'The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell' for Tuesday, August 9, 11p show
Read the transcript to the Tuesday 11p show
Guests: John Nichols, Adam Green, Jon Erpenbach, Peter Barca, Lena Taylor,
Fred Risser, Scot Ross, Tony Schultz, Israel Miranda, Aaron Barnsly, Mahlon
Mitchell, John Rugen, Bill Rush
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST: Breaking news at this hour: the votes are
in in Wisconsin.
RACHEL MADDOW, "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" HOST: The polls are
officially closing in the great state of Wisconsin.
AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Repeal fever in Wisconsin.
CHRIS MATTHEWS, "HARDBALL" HOST: The Democrats get their chance to
SHARPTON: A major moment for the progressive movement.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And Ed Schultz live from Madison.
ED SCHULTZ, "THE ED SHOW" HOST: This is ground zero for the middle
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m feeling really, really positive.
O`DONNELL (voice-over): Washington has lots of suggestions for the
president`s next move.
O`DONNELL: Washington has lots of suggestions for the president`s
ANDREA MITCHELL, NBC NEWS: What can the president do?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Physically, what do you do?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Really credible changes to the budget.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: More aggressive tone.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Call the four leaders of Congress back to
JOE SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC ANCHOR: The best move would be to say --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shiny balls.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Pretty darn (EXPLETIVE DELETED).
O`DONNELL: The Obama campaign thinks Mitt Romney is weird.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mitt Romney, get the phone.
MITCHELL: They plan an aggressive counter attack.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Assault on both Mitt Romney`s personality.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To disqualify the opponent.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And also his business background. Americans
think he`s awkward. They mention, his love of skinny jeans.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The other guy looks weird in skinny jeans.
UNIDENTIFEID MALE: Weird.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shiny balls.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Weird.
O`DONNELL: And "Newsweek" cannot knock Michele Bachmann off message.
REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R-MN), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: My name is
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: An unflattering "Newsweek" cover.
BACHMANN: Ah-ha. Well, we`ll have to take a take a look that, wont
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Crazy eyes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What really is the power behind your campaign?
BACHMANN: I`m an Iowan and I was born here.
Make Barack Obama a one-term president.
RICK SANTORUM (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I can call this napkin a
paper towel, but it is a napkin.
O`DONNELL: Good evening again from Washington.
Tonight, six incumbent Republican state senators in Wisconsin face
the voters in recall challenges. The host of "THE ED SHOW," MSNBC`s Ed
Schultz, is our man in Madison, live with the latest.
SCHULTZ: Thank you, Lawrence. We have just been told that district
14 has been called for Luther Olsen. And this is one of the Democratic
Let me recap for you, Lawrence, right off the top here. Three
Republicans have been declared the winners tonight. This, of course, is
very tough news for the Democrats.
But let me recap it. In the 2nd district in Green Bay, Senator Bob
Cowles has defeated Nancy Nusbaum. That was a race that was expected to be
won by the Republicans.
Also, in the 10th district, including Hudson, Wisconsin, Sheila
Harsdorf, the Republican, has also been declared the winner over challenger
Shelly Moore. So that was the second Republican victory which was expected
But a Democratic hopeful, the 14th district has now been called in
favor of Senator Luther Olsen. The challenger Fred Clark, the Democrat,
the representative, he has now been declared not victorious. Luther Olsen
projected the winner in the Wisconsin state Senate race. So this would
give three Republicans, they are surviving this recall effort in the state
At this moment in the 32nd district challenger Jennifer Shilling is
leading by 8 percentage points over Senator Dan Kapanke.
Also, in the 18th district, in the 18th district Randy Hopper, the
senator is leading by 2 percent of the vote over challenger Jessica King.
This was expected to be a win for the Democrats. But those are the
numbers: Hopper in with 22,788, and Jessica King in at 22,212 -- 51 percent
to 49 percent.
And we`ve also got a very interesting race. In the 8th district,
suburban Milwaukee, Alberta Darling is trailing at this hour to challenger,
Representative Sandy Pasch by 8 percent of the vote. Pasch in with 12,032
votes at 56 percent, and Roberta Darling in with that number you that saw
on the screen there, with 44 percent of the votes.
So, it`s still a very good chance for the Democrats to get three.
But the surprise here is the showing of Randy Hopper, the state senator.
For more on that let`s go to John Nichols, Washington correspondent
of "The Nation" magazine. Three Republican victories declared tonight.
John, how do you see the other three races?
JOHN NICHOLS, "THE NATION" MAGAZINE: Well, let me tell you this. I
will tell you right now, I believe that Jess King will defeat Randy Hopper.
And I`ll tell you why. Because Oshkosh, Wisconsin, which is Jess
King`s heartland, it`s where she was the vice mayor and a long-time city
council member, has not reported. She won that town by 5,000 votes last
time. I think she`s going to come up. She`s got space to move.
