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'Up with Steve Kornacki' for Saturday, April 5th, 2014

Read the transcript to the Saturday show

April 5, 2014

Guests: Alex Seitz-Wald, Kate Nocera, Michael Steele, Sen. Sheldon
Whitehouse, Andy Kroll, Brian Thompson, Holly Schepisi, John Wisniewski


STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC HOST: 7.1 million Americans and counting. In our
next hour we have new reporting on everything that is happening in the
investigation of the Christie administration. The grand jury is now
involved. But, we begin this morning with a benchmark week in health care

If this was supposed to be the week that republicans gave up the ghost on
repealing Obamacare, it did not quite work out that way. On Tuesday, the
White House announced that they exceed their goal of getting 7 million
Americans to sign up for health care on the new health care exchanges set
up by the affordable care act. President Obama time-outed that big
accomplishment, and sent a clear message to the law`s opponents.


repealing this law is over. The affordable care act is here to stay.



KORNACKI: It was just two days later, the house voted for the 55th time to
scale back some or all of Obamacare. Republicans were joined by 18
democrats in a vote to raise the laws definition of full-time work from 30
to 40 hours. The reduced numbers of employees the businesses are required
to provide health insurance to under the affordable care act.

Meanwhile the house committee on oversight and government reform lead by
Darrell Issa was hosting a hearing titled, quote, "Examining Obama Care`s
Problem Fields State Exchanges." And, then there was Louisiana governor
Bobby Jindal, a 2016 Republican hopeful who unveiled his own plan of sorts
to replace and repeal Obamacare.


BOBBY JINDAL, (R) LOUISIANA GOVERNOR: I am certainly for repealing the
Obamacare law, but I think we need to show the American people we have got
a better plan to lower health care costs and do what the president promised
he was going to do in 2008.


KORNACKI: Jindal`s plan includes proposals that have been promoted by
conservatives for years include turning Medicaid into a block grant program
for the states, allowing health coverage to be sold across state lines and
introducing premium support for private plans into Medicare to proposal of
democrats of long attack as a voucher program. As Jindal was using the
opposition to the affordable care act to jump start his possible 2016 run.
Republicans candidates running in this November`s midterms were debuting
their latest attack ads on health reform.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Lee has never supported obamacare and never will. In
Washington, Lee will fight to cut taxes, repeal and replace obamacare and
create jobs.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Many Hispanics are concerned about Obamacare. It was
supposed to help but instead over 2 million fewer jobs because Obamacare.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator Lindsey Graham has introduced the bill giving
states the right to opt out of Obamacare and giving the option of keeping
your coverage and your doctor.



this message because I called to stop fighting obamacare as one call I will
never answer.


KORNACKI: And, while republicans were banging the drum for appeal, the
Obama administration announced that another 3 million Americans as an
addition to the 7.1 million we already talked about. Another 3 million had
signed up for health insurance through Medicaid and through the children`s
health insurance program.

Medicare enrollment surged dramatically in states that expanded the
program. The administration said the numbers will continue to grow as they
got in updated figures. This is not to mention the 3 million young adults
who gained insurance by staying or their parents` plans. The millions more
who signed up for the new insurance plan directly through insurers.

So, the White House this week exceeded goals for signing up Americans for
private health insurance through the new federal exchanges. And, while we
learned that another 300 million poor Americans have gotten insurance since
the laws enrollment period begin on October, well all of that happened this
week, none of it seemed to have any effect on the Republican Party`s
unyielding opposition to the law, which is just like every previous
benchmark the affordable care act has cleared.

No matter what happens on the ground, no matter what happens with the
policy of the affordable care act it seems the politics never quite budge.
The republicans repeal obamacare battle cry never really seems to end. It
was not over after the bill passed both chambers were signed into law in
early 2010, now over four years ago.

It with was not over now that the Supreme Court ruled the law
constitutional in 2012, despite legal challenges from Republican attorney
general across the country. It was not over after that false election in
2012 when President Obama ran on the affordable care act and won reelection
by 5 million votes.

It was not over that November when Nancy Pelosi said when people see what
is in the bill they will like it. It was not over this week once
republicans learned the administration learned they had met their
enrollment target.


PRES. OBAMA: This law is doing what it is supposed to do. It is working.
It is 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 do not get it.


KORNACKI: There has always been disconnect between the actual impacts of
the policy and republican politic taking of the law. The politics are
polarized to the mere mention of President Obama`s main provoke a visceral
response on the right. The question is how many people oppose this law
because they oppose him even without necessarily knowing what is actually
in the law.

That is why this issue more than any other has galvanized the republican
base for four years now. With the GOP running headlong into a low turnout
election in which they need their base in older wider constituency that
does not include many fans of Obamacare. They do not seem ready to let it
go now. Here is what critics of the law were saying this week.


JOHN BARRASSO, (R) WYOMING JUNIOR SENATOR: I think they are cooking the
books on this.

JESSE WATTERS, FOX NEWS CO-HOST: I actually think the White House is
straight up lying about these numbers. They are saying 7 million people
signed up on the website that was broken for the last nine months.


JOHN BOEHNER, (R) OHIO REPRESENTATIVE: The president can go out there and
tout all the people he has signed up, but how about the young man I talked
to last week out in California whose premiums have doubled and his co-pay
and deductibles tripled, and his wife`s hours got cut to 29 hours?


KORNACKI: So, the question now is how long can republicans continue their
increasingly quest to kill the law? When does the affordable care act
become an established part of the social safety net?

Well, here to discuss those questions are Alex Seitz-Wald. He is a
political correspondent for national journal, Kate Nocera, she is a Capitol
Hill reporter at, MSNBC Political analyst Michael Steele, the
former chairman of the RNC and Krystal Ball; she is the co-host of MSNBC`s
"The Cycle." Michael, former chairman of the Republican Party, I can think
of no better person to start after an introduction like this.

MICHAEL STEELE, FORMER RNC CHAIRMAN: I know nothing. I know nothing.


KORNACKI: Well, so -- I mean, I was trying to think of what the great --
the perfect first question to ask you. I will start with this one. We
played that little montage there on Fox News. You do not think anything
like that is going on. You accept the 7 million number. I know we still
have to learn so many details --

STEELE: Sure, I accept the 7 million number. I want to see what is behind
the number. I want to see how many people paid and how many people are of
a certain category that they are either older or younger or sicker or
healthier. Because all of that is going to drive what the premiums are
going to be come September and October of this year when the insurance
companies come back around and say, "OK, here is your bill."

So, let`s see what is behind the number. I get the sort of 7 million, bad
number, it is not a real number. They are cooking the books. That is for
the base that is to get folk to stay engaged in the conversation. As we
have seen the polls have ticked up and shown that now 49 percent as opposed
to the 40 or 39 percent of the people actually support the law. So, it is
gaining some momentum as people have come into the system. That is now a
new reality for the party.

KORNACKI: What does that do for the party? We say 7 millions for
exchange, we say another 3 millions for Medicaid. I have seen projections
that by 2014 the number could double, will quadruple by 2017. You could be
talking about 2013 --

STEELE: Again, you know, my friends on the left are focusing on the number
that is out there on the big screen. That is not the numbers that I am
concerned about. It is the numbers behind the big number that are really
going to drive the success or failure of Obamacare.

If you have more sick people in the system than well people, if you have
more older people than younger people, this thing collapses in on itself
because the whole thing is premised upon having those folks pay these new
premium amounts that they otherwise were not paying.

So, that is the reality for me. You know, I can get behind a whole lot of
the noise because it is kind of fun sometimes. But at the end of the day -
- just to be honest about it, at the end of the day, the administration is
still going to have to own up -- as I have said before, I was not worried
about the website. That was great fodder. When we have actual patients,
that is when the weight of Obamacare comes to fruition for me.

KORNACKI: OK. We have two, you know, national reporters here. You know,
Washington, D.C. covering the republicans down there. I wonder if either
of you this week -- we just played some clips of thing this week. We have
all of the ads being run against Obamacare. Listening to republicans in
Washington, D.C., just talking to people in Washington, D.C. this week, did
either of you pick up on any change in sort of the republican thinking
about this like, "Hey, we now have to account for 7 million plus 3 million.
This cannot just be repeal, repeal, repeal -- Does these changes the
politics for them at all?

KATE NOCERA, BUZZFEED REPORTER: Immediately, no. Immediately, you know,
going into November they still have to appeal to the base, do the votes,
say Obamacare is going to really hurt people. But, I think privately
behind the scenes there are republicans who are kind of looking at this and
saying, "All right, it is the law. A lot of our constituents are going to
benefit from it." We need the administration to help us at this point.

And, I think we saw that with a few republicans appealing to the
administration to kind of help with some enrollment things in different
districts, you are not going to hear the hardcore conservatives like the
Michelle Bachmann`s world or Steve Kings` world come out and say, "You know
what? 7 million people, great." But I think most of them are starting to
think, all right, now what do we do? How do we move forward?

KORNACKI: It is an interesting thing. And, this has been the story to me.
This has been the big story, the politics of Obamacare or the affordable
care act, or what do you want to call it. So, here is -- You take this
poll, a national poll from the end of March do you support or oppose the
health care law passed by Barack Obama and congress in 2010. 41 support,
55 opposed. Note that Barack Obama is included in there.

