The Ed Show for Thursday, February 20th, 2014
Read the transcript to the Thursday show
THE ED SHOW
February 20, 2014
Guests: Ruth Conniff, John Erpenbach, Tim Ryan, Tom Colicchio, Jennifer
Hartstein, Byron Dorgan
ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC HOST: Good evening Americans and welcome to the Ed
Show live from the North Country in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. Let`s get to
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUTH CONNIFF, THE PROGRESSIVE MAGAZINE: It is really hard to believe
that Walker had nothing to do with the secret email network.
SCHULTZ: We should mention that there is a John Doe investigation
CONNIFF: Exactly. When you talk about the parallel to Chris Christie
is very (inaudible).
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, (R) NEW JERSEY: Politics saving team (ph) back,
OK, and everybody in the country who engages in politics knows that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Scott Walker has a unique position here among
all of the governors who love Chris Christie.
CONNIFF: If you have two men who are very political and who micro
manage their campaign.
CHRISTIE: Guys, we all worked that out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your name is bantered about quite a bit that may
be you may get into the 2016 presidential race.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I`m sure it`s better when people bring things
so I get up (ph).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Good to have you with us tonight folks. Thanks for
watching. Well, for years on this program here on the Ed Show, I`ve been
telling you that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is bad news. Bad news for
Walker, bad news for workers.
Walker is now facing serious allegations of illegal campaign
activities. Here is what Walker woke up to this morning in the Badger
State. A front page of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel read, records link
Walker to secret email system. A headline of the Wisconsin State Journal
read, Walker linked to illicit emails.
Governor Walker, this deserves a response to the people of your state.
You cannot be silent on this. Thousands of pages of documents were
released by an appeals court in Madison, Wisconsin on Wednesday. They
reveal Walker was at the center of a campaign operation during his time as
Milwaukee County executive. Walker was allegedly using county time and
resources to run his gubernatorial campaign through a secret email system.
This is a felony in the State of Wisconsin.
The illegal campaign operation has already led the 15 felony
convictions and three misdemeanors for six of Walker`s associates. How can
he not know? Walker has denied any involvement whatsoever in the illegal
activities. In fact, he`s the conservative hero.
But Wednesday`s document dump tells a different story and it is
raising big questions. Ruth Conniff of The Progressive magazine points out
that Walker was involved in the smallest details of his campaign. One
example shows a county staff emailing campaign advisers to how to respond
to talk about taxes. Walker personally responded and replied in this email
saying, "This is good."
Another email shows Walker telling staffers how to do deal with
questions about his Chief of Staff Tom Nardelli`s work history. Walker
wrote, "If it even comes up, Tom`s answer should be short and pithy. Sup.
Weishan should stop spending his time dreaming up political attacks with
the Service Employees International Union and start working on the county
That`s Walker in this email system. Now, other emails show a campaign
staffer supervising county staff statements denying they are coordinating
with the campaign. Part of the down the aisle comes from a county staff
which reads, "No one in our office had any knowledge that Darlene was
posting political comments." Walkers` campaign strategist responded, "Just
talked with Tom. Send it."
Gosh. That sounds so New Jersey doesn`t it? Now, these are just a
few examples of what was found at the document dump. This could be why
Walker set up a legal defense fund back in 2012. We have been on this
story from the start.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Big trouble for Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin. Two
staffers who work for Walker when he was Milwaukee County executive have
been charged with illegally doing campaign work while being paid by the
county. It`s all part of an ongoing John Doe investigation involving
We have a major development in Wisconsin with Governor Scott Walker in
the secret investigation surrounding his time as Milwaukee County
executive. Today, Walker announced that he will finally meet with the
district attorney leading the investigation.
The bastards (ph) are again, as you could say, are starting to circle
around the rookie governor on this John Doe investigation in a big way. On
Friday, Walker became the first Wisconsin governor ever to set up a legal
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Fast forward to today, they`re talking about this guy
possibly being the president of the United States. This is a guy who wants
to lead the free world. He auto check his own backyard for as Democrats
have suspected this illegal activity from the start. These ill-documents,
I believe, underscore just how underhanded and deceptive Scott Walker is.
There is no way you will never convince me that six of his staffers could
receive felony convictions, he wouldn`t have any knowledge of their crimes
or activities at all. I don`t buy it. I think the word impeachment in
Wisconsin needs to be on the table. But there`s a political dynamic to
Bottom line is, the Democrats don`t have enough legislative power to
bring forth any of that kind of conversation. But what the Democrats can
do is ask Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm. How much
evidence do you need to bring charges against the sitting governor of the
State of Wisconsin Scott Walker? How much more evidence needs to be put
out in front of the people? And if there`s not going to be charges and if
there`s not going to be any talk of impeachment, where are the activists?
