All In With Chris Hayes, Monday, February 3, 2014
Read the transcript from the Monday show
ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
February 3, 2014
Guests: Kate Zernike, Bill Pascrell, Bob Herbert, Tara Dowdell, Kevin
Walsh, David Edelstein, Carl Hart
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
For the first time in 3 1/2 weeks, Governor Chris Christie has spoken
publicly about bridgegate in an hour-long radio appearance that concluded
just minutes ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RADIO HOST: So let`s talk about some of the new developments that have
been going on, and I want to talk a little bit about David Wildstein as we
open up this program. Your former appointee to the Port Authority claimed
through his lawyer that he`s got evidence to show that you knew about the
lane closings in Fort Lee while they were happening. Your office put out a
pretty strong response to Alan Zegas` letter.
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: Yep.
RADIO HOST: What, in particular, do you dispute in Wildstein`s account at
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: We`ll bring it all to you in a moment.
But, first, the latest big developments, the fifth person goes down in the
midst of bridgegate. Christina Genovese Renna, the now former director of
governmental affairs, quietly resigned on Friday. Renna is one of the 20
persons or entities subpoenaed in relation to bridge-gate. Renna answered
to now fired deputy chief of staff, Bridget Anne Kelly.
And Renna`s Friday resignation was not released from her lawyer until
Sunday, about an hour before the Super Bowl kickoff.
Renna saying through her lawyer, "This reflects a decision I`ve been
considering since shortly after the election."
Whether or not she knew about the bridgegate scheme to close lanes on Fort
Lee, Renna does appear in e-mails regarding the lane closure, participating
in damage control.
For example, "The mayor," and this is referring to the mayor of Fort Lee,
"is extremely upset about the reduction of toll lanes from three to one,"
Renna wrote in the e-mail to Kelly. "Not only is it causing a horrendous
backup in town, first responders are having a terrible time maneuvering the
traffic because the backup is so severe. The mayor told the Evan he has no
idea why Port Authority decided to do this, but there`s a feeling in town
that it is government retribution for something. He simply can`t
understand why that would be the case, however, because he`s always been so
supportive of the governor."
She joins former deputy chief of staff Kelly, Port Authority Christie
appointee David Wildstein, Port Authority deputy executive director Bill
Baroni and former Christie campaign manager and close adviser Bill Stepien
as those who have resigned or were fired or sidelined in the midst of the
Today, Bridget Anne Kelly invoking the Fifth Amendment. She declined to
produce subpoenaed documents.
And speaking of former Port Authority executive director Bill Baroni, "The
Wall Street Journal" is reporting his clearly discredited testimony came
after parts of four to five days of prep with a lawyer. Just any old
lawyer? No. This lawyer, Philip Kwon.
And if that name rings a bell, well, that`s the man who Governor Christie
unsuccessfully nominated to be on the state Supreme Court. A close
Christie ally helping to prep Mr. Baroni for parts of four to five days
before Mr. Baroni claimed that the Fort Lee lane closures were part of
legitimate traffic study.
Meanwhile, former Port Authority official David Wildstein having leveled
the charge that evidence exists that Christie knew of the lane closures
during the time of the lane closures is now a target of an attack from
Governor Christie by an email to Christie allies. We will dive into that
momentarily as well.
But it`s something you would normally expect in a political campaign
against a political opponent.
Governor Christie`s office also today sent supporters a virtual bucketful
of information suggesting the latest big accusation is really the media`s
fault. It begins with criticism of the original "New York Times" on the
Wildstein story from Friday, includes editorials, interviews, and tweets
espousing the idea "The New York Times" headline was sloppy and misleading.
All this surfacing before whatever mountain of new information may soon
come out from documents that are right now are either being collected or
making their way to the New Jersey investigative committee in response to
20 subpoenas in conjunction with today`s deadline. Many, including the
Christie campaign, were granted extensions. But it`s all coming.
And that, everything I`ve just said, is just the bridge scandal. There`s
also new reporting and information coming to light about Sandy funds which
we`ll talk about later in the show. And it is against all of this, against
this backdrop, that the governor today chose to break his silence with the
voters of New Jersey.
Governor Christie having not addressed this issue in a media availability
since that marathon January 9th news conference, not counting the questions
Christie took from schoolchildren about a week ago.
Just now, Governor Christie said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTIE: The most important issue is did I know anything about the plan
to close these lanes? Did I authorize it? Did I know about it? Did I
approve it? Did I have any knowledge of it beforehand?
And the answer is still the same. It`s unequivocally, no. And in fact, no
one`s ever accused me of that. And that`s the thing that I think the
people of New Jersey care about the most.
Now, when did I first know about the lane closures?
RADIO HOST: Yes.
