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'The Rachel Maddow Show' for Thursday, April 29, 2010

Read the transcript to the Thursday show

Guest: Dan Stein, Michael Brune

KEITH OLBERMANN, “COUNTDOWN” HOST:  And, now, with a member of the one

who groups who helped write the Arizona law, joining her to discuss, so

let‘s have that cleanup ready in the D.C. studio—ladies and gentlemen,

here is Rachel Maddow.

Good evening, Rachel.               

RACHEL MADDOW, HOST:  Good evening, Keith.  I‘m expecting a spirited

and constructed and civil discussion.

OLBERMANN:  Oil everywhere on the floor, on the ceiling, I‘m sure of

it.

MADDOW:  Thank you, Keith.

Thanks to you at home for staying with us for the next hour.  Tonight,

there are politicians all over America.  Who are probably wishing they

could take four simple syllables back, but it‘s too late for that.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(MUSIC)

MADDOW (voice-over):  As political slogans go, it seemed like a pretty

catchy one at the time.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

MICHAEL STEELE, RNC CHAIRMAN:  Drill, baby, drill.

SARAH PALIN ®, FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR:  Drill, baby, drill.

RUDY GIULIANI ®, FMR. NYC MAYOR:  Drill, baby drill.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN ®, ARIZONA:  As that sign says over there, my

friends: drill, baby, drill.

(CHEERING)

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

MADDOW:  After a Democratic president sides with the “drill, baby,

drill” crowd, reality catches up to and overtakes the political appeal of

offshore drilling.

And when your hot shot Senate candidate is against it and your hot

shot former half-term governor turned money machine is all for it, it is a

big problem for you.  “It” is Arizona‘s “paper‘s please” law which is

teaching the Republican Party a hard lesson: Live by the wedge issue, die

by the wedge issue.

We‘ve already introduced you to the people behind “papers please” and

what they‘re all about.  They‘re a group called FAIR and they felt we

weren‘t especially fair to them.  Tonight, Dan Stein for the Federation for

American Immigration Reform joins us to respond and to face some questions

-- at length.

Plus, a scoop about Ken “The Cuch” Cuccinelli, Virginia‘s one-man gang

that sue the federal government over health reform, it turns his lawsuit

against the tyrannical Obamacare that he said would only cost Virginia $350

has turned out to be mainly a fundraising ploy.  We have the evidence.

And we have the evidence that Vladimir Putin fears nothing, as long as

anything scary is drugged and blow dried to look pretty before he has to

face it.

THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW starts right now.

(MUSIC)

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MADDOW:  Ready or not, here it might be.  It turns out they‘re going

for immigration reform.  Yes.  The long-awaited yet largely unexpected

fight to reform federal immigration policy is, as of today, unexpectedly

upon us.  The tick-tock of what led up to us learning this today is a

little bit head-spinning.

Last night, President Obama told reporters on Air Force One that

Congress probably lacked the, quote, “appetite to take on immigration this

election year.”  That comment from the president led to the broadly

understood truth expressed by this completely conclusive “Associated Press”

headline.  It‘s not going to happen.  “Immigration reform off the agenda,”

so says Obama.

Well, this morning, House Minority Leader John Boehner one up the

“A.P.,” saying, quote, “There is not a chance that immigration is going to

move through the Congress.”  Not a chance.

Not long after Mr. Boehner took up residence on that particular limb,

Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid got all “oh, yes” on the subject. 

Senator Reid called Mr. Boehner‘s bluff and introduced what he called a

framework for overhauling U.S. immigration laws.  It spells out tougher

border security, high tech I.D. cards for immigrant workers, a new process

to admit temporary workers, tough sanctions on employers who hire people

who are in this country illegally, and eventually a path to citizenship for

those who are currently here illegally.

Neat.  It‘s neat, that he introduced it.  That‘s what they want to do. 

We‘ve got a framework.

But didn‘t the president just last night say on his giant airplane

full of reporters that immigration was off the agenda?  Yes, he did say

that.  At least that‘s what everybody thought he said.

Tonight, it all changed.  The president put out a statement that says,

quote, “The proposal outlined today in the Senate is a very important step

in the process of fixing our nation‘s broken immigration system.  What has

become increasingly clear is that we can no longer wait to fix our broken

immigration system, which Democrats and Republicans alike agree doesn‘t

work.”

The president is saying we can no longer wait.  Well, OK, then.  As

unlikely as it looked at sunrise today, the Democratic leadership is right

now on pretty of the same page about immigration.

On the other side of the aisle, however, Republicans are not only not

on the same page, they‘re not even in the same book.  As the country

prepares now for a new huge political fight over a critical issue, the

Republican Party has a giant crack running right down the middle of it. 

Arizona‘s “papers please” law was signed last week.  And while that can be

seen as an impressive accomplishment for the right-wing of the Republican

Party in that state flexing its legislative muscles, it also really puts

the rest of the Republican Party in the country on the spot.  Suddenly,

everyone in the party is expected to go on record now and say what they

think about Arizona‘s way out there anti-immigration law.

And while the people on the far-right of the party who like that law

may be excited about that, it is not a recipe for party unity.  Take for

example tea party favorite Marco Rubio, the guy who just forced Charlie

Crist out of the Republican Party for being too moderate.  Marco Rubio

released a statement about the Arizona “papers please” law, which said in

part, quote, “I think aspects of the law, especially that dealing with

reasonable suspicion, are going to put our law enforcement officers in an

incredibly difficult position.  It could also unreasonably single out

people who are here legally, including many American citizens.”

So the single most recognizable candidate associated with the tea

party movement nationwide has just come out against the “papers please”

law.  Will all of his supporters in the tea party movement also be speaking

out about this law now?  You know, all those people protesting too much

government intrusion into our lives?