Now, I`ve got to be honest with you, though, in that Sandy Pasch
race, Sandy is ahead now but there is still some tough suburban turf out
for her. So, she`s got -- there are no guarantees she`s going to win that.
So what I will tell you is I believe that there`s a very good chance
-- I think Jen Shilling is going to win in Lacrosse. I think that Jess
King I expect can win in that Randy Hopper district. Sandy Pasch is the
one we`re going to really end up watching for a long time yet tonight to
see what comes in on her.
SCHULTZ: So, it turns out as it looks right now, it could be one or
NICHOLS: It could be one or three.
SCHULTZ: As it looks right now.
Adam Green, the PCCC co-founder, has done boots on the ground and
some amazing work here. Your thoughts on what`s being reported tonight.
It`s declared that three Republicans have won and the other three very
close for the Democrats.
What do you think?
ADAM GREEN, CO-FOUNDER, PCCC: Well, hope is absolutely still alive.
Three is the magic number. And amazing credit goes out to the boots on the
ground. The people of Wisconsin who have really been knocking on doors and
doing so much leg work.
But I do want to say this. There`s one of those three races that I`m
really looking at most from a national perspective and that is Sandy Pasch
versus Alberta Darling. This has been ground zero in the national
Republican war on working families. Not only Scott Walker`s budget, but
Paul Ryan`s plan to end Medicare.
And Sandy Pasch -- Sandy Pasch and Alberta Darling are in Paul Ryan`s
neck of the woods, right around Milwaukee. So if Sandy Pasch wins this,
that is a bad omen for Paul Ryan next year.
SCHULTZ: Let`s go to district 18, though, Adam. Isn`t this somewhat
of a surprising showing by Randy Hopper? There were many people that
thought that Jessica King was going to be able to go away with that. And
87 percent we can report right now, 87 percent of the vote reporting, we`ve
got King and Hopper in at 50 percent each. King is up by 137 votes. Wow.
NICHOLS: Did I tell you it was going to come up? Did I tell you?
SCHULTZ: So the magic number is three for the Democrats. And the
Democrats are still within striking distance.
GREEN: I`m telling you, man, those Oshkosh voters. My dad was born
in Oshkosh, brother. They won`t let you down there.
SCHULTZ: But Randy Hopper`s showing, Adam, has been somewhat
surprising, has it not?
GREEN: It has been. But again, the people hopefully will win out
this race. I think it was just declared on MSNBC that John Nichols is the
reigning champion when it comes to Wisconsin coverage.
SCHULTZ: So, district 14 goes to the Republicans. Also district 10
goes to the Republicans. And district 2 goes to the Republicans.
Thirty-two -- district 32, we are reporting tonight that district 32,
including the city of Lacrosse, has been called for the Democrat, Jennifer
Jennifer Shilling has been declared the winner in district 32 over
State Senator Dan Kapanke. Kapanke is the first Republican to be recalled
in Wisconsin -- John.
NICHOLS: And, Ed, this is something we should underline. A
Republican senator, a veteran who has won again and again, won in the Obama
landslide year, was defeated after he voted to take away labor rights.
That was never going to happen until this year.
SCHULTZ: How big a win is this for Jennifer Shilling and the
NICHOLS: You know, look, that district the Democrats have been
trying to win for decades. They have had a very hard time getting that
district back. They finally got it back, and we have to recognize that
that is a district where Jen Shilling went out and said I stand for labor
She was in the assembly. She voted against the Walker agenda.
Kapanke in the Senate voted for it.
SCHULTZ: So it has been a long run for the Democrats since the month
of January. And it`s eight after the hour Central Time here in Wisconsin.
And the first Democrat has been successful in the recall effort. And it is
Jennifer Shilling in district 32.
She defeats Dan Kapanke with 19,928 votes to 16,537 votes -- 55
percent to 45 percent.
NICHOLS: Great big win. Good solid win.
SCHULTZ: So the count is three for the Republicans and one for the
Democrats, with two races to go. District 18, Randy Hopper and Jessica
King, two races left. The Democrats are leading in both of those races.
Keep in mind, the magic number is three. District 18, Randy Hopper
and Jessica King, two races left. The Democrats are leading in both of
those races. Keep in mind, the magic number is three. For the Democrats
to take over the state Senate that chamber, the magic number is three.
They`ve got one seat, and they lead in two other races.
John Nichols, taking a look at the Alberta Darling-Sandy Pasch race,
that was one of the hopefuls, not one of the expectants. The money that
was poured in there -- unprecedented.
NICHOLS: Ed, that could yet, when we add it all up, turn out to be
the most expensive legislative race in the entire history of the United
SCHULTZ: So what has Sandy Pasch done to win that from what you can
NICHOLS: I was in that district. Adam was as well. And, look, the
bottom line is Sandy Pasch didn`t have the money that Alberta Darling had,
but Sandy Pasch had people power like you could not believe -- crowds and
crowds of people out there knocking on doors.