I remember the activists back in early 2011 in Wisconsin, if I walk
through the crowd ones -- I walk through 10 times and heard people say,
"Eddie, we don`t trust him." There`s something about this guy we don`t
trust. He doesn`t tell the truth. He`s attacking workers unlike anything
we`ve ever seen in the history of this state.
So the question is, Scott Walker, do you feel an obligation tonight
now that this document dump has been released? Do you feel anything of an
inclination that maybe it`s time for you to come out and talk directly to
the people of Wisconsin and raise your right hand and say, "On my integrity
to you as your governor, I knew nothing about this secret email system and
you can trust me?" I`ll stay tune for that one.
In the mean time, where`s the march? The folks who are out in the
streets and at the Capitol in Madison, Wisconsin back in early 2011. This
is what you were looking for. This is the smoking gun. It`s clearly there
is a connection between Scott Walker and the activities of his staff some
who have already been convicted.
Get your cellphones out. I want to know what you think tonight`s
question. Do you think Scott Walker is guilty? Text A for Yes, text B for
No to 67622. You can always go to our blog at ed.msnbc.com. We`ll bring
you the results later on in this show.
For more, I want to turn to the reporter on this story Ruth Conniff of
The Progressive magazine. And when this document dump came out yesterday,
we at the Ed Show asked Ruth and her staff to go through these 27,000
emails and don`t miss anything. Make sure that the information is tight to
the public before anything is reported.
Ruth, good to have you with us tonight. The headlines across
Wisconsin today are very pointed and very damaging. From your reporting,
where is the smoking gun in this?
CONNIFF: Well, the big smoking gun is that Walker is clearly at the
center of this network and we have a document where we`ve kind of put
together all of his denials of knowledge of the secret email network. You
know, we knew after this John Doe investigation and after the indictments
of his staff that there are definitely where these laptops that people had
private emails. And if they were doing campaign work on the taxpayers time
which is illegal in Wisconsin, but Walker has said repeatedly he had
nothing to do with it.
Now, if you look at all these emails, the totally of them, it`s a very
clear picture. Walker was a micro manager. He mixed together campaign
staff and the county staff who worked under him and they talked constantly
throughout the day about campaign matters and about public matters, public
policy matters, but strictly in political terms. So he basically moved his
campaign shook (ph) over the Milwaukee County executive`s office with this
campaign. He had wanted to run for governor starting in 2002 and he run
this incredibly political operation secretly to avoid open record book.
SCHULTZ: Now, it`s been stated time in time again that Scott Walker
was never the subject or the center or the focal point of this John Doe
investigation, but these changes things now. There is a clear connection.
You can see it right at the emails. Is there any way Walker can still deny
knowledge of this, first question, and the second question, what has been
his reaction since these documents were released?
CONNIFF: He has said nothing today and he`s left the state. He said
through a spokesman that he had no further comment on the matter. Right as
before the documents were released yesterday, he said this is all old news
and you`re not going to see anything new and it`s a partisan witch hunt
which has been, you know, the talking points from him and his allies from
the beginning, even though, you know, from -- there`s been a Republican
judge in-charge of this first John Doe, that there`s a new John Doe
investigation, another secret investigation which is currently underway and
where Walker may indeed be a target and that is also led by a Republican
So, you know, there is -- the partisan witch hunt narrative just
completely falls apart. But he`s really had very little to say about and
in fact with coming out is very, very damaging for him.
SCHULTZ: Should there be a demand on the part of the residents of
Wisconsin to have this governor come out or doesn`t it seems strange that
he`s not compelled in a short period of time after this document dumped to
come out and to assure all the residents that he can be trusted, that trust
is the center of this and he had nothing to do with this, instead, he says
he has no comment on it?
Where there is smoke, there is fire. It would seem to me that this
would be enough for activists to revolve around? What do you think?
CONNIFF: Well, he can`t say that, Ed, I think, because if you look at
these emails -- you know, I talked to a former attorney general of state
who put it this way. It`s like a pointless painting. Maybe in anyone
point, you`re not sure legally if you can demonstrate that Walker`s hands
are dirty, but if you step back and you see the level of micro management,
you see him tapping on his breath (ph) theory, writing, talking points for
his own staff. It`s clear that he was very deeply involved in this
campaign operation which we know took place on this illegal, private,
secret email network in his office.
But if you look at the map which is exhibit A in the criminal
complaint against Kelly Rindfleisch, whose emails came out today, his
former staffer, it is amazing how close together everybody said. So when
Walker says in an email no more laptops, you know, we have to put the staff
away, it`s pretty clear that he saw, he want passed it everyday, and also
that he was managing the staff. So I don`t think he can come out and
reassure people, Ed, which is why he`s not doing it.
