'The Rachel Maddow Show' for Monday, November 7th, 2011
Read the transcript to the Monday show
Past transcripts by month
Guests: Connie Schultz, Gene Robinson
ED SCHULTZ, HOST, "THE ED SHOW": THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW starts right
Rachel, they love you in Columbus.
RACHEL MADDOW, HOST: I love them back, man. Amazing show. Amazing
show. I`m so glad you`re there.
And thanks to you at home as well for staying with us for the next
hour. There is so much going on.
The long running gross out genius performance arts satire radio
spectacle that is "The Howard Stern Show" which is now just on satellite
radio, they`re apparently promoting a singer. I don`t know if it`s like
somebody who Howard Stern enjoys or if this is a paid arrangement or
something. But today, Republican presidential politics in America were
briefly taken over by this.
(BEGIN VIDOE CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is not what you think it is. Just calm down.
No, it`s not what you think it is. Just calm down.
This is about Alisa Jordana. This is not about me. This is about
Alisa Jordana. J-O-R-D-A-N-A, Alisa Jordana.
The name of one of her songs is (EXPLETIVE DELETED). And also, "Young
Love" is a really good song to listen to, "Young Love."
REPORTER: Benjy, those are live mikes. Come on, seriously.
Seriously. Could you move?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The name of the song is young -- I won`t say the
bad word. It`s F you, I`m fine, F you I`m fine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: He`s right. That`s in fact the name of the song in question.
MADDOW: So it`s true. We fact checked it. And maybe this all today
was just an advertisement for this singer person who is beloved of "The
Howard Stern Show." Or maybe this is just the greatest long-running gross-
out genius performance arts satire radio spectacle of my generation, "The
Howard Stern Show," being jealous that another performance are sensation is
hitting that patented Howard Stern sweet spot, that is the overlapping area
between horrifying and compelling. OK?
Here`s how this was supposed to go today. At the Friars Club here in
New York City, known for its comedic roasts of celebrities, a press
conference was scheduled today to hear further allegations of sexual
harassment concerning Herman Cain, a Republican candidate for president.
As members of the media, many, many members of the media gathered to hear
from the new accuser and from her attorney, Gloria Allred, a Howard Stern
sidekick who`s named Benjy took over the proceedings.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just listen a second. All right? Maybe I`m the
girl that was accused by Herman Cain. OK? You don`t know that.
You don`t even know for sure I`m a male, because I might not be. I`ll
say who I am. Who asked that? Who asked who I was?
REPORTER: Who are you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My name is Benjy Bronk. B-R-O-N-K.
Now you`re interrupted a religious service, my friend.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: That was sort of how it went. As the entire national press
corps sat and waited for this Herman Cain-related press conference to
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, I met you at the Anthony thing. You, come
here. Sorry, sorry. I met you at the Anthony thing.
Wait. Yes. Are you from -- I met you. We met.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: We met. When he says "I met you at the Anthony thing," what
he`s talking about is the Anthony Weiner press conference back in June
which Benjy, the Howard Stern sidekick, he also at the Anthony Weiner press
conference did the same thing. He sort of Stern-bombed it.
The Howard Stern sidekick guy just sort of took over this press
conference today before it even began.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everyone can have a vote. We`re going to say
first the ayes and nays. Who wants me to leave?
REPORTER: Get out. Just go.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who wants me to stay?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: At one point, it seemed like the press conference was going
to start with Benjy from the "Howard Stern Show," with that guy introducing
Gloria Allred, the attorney, and her client, the new Herman Cain sexual
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ladies and gentlemen, all the way from Los
Angeles, California, Ms. Gloria Allred, and the accuser.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: So, that was the announcement from Benjy.
According to reporters on the scene, upon hearing that, Gloria Allred
and woman due to speak about the allegations against Mr. Cain turned around
and decided to wait backstage at the Friars Club for a few more minutes so
they could enter the press conference on their own terms instead of
announced by the Howard Stern guy.
The press conference finally did start. The accuser who came forward
today was a woman who worked at the National Restaurant Association
Educational Foundation in the mid 1990s. She said after losing her job at
the NRA`s foundation, she met Mr. Cain in Washington to ask him for help in
getting rehired or for getting another job. She then alleged that Mr. Cain
made an aggressive and unwanted sexual advance toward her.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHARON BIALEK, CAIN ACCUSER: He suddenly reached over and he put his
hand on my leg, under my skirt and reached for my genitals. He also
grabbed my head and brought it toward his crotch. I was very, very
surprised and very shocked. I said, "What are you doing? You know I have
a boyfriend. This isn`t what I came here for." Mr. Cain said, "You want a
job, right?" I asked him to stop and he did.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: The Herman Cain campaign responded to this. Actually, they
sort of presponded to this, putting out a statement during the press
conference which said that Mr. Cain has never harassed anyone. Quote, "All
allegations of harassment against Mr. Cain are completely false."