CHRISTIE: You know, the fact is that the first time this really came into
my consciousness, as an issue, was when Pat Foye, the executive director of
the Port Authority`s e-mail about this incident was leaked to the media and
reported on. And that was the first time that I got a sense that there
might be some issue here.
RADIO HOST: And who brought that to your attention? Was that staff?
CHRISTIE: No, it was news accounts. I mean --
RADIO HOST: You read them personally or did somebody bring it to your
CHRISTIE: No, I read it. I read it in "The Wall Street Journal." It was
that day, then, I read that, that Pat Foye was saying I didn`t know about
this, it wasn`t cleared through me. Whatever else he said in that e-mail.
That`s when I asked my chief of staff and chief counsel, I said, hey, would
you look into this and see what`s going on here?
Now, if, prior to that, I know prior to that that there were press accounts
about traffic issues up there.
RADIO HOST: Uh-huh.
CHRISTIE: And if someone, you know, if I either read that or someone said
something to me about traffic issues up there, it wouldn`t have been
meaningful to me because I didn`t know that there was any problem up there.
You know, because I didn`t know that we had actually closed the lanes up
there before that.
RADIO HOST: Are you confident, at this point in your day-to-day
operations, that there is nobody on your staff right now that is lying to
CHRISTIE: There`s been nothing that`s been brought to light so far that
would make me believe that anyone is. But I`ll tell you something -- I`m
not warranting anything anymore after what happened before.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now, Kate Zernike, New Jersey correspondent for "The New
York Times", who has been identified by the Christie folks as the villain
in the story the last two days. I want to get your response to that in a
But, first, let`s talk about Chris Christie`s response there -- very
similar to the initial response from the Christie folks in response to
David Wildstein`s lawyer`s letter, in which the Christie people said this
confirms what we`ve always said, that the governor had no prior knowledge.
Again, when he`s asked during the Q&A on the radio, his response is, look,
this is what I`ve been saying, I had no prior knowledge.
It is not his prior knowledge subject to dispute by David Wildstein. Am I
KATE ZERNIKE, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Yes, what David Wildstein said in his
letter was two things. He said the governor knew about these lane closings
while they were going on, and evidence exists to prove that. And then he
said -- and Governor Christie lied during the two-hour press conference.
He said he made -- that the truth and the evidence contradicts what
Christie said in the marathon two-hour press conference and he said, "He
said things about me and I can prove what he said about me is wrong."
So, yes, you`re right, Christie is in some ways moving the goal post here.
He`s saying, "Well, I never said that I knew anything about this prior and
that`s what the people of New Jersey care about." So, he`s sort of leaving
room for Wildstein`s accusation to be true, which is that he knew about it
during the lane closures.
HAYES: So, one of things I think that we have to think about when we think
about the plausibility of the governor not knowing. And again -- this is
the governor`s own story. I mean, this is what the governor is saying, in
his two-hour press conference, what he`s held to, which is I had no idea.
Basically, this entire wildfire was happening and didn`t get to my level.
This is the story from the governor.
One of the things I think is important, that Randy Foye, the guy at the
Port Authority --
ZERNIKE: Pat Foye.
HAYES: Sorry, Pat Foye, the guy at the Port Authority who ends up sending
this very angry e-mail. That was a kind of declaration of interstate war.
I mean, that -- if you read that document, that`s not the kind of thing
that stays at a low level. That`s one of the high-ranking officials on
this very contentious interstate agency saying you guys have screwed up
And so, in that context, it`s not implausible that that would rise to the
ZERNIKE: Well, sure, there`s that, which is October 1st when he finds out
about that. And you`re right, Pat Foye not only says lanes were closed
against my knowledge, he being the executive director of the Port
Authority. He says federal and state laws may have been broken. He talks
about the possibility people may have died because of this because first
responders couldn`t get there in time because of the traffic.
But keep in mind also that the governor`s office, we know this from
documents that have been produced, the governor`s office had many phone
calls. The governor`s appointees at the Port Authority had many phone
calls from the mayor of Fort Lee who claimed he made between 20 and 30
phone calls to people at the Port Authority and governor`s office. We`ve
seen e-mails. Bridget Kelly, Christie`s deputy chief of staff had an e-
mail saying the mayor is very upset about this, on September 12th.
ZERNIKE: The governor is saying I didn`t know about this until October 1st
when "The Wall Street Journal" reported it.
HAYES: The Christie campaign put out this memo today saying your write-up
of the Wildstein letter in "The New York Times" was sloppy, it was
erroneous, it gave the wrong impression, that there was a feeding frenzy
because of your sloppiness, and that you and "The New York Times" have an
agenda. You`re out to get Chris Christie.
What`s your response?
ZERNIKE: No, I`m not out to get Chris Christie, nor am I the story really.