And also, he`s the first governor in the history of the state to set
up his own criminal defense fund which he just put another $86,000 of his
recently raised campaign money into. And he sat for an hour with
prosecutors as a governor and had a long conversation. Be interesting if
he told us the details of that talk.
SCHULTZ: All right. Ruth Conniff for The Progressive magazine, great
journalism and we, of course, will keep on this story and come back to you
again and again.
I want to bring in Wisconsin State Senator John Erpenbach who was one
of the 14 senators who left the state back when Walker unveiled his radical
attack on workers, and of course, they brought the function of the
government to a halt by leaving the state which, of course, the story
exploded across the country.
John, good to have you with us tonight. What is you`re reaction to
these emails from Walker in this document dump?
STATE SEN.JOHN ERPENBACH, (D) WISCONSIN: I`m shocked. And, Ed, you
actually hit it right on the nose. He owes Wisconsinite an explanation.
It`s a matter of trust. It`s a matter of making sure that what the
governor says is actually true. And I agree with you 100 percent, and the
governor should be answering questions. And Ruth pointed out he got in the
plane, he`s left the state, through spokesperson, he said he won`t have any
comment or answering the questions on this particular subject.
Well, I tell you what. The voters of the State of Wisconsin want to
know whether or not their governor is telling the truth. And right now, it
doesn`t look like he is. He denied knowing about this network. He denied
knowing about the emails, but this guy redefined micro managing. His staff
couldn`t wipe their noses unless he Okayed it.
So in the end, he has to come back home and he`s got to face the
voters of Wisconsin and he has to be honest and straight up with them and
tell them exactly what he knew and when he knew it.
SCHULTZ: John, give us the landscape politically of Wisconsin right
now. Is there a chance that there could be any legislative hearings on
this within the judiciary?
ERPENBACH: I would like to think so, Ed, but the (inaudible) reality
is the Republicans control the State Senate and the State Assembly, and
they will run through a bricked wall.
ERPENBACH: . to protect Scott Walker.
SCHULTZ: Well, I think that`s a key point right there. You mean to
tell me that the Republicans of Wisconsin are going to stand ominously
silent on this when there are damaging emails out there linking Scott
Walker to an illegal, secret email system? I find that amazing. This is
how far the Republicans will go to protect their own. It is outrageous.
They`re no better than Walker.
If this is how they`re going to respond to this, they have no
curiosity about the truth, whatsoever, in Wisconsin politics on the
Republican side. I mean, here, you have a United States Senator Mr.
Johnson from Wisconsin who`s all over President Obama about trust and being
able to function as the president of the United States, yet he has no
questions about his own governor when damaging emails like this come out.
I find this amazing. I call on the Republicans of Wisconsin to grow up
hair, grow a spine, get some integrity, hold some hearings, get to the
bottom of this.
Citizen, this man wants to be president of the United States. And
now, I want to know what Reince Priebus who is head of the RNC and is from
Wisconsin. Does he have any comment on these documents? It`s very clear
this goes way beyond any kind of political witch-hunt.
John, I got to ask you about this. What about impeachment, is that
off the table that can`t even be talked about because you don`t have the
legislator power there either?
ERPENBACH: Yeah. Again, I don`t think impeachment comes up at all.
I think what really, truly needs to happen here, Ed, is exactly what you
said. He needs to come back to Wisconsin. He needs to sit down. He needs
to be honest. This is a matter of trust. He is the top elected official
in the State of Wisconsin. And he talks about trust me on this and trust
me on that, you know, we see emails just absolutely linking him to every
single thing going on within the county executive`s office in Milwaukee
whether be policy or campaign, and obviously, the campaign took president
over the policy based on some of the emails that we saw.
I don`t even begin to think we can talk about impeachment and we can`t
even get the Republicans like you`re pointing out. They won`t hold a
hearing. They won`t ask the governor questions. We don`t even know what
the governor is saying to the Senate or Assembly Republicans on that
SCHULTZ: John, let me ask you. Sen. Erpenbach, how much more
evidence does the Milwaukee County attorney need to file charges. I mean,
there are people on the Democratic side in Wisconsin in the legislature who
have a legal background. They have to be viewing this is almost a joke at
ERPENBACH: Well, I don`t know. I`m not a lawyer, but to me, what I
read yesterday and I`ve read today seems to be pretty damning, if you just
ask my nonprofessional opinion. But again, it gets back.
ERPENBACH: . to trust, it gets back to credibility, and Scott Walker
does have to answer to the court of public opinion. That`s very, very
important to remember.
SCHULTZ: There`s no doubt. The fact that he left the state on other
business probably personal, probably his campaign and says nothing to the
residence, to the Badger State, I find that absolutely amazing and a real
illustration of a lack of character. State Senator John Erpenbach...
ERPENBACH: Well, I think.
