Guests: Peter Welch, Heather McGhee, Glenn Greenwald, Maria Hinojosa, Kris
Kobach, Brian Schweitzer
CHRIS HAYES, HOST: Good morning from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
Major powers meeting at a U.N. summit in Geneva, have agreed to terms
for a transitional government to end the violence in Syria. The talks left
open the key question of what to do about Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
And you might want to adjust your clocks. You might be a second
behind. International timekeepers at a leap second to the clock last night
to account for the Earth`s rotation slowing down just slightly among other
Why is the earth`s rotation slowing down? I don`t know.
But right now, joining me today, we have Congressman Peter Welch,
Democrat from Vermont. He`s a member of the House Oversight and Government
Reform Committee -- in the news a little bit lately.
Heather McGhee, vice president of the progressive think thank Demos.
Maria Hinojosa returning to the show, co-host of "Need to Know" on
PBS, and anchor of NPR`s "Latino USA." She`s also president of Futuro
And Glenn Greenwald, former constitutional and civil rights
litigator, contributor at Salon.com, and author of "With Liberty and
Justice for Some."
In a 5-4 ruling this week, the United States Supreme Court crushed
Montana`s attempt to preserve its century old Corrupt Practices Act which
ban corporate contributions to state political candidates and parties.
In upholding the law earlier this year, Montana Supreme Court Chief
Justice Mike McGrath wrote, "With the infusion of unlimited corporate money
in support of or opposition to a targeted candidate, the average citizen
candidate would be unable to compete against a corporate-sponsored
candidate, and Montana citizens who for over 100 years have made their
modest election contributions meaningfully count but would be effectively
shut-out of the process."
Refusing to even hear oral arguments, the U.S. Supreme Court
summarily rejected Montana`s claim that their history gave the state,
quote, "unique and compelling interests in eliminating corporate influence
As Justice Breyer wrote in a dissenting opinion, "Montana`s
experience, like considerable experience elsewhere since the court`s
decision in Citizens United cast grave doubt on the court`s supposition
that independent expenditures do not corrupt or appear to do so. The
majority`s decision further indicated that not only will the court not
reconsider the Citizens United ruling, but they would not abide states
acting independently to prevent their state electoral processes from
unlimited contributions from corporate donors."
Congressman, this is an issue that you spend a lot of time thinking
about. I just want to get your reaction to the court`s actions here?
REP. PETER WELCH (D), VERMONT: Bad, it`s really bad. What
essentially happens is when we had too much money in politics already, we
made it constitutionally protected to have unlimited amounts of money.
So, any corporation, which they haven`t really been doing it that
much, but these loopy billionaires out there and some self-conscious
billionaire who are willing to write an immense amount -- the big, fat
checks in these campaigns, just sometimes for willful idiosyncratic
reasons, but a lot of times for investment reasons.
HAYES: Yes. I think the first wave we`re getting the eccentric
ones. I think things -- it`s like right now, it`s the loopy. We`re going
to get more of the willful and strategic.
WELCH: Well, that`s right. Here`s the thing we haven`t been talking
about so much. We saw this unload in the Republican presidential primary,
which is quite a spectacle. But where this is going to make a difference
is in the low-information races, which happens to be congressional races.
An immense amount of money comes in a race in the last two, three, four
weeks, and people aren`t paying attention, then those negative ads really
And I had a couple colleagues who were extremely popular, Peter
DeFazio in Oregon, and Bruce Braley in Iowa. And both of them were subject
to late, super PAC massive expenditures and they went from winning their
races a few years ago by like 83 percent to barely hanging on and these
were popular, hardworking on the ground people.
So, the apprehension I have is that this will have a potential huge
effect on congressional races.
HAYES: Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock was on Rachel`s
program this week, talking about the decision, and he made this point about
local races where the state -- where the dollar figures involved are even
smaller. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVE BULLOCK (D), MONTANA ATTORNEY GENERAL: Citizens United dealt
with federal elections and the presidential election. It doesn`t take a
copper king to buy a $17,000 state legislature race. There`s a whole lot
of different offices, you know, county assessor, a local judge, our judges
at the state level are elected. So, it really can -- just the amount of
money and also the different offices that are up, you know, that can be
elected, unlike the federal system. It can really impact all of it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The court in Citizens United was more or less balancing to
competing interest, right? The First Amendment right to free speech and
there`s a line of cases beginning with Buckley v. Valeo that basically says
that money is speech for these purposes.
And then the other interest on the other side was minimizing either
the corruption or the appearance of corruption and the court`s finding in
Citizens United was that this First Amendment interest trumped that
interest partly because of essentially finding a fact that it did not --
these contributions did not constitute corruption or appearance of
Glenn, I want you talk about this because there`s a small group of
people that I would say on the left who defended the Citizens United
ruling, you were one of them. And I wonder if you`re thinking -- if you
still feel that way, if your thinking has evolved, how you respond to sort
of how it`s playing out post-decision.
GLENN GREENWALD, SALON.COM: Right. So, I think there are many
misconceptions swirling around Citizens United, more so than almost any
other issues. So, first of all, I don`t think it`s really accurate to say
there`s a small group of people on the left. There`s a fairly -- there`s
very substantial voices on the left that have defended Citizens United on
First Amendment grounds, including the organization to which American
liberals have also looked as the authoritative stalwart defending the Bill
of Rights, which is the ACLU.
HAYES: Although not looking to them as the stalwart on campaign
GREENWALD: On the First Amendment and free speech, generally.
As well as probably the only political official in the United States
in the last two decades to really impose genuine fear in the hearts of Wall
Street and corporate America, who is Eliot Spitzer. No corporate stooge,
who also took the same position. Labor unions filed a brief in the case
asking the restrictions to be struck down on constitutional grounds as it
applies to labor unions.
So, there`s a very substantial political free speech issue that comes
from empowering the government to say that you are not permitted to engage
in certain kinds of political speech surrounding an election. And American
liberalism has always been about opposing efforts to say that the
government should be able to constrain free speech on the grounds that
there`s compelling interest that justify it -- terrorism, communism, this
whole history that I think a lot of people, important voices on the
American left have looked at and said, we don`t want the government as the
solution to what is unquestionably probably the greatest problem democracy
faces on federal court influence using the restrictions on free speech as
The other issue that I think is so important to note here is that,
you know, Peter talked about these loopy individuals. But if you look at
what Citizens United actually did, it didn`t have anything to do with the
ability of people like Sheldon Adelson or Foster Friess or all those other
GOP sugar daddies to fund elections. Citizens United was about the ability
of corporations and unions to spend money, long before --
HAYES: Out of general treasury.
GREENWALD: Right. Long before, Citizens United individuals could
spend unfettered advocating elections. So, Montana`s law doesn`t do
anything about. Citizens United -- and that`s the thing is there was huge
corruption before Citizens United.
HAYES: Sure. But I think -- people make this argument and I think
if you`re looking at what happened post-Citizens United, (a) it altered the
norms unquestionable. The decision has altered the norms of conduct. And
those norms of conduct do matter, right?
I mean, there is a reason when you look at the charts of these sorts
of guys. You know, yes, Sheldon Adelson could have done it before, he
wasn`t doing it before, and the thing that`s changed in the intervening
years is Citizens United.
The other important point and the bizarre thing about the way this
election is being run, is that it`s a major ruling Citizens United and then
there`s another court ruling speech now which never got reviewed in the
Supreme Court, which is essentially controlling this entire area of law
right now. I mean, the constitution of super PACs comes from the SpeechNow
decision and there`s tremendous uncertainty -- we`re going to get on to
this a bit in disclosure -- there`s a tremendous uncertainty about what the
law does and does not allow you to do.
MARIA HINOJOSA, ANCHOR, NPR "LATINO USA": But, Chris, you know, I
mean, when I was talking to a political analyst actually in preparation for
the show and they kind of rolled it back and said, look, if you think about
what happened with the Obama election and the fact that that really
Democratized people giving money. And suddenly the Republicans were
looking at this and say, oh, my God, wait a second. Look at the amount of
money he`s done basically with small d democracy donations. We`ve got to
do something that`s going to put some kind of -- that`s going to give us
back some power and the power is going to be in the corporate giving.
And that that`s part of why this happened. I mean, I`m fascinated
about the fact that while in Montana -- you know, it was 1907 when the
radical Republicans in the state of Montana were just like, not on our
HAYES: No, you`re not going to come in here and throw your money
And the fact that at this point, you know, a century-plus ahead and
it`s being rolled back again I think is fascinating.
GREENWALD: But corporate money, Wall Street backed the Obama
campaign in 2008 much more aggressively than they did the McCain campaign.
The Democratic Party from the mid-1990s has received huge amounts of Wall
Street money and corporate money. It doesn`t really break down that
cleanly along Democratic versus Republican money.\
HAYES: It does now.
GREENWALD: Now, you did -- now it does.
HINOJOSA: But wasn`t there an issue about the fact that suddenly
with social media, with the web, you were able to donate in a way that
wasn`t possible before.
HAYES: There is also the fact, we should also mention, in the
defense of the good faith of the folks on the court, which maybe is naive
on my part. I mean, there`s a long standing ideological objection which
there`s been a bunch of ideological warriors in this fight to deregulate in
this respect, right, not just on First Amendment grounds, which is broadly
as a kind of ideological disposition. I think it created for Republican
Party operatives some increased urgency to see what had happened.
