THE ED SHOW
April 1, 2014
Guests: Wendell Potter, Jane Kleeb, Charlie Crist, Irina Vilarino, Ana
Rivas Logan, Ruth Conniff
ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC HOST: Let`s get to work.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, 44TH AND CURRENT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The
Affordable Care Act is here to stay.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where are we with Obamacare?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who knows.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many real people are there?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They got their seven million.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, when they put out the seven million number,
they, you know, it`s kind of like the end of the telethon. Somehow they
always get over that number.
JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: I don`t anybody expected that
they were going to hit seven million.
OBAMA: 7.1 million.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is the key number here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On the left, it shows the six million signups recorded.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. No. No. Not six. I said seven.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That was our mistake correction number.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is April Fool`s Day but no fooling.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I believe that does .
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is insanity.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. No. No.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m certainly raising eyebrows here.
OBAMA: Why are they so mad about the idea that folks have health
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Good to have you with us tonight folks. Thanks for watching.
That is a very profound question the president asked within the last hour
at his press conference. Why is it that there are so many people who were
against other Americans having health insurance? What is it? Fox News has
to be feeling about this tall tonight. Actually, they are so far away from
the American people and what the needs and the desires are of our society.
They`re in their little bubble and they`re about this tall when it comes to
their knowledge on healthcare and they have less belief in the American
It is amazing. This is a huge night for this man right here. This guy who
campaigned on hope, in change has delivered the mail. Period. Nobody
believed back in October, did they? The negativity was out and about.
In fact, this guy right here said this is a deal. Yeah. It`s been a heck
of a ride, hasn`t it? So we start tonight with breaking news and it is
good breaking news. And before I get in to the breaking news, let me say
this that I was going to say for the end. I don`t want to hear one
Democrat say they`re not going to run on healthcare. We`re going to go to
Washington and fix it. Fix what? 15 million people have been affected by
this and we`re just getting started. Obamacare coming out, total
enrollment right now over seven million. That`s the official word.
A short time ago, the president came out and announced that this is the
news for America. This is what we`ve been waiting for.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Six months ago today, a big part of the Affordable Care Act kicked
in as healthcare.gov and state insurance marketplaces went live and
millions of Americans finally had the same chance to buy quality affordable
healthcare and the piece of mind that comes with it as everybody else.
Last night, the first open enrollment period under this law came to an end.
And despite several last weeks out of the gate because of problems with the
website, 7.1 million Americans have now signed up for private insurance
plans through these marketplaces. 7.1.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: You know, they keep talking about the rollout. Well, the --
we`re still in the rollout. We`re at the rollout right now. When you
think about what we went through with Social Security, and Medicare, and
Medicaid, this -- we`re in the infancy and we`re at 7.1 million.
You know, the irony in all of this is the Conservatives think that they
have a lock on the market when it comes to having all of this business
knowledge. No one knows small business more than the Conservatives. Yeah,
we`re the champions of small business.
Tell me one small business that hasn`t gone through some kind of computer
glitch when they put a new product on the market. But these people across
the street and Conservatives around the country are so short-sided they
have no faith. They don`t believe that America can get this done. And you
heard it from the president, 7.1 million Americans. It`s official. The
first open enrollment period of Obamacare ended last night at midnight and
the mark has been met. It`s a big number.
The Obama Administration reached their goal that they set back in December.
Bush is probably sitting at home tonight and saying, "I didn`t even know it
was going to be that number." Well, they did.
Remember, if you`ve started the process, you still have until April 15th to
choose your plan. With 15 more days to go, we could be looking at eight
million people. That`d be something to talk about, wouldn`t it?
It`s important to call out Republicans tonight across the board. They`re
on the wrong side of history. They`ve been flat-out wrong all along.
Obamacare has done nothing but then talked down and voted down by the
Conservatives since day one.
Here`s what Fox News sounded like leading up to March 31st.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the administration is way behind. Everybody
understands that except in that release of real numbers and it isn`t even a
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They had to have seven million people signup for this
thing to work. And if they didn`t have that number with a lot of young
healthies, the thing will go in a debt spiral and implode.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And to hit the seven million target by the end of the
March 31st enrollment period, that would mean that they would have to have
roughly 1.2 million people signup in the exchanges, the private insurance
coverage. And that doesn`t look like it`s anywhere close.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t know of one report to say Schultz in MSNBC
who`s now defending this, and that causes some real problems, the aid (ph)
man corner is not there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How can you -- 106,000 but they are expecting 500,000,
after a month they expect seven million, these numbers are absolute
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Yeah, that Schultz guy on MSNBC. How in the world did he ever
know that they were going to signup this many folks? I`ll tell you how I
knew, because I`ve been out in the road and I`ve talk to millions of
Americans, on the radio show and on TV. I knew exactly where this country
was all along. Why would you bet against the American worker? Why would
you bet against the American families and what they`re saying in elections?
