updated 5/21/2010 1:42:34 PM ET 2010-05-21T17:42:34

Guests: Al Sharpton, Tim Kaine, Jill Mastrototaro, Rep. Luis Gutierrez,

A.B. Stoddard, Susan Molinari, Sen. Tom Harkin, Daniel Kane, Sen. Sherrod

Brown

ED SCHULTZ, HOST:  Good evening, Americans, and welcome to THE ED SHOW

tonight from New York.

These stories are hitting my hot buttons at this hour. 

Just one day after his big win in Kentucky, Tea Party hero Rand Paul,

I guess you could say he totally stepped in it.  He‘s criticizing the Civil

Rights Act.  The Reverend Al Sharpton will be here to give reaction to

that. 

The day we‘ve been fearing is now upon us.  Black crude has reached

the wetlands around the state of Louisiana.  Louisiana Governor Bobby

Jindal says the situation is life or death. 

And the fight against Arizona‘s anti-immigration law has reached a

fever pitch.  Arizona is looking for revenge against Los Angeles, the city

that started the boycott movement. 

They want to cut off the power to L.A.

And this story breaking at this hour tonight.  A U.S. official that

says the president of the United States has asked National Intelligence

Director Dennis Blair to resign this week.  Commentary on that later on in

the show. 

But this is the story we lead with tonight.  It‘s the story that‘s got

political folks fired up.

Less than 24 hours after Kentucky Tea Partier Rand Paul obliterated

his opponent in the Republican Senate primary, he ignited a firestorm of

sorts by speaking out against the Civil Rights Act.  It turns out,

according to Rand Paul‘s brand of libertarianism, private business

shouldn‘t be subjected to desegregation laws. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RAND PAUL ®, SENATORIAL CANDIDATE:  There‘s 10 different titles to

the Civil Rights Act.  And nine out of 10 deal with public institutions

that I‘m absolutely in favor of. 

One deals with private institutions.  And had I been around, I would

have tried to modify that. 

The thing is, if we want to harbor in on private businesses and their

policies, then you have to have a discussion about, do you want to abridge

the First Amendment as well?  What about freedom of speech?  Should we

limit speech from people we find abhorrent?  Should we limit racists from

speaking? 

I don‘t want to be associated with those people, but I also don‘t want

to limit their speech in any way. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Wow.  The Civil Rights Act violates First Amendment rights. 

You know, I missed that one.  It wasn‘t in the classroom that I was being

taught. 

You know, Rand Paul, he‘s a “psycho talker.”  But it‘s not anything

new. 

He was running his mouth against the Civil Rights Act before voters

went to the polls.  You see, this is a people problem, I think.  I don‘t

think it‘s a party problem, it‘s a people problem.  Folks in Kentucky knew

Rand Paul was a total bozo, and they voted for this guy anyway. 

Today, he tried to take back and backtrack with this statement.  He

said, “I unequivocally state I will not support any efforts to repeal the

Civil Rights Act of 1964.  Sections of the Civil Rights Act were debated on

constitutional grounds when the legislation was passed.  Those issues have

been settled by federal courts in the intervening years.”

“This much is clear—the federal government has far overreached in

its power grabs.  Just look at the recent national health care schemes

which my opponent supports.  The federal government is out of control, and

those who love liberty and value individual state rights must stand up to

it.”

Now, that was the first statement today.  But somebody in Rand Paul‘s

camp, well, he decided that just kind of didn‘t go far enough, we better

try this again.  Later in the day, his spokesman backtracked even further,

saying that Paul does actually support banning private institutions from

race discrimination. 

But I want to hear a retraction from Rand Paul himself.  But I don‘t

think he can do it.  It‘s not in his DNA.  You see, his father, Congressman

Ron Paul of Texas, a couple of years ago on “Meet the Press” argued against

the civil rights bill. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. RON PAUL ®, TEXAS:  Even Barry Goldwater opposed that bill on

the same property rights position.  And now this thing is totally out of

control.  You happen to like to smoke a cigar, the federal government‘s

going to come down and say you‘re not allowed to too this. 

TIM RUSSERT, HOST, “MEET THE PRESS”:  So you would vote against the

Civil Rights Acts if it was today?

RON PAUL:  If it were written the same way, where the federal

government has taken over property, it has nothing to do with race

relations. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Can we just say that the apple doesn‘t fall far from the

tree?  It must be one heck of a Thanksgiving every year at the Paul

household.  I wonder what they talk about.

Let me clear the deck on this one.

Rand Paul is an unguided missile when it comes to politics.  He

doesn‘t know where he stands.  And I don‘t believe this guy knows what he‘s

talking about.  And this won‘t be the last mistake he makes. 

Kentucky folks, get ready to get embarrassed, unless the Democrats, of

course, can win this seat. 

He seems to be one of these guys that likes to talk about absolutes

when it comes to libertarianism.  He‘s a doctor.  Good for him.  Smart guy. 

Does that mean he doesn‘t see any patients at all who are on Medicare? 

Does that mean he doesn‘t see any patients at all who get government

assistance? 

Certainly don‘t want any of that government money coming in the door,

do you, Dr. Paul? 