I mean, I`ve said this before. When I wasn`t the issue, when MSNBC was the
issue, they`re constantly changing the target, you know, accuse of certain
things. They try to accuse someone else of something. They try to deflect
what`s going on.
Our story, initially the news alert that went out said what the news was
and what the news remains, which is ex Christie ally says the governor knew
of lane closures while they were happening.
What we said in the original leads which was up for 20 minutes said that
David Wildstein said the governor was lying about this and -- sorry, the
governor knew about these during lane closings and has evidence to prove
it, evidence exists. What he has evidence of is that he was lying about
So, but again, we fixed the story. I don`t think, you know, we posted the
letter that was actually there. So, I think, you know --
HAYES: Everyone has the letter now, right?
HAYES: And whether that evidence is ever produced is a sort of outstanding
HAYES: There`s a lot of evidence that is coming in right now as we speak.
Of course. And we will sort of talk about that a little later in the show.
Kate Zernike from "The New York Times" -- thank you so much.
ZERNIKE: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: All right. Joining me now, Congressman Bill Pascrell, Democrat
from New Jersey. His district includes Fort Lee.
Congressman, I have to play you I thought a somewhat interesting bit of the
governor`s Q&A session on the radio just now. Take a listen to what he
said about the possibility this all was actually a traffic study. Take a
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTIE: As I said at the time of January 9th, when I did my press
conference, I still don`t know whether there was a traffic study that
morphed into --
RADIO HOST: You still don`t know at this point whether there was a traffic
CHRISTIE: Well, what I`m saying, Eric, did this start as a traffic study
that then morphed into some political shenanigans or did it start as
political shenanigans that became a traffic study? There`s information
that was given to the legislature about counts of E-ZPass, about wait times
and all the rest of that that was done, that at the time seems to indicate
to me that there was a traffic study.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Congressman, can you shed any light for the governor on whether or
not there was a traffic study?
REP. BILL PASCRELL (D), NEW JERSEY: Well, according to Mr. Foye, by the
way, traffic would still be backed up in Fort Lee if it wasn`t for the e-
mail of Mr. Foye many, many months later.
HAYES: That`s exactly right.
PASCRELL: I mean, we asked, many of us, I asked exactly on the September
the 13th when I wrote the letter to the Port Authority. Still never got an
I mean, no one`s kidding anybody here. We want the facts. There`s very
little transparency in this administration. Whether it`s we`re talking
about the bridge or whether we`re talking about Sandy money, which is all
coming out. It`s all going to come out. All the facts are going to be on
The issue is not the governor. The issue is the people who suffered in
Fort Lee and the people who suffered because they`re not back into their
homes or don`t know whether they`re coming or going, whether they`re down
the shore or in North Jersey that were affected.
And I have an obligation. I have responsibility. I fought for that money,
as did every congressman, Republican and Democrat, in the state of New
Jersey. We want to know how the money is being spent. We want to know who
is overseeing this. Who has the responsibility of monitoring?
The governor knows a lot about monitoring. When he was a U.S. attorney, he
monitored many of the major corporations that were shafting the American
public. He knows about monitoring. Who do you put in that position to
I don`t want to hear this that we can`t come up with an independent study
to see how the money`s being spent concerning the Sandy money, and I don`t
want to hear that we still don`t know months later what happened. What
kind of -- where was he? Where was he, New Mexico? Where was he, in Nova
Scotia, when this was going on?
And we have pictures that he`s with his people on September the 11th right
in the heart of the backup of the traffic.
I personally believe Mayor Sokolich, that`s who I believe. You can believe
whoever you wish.
HAYES: Is it possible, I mean, you`re a member of the New Jersey
congressional delegation. This is -- we`re talking about the city --
PASCRELL: The last time I looked.
HAYES: You`re talking about the sitting governor. We`re also talking
about the issue of prime importance if, I imagine, for the delegation which
is the different waves of this federal money.
Can you work with this governor? Do you trust him? Do you view him as
trustworthy? Do you view his people as trustworthy?
PASCRELL: Well, my record the last four years, the governor duly elected,
and I`ve been duly recollected, that I work for the governor, I work very
hard with the governor. I said when he was right when he was right.
But we`re not -- nobody`s perfect. You know what, power corrupts, absolute
power corrupts absolutely. No one can prove to me that this administration
has been transparent on a number of issues.
There are questions that are hanging out there. You want me to believe
that it took this e-mail to get the governor to even think -- what did he
do about it? I want to know what the governor did after he got the e-mail,
after he found out, regardless of where, regardless of where he first read
HAYES: Congressman Bill Pascrell of New Jersey, thank you for your time
Coming up, this was supposed to be a major weekend for Chris Christie. It
didn`t go so well. A recap, ahead.