SCHULTZ: And we`re now reporting 43 percent of the vote in, Pasch
leading. She`s holding the lead 55 percent to 45 percent with 33 percent
of the vote being counted.
GREEN: Straight out. History has been made tonight. In the entire
history of Wisconsin only four recalls have been attempted for legislative
We just won one. It`s huge. It`s huge.
NICHOLS: And no one has ever won where there wasn`t some sort of
legal issue or some sort of scandal. Here you`re having somebody win a
race on the basis of an issue and that issue is labor rights.
SCHULTZ: Folks, you`re watching -- you are watching political
history unfold here tonight. There were only, up to tonight, 20 recalls
since 1913 -- 13 of those recalls nationally have been successful.
Obviously, six more races tonight. Three go to the Republicans, one to the
Democrats, and, of course, two Democrats are leading in the other races.
NICHOLS: Can I remind you of something? That, Ed, a Democrat won on
July 12th. Dave Hansen has already won a race. Now, we`ve got another
Democrat who`s won tonight. And you might have one or two more tonight.
SCHULTZ: Adam, why do you say this is so huge? I mean, the magic
number`s three. You`ve only got one. Why are you putting so much stock in
a victory of defeating Dan Kapanke?
GREEN: Well, there`s a reason that the entire nation is watching
Wisconsin tonight. And again, there`s a large proposition here, which is
that when Republicans declare war on middle-class working families
Republicans will go down at the hands of voters. And when Democrats stand
strong, when Democrats have a backbone and stand strong like the Wisconsin
14 did, the grassroots will come out, thousands of people will knock on
doors, and that`s exactly what Democrats need.
So, this is a big political proposition that we are proving here
SCHULTZ: We continue to follow district 8. Sandy Pasch is leading
Alberta Darling. And also in district 18, that too a close one -- Jessica
King and Randy Hopper. That is too close to call.
So, two Democrats are still in the hunt. Three Republicans have been
declared the winners tonight.
THE LAST WORD with Lawrence O`Donnell continues here on MSNBC. I`m
Ed Schultz reporting live from Madison, Wisconsin. Stay with us. So much
more coming up.
SCHULTZ: You are watching a special edition of Lawrence O`Donnell,
THE LAST WORD. I`m Ed Schultz reporting live from Madison, Wisconsin,
tonight, where the recall elections under way, three Republicans have
dodged a bullet tonight, and they will go back to the Wisconsin state
One Democrat has been declared the winner. And there are two other
races that are in the balance right now. In the 8th district, 57 percent
of the vote has been counted. And Sandy Pasch, the challenger, is leading
State Senator Alberta Darling by 58 percent to 42 percent.
Eighteen thousand votes for Pasch, 13,000-plus for Darling.
John Nichols of "The Nation" magazine, that gap is widening. What
does it mean?
NICHOLS: Well, what it means is that the Milwaukee and suburb votes
And I`ve got to be honest with you. I`m not going to lie to folks.
As the night goes on, you`re going to see some of those out county suburban
votes come in. That race will get closer. But I am quite amazed by the
level of the lead that Sandy Pasch has opened up. This is going to be the
race we watch for a while longer tonight.
SCHULTZ: And, of course, in the 18th district, where there is
another Democratic hopeful, you have Randy Hopper, the state senator, the
Republican being challenged by Jessica King. That too is just too close to
call. And that one is going down to the wire.
NICHOLS: I think so. But I think Jess King, if I`m looking at the
different counties that are in and out on that one, I`ve got a pretty
strong sense that that race is going to break toward Jess King.
SCHULTZ: All right. Let`s go back. Let`s go back to the 8th
district, if we can. John Nichols just predicted that that race was going
to tighten, and it has.
With 63 percent of the vote now being counted, Alberta Darling has
closed the gap. Pasch still leads 51 percent to 49 percent. That has now
been closed dramatically -- Pasch leading 51 percent to 49 percent.
NICHOLS: You`ve got big voting suburbs there that are very, very
Republican. I will remind you, Ed, that the Supreme Court race that we had
back in April, Waukesha County suddenly discovered a lot of votes there --
well, part of this district includes Waukesha County.
Now, I`m not -- what I`m telling is, there`s very strong Republican
turf there, and you`ve got to keep an eye on that.
SCHULTZ: So far three wins for the Republicans, one for the
Democrats, and two races get to be called. But the Democrats are leading.
Joining us now is State Representative Peter Barca. Peter, good to
have you with us tonight.
STATE REP. PETER BARCA (D), WISCONSIN: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: What do you make of this?
BARCA: Well, it`s an exciting night. And you can tell it`s going to
be a long night. We hope that it doesn`t come down to a recount. We`d
love to see us win straight out.
But it`s going to be a very long and exciting night.
SCHULTZ: What do you mean recall -- you mean a recount?
BARCA: A recount.
SCHULTZ: OK. And what is the state law in Wisconsin for a recount?
