.
Bill Walton (05:08):
What about the theory that we had, if you look at the national polls, everything was on our side, but when you looked at individual races, those didn’t match up as well with the national polls and so you had a kind of everything. What were local elections turned out to have very different dynamics in the national polls. And Mitch McConnell was dismaying. He said, “Well, we’ve got weak candidates.” I don’t think we had weak candidates, particularly, but each state lined up with a different dynamic.
Paul Teller (05:43):
No question. No question. And obviously-
Bill Walton (05:45):
But the thing, it’s stunning, Paul. Federman, Pennsylvania, the man won the women’s vote by 20 points. And it seemed like they were able to capitalize on this ableist charge where somehow we were being mean people because we thought somebody who couldn’t put together a sentence or comprehend a sentence might not ought to be senator. And yet they seem to win because of that.
Paul Teller (06:16):
I think maybe, and we didn’t realize we were doing this, but I guess we made him the victim. And like you said, some people felt sorry for him and that maybe they felt like Dr. Oz was being a bully or something. I don’t know. But yeah, I think that’s something else we need to do some soul-searching on is how is it that a guy wears hoodie, tattoos, just doesn’t at all look or sound like a US senator, captured the hearts of so many Pennsylvanians and we got to figure out that lesson because on paper it looks like Dr. Oz should have run away with it. And there might be true in some other races around the country as well. But I agree with you, I don’t think we should just say, oh bad candidates.
Bill Walton (07:02):
What about the more sinister-
Paul Teller (07:03):
Bill Walton (07:06):
What about the more, and I guess I favor this one a bit, that this somewhat more sinister explanation is that the whole process of our elections now are broken and we’ve got a lot of factors at work. We’ve got the mail-in ballots, which are still coming in in the millions, and of course, those come in early and some states let people contribute mail-in ballots after the election’s over, after election day has passed. And we really can’t tell who voted with the mail-in ballots. And it seems like in 2020, the Democrats took full advantage of that and it looks like that happened again in this midterm.
Paul Teller (07:47):
Yeah, no question. And I think that’s something we’ve really got to get our heads around, as our friend Cleta Mitchell and others like to call it, unsupervised voting has become a big problem.
Bill Walton (07:59):
Well, it’s supervised by somebody.
Paul Teller (08:02):
It could be, that’s true, maybe just the wrong folks. But you know what I mean, and it’s not to imply that the American people need supervision like school children, it’s just more to say that something as important as voting, we’ve always believed in America. You got to have a check on it. You have another set of eyes on something when you go into the polling place. The reason in-person voting was always so important was someone else checks you in. A different person gives you a ballot, maybe a different person shows you how to in insert your ballot. Just different eyeballs. And so there’s less chance for fraud because there’s so many different kind of checks in the system. Almost equivalent to as you board an airplane, there’s not kind of one layer of security. You have multiple layers. By the time you’re sitting in your airplane seat, you feel like, all right, this is probably about as safe as I’m going to be because I’ve gone through three, four different layers of checks. So same thing with voting, if there’s no other eyeballs on someone’s ballot when they fill it out at home, seal it, mail it in.
Bill Walton (09:01):
Well we don’t even know that that’s actually what’s happening.
Paul Teller (09:04):
Who voted, right?
Bill Walton (09:05):
That’s the image, but I’m not sure that’s the reality. I had some wicked fund at the polls in Rappahannock County on Tuesday. One of my friends, although we’re a little estranged now, he’s a radical progressive Democrat. We don’t exactly see eye to eye. But he was handling the check in and he asked for my voter id, my driver’s license. And I said, “Well, don’t you think this is a little racist?”
Paul Teller (09:34):
Fantastic. And what did he say?
Bill Walton (09:36):
Paul Teller (09:41):
Oh, that’s fantastic.
Bill Walton (09:41):
Of course, my county went 60% for the Republicans. I was happy about that. He wasn’t. But then there’s a second factor. You’ve heard of Dr. Robert Epstein, right? Epstein, the PhD, is actually liberal and he’s done a lot of work on Google and search engines and how they skew search results to influence how people vote. Even as simple as sending messages to people who they know are Democrats encouraging them to vote but not doing the same thing to Republicans. I know that’s not your area of expertise, but I think that’s something we really need to study more. And evidently, he’s coming out with some very powerful analytics that show that might have been the case even this week.
