All In With Chris Hayes, Monday, February 24, 2014
Read the transcript from the Monday show
ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
February 24, 2014
Guests: Josh Fox, Jared Polis, Mark Quarterman, Steve Pierce, Kenji
Yoshino, Ted Shaw
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris
The CEO in charge of the largest public oil company on the planet is
all about fracking in America, except when it`s in his own backyard.
And who could blame him? I mean, the business of extracting fossil
fuels and transporting them is a dirty one.
Here`s what it looks like along the Mississippi today. Boats stranded
after a barge collision yesterday sent over 31,000 gallons of light crude
oil into the water forcing officials to close a 65-mile stretch of our
nation`s greatest river, including the port of New Orleans.
The fact is these days, you don`t have to be adjacent to a major
waterway or mire deep in coal country to see up close the ugly reality of
fossil fuel extraction, during America`s 21st century energy boom. That is
because fracking, the technique that has revolutionized American energy
production, can and is being done just about anywhere, even in the peaceful
hideaways of well-to-do executives from the very companies doing the
REX TILLERSON, EXXONMOBIL CEO: Ours is an industry that is built on
technology, it`s built on science. It`s built on engineering, and because
we have a society that by in large is illiterate in these areas, science,
math and engineering, what we do is a mystery to them. And they find it
scary. And because of that, it creates easy opportunities for opponents of
development, activist organizations, to manufacture fear.
HAYES (voice-over): Meet Rex Tillerson, chairman and CEO of
ExxonMobil, the largest oil company in the world. You`ve probably heard of
them. Exxon headquarters are near Dallas, Texas, a complex so ominous as
one reporter found it`s been nicknamed by employees, the Death Star.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s no moon. It`s a space station.
HAYES: In 2012, Tillerson took home $40.3 million in compensation.
Today, ExxonMobil is the largest natural gas producer in the country.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Natural gas is cleaner burning than most fossil
fuels. And it`s vital to our energy needs.
HAYES: So for ExxonMobil, fracking is the future. And they`d like it
with as little regulation as possible.
TILLERSON: It`s largely, I think, regulatory policy is what could
upset the realization of this tremendous potential for our economy.
HAYES: As for people who are concerned about fracking in their
backyards -- well, they`re misinformed.
TILLERSON: There has not been a documented case of substantial or
even, I would argue, insignificant contamination or freshwater as a result
of hydraulic fracturing. So I think the fears are misplaced. Some has
been through a lot of less than perfect information that`s been provided.
HAYES: So, Rex Tillerson thinks fracking in someone`s backyard is
perfectly legit, but fracking near his own backyard, now, that`s a
different story. And really, who could blame him?
Tillerson and his wife own an 83-acre horse ranch in Bartonville,
Texas, a Dallas suburb. It`s worth over $5 million. A remote sprawling
estate and the Tillersons would like to keep it that way.
TILLERSON: We would like to stay here a long time. I cannot stay in
place where I do not know who to count on.
HAYES: You see, Bartonville is located right smack-dab in the middle
of the fracking bonanza sweeping across Texas. And in order to frack, you
need a ton of water and you have to store that water somewhere in the
ground or pools or 160-foot water tower like the one being built near
Well, guess what? Tillerson and his wealthy neighbors don`t want an
ugly water tower near their multimillion dollar properties, thank you very
much, so they`re suing. Tillerson and his wife have joined several of
their neighbors in a lawsuit to stop the construction of the water tower.
The lawsuit argues the tower, which would be used for fracking, would
create a noise, nuisance and traffic hazards.
You may recognize the suit`s lead plaintiff, former House majority
leader and noted environmentalist Dick Armey.
You see, Armey and Tillerson are just concerned about the value of
their luxury properties worth multiple millions of dollars. A lawsuit
explains that residents simply want to live in an upscale community free of
industrial properties, tall buildings and other structures that might
devalue their properties and adversely impact the rural lifestyle they
sought to enjoy.
Rex Tillerson is leading the fracking revolution. Just not in his
HAYES: Joining me now is Josh Fox, director and producer of "Gasland"
and "Gasland 2."
And, Josh, you -- you have been reporting on, documenting the fracking
explosion in this country for years now. You have been also poring through
JOSH FOX, DIRECTOR AND PRODUCER, "GASLAND": I have.
HAYES: And you stand here today, you stand with Rex.
FOX: Well, either Rex Tillerson has just joined the anti-fracking
movement or completely exposed all the hypocrisy, the brutality and
unfairness in this entire system.
So, this is the way it happens to everyone. This is the way it
happened to me when I found out that fracking was coming to my backyard, I
first got worried about just the value of land impacts. You know, what was
this going to be? Noise, lights, trucks. That`s what he`s first talking
But then, of course, the next thing that happens is you realize, oh my
God, the whole water table under my town can contaminated. I`m concerned
about my town.
You realize, oh, there`s regional air pollution, organic compounds,
chemicals in the air. We have to talk about this as a regional issue.