BARCA: Well, if it`s a half a percent or less, then it`s paid for by
the district. If it`s more than that, then the candidates have to pay.
SCHULTZ: Jon Erpenbach, senator with us tonight. Senator, your
thoughts on these last two races going head to head, too close to call.
What do you make of them?
STATE SEN. JON ERPENBACH (D), WISCONSIN: Just the fact that as John
said, Sandy Pasch is doing as well as she`s doing in what is really a
pretty hardcore Republican part of the state says an awful lot about Sandy
But more importantly, it sends a much larger message because I think
when you take this issue of collective bargaining and Medicaid and
everything that the governor`s tried to do in the state of Wisconsin, you
take it statewide, that should probably scare the hell out of Scott Walker,
if he`s seeing what`s going on in Alberta Darling`s district.
SCHULTZ: I think people across Wisconsin and people across the
country that are following this closely, Jon, are realizing how heavy a
lift this is for Democrats in the challenge. These are all Republican
SCHULTZ: Although President Obama did win them in 2008, Walker won
them when he won election in 2010.
So how do you dissect this at this point? I mean, it is so close.
Are the independent voters really making the difference here?
ERPENBACH: Yes. There`s part of that there too. But what happens
traditionally in Wisconsin is Democrats -- the Democrat at the top of the
ticket usually does fairly well. When you get down to the legislative
races -- whether it`s state assembly or in the state Senate -- they go more
so for the person that they know.
They know Alberta Darling. And given the race that she`s in tonight,
they`re not real thrilled to death with her metamorphosis over time moving
to the far, far right.
But, in the end, Ed, if you do take these issues statewide, and we`re
playing in the back yard of the Republicans right now and we`re doing as
well as we`re doing, it says a lot about what people in Wisconsin as a
SCHULTZ: So how big would it be if you did get three seats tonight?
If Jessica King wins, if Sandy Pasch comes through, how big is that going
to be to get these three seats?
ERPENBACH: It would be huge, not only here in the state of
Wisconsin, but it would send a message to all the Republican governors all
throughout the country and the Republican houses throughout the country
that you`d better not mess with the middle class anymore, because they will
stand up and fight.
SCHULTZ: Peter Barca, do you agree with that, that this would be
absolutely -- if you won three that would be a political earthquake in
BARCA: Even winning two would be absolutely enormous because, Ed, as
you`ve said, these are all Republican districts. And it is remarkable how
well we have done in so many of these seats tonight.
SCHULTZ: I think there`s a real air of apprehension here tonight,
John Nichols, that if the Democrats were to get just one seat, it would be
far short of expectations and it would also be a rough night at the office
and a rough message sent, and it is something that Republicans would take
and Republican with in every state, saying that they are on the right side
of the issues.
NICHOLS: Yes. Although I think you have to be careful with that.
Let`s start with the fact that these are districts that voted for
Scott Walker for governor in 2010 -- all of them. Already one of them has
said boy, we made a big mistake. We`re getting rid of our Republican state
senators. We`re sending a Democrat up there to tell Scott Walker to do.
We`ve got another one that may do that. And I want to emphasize
something, Ed, that when the collective bargaining bill came up in the
state Senate it didn`t win by three votes. It won by one vote. And that`s
because one Republican Senator Dale Schultz from southwest Wisconsin voted
with the Democrats.
If you send two Democrats into the state Senate, then Dale Schultz, a
moderate Republican who has broken with the governor on a number of issues
could do the right thing and begin to tip the balance on some major matters
SCHULTZ: You think he would vote with the Democrats if it came up
NICHOLS: I would ask Jon Erpenbach that question.
SCHULTZ: Jon, what do you think?
ERPENBACH: I have a tremendous amount of respect for Dale Schultz.
He`s always been a guy who deals more so with issue as opposed to the
party. He was majority leader for a while here at the capitol and he had
his hands full with an extremely conservative caucus but he did well.
Dale is a rational guy. He`s a practical guy. So, we`ll see.
SCHULTZ: But this would be a real shot over the bow, maybe a direct
hit at organized labor, if this isn`t successful tonight. Fair statement?
ERPENBACH: No, no. I don`t think so. I really truly don`t think
so. If anything I think what it`s done is it`s re-energized organized
labor. We saw that starting in February. Organized labor is awake.
But more importantly, the people who -- the people who benefit
indirectly from collective bargaining, the salaries that are set indirectly
by collective bargaining, those are the people who have really woken up,
and they understand that when you go after organized labor and you go after
unions the way the governor has, it`s going to have an impact on them.
SCHULTZ: All right. Gentlemen, stay with us. Our coverage
continues here. The numbers are this.
Three Republicans have been declared the winners tonight. One
Democrat has won in a recall election. There are two that are very close.