HAYES: More on Chris Christie`s no good rotten Super Bowl weekend, next.
HAYES: Tonight, the Super Bowl is over, the NFL has packed up its tent and
Chris Christie is left behind to pick up the pieces after wrapping up what
could be his worst weekend yet.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now you know what bothers me, I`m a New Yorker, is that
I keep hearing people saying the New York Super Bowl.
CHRISTIE: Oh, it`s outrageous.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How are you taking it over there in New Jersey?
CHRISTIE: Like we do most things, Regis, very badly.
HAYES (voice-over): It was supposed to be his moment. The Jersey boy who
brought the Super Bowl to the Garden State was given yet another
opportunity this weekend to introduce himself to a national audience. It
didn`t go so well.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Governor Chris Christie. Governor?
CHRISTIE: Good afternoon, everybody. You already heard enough speeches.
Enough speeches of the same thing.
HAYES: It quickly became clear this was not going to be Chris Christie`s
weekend. On Friday, just hours before he was set to introduce Jon Bon Jovi
to sing "Dead or Alive" at Howard Stern`s birthday party --
HOWARD STERN, RADIO PERSONALITY: I happen to be a Chris Christie fan and I
think it`s been very good for New Jersey.
HAYES: A "New York Times" story broke quoting David Wildstein`s lawyer
that evidence exists that Christie had knowledge of the lane closures in
And then it got worse. Saturday afternoon, the Christie administration
sent out a rambling "BuzzFeed"-style listical to friends and allies titled
"Five things you should know about the bombshell that`s not a bombshell."
The two-page document included a section focusing on David Wildstein`s
reputation at Livingston High School. He and Christie both went there over
30 years ago.
CHRISTIE: I was the class president and athlete. I don`t know what David
was doing during that period of time.
HAYES: According to team Christie, Wildstein was "publicly accused by his
high school social studies teacher of deceptive behavior." The list did
not mention that Wildstein was known as Governor Christie`s eyes and ears
inside the Port Authority after he was appointed by the governor to work at
the Port Authority. Or that Wildstein was responding to the governor`s
deputy chief of staff when he wrote "got it" to "creating some traffic in
Or even that when Wildstein resigned amidst scandal, Christie`s own
spokesperson called him a "tireless advocate for New Jersey`s interest at
the Port Authority."
And if Friday and Saturday weren`t headache-inducing for the governor
enough, here`s how Christie`s weekend ended.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fans in the terminal were packed like sardines.
Security lines added to the backup.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Miserable failure.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the most ridiculous transportation getting here
and from I have ever been in my life.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People are trapped out here. It`s cold. And I`ve been
to 17 Super Bowls and I`ve never seen anything like this.
HAYES: A human traffic jam, nearly 30,000 people, waiting to get on New
Right now, Chris Christie has very few allies left. His public approval is
dropping down in New Jersey by 14 points since October. Christie`s only
hope is convincing the right wing of his party that he is the victim of
And yesterday, after snubbing the governor last year, CPAC, the annual
confab of conservatives announced they`d be welcoming him back in 2014 with
HAYES: Joining me now, Bob Herbert, distinguished senior fellow at the
progressive think tank Demos, and former "New York Times" columnist and
political strategist Tara Dowdell.
Bob, that email, the memo that they gave to Mike Allen at "Politico" over
the weekend just struck me as amateur hour, that they`re flailing over
BOB HERBERT, DEMOS: Well, you know, before this traffic problem occurred
when people were talking about Chris Christie as a potential GOP
presidential nominee, I had said on the air and other places that I didn`t
think that would ever happen and I thought the reasons were that he was
petty, that he was a bully and that he and his operation were not ready for
This is what`s unfolding now. And they`ve got a real problem because
they`ve got the state investigation going on, more importantly they`ve got
the federal investigation going on and they`ve got disaffected staffers who
have been taking the Fifth Amendment and who are looking for deals. So,
they really do need to get their act together.
HAYES: I also thought it was interesting that you have them now lashing
out at the media, which I think is in some ways kind of a smart tactical
play. I mean, at this point, they are trying, I think, to endear
themselves to a conservative base and conservative media that doesn`t have
much affection for them but the surest way to do that is convince them that
you are the target of liberal persecution.
TARA DOWDELL, POLITICAL STRATEGIST: Exactly right. You either convince
them you`re a target of liberal persecution or attack President Obama.
That`s your two ways to endear yourself to the Republican Party base.
I think the bigger issue for Chris Christie, though, he`s used to ruling by
fear, but the problem is no one`s scared anymore. So, he`s not used to
being challenged. And when he is challenged, his response has always been
to lash out. And a lot of times his lashing out has been in an amateurish
way, but the difference is, now, people smell blood in the water.