There are a number of allegations now, depending on how you count.
This was either the sixth woman or the seventh woman who alleges she was
harassed or who was allegedly harassed, excuse me, by Mr. Cain. The first
two were women employed by the National Restaurant Association when Mr.
Cain ran the association. Both of them after complaining formally to the
association were separated from their jobs and given cash settlements of
tens of thousands of dollars in exchange for agreeing to not speak about
the incidents in the future.
A conservative talk show host in Iowa has also come forward and said
that he witnessed inappropriate behavior from Mr. Cain toward two female
members of his radio show staff in Iowa.
A longtime Republican pollster who does work for Rick Perry has
described witnessing very inappropriate behavior from Mr. Cain toward a
woman in a restaurant in the Washington, D.C., area, in the late `90s.
What`s unclear in the counting of the total number of women here is
whether that woman seen being mistreated at the restaurant, whether that is
the same woman who is also described by the "Associated Press" as a former
National Restaurant Association employee who says she was harassed by Mr.
Cain but who never received a settlement as a result of that.
All of those allegations proceeded the new one today, which, itself,
was, of course, proceeded by the "Howard Stern Show" taking over the entire
proceeding. Bleep, bleep, bleep you, I`m fine.
In addition to the Mr. Cain has never harassed anyone statement from
the Herman Cain art project today, the Herman Cain art project also tweeted
a "welcome to the campaign message" to the attorney who`s representing the
new accuser. The tweet said, "Welcome to the campaign. What took you so
long?" And it included a link where people can donate to the Herman Cain
art project in Iowa.
The Herman Cain art project has been bragging about how much money the
sexual harassment allegations have helped them raise. They say they raised
$2.8 million total between July and September of this year. That was
before the sexual harassment allegations started coming out.
And then once Cain supporters learned of all these allegations of
Herman Cain sexually harassing women, the numbers just took off -- $2.3
million raised in three months before the allegations and they`ve raised
almost that much since, about $2 million since the allegations have come
There`s an old well-stoked conservative paranoia that any allegation
against a conservative candidate has just been made up by a media that is
out to get them. In this case, the Herman Cain performance art project has
sort of brilliantly come up with this satire, sort of brilliantly made that
seem as ridiculous as possible because we`re not talking about one accusers
here or two accusers here or three accusers here or four accusers here, but
rather six or maybe seven different women -- all of whom are apparently
part of a liberal media conspiracy? Please send your cash, checks or money
orders right away.
On Friday night, the artist formally known as Herman Cain also made
fun of the other major scandal afflicting his campaign right now -- the
allegations that while his campaign manager, the smoking guy, was working
for a Koch brothers conservative activist group, that group used money from
unknown donors to illegally fund Mr. Cain`s campaign.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HERMAN CAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This may be a breaking news
announcement for the media. I am the Koch brothers` brother from another
CAIN: Yes. I`m their brother from another mother -- and proud of it.
(END VIDEO C LIP)
MADDOW: That`s the response to the scandal, so far.
Today in Washington, another watchdog group has asked the IRS to look
into the alleged illegal funding of the Cain campaign by unknown donors
funneling it through a Koch brothers-linked organization.
Again, while his campaign manager was running a state chapter of the
Koch brothers` conservative activist group Americans for Prosperity, the
group`s own financial records show it apparently illegally funding Herman
Cain`s campaign, illegally paying for campaign stuff. For things like
Herman Cain going to a Koch brothers event in Oklahoma and Herman Cain`s
campaign manager, the smoking guy, being flown to D.C. to meet with one of
the Koch brothers and the head of Americans for Prosperity group, Tim
Tim Phillips, as a refresher here, has actually been a guest on this
show a couple times before. Jack Abramoff, the Republican uber lobbyist
who went to jail during the Bush administration, Jack Abramoff is now out
of federal prison and promoting his new book about his crimes.
Among the things that Jack Abramoff did in Washington was that he got
guys like Tim Phillips and Ralph Reed -- remember Ralph Reed, the Christian
Coalition guy? Jack Abramoff got those guys, worked with those guys to
dupe conservative voters into supporting the interests of Jack Abramoff`s
So, they`d get conservative voters who hated gambling, for instance,
to oppose some specific gambling legislation. Not because they were going
to stamp out gambling by doing that but that would help eliminate the
competition for the casinos the guys were working for. Ralph Reed is
supposed to be a Christian leader, right? So, it couldn`t look like he was
being paid by the casinos. So, instead they laundered the money through
Ralph Reed through a conservative activist group to make it look like it
was all politics and not just about money.
