All In With Chris Hayes, Thursday, September 4th, 2014
Read the transcript from the Thursday show
ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
September 4, 2014
Guest: Gwen Moore, Shantel Walker, Jeanina Jenkins, Shermille Humphrey,
Stephen Ryals; Jonathan Martin; Judy Tenuta
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight, we are ALL IN.
PROTESTERS: Hold those burgers! Hold those fries! We want wages!
HAYES: Day of action across the nation. Fast food workers fighting
for a higher wage take to the streets in 159 cities with over 400 arrests.
And we were there as McDonald`s workers from Ferguson, Missouri, were
(on camera): A bunch of protesters sat down blocking this
(voice-over): Then, the former governor of Virginia and the wife he
trashed on the stand found guilty of corruption.
BOB MCDONNELL (R), FORMER VIRGINIA GOVERNOR: All I can say is my
trust remains in the Lord.
HAYES: Rachel Maddow on today`s epic finish to the Bob McDonnell
Plus, another major twist in Kansas that could short circuit the
Democratic plan to keep control of the Senate.
And remembering a comedy legend.
JOAN RIVERS, COMEDIAN: Peeping toms look in my window, pull down the
shade. You have no idea.
HAYES: ALL IN starts right now.
HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
In more than 150 cities across the country, thousands of low-wage
workers went on strike today, walking off the job in the broadest
coordinated acts of civil disobedience in recent memory. From New York
City to Little Rock, Arkansas, Philadelphia to Chicago, workers demanded a
$15 an hour wage and the right to form a union.
In Chicago, over 50 people arrested. Singing, "We will not be moved",
after vowing that any arrest would be worth it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JESSICA DAVIS, FAST FOOD EMPLOYEE: It`s worth it because we`re
showing McDonald`s that we`re not giving up. We`re going to keep growing,
we`re going to keep fighting until we get we`re demanding, until what we`re
asking for, $15 in the union.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: This is a culmination of a movement that has grown, as we
chronicled here on show, one that`s created a national conversation about
the minimum wage, turned it into an election year issue and has helped to
prompt President Obama and Democrats to come out in favor of a minimum wage
hike that will provide workers at least something closer to a livable wage.
This wasn`t just a strike. This was coordinated action in civil
disobedience, blocking intersections, getting arrested nationwide. Arrests
reached well over 400.
In Boston and Los Angeles, Detroit, and Las Vegas, workers said they
refused to accept the status quo.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We know another state is possible where people can
make a decent wage for an honest day`s work. That is not asking the world.
That is asking for common decency.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Though McDonald`s restaurants were often the site of
protest, other fast food chains were not spared, from Wendy`s, to Taco
Bell, Burger King, to Jack in the Box.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARMONDO MARENO, FAST-FOOD EMPLOYLEE: Well, I`ve been working for Jack
in the Box and fast-food corporations in general for about five years. I
have a 9-year-old child and I`m looking to support him and all the other
fast-food workers in the family struggling trying to survive on $7.25.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Significantly, this movement has emboldened workers, where the
most marginal and vulnerable in this economy and once again today by the
thousands risked their jobs and meager livelihoods to risk arrest, possible
sanctions possibly being fired. In Kansas City, more than 50 workers were
arrested on a day when workers were expected to walk out of 60 restaurants
in that city, alone, just in Kansas City. A movement now, declared La Toya
Caldwell, a Wendy`s employee in Flint, Michigan. That`s a city that`s been
decimated by deindustrialization and economic (INAUDIBLE) for decades.
More than 20 workers were arrested there.
In west Milwaukee, Wisconsin, our next guest, a congresswoman was
detained by police. In Tucson, Arizona, organizers say this is just the
beginning and described in specific terms what it means to be a low-wage
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDREW KREMLE, FAST-FOOD EMPLOYEE: I work an entire day of work and
it`s enough to pay for one can of formula for my son. A can of formula is
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: I was in Manhattan today when workers at a McDonald`s
restaurant began their own civil disobedience.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Protesters sat down blocking this intersection. There`s a lot
of NYPD telling them to disperse. They`ve got signs in the road that say,
"Whatever it takes, McDonald`s, we must act." Police are preparing to
arrest protesters here in the middle of the intersection.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now, Congresswoman Gwen Moore, a Democrat from
Wisconsin who is detained in west Milwaukee today, along with fellow
Congresswoman, why did you decide to get arrested?