We continue with THE LAST WORD with Lawrence O`Donnell. I`m Ed
Schultz reporting live from Madison, Wisconsin. Stay with us. We`re back
SCHULTZ: Back live in Madison, Wisconsin, on THE LAST WORD with
Lawrence O`Donnell. I`m Ed Schultz, reporting live tonight from the state
Three Republicans have been declared the winners tonight in the
recall elections. One Democrat has won and two races are very close. In
the 18th district Randy Hopper, the incumbent, being challenged by Jessica
John Nichols, what can you tell us the latest?
NICHOLS: Jessica King is a little tiny bit ahead, but I just spoke
to the former attorney general, Peg Lautenschlager, who lives in that
district, that`s her turf, she`s from Fond du Lac. She says she`s been
through the numbers of the counties, she is certain that Jess King is going
to win that race.
SCHULTZ: And another race that has tightened up is the 8th district.
Sandy Pasch is barely leading Alberta Darling. This one is going down to
the wire, 51 percent to 49 percent -- Sandy Pasch leading Alberta Darling.
But it is still way too close to call.
We`ll continue with all of our updates and analysis here from
Madison, Wisconsin on THE LAST WORD with Lawrence O`Donnell. I`m Ed
Stay with us. You`re watching MSNBC.
SCHULTZ: I`m Ed Schultz reporting live from Madison, Wisconsin on THE
LAST WORD with Lawrence O`Donnell."
I`ve got a feeling we`re not going to be leaving here tonight until we have
the last word.
Three Republicans have been victorious tonight and an effort to recall
three of the Republicans has failed on the part of the Democrats.
And also we have got one democrat who has won in the recall effort, and
that`s Jennifer Shilling in district 32.
But in the two other districts, district 18, Jessica King and Randy Hopper
are locked neck and neck, too close to call.
And in district 8 Alberta Darling and Sandy Pasch are very close as well.
Pasch leading 51 percent to 49 percent. That was the last number we had.
Joining us now is State Senator Lena Taylor. Lena, what can you tells us
about that race tonight?
STATE SEN. LENA TAYLOR (D), WISCONSIN: Well, what I know for sure about
that race is that the Milwaukee numbers, I`ve not received a call in on
those, and there are absentee ballots that are still out. So no matter
what the numbers show, until those absentee ballots are counted, we`ve not
-- we`re not going to concede.
SCHULTZ: So you`re saying we may not have a decision tonight in that race?
TAYLOR: I won`t say that. I`ll say that it will take a little longer
because those absentee ballots need to come in and once they come in I
think they`re going to favor the woman who is passionate about the people.
SCHULTZ: Are you surprised at the showing by Sandy Pasch?
TAYLOR: You know it is very surprising. I mean, let`s remember, we`re
playing on the Republicans` territory here. These are Republican
districts. These are districts, as you stated, that Walker won. Taking
out Alberta Darling is a huge task.
So I`m surprised that Sandy was able to do so strongly in the district.
But she`s such a great candidate. And the people were very disgusted by
what Alberta has done by being a rubber stamp legislator for Scott Walker.
SCHULTZ: Well, Sandy Pasch leading 51 percent to 49 percent. Of course
not all the votes have been counted. But how many absentee ballots do you
think went out in that district?
TAYLOR: I don`t know for sure, but I`ll say on one day in particular I
knew that they had taken at least 700 people to early vote. So arguably
there are more than 700 out because that was one day.
SCHULTZ: OK. Let`s go to Fred Risser, State Senator. Senator, good to
have you with us tonight. There have been a lot of positive comments
tonight about the democratic showing, but I only see one victory so far.
How do you give it -- what`s your analysis of that?
STATE SEN. FRED RISSER (D), WISONSIN: I am optimistic. We really won
tonight. On every race we almost won if we didn`t win. We made -- we won
a couple battles and we`re going to keep going until we do win the war.
SCHULTZ: Well, the magic number is three. You`re still leading with two
other Democrats after one has already won. Do you think Jessica King can
beat Randy Hopper?
SCHULTZ: And what about Sandy Pasch with Alberta Darling?
RISSER: She`s a wonderful candidate. I`m hoping she comes through too.
SCHULTZ: All right. Joining us now is Scot Ross with One Wisconsin Now.
This gentleman has led a terrific boots on the ground effort here in
Scot, your response to the results tonight.
SCOT ROSS, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ONE WISCONSIN NOW: Well, I think that this
is far from over, and I think that the showing by the people of Wisconsin
in what has happened in this wonderful campaign on the progressive side,
which involved two weeks ago they hit one million doors knocked here in the
state of Wisconsin, 12,000 volunteers stood up, called their neighbors,
went door to door to make sure that governor Walker, that he would not have
the final say in all of this, and this is far from over.
Governor Walker declared war on the middle class here in Wisconsin when he
handed out $2.3 billion in tax breaks to corporations and the wealthy while
cutting $1.6 billion from our public schools. What does that translate
into? That translates into the less teachers in the classrooms, less
classes in the curriculum, and less -- and more schools being closed.
SCHULTZ: So why is this recall effort so tough?
