All In With Chris Hayes, Tuesday, June 24th, 2014
Read the transcript from the Tuesday show
ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
June 24, 2014
Guest: Robert Costa, Azi Paybarah, Hakeem Jeffries, Matt Flegenheimer,
Steve Cohen, Steven Walker
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris
And all eyes are on Mississippi tonight, 50 years after the iconic
Freedom Summer when organizers both white and black went out into the
countryside to register black voters and bring democracy to a state under
the lock and key of Jim Crow.
Tonight, 50 years later, a Republican primary appears to hinge on
whether Mississippi`s African-American voters show up and vote for a six-
term incumbent white Republican.
In a hotly contested truly bizarre race, the challenger, Tea Party
candidate, state senator and radio host, Chris McDaniel. Four of his
supporters have been arrested on charges related to sneaking into the
nursing home of the incumbent`s elderly wife to take pictures of her.
A McDaniel win would have consequences far beyond Mississippi, in what
is the last opportunity this election cycle for the insurgent Tea Party
wing of the conservative movement to take down on establishment incumbent
Republican -- adding another trophy to their collection so soon after
taking out sitting House Majority Leader Eric Cantor will only further
spook GOP members of Congress in both houses to never be outflanked to
Now the incumbent, Senator Thad Cochran who campaigned yesterday with
Senator John McCain has been emphasizing his ability to bring back federal
money to the state of Mississippi. Mississippi ranks first in the nation
of receiving federal funds as a percentage of total revenues, 45.84
Senator Cochran sensing the limit of his support among perhaps the
most conservative white voters in the entire nation is now reaching out to
Democrats for support, particularly black Democrats.
The ghosts of Mississippi are haunting this election in form of poll
watchers. Particularly from McDaniel Tea Party side who claim they want to
ensure a free and fair election.
You see, today`s primary is an open primary, but voters who`ve already
voted in the Democratic primary are ineligible to vote today. There`s also
a completely unenforceable part of the state statute that prohibits people
from voting in a party primary if they don`t intend to vote for that
party`s nominee in the general election. And that part of the statute, in
particular, helps those in might be inclined to suppress the vote of
Democrats who might show up, scaring them from casting a vote.
All this in a state that has the highest percentage black population
in the entire country and flies this as its state flag to this day.
And this just in from Teddy Schleifer reporting on the campaign for
"The New York Times." A picture of a polling place with the caption,
"First line I`ve seen all day at polling place serving mostly African-
Americans. This is a great sight for Cochran."
Joining me now is Robert Costa, national political reporter for "The
Washington Post." He is in Mississippi, at Chris McDaniel headquarters.
And, Robert, what`s the sense, the momentum in this race in the last
two or three days into election day?
ROBERT COSTA, THE WASHINGTON POST: Certainly, Chris McDaniel has the
Tea Party energy behind him. I`ve been here since Friday and you follow
McDaniel around, you see a fervor behind him. Speaking to black voters
here, black Democrats today, in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and elsewhere,
you sense they believe that this Republican runoff is the best chance for
them to make a statement they`re getting behind Cochran. There are even
lines in some precincts.
HAYES: Yes, it`s fascinating because there`s -- you have national
Democrats saying that was Travis Childers, who`s the man nominated the
Democratic ticket to run against whoever wins this race, that he`d have an
even shot of taking the state of Mississippi, National Democrats saying
that. But it looks to me from the reporting I`ve seen that Mississippi
Democrats are kind of hardening to the message of Thad Cochran that if they
want to have influence in who the next senator from the state of
Mississippi is going to be, it`s really a choice between Cochran and
COSTA: That`s right, especially in a midterm year that really seems
to be favored for Republicans to win, at least in red states. They believe
that Cochran who`s been a longtime appropriator, helpful to education
programs in the state, helpful to other social programs, they think he`s
been a voice for them and when you meet with voters today, I`ve met with
dozens and dozens of them, they`re really sympathetic to Cochran`s pitch.
He`s not pandered to the Tea Party at all. He`s moved toward the
left, and that`s a surprising and stunning development in a Republican
HAYES: A lot of people outside Mississippi look at this contest,
particularly the notion of a debate over whether federal money should be
coming back to Mississippi and say, it`s madness in some ways for voters in
this state that is the most dependent on federal largesse to go to the
polls to cast a vote to cut, to turn the spigot off. But that message has
real appeal among the Tea Party conservative base in Mississippi, I take
COSTA: It certainly does. I spoke with a lot of voters today who say
they are on federal assistance, they`re on federal disability. They`re
getting a lot of money from the federal government to survive in a state
that`s one of the poorest in the nation. But when it comes to a Republican
primary, they`re seeking someone who`s going to be a combative conservative
on Capitol Hill, working alongside Ted Cruz, and Rand Paul and Mike Lee.
That`s what they want, someone to go right at President Obama rather than
focuses on appropriations.
HAYES: Just to clarify here, Robert, you`re saying you actually
talked to voters, Republican conservative primary voters who are on
disability, saying they`re going to be voting for McDaniel because they
want someone to go to Washington and fight to stop federal spending?
COSTA: That`s right. They really want an ideological warrior.