You know, the thing that gets me about all of this is I really do

believe that this guy is nothing more than a product of the fear-mongering

that we hear on right-wing radio all over the country.  And now, because

he‘s a Tea Partier—hey, that‘s our guy—that‘s what they have produced

in Kentucky. 

Now, Mitch McConnell, you need to distance yourself from this guy,

unless this is the new Republican Party. 

Jim DeMint, his vetting process isn‘t very good.  The man who talked

about Waterloo, this could be his political Waterloo if he doesn‘t really

come clean on where he stands on the Civil Rights Act. 

You see, this stuff can be contagious.  It seems to me that

Republicans are going to have to stand up almost one at a time and say, I

don‘t agree with what this guy has to say.

And this is a party that‘s trying to reach out and be diverse? 

Michael Steele, where were you today?  No comment?  Where‘s your

statement? 

Tell me what you think in our telephone survey tonight, folks.  The

number to dial is 1-877-ED-MSNBC. 

My question tonight is: Do you think the Republican Party should dump

Rand Paul?  Press the number 1 for yes.  Press the number 2 for no.  I‘ll

bring you the results later on in the show. 

Joining me now is Reverend Al Sharpton, presidents of the National

Action Network. 

Reverend, good to have you with us tonight.

REV. AL SHARPTON, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL ACTION NETWORK:  Thank you.

SCHULTZ:  What‘s the appropriate response to some of the things that

you have heard, and also your response to the fact that they put out two

statements today in damage control? 

SHARPTON:  Well, I think it‘s clear that you‘re talking about someone

here that really has made statements that would clearly offend any American

and every American that supports civil rights, not only based on race and

gender, but disability.  And I think the reason, Ed, they‘re trying to—

they put out two statements.  They‘re trying to back away from something

that is really an egregious statement and something that clearly should not

be said by anyone that is seriously trying to serve in the U.S. Senate. 

I mean, in effect, he‘s saying that private industry should be given

the right to discriminate.  And he‘s trying to return us almost back to a

states‘ rights mentality.  I thought the Civil War was over in the mid-19th

century. 

SCHULTZ:  Is he a racist, in your judgment? 

SHARPTON:  I don‘t think the issue is whether to call him a racist or

not.  What he is saying, though, clearly can lead to racial discrimination

not being checked, not being illegal, and discrimination against others

that would face that such as gender discrimination and handicap

discrimination.  So, whether he, himself, is a racist or not, what he‘s

advocating clearly would give the door open to discrimination, which is why

the civil rights laws were put on the books in the first place. 

SCHULTZ:  I don‘t get how the Civil Rights Act impedes on First

Amendment rights, steps on First Amendment rights.  I think that‘s a

strange one. 

Here‘s another one that catches my attention.  He compares segregation

to guns and bars.  Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RAND PAUL:  If you decide that restaurants are publicly owned and not

privately owned, then do you say that you should have the right to bring

your gun into a restaurant even though the owner of the restaurant says,

well, no, we don‘t want to have guns in here, the bar says we don‘t want to

have guns in here because we might drink and start fighting and shoot each

other?  Does the owner of the restaurant own his restaurant, or does the

government own his restaurant?  These are important philosophical debates,

but not a very practical discussion. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Your response to all of that, Reverend Sharpton? 

SHARPTON:  I agree with him, it‘s not a very practical discussion.  It

makes absolutely no sense. 

I mean, when you‘re talking about race and then you try to mix—

you‘re talking about guns and people drinking, I mean, first of all, he‘s

mixing totally different things, totally different levels of rights of

people.  And he‘s talking about the government licensing businesses, but

he‘s saying the government should not have the right to enforce the rights

of the citizens of the state that, in fact, they govern. 

So, I think for this man to be sitting in the U.S. Senate making laws

and not understand that is frightening.  It would be funny if it wasn‘t so

frightening. 

SCHULTZ:  Reverend Sharpton, always a pleasure.  Thanks for coming on

tonight.

SHARPTON:  Thank you. 

SCHULTZ:  For more, let me bring in Democratic National Committee

Chairman Tim Kaine. 

Mr. Kaine, I‘ve got to ask you, is this the new face of the Republican

Party?  What do you make of this?

TIM KAINE, CHAIRMAN, DNC:  Well, Ed, it‘s the tiger they‘re riding. 

You know, before I was in politics, I was a civil rights lawyer for 17

years.  And what I did primarily was Fair Housing Act cases. 

Here‘s what Rand Paul said in 2002 about the fair housing law that was

passed in 1968.  He wrote a letter to a local newspaper in Kentucky

complaining about the Fair Housing Act and said, “A free society will abide

unofficial private discrimination, even when that means allowing hate-

filled groups to exclude people based on the color of their skin.”

This wasn‘t a “gotcha” question on a TV show.  He wanted to write into

the local paper to complain that a Fair Housing Act that had passed 34

years before was unjust and a free society should tolerate hate-filled

groups excluding people based on the color of their skin.

This is very frightening stuff.  It‘s the kind of stuff that happens

when you see this kind of extremism run wild.  And I think the Republican

Party needs to get on record, as you were saying earlier, and get their

leaders out there saying we‘re against this and we condemn this kind of

thinking.

SCHULTZ:  Well, silence gives consent.  I mean, it seems to me the guy

is an unguided missile, he‘s not very well politically grounded.  And he‘ll

say anything that will get him attention.  I mean, that‘s how he comes off

to me.