And then you might realize, then, this is 60 years-plus of fossil fuel
development that would engender a whole new era of fossil fuels.
Wait, we can`t do that. We`re going to cook the whole climate. We
should go to the government about this. Then you realize, oh, no, wait, my
own companies, the oil company spent $400,000 a day lobbying Washington so
we don`t have a recourse in Washington.
I guess I might have to sue in private court to stop this, in my
HAYES: The lawsuit, as you said, the lawsuit is every time that
people encounter this in their backyards and do get radicalized very
quickly, it does start on this basic stuff of there are trucks all the
time. There is an amazing amount of noise. There`s an amazing amount of
disruption. Everything in this lawsuit --
FOX: Everything in this lawsuit I agree with, I hope they win and set
a legal precedent. I mean, they`re asking for a permanent injunction, a
ban. What they`re saying here is that this substantially impairs and
diminishes use of these values and enjoyment of the property. It`s
detrimental to public health, safety, morals, comfort, the general welfare.
They`re saying that their property rights in unique and irreplaceable.
Negligence, gross negligence, malice. All the things that --
HAYES: How have these companies, companies like ExxonMobil and others
reacted when those kinds of cases have been made in court before?
FOX: Oh, 100 percent denial. I mean, we`re talking about hundreds of
millions of dollars spent to discredit the reporting in my film, in all of
-- you know, "The New York Times." Thousands of news stories on this.
You know, 15 million Americans live within 1 mile of a fracking well
right now. And that means -- this campaign is in its infancy. They`re
projecting -- they want to drill 2 million new wells in the United States.
HAYES: Yes, people need to understand this thing has exploded at an
absolutely unprecedented rate. We have a map, actually, of the areas that
are being fracked right now in the United States. It comes courtesy of
FOX: This is the map of the shale place. That was the places they
could be leasing. They`re not all being fracked right now, but that`s the
The oil and gas industry has actually leased more land than the total
landmass of California and Florida combined. That`s a checker board --
HAYES: OK, but Josh, you and I are both climate folks, very concerned
about climate. And we -- you look at the emission of this country.
They`ve gone down. Everyone says natural gas is the reason. It`s much
better than coal.
What, you want to burn coal? You want to push us into a melting
FOX: The CO2 emissions have perhaps gone down. A lot of that was due
to the recession.
FOX: But methane emissions are exploding. When we`re looking at the
total greenhouse gas impact, right, not just the CO2. The natural gas
industrial we say, we burn cleaner than coal. They`re not reporting the
fact there`s all this methane that`s leaking out of these sites and it has
shown to be offsetting any climate benefit in the short 20-year period,
because methane is 100 times more potent than CO2.
HAYES: It`s a much thicker blanket.
FOX: And even just show the buses that say clean burning natural gas,
transportation is one of the worst. That it`s actually worse than diesel
fuel to use natural gas in terms of greenhouse gases.
HAYES: Josh Fox, who`s the director of "Gasland" and "Gasland 2" --
thank you so much.
FOX: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: All right. Joining me now from Washington, D.C., Congressman
Jared Polis of Colorado.
And, Congressman, you too were welcoming Mr. Tillerson to the cause
REP. JARED POLIS (D), COLORADO: Well, you know, the same thing
happened to me, Chris. I never thought I`d say it, but I sympathize with
the poor CEO of ExxonMobil because the truth is nobody wants this to happen
We had a huge 150-foot tower literally at the foot of our driveway.
It was a 24-hour operation, loud all night, trucks coming in. Two months
they were drilling before they even entered the extraction phase.
This is happening to thousands of my constituents in Colorado which is
why four of the five biggest cities in the district I represent have
actually passed moratoriums or bans on fracking. Guess what? ExxonMobil
and other companies are suing those cities to overturn those bans and force
them to frack.
HAYES: So, one of the things that I find amazing about the fracking
explosion, if you go, you travel through the country, you go to places and
town halls, it`s one of the most controversial issues in the country on the
ground, whether you`re in Colorado or you`re in upstate New York or you`re
In Washington, it`s not controversial. In Washington, it seems like
there`s a huge consensus we need to extract as much as we can. This
technology is great. It unleashes all this natural gas. That`s good for
the climate. That`s good for American energy independence.
Is there just a consensus in Washington that this is great?
POLIS: Well, you know what? It is one of the biggest issues I hear
about from constituents. They`re worried about property values, and guess
what, instead of a $5 million house, they might have a $200,000.
But I`ve talked to realtors who said they`ve lost sales because people
don`t want to buy houses that have industrial fracking operations right
next to them. So, this is affecting my constituents.
It doesn`t mean that natural gas isn`t part of our energy present, our
energy future. There`s plenty of appropriate areas to do it, but you can`t
give everything away to the industry. We need to make sure that homeowners
are reasonably safe or else nobody`s going to want to live or be able to
live in extraction areas.
HAYES: Is there an appetite for that among your colleagues? I mean,
let me give you this little nugget here. This is from Lee Fang, reporting
for "Public Report" and "The Nation."