They`re not happy with Senator Cochran`s temperament.
And when I kept mentioning all the different things Senator Cochran
has brought back to the state as a member of the appropriations committee,
whether it`s Katrina aid from the hurricane in 2005, whether it`s education
for the public schools here, they shrugged me off. They brushed me away.
They say that`s not what`s important to them this year.
HAYES: You know, Cochran, it seemed, was really blindsided by this
challenge in the first time around when the primary happened. In the
runoff, everyone I think basically writing his political obituary.
It just seems they made a strategic adjustment about a week ago when
they said, OK, we have a ceiling of conservative support, white Republican
voters. Let`s see if we can get more people in the tent. And if he wins
tonight, it looks like that`s going to be the thing that saves him, if, in
fact, he wins.
COSTA: It will. And it really is an interesting development to see
Cochran realize after June 3rd when they finished narrowly behind McDaniel,
they say that McDaniel did not have the money or the organization to really
survive in a three-week competitive runoff. So, they turned their tide.
They turned their message.
HAYES: Robert Costa from "The Washington Post" -- thank you so much.
COSTA: Thank you.
HAYES: Senator Cochran, the incumbent white establishment Republican
from the Deep South, has an unlikely soul mate today, an incumbent African-
American establishment Democrat in the North who`s also facing an upstart
primary challenge that may finally spell his political demise. Congressman
Charlie Rangel, the 84-year-old, 22-term lawmaker, plagued by ethics
problems even before his re-election two years ago and challenged by a
redrawn district also evident in the last election cycle, which
significantly increased the Latino population in his district and who two
years ago won by only 1,100 votes.
The man who came within 1,100 votes of beating Congressman Charlie
Rangel two years ago is back today in a rematch. That challenger, State
Senator Adriano Espaillat, a 59-year-old Dominican American has said of
Range, quote, "Yes, I have attacked his record and shouldn`t have because
there is no record."
There is no love lost between the two men in what has been a fiercely
contested election. Whereas last cycle it was the congressman`s Dominican
Republic villa that may have dogged Charlie Rangel, the subject of some of
his ethics troubles, something under press scrutiny for years. This time,
Rangel is trying to introduce himself to a new generation of his district`s
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)
HAYES: Joining me now is Azi Paybarah. He`s political reporter for
"Capital New York", one of the best political reporters we have here in
A lot of people have looked at this rematch and said this is it.
People have written Rangel`s political obituary every two years for the
last three or four cycles I feel like. And he`s triumphed. And so, can he
pull it out again?
AZI PAYBARAH, CAPITAL NEW YORK: That`s the big question. I spoke to
an Espaillat insider who said, look, if we can do better than we did in the
Bronx where they basically split, I think Espaillat won that part of the
district by 200 votes. They said, if we can do better than that, 1,000
votes, even more, that`s great.
They also need to pick up votes in east Harlem. That`s a Puerto Rican
heavy part of the district that Espaillat only got 20 percent of the vote
in which is sort of shocking.
PAYBARAH: He has the support of the local councilwoman there, who
happens to be the city council speaker, Melissa Mark-Viverito.
PAYBARAH: And also the assemblyman over there. And now, they`re
thinking if they can do 35 percent, 45 percent there, and if Rangel`s base
stays the same, that`s the ball game.
HAYES: You know, we don`t hear a lot about Democratic primary
challenges of incumbents. That has kind of been the Tea Party`s game.
But this would be a bit of a wake-up call. Rangel`s case is a little
particular, but it is a freshman -- I mean, it is a challenge to an
incumbent in a solid Democratic seat.
PAYBARAH: Right. And former Governor David Paterson spoke to this
and Paterson always is, very candid, too good for his own cause. He said,
look, we`ve seen this before. When there was white elected officials,
districts were changing, people said we thank you for your service but we
want people that look like us.
And that`s happening here with Rangel. Rangel unlike two years ago,
he`s one who noted that Espaillat spoke about his Dominican heritage,
called Dominican who didn`t support of a traitor (ph), but those were two
PAYBARAH: Al Sharpton had to step in say, guys, stop talking about
race, talk about policy. When you have someone like Al Sharpton making
that kind of statement, it sends a message.
HAYES: Well, I think also for those not familiar with New York
politics, there is a long political feud between Dominicans in the city and
Puerto Ricans, a political power about political resources. It may not be
But what you have here is, you know, it`s not the kind of thing you
used to seeing, but you have a racial dynamic and a changing district. It
just doesn`t feature any white candidates on the ballot.
PAYBARAH: Right. And Rangel has said we`ve never had this for years.
He`s sort of prided himself on this. But as Steve Kornacki wrote for
"Capital", that Rangel has sort of been involved in race like this before,
back over in New Jersey.
HAYES: The only constant in politics is change.
Azi Paybarah from "Capital New York" -- thank you.
HAYES: All right. Coming up, for a while it seemed a bridge was
going to bring Chris Christie down, but it may not be the one you think.
I`ll tell you about that development, ahead.
Plus, "All in America" continues tonight. We`re going to tell you how
some simple math may be able to turn a red state blue.
Stay with us.