So people aren`t allowing that anymore. They`re pushing back against him.
And that`s never happened and that`s why you see him really struggling.
He`s not used to being pushed back against.
HAYES: My response to the Wildstein thing the other day was, look, there`s
this mystery that this whole thing started with. The whole thing started
with a mystery. Why people started -- why they shut down these lanes?
This is kind of weird. Why did these people resign over it?
Why did Bridget Anne Kelly send this e-mail? If someone in Christie`s
office where Chris Christie would clear it up, that would go a long way to
cauterizing the wound. But, of course, they won`t do that.
HERBERT: He needs to do -- exactly. He needs to do that now. He`s the
one who is in the perfect position to find out, how did this get started?
And he would be able to find that out. You don`t need subpoena power. You
just need to be the governor.
But one of the things --
HAYES: You also -- wait, let me say -- you also need to have a little bit
of managerial control over your staff. I mean, this whole idea, like, he
was on the radio today talking about we`re conducting this investigation.
We brought in this law firm.
Just find out, why did this happen?
HERBERT: Well, that`s the problem. He had tremendous control over his
HAYES: That`s the problem.
HERBERT: He`s not -- he`s not finding out -- or he`s not saying what went
on because he doesn`t want to say what`s going on. What I think is really
interesting, in response to this Wildstein`s lawyer`s letter and then
Christie`s -- the administration`s attack on Wildstein, and also on Bridget
Kelly calling her a liar and that sort of thing. If you go by Chris
Christie`s assessment of what these top staffers were like, he`s had a
staff of liars and incompetence.
You have to ask yourself, what does that say about his selection process?
HAYES: If you pull out the hatchet on David Wildstein and convince
everyone that the guy`s an untrustworthy sociopath, he`s the untrustworthy
sociopath you made a job for at the Port Authority to be your point person.
HERBERT: He`s your guy.
HAYES: So, you own that.
HERBERT: He`s your untrustworthy --
DOWDELL: Yes, exactly.
HAYES: McKay Coppins had this piece a while ago when this started to break
talking about the donor class in the Republican Party freaking out about
this. And you`ve recently seen this strange talk that Mitt Romney`s going
to run a third time.
HAYES: And McKay had a tweet today where he said, look, that`s the donor
class grasping at straws because Chris Christie was their guy. As they
watch him go down, the finance, the hedge fund folks, all the kind of GOP
big-money people who thought he was their ticket, they don`t know what to
DOWDELL: Because they remember, they also wanted him to run last time
HAYES: That`s right.
DOWDELL: So, they were pushing him. That was the main group of people
pushing him to run. So, now, they are absolutely afraid.
One of the things I think people may or may not have noticed is you don`t
see a lot of the local New Jersey Republican politicians coming to Chris
HAYES: There`s no one. No one. Literally. There are no surrogates.
There is Rudy Giuliani and no one else.
DOWDELL: Because he`s antagonized so many of them, they felt he was all
about himself, that he did not help them raise money, did not support their
candidacies. And so, a lot of them are upset. You better believe that
behind closed doors, they are pushing to let this play out so they can be
absolved, but that the result will still benefit them.
HAYES: There`s that old saying, everyone you meet on your way up, you`re
going to meet on your way down. Like, that is a profound life lesson that
Chris Christie is learning right now.
Bob Herbert from Demos, political strategist, Tara Dowdell, thank you both.
HERBERT: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: A new analysis shows, quote, "multiple irregularities" in how the
state of New Jersey has decided who gets what Sandy money. Just what are
the multiple irregularities? I`m going to tell you, next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTIE: What I`m curious about what is happened here and that`s why I`ve
authorized an internal investigation, as I talked about on January 9th.
And we`ve hired a law firm to come in and do that internal investigation.
They`re working really hard. They`re working diligently. I can`t wait for
them to be finished so I can get the full story here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Chris Christie earlier this evening is talking about the Fort Lee
lane closures. Now, according to a report from Rutgers University, the New
Jersey town of New Brunswick ranks 188th on the list of New Jersey
communities that suffered the most hardship due to Hurricane Sandy, 188,
that means New Brunswick simply did not get hit very hard compared to other
So you have to wonder why, as NBC 4 in New York revealed yesterday $4.8
million in Sandy relief funds, $4.8 million went to help build this, a
luxury apartment tower in New Brunswick, complete are fitness center and
10,000 square feet of retail space along with just 48 units of affordable
housing. It`s another data point driving growing questions over how Chris
Christie`s administration divvied up its sandy money.
Today we learned a New Jersey spotlight analysis showed multiplier
regularities allocated much. The same pot of money that Hoboken Mayor Dawn
Zimmer says the Christie administration stiffed her city on as part of the
Christie administration`s attempt to get her to support a development
project backed by the governor.