SCHULTZ: . thank you for your time tonight. Go ahead. You have
another comment John?
ERPENBACH: Yeah. The issue will be here when Governor Walker gets
home. I think we need to be very, very clear about that. It`s not going
SCHULTZ: Yeah. Thank you senator, I appreciate your time tonight.
Remember to answer tonight`s questions there at the bottom of the
screen. Share your thoughts with us on Twitter @EdShow and on Facebook. I
want to know what you think.
Coming up, Republicans are teaching kids austerity through some very
shameful lunch room policies. You will not believe the story.
Tom Colicchio, the famous chef will join me in the Rapid Response
Panel. But first, Congress stalls while corporations lead the way on
$10.10. That`s the minimum wage. Congressman Tim Ryan, coming up. Stay
with us. We`ll be right back on the Ed Show.
SCHULTZ: Time now for the Trenders on the social media. This is
where you can check us out on Twitter @EdShow, and on the radio, SiriusXM
Channel 127, Monday through Friday, noon to 3:00 PM. We take your phone
calls. You get my podcast at wegoted.com.
The Ed Show social media nation has decided and we are reporting here
today`s top Trenders voted on by you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They`re making us fool out of people (ph).
SCHULTZ: The number three trender, nothing but yet.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Vladimir Putin says it was the only medal that
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And this is shocker for the Russian federation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You boo it.
SCHULTZ: Russia`s hockey coach gives a biting interview after the
teams lost to Finland.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What future, if any, do you see for your own work
your predecessor was eaten alive after the Olympics?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well then, eat me alive right now. Eat me, and I
won`t be here anymore.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But we have the world championship coming up?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well then, there will be a different coach because
I won`t exist anymore, since you will have eaten me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: The number two trender, newsies (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I set up hip hop (inaudible) the things on the
hip, hip hop.
JIMMY FALLON: We searched through news but it -- my pal, Brian
Williams and we edit it together to make him sound like he`s rapping.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can take it.
SCHULTZ: Jimmy Fallon helps Tonight to news anchors bust a rhyme.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let`s rock. You don`t stop.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m with it. I`m hip.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Check it out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m the CA (inaudible).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh yeah.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Say what?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hotel, motel, holiday inn. Say if your girl
starts acting up, then you take her friend.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where are you taking mother (ph)?
SCHULTZ: And today`s top trender, closing the GAP.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Closing the GAP.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: GAP is raising its hourly minimum wage.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re company that cares that wants to believe in
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When people are earning a decent living, it does
lift everyone up.
SCHULTZ: The clothing company says it`s raising their minimum wage.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Raising wages to $9 an hour this year and $10
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s the right thing to do.
OBAMA: Raising the minimum wage is good for business and it`s good
for workers and it`s good for the economy.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This increase will benefit about 65,000 workers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you never can`t go wrong with the investment
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Joining us tonight, Congressman Tim Ryan of Ohio.
Congressman, always a pleasure, good to have you with us.
The State of the Union, the president talked about business doing
their share, and here we have it just less than a month after the State of
the Union, we`ve got businesses leading the way on the minimum wage. What
impact do you think this is going to have, congressman?
REP. TIM RYAN, (D) OHIO: Oh, I think it`s huge. I think we are
seeing a lot of businesses out there, Ed, that are being conscious about
the way they treat their workers and really recognizing the importance of
caring about their workers, making sure their workers feel that if they
work hard and play by the rules, they have an opportunity to move ahead.
So I think it`s very important for the business community to start moving.
And we`re seeing it happen more and more now. Businesses looking at their
supply chains, making sure that they are ethical, that they`re
environmental, and that they`re treating their workers properly and I think
this is a new way to do business but there`s always going to be some of
those businesses that really come kicking and screaming.
SCHULTZ: You think this helps the Democrats in their case to push the
issue for minimum wage? It`s really been stalled in congress. Republicans
seem like that they don`t have any appetite for this, whatsoever, and now
they`re going to probably come back and say, "Well, you see. It`s a free
market. Let the businesses make the decision." What`s your response to
RYAN: Well, I think it helps us make the moral argument, the values
argument that businesses are looking and seeing this happened. But I will
say that I think the Tea Party caucus in Washington, they`ll be the ones
that -- last ones to the parade. No doubt about it because they don`t see
any of these things as wise investments. Yeah, it`s an investment in the
short term, but if you want loyalty, productivity, and a good sense of team
spirit and teamwork in an organization, you`ve got to pay a fair wage.
We`re talking about moving people out of poverty.
Here`s where they`re really going to get caught, Ed. They`re the ones
saying dismantle the safety net. They`re the ones saying no investments
into some of those programs that food stamps or housing vouchers and those
kinds of things. And the minimum.
RYAN: . and they say, "We`ll go to work." Well, work has to pay.