NOCERA: Right.

KORNACKI: Next question, ABC News poll say the same period. Overall, the
supporter oppose the federal making changes to the healthcare system
support 49 opposed 48. So, it does seem to me -- Alex with one way I look
at this in terms of the politics of 2014 is even if this thing called the
affordable care act, this federal health care law is starting to deliver
positive headlines, real results and, you know, actual signup numbers, this
thing called Obamacare may be a separate in some people`s minds and still
can drive republican turnout.

ALEX SEITZ-WALD, NATIONAL JOURNAL: Yes. I mean it is a classic political
problem here. You have the reality and you have the perception. And,
often times the perception is more important than reality. And, in
republican politics among the base, Obamacare is no good, terrible, awful
and nothing, almost nothing that happens on the ground in reality is going
to change that. And, the problem for the republicans that want to soften
their stance is they are going to immediately open themselves up for
attacks from the right even if they are not in primary --

KORNACKI: Moderate Virginia republican.

SEITZ-WALD: Right. So this is -- And, this has been going on for months.
Any time republicans put a little bit of daylight between the full repeal
stance and themselves, they are going to get attacked from the right. So,
I think it is going to continue through this election because it is a stand
in for Obama, to stand for everything that republicans hate about democrats
and Obama.

NOCERA: Yes. Yes. Well, and I think part of the opposition, really all
of the opposition to Obamacare is not so much about the law and the details
and is it really going to work in reality. It is an ideological,
fundamental opposition to government involvement in health care. So even
though, you know, a lot of the rhetoric was around the fact that it is not
going to work and there is going to be a death spiral, and the website does
not work and all of that, the real opposition is to the president himself
and a fundamental opposition.

Now, most of America does not feel that way, right? Most of America
celebrates the idea of more people having health care. So as the law
increasingly works, those voices on the right that have an ideological
opposition are going to be increasingly isolated. Now, I think as a
political strategy in the midterm election where you are going to have a
smaller leg turn turning out, and the law still feels very much up in the
air. I think it can be an effective strategy for this year. Past that
they got to move on.

KORNACKI: I want to pick that up with Michael -- pick up what Alex was
saying, too, just about how the name Obama, and what that does to the
republican base. It is consistently done for the past five years.

STEELE: That drives us mad.

KORNACKI: So, how can the Republican Party ever sort of just accept
legitimacy with something with his name in it? We will talk about that
after this break but first, we do want to view an update on the search of
that missing Malaysia airlines passenger jet.

Chinese state media CCTV News has put out a tweet indicating that a Chinese
ship taking part in today`s search effort has detected a pulse signal in
the South Indian Ocean. We have no confirmation this is linked to flight
370 at this point and no state has been issued by the team investigating
the search.

Chinese media also reports that the Chinese air force plane over the area
spotted many white floating objects for about 20 minutes. Taking photos
for examination. We will continue to monitor this story and bring you the
latest information as soon it becomes available and we will be right back
after this.



signed up for Obamacare. Now, I want to go to my doctor`s office, there
will be 7.1 million people in the waiting room ahead of me.


KORNACKI: Stephen Colbert this week. So, Michael Steele, I sort of
started to set this up in the last block. I guess what I am curious about,
long term, what is the way out of this for the Republican Party. If
Obamacare is something that is going to be become part of the safety net in
the country --

STEELE: Right.

KORNACKI: -- there is going to be a question of, "Hey, do you change it
this way or do you change it that way?" But the basic structure stays in
place. Because, you have got all of these millions of people enrolled now,
the idea of repeal is getting more and more sort of remote by the day.

STEELE: Right.

KORNACKI: What is it going to take to get the Republican Party -- we are
hearing it this week still, no way is this settled, we are still going to
repeal it, Bobby Jindal, repeal it. Paul Ryan repeal it. --

STEELE: I think it is ultimate failure on the repeal because remember once
the --

KRYSTAL BALL, MSNBC HOST OF "THE CYCLE": Have not we had enough failure on
the repeal?

STEELE: No, you have not. This is why, because you have only had one
chamber of the house of the government voting on it. So the battle for the
senate is the next line for the repeal effort.

BALL: Yes, but the president would never allow that to happen.

STEELE: Follow the bouncing ball. So, you get the senate, so then you
have got now Republican control about the repeal effort comes up, we know
Obama is not going to sign a law that is going to take away his signature
piece of legislation. The battle ground becomes 2016. The fight for the
repeal of Obamacare --

KORNACKI: Think of it logically.

STEELE: It has to be that has to be --

KORNACKI: Again, we are talking about these numbers. I mean these numbers
are going to grow, could start to grow very quickly now. We are talking
about 7 million enrolled by now, 3 million Medicaid. Could you imagine a
republican running a campaign, if 20 million people are enrolled, can a
republican run a campaign --

STEELE: Again -- you are talking about a number that does not necessarily
mean anything --

BALL: Yes, but I --

STEELE: -- Because the bottom line is --


STEELE: -- people`s experience already in the system is not a good one --

KORNACKI: No. No. I understand that --

STEELE: -- it feeds -- I am just giving you the calculation going forward
in how this thing plays itself out. Just because you hear or just because
you are giving me 7 million people, 20 million people -- Yes, but if the
experience of 13 million of that 20 million is a bad experience, that gives
momentum to the impetus to repeal down the road. So the battle cry goes on
until 2016.

BALL: So you think this is a good idea for them to continue --

STEELE: I did not say it was a good idea. I am giving you the strategy.
This is the strategy. Look, I have my real issues. I am all for repealing
Obamacare because I was against it from the beginning. I think principally
to your earlier point, the government has no space here, at all. There are
other ways in which this issue of getting insurance to 30 million people
out of 230 million at that time or 300 million could have been done without
upending the economy.

KORNACKI: I suppose for one second, though -- I will take your point.
Nobody has the Krystal Ball, so to speak. I do not know why that -- that
really did just come out. Nobody can see exactly what this is going to be
like in 2016. But, look, we heard all of the dire predictions they are
never going to get to 7 million. They got to 7 million.

And, now, we got to understand exactly what is in that 7 million. I
understand that. And, we do not know if you get to 15 or 20 million by
2016. Yes, sure, may be people`s experience is bad. But suppose, I think
we can certainly put on the table it is a very real possibility that we
will be in 2016 a presidential election year, going to be 20 million people
signed up for this and by and large the experience will be good. And,
people saying, "No, I do not want to give up this thing I have right now."
Can the Republican Party run a campaign in that climate saying, "Repeal"?

STEELE: Yes. Yes, they have. And, they will continue to do so until
there is I think ultimately resolution within the party on this issue.
And, my estimation, as given what I know and who I have talked to, this
fight is going to be in play until we get to the battle for the White House
with the idea being the ultimate move. You got the house, the senate and
the White House and then the repeal issue becomes very, very much more --

BALL: I think the piece of analysis that what you are saying missing --
and I do not doubt that republicans may think that and may indeed try to do
that. But, the battle that has actually been lost is we used to have this
question of whether we should have universal health care, whether that is a
worthy goal, whether everyone deserves the right to have quality health

That argument is over. And, we know it is over because you see people like
Bobby Jindal saying, "Well, here is my alternative." And, even though he
does not cover as many people, the goal has now become how can we extend
health care to the largest number of folks. That battle has been lost.

STEELE: That was not really ever the question.

BALL: It was a question.

SEITZ-WALD: To the republicans it was.

NOCERA: No. I think the part of the other issue is that the health care
system has actually been fundamentally transformed. And, so what
republicans are going to need to do in 2016 is go back to the insurance
companies, back to the doctors and say, "Hey, we are going to go through
this again and you are not going to see the level of industry support. I
mean they just went through this four years ago. They have changed. They
have transformed that. They have, you know, worked on what their premiums
are going to be. And, I just do not see them wanting to go through --

KORNACKI: There is that reality of look, the democrat base, sort of the
hard core left base, the Democratic Party has wanted single payer.


KORNACKI: And, what this ended up being was a very sort of market friendly
insurance company, friendly plan. So, it is something that the insurance
companies probably can live with it. So, what you are saying is true.
Once it is on the books that becomes traumatic for them to change it. Let
is talk about the politics of this for 2014 and 2016. I have been hearing
from democrats since they passed it that, "Hey, this is going turn into a
political winner for them." It is actually going to help in 2010. It did
not, you know? It is going to help in 2012, may be it did.

But, we are looking at 2014 and we are looking of projections that
republicans could take back the senate, probably going to pick up seats in
thousand. I mean is it possible you come through this year for all of the
good news that we are talking about in terms of implementation, republicans
run on appealing Obamacare and then make gains in the house and the senate.
I mean where does that leave them in?

SEITZ-WALD: Well, I think you could have really unusual situation where
Obamacare helps republicans and it helps democrats. And, we saw this a
little in the Washington Post, ABC poll that came out this week where the
numbers were up and most of that was driven by democrats coming back home,
a lot of democrats were disillusioned by Obama for lots of reasons and I
say scandal, may be. And, then especially once the website broke, but now
coming back into the fold. I think the main audience that the White House
is pushing for that is democrats.