In this case, the group they laundered the money was the Grover
Norquist tax reform group.
So, again, if you follow the money, it sort of looks like conservative
activism. It looks ideological. It looks principled, right? The money is
laundered through conservative activism.
But, really, it`s just what some rich company wants and is willing to
Tim Phillips and Ralph Reed got Christians to write letters in support
of keeping the "made in the USA" label on clothes that were being made in
the Mariana Islands, a U.S. commonwealth. Clothes that were being
manufactured in near slave labor sweat shop conditions, conditions that
included things like forced prostitution and forced abortions among the
destitute workers who were there.
How did they get Christians, how did they get values voters?
Conservative Christian Americans to write letters supporting that?
They mailed those Christians materials that said the workers in the
Mariana Islands were being exposed to the teachings of Jesus while they
were working there. That was the Jack Abramoff scam, right? That`s Tim
Phillips, who now runs the Koch brothers group, Americans for Prosperity.
That was the Ralph Reed scam, right?
Ralph Reed now runs the Faith and Freedom coalition. All the
Republican candidates except Jon Huntsman went to the Ralph Reed Faith and
Freedom Coalition event in Iowa last month.
This was the podium. There`s Ralph Reed.
Remember, now, he was Abramoff`s guy, right? So, there`s his logo --
Faith and Freedom Coalition you see there. But what`s that other logo
behind him? The Iowa Energy Forum.
Hold on a second. Quick Google search reveals the Iowa Energy Forum
is a project of the American Petroleum Institute, right?
That`s what these guys do. That`s who these guys are. That`s the
values voter summit of Ralph Reed, brought to you by big oil.
Ralph Reed and Tim Phillips did not go to prison like Jack Abramoff
did, but they were part of the Jack Abramoff scam to get conservative
voters to do something that they thought was ideologically sound, at least
ideologically motivated, right wing activism. But it was really just what
some big corporate funder wanted and was willing to pay for.
Iowa Energy Forum -- oh, yes, and faith, too.
That`s what Jack Abramoff did before he went to prison. That`s what
Ralph Reed is doing now, still.
And now, there`s the Herman Cain art project -- a charismatic,
purportedly very conservative purported candidate who does not know letting
a woman decide if she wants to have an abortion or not is not allowed if
you`re pro-life; a candidate who`s never heard of neoconservative, who
answered this way when asked just this weekend about Medicare.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAIN: You go first, Newt.
NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: That`s only fair.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: The Herman Cain art project, which seems to be a conservative
cause, which is attracting lots of conservative support, is something that
has no campaign staff, right?
No substantial staff of its own. It appears to be bankrolled,
possibly illegally, by the billionaire owners of the largest privately held
oil and chemical country in the country, whose political group, Americans
for Prosperity, is run by a former associate of Jack Abramoff.
Hey, conservative voters, I know that you`re not my biggest fans,
although I know some of you watch because I can tell from the hate mail.
Listen, just -- this is meant as advice and I mean it in a big hearted way.
I mean it in a legitimate way.
I`m a liberal. I would love for Herman Cain to be the Republican
Party`s nominee for president this year. Part of me tells me I should shut
up, right? But just as an American, if I`m speaking to you as a
conservative voter, I just want you to know, these guys are pros.
If you`re one of those people who wrote a letter saying you wanted the
Mariana Island workers to get "made in the USA" labels because that`s what
Jesus would have wanted since they`re getting exposed to the teachings of
Jesus, then you found out that according to our own government`s
investigation, those people are being subject to forced prostitutions and
forced abortions and you were just duped because somehow Ralph Reed got
your address as a values voter, if you have regret about that?
Consider this about the Herman Cain campaign. These guys are done it
before. They know what they are doing. They now appear to be reassembling
the old team to give it one more try and that one more try is you.
MADDOW: The interview tonight is the Episcopal bishop of New
Hampshire, Gene Robinson. He`s kind of an amazing guy. I`m really excited
Plus, "Debunktion Junction" coming up. Stay tuned.
MADDOW: John Kasich, the Republican governor of the great state of
Ohio, is disliked by the people who live in his state, broadly speaking.
The people of Ohio today say that if they could redo the election in which
they elected John Kasich, they would pick the other guy, by 18 points. In
fact, the polling says John Kasich has the worst approval rating of any
governor in the country, at least of almost any governor in the country.
Polling this year for Kasich has been putting him at first, second or third
place, depending on the poll or depending on the timing in the bum me out
sweepstakes competition for most disliked governor in America.
Ohio may have picked this guy just last year, but they really wish
they hadn`t picked him. And they really don`t like him now.
So, if you`re running a political campaign of any kind in Ohio, do you
make the face of that campaign John Kasich? Really? Mr. Buyers Remorse?