If you‘re really for small government, you‘d think they‘d be lining up

alongside the tea party hero, Marco Rubio, to denounce any law that compels

people to stop people on the street and demand to see papers—a law that

presumes you‘re illegal unless you can prove otherwise.  Talk about big

government, oh, boy.

So far, though, not a peep from the tea partiers—which is how you

get caught for not actually believing what you say you believe.  When you

are confronted with the big national story that directly speaks to the

thing you say you‘re concerned about—too much government—and you say

nothing?  It starts to look like maybe your movement is less about your

stated principles and more about something else.

But the Arizona “papers please” law is doing more than showcasing the

shaky principles of much vaunted tea party movement.  It is starting up a

real ideological civil war among leaders and elected officials in the

Republican Party.  As more high-profile Republicans are called on to

comment on the Arizona law, it just keeps becoming more and more clear how

much disagreement there is about it in the Republican Party.

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush said, quote, “I think it creates

unintended consequences.  It places a significant burden on local law

enforcement and you have civil liberties issues that are significant as

well.”

Even after trying to come up with an argument for how it wouldn‘t

necessarily have to be implemented in a totally racist way, Karl Rove

admitted, quote, “I think there‘s going to be some constitutional problems

with the bill.  I wish they hadn‘t passed it, in a way.”

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham also seeing a constitutional

problem, he says, with the “papers please” law.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM ®, SOUTH CAROLINA:  What happened in Arizona is

that good people are so afraid of an out of control border that they had to

resort to a law that I think is unconstitutional.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW:  Republican Congressman Connie Mack totally and completely

denounced the law today.  He issued a statement that said, quote, “This law

of frontier justice where law enforcement officials are required to stop

anyone based on a reasonable suspicion that they may be in the country

illegally is reminiscent of a time during World War II when the Gestapo in

Germany stopped people in the street and asked for their papers without

probable cause.  It shouldn‘t be against the law to not have proof of

citizenship on you.  This is not the America I grew up in and believe in,

and it‘s not the America I want my children to grow up in.”

For the record, I am not making a Nazi analogy here.  I am quoting

Republican Congressman Connie Mack doing that.  Just so you know what he

said.

Bob McDonnell, the very conservative Republican governor of Virginia,

has also hinted actually that same sentiment.  He did it in a radio

interview this week.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

GOV. BOB MCDONNELL ®, VIRGINIA:  I‘m concerned about the whole idea

of carrying papers and always have to be able to prove your citizenship. 

That brings up shades of some other regime that‘s were not particularly

helpful to democracy.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

MADDOW:  Former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate, Mike

Huckabee, registered his displeasure with the new law as well.  He did so,

though, in the form of a bizarre theme park metaphor.

He told “The Dallas Morning News,” quote, “What does concern me is

that if it‘s not carried out and applied carefully, you could end up in a

situation where people are discriminately stopped who are absolute

citizens.  America‘s a lot like Disneyworld.  In that once you get a

ticket, you‘re in.  You don‘t have to keep showing your ticket to keep

riding the rides.  That‘s the whole point of liberty.”

Straddling the Republican divide on this issue are people like Senator

John Cornyn of Texas, who‘s not exactly sticking up for the Arizona law but

he says it‘s been misunderstood.  Quote, “I don‘t think it‘s as onerous as

it‘s been represented.”

Actually, I don‘t think people misunderstand the Arizona law.  This is

one of those bills that the more you know about it, the more surprised you

are about just how onerous it is.  But if you want a sense of just how

uncomfortable the position is that Republican politicians have been put in

by this Arizona law, just watch this next clip.  Watch this.

This is minority whip, poor minority whip, Eric Cantor, on ABC

yesterday.  He‘s so desperate to not take a stand on the “papers please”

law, either way, that he basically filibusters the interview.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Are you in the Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Karl Rove

camp, that this law that Jan Brewer signed in Arizona goes too far, is

unenforceable, or lots of questions on how that to be enforced, or are you

in the McCain, Kyl, Brewer camp, in support of the law?  Which camp are you

in?

REP. ERIC CANTOR (R-VA), MINORITY WHIP:  I don‘t think.  I think

that‘s a false choice.  I think—

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  How is that false choice?

CANTOR:  Because no one is going to accept the lawlessness.  First and

foremost, we‘re a country of laws.  Now, are you asking whether I think

that America is the country of opportunity?  Absolutely.  Are we a country

built on immigrants?  Absolutely.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I‘m asking you if you agree with Marco Rubio that

the law goes too far.  That‘s what I‘m asking.

CANTOR:  Listen.  I can tell you this.  I am for making sure that

America remains a country that stands of freedom and opportunity for

everyone.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW:  Also puppies, I‘m totally for puppies.  Are you asking me

about puppies?  I‘m so pro-puppies.  How dare you insinuate that I‘m not

pro-puppies—oh, that‘s not what you‘re asking?

Eric Cantor is very sure that he does not have to give a direct answer

about the Arizona immigration law because he does really does not want to.

The thing is, every time a Republican does give a direct answer about

the “papers please” law in Arizona, the divide within the Republican Party

on this gets deeper and more public.  And it looks like this problem is

only going to get worse.  Both the problem faced by people who don‘t

believe in presuming everyone is illegal unless they can prove otherwise,

the problem of the bill itself, but also the problem for Republicans who

are going to have to now continue to fight each other in public over

whether we should presume everyone‘s illegal unless they can prove

otherwise.  This is a big political problem.