HAYES: Coming up, America`s growing refugee crisis.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEXANDRA PELOSI, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: So the word spreading through
Central America is you can just come here and you won`t be sent home?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We get told about an opportunity to work but we
don`t know for how long.
PELOSI: So how did you feel when the border patrol picked you up?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I felt secure and happy for my son and myself
and for the others who came on the trip. It was nice to see the U.S.
(ENBD VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: MSNBC contributor Alexandra Pelosi traveled down to the border
to talk to some of the people who are crossing. She will be here to share
their stories, next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEH JOHNSON, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: We`re talking about large
numbers of children without their parents who have arrived at our border,
hungry, thirsty, exhausted, scared, and vulnerable. How we treat the
children in particular is a reflection of our laws and our values.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The head of the Department of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson,
went before Congress to talk about the continued crisis of unaccompanied
minors at the border of Mexico, amid growing calls from Republicans to
deploy National Guard troops to deal with the problem. More than 52,000
unaccompanied children have been apprehended at the border so far since
October, according to the Obama administration, as well as more than 39,000
adults with children.
MSNBC contributor Alexandra Pelosi has been in Arizona and Texas
reporting on this story. She filed this report.
ALEXANDRA PELOSI, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: We`re seeing this huge influx of
migrants from Central America. We have about the same number of families
who have been coming here for the last nine months.
So the word spreading through central America is you can just come
here and you won`t be sent home?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We get told about an opportunity to work but we
don`t know for how long. But we do get help.
PELOSI: How long has this been going around?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I found out two months ago. But several have
come here already. That`s how we find out people were staying.
PELOSI: So how did you feel when the border patrol picked you up?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I felt secure and happy for my son and myself
and for the others who came on the trip. It was nice to see the U.S.
PELOSI: The government gave you this. What is that?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s a permit to stay here.
PELOSI: Thursday, July 17th. Are you going to show up for this?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I`m going to show up.
PELOSI: What are you going to tell the judge when you show up for
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m going to ask for the opportunity to work.
PELOSI: Are you going to bring a lawyer to that hearing?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t know because I don`t have money. I
don`t know what`s going to happen.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Next scheduled stop, El Paso, Texas.
PELOSI: Are you happy?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Very happy.
PELOSI: How does America look to you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Very beautiful.
PELOSI: Who told you America was going to take care of you if you
came here with your son?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was told by a friend. She said, "Let`s go to
the U.S., they are giving opportunities to Guatemalans with kids." I asked
her if it was true. She said, "Yes, it`s true, I was told." The rumors
then spread around. The rumor spread far even to where I was living. Then
I waited until she came over. When she got here she called me and told me
it was true what people were saying.
PELOSI: Are you going to show up for that court date?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I will because if I don`t I will be labeled as a
fugitive. And I don`t want that.
PELOSI: How come d they have so much false hope?
JUANITA MOLINA, BORDER ACTION NETWORK: There`s a lot of
misinformation and people are manipulated in coming up here. Sometimes
it`s to, you know, lure them into endangered servitude. Sometimes it`s to
get money from them. People will do everything and anything to take care
of their children.
PELOSI: People are going to try to come into this country because at
least there`s the hope, there`s the opportunity, the possibility of
survival, and so, people would rather risk their lives and die trying than
to stay and not be able to change their circumstances.
HAYES: Joining me now, MSNBC contributor, documentary filmmaker and
writer, Alexandra Pelosi.
Great to have you here.
So, explain these -- both of these women are from Guatemala, right?
HAYES: They are coming -- I read other reporting that indicates
people are coming and hailing the border patrol, right? They`re saying to
the border patrol, come take me, right?
PELOSI: These are very poor uneducated women. That are told by
coyotes, I`m going to take you to America and the border patrol is going to
protect you and save you, and usher you into America and you`re going to
get to stay there and work there and live happily ever after.
They`re just being fed a bunch of propaganda. So, what happens is you
go to the border in Tucson, Arizona, and see if you stand at the border
fence, a ladder coming from the other side of Mexico and people just
jumping and sitting and waiting for border patrol.
HAYES: Because to their mind, they`ve been told, essentially declare
yourself. They`re not, like, sneaking in, not going the way we think of
other undocumented passages going. This is a distinct phenomenon.
PELOSI: They`ve had treacherous journeys through Mexico, because they
came from Central America, right?
So, by the time they get to the border, they`re exhausted, dehydrated
and they think border patrol, hallelujah. They feel safe finally from the
coyotes who are exploiting them. They`re finally feeling like they`ve been
HAYES: So, then, what`s happening is our standard policy is if these
people have relatives anywhere in the country, they can go be reunited with
those relatives while they await their due process essentially, right?
HAYES: So, these people are being released and take a bus to meet up
with some relative with a paper saying, come to this court and contest your
PELOSI: Right. So, ICE dumps them at the Greyhound station. They
don`t speak a word of English. They have no money in their pocket. And
ICE just pulls up and says, good luck.
Now, they have a piece of paper saying they have to report to a
hearing somewhere in America, to get their, they have to ride a Greyhound
bus and change many times and maneuver their way to get to South Dakota.