Mr. 33 Percent Approval Rating?
Apparently you do. The campaign to keep Governor Kasich`s law
stripping union rights, to stop it from being repealed, features John
Kasich personally at every turn. This is going to be voted on in Ohio
tomorrow. Kasich and the Republicans and out-of-state conservative groups
dumping money into Ohio right now to help Kasich, they want Ohioans to vote
tomorrow to keep the law stripping union rights. They want people to vote
yes on Issue 2 to keep the law.
Their campaign is not working. Mr. Unpopular`s signature policy turns
out is very unpopular. This is the polling on the repeal effort over time
for John Kasich`s union-stripping bill. This is how public policy polling,
as you can see there, as polled on it over time.
This is, you know, between 50 percent and 60 percent there. People
who want to repeal John Kasich`s union stripping law.
Here`s how it looks in the Quinnipiac polling. Again, the repeal
Kasich`s anti-union rights law side appears to be doing well and doing
better over time heading into tomorrow`s voting.
And so, now at the end, alongside the tide of outside money from every
conservative group you`ve ever heard from and some you haven`t, the
conservative groups are switching up their Republican celebrity
spokespeople. Hey, it turns out Ohioans don`t like John Kasich. Well, how
about Sarah Palin?
Governor Palin now lending her celebrity endorsement to the anti-union
rights side in Ohio.
Also, Pat Boone. Pat Boone -- don`t like John Kasich or Sarah Palin,
do you like Pat Boone? He`s against union rights in Ohio as well. They`ve
got Pat Boone doing robocalls now.
There`s also FOX News personality, former Arkansas Governor Mike
Huckabee, who`s not only against union rights in Ohio. He`s got some
tactical advice for Ohioans who are against them, too.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
MIKE HUCKABEE (R), FORMER ARKANSAS GOVERNOR: Make a list of 10 family
members, 10 friends, 10 neighbors, 10 folks you work with or have worked
with in the past, and call them and ask them, are you going to vote on
Issue 2, and are you going to vote for it? If they say no, well, you just
make sure that they don`t go vote. Let the air out of their tires on
election day. Tell them the election has been moved to a different date.
That`s up to you how you creatively get the job done.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
MADDOW: Tell them the election has been moved to a different date,
let the air out of their tires. It`s up to you how you keep them from
Joining us now is Connie Schultz, Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated
columnist for Creators Syndicate. She wrote about Mike Huckabee`s advice
for Ohio voters recently. She`s a former longtime columnist for the "Plain
Dealer" in Cleveland, Ohio.
Connie, it`s great to see you. Welcome back to the show.
CONNIE SCHULTZ, CREATORS SYNDICATE: Thank you, Rachel. I apologize
for my voice. You know how they say you start looking like the man you`re
married to, so I guess I`m going to start sounding like him.
MADDOW: I`m sorry.
SCHULTZ: How about that?
MADDOW: I was going to say, we should say you`re married to U.S.
Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio. Have you lost your voice because you have a
cold or because you`ve been out hollering on this issue?
SCHULTZ: I think I must -- according to my kids, I`ve been hollering
on this issue a lot.
MADDOW: How do you think Mike Huckabee, with his advice, and Sarah
Palin and Pat Boone and all these other Republican celebrities being
brought into this thing, how do you think their advice is going to go over
with Ohio voters? What do you think is going to happen?
SCHULTZ: You know, I think what it`s proving is the arrogance is
unmitigated apparently on their side, Huckabee particularly. When he
brought his lounge act to Ohio, I couldn`t help but think this.
You know, I`m a liberal. So are you. We never, ever discourage
anyone from voting. We want everyone to participate.
And, you and I, women went to prison and were force fed until they
vomited so you and I could have the right to vote, Rachel. John Lewis --
Congressman John Lewis, one of the gentlest, bravest men I know, had his
head slashed open when he was marching for black Americans` rights to vote.
So, we don`t find that particularly humorous when outsiders like Mike
Huckabee come into the state. But he can say whatever he wants. Issue 2
is going to do down.
My concern right now on this Monday night is that Ohio voters who
oppose Issue 2 haven`t voted yet, do not get overconfident. I want them so
show up at the polls tomorrow. We want everyone to participate.
MADDOW: We`ve seen some, I guess, consternation among strategists who
are on the no on Issue 2 side of it, who want this union stripping bill
repealed, saying that the polling doesn`t necessarily reflect exactly
what`s going to happen, that they`re worried people are going to relax
about this and think that they don`t turn out to the polls. Do you think
that there is some, that people are overconfident on the side of Issue 2
that you`re on?