Andrea Nill at “Think Progress” is reporting that legislation similar

to the Arizona “papers please” law may be brought up in at least seven

other states besides Arizona.  And if Scott McInnis, the Republican front-

runner in the Colorado governor‘s race, wins that governor‘s race, you can

add Colorado to the list as well.  As we noted last night, as a U.S. 

congressman in 2001, Mr. McInnis: A, had a mustache, and B, argued

favorably of racial profiling.  This week, he promised if elected governor

that he would pursue legislation in Colorado similar to what Arizona‘s got,

which everyone outside of Arizona who isn‘t a proponent of the bill admits

is essentially a racial profiling bill.

It‘s turned Arizona, that bill, into a—into a—that bill has

turned Arizona into a civil rights pariah.  That bill has turned Arizona

into a huge battle ground.  That bill has also apparently cleaved the

Republican Party right in two.

Now that the political can of worms labeled “draconian immigration

legislation” has been opened by the great state of Arizona, expect a long,

bitter, intra-Republican battle on this issue—just in time for Democrats

to lead a charge, finally, for comprehensive federal immigration reform for

the whole country.  Wow!

Stay tuned.  The politics is totally different for the whole rest of

the year now.  This is a big deal.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MADDOW:  Among the party‘s glad to see Arizona‘s new “papers please”

law is the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a group that helped

write the legislation.  We introduced you to this group, FAIR, recently. 

They felt we have been unfair in our characterizations of them.  In just a

moment, we will welcome their president to the show to explain.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MADDOW:  “The New York Times” today ran an op-ed by a lawyer who is

taking credit for helping draft Arizona‘s new anti-immigration law.  He‘s a

lawyer with the legal arm of a group called FAIR, the Federation for

American Immigration Reform.

In defending the Arizona law against its critics, this lawyer, Kris

Kobach, notes that this is not Arizona‘s first brush with anti-immigration

legislation.  He describes, for example, a law passed in 2007 in Arizona

that makes it illegal to, quote, “knowingly employ unauthorized aliens.”

Even before that, in the summer of 2004, there was another fierce

battle in Arizona over an anti-immigration ballot initiative.  It was

called Proposition 200.

Both of Arizona‘s Republican senators, John McCain and Jon Kyl,

opposed Prop 200, as did the Democratic governor at the time, Janet

Napolitano.  On the national level, opposition was bipartisan as well from

the very pro-labor group, AFL-CIO, to the pages of a very pro-business

“Wall Street Journal.”  This anti-immigration measure, Prop 200, was

drafted by a group that was called Protect Arizona Now.

In order to get it on the ballot on election day, you need to collect

a lot of signatures, right?  A big signature drive like that for a

statewide ballot initiative is an expensive measure.  The money for that

expensive measure, the money for the signature drive, was provided in large

part by FAIR, the same group that‘s now taking credit for helping write the

bill that we‘ve been calling the “papers please” law in Arizona.

To get Prop 200 on the ballot, FAIR reportedly dumped about $400,000

into Protect Arizona Now for their signature gathering effort.  The two

groups held joint press conferences in Arizona featuring officials from

both organizations.  FAIR gave practically minute-by-minute updates about

how many thousands of signatures had been collected for Prop 200.  FAIR and

Protect Arizona Now were essentially joined at the hip in this effort to

get Prop 200 on the ballot.

And then something happened—local newspapers in Arizona started

looking into Protect Arizona Now.  And they found out that one of the top

officials at that group helping to push this anti-immigration ballot

initiative was a self-described ethnic separatist.  Her name is Virginia

Abernethy.

And when contacted by a local newspaper in Arizona about her views,

Ms. Abernathy said, quote, “I‘m in favor of separatism.  I know that ethnic

groups are more comfortable with their own kind.”  Ms. Abernethy then wrote

a letter to the “Washington Times” in which she said, quote, “I‘m an ethnic

separatist, European-American, to be exact.”

That looks bad, right?

To its credit, FAIR immediately distanced themselves from her.  They

blasted out a press release that said, quote, “The views expressed by a Ms. 

Virginia Abernethy are repugnant and divisive.  FAIR and everyone FAIR

represents categorically denies and repudiates Abernethy‘s repulsive

separatist views.”

That‘s the important point here.  Obviously, being a proud white

separatist is a view that most people in the country are going to find

repugnant.  Doing the savvy P.R. thing and distancing themselves from the

person caught admitting to be a white separatist is exactly how FAIR has

built its fair image—as a seemingly moderate, seemingly middle-of-the-

road anti-immigration group.

But beyond the press release, is there a reason Virginia Abernethy and

FAIR were working so closely in the first place?

FAIR was founded in 1979 by a man named John Tanton.  Around the time

he started FAIR, John Tanton was writing stuff like this, quote, “to govern

is to populate.  Will the present majority peaceably hand over its

political power to a group that is simply more fertile?  As whites see

their power and control over their lives declining, will they simply go

quietly into the night or will they go with an explosion?”

For nine of the first years of its existence, as we‘ve reported on the

show, John Tanton‘s FAIR organization received more than $1 million funding

from a group called the Pioneer Fund.  The Pioneer Fund is an outfit that

bankrolls all sorts of controversial research about race and intelligence,

essentially aiming at proving the racial superiority of white people.

While founding FAIR and seeking and receiving funding for it from

groups like the Pioneer Fund, John Tanton was also heading up another

organization called U.S. English.  When a series of Mr. Tanton‘s memos on

racial issues were published by the “Arizona Republic” newspaper in the

late 1980s, U.S. English sort of fell apart.  Many of the prominent

mainstream people associated with U.S. English jumped ship, people like

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Walter Cronkite and former Reagan administration

official, Linda Chavez.

Tanton‘s memos asked transient questions like, “What are the

differences in educability between Hispanics and Asiatics?”  Also, “Can

homo contraceptivus compete with homo progenitiva?”  As in, no, you don‘t

have to go look those things up, they don‘t exist.

What he was suggesting with those fake Latin words is that there are

different humans species, those who reproduce a lot and those who don‘t. 

