The Ed Show for Monday, August 8, 2011
Read the transcript to the Monday show
Guests: John Nichols, Fred Clark, Sandy Pasch, Lena Taylor, Robert Jauch, Fred Risser, Mark Miller, Kathleen Vinehout, Chris Larson, Jon Erpenbach, Mahlon Mitchell, Jim Dean, Rick Badger
ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Americans, and welcome to "The
Ed Show" tonight, live from Madison, Wisconsin. We are in the 11th hour.
Tomorrow, these Americans will go to the polls to see decide if they want
or do they want to reject the Walker agenda in this state. Let`s get to
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STATE SEN. SCOTT FITZGERALD, (R), WISCONSIN: What this has become is
more of a referendum on whether or not what happened in Wisconsin should be
the way the state moves forward.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ (voice-over): It`s election eve here in Wisconsin. The polls
open tomorrow morning. Six Republicans are up for recall. I`ll talk to
two of their Democratic challengers, Sandy Pasch and Fred Clark. Plus,
members of the Wisconsin 14 are here. They will join me live.
And while Wisconsin is showing America how to fight back, the Tea
Party is cheering their role in the nation`s credit downgrade. John
Nichols, of "The Nation," has the latest on Wisconsin and beyond.
(on camera): Good evening Americans, and welcome to "The Ed Show.
Great to have you with us from Madison, Wisconsin.
Their enthusiasm is high and we`re in the eye of the storm for the
fight of the middle class in this country. While the focus, the world
focus is on Wall Street, the people of this great state of Wisconsin and
this broadcaster are fighting for Main Street.
For eight months, Wisconsinites have been under attack by the anti-
worker policies of Republican rookie governor, Scott Walker, and his
minions in the State Senate.
SCHULTZ: Ten hours from now, Wisconsin voters will have a chance to
go to the polls and recall six Republican State Senators --
SCHULTZ: -- who voted to strip collective bargaining and take money
out of the pockets of hundreds of thousands of middle class state workers
in the state. Less than 24 hours from now, Wisconsin voters could send
shock waves into every Republican state house and congressional office in
SCHULTZ: This is still ground zero for the fight for the middle class
in America. These people didn`t cause the S&P to downgrade our country.
SCHULTZ: They didn`t put Wisconsin and America in a deep financial
SCHULTZ: These are people who go to work every day, pay their taxes
and try to make a better life for the next generation. This is not --
SCHULTZ: -- this is not the face of greed in America. This is the
face of everything that is absolutely correct with America.
This is also ground zero for Citizens United. Outside groups have
poured millions of dollars into these six races and some experts think the
dollar total could go as high as $40 million. I guess you could say that
this is Karl Rove versus the unions. This is Dick Army`s Freedom Works,
head-to-head against grass roots organizations in the state.
Here is the tale of the take. Democrats need to win at least three of
the races to recapture the Wisconsin State Senate.
SCHULTZ: In Wisconsin`s Second Senate district, it`s incumbent
Republican, Rob Cowles, versus Democrat Nancy Nusbaum.
SCHULTZ: And in the 18th district, it`s State Senator Randy Hopper
against Jessica King.
SCHULTZ: Over in Lacrosse, Wisconsin, anti-union Senator, Dan Kapanke
SCHULTZ: -- trying to fend off Democratic challenger, Jennifer
SCHULTZ: And in the tenth district in River Falls, Republican Sheila
SCHULTZ: -- against Democrat Shelly Moore.
SCHULTZ: The two hottest races at this hour are Scott Walker`s
disciple, Alberta Darling --
SCHULTZ: -- holding on for her political life from hard-charging
Democratic State Representative Sandy Pasch.
SCHULTZ: Republican Luther Olsen, of Ripon, Wisconsin --
SCHULTZ: -- who hasn`t had to face a Democrat in 16 years, faces
State Representative Fred Clark, a Democrat --
SCHULTZ: When you look at what has unfolded in this state over the
last six months, I offer to you tonight, viewers, that this is a microcosm
of what`s taking place for the fight for the middle class in this country.
SCHULTZ: I also believe that Wisconsin offers up the template to
fight back against Citizens United, to make sure that their voices are
heard. These Americans here in Wisconsin, they have done the due
diligence. They have fought back against a radical agenda. Maybe they
didn`t know what they were voting for in November, 2010. But in January of
2010 (ph), they found out exactly what they voted for.
SCHULTZ: Because what was presented in front of them was nothing but
an attack on the middle class. This is a state that is rich in tradition
when it comes to respecting workers, respecting debate --
SCHULTZ: -- respecting those who have a different opinion. Many of
Wisconsinites feels that all of that has been lost in this war, the
ideological war, the political war, the heart and soul of America, the
ideological fight for the middle class in this country, which we have
talked about so many times on this program.