There`s the town of Belleville, New Jersey, which ranks down at 254th on
that communities hardest hit by Sandy. Christie helped channel $6 million
in Sandy money to a senior complex in Belleville that was conceived years
before the storm. When the Democratic mayor went on to endorse Christie
less than two weeks after the funding was announced.
It was one more example that makes you wonder who in New Jersey is minding
the store on Sandy money? It`s our own intrepid Steve Kornacki reported
this weekend, the answer may well be nobody in order to protect against
waste, fraud and abuse That law went into effect March of last year. And
guess when New Jersey Treasury Department says it began putting a law, a
law signed more than ten months ago into practice?
Not until January of this year, 2014. That`s right. The Sandy money has
been going out the door, but it appears integrity monitors were not put in
place until last month in the wake of the scandal that is now engulfing the
Joining me now, Kevin Walsh, the associate director of Fair Share Housing
Center! You guys have been doing incredible work in trying to get to the
bottom of where this Sandy aid is going. Today, Mark Ferzan, the Sandy
oversight czar that Chris Christie personally appointed, he gave a kind of
conference call press conference today. And he says politics has played
absolutely no role in disaster recovery. There is nothing that is more
highly regulated than federal recovery disaster grants." what is your
response to the statement "politics has played absolutely no role in
disaster recovery"? Is that credible?
KEVIN WALSH, FAIR SHARE HOUSING CENTER: Then what did? We`re still left
trying to figure out. We`ve had to sue, we`ve had to push, and we`ve had
to demand, again, just basic information about how the money is being
allocated. No one knows. If you go and you ask, if you go to the website,
you look for the rules, you can`t find them on the state`s web site. The
only place you can find them is on our web site because we sued and got
them and put them up. Victims of Sandy throughout the state are left
wondering when the money is coming in because they`re still out of their
homes. They`re still sleeping on couches. The mold is getting worse. And
here we are a year later and basic questions are still unanswered.
HAYES: That`s an important point that while we`re talking about this money
for senior center in Belleville, this money for a luxury development in New
Brunswick, there are people who indisputably were impacted by Sandy that
are getting kicked out of their houses, who are homeless, in between places
that have not seen restitution or recovery money, right? I mean, it`s not
theoretical this money is going to, say, a New Brunswick development and
not people actually affect.
WALSH: Absolutely! We hear every day from people who say I`m tired of the
press conferences saying mission accomplished. I`m tired of people saying
that everything is going well when there are complete there`s a complete
and utter lack of transparency and people get letters from the state that
say we`re not giving you money and they don`t know why. The letter doesn`t
tell them why.
HAYES: The New Brunswick story, does that surprise you?
WALSH: It doesn`t surprise me. The state has had little commitment to
actually putting the money where the need is greatest. There`s some value
to some extent in getting housing built.
WALSH: When politics is playing the role it is, when it seems like its
political favoritism over documented need, it`s putting off a really bad
sense in people`s minds in New Jersey.
HAYES: The press call today was to announce there`s another $1.2 billion
about to come in to the feds and go out the door. Given the reporting by
Steve Kornacki of the lack of integrity monitors, given the fact we don`t
have real independent transparent oversight, are you at all confident that
money is going to go to the right people and not be used as slush fund?
WALSH: They`ve given no indication that they`re going to correct the
mistakes of the past. The worst thing we can do is allow the money to come
in and have the same mistakes that they`ve made in the past happen again
because we`re not going to get another chance. This could be the last
money that`s coming in. The federal government, the HUD secretary, the
Obama administration needs to make sure that this money is well spent. If
it doesn`t, we`re not going to recover in the way we should.
HAYES: I couldn`t help but notice that one of the things that is asked for
in this new the state wants to take $5 million of federal money and run
some more stronger than the storm ads. What do you think about that?
WALSH: I`ve never heard anybody who supported them. We get a lot of calls
from people. We have a toll free number set up so people can call us. We
hear from a lot of folks and nobody, not a single person has said that they
support that "was impacted by the storm." It`s a bad idea.
HAYES: There`s a story, we won`t get to it tonight, but there`s a story
about a canceled contract to oversee the money that does not look square at
all. There are a lot of questions about it. We`re going to be asking some
of those in the days ahead. Kevin Walsh from the Fair Share Housing
Center, thank you.
WALSH: Thank you.
HAYES: He left an indelible mark with every role he touched, on film and
stage. Philip Seymour Hoffman! Our tribute to the actor, coming up.
HAYES: Make a list of your favorite movies of all-time. I recently did.
Chances are Philip Seymour Hoffman is in at least one of them. He made
more than 50 films in a span of 25 years. We`re going to talk about some
of our favorites, next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN: I got sober when I was 22 years old. Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So this was drugs or alcohol or both?