Which are you?

John Tanton‘s papers are archived at the library at the University of

Michigan, which has put in a public record written statements like this

from him, quote, “I‘ve come to the point of view that for European-American

society and culture to persist requires a European-American majority and a

clear one at that.”

Whatever happened to old John Tanton after he founded FAIR and

everybody bugged out of his U.S. English group because of these memos? 

FAIR kept him on the board of directors.  He‘s there now.  That‘s on their

Web site today.

FAIR likes to project a very moderate image and, by and large, the

media gives them credit for having a very moderate image.  But why is that

exactly?

Joining us now for “The Interview” is Dan Stein.  Dan Stein is the

president of FAIR.

Mr. Stein, I really appreciate you offering to be here with us

tonight.  Thanks very much for your time.

DAN STEIN, FAIR PRESIDENT:  Happy to be here.

MADDOW:  I said a lot there about your organization.  Let me ask you

if I got any of the facts wrong about FAIR so far.

STEIN:  Well, I don‘t think you‘ve said much about FAIR itself as an

organization in the course of this thing.  But I mean, I think, the point -

the reason why I thought it was important to come on was that you—even

though tonight have you repeated some of this stuff generated by the

Southern Poverty Law Center, piecing together out-of-context snippets from

third party people that are not directly associated with or even—or in

that matter speaking directly for the organization is not a fair

representation of FAIR or this movement.

               

And, you know, certainly in this day and age, we would expect

mainstream journalists like yourself to do some independent research on

their own and not just take talking points from discredited smear artists

like those folks down in Alabama.  Southern Poverty Law Center really

doesn‘t have credibility at all.  FAIR certainly—Fair certainly never—

MADDOW:  But wait—hold on.  Hold, wait, let me just—

(CROSSTALK)

STEIN:  You made a couple of statements that are flat-out not

accurate.

MADDOW:  OK.  That‘s—let‘s get to that.  I mean, you can impugn my

research—

STEIN:  FAIR never -- 

MADDOW:  Hold on.  Wait.  You can impugn my research techniques all

you want, but if you want to talk about things that I have said that are

inaccurate, tell me what they are.

STEIN:  Well, first of all, you‘ve neglected to point out that for 30

years, which FAIR—one of the reasons FAIR is a go-to organization with

the media is that we‘re credible.  We talk about the issue from its

currency in national standpoint.  But we‘ve also made a point of saying and

I think we‘ve vindicated that over 30 years that immigration policy should

not discriminate on the basis of ethnicity, race, or any other invidious

basis.

And I think you‘ve got a track record of thousands of television

appearances, hundreds of congressional testimony, a virtual public record

as long as your arm of this organization that would bear out those issues.

MADDOW:  Well, let‘s talk about—

STEIN:  And I think people know that we‘re extremely fair-minded

organization.

MADDOW:  OK.

STEIN:  We certainly never had anything to do with Virginia Abernethy. 

I don‘t know where you got the idea we ever worked closely with her.  We

never have.  And FAIR was funded—

MADDOW:  Wait, hold on.

(CROSSTALK)

MADDOW:  On that point, sir, did you not give her organization

hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Prop 200 race?

STEIN:  No.  We never—

MADDOW:  No?

STEIN:  First of all, we never gave that organization a dime.  And

secondly, even if we were going to give them a dime, we wouldn‘t have given

them a dime with Virginia Abernethy associated with it.

See, the problem is that Southern Poverty Law Center has made about 75

factual allegations all of which are wrong about FAIR.

MADDOW:  Well, let‘s talk about the factual allegations.

(CROSSTALK)

MADDOW:  You‘re not—you‘re not being interviewed by Southern

Poverty Law Center.  You‘re being interviewed by me.

STEIN:  FAIR was funded—FAIR was funded in 1979 --

MADDOW:  OK, by John Tanton.

STEIN:  -- and received money from the Stewart Mott Foundation, OK?

MADDOW:  OK.

STEIN:  John Tanton, several other people involved in U.S. population

policy, Dick Lamb, Sharon Barns, people working with Planned Parenthood,

Zero Population Growth and others, Sidney Swensrud, who helped build and

founded the Nature Conservancy, former chairman of Gulf Oil—all got

together said we need a responsible national organization to help ensure

that immigration doesn‘t fuel too rapid population growth, because there

was a time when it was believed that population stabilization was in the

national interest.

And there were Democrats and Republicans together on this.  After the

Hesburgh Commission, people like Father Hesburgh, Barbara Jordan.

MADDOW:  OK.

STEIN:  We worked with them, the NAACP, to try to bring together a

compromise.

MADDOW:  Let me—

STEIN:  And what‘s happening in this debate now is there‘s a

polarization taking place where somehow there‘s this idea that Democrats

don‘t favor any immigration enforcement and want the borders out of

control, and Republicans or anybody who wants to see the laws enforced in

this country is somehow a bad guy or a bigot.  And I‘m telling you, that is

a misrepresentation of—this is a very sensitive, very delicate, very

difficult policy issue.  It‘s obviously very emotional.

But if we‘re going to take this country down a bipartisan—a

partisan road on the immigration policy debate, we‘re heading down a very

treacherous road indeed because this is—this is ultimately something

about who we are and what we are as a people and what we‘ve become over

time.

MADDOW:  Do you mind if I ask you a question?

STEIN:  I‘m all—I‘m right here.

MADDOW:  All right.  So founder of FAIR, John Tanton, is still on your

board of directors.  He has argued for the advancement of a European-

American majority.  He‘s warned white people not to cede power to other

ethnic groups who breed—

STEIN:  Wait, wait, wait.

(CROSSTALK)

MADDOW:  Wait.  This is in public papers, right?  Is there a conflict

between—

STEIN:  No, I don‘t think he‘s ever—there‘s no public paper that

says that.