Now it`s interesting, bowling (ph). This guy right here, what a minor
league prediction. Of course Eric you`re kind of a minor leaguer from way
back, aren`t you?
Here`s a number for you folks, 49 percent. As you look at this number
right here, look at that, the more people that signup, the more people like
this. Let me ask you a question tonight. Have a little foresight here.
Do you think that number is going to grow? You better believe it`s going
to grow. A new Washington Post ABC News Poll says 49 percent of Americans
support what`s happening in healthcare. It`s up nine percent -- nine
points since November when support was sitting down at 40 percent and of
course being ridiculed.
It`s just common sense. No more preexisting conditions, free preventive
care, absolutely, no lifetime limits on coverage. Obamacare is a great
law. Conservatives, do yourself and the country a favor. Surrender,
surrender. Tell us John Boehner that it`s the law of the land and you`re
not going to repeal it. I thought I heard that before you took all these
The American people are getting onboard, that`s the bottom line.
Republicans are going to have a hard time trying to turn to nine million
Americans say, "You know what? We`re going to take this away from you."
That puts them on the wrong side of history again, they can`t do that. So
they`re stuck in the corner. But you know what? Here is the story. This
is just so perfect, the day that we reach the goal of over seven million,
the day the president comes out and gives the country good news, here comes
the golden boy of the Republican Party, Paul Ryan, releasing his 2015
budget, and to no surprise, what is it called for, full, not partial, full
repeal of Obamacare.
You could make this up. So Ryan of course has no plan on the table for
healthcare right now. Although his budget as I see is totally fraudulent,
it`s a fraud because in his numbers he accounts for the savings from the
Affordable Care Act to run his numbers. Now they`re screwed up all over
the place folks. Republicans just don`t learn from their past mistakes, do
Ryan ran for vice president in the last take (ph) in 2012 on a platform to
repeal Obamacare and he got rejected. They still don`t get it. That
didn`t work out so well for him, right?
So earlier today, President Obama had a stern message, a stern message for
people working to repeal this great law.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: This law is doing what it`s supposed to do. It`s working. It`s
helping people from coast to coast. All of which makes the links to which
critics have gone to scare people or undermine the law or try to repeal the
law without offering any plausible alternative so hard to understand. I
got to admit, I don`t get it. Why are folks working so hard for people not
to have health insurance? Why are they so mad about the idea of folks
having health insurance?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Now, if you`re having a cold beer with your next door neighbor
and he happens to be a Republican, you might want to ask him that question.
You know Harry, you`ve got your healthcare and life is OK for you, why are
you so opposed to everybody else having some health insurance? What`s the
big deal? They don`t have an answer.
Meanwhile, down in Florida, Obamacare is the heated issue in the race for
governor between Rick Scott and Charlie Crist. Healthcare is a hugely
important issue in the Sunshine State. Rick Scott`s political action
committee is spending $2 million running this misleading ad.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just the other day .
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think that nothing about Obamacare has
irreparably harmed Floridians in any way?
FMR. GOV. CHARLIE CRIST, (D) FLORIDA: No, I don`t think so at all. I
think it`s been great.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Great? News reports say 300,000 health plans canceled.
Obama says patients may lose their doctors. The Federal Government says,
"Less work hours for American jobs."
CRIST: I think it`s been great.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Great, Charlie? Obamacare maybe great for Charlie`s
political career, but it`s not great for the rest of us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Yeah, those nine million people really get you after, did they?
The ad is totally incorrect. Those 300,000 plans were junk insurance
policies. You see we now have federal standards that have to be met by the
insurance industry. Those people were offered new plans that complied with
President Obama later said people could keep their plans for another year.
Some people thought that was OK, let`s move forward. So, most of those
300,000 people in Florida have kept their plan. It`s a dirty ad from Rick
Scott. Charlie Crist isn`t happy about the misleading ad so he`s fighting
back with this factual ad.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rick Scott is at it again, spending special interest
millions to tear down Charlie Crist.
The press caused the attacks, misleading, mostly false, incorrect. The
truth is Rick Scott wants to us back to the days of insurance companies,
denying coverage for preexisting conditions, where women are charged more
than men and lifetime caps limit care even for kids with cancer. That`s
The governor you can trust to work with both sides to fix the problem are
the one you can`t trust at all.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: So, why is this such a big story? Well, there`s four mega
states, there`s California and New York, Texas and Florida. The only mega
swing state is going to be Florida. Rick Scott is on the wrong side of
history again. Just like the rest of the Republican Party.
So what is bad about Obamacare? Well, actually tonight I was going to come
out and, you know, adlib a few things I don`t understand why so many
people are fighting so hard to take healthcare away from somebody else, but
the president did that today.
