The Ed Show for Tuesday, August 9th, 2011
Read the transcript to the Tuesday show
Guests: John Nichols, Jim Dean, Adam Green, Jon Erpenbach, Tim Carpenter,
Bob Jauch, Fred Risser, Kathleen Vinehout, Jim Palmer, Mahlon Mitchell,
Tony Schultz, John Nichols, Lena Taylor, Fred Barker
ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good evening, Americans. And welcome to THE ED
SHOW tonight from Madison, Wisconsin -- where the recall elections for the
radical Republicans under way.
The polls have closed. The results at this hour:
In the 2nd district, 49 percent reporting, Republican State Senator
Rob Cowles, 57 percent, Democratic challenger Nancy Nusbaum in at 43
In the 8th district, 7 percent reporting, Republican State Senator
Alberta Darling, 71 percent. Democratic State Representative Sandy Pasch
in at 29 percent.
In the 10th district, 29 percent reporting, Republican State Senator
Sheila Harsdorf, 59 percent, Democratic challenger Shelly Moore, 49
In the 14th district, Republican State Senator Luther Olsen,
Democratic state representative Fred Clark. No results on that.
In the 18th district, 7 percent reporting, Republican State Senator
Randy Hopper, 54 percent. Democratic challenger Jessica King in at 46
In the 32nd district, 24 percent reporting, Democratic State
Representative Jennifer Shilling in at 51 percent, Republican State Senator
Dan Kapanke in at 49 percent.
This is THE ED SHOW, live from Madison, Wisconsin. Let`s get to work.
SCHULTZ: Good evening, Americans. And welcome to THE ED SHOW tonight
from Madison, Wisconsin.
If I was in an arena, I`d say it`s in front of a packed house. We are
just across the street from the state capitol, where all the activity has
taken place here for the last six months. It has been a long run to
tonight`s activity and election.
It is way too early to call anything. A lot of the votes that are
being counted are in the rural areas of the district.
Joining me tonight, we have just about everybody who`s a player in
this whole issue, especially the best fans in America.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
SCHULTZ: John Nichols joins us off the top tonight from "The Nation"
John, early returns. It looks like a good start for the Republicans.
JOHN NICHOLS, THE NATION: I`d be cautious about that, Ed. Our rural
communities turn their votes in early. They count fast because they have
fewer votes. When I look at these districts, one of the things that`s very
striking to me is that some of the bigger cities, places like Baraboo and
Portage which are more Democratic, some of their polling places are just
closing right now because they had hour-long waits to vote. So we have a
lot of votes to come in.
What I`m intrigued by, though, is that Fred Clark race -- Fred who you
had on last night. My sense is it looks like he`s doing better than we
expected and his numbers look pretty good right now.
SCHULTZ: John, when you take a look at the six race that`s are out
there, you need three to get the majority in the Senate. But if there were
any races out there that you would pick the Democrats are going to win this
one, they`re going to win this one, would it be if I`m correct here in the
18th district Randy Hopper and Jessica King? Jessica King should have a
good chance at winning that tonight.
NICHOLS: Yes. And -- and right now she`s at about 46 percent with
much of her best areas in the Oshkosh area not in.
SCHULTZ: OK. But this is a race --
NICHOLS: It`s a real race.
SCHULTZ: -- that Democrats are counting on the victory tonight.
NICHOLS: Got to have it.
SCHULTZ: If Randy Hopper holds on here, it might not be a good night
for the recall.
All right. The other expected hopeful victory for the Democrats would
be Dan Kapanke, the Republican, being challenged by Jennifer Shilling. How
important is this one?
NICHOLS: You can`t build to your three without starting with Jen
Shilling. She is the beginning point.
And right now, she`s ahead by about 2 percent. But she ought to win
that race by a substantial margin. If she doesn`t, then you`re right, this
night could be a disappointing one.
SCHULTZ: Now, we have to label two hopefuls in this race. It would
be the 8th district in suburban Milwaukee, Alberta Darling -- who was a
close associate of the governor, and Sandy Pasch.
I mean, a boatload of money has been spent on this race right here --
over $8 million in favor of the incumbent. This is a hopeful tonight.
NICHOLS: What I`m going to tell you is this race could turn out, when
all the numbers are added up, as the most expensive legislative race in
American history. Not Wisconsin but the country. And so, huge money`s
gone in there.
And that is the most complicated district because it`s actually a
district where you have billionaires and people who live in public housing.