MADDOW:  What are the differences in—

(CROSSTALK)

MADDOW:  Wait, hold on.

STEIN:  Where‘s the evidence of that?  You said—you made a

statement—what‘s the source of that about him publicly advocating a

European-American union?

MADDOW:  The European-American majority has advocated—is something

that he advocated to another member of your board of directors, it‘s in his

public paper that are stored at University of Michigan.  Let me ask you

about—

(CROSSTALK)

STEIN:  You said he publicly advocated that.

MADDOW:  Yes.

STEIN:  You publicly—you said he said—

MADDOW:  It‘s in his public papers that are archived at the University

of Michigan.

STEIN:  He put all of his private papers.  He put all of his private

papers—

MADDOW:  At a library.

STEIN:  -- at the University of Michigan.

MADDOW:  Yes.

STEIN:  And what you‘re saying—you‘re taking a private comment made

out of context from a private letter and saying he made a public comment.

(CROSSTALK)

MADDOW:  What about him asking, “Is there a difference in educability

between Hispanics and Asiatics?”  That‘s a memo that he wrote that was

published by the “Arizona Republic.”  Nobody has ever questioned—

STEIN:  And you‘re asking this question—it was a private document,

not in the context of FAIR and not a FAIR position obviously.  And you‘re

raising this issue 25 years later—

MADDOW:  Yes.

STEIN:  -- in order to inflame a public debate.

MADDOW:  Because he‘s on your board of directors.

STEIN:  What‘s going on now is that there is an effort—well, he‘s

asking a question.

MADDOW:  Right.

STEIN:  But there is an effort going to inflame this issue—

MADDOW:  Is that an appropriate question to be asked?

STEIN:  Well, you‘re raising the issue in order to divide—

MADDOW:  No.

STEIN:  -- Hispanic-Americans from other people.

MADDOW:  I have no interest in doing that.

STEIN:  You are the one who is being divisive in this country.  We are

not.

MADDOW:  Mr. Stein—

STEIN:  You are the one who is making this a racial and ethnic issue. 

We are not.

MADDOW:  Mr. Stein, this is what‘s going on.  Everybody in the country

is trying to figure out if the Arizona law is as racist as it seems. 

That‘s what‘s happened.

STEIN:  It‘s not racist.

MADDOW:  This is the national debate that we‘re having.  It is germane

it seems to me—because you guys wrote the bill—

               

STEIN:  So, why are you—why are you tossing—

MADDOW:  Because you guys—wait, hold on.

STEIN:  Why are you coming on TV and tossing out—you‘re tossing out

stuff from 25 years ago that has no relevance about anything about

somebody‘s comment in a private correspondence.  John Tanton, I will go to

bat for any time, but he‘s one person involved in this organization, on our

board of directors—

MADDOW:  He‘s the founder of your organization and he‘s on the board

of directors.

STEIN:  He‘s one of the founders of this organization.

MADDOW:  It seems germane to me, since you wrote the law, since your

organization is taking credit for writing the law, it seems germane to me

to examine whether or not your organization has a racist track record.  So,

having John Tanton on your board of directors currently—

STEIN:  I don‘t see why that follows.  None of that follows.

MADDOW:  -- somebody who said, “What are the differences in

educability between Hispanics and Asiatics,” who has advocated the idea

that in order to sustain a European-American civilization, we need a

European-American majority, it seems like there‘s a conflict between having

somebody like that on your board of directors and trying to be seen as a

responsible moderate organization.

STEIN:  You‘re imputing things to FAIR and you‘re also imputing things

to John Tanton.

MADDOW:  He‘s on your board.

STEIN:  Well, what your—the point is, this is not ultimately

fundamentally relevant to the policy debate that we‘re having now.  Nobody

is talking about the question of whether or not the United States should

maintain a majority European-American population.

MADDOW:  Except the guy on your board of directors.

STEIN:  Well, the point is, everybody—we have a big tent. 

People have lots of ideas, people entertain ideas, OK?  We have—how can

you—how can you turn around and say—Henry Ford founded the Ford

Foundation.  Henry Ford was an advocate of the Protocols.  Does that mean

LARASA, which gets money from the Ford Foundation, is anti-Semitic?  I

mean, you‘re making - this is an absurd comment.  You‘re digging -

(CROSSTALK) 

MADDOW:  Let me ask you about you.  Let me ask you about you.  You are

the president of FAIR - can I ask you about you? 

STEIN:  If you want to dig yourself into a hole, go ahead. 

MADDOW:  Sure, I‘m happy to.  I enjoy it.  In 1997, you did an

interview with Tucker Carlson.  And he has asked you to respond to this

quote from somebody who is on FAIR‘s board of directors.  And the quote he

has asked you to respond to was this, “It would be better to encourage the

breeding of more intelligent people rather than less intelligent.”  He said

that in the context of -

STEIN:  Tucker Carlson has already conceded -

MADDOW:  Expressing his alarm about people in other countries

reproducing so much. 

STEIN:  Rachel.  Rachel -

MADDOW:  Your response to that was - let me just finish the question

and then you can answer.  It works every night.  I try it.  Trust me. 

Your response to that was, “Yes, so what?  What is your problem

with that?  Should we be subsidizing people with low IQs to have as many

children as possible and not subsidizing with high ones?”  Did you not say

that?  Was that a misquote from Tucker? 

STEIN:  Rachel, no, I didn‘t say that. 

MADDOW:  It was a misquote?

STEIN:  It was an absolute misquote.  Tucker Carlson has admitted that

most of the quotes in there were twisted in misquotes.  Obviously, anybody

who knows me knows I wouldn‘t take positions like that.  That‘s absurd. 