So I`ll move to minimum wage. They`re on the wrong side of history on
that. I`ll move to long-term unemployment benefits, they`re on the wrong
side of history on that. I`ll go after their attack on public education
which is in Ryan`s budget today, they`re on the wrong side of history with
that. Social security, they want to privatize it. Nobody is for that.
Everything in Ryan`s budget is exactly where the majority of Americans are
not. And then there`s the Medicare voucher. Where`s the march on that?
Nobody wants that. Medicare is widely popular with people who are in it.
So tonight`s lesson is this, they`re a bunch of jokers. They`re just a
bunch of jokers. And I think it`s just poetic justice today that Paul Ryan
comes out with his budget the day the president announced, "We did it on
healthcare." We`re just getting started. Democrats run on round two and
Get your cellphones out. I want to know what you think. Tonight`s
question, "Should the government extend the Obamacare enrollment for
another 30 days?" Text A for Yes, text B for No to 67622, you can always
go to our blog @ed.msnbc.com. We`ll bring you the results later on in the
For more, let me bring in a man, who has been a real guiding light to a lot
of people on this subject for the last six years, Wendell Potter, Senior
analyst for the Center for Public Integrity.
Mr. Potter, great to have you with us tonight. What does this seven
million mark mean for this law?
WENDELL POTTER, CENTER FOR PUBLIC INTEGRITY: It means a great deal. It
means that the insurance companies have the number that they really needed
to make sure that premiums are going to be stabilized. And it`s also, I
think low. I think we will see in the coming months that a lot more people
than that will have been cover by the end of this year.
Keep in mind that lot of people signed up directly with insurance
companies, especially during those early months when the website wasn`t
working well and a lot of people have signed up for coverage should be at
through private exchanges, through Medicaid expansion, 26 year olds cans
stay on their -- kids until they`re 26 stay can stay on their parent`s
policies. I`m betting that by the end of the year, about 15 or fifteen and
a half million people will have been nearly covered.
SCHULTZ: So Mr. Potter, we needed seven million people to make this work
for the insurance industry. So now the insurance industry is kind of
somewhat thinking, "Well, gosh, we got all these new customers, how can be
we against this?" What are they thinking tonight in the front office?
POTTER: Well, what they`re thinking is, they`re probably breathing a sigh
of relief because they did need to have substantial numbers signing up for
coverage. It will vary from state to state, which companies got how many
new insurance. But it has to be good news for them because it means new
revenue for these guys. Keep in mind that a lot of the people that are
signing up for coverage are people who have low or moderate incomes,
they`ll get subsidies, and the subsidies go to these insurance companies,
so insurance companies are going to be doing quite well.
I want to play a clip from President Obama, just within the last hour
talking about a cancer patient, a woman with ovarian cancer. Listen to
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OMABA: Jeanne Goe is a bartender from Enola Pennsylvania. In November,
she bought a plan on the marketplace. In January, an illness sent her to
the hospital. And because her new plan covered a CAT scan, she wouldn`t
have otherwise been able to afford. Her doctor discovered that she also
had ovarian cancer. She wrote me a letter too, she said, "I hope to send a
follow-up letter in a few months saying, I am free and clear of this
disease but until then I know I will be fighting just as you had been
fighting for my life as a working American citizen."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Mr. Potter, how does the insurance industry and also the
Republican Party fight a story like that?
POTTER: Well they will -- I think we`ll see over the coming months.
They`ll manufacture stories like we seen in some of the ads already, that`s
what they`ll try to do. But these are compelling stories. I have met many
people myself as I travel across this country. People have come up to tell
me that their confident that they`re alive today because of the Affordable
And I`m certain that`s true. In fact, I know some people who are newly
covered now who couldn`t get coverage at all in the past because of
preexisting conditions. This is a very big deal.
SCHULTZ: Wendell Potter, great to have with us tonight, I appreciate your
time on the Ed Show and thanks for all the work that you`ve done. This is
a big day for America. No doubt about it.
For more, let me bring in Democratic candidate for Governor in Florida
Charlie Crist. Governor, good to have back with us tonight.
This is going to be a huge issue for your race in Florida, but doesn`t this
number give you momentum to talk more about this? And what is your
response to Governor Scott`s misleading ad?
CRIST: Well, number one, it`s hard to believe that he would put an ad on
the television throughout the state of Florida, Ed, that says that, you
know, 300,000 people don`t have healthcare because of this act. Actually
the truth is that they`re getting healthcare. The numbers that you`ve talk
about tonight, 7.1 million people signing up is amazing. I mean, you know,
it had a rough start. I think everybody acknowledges that including the
But, you know, just as they trying to suppress people from getting
healthcare, they try to suppress people from voting, they are the party of
suppression. It is wrong. It`s not the right thing to do. People in
America and certainly people in Florida need and deserve affordable
healthcare and that`s what this act is doing, just as though they deserve
to have food and shelter and water, they deserve to have affordable
healthcare, it is not only civil right, it`s a human right and the
President is doing the right thing.