So, precinct by precinct we`re going to watch that one through the night.
SCHULTZ: The other hopeful victory for the Democrats to be the swing,
the third one, the seat to get that they`re counting on, is the Luther
Olsen-Fred Clark race in the 14th district. In Portage, you know, we heard
reports earlier today of long line lines, traffic jams, a turnout that was
on the levels of presidential.
How important is this race? How feasible is it that a Democrat would
win here? Because Olsen has been there for 16 years and sometimes
NICHOLS: Can I just tell you something, Ed? In that district, the
last time a Democrat won that district, Grover Cleveland was president.
SCHULTZ: That would be 115 years.
NICHOLS: That`s a long time.
SCHULTZ: That is a long time. All right. Now, just calling it like
it is before -- I mean, if you were in Vegas, you would say that there are
two Republicans out there tonight that are truly expected to win.
In the 2nd district, covering the Green Bay area, Robert Cowles, who
is leading Nancy Nusbaum. Gilbert Brown, former defensive tackle for the
Green Bay Packers, got into the fray on this one. He did some robocalls
for Nancy Nusbaum.
And our condolences go out to Nancy. She lost her mother on Friday.
And it has been obviously that event has tempered the intensity in the
But that is one that Cowles is expected to win. That`s one the
Republicans are counting on.
NICHOLS: Absolutely. Now, one thing I want to emphasize, Ed, is all
of these districts are Republican districts drawn by the redistricting 10
years ago to be won by Republicans and that have been consistently won by
Republicans over the last several decades.
So, in all of them the Republicans should be in good shape. In some,
like the Cowles district, that really has a lot of Republican turf in it.
So that`s a tall order.
Others like the Jen Shilling district over in Lacrosse, that`s one
that has been trending Democratic and should go.
SCHULTZ: And the other Republican that is expected to win tonight by
the odds makers, so to speak, would be Sheila Harsdorf in the 10th district
in Hudson, Wisconsin. Shelly Moore the Democrat, the challenger there.
So you have the expectations of Republican wins. You have the
expectations of Democratic wins. And you have a couple of real hopefuls
for the Democrats.
SCHULTZ: That`s really how it`s breaking down in the six. How do you
feel at this point? I mean, there`s really all the polls that came out
before tonight`s voting were all over the place. You really have nothing
to compare it to.
When the turnout came out today, the people we were talking to on the
ground were very encouraged. Both sides were saying, hey, it`s good for
And I think it`s fair to say that there has been a very sophisticated
ground game here in Wisconsin for the progressives. And it has been a real
financial push for the conservatives. Is that a fair --
NICHOLS: It`s been money versus people. And the Republicans have had
immense amounts of money.
The progressives have had people -- and I was up in Fred Clark`s
district just about an hour and a half ago, and the amazing thing to me was
that Bowzer from "Sha Na Na," the rock band, who`s got Wisconsin ties, was
there and he was out knocking on doors in some of the working-class
neighborhoods at 5:30, 6:00 to get people out for Fred Clark.
That`s the kind of wild passion of these races. And I want to tell
you, when I was pulling out of Portage, it was after 7:00 and there was a
line that went out of the Portage Fire Department, up the stairs, out into
the yard and into the parking lot. You had people waiting 45 minutes to an
hour to vote.
So, we`re going to be here for a little bit tonight.
SCHULTZ: We will be devoting our program to this tonight here live in
Let`s talk more about the ground game that has been out there and how
intense it has been. Jim Dean joins us now. He is the chairman of
Democracy for America.
Jim, good to have you with us tonight.
JIM DEAN, DEMOCRACY FOR AMERICA: Ed, thanks.
SCHULTZ: How would you characterize what you have seen on the ground
here in recent days leading up to the turnout?
DEAN: Well, I think intense is a very good word for, that Ed. You
know, the strength that all of the folks that are here tonight as well as
all over the state have shown has really been remarkable. You know, as
we`ve said, these are Republican districts, and yet we`ve seen people
coming from all over the place out of the woodwork.
I`ve had the pleasure of being on a lot of these canvasses myself.
And the kind of intensity that they displayed, the kind of passion that the
folks have displayed about getting out to vote has really been remarkable.
And again, these are Republican districts. This has always been an
uphill battle. It`s always been the beginning of something much bigger.
But it`s really been awesome.
SCHULTZ: But it should be pointed out that these are districts that
were won by president Obama in 2008. Correct, John?
NICHOLS: That is correct.