Paul Teller (10:27):
Yeah, and I think we’ve all experienced this in our lives where maybe you’re Googling an organization, a conservative organization, and in the search terms, the organization’s website itself either doesn’t come up on the first page or it’s like the bottom of the first page. And the first 10 things are liberal news stories criticizing that conservative organization.
Bill Walton (10:48):
The inevitable New York Times hit piece or Politico.
Paul Teller (10:51):
So you could see it just even in a simple search, you’re just looking for the homepage of a very, very top, a very above board nonprofit organization and you can’t even get that.
Bill Walton (11:04):
On page six of Google search pages. Yeah. And then there’s this third piece that I’m think is Cleta Mitchell, who’s been on her mission or passion, and I think it should be all of ours, is that the Democrats have really focused much more on process. And you and I tend to talk about low taxes, regulatory relief, good judges, things like that, policy issues. And they don’t really spend a lot of time on that. They spend time making sure the local election laws favor them.
Paul Teller (11:37):
No question. No question. In fact, that is something Cleta and I agree with. She and I have been working on it, gosh, it’s really been more than 20 years since my first days at the Republican Study Committee on campaign finance reform and other related issues. Because the Democrats, much quicker, got to the notion that policy and legislation are downstream from process and the rules. In other words, first you got to have the right rules, then later on you work your policy and legislation into that, into those rules, into that process. And so they realized, if you change the process in your favor, you’re much more likely to win elections and win your policy. And I think the conservative world is coming around to that with so many election integrity efforts and other such things.
Bill Walton (12:24):
It seems like the Republicans, the conservatives, those of us that feel the way we do, we ought to be pushing for in-person voting, same day with paper. And if Brazil can do that and Italy can do that, I think we could do that.
Paul Teller (12:47):
Yeah. I don’t know why that seems so hard. And some people say, “Oh, maybe some early voting just to allow for the guy who can’t get off of work during voting hours on election day.” Maybe. Maybe it’s one day, two days. But this notion of months of early voting-
Bill Walton (13:04):
Hold it on Sunday. That’s what they do. And I think both Italy and Brazil holds it in Sunday. No excuse.
Paul Teller (13:10):
Bill Walton (13:11):
Anyway. This is the Bill Walton Show and I’m talking with, I’ll say it again, the brilliant Paul Teller who’s the executive director of the Advancing American Freedom Group, which is headed up by Mike Pence. And he’s a great guy and glad Paul’s still working with him.
Paul Teller (13:31):
Bill Walton (13:31):
You all have put together a lot of interesting work. I think the freedom agenda is one of them, advancing American freedom. But then also, you’ve got a very interesting, I don’t know what you would call it exactly, but a chart or a spreadsheet, which is called the Biden Accountability Tracker.
Paul Teller (13:55):
Bill Walton (13:56):
So I want to shift gears from the election because that’s done. We’ve got some ideas about how to get it right going forward. But talk about what the tracker is and where people can find it and how this might guide us towards what we’ve got to do in the lame duck section, and then after people are sworn into office in January.
Paul Teller (14:17):
Yeah, appreciate it. Thanks for plugging both of them. We can talk about both. But the Biden Accountability Tracker, it actually grew out of some of my own personal frustrations in the White House. I know you’re saying, “Wait, there were frustrations in the White House? Hard to believe.”
But as you know, I’m naturally an outreach guy, just love to just connect with people based on good ideas and strategy and all that. And so anytime I would want to connect with you or other leading conservatives, grassroots activists, whatever, many times folks would say, “Hey, do you have an updated list of all great things the White House has done? All the accomplishments or even things you try to do, even if you didn’t fully succeed, but just a good positive list.” And just very often when I would ask around, either the list didn’t exist or it was old or, “Sure, I’ll update it’ll just take me two days.” That kind of thing. And so out of that frustration, I said, “You know what, post-White House, I’m going to start keeping my own personal tracker. Of course, in reverse for the Biden-Harris White House. The negative things they were doing, all the horrible things that they were undoing about our administration.