And, of course in this election that is their key audience. They need
independents, sure but the main thing that they need to get the democrats
to the polls because of the dropoff you have every time in midterm
elections. So, if they can energized the base -- if they can get the base
excited about defending Obamacare, which I think they are starting to do
and they have many months to do that then it could help them significantly,
at the same time that it could help get republicans to the polls. So, it
is base level issue on both sides.

KORNACKI: Yes. It will be interesting to see how that plays out, because
it is the promise I have been hearing from democrats now for four years
now, and I am still waiting to see it actually happen. Thanks to MSNBC`s
Krystal Ball, National Journalist Alex Seitz-Wald, we will see both of you
later in the show for something very special.

But before that, two important new developments in the Christie
investigation. We will have new reporting in our next hour. And, before
that, what happens next? Now, the Supreme Court has opened the flood gate
on campaign donations. That is what happen.


KORNACKI: Meet Shaun McCutcheon. He is an electrical engineer who started
a business in Birmingham, Alabama that turned out to be hugely successful.
And, what Shaun McCutcheon likes to do with his money as a self-made man is
to donate a lot of the to political campaigns, so much that Shaun
McCutcheon felt the restrictions imposed by the federal government on how
much money an individual is allowed to give or infringing upon his freedom
as an American citizen. So, as a result, Shaun McCutcheon sued the federal
government, sued the federal election commission for what he believed was
the constitutional right to give money to lots more candidates that
currently rules allowed.

As you may have heard this week, the Supreme Court weighed in and ruled in
McCutcheon`s favor. On Wednesday, a majority of the justices ruled to
strike down some of the limits on campaign contribution caps. FEC
established what are called base limits for what you can give a candidate
or political party or political committee in an election period.

Shaun McCutcheon did not dispute that in his lawsuit. So, those caps,
those basic contribution caps stay in place. There are still base limits
that on how much you can give to anyone person, party or group. But, the
FEC, also set a ceiling on how much an individual like Shaun McCutcheon
could give during a particular campaign cycle.

No,w almost $49,000 to candidates combined and another roughly $75,000 to
all political parties in tax combined. Those are called aggregate limits.
And, those are what the Supreme Court has thrown out. Now, donors can give
to as many candidates as they want. They can max out to as many as they
want. Five justices in the majority decided this week that there is no
risk of corruption in that.

The majority narrowly defined corruption as quote, "The quid pro quo
bribery favored in a gilded age wherein Robber Barons casually left sacks
of cash around in exchange for political influence. Decision came only
four days after presumptive presidential candidates Chris Christie, Scott
Walker, John Kasich, Jeb Bush, and others, traveled to Las Vegas to meet
with Casino Billionaire Sheldon Adelson.

Before, he left Las Vegas, Governor Chris Christie was forced to apologize
to Sheldon Adelson for using the term occupied territories. We are talking
about a trip to Israel during a speech earlier that day. So, why would a
foreign policy remark quickly elevates the level of diplomatic incident
with the casino owner?

May be because that casino owner gave $93 million to republican affiliated
super pacs in the last presidential election. And, it was the Supreme
Court`s decision that made that possible. And, now thanks to McCutcheon,
Sheldon Adelson has the option of giving millions more directly to the
candidates, parties and pacs themselves.

The justice briar writing on behalf of the minority felt so strongly about
the decision, he took the rare step of reading part of the descent out
loud. He wrote -- he said, "Taken together with citizens united, today is
holding, we fear eviscerates our nation`s campaign laws leaving a remnant
incapable of dealing with the great problems of democratic legitimacy that
those laws were intended to support."

Taken together what will citizens united and McCutcheon lead to next?
Could this mean the steady erosion of 40 years worth of campaign finance
laws put in place after the Watergate. Joining me now from Providence,
Rhode Island is Democratic U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, who has had
strong words to say about the core decision this week and here at the table
we have senior reporter at Mother Jones, Andy Kroll, BuzzFeed`s Kate Nocera
is still with us, as is MSNBC political analyst Michael Steele.

And, Andy I want to start with you to just sort of explain to people
exactly what happened this week. It gets confusing. This guy, Shaun
McCutcheon was giving check for $1,776, a very patriotic man to campaigns
and basically he found that this aggregate limit meant he could give to 28
candidates. And, he said, "Well, if it is okay to give to 28, why ca not I
give to 29. Can you explain what the answer to that was and what the
significance of this ruling really is?

post-Watergate era, there is a very influential Supreme Court decision,
1976. This decision is almost the bedrock of what the Supreme Court Says
about money, politics and about keeping corruption out of our electoral

And, the court said that not only is it important that we set a limit on
how much me as a donor can give you a candidate but they also said that
there should be a limit on how many of those donations I can spread around
the table. And, they said that there is a real interest, that there is a
corruption or the appearance of corruption when you do that.

And, we need to set that sort of ceiling on how many, whether it is $1,776
donations or 2,000 that you are spreading around. That is what he said and
that is what the Supreme Court this week struck down and said, "No." You
know, we still think it is important that, that one on one interaction
between us, your donation is limited but you can do that to as many people
as you possibly want every election season.

KORNACKI: Let me bring Senator Whitehouse in here, because you had harsh
words, Senator, about this ruling this week. But, let me -- you know, ask
you this way. I mean we live in an era of super pacs. We just talked
about Sheldon Adelson who can singly handedly, you know, decide to keep a
presidential candidacy alive indefinitely for tens of millions of dollars
in the super pac. We live with that reality.

So, when we are living in a world like that, when you look at a guy like
Shaun McCutcheon who is cutting cuts for $1,776, is it really a huge blow
to the system if he can give that to 60 candidates now instead of 28 when
you got billionaires out there that can throw in as much as they want on,
you know, independent campaigns?

SEN. SHELDON WHITEHOUSE, (D) RHODE ISLAND: In the wake of citizens united,
which is truly one of the God awful decisions that any Supreme Court has
ever rendered, McCutcheon does not look as bad by comparison. But, if you
have not decided citizens united, this would be a shocking decision.

It is only in light of what is probably one of the worst decisions that the
Supreme Court ever made that McCutcheon diminishes in its evil effects and
in its bad theory. So, I mean ultimately, is the handful of people who hit
their personal limits being able to bust through those personal limits
itself going to be an enormous deal? No.

But, this is an add-on to citizens united and it continues in the direction
that this activist five republican block on the court is determined to go
down to align political power in this country with financial wealth. And,
I think if they are able to perfect the alignment of political power with
financial wealth in this country, we will say very bad things about our

And, if you look at the sort of technique and craft of the decisions, they
are very poorly done and citizens united is proven absolutely dead wrong in
some of its assertions. It is a lousy area for the court to be involved
in. They have done a very bad job of it. The outcome has been unhealthy
and yet they seemed determined to proceed. So, McCutcheon is just kind of
an extra blow after citizens united.

KORNACKI: Well, let me -- let me -- Michael Steele, former chairman of
Republican National Party, you know -- national committee, actually during
this lawsuits --

STEELE: I was part of the lawsuit when I was chairman -- yes.

KORNACKI: Yes. I mean -- what Senator Whitehouse was just saying there is
what I am hearing from a lot of people who do not like this ruling. They
are sort of saying, "Yes, in and of itself this ruling is not that huge of
a deal in context." But, the question is sort of the direction the court
is going right now.

For instance this week, you had Clarence Thomas who is basically saying,
"Not only should this cap be done away with the aggregate limit but all
limits, all of the spending limits imposed by the decision in 1976 should
go away." Basically, anyone should be able to give any amount of money to
a campaign that they want. Do you think that is a problem if that is where
we are going?

STEELE: I do. I do. I do have a problem with the level of money that is
being placed into the political system and the distortion of that system in
many respects. But having said that, I am also been from the day one, a
believer that money is speech. It is property that I can use to express an
opinion of how I feel about an issue by supporting you.

The limits are in place. It is $2,600. And, the fact that I now can give
$2,600 to 100 people, I do not think distorts the system as greatly as, you
know, my writing a $20 million check into one campaign or on one issue

But again, it is part of the evolution of this. And, I understand all of
this, you know, highbrow disdain on the left. But remember, then candidate
Barack Obama who was this, you know, champion of reform in the system
bucked the system. McCain took the public funding --

KORNACKI: The federal matches funds.

STEELE: So, you know, I sit back and I go, "Oh, really?" So, you kind of
lose sight of the fact that, you know, the champion of this on the left
turned a blind eye to the system itself that was created to prevent all of
this corruption and now find themselves trying to catch up in this corrupt
process to get as much money on the table as possible.

That is the problem here. So, now everyone is racing to the dollar. My
bottom line is this. Disclose. Just tell me who you are. If I write a
check for a dollar or write a check for a million dollars within a 24-hour
period, have the campaign, the donor, the party. Publicly disclose that
money, the amount, where you are from and the background. That is the
piece of the case that was missing.


STEELE: Remember, the democrats rushed this bill that is the core of the
citizens united case through the congress back in 2009. And, that is how
we got here. They did not put that one little kicker in there.

KORNACKI: Yes. And, I hear that argument. Right.