"With little fanfare, one of Chevron`s top lobbyists, Stephen Sayle,
has become a senior staff member of the House Committee on Science, the
standing congressional committee charged with maintaining our scientific
and technical leadership in the world."
I think people see reports like that and they just basically think
that Washington is a wholly owned subsidiary of the fossil fuel companies.
POLIS: Well, you know, the small towns of my district, Lafayette,
Colorado, 25,000 people, Broomfield, 45,000, they`ve taken it into their
own hands. They put before their voters moratoriums for a couple years on
fracking. They`ve passed, in many cases overwhelmingly. And now they`re
being sued by among others the very people who are also now have the CEO
who`s suing in his own area not to have it.
HAYES: I think it would only be right in a Rex Tillerson would share
his lawyer with some of the other people.
POLIS: We could use it.
HAYES: Who could use a lawyer like that, after when this suit is
finished, particularly if he wins. It would only be supporting of him.
POLIS: It`s really bullying. These towns have 20,000, 25,000 people.
It`s hard to afford a major lawsuit against a multibillion dollar industry.
It`s really -- it`s really a form of bullying.
HAYES: Congressman Jared Polis of Colorado -- thank you so much.
All right. Who needs to understand the nuances and complexities and
conflicts around the world when we have this?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: The Ukrainian people determine their
own future. They want to be Western.
Fighting for the opposition, they`re my heroes.
Today, we are all Georgians.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
HAYES: The John McCain school of foreign policy, up next.
HAYES: I should note we did reach out to ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson
to ask for comment, we asked him to come on the show. We did not hear
back. But I would love to talk to him about these issues any time here on
Now, good news for those in Syracuse. Someone very special`s heading
your way. That`s right. Donald Trump.
Gubernatorial hopeful is heading north for a fund-raiser for the
Onondaga County Republican committee. For just $100, you can be there,
too. For a measly $500, you can even get a photo of Trump.
But just in case you can`t wait for that, I will be up in Syracuse,
too. And for just zero dollars, you can see me speaking about my book
"Twilight of the Elites" at Syracuse University in Hendricks Chapel. Free
and open to the public. It is tomorrow night. Hope to see you there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCAIN: The president said that this had nothing to do with the Cold
War. The issue, the situation in Ukraine. In the eyes of Vladimir Putin,
it does. He wants to restore the Russian empire. Remember Putin`s the guy
who said the worst thing that happened in the 20th century was the fall of
the Soviet Union. And he continues to want to push that reset button and
not realize what kind of people we are dealing with.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Senator John McCain believes President Barack Obama lacks the
world experience to deal with the situation in Ukraine. McCain suspects
the president is too credulous when it comes to these things and he`s
getting played by Vladimir Putin.
You see, in John McCain`s world of good guys and bad guys, President
Obama commits the unforgivable sin as not seeing everything as black and
white as he does.
We covered Ukraine last week and we watched all this unfold, I talked
about the fact there`s some part of you as you watch this that`s trying to
sense which side you`re supposed to root for.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: As someone who follows the news and who doesn`t know a ton
about Ukraine, I`ll admit I`m confused about what I think should happen
even which side I`m on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: I think that`s a natural, many cases, laudable instinct. But
it is also not the single question that should determine one`s entire
foreign policy world view.
And yet, John McCain can seem to ask no other question. And it
doesn`t matter where. Go ahead. Pick a conflict and John McCain will tell
you whose side he`s on. Like Syria.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCAIN: Providing military assistance to the Free Syrian Army, and
other opposition groups is necessary.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Let`s take a look back at Libya.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: Are you concerned about the people that are actually
fighting for the opposition here? Any worries about them?
MCCAIN: Fighting for the opposition? They`re my heroes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Heck, how about back in 2008 when Georgia fought their war
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCAIN: The small nation of Georgia has been subject to Russian
attacks that threaten its very existence. Today, we are all Georgians.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: This is a man with a comic book view of international conflict
who then calls the president naive for not serially picking sides as John
McCain so ostentatiously does.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
MCCAIN: This is the most naive president in history. The naivete of
Barack Obama and John Kerry is stunning.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: You know what arguably could be called naive? Going on stage
at a Ukrainian opposition rally and not realizing you`re standing next to a
man who heads Ukraine`s right wing nationalist party. A party that was
first registered as a neo-Nazi party, which is exactly what John McCain did
in December when he stood next to Oleh Tyahnybok, the leader of Ukraine`s
Svoboda party, which according to the New York Times traces its roots to
the Ukrainian partisan army of World War II which was loosely allied with
Senator Chris Murphy was there, too, we should note, but he also
didn`t call the president naive.
Now, with Ukraine`s President Yanukovych being ousted over the
weekend, now facing mass murder charges, the guy who stood next to McCain a
couple months ago who once said Ukraine was run by a, quote, "Jewish
Russian mafia" is now, according to "The Financial Times", one of five
contenders to head up that country`s government.
