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PoliticsNation, Friday, October 19th, 2012

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October 19, 2012

Guests: Barney Frank; Carolyn Maloney, Simone Campbell, Chrystia Freeland,
Donald McEachin, Jonathan Capehart

REVEREND AL SHARPTON, HOST: Thanks, Chris, and thanks to you for
tuning in. I`m live tonight in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, working to
protect voting rights. We will be talking about that and the Republican
effort to restrict voting in swing states like Ohio and Florida and right
here in Pennsylvania.

But we start with tonight`s lead. The cure for the common candidate.
Finally, President Obama has given this country a diagnosis to explain the
chronic flip-flopping of Mitt Romney.


conservative wants you to think he was severely kidding about everything he
said over the last year. He told folks he was the ideal candidate for the
tea party. Now suddenly he`s saying, what, who me?


OBAMA: He`s for getting what his own positions are and he`s betting
that you will, too. I mean, he`s changing up so much and backtracking and
sidestepping. We`ve got -- we`ve got to name this condition that he`s
going through. I think -- I think it`s called Romnesia. That`s what it`s
called. I think that`s what he`s going through.


SHARPTON: Romnesia. It`s perfect. It explains everything. Now, we
understand Romney`s evasions and distortions on taxes and jobs,
immigration, women`s health, just about everything he has talked about in
this campaign, he`s got Romnesia. But don`t worry, the president says he
wants to help other people avoid catching it.


OBAMA: Now, I`m not a Medical doctor, but I do want to go over some
of the symptoms with you. Because I want to make sure that nobody else
catches it. If you say it earlier in the year, I`m going to give a tax cut
to the top one percent and then in a debate you say, I don`t know anything
about giving tax cuts to rich folks. That -- you need -- yes, you need to
get a thermometer. Take a temperature because you`ve probably got

If you say that you`re a champion of the coal industry while when you
were governor you stood front of a coal plant and said, this plant will
kill you, that`s Romnesia. So, I think you`re beginning to be able to
identify these symptoms. And if you come down with a case of Romnesia and
you can`t seem to remember the policies that are still on your Web site or
the promises that you`ve made over the six years you have been running for
president, here`s the good news. Obama care covers pre-existing
conditions. We can fix you up! We`ve got a cure.


SHARPTON: Now I finally understand. It all makes sense. Mitt Romney
is his own pre-existing condition and voters have the cure on Election Day.

Joining me now is E.J. Dionne, Washington Post columnist and MSNBC

Thanks for being here, E.J.

I`ll try to remember what I wanted to say.

SHARPTON: Well, I hope you do because, you know, Romnesia sounds good
to me. What do you think?

DIONNE: Well, two things. One, watching the president out there, he
is so much better when it looks like he`s enjoying himself and I always
thought one of the problems at that first debate is he doesn`t seem to be
having fun. And he is clearly having with this.

Secondly, they finally found one word to capture what they have been
trying to say the last few months. Because they kind of have given up on
the flip-flop charge earlier to make the case that Romney was really a
right-wing candidate and they invested a lot of money showing people that.
And then suddenly, at the first debate, he completely transformed himself
and ran as a kind of moderate. And the conservatives were so worried that
he was going to get absolutely clobbered that they were going to give him
plenty of room to remake himself.

And I think today, what you saw on the campaign trail is that the
Obama campaign found one word that they can use on almost every issue where
they need to redefine Romney and remind people where we used to stand.

SHARPTON: No, I think it is perfect to reduce it to a slogan now
really something people can remember that it would stick with people and it
hits right on the button, a lot of inconsistencies.

But at the same time, he has got other problems. When you look at the
facts, E.J., look at this map that shows 41 out of 50 states have an
unemployment rate that is getting better, is going down from August to

Now, if you have 41 out of 50 states, the unemployment rate is getting
better, actually going down and that is not good when Mr. Romney wants to
tell people we are going in the wrong direction when, in fact, 41 states
are saying things are getting better.