HOFFMAN: Yes, all. All that stuff. Yes, I couldn`t get my hands of it.
Yes. Yes. I liked it all. Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And why did you decide to stop?
HOFFMAN: You get panicked. You get panicked. It was -- I was 22 and I
got panicked for my life. It really was. It was just that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Philip Seymour Hoffman, an actor who is being universally
recognized as one of the greatest actor of his generation is dead at age
46. Found yesterday reportedly with a needle in his arm and at least two
plastic envelopes nearby. Today, we`re getting more details. Police say
lab tests came back positive for heroin. Test to find out whether the
heroin was tainted is still ongoing.
We now know detectives found approximately 50 bags of heroin in the actor`s
apartment, some used and some unused along with a litany of prescription
drugs. Philip Seymour Hoffman is a family man leaves behind three young
children, a son and two daughters. He battled substance abuse early in his
life and stays cleaned until last May. He admitted to TMZ relapsed first
with prescription pills, recently escalated to snorting heroin.
Checked him into a detox facility for ten days! Philip Seymour Hoffman
thrilled us. His transformational chameleonic, mastery of his body in its
use as an instrument! Truman Capote. To the cult leader Lancaster Dodd!
To his role in Lester banks in "almost famous" where he made outsiders feel
like they belonged
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Women will always be a problem for guys like us. Most
of the great art in the world is about that very problem. Good looking
people, they got no spine. Their art never lasts. They get the girls.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. I can really see that now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, because great art is about guilt and longing and,
you know, love disguises sex and sex disguises love. Face it. You got a
big head start.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Glad you were home.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m always home. I`m on call.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Me, too!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re doing great. The only true currency in this
bankrupt is what you share with someone else when you`re uncool.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: "There was no actor in our time who more ably suggested that each
of us is a sum of our secrets. No actor who better let us know what he
knew, which is when each of us returns alone to our room, all bets are
off." everyone who`s watched Philip Seymour Hoffman is shaking their head
in disbelief and despair.
Joining me, David Edelstein, chief film critic for "New York" magazine.
David, great to have you here. I was taken aback by how upset I found
myself in the wake of the fuse. I think partly because of his incredible
talent and his presence in films that all of us loved. Our affection for
him! It`s just a real blow.
DAVID EDELSTEIN, CHIEF FILM CRITIC, "NEW YORK" MAGAZINE: This sucks. This
really sucks. You can`t the first thing I wrote that I put on Facebook was
I can`t say on the air. And the second thing, and the third thing, this is
such a tremendous blow. And after not just a great actor, but an actor who
was continuing to evolve, a fearless actor. An actor who made it a point I
mean, it was almost his source of vanity to do what other actors didn`t do.
HAYES: I want to show a few clips. I want to show this clip from "doubt"
which is Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman, peak top of their game
actors in unrelenting ferocious dramatic attack upon each other.
Incredible scene! Take a look.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have no right to go rummaging through my past.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have a history. This is your third parish in
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Call the pastor.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ask him why I left. It`s perfectly innocent.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m not calling the pastor.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m a good priest.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Go after another child. And another child until you
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What nun did you speak to?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I won`t say.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`ve not touched a child.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You haven`t the slightest proof of anything.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But I have my certainty. And with that, go to your
last parish and the one before that. If necessary, I`ll find a parent.
Trust me, Father Flynn, I will.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have no right to act on your own. You have taken
vows. Obedience being one! You answer to us.
HAYES: He had a tremendous physical presence. I`m struck going back
through all the clips today watching him was his unbelievable meticulous
control over his own body, his bearing
EDELSTEIN: He actually hated his body. I mean, he complained constantly
about how easy it was for him to put on weight. And I think maybe some of
that self-disgust made him take chances with his body to sort solve go to
the other direction, go be anti-shame.
HAYES: Vanity is the enemy of truthful acting.
EDELSTEIN: Well, all actors are vain, but there can be a kind of anti-
vanity. He told me once when I did a profile with him, he had fights in
the editing room with Bennett Miller because he wanted Truman Capote to
come off as less attractive, cut in a way to emphasize the manipulation and
the cunning. He said to me I think way to empathy is not to show him more
vulnerable and nicer, but to show him more unattractive.
EDELSTEIN: Because none of us are truly benign and we can relate more
easily to somebody who isn`t! I actually questioned that sometimes. I
said, you know, I said to him, we`re not always who we are really at our
worst. But I think he sought out.
EDELSTEIN: The grotesquery in everyone he played.
HAYES: And there was this raw, sometimes ugly vulnerability in many of his
characters that was just you could not look away in its honesty. I mean,
character after character, there is something where even when he`s playing
real scumbags, even when he`s playing repellent, unlikable scoundrels you
could not take your eyes off him. David Edelstein from "New York"
magazine, thank you for being with us.