Joining me is Mark Quarterman, director of research to the Center for
American Progress and for the Enough Project.
Mark, it struck me when John McCain talked about Vladimir Putin having
a Cold War vision of this conflict, that he basically wants to cede the
frame of this conflict to the person on the other side. If they view in
Cold War terms, then you must as well.
MARK QUARTERMAN, CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS: And it`s not even
clear that Vladimir Putin views it in Cold War terms. I mean, we have to
remember that Ukraine is a country that borders Russia. And whatever we
think about the Russian government or even the recently fallen Ukrainian
government, Russia is going to care deeply about what happens in Ukraine.
But what you described of John McCain`s approach to this is an example
of a more general problem. That we often see mostly among pundits, but
even U.S. administrations, that is this desire to pick a good guy and a bad
guy and to make a public declaration about them.
HAYES: And the danger on the other side, because I want to argue with
myself, right, is that there are certain circumstances, you know, in the
case of the Assad government for instance, where I don`t think there`s
anything really defensible about that government. I mean it seems you
could also end up in this weird place of playing apologetics for regimes
that are just irredeemable evil, frankly, as I believe the Assad regime is
And so, the question is, how do you keep that moral clarify in your
head on one level and also not decide that the world is a risk board that
you have to be essentially entering into every international conflict on.
QUARTERMAN: Well, that`s a fundamental question to ask, Chris. I
work for an anti-atrocity, anti-genocide crimes against humanity
organization. I work to try to stop these conflicts with my colleagues.
Human rights, I believe, is a U.S. interest. And I think it`s
important to realize that countries don`t have friends, they have
interests. And human rights should be an interest of the U.S. government.
The U.S. should make it absolutely clear to governments that carry out
atrocities or abuse human rights it doesn`t support that.
But to declare one side is good and one side is bad is to take tools
out of the tool box. It`s to stimey democracy. Think about it, we`re now
sitting across the table from the Syrian government in negotiations. We
now need to work with Russia to ensure stability as Ukraine goes through a
And we actually should be dealing more with the Sudanese government to
help to solve the (INAUDIBLE) for conflicts there.
HAYES: And that`s what seems so dangerous about this McCain line that
he takes, which there is small core part of that I do admire. I mean, this
idea that he wants to see the clarity, he wants to make sure that the
bullies are essentially checked, pushed back.
But in a broader sense what it does is reduces the possibility of
finding any kind of non-confrontational means of dealing with these
conflict zones. As you just said, we`re going to have to essentially work
with Putin, who has done all sorts of terrible things in Russia. We`re
going to have to work with him to figure out a situation in which Ukraine
does not get rip asunder or lead to some violent civil war conflict.
QUARTERMAN: That`s absolutely right. As you also pointed out at the
top of this segment, you can`t be entirely sure who is on the opposition
side. There are strange bedfellows there.
There are a number of people in the street, could be a majority of the
people in the street in Ukraine were supportive of a democratic regime a
more open regime. But there are those neo-Nazis there as well.
And to make a blanket declaration that these are our friends, our
buddies, the people we support against this terrible regime is to do a
disservice to what`s really happening in the country.
HAYES: Yes. I`ve seen some troubling reporting in the last 36 hours
that actually the hard right contingent of the opposition movement has been
kind of solidified some of its power base as things are very fluid.
Mark Quarterman with the Enough Project -- thanks for your time, Mark.
QUARTERMAN: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: Up next, an unbelievable look at how easy it can be for kids
to get guns.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: It`s laughable to everyone here, the idea that we`d ever
expose a 13-year-old to the dangers of a lottery ticket. But then we
arrive here at the gun show.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That story and reporter behind it, up next.
HAYES: Today, the Supreme Court dealt a blow to the National Rifle
Association when it decided not to grant the NRA an appeal in a fascinating
case out of Texas.
Here`s a story -- Texas, yes, Texas, actually prohibits the majority
of 18 to 20-year-olds from carrying a handgun in public. Texas apparently
thinks it`s a bad idea for teens with loaded handguns to be roaming around
The NRA, which apparently believes everyone should be allowed to carry
handguns, sued Texas, alleging this was an infringement of the
constitutional rights of teens. When a federal appeals court upheld the
Texas ban, the NRA appealed. And today, the Supreme Court said, nope, we
are not hearing this.
The NRA knows what it is doing, because like any good business-minded
people, they understand in the immortal words of Whitney Houston that the
children are our future. The children are the consumers of tomorrow.
That`s as true for guns as it is for toothpaste, which is why things like
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NARRATOR: My first rifle, a moment you never forget. The Crickett is
the perfect way to get young shooters started right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: But that is just the tip of the iceberg. A new investigative
report from HBO Real Sports reveals not only how easy it is for kids to get
guns, but an entire industry that`s behind keeping it that way.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: Take a ride with Jack. We pass shops where he isn`t old
enough to work the register.
Then, we stop at the convenience store to see Jack try to buy beer.
The cashier can`t believe he even tried.