SCHULTZ: I guess what I would say is, there`s always that concern
because we can`t take anything for granted. I have never seen this level -
- I`m born and raised in Ohio and I`m 54 years old, daughter of a factory
worker, union organizer, himself. I have never seen this level of
participation on the part of volunteers.
I was at the Cleveland Teachers Union call center last night. Their
goal for the whole campaign was 200,000 calls. They had already made more
than 509,000 calls as of last night.
MADDOW: Wow. You have written recently all eyes are on Ohio this
week. That what happens in Ohio tomorrow is going to tell us a lot about
the 2012 election, not just in Ohio but about the 2012 election. Why do
you expect the results to resonate on a national scale?
SCHULTZ: Well, first of all, everyone is watching Ohio because as
Ohio goes, so goes the nation. And I don`t think anyone outside Ohio fully
understood the ground swell here in Ohio. John Kasich has been the best
community organizer in the state for Democrats, but it`s not just Democrats
who have decided they`re voting no. I mean, we`ve seen so many Republicans
come out against this. We`re seeing a lot of independent voters.
In my own neighborhood, yards that have McCain signs in 2008 have vote
no on Issue 2 signs. Everybody knows a schoolteacher or a police officer
or a firefighter or a nurse. For me, this is personal. I have a -- my
sister, Toni, is a public school teacher in Ashtabula. My sister, Leslie,
is a nurse in Ashtabula.
The man who came earlier this week, or last week to our home to
install our new microwave had a son who`s a firefighter. He said he has
never seen his son participate in a grassroots effort like he has with this
one. He`s going door to door.
This is what Kasich and the Republicans did not anticipate is when you
go after public workers, you`re going after family members of tens of
thousands of Ohioans.
MADDOW: Well, why do you think they made it such a priority? I mean,
last year, we saw Republicans take over in Ohio and Wisconsin and Michigan
and other places, too, but we really watched these new Republican governors
and legislators make it a huge priority to take away union rights even when
it was pretty predictable it was going to cost them. Why has it been so
unimportant to them?
SCHULTZ: I think they got drunk with power quite frankly. Both
houses went to the Republicans. The governor`s race went to the
And they ran on jobs. They weren`t able to create the jobs they
promised. And they started going after -- it was a little surprising how
quickly they did this one, to be honest with you.
And when you go after the rights of workers to collectively bargain
for wages, benefits and job conditions, you are suddenly not just going
after unions. You`re going after the promise of America.
And it was so interesting to watch people who thought they didn`t care
at all about unions suddenly realize they care very deeply about the rights
that unions brought to workers in this country. This has been an
incredible groundswell movement of support for unions and what unions stand
MADDOW: Connie Schultz, Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated columnist.
Connie, thank you very much for your time tonight. It`s always great to
But on this eve of this vote, really all eyes are on Ohio. And you`ve
helped explain it to a lot of people. Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Thank you, Rachel.
MADDOW: And I will mention again, in the interest of full disclosure,
that Connie`s husband is U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown. It`s weird to talk
about who anybody is married to, but, you know, it`s relevant.
OK. All right. "Debunktion Junction" is coming up. Tonight, it
involves J. Edgar Hoover and lice and what`s considered a weapon. That`s
still to come.
Plus, Episcopal bishop, Gene Robinson, is here for the interview.
That`s all ahead.
MADDOW: "Occupy Wall Street" has gone commercial. Not as in hey,
moms, dads, your kids are going to love the new "Occupy Wall Street"
figurines in their new super meal at Mega Burger. But rather, "Occupy Wall
Street" has gone commercial in the sense that they literally have
commercials. A campaign of ads you can watch and to which you can donate
online if you want to help them air on the TV.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every job counts. Every job counts, said the
postman. Every job counts.
The beautiful American is not only the big leader who stands over
there for all to clap their hands. The beautiful American is also a little
worker who`s unknown by all. Every job counts. Yes, every job counts.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: We`ll be right back. Please stay with us.
MADDOW: A year ago, election night 2010, this was the good news that
night for Democrats.
John Hickenlooper, the Democrat, became governor of Colorado, after a
hard fought race involving both the anti-immigrant conservative candidate
Tom Tancredo and Republican Dan Maes, those remembered now as the guy who
said he was a secret agent but he wasn`t.
Joe Manchin also won the West Virginia Senate seat that had been held
by Robert Byrd, beating the Republican candidate John Raese, a guy who said
in an interview, I made my money the old-fashioned way, I inherited it. He
Republicans picked Sharron Angle to run for Senate in Nevada. Sharron
Angle said conservative the would turn to Second Amendment remedies if they
didn`t get their way at the polls. She lost. Harry Reid held on to his
Senate seat even though the polls looked like trouble for him heading into
In Connecticut, Linda McMahon had pro-wrestling dynasty name
recognition and a ton of money going into her campaign for Chris Dodd`s
Senate seat. But in the end, Democrat Richard Blumenthal beat Linda
McMahon by more than 10 points.