EDELSTEIN: Thank you.
HAYES: All right, Last month the governor of Vermont devoted his entire
state of the state, whole thing, address, to the issue of heroin addiction
in his state. Why? Because of that blue line right there, the red one, I
should say. That`s heroin use in Vermont over the last decade and the
number one crisis facing that state.
Vermont is not alone, and Philip Seymour Hoffman was not alone. Addiction
and heroin-related deaths have skyrocketed recently across the country.
We`re going to talk about why in a moment.
HAYES: Philip Seymour Hoffman`s death has done what it has done is bring
into sharp focus the tragedy of overdose deaths in this country. In
Pennsylvania, heroin laced with the powerful pain killer Fentinol has led
to 14 overdose deaths in the last month, as many as 22 deaths statewide.
Maryland, the State Department of Health and Mental hygiene says 37 have
died of overdoses. Vermont, heroin use has become such a problem that
Democratic Governor Peter Shulman used his entire state of the state to
talk about the issue.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOVERNOR PETER SHULMAN (D), VERMONT: In every corner of the state, heroin
and opiate drug addiction threatens us. The facts speak for themselves.
In Vermont, since 2000, we`ve seen more than a 770 percent increase in
treatment for all opiates. What started as an OxyContin and prescription
drug addiction problem in Vermont has now grown into a full-blown heroin
In fact, in 2000, nearly 400 people were treated for heroin abuse in
Vermont. 2012 that number shot up to almost 3,500! Not just the
northeast. It`s a problem nationwide. According to 2012 substance abuse
and mental health services administration survey, between 2007 and 2012,
the number of heroin usage ages 12 and up doubled.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me, Dr. Carl Hart, a neuroscientist who specializes in
studying the effects of drugs, associate professor at Columbia University
Author of the book "high price." the governor mentioned something I have
read in a number of places that basically there`s a big prescription
painkiller problem in this country that then lawmakers crack down on and
crack down the way they know which is barring access, right? Restricting
Oxycontin and squeeze the balloon and people have now gone to heroin to
find the fix.
CARL HART, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY: I don`t know, that`s what some people
claim that happens. I`m not sure what`s happening. A number of things you
just played in terms of the Fentinol-laced heroin, I don`t know how
accurate that thing is. When we think about Fentinol and heroin, it would
make the drug more potent. If they`re making the drug more potent, they`d
I`m not sure exactly what`s going on, but what I do know is when we think
of heroin, opiate deaths, 75 percent of the people who die because they
combine the drug with alcohol. If we focus on public health information,
education campaign, just tell people if you`re going to use opioids, don`t
combine it with alcohol.
HAYES: I hear that and I think about the horror of the grip of addiction
and I think about the horror of the people that are in the grips of an
addiction to an opiate like heroin. It seems like.
HART: Wait, make no mistake about it. Most of the people dying from
heroin overdose are probably I don`t know if they`re addicted. When we
think of addiction, you`re tolerant to many affects and can take a lot more
heroin than people who are not addicted. People are conflating a number of
things. This is part of the problem. This is part of the ignorance that
the public has. I think it`s incumbent upon us to do a better job at
educating the public about what addiction is, about what opiate use is and
the likelihood of really having an opioid overdose or something else.
HAYES: All right, so then if it`s not -- if overdoses are happening to
people not necessarily because of addiction, or those two are distinct
problems, right, the problem of addiction, as distinct from overdosing,
right, what is the way what do we know about how we reduce that level of
incidence, in a society?
HAYES: If we think about the level you mean how do we reduce addiction in
HART: Yes, exactly. That`s the goal. Again, education, when we think
about addiction to opioids or heroin, people are addicted for a variety of
reasons. Some have psychiatric co-occurring conditions that are not met.
People have a wide range of reasons. If we want to think about solving
this problem, that means we have to first of all stop the hysteria, like
everybody is speculating about Mr. Seymour`s death.
I don`t know what happened. Not yet. The information is not in. And the
speculation is clouding our ability to actually really think about how to
deal with the problem appropriately. Until the information comes in, I
think people should just really chill.
HAYES: I think it`s hard to look yes. I mean, I think what we do is we
look into the horror of this, right, and when we feel angry and frustrated
and also know I think people think about their own reactions to people in
their lives, right? Who have been kind of confined, taken away from them
because of addiction and there is a deep emotional response to that.
HART: Make no mistake about it. I lost a friend to heroin addiction, and
the problem with her was that she combined it with alcohol.
HAYES: Yes. She was ignorant. We need to find a way to deliver people
from the risk of it and also that kind of captivity. Dr. Carl Hart. Thank
you. That`s ALL IN. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good
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