Where are you going? Texas. Where in Texas? Texas. They don`t even
know the name of a town in Texas and they have to call someone. They have
one phone number they`re given to call. They call some relative and they
try and maneuver to get the relative to pay for the bus ticket.
A lot of people can`t come up with a bus ticket and get stuck --
HAYES: Standing there. Right.
I want to bring into the conversation Congressman Hakeem Jeffries,
Democrat from New York, because he introduced a bill yesterday that will
provide legal representation for unaccompanied minors who cross the U.S.
And, Congressman, we saw in the package there, the question of, do you
have legal representation? People say, I can`t afford it. What`s the idea
behind your legislation?
REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES (D), NEW YORK: Well, this is not a run of the
mill policy debate that we`re in the midst of. This is an extraordinary
humanitarian crisis. It`s a serious problem and requires a serious
We believe a significant number of the unaccompanied children who have
arrived in this country, Chris, will not have a valid legal basis to
remain. But some will.
JEFFRIES: Yet it`s clear that it`s virtually impossible for these
unaccompanied minors to vindicate any rights that may exist under current
immigration law in the absence of legal representation. That`s why we
introduced the vulnerable immigrant Voice Act to provide access to counsel.
I should note this provision was actually in the comprehensive
immigration proposal passed by the Senate last year, 52 Democrats, two
independents, 14 Republicans voted for this very provision. We obviously
believe that at this particular time, it`s absolutely necessary to allow
these unaccompanied minors to navigate themselves through the immigration
proceedings in a manner consistent with the type of judicial system we`ve
come to expect in America.
HAYES: Alexandra, am I understanding this correctly? The congressman
is talking about unaccompanied minors. Your reports, the two that I`ve
seen focused on women coming with children, that we`re talking about El
Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala, that both of these strains of
immigration or refugee situations are of the same kinds of rumors going
PELOSI: Right. And I think the very important thing the congressman
said, you can`t tell by seeing a few pictures of kids in a Greyhound
station how desperate things are down at the border in Texas and Arizona.
We are talking about a full-blown crisis. There are just people streaming
through. And they`re waiting for border patrol.
So, the point is that this is something they`re going to have to come
up with some answers.
PELOSI: And, you know, we can waste our time blaming whose fault it
is. You know what`s going to happen. You know the Republicans are going
to go to the border and blame Democrats, blame Obama saying he`s not
enforcing the law. You can feel what`s coming.
HAYES: Right. It`s already happening.
PELOSI: And that`s the scary part, right? But really needs to be
done is some grown-ups need to stands up now and say, what is the law?
HAYES: Right and how do we deal with this humanely? Congressman, is
there appetite for that among your colleagues?
JEFFRIES: Well, I`m hopeful. We`ve got to focus first on the origin
as Alexandra pointed out eloquently.
The origin of the crisis, the women, these children are fleeing a
highly dangerous environment in these three central-American countries,
amongst the most dangerous countries in the world. They`re fleeing
violence. They`re fleeing intimidation. They`re fleeing increased gang
activity, drug trafficking and sexual abuse.
And in fact, several other Central American countries as well as
Mexico, including Costa Rica, Belize, as well as Panama, have also
experienced increases in asylum applications from these three countries.
JEFFRIES: So, there`s a desperate situation to which they are fleeing
and that`s why we`ve got to step in.
HAYES: MSNBC contributor Alexandra Pelosi, thank you for sharing
that. And Congressman Hakeem Jeffries. Thank you, sir.
All right. Coming up, there may be another bridge Chris Christie has
to worry about now, and it`s uglier than the other one. And I mean that
literally. It`s literally an uglier bridge. The details are next.
HAYES: We all thought it would be the George Washington Bridge that
could ruin Chris Christie`s 2016. The scandal surrounding those closed
access lanes of the infamous traffic problems in Ft. Lee. Multiple
investigations are ongoing. The fallout has put a dark cloud over
Christie`s once bright political future.
But a twist comes to us today via "The New York Times," reporting it`s
not the GWB, but a different bridge that could be the real problem for the
New Jersey governor. It`s a far less glamorous bridge called the Pulaski
Skyway which connects Newark and Jersey City, a bridge in desperate need of
expensive repairs for years. Repairs Chris Christie did not want to raise
taxes to pay for.
So, if you`re the governor, what do you do, where do you turn? Well,
according to "The New York Times", he turned to the Port Authority and top
appointee, Bill Baroni, whose name maybe familiar. According to "The
Times" and "Bergen Record", the Port Authority had a couple billion dollars
laying around from a Hudson River rail project Christie, himself, had
canceled the year before.
In early 2011, the governor went before the people of New Jersey to
announce the port authority would be footing the bill for renovations to
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: This is a significant commitment
from the Port Authority, and we believe it`s an appropriate one of New
Jersey projects to make our roadways and bridges safer as we travel through
the port district and try to get to those connectors.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: S when, when, right? If you`re Chris Christie, you don`t have
to raise taxes, the thing gets repaired. One problem -- according to "The
New York Times," that announcement actually came before the Port Authority
even agreed to foot the bill. And as "The Times" reports, the agency`s
lawyers had concerns about the bill like the fact it might not be real.