SCHULTZ: Charlie doesn`t this number empower Democrats to run hard on this
in the midterm? I mean, I think we can say that the Republicans have been
totally wrong on this.
CRIST: There`s not question about it, Ed. I mean, you know, that I think
it was Bill Clinton recently said that it`s important for Democrats to be
strong on this. I have stayed strong on this because it`s the right thing
to do, first and foremost. You know, God wants people to have healthcare,
he doesn`t want people to suffer and this is the way to do it.
People that have preexisting conditions prior to this and under Rick Scott,
because he wants to repeal it or that`s what he said at least. They
wouldn`t be able to get healthcare today. And that`s just wrong. And the
other thing that`s wrong with Rick Scott and his policy is he said for
about 30 seconds said he for Medicaid expansion and then didn`t lift a
finger, Ed, to get it done. As a result of that, about a million of my
fellow Floridians aren`t getting healthcare today. That was part of the
Affordable Care Act.
You know, before the legislature and Governor Scott need to act to do
what`s right for those people they are suffering, they shouldn`t be, the
money comes from the federal government, my fellow Floridians already send
it there, it`s about $51 billion over the next 10 years that they need and
SCHULTZ: So Governor Scott would rather lie and try to win than to help
the people of Florida? That`s the way it sounds.
CRIST: Well, it pretty much comes down to that. But that shouldn`t
surprise us. I mean, we`re talking about a guy that ran a company that had
to pay the largest fine for fraud. I mean, you know, its fraud to path
false commercials, its fraud to tell people that they`re, you know, going
to get healthcare when they go with your company, HCA Columbia and then the
"upcode", which is a fancy word for charge too much or stealing from poor
It`s just the wrong thing to do. And that kind of a callous attitude and
somebody who wants to be a public servant, you know, he`s more of a
politician than a public servant. People who run for office need to
understand that it`s their job to help people. They`re counting on them.
They deserve to have somebody in office who has a heart, who`s not the tin
man, as the Tampa Bay Times said. People need to have somebody who cares
about them, about their education, about their environment, about an
economy that should be thriving much more than it is.
SCHULTZ: All right. Charlie Crist, good to have you on the Ed Show, all
the best my friend, thank you so much.
CRIST: Thank you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, the fight for public education continues around the
country. Rapid response panel debates Florida for-profit schools push.
But first, the new reason Conservatives are pushing to build the Keystone
XL Pipeline. BoldNebraska`s Jane Kleeb, weighs in on the Putin premise.
Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And Trenders, this is what`s happen in the social media, this is
where you can catch on, be part of the Ed Team, Facebook.com/EdShow,
Twitter.com/EdShow and Ed.MSNBC.com. On the radio everyday, Monday through
Friday, Sirius XM Channel 127 and you can get my radio podcast at wegoted,
thanks for doing that.
Ed Show Social Media Nation has decided lots of tweeting out there about
healthcare today, no doubt about it.
We are reporting here today`s top Trenders voted on by you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everyone on the Arc now.
SCHULTZ: The number three Trender, no way.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The great flood is coming.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Noah reigned on the competition collecting $44 million.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The "Noah" movie is in town and it`s been raining a
lot. I might need to run out and jump on a giant boat outside
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did somebody gets paid for writing that dialogue?
SCHULTZ: Noah faces a flood of criticism from Conservative Christians.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We looked at the text, we tried to honor text to
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our children, they`ll look at that as being the Noah
story, it is dangerous disinformation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hate it
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How do you make a movie about Noah without mentioning
the word God?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s deliberately (inaudible).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It stinks.
SCHULTZ: The number two Trender, dark side candidate.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One of the most visible leaders during Ukraine`s
revolution has announced that he will run for president.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Darth Sith Lord has one primaries on ballots (ph)
of Ukraine`s internet party.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Impressive. The most impressive.
SCHULTZ: Darth Vader is a phantom menace in the Ukrainian election.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Comrade Vader will be our party`s candidate.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Promises to turn the country into an empire, restoring
its old glory.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don`t try to threaten us with your sorcerer`s ways like
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The election commission has not confirmed his
candidacy. So it may never be known whether (inaudible) can be turned into
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I find your lack of faith disturbing.
SCHULTZ: And today`s top Trender, sweet crude revenge.
We`re getting into the say anything, do anything face of the Keystone XL
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Excuses, excuses, excuses.