WELCH: You know, the issue of corruption, I think, has to be, we`ve
got to peel away a little bit at that because it`s not so much being no
corruption -- paying off a politician and putting them on the take. It`s
the corruption of only the interests that are supporting the funding that
get considered in the legislature.
So, like the Montana legislation. I mean, some of those legislatures
were paid off, but, basically, was turning the whole legislative process
into a servant of the mining industry at the expense of everyone else. And
we talk about Wall Street, they`ll be glad to support Democrats who are
willing to get rid of Glass-Steagall, all right? They`re equal opportunity
givers to folks who support their agenda.
So, the, quote, "corruption" issue here is oftentimes mistaken in my
view with personal corruption when it`s about narrowing of what legislative
WELCH: The biggest challenge in a legislature is to get the issue
you care about on the table for active and serious consideration.
HAYES: You know, Lawrence Lessig has this great distinction between
good soul corruption and bad soul corruption. Most of it is good soul
corruption. He also makes this point which I think is so important in
terms of the way money distorts.
He said, if you show up in Congress on your first day and the two
things you really care about are helping out mothers on welfare and
regulating the telecom industry so as to benefit big cable, right, you`re
going to get a lot of support for that ladder. Even if you care about them
equally, if you go to bed at night wanting to help mothers on welfare.
Suddenly you`re going to priorities over time as the checks come in, as the
think tanks issued the report.
HEATHER MCGHEE, DEMOS: And the question is, and this is this issue
around free speech which I really don`t understand is whose speech are we
talking about? In that open marketplace of free speech, the mother on
welfare, where is her speech? How powerful can her speech be on a $5
donation when you`ve got a $5,000 donation, a $5 million donation from a
HAYES: I want to get your response to that and I want to keep
sorting through Citizens United and bring in the governor of Montana, Brian
Schweitzer, right after this break.
HAYES: Discussing the Supreme Court`s ruling this week on Montana`s
Corrupt Practices Act, which is a law limiting corporate contributions in
the state of Montana in response to what was -- and we`ll hear it just a
moment -- one of the most corrupt states in the Union.
And, Glenn, you were defending the jurisprudence and the kind of free
speech division that embody the Citizens United and Heather made a point
about this. And this is the fundamental thing. I think when liberals
think about speech, right, is that, is money speech? And, if it is, it
doesn`t seem to operate in the way we normally think of speech which is
that, everybody has a voice and everybody can speak, but not everybody has
And so, when we come down to it and when we say we`re going to
deregulate this region, but I think categorically a little ambiguous, you
end up with welfare moms on one side and the Sheldon Adelsons of the world
in the other.
GREENWALD: Right. And so here`s -- my issue with this is, that is a
huge problem, what Heather raised, and it`s the central issue.
But, for me, you know, Citizens United has taken on this biblical
meaning like we talk about our politics before Citizens United and after is
that we have this pristine system. This problem that you just alluded to
has been plaguing our political system as a poison way before Citizens
United, in a fundamental and radical way.
In 2009, Dick Durbin said about the Senate in which he serves, the
banks own the place.
GREENWALD: So, for me, whatever you want to have a debate about the
scope of the First Amendment, you`re always going to have free speech
problems that you have to legislate around if you approach this problem by
trying to restrict the spending of money and political speech. And you`re
also going to have huge loopholes that corporations and oligarchs can
exploits and they have been doing that for decades.
And that`s why I think the much better approach, you know, you
mentioned Professor Lessig earlier, what he has is proposals for robust
campaign finance. So, that --
HAYES: Right. Public finance.
GREENWALD: Public finance. So, welfare mothers, even if Citizens
United had gone the other way, would not be able remotely to compete with
Sheldon Adelsons of the world.
But if you have robust public finance, that`s how you start to level
the playing field. That`s a much better way to get out this problem, I
HAYES: I think, I want to talk more about solutions.
But I also want to bring in Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer,
joining from Helena this morning.
Governor, I want to get first your reaction to ruling because,
obviously, this is grounded in a specific history of Montana politics,
which doing a little cursory research around is pretty eye opening. So,
I`d like you to give us a little sense of what the rationale was for the
original vision of this law.
GOV. BRIAN SCHWEITZER (D), MONTANA: Well, 120 years ago, a couple of
the richest people on the planet were in copper business in Montana. They
were the copper kings. And, look, they owned everything. They owned the
mines, they owned the newspapers, they bought the legislature outright. In
fact, when we first sent a U.S. senator to Washington, D.C., William A.
Clark, one of the two copper kings, he advertised in his newspapers that he
would pay $10,000 cash money to any Montana legislature who would vote to
send him to Washington, D.C. as U.S. senator. Remember, we didn`t directly
elect those senators at that point.
And so, he had his henchmen standing just off the legislative floor.
And as they walked out, they handed them envelopes, and every one of those
envelopes was 10 $1,000 bills. He went off to Washington, D.C., and those
senators refused to see him. They said, my God, you can`t advertise and
you can`t open daylight and you just can`t give $10,000 to become a U.S.
Now, they all bribed their way into the U.S. Senate, but, you know,
smaller sums of money and dark and giving it to their girlfriend instead.
No, they wouldn`t see them and it was Mark Twain, Simon Clemens said that
William A. Clark was the biggest scoundrel to ever serve the United States
Senate and he went on to say, that is saying something.
William A. Clark himself, he said, I never bought a man that wasn`t
So in 1912, finally, the citizens, not the legislature, because they
were all owned by the copper kings, the legislature wouldn`t move on this
because they were paid for. It was the referendum that people of Montana,
1912, we passed the Anti-Corruption Act. We said, look, we`re not going to
allow these corporations to continue to loot and rape our land and kill the
miners that are working in them. We`re going to have a legislature that
works for the people.
And so, for 100 years we did. We had a pure democracy. We had
legislatures who were farmers and lawyers, they`re doctors and nurses.
They would serve just90 days every other year and they would raise $3,000
to $6,000; maximum contribution is $160.
So, we had a system that actually worked. And the Supreme Court, in
Washington, D.C., a place where nothing works, they`ve told us -- no, we
don`t like your system, we think you ought to go to the corrupt system that
we`re using in Washington, D.C.
What could go wrong?
HAYES: Governor, I want to read this Mark Twain quote about Senator
William Clark, our segment producer Alison Cook (ph) found, which is great.
He said of Clark, "He has said to have bought legislatures and judges
as other men buy good and raiment. By his example, he has so excused and
so sweetened corruption that in Montana, it no longer has an offensive
GREENWALD: Good old days.
HAYES: That`s Mark Twain on Senator William Clark. But I guess the
question here is, how much of that was the context of the time in the
Gilded? Again, you made a key point there that gets into the discussion
we`re having. You said, he went to the Senate and the Senate refused to
see him and, of course, all those other senators bribed their way into the
Senate, as well, though with slightly more obscure and tactical means.
And that`s -- I think the debate we`re having at the table is pre-
Citizens United to post-Citizens United is it just a difference in degree
or is it actually a difference in kind?
SCHWEITZER: Wait a minute, Gilded Age? You`re calling that the
Gilded Age and this is not the Gilded Age? They were pipers compared to
what we`re doing now.
You know, in 1977, Congress passed legislation, the Ford Corrupt
Practices Act. You can`t bribe foreign officials. So, Walmart got into
big trouble because they went down to Mexico and they gave $20 million so
they could build a Wal-Mart where people were buried or something. And
they got in trouble not in Mexico, they got in trouble in the United States
because we have a monopoly on bribery on this country.
If you`re going to bribe a politician and you`re an American company
or an American individual, you`ve got to give it to American politicians.
You can`t give it to a foreigner. What kind of system is this?
HAYES: Governor, I want you to stay with us because I want to get
the panel in on this. Lots to say right here. We`ll take a quick break
and be right back.
HAYES: Governor Brian Schweitzer from the great state of Montana, in
the wake of the Supreme Court striking down a corruption law that had stood
for over 120 years in Montana.
Glenn, do you have a question for the governor?
GREENWALD: I just wanted to ask think most people are horrified by
the extent of corporate influence in our politics and I think that was true
before Citizens United. And so, one of the controversies of the Republican
primary campaign was that you didn`t have corporations funding these
candidates, but you had these extremely wealthy billionaires pouring
unlimited sums of money into independent expenditures.
Would Montana law have preventive that form of corruption from
influencing your state and local races?
SCHWEITZER: It absolutely did. We had limits on how much money
could be used in these campaigns. And it kept third parties out. So, our
state elections stayed clean and then the federal elections, we were
watching incrementally as these congressional races, they would
incrementally allow more and more of this outside money and so-called
advertising that was just informational, "Call your congressman and tell
him to start squeezing the life out of kitty cats." That sort of thing
started coming in.
You didn`t see that in state elections. You saw it federal
GREENWALD: But was there anything in the Montana law that prevented
individuals from coming in and say, doing that kind of issue out because
they call your state legislature and tell ask them to stop doing these
horrible things because that kind of expending, hasn`t that been
constitutionally protected long before Citizens United and wouldn`t they
have been able to do that even with the validity of the Montana law?
SCHWEITZE: I think they`ve probably been able to do it, but they
weren`t doing it because the limits that we had for the candidates were so
low that they didn`t bother to come into those races. I don`t know. It
could well have been that 10 year s ago, it could have started with wealthy
individual, not a corporation, that wanted to advocate for something to do
to the Montana people, but it didn`t happen.