REP. GWEN MOORE (D), WISCONSIN: I just woke up about 5:20 this
morning and decided I just had to be in solidarity with those workers. I
needed to elevate the issue of income inequality the best that I could.
And this was the way that I thought I could do it.
HAYES: Congresswoman, what -- what is the point here? I mean, is
this movement -- it`s growing, obviously. This is an escalation today in
terms of civil disobedience. Where does this go next, and how much of a
threat do these employers need to feel before we start to actually see wage
MOORE: Chris, this is the way democracy works. You know, I`ve put on
my Sunday best suit and debated these issues about the need for people to
have a decent wage for years and years and years. I`ve sat back and
listened to especially Republicans in legislative for a talk about how
people need to take legislative responsibility, they need to go to work,
they don`t need to depend on the public dole.
And yet I see these people all around me, especially women, working
two, three of these jobs, you know, trying to cobble together an income and
it`s not true that it`s teenagers working these jobs. You know, 2/3 of the
workers are women, 3/4 of them are over age 20, trying to cobble together a
living, and a minimum wage job for a mom and two kids, she`d be living at -
- she`d be living about $4,000 below the poverty level. And still
depending on food stamps and Medicaid to survive.
It is just not fair in a $200 billion fast-food industry for
government to have to pick up $7 billion in costs to subsidize these
corporations when they could pay their workers more.
HAYES: Joining me now -- Congresswoman Gwen Moore from Wisconsin,
thank you so much.
Joining me now, Shantel Walker, she works at Papa John`s.
And you`re out there today, one of the -- one of the things we talked
to -- one of our producers talked to you about is scheduling. How
important regular hours to you, it`s not just waging, not just the right to
form a union. It`s that your schedule changes so much, it`s very hard for
you to figure out how to live your life, right?
SHANTEL WALKER, PAPA JOHN`S EMPLOYEE: Right. That`s the thing about
it, we`re just trying to make ends meet and trying to take care of our
families. It`s like when we`re trying to make a little something-
something, they try to, like, you know, just keep us down. We`re not going
to take this anymore.
HAYES: How does -- how often does your schedule change? How
predictable is it? Are you able to plan effectively?
WALKER: Well, you know, it also depends on the business. If it`s
slow, they let you go home early. If it`s busy, they need you on the man.
It`s days that -- it`s times that days you a off, they call you to come in
to work because it might not be enough people on hand, when you`re doing
more than one person`s job. You`re doing three and four people`s jobs at
HAYES: So, that -- and you don`t have much notice either way, right?
WALKER: No. They might call you a day in advance or at that time.
HAYES: When do you get active with the fight for 15, with the folks
who are organizing around this?
WALKER: I`ve been involved in this movement over a year now.
HAYES: What has it been like?
WALKER: It`s been great. It`s nothing but a joy and pleasure to see
my brothers and my sisters in solidarity. We say si se puede. That says,
yes, we can. Yes, we can.
Change the minimum wage to a living wage. We deserve it. It`s for
our futures. It`s for our kids. And that`s why we`re out here.
HAYES: So, what has happened in your workplace? I mean, of obviously
they must know, management knows you`ve been doing this kind of thing.
Have you been scared? You probably can`t afford to lose this job, right?
WALKER: I`m not -- it`s not about me being scared. I`m scared to not
be able to pay my bills. I`d rather take a chance fighting for something
than just to let it go down to nothing.
HAYES: Are other people joining this? When you talk to fellow
workers, what are those conversations like?
WALKER: We`re all in the same situation. We`re all in the same boat.
We`re all looking for the same thing. We`re all trying to raise our
families on a minimum wage income and it just can`t happen, and not just in
New York, anywhere in America.
HAYES: What to you make?
WALKER: I make $8.50. I`ve been with this company since 1999. It`s
HAYES: You`ve been -- say that again.
WALKER: I`ve been with Papa John`s since 1999. I started with the
company in `99. It`s 2014.
HAYES: You`ve been there 15 years?