Now, as far as Jack Conway, who is going to be going against him in

the Democratic Party, this was his response: “Rand Paul is promoting a

narrow and rigid ideology that has repeatedly rejected a fundamental

provision of the Civil Rights Act.  No matter how he tries to spin to the

contrary, the fact is that Paul‘s ideology has dangerous consequences for

working families, veterans, students, the disabled, and those without a

voice in the halls of power.” 

But isn‘t the scary thing in all of this, Mr. Kaine, that a lot of

what he says is on right-wing radio in America?  And, you know, a lot of

candidates are actually making headway at the polls on low information

voters. 

What do you think? 

KAINE:  Well, you‘re hearing a lot of people push stuff like this.  I

haven‘t heard many say it as plainly as Rand Paul has said it throughout

his career.  And, you know, now, today, he is backtracking, because he sees

his campaign is falling apart and he doesn‘t want to be “Kentucky Fried

Candidate.” 

SCHULTZ:  Well, somebody is coaching him up.  Don‘t you think? 

KAINE:  Well, that‘s exactly what‘s going on.  But look, you can‘t

wipe away a record that‘s this clear. 

When he says that if a free society should tolerate hate-filled

groups, excluding people based on the color of their skin, you‘re not going

to be able to whitewash that away so easily.  That is a scary ideology, but

it‘s what happens. 

And you said, you know, the folks are being silent about this.  Hey,

look, they‘ve painted Rand Paul as their great—you know, their great

future candidate.  I mean, they love this guy. 

The Senate Campaign Committee is so excited about his win.  People all

over the country were excited about the win. 

Is this really what you want to be excited about?  You know, we‘ve got

to stand for something in this country.  I think it starts with all are

created equal.  You know, that was near the first line in the Declaration

of Independence. 

That is the American value.  That‘s the greatness of our country, that

we‘re the big tent, that are all welcome.  And somebody who is out there

preaching an ideology that says, no, no, we have to tolerate and promote

hate-filled groups, excluding people, that‘s just the wrong way to go. 

SCHULTZ:  Governor Kaine, always a pleasure. 

KAINE:  Great to be here, Ed.  Thanks.

SCHULTZ:  Thanks for joining us tonight.  You bet.

Coming up, oil hits the Louisiana wetlands.  Louisiana Governor Bobby

Jindal says the situation is life or death.  And BP admits more oil than

estimated is pouring out into the Gulf. 

And Nancy Pelosi slams the “Tan Man.”  Cavuto trashes Steele.  And a

moustache man lands in the “Zone.”

You‘re got a lot to watch tonight, right here on THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  And welcome back to THE ED SHOW.  And thanks for watching

tonight. 

The oil spill—well, the tide is turning on BP.  They‘ve done their

best to stonewall and downplay this disaster, and to try to really clean it

up on the cheap. 

Democrats in Congress demanded accountability, and they got BP to

release a live camera of the spill.  Spill-Cam, I guess you could say.  The

Web site crashed from all the people logging on to see it. 

This is how fast the oil is gushing out just a few hours ago.  It‘s

proof that BP doesn‘t have any idea how to fix this.  They‘re winging it,

as we‘ve said all along. 

This, where that oil ends up right there, this is video of the

Louisiana wetlands, covered in crude.  How gross.  And as governor of

Louisiana Bobby Jindal said, the day we feared is upon us. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. BOBBY JINDAL ®, LOUISIANA:  We‘ve got to be completely focussed

on defending this coast.  The cost—the difference when keeping this oil

out and having this oil in this wetlands, it literally could be life or

death for many of these species.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  The governor also said he‘s concerned about the chemical

dispersants BP is using to break the oil up.  Today, the Environmental

Protection Agency, they got up and woke up and realized what was going on,

and ordered BP to switch to a less toxic chemical within 24 hours. 

Joining me now from New Orleans is Jill Mastrototaro.  She‘s a senior

field organizing manager for the Sierra Club, an organization working to

protect the environment. 

Jill, good to have you on tonight. 

JILL MASTROTOTARO, SIERRA CLUB:  Hello.

SCHULTZ:  What recourse at this point do environmentalists have? 

MASTROTOTARO:  Well, I wish I could say, Ed, on this one month

anniversary of when this disaster started.  Things were looking good, but

we have a long road ahead. 

In terms of what all Americans should do, is call on our federal

government to get engaged a whole lot more down here.  It‘s been very slow

in terms of the feedback we‘ve gotten from BP.  There has been lack of

transparency, there‘s been lack of information.  And we need all resources

amassed, our federal government‘s resources amassed to the Gulf Coast to

help its people and its resources. 

SCHULTZ:  Well, the president was down there several weeks ago.  He

said that the federal government would offer up as much as they possibly

could, full force. 

You don‘t think that‘s been done? 

MASTROTOTARO:  It‘s been slow in coming, Ed.  Unfortunately, the folks

that live in these outer lying communities are still desperate for help. 

Our environmental resources are being covered.  Now, in Louisiana, we

have over 40 miles of our fragile coastline that‘s been impacted by this

thick crude.  It‘s a serious situation, and unfortunately the Gulf of

Mexico is being used as a test tube.  And things need to turn around fast. 