ROSS: Well, you know, again, like you say, all six of these races were won
by Republicans during the 2008 landslide. So they`re difficult places.
But campaigns are snapshots in time. And the progressivism and the
activism and enthusiasm that`s been seen not just when you got here as one
of the first people on the scene --
SCHULTZ: We`ve got an update, and I`ll get a response from all of you on
With 97 percent of the vote having been counted in district 18, Jessica
King with 51 percent of the vote and Randy Hopper with 49 percent of the
vote. King is now leading by 1,200 votes. King leading by 1,200 votes.
Scot Ross, what can you tells us? One Wisconsin Now. What can you tell us
about district 18?
ROSS: Well, it sounds like things have definitely trended in the right
direction. And the voters have spoken. And we have just a handful of
SCHULTZ: What kind of ground game did you have in district 18 against
ROSS: There was an amazing ground game that was put out there. People
knocking on doors, pounding the phones, talking to their neighbors doing
whatever was necessary in order to convince them that they need to make a
SCHULTZ: But was there a strategy to this or were you just winging it,
sending people out, ten people a day, and 20 people tomorrow? I mean, was
there a real concerted effort and strategy to all of this ground game?
ROSS: Absolutely. And the organization we are Wisconsin did an amazing
job in making sure those people got out to the polls today. And we`re
seeing the fruits of that in this what you say 1,200-vote margin with just
3 percent left.
SCHULTZ: All right. We`ve got more results coming in.
In district 8, with 67 percent of the vote being recorded, Sandy Pasch with
52 percent of the vote and Alberta Darling with 48 percent of the vote,
Pasch are up by 1,200 votes.
I`ll tell you what, folks. What you are witnessing tonight here on MSNBC
is national political history. It is a recall effort that is well funded,
very intense, and down to the wire.
Taylor: It`s unprecedented. As a matter of fact, this will be the largest
number of recalls that we`ve won in the state`s history. And more
importantly, I think what you`re seeing is people are fed up. And at the
very least people have said we`re not happy --
SCHULTZ: We are now -- excuse me Lena.
We are now hearing that district 18 the projected winner is democrat
You are watching live coverage on MSNBC.
Three Republicans have won. Two Democrats have won. There is still one
race that has to be called. We`ll continue here on MSNBC with THE LAST
WORD with Lawrence O`Donnell."
I`m Ed Schultz reporting live from the state of Wisconsin. Stay with us.
It`s a barn burner, and it`s going to the wire.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to Madison, Wisconsin on THE LAST WORD with Lawrence
O`Donnell." I`m Ed Schultz reporting live tonight.
On the top of our broadcast on THE ED SHOW of the six races we pointed out
two Republicans that were expected to win and two Democrats that were
expected to win. And that is exactly how it`s come down.
The two Republicans expected to win have won tonight, and that`s Sheila
Harsdorf and Robert Cowles. The two Democrats that progressives in the
state were counting on winning have won tonight. Jessica king in the 18th
district has defeated Randy Hopper. And Jennifer Shilling has defeated Dan
We continue with more results here in Madison with one race yet to be
Stay with us. We`re right back.
SCHULTZ: It`s THE LAST WORD with Lawrence O`Donnell. I`m Ed Schultz
reporting live tonight here on MSNBC from Madison, Wisconsin as the results
continue to come in.
The race we are now waiting for is in the 8th district, Suburban Milwaukee.
And at this hour 67 percent of the votes having been counted, Sandy Pasch
is leading Alberta Darling 52 percent to 48 percent. She is up by roughly
We are told that some of the votes are not coming in. They are coming in a
little bit slow, in fact. John Nichols, "Nation" magazine, what are you
hearing on the ground in this district?
NICHOLS: Well, here`s what we know. This district is going to end up
with a close result. Perhaps even in the recount zone. Because Waukesha
County, which was such a problematic county in our Supreme Court race, is
reportedly still not returning its results. We don`t have them in yet.
Until people --
SCHULTZ: The crowd knows what that means.
NICHOLS: The crowd is scared.
SCHULTZ: In Waukesha County you had problems in the Supreme Court race.
NICHOLS: And we are getting reports that --
SCHULTZ: With David Prosser and Kloppenburg, the challenger.
SCHULTZ: Correct. OK. So what happened in those votes?
NICHOLS: With the Supreme Court race?
NICHOLS: They were - suddenly two days after the election was called for
Kloppenburg, the challenger, the county clerk there found 14,000 votes she
had forgotten to count.
SCHULTZ: And what are we seeing tonight in that district?
NICHOLS: What we`re seeing is something different tonight. What we`re
seeing tonight is just these results aren`t being reported. Everybody`s
saying where`s Waukesha County? Where are those numbers? Because this is
a very close race. We expect Waukesha County will help Alberta Darling.
But the question is how much is it going to give her?