STEELE: So, all this crying about this Sheldon Adelson, you know, just
back it up. Just tell Sheldon disclose the money. Just tell, you know,
the guys out in Hollywood stroking big tax disclose it.

KORNACKI: And, I think I have heard that argument too. I want to get
Senator Whitehouse to weigh in and I also want to ask Kate what is going on
Capitol Hill if there is going to be any response to this or there could be
any response to this. We will pick it up right after this.



SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, (D) NEW YORK SENATOR: This in itself is a small step
but it is another step on the road to our nation of our political system
that the Supreme Court is headed down. They wish to dismantle all limits
on giving piece by piece until we are back to the days of the Robber Barons
when anyone or anything could give unlimited money, undisclosed and make
our political system seem so rigged that everyone will lose interest in our


KORNACKI: Senator Chuck Schumer hours after this week`s Supreme Court
ruling in political donations. So, Kate, I will pick it up where Michael
Steele have kind of left it up just talking about the idea of disclosure.
And, we are talking about McCutcheon but we is also talking about citizens
united, but what we are really just talking about here is just this influx
of massive money that is come into the system and is only going to
accelerate, I think we all expect it in the next few years.

Given the reality on Capitol hill right now, where you have republicans
control the house, democrats control the senate, democrats control the
White House, is there any kind of consensus to the exist or could
potentially exist between the parties just on the issue of disclosure to
get something through the legislative --

NOCERA: I do not know if you have been paying attention to Capitol Hill --


KORNACKI: Nothing changed this week.

NOCERA: No, nothing changed this week. I mean yes, sure -- there are the
people --

KORNACKI: -- assuming that is the case and there is going to be no
legislative remedy to any of this, just what the Supreme Court says goes
and the system is going to develop around that, I assume that means one of
the party thinks it has an advantage with this rulings. Is it the
republicans just do not want to --

NOCERA: I do not think that one side thinks they have the advantage or the
other. I do see them hopping immediately into the cash race. Right now,
people heading into the mid terms are going to be calling their big donors.
The committees are going to be getting on the phone with all of the people
who maxed out. Let see how much we can get now and then maybe we will
suggest disclosure after the election.

I do not see it at this point. It is like we are too far down the road,
you know, in terms of not having a disclosure to suggest it. People are so
scared about the amount of money coming in. I mean a vulnerable candidate
has to raise millions and millions and millions of dollars and this just
means that they can go and pick up the phone and raise more. The person
with the cash advantage often has the advantage in the election.

KORNACKI: Well, yes

NOCERA: It is hard to want to say I am going to give that up.

KORNACKI: Incumbents usually gets the cash advantage which one creates the
other. But, Senator Whitehouse to bring you back in, because we have been
talking about -- and then you were sort of getting at it a minute ago,
potentially one of the significant pieces about this ruling is it sets up
the next ruling. I think a lot of people are saying, "Gets to what
Clarence Thomas was talking about", where maybe there will be another case
in front of the court that will say you can give as much to any campaign as
you want.

And, we had Michael Steele in the last segment basically, we had the
argument that money is speech. I wonder from a philosophical point, if
somebody has a million dollars and they want to give $500,000 to a
congressional candidate. It is clear they are going to have a huge impact
on this raise, but why do not they have the constitutional -- why do not
they or should not they have the constitutional right to do that?

SEN. WHITEHOUSE: Let me start by getting back into the disclosure
conversation that you all just had. Because although McCutcheon probably
falls relatively evenly or at least it is hard to tell how that falls
between the parties, citizens united clearly was a massive gift to the
Republican Party. And, it was at that point that the bipartisan issue of
disclosure became partisan.

And, well over a dozen republican senators who had publicly spoken out in
favor of disclosure, written up eds in favor of disclosure, been really out
there on disclosure backed way and said, who me? They all voted against my
disclosure bill. So, that is the problem. It is partisan.

It is not because McCutcheon creates it. It is because citizens united
creates it and I think that we are not going to get a disclosure bill until
there is enough democratic money that it comes more into balance and the
republicans are no longer seeing the kind of political advantage that
induces them to walk away from positions that they had publicly held for

KORNACKI: So, Andy --

SEN. WHITEHOUSE: And, as to the --

KORNACKI: Yes. Go ahead.

SEN. WHITEHOUSE: As to the second question, if you got a billionaire who
wants to give $500 million out, the problem is that there are a lot of
other people in this democracy too. And, if you end up with a democracy in
which the big corporations and the billionaires own all of the air waves,
all of the messages and all of the candidates, then everybody else is
frozen out of it.

And, so yes, the billionaire has a first amendment right but the person who
does not have a billion dollars has a first amendment right too. And, to
have their voice so drown out is something that I think is bad for our
democracy and wrong and constitutionally something that congress is capable
of regulating and should regulate.

Indeed, that was the constitutional law of the land until the activist
group of five republican judges overruled all that precedent and decided to
open up the flood gates for corporate money.

KORNACKI: So, Andy, that point that Senator Whitehouse is making about the
incentives to get the republicans behind the idea of disclosure. If
democrats can mobilize, if democrat millionaires can mobilize, does that
get a bipartisan consensus for disclosure? Is that what is missing here?

KROLL: I think it absolutely would help. I wish republicans would see the
merits of disclosure -- on the merits of disclosure and not out of self
preservation. But, lets face it --

SEN. WHITEHOUSE: Good luck with that.

KROLL: Yes. All members of congress care first and foremost about getting


KROLL: And, that is just how it works. And if the republican side,
especially with Mitch McConnell, a fervent opponent of any kind of campaign
finance regulation in charge, republicans in the senate and also in the
house, they are just not going to see the interest, there is not going to
be the push to get behind -- I will say there is one senator who has been
somewhat active on this and that would be Lisa Murkowski. She has been
talking with Senator Ron Wyden about some kind of disclosure bill. She has
actually seen the light on it. But, there are so many of her fellow
republicans in both chambers who just do not see the upside.

KORNACKI: Right. That is one and you need dozens. We are at the end. I
want to thank Senator Sheldon Whitehouse for joining us this morning. I
really appreciate it, as well as MSNBC political analyst, Michael Steele.
And, another update now on the search for that missing Malaysia Airlines
Passenger Jet.

Chinese State Media CCTV has put out a tweet indicating that Chinese ship
taking part in today`s search effort has detected a pulse signal in the
South Indian Ocean. However, we have no confirmation that this is linked
to flight 370 at this point and no statement has been issued by the team
investigating the search.

American officials are aware of the information and they are looking into
it but so far they too cannot confirm the authenticity of the reports.
Chinese Media also said this morning that the Chinese Air Force Plane over
the search area spotted many white floating objects for about 20 minutes.
Taking photos for examination. We will continue to monitor the story. We
will bring you the latest information as it becomes available to us. And,
we will be right back.



JON STEWART, LATE NIGHT TALK SHOW HOST: According to the Supreme Court,
the only kind of corruption that matters is the narrowest possible Thomas
Nast-like monocle top hatted man, hands a bag of money labeled money for
bribe to a liberal fat cat while the American public stands behind them
wearing a barrel.


KORNACKI: Jon Stewart this week. I actually -- I prematurely dismissed
Michael Steele. We are going to keep him around for one more block. So,
Michael, you know Sheldon -- Senator Whitehouse had been talking about --
you know, he basically said republicans have kind of pulled a fast one when
it comes to the issue of disclosure, because you were talking about your
desire for disclosure when it comes to campaign donations.

STEELE: Right.

KORNACKI: He is basically saying, "Hey, rhetorically they were for it for
years." Mitch McConnell was saying, "You know, let is have the money, make
sure you put a night on it." And, now in the wake of citizen united
republicans are saying, "Wait a minute. No, we are not interested in it

STEELE: To protect their high-end donors who do not want their names to be
disclosed. That is why you should have requirements to disclose and I
think that, that would be the great equalizer --

KORNACKI: But, you know, republicans had --

STEELE: -- Because they -- with their names right next to a candidate in
every ads.

KORNACKI: But, you do sort of now just -- the republicans they did do a
strategic shift.

STEELE: Of course they did. Of course they did. You said it right. It
is a strategic shift. They understood. That does not make it right. It
does not make it smart politics ultimately either for the party. I think
you still need to get around -- to deal with the reality that people want
to know who is writing the checks.

I think a lot of the big noise in this debate goes away when you have full
exposure and disclosure, so that people know exactly where the dollar is
coming in. I mean in the state of Virginia, that is the way their system
is set up there. You do not have the same level of concern about it.

Now, there were some other issues that came up but that had nothing to do
with the physical dollar contribution. That was something else. But at
the end of the day, the reality is you write the check, you fully disclose
the money donated to the public and the public then decides whether or not
that is an appropriate relationship and they will not support or will

KORNACKI: Actually they are yelling at me again. Now, it is time to go.
Sorry we ran out time on this one. A little disorganized. I apologize. I
want to thank Michael Steele this time for good for coming in today --

STEELE: I am gone.


KORNACKI: -- And, Andy Kroll, thanks to you. Still ahead, last night`s
big breaking news in the Christie investigation and some new Christie
reporting of our own. That is coming right up. Stay with us.