SCHULTZ: And these are also districts that were won by Governor
Walker when he won the governor`s chair. So it`s hard to really say where
this is going to go.
NICHOLS: It tells you that turnout matters. When you get to that
maximized turnout of an Obama `08 race you get Democratic wins. But you
start to fall below that, and these are Republican districts.
SCHULTZ: L go now to Adam Green, with us tonight, the co-founder of
the PCCC, Progressive Change Campaign Committee.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
SCHULTZ: Adam, what did you see leading up to today`s vote?
ADAM GREEN, PROGRESSIVE CHANGE CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE: Well, turnout does
matter. And what I saw leading up to today`s vote is the incredible
grassroots energy. I mean, this is what democracy looks like. Absolutely.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
GREEN: And, you know, there`s a big lesson to be drawn from this. We
saw in 2010, Ed, a depressed turnout in Wisconsin and across the country
when there was a feeling among Democrats and independent voters the
Democrats weren`t standing on principle as much as they could have.
Well, the Wisconsin 14 were just the opposite of that. They stood on
principle. They were heroes.
And what we saw today and just the last couple months is the
grassroots will get the back of people who stand on principle for core
SCHULTZ: As I broke it down, two expected for the Democrats, a couple
swings and a couple expected for the Republicans. Your comment on that.
GREEN: I think that we have probably a ceiling of four Democratic
pickups and a floor of about two. Something outside of that range would be
unexpected. And three is the magic number.
And again, a couple months ago nobody thought Alberta Darling would
have a race on her hands. Fred Clark entered this race in the other
district against Luther Olsen as being very much behind. But again, the
grassroots turned out.
And again, it`s very important to point out that there is a national
lesson that will be learned if these races turn out closely or if we have
SCHULTZ: What`s the national lesson?
GREEN: That lesson is that Republicans who declare war on working
families will be punished by voters.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
SCHULTZ: Gentlemen, I would go so far as to say that this is the
first real true test of the battle against Citizens United. Adam?
GREEN: That`s true. This is a rare instance where people power
fought back and we might be on the verge of defeating corporate money. But
it`s still an uphill struggle and we`ve got to fight even harder.
SCHULTZ: Adam Green, Jim Dean, and also John Nichols going to be with
us throughout the evening.
It`s THE ED SHOW live from Madison, Wisconsin. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to Madison, Wisconsin, where the coverage of
the recall elections continue here on THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.
Just some generic notes to bring to you here early on. The Pasch race
is tightening. She, of course, is taking on Alberta Darling. Sandy Pasch,
that race is tightening.
Clark trails by 10 percent, that in the 14th district. Luther Olsen
Also, Hopper is up by 500 votes with just 15 percent of the vote
counted. Randy Hopper being challenged by Jessica King.
And Shilling`s lead is starting to widen over Dan Kapanke in the 32nd
So that`s where we are. Sandy Pasch -- we are being told now that
Sandy Pasch just took the lead.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
SCHULTZ: That, of course, in the 8th district suburban Milwaukee,
where the incumbent Alberta Darling, a close associate of the governor, had
over $8 million pumped into that race.
But again, as we are seeing the Packer fans out here in Wisconsin,
grabbing on to any morsel of information, sitting on the edge of their
seats and standing on their toes here in Madison because they have waited
for the positive results for their side of the ledger since January.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
SCHULTZ: Bear with me tonight, America. I can`t do this story
tonight without having fun with these people. They have been -- they have
been so wonderful to be around. I mean, this is the heart of America.
These are middle-classers who stand up for what they believe in.
And you know what? You know what`s great about this tonight? When
you see our camera shots of the crowd, no matter how this turns out, no
matter who wins here tonight -- how thankful we should be to be in a
country where we can come out and speak our piece and speak our mind.
And ironically, that`s what this has been all about in Wisconsin --
giving workers an opportunity to do just that in the workplace when it
comes to bargaining.
Jon Erpenbach, great to have you with us tonight. Senator --
STATE SEN. JON ERPENBACH (D), WISCONSIN: Good to see you.
SCHULTZ: Good to see you.
We are being told now that district 2 has been called and Senator Bob
Cowles has won that race over Nancy Nusbaum. So that was, as we said in
our first segment tonight, that was one that was expected to be won by the
Republicans. Your response.