SCHULTZ:  For the record, wasn‘t the Sierra Club one of the first

organizations to come out and sound the alarm on how devastating this could

be? 

MASTROTOTARO:  We have been here from the get-go.  We have been

calling from the beginning on the Obama administration to immediately

reinstate the offshore federal drilling moratorium to protect our

coastline.  That also needs to include the eastern Gulf of Mexico.  And we

hope that that will come faster than it‘s happened. 

SCHULTZ:  What‘s your response to the reaction of the people down

there?  Now that it‘s in the wetlands in Louisiana, what‘s the reaction? 

Have people changed? 

MASTROTOTARO:  People‘s worst fears have been imagined.  They‘ve

materialized. 

There‘s a lot of fear.  There‘s a lot of concern.  There‘s a lot of

anger.  And people want to see results. 

We want to see our federal agencies being transparent, providing the

science behind the decisions being made.  Now we find EPA is having BP pull

the plug on upwards of 800 million gallons of dispersant that‘s already

been put into our Gulf waters.  We don‘t know the short-term or the long-

term ramifications of that.  So there‘s a lot of details that still need to

be put to light at this point.

SCHULTZ:  Jill Mastrototaro, thanks for your time tonight.  I

appreciate it so much. 

MASTROTOTARO:  Thank you. 

SCHULTZ:  Coming up, behind that big moustache lies the lips of a

“psycho talker.” 

Fox News nut job lands himself in the “Zone” next.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, hey, it turns out that Rand

Paul has backup on his plan to take our society back to the 1950s.  How

about that? 

Fox Business host John Stossel popped up on Fox News Channel this

afternoon to give his take on whether private businesses should be allowed

to discriminate. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN STOSSEL, FBN ANCHOR, “STOSSEL”:  I‘m in total agreement with Rand

Paul.  You can call it public accommodation, and it is.  But it‘s a private

business.  And if a private business wants to say, we don‘t want any blonde

anchorwomen or moustached guys, it ought to be their right. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Yes, because historically, the true victims of segregation

were blonde women.  I hear they‘ve got a real tough time getting served in

restaurants these days. 

This is “Psycho Talk.”  This is absolutely a ridiculous argument. 

But I hope the righties keep it up all the way to November.  The more

pro-segregation Republicans out there, the better things look for the

Democrats, because arguing against the Civil Rights Act is “Psycho Talk.”  

Coming up, the tensions are higher than ever over the Arizona

immigration law.  The boycott movement is exploding. 

Mexico‘s president blasted off on Capitol Hill today against the

Arizona law.  And President Obama goes into the attack mode.  Congressman

Gutierrez met with both presidents today, and he will join me next, here on

THE ED SHOW. 

Plus Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, tells the righties, bring it

on.  The party‘s over for the White House crashers. 

And someone at Fox tells Michael Steele everybody hates him. 

You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.  Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

Our battleground story tonight—and it is a big one—the fight

over Arizona‘s anti-immigration law has reached a fever pitch.  Opponents

of the law are hitting Arizona really where it hurts, in the wallet. 

The list of cities boycotting Arizona is growing, San Francisco, L.A.,

St. Paul, Minnesota, El Paso and Hartford, just to name a few on the list

of 11 cities.  Major groups are also boycotting, including the country‘s

largest union, the Service Employees International Union. 

But Arizona is fighting back.  The state‘s utility regulators are

threatening to cut off power to the city of Los Angeles.  What is happening

here?  The issue has been thrust into the spotlight by Mexican President

Felipe Calderon‘s visit.  The Mexican leader slammed the law in front of

the Congress today.  Both he and President Obama shot down the law in a

joint press conference. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  In the United States of

America, no law abiding person, be they an American citizen, a legal

immigrant or a visitor or tourist from Mexico, should ever be subject to

suspicion simply because of what they look like. 

FELIPE CALDERON, MEXICAN PRESIDENT (through translator):  We will

retain our firm rejection to criminalized migration, so that people that

work and provide thanks to this nation will be treated as criminals. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Let‘s turn now to Illinois Congressman Luis Gutierrez.  He

met with both presidents today.  He‘s a member of the Hispanic Caucus and

joins us here tonight on THE ED SHOW.  Congressman, good to have you with

us.  

REP. LUIS GUTIERREZ (D), ILLINOIS:  Happy to be with you.  I just came

back from an hour meeting with the president of Mexico, good meeting.  Love

to talk to you about it. 

SCHULTZ:  Tell us about it.  What‘s the mood of both leaders? 

GUTIERREZ:  I‘m going to tell you something, upbeat, excited.  The

president of Mexico was received very warmly, obviously, by I and other

members.  You know what we talked about?  How we take control of that

border bilaterally, how we reduce consumption of drugs in this country, how

we stop 75,000 weapons sent from the United States in the last three years,

that‘s 25,000, to the drug cartels. 

SCHULTZ:  You think he‘s committed? 

GUTIERREZ:  I think—listen, let me tell you something.  I think

unlike other presidents of Mexico, he‘s there.  He‘s committing the

resources.  He came here.  What did he ask us, Ed?  He said, could you

reaffirm through eliminating assault weapons, so they don‘t go into the

hands of criminal elements that I‘m trying to fight and the Mexican

soldiers are losing their lives combating. 