And that`s what we`re trying to say. If we all -- there`s no corner on the
market that the Republican Party has on hard work or discipline or, you
know, stick to it if necessary. Any of those things that we all treasure
as Americans, but you`ve got to make that pay. That`s the bottom line
here. People will go to work. You just got to make it pay.
SCHULTZ: You know, the company GAP says that its choice to move their
minimum wage to $10 is going to strengthen their ability to attract and
retain a skilled workforce, a better workforce. On the other hand, you got
the CBO claiming that raising the minimum wage is going to cause the
economy some jobs, take to a number 500,000 on it. How do you measure that
and how do you uphold the argument at this point, because you know what,
the Republicans are going to come back and say -- saying that this will be
a job killer?
RYAN: Well, the CBO report, if you read it closely says that anywhere
from a zero jobs will be lost to a million jobs will be lost. So that`s
quite the range. And I think it`s really hard to tell because one of the
things that doesn`t often get factored in is that we are lifting the demand
up. Take GAP for example. Now, how many minimum wage workers under the
current standard could go on shop at GAP? Maybe some, maybe at the outlets
RYAN: Who knows? But if you raise their rates to $10.10 an hour over
the course, 3 percent raise and hundreds, if not, thousands of dollars over
the course of the year, you`re talking about having a little buying power.
You know, you take someone make it.
RYAN: . $7.50 an hour to take him to $10.10, that`s a car that they
can go out and buy. And they could buy a Chevy Cruze that`s made right up
the street here in Ohio.
SCHULTZ: Yeah. It`s going to be interesting to see what kind of
effect this does on the market. Walmart says that it`s going to be neutral
on the minimum wage. Well, neutral means you`re not for it because you`re
not doing anything on it. But it`s going to be interesting to see what the
consumers do, how the consumers to compare this year`s coming sales to last
year`s coming sales.
The economy`s probably going to be pretty much the same if product
loyalty, company loyalty goes into that because there`s so many Americans
who are on to this income inequality and of course, raising the minimum
wage is heavily favored by the American people.
Congressman Tim Ryan, good to have you with us tonight. Thanks so
much for joining us.
Still ahead, school lunch is being pulled out of the hands of kids and
tossed into the trash by school administrators. What the heck is going on
here? They are targeting kids.
The Rapid Response Panel weighs in on austerity in the lunchroom. And
later, a big win in Nebraska legally for anti-pipeline activists. Now, the
fate of the Keystone XL Pipeline sits in the hands of the president and
says he`s not ready to make a decision.
Former Senator Byron Dorgan tells us how this plays for the midterms
Plus, I`m taking your questions next on Ask Ed Live. Stay with us.
You`re watching the Ed Show in MSNBC. We are right back.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show. I appreciate all the questions
in this segment. I love hearing from the viewers.
And tonight in our Ask Ed Live, our first question comes from Debbie.
She wants to know, "Do you think Governor Walker will get caught this
Well, I`ll take this question from a number of different angles.
First of all, caught legally? I think there`s a real good possibility he
could be caught legally. He is definitely going to be caught by the public
because it`s very clear that he ran an underhanded campaign and it`s very
clear in an underhanded way he went after workers in the state of
Wisconsin. It was absolutely unprecedented the way he attacked middle
class workers. So I think he`s going to get caught on a number of
Our next question is from Fearless. "Why don`t more Democrats defend
President Obama when Republicans lie and call him names?"
Well, the political reality to this is that the president is not
running for reelection. So I don`t think that the Democrats are going to
waste a lot of time personally defending the president.
But they are going to spend time defending what has been accomplished
and that is 47 months of private sector job growth, healthcare reform and
almost five million people signing up for Obamacare. There`s a lot of good
things happening out there that the Democrats can talk about whether
they`re going to connect it to President Obama and defend him the way they
have in the past for millions to be seen.
Stick around, Rapid Response Panel is coming up next here on the Ed
BERTHA COOMBS: I`m Bertha Coombs with your CNBC Market Wrap.
The DOW closing up 92 points, the S and P gaining 11 and the NASDAQ
Jobless claims fell a little less than expected last week, dropping by
3,000 to 336,000.
Earnings from Wal-Mart edged past estimates but guidance was
disappointing. The world`s largest retailer has seen sales decline because
of food stamp cuts. Shares lost nearly two percent today.
And shares of Groupon are lower after hours following the company`s
latest earnings report despite the fact that they`ve beat expectations.
That`s it from CNBC, we`re first in business worldwide.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JESSICA GERTLER, NEW CHANNEL 3 REPORTER: Shelby County School
District Administrator say that they would never let a child go hungry if
he or she doesn`t have the money to cover lunch. They`re giving a sack
lunch instead. Now, students tell me they call it the "lunch of shame".