MADDOW:  In 2006 you hired a man named Joseph Turner to be FAIR‘s

western region field representative.  He had founded a group called Save

our State and he wrote on groups - that group‘s online forums, “I‘ll be

damned if I‘m going to sit back and watch my state turn into a third world

cesspool.  I consider accusations of bigotry and racism to be

complimentary.” 

He then went on to say, “I can make the argument that just

because one believes in white separatism, that does not make them a racist. 

Did you know those things about Joseph Turner when you hired him to be your

western regional representative? 

STEIN:  I don‘t know the context of the statement.  He certainly never

made that statement in the context of working for FAIR.  Now, I think fair

and he worked for FAIR for a little while. 

But ultimately, I think we worked very hard and have worked hard

with hundreds of people working for our organization to find people who are

good, constructive, solid participants in this debate. 

And I think this effort to try to smear, not just FAIR, but

everybody on this issue is not going to move us forward.  The reason why

this bill is not going forward in Congress that you‘re so happy about -

this Democrat bill is not going anywhere because immigration policy has

historically been decided on a bipartisan basis. 

And the kind of invidious partisan name-calling and smearing

going on here is not going to advance the national dialogue.  People want

solutions.  That‘s why Arizona passed this law.  Not name-calling and not

shrill rhetoric. 

MADDOW:  I‘m not trying to be shrill and I‘m not calling you any

names.  I‘m sorry if it feels that way. 

STEIN:  So if you want to ask me anything about me or FAIR -

MADDOW:  Oh, I want to ask you about FAIR -

(CROSS TALK) 

STEIN:  You (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and say - ask me something about

something that FAIR has done in its official capacity as an organization. 

MADDOW:  OK.  OK.  So FAIR - that guy, Joseph Turner, was your western

regional field representative.  Joseph Turner took that job after a guy

named Rick Oltman had had that job.  Rick Oltman -

STEIN:  No.  Well, not true.  Anyway -

MADDOW:  Was Rick Oltman - was a western field representative for

FAIR?  Or a different job title?

STEIN:  Yes, Rick Oltman worked for FAIR, yes. 

MADDOW:  He‘s linked to Council of Conservative Citizens.  We have a

photo of him on a Council of Conservative Citizens panel here that we can

put up here.  Council of Conservative Citizens -

STEIN:  Rachel, wait a minute.  Let me get this right. 

MADDOW:  If you go to that group‘s Web site right now, here‘s what

you‘ll find. 

STEIN:  Wait, wait, wait. 

MADDOW:  Hold on.  I‘ll write up -

STEIN:  You‘re saying - are you saying -

MADDOW:  There‘s a question at the end of this.  There‘s a write up on

a book about African people and intelligence with - we have the picture of

the Web site here, Council of Conservative Citizens - yes.  “Erectus Walks

Amongst Us” - it‘s a sort of mockup between a black person and an ape. 

They also have this summary of a recent Al Sharpton interview,

quote, “Sheriff Arpaio debates the nappy-headed race hustler.”  Rick Oltman

ties the Council of Conservative Citizens just like Virginia Abernethy.  He

was on your payroll.  Was that also a mistake?  Or was that -

STEIN:  First of all, I think you‘re trying to raise divisive and

inflammatory issues here. 

MADDOW:  I‘m trying to get to the bottom of what FAIR is. 

STEIN:  The allegation is made by the Southern Poverty Law Center

(UNINTELLIGIBLE) -

MADDOW:  I‘m not talking about the Southern Poverty Law Center -

(CROSS TALK)

These are facts that you can address independent of where you

think I‘ve sourced them from.  Is it true? 

STEIN:  Well, the point is you‘re not - no.  You‘re not stating any

facts that are accurate.  If Rick Oltman, back 20 years ago, went to a

panel at the invitation of the CCC to talk about immigration policy, how

can you impute to FAIR or even Rick Oltman the positions of that

organization which, by the way, at the time, Trent Lott and a lot of other

senior politicians were senior members of? 

I think you‘re completely - this is a-historical.  You‘re

confusing facts, jumbling things up, trying to create something that‘s not

there. 

MADDOW:  Were you the advisor, an editorial advisor, to a magazine

called “The Social Contract” for a long time? 

STEIN:  Oh, yes. 

MADDOW:  “Social Contract” is also run by John Tanton or set up by

John Tanton?  Yes.  I‘ll say yes. 

STEIN:  The editor of the Social Contract is a man named Wayne Lutton. 

He‘s also a regular contributor to a journal that‘s called “American

Renaissance.”  He goes and talks at their conferences. 

This is a journal that publishes stuff like this, quote, “Blacks

and whites are different.  When blacks are left entirely to their own

devices, western civilization, any kind of civilization, disappears.” 

Wayne Lutton is currently the editor of “The Social Contract.” 

You‘re an advisor to it.  It‘s a John Tanton joint.  Are you worried about

Wayne Lutton spoiling your image as a moderate non-racist organization? 

STEIN:  Absolutely not.  First of all, it has nothing to do with FAIR. 

It‘s not a position I would ever agree with or anybody associated directly

with FAIR.  But in the end - and I‘m not an adviser on “The Social

Contract” anymore.  But in the end -

MADDOW:  But you were. 

STEIN:  Are you saying - somehow, you‘re suggesting that every

political position that appears in a magazine, if you‘re an editorial

adviser on, that somehow, it can be imputed to you? 

This is McCarthyism.  This is guilt by association.  And you

know, groups like the SPLC never respond to their own credibility.  They

turn around and make this kind of smear - go into smear campaigns without

any accountability to anybody.  And I‘m telling you -

MADDOW:  Dan Stein, this is not an interview with the Southern Law

Poverty Center.  If anything that I said you think was not based on fact,

I‘ll be happy to have you back to talk about.  You impugning the way that I

do my research isn‘t going to change -

(CROSS TALK) 

STEIN:  I‘m saying basically you‘re not - you‘re asking me a fact. 