At next store, Jack tries to buy cigarettes with no luck.
Later, he strikes out trying to buy racy magazine.
JACK: All right. OK, thank you.
REPORTER: And then, lottery tickets.
JACK: Can I get a couple of scratch-offs?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How old are you? You got your ID?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You what?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You can`t get a scratch-off, baby.
JACK: All right. Thank you.
FRANKEL: It`s laughable to everyone here, the idea that we`d ever
expose a 13-year-old to the dangers of a lottery ticket.
But then we arrive here, at the gun show.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It should shoot pretty good for you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I will take it.
FRANKEL: Within minutes, the 13-year-old easily and legally bought a
.22-caliber rifle from a private seller and walked away with it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now is the correspondent behind that HBO "Real
Sports" report, Jon Frankel.
Jon, what? What?
FRANKEL: That`s -- I mean, that`s the crux of our piece right there,
that laws whether you agree with them or not exist that say you can`t buy
beer, you can`t buy cigarettes, that you can`t buy a lottery ticket, which
lord knows might really hurt you.
And you can`t buy pornographic magazines, but in many places, you can
legally go in and buy a gun. Let me give you another example. There are
laws on the book in the state of Pennsylvania that says you have to be 18
to operate a deli counter meat slicer.
HAYES: Those things are dangerous.
FRANKEL: Those things are dangerous. There`s no question. You can
hurt yourself. But you can be 12 and operate a gun.
In the state of Montana, you have to be 14 to operate a riding lawn
mower. Again, that can be dangerous. There`s no question. No one wants
to stick their hand underneath one of those things. But you can be 8 and
operate a gun.
HAYES: How is this the case? What is the legal terrain that makes it
the case that you -- that -- I`m sorry -- children -- a 13-year-old is a
child -- can get, purchase a gun?
Well, the laws are different everywhere. The federal government
basically will tell you that there`s no minimum age. The federal
government does not state a minimum age to buy rifles or shotguns or
handguns from unlicensed dealers. So there are a lot of areas and there`s
a lot of discrepancies.
I mean, federal law will trump state law. But when the federal law
doesn`t have existing laws, the state laws will put in place certain
regulations, but they`re all over the place. And what -- partly what`s
happened here and what we also discuss is that in 35 states now in this
country, the organizations that are involved with the gun industry, the
National Shooting Sports Foundation and the NRA, have successfully been
able to roll back the laws in many of these states that make it permissible
for young kids to access guns, not to buy, but to be able to use them with
very little training.
So, for instance, you know, if you were taking driver`s ed, right, you
would go and take a full slate of driver`s ed courses, you go out, you get
on the road. In many of these gun safety courses, you go in, and in a
day`s time, six, seven hours, you take a gun safety course, you don`t even
operate a gun, a live gun, and that same day you walk out with a
certificate that says I`m now certified to operate a gun.
And you can do it in Illinois at the age of 4.
HAYES: Yes, there are seven states, Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, New
Mexico, Illinois, Vermont, and Washington, with no minimum age for solo
FRANKEL: Right. Now, granted, those -- in those seven states, they
were not specifically the result of this most recent campaign by the
FRANKEL: ... to roll back these laws.
You know, look, this all started back in `96, when even Marion Hammer,
who was president of the NRA, said, look, we want to make a concerted
effort. They did a study, they looked at kids and they wanted to see what
their attitudes were toward guns. And, basically, they came up with the
idea that we need to do a better job of recruiting and retaining these kids
when it comes to handguns and shooting sports.
HAYES: Into gun culture.
FRANKEL: We want to indoctrinate them into this idea, the same way
that you would take your kid to little league.
FRANKEL: And that`s part of the thing I also want us to understand,
that, as you said before in some of the other stories you were talking
about, you want to argue both sides.
FRANKEL: I will argue both sides, which is there is a culture out
there that has grown up with this and they feel like guns are part of their
heritage, not part of my background, but I understand that.
What we`re talks about is, what`s the common sense here that you can`t
operate a deli meat slicer, you can`t buy a lottery ticket, but why is it
that you`re willing to allow these kids to operate guns?
HAYES: Well, and let`s say there are places in the country where car
culture is an incredibly powerful thing and everyone gets their driver`s
license at 16 and everyone has an old beat-up car that they get and they`re
comparing their cars and they all go hang out. But we also recognize a car
is a dangerous thing and you don`t just go giving them out willy-nilly to
FRANKEL: Interestingly enough, Andy Fink, one gentleman that I
interview in the piece, and he publishing a magazine called "Junior
Shooters" and also has a sports shooting team out in Boise, Idaho.
And he said -- and I didn`t even set the trap for him -- he said on
his own accord, I wouldn`t get in the car with my own 7-year-old.
FRANKEL: Well, OK. That begs the question, then, why would you let
the 7-year-old have the gun?
HAYES: Jon Frankel.
The report will air on "Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel" tomorrow
night, 10:00 p.m. Eastern on HBO. It`s a great piece of work.