You see, the Pulaski Skyway is a state road and it`s not covered by
the Port Authority`s bi-state mandate. "The Times" "reports after legal
wrangling and pressure from the Christie camp, the financing plan moved
forward and the skyway closed for renovations in April.
Now, you can add two more investigations to the mix. Both the
Manhattan`s D.A.`s office and SEC are looking into whether the Christie
administration or Port Authority violated securities law in the course of
making this deal.
Christie defended the deal at a press in April, "Dozens and dozens
after lawyer from both sides of the river approved the financing plan and
approved it, as did the commissioners of the Port Authority. So, I relied
upon the advice of lawyers on both sides of the river to come to that
conclusion. I`m confident if the SEC reviews it, if that`s what they`re
doing, they will come to the same conclusion that those dozens of lawyers
came to on both side of the Hudson River."
Joining me now is Matt Flegenheimer. He`s from "The New York Times."
He`s been reporting on this story.
First of all, why securities law? Why the SEC? So you have got this
financing plan to renovate the skyway. It`s not immediately clear the
skyway is in the purview of the Port Authority. The Port Authority foots
the bill anyway. The lawyers are concerned this doesn`t work. Where does
securities law come into this?
MATT FLEGENHEIMER, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": So, amid this sort of
pressure from the administration that`s happening after the cancellation of
the ARC tunnel, which was this trans-Hudson tunnel canceled in October of
2010, he takes this money that was supposed to be set aside for that
project from the Port Authority, and diverts it to these road projects, the
biggest of which is the Pulaski Skyway.
In the course of the sort of legal wrangling, the Port Authority
lawyers -- and, as you said, "The Bergen Record" had a great story on this
months ago -- pointed out the Lincoln Tunnel is something that they could
build access roads to legally under their mandate.
FLEGENHEIMER: The problem in this case is the Pulaski Skyway is
really nowhere near the Lincoln Tunnel, as any commuter can see. The
Holland Tunnel is a more reasonable connection that actually predates the
HAYES: So, they don`t have the legal authority.
FLEGENHEIMER: ... to built to the Holland Tunnel.
HAYES: Right. And just so that we`re clear here, the Lincoln Tunnel,
the Pulaski Skyway you see there in the middle, they`re saying that it`s a
connector to the Lincoln Tunnel, which is up there in the corner of your
It is not in any way, shape or form, I think from a strict, you know,
intuitive intense, a connection to the Lincoln Tunnel.
FLEGENHEIMER: Yes. This is not something that commuters would ever
do, going from the Pulaski to the Lincoln Tunnel.
HAYES: Right. And yet that was the legal reasoning upon which they
said they could do this.
FLEGENHEIMER: That`s right.
HAYES: So, securities law comes into play because there were bonds
issued to finance this?
FLEGENHEIMER: Right. So, in these bonds now, they have referred to
these capital projects as Lincoln Tunnel access infrastructure projects.
HAYES: Wait a second, the bonds they sold to actual people are bonds
labeled Lincoln Tunnel capital projects?
FLEGENHEIMER: Right, in a prospectus, right?
HAYES: Can we put that map back up there? They sold bonds to people
and they said, hey, want to get in on a -- lend the state, the Port
Authority money to do some Lincoln Tunnel projects?
But you can`t lie on your bond issue.
FLEGENHEIMER: That`s right. So, really , the accuracy of that
characterization is at the heart of all of this, whether or not you could
plausibly say that that is not a misrepresentation that the Lincoln Tunnel
is an access road to the Pulaski.
HAYES: And the reason that the Manhattan district attorney -- this is
what`s fascinating to me. You have got the SEC, right, because you have
got a security that`s been issued. You also got the Manhattan district
attorney looking into that? What`s that about?
FLEGENHEIMER: So, because the offices of the Port Authority are in
Manhattan and a lot of this business is being conducted, that does fall
under their purview.
There`s something called the Martin Act in New York, which is sort of
a stronger statute than you have at the federal level, which allows you
bring charges for a material misrepresentation in a bond prospectus and not
just intending to defraud or actually defrauding, just any
HAYES: So this is really important. Bond prospectuses, I don`t know
if you have spent a lot of time reading bond...
FLEGENHEIMER: I don`t recognize...
HAYES: They`re the sort of glossy pamphlets. Right? You get it.
This is what your offering is. The Martin Act in New York doesn`t require
that there`s an intent to defraud. It just requires that there`s
FLEGENHEIMER: Right, or any fraud at all, just a material
HAYES: Or any fraud, just material misrepresentation. So, if you
look at that thing and it says this is for the Lincoln Tunnel and then show
a judge or a jury that map that we have been showing you, that`s -- you
know, you`re halfway to a case already.
FLEGENHEIMER: Absolutely. And, you know, the issue here is really,
as the prosecutor is looking at it, is this creative politicking, creative
money managing, or something that`s criminal?
HAYES: Here`s the bigger context for this.
You have now a special legislative committee looking into the
Bridgegate scandal. You have got reporting that the U.S. attorney in New
York and the U.S. attorney in Newark are both looking into this. You have
got the Manhattan district attorney and now you have the SEC.
It seems to me that if you`re betting on just the odds, the more
investigators you have looking into something, the more odds someone`s
going to come up with something.