KORNACKI: The grand jury moves ahead into the federal investigation of the
Christie administration plus some new reporting you will only get here.
But, first another update on that search for the missing Malaysian Airlines
Passenger Jet.

The Chinese State Media CCTV News has put out a tweet indicating that a
Chinese ship taking part in today is search effort has detected a pulse
signal in the South Indian Ocean, but we have no confirmation that this is
linked by flight 370 at this point and no state has been issued by the team
investigating the search.

Chinese Media also reports that a Chinese Air Force Plane over the search
area spotted many white floating objects for 20 minutes and took photos for
examination. We are going to continue to monitor the story, bring you more
information as it becomes available and we will be right back.


KORNACKI: In just a few minutes, we`ll have some new reporting about one
of the latest federal subpoenas into allegations that New Jersey Governor
Chris Christie`s administration threatened Sandy aid over politically
connected development project in the city of Hoboken. But we`re going to
start this hour with last night`s breaking news about the bridge gate part
of this scandal.

Josh Margold at ABC News learned of a major new development yesterday.
This is Michael Drewniak, he is Governor Chris Christie`s long time press
secretary. He was also his press secretary when he was U.S. attorney and
as ABC News reported, a federal grand jury has started to hear witness
testimony in the investigation. This is Michael Drewniak`s attorney.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you aware of when the grand jury actually began
hearing testimony in this matter?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have no information about that. As I said we`re here
because we were subpoenaed to be here today and we`re here because we were
required to cooperate and that`s what we`re doing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does Mike have any information about Governor
Christie`s personal knowledge --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m not going to comment about anything with respect to
that. We`re here to answer questions and that`s what Michael did today.


KORNACKI: That`s Michael Drewniak`s attorney after he answered questions
at a federal grand jury in Newark yesterday. ABC News characterized this
news as confirmation that the preliminary inquiry into the governor`s
office has become a criminal investigation and is evidenced that the U.S.
Attorney`s investigation has progressed to a new criminal phase.

It`s not clear that that`s actually what`s happened here though. We`ve
already known that a federal grand jury was involved in this investigation
because subpoenas has been issued for people to submit documents. ABC
seems to be saying that a new federal grand jury has been impanelled with a
specific purpose of working on this case.

If that`s true, that would be enormous. It seems more likely that the same
grand jury that has already been looking into the matter is the one that
Michael Drewniak testified before Friday morning. That inquiry has started
a new phase of this investigation and while we don`t know for sure, that
alone would be an important new development in this story as well.

To talk about this I want to bring in Brian Thompson, veteran New Jersey
reporter for WNBC Television, State Assembly Woman Holly Shapizee, a
Republican member of the legislative committee, who is investigating the
bridge lane closures, and Democratic Assemblyman John Woznaski who is
chairing the committee that`s investigating those closures.

Brian, I`ll start with you. Just on the news -- I`m curious how you
interpret this because we have ABC News` apparent interpretation of it. We
have our own apparent interpretation of it. What we do know is that
Michael Drewniak was in the federal courthouse in Newark for a few hours
yesterday talking to a grand jury. What do you make of this?

BRIAN THOMPSON, WNBC REPORTER: Talking with people last night, you get the
impression what really is going on here is that this is a just the next
phase of what we knew the U.S. Attorney was doing. Albeit it`s an
important phase there is no question about it when you start bringing
people in. But the other point that has to be made here is that it`s
unlikely very much that Michael Drewniak a press spokesman for the governor
is a target.

One of the attorneys I talked with tells me you don`t as a general rule
bring in your targets to a grand jury inquisition, if you will, you bring
in people who can give you information about the targets you want to go
after. Because the targets are not going to shut up. They are not going
to, you know, not going to sit there for two hours and say no comment, no
comment, my fifth amendment privileges.

So I think that`s probably what we`re looking at here is that, you know,
they`re starting to mine for more information. It is significant though
because we know that they did subpoena information out of Hoboken about the
allegation that you first reported of tit for tat sort of situation that
Michael Drewniak probably had no knowledge whatsoever of the Hoboken

What we`ve been able to see from his e-mails is involvement with David
Wildstein about the bridge situation. So it does seem that the U.S.
Attorney`s Office is pursuing both of these paths, the bridge and the

KORNACKI: And we should point out, it`s been, for the media covering this
and I think for political figures looking at it, it`s been very difficult
to discern what is going on inside this U.S. Attorney`s Office. For
political observers in New Jersey that`s a sharp departure from when Chris
Christie was the U.S. Attorney, that office was known to let reporters know
to leak very sort of strategically what was going on.

But Assemblyman, it seems to me, tell me if this is your reading on it,
this is significant because there`s been an open question about whether --
if this is about the bridge closures, that`s what this grand jury is
looking at right now. There`s been an open question about was a federal
crime potentially committed there.

There`s wrongdoing, but is it something that would be federal or would it
be only state. So the fact -- not a fact, but the possibility that the
grand jury is looking into this, does this suggest to the U.S. Attorney`s
Office has made the decision that yes, we think there`s something federal

JOHN WISNIEWSKI (D), NEW JERSEY ASSEMBLY: They`re not going to tell us
exactly what they`re doing or what they`re looking for and that`s how a
U.S. Attorney investigation is supposed to proceed. Leaves a lot of us to
guess and surmise exactly what they`re looking at. What I have been told
by better who are better practitioners at criminal law is that they`re not
going to be calling people in front of a grand jury to figure out whether
or not a crime was committed.

They`re going to be operating under some type of assumption that there`s
something that they`re looking for testimony to corroborate. So they`ve
made some conclusion, we don`t know what it is and frankly we don`t know on
what topic, whether it is on Hoboken, whether it is on the bridge, whether
it is on something that none of us here at the table are actually
considering. They`ve made some conclusion that there`s a need to bring
Michael Drewniak and others in for testimony. We`re going to have to wait
and see what conclusions they reach.

KORNACKI: So you chaired the investigative committee. You`re a member on
it. Does your committee have any kind of communication or contact with the
U.S. Attorney`s Office where the U.S. Attorney`s Office might tell you,
stay away from this area, you could be jeopardizing our investigation?
Have you had any kinds of conversations like that?

HOLLY SCHEPISI (R), NEW JERSEY ASSEMBLY: Have I, no. The chairman may
have, but I do think we`re at a juncture where it`s important that -- it`s
been four months. Our committee has been around for approximately four
months. We`ve received subpoenaed documents from over 21 individuals and
people. We have confirmation that there is indeed a federal investigation,
a grand jury that`s convened on this matter.

If it truly is a non-political investigation that we are doing and we want
to get to what the facts are, now is the time for our committee to turn
everything over to the U.S. Attorney`s Office, let them do their
appropriate job and have us do what we`re supposed to do, which is to
legislate and implement the reforms that have come out of this.

KORNACKI: Are you saying take the documents you guys have received as a
committee right now, turn them over to the U.S. Attorney and you don`t want
more subpoenas from your committee?

SCHEPISI: I think there`s a very real possibility that if we continue to
do it, we could jeopardize whatever investigation is taking place on the
criminal end. It`s not to say that what`s been done to date -- I have to
give props to Chairman Wisniewski and Co-Chair Loretta Weinberg for
bringing this to everybody`s attention and to being dogged in the
investigation and bringing this to public.

But I think we`ve reached a point in time based on what was on the news
last night, that let the appropriate authorities do their investigation
without us potentially hampering it and let us start focusing on
legislative reform initiatives, which was one of the reasons we started
doing this to begin with.

KORNACKI: So what is your response to that? She`s saying, look, the feds
are now involved, turn it over, and let`s not get in their way?

WISNIEWSKI: Well, the feds have been involved. This is a new phase of
something they`ve been doing. They`ve been sending out document subpoenas
as has the committee. But I think the important issue here is there are
two different paths, two different end products. What we want to know is
for instance, why did Bridgett Kelly sent that e-mail so that we can make
sure we put in institutional safeguards so things like this can`t happen

Without having the answers to some of the fundamental questions, we can`t
do the legislation that Holly is talking about. So we need to continue to
pursue our legislative inquiry. We are not in any way interfering with or
stepping on the toes of the federal authorities. We`ve been in contact
with them. We know where the lanes are and what lanes to stay into. So
we`re able to do our legislative inquiry at the same time as they`re doing
their federal inquiry.

KORNACKI: You and Christie work those lanes into this.

THOMPSON: Let me say, Steve, though that based on what Assemblywoman
Schepisi just said, that would call into question the whole master report.
If indeed their committee should just lay back now with the degree of
involvement the federal government has. Then should master have come out
with his report at that point.

KORNACKI: And should all of the interviews that he conducted be turned
over to the --

THOMPSON: That`s the problem. There are references, copious references in
the report to 70 interviews. There are copious statements in the report
about so and so said this, so and so said that. There`s no footnote.
There is no document that we could look at to say, yes, in fact they did
say that or they did imply that in their conversation. So it`s essentially
we have to take Randy`s word for it when we hear about all these interviews
because we don`t have any proof or any documentation on them.

KORNACKI: Very quickly.