WALKER: Yes. I`ve been there 15 years on and off.
HAYES: And you`re making --
WALKER: Eight dollars and fifty cents. And it`s a disgrace and it`s
a disgust to me. That`s why I do what I do. We got to do whatever it
takes to win and I believe that we can win. I know we can win.
HAYES: Do you think they`re scared of you? Are you more scared of
WALKER: I`m just fighting for my dignity and my pride. My respect.
It`s all about respect at the end of the day. Respect. And I need to make
my money and support my ends and my livelihood.
HAYES: Do you feel respected at work?
WALKER: Now I do. Before -- it was -- the disrespect was high. The
pay was low.
I mean, it`s still -- you know, we still have a long way to go as
workers, but I feel like we made our mark and we`re going to continue to
make an impact, not only in our workplace in this country, and it`s time
for a change.
We want change and we don`t mean pennies. We`re sick of getting
nickels, dimes, pennies. Some people don`t even get 5 cents. It`s a
disgrace. We`re raising families. We`re not just some teenagers looking
for a check. We raise families on this type of income and it disgusts us.
Some people are two, three jobs.
HAYES: Shantel Walker, employee of Papa John`s, organizer of the
fight to 15. Thanks very much for coming in. Appreciate it.
More on the fast food protest today including my interview from two
fast food workers from the infamous Ferguson McDonald`s who were here in
New York today.
Plus, how a tip of supposedly stolen food over a year ago led to a
former governor being found guilty on 11 counts of corruption today.
Rachel Maddow will be here today with her reaction to the McDonnell
verdict. You don`t want to miss that.
HAYES: Three things I will remember Joan Rivers the most for, ahead.
HAYES: Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell is guilty. A federal
jury in Richmond today found McDonnell guilty on 11 of the 14 charges he
faced for public corruption. His wife, Maureen, found guilty on nine
counts for what prosecutors described as a scheme to trade the office of
the governor for lavish gifts and sweetheart loans from dietary supplement
guru Jonnie R. Williams.
It`s a devastating blow to the guy who was tapped to deliver the
Republican Party`s response to the State of the Union just days after he
was sworn to office in 2010 and who by 2012 was seen as a potential running
mate for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. And today, according
to "The Washington Post", Bob McDonnell became the first Virginia governor
convicted of a crime. Virginia`s been around for a while. He was already
the first to be charged with one.
And now, as promised, the nation`s foremost McDonnell-ologist if I can
pronounce that, my colleague Rachel Maddow.
Your reaction to the verdict?
RACHEL MADDOW, "TRMS" HOST: I, you know, I want to say that I am
surprised in the sense that I didn`t necessarily think he was going to be
convicted. I did think that he was guilty based on what had been publicly
reported both about the trial and about things that he hadn`t denied doing.
My reading of the law, as a layman, was just I felt like he was guilty.
I didn`t feel like the prosecution necessarily made a more coherent
case than the defense did, though.
MADDOW: So, I didn`t expect the jury to agree with him.
HAYES: So, an issue here is, basically, you have this guy who becomes
a weird sugar daddy for the McDonnell couple.
HAYES: Lends them money, takes the wife on a shopping spree in New
York. It`s weird. It`s a whole very weird situation.
HAYES: Their -- the defense argument is basically what? Like, we
know -- like, the clothes were bought. We know all this stuff happened.
They can`t deny the facts of the loans and the clothes and all that stuff.
What was the defense argument?
MADDOW: The defense argument about Bob McDonnell is the stuff he did
for Jonnie Williams in exchange for the many tens of thousands of dollars
in cash and prizes, was not official stuff. It was the kind of stuff that
any donor would get. And they, in fact, used the donor language to say,
oh, yes, he got all this access to Bob McDonnell but that`s because he was
a donor and donors get that. That was a little gross.
That was part of the defense, there wasn`t anything he got that should
be seen as the quo in quid pro quo.
MADDOW: The other part of it, though ,was that Maureen McDonnell was
the bad one, that she was the one who really took all the stuff. She was
the one who schemed to try to reward somehow, Jonnie, for all the stuff
that he was giving her. But she`s not a public official --
HAYES: She`s not a governor and she can`t provide the quo because
she`s not invested by any special authority of the state, ergo, no crime
MADDOW: First lady of Virginia is not a public office, therefore, a
first lady of Virginia cannot be bribed.