DIONNE: No, I think that`s been a problem for Governor Romney now for
several weeks. When he lost his favorite sound bite about 42 months of
unemployment above eight percent when it went down nationally below 7.8 and
you`ve got some of the swing states where the unemployment rate is well
below the national rate. It`s one of the things that has happened in Ohio
which still is the centerpiece of this whole campaign. Ohio is quite a bit
better off than the rest of the country and so Governor Romney has been
arguing with Governor Kasich in Ohio who actually wants to tell his people,
wait a minute, things are going pretty well in Ohio and I think that is a
good example of a larger --.

SHARPTON: Hold on one minute.

DIONNE: -- probably he has now.

SHARPTON: E.J., stand by for one moment. I want to bring in
Congressman Barney Frank, Democrat from Massachusetts and ranking member of
the house finance committee.

Chairman Frank, first of all, thanks so much for joining me tonight.


SHARPTON: We had an audio problem so we were late starting with you.
But I want to talk to you about some specifics of Romney`s policies. But
let me first start with you. Do you believe Mitt Romney`s succeeding in
shedding the extreme positions that he took in the primaries?

FRANK: No. I think what we are learning is that etch-a-sketch is too
much of a stretch. The disparity between what he`s been saying and is now
saying is so severe. And let`s be clear. If you go back to 1994, when he
ran for the senate and he said it was going to better than Ted Kennedy from
a gay right sampling. This is a man absolutely without any observable
political conviction except that he want to be president.

There was not an important public policy issue on which he has not
simply flip-flop, nothing wants, not evolved flip-flopped. And I guess, he
thinks the public is damn. And now we have also got a notice in the
debate, a number of important public policy positions where his viewers,
trust me, where is he proposing very substantial change but won`t tell
people what the nature of that change will be, I guess because he knows it
to be unpopular.

SHARPTON: Well, let`s stay right there because his tax plan, it just
still doesn`t add up. If you include his new $25,000 limit on deduction,
here`s how it would treat millionaires.

Tax cuts, 250,535, deduction savings, just 77,00 77,570, according to
the tax policy center. All of those deduction savings still are not enough
to cover his tax cut. The math just doesn`t add up, Mr. Chairman.

FRANK: And it comes from the middle class. Look, I was appalled even
by Mitt Romney`s kind of self-indulgent standards of what the candidate can
do for political purposes. When he said, OK, here`s how we`re going to
make it up. We`re going to put a cap on deductions. Pick a number. I
thought I was watching a lottery.


FRANK: Pick a number? This is presidential candidate telling you
what he thinks and he says pick a number. But then the number he
illustrates with 25,000 clearly means that middle income people are going
to lose some of their deductions to pay for that upper income tax cuts. If
you are paying $2500 a month on your mortgage, not in an outlandish number
we have here in Massachusetts, if you are paying $2500 a month in mortgage,
in the first years, almost all of it goes for interest; that alone would go
beyond 25,000 fairly quickly if you are paying $2500 or more. And then you
don`t get any education deduction. You don`t get any education deductions.
The $25,000 figure is clearly an announcement that middle income people
will not continue to get the home mortgage interest deduction.

Now, by the way, if we are starting a society fresh, I don`t think I
will have that. Home mortgage interest deduction. But today, if you own a
home, you already seen it deteriorate value. This proposal of Romney will
drop it even more and that the major form of wealth for people who wanted
his wealthy pals.

So, listen. $25,000 deduction means that is exactly what the
president said.

SHARPTON: No, I think that it is - and when you really look at the
fact that the plan that he has that he claims six studies validated it, we
find that the six studies are really some op-ed articles, people that they
worked for the campaign or for the party, I mean, it`s almost an insult to
the intelligence.

FRANK: Let`s take one shall --

SHARPTON: One thing, if we want to disagree with you, it`s another
thing to just act like we`re dumb as what Clinton said.