HAYES: There`s two points here just to your response, because I
think this is really important. One is that, I said it before, I say
before and I`ll say it again, these norms matter, right, and there`s been a
shift in norms that has changed behavior of the eccentric billionaire
But there`s also -- having the protection, even if it`s paper thin
protection of some organization that`s running the ads, as opposed to me
Sheldon Adelson, which doesn`t seem to us to make that big of a difference
because like everybody is still reporting on Sheldon Adelson, but it does
make a big difference in the court of cost benefits calculation.
MCGHEE: It makes a huge difference. Maybe the Sheldon Adelsons,
with their $10 million, oh, this is an interesting character. But to most
people who are seeing these ads, these freedom loving Americans for Freedom
that`s running the ad and they never hear about the donors behind it.
HINOJOSA: Actually, I was in Montana in 2006 doing the story a about
Howard Rich who was funding all of these out of state referendums and then
they were hiring out of state workers to come in and collect the names on
the petitions and they didn`t, they didn`t really know what they were
asking people to sign.
And, you know, Montanans are very, you know, they have a sense about
their state and, suddenly, this is all taken care of within the state.
Suddenly they`re hiring out of state workers, young people who don`t really
know what they`re talking about. When we follow the trail of the story, we
came back and looked for Howard Rich`s offices here in New York City, in
SoHo, rang his bell, you know, for about an hour. No answer.
He didn`t have to respond. He didn`t want to talk to us and it`s
like -- you know, this is what was happening in 2006.
WELCH: You know, the two head scratching things for most average
people in Citizens United is that there were two questions. One is money
speech? Are corporations people? And most the average people think, no,
corporations aren`t people and that money is not speech. The the court
affirmatively reinforced that and creates a new culture.
In Vermont, you know, we had a law that got struck down by the
Supreme Court that put a limit on how much could be spent. And I think
that`s so much similar to what Governor Schweitzer is talking about,
because when you get this vast amount of money, it changes the whole
discussion and it`s not really a debate.
HAYES: I just want to respond to that a little bit, in terms of not
for money speech issue, but this corporations people, because, you know, it
is counterintuitive and I don`t -- as a matter of constitutional doctrine -
- I mean, I`m not a constitutional scholar -- but as a matter of that
constitutional doctrine, that seems dicey to me and suspect.
At the same time, there are certain corporations we do want to be
protected speech wise, right, like "New York Times" Corporation isn`t a
person, but I want "New York Times" Corporation to have robust rights as
declared by --
HAYES: MSNBC -- you know, them, too. That matters to me, as well.
I was going for something that would be more broadly sympathetic.
But, no, certain corporations we want to have these rights.
Governor, I want to ask you what you -- we`re just talking, we start
to get into the solutions conversation which, to me, in some sense is the
most important because, right now, the Supreme Court is what it is in the
We`re going to take a quick break. When we come back, I`d like to
hear what you think the solution in the way forward, right after this.
HAYES: Governor Schweitzer from Montana, I want you to talk about
what you see as the way forward given the court`s decision, given the lay
of the land as it is right now.
SCHWEITZER: Well, one of the ways forward is people haven`t thought
about this. What about foreign corporations? What about corporations that
are organized by persons, but those persons are in part or wholly owned by
foreigners? Let`s take Citgo, for example. Owned by Venezuela, sells oil
and gas n the United States, in as many of you fill up at Citgo stations.
Well, if Venezuela wants to affect the politics of the United States,
why wouldn`t they just dump a billion or 2 billion bucks into congressional
races? British Petroleum.
How about Iran? Iran is concerned right now about the politics of
the United States. Why wouldn`t they just spend a few billion dollars
through one of their subsidiary corporations and then they can influence
the election and they will find people friendly to Iran to be elected. Do
you understand where this might be going?
Here`s a couple things we need to do. Number one, we ought to pass
legislation, OK, we say Citizens United, it`s the law of the land. Persons
can organize as a corporation. But you have to prove that more than 95
percent of the persons and money in this corporation are American. We`re
not going to allow foreigners to own our politics.
Public financing of elections -- yes. Allow people who are running
and not taking these big dollars from rich individuals or corporations to
have a fighting chance with public financing.
But, third, I`m an optimist. I think as more and more people get
their information from the Internet, we`re able to micro-target individuals
with a message. It`s these 30-second ads on television and people who are
watching television but five, 10, 15, 20 years from now, you`re not going
to be able to see these 30-second ads that cost a gazillion dollars
influence folks. The Internet is going to make it easier and easier for
people with less dollars to get their message directly to the people you
want to speak to.
HAYES: One thing that can`t be overstated enough and people who
aren`t politicians themselves, you cannot appreciate the fact that there
are -- you do two things as a politician. You raise money for about 90
percent of the time and then you run ads for the last 10 percent. That`s
what you do. That`s what running for office is.
We see all the theatrics of like, I`m eating the ice cream cone at
the county fair, and I`m like showing up to talk to the local Chamber of
Commerce. But no, what you`re doing is you`re raising money to run ads.
Ads are very expensive. Ads are what basically move the needle more than
And so, that`s what -- people have to understand like that`s the ball
game if you`re running for office.
HINOJOSA: So, right now, the United States -- Governor, I`m actually
interested in hearing your opinion this. I think the United States now is
kind of perceived as the place that is supposed to be symbolic of the most
modern, advanced democracy, actually is the place that, now, if you have
the most money, you can actually buy the election now.
Around the world, United States is being looked at like --
HINOJOSA: Like what is going on in your country? And what I wanted
to ask you, governor, precisely on a day like today where there are
elections going on in Mexico, the country where I was born, but I`m no
longer a citizen of, I`m a citizen of United States. But right now, in
Mexico, up until this election, there was all kind of limits on spending
and what you can say in ads and what you can`t say in ads. This is a
country that for years, decades, had one party, basically. Now they`ve
gone into a lot more regulation.
So, is that what you`re saying?
And also, maybe the United States starts needing to look to places
like Mexico to learn something about how to run more effective campaigns
where spending is not out of control.
SCHWEITZER: Either we can look in the rearview mirror because we had
systems that were working or look at other systems around the world. But
either way, we are now the beacon of hope at the top of the mountain, that
big light, but the light is paid for by General Electric.
We are no longer the place people look to for clean elections.
People understand around the world that in the United States, we spend 100
times, 1,000 times more per elected official than any place else in the
Now, it`s tough when you have the news being delivered by television
stations who are filling their pockets with this money that are delivering
information. Why would they be against a system that`s making them rich?
HAYES: That`s actually a really great point. We -- this is
something we have been talking about on the staff editorially about
covering, is that, you know, there is a winner in all this, which is the
campaign industrial complex, which is getting -- I mean, the more money
that`s in there and the more money to pay for ads and that`s particularly
true for local television stations and such.
Governor Brian Schweitzer of Montana -- great, great pleasure to have
you on. Come back any time. If you`re ever through New York, I`d love to
have you at the table.
SCHWEITZER: See you later.
HAYES: All right. Let`s talk about the second part of this, which
is defining Citizens United is about corruption. But it also says in the
majority decision written by Anthony Kennedy, obviously, we`re not saying
you don`t have to disclose. Disclosure is squarely within what -- you
know, the state`s compelling interest and be regulated as such, but that`s
not what we`re seeing develop.
Let`s talk about the dark money and the battle over disclosure, after
HAYES: Enrique is laughing at me for (INAUDIBLE) for this morning.
But I know the folks at home are digging it.
OK. So, disclosure issue is super important because, again, in
Citizens United they say disclosure perfectly appropriate. I want to show
you the statistic to give you what actually is happened. Ninety-one
percent of independent general election TV ads through April are from
groups that don`t disclose donors. So, there are Super PACs which we had a
lot of conversation about.
But the super PAC actually are constituted, at least in the broad
jurisdiction of election law and they disclose their donors, which is why
we know Sheldon Adelson, for instance, wrote, you know, a $10 million check
to the super PAC for New Gingrich. The much larger percentage of ads are
being run by 501c4, the nonprofits, which don`t have to disclose their
donors and then have basically set themselves up because nonprofits are
corporations, too, right? Corporation is a broad, legal category here.
Any constituted body, right?
You had these nonprofits. For instance, Karl Rove`s Crossroads GPS.
And Karl Rove`s Crossroad GPS says, no, we are a public welfare
organization. We are not in this just to run ads. We`re there because
that`s what you have to be to not disclose their donors. But then they are
making use of Citizens United to create these 501c4s and then use these
501c4s chiefly as a vehicle to run ads, even though they say they aren`t.
And no one seems to be able to get at it.
The Obama campaign has filed a complaint with the FEC and is going to
file in federal court, I think, if they don`t hear back from the FEC, which
they won`t -- asking Crossroads GPS to disclose their donors.
Here`s Karl Rove responding to that request.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KARL ROVE, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: It`s a social welfare organization
because it spends the vast preponderance of its money in furthering social
welfare and goals. It`s an issue advocacy group.
This is an attempt to intimidate the people who might otherwise
contribute to GPS and this is frankly thuggish behavior.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Thuggish behavior.
Congressman, you`ve been working a lot on this disclosure issue.
What do you make of where we are right now?
WELCH: Well, first of all, I kind of congratulate Mr. Rove. I
haven`t seen such sincerity since we were talking about weapons of mass
destruction in Iraq.