SCHEPISI: Very quick question, there`s a very real possibility that we
will never hear from Bridgett Kelly. So are you saying that unless we hear
from Bridgett Kelly as to why she sent that e-mail, we can never do the
legislative reforms?

WISNIEWSKI: No. What I`m saying is that we need -- if we`re going to look
at the Randy Mastrel report as being even probative of some value, we need
to understand the underpinnings of it other than reading the probes that
Randy Mastrel put together coming to conclusions that this person is
telling the truth and this person is not. We don`t have any factual
background other than Randy`s written words telling us what Kim Guadano
said or what anyone else said.

SCHEPISI: We do have 21 people who have provided responsive documents and
thousands and thousands of pages of factual documents that we have
received, which are for the most part contained in the report. Granted, we
don`t have the transcripts as of yet, but we do have a lot of factual basis
to be able to move forward on reform legislation.

KORNACKI: I got to squeeze a break in here. It sounds like there`s a new
debate now starting to kick up about where this legislative committee
should be going into the investigation, if it should be continuing the
investigation. New reporting on the federal investigation in Hoboken
that`s next.

But first, we do have an update on the search for that missing Malaysia
Airlines passenger jet. Chinese state media CCTV News has put out a tweet
indicating that a Chinese ship taking part in today`s search effort has
detected a pulse signal in the South Indian Ocean. However, we have no
confirmation that this is linked to Flight 370 at this point and no
statement has been issued by the team investigating the search.

American officials are aware of the information and are looking into it.
But so far they also cannot confirm the authenticity of the reports.
Chinese media also said this morning that a Chinese air force plane over
the search area spotted many white floating objects in the search area and
took photos for examination. Going to keep monitoring the story and bring
you the latest as it becomes available. We`ll be right back.


KORNACKI: So we want to follow up on a story we started to tell you about
last week and report some new details about what appears to be the latest
federal subpoena into allegations that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie`s
administration threatened Sandy aid over a politically connected
development project.

Last week on the show, we reported that a measure was going before the
Hoboken city council to release a man named Joe Maraziti. He is the city`s
lawyer on development issues, to release him from attorney-client

A spokesperson for Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer tell us that Zimmer and
Maraziti contemporaneously discussed events in May of 2013 and that is when
Zimmer alleges that New Jersey Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno, another
top Christie official called Zimmer that Hoboken wouldn`t get Hurricane
Sandy relief until it signed off on a development project in North Hoboken.

That`s a claim that Guadagno has firmly denied. Joe Maraziti hasn`t been
allowed to talk about those conversations with Zimmer until now. On
Wednesday night, the Hoboken City Council gathered at its regular meeting
to consider among other things that resolution to release Maraziti from
attorney-client privilege.

We caught up with Hoboken Councilman Ravi Bhalla shortly before the meeting
began to ask why the resolution to release Maraziti was coming up at this


RAVI BHALLA, HOBOKEN CITY COUNCIL: He was served with a document subpoena
on March 13th and this is the first opportunity that the council has to
consider a resolution to waive that privilege.


KORNACKI: And we looked into that and it`s true. According to a letter
from April 2nd, Hoboken city attorney says, quote, "We have been advised
that on or about March 13th, 2014, Mr. Marazati`s law firm has been
subpoenaed by the U.S. Attorney`s Office to produce documents to a federal
grand jury in connection with the investigation by that office."

The letter also notes that the waiver of attorney-client privilege would be
limited to the topics concerning the allegations. Some members of the
council still had questions about the measure and about the whole scandal
itself. Councilman Michael Russo shared with us what he`s been hearing
from Hoboken residents.


MICHAEL RUSSO, HOBOKEN CITY COUNCIL: A lot of the questions that keep
coming up here are what took so long for us to really get moving with the
whole situation, why did the mayor wait so long? Now with this attorney-
client privilege issue, the real question is not so much why did the mayor
wait, but why did our attorney wait --


KORNACKI: Joe Maraziti was not at the council meeting on Wednesday to
answer these questions, but Mayor Zimmer made a surprise appearance. It`s
only for a brief ceremony honoring the city clerk. After Zimmer left, the
council went into closed session for nearly half an hour to discuss the
Maraziti matter during which time the debate appeared to get heated. The
public was let back in. A few council members offered their thoughts on a


BETH MASON, HOBOKEN CITY COUNCIL: One is Mr. Maraziti is not present and
did not speak to us and he represents this body. Two, his attorney wasn`t
here, and three, our own corporation council did not convince me that the
city overall would be protected with this resolution.

DAVID MELLO, HOBOKEN CITY COUNCIL: I think it`s important that members of
the public know, members of the city of Hoboken know that we`re fully
cooperating with and in no way obstructing a neutral and proper
investigation into these matters.


KORNACKI: And soon it was time for the vote to take place.



















KORNACKI: And with that the resolution carried 7 to 1 with one abstention
and Maraziti is now able to respond to the federal subpoena and may also
comply with the state legislative investigation into the matter. So let`s
talk about this a little bit with the panel here.

First, that is, I`m going to guess that is the most exposure the Hoboken
City Council has ever received in one moment on national television. I
think we get something in the Guinness Book of Records for that. But this,
Brian, seems like a particularly significant development for two reasons.

We mentioned in there that Zimmer spokesman is telling us that she had a
conversation with Joe Maraziti who is now been freed from attorney-client
privilege to speak. That she had a conversation with him the day that she
had this encounter with Kim Guadagno in the Shop Right parking lot in
Hoboken where Guadagno basically told her, you know, allegedly according to
Zimmer, play ball in the development, you`ll get your Sandy money.

The other significant piece for Maraziti in this has to do with the Port
Authority and David Samson because it`s this redevelopment project in
Hoboken that was represented by Samson`s law firm that we have a whole
series of e-mails that we showed on the show a few months ago, the law firm
is getting in touch with him. David Samson has copied on these e-mails.

And one point, Maraziti basically expresses exasperation he says I`m
getting the full court press from these guys on this, what do I do? So
Maraziti seems to be a significant player on two fronts in this.

THOMPSON: I think if you look at it from the federal grand jury`s
perspective, it`s going to be some sort of affirmation as to who we should
believe in the she tells/he tells saga that we have right here. That`s all
we have, she says or she says really between Kim and Dawn Zimmer. And the
master report went to great pains to try to diss anything that Dawn Zimmer
said with varying degrees of success depending on how much you want to
believe out of certain things that they said there.

But now if you can get a lawyer who presumably has a certain degree of
believability in this case because he really shouldn`t have any ax to
grind, although obviously he`s on retainer for the city of Hoboken. He`s
also putting his reputation on the line. He`s putting his law license on
the line if he`s caught in a lie. It happened before, but it`s still a
very significant step then the federal grand jury is going to look at this,
assuming that he does indeed testify to them and say, OK, who should we
believe here.

KORNACKI: What about the piece of it, Chairman, about the potentially
complying with any subpoenas from your committee. I know you`ve been
focused on the lane closures in your committee, is Joe Maraziti anything to
do with Hoboken something that you want to pursue at all? Is he somebody
you would want the hear from at all?

WISNIEWSKI: I think what the committee is going to be looking at is the
Port Authority. We always have to go back to where this committee started,
looking at how this port authority operates and how dysfunctional it is.
We`ve seen a connection with the port authority with this in that the Port
Authority funded the redevelopment study that impacted on the development
that the mayor said she talked to Kim Guagdano about.

So the Port Authority has its tentacles everywhere. When we get through
our investigation on the lane closures and the Port Authority`s
functioning, this may be something the committee will consider.

KORNACKI: I assume that`s not something, based on what you were saying in
the last segment, that`s not something you want them looking at.

SCHEPISI: If we`re going to look at Hoboken, we also need to look in
Newark. I know there have been request. There are issues in Newark right.
There over a thousand signatures asking our committee to actually

KORNACKI: When you say look into Newark --

SCHEPISI: Just going back to Hoboken for one quick second, the attorney
having the privilege waived is pretty standard when there`s a federal
investigation taking place because they can`t release without -- there`s a
lot of case law that goes back and forth on this.

As to the pertinence of Maraziti`s testimony, unless he was there with the
lieutenant governor himself and partook in this conversation -- I mean, we
don`t know what Dawn Zimmer may have told him, we don`t know the exact
timing of it. All we have are statements from her spokeswoman.

I actually am happy that they waived it to have the attorney come in and
say what actually transpired at that time. I don`t think that merely
because the spokeswoman is saying that he told her lawyer at some point
around the same time. We don`t know what that conversation was.

THOMPSON: Let me add very quickly. Don`t forget the report tried to
impeach the physical evidence of the diaries and suggest they were indeed

KORNACKI: The master report said look, it looks like she went back and she
added details to these things.

WISNIEWSKI: But how does randy come to that conclusion without having
spoken to the author of the diary. It makes broad assumptions about what
people did. If many cases it makes broad assumptions about what they felt,
which is really incredible for what`s supposed to be unbiased technically
accurate report. It really creates things that don`t exist.

And that whole report has to be questioned because it was paid for by the
governor`s office to clear the governor`s office. And the irony here is
that now we have the governor`s office, now Holly and other committee
members are saying OK, now we`re done.