Listen, it‘s bilateral,  But he said it with a great degree of

affection, saying we‘re partners, we‘re neighbors, let‘s work together. 

It‘s the drug traffickers that win when you pass 1070.  It‘s the drug

traffickers that win when you criminalize immigration.  It‘s the drug

traffickers that win when we don‘t have a coordinated effort that allows

guns to come into Mexico and drugs to come into the United States.

SCHULTZ:  So what‘s going to happen.  Now the president of the United

States, President Obama, says that he needs some Republican help.  What is

the president of Mexico need to get his side of the bargain done on this to

protect the border?  And how is this going to work logistically? 

GUTIERREZ:  I think it is going to work very, very well.  We are going

to coordinate between our law enforcement, our military agencies,

government, law enforcement and military on both sides of the border. 

SCHULTZ:  We‘ve never done that before? 

GUTIERREZ:  Not to the extent I believe that we can.  Part of his

visit here, if you listen closely, was—what he said to us, look, the

better Mexico is, in terms of creating job opportunities and bringing

sanity to that border, the better the United States.  Because here‘s what

he‘s saying to us: I‘m creating jobs.  I need economic stability.  In order

to have more economic growth and stability, I need to win this war against

the drug cartels. 

That creates jobs in the United States, because Mexico is the number

one consumer of our product, number two—sorry, consumer. 

SCHULTZ:  A lot of jobs have gone to Mexico, too.  And there‘s

friction between the two countries as far as that is concerned.  I want to

ask you about the boycott.  You said on this program earlier that you were

OK with boycotts.  This has now expanded to 11 cities.  It‘s beyond region

now.  The only part of the United States that is not doing a boycott is the

southeastern portion of the United States.  That‘s a matter of time

probably. 

But border states are boycotting.  Is this a good thing to push for

action?  Or do you se this accelerating? 

GUTIERREZ:  Look, I think it is only going to grow as long as that law

stays on the books. 

SCHULTZ:  Do you support it? 

GUTIERREZ:  It hasn‘t been signed yet.  I support any and all efforts

to get 1070 repealed.  I, as I told you, and I will tell others—I am

happy and excited to see a broader movement than just the politicians here

in Washington, D.C., the activists and the organizations locally, each take

this issue on. 

SCHULTZ:  What do you make of the state of Arizona‘s Public Service

Commission to voting maybe they ought to rethink their power distribution

and cut off L.A. 

GUTIERREZ:  Who are they going to sell the electricity to?  They make

a profit.  It‘s almost as though, we‘re in Arizona, we‘re giving you this

free gift of electricity. 

SCHULTZ:  They‘re bluffing. 

GUTIERREZ:  Number one, they can‘t do it.  They know it‘s illegal. 

It‘s a bluff.  It‘s simply a ploy.  Number one, they won‘t do it.  Watch,

Ed, mark my words.  They won‘t do it.  They can‘t do it.  They know.  It‘s

simply a publicity stunt on their part.  They make a profit when they sell

that.  They remind me of the boys from Enron and what they did to

California when they threatened them, if you don‘t behave, we won‘t sell

you electricity unless you pay the ridiculous rates we want. 

Come on, let‘s be serious about this and let‘s get back to what the

real issues here are. 

SCHULTZ:  Congressman, great to have you with us tonight.  Thanks so

much.

GUTIERREZ:  Thank you.

SCHULTZ:  Congressman Gutierrez from Illinois here on THE ED SHOW. 

Now, let‘s get some rapid fire response from our panel on these

stories tonight.  Nancy Pelosi is telling Republicans to bring it on in

November.  After House Democrats won their fourth special election in a

row, the Speaker says she‘s sure her party will control the House. 

The Tea Party crowd was celebrating after its hero Rand Paul won the

Republican Senate nomination in Kentucky.  Just two days later, his

campaign is in crisis mode, very reactionary after a disastrous interview

with MSNBC‘s Rachel Meadow.  She wasn‘t disastrous.  He was. 

A snap poll of Arkansas Democrats shows Lieutenant Governor Bill

Halter moving ahead of Senator Blanche Lincoln.  It‘s the first poll ever

to show Halter taking the lead. 

With us tonight. A.B. Stoddard, columnist and associate editor for

“The Hill,” and Susan Molinari, Republican strategist and former

congresswoman from New York. 

All right, this is a lot on the table tonight.  I want to talk about

first the Republicans here.  Susan, what about Rand Paul?  Do Republicans

have to distance themselves from this Tea Party?  What do you think? 

SUSAN MOLINARI, FORMER CONGRESSWOMAN:  Obviously, he stepped in it. 

This is not a good way to start a political career.  He had to backtrack. 

Hopefully, he‘ll learn his lesson.  Look, I think there were some

Republicans who, prior to this election, tried to distance themselves.  He

is popular where he is in his state right now.  He has some time to try and

make this up as best he can between now and November. 

SCHULTZ:  It‘s not very often a politician puts out two statements in

one day on one subject.  A.B., what do you make of this guy?  Is he in

trouble? 

A.B. STODDARD, “THE HILL”:  Kentucky is still looking Republican right

now.  The election is months away.  This is going to cost him votes, Ed,

for sure.  It‘s hard for purists to be politicians.  He‘s a purist.  He‘s

admitted it over and over again, not only in the interview with Rachel and

other newspaper interviews.  He‘s really out front about this. 