SCHULTZ: Keystone supporters say the XL Pipeline will plug up Putin.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Keystone pipeline must be approved. The more oil
and natural gas the U.S.A. and Canada can produce and distribute, the
weaker Russia becomes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Build Keystone and start pumping out tons of natural
gas and we`ll win the new Cold War the way we won the last one by
REP. PAUL RYAN, (R) WISCONSIN: I think we should do more to say, produce
natural gas exports. I think we should approve the Keystone Pipeline.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Joining us tonight, Jane Kleeb, Executive Director of Bold
Jane, good to have you back with us. It seems like now that Conservatives
will try just about anything to push for this pipeline. The Silicone
Valley executives, a bunch of them have gotten together and written a
letter to Secretary Kerry saying that their analysis is there`s not going
to be any economic boom for the United States. Where does this sit right
now and how dirty are these tactics going to get?
JANE KLEEB, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR BOLD NEBRASKA: Yeah I mean I`m waiting for
them to promise that we`re going to see rainbows and unicorns if the
pipeline gets built. And so we saw an article in the New York Post today
and that author actually believes that Canada and the United States should
be one country as well.
And so we`re going to see all sorts of crazy ideas from the right wing.
The reality is which exactly what the Silicone Vice Presidents and
executives in California and across our country were saying is that, "We
have to diversify our energy base." The only that we can actually protect
ourselves from folks like Putin and others is to have a diversified energy
source, which means more renewables, not importing more dirty oil from the
SCHULTZ: Over the weekend, you were out there. I was out there in the
South Dakota with the Sioux nation together, the tribes, they are making a
stand against this. There`s going to be several different encampments
along the way. They claim that they have a treaty that the United States
must abide by. How serious is this treaty going to be considered when it
comes down to the decision making time for the president as you see it?
KLEEB: You know, tribal communities do have various treaties that right
now TransCanada as well as the Unites States are not following. So that is
I think a very serious legal ground that they have to stand on. But they
have an even stronger moral ground to stand on. We have to remember that
President Obama was adopted into a tribal community and is part of the
Black Eagle family.
And that is something that tribal communities, when we come to D.C. April
22nd to the 27th that we are going to remind the president. He knows that
tribal communities have a deep sacred bond with land and water, just like
farmers and ranchers do. So we`re going to remind the president that he
not only has climate legacy but he has a moral authority to stand with us
and say no to the Tar sands.
SCHULTZ: Tell us about that adoption. I mean, I know the president met
with the tribes in Sioux Falls, South Dakota when he was campaigning back
in 2008. I assume that`s what you`re referring to.
KLEEB: There`s a tribe the Crow Nation out of Montana and it`s the Black
Eagle family within the Crow Tribe that has adopted President Obama. And
that is a serious thing. It`s not just a name that he gets to wear. It is
an honor and it is part of something that he now has to carry on the
traditions of that tribe. And tribes all across our country know that
their water rights, their treaty rights are being violated. This pipeline
has made a lot of us draw a line in the sand. It`s made farmers and
ranchers draw a line in the sand over property rights. And it certainly
made tribes to say "No more. We`re not going to let our rights continue to
get trampled on." And that`s why I think this unity Ed, that you`ve
witness with your own two eyes is something that will stop this pipeline.
Everybody tells us we`re not strong enough. We don`t have enough money and
we don`t need to match their money. What we need to match is the moral
authority that we all have to say, "We`re not going to let you risk our
land and water when we know we have to have diversified energy."
SCHULTZ: All right, Jane Kleeb, we will follow the story, there`s still a
lot more there. Thanks so much for joining is tonight on the Ed Show.
Still ahead, for-profit charter schools are getting millions in tax dollars
while public schools are getting budget slashed. Rapid Response Panel
weights in on that. And the great education debate continues.
And later, billionaire donors are spending millions on small town
elections? Why Conservative group Americans for Prosperity is getting
involved with local Wisconsin politics?
But next, I`m taking your questions, Ask Ed Live coming up in the Ed Show.
Stay with us, we`ll be right back.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show. Love the questions. Keep them
coming. Thanks so much in our Ask Ed Live segment.
Our first question comes tonight from Nicole. "How do you think Michele
Bachmann feels after saying Obamacare will literally kill people after
seven million have signed up?"
Well, we got a real problem on our hands if that`s true. Well, look, the
Conservative message on healthcare is very shallow. It fits their
messenger, don`t you think? I don`t know if she feels anything, I think
she`s got ice in her veins when it comes to people.
Our next question comes from Don. Don wants to know wants to know, "Do you
have nay plans for the 5th anniversary of the Ed Show?"
Do we have plans? I`m going to take the rest career off. No, just
kidding. Hey, Friday night dinner and drinks with the team, but I ain`t
picking up the tab.
Stick around, Rapid Response Panel is next.
COURTNEY REAGAN CNBC CORRESPONDENT: I`m Courtney Reagan with your CNBC
Stocks in higher on the first day of the new quarter, the Dow gains 75
points, the S and P add 13 to close at a new record, the NASDAQ up 69.
GM CEO Mary Barra testified before lawmakers about the company`s ignition
switch recall links to 13 deaths. She`s apologized to families who lost
loved ones. Stepping (ph) both GM and Ford have reported better than
expected auto sales from the month of March, Chrysler also posted a monthly
That`s it from CNBC, we`re first in business world wide.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show.