If it doesn`t give her that much, Sandy Pasch can win this race. I also
understand there are absentee ballots out in areas that are very strong for
Pasch. Bottom line is this is going to be a close, close result here.
SCHULTZ: Do you think it will be called tonight?
NICHOLS: I`m not sure.
SCHULTZ: 23,451 for Pasch. And you see the number up there for Alberta
Darling. And it is very close, 21,713 for darling, 52 percent to 48
percent with 67 percent of the vote being counted so far.
What we have, folks, as I said, I can`t underscore this enough. This is
national political history unfolding before our eyes. A recall effort
unprecedented here in the state of Wisconsin and in this country and
tonight we are seeing three Republicans who have fought back the recall,
two Democrats who have been successful in their recall efforts. And that
graphic we just showed you up right there in the 8th district is the result
that we are waiting for tonight.
Alberta Darling, who had over $8 million pumped into her campaign, much of
it outside money, outspending Sandy Pasch, But the boots on the ground, the
organization, the social networking, the due diligence of the Democrats
have kept Sandy Pasch within striking distance, and with 67 percent of the
vote she leads right now with just over 23,000 votes to 21,000 votes.
And John Nichols, the absentee vote obviously is going to be very
important. But we really don`t know exactly what the full number is on the
NICHOLS: No, we don`t. But can you imagine, this Ed? After all of this,
after all of this we might come down to a contested unsettled result in one
SCHULTZ: And just for our viewers, again, what is the state law for a
recount, whether it be a general election or a recall?
NICHOLS: Same thing. If it`s under half a percent, the state pays for the
recount and it`s an official recount done by the local officials. If it`s
over half a percent, then the candidate has to pay. That won`t frankly be
a problem. But the fact is what we`re really interested in now is getting
all these votes reported and finding out just how close this race is.
SCHULTZ: All right. We have been talking about the national impact on
this. And I`ve got a great story to tell tonight. Mahlon Mitchell, who is
the president of the professional firefighters of Wisconsin, who are these
gentlemen to your left?
MAHLON MITCHELL, PRESIDENT, PROFESSIONAL FIREFIGHTERS: These are
firefighters from New York who have come to help in the fight. Uniformed
EMT and paramedics and inspectors from New York that have come to help with
the Jessica King fight.
SCHULTZ: Sir, what`s your name?
ISRAEL MIRANDA, VICE-PRESIDENT, EMT AND PARAMEDISCS OF NEW YORK CITY FIRE
DEPARMENT: My name is Israel Miranda. I`m the vice president of the
uniformed EMTs and Paramedics of the New York City Fire Department.
SCHULTZ: Why are you here tonight? Why are you here in uniform?
MIRANDA: I`m here -- first of all, thank you, Wisconsin for your
generosity, in the way you treated us. We came here to support you. OK?
We know what`s happening here is wrong. And New York is watching. And we
support you. All the unions in New York City support you.
We`ve been here knocking on doors, giving out leaflets and getting people
to come out and vote. And the message that we have for the governor of
this state is that he must go.
SCHULTZ: Your name, sir.
AARON BARNSLY, FIREFIGHTER, NEW YORK CITY: Aaron Barnsly.
SCHULTZ: Why are you here?
BARNSLY: On September 11 Wisconsin came to our help for ground zero. This
is ground zero for them. We`re here to support them as well.
SCHULTZ: New York`s finest here in Madison. Sir, your name?
BILL RUSH, FIREFIGHTER, NEW YORK CITY: Bill Rush.
SCHULTZ: Why are you here?
RUSH: This is where we`re need.
SCHULTZ: You`re need here?
SCHULTZ: When did you get the call and when did you see the need?
RUSH: Right away.
SCHULTZ: Your name, sir.
JOHN RUGEN, FIREFIGHTER, NEW YORK CITY: My name is John Rugen.
SCHULTZ: Why are you here tonight?
RUGEN: I`m here to support the unions, everybody else. And if they need
us, we`re here.
SCHULTZ: Mahlon Mitchell, this speaks volumes about these firefighters.
MITCHELL: Well, you know it shows that Wisconsin has not only touched our
state but Wisconsin has touched the entire nation. I`ve had the pleasure
of going all around the United States to talk. And I want to tell you,
right here is what you`re seeing. We`re not going to be the corporations
of Wisconsin. We`re the state of Wisconsin, not the corporation of
SCHULTZ: You`re watching THE LAST WORD with Lawrence O`Donnell." I`m Ed
Schultz reporting live from Madison, Wisconsin.
We`re still awaiting one race, one result.
We`re right back here on MSNBC. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE LAST WORD with Lawrence O`Donnell MSNBC. I`m
Ed Schultz reporting live tonight from Madison, Wisconsin.
At the top of the hour THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW you`ll certainly want to see
that as our coverage continues here.
We have some news coming out of district 8, Suburban Milwaukee. The
Alberta Darling-Sandy Pasch race, 68 percent of the vote being recorded
tonight, Pasch leading 51 percent to 49 percent. Pasch is up by 1,100
votes. But we are being told now by Waukesha County election officials
that there will be no results for at least one hour.