So fasten your seatbelts, America. Tomorrow, we are going to find out
a lot. If Scott Walker`s Republicans, if they are victorious, the question
SCHULTZ: -- what kind of message does this send to Ohio? What kind
of message does this send to the radical agenda of Rick Snyder in Michigan?
How would it empower people like Chris Christie to stand-up in front of his
distracters in New Jersey and say, what they`re doing in Wisconsin is what
we need to do here and across America.
SCHULTZ: The rising star in the Republican Party could be the
governor from Wisconsin.
SCHULTZ: These people will decide a lot of that tomorrow.
Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think. Tonight`s
text question, will Wisconsin Democrats win enough seats to take back the
State Senate? Text --
SCHULTZ: You can always go to our blog at ed.msnbc.com and we`ll
bring the results later on in the show.
Joining me now is John Nichols, Washington correspondent for "The
SCHULTZ: Also joining us is Wisconsin State Representative Fred
Clark, who is challenging Republican State Senator Luther Olsen.
SCHULTZ: Also joining us, Sandy Pasch. She is running against State
Senator Alberta Darling. She joins us tonight from Milwaukee.
Great to have you all with us.
John, let`s start with you.
There are polls all over the board. Give us a sense of what you think
the turnout is going to be like tomorrow and what the chance the Democrats
have of unseating these six Republicans.
JOHN NICHOLS, CORRESPONDENT, "THE NATION": First off, throw the polls
out. You can`t poll races that are absolutely unprecedented. You have
never had anything like this. All we know is that both sides are
energized. There is energy out there on the Republican side. But it
strikes me that, as somebody who has covered politics for a long time, I
have never seen the level of grass-roots energy that is going on in races
like Fred Clark up in Portage, over in Milwaukee, where Sandy Pasch is
NICHOLS: And it makes me -- it makes me believe, Ed, that something
remarkable could happen tomorrow, because we are talking about six
Republican districts, districts that were drawn for Republicans, that have
elected Republicans sometimes for generations. If we see these seats fall,
one, two, three, four, five, six seats--
NICHOLS: -- if that happens, that will be American history.
SCHULTZ: What evidence do you have, other than tremendous crowd and
enthusiasm, what evidence do you have, John, that there will be a big turn
NICHOLS: I did about a 1,000-mile drive throughout the week. I have
been through all the districts. I can tell you that in every one of the
districts, the signs are up in every yard. The people are on the street.
When you go to the coffee shops and cafes, this is what they are talking
about. This is a statewide referendum on Scott Walker`s agenda.
NICHOLS: And it`s a referendum that was forced by the people. It`s
unprecedented. But there`s no doubt, the turn out is going to be
incredible. The challenge we are going to have, the real challenge we are
going to have is counting all the votes tomorrow night. It`s going to take
SCHULTZ: That good of a turnout?
NICHOLS: I think so.
NICHOLS: I think you`re going to have some of these --
NICHOLS: -- for president.
SCHULTZ: Fred Clark, state representative, great to have you with us
on "The Ed Show."
You are challenging Luther Olsen --
SCHULTZ: -- who has not had competition for years on end. He has not
had competitive --
STATE REP. FRED CLARK, (D), WISCONSIN: That`s right.
SCHULTZ: -- for years on end. What has it been? 16 or 17 years that
he`s not had competition?
CLARK: In his entire career. But, Ed, you go back 115 years and find
a Democrat that`s represented 14th Senate district.
SCHULTZ: You can`t.
CLARK: You can`t.
SCHULTZ: How do you feel going into tomorrow? What`s on the ground?
CLARK: I did my own poll Sunday morning at a corn roast in
Scandinavia, Wisconsin, up in northern Waupaca County.
CLARK: In two hours, greeting folks in line to eat sweet corn, I
shook hands constantly and I said hi to folks. Everybody in every
community in the 14th district knows this race. They are planning to vote.
People are engaged like they haven`t seen in years and years.
SCHULTZ: Do you think what happened today on Wall Street and what`s
happened in the market in the last few weeks is going to be a motivating
factor for turn out? Do people view this as Wall Street versus Main
Street? Do they see the severity of the outcome and what it means to the
rest of the country?
CLARK: I think the lessons people can take from Wall Street, in
Washington, our elected leaders cannot work together and took this to the
brink before finally crafting a deal that no one was happy with at the end
of the day. They expect us to do better than that in Madison. And the
extreme partisanship we have seen this year is something voter after vote,
whether they`re Republican or Democrat, says to me, we expect you to go to
Madison and solve the problems and work together.