Thanks for coming by.
FRANKEL: Thanks for having me.
HAYES: At the cutting edge of the culture wars, this is the new
frontier, and just how it is playing out in statehouses and courthouses
from Arizona to Kansas ahead.
HAYES: Last August, a guy named Phillip Hall was fired from his job
as a pharmacist at a Tennessee Walgreens store.
And now Phillip Hall is suing Walgreens saying they fired him because
of his religion. Hall claims he was fired for refusing to take part in
something that would be sinful and repugnant to his sincerely held
What kind of immoral behavior is the Jamestown, Tennessee, Walgreens
store accused of trying to draft Phillip Hall into? Selling and dispensing
Plan B, the emergency birth control commonly known as the morning after
But Phillip Hall did not Just refuse to sell emergency birth control.
Here`s what else he did, according to his own lawsuit. Last summer after
the FDA ordered that Plan B be made available over the counter on drugstore
shelves, Phillip Hall decided to purchase the store`s entire lot of the
drugs himself and disposed of all six boxes of the pills.
He claims the boxes were mislabeled and that`s why he personally
purchased and disposed of them. That`s a claim the courts will presumably
sort out. But what no one disputes is that he`s a pharmacist who opposes
birth control on religious grounds who chose to buy and trash an entire
shipment of emergency birth control, rather than see it on store shelves.
And now Phillip Hall is set to become the next martyr for the
religious right, that see forces a persecution everywhere they look. We
will explain how Phillip Hall`s case relates to Arizona`s Republican
Governor Jan Brewer and the big decision the whole nation is watching for
HAYES: If you were online this weekend, there`s a good chance you saw
this. It`s a sign posted in the window of Rocco`s Pizzeria in Tucson,
Arizona, proclaiming the restaurant reserves the right to refuse service to
It was a response to a bill that the pizzeria`s owner called
appalling, Arizona`s SB-1062, which would give businesses greater rights to
refuse to serve gay people on the basis of religion. The sign was part of
a major backlash against the bill which is only growing and is widely seen
as blatantly anti-gay and which prompted protests at the Arizona Capitol
after it passed through the legislature last week.
It`s not just one restaurant owner and some liberal activists who are
outraged about this. In fact, the state is right now in open revolt.
Businesses have assailed the law, including Marriott and Apple, which are
among more than 80 companies that have urged the governor to veto it.
Also calling for a veto are both of Arizona`s Republican senators,
John McCain and Jeff Flake. In fact, three of the Republican lawmakers who
voted for the bill last week today sent a letter to the governor urging her
to veto it because the perception of the bill as anti-gay is "causing our
state immeasurable harm."
One of those lawmakers will be joining me here in a moment.
That`s also this. Matthew Dowd, former top strategist for President
George W. Bush, compared backers of the bill to Islamic terrorists who use
religion to defend murder. Now, the clock is ticking. A decision on
whether to sign or veto the bill is due this week and it all comes down to
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUESTION: Can you comment on whether you`re going to sign the bill
that was passed?
GOV. JAN BREWER (R), ARIZONA: The bill is in transmittal, and I don`t
have to make a decision until next Friday, so I have got plenty of time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That`s right, Arizona Republican Governor Jan Brewer, shown
here giving President Obama a piece of her mind on the airport tarmac back
in 2012. You probably remember Brewer for signing the last massively
controversial bill to come out of Arizona, SB-1070, the draconian anti-
illegal immigration law that earned the ire of the president back in 2010.
Now, Brewer has vetoed this kind of anti-gay legislation in the past
and to her great credit she fought hard to win Medicaid expansion in her
state last year over Republican opposition. We will find out this week if
she`s going to do the right thing this time around.
Arizona State Senate President Steve Pierce, who`s one of the
legislators who voted for the bill and is now asking the governor to veto
it, joins me now.
And, Senator, the first question is, why did you vote for this thing?
STEVE PIERCE (R), ARIZONA STATE SENATOR: As I have said a number of
times today, it was a mistake and a miscalculation.
We had no idea there would be the fallout like there has been,
because, frankly, we voted on the same bill a year ago and sent it up to
the governor, and she vetoed it. So the sponsor of the bill brought it
back again this year, and it`s just unbelievable, what`s happened. And
it`s not good for the state.
HAYES: Well, let me ask you this, though. I want to separate out the
public -- the publicity backlash and the merits of the bill. Do you still
think the merits of the bill are a good idea? Is it good policy to expand
out the kind of conscience clause to allow for this kind of discrimination
in kind of the commercial sphere?
PIERCE: When I voted on it, I did not look towards any kind of
discrimination at all. I didn`t see that in there.
As the days went on after we voted, it was from constituents and the
public and the outcry from it. And, you know, I have been listening to
things all day about the discrimination. And there is none, in my view,
and I don`t -- if there is, I`m totally against it.
But, as it is, I have come to the conclusion with two others that we
wrote a letter to the governor telling her we thought she should veto the
HAYES: So, what did you think the bill would allow?