So I just started keeping a personal list on my own computer. Didn’t publicize it, shared it with a few allies, yourself, some others just to say, “Hey, here are a few horrible things they’ve done. You may not have noticed.” Because part of what I wanted to do was track not just the big things, Fox News, you could get the big horrible things that the Biden-Harris administration do. We’re trying to track the smaller things too. And so now we finally made it public. We cleaned up the language because my original personal language maybe wasn’t so consumable for a public audience because it was just for me and a few close friends.
Bill Walton (15:52):
I think you should have issued the annotated-
Paul Teller (15:57):
The unedited version.
Bill Walton (15:58):
Exactly. Or the unedited version.
Paul Teller (16:00):
No, that’s right. That’s right. So now it’s on our website, advancingamericanfreedom.com. Little bit of a long name, but that’s all that was available.
Bill Walton (16:08):
Paul Teller (16:10):
Bill Walton (16:11):
It’s right there in the front page, isn’t it?
Paul Teller (16:12):
It’s right there. Yeah, you’ll see this kind of a header for it. Biden Accountability Tracker.
Bill Walton (16:16):
You just download it, as I’m doing right now.
Paul Teller (16:19):
You can search by month.
Bill Walton (16:24):
You’re only through August. I guess, you were busy the last couple of months.
Paul Teller (16:28):
I was going to say, right. We need to update it. In fact, our team is updating it as we speak. We had a little delay because lead up to the election. But hopefully, next week we’ll have it fully updated. And like I said, we’re trying to track whether it be bills that they propose or bills that they sign, executive orders they issued, letters and directives they issue to the agencies, regulations they put out for comment. Just anything. A lot of which the media either misses totally or ignores. And then sometimes there’s even something that sounds okay, but then we’re trying to dig into it and say wait a minute, there’s transgender stuff in here or there’s kind of horribly anti-business, anti-capitalist stuff in here. Really pull it out and try to amplify it.
Bill Walton (17:12):
Well, I highly recommend it to anybody watching or listening because this is, in one place, you can go through a very comprehensive, and it’s not 53 pages of policy stuff, it’s maybe 50, 75 words on each thing that’s happened, the name of the bill or the executive order or whatever.
Paul Teller (17:31):
Where you can go for more information. We try to put the link in there, if you want to read the executive order yourself. We also tried to not put in just every horrible statement that the president or vice president makes, because that would be dozens every day.
Bill Walton (17:45):
You’d need a lot more room than this.
Paul Teller (17:46):
A lot more room. We need a new server. So we figured that wouldn’t be useful for folks. And also we didn’t put in nominees, because again, each nominee is a horrible, progressive leftist so why just put thousands of nominees in there to cloud it up? Plus other organizations like the American Accountability Foundation, great friends over there, they’re already doing great tracking.
Bill Walton (18:07):
Another idea for a tracker, Paul, you could have one. Here’s a list of people that Biden’s appointed that are not horrible, left wing, progressive idiots.
Paul Teller (18:17):
Bill Walton (18:18):
My words, not yours.
Paul Teller (18:19):
So that would be a short list. That would be a short list.
Bill Walton (18:22):
Very short list. So where do we go from here? It is early, but we think you get a rough outline of the House and the Senate. We’ve got leadership issues on our side. We’re all concerned that maybe Kevin McCarthy may not do as much as we’d hope. And everybody has hope for different things. I’m not a big fan of the impeachment route. I think there are other more constructive things we can do. And then we got Mitch McConnell, while he’s good on judges, he seems to hide. There’s a reason for his nickname, the turtle. He seems to duck his head into his shell any time something tough comes up. So anyway, with that bit of editorializing, I’ll give it to you. I think that was a question, maybe it wasn’t.
Paul Teller (19:10):
I think it was a question. So actually just a quick thread back to the earlier part of our conversation, some folks are arguing, and again, we still have to sort out the data and really look at everything and how things end up. And some are saying that because many Republicans didn’t have a very clear policy solution agenda could be why some folks lost or at least made it closer than we thought it would be. Because a lot of folks may say, “I’m having trouble with my gas bill, my energy bill, inflation, crime, the border, et cetera, et cetera. But I’m not totally clear what this Republican in my district or in my state would do about those things.” So anyway, that’s a long way of saying, we believe that advancing American freedom and Mike Pence has been this way for decades and I’ve been right there with him, is you got to always have what you’re for. You got to have a positive agenda of true conservative solutions.