SCHULTZ: Also joining us tonight is State Representative Sandy Pasch.
SCHULTZ: -- who is running against State Senator Alberta Darling.
Sandy, great to have you with us tonight.
I want to --
STATE REP. SANDY PASCH, (D), WISCONSIN: Oh, it`s great to be here.
SCHULTZ: That -- there`s tremendous enthusiasm throughout the state.
Both sides have worked very hard to get the vote out. You`ve seen the Tea
Party groups that have come in the state the last four days. It has
bolstered the confidence of the Senate Majority Leader John Fitzgerald, who
told "The New York Times" that Republicans will keep control of the Senate.
He told them, quote, "No question about it." What is your response to
PASCH: I think he`s very misinformed. Obviously, he hasn`t been in
my district and talking to the people and seeing the level of enthusiasm we
have. I`m sorry, Senator Fitzgerald is just wrong.
SCHULTZ: And, Sandy, Alberta Darling -- your opponent tomorrow,
Alberta Darling is, I`m told, to be as close to Scott Walker agenda-wise as
probably anybody else in the Senate. Has this helped your campaign? And a
lot of money has gone into this district that`s come out of the state
through groups that people can`t even identify.
SCHULTZ: How are you going to beat Alberta Darling?
PASCH: Well, I`m going to beat her because people really expected her
to step up to use her 20 years of experience, her roll on Joint Finance to
fight for the people of the senate district and to fight for the people in
the state of Wisconsin. She didn`t. She let them down. She didn`t
listen. She was more in step with Scott Walker instead of the people of
the district. And so the special interest money has been pouring in
because they see Senator Darling as someone who has done their bidding and
they know that they are going to be losing that person doing their bidding
on Joint Finance.
SCHULTZ: John Nichols, final question I want to ask you.
SCHULTZ: The money that has come from out of state -- and we`ll talk
about this later on as well in more detail. How have Wisconsinites
responded to this? This is really Citizens United on steroids.
NICHOLS: This is the first Citizens United election this country has
ever seen where they`ve gone -- they have drawn out the limits. The fact
is, I think most Wisconsinites have turned it off. But an awful lot of
them have gone out to the street and started knocking on doors.
SCHULTZ: John Nichols and Wisconsin State Representative Fred Walker
(ph) and Sandy Pasch, thank you for your time tonight.
Remember to answer tonight`s question there at the bottom of the
screen. I want to know, what do you think about all of this.
The Wisconsin 14, the Democratic State Senators who fled the state to
block the Republicans` radical agenda, those brave Democrats lost the
battle but may be winning the war. That`s next.
And the founder of the Tea Party Nation has been psycho talking all
over Wisconsin. He says liberals killed a billion people during the 20th
century. Judson Phillips is going to be in "The Zone."
Stay with us. We`re right back from "The Ed Show" in Wisconsin.
SCHULTZ: We`re back here in Madison, Wisconsin. We have a great
crowd on hand here on the eve of what could be historical vote tomorrow in
the state of Wisconsin.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, the State Senators who started it all. The
members of the Wisconsin 14 are here. We`ll get their take on the
historical recall election.
Stay with us. We`ll be right back.
GOV. SCOTT WALKER, (R) WISCONSIN: -- discharge the duties --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- of the officer of governor --
WALKER: -- of the office of governor --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- to the best of my ability --
WALKER: -- to the best of my ability --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- so help me God.
WALKER: -- so help me God.
WALKER: We are introducing this morning the budget repair bill.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Under Walker`s plan, unions can no longer
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AD NARRATOR: Cutting the pay, benefits and collective bargaining
rights of public workers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALKER: There may be some leaders in some of the unions who will be
upset with this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t know where he is. I have no idea where
mark miller is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Ladies and gentlemen, at your undisclosed location, may I
say, this crowd is behind you 100 percent?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the heart of America, Wisconsin.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It seems more of an
insult on unions.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Obama is going to have a much more
difficult time getting elected and winning the state of Wisconsin.
REP. PAUL RYAN, (R) WISCONSIN: It`s like Cairo has moved to Madison
RUSH LIMBAUGH, CONSERVATIVE TALK RADIO SHOW HOST: A bunch of people
who feel entitled to be free loaders.
DAVID KOCH IMPERSONATOR: We were thinking about the crowd, planting
WALKER: We thought about that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Early Friday morning, the bill passed the assembly
after Republicans called a quick vote while some Democrats were waiting to
speak on the legislation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No! No!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Listen, it says --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No!