It is going to cost him some votes.  If he can stir up and excite his

own base and overcome that, maybe he still wins.  Let‘s recall that though

he really trounced his opponent the other night, with a 60 percent to 35

win, remember that both top two Democratic vote getters in Kentucky earned

more votes than Rand Paul.  So it might be a better turnout on the

Republican side percentage-wise.  But the democrats are energizing their

base as well and this is now definitely competitive. 

SCHULTZ:  What was he thinking?  Susan, how do you win taking on the

Civil Rights Act and saying that the First Amendment rights are impeded by

it?  Isn‘t this a strange territory for somebody who wants to represent

everybody? 

MOLINARI:  Yes. 

SCHULTZ:  Good answer. 

MOLINARI:  I don‘t know what to say.  He is a purist.  This is how he

believes.  He has obviously drawn a pretty crystal clear line in terms of

where he thinks government should participate.  I‘m glad today he woke up

and said, this isn‘t what I meant and I need to backtrack a little bit. 

SCHULTZ:  Nancy Pelosi had this to say about her party keeping the

majority in the House.  Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), HOUSE SPEAKER:  You want to talk politics? 

You know how reluctant I am to do that, especially after a big, big victory

in Pennsylvania. 

What we learned from this election, and I think hopefully the

Republicans saw clearly, is nationalizing the election, talking about

Speaker Pelosi and President Obama was not as appealing to the public there

as Mark Critz talking to them about their jobs. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  A.B., do the Democrats have new legs?  What do you think? 

STODDARD:  Well, I think it definitely put the brakes on the

conventional wisdom, which was that they were sinking in the polls and they

were going to possibly lose the House this fall.  Is it possible that they

still lose the House?  Of course it is.  But this is the exact type of seat

the Republicans need to win 40 of in just a few months.  The fact that this

was the only race that pitted a Democrat against a Republican, that they

had the money, they had the time, they apparently had the Tea Party, and

they didn‘t even come close.  It‘s an a big loss for Republicans for sure. 

SCHULTZ:  Susan, your thoughts? 

MOLINARI:  Look, the democrat that won—it would have be nice for

the Republicans to win.  The Democrat that won is pro-life, pro gun, anti-

tax, against cap and trade, and would have voted against the health care

bill.  He‘s pretty much in the same framework as most Republicans.  So I

think 60,000 more Democrats in the congressional district, the district did

vote for John McCain last time, but has voted pretty consistently for

Democrat presidents before then. 

It would have been great for the Republicans to win.  We were hoping

we could.  But I still think it doesn‘t overshadow the fact that the

enthusiasm gap is still with the republicans.  Suburban women, independents

are voting for—are tilting towards Republicans.  The generic still has

Republicans up by four percentage points.  That being said, November is a

long time away. 

SCHULTZ:  June 8th is not very far away in Arkansas.  It is going to

be a heck of a runoff between Blanche Lincoln and Bill Halter.  For the

first time, Research 2000 Poll has got Halter—as a result of last night,

he now leads in a poll 48 percent to 46 percent.  How tough is it going to

be at this point, A.B., for Blanche Lincoln to win this runoff June 8th

STODDARD:  If we look at it from tonight, it doesn‘t look possible.  I

think she was pleasantly surprised to find she had won in a lot of urban

areas.  She was supposed to win the rural counties and Halter was supposed

to do well in the cities.  She actually had some surprising victories in

places she didn‘t expect. 

Let‘s look at the fact there was a third party candidate who garnered

13 percent of the vote.  If the thinking is that those people are going to

go to Halter, I don‘t know how she survives. 

SCHULTZ:  What do you think, Susan?

MOLINARI:  It is going to be an interesting few weeks because you have

labor union saying that just for this runoff they‘re going to put 1.5

million dollars, which buys a significant amount in Arkansas.  You have the

labor unions on one side, working for Halter, and then you have President

Clinton saying he‘s going to come in for Senator Lincoln.  It‘s going to be

an interesting dynamic to watch. 

SCHULTZ:  Susan, you‘ve had to defend your seat in the past in your

career.  If you were Blanche Lincoln, what would you do? 

MOLINARI:  She has just got to stand up for what she believes in.  We

have also learned from Senator Specter that when you try to change your

explanation for your votes and who you are, that doesn‘t really help

either.  I think Senator Lincoln has an awful lot to say and sell.  That‘s

all she can do for the next few weeks. 

SCHULTZ:  A.B., is this the people versus the corporations in

Arkansas? 

STODDARD:  No, I think that Blanche Lincoln is having a tough year for

many, many reasons.  I think actually her recent amendment to the financial

services regulation bill came out of nowhere.  I actually think it‘s a

really anti-incumbent—who ever, whatever party you are in, whoever you

are, people in Washington aren‘t doing it right, aren‘t solving our

problems.  And I think she‘s going to suffer from that. 

SCHULTZ:  A.B. Stoddard, Susan Molinari, great to have you with us

tonight.  Thank you so much.

Coming up, the CEO of Massey Energy got grilled on the Hill today.  It

took him over a month to answer questions on the mining disaster he should

have prevented. 