ERPENBACH: It doesn`t surprise me. That was probably one of the
tougher districts that we`re dealing with here in the recalls. And Nancy
worked really hard -- obviously had some personal tragedy here toward the
end of the campaign. But just the fact that she decided to do what she did
says a lot about Nancy Nusbaum. And I`m really, really glad she ran.
SCHULTZ: OK. We`ll have more from Madison, Wisconsin when we come
back here on "THE ED SHOW" on MSNBC. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to Madison, Wisconsin here on THE ED SHOW.
Our coverage of the recall elections in the state. We have one result
in. Robert Cowles, who has been in the state Senate for 24 years, has
defeated the challenger, Nancy Nusbaum.
The other piece of information we have in the 8th district, which
includes suburban Milwaukee, Sandy Pasch is leading the incumbent with only
18 percent of the vote. Pasch at 57-43 over Alberta Darling.
But I must say, it is still very early.
And we also have in the 32nd district, which includes the city of
Lacrosse, Wisconsin, Jennifer Shilling`s lead is now at 53 percent to 47
percent over Senator Dan Kapanke.
Joining me now is Senator Bob Jauch.
Senator, what`s your feeling about what you`re seeing right now?
ST. SEN. ROBERT JAUCH (D), WISCONSIN: First of all, democracy is
alive and well in Wisconsin. On August 9th -- on August 9th the citizens
of Wisconsin have declared democracy as their territory, and they`re
holding Republicans accountable. I think you`re finding that you`re going
to see some ships over the night. But we`re doing extremely well. We
shouldn`t even be in this position given that these are Republican
SCHULTZ: How strong a Republican districts are they? How would you
JAUCH: One of them has been a Republican district for 100 years. One
of them has been a Republican district for 36 years. Remember that 180,000
citizens of all walks of life, of all parties, signed petitions saying that
they had had enough of the radical agenda, they wanted their Wisconsin
If you hear one thing, you hear it 100 times around Wisconsin in an
hour, and that is they can`t recognize Wisconsin under Governor Walker, the
Republicans. And this election is about taking Wisconsin back.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
SCHULTZ: Great to have you with us, Senator.
Senator Tim Carpenter. Senator, your thoughts on what is in so far.
ST. SEN. TIM CARPENTER (D), WISCONSIN: Well, what I`d like to say,
we`re experiencing the miracle in Madison. We`re having the opportunity to
take back our own government that in February when Walker was talking to
the Koch brothers, the people are talking now, and they`re getting the
governor`s ear. And telling him what needs to be done to pick up some of
these Senate seats.
SCHULTZ: And we are being told now that the "Associated Press" is
calling the 10th district in Hudson, Wisconsin. Sheila Harsdorf has
defeated Shelly Moore. That too was an expected victory by the experts, an
expected victory for the Republicans.
So the two expected districts by the Republicans have been won
tonight. In the 2nd district, Robert Cowles, who`s been in the Senate for
24 years, has won and fought off the recall. And also Sheila Harsdorf, the
"Associated Press" now calling that. She`s victorious over Shelly Moore.
Your thoughts on that, Senator Carpenter.
CARPENTER: That`s not a surprise. A lot of things are going to
change. As Senator Jauch had said, there will be ebbs and flows, ebbs and
flows. And we all knew it was going to be difficult. It would be an
uphill battle with the money on the other side and the governor`s ties to
big special interest groups.
But I`m still optimistic that we`re going to pull out three, we`re
going to do it.
SCHULTZ: All right. This is the longest-serving state senator in the
United States of America, Mr. Fred Risser.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
SCHULTZ: Senator, what do you make of what you`re seeing so far? Two
down, four to go. Can you get three out of four?
ST. SEN. FRED RISSER (D), WISCONSIN: Well, it`s not over yet. It`s
not over yet. And I think there`s a pretty good chance we will. Any
victory is a real victory because these are all Republican areas. So
there`s a shift from the Republicans to the Democrats as a result of this
recall. And any victory is a victory.
And so we`re going to win several victories. We`re going to win. And
quite frankly, it`s the first time in the history of the state of Wisconsin
that we had this kind of a recall and this kind of shift. We`re making
progress. We may not win all the way now, but we`re going to go all the
way in the future.
SCHULTZ: And I have to ask you, with your wealth of experience and
political wisdom, if tonight is not successful for the Democrats and you
don`t get the three, in your opinion what does that mean nationally, if
RISSER: Well, we`ve made progress. We have improved our situation as
a result of the recalls. And it means that we`re going to have to keep
working harder and victory will eventually come. I am convinced that we`re
going to go.