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: This is ground zero for labor in this country. We are on
the front line to the ideological fight for America, Madison, Wisconsin.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: We are back in Madison, Wisconsin. That was a montage of
all of the things Wisconsinites have been through.
And I think, across America, the big question tonight is, can
Wisconsin really do it? I think it`s well documented the fight for the
middle class has taking over in this country, Wall Street versus Main
Street. Who`s getting the breaks? the corporate favors that are out there
and how the outsourcing and how the attack on wages, the attack on
pensions, the attack on health care, across the board, whereas the top 2
percent, they skip off again scot-free.
But when you take someone`s voice away in the workplace, when you tell
Americans that they can`t stand-up for themselves and collectively bargain,
it cuts right to the fabric and it cuts right to the root of what made this
country great. And that is that the heart of this entire ordeal in
Wisconsin, that the radical agenda of Governor Walker and the Republicans
was so strong that they stepped forward and said we need to change how
people talk about their jobs. We need to change how people talk about
their livelihood. We need to get on their kitchen table. I mean, hell, I
thought the Republicans didn`t want government intrusion. That`s all they
want in Wisconsin.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right.
SCHULTZ: Ohio, I know you are watching. Ohio, I know you want Senate
Bill 5 to go down. It will go down. It will.
SCHULTZ: A financial manager? A financial manager is being appointed
to cities in the state of Michigan if they don`t like the way the budget is
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
SCHULTZ: The cuts on education, the attack on education? You know
what`s great for these Americans? When it comes to public education, one
of the greatest foundations of America, is that when the doors open in
public education, everybody is welcome.
SCHULTZ: Everybody is welcome.
SCHULTZ: The rich, the gifted, the challenged --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
SCHULTZ: -- the poor. But for some reason, we have -- we are now
seeing the roots of a movement in this country step up and say to America,
in generic terms, public education is bad. We shouldn`t be funding it
anymore. Kasich in Ohio, Walker in Wisconsin, Snyder in Michigan, Scott in
SCHULTZ: -- Christie in New Jersey, they all want to cut public
SCHULTZ: To make the bottom line look good?
Let me tell you something, what happened back in February, these
Americans had had enough. They knew what it meant to the country, they
didn`t only know what it meant to the state of Wisconsin. They were brave
enough to go on the firing line and go across state lines to stop the
radical agenda so the American people could get a hold of what the heck was
really going on.
SCHULTZ: The question now is, do enough Wisconsinites get it? Do
enough people in Michiganites get it? Do enough in Ohio get it?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
SCHULTZ: Do enough people across the heartland get the fact that
Washington is not functional anymore, and this dysfunction is being taken
over by radical Republicans who are driving the same agenda that Paul Ryan
is driving in Washington, out of the state of Wisconsin. They want a
SCHULTZ: They want a voucher? Medicare?
SCHULTZ: They are after the New Deal. These are the American that
made it happen. These folks will go down in the history books.
SCHULTZ: These 14 Americans.
Lena Taylor, what is going to happen tomorrow?
STATE SEN. LENA TAYLOR, (D), WISCONSIN: We are going to win, Ed. We
are going to take back the Senate. We are going to take back Wisconsin.
We are coming for Scott Walker.
TAYLOR: And this is his pick slip.
SCHULTZ: Mr. Jauch, is this about Scott Walker or about the agenda?
What is it?
STATE SEN. ROBERT JAUCH, (D), WISCONSIN: It`s the rebirth of the
JAUCH: They thought they had buried us. The Wisconsin citizens are
showing the rest of the nation the pathway to the restoration of the
SCHULTZ: Mr. Risser, there is a facility right across the street from
here with your last name on it. Your family has done a lot for Wisconsin
over the generations. You have never seen anything like this before.
What`s going to happen?
STATE SEN. FRED RISSER, (D), WISCONSIN: We are going to win. We are
going to take all six of them.
RISSER: In my 50 years in the State Senate, I have never seen the
enthusiasm, the energy this campaign has had. That is why we`re going to
win because we have the energy and the enthusiasm.
SCHULTZ: What is your response to Mr. Fitzgerald, who says they are
keeping the majority?
RISSER: Well, he doesn`t know what he`s talking about.
Senator Minority Leader Mark Miller --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re not going to take it anymore.
SCHULTZ: -- how do you view this tomorrow? Why are we here tonight?
Why are these people here?
STATE SEN. MARK MILLER, (D-WI), SENATE MINORITY LEADER: They`re here
because they`ve decided that they are going to take the state back. It`s
their decision. They are going to make the decision tomorrow.
SCHULTZ: Well, the turnout -- how do you judge what the turnout is
going to be? The state has never been through anything like this before.
I mean, its August 9th tomorrow. Who wants to talk about politics?