Disclosure is basic. So, what you have is the number one thing is
that who is promoting the ads. In any ad I run I have to be on the air at
the end saying, I approve this ad. It actually does restrain you because
you`re taking ownership of it. We don`t even keep the names of the donors
and we have these, quote, "social welfare organization" that are clearly
linked up with the campaigns, with a wink and a nod.
And, in fact, many of the people who run these organizations came out
of the original campaigns. So, people know that these really are promoting
the message of the campaign, but we don`t know who the donors are. So,
that`s number one.
Number two, we have the feckless FEC -- three Democrats, three
Republicans. Their job is to do nothing because it`s a 3-3 deadlock no
matter what the question is. So, it`s Wild West rules. No rules of the
Then, four, we do have a DISCLOSE Act that virtually all the
Democrats are supporting in Congress, but we can`t get it through with a
Republican majority that would require, say, a CEO, if it`s a corporate ad
to say, "I approve of this message" and give shareholders the right to say
whether they would rather have the profits of those companies based on
political ads or to pay dividends.
HAYES: One of the things that`s really interesting is, (a), we don`t
know who is giving the Crossroads GPS. It isn`t disclosed. Second of all,
I think what`s been fascinating is in the wake of the Citizens United
decision which said that corporation can spend out of their treasury run
ads which is what American Crossroads is doing.
I think people did have the fear, like the dystopic fear among
liberals, right, was like, oh my God, like Shell is going to be running ads
against Barack Obama, or Goldman Sachs. But that hasn`t happened. What
happened instead is corporations have been set up essentially as entities
to funnel money and interest in all sorts of ways. We`re not seeing as far
as we know.
GREENWALD: Like the Chamber of Commerce.
HAYES: Exactly. The Chamber of Commerce and here in New York state,
Eric Snyderman has filed suit against 501c4s, especially with the Chamber
of Commerce for doing just that.
MCGHEE: Exactly. The Star Foundation, which was headed by the head
of AIG at the time and huge priority was to get legislation passed to sort
of shield AIG and other companies from --
HAYES: Social welfare.
MCGHEE: Right. Exactly. Social welfare, you know, basically a
really elaborate system of money laundering. That`s what we have right
And I think when you take a step back from all of these issues, you
have to put it in the sort of real existential moment we have in our
democracy right now with the amount of money that, I know, it`s hard to
remember because we keep talking about how we`re in a recession and the
economy is soft, corporations are as profitable as they have ever been.
There are more billionaires with more money and lower tax rates than there
have ever been and the stakes are higher for them in state legislative
races, all through Congress and the presidency to make the policies that
And we`re really not going to recognize even the menu of policy
options that we have, if we continue to let things like sort of just
general sort of free speech absolutism be completely divorced from the
reality of what kind of country we want to live in.
HINOJOSA: You know, it seems -- it`s so interesting because, you
know, when you think about like the Chamber of Commerce, I think that
conventional wisdom about the Chamber of Commerce, like the credit rating
agencies. I think t the conventional wisdom is people think, oh, no,
they`re independent. They`re representing all business interests.
HINOJOSA: And the credit rating agencies, they`re going to really
give a rating based on the truth.
HINOJOSA: And then you kind of peel it back and I think when you get
to the core of what American people are feeling about all of this stuff,
it`s like -- wait a second, you know, again, we`re being told one thing and
in Spanish, actually, in Mexico they have a name for it. It`s called
simulacion -- simulation --
HINOJOSA: Where you`re being told one thing is happening and
something completely different is going on. Simulacion.
HAYES: And this reputational game is very important. I mean,
because it`s -- that is the issue here is that -- I mean, Sheldon Adelson
and Foster Friess got some attention. I think they didn`t like getting
Ask George Soros how that goes. I mean, it could be rough, right?
Although I`m not, you know, world`s smallest violin, et cetera.
But it does matter whether -- if we have this little peg to hang some
accountability on, which is we know what you`re doing in the system. I`m
curious if you agree, Glenn. I want to hear you make the case against
disclosure, right after the break.
HAYES: All right, Glenn, as resident contrarian trader, I say that -
- I say that with all affection.
No, but I am curious because there is -- you know, we were talking
off air, you know, there is -- in the same way that there is a genuine
First Amendment issue involved in Citizens United when we talked about "New
York Times" a nod in a speech does have, somewhat important history in the
U.S. and I do wonder how you think what you think about this disclosure
GREENWALD: Right. I mean, it`s a little strange of an experience to
hear free speech absolutist being thrown around as an insult from the left,
as you have done a couple times and other, because this is the phrase that
has been used by conservatives for decades against those of us who have
defended free speech and the First Amendment. You are being a free speech
absolutist and we have to defend the country against terrorists, against
communist, against immigrants, against these rabble-rousing groups in the
`60s like the NAACP.
I mean, these was always the argument was, yes, free speech is
important, but, there are these things that are more important.
An anonymous speech has an amazingly and significant history in
American liberalism and activism on the left, one of the strategies for
trying to prevent unpopular groups and getting support was to publicize
their supporters. So, they used to try and get the membership list of the
NAACP and find out who their donors were, or groups perceived as being the
American communist party and supporters of that.
And the Supreme Court said you can`t really have free speech and
associational rights unless you also have the right to support unpopular
groups without having the public know that you`re doing that. Of course,
the "Federalist Papers" were written by people who used pseudonyms. Nobody
knew who that was.
At the same time, it an extraordinarily menacing problem that huge
amounts of money are flying around our democracy without knowing where it`s
coming from. And people like Karl Rove, exploiting his constitutional
rights in order to protect it.
And this is what I think is so important. You know, you keep making
the argument and I agree with you 1,000 percent -- but I`d say the gravest
threat to democracy is the fact that we live in oligarchy, that extremely
wealthy people can buy the democracy. I just don`t think that you`re ever
going to even remotely solve that problem through campaign finance laws
that restrict political speech because you`re always going to have massive
What you need to do is, you know, even with a system of robust
campaign restrictions, you`re still not going to have groups representing
welfare mothers or immigrants, having money to influence elections in the
way that corporations can. You have to level the playing field by
spreading out the political money.
HAYES: This is the argument about leveling up as opposed to leveling
down, right? With the idea being that with the public, some sort of public
finance system, you level up, right? People get, you know, there`s a bunch
of different visions for what this looks like.
GREENWALD: Think about vouchers --
GREENWALD: And you can overflow corporate money, you can really
level the playing field.
So, politicians, if they want their campaigns funded, if you want
lobbyists, they don`t have to turn to corporations any longer and they can
turn to advocacy groups and individuals.
WELCH: But that presumes it`s doable. I mean, I support public
financing and campaigns, but it has no chance of getting passed. It just
So, we can talk about this, but I don`t think it`s a realistic
possibility. And the big question is, is money speech? So, you could have
nondisclosure, you could have anonymity for a lot of the First Amendment
reasons you`ve been saying, Glenn. But if money is speech, then the folks
with money are going to speak the most.
GREENWALD: Just really quickly on that -- I mean, the idea of
corporations not having constitutional rights, I think nobody really
accepts, like if Congress tomorrow introduced a law saying MSNBC can no
longer advocate liberal ideas, everyone thinks MSNBC should be able to go
into court and say, my rights are being violated constitutionally.
Money not being speech -- all nine members of the Supreme Court in
Citizens United, all accepted the idea that it would be a First Amendment
violation, if Congress said, no liberals can pay money to take out ad as in
newspapers advocating for immigration reform.
So, I don`t think that is very realistic either. I think it`s much
more realistic to try to get people on the left and right to realize that
corporations are owning and running our democracy and we need to do
something about that.
MCGHEE: Right. I completely agree on public financing. I think the
Fair Elections Now Act, which is actually the number of co-sponsors in the
House in which I think, honestly, if the entire progressive and even the
Tea Party community really pushed to sort of demand that members of
Congress actually take a vote on this issue, I think we would actually have
some momentum. I think that`s incredibly essential.
But at the same time, I also think that we have a value in this
country around political equality that`s more than just about free speech
HAYES: I want to play this, I want to Mitch McConnell real quick,
because he is making the argument that you are just making, but it`s in the
bizarro world of protecting the Koch brothers. Check it out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MINORITY LEADER: This is nothing less
than an effort by the government itself to expose its critics to
harassment, and intimidation. You`ve all heard about the Idaho businessman
who`s become a personal target of the president for expecting out on behalf
of candidates and causes the president opposes. Shortly after being
publicly singled out by the president`s campaign, people were digging
through his divorce records, cable television hosts were going after him on
the air and bloggers were harassing his kids. Charles and David Koch have
become household names, not for the tens of thousands of people they
employ, not for their generosity to charity, and not for building up one of
the most successful private corporations on the planet, but because of
their forceful and unapologetic promotion and defense of capitalism.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That`s Mitch McConnell who -- that speech was entitled "It`s
hard out there for a plutocrat," actually that was the title of the talk.
But that`s I mean, this is really where the rubber meets the road
and this is why I think these issues actually are a little more difficult
that sometimes we give them credit for. But the fact of the matter is, you
know, protecting the membership list of the NAACP and Segregated South,
that right is now being used by plutocrats who want --
MCGHEE: By segregationists.
HAYES: Right, exactly. But the people --
MCGHEE: Not just oil billionaires. They also fund litigation to
dismantle voluntary integration in North Carolina.
HAYES: Kris Kobach, the co-architect of Arizona`s controversial
immigration will be with us to react to the Supreme Court`s decision on
that case this week. That`s coming up.