And tonight, we`ve made some progress. And you can`t take that away
from us. We`re going to continue --
SCHULTZ: Do you ever go into the Badger locker room and give them a
RISSER: I`ll tell you --
SCHULTZ: What do you think?
RISSER: If I were not doing this -- if I weren`t optimistic, I
wouldn`t be in this job. I`ll tell you that.
SCHULTZ: You`re terrific, senator. Great to have you with us.
Your thoughts. Now, you have talked -- and you`re from a rural area.
What`s happening here tonight?
ST. SEN. KATHLEEN VINEHOUT (D), WISCONSIN: Well, we`re beginning to
see the rural people wake up, but it`s just beginning. What we have to do
is begin to build the ward by ward, neighborhood by neighborhood,
organization that lasts 365 days a year all across this country.
That`s what has to happen for people to be able to beat money. It`s a
tough sell. People have gotten involved that have never gotten involved in
But we need to continue this. After tonight win or lose, we need to
keep fighting, keep organizing, and out-organize the Republicans because we
know they`re going to beat us on money.
SCHULTZ: And how confident are you can get three tonight?
VINEHOUT: We`re cautiously optimistic that it`s going to happen.
SCHULTZ: Senator, thank you so much. We`ve got more coming up on THE
ED SHOW live from Madison, Wisconsin. Stay with us. It`s coverage of the
recall in the Badger State.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW, in Madison, Wisconsin. The
recall coverage continues here on MSNBC. Two of the four races have
already been decided tonight. In the 2nd District, Bob Cowles has defeated
Nancy Nusbaum, the Democrat. And also Sheila Harsdorf in the 10th District
has been declared the winner by the A.P. over Shelly Moore.
So with four races to go, here`s where we stand. We are told now that
Randy Hopper and Jessica King are virtually tied in the 18th district.
That is one that the Democrats are hoping to win big-time. Also, Jennifer
Shilling leads Dan Kapanke in the 32nd district.
So as it stands right now, the Republicans have won two of the races
that they were expected to win, and the Democrats are either tied or
slightly leading in the two races that they are very hopeful to win in
this. And of course, we are also told Sandy Pasch is leading Alberta
Darling, but still a lot of votes have not been counted in that district.
Joining us now is Jim Palmer, who is the executive director of the
Wisconsin Professional Police Organization. Good to have you with us. And
I`m introducing you tonight to three people that have been with us on this
Wisconsin ride and been through all of this.
JIM PALMER, WISCONSIN PROFESSIONAL POLICE ORGANIZATION: That`s
SCHULTZ: What are you going through tonight?
PALMER: Well, obviously, we`re all hopefully optimistic. You know,
law enforcement officers -- many law enforcement officers tend to be
conservative. But they know the difference between right and wrong. And
what Governor Walker and this Republican state senate and the legislature
have been trying to do they recognized as wrong.
I can`t tell you how many members I`ve had approach me personally and
say that they`ve been lifelong Republicans but never again. And so I`m
very optimistic that tonight the middle class is going to reclaim our
SCHULTZ: What do you think this is doing to the entire state? I
mean, there`s a lot of districts out there tonight that are not engaged.
It`s down to six districts. And then there`s going to be two more next
week. What do you think the rest of the state is thinking that`s not
involved in this vote?
PALMER: I think those who aren`t involved tonight wish they could be.
And their time will come. And tonight is just one step closer to, again,
reclaiming our state. So we`re very optimistic. And I think we`re going
to have some good results.
SCHULTZ: Jim, thank you so much. Joining us now is Mahlon Mitchell.
He`s the state president of the Wisconsin Firefighters.
MAHLON MITCHELL, WISCONSIN FIREFIGHTERS: Hey, Ed. How are we doing?
SCHULTZ: It`s great to see you.
MITCHELL: Good to see you again as well.
SCHULTZ: I`d better just realize that I`ve become pretty good friends
with this guy. And some people are calling him Senator Mitchell. I don`t
MITCHELL: Too much pressure. Too much pressure.
SCHULTZ: You have done a fabulous job leading your troops. As you
went into this vote today, what were your thoughts?
MITCHELL: Well, you know, I`ve been thinking the same thing since day
one. One thing is that when there`s an emergency, firefighters, police
officers, we respond. And right now, the house is on fire and we`re here
to help put that fire out.
But we want to know -- we want to know, and we`re asking Governor
Walker -- we`re asking the administration, at what point did firefighters,
nurses, teachers, police officers, snow plow drivers, Rock County workers
become the problem?