The chairman of the Labor Committee, Senator Tom Harkin, is doing all

he can to protect the country‘s workers.  He will join me in just a moment

on THE ED SHOW.  Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  In my playbook tonight, the CEO of Massey Energy, Don

Blankenship, finally had the courage to face Congress after 29 workers died

in his mine.  His performance before the members of the Senate HELP

Committee was absolutely stunning.  Blankenship actually tried to ship the

blame to the regulators, saying that safety upgrades made the mine less

safe. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DON BLANKENSHIP, CEO, MASSEY ENERGY:  We opposed the changes because

our engineers believed they made the ventilation system less effective, not

because they were more costly or interfered with production.  We do not

know whether the ventilation system played a role in the explosion. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  I guess he was just asking the question about the Mine,

Safety and Health Administration.  Fortunately, the other witnesses at the

hearing, Cecil Roberts of the United Mine Workers, shot down that excuse. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CECIL ROBERTS, UNITED MINE WORKERS:  Why didn‘t Don Blankenship shut

this coal mine down?  We don‘t have to question his authority.  He runs

this place.  He could have walked up and said, this mine is shut down. 

This mine is not going to operate another minute until we correct these

problems. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  For more, let‘s bring in the chair of today‘s hearing,

Senator Tom Harkin, chairman of the Senate HELP Committee.  Senator, good

to have on tonight.  Good to see you with us.

SEN. TOM HARKIN (D), IOWA:  Hey, Ed.  Good to be back with you. 

SCHULTZ:  Your general feeling about what you saw today; was there

arrogance coming from Mr. Blankenship, the CEO?  What did you think? 

HARKIN:  Ed, it‘s the same lack of any kind of corporate

responsibility.  You know, Wall Street, hey, they‘re not to blame for

anything.  BP, they‘re not to blame.  Now we have the mine operators,

they‘re not to blame either.  It‘s total lack of corporate responsibility. 

What I heard from Mr. Blankenship was excuse after excuse after

excuse.  This whole thing of them trying to shift the blame, I‘m telling

you, that won‘t wash around here. 

SCHULTZ:  This is an exchange that you had with him at the hearing

today.  Here it is. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HARKIN:  I hear what you say about safety and all the things you‘re

telling me.  I don‘t have an intimate knowledge of that, obviously.  But

then when I wrote down here 52 miners died at Massey mines, 23 before the

explosion, 29 in the explosion, 52 over ten years, highest in the industry. 

I‘m trying to square these two things. 

BLANKENSHIP:  The only thing that I can say is that once you add the

29 in, it‘s a bad record.  I feel terrible about it.  I don‘t know yet what

happened.  When you look at the 23 we had, look at the difficult

conditions, underground conditions and so forth, we work in a central—

we‘re about average. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Senator Harkin, is it about average to have hundreds upon

hundreds of safety violations go unanswered, and then them not voluntarily

shutting down the mine, when workers know that if they don‘t go down into

that mine, they will lose their job?  This is an issue about safety, but

worker protection as well.  Isn‘t he feeding you a line of bull? 

HARKIN:  Well, as I pointed out, they have a tremendous record of

violations going back ten years or more.  Last year, they had 58 withdrawal

orders, 19 times the average of other mines. 

SCHULTZ:  What can you do about all this? 

HARKIN:  First of all, the investigations are on-going right now, Ed. 

What we have to do is we have to really up the penalties on these mine

operators and make them—if they get a citation, make them pay it into an

escrow account right away.  What is happening now is that keep—what they

do is they appeal these and then they go into a backlog.  We have thousands

backed up.  We don‘t have enough judges to hear these cases, so the mine

operators get off Scott-free on these things.  I think we have to do is

we‘ve got to stiffen the penalties. 

SCHULTZ:  What about the inspectors?  Are they incompetent? 

HARKIN:  Not really.  As I pointed out today, you can‘t have an

inspector in every shaft of every mine all the time.  They can do an

inspection, and then as soon as they leave, the operator starts doing

something else.  What the operators have to have is they have to have

safety first.  They have to have a culture of safety. 

I read together from a transcript of Mr. Blankenship, where in a memo,

he said, look, we have to produce coal.  That‘s our number one thing. 

Don‘t think about anything else, just think about producing coal.  What

does that say? 

SCHULTZ:  Senator Harkin, thanks for staying on tonight.  Appreciate

it so much.

HARKING:  Thanks, Ed.

SCHULTZ:  Let me turn now to Daniel Kane.  He‘s with the United Mine

Workers of America.  Mr. Kane, what did you hear today? 

DANIEL KANE, UNITED MINE WORKERS OF AMERICA:  I heard more of Don

Blankenship‘s excuses.  And I think it‘s time we reject those excuses.  For

years and years and years, he has been pressuring his bosses, pressuring

his workers to shortcut the system to produce more coal, and he hasn‘t paid

the price. 

SCHULTZ:  Senator Harkin wants more fines.  Would that do anything? 

KANE:  That would do something.  They also need to prevent the company

from clogging the system with needless appeals, with appeals of every

violation.  But they have to enforce criminal penalties against people who

shortcut workers‘ safety.  When you pressure your people that if they don‘t

take a shortcut to produce more coal, they‘ll lose their jobs, that should

be a criminal offense.  There shouldn‘t be a fine for that.  There should

be jail time. 