PIERCE: You know, we were told that it would be codifying existing
laws that we have on the books right now.
And to codify, well, then why do we need it? And, you know, we were
not sold on the bill in the very start. Back three weeks ago, I went to
different groups trying to get some support and say, I`m concerned about
this, what do you want to do? Nobody really would say anything, until we
finally voted for it. And then all hell broke loose. And it was -- it`s
terrible and you can see what`s been going on.
HAYES: So, I want to talk about what you think the governor is going
to do, but just one more question on this line of inquiry. Who is pushing
for it? And if you were a little confused about what it would do or
wouldn`t do, who thinks it will do something, and what do they think it
PIERCE: The people that were behind it, there`s one called the Center
for Arizona Policy, and it was promoting it.
And they`re the ones behind it. And they brought it forward. I
believe it was going to be slowed down. It wasn`t going to come to the
floor as soon as it did, but for some reason, it jumped the track and it
came to the committee the whole -- last Wednesday and then right directly
after that when to third read and we voted on it.
And I can that there`s a number of us that we were texting each other
madly, do we go with it, do we not? And so we made a mistake. And that`s
about all I can tell you is we went the wrong way.
HAYES: I have to say, I admire you saying that. It`s extremely rare
in politics that elected leaders utter those words, even though they make
mistakes all the time.
What do you anticipate the governor will do faced with this decision?
PIERCE: Well, she`s got lots of support to veto it. There`s -- as
you said in there a few minutes ago, there`s a lot of support, there`s
companies, there`s a lot of things going on.
And I don`t know what she`s going to do. I hope she will consider all
that and veto the bill. She vetoed it last year. And it would be fine if
she vetoed it this year. It -- it is not what I think the media is
portraying it. It`s not as bad as that. I don`t believe -- if there`s any
kind of discrimination in it, like I said, I would be totally against it,
and that wasn`t the concern to us.
HAYES: But the concern, with respect here, Senator, I mean, this grew
out of a case in New Mexico in which a wedding photographer refused to
photograph the wedding of a lesbian couple.
HAYES: She was found to be in violation of that state`s constitution.
There have been a raft of laws that are proposed by conservatives across
the country to essentially override that kind of decision, which would mean
essentially allowing people who provide services in the marketplace to not
give them to gay and lesbian people.
That is the genesis of this whole thing.
PIERCE: Well, you`re right. From New Mexico, it was, but it didn`t -
- when I was thinking about it, it wasn`t towards gays and lesbians.
But, nevertheless, I`m opposed to it. I made a mistake. It`s up to
the governor. She`s a strong leader. She will be back here and she will
take charge of the issue when she can get back, and she will do the right
thing, I`m certain.
I`m not saying whether it`s vetoing or signing. I hope that she
HAYES: Arizona State Senate President Steve Pierce, thanks so much
for your time. Really appreciate it.
PIERCE: You bet. Thank you.
HAYES: Up next: how what`s happening in Arizona is part of a bigger
plan for culture warriors across the country. Stay tuned.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MUHAMMAD ALI, PROFESSIONAL BOXER: My conscience won`t let me go shoot
my brother or some darker people or some poor, hungry people in the mud for
big, powerful America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: There is something very appealing to the left, to me, about
conscience, about doing what you feel is right, even in the face of
But what happens when that very same principle is used as a defense
for anti-gay, anti-reproductive rights arguments? We`re going to take a
look at that next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yesterday`s Supreme Court rulings on gay marriage
raise a crucial question. How should the church respond to a culture that
seems increasingly hostile to Christianity and Christian principles?
SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: From Boston to Zanzibar, there`s a
worldwide war on Christianity.
BILL O`REILLY, HOST, "THE O`REILLY FACTOR": There is no doubt that
Judeo-Christian tradition in this country is under attack.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The anti-gay bill in Arizona is part of a trend. There`s been
religious protection legislation introduced in Ohio, Kansas, Mississippi,
Idaho, South Dakota, Tennessee, Oklahoma, among other states.
Legislation similar to the Arizona bill is now moving swiftly through
the Georgia House. In Oregon, there`s a ballot measure being debated to
allow businesses to refuse to provide services to marriage or commitment
ceremonies for same-sex couples.
And next month, the Supreme Court will hear two cases in which
businesses are seeking exemptions from providing contraception coverage to
their employees under religious grounds.
This legal push represents the new approach of the right. The idea is
to take a category called conscience and use it as a kind of crowbar to pry
open policies they don`t like.
Joining me now, Kenji Yoshino, Chief Justice Earl Warren professor of
constitutional law at NYU School of Law. And Ted Shaw, Columbia Law School
professor and former president of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
OK. Let`s start with this -- Kenji, you were saying to any something
off the camera, the conversation I just had with State Senator Pierce about
what the initial justification or why they wanted to pass the bill.
KENJI YOSHINO, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY: Yes.
So, Chris, on the one hand, I applaud you for applauding him in a way.