SCHULTZ: My colleague Chris Matthews on MSNBC doing "HARDBALL," he
says how come they always come after you guys?
SCHULTZ: I mean, the people you that just listed, the professions,
the middle-class professions. It seems like all of a sudden you`re the
MITCHELL: I believe they thought we were an easy target. But
obviously, we proved them wrong.
SCHULTZ: How important is it tonight for the Democrats to get the
seats that they need?
MITCHELL: It`s important. We need, as we call, a firewall in the
fire service. We need a firewall there. We need a stopgap to stop what`s
happening currently in the state of Wisconsin. We need somebody to come
and make sure that we take care of the middle class.
Because again, I`ll say it again. This is not just about unions.
This is about the middle class. And this is about our fight.
SCHULTZ: You know, I have spoken with firefighters in New Jersey,
firefighters in Ohio. It`s like it`s a profession that`s being attacked by
all these Republican governors.
MITCHELL: Right. They thought we would sit idly by. That`s why
we`re exempt currently. But we`re not going to sit idly by while our other
brothers and sisters be treated so radically different.
But as a wise man once said, the cure to the ills of democracy is more
democracy. That`s what you`re seeing right now.
SCHULTZ: Great to have you right now, senator.
You got me convinced.
Tony Schultz is a farmer. Tony, where are you from, again?
TON SCHULTZ, WISCONSIN FARMER: From Athens, Wisconsin, three hours
north of here.
SCHULTZ: Three hours north of here.
T. SCHULTZ: Yep.
SCHULTZ: What brings you to Madison tonight?
T. SCHULTZ: It`s a big night for the history of the state and the
future of the state. We suffered a big defeat in January when this
administration was sworn in. And it was a big hit to rural Wisconsin. It
sent a signal to agribusiness and to factory farms that they`re going to
take over the agricultural landscape and push aside our awesome history of
family farms and sustainable agriculture in this state.
But this election tonight, these recalls are historic. We`re going to
push back. Our rural communities, our small schools there that are the
center of our rural communities, took monster cuts. They are the centers
of our towns. But we are pushing back.
Our own town pushed through a referendum that passed two to one that
gave me a lot of hope that the wind is at our back.
SCHULTZ: I have to ask you, Tony Schultz, you just told our audience
that education took big cuts. Did I hear that correctly?
T. SCHULTZ: Yeah.
SCHULTZ: Alberta Darling said that no, there haven`t been cuts and
things are working. That`s what she said today.
T. SCHULTZ: I like Cory Mason. He`s an assemblyman in Wisconsin. I
like his assessment. He called the cuts inhumane. In Athens, a small
rural district where we care greatly about the democracy of public
education -- everyone`s involved. The school board is very democratic. We
would have lost -- we would have lost 14 of 44 staff members -- 14 of 44
That`s what these cuts mean. It`s decimating.
SCHULTZ: Tony, thanks for joining us. Our coverage from Madison,
Wisconsin continues here on THE ED SHOW. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Our coverage continues of the
recall elections here in Madison, Wisconsin, and in the six districts
throughout the state. Two of the six have been called for the Republicans.
And joining us now is John Nichols, Washington correspondent of "the
John, great to have you back. You`ve been giving us some great
insight through all of this. What we are seeing right now is Sandy Pasch
in the 8th district, suburban Milwaukee, leading Alberta Darling. This is
labeled as a Democratic hopeful. How do you read this one?
JOHN NICHOLS, "THE NATION": Well, I`m a little surprised here,
because Sandy Pasch started out weak and then as some of these numbers have
come in, she has opened up and kept that lead going. Now, that is a
complex district, though, Ed, because in that district it`s so divided.
You have very Democratic precincts, very Republican. So as each new
one comes in, it`s going to bump it one way or the other. But my sense
here now is that Pasch is doing better than we thought she would be at this
point. And we`ve got a possibility there, a real possibility.
SCHULTZ: All right. Senator Randy Hopper and Jessica King. This one
obviously very close. But it is one that the Democrats need.
NICHOLS: They definitely need it. Jess King lost to Randy Hopper by
under 200 votes the last --
SCHULTZ: A hundred sixty three, I believe it was.
NICHOLS: I believe you remember it well, my friend.
SCHULTZ: Yeah. So they`ve been down this road before.