John Nichols, you hear the response from the crowd on that. Put this in
perspective. What does this mean? This is coming from think progress.
Think progress is reporting tonight that Waukesha County officials have
told them that there will be no results for at least an hour p.
NICHOLS: It`s frankly very unsettling, Ed, because --
SCHULTZ: Vet unsettling? Why?
NICHOLS: Well, in the Supreme Court race between Jerry Prosser, very close
to the governor, Joanne Kloppenburg, challenger backed by a lot of these
folks, the unions as well, Waukesha County held its results back longer
than anyone else.
On election night they popped in a bunch very late that put Prosser up.
Then Kloppenburg came back and Waukesha came back two days later finding
14,000 additional votes. There is a great discomfort.
And whether you know people will say whatever they want. Bottom line on
Waukesha County is this happens election after election and it always ends
up helping the Republicans.
SCHULTZ: Who are the people in charge of that county?
NICHOLS: There`s a woman named Cathy Nicholas who is the county clerk
there, and she has been criticized even by the Republican leaders on the
county board for doing a poor job of managing elections.
SCHULTZ: We`re speculating here. Why would the votes be coming in an hour
NICHOLS: It does not make sense, Ed. They have the same machinery. They
should not be getting votes in an hour late.
SCHULTZ: So there`s no reason for that district to be late reporting as
opposed to the others that have already been called?
NICHOLS: Again, I would say it is unsettling and it`s one of those things
that this is not the first time and not the second time it has happened in
SCHULTZ: I want to go to Tony Schultz, a Wisconsin Farmers Union member
and vegetable and beet farmer from northern Wisconsin. Rural Wisconsin
spoke tonight for the Democrats. Randy hopper was defeated. Dan Kapanke
was defeated. The Democrats picking up wins in districts 18 and 32.
Tony, your response to that. I mean, how do you feel about a real change
taking place in rural Wisconsin?
TONY SCHULTZ, MEMBER, WISCONSIN FARMERS UNION: I feel good. I feel like a
lot of people in rural Wisconsin are seeing the Walker agenda as nothing
more than an attack on them and the long history of - long fight between
the haves and the have not`s. And farmers are standing with workers.
They`re getting out to the polls.
After tonight, though, we`ve got to continue go out to the polls. Next
week, Jim Holperin is up for election up in our rural district in Northern
Wisconsin and we`ve got to show up strong for him.
ED SCHULTZ: But how encouraged, with the final results not coming in from
the district we were just talking about, district 8, how encouraged are you
that two rural districts went to the Democrats tonight? The magic number`s
three, but you`ve got two so far.
TONY SCHULTZ: I`m encouraged, but we need three. We need three, and we
can`t have Florida-style shenanigans, calling this race. We need democracy
to call this race. This is what democracy looks like.
ED SCHULTZ: Now, we have often talked about the savvy and the knowledge of
the people that you`re looking at right now here in the state of Wisconsin.
When it comes to politics, they score an A on all of their tests, so to
When you mention the name of what county official who`s in charge of the
votes in Waukesha County, you heard the response of the crowd.
Been down this road before, have been there, have seen it. Am I right on
that? OK. What does this mean, John?
NICHOLS: Well, look, I`ve said it before it`s unsettling because here we
are down. This entire battle, month after month, we come down to needing
three. One last seat and it comes down to Waukesha County, the county that
has been the trouble zone in getting our votes counted. You know, people
have a lot of patience with election officials. They know it`s hard to
But when you have trouble election after election after election, you start
to get to a point where maybe Tammy Baldwin, the congresswoman from
Madison, was right when she asked the U.S. justice department to come in
and look at Waukesha County which she did in April.
ED SCHULTZ: I mean you can`t make this stuff up.
NICHOLS: You cannot make this up.
ED SCHULTZ: I mean you`ve got six recall elections tonight. Three go to
the Republicans. Two go to the Democrats. And one that hasn`t been called
yet just so happens to be the one that had some shenanigans during the
Supreme Court race. I mean, you couldn`t write this.
NICHOLS: Such shenanigans again that I will emphasize a sitting member of
Congress from Wisconsin asked for a justice department investigation. Now
we have another problem there. And I`m amazed, simply amazed that Cathy
Nicholas, the county clerk there, didn`t have every "I" dotted and "T"
ED SCHULTZ: So, the numbers we have right now, the scorecard says three
for the Republicans two, for the Democrats, and the final race in district
8 with 68 percent of the vote in, Pasch the democrat leading the incumbent
Roberta Darling 51 percent to 49 percent, up by just 1100 votes. Think
progress reporting the county officials are saying they will not have a
final result in that district for at least another hour.
Our coverage continues with THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW here on MSNBC.
I`m Ed Schultz reporting live tonight from Madison, Wisconsin.
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