SCHEPISI: But John, in fairness, we have a law firm that has represented
the Democratic Party in New Jersey and who representing our nonpartisan
committee that we all agreed to. And there have been numerous discussions
that have taken place. I am a committee member. I have no idea by way of
example whatever happen with our council and the mayor of Fort Lee.

WISNIEWSKI: Did you call him?

SCHEPISI: We have sent letters.

WISNIEWSKI: Did you call him?

KORNACKI: I want to understand factually what you`re -- rephrase that a
little bit so everybody understands the issue you`re disputing.

SCHEPISI: We are members of the committee and we are not being shared
information with.

WISNIEWSKI: Gratuitous effort on national TV to create fake issues.

SCHEPISI: By way of example, we tried three times to get copies of the
legal bills to see what the heck was going on. We were told by the
Assembly Majority Office that as members of the committee we were not
entitled to see the bills because they didn`t want us to know exactly what
was taking place.

WISNIEWSKI: But it`s perfectly OK for Randy Mashro to prepare a report for
over a million dollars and nobody has even seen the first bill, nobody has
seen anything about this. So I don`t appreciate this double standard --

SCHEPISI: It`s not a double standard. I`m on the committee --

KORNACKI: OK. I think -- let me bring Brian --

THOMPSON: I`m staying out of it.

KORNACKI: Let me bring you into it because what I`m hearing here, what`s
interesting to me is thinking back to the beginning of the investigation by
the legislative committee and when there seemed to be broad bipartisan
support for it, are we watching on that that`s broken down?

THOMPSON: I`m seeing that right now from her concern about whether or not
the committee should really continue its investigatory role and just jump
to a conclusion and to the chairman who obviously clearly believes that
these two things can go -- the federal and the legislative investigation
can go along parallel paths. Quite frankly there are probably precedents
for both if you go back into the history of things. Not to overuse the
water gate investigation, but you did have back then --

KORNACKI: Absolutely.

THOMPSON: -- two parallel paths. Eventually it got to the conclusions
that it got to and then it kicked into some more action when you actually
went to the impeachment route.

KORNACKI: We`re waiting, we should say, this is any day now we keep saying
a judge is going to give a ruling on whether documents that the committee
sought from Bridgett Kelly whether the committee can look at this. We`ll
ask about that, talk about that and pick up this conversation. It got a
little interesting here a second ago. We`ll pick it up right after the


KORNACKI: We`ve been having an interesting debate about the state
legislative committee`s role in the investigation into bridge gate with
some news about what`s happening at the federal level. I want to pick that
up. But first, Brian, I know you said something --

THOMPSON: I want to clarify something because I said something. I don`t
want anybody to misunderstand. When I talk about lawyers in the past who
have been caught in a lie that was a generic reference if you go back in
history. I was not referring to anybody in this case right now because we
don`t know of any lawyers that have been caught in a lie and for all we
know none of them have lied.

KORNACKI: Just as a generic statement.

THOMPSON: Lawyers have been caught lying before. We do go back way far in

KORNACKI: You have to search very far open wide for that. Holly, I want
to pick up. Point you`re making, challenging the idea that now with more
confirmation coming out about the federal investigators role, the grand
jury and all of this that the legislative committee that you`re on that
John chairs, that you should be continuing to subpoena documents. You`re
saying the time and place for that has passed for your committee.

I want to ask you specifically about the legal question that`s now pending
in regards to Bridgett Kelly and Bill Stepien. Bill Stepian is Christie`s
former political lieutenant. They both were subpoenaed by your committee.
They refused to comply, citing their Fifth Amendment rights and that is
something that is now being decided by a judge.

If the judge were to say, no, they can`t do that, they should turn over the
documents, you want the committee to be getting those documents right now?

SCHEPISI: I think it`s more a function of in getting that and
understanding that throughout this process a lot of what we received has
been leaked to the media. Do we now impede the investigation? Do we
somehow make the criminal investigation, you know the integrity of it, do
we harm it? And so that`s a concern. I`m not saying that our committee
doesn`t have a role. Our committee has a huge role here.

We need to start moving forward and legislating. Reform initiatives.
There is so many things that we`ve learned through this process that we can
start addressing and I don`t know the rationale for us not doing that.

KORNACKI: So what happens -- take us through it.


KORNACKI: If you get the ruling you`re looking for and the ruling is,
Bridgett Kelly, Bill Stepien, turn the stuff over to the committee, what
you do with it?

WISNIEWSKI: We review it.

KORNACKI: Do you release it to the public?

WISNIEWSKI: What we`ve done in the past and the precedent was set when we
had David Wildstein come before the committee. There`s a transcript
created and the documents then get released. That`s the working model. We
haven`t had anybody come before the committee to testify under the joint
committee format. So we haven`t gotten to that point yet. But probably at
the point in time when somebody comes to testify, those documents will be
made part of their transcript.

The transcript is public testimony. If you`re looking at the transcript,
then there`s reference to documents, but if we can`t see the documents, the
transcript then becomes meaningless. The fundamental question that`s not
answered today, not answered by the Mastro report kind of left hanging out
there is why.

I mean, we`re led to believe by the Mastro report that Bridgett Kelly was
somehow emotionally distraught and decided because of that to close lanes.
That doesn`t wash, Steve.

KORNACKI: In terms of talking with -- having communications with federal
prosecutors, is there any communication that`s taking place between you,
between your council --

WISNIEWSKI: Our council has been in contact and we`ve been making very
sure that what we`re doing has not interfered with or impeded or in any way
gotten into the lanes of what the U.S. Attorney is doing. We`re very
comfortable with that. We are very confident that what we`re doing has no
impact on the U.S. Attorney`s investigation.

But we have a mission that`s different than what they want do. They want
to prosecute people potentially for violations of law. That`s not our job.
We want to find out how this could happen. There`s a rush to judgment to
say there`s one e-mail from Bridgett Kelly, let`s stop the show right here,
blame it on her and move on. But there`s really a lot more to that.

SCHEPISI: I don`t think it --

KORNACKI: Just to quickly point out, there was a poll that was released
this week after the Mastro report of New Jersey voters and whether Bridgett
Kelly and David Wildstein were responsible for the lane closures. Only 11
percent said it was limited to Kelly and Wildstein, 77 percent said others
were involved. The public doesn`t buy the idea that it was limited to
those two.

SCHEPISI: Right, but the public is only receiving portions of what we have
received. So it`s not fair to say that there`s rush to judgment. It`s
been four months. It`s been four months since our committee convene.
Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent. Documents have come in
from 21 separate people. That`s not a rush to judgment. That is, look, we
know what has happened. John, we may never know why --

WISNIEWSKI: Holly, with all due respect, we don`t know what happened. We
know there`s one e-mail from Bridgette Kelly that says time for traffic
problems in Fort Lee. We can`t say why Bridgett Kelly said that or who
told her. You don`t seem to want to know who told her. You want to shut
it down.

SCHEPISI: And you want to -- no.

KORNACKI: Let`s --

WISNIEWSKI: Your mission is to protect the governor`s office.

SCHEPISI: And your mission is to try prove that the governor did

WISNIEWSKI: No, my mission is to find out why Bridgett Kelly sent the e-
mail. You don`t want to know that.

KORNACKI: OK, last word to you quickly.

SCHEPISI: I absolutely want to know that. Everybody wants to know that,
but there`s a very large possibility we will not find out. What if the
judge comes back this week and says no, she doesn`t have to testify. What
do we do?

WISNIEWSKI: We`ll cross that bridge when we get there.

KORNACKI: There`s another bridge -- and I will leave you out of this one,
Brian, but I want to thank New Jersey Assemblyman John Wisniewski, WNBC
reporter, Brian Thompson and Holly Schepisi, also with the New Jersey State
Assembly with that joint investigative committee.

Coming up, it is the finale of what we have been building towards all
season long, the "up against the clock" tournament of champions. We`ll
crown a national champion. Don`t go anywhere.


KORNACKI: Coming up, it`s the finale of what we`ve been building towards
all season, the "up against the clock" tournament of champions. But first
we have an update for you on the search for that missing Malaysia Airlines
passenger jet. Chinese state media CCTV News has put on a tweet indicating
the Chinese ship taking a part in today`s search effort has detected a
pulse signal in the South Indian Ocean.

However we have no confirmation that this is linked to the Flight 370 at
this point. The spokesman for the Australian agency in charge of the
search quoted by a Sydney newspaper saying, "We can`t verify this
information at this point in time."

The Chinese media also said this morning that the Chinese air force plane
over the search area spotted many white floating objects in the search
area. They`re taking photos and we`ll continue to monitor and bring you
the latest information as it becomes available and we`ll be right back.


ANNOUNCER: Live from Studio 3A in Rockefeller Center, USA, it`s too many
for the finals of the "Up Against The Clock" tournament of champions.
She`s found her way to the championship, but for the first two months
working on Capitol Hill, she couldn`t find anything to eat because she
didn`t know the capitol had a cafeteria. Please welcome, Kate Nocera.