Democrat Mark Dayton became governor of Minnesota, succeeding a
Republican you might have heard of named Tim Pawlenty? No? Not ringing
Democrat Michael Bennet won the Colorado Senate race against
conservative Republican Ken Buck. Bennett won in part by making sure
Coloradans knew how radical Mr. Buck`s positions were, particularly on
social issues, actually asking Buck in a debate who he wanted to two to
jail if he succeeded in making abortion illegal without exceptions, which
was his policy position.
So a year ago, on election night 2010, the -- I`m not sure I left
anybody big out. I think that was the entire universe of good news stories
that night for Democrats. Other than those stories, election night a year
ago was a really bad night for Democrats. It was a red, red night, a red,
red year. Delightful if you are a Republican, but a bummer of a night for
Democrats pretty much. That was a year ago, 2010.
Now it has been a year. Tomorrow it is election day again. It`s off
year election day. But still there`s a lot going on.
Mississippi voters are going to be deciding tomorrow on an amendment
to their state`s constitution, an amendment that would define a fertilized
egg as a person. This would ban all abortion, no exceptions. It would
also ban the most popular forms of birth control and some types of
fertility treatment, and it could turn a miscarriage into cause for a
Not to weird you out, but frankly a heavy period could be a cause for
a state criminal investigation. What if there was a fertilized egg in
there? That`s a person.
Colorado`s the only other state where this sort of personhood
amendment has been voted on before. Colorado voted on this twice in 2008
and 2010. Ahead of the vote the first time in 2008, 68 percent of
Coloradans told pollsters that they opposed it. When it came time to vote,
more than that actually voted no; 68 percent had said they were opposed.
But the no vote was 73 percent against in Colorado that year.
Two years later, the percentage of Coloradans who told pollsters they
opposed this thing was 56 percent. And another poll, the percentage of
people who told pollsters they were against it was 62 percent. Again, when
it came time to vote, more people actually voted against it than had told
pollsters that they would.
The actual no vote in 2010 was 71 percent, which was higher than the
opposition had ever turned up in the pollings -- in the polling.
So both times this has been voted on before, both times in Colorado.
Not only did this, the fertilized egg is a person thing lose and lose
badly, but the no vote ended up being higher on election day than it was
predicted to be in the polling.
Tomorrow, voters in Mississippi will vote on the same sort of
amendment that they voted on in Colorado. And in Mississippi, the polling
voting is pretty much all tied up.
This is the latest from Public Policy Polling. It shows 45 percent of
Mississippians say they support this personhood amendment, 44 percent say
they oppose it. It`s well within the margin of error, right?
The same thing is true in Mississippi as it was in Colorado. If
voters are understating their opposition, then this personhood ban on
abortion and hormonal birth control, it might fail tomorrow in Mississippi,
which, of course, would shock everybody. By this time tomorrow night, we
will know for sure.
Mississippi voters will also decide tomorrow on whether or not to
amend their Constitution to say you cannot vote anymore in the state of
Mississippi unless you show documentation you have never had to show
before. The polling on that voter ID issue looks pretty lopsided headed
into election day: 64 percent of Mississippians saying they would vote for
that in the latest polling.
In Maine, they`re also going to be voting on voting tomorrow. The
Republican-led legislature and the Republican governor in Maine got rid of
a decades-old policy in Maine where you could register to vote on election
day. They got rid of that law. But, tomorrow, Mainers will get a chance
to reinstate the old law which Republicans took away.
Support for going back to same-day registration for repealing the
Republican bill that took it away is up in the latest polling, about 55
percent to 38 percent.
Also tomorrow, there will be legislative races in Virginia that could
conceivably flip control of the state senate in Virginia from Democrats to
There will also be a special election in Iowa that could change
control of Iowa`s state senate. Right now, it is Democratic-controlled.
It could after tomorrow be an even split depending on how that race goes.
And the latest polling in Massachusetts from Public Policy Polling
also shows that Republicans there could take control of the statehouse.
Statehouse in Mississippi now controlled by Democrats, but that is at stake
So, again, a year ago, election night 2010, it was a really bad night
for Democrats. And now on this 2011 off year election eve, we are halfway
between that last election, between that deep red dye of 2010, halfway
between that and the next big election which, of course, is November 2012.
Plan to be with us here tomorrow night on MSNBC for election returns
as they come in from all over the country.
MADDOW: Fair warning: just ahead on "Debunktion Junction" tonight, a
very special guest appearance from dead J. Edgar Hoover, and some original
reporting from the American Ferret Association. None of that is made up.