FRANK: If you look at $259,000 that are out there that floats out
there, that means that he pays for the tax cuts for the wealthy by reducing
deductions that primarily help the middle income people. And the one study
I have seen, he cited a study from the joint tax committee of the congress,
from the time when Republicans control both houses, so as -- if there was
any bias, it was in their direction. And it says, yes, if you reduce the
rates and get rid of the deduction, things will be good. But, it gets all
of the deductions, home mortgage interest, education, health care. And,
again, I just can`t stress this enough. If you cap deductions at $25,000,
which he says is the likeliest numbers, although he`s playing games with
it, then, you are seriously making middle income people pay for the tax
cuts for the rich, just as the president said.

SHARPTON: But, let me ask you Mr. Chairman, getting out of the weeds
of the numbers, what should the public -- let`s go big picture. What is
the big picture profile that the public ought to have of what Mr. Romney is
saying? What is he really saying, the big picture that any layperson could

FRANK: That the way to reduce the deficit is to cut back on all of
those governmental programs where we come together to try to improve the
quality of our lives. That means Social Security and transportation,
Medicare, housing for the elder, local law enforcement. They all get
reduced so he can do two things, one, provide tax cuts for wealthier
people. They may not seem that big to the wealthy but they will to the
rest of the country.

And two, and this is an important point, spend a couple trillion more
on the military. People should not let him get away with that. President
Obama is working to reduce the military expenditures, the war in Iraq is
over, the war in Afghanistan is phasing down. The Romney position, the
Ryan budget says, you know what, let`s keep giving them as much money as
they used to have for Iraq and Afghanistan, we will find some other use for
it. But, the only way you do that is to impinge on Medicare, to cut out
environmental protection and to delay any kind of infrastructure.

SHARPTON: All right, chairman Barney Frank, thank you for your time

Let`s go back to E.J.

E.J., do you think that we`re beginning to see -- when we see these
poll numbers that are moving in some of the swing states with the
president, do you think we`re beginning to see that Mr. Romney`s potential
support in some of the areas that have been hard hit that are now
recovering when he was using the rationale of the economy to run, that now
it is eroding his support because the economy is improving and he`s not
been able to lay out a credible, verifiable plan that would appear to be
better than the president or would make recovery happen faster than what
the president is doing?

DIONNE: Well, I think a couple of things are going on at the same
time. I do think and all of the polls show this that Americans feel
somewhat better about the economy than they did a few months ago. And
that`s helping the president overall in the country than particularly in
the state that are doing better than the rest.

I think the second thing that happened is in the first debate his
whole remake went fairly uncontested by the president. In the second
debate, he really did get contested on this, the president called him again
and again on what was true and not true. And I thought that was a really
telling moment when he was challenged on the numbers on this tax cut and he
basically said, trust me. He said, of course my numbers add up. As if
saying that you`re right is an argument for why you are right.

You know, I ran the Olympics, I did these other things. I think a lot
of people did that and said, wait a minute, just because you did important
things in the past doesn`t mean that I`m going to believe you if you give
me no proof for how this works. And I think that whole notion that is he
that congressman Frank talked about, that he`s making claims that won`t
back up with numbers, I think that`s starting to penetrate with people and
that is why whatever momentum he had -- and he did have some after the
first debate, I think that stopped and why you may see a reversal in some

SHARPTON: All right. Thank you, E.J. Dionne and you have a good

DIONNE: And you too, Reverend.

SHARPTON: And thank you for being with us tonight.

DIONNE: Thank you. We will be right back.


SHARPTON: Paul Ryan is talking behind closed doors again and saying
some provocative things about the war on women. You will want to hear
this, next.


SHARPTON: Paul Ryan is mocking the war on women. Behind closed doors
at a private fund-raiser he said, quote. "Now, it`s a war on women.
Tomorrow is going to be a war on left-handed Irish men or something like

Oh, yes, doesn`t exist. Wasn`t it a war on caterpillars? So, the guy
who tried to redefine rape thinks the war on women is a big joke? The
issue of women`s health has been bubbling up for over two years now. But,
is exploding into the final weeks of the campaign.