FLEGENHEIMER: In theory.
And what is interesting about this, obviously, is that this has
nothing to with Bridgegate whatsoever. These investigations were prompted
obviously by the revelations at the GWB, but this is something that
happened beginning in 2010. It really has no connection whatsoever to the
George Washington Bridge and all of these issues are really coming to the
HAYES: The more investigators look, the more they`re going to find
stuff. And that would be true of anyone in the country, right? You just
start adding investigators, you start adding headaches politically.
Matt Flegenheimer from "The New York Times." Great piece. Thanks a
FLEGENHEIMER: Thank you.
HAYES: Coming up on tonight`s ALL IN, it used to be that Georgia was
part of the solid South. It could always be relied upon to support
Democratic Party candidates. Of course, that`s not the case anymore. What
I told you it could be that way again? More of our exclusive on-the-road
HAYES: Tomorrow on "ALL IN America," we`re going to bring you a
special investigative report, a look into the reality of the numbers
underlying what some have called the murder capital of America.
Among the people I spoke to for this report was Chicago Mayor Rahm
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: I lived here under Mayor Daley, and Chicago had a crime rate,
specifically a homicide rate, that was stubbornly higher than New York,
L.A., other cities that saw drops. It never seemed to me to have the level
of political explosive -- no, seriously, explosiveness around it that it
has in your tenure.
RAHM EMANUEL (D), MAYOR OF CHICAGO: Yes. Well, here`s how I would
think of it.
You are right. I mean, the truth is, in 1974, you go back now 40
years, it was a little over 900 homicides. When Mayor Daley was mayor and
you had the situation like at Fenger School, Fenger High School, it got not
only local, national -- you may be right that it may be more intense now
But I have a response, that that doesn`t matter to be because I have a
responsibility to work on it every day no matter what. The police are
going to be as strong as their partners are in the neighborhood. It`s not
about how many police you have. It`s what the police are doing when
Classic example, let me give you a tactic way of showing that. In
these areas, what we call impact zone, about 3 percent of the city`s
geography, 20 areas, 20 blocks each, for a better way to think about it, we
have a saturation of officers.
Those were the worst areas for shootings, homicides, and robberies.
We have seen a dramatic decline since we have done that saturation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That is tomorrow on "ALL IN America: Behind the Color Line."
Tonight`s report on a simple math that could turn a red state blue is
just ahead. Stick around.
HAYES: For more on our "ALL IN America" reporting, including sneak
peeks at this week`s stories and behind-the-scenes photos, head to
HAYES: Tonight on "ALL IN America: Behind the Color Line," we take a
look at the solid South.
For generations, it was a truism about American politics the
Democratic Party had the lock on the South. But now we think of the South
as the opposite, the modern geographical base of the Tea Party-led GOP.
It`s a historical shift that`s made the South the reddest part of the
country, where Republicans rule and can count on dozens of electoral votes
in election after election.
The state of Georgia is poised for a possible political
transformation. And the tipping point may be hiding in plain sight.
BEN JEALOUS, FORMER PRESIDENT AND CEO, NAACP: To run billion-dollar
presidentials and not take back a state like Georgia is almost criminal. I
mean, it`s just -- think about it. It`s a rounding error in a billion-
dollar presidential. We can`t do that anymore.
HAYES (voice-over): What if I told you that Georgia, deep red
Georgia, could be a blue state, and it`s all a matter of simple math?
Georgia has always been a conservative state, but it was conservative and
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Congress passes the most sweeping civil rights
bill ever to be written into the law.
The Civil Rights Act did a lot to change how Georgia voted in
presidential elections. Since 1964, Georgia has voted for Republicans in
every election, with four exceptions, infamous segregationist George
Wallace in 1968, local-boy-made-good Jimmy Carter in 1976 and 1980, and
Bill Clinton in 1992."
But, on a state level, Georgia, like much of the South, remained under
Democratic control, where civil rights leaders and segregationists worked
together in the same legislature and the same party.
(on camera): Everyone`s the same party, but you`re in a political
coalition with people that are, frankly, avowed white supremacists.
JULIAN BOND, FORMER CHAIRMAN, NAACP: But you quickly learned that
there were people there who were good people and not-so-good people, people
who wanted to do this, good things, and people who didn`t want to do this.
HAYES (voice-over): Of course, that alliance wasn`t going to last,
and it didn`t. In 1995, a white Democrat named Nathan Deal bolted the
party. Today, he`s Georgia`s Republican governor.
Democrat Stacey Abrams, Georgia`s House minority leader, says the
party really broke apart in 2002.
STACEY ABRAMS (D), GEORGIA STATE REPRESENTATIVE: Georgia had for -- a
longer time than a lot of states, had this unholy marriage of convenience
with Dixiecrats, Northern white liberals, and black civil rights leaders.
In 2002, we decided to split up and go our separate ways.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in
welcoming the conscience of the Democratic Party, the honorable Zell
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
HAYES: There was one proud Georgia Democrat of the old tradition, but
then he did this.
SEN. ZELL MILLER (D), GEORGIA: Kerry would let Paris decide when
America needs defending. I won`t push to the side.