And in our case, we just call them American Freedom Solutions. You don’t have to be a conservative to want more freedom. That’s at least what we would like to think, and that’s what we think we can convince more Americans of. Sometimes that conservative phraseology sometimes turns off folks in the middle, certainly little left of center. [inaudible 00:20:24]. You want more freedom across different areas of your life.
Bill Walton (20:28):
Even your title, Paul, American Freedom, those two words are going to cause a lot of young left people to go to their safe spaces.
Paul Teller (20:37):
That’s right. Get triggered.
Bill Walton (20:38):
No, they’re not big fans of the concept of America, nor do they seem to be much interested in freedom.
Paul Teller (20:45):
Well, and that’s the thing too. And unfortunately, it’s even beyond just young folks on college campuses. Just look at the experience across America with COVID. There were unfortunately millions of our fellow citizens who were just cheerfully giving up their own freedoms, their own constitutional freedoms. Here take them, no problem. You don’t want me to meet in my religious services, not a problem. Things like that. Really disturbing. So we felt like we really need to advance freedom, as the name implies, push freedom.
Bill Walton (21:10):
So this is another concept. And I know this because you wrote it, it’s another succinct game plan for what we ought to be doing. On one hand that the Biden accountability for the bad stuff. And on the other, it’s fairly, and I’ve seen a lot of these massive things about what we ought to do it. It’s plain English and it gets you to the essentials pretty quickly. So if you want a roadmap, this would be it.
Paul Teller (21:39):
No, I appreciate it and thank you for saying plain English because that’s something we worked hard at, because earlier drafts, ultimately, we’re a bunch of DC folks so when we were putting it together, we had swamp language in there. We had bill numbers and acronyms and it was like, no, no, no. Get rid of all of that. We want regular normal Americans to be able to read this and be inspired by it and say-
Bill Walton (22:00):
Yeah, there is another language spoken inside the Beltway.
Paul Teller (22:04):
It’s really true. And we tried to put things in there that weren’t just federal government solutions either. There’s state and local government solutions. There’s things you could do just in the culture, in private organizations. It touches all realms of life. And what was also great, but we’re proud about too, is we got ideas from across the movement. It wasn’t just a bunch of us sitting in a DC high office building.
Bill Walton (22:28):
Well Paul, thought I was an extrovert until I met you. You know everybody and they like you.
Paul Teller (22:38):
I’m working on it.
Bill Walton (22:40):
Which is quite an achievement. So I keep getting us off topic. We got a lame duck coming up.
Paul Teller (22:45):
Bill Walton (22:45):
What do we need to do in the lame duck?
Paul Teller (22:48):
See, and this is the thing, and again, coming back to the elections, now that we have the Georgia runoff, which may decide control the Senate, that’s going to be so much of the focus, but right, conservatives shouldn’t lose focus that there are many, many in Washington, both parties who want to spend more money. And the easiest way to spend more money is through an omnibus appropriations bill the week before Christmas when people just want to get out of town, get to their families, get to their beach vacations, get to their parties, or just relax. So that’s a very tempting time to say, here’s one big bill that funds every possible thing in the federal government. Yeah, it’s got some things in there you don’t like. Yeah, it’s got spending increases, but take it or leave it. We need to work against that so that there’s no omnibus appropriations bill at all in this lame duck. It should be done next year when there’s going to be Republican control [inaudible 00:23:38]
Bill Walton (23:38):
So the first takeaway is no omnibus appropriations bill.
Paul Teller (23:45):
Don’t do it. Why would you do it when you have departing members, many departing liberals. You’re going to have more Republicans next year than this year.
Bill Walton (23:54):
And it’s filled with favors to outgoing members.
Paul Teller (23:56):
Oh yeah, no question. In fact, the Senate appropriations committee chairman and ranking member are both retiring, which is dangerous for Washington because there’s temptations to give, like you said, give them parting gifts and name things after them and we just can’t have it. So the conservative push should be, let’s put off any spending decisions now, do it in January, February when we have more reinforcements.
Bill Walton (24:22):
Can we do that with the existing makeup of the House?
Paul Teller (24:28):
It takes some gusto. That’s the thing. It takes folks, members willing to say no and take pressure.