Today, President Obama was in Virginia, the land of governor
ultrasound. Appealing directly to women and he had more of that diagnosis.


OBAMA: If you say you`re for equal pay or for equal work, but you
keep refusing to say whether or not you would sign a bill that protects
equal pay for equal work, you might have Romnesia.

If you say women should have access to contraceptive care, but you
support legislation that would allow your employer to deny you
contraceptive care, you might have a case of Romnesia.
If you say you`ll protect a woman`s right to choose, but you stand up in
the primary debate and said that you would be delighted to sign a law
outline that right to choose in all cases, man, you`ve definitely got


SHARPTON: Looks like the president will out for the next 18 days to
cure all that Romnesia.

Joining me now is Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Democrat from New
York and strong advocate for women`s health and Maria Teresa Kumar,
president and CEO of Voto Latino and an MSNBC contributor.

Thank you both for your time.


REP. CAROLYN MALONEY (D), NEW YORK: Great to be here.

SHARPTON: Congresswoman, let me start with you.

In your estimation, is Romney/Ryan making headway with women voters?

MALONEY: Absolutely not. And the way to cure Romnesia, which the
president so pointed out so clearly, is to re-elect him. And I believe in
the closing days where women will be studying the differences between the
Democrats and Republicans, and there are stark differences but on women`s
issues they are oceans apart. And the way to cure it is to come out in
droves to vote for our president. I would say, the president that trusts
women, we trust him, and we have to get out of the vote and re-elect him.

OBAMA: Maria, as I`m traveling around, I`m really trying to focus on
the people, however they vote, that this election is more than just a
partisan fight. There will be one, maybe more, Supreme Court justices.

KUMAR: Absolutely.

SHARPTON: That will be picked by whoever is president in January and
meaning that this will not be just about the next four years, this will be
about the next generation or two. The president addressed that in talking
about women`s issues today. Listen to this and give me your response.



OBAMA: When the next president and Congress could tip the balance of
the highest court in the land in a way that turns back the clock for women
and families for decades to come, you don`t want someone who needs to ask
for binders of women. You don`t want that guy. You want a president who
is has already appointed two unbelievable women to the Supreme Court of the
United States.


SHARPTON: So, this is serious. Because how the court maybe tipped at
the top, we could be talking about wiping out Roe Versus Wade, we could be
talking about a lot of the civil rights and voter rights. A lot of things
that we have taken for granted in the last two generations could be at risk
here, depending on who is put on that court.

KUMAR: That`s absolutely right, Reverend. And what is unique about
this case is you actually have a whole generation of young women that
didn`t know the life before Roe Versus Wade. And what is at stake this
time, it is not just the economic issue, but this election is all about
social issues. And where do you actually want to take the country forward?

Unfortunately, Romney increasingly looks like he wants to represent
just 50 percent of the population. He says, you know what, men, women, you
are equal sort of. We don`t want to give you equal pay for equal work. We
don`t that you have a judgment to talk to your doctor and make a very
personal decision, and actually be in the doctor`s office with you. And at
the same time we want to make sure that we kind of grim and kind of wink at
you and say we are going to get a binder full of women but we don`t support
affirmative action.

He is talking enough, he says of his mouth. He all some catch all
Mitt -- he is, you know, catch all Mitt. We need someone who is a
straight talker and actually talks to us about issues that we care about.
And that is why it`s so critical when we`re talking about the Supreme Court
in this case.

SHARPTON: Congresswoman Maloney, you sit in congress. One of your
colleagues said what has got to rank among one of the most outrageous
things I`ve heard. Illinois congressman, Joe Walsh says, abortion is never
necessary to save a woman`s life. Watch this.


REP. JOE WALSH (R), ILLINOIS: This is an issue that opponents of life
throw out there to make us look unreasonable. There`s no such exception of
life of the mother. And as far as health of the mother, same thing with
advances in science and technology, there`s health of the mother has become
a tool for abortions any time under any reason.