Republicans claim they care about your kid`s education. I think they hide
behind their agenda by using these catchy phrases like "pro-school choice"
or "education reform".
Now, don`t be fooled by the rhetoric folks. If you want to know what
Republican`s education policy actually looks like, all you have to do is
pay attention to the fight going down in Florida with Governor Rick Scott.
You know, last week the Florida House passed a $75.3 billion budget. Over
$596 million is devoted to public education Capital Outlay trust fund.
The public education part is very misleading. The House wants $50 million
to be set aside for public school building repairs. A record $100 million
would be provided to charter schools including those managed for-profit
Well, the Senate is not suggesting $50 million for charter schools and $40
million for traditional public schools. Governor Rick Scott wants to give
$80 million to PECO funds for traditional public schools. And $90.6
million in PECO and lottery funds for charter schools.
Go figure, either way you slice the story, Florida Republicans want
taxpayer funded alternatives to public school system. Public education has
always been one of the country`s greatest equalizers. Public education
doesn`t discriminate by socioeconomic class, gender, or race.
To turn our back on that investment goes against everything as a country we
stand for. Not against charter schools, but this is a classic example of
how we are seeing a disproportion of funds go to something that was never
really intended for. Do we want education in America to be for-profit? Is
that good for all kids? It`s about all kids, that`s why we call it public
Joining me now is our Rapid Response Panel, Former Florida State
Representative and School Board Member Ana Rivas Logan, and also joining us
tonight is Florida Business Conservative Owner and that is Irina Vilarino.
Great to have both of you with us tonight.
You know, there`s a couple of big issues in Florida, public education,
obviously charter schools we were talking about and also healthcare, I want
to get both of them.
Anna, you were a Republican State Representative, you changed party
affiliation in February. Is education policy one of the reasons why you
made the move?
ANA RIVAS LOGAN, FORMER FLORIDA STATE REPRESENTATIVE: Well, education is
definitely a big issue. You know, the legislators are charged with making
sure that the budget is balanced and that the budget is used properly.
Public dollars, we`re talking about tax dollars that should not be used
for-profit entities. You know, they`re talking here about taking public
dollars and giving them to landlords who basically own a building and they
want us to retro fill the building, they want us to maintain the building.
That really should be the landlord of that building that you should take
care of that building, not the public, not the taxpayers.
So actually the legislators are legislators are not doing their job as
being good fiscal watchdogs of the public dollars. And that`s -- is this a
good return on the investment? No, it`s a terrible return on the
SCHULTZ: Irina, as a taxpayer, as a businesswoman and business owner, how
do you feel about that?
IRINA VILARINO, CONSERVATIVE BUSINESS OWNER: Well, I`m kind surprised by
Mrs. Rivas Logan`s remarks, because she actually voted for vouchers. But
with all that said, I believe that there`s -- I don`t see where the
Listen, healthcare is privately managed in this country and it is publicly
afforded to its citizens.
Obviously, there is something broken within our education system. We`re
36th in the world and yet we spend most than any other country in the world
per capita. Our education system is broken. And what we`re doing is not
working. And if the private sector can take up schooling regulations and
follow a curriculum, which is regulated by the state then why should they -
- why shouldn`t we have charter schools or vouchers to facilitate students
that are in poor areas, that are exposed to terrible education system or
terrible schooling system within their neighborhood to better education?
SCHULTZ: So, Irina, do you think that a for-profit system charter schools
would do better than what we`re seeing right now?
VILARINO: Well, I can`t see it doing worse than what we`re doing right now
with the public system. We`re 36th in the world.
LOGAN: You know .
VILARINO: Countries such as China, India are far better than we do in
Mathematics and Science. We`re obviously doing something critically wrong.
SCHULTZ: Ana, what about that?
LOGAN: Well, the educational outcomes are there. I mean, the results are
there. Charter schools produce no better outcomes than the public
educational system. It does provide an alternative for parents who are
unhappy with their school system. And that`s fine. We need to have
parents -- have alternatives and have choices for parents. But the reality
is that the outcomes are exactly the same. And what we`re talking about
here is not the actual education. We`re talking about taking money for
facilities that are owned by private owners, by landlords. They should be
fixing those facilities.
And want to touch on something that she just touched upon and that`s the
voucher system .
VILARINO: If that`s said -- and I`m sorry to interrupt .
LOGAN: . the voucher system. I did support corporate vouchers. It was
win-win situation for everybody. But what we`re talking about here is an
expansion of the voucher system and public dollars is picking it up. As it
stands right now, the corporate voucher is a win-win situation. You`ve got
corporations able to fund children to go to school, it`s a win-win
situation for them, they get a tax break, the public system saves money,
and the state saves money.
