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Election 2000

William Baldwin from the 2000 GOP Convention

In-Depth Coverage of the Republican National Convention
August 1, 2000
Posted at: 11:00 p.m. EDT

(CNN) – Actor William Baldwin is president and a founding member of the Creative Coalition (CC), a non-profit organization of arts and entertainment professionals. The CC advocates for the arts, children’s education, campaign finance reform, the environment and First Amendment rights. Baldwin is a registered Democrat.

Baldwin has starred in numerous films including "Backdraft", "Virus" and "Flatliners."

Chat Moderator: Welcome to the Allpolitics chat room, William Baldwin.

William Baldwin: Thanks for having me.

Chat Moderator: Why are you attending this convention?

William Baldwin: I am here with a non-profit, non-partisan political organization called the Creative Coalition. It is a non-profit, social and political advocacy group that is comprised of arts and entertainment professionals. And we are here producing three panel discussions on the benefits of art education, on media violence and on pending legislation on public education.

Question from Don: Do you believe that government should even be funding the arts?

William Baldwin: Yes. It's a long answer. I think government should be in the business of funding the arts, because I believe that as a civilized and cultured society, we should make the arts a priority.

The conventions
Paying for programs

There is a role for government, a leadership role, in promoting the arts. It shouldn’t be a billion dollar budget, but, yes, we should be in the business of promoting the arts legislatively and financially. And federal funding is the catalyst for private sector funding for the arts.

When the NEA decides that a certain foundation is worth $25 grand funding, private industry looks at this as saying the federal government has approved this, then a project gets moved along. And there are 15 private dollars for every dollar granted by the federal government.

Chat Moderator: Do you have any final comments for us about the importance of the November elections?

William Baldwin: Yes. I understand why a lot of Americans are disillusioned or disenfranchised by politics and politicians, when you watch this convention this week. A lot of people are disillusioned, because they think there are a lot of fat cats and that corporate dollars are buying influence, and they don't have that kind of access.

And they don't like the nasty campaigning. The conventions are just a coronation where we know who the winners will be, and there are no surprises. It gets negative when you feel you can just take a nap and say, "Wake me up on election day."

Maybe something exciting will happen on the debates. But I am convinced that this is not the time for complacency. You have to get involved. And I feel that this is the time to commit to yourself even more to what you believe in.

Chat Moderator: Thank you for joining us, William Baldwin.

William Baldwin joined the Allpolitics Chat from the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia. CNN provided a typist for Mr. Baldwin. The above is an edited transcript of the chat.

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