Iris Martinez says she is outraged to learn her daughter`s school
literally snatched away food from her daughter`s fourth grade friend
because their account reached a zero balance.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They are taking lunches out of the hands of very
young children. They`re humiliating them in front of their friends.
JEFF BISSEGGER, PARENT: The last thing you do is confiscate lunches
especially in a public setting, in front of peers. So I think that was a
really poor idea.
GILLIAN RICHARDSON, 4TH GRADERI was like really embarrassed when I
walked out of there and then like my friends she looked at me and she`s
just like, "Where`s your lunch tray?" Like they didn`t give it to me.
PAM RICHARDSON, DAUGHTER DENIED SCHOOL LUNCH: The policy of taking
lunches away from kids is ridiculous because no matter -- if they`re five
or they`re 17 years old, it`s not their responsibility, it`s not their
fault that their parents aren`t paying the bills or can`t pay the bills.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show.
This is a story that gets my blood boiling. Austerity. Haven`t we
gone too far in this country? Austerity is the reason kids across America
are having school lunches literally ripped from their hands and thrown into
the garbage in front of their peers. Sometimes it`s because their parents,
well they forgot to pay, sometimes their parents don`t have the where with
how to pay.
In Salt Lake City`s school district, in Utah, dozens of children had
their lunches taken away because their parents were behind on payments.
Now, the story made national news and the district has since
apologized, administrators` vow that they`re going to change this and so
the policy this is never going to happen again they say.
Well, this is happening, my friends, all across the country and it is
absolutely shameful. Remember, we are living in the United States of
America, we can do a lot of goods things and here in the heartland it`s
In Minnesota, if a students fails to come up with just 40 cents, they
can be denied or receive a what`s called a "downgraded lunch".
Some school districts will send children home with a verbal warning
for parents? Now, other times students are branded with a hand stamp that
says "lunch" or "money" and you know what happens? The other kids in the
school see that. Now, what`s uplifting about that?
Just down the road here in Fergus Falls, Minnesota, I have heard
stories of school teachers using money from their own pocketbook to pay for
the children`s lunches to spare them the humiliation from the other kids so
they don`t get that stamp on their hand. We`re not a third world country
yet but we`re trying to get there.
This is what happens when you cut essential programs like snap to the
total of $8 billion and you give subsidies to oil companies and you allow
corporations to park their money offshore and not pay their fair share.
Hell, let`s take it out on the kids at school. Let`s stamp their hand.
Remember, they`re takers. This is what Paul Ryan calls "The Takers".
This is what happens when there is a culture developing the cut
everything and now it`s down to the elementary school level. Humiliating
children for the socioeconomic situation that they were born into.
When was the last time on the face of this earth you could pick your
parents? I think we need to wake up to this story and I think we need to
pay attention to the potential damage that we are doing to kids and I think
austerity has gone too far.
Do I think parents should pay for their kids` lunches? Yes, I do. Do
I think that there are some parents out there across America who can`t
afford it? Yes, I do. But I don`t think that we should throw the kids
under the bus and stamp them. Before you know it, they`re going to be
stamping their forehead. Maybe it`ll be a comical thing in the schools, I
find it absolutely disgusting.
Joining me now on our Rapid Response Panel is famous chef and Food
Activist Tom Colicchio and also Child Psychologist Jennifer Hartstein.
Great to have both of you with us tonight.
Tom, you first, I want your reaction to the story. You have been
active. You have done wonderful things fighting hunger in this country.
What is your response, sir, when you hear about school districts throwing
kids lunches out because they may come from a background that they can`t
afford it on that particular day?
TOM COLICCHIO, CHIEF AND FOOD ACTIVIST: Sure. You know, my mother
ran a school lunch program in Elizabeth, New Jersey where I grew up and so
this isn`t new. She`s told me stories about kids who got to the cash
register, they didn`t have the money on their cards but the policy there
was to make sure the kids were fed.
And my mother made sure that that happen and I think partly because
she was a mother first and so she understood the importance of making sure
that kids had food and they have proper nutrition.
And I think we can focus on school lunch but we also need to focus on
breakfast. There`s a real move now toward -- to getting breakfast in first
period and these are the programs that really, really work. We know when
kids show up in school and they`re hungry they can`t learn. And so and
they act out and they act up and so if we want kids that are better
educated it starts with nutrition.
SCHULTZ: You know, a kid on an empty stomach is not going to be
productive in the educational system that has been proven. The bottom line
here is this is going to take a real national lift to turn this around,
Tom, or as how do you combat this? How do you turn this around? How do
you reverse thinking on this?
COLICCHIO: Well, you know, I think that this sort of liberal idea
that says take care of people that`s a good instinct but let`s look at some
Recently, no kid hungry SOS no kid hungry commission to allow to do a
study and they found that kids that could breakfast in first period, not
before the bell, in first period their math scores go up by 17 percent.