SHARPTON: Congresswoman, I mean, this is totally unbelievable. I
mean, how do you respond to one of your colleagues saying this?

MALONEY: It`s a ridiculous idiotic statement and it shows that he
clearly does not understand women`s health. He hasn`t studied it. The
birth of a child -- child birth used to be the number one killer in women
and we now have over 600 deaths a year associated with it.

And to make such a stupid statement, it`s in line with the statement
that Akin made earlier, shows that they don`t understand women. They don`t
understand our health and they are not going to defend us.

President Obama has appointed over half the women to the Supreme
Court. He has consistently had our back. He`s even been in front of us
pushing health care and access to affordable health care that provides a
whole range of preventive health care services and reproductive health care
services, including access to birth control. And he`s the first one who
said being a woman is no longer going to be a pre-existing condition. Our
health and our -- our health insurance can no longer be denied to us
because we are pregnant or taken away from us and they can`t charge us
higher premiums just because we are women.

Now, Mr. Ryan said earlier in your program that there`s no war against
women. The Republicans can call it all they want. But, when all of the
fatalities are women and the hard-fought gains we`ve hl have been under
assault and has passed the House of Representatives, they defunded title
10. They planned parenthood. They passed a bill that said your employers
could deny your access to birth control and dictate your health care.

One of the things that women feel strongly about is we know that
President Obama trusts us. Trusts us to make decisions about our health
care, trust us to know that we should have equal for equal work and what is
very important to me is that should any of these ridiculous bills and ideas
pass the House of Representatives, I know in my heart that President
Obama`s veto pen is filled with ink and he will veto any bill that rolls
back the rights and opportunities of women or men or any American or any
nationality in our great country.

President Obama has a record to run on. He deserves to be re-elected.
Women, men, children, everyone should get out in droves to vote. We have
18 days to go. This is critical. I`ve never seen a stalker division and
thank you for bringing this to us so clearly, Reverend. And happy
birthday. Happy birthday to you.

KUMAR: And keep talking about voter I.D. laws.

SHARPTON: Congressman Carolyn Maloney, thank you. Maria Teresa
Kumar. Thank you both for your time and have a great weekend.

I love this line, his pen is full of ink.

Coming up, Mitt Romney had some fun last night, but the jokes tell a
very real story.

And this man has been arrested for allegedly throwing out voter
registration forms in Virginia. But wait until you hear who he`s linked
to. We have the inside story from Virginia tonight..


SHARPTON: We have a big progress report tonight on the state of the
race. New numbers that reveal what is really happening in this election.
Early voting, either in person or by absentee ballot, has begun in nearly
every state. As a Monday, more than 1.1 million people have voted but as
of today, just four days later, 3.1 million had cast their ballot. That`s
two million votes in just four days.

It`s already Election Day in much of the country and that could be a
critical advantage for the Obama campaign. As of today, Democrats have a
big edge in early and absentee voting in Iowa. Forty nine percent of votes
cast have been by Democrats, compared to 31 percent cast by Republicans.
And the campaign is looking strong in Ohio as well.

The campaign says that 81 percent of those have registered are either
female, under 30, African-American, or Latino. All key democratic voting
blocs. And so far, democratic primary voters who have voted outnumber
Republicans by 28,000. And that`s despite repeated attempts and voter
suppression from Ohio`s republican secretary of state.

But there are still a lot of things to worry about across the country,
including a former republican employee actually throwing out voter form.
We`ll talk about that coming up.


SHARPTON: Welcome back to the show live tonight from Harrisburg,
Pennsylvania. Mitt Romney`s career and his policies inviting with the
Democrats are fighting against in this campaign. On fairness and
inequality. For example, Mitt Romney`s massive skewed toward the wealthy
would leave a $3.6 trillion hole in our budget. At the same time, Paul
Ryan`s budget slashes $3.3 trillion for programs to help the poor. It`s

They literally want to take from the poor and give to the rich.
That`s why it`s so offensive when Paul Ryan`s stages a photo op at an empty
soup kitchen trying to show us he cares about the poor.

Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney claim to care about 100 percent of America
but I think their policies are 100 percent wrong for the country.

Joining me now is Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of
Network of Catholic Social Justice Group and organizer of the nuns on the
bus tour. To protest the Romney/Ryan budget that would hurt the poor. And
Chrystia Freeland, editor of Thomson Reuters Digital. She`s author of a
new book, Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of
Everyone Else. Thanks to you both for being here tonight.



SHARPTON: Sister Simone, what is your reaction when you saw the
staged photo of Paul Ryan at a soup kitchen?

CAMPBELL: Well, quite frankly, it shocked me at first, and then it
really broke my heart. Because we keep inviting him to come and actually
meet the people. And so, I sort of quipped, you know, we really want him
to come not meet the place, meet the people. But he deals with this in a
rather bullying fashion apparently and just wanting this photo op. But he
doesn`t really want to know the reality of folks who live at the margins of
our society, even though they are working so hard they are not getting by.
He just doesn`t want to know them.

SHARPTON: You know, and using the soup kitchen as a photo op not only
does not give him a chance to learn and really developed some kind of
policies, it actually hurt the soup kitchen. The Huffington Post Sister
Simone report that there`s a serious backlash at the Youngstown Ohio soup
kitchen Paul Ryan visited last week.

It says, quote, "Donors have begun an exodus in protest over Ryan`s
embarrassment. The monetary losses have been big. Ryan supporters have
now targeted the soup kitchen including making hundreds of angry phone
calls. Including statements like, I hope you lose your tax exempt status.
Anyone who is thinking about donations to you should think twice." I mean,
this is terrible.

CAMPBELL: It is terrible. And part of it that so terrible is that we
as a nation are better than this. What happened to the nation that cares
for 100 percent? What happens to us who know that folks who struggle at
the margins are doing it because minimum wage is so low, because people
can`t keep their food on the table, and the roof over their head? And
Youngstown is a small town but they have a great issue of poverty because
of factories that have left about the struggling economy.


CAMPBELL: So, I mean, it`s shocking to me, one that Paul Ryan would
do this. But second, those supporters would think that it`s right to
undercut services for people who are poor just because of a fit of
political pick. That`s not who we are as a nation. We the people are
better than this.

SHARPTON: Much better than this. Let me ask you, Chrystia, in your
book "Plutocrats," you write about the rise of the one percent. Let me
read a part that struck me. You write, "In the late 1970s, the income of
middle class started to stagnate and those at the top began to pull away
from everyone else. The switch to the America of the one percent is still
so recent that our intuitive beliefs about how capitalism works haven`t
caught up with the reality. In fact, surging income inequality is such a
strong violation of our expectations that most of us don`t realize it is
happening." Wow, that`s a strong statement.

FREELAND: Well, it`s absolutely true. I mean, there are some
behavioral economists who have done studies with Americans and they show
them. They didn`t tell them what this was but they said -- they showed
them the income equality that exists in the United States and the income
inequality that exists in Sweden, which is a more egalitarian society and
they said, which one of these is America and most people picked the Swedish

People don`t really appreciate how much the middle class has been
hallowed out and how much of the economic gains of the past three decades
have gone to the people at the very, very top. And as Sister Simone said,
I don`t think Americans want to live this way. In the same study, they
then showed Americans an even more egalitarian set-up, a society even more
egalitarian in Sweden. And they offer them these choices and they said,
which one is the kind of society you`d like to live in and most people
chose the even more egalitarian setup.


FREELAND: So, I think the part of the issue is people really don`t
understand how divided the society has become.

SHARPTON: Chrystia, when you look at the graph, the top one percent.
This is a graph from the Congressional Budget Office, it shows how income
inequality has skyrocket over the past 30 years. Top one percent have seen
275 percent gain in incomes since 1979. The bottom, watch this, the bottom
20 percent have had only 18 percent in income gains. Is it that we are in
denial or is it that we are just unaware because this happened so recently
to us?