So I did support that because it was a good return on the investments.
SCHULTZ: But the issue here is from the story is that more resources are
going to be going to the charter schools in a for-profit system .
SCHULTZ: .than the public schools. Is that .
VILARINO: So that changed.
SCHULTZ: Is that what the public wants?
LOGAN: No, absolutely not. I don`t want my tax dollars going to a for-
profit system. I want my tax dollars, number one, I want good return on my
SCHULTZ: And what about that, Irina.
VILARINO: We give tax breaks to all sorts of corporations including
stadiums that being built here in South Florida day in and day out. These
are privately owned operations. And yet our public is also sponsoring a
lot of the refurbishments that go into these stadiums. If we do it sports,
why can`t we do it for our children if it`s going to afford them better
SCHULTZ: Well, does it? Irina? Are charter school out performing public
LOGAN: No, they`re not.
VILARINO: Our charter school -- no, listen if a child is going -- well
they`re not -- I don`t they`re comparing apples to apples. If you have a
child that`s going -- if it`s in an inner city or is going to a low rank
elementary school or whatever, low-end school and then they go into a
charter school and they`re doing the same as a national average, well if
they were doing poorly before and now they`re doing the same, isn`t that
SCHULTZ: OK, I want to talk .
LOGAN: But that`s not what the research shows. The research shows that a
bright motivated student in an inner city school will perform exactly the
same in a charter school. So this research .
VILARINO: A bright and motivated student? How many students are in an
inner city right (inaudible)?
LOGAN: There`s a lot of them, Irina.
VILARINO: How many are they? Are they bright and innovated?
LOGAN: There`s a lot of them .
LOGAN: . they just don`t have the opportunities. Absolutely.
VILARINO: I beg to differ. Exactly they don`t the opportunity .
LOGAN: Every child -- children are not born dumb .
VILARINO: So why would we limit them to stay in inner city schools instead
of having them to a better school?
LOGAN: Irina, what you`ve just said -- what you`ve just said is that the
children in the inner city schools are dumb and that`s a fallacy. Children
aren`t born dumb.
VILARINO: No, I`m sorry. Don`t put words on my mouth, I didn`t, I never .
LOGAN: That the children are born in .
VILARINO: . for one minute that they we`re dumb, I`ve said that they are
locked in to poor education system within their districts. Why are we
going to limit them to that system when they can the opportunity of going
LOGAN: Well, -- and I said that, charter schools provide an alternative
and a good avenue for parents .
SCHULTZ: What would kind -- let`s hone in on this. What would constitute
charter schools get more public funding than public schools when charter
schools aren`t for every kid?
VILARINO: But they could be. Why are they limited? If somebody wanted to
go to charter school they could have go to a charter school, if they have
the intensive to go -- to take their children else where.
SCHULTZ: That`s not the story I got in Florida .
VILARINO: Why would they be limited to the public?
SCHULTZ: . that their picking and choosing kids and their picking the best
to get into these charters school. Am I wrong on that, Ana?
LOGAN: Absolutely and they avail .
VILARINO: Perhaps and the motivation for them to do better.
LOGAN: And if they don`t perform, Ed, they`re kicked out.
LOGAN: So the children -- they`re hand picking.
SCHULTZ: But we will .
LOGAN: .children and they`re kicking out the ones that aren`t performing.
SCHULTZ: We will follow the story. It`s a heated discussion in the middle
on gubernatorial race in Florida. Anna Rivas Logan, also Irina Vilarino,
thank you so much for joining us tonight.
Pretenders is next. Stick around. We`ll be right back.
SCHULTZ: And in Pretenders tonight, slap in the face, Ted Cruz. The
Canadian Senator from Texas truly values social media. After all it`s the
voice of the people, right Ted?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TED CRUZ, (R) TEXAS: But there`s e-mail, there`s Facebook, there`s
Twitter. There an awful lot of ways for the American people to speak up
and make D.C. listen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Well, unfortunately for the Senator, he`s right. The Senator
reached out on his Facebook page asking the question. "Are you better off
with Obamacare?" Comment Yes or No." Careful what you wish for Cruz.
The Facebook post was slam with positive reviews for the healthcare law.
The Senator got the answer loud and clear. Yes, yes and yes, people love
the affordable care act, they`re shouting from the rooftop on his Facebook
If Senator Ted Cruz thinks friends are the only thing he`s going to find on
Facebook, he can keep on pretending.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed show. This is the story for the folk who
takes a shower after work.
Conservatives with deep pockets could be coming to a town near you real
soon. Big money donors are inserting themselves into elections on the most
local level. Americans for Prosperity, the Conservative group funded by
billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch.
They`ve spend millions of dollars in nation politics promoting Conservative
causes. This kind of influence has caught the attention of Democrats in
Washington, no doubt.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN CHARLES SCHUMERS, (D) NEW YORK: Democrats are fighting for a fair shot
for everyone while Republicans are doing the bidding of the Koch Brothers,
the wealthy and huge corporations. Those people already have a fair shot.