SCHULTZ: And there you see the numbers. It`s 50-50. And King is up
with 7,464 votes to Hopper`s 7,368 votes. Hopper coming under some
tremendous criticism personally. But he has worked very hard. In fact, he
made the comment that he has lost ten pounds in the last couple of weeks,
he`s worked so hard here. But Jessica King, what is her story there?
Where is the opening?
NICHOLS: Well, look, she is very, very strong in Oshkosh. Oshkosh is
-- it`s a union town, but not a particularly liberal town. She was the
former vice mayor up there and served on the city council. As those
Oshkosh returns come in, that`ll decide whether she wins this race.
SCHULTZ: The 14th district, Portage and Baraboo (ph). You`ve got
Luther Olsen and Fred Clark. They are locked in a tight one there as well.
This is one that is hopeful for the Democrats, but certainly it would be
making history if he were to win. Right now, Olsen leads with 54 percent
of the vote to 46 percent of the vote, and in the neighborhood of 3,000
votes -- 20,632 for Olsen, 17,702 for Fred Clark.
What does this mean?
NICHOLS: Well, look, there`s a city there, Baraboo, that the last I
checked it still had not got its numbers in. Baraboo is a very pro-Clark
town. That`s where he`s going to have to get huge numbers out of there.
If he does, he could still close this up and pull ahead.
SCHULTZ: John Nichols, Washington correspondent of "the Nation"
magazine. Our coverage continues here in Madison, Wisconsin. Stay with
us. We`re right back with more.
SCHULTZ: From Madison, Wisconsin, our coverage continues. And this
programming note. We will continue with coverage into THE LAST WORD with
Lawrence O`Donnell tonight. Let me bring you up to date.
Two Republicans have been declared the winner in six of these races
tonight. As expected, Sheila Harsdorf and also Senator Robert Cowles. But
we have more to report; 39 percent reporting in the 8th district. Sandy
Pasch is leaving -- leading Alberta Darling 56 to 44 percent, with 39
percent of the vote reporting.
Let`s go now to Senator Lena Taylor with us tonight here on THE ED
SHOW. Senator, good to have you with us.
LENA TAYLOR, WISCONSIN STATE SENATOR: It`s great to be with you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: What is this -- this would be considered a huge victory for
the Democrats if Sandy Pasch were able to pull this out. Not even half the
vote has been counted yet, but it is a good margin of a lead for her right
now. Your thoughts on that?
TAYLOR: I`m actually rather excited. My last check I had not
received a call from the Milwaukee Election Commission. There are ten
wards there, about 10,000 votes are there. Although we don`t expect 10,000
people to turn out. The kind of numbers that we`ve seen there is really
In one ward, 56 people voted in the last supreme court race. And last
I knew, 1,002 people voted.
SCHULTZ: This -- the heavy turnout in this district, you think is
favoring the Democrats?
TAYLOR: I definitely do. As a matter of fact, with the numbers you
just reported, on behalf of Pasch, when you don`t have the Milwaukee
numbers in on top of that, I think it will allow her to do exactly what you
started to say -- maybe it was a Freudian slip -- leave Alberta Darling in
SCHULTZ: Lena, what can you tell us about Sandy Pasch?
TAYLOR: You know, the first thing I`ll tell you is that she`s a nurse
and she`s been very passionate. She did a lot of work that helps with
mental health parity and so on and so forth.
But I think the thing that goes to her character, this woman broke her
hip when she ran for state rep. And she was out still knocking on doors in
Wisconsin. I`m like a woman who has that kind of tenacity, who`s dedicated
to children, who`s a nurse, and who`s been dedicated to trying to really
address the issues that exist with mental health, issues in our state, is
really the kind of person that we need in that house that`s over there.
SCHULTZ: We have been reporting --
TAYLOR: The people`s house.
SCHULTZ: We`ve been reporting today, and characterizing this 8th
district race as the crown jewel for the Democrats. How close is Alberta
Darling to Governor Walker? How close an associate?
TAYLOR: You didn`t know? It`s Alberta Walker Darling.
SCHULTZ: That close, huh?
TAYLOR: Pretty close. She`s rubber-stamped pretty much everything
that he`s done without closely examining it. As the co-chair of Finance,
she`s rubber-stamped his budget. This is really -- also I would say the
people speaking out about Walker`s agenda through this race.
SCHULTZ: Well, she also - she also had eight million dollars,
TAYLOR: She did. She also --
SCHULTZ: Back in that election.