What I‘m telling you is -

MADDOW:  It‘s not true.  You‘re saying -

STEIN:  I wouldn‘t - I don‘t agree with those points of view

(UNINTELLIGIBLE).

(CROSS TALK) 

MADDOW:  You‘re implying that it‘s not true, because you‘re implying

that I am the Southern Poverty Law Center.  I‘m Rachel Maddow. 

STEIN:  But you‘re reading all this stuff.

MADDOW:  This is MSNBC.  I‘m bringing you facts that I‘ve

independently researched.  If you can‘t criticize them, don‘t criticize me

for asking you about them.  Rebut them if can.  That‘s all I want you to

do. 

STEIN:  All right.  The answer is no. 

MADDOW:  OK.  Dan Stein, the president of FAIR.  Thank you for being

here tonight.  I wish this could have been a more civil discussion and we

didn‘t talk over each other so much. 

STEIN:  I thought - are we going to talk about the bill?  I thought we

were going to talk about the bill. 

MADDOW:  I wanted to talk about FAIR and I think you pretty much given

me all that I needed to know. 

STEIN:  You haven‘t given me a chance to talk about FAIR.  I think

FAIR has done a lot of things that are very important to talk about.  And

this is an important issue and you‘re not giving me a chance to talk about

anything of substance. 

MADDOW:  Well, Mr. Stein I‘m sorry that you feel like it wasn‘t

substantive.  I feel like we covered a lot of important things. 

STEIN:  I think you‘re wasting people‘s time. 

MADDOW:  I‘d be happy to have you back if you want to waste some more

with me. 

STEIN:  Anytime. 

MADDOW:  We‘ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MADDOW:  Right after President Obama signed health reform legislation,

you might remember the new conservative attorney general of Virginia had

his staff race to a federal courthouse to sue the federal government over

that legislation. 

After Virginians protested maybe that was a waste of taxpayer

money, the attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli, said, “Pshaw!  This lawsuit‘s

only going to cost the state $350.  It will only cost the filing fee.”  The

state payroll attorney time, that‘s free, or something. 

While a total cost of $350 may seem unbelievably low, the lawsuit

itself appears to be worth quite a lot to Mr. Cuccinelli, because look what

came through our fax machine today, a letter from Ken Cuccinelli campaign. 

It begins, quote, “Dear blank, I urge you to sign and return the

enclosed pledge of support to challenge Obamacare.  The clock is now

ticking and I need your help and support today.  The fight is not over.  In

fact, it has just begun because there is something that you and I can do to

stop this legislation in its tracks.” 

What can you and I do to help Ken Cuccinelli stop Obamacare in

its tracks?  It gets better.  Quote, “Ignoring are the outcry from

opposition from millions of Americans, they got what they wanted and passed

the bill into law.  I will not sit on the sidelines and allow the

Constitution to be violated.  And I have already filed suit to have the

Obamacare law rightfully ruled unconstitutional.”

So he‘s already taken care of that $350 quixotic lawsuit thing. 

What‘s left for us to do?  Here it is.  Quote, “Please join side by side

with me in this effort by immediately signing the enclosed pledge of

support to challenge Obamacare and returning it to me today along with your

most generous contribution of $25, $50, $75, $100, $250, $500 or more to

Cuccinelli for Attorney General.” 

Send money now and lots of it.  That‘s what you can do because

I‘m using the entire legal apparatus of the state of Virginia to bring a

quixotic stunt of a lawsuit whose real cost I won‘t reveal but which will

help me in my political career. 

Join together, everyone.  Quote, “I‘m reaching out to my

supporters from across the commonwealth to join with me in this fight

today.  The bill for the government takeover of health care is not merely a

bill that adversely affects Virginia.  Rather, it affects every single

citizen of all 50 states.”

“The bottom line is this, if we can prove that this massive

overreach of federal authority is unconstitutional, and you millions of

Virginians and Americans will not have to worry about -“ blah, blah, blah,

blah, blah the end of the civilized world.  We will still have totally

shameless peacocking stuntmen attorney generals to contend with.  Those

never seem to go away.  Send money.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MADDOW:  A month after President Obama lifted the decades-old

moratorium on exploratory offshore oil drilling, an offshore oil leak oozes

210,000 gallons a day of raw crude, a leak five times worse than what was

originally thought.  It threatens to devastate Louisiana‘s environmentally-

fragile coast. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT:  DHS Secretary Napolitano

announced that this incident is of national significance and the Department

of Interior has announced that they will be sending SWAT teams to the gulf

to inspect all platforms and rigs. 

While BP is ultimately responsible for funding the cost of

response and cleanup operations, my administration will continue to use

every single available resource at our disposal, including potentially the

Department of Defense to address the incident. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW:  BP has in fact already asked the Department of Defense for

help, specifically with underwater equipment.  There‘s also now a third

leak point from the blown-out well nearly a mile under water. 

So far, BP‘s efforts to stop the leak using robots have failed. 

They‘re also now suggesting technologies like a giant dome to cap the leak

site and chemicals that could break up the oil under water. 

Those are technologies never before used in water this deep.  And

while the coastguard did report some success with a controlled burn of

surface oil yesterday, it‘s not enough. 

This massive oil slick has now started coming ashore at the mouth

of the Mississippi river in Louisiana as of tonight. 

Joining us now is Michael Brune.  He is the executive director of

the Sierra Club, which opposes offshore drilling.  Mr. Brune, thanks very

much for your time. 

MICHAEL BRUNE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, SIERRA CLUB:  Hi, Rachel.  Thanks

for having me on. 