FREELAND: Well, I think we are in denial and I also think, look, I
think that there is a very powerful rhetorical machine which has made it
its business to tell people that this isn`t a problem. The other thing,
which I think had a really, really big impact, was up until the crisis of
2008, the country was flooded with cheap consumer credit and so even as
people lower down the income distribution, we`re really getting hammered as
long as they could borrow on their credit cards or take out home equity
loans. They felt OK. Now those chickens are really coming home to roost.

SHARPTON: We would like numb.


SHARPTON: Yes, we were numb. All right. Well, Sister Simone, let me
ask you the last question. Where is the political and moral outrage that
leaders in this country ought to be raising their voices and heightening
the consciousness of this as you did with the bus tour this year?

CAMPBELL: Well, I can say that people all over the country are
responding to the bus tour message and when they find out the facts about
this huge disparity, people respond. But the problem is, we need to
educate folks, we need to push beyond the sound bites and one of the
fallacies that`s being said is that, oh, the wealthier the job creators and
I keep saying that, you know, insanity is when you keep doing the same
thing over and over and expect the different result.

Over and over, the wealthy have gotten the break, they have gotten the
bigger money but we don`t have the jobs. It`s time that we break out of
that insanity and that we accept the fact, let`s do it differently, let`s
support the 80 percent, the 100 percent by providing 80 percent with
opportunity. Let`s do it now. And I think people are waking up.

SHARPTON: Sister Simone Campbell and Chrystia Freeland, thank you
both for your time tonight.

CAMPBELL: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Coming up, a republican operative arrested for allegedly
trashing voter registration form, arrested for voter fraud. We`ve got the
inside story with the man who is pressing for an investigation. Next.


SHARPTON: And arrest for voter fraud and the accused is a republican
operative, the real story on that, next.


SHARPTON: We`re back with reports of voter fraud from the Right. A
republican operative has been arrested in Virginia. Colin Small is charged
with 13 counts of voter registration fraud. He`s accused of destroying
voting registration cards. Small is connected to a group headed by this
man, Nathan Sproul whose company was just fired by the Republican National
Committee over a separate investigation of voter registration fraud.

And another one of Sproul`s employees, a woman in Colorado, was
recently caught on tape lying about who she really worked for and
registered only republican voters. But now, a former republican employee
is facing criminal charges for allegedly trashing registration forms. It`s
incredible. There is voter fraud and once again it`s coming from the

Joining me now, state Senator Donald McEachin, a democrat from
Virginia. And Jonathan Capehart, Washington Post opinion writer and MSNBC
contributor. Let me first thank you both for your time tonight.


STATE SEN. DONALD MCEACHIN (D), VIRGINIA: Thank you for having me.

SHARPTON: Senator McEachin, let me start with you. You`re calling
for an investigation. Tell us why.

MCEACHIN: Well, Reverend, voter registration ended on Monday in our
state and now we see Republicans who have been complaining about voter
fraud all through the general assembly session, all through this entire
year, now we see that same party hiring people who ultimately put
registration forms in the trash on the very day they are supposed to be
turned in. What we need to know in Virginia is, is this an isolated
incident or is this something broader and that`s why I`ve called on the
attorney general in our state to launch an investigation.

SHARPTON: Now, so people at home understand, if you put registration
forms in the trash on the last day of registration, people that think they
are registered go to vote are in fact are not registered. So this is a
real criminal act if it`s proven to be what he`s alleged to have done, that
actually denies people the right to vote that register with the intent to
vote. Am I correct?

MCEACHIN: That`s exactly right. Now, it`s my understanding that
those forms that were found in the trash were delivered in time. So those
people are taking care of. What we don`t know is, is this widespread or is
this an isolated incident and, again, if our Attorney General feels like he
shouldn`t handle it, then hire an independent counsel to do it. But we
need in Virginia an investigation. We`re less than 18 days away from
Election Day. We need to know whether our system is fool proof, that is
working the way it will all be working, or if this is something foul and
corrupt going on?