Please stick around.
MADDOW: And how did you celebrate bank transfer day this past
In Denver, more than 1,000 people marched from big bank to big bank to
encourage people to move their money to credit unions and to community-
based banks. Saturday`s march came after a reported 14,000 Colorado
residents already opened new accounts with credit unions, totaling $100
million in new deposits.
On Long Island, one local credit union reporting it opened 1,471 new
checking accounts last week, compared with fewer than 400 for the same week
last year. Half of those new accounts were opened on Saturday, alone. On
bank transfer day, alone.
In Washington, D.C., the National Capital Bank, which is a two-branch
community bank, says the vast majority of its new account openings in
recent weeks have been by fed up Bank of America customers.
And in New York City, home of Wall Street, and those who would occupy
it, the Lower East Side People`s Federal Credit Union says it`s enjoying
more than 55 new account openings a week, up from its average of about 10
new accounts per week before all of this started happening.
The association that represents credit unions conducted a survey of
5,000 credit unions across the country prior to bank transfer day this
weekend. They found, according to their estimates, at least 650,000
consumers across the nation have joined credit unions since September 29th.
Now, September 29th is the day Bank of America announced its now rescinded
$5 monthly debit card fee leading to a lot of people getting very angry at
them who weren`t otherwise angry at them for lots of good reasons.
Also during that time, credit unions have added $4.5 billion in new
Credit union associations say they`ll be conducting more surveys to
see how many more people and how much money transferred on bank transfer
Whatever that number is, it will be on top of the 4.5 billion bucks
they say transferred ahead of Saturday.
Occupy Wall Street still showing no signs of slowing down. The group
now using donations to run advertisements on TV, explaining in their own
words why they`re protesting.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want economic justice.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to be able to speak my voice without
jeopardizing my job.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want a greater regulation of the banks and the
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want my kids to have a job and health care.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want true democracy for the 99 percent of us who
don`t have it anymore.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: That ad will be running thanks to donations on Bloomberg
Business TV, on ESPN, on History International, on CBS Sports, on "The
Gayle King Show," on "Grey`s Anatomy," on Friends Outdoor Channel and on
And today, a march, an 11-mile march from the northern tip of
Manhattan, Washington Heights, down to Zuccotti Park. On the southern tip
of Manhattan on Wall Street, marchers called the march today the end to end
for the 99 percent.
Joining us now for the interview is someone who was at that march
today, Bishop Gene Robinson of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire. He
is senior fellow at the Center of American Progress. And he attended that
march this afternoon and since been down at Zuccotti Park.
Bishop Robinson, thank you so much for being here.
BISHOP GENE ROBINSON, ESPISCOPAL DIOCESE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE: I`m
delighted to be here, Rachel. Thank you.
MADDOW: In your role as -- in your role as a bishop, why are you
supporting this movement? Why do you see it as important?
ROBINSON: Part of what a bishop does is look for God. Look for God
at work in the world. And I think I saw God at work in Zuccotti Park.
It`s astounding to me that the feeling I come away with down on Wall
Street is this grieving over the loss of community that I think this
represents. It seems to be about the dollars and the figures are terrible,
you know, how the wealth has become so concentrated in so few.
But the emotional content of it to me seems like people are mourning
the fact that we`ve become a society that is every man, woman and child for
themselves. And not a society in which we actually do care for one another
as a community.
MADDOW: I am struck by the fact that the sentiments being voiced by
an attributed to the 99 percent movement and the "Occupy Wall Street"
movement are not just widely held and sympathized. They have been widely
held and sympathized for a long time.
But something has happened. It was a fete of organizing but it`s also
something else, that has caused people to not just believe that, but to
want to physically put themselves somewhere to show that they believe that.
Do you think that is so people can find each other? Or do you think
it`s something about demonstrating with your physical presence to the rest
of the world?
ROBINSON: Last week, I went down to the occupy New Hampshire movement
in Manchester and then had to go to the western side. I drove by the small
town of Sunapee, on Lake Sunapee. There was one young, 20-something,
sitting in the metal folding chair on the shoulder on the road holding up a
sign that said "occupy Sunapee."
ROBINSON: And you thought, you know, if this man young man hears
something going on this movement that moves him to do that, this is huge.
ROBINSON: And it`s the beginning of a conversation that we have
needed to have for a very long time, about what our responsibility is to
MADDOW: Do you think that -- if the movement is answering something
important, if you`re saying a sort of turning out to resonate with
people`s, both grieving but also filling a need for people, does that mean
you think it is -- it should be expected to see around for a long time, do
you think it has legs?
ROBINSON: I do think it has legs. But this cry for help I think we
hear, it remains to be seen whether it`s the birth pangs of something new
and creative and positive or whether it will just filter away.