MADDOW:  Put this into some context for us.  How bad an oil spill is

this one in the gulf, given other spills that we understand? 

BRUNE:  Well, you know, first, if you‘re one of the 11 families of the

workers who are missing, it‘s devastating.  If you‘re a member of the

fishing industry in the gulf, it‘s devastating to your livelihoods. 

And, you know, of course, the impact on wildlife is extreme.  It

will take decades.  Even if the cleanup is successful, it will take decades

to recover from this.  So it‘s a great tragedy. 

MADDOW:  The administration implied today that they‘re going to take

this spill into consideration when figuring out the details of their

expansion of offshore drilling.  Do you believe that any new offshore

drilling carries this inherent risk of environmental disaster? 

BRUNE:  Of course.  Of course.  You know, even the mineral mining

service a year ago, a couple years ago, under the Bush administration said

that we should expect a major oil spill from offshore oil drilling every

year, arguably, though, not one this large. 

But what we know is that drilling for oil is a very dirty - we

now know it‘s deadly and it‘s certainly an extremely dangerous business. 

And when you compare that to investments in clean energy, the choice

becomes clear, that we should just not be expanding offshore oil drilling. 

We should actually be starting to minimize it. 

MADDOW:  Let me ask you about one specific thing about this that

bothers me.  The Deepwater Horizon rig, this rig that caught fire and sank,

one of the most technologically advanced in the world, if not the most

advanced deep water rig in the world. 

BRUNE:  Right. 

MADDOW:  But even as drilling technology has advanced so we can do it

in places that we couldn‘t do it before, it doesn‘t seem like we bothered

to make sure we knew how to clean up in these places if we needed to. 

Am I being naive to think that the regulatory process, the

approval process, should link those two things, that you shouldn‘t be

approved to drill deeper than you know how to clean up? 

BRUNE:  Of course.  You know, to put it another way, we‘ve all heard

about the need to separate church and state.  We need to separate oil and

state.  The reality is that we just don‘t have effective organization over

the oil industry in the gulf, in the North Slope in Alaska - really

anywhere in the world. 

And so we shouldn‘t be expecting the oil industry to police

itself.  And the MMS, the coastguard lack the adequate resources and the

capacity to effectively manage the industry. 

So whether we‘re talking about this one particular rig or whether

we‘re talking about the impact of the industry more systemically, there are

big problems that need to be resolved. 

MADDOW:  Michael Brune is the executive director of the Sierra Club. 

Thank you very much for joining us tonight.  I appreciate your insight. 

BRUNE:  Thanks again for having me on. 

MADDOW:  You‘ve seen him shirtless on a horse.  On a horse, shirtless. 

Fishing, shirtless.  And now, you‘ll see him with a polar bear.  We‘ll keep

whether or not he‘s wearing a shirt this time a surprise.  Vladimir Putin‘s

latest amazing photo-op, coming up.  

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MADDOW:  When it comes to manly photo-ops, there are many politicians

who try very hard to impress the world.  But no one compares to the

heavyweight photo-op champion of the world, Mr. Vladimir Putin.  That story

- he has topped even himself - is up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MADDOW:  Because we all need a little terrifying cuddle now and then,

we turn now to our big Arctic memo outreach correspondent, Mr. Kent Jones. 

Hi, Kent. 

KENT JONES, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT:  Hi, Rachel.  Once again, the great,

peerless Vladimir Putin, schools the entire west in the manly, masculine

art of the self-serving photo-op.  And this time, he‘s got a bear with him. 

MADDOW:  I‘ve been so looking forward to that. 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JONES (voice-over):  Ever since Teddy Roosevelt created the template,

our leaders have taken great pains to display themselves as athletic,

strong, testosterone-y macho guys.  Emphasis on “pain.” 

Aside from a certain Austro-Californian governor, this strategy

has generally succeeded only in making voters spit soda out of their

nostrils.  Have Americans learned nothing from Vladimir Putin? 

Behold, Vlad, judo master, horseman, fisherman, pectacular(ph)

hero of white chromosome pseudo-democracy.  In his latest hero action role,

Putin and a team of scientists trek way up north so he can lay a concerned

hand on this very confused, very tranquilized polar bears, which makes

sense because Polar bears and Putin are a natural fit. 

Both are beefy carnivores that belong to a species that will

probably be gone in 20 years.  Putin helped tag brother bear with a

satellite tracking device to monitor his migration habits. 

After much deliberation, Putin decided to leave his shirt on. 

Bold choice.  You‘ve got to admit, he controls his message brilliantly. 

Even though Putin called the bear the master of the Arctic, at the photo-

op, he made it clear he is the master of the master of the Arctic. 

And what about the hat, huh?  It‘s cool, yes?  That‘s how it‘s

done, Yankee politicians.  Drug them and then pet them. 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MADDOW:  So wrong in so many ways.  Thank you very much, Kent. 

Appreciate that. 

JONES:  Yes.  Sure. 

MADDOW:  Coming up on “COUNTDOWN”, Keith is joined by comedian Paul

Rodriguez who has just canceled a gig in Arizona in protest of the new

“Papers, Please” law. 

We, on the other hand, will be right back right here.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MADDOW:  If you‘d like to learn more about the group, FAIR, who wrote

the Arizona anti-immigration law and whose president was the subject of the

interview here on the show tonight, we posted a little bit of homework,

some background reading about FAIR at our blog, “MaddowBlog.MSNBC.com.” 

FAIR gets represented in the mainstream media as a mainstream

group.  I think our reporting on them shows that moderate reputation to be

undeserved. 

That does it for us tonight.  We will see you again tomorrow

night.  “COUNTDOWN” with Keith Olbermann starts right now.  Have a good

one.

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY

BE UPDATED.

END   

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