Like, kind of I`m torn. On the one hand, it`s great when politicians --
we`re all human. We`re all make mistakes. It`s great when people step up
and say that.
On the other hand, I spent half of last night listening to these
Arizona State hearings...
HAYES: On this bill.
YOSHINO: ... which are available online on this bill, on 1062.
And this -- all of the comments that he gave, and all the comments
that his three colleagues for flipping, like, oh, we didn`t realize this
was anti-gay, people stood up on the floor and made these arguments ad
nauseam that it would be bad for gays, and it flowed out of this New Mexico
case. And that was -- much hay was made of that.
And so it`s a little bit -- I`m torn here. On the one hand, I want to
say it`s great that you`re acknowledging this. On the other hand, all
these arguments were put before you. So, it`s a little disingenuous to
say, oh, I`m shocked, shocked to hear that this is going to hurt gay
HAYES: Ted, how do you think around this question of conscience,
right? I think there`s some idea in which we say we don`t want the state
to coerce people into doing things that something -- violates some sacred
inner part of them.
And yet at the same time, we all meet each other in the marketplace
and it doesn`t seem like we should allow the First Amendment to sort of act
as a kind of carve-out for folks to willy-nilly impose, you know,
confessional grudges against people they think are schismatic or personal
TED SHAW, COLUMBIA LAW SCHOOL: Well, first, let me say I did not
watch the Arizona legislature debates.
SHAW: That would have been a couple hours of my life I would have
never gotten back.
SHAW: But, you know, there`s a long history of these kinds of
conflicts, you know, bumping up against religious beliefs, for example,
racial discrimination justified.
Think about the Bob Jones case some years back.
HAYES: This is a really important one.
SHAW: ... Christian case.
HAYES: Explain the Bob Jones case.
SHAW: Bob Jones case was a case in which a university that didn`t
allow interracial dating or intermarriage among students, et cetera. You
can be kicked out for that.
SHAW: Wanted to have a tax exemption which the Reagan administration
restored to them. And it was a change in policy. The Supreme Court said
that that was that a -- that the United States government could deny tax-
exempt status. That kind of discrimination had to yield...
HAYES: Doesn`t matter if it`s your faith.
SHAW: Exactly right. Exactly right.
And so the key to what you just said is that we all meet in the
marketplace. We`re not talking about people meeting in the synagogue, or
in church, or a mosque. We`re talking about in a marketplace here.
SHAW: And so we`re not talking about people yielding religious
beliefs when we`re talking about businesses and serving people. You know,
this is going backwards.
This is just blatant discrimination. And when we -- you know, you
have those kinds of religious beliefs bumping up against discrimination,
you know, in the marketplace...
HAYES: They got to yield these basic...
SHAW: That`s right.
YOSHINO: And, you know, this is one of the scenarios where, like,
citing the founders is an opposite, right? Because when you actually think
about something like the Commerce Clause, the founders couldn`t have
understood how intertwined our interstate commerce would be.
HAYES: Right. Right.
YOSHINO: This is very similar. Free exercise of religion was
propounded back in 1791 in the Bill of Rights, but they couldn`t have
predicted that we would have over 300 religions in the United States. And
so it becomes completely untenable for anyone to navigate a public sphere
in which any one of us can say, I`m a satanist, so I believe this, or I`m
an X, Y, Z, so I believe that.
There are actual cases where people have said, I belong to the Church
of Marijuana, so, therefore, I`m allowed to avoid the strictures of the
Controlled Substances Act.
HAYES: And the church -- and courts have not looked very kindly on those
YOSHINO: Well, courts have actually been very interesting on these
arguments, because with the sincerity of belief things, which is one of the
checks that was...
HAYES: Sure, of course.
YOSHINO: ... 1062, they throw up their hands. And they`re like, we
can`t even go into that. But with regard to the substantial burden, you`re
right. They go back and forth.
HAYES: And this is one of the things in this law, it said -- why it
was so wide, Ted, it says, state action shall not substantially burden a
person`s exercise of religion.
I mean, that is...
SHAW: What do you do with that?
HAYES: Yes, what do you do with that, right?
SHAW: Well, that`s right. That`s right.
The problem there is that it leaves out there for any individual to
argue that their beliefs are being impinged upon, and, therefore, they can
engage in discriminatory treatment of other people.
You know, that`s just not our country. That`s going back in a huge
way. So it`s really stunning legislation that it would even be advanced.
HAYES: Yes, I think there is a certain contingent who thought they
were going to get away with it. And now everyone is looking at it and
saying, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. And that`s sort of what you`re
seeing play out.
SHAW: Yes, but the good news is, in some ways, the worse, the better.
HAYES: Right. Bring it out into the light.
SHAW: Bring it out into the light. We`re seeing people reacting.
And the country is moving beyond this.
Kenji Yoshino, professional at NYU School of Law, and Ted Shaw,
Columbia Law School professor, thank you, gentlemen. Appreciate it.
SHAW: Thank you.
HAYES: That is ALL IN for this evening.
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