Before making it to the big leagues of journalist, he won a pub contest in
college. It`s Alex Seitz-Wald. If you think she`s hard to keep up on
land, try to keep pace in a swimming pool. Say hello to college water polo
player, Krystal Ball. And now, the host of "Up Against The Clock" Steve

KORNACKI: Thank you, Bill Wolf. Thank you studio audience, a real live
studio audience to today. Thank you for tuning in at home for what the
final matchup. Today, we`ll crown a national champion. We`ve seen some
sweat, some tears in this month long event and the finalists have had
formidable and fierce competition to get here today.

Now the rules for tournament play remain the same as always. We`ll have
three rounds of play, 100 seconds in each round. Questions are going to
get harder. Contestants you with ring in at any time and you will be
penalized for wrong answer. All always I`ll remind the true genuine live
audience, please no outbursts. Contestants deserve and demand absolute
concentration. Are you ready to play the championship game?

They are ready. We`re 300 seconds from knowing our national champion.
We`ll put 100 seconds on the clock. This is the 100-point round. It
begins with this in a federal budget proposal cutting over $5 trillion over
the next decade put forth this week by Paul Ryan, it was also proposed that
what the subsidies for what railroad be eliminated. Alex.


KORNACKI: Amtrak is correct. A 100-point question. Former president
George W. Bush revealed portraits from his upcoming art show on the "Today"
show yesterday including one of this former world leader perhaps his top
ally in the push for the Iraq war -- Alex.


KORNACKI: Tony Blair is correct. A 100-point question, Alex. Twenty five
years after its basketball team won the NCAA championship, President Obama
called for a raise in the federal minimum wage while speaking -- Kate.

KATE NOCERA: University of Michigan.

KORNACKI: Speaking at University of Michigan on Wednesday. That`s right.
Kate, this is the instant bonus question for another 100 points. Who is
the only president of the United States to have graduated from the
University of Michigan?

KATE NOCERA: I have no idea.

KORNACKI: The answer is Gerald Ford.


KORNACKI: Michigan football star. A 100-point question, no penalty for
Kate there. A 100 point question, it was reported this week that talks are
underway for a sequel to the 2006 Academy Award-winning documentary about
Al Gore`s environmental -- Alex.

ALEX SEITZ-WALD: Inconvenient truth.

KORNACKI: An inconvenient truth is the correct answer. A 100 points for
Alex. Back with this, Jonathan Gold Smith who was on Capitol Hill this
week to raise awareness about land mine removal is better known as the most
interesting man in the world, the main character from ads for this beer --


KORNACKI: Joe Sekis is correct. Ten seconds left to the round. New
polling this week shows this first term Democratic senator running neck and
neck with her perspective -- Kate.


KORNACKI: Yes, Kay Hagen, neck and neck with her opponents in North
Carolina, 100 points for Kate Nocera. That ends the first round. Kate
with 200, Alex with 400. Krystal yet to get on the board. But lots of
support back there, too. Lots of support for everybody.

A 200 point round now. You can get back in a hurry. We`ll put 100 seconds
on the clock. The championship match continues with this. The CEO of
General Motors testified on Capitol Hill this week about why it took her
company ten years to issue a recall for a defect that caused over a dozen
deaths. Name the CEO -- Krystal.


KORNACKI: Mary Barra is correct. Krystal is on the board, 200 points.
After passing the State Senate on Tuesday, this state`s governor announced
that he will sign into law a bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks --

KRYSTAL BALL: Mississippi.

KORNACKI: Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant said that. That`s correct.
Two hundred for Krystal. A 200 point question, after this Red Sox slugger
took a wildly circulated selfie -- Kate.

KATE NOCERA: David Ortiz.

KORNACKI: David Ortiz took a selfie with President Obama and was paid by
Samsung mobile to do it. That`s correct. A 200 point question, the White
House pushed back Wednesday against its former Press Secretary Robert Gibbs
who suggested that this portion of Obamacare -- Krystal.

KRYSTAL BALL: Employer mandate.

KORNACKI: He suggested the employer mandate would be repealed that`s
correct. Krystal, this is an instant bonus question for 200 more points.
Gibbs successor as press secretary, Jay Carney was previously best known as
a journalist for what publication. "Time." The answer is "Time."

A 200 point question, no penalty there for Krystal. After reading a
lengthy opening question at a committee meeting Wednesday, the senior
Indiana senator was informed by a staffer -- Kate.


KORNACKI: Dan Coats was told you are at the wrong hearing, sir. That`s
correct. A 200 point question, Republican State Senator Chris McDaniel who
withdrew from a gun rights rally this week after it was reported that he
would be sharing keynote speaking duties with the owner of a confederate
memorabilia store is challenging -- Krystal.

KRYSTAL BALL: Thad Cochran.

KORNACKI: He is challenging Thad Cochran in primary. That`s correct. A
200 point question, it was revealed this week that President Obama`s
appearance on Zach Galifianakis "Between Two Ferns" was actually pitched to
the White House --

KATE NOCERA: Bradley Cooper.

KORNACKI: Bradley Cooper actually pitched it. Two points for Kate. Off
the wire at the end of the 200-point round brings her to 800, Alex at 400,
Crystal with a nice recovery at 800. We have a very close game, ladies and
gentlemen. It`s all coming down to the final round.

Fifty four players reduced to the final three and this comes down to the
final 100 seconds, 300-point questions here. This is the round that will
determine a national champion. It begins with this, Phoenix, Arizona and
Columbus, Ohio were both removed from contention this week to hold what
event -- Kate.


KORNACKI: That is correct. A 300-point question. Harry Reid indicated
this week that he will continue to serve as his party`s Senate leader was
first elected Democrat leader in what year? Alex.


KORNACKI: Incorrect. Kate.


KORNACKI: Incorrect. Time. It was 2004. A 300-point question.
According to a "New York Times" story this week it was actually enteric
fever and not pneumonia that killed this shortest serving president --

KATE NOCERA: William Henry Harrison.

KORNACKI: Correct. Instant bonus question, Kate, for 300 points. Name
Harrison`s successor as president.

KATE NOCERA: Shoot. I don`t know.

KORNACKI: John Tyler II. No penalty there. A 300 point question, Andrew
Cuomo agreed this week to provide more than $300 million a year to fund
what program -- Krystal.


KORNACKI: Be specific please --

KRYSTAL BALL: Universal pre-kindergarten.

KORNACKI: Universal pre-kindergarten is correct, 300 points for Krystal.
A 300-point question, West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin claimed this week
that he duped into appearing in a documentary film and that he never would
have participated if he knew it was bankrolled by Don Blankenship, the
former CEO of what company -- Alex.

ALEX SEITZ-WALD: Massy Energy.

KORNACKI: Massy Energy is correct, 300 points for Alex. A 300-point
question, one of the targets of Bill Maher`s flip a district campaign, New
York Republican -- Alex.

ALEX SEITZ-WALD: Michael Grimm.

KORNACKI: Michael Grimm fought back this week is correct. A 300 point
question, this politically active billionaire used a "Wall Street Journal"
op-ed -- Krystal.

KRYSTAL BALL: Charles Koch.

KORNACKI: Charles Koch is correct. That`s the end of the match. Krystal
has won for the national championship with 1400 points. The balloon drop
begins. It falls on the wrong person. What a touch. Krystal with 1400
points. The last question gives you the title. Kate, 1100. Here`s
somebody to congratulate you.

And, Krystal, before we talk to you for a second, our special guest Tom
Coliccio will tell you what you just won.


TOM COLICCIO: On behalf of everyone here at Craft and Coliccio, I wish to
extend my most heartful and sign zero congratulations on his or her victory
in "Up Against The Clock" Tournament of Champions. We look forward to
seeing you here for your victory dinner.


KORNACKI: This is your victory -- take this to Coliccio`s restaurant.
This is Krystal Ball and her family. This is your "Up Against The Clock"
national champion and her family.

KRYSTAL BALL: Greatest day of my life, Steve. Thank you.

KORNACKI: Fifty four started. What do we know now that we didn`t know
last week? Our answers are coming up after this.


KORNACKI: We have an update now on the search for that missing Malaysia
Airlines passenger jet. Chinese media publishing these photos of the white
floating objects that the Chinese Air Force spotted this morning in the
search area of the Indian Ocean. MNSNBC cannot independently verify this

Chinese state media CCTV News has indicated that a Chinese ship taking part
in today`s search effort has detected a pulse signal in the waters of the
ocean. We have no confirmation that this is linked to Flight 370. We will
continue to monitor this.

Brings us to the end of the show. I want to thank and congratulate "Up
Against The Clock" National Champion Krystal Ball with a special friend.

BALL: He gave me the answers.

KORNACKI: National Journal`s Alex Seitz-Wald and Kate Nocera from
Buzzfeed. Thank you for joining us today at home for "Up." Join us
tomorrow morning at 8:00 a.m. Eastern time. We`ll be speaking with Senator
Angus King about his vote to declassify information in the CIA`s Bush era
torture program.

Plus we`ll look at how retiring late night host, David Letterman weaved
politics into his iconic comedy program. But stick around right now
Melissa Harris-Perry is up next on today`s MHP, forget about the 1 percent,
it`s time to talk about the 0.1 percent. The Supreme Court just made
America`s super class even more powerful.

That`s Melissa Harris-Perry. She`s coming up next and thank you for
getting UP.



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