And I think that`s why people getting involved in this is so very
important because this has to start conversations in living rooms and at
cocktail parties all around the country, about have we lost our way as a
nation? What ever happened to each of us wanting to contribute our fair
share to the wellbeing of all of us, the common good?
MADDOW: What do you say to people who sympathize with the aims of
"Occupy Wall Street," with the aims of the 99 percent movement, but who
have not participated physically in anything that that movement has done,
haven`t been to any of their local occupy protest? Do you think people
should go? Do you think that people should find ways to support it in
their own lives? What do you advocate?
ROBINSON: Well, I`ll tell you what I did today, which was I did go
down there. And I kept my shout shut, which for a bishop is, you know,
that`s a tough. Because I think we`ve got something to learn. You know,
the prophets of the Jewish Old Testament, Micah and Jeremiah and Isaiah
said very difficult things to those who are in power. And the nation of
Israel was saved because some of those kings and those in power listened.
I think there are a lot of us sort of in the middle of this country
who need to go to talk to these people. Just ask them, there`s no reason
to be fearful. It`s one of the most peaceful kingdoms I`ve been a part of
in a long time. People handing out clothing to those who have need of it
And I sat in the middle of a think tank talking about whether the
community that had formed in Zuccotti Park was a microcosm of the larger
society or not, and how to make the connections between those two.
We have to become reconnected to one another. And that my wellbeing
is dependent on your wellbeing. I don`t want to live in a country where
it`s every man, woman and child for themselves. That`s an awful existence
and I think the cries of pain we hear from this movement are the cries from
the loss of that kind of community.
MADDOW: Reporting last week on the Vatican statement on the Robin
Hood tax and the statement from the archbishop of Canterbury, talking to
you today about your feelings about this movement, I feel like I`m
unexpectedly talking about religion way more than I usually do in American
politics -- but talking about it, I think because we`re starting to have a
morality-based discussion about economics.
ROBINSON: I think that`s exactly right. And we ought to look forward
to that, because we all know there`s something wrong.
MADDOW: Yes. Bishop Gene Robinson of the Episcopal diocese of New
Hampshire -- I have so enjoyed speaking with you every time I have. Thank
you for coming in today.
ROBINSON: I`m delighted to be here. Thank you so much.
All right. "Debunktion Junction" coming up next. Stay with us.
MADDOW: "Debunktion Junction," what`s my function?
OK True or false -- according to the U.S. government, certain kinds of
toilets are considered weapons? Toilets, weapons. Is that true or false?
True. Chemical toilets basically the kind toilets you find on
airplanes all over the world, chemical toilets on the United States
official munitions list which means their sale, their export to other
countries is restricted by law.
Chemical toilets are there alongside things like flame flowers and
lasers and tanks.
The State Department is looking to change the classification of
chemical toilets proposing toilets be taken off the munitions list, leading
to this toilets no longer a threat headline in the "Washington Post" today.
But I`m here to tell you, until the State Department proposal goes through
which might take a month or so, basically these toilets do remain in our
nation`s arsenal of controlled weapons, which makes it feel very dirty to
say the word arsenal -- and the word do.
Next up, true or false? Legendary FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover,
subject to the new Leonardo DiCaprio/Clint Eastwood movie, "J. Edgar," J.
Edgar Hoover in real life was so freaked out that an "L.A. Times" reporter
was going to report that he was gay that Hoover denounced the reporter as,
I quote, "a lice-covered ferret."
J. Edgar Hoover called a reporter a lice-covered ferret. Is that true
Also true. "The L.A. Times" this weekend revealing the results of a
Freedom of Information Act request for the FBI dossier on their late
Pulitzer Prize winning reporter, Jack Nelson. A Nixon staffer apparently
in 1970 told Hoover that Jack Nelson was out to get him. That led Hoover
to seek his FBI agents on Jack Nelson to find out what the reporter had on
Hoover and on the FBI.
According to "The Times," the FBI agents heard from some other
reporter that what Nelson was going to report was that J. Edgar Hoover was
gay. Nelson denied he was going to report that, but Hoover became obsessed
with Nelson, scrawling on memos about him, quote, "Nelson is a mental case,
Nelson is a rat, Nelson is a jackal, and Nelson, yes, is a lice-covered
A lice-covered ferret. Incidentally, while we are debunking this
here, ferrets do not get lice. According to the American Ferret
Association, ferrets can get external parasites like fleas, ticks and
mites. Ferrets do not get lice, J. Edgar.
Thank you to the American Ferret Association for helping us clear that
up, seriously. That does it for us tonight. We`ll see you again tomorrow
night, election night.
Now, it`s time for "THE LAST WORD" with Lawrence O`Donnell.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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