CHRIS HAYES, HOST: Hello from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
With me this morning, I have Congressman Peter Welch, Democrat from
Vermont; Heather McGhee, vice president of the progressive think tank
Demos; Maria Hinojosa, anchor of NPR`s "Latino USA"; and Glenn Greenwald, a
contributor at Salon.com.
If you thought there was confusion over the Supreme Court`s health
care ruling, consider one of the court`s other major decisions this week on
Arizona`s harsh immigration statute known as SB-1070. Scholars are still
debating what effect this mixed decision will have on immigration policy.
The court deemed most of the law unconstitutional, including a
provision that made it illegal to be an immigrant in Arizona without
carrying documentation, another that made it a crime for undocumented
immigrants to solicit work -- but left in place is the bill`s controversial
centerpiece, which requires Arizona police officers to check the
immigration status of people they stop, if they have reason to believe
those people are in the country illegally.
As Justice Anthony Kennedy writing for the majority admitted in his
opinion, there is, quote, "a basic uncertainty about what the law means and
how it will be enforced." That uncertainty, however, has not stopped
politicians on both sides from claiming victory.
Here`s Arizona Governor Jan Brewer lauding the court`s decision on
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. JAN BREWER (R), ARIZONA: The key components of our efforts to
protect the citizens of Arizona to take up the fight against illegal
immigration in a balanced and constitutional way has unanimously been
vindicated by the highest court in the land.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Despite the court`s mixed ruling, it remains a very committed
grassroots conservative movement bent on passing similarly harsh
immigration laws in states across the country. Five more states have
already passed statutes inspired by the Arizona law and we`ll be talking to
one of the architects of the original Arizona law about those effort just a
bit in the program.
Maria, you just got back from Arizona and you`ve been reporting on
this issue --
MARIA HINOJOSA, ANCHOR, NPR "LATINO USA": My entire career.
HAYES: Yes, your entire career.
HINOJOSA: I mean, no.
HAYES: No, I mean --
HINOJOSA: Seriously, it`s ridiculous. I mean, 25 years? We can`t
figure this out, can`t get it right, the executive order from the
president, which I call a temporary, temporary protective status with no
real end in sight.
The Supreme Court ruling -- you know what really freaked me out,
Chris, I have to tell you, when I would hear from people, "It wasn`t that
bad. Oh, it wasn`t that bad." And I`m just like, what`s not talked about
right now and what has me so worried is that I think there are so many
people really well-meaning people who don`t really understand the level of
how this has changed things for specifically Latinos in our country.
HAYES: OK. I want you to explain that, though, because when you say
this, you mean SB-1070?
HINOJOSA: I`m talking about SB-1070.
HAYES: And when you say change things, what does change things mean?
HINOJOSA: OK. Well, and then somebody pointed out, look, you know
what? People have been isolated and targeted in our country forever, it`s
But what this has done, is that if you are Latino now, every Latino
in this country knows now that anywhere at any time not just in the state
of Arizona, any official essentially can ask you to justify your existence.
I know people are like, wait a second, but how -- why?
Because what the Supreme Court has said --
HAYES: And it`s upheld, just so people are clear. The thing it did
uphold is the most controversial part of the law, which is the papers
please, right? That was upheld and they basically said, we`re going to
see, we`re not going to enjoin in, we`re not going to say we`re going to
declare this out of bounds upfront before its implementation. Instead,
we`re going to allow it to be enforced and then people are welcome back to
the court with a lawsuits saying that it`s being enforced in way that`s
HINOJOSA: I think that`s just wonderful that we`re going to prove at
what level to how bad will it get before the Supreme Court has to jump in?
So, what I was trying to say is that -- to me, that`s an issue that you
have the fastest growing demographic in our country, 43 percent in the last
decade now, basically, walking around thinking, wow.
I mean, yesterday, I asked somebody who I know here in New York City
who is undocumented. We were talking about, being on the show talking
about this issue, she said, senora, you`re working in New York, it`s
already here in New York, right, senora?
And I said, well, I don`t know. She said, (SPEAKING SPANISH), we
walk the streets knowing that at whatever time, we can be stopped. And
there is a sentiment that this -- that this one piece of the law that has
been agreed to. There is a sentiment that is now rippling throughout our
And, for me -- the fact that, for example, Heather, you probably, you
may be walking around with other kinds of concerns. But knowing that you
are not going to be stopped and asked by a law enforcement official to
present your citizenship status -- that says something right there.
HINOJOSA: That I fly to Arizona and I`m like, got to take my
passport. My driver`s license is not going to do me any good.
But maybe Heather going down there isn`t thinking about that. What
does that say about these core issues of who we are as a country? And
again, I think that most people just really understand the deepness that
this goes and what it means, particularly to Latinos and, of course, anyone
who is an immigrant.
REP. PETER WELCH (D), VERMONT: Maria, I was going to ask. I support
comprehensive immigration reform and Congress has failed to do that. But
my take on the Supreme Court decision is that it was a very positive thing
in two respects.
Number one, it reasserted the federal law as opposed to the states
being able to act. I think the state -- obviously, Arizona took a very
punitive approach. And then, secondly, even on show me the papers, I
understand the decision. It said that if somebody has an illegal status
and that`s known, they can be asked about it.
But what the court explicitly said is that they`re going to see how
it is enforced. If it turns out it`s racial profiling, it basically
because of the color of your skin, that`s the basis of Congress, they have,
quote, "reasonable suspicion." That`s constitutionally suspect.
HAYES: Yes. And we should note one of the clever things that was
done in the law is that it says in the law itself that this requirement to
check the status of people that you have reasonable suspicion or believe
who are in the country illegally should be done in the concert with the
constitutional protections of the United States. Meaning, it should be
done in a non-discriminatory fashion. It`s the letter of the law.
HINOJOSA: OK, so just tell me. You describe for me. We`re not even
talking about the term illegal.
HINOJOSA: Which Elie Wiesel is the one who taught me 20 years ago to
stop using it because he said there`s no such thing as an illegal --
HINOJOSA: He just said, you know what, the Jews were declared
illegal and that`s how the Holocaust started. So, to declare a population
But so then you tell me the reasonable suspicion -- how do you define
what the reasonable suspicion is? I have to go back to my former network
and not just laying it all on Lou Dobbs, although I know he wishes it was
all on him. But the fact is that there was the use of the media every
single night to put an image of this person and the broken borders and this
person is going to do this.
And what is that image? Unfortunately, we all have that image in our
minds. And so, therefore, Supreme Court is saying racial profiling is
going to exist and will exist until we can prove that it is existing and
then we`re going to go back. In that decade, how many lives will be
HAYES: Right. Glenn?
GLENN GREENWALD, SALON.COM: I think, you know, the Obama
administration deserves a lot of credit to bringing the suit to stop the
law. But one of the things that happened in this, before the Supreme Court
was the Justice Department chose not to raise the argument that the "show
me your papers" was unconstitutional on nondiscriminatory grounds. It
wasn`t before the court.
Part of the reason they did that might be because they didn`t think
they would win, but part of it, and I`m interested in your thoughts on
this, is that, you know, one of the things Arizona said is, look, the
federal government asks states to do things like this, with them, all of
the time. That`s what all of the justices in the Supreme Court said, it`s
really hard to say this part conflicts with what the federal government is
doing, given how much they`re deporting on the federal level and using
state officials to --
HAYES: We`re going to have -- we`re going to have the one of the men
who wrote the Arizona bill and adviser Mitt Romney with us. We`re going to
ask him some of these questions about how he reacts to the ruling right
after we take this break.
HAYES: We`re discussing the fallout from the Supreme Court`s
decision on the very controversial Arizona immigration bill SB-1070.
And I want to bring in Kansas secretary of state, Kris Kobach, one of
the co-authors of the original Arizona immigration statute.
Kris, thanks so much for joining us this morning. We really
KRIS KOBACH (R), KANSAS SECRETARY OF STATE: My pleasure.
HAYES: First, I want to get your reaction. As someone who, you
know, a graduate of Yale Law and someone who is a lawyer and helped craft
the legislation, it seems in some senses a pretty direct rebuke that the
court found three of the four provisions considered by the court were
explicitly preempted by federal law and, thus, unconstitutional.
KOBACH: Well, I want to correct not a misstatement but of the
misimpression that`s been given by a lot of reporters on this issue. There
were a total of about eight provisions in the law, four weren`t even
challenged or they were upheld by the district court and never went up to
the Supreme Court. So, we`re really talking about the vast majority of the
law five of eight provisions being upheld, and the most important
provision, the one governing stops and arrest protocols being upheld.
The two really operative ones that were struck down were relatively
minor in the sense that they would not come into play very often. For
example, the penalization of employees for illegally seeking work. You
wouldn`t really see that being prosecuted unless you saw a specific
investigation of an employer and they happened to find some employees that
would also be violating the law. So, the one that comes into play
literally every day in Arizona is the arrest provisions which, of course,
is the one we have been talking about for the past two years.
HAYES: Yes. Let me follow up on that, though. One of the other
provision struck down, strikes me as (a), important existentially, which is
to say to criminalize being undocumented in Arizona, as a criminal penalty
misdemeanor, which is to convert a similar infraction to a criminal one.
And the fact that you said --
KOBACH: Actually, no, it doesn`t do that. It really is important to
read the law. I know you guys have a lot of work to do. It`s hard to do
all these research.