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST, "HARDBALL": Well, it`s a tough question. It
takes a few words.
MILLER: Get out of my face. If you`re going to ask me a question,
step back and let me answer.
I wish we lived in the day where you could challenge a person to a
duel. Now, that would be pretty good.
HAYES: The collapse of the old Democratic Party led to an entirely
different kind of politics in Georgia and throughout the old Confederate
South, where party and race have come to be almost completely aligned.
In Georgia, the majority white population largely elects Republicans.
Conversely, the minority African-American population largely elects
Democrats. As a result, in Georgia and across the South, the white
Democrat is an increasingly endangered species.
Of the 157 Republicans in the Georgia General Assembly, 155 are white.
Of the 78 Democrats in the assembly, only 16 are white.
State Senator Nan Orrock is one of five white Democrats in the Senate.
NAN ORROCK (R), GEORGIA STATE SENATOR: I wonder, when is America
going to wake up and be astonished and ashamed at the fact that of, our two
major political parties, one of them is almost virtually entirely white,
with rare exception?
HAYES: Georgia`s Democratic Party now faces the near opposite
situation as national Republicans. Instead of looking for candidates of
color in a country that is getting less white, Democrats in Georgia are
actively recruiting white people to join the party.
ABRAMS: As a minority, I know what it means to make sure that you
don`t make the minority feel oppressed. And if you want white Democrats,
if you want white people to be Democrats, you have to create a space so
that their values are recognized, because their values are not that
divergent from everyone else.
HAYES: Julian Bond, a civil rights icon, stood with me in front of
Martin Luther King Jr.`s boyhood home and told me that black Democrats need
to make room for more white candidates.
BOND: We have got to convince these black legislators they have got
to give up something. Not everything. They don`t have to give up all
their seats. But they have to give up something and say I`m going to share
this. I`m in a power position. And even though I`m in a minority, I`m in
a power position, and I can afford to give this up.
HAYES (on camera): And by share this, you mean share some black
voters to get white -- white Democrats elected.
BOND: Yes, absolutely, yes, exactly so.
HAYES (voice-over): But whether it`s electing statewide Democrats or
turning Georgia blue in a presidential election, the state needs more
Democratic voters. And it turns out they`re there in Georgia, hiding in
ABRAMS: Demographically, we are moving faster and faster towards
having multiple communities of color that have electoral power.
HAYES: It`s a simple matter of arithmetic. Ben Jealous, former
president of the NAACP, walked me through the math.
JEALOUS: There are 600,000 unregistered black people in the state and
230,000 unregistered Asians and Latinos on top of that. And if we could
just sign up 750,000 of them, it would be almost impossible for the
Republicans to win again.
HAYES: In 2008, John McCain won the state by 204,000 votes. In 2010,
Republican Governor Nathan Deal won by 258,000 votes. In 2012, Mitt Romney
won the state by 304,000 votes.
Organizers say there are roughly 830,000 unregistered voters of color
in the state. If they can register 90 percent of them, and 70 percent of
those people vote, that`s over 520,000 new voters. And if 80 percent of
those voters go for Democrats, which is not an unlikely rate based on
recent election results, Democrats could wind up netting just over 310,000
new votes, enough to beat Nathan Deal in 2010, enough to give Barack Obama
wins in both 2008 and 2012. According to that math, Georgia turns blue.
After signing the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Lyndon B. Johnson
reportedly remarked that the Democrats had lost the South for a generation,
and they did. But if Democrats can register enough voters across the
South, they might just win it back.
HAYES: Coming up, I will talk to someone who spent years organizing
to increase African-American turnout and one of the only white members of
Congress who represents a majority African-American district. This year,
once again, he`s facing a primary challenge.
Stay with us.
HAYES: We`re back talking about how some simple math can turn the
state of Georgia from red to blue.
Joining me now, Congressman Steve Cohen. He`s Democrat from
Tennessee. He`s one of the few white members of Congress to represent a
majority black district. And Steven Walker, executive director of iVote,
Democratic PAC, and former African-American vote director for the DNC`s
Organizing for America project.
And, Steven Walker, let me start with you.
Having been around organizers, spent a lot of time, I know there is a
huge, huge distance between numbers on a board and how many people are out
there that might be able to be registered, and actually doing that work.
STEVEN WALKER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, IVOTE: Right.
HAYES: How do you close the gap between those two? Is it plausible
to register the number of people you would have to register and then turn
them out to give Georgia a shot at being a competitive state?
WALKER: Absolutely, Chris.
First of all, it`s a multipronged approach. As you know, registering
people to vote requires an investment in resources in time and energy. So,
one of the things we have to make sure we have is a sustained and working
Democratic Party in the state of Georgia, which we have a great party led
by DuBose Porter and his fantastic staff and other members.
It requires ongoing investment of engagement of the communities,
because what tends to happen is, we think about voter registration only
around election time.
WALKER: But it`s going to require ongoing engagement with the
community on a regular basis.
HAYES: OK. So that -- let`s say you had that. What would the price
tag for that be? What are you talking about? What kind of organization,
what kind of dollars would have to be spent? As someone who has learned
the lessons of the Obama campaign, which has probably been more successful
in doing this than anyone else ever, what would that look like?