TAYLOR: She also raised almost 1.5 million herself. So this has
truly been the race that the Republicans don`t want to lose.
SCHULTZ: Mr. Barker, Peter Barker, the state representative, great to
have you with us tonight. You have been the fire and brimstone
representative. Your thoughts at this hour.
PETER BARKER, WISCONSIN STATE REPRESENTATIVE: Well, I`m so thrilled
at the numbers of people that have come out and the passion and the
enthusiasm. You know, what`s -- what`s at stake is Wisconsin values. You
know, Ed, collective bargaining began here in Wisconsin. Education has
always been a top priority in Wisconsin.
Health care for women, for seniors and children is vital in this
state. And all of them have taken a huge hit. But most importantly has
been Wisconsin democracy. And that`s what`s at risk here.
And that`s why it`s so exciting to see the interest level, the
enthusiasm. And I am still hopeful tonight.
SCHULTZ: Peter, thank you for joining us. And we want to report now,
in the 32nd district, Jennifer Shilling is leading Dan Kapanke 55 percent
to 45 percent, with 54 percent of the vote reporting -- 54 percent Of the
vote reporting, Shilling up by ten percentage points, 55 percent to 45
We`re back with more on THE ED SHOW. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Our coverage continues here in Madison, Wisconsin with some
very enthusiastic fans who are awaiting the results here. Two Republicans
have been declared the victors tonight, and four other races are still up.
But we want to take you now to the 18th district, the Fond Du Lac, Oshkosh
Randy Hopper, the incumbent, is leading with 79 percent of the vote
reporting. Hopper in at 51 percent, Jessica King at 49 percent. That of
course is one of the races that the Democrats have been counting on. It`s
not over yet, 79 percent reporting so far.
I want to talk to the crowd. What do you make of the results? Great
to have you here tonight.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thanks for having us, Ed. I know everybody
appreciates you being here because it`s so important to take back this vote
right now for the Democrats, especially also for rural Wisconsin. We`ve
got a lot of natural resource issues going on. And we need protection for
Not big agribusiness. We need to protect small farmers and our public
SCHULTZ: What do you make of the results so far tonight?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I`m optimistic because I think we can do
it. I think we can bring it back home and get these Republican senators
out that we don`t need anymore, that aren`t doing anything for the
Wisconsin middle class.
SCHULTZ: Thank you. Your thoughts on everything tonight.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This has been wonderful. Thank you so much for
being here. I`m optimistic. I`m hoping. I`m hoping, everybody. Please,
let`s have the Republicans go on down. We need them.
SCHULTZ: Why are you so enthusiastic about this? And how long has
this been burning in your belly?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have been burned by Governor Walker. And --
SCHULTZ: Is it Walker? Is it the Republicans? What -- I mean, it`s
like a personality fight now.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s all of them. And yes, he`s the king. And
everybody`s just following and rubber-stamping.
SCHULTZ: Are you confident?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Optimistically confident. Yes, we`re going to
SCHULTZ: All right. And how about you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, I think that Governor Walker has just
decimated public education. And as a teacher, I have just been so down
since he`s become the governor. And I`m hopeful that this is a start to
winning for Democrats and winning for --
SCHULTZ: Where do you teach and what do you teach?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I teach fifth grade in northern Wisconsin.
SCHULTZ: Northern Wisconsin. How far north?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, 280 miles.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two hundred eighty miles.
SCHULTZ: I think that`s your husband back there saying he came 280 --
oh, your friend. OK, good. You`re a teacher, and you say you`re down.
It`s had a real emotional effect on you. Tell us about that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, it has. In our elementary school, we`ve
had to get rid of the art program. So the -- one of my friends` daughters,
a second grade daughter, is devastated about it.
SCHULTZ: Have you had cuts beyond the art program?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. We`ve had cuts. Constantly we`ve had
cuts. And then now, with this, it`s just going to be more devastating.
We`ve had cuts every year. And I would say that now it`s just going to be
worse, much worse if this continues.
SCHULTZ: We will continue our coverage here on MSNBC with THE LAST
WORD" with Lawrence O`Donnell.
I will continue to report here from Madison. Just to give you a
flavor of the anticipation that is in the crowd tonight, two Republicans
have won, three Democrats are leading. There is still hope. It`s in the
balance. It`s going to be very tight.
Our coverage continues. That`s THE ED SHOW from Madison, Wisconsin.
Now let`s go to Lawrence O`Donnell with THE LAST WORD.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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