But what it did, the provision, it said if a person is committing the
criminal -- the federal, criminal offense of being unregistered or not
carrying documents, then you are also committing a state misdemeanor, a
criminal defense of exactly the same nature. So, it was already a crime to
be in the United States without being registered. That`s been on the U.S.
books since 1941 or `42. So, 60 years.
HAYES: It`s not a criminal infraction. It`s not a criminal
KOBACH: It is a federal criminal --
KOBACH: If you are not registered, it`s crime. Title 8 section 1304
and 1306 of the U.S. code. You can check it out afterward, if you like.
HAYES: If the idea behind -- this gets to liberal suspension of the
law, right, and it`s motivation, because I want to speak to this, right?
If the idea behind the employees, for instance, seeking work. If you said,
you know what, that`s not going to be enforced that much, it`s not that big
a part of the law, we can deal with it.
The question is: why include it in the law? The answer that I think
folks watching this go down, it`s demagoguery, right? What you want to
say, we`re going to punish these people. And so, for you then to come up
and say, well, actually it`s not that important part of the law, why
include it in the law if it seems to be a political attempt to make things
seem as punitive as possible?
KOBACH: The -- it`s sort of like the all of the above approach to
energy. The idea is you want to create disincentives for people to be
breaking federal law within the state of Arizona.
And so, some of the disincentives are big ones, but there are other
ones that are smaller ones as well. So, you try to look at various ways in
which the state could encourage people to comply with the law, which in
most cases means return to ones home country, comply with U.S. federal law,
come back in some other time legally, that`s -- so this is just, so the
fact that it would operate against employees seeking work and that`s not as
uncommon as people being investigated or stopped for other crimes doesn`t
mean you don`t do that.
The state wanted to adopt the policy of attrition through
enforcement, which the law speaks to. And the idea is if you ratchet up
the level of law enforcement on various levels, then that encourages people
to comply with the law. And that`s really the essential concept of
deterrence which is what a country with a rule of law exists has to have.
HAYES: Can I ask you this question? Why do you care about this
issue? You vote devote a lot of time to this issue. You`re one of the
intellectual architects of the law that have now passed in a bunch of
places. You`ve been advising the Romney campaign.
What gets you up in the morning? Why is this the thing that animates
KOBACH: Well, this is an issue that affects so many other issues
that all of us, I believe, should care about. One of them is, of course,
unemployment. We`re in theory worried about Americans not having jobs and
not being able to put food on the table.
One way that you help U.S. citizens and aliens who are authorized to
work in the United States to get jobs is you remove illegal labor from the
equation. If they`re competing against illegal labor, that`s undercutting
their wages, it`s going to be really hard for Americans to put food on the
Another one is security. Five of the nine hijackers broke our
immigration laws after they arrived in the United States.
HINOJOSA: Chris, you have read the studies already that we know that
actually -- when you actually and forget about, you know, human rights
violations or due process or the core of who we are as a country in terms
of being in a country of immigrants. When you look at just the numbers,
what happened after Republican President Ronald Reagan created a path
through citizenship through comprehensive immigration reform in 1986, in
the Immigration Reform and Control Act. Actually, what that ended up doing
was creating jobs in the United States of America because what you do is
that you have people who are actually working here who are stuck now in
In fact, in the state of Arizona, all the undocumented immigrants to
leave, and, by the way, they`re not going to. This is what they`re saying
to me and actually somewhat as a political statement. But were they to
leave, it would be an economic tsunami in Arizona.
So, the fact is, the numbers -- again, forgetting all about the
political rhetoric, the talk -- the numbers actually shows that
comprehensive immigration reform and a path to citizenship, you would have
home ownership going up, you would have people opening small businesses --
all above board. You would have all of these people paying in -- they`re
already paying in, but even more so.
So, as somebody who cares about jobs, I need to understand why you`re
so much standing in the way of actually creating a -- I don`t know, a minor
economic revolution where 11 million to 12 million undocumented immigrants
to be brought in?
HAYES: Kris, I want you to answer that question. But, first, we`re
going to take a break. Stay with us.
HAYES: Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach has also advised the
Romney campaign on immigration.
And, Maria Hinojosa -- I`m sorry, Kris -- we introduce ourselves to
you. We forget, you can`t see us. That was Maria Hinojosa talking to you.
And, you know, it`s a case that I find compelling, I`m disposed to
find it compelling, about the economic benefits that come from bringing
people out of the shadows, the economic benefits that come from
KOBACH: Well, I think if you look at the numbers, though, they
really don`t add up. Here are some important numbers to consider. One is
you have almost 25 million Americans who are either unemployed or
underemployed, seeking work or unable to find it. And so, you`ve got, you
know, approximately of the 11 million illegal aliens here, you`ve got about
7 million in the workforce. Those are 7 million jobs that U.S. citizens
could be bidding for, could be occupying and putting food on the table.
Another number: $2.6 trillion -- $2.6 trillion is the estimated cost
to us taxpayers, if we were to grant an amnesty to the 11 million here
because they suddenly become eligible for all kind of federal welfare
benefits, Social Security, earned income tax credits.
HAYES: What time horizon is that -- what time horizon is that number
KOBACH: Ten-year. Ten-year time horizon --
HAYES: Two hundred and sixty billion a year? That seems radically -
KOBACH: You didn`t hear me, $2.6 trillion --
HAYES: Right, over a 10-year time horizon?
KOBACH: Yes. I`m sorry --
HAYES: That`s a $260 billion a year, which just seemed erratically,
erratically inflated number.
But here`s a question about jobs, right? About 4 million of those
folks are farm workers and we`ve seen in Alabama, right, we`re not seeing
Americans or native-born Americans work on the farms. Instead what we`ve
seen are crops going fallow and a massive near revolt from the agricultural
business in Alabama over this, it`s simply not the case.
And then the other thing is -- and this gets to motivation and I know
motivation in some ways is slightly ad hominem, but I think it`s important
because if we`re going to have a good faith debate on this, you need to
convince me and convince folks on the other side that this is not motivated
by racial animus, which is to say, movement against immigration to restrict
immigration, and to ramp up enforcement was before the recession and after
recession, before 9/11 and after 9/11.
So, it seems to me like the rationales are reverse against the desire
to get those people out rather than in reaction in good faith to events
that are happening.
KOBACH: Well, look at a number of factors. One is the law itself
prohibits any racial profiling in four different places. Reiterate it,
again and again. You cannot enforce this law with regard to a person`s
race, ethnicity or national origin. It prohibits racial profiling.
So, you know, I understand that some people who are critical of the
law are grasping at straws trying to find out -- you know, what argument
they can make and they hit on racial profiling. The law prohibits it.
I heard Maria make a comment two segments ago. She said, well, you
know, how else can you determine from a traffic stop or some other
investigation that a person is potentially and lawfully present. The
answer is there are more than 800 federal court opinions defining factors
that have nothing to do with race that can give rise to reasonable
suspicion that a person has broken immigration law.
So, for example, the person carries no identification documents
whatsoever. Second, the person is traveling in the company of another
individual who concedes that he is unlawfully present in the country.
Third, the individual has indicators that he`s been on a long journey
through the desert and maybe carrying a backpack, dust all over his
clothes. Fourth, the individual is evasive when he answers officers`
questions. I can go on and on.
The point is, you know, it oversimplifies things and I think it is an
ad hominem attack when you say someone who is making a reasonable argument,
oh, you must be all about race. That is absolutely outrageous. This used
to be a country where the rule of law counted.
HINOJOSA: Here`s what`s going to happen in Arizona. And, actually
in terms of money, when I think about the amount of money that`s being
spent right now and what it would take to, quote-unquote, "deport all these
people from the country."
But you know what people are going to start doing in Arizona, this is
what I`m hearing from the grassroots is that they`re going to say, OK, none
of us are going to be carrying papers. No one, whatsoever.
KOBACH: The law doesn`t require you to carry papers. Section 2 --
HINOJOSA: No, but the point is --
KOBACH: The main provision of the law doesn`t require people to
HINOJOSA: The only thing they`re required to say by state law in
Arizona when you`re stopped by the police right now is to give your name
and your date of birth.
You actually, by state law, are not required to --
KOBACH: That`s all you need.
HINOJOSA: Right. So, what`s going to happen is all of these people
who are going to get detained or act in civil disobedience will be
detained, that`s all they`re going to say. They`re going to start clogging
the system and you`re going to talk about how much it is going to cost and
how much taxpayers in Arizona will be paying to house all of these people.
Let`s talk about all these dollars that could be used to create jobs.
HAYES: Here to me seems like the bigger issue.
KOBACH: I think you guys are missing a fact here. There`s a really
important fact here.
KOBACH: The federal government in the 1990s created the law
enforcement support center. It`s a 24/7 hotline so that if an answer has
stopped someone and all he has is the person`s name and date of birth, he
can call that 24/7 from his squad car and get an immediate response back
HAYES: But, Kris, let`s be very clear here, first of all -- police
officers encounter situations all the time, all day, every day in which
they are making discretionary judgments. You can -- I mean, you`ve talked
A cop can come up with someone to arrest almost anyone they need in
any interaction. They`re making on the ground discretionary judgments all
the time. They`re asked to be essentially conflict mediators. It`s an
extremely difficult job and I think people under-appreciate the amount of
frontline discretion that police officers have.