Hell, I just got off a fishing trip.
SCHULTZ: I mean, where -- is Wisconsin in tune with us?
MILLER: I think, Ed, Wisconsin is going to stun the country tomorrow.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes!
SCHULTZ: Senator Vinehout, what do you think?
STATE SEN. KATHLEEN VINEHOUT, (D), WISCONSIN: I think a lot of the
rural people are starting to wake up. That`s part of our problem is that
rural people oftentimes vote Republican and they vote against their own
interests and they are starting to wake up right now.
SCHULTZ: You hear that of the rural Wisconsin?
VINEHOUT: I do. And I hear an awful lot of people that say, you
know, Kathleen, I voted for Scott Walker. And I wanted change. But this
is not what I had in mind.
SCHULTZ: President Obama said people voting their values and their
fears and guns and gays, god and all that. Are we seeing that unravel here
VINEHOUT: What we are seeing is the beginning of the blurring of the
division we have had. We have had a wedge driven between rural people.
Rural people are starting to wake up and say, wait a minute, if that
happened to this guy, it could happen to me, too. We are one. We are all
together. What happens to one guy affects everybody.
SCHULTZ: Chris Larson, Senator, you just finished a 1,000-mile trip
across Wisconsin. What did you hear?
STATE SEN. CHRIS LARSON, (D), WISCONSIN: People are enthused. People
are excited. And people are going to hold these Republicans accountable.
LARSON: And it`s not just Democrats. You`ve got Democrats, you`ve
got Independents, you`ve got Republicans who are all standing up to what
Walker did and what his rubber stamps did. When they stand-up, we can win.
When we stand up and fight, we will win. And we are going to show the
country that tomorrow.
SCHULTZ: What about -- what about the money that has poured into the
state? Do you think that will help the Republicans turn out?
LARSON: No. I think Republicans have tried everything, from
unplugging the legislative hot line to cutting down the debate in the
assembly, to locking people out of the capital, to running fake candidates,
and I don`t think they can buy their way out of accountability by dumping
money into the state.
SCHULTZ: Mr. Erpenbach, what have the cuts to education meant to
these rural communities?
STATE SEN. JON ERPENBACH, (D), WISCONSIN: It`s been devastating. I
mean, the idea is to take the money away and then talk about how bad public
schools are. In the meantime, let`s prop up the corporate, for-profit
schools, which are popping up all over the state of Wisconsin. And we
can`t have that here. Wisconsin, if it`s known outside for agriculture,
it`s known for a phenomenal K-12 education system constantly.
SCHULTZ: Senator Miller, any regrets about leaving? If you had not
left, what would have happened?
MILLER: We would be sitting here licking our wounds and wondering
what happened. But what we have instead is a popular uprising that is
going to take back the state tomorrow.
SCHULTZ: It`s all about the turnout.
You have had $40 million that have been put into the state from
outside interest groups trying to get the vote out. And we`ll see if it
Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: We`re right back with more from Madison, Wisconsin, here on
"The Ed Show" on MSNBC.
SCHULTZ: How about them Packers?
SCHULTZ: And in Psycho Talk tonight, Judson Phillips, founder of the
Tea Party Nation, has been here in Wisconsin since Friday trying to get out
the Tea Party vote by pedaling the hate. For example, Phillips compared a
group of people peacefully protesting against Governor Walker at the
Wisconsin State Fair to Nazi Storm Troopers.
He called them, quote, "the left`s modern version of Brown Shirts."
Brown shirts? Judson Phillips is saying that Wisconsinites who are
standing up for teachers are equivalent to Hitler`s henchmen? Phillips
went back to the liberals are evil theme during a visit to Alberta
Darling`s district on Saturday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUDSON PHILLIPS, TEA PARTY EXPREss: I detest and despise everything
the left standing for. How anybody can endorse and embrace an ideology
that has killed a billion people in the last century is beyond me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: That kind of nonsense shows the stark difference between the
two sides in this election. Liberals are using the democratic process to
fight for the rights of working folks. Walker`s team is using cash from
the Koch Brothers wing nuts from the Tea Party Nation to trample those
Calling hard working American nazis and saying liberal ideology killed
a billion people is desperate Psycho Talk.
Michele Bachmann says we should blame President Obama for the recent
credit downgrade. The Tea Party here in Wisconsin disagrees with her.
They say the blame -- they say blame the Tea Party.