Middle class people need a fair shot. That`s the distinction we will draw
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Koch Brothers have been in neck-deep in politics in Wisconsin for
a long time and they are major supporters of Governor Scott Walker and now
the Koch Brothers are getting involved in hyper look in (ph) politics in
rural areas of the state. Americans for Prosperity has jumped to a local
election by attacking opponents of a proposed iron ore mine.
AFPs Wisconsin organization has mailed fliers to voters in Iron County
headed today`s election. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports Americans
for Prosperity has also a field team on the ground canvassing and making
phone calls about the Kenosha Unified School Board Raise, they`re all over
Groups like American for Prosperity spend money and do not specifically say
to vote for or against a candidate. The Ed Show reached out to Americans
for Prosperity for a comment. They haven`t gotten back to us. We did get
statement from Robert Tappan, an External Relations Director from the Koch
companies and he says, "Neither Koch industries nor any Koch -- or any Koch
company has an interest in or involvement with either of these projects."
For more on this, let`s turn to Ruth Conniff, Editor-in-chief for the
Progressive Magazine. Ruth, good to have you with us tonight.
I think people might be curious how did a small town and small towns in
Wisconsin get the attention of a huge group like Americans for Prosperity?
I mean, they are down to the very local level, are they not?
RUTH CONNIFF, THE PROGRESSIVE MAGAZINE: They are absolutely, Ed. You`re
right and it`s never happened before.
In fact, I was talking to some campaign finance watchdogs today who said,
they`ve never seen anything like it. We`re accustomed to the Koch brothers
coming in with Governor Walker. They said they`ve spend a lot of money in
Wisconsin. They`re going to spend more. David Koch said that about
Governor Walker. They come in big in Congressional races. They came in
big against Senator Tammy Baldwin.
But now, what they`re doing is they`re coming in to a tiny community like
the Iron County board race and sending fliers to the neighbors of folks who
run and would have almost always been uncontested raises, slamming and
smearing local folks who want to serve on the county board. And the reason
that they`re doing it is because there`s a great big open pit mine at stake
the county board is going to make a zoning decision about that mine and the
Koch Brothers want to see deregulation. They want to see dirty industry
which they`re in -- not in this mine but in Green Bay, Wisconsin. They`re
in big all over the country and so they`re promoting that interest there.
And in Kenosha which you mentioned they`re coming in to this local school
board race because along with the coalition of the right wing groups
they`ve been arguing that it was illegal for that school board to recognize
the teacher`s union and give them a contract and they want to suppress
I mean, this is why billionaires from out of state care about who`s on your
local school board because they have an agenda that has to do with
suppressing wages and deregulating industry.
SCHULTZ: So what was the reaction of the local folks up there getting
these, you know, high valued fliers? I mean, some rookie didn`t put these
things together. I mean, these things are full of information they`re
glossy, they`re professionally put together. They got to be thinking where
in the heck did this come from? What`s the reaction been up there?
CONNIFF: Well, we`ll find out the final word from the voters today, Ed.
Because as you point out both of these races are going on right now and
it`s Election Day in Wisconsin. It`s a typically low turnout spring
election, but there are -- this is real democracy. These are neighbors
voting for neighbors. These are people who want to serve at the most local
level of government. And you`re right. They`ve never seen big spending.
It`s actually a big bargain for the Koch Brothers to come and then spend
money here because these are races where one of the candidates in Iron
County, his total investment in his campaign was four rolls of stamps.
But some of the people that their pillorying are actually proponents of the
mine. They are so far outside this community that they don`t even know who
their allies and who their enemies are. And I think that that kind of
mistake and that kind of heavy handedness with these fliers that say these
people are anti-mine radicals that they want you to be on welfare, they
show a picture of a man who`s out of work looking for a job. They say they
want to shutdown mines when actually it`s not about closing a mine. It`s
about whether the mine will open.
You know, the fact that they`re attacking the head of the Chamber of
Commerce in the town of Mercer who is a mine proponent until he worried
that it might poison the drinking water and said he wanted to hear all
You know, these are the kinds of mistakes that I think could cause them and
have really left people wondering what is going on up there because they
can`t believe that this huge force is coming in against them and their
neighbors can`t believe it because they know these candidates.
SCHULTZ: That all of the things deserve their interest no doubt.
Deregulations is what it`s all about and of course we know where they stand
when it comes to gutting public education.
Ruth Conniff, great to have you with us tonight, I appreciate your time on
the Ed Show, thank you so much, always informative.
That`s the Ed Show. I`m Ed Schultz.
Politics Nation with Reverend Al Sharpton starts right now. Rev, this is a
big day for America. Over seven million people. High five brother. High
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