Just because something is on the law, it does not mean it`s always
enforced. There`s obviously jaywalking tickets that you could give out
left and right in New York city and the police officers don`t spend their
time giving out jaywalking tickets in New York City because, frankly, it
would be a massive waste of everyone`s time for the police to spend their
time handing out jaywalking ticket.
So, the narrow legalism which you are defending here, I understand,
things are on the books or they`re not on the books, the fact of the matter
is, there is practical implication in terms of how law enforcement is going
to serve the community that they are tasked with serving and view people
with this kind of mutual suspicion.
There is a fear that Maria is articulating that that means mutually
suspension is already a fact on the ground and that the law is making it
KOBACH: Well, I`m not sure what you`re implying. If you`re implying
law enforcement officers will use racist motivations in applying the law --
HAYES: No, no, no.
KOBACH: Then your problem is not with SB-1070, your problem would be
with the law enforcement officers. If you have a bad apple officer, he can
apply any law that has to do with anything in a racially discriminatory
HAYES: No, no, the problem is -- no, no, the problem is the
priorities of law enforcement and how law enforcement is going about doing
what is an incredibly difficult job of making 1,000 discretionary judgment
calls over the course of the week when they are in different situations,
how this is going to put added freight on them. In fact, there`s been
tremendous amount of law enforcement -- members of law enforcement who have
spoken out against the law for precisely this reason.
KOBACH: Well, it depends on which law enforcement members you`re
talking to. If you`re talking to the police officers on the beat, the
sheriff`s deputies, people I know very well in Arizona, there`s a
tremendous amount of support for the law.
If you`re talking about sheriffs, there`s a lot of support because
sheriffs are responsible to the people that elect them. Some police chiefs
have opposed the law, they have more bureaucratic mindset and they don`t
like any additional duty.
So, it depends on which law enforcement officers you`re talking to.
But if you are talking about the men and women on the street, they actually
like the law a lot.
HAYES: Let -- Mitt Romney had a statement on this. Back in
February, at the CNN debate, this is -- this is what he said about the
Arizona law. Check it out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know, I think you see a
model here in Arizona. They passed a law here that says, that says that
people who come here and try to find work, that the employer is required to
look them up E-verify. This E-verify system allows employers in Arizona to
know who is here illegally.
So, going back to the question that was asked. The right course for
America is to drop these lawsuits against Arizona and other states that are
trying to do the job that Barack Obama isn`t doing and I will drop those
lawsuits on day one.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: And then, I want to read you Mitt Romney`s statement after
Arizona v. United States on Monday.
"Today`s decision underscores a need for a president who will lead in
this critical and work in a bipartisan fashion to pursue a national
immigration strategy. I believe each state has the duty and right to
preserve our borders and preserve the rule of law, particularly when the
federal government failed to meet its responsibilities."
Nowhere in that statement is an explicit statement of whether he
supports the court`s decision to strike down those provisions or opposes
it, whether he supports legislation like this. And I`d like you to talk
about where you see the Romney campaign right now because it`s become very
difficult to figure out just where they are on this issue, right after we
take a break.
HAYES: Kris Kobach coming to us live, I believe from Kansas,
secretary of state of Kansas -- live from Nebraska. I`m sorry. Beautiful
pastoral scene beyond you and hummingbirds in the feeder, which adds a nice
color to this whole thing.
Kris, you advise on the Romney administration and I think there`s
been a feeling recently that it`s been increasingly difficult to pin down
Mitt Romney`s perspective on this and Mitt Romney`s perspective on this.
He seemed to endorse or flirt with the notion of something looking like the
DREAM Act or something like the Rubio alternative or the president`s
directive that was issued through DHS.
What is the plan here for Mitt Romney on immigration? Is it
something that looks on the federal level what is happening in the states
in Arizona and Alabama and other places you worked to help write the
KOBACH: Well, I mean, I think there are a number of things that
Governor Romney has said and he has remained very consistent in his
position on these. One is the said we should have a nationwide E-verify
mandate. He was talking about how in Arizona, that state became the first
state to require all our employees to use E-verify to make sure that their
employees are work authorize.
Now, there are three states have that requirement. He said let`s
make it a national requirement. And I completely agree with that.
Another thing he said, no amnesty. So, no blanket amnesty, no small
amnesty and no amnesty for those who are here illegally.
He also said that his administration would not go around suing states
using our taxpayer dollars to sue states that are trying to help better
enforce the rule of law. So --
HAYES: Sometimes in violation of the constitutional guidelines.
KOBACH: Well, no, actually, the vast majority of the law, the
Constitution -- we`re talking about preemption here, so the question is
whether it`s consistent with federal law or not, and the vast majority of
the law is upheld and the central provision is upheld.
HAYES: Preemption is not constitutional doctrine.
KOBACH: Well, let`s be clear about that, too. You may not realize
that when the Arizona law was passed, there were already five separate
lawsuits challenging the same provisions of the law, and then the Obama
administration piled on, and it was a complete waste of our taxpayer
The same provisions make their way up through the court system
anyway. So, again, why do that? And I think it was more of a political
stunt in 2010 going into that election cycle.
HAYES: Or to express precisely to defend this important principle,
which is that the federal government is the sovereign --
KOBACH: Same principle --
HAYES: It`s important for the government to defend itself
MCGHEE: For me, we`re missing a really important point, which is
actually not about enforcement. Not about where we are now -- but asking,
why are we in a situation where we have 11 million people in this country
who are here without documentation?
And if we`re really having that conversation, it would cause us all,
including Mr. Kobach himself, to answer the question, what is my own
American story, right? All of us sitting around this table who are here in
this country have an American story that was impacted by whatever the rules
were when our ancestors came to this country.
My American story is a story of slavery.
Most white Americans today was a story where their ancestors came
here before 1965 when we had racial quotas on who could come to this
country legally. And if your family was from a Northern or Western
European country, there was no limit.
And so, today, we have all these people who are here, who are here in
the situation where we have only 65,000 family visas. You know, where it`s
really very difficult to come to this country legally, where people are
coming here to work and the sort of broader policies that make the sort of
legal versus illegal distinction are really ignored and there`s a lack of
empathy about the fact that there before the grace of God and amnesty
reform in 1986, there will go I as well.
HINOJOSA: You know what is interesting because a lot of people,
because I talk about the fact that I was born in Mexico -- I became a
citizen in the late 1980s and, actually, I appreciate what you`re saying,
Heather. It`s true. Everybody needs to take a time to look at their own
story and who are the very first undocumented immigrants that stepped on
this land were the pilgrims.
But, actually, for me, one of the core reasons why this matters t me,
not just because I have been a reporter covering this for 25 years. But
now that I`m a citizen, it matters to me because of my citizenship, because
of these core American values, due process, how people will be treated
under the law equally in our country.
When you decide to become a citizen of this country, you actually
have to sit and think about these things. You have to make, you`re going
to go in and take an oath.
So, for me, Chris, what really matters is the core of who we are as
an American country based on due process, based on equally treated under
the law, based on free speech. But the fact is, is that these core issues
continue to bubble up and question, go at this core root of who we are as
HAYES: Congressman, then I`ll get to you, Kris -- Congressman Pete
Welch from Vermont.
WELCH: Kris, you raised the economic question and I think that`s
profoundly important. But, you know, the economy right now, more illegal
immigrants going back to Mexico than coming from Mexico.
Also, the heart of the political debate in this country right now is
will the government promote economic policies that develop and strengthen
the middle class. That`s under assault. In fact, the middle class and
average Americans are feeling that. 40 percent of their wealth has
vanished since the subprime crisis; wages are the same or lower than they
were 20 years ago.
So, this immigration issue oftentimes becomes a proxy to explain to
people why they`re having tough times. It`s illegal welfare. It`s people
getting benefits that they`re paying for that they can`t get.
MCGHEE: And a proxy.
WELCH: It becomes that proxy.
So, the Romney campaign has a convenient explanation for why folks
are hurting and I think the immigration issue becomes a way to do that.
HAYES: How much, Kris, you talked about the jobs and job matching of
how many Americans are out of work and how many people are here
undocumented. But how much do you see current immigration as the root
cause of the problems right now economically?
KOBACH: Well, it is a huge part of it. But the rule of law is the
rule of law, regardless. Let`s set that aside. Even if we were enjoying
wonderful economic times, we still have the country where the rule of law
is supposed to prevail. And if you break the law, there are supposed to be
consequences. If you follow the law, you`re supposed in a favored position
over someone who`s broken the law. And that`s elementary.
So, let`s set that aside. These laws are not a product of economic
But to your question, here are some other numbers. George Borjas, an
economist, looked at the impact on wages when you have illegal labor and
influx of labor coming into a market. Think of meatpacking. Over the
short term wages will drop 8 percent and over the long term, wages will
drop 3 percent.
And so, we`re talking -- look at the wages at meatpacking a very
common industry in the Midwest here. Thirty years ago you walked into a
meatpacking facility and see lots of U.S. citizens working in those jobs
and it was paying really well. In fact, it was paying better, in absolute
dollars than it`s paying today.
HAYES: Largely because they were unionized.
KOBACH: Yes. By the way, some are still unionized today and some
aren`t. Here I am perfectly happy to say if the unions help protect the
American worker against illegal competition, and more power to them. But
now you go to the same meatpacking plants and the wages are much lower, in
absolute dollars than if you go just for inflation. They`re at the floor.