SCHULTZ:  There‘s a criminal investigation going on right now.  Do you

think that will bear fruit and justice, in your opinion? 

KANE:  It needs to.  We need to get to the bottom of it.  It‘s been

going on too long.  Massey has run roughshod over the miners. 

SCHULTZ:  Do you have confidence that the Senate HELP Committee will

do anything about this? 

KANE:  I‘d like to remain upbeat.  I think there‘s a lot of good

people who want to try and do something.  We have to do everything to help

them.  We have the evidence of what Massey‘s been doing.  It‘s out there in

plain sight.  The key to this is that Don Blankenship and his board of

directors have to be punished for what they‘ve done. 

SCHULTZ:  Mr. Kane, good to have you on.  Thanks so much for speaking

up. 

Workers right, this is exactly the kind of stuff that I have written

about in my book, which is going to be released on June 1st.  It‘s called

“Killer Politics, How Big Money and Bad Politics are Destroying the Great

American Middle Class.”  We will have a series of town hall meetings and

book signings.  You can go to my website, WeGotEd.com, for the entire

schedule.  Hope to see you on the trail. 

Last final page in playbook tonight.  We all know it‘s been a rough

couple of months for the Republican party leader Michael Steele, the

bondage club, questions about the Republican money, where it came from,

where it went, what it was used for.  And now he‘s going on Fox News to

answer questions about bad blood between Republicans and the Tea Party. 

Here‘s how you know it‘s really bad, when you take a look at this. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL STEELE, RNC CHAIRMAN:  Please do not mix the Republican party

establishment—I don‘t know who that is by the way. 

NEIL CAVUTO, FOX NEWS ANCHOR:  You.  You. 

STEELE:  With activists.  Neil, have you been reading my press lately? 

I don‘t think the last thing you can say about me is that I‘m part of the

establishment. 

CAVUTO:  That‘s true because everybody hates you. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Somebody at Fox finally got one right.  Coming up, the

senator took the big step in holding Wall Street accountable today.  And

Senator Sherrod Brown leading the charge for Main Street.  He‘s up next. 

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA:  Over the last year, the financial industry has repeatedly

tried to end this reform with hordes of lobbyists and millions of dollars

in ads.  When they couldn‘t kill it, they tried to water it down with

special interest loopholes and carve-outs undermining real change.  Today,

I think it‘s fair to say these efforts have failed. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Nearly two years after the economy imploded, Wall Street

reform is one step closer to becoming a reality, no thanks to the

Republicans.  Only three Republican senators, Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins

and Scott Brown, joined the Democrats to end a filibuster and move towards

final passage.  Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, member of the Senate Banking

Committee, joins us tonight. 

Senator, let‘s keep it real simple for a lot of Americans who are

middle classers, that don‘t know the devil in the details of how Wall

Street operates.  Will this prevent future bailouts and future taxpayer

dollars going to bonuses?  What do you think? 

BROWN:  It will prevent bailouts.  Banks still are going to overpay

their executives, just like much of corporate America overpays their

executives.  I think we deal with that partly through the tax code and

other ways. 

SCHULTZ:  No more bailouts? 

BROWN:  No more bailouts, that‘s the whole point.  The point of this

bill is no more bailouts, protecting the public, giving people who use

credit cards and debit cards and other kind of credit protections and

enough information they can make wise decisions and that the banks can‘t

game the system the way they have.  That‘s the point of this bill.  That‘s

what it does. 

SCHULTZ:  What about transparency?  Is there enough transparency in

this bill, in your opinion? 

BROWN:  I don‘t think—there‘s not enough.  I think there‘s a good

start.  It‘s a good bill.  I would prefer a stronger bill.  As you know, I

wanted to break up the banks.  The six biggest banks are way too big and

have too much power.  We weren‘t able to do that.  We couldn‘t get enough

Republican help and not enough of my colleagues voted for it. 

This bill is a good bill.  It should be stronger, but it‘s still a

good bill. 

SCHULTZ:  How much of a victory is this for President Obama if this

happens? 

BROWN:  It‘s a good victory because of what we were all up against. 

You go back to a Republican meeting in December, had a meeting with 100

bank lobbyists, with the charge of how do we kill this bill.  And Jon

Cornyn, the Republican campaign leader and the committee chairman, with

Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, went to New York and met with 25

hedge fund managers—

SCHULTZ:  So this is a big hurdle. 

BROWN:  Yes, Wall Street—nothing is more powerful in this town than

Wall Street banks.  We‘re going to win on this. 

SCHULTZ:  Senator, good to have you with us tonight. 

BROWN:  It‘s not a super victory, but it‘s a big victory. 

SCHULTZ:  Thanks so much, appreciate your time tonight. 

Telephone survey tonight, I asked you, do you think the Republican

party should dump Rand Paul?  Seventy five percent of you said yes; 25

percent said no.  That‘s THE ED SHOW.  I‘m Ed Schultz.  “HARDBALL” with

Chris Matthews is next.  We‘ll see you tomorrow night in Minneapolis.

END   

Copyright 2010 Roll Call, Inc.  All materials herein are protected by

United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed,

transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written

permission of Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark,

copyright or other notice from copies of the content.>

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,