Bill Walton (24:34):
Could we view this as an initial test of McCarthy’s leadership?
Paul Teller (24:39):
And that’s the thing, his or anyone’s race for speaker, while it may happen within the party in the coming weeks, I think next week, the actual vote for speaker doesn’t happen until the House floor in January. So yeah, supposedly a litmus test, at least from the conservative perspective, would be the extent to which the spending decisions are either handled now or put off until more Republicans are in town.
Bill Walton (25:07):
What do you make of Mike Lee’s, and we’re running out, I’ve got 53 hours of questions for you. What do you think of Mike Lee’s, not Mike Lee, but oh gosh, Scott, Senator Scott.
Paul Teller (25:19):
Rick Scott. Rick Scott?
Bill Walton (25:21):
Yeah. What do you make of his announcing he’d like to take on Mitch McConnell?
Paul Teller (25:28):
And tell me if you’ve heard differently at latest, as of you and I talking right now, I had heard that he wasn’t going to do that just through channels. But again, maybe you’ve got different info, I think.
Bill Walton (25:38):
No, I don’t think it’s even remotely practical. People don’t understand how much power Mitch has through control of people’s election coffers and committees that they want to get on. And all the other subtle things like where you are, whether you get privileges in the Senate gym or even. Mitch has got control whip hand on every single one of those items.
Paul Teller (26:02):
Well, and again, also with the outcome of Senate control still pending, shouldn’t we at least let that play through and then members can discuss how they want to proceed.
Bill Walton (26:13):
So what do we do now? I want to stick with the lame duck. Appropriations, anything else we need to be concerned about?
Paul Teller (26:24):
I think that’s the big one, other than, I guess, maybe the defense authorization bill, because that’s so bipartisan and so popular and everyone wants to vote for it. There’s a temptation then to stick in things that maybe we don’t like. It also could be a vehicle where maybe conservatives could try to get things that we do like, like no transgender surgeries at the Pentagon or something like that. So there could be some positive fights there too. But yeah, watch out for the things that might get stuck into-
Bill Walton (26:54):
The defense authorization act is likely to be laden with green agenda, green climate agenda items-
Paul Teller (27:01):
Right, problems against American energy and-
Bill Walton (27:05):
So that they’re doing social engineering through the Defense Department as much as they’re doing at any place else.
Paul Teller (27:11):
Which should be the last place, right?
Bill Walton (27:15):
So what else should we be pushing for? Should we fast forward to January? What do you think happens then? And where do we go from there?
Paul Teller (27:22):
Yeah. Well, and one thing I should mention, we started doing with our freedom agenda, and again, I encourage your listeners to go check it out also on our website, advancingamericanfreedom.com. There’s an introductory video. There’s a pdf, but also right there on the website, there’s even a Spanish version because we’re trying to do increased outreach to our Hispanic friends coming more and more away. But it really has a menu of options. And we broke it up into three buckets of how do you advance freedom in the arenas of culture, opportunity, and leadership. Basically social conservative, economic conservative, national security conservative. And again, there’s a variety of different things that you could execute from everything from your family and your local community all the way up to the federal government. So I would just say really take a look at that. It’s great not only for your conversations, but it’s good for things you can push your state legislators to do, your elected federal representatives to do. And look, and even the Biden administration, there’s things we could push on them from the regulatory perspective.
So I would say let’s dive into that. And so what we’ve done is we’ve started identifying bills already introduced in Congress just a first start across different issues. We started with pro-life, religious liberty bills, then we did immigration and border security bills, saying, these bills already introduced would help activate freedom agenda, put into action this plan for freedom. And so I think maybe we as conservatives could do more of that and say, it’s great to talk about an agenda. How do we actually activate it? How do we move-
Bill Walton (28:54):
And you’re right, we can’t really know anything until we find out what happens with Warnock and Herschel Walker in Georgia. That one, it’s just something, isn’t it that it all comes back down to a Senate race in Georgia. Not since Sherman’s march to the sea has Georgia been so important.
Paul Teller (29:15):
Exactly right. I just hope that elected Republicans will at least start right out of the gate next year with just things that are not only popular with conservatives, but that are popular even with Democrats. Like for example, photo ID, like you mentioned before, is popular across the spectrum. So let’s see if we can have some federal standards for that. Things like that. There’s ways of going about it that are bipartisan, yet conservative.