KOBACH: It`s hard to earn a living wage working in a plant like that
anymore because illegal labor has depressed the wages. I don`t think
anyone will seriously dispute that.
HINOJOSA: Illegal labor depressed the wages, who is paying those
wages and who is making the decisions to lower those wages? Not those
HAYES: Let me just stipulate, George Borjas is an economist out of
Harvard University. He`s written a lot on wage effects on this. The
actual literature of illegal immigration is incredibly contested. Borjas`
funding are not necessarily matched by other people.
But I think it`s interesting to say, you made this point and I read
that study on which he has the 3 percent prediction over the duration,
right, over the long term. There`s a drop in the beginning and 3 percent
cut over time.
And when you think to yourself, I want to stop people from getting a
3 percent wage cut. There`s about 9,000 things you can do before you look
at illegal immigration. If we`re talking about a 3 percent wage cut for
America`s workers, there`s a lot of things we can talk about.
And I want to talk about that right after we take this break.
HAYES: Kris Kobach, secretary of state of the great state of Kansas.
Here`s a question to get to this kind of where -- what the goal of
all this is? I understand and respect your deference to the rule of law
and the importance and primacy of that in your thinking on this issue.
In terms of effects, I means, let`s say we had E-verify, we had a
whole bunch of things in place and this kind of process of self-deportation
through enforcement would happen, and it happened more rapidly than anyone
can imagine. And in two months, the 11 million folks -- estimated 11
million or 12 million undocumented -- leave the country.
What is better about America on that day?
KOBACH: Wages will dramatically go up instantly as soon as that
happens. If you look at examples on a smaller scale where ICE comes in and
does a raid -- I`m thinking of a raid on a Georgia plant about five years
ago, immediately those jobs are empty, right? So, for a few days or a few
weeks, the plant shuts down, but they start rehiring and they have to start
raising wages to get Americans to come in and bid for that labor, to get
lawfully present aliens to do it.
And so, suddenly wages go up and you would see that in all kind of
industries. Wages would go up and people would be able to earn a living, a
decent living and support a family doing things like meatpacking or other
jobs in agriculture and construction.
HAYES: So, is that the reason that you`re doing -- is that the
reason you`re in this game?
KOBACH: Just one of many reasons.
KOBACH: And then, of course, there`s Social Security. I mean,
there`s that factor, as well. When you have a huge percentage, a large --
many millions of people in the United States who are able to enter
illegally, there`s no screening by any law enforcement personnel as they`re
entering at the port. There is no port of entry, they`re coming across the
There are all kind of reasons why we ought to try to reinforce the
rule of law and solve some of the immigration problems we have.
MCGHEE: Part of the reasons why wages are low in industries where
they rely n undocumented work is that those people have no economic and
civil and political rights to bargain with their employers, right? So, I
mean, there`s one way to do it, which would be a massive deportation. And
then there`d be another way to do it, would be to actually bring the people
out of the economic shadows and allow them to bargain with their employers,
allow them to enforce contracts without fear to open small businesses, as
Maria was saying.
So, actually, if really what you want is the sort of economic boom
that would come from raising those wages, Mr. Kobach, why isn`t it just as
good -- sorry, why isn`t it just as good to have actually more dignity for
HAYES: Kris, very briefly.
KOBACH: What you`re suggesting is, okay, let`s just automatically
give lawful status to 11 million people, but you`re forgetting the 25
million who are looking for work in America --
MCGHEE: Oh, I`m not forgetting the 25 million people who are looking
for work in this country.
KOBACH: Well, but what you`ve done is you increased the legal labor
pool but you haven`t found any jobs for the others who are waiting and
seeking work. I mean, look, we have a situation where we are a welfare
state, that is the difference between immigration today and immigration 60
And you have to consider that. So, what about the people out of work
and the rest of us are paying our tax dollars to support? We have an
interest as a nation on reducing unemployment and I think that`s what
solving our legal immigration problems by enforcing the law will do.
HAYES: I don`t think that, but I want to thank Kansas secretary of
state, Kris Kobach, co-author of the original Arizona immigration law for
joining us this morning. You have been a really good sport. I really
appreciate it. Thanks a lot.
KOBACH: No problem.
HAYES: What you should know for the news week ahead, coming up next.
HAYES: (AUDIO GAP)
Reform -- oh, am I miked now? Great.
OK. Sorry. I wasn`t miked.
Hi, how are you? No, I am miked.
So, Kris Kobach, secretary of state from Kansas, who`s just on our
air and he made a claim about the possible cost of bringing the 11 million
illegal immigrants in this country out of the shadows and putting them into
the legal economy. He said it would cost $2.6 trillion over 10 years.
That`s $260 billion a year, which sounded like a lot to us.
And so we track down the source of that statistic. It`s from the
Heritage Foundation analysis of the 2007 comprehensive immigration bill.
The analysis says this is an estimate. We need further study.
The Congressional Budget Office, an independent body, analyzed the
cost of the same bill which would have ultimately brought those 11 million
into the legal network and found the net cost to taxpayers over a 10 period
was just $18 billion, not $2.6 trillion. Just to make that clear.
So, what you should know for the week coming up.
In the wake of the a court`s decision giving the states the option to
decline Medicaid expansion, as provided by the Affordable Care Act, you
should know that as we speak right now, tens of thousands of children are
losing Medicaid. My colleague from "The Nation" magazine, Greg Kaufmann,
reported this week in last year, 89,000 children in Pennsylvania alone have
lost access to the program because their parents didn`t respond to an
eligibility form in 10 days when it was sent.
You should know that even if the paperwork was lost by the
overwhelming state bureaucracy, children were still kicked off the rolls
and you should know that Republican Governor Tom Corbett has not changed
the state`s eligibility verification protocols despite the fact, or because
of the fact the current policy is tossing tens of thousands of poor kids
out of the social safety net.
Remember that $2 billion loss from JPMorgan reported out of its
London office, you should know that while everyone was paying attention to
Supreme Court, "The New York Times" reported that as Jamie Dimon attempts
to unwind his firm`s massive bet on credit derivates, total losses could be
as high as $9 billion.
You should know that any idiot can lose a few million dollars, but it
takes a real genius to lose $9 billion.
And you should also know with Dow Jones up and corporate profits
high, JPMorgan Chase is still projected to post a profit for the quarter,
even after writing off the massive loss.
You should know it`s good to be a banker, even when times are rough.
All right. I want to find out what my guests think you should know.
Congressman Pete Welch from Vermont, what should folks know?
WELCH: Well, two things, last Thursday was a big day. Democrats won
the baseball game over the Republicans. The Supreme Court made its
decision on health care, big news for Vermont.
What that means is two things. Their waiver, they`ll get a waiver so
they can pursue the ambitious -- we can pursue the ambitious goal of
single-payer. Second, those federal subsidies that go along with it give
us the possibility to achieve that goal.
HAYES: That`s fantastic. This waiver program is really interesting.
It was put in the bill, didn`t get a lot of notice I think when it passed.
But it allows states to experiment with things like single-payer in the
HAYES: And Vermont is probably the first place to push that. There
is some push in California as well.
MCHGHEE: On Tuesday, the nation`s most profitable and largest
employer is going to be celebrating its 50th anniversary. Of course,
that`s Wal-Mart which has replaced G.M. and Manpower as the biggest
employer. We`re going to be celebrating a little bit at Demos by making
sure they don`t wave the flag too much and releasing a report that talks
about the top 10 ways that Wal-Mart has destroyed American manufacturing
HAYES: We`ll look for that at Demos.org this week.
HINOJOSA: So, on this July 4th, I`d just say, after the conversation
today, I would like that everybody just look and see who is actually doing
the cooking if you are going to a restaurant on July 4th or who is doing
any kind of cleaning and see if they are, in fact, invisible people,
undocumented Mexicanos, Latinos, and you know what in a moment when they
feel so attacked. Look at them, I see you, are you not invisible. You`re
And, finally, really quickly, there`s going to be a new quick
movement of undocumented dreamers traveling through -- to Charlotte.
They`re going to be taking their parents with them. Will their parents get
deported but their kids will be offered temporary protected status? We`ll
HAYES: Glenn Greenwald?
GREENWALD: There was an amazing op-ed in "The New York Times" this
week by former President Jimmy Carter that about the way in which President
Obama`s counterterrorism policies -- drones, assassinations and the like
are destroying American credibility on issues of human rights. There was a
poll the same week saying that across the world, in almost every country,
huge numbers of populations in virtually every country radically
disapproved of these policies.
What you are seeing now is efforts by "The New York Times" to see the
ACLU, as well as Democratic senators like Ron Wyden and Mark Udall to get
just basic transparency about what the administration is doing and they`re
continuing to resist.
HAYES: I want to thank my guests today, Congressman Peter Welch,
Democrat from Vermont, Heather McGhee from Demos, Maria Hinojosa from PBS
and Glenn Greenwald from Salon.com -- thank you all. It`s great
Thank you for joining us. We`ll be back next weekend, Saturday and
Sunday at 8:00 Eastern Time. Our guests will include Thomas Mann and
Norman Ornstein, authors of the book "It`s Even Worse Than It Looks."
Coming up next is Melissa Harris-Perry. On her show today, Melissa
takes a look at the Supreme Court`s health care decision and the many means
by which the GOP might still try to repeal the law. And in the wake of
Egypt`s historic election, what does the landscape look like for women?
That`s "MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY". You don`t want to miss it. Coming up
We will see you next week here on UP.
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