SHARPTON: Jonathan, the senator has said that he`s scared that this
could be more widespread. We know that Colin Small says, he is a
grassroots field director at the Republican National Committee of the RNC
denies any direct link to Small and said, he will be told to, quote, "Take
that page down," where he has been using a pain. But this could be more
widespread and this could be something that is very serious, Jonathan, if
you have got people all over different places, registering people and then
trashing them if they are registering in a party that they don`t want to
see people voted.

CAPEHART: Right. This is not that it could be serious, it is
serious. If it had just been one voter registration card that had been
trashed or ripped apart or not submitted in time, that would be a travesty
against our system of democracy. People have the right to vote and if that
right is infringed, whoever does it should be punished. I, you know, agree
with the state senator that, you know, the Attorney General, the state
should look into this. Some -- capacity should look into what exactly is
going on here.

When the accusation of voter was, you know, directed by Republicans
and Democrats, Democrats rallied around and said, you are creating, for all
of the voter registration ballot initiatives and laws have been put in
place, folks were saying, you were creating a solution for which there is
no problem. And here we have the tables are reverse where you have
Republicans operatives who are actually doing things that are illegal and
against our way of government and, you know, legal authorities have to get
involved to find out not in a partisan basis but on American basis to
ensure that the system is indeed, that there is integrity in the system.

SHARPTON: What is interesting, Senator, is that even the chairman of
the DNC, the chair of the Democratic National Committee, Debbie Wasserman
Schultz said in a statement, quote, "It`s not hard to connect the dots
here, each of these cases is directly connected to Chair Reince Priebus,
who is the chair of the RNC hired a firm headed by Nathan Sproul, a long
time republican consultant with the known history of alleged voter
registration fraud."

Now, Sproul who had been alleged to have been involved in this before,
was hired by the RNC and was told according to him to use a different
company or new name so that it would not look like he was involved. So it
is not paranoia to think that this could be more widespread and planned.

MCEACHIN: Absolutely. And again, that`s why we in Virginia need this
investigation desperately. We need a transparent investigation so that the
public can be reassured that this is an isolated incident or the public can
be alerted that there is something rotten in Richmond.

Senator McEachin and Jonathan Capehart, thank you for your time
tonight. Both of you have a great weekend.

CAPEHART: Thanks, Rev. You too.

MCEACHIN: Thank you.

SHARPTON: And be sure to watch "The Ed Show" tonight. Ed is in
Freeport, Illinois, reporting from Sensata Tech at 8:00 p.m. Eastern right
here on MSNBC. We`ll be right back.


SHARPTON: We`re just 18 days ago in this election, we`ve learned
there things about Governor Romney that he`s trying to hide. But just this
week a man named Jerome Corsi was on the governor campaign plane. Let me
tell you who this guy is. He`s a reporter for a far right conspiracy
website, he`s the guy who`s basically started the birther movement. He
even wrote a book called, "Where`s the Birth Certificate?" His latest
theory, the President is secretly gay.

Governor Romney has been dancing with the far right of the party from
the start and he`s trying to hide it. And you be sure to watch tonight`s
"Ed Show." Ed is in Freeport, Illinois reporting on Sensata. Those are
the kind of people that we identify with. I will be there with those
workers tomorrow, whose jobs are being outsourced to China. I will rally
with them tomorrow afternoon. You say a lot by the company you keep.
Whether it is in Harrisburg tonight standing for voter rights, whether
joining workers tomorrow.

I would rather fight for those who want to make America better and
enjoy America than to be with those that will try and slander the
President, even if you disagree with his politics. We do not have to get
down all the way in the gutter in order to elevate ourselves to heights and
politics. That`s not what this country is all about. It`s about giving
people a chance, that`s why I`m going to Illinois tomorrow.

Thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton. "HARDBALL" starts right now.


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