We are here today because of Scott Walker`s anti-union agenda. Will
enough voters show up tomorrow to reject it? I`ll talk to the Get Out the
Vote Effort with one of Wisconsin`s bravest, Allen Mitchell. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN KERRY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: I believe this is without
question the Tea Party downgrade. This is the Tea Party downgrade because
a minority of people in the House of Representatives countered even the
will of many Republicans in the United States Senate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: When Standard and Poor`s downgraded U.S. credit from AAA
status to AA plus on Friday, the agency said Republican refusal to consider
tax increases contributed heavily to the decision. Republicans in Congress
and on the campaign trail are denying this and blaming the Democrats
But the Tea Party knows what it did. At a rally here in Wisconsin
yesterday, Tea Partiers were happy to be the cause of the economic turmoil.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This week -- and I wrote it down -- they are
blaming the credit downgrade on the Tea Party. They are calling it the tea
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Let`s bring in John Nichols, Washington correspondent of
"The Nation" magazine. John, with the Dow dropping more than 600 points,
at what point did the Tea Partiers stop cheering about economic hardships
and -- you know, which they`re contributing to, undoubtedly?
NICHOLS: I suppose about when they realized they have no retirement
left and they are trying to take apart Medicare, Medicaid and Social
Security. I mean, it is going to start to down on their base -- maybe not
on the people who are paying for it, the Koch Brothers. But it will start
to dawn on that base that they are threatening their own livelihood.
SCHULTZ: Do you believe that this is all about the hatred of the
president of the United States? Today Michele Bachmann and Mitt Romney
blamed President Obama`s policies for the downgrade. So have Congressional
Republicans -- have gone along with it, as well. Who did S&P really blame?
NICHOLS: You look at the report. It`s a nine-page report. They go
on at great length about this inability to compromise. Look what Barack
Obama did. I think most people here would tell you Barack Obama probably
compromised a little too much. He gave them -- he was giving and giving
and giving. These people said absolutely no at every turn.
And Standard and Poor`s recognized that.
SCHULTZ: What is the Tea Party`s influence here in Wisconsin with the
NICHOLS: Well, they brought a bus in. No, their influence, let`s not
underestimate it. The fact is that Tea Party related groups have filled
our mailboxes. They have filled our television sets with an immense amount
of communication, millions of dollars.
People here are yelling "lies." I would have to agree with that. I
will tell you that they have been here. If it wasn`t for the Tea Party
billionaires, the Republicans would not be nearly as viable as they may be
at this point.
SCHULTZ: So today Eric Cantor told the GOP to resist pressure on
compromise. How long until the public pushes back on this Republican
refusal to compromise?
NICHOLS: That is -- Ed, the fact is that they still fear their
primaries more than they fear general elections. Tomorrow, Wisconsin is
going to have a general election in which there`s going to be a very strong
signal about the Tea Party agenda.
Scott Walker bought into that. He bought into it, cut, cut, cut. If
he`s -- if his people get beat, I think there`s going to be some folks in
Washington, some Republicans, that notice.
SCHULTZ: What kind of ripple effect do you think it would have if the
Republicans hold a majority? What will it mean to other states?
NICHOLS: They are spin-meisters. They are going to push very hard.
I have been out in some of these other states. Look, Ohio is going to
overturn their anti-labor law. That is going to happen.
But a Wisconsin victory -- a Wisconsin victory is going to make these
struggles much easier in other states.
SCHULTZ: John Nichols of the "Nation" magazine, great to have you
with us tonight. Thanks so much.
Six races tomorrow, all of them competitive. It`s all about voter
turn out. Will enough show up to the polls tomorrow to reject the Walker
agenda? You are watching THE ED SHOW, live from Madison, Wisconsin.
SCHULTZ: It`s the biggest recall effort in Badger State history.
Tomorrow, Wisconsin voters will head to the polls to decide whether to keep
their Republican state senator or send them packing. With six on the
ballot, the outside money keeps pouring into the state. And polls are
showing that the races are tight.
Some organizations are down playing expectations. The progressive We
Are Wisconsin Group warning an internal memo obtained by "Politico," quote,
"predictions of victory at this point are beyond premature. They are
Now, it all comes down to voter turnout. Needless to say, the get out
to vote effort has gone into overdrive, and I might add for both sides.
Joining me now to talk about that effort is Jim Dean, chairman of
Democracy For America. Rick Badger is also with us. He`s the director of
AFSCME Wisconsin, Council 40. And Mahlon Mitchell, the president of the
Professional Firefighters of Wisconsin.
Great to have all of you with us tonight. Let`s start with you, Mr.
Dean. Do you agree with that forecast in the memo, that it`s just too hard
JIM DEAN, DEMOCRACY FOR AMERICA: I think it`s always too hard to
predict. It does come down to turnout. I feel really, really good,
particularly in the efforts that we have been making over the last six
weeks, and especially AFSCME and the fire fighters. They`ve just done a
great job out here and all over the state.