That`s a big number and so if we`re falling behind in math scores in the
United States, we need to make sure that kids are properly nourished when
they go to school, you know, there`s a whole humiliation factors as well
when kids have to show up before school, those are the poor kids they`re
Plus, it`s very difficult to get there, trans (ph) that isn`t running
and so we find that moving breakfast to after the bell ring in first period
really works. And so we`ve got to actually arm ourselves with some better
data and really show that these programs work. And they do.
COLICCHIO: And so if we want kids to perform better in school, proper
nutrition is as important as a desk or as a book and needs to be treated
the same way.
SCHULTZ: Throwing the food out the window because the kids can`t pay
for it right in the line I think is terribly wrong headed. Jennifer, what
effects does this kind of humiliation have on kids in the immediate and
then in the long term?
JENNIFER HARTSTEIN, CHILD PSYCHIATRIST: Well, I mean it`s huge, you
know, we have to think about the fact that shaming a child is going to make
going to school very hard, they`re not only being shamed in front of their
peers, they`re being shamed by the adults who are supposed to be taking
care of them.
So here, we have a situation where, where are they safe? The adults
are shaming them, their friends might make fun of them, their -- we`re
going to create a system where they don`t want to go to school and that`s
going to start young and then we`re going to perpetuate this cycle of
uneducated, unskilled people because they are not getting the education
they need to do anything and further their lives in anyway.
SCHULTZ: Doesn`t it make kids very self conscious to have some kind
of mark on them that there would be an element of embarrassment and it
would possibly show them in a way to be -- to learn how to be very shy and
to not reach their potential so to speak?
HARTSTEIN: Absolutely, I mean if I -- if they have to walk around
and, you know, it`s kind of like the Scarlet Letter but it`s a Scarlet
Letter of being hungry. And so here there everybody can see that and all
that they`re going to notice is well why do you have a stamp and why don`t
I have a stamp and that must mean you`re different than me and again is
kind of reliving this bullying culture to a certain degree.
They`re going to get picked on, they`re going to be ostracized,
they`re going to be pushed out of the way. And why are they going to want
to learn, they`re going to so focused on kind of wanting to hide that
they`re not going to speak up in class, they`re not going to standout and
they`re really going to, you know, shrivel and we do know that with brains
that are developing they need the nutrition just to, you know, learn, be
present and be able to be most effective in a classroom.
So, all of that together is going to really make them shirk away from
SCHULTZ: Tom, it is also about the money isn`t it? I mean you can`t
cut $8 billion out of the SNAP program and expect that it`s going to be
everything OK on our school systems.
COLICCHIO: No, I mean there are some programs, you know, again we`re
talking about school lunch we also have to acknowledge the fact that kids
in the summer are skipping out completely on meals. And there are some
summer programs and, you know, looking at SNAP there are some programs
where if a kid can`t get to an area where they`re feeding people for
various reasons. We got to get the food to the kids not the kids to the
food. And so taking that additional money and adding it to SNAP is a very
good way to combat, you know, the issues of not having food in the summer
So, yeah, you know, it is an issue of money when in the long run kids
that are educated are going to perform well, they`re going to actually do
well, they`re going to pay taxes when they grow up. And so it`s penny wise
and pound foolish to actually start cutting these programs.
SCHULTZ: And they`re not going to be emotionally started I don`t say
that lately. Tom Colicchio, child psychologist Jennifer Hartstein I
appreciate your time tonight thank you so much.
COLICCHIO: Thank you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Coming up Nebraska, Nebraska land owners they are owed a
debt of gratitude from the environmentalist all over the world who are
concerned about global warming. They have blocked the keystone pipeline
for now. What could this mean for the midterm elections? Former Senator
Byron Dorgan will join me for the Punch Out. Stay with us we`ll be right
SCHULTZ: And in Pretenders tonight, hoop on Pop. Ted Cruz, a
Canadian Senator isn`t condemning Ted Nugent`s hateful pirate against the
president of the United States.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TED NUGENT, NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION BOARD MEMBER: communist-
educated, communist-nurtured subhuman mongrel like the ACORN community
organizer gangster Barack Hussein Obama.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As you know, that`s Ted Nugent. What do you
think of it?
SEN. TED CRUZ (R) TEXAS: You know, I think it is a little curious
that to be questioning political folks about rock stars. I got to tell
you, listen I`m not cool enough to hangout with any rock stars Jay-Z
doesn`t come over at my house. I don`t hangout with Ted.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jay-Z doesn`t call the president of subhuman
CRUZ: Those sentiments there of course I don`t agree with him.
You`ve never heard me say such a thing and nor would I.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Would campaign with Ted Nugent?