Bill Walton (29:43):
Okay. Well let me put you on the spot and be a little wicked.
Paul Teller (29:46):
No, it’s good.
Bill Walton (29:47):
The election’s over. It’s been over for two days now it’s time to talk about the next election. Can you handicap the presidential candidates?
Paul Teller (29:56):
Man? Honestly, no. And although I’m going to do my best to dodge this question, I will say-
Bill Walton (30:05):
Okay, you’re allowed to.
Paul Teller (30:06):
But I will say that it just shows you that even in the course of a week, how much just the feeling around the possible 2024 candidates have changed. President Trump, Ron DeSantis, Mike Pence, et cetera, et cetera, just even this week, and yeah, we got Mike Pence’s book, his autobiography coming out November 15th. That could be another factor in all of it. So I would just say-
Bill Walton (30:34):
Does he talk about January 6th?
Paul Teller (30:35):
Rough and tumble.
Bill Walton (30:35):
Does he talk about January 6th in that?
Paul Teller (30:36):
Oh yeah, absolutely. In fact, there’s already some excerpts that the Wall Street Journal published yesterday. So they’re out there, some of the excerpts. Yeah, that’s going to be some of the most hot button stuff of the book. It’s just talking about that day, just factually just what happened.
Bill Walton (30:50):
I think he needs to do that because there’s so much confusion and anger and emotion surrounding that, and it’s been so distorted by the January 6th committee and everything since then. So I think you get it out and set the record straight from his point of view is important.
Paul Teller (31:07):
Just even some basic facts, frankly, even I, on his team, didn’t know. I was reading the excerpts and I’m like, “Oh God, I didn’t know that.” So he just wants to get some of the actual events and moments.
Bill Walton (31:20):
I know Mike and I wanted Mike to run for president a long time ago.
Paul Teller (31:23):
I remember that. Yeah.
Bill Walton (31:25):
He’s a decent man. He’s also a courageous man and I don’t believe he backed down from something. If he thought he could do one thing and do it legally and morally, he would’ve done that. He made a different decision. So I think we all ought to know what his thinking was. But you’re right, this whole thing in Dade County, can you believe what DeSantis did in Dade County?
Paul Teller (31:47):
Isn’t that fantastic? That’s just so inspiring. Not just for the great state of Florida, but just all of America that we just have the Hispanic population, just understanding where ideas of freedom lie and how it benefits their lives, their families, their communities, their businesses. It’s really inspiring to see and look forward to that sticking and growing around the country.
Bill Walton (32:11):
Well, we’re going to have a lot of spectator sport in the next coming up.
Paul Teller (32:16):
A lot of fun.
Bill Walton (32:16):
In the presidential stakes. So Paul, last word, what else? Want to wrap this up?
Paul Teller (32:23):
Yeah, I guess, well again, wrap it up by where I started. Thanks again for having me on. You’re great warrior, great friend, great fighter. Look forward to ongoing collaboration. But yeah, we just say to your folks, just check out advancingamericanfreedom.com. Lot of stuff on there. Not even just the stuff we talked about today. We have an American energy promotion campaign on there. Great videos smacking the Biden administration. Just so much other content that’s on there that I think you’ll really enjoy and look forward to sharing.
Bill Walton (32:50):
Okay, well Paul, thanks. Paul Teller, thanks for joining. Great conversation. We’ll follow up in a few months when we know a bit more about the shape of politics in town. Thanks everybody for taking in the Bill Walton Show. As you know, can find us on all the major podcast platforms and YouTube, Rumble. And also this show airs on every Monday night on CPAC now, and we’re adding a second show. We might be adding another night on CPAC. So anyway, thanks for taking it in, and Paul Teller, as always, has been a brilliant guide into what’s going on in Washington. Thanks Paul, and thanks Paul, for joining.
I hope you enjoyed the conversation. Want more? Click the subscribe button or head over to the billwaltonshow.com to choose from over a hundred episodes. You can also learn more about our guest on our Interesting People page. And send us your comments. We read everyone and your thoughts help us guide the show. If it’s easier for you to listen, check out our podcast page and subscribe there. In return, we’ll keep you informed about what’s true, what’s right, and what’s next. Thanks for joining.
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