But the thing is turnout. If you are listening to this program and
you are voting, that`s great. Get your family and your friends and
neighbors. If you`re not in any of these districts, call those who are and
please get them out to vote tomorrow, because it`s really going to matter.
SCHULTZ: What does it feel like?
DEAN: It feels terrific. We have been outdoors. I have woken quite
a few people up this weekend. When I did, they were alert. They knew
where they were voting. They were intending to vote and they were
intending to vote for the great Democratic candidates that are leading this
SCHULTZ: Rick Badger, what about the union effort? I mean, clearly,
the Koch Brother money that`s come into this state, money under titles that
we have never heard of before, money that can`t be identified -- as I said
earlier, Citizens United is on a roll. What have the unions done to
counter punch all of that?
RICK BADGER, AFSCME WISCONSIN: Well, Ed, we have something they don`t
have. We don`t have Dick Armey. We don`t have the Koch Brothers. We have
all the people here tonight, all the people of Wisconsin.
SCHULTZ: What kind of infrastructure have things you done? What
gives you confidence that you are going to get a favorable turn out and a
BADGER: Well, the fact that you are here tonight -- we were left for
dead just six months ago. The reality is we have people out here -- I have
members who voted for Scott Walker. I have members who voted for a lot of
these senators up for recall.
Guess what? They now know the truth. There are people out there.
People have been energized.
SCHULTZ: Mr. Mitchell, the president of the Professional Firefighters
of Wisconsin, it`s well documented what firefighters have gone through
nationwide. Here in Wisconsin, you engaged in the fight actually when you
weren`t being targeted.
What kind of response have you gotten from the people when people
realize middle class professionals such as yourself are under attack? Has
this been a motivating thing when they see such great public service, such
as yourself and your brothers out there, being picked on by Republican
MAHLON MITCHELL, PROFESSIONAL FIREFIGHTERS OF WISCONSIN: Well, we`ve
got a great response, Ed. And I always make one point. We are not the
only unit that is out there working day-to-day, knocking on doors that are
For instance, we have IBW, UAW, Building Trades. We have Painters.
We have everybody coming off. They`re hugging us out. So they are not
directly affected. But we realize that this is more than just about
firefighters. This is more than about police officers, Teamsters.
We are there for the middle class. This is a middle class fight.
This is for the Wisconsinites of the state of Wisconsin. We`ll continue
this fight. We didn`t ask for this fight, but I guarantee we will finish
SCHULTZ: Well, the enthusiasm clearly is high. The enthusiasm is
high. Is it the agenda or is it Governor Walker? I mean, it`s almost
become a personality issue at this point. People can lose the sight of
what this is all about. What about that?
MITCHELL: I don`t talk about personalities. I talk about issues.
The issues right now are that he is attacks us. We are under attack. So
we`re going to make sure that we fight back. We`re not going to sit back
idly by, let this happen to us. My friends all out there -- it`s my
friends all across the state of Wisconsin. We are not going to sit back
and let this happen. We`re going to fight. We will continue to fight.
After tomorrow, we`ll keep up the fight.
SCHULTZ: Jim Dean, if the recall is not successful for the Democrats
-- the magic number is three. If you don`t get three, what does this mean
DEAN: It means we keep fighting. The people have already spoken
here, Ed. The fact that these races are as close as they are now is
testimony to the fact -- the activism among the voters in Republican
districts. The fact that they are closed right now is already testimony to
the fact we need to keep fighting this battle here during the recall
election for governor and also especially Ohio in November.
SCHULTZ: But a loss is a loss. How crucial is this to the
progressive movement across the country?
DEAN: Look, this is important. I`m not going to lie to you about it,
Ed. I`m not going to slough (ph) it off if it doesn`t go the right way.
But I am confident it is going to go the right way.
No matter how it goes, we are going to be in this battle in Ohio this
fall and we`re going to be in Michigan and we`re going to be in a lot of
other states to make sure we get it right.
SCHULTZ: You know, Badger -- you know, what kind of influence have
the Koch Brothers had on the voters? Have they actually been a motivator
in sorts? Do you think that progressives and independents in this state
really they who they are and what kind of influence they`ve had? And has
it, in a sense, motivated them?
BADGER: I think it has. Ed, you are talking to a really Wisconsin
Badger here. Let me tell you something, we don`t like being fooled or
having our democracy taken care of.
Mr. Dean is right. It is not the end of the world. I think we are
going to win. It`s not the end of the world if we don`t. But this has
motivated people. People were not paying attention. Democracy only works
if you have an active and engaged citizenship. That`s what`s happened.