CRUZ: You know, I haven`t yet and I`m going to avoid engaging in
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Senator Ted Cruz just wants a little distance from the rant.
Ted Cruz has never shied away from his vial speech before. Here`s his own
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RAFAEL CRUZ, SEN. TED CRUZ`S FATHER: We need to send Barack Obama
back to Chicago. I`d like to send him back to Kenya. We have to unmask
this man. This is a man that seeks to destroy all concept of God. And I
will tell you what, this is classical Marxist philosophy. They have to
destroy all loyalties expect loyalty to the government. That`s what`s
behind homosexual marriage.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: The Senator still puts Cruz Senior out as a surrogate. Cruz
can deflect all he wants but if he believes there`s distance between him
and his repulsive rhetoric in family he can keep on pretending.
SCHULTZ: Welcome to the Ed Show. This is the story for the folks who
take a show after work.
Well, a big win for the people of Nebraska who are against the
Keystone XL pipeline. A Nebraska District Court Judge declared a 2012 law
which gives the governor final approval on oil pipelines in the state
The ruling leaves the final decision obviously with the president of
Meanwhile, in Mexico, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is
putting major pressure on President Obama for approval. He called it a "no
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHEN HARPER, PRIME MINISTER OF CANADA: In terms of climate change,
I think the State Department report already was pretty definitive on that
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: President Obama says he wants to wait and see what the
outcomes of the final public comment period which ends on March 7th.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: So the State Department has gone through its review. There is
now a common period in which other agencies weigh in. That will be
evaluated by Secretary of State Kerry and we`ll make a decision at that
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: And I`ll be in Nebraska tomorrow visiting with some of the
land owners who got the legal ruling on their side and stop the pipeline
for now. The ruling could delay the project for up to six months, maybe,
even a year. It`s very political and this certainly gives the president
some room here to collect more information before he makes a decision.
But will this have an impact on the midterms because there`s been such
a heated debate on the left with the environmental crowd.
Let`s go Byron Dorgan who is the Former Senator of North Dakota. He
joins us tonight. Senator, good to have you with us. What do you make of
this legal ruling and the way the president has handled this to this point?
FMR. SEN.BYRON DORGAN, (D) NORTH DAKOTA: Well, Ed, first of all, as
you know, I support billing the pipeline. In fact, we`re billing it from
cushioning down soft to the Gulf now and some of it is its being built.
But, you know, I think all right already, make a decision on that.
So, you know, I know that there`s great passion on both sides and whatever
he decides, one side or the other is going to be disappointed but I hope he
makes a ruling that -- I hope the president decides to go ahead and build
the pipeline. It`s soon to see that oil comes out. You have to believe
that the Canadians aren`t going to produce in order to believe that it`s
going to have an impact by lying in front of that pipe. And I don`t think
that`s the case. The Canadians are going to produce their resources.
SCHULTZ: What about the quality of the oil, Senator, and the tar
sands and how toxic it is as opposed to other refine oil in the world?
DORGAN: I understand the point but that oil is going to be produced.
That`s my point. And the oil can go West and then go to Asia or it can
come South. But I don`t think we`re going to be in a situation where we
say to Canada, "By the way, you can`t produce from those oil fields."
Canada is not going to decide that that resource is going to be where
it is. So I say build the pipeline. Let`s move on from there. As you
know, I support a lot of the other issues, renewables, and so on. I`m one
of the all of the above people but let`s make a decision and move on. And
I don`t think the politics.
DORGAN: . this won`t last very long.
SCHULTZ: You don`t think it will have an impact on the midterms? I
mean, I get a sense that the environmental crowd of this country views this
as a real benchmark decision and the fallout could be scary for the
Democrats, I think.
DORGAN: Every pending decision is always the most important decision
in politics. But you know what, you make a decision, you make the best
decision you can for this country and then move on and this president has
been very, very helpful to the environmental issues and to the
environmental movement and I think we`ll continue to be.
SCHULTZ: What about the issue of eminent domain, the way this was
stopped in Nebraska, does that have a way of snowballing? How is that
going to end up, you think?
DORGAN: Well, it could, I mean, you know, there are lot of -- in this
country of ours, we`re putting the attentions (ph) you can go to courts
and, you know, make your case, so this is probably not going to happen
quickly in any event but I think the president though should have already
made this decision by the way.
SCHULTZ: OK. Senator Byron Dorgan, good to have you with us tonight.
DORGAN: Thanks Ed. Good to be with you.
SCHULTZ: I appreciate your time. We`ll do it again.
That`s the Ed Show. I`m Ed Schultz.
Politics Nation with Reverend Al Sharpton starts right now.
And a reminder, I will be in Nebraska tomorrow for more coverage on
this pipeline story.
Rev, good evening. How are you?
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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