WALKER: Well, you know, it depends. It could be hundreds of
thousands of dollars.
But I think one of the things that the Obama movement has shown this
party and our community in general is the value of grassroots community
organizing. So when we`re getting people engaged on a neighbor-to-neighbor
level talking to their friends and being the voice persons out there for
making sure people are registered to vote, it could make a difference.
But something like this is an investment in thousands of dollars to
make it an ongoing process.
HAYES: Congressman, you`re proof positive of the fact the politics in
the South don`t have to be this kind of strict kind of racial black and
white cookie, where, you know, it`s white folks voting for white
Republicans, black folks voting for black Democrats.
But what is the case is that redistricting increasingly, particularly
run by Republicans, has sort of moved more and more black voters into
smaller and smaller concentrations of the seats, and has meant that we see
less and less white Democrats in the South.
REP. STEVE COHEN (D), TENNESSEE: Ari Berman did a column in "The
Nation" that was so perfect on redistricting.
The South a -- the Republicans had a program in the South -- and I
can`t repeat the words -- it was rat something -- and they wanted to get
rid of all the Democrats really. And they redistricted it in a way where
in Tennessee, the next election, there may be only five of 33 state
senators who were Democrats, only one of whom is Caucasian, because they
tried to draw the districts in such a way that the black vote was spread
out and that the white vote was also spread out in certain ways.
So, redistricting has made it very difficult. But what Steven`s
talking about, what Ben Jealous is talking about is what Muhammad Ali
talked about. Muhammad Ali is one of my heroes. And I have got a quote of
his on my desk. And it`s says, the fight is not won under the lights
before the reporters. It`s won with miles and miles and miles of roadwork
and lots of punching the bag when nobody is viewing.
Same thing with politics. You have got to get out there and register
people in the off-years and get prepared. That`s when the elections are
won. And you put your seed down and you till the soil.
HAYES: Steven, what have we learned about the likelihood of someone
turning someone to vote out once you have registered them?
Because I remember reporting on this during 2008, and I was surprised
at how high the percentage was that the Obama campaign was seeing in the
folks that they registered and then stayed in contact with them and were
able to actually get to the polls.
WALKER: Right, Chris. And that`s exactly what I meant by the ongoing
investment. So, it is not just getting them to fill out the voter
But it`s figuring out a process for regular communication with them,
whether sending them an e-mail, whether it`s calling them on the phone,
whether it`s sending a canvasser to go out and knock on the door or most
importantly getting them to commit to vote and sending them a reminder card
in the mail prior to election to remind them that, yes, you registered to
vote and you also committed to vote, and so now Election Day is here and so
now it`s time for you to go ahead and cast that ballot.
And evidence shows that when we get someone to commit to vote, they
actually sign and say they`re committed and we send back the commitment, it
definitely increases voter turnout.
HAYES: That`s a great point. This is something that was found
actually through experiments, right, that the commitment, the signing the
pledge and then sending it back to the person saying you promised to do
this thing, that actually statistically in experiments conducted,
controlled experiments, you see that that actually does bump up the rate of
folks that vote.
WALKER: Right, because what they get back in the mail is the pledge
card that they signed with their signature on it that says, you made this
pledge back on X-date and now it`s Election Day and now go out and cast
your ballot on Election Day.
HAYES: So, Congressman, there`s two ways I think to think about the
Democratic Party and the future Democratic Party in the South. One is the
current status in which you basically have white majorities that elect
white majorities that are Republican and conservative in statehouses across
the South and in terms of the presidential electoral votes. And you have
people of color who represent a minority of the state.
Now, that`s growing. So, in the future, you can imagine a kind of
majority/minority coalition that takes over. But in the interim, there is
this question of getting -- recruiting enough white Democrats to build a
majority in the South. How do you see that process unfolding in the near
future, particularly amidst the Tea Party anti-Obama backlash?
COHEN: It`s going to be real tough in Tennessee. I think the state
has gone so far to the right. And when the Republicans did the
redistricting, I mean, they were very, very devious, and particularly in my
district. They took a certain section of people out that would cross over
and vote for me because they supported me, even though it was kind of a
moderate to Republican area.
But they took them out of my district because they didn`t want them to
be voting in the elections where they vote for other Democrats. And now
they don`t have a reason to vote, so they`re not likely to vote at all in
August. I think there are places like Georgia, where there`s been large
population shifts in the urban areas around Atlanta and other areas that,
with registration and with maybe bringing home particularly how the refusal
of Southern governors to extend Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act
formula to people have really hurt people, both white and black.
This isn`t a white and black issue. And the Republicans have been
refusing people basic health care throughout the South in many red states.
The Republicans know it`s about this getting people to vote. Otherwise,
they wouldn`t be passing laws to take votes away from people, which,
really, you know, they`re trying to stop people, because these I.D. laws
are just to keep the vote quelled and stalled.
HAYES: I`m glad you brought up the Medicaid expansion. We have
actually got a story later in the week about building cross-racial
coalitions on that issue.
Congressman Steve Cohen and Steven Walker from iVote, thank you much.
That`s ALL IN for this evening.
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