SCHULTZ: Jim Dean, Rick Badger and Mahlon Mitchell, thank you for
joining us tonight. When we come back, I`m going to talk to the people who
made these elections happen, these people right behind me. Stay tuned.
You are watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.
SCHULTZ: Great to have you back with us here in Madison, Wisconsin,
where tomorrow the big vote is going to take place. Six Republicans are
wondering tonight if they are going to have a job by tomorrow night. These
people think they aren`t going to have a job by tomorrow night.
But to be fair, we asked Governor Scott Walker to come on the program
tonight. Here is his response: "we appreciate the offer, but we`ll
respectfully decline it. It won`t work schedule-wise. We hope Ed enjoys
his time in the land of the Super Bowl Champ Packers."
Now, in fairness -- in fairness and full disclosure, I may have found
something in common with the governor of Wisconsin. I agree, you have a
hell of a football team. There`s no question about that. You do.
It stops there. I can guarantee you that. Your name?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kylee Ramirez (ph). I just got married.
SCHULTZ: Congratulations. Is this Mr. Ramirez?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I am.
SCHULTZ: What does this election mean to you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It means a lot. I`m a teacher of Manona Grove
(ph) High School here right outside Madison. Ever since, you know,
February, I have been out here and working and doing everything.
SCHULTZ: How have you been able to maintain the intensity month after
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, our union is really strong. We have been
working together and making phone calls and been out and getting
everything, petitions and things going.
SCHULTZ: Has it been exciting to be a part of this?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah. Definitely. I was kind of on the other end
of it. I was a police officer here overseeing everything. The crowd was
great. Absolutely no need for the National Guard. You all just did your
thing and it worked well for us.
SCHULTZ: What did you think when the governor said that about the
National Guard and all precautions had been taking place. I tell you,
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, it was a little scary when everyone came at
me with their smiles and their handshakes, but I maintained. And I got to
see her as she made her loops.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Teachers are really mean, you know, scary.
SCHULTZ: God bless you for what you are doing. Your name?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Suzie Person (ph). I`m here from District
Council 21 in Philadelphia. I`m a member of the IUPAC.
SCHULTZ: From Philadelphia.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: From Philadelphia? We have guys here from
Hawaii. They`re from Illinois. We have Ohio out here.
We have been hearing about this since day one. You think we are going
to rest? We will not. We are not going to stop. Your guys are going
SCHULTZ: Why is it important for union folks from out of state to be
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because if -- as soon as everything collapses
here, guess what`s going to happen next? Everyone else is going to go
down. It`s going to be like dominos. That`s not going to happen. We are
not going to stand for that. We are not going to take it.
SCHULTZ: When you heard that collective bargaining was being
attacked, what was your response?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My heart stopped. It`s the very thing that we
stand for. It`s the very thing that makes this country what it is, is it
SCHULTZ: I had -- hi there. Your name?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ken Dalton (ph).
SCHULTZ: What do you do, Ken?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mechanic for the city of Madison.
SCHULTZ: City of Madison. What has this meant to you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It means a lot to me. We are fighting for the
SCHULTZ: In what sense? They are coming after your paycheck and
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Coming after my kids` teachers and their
SCHULTZ: Your name, sir.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tom Arcari (ph).
SCHULTZ: What -- give us an analysis of what you think is going on
here. What is going to happen?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think we have momentum and I think we are about
to make America better. We are showing -- Wisconsin is showing America how
things are supposed to be done.
SCHULTZ: You know, I had an interesting statistic put to me today on
the radio show, that less than one-half of one percent of the people in
Wisconsin make more than 250,000 dollars a year. I want you to take a
close look at these folks.
We have interviewed the firefighters, the police officers and the
teachers, and the hard working city workers. You have to ask yourself --
be fair about this, Americans. Be fair. We have had two unfunded wars.
Two wars that were not on the budget.
We have had big pharma. These Americans didn`t cause all that. But
yet we have people in government who are asking these middle class
Americans, who don`t make more than 250,000 dollars a year, who aren`t in
the top two percent -- we want them to give more.
In your heart, can you look at me in the eye and tell me that you
think that is fair? That we negotiate a debt ceiling and we can`t get more
revenue into the Treasury when we see the income disparity in this country
has grown over the last 20 years, unlike anything we have ever seen before?
Tomorrow, America, watch Wisconsin. It`s what America is all about.
That`s THE ED SHOW. I`m Ed Schultz.
In tonight`s survey, I asked will Wisconsin Democrats win enough seats
to take the Senate back? Ninety two percent of you said yes; eight percent
of you said no.
We`ll be back here tomorrow night with the results.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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