HAYES: Just from a human level, I kind of say like this, it`s a
whirlpool of sadness, this entire story and marriage because what it came
down to was Bob McDonnell having to throw his wife under the proverbial bus
on the stand.
MADDOW: He didn`t have to.
MADDOW: He didn`t have to. He chose to.
HAYES: This is a good point. Yes.
MADDOW: This was a deliberate decision. Nobody knows the facts of
their marriage. It`s none of our business.
MADDOW: But they chose to mount a defense --
HAYES: Based on the facts of their marriage.
MADDOW: That was about asserted facts of their marriage, that nobody
knows if they`re true or not because they`re private and nobody can know
the heart of the marriage other than the people who are in it. But they
decided to use that "Maureen McDonnell is not a public official" thing as a
way to get Bob McDonnell off, too.
HAYES: Basically, to quarantine -- to draw a corruption quarantine
down the line of the marital bed, between the two, right? That was like
the firewall was the marriage --
MADDOW: She did all this terrible stuff. He didn`t know about it, or
planning about it.
HAYES: Because they had a horrible relationship.
MADDOW: She`s cray cray. She`s terrible, an awful one and had this
crush and pious Bob never did anything wrong except fall in love with this
terrible woman. That`s the defense he chose to mount. He was offered a
HAYES: Let me -- quoting from the "Washington Post," January 23rd,
"Authorities proposed that Governor McDonnell pled guilty to one felony
fraud charge. It has nothing to do with corruption in office, and his wife
would avoid charges altogether. The governor rejected the offer."
MADDOW: It was a non-corruption fraud charge, non-corruption fraud
charge. He probably could have kept his law license, that he could have
pled guilty to and kept his wife out of all of this. Instead he decided to
not only put her in the dock, but to make his entire defense about her
failings as a human.
And it`s a remarkable -- it`s a remarkable decision to have made and
the fact that it failed I feel like makes it feel more disgusting, but it
was pretty disgusting when he made the decision to do that.
HAYES: This -- the origins of this story are sort of amazing. It was
a tip to a state fraud hotline that was alleging the chef at the state`s
executive mansion was pilfering from the question. When he was questioned
by authorities, the chef said, "Well, no, I`m not pilfering food but when
their daughter got married, I got paid by some random dude named Williams."
MADDOW: And, so, I mean, initially -- when the chef was a key to the
start of this case, there was rueful commentary in the Virginia press,
which is like, never screw over the chef. Never -- always be nice to the
help, but definitely to the chef.
I mean, that is weirdly the origin I think of the initial tip in the
initial investigation, but it spread beyond the chef like you couldn`t
believe. I mean, when "The Washington Post" first reported on it, it was
on the chicken dinner catered at the wedding of the daughter that Bob
McDonnell had said he paid for and he didn`t. It was this -- it was this
HAYES: So, here`s a question to you, I have a few questions. Your
coverage has been amazing. It`s been my main source for figuring out
what`s going on in this trial. Back in the days of Rod Blagojevich, one of
the arguments Rod Blagojevich mounted was this is politics, guys. Like,
you got a valuable thing, you shop it around. You know? You hear him
talking about criminalizing politics.
In the defense trial, he was treated like a donor, right? And the
stuff Jonnie Williams wanted, which was basically this kind of official
imprimaturs for his health supplement made from tobacco, right, and
possible, research agenda at the University of Virginia, which never kind
of came about, is the problem here that it was personal? Like, if we re-
run the script here and this is $50,000 in campaign donations.
HAYES: Do we have a corruption charge and a criminal violation? And
if we don`t, what does that say?
MADDOW: It`s amazing, right? Because that`s exactly the right
question for Virginia going forward, because Virginia`s take on this is,
oh, poor Bob McDonnell, got caught up in this thing.
MADDOW: We never want to have another Bob McDonnell problem. But
there`s a reason there weren`t state charges brought here because nothing
that he did under state law is illegal. You can take gifts. As long as
you say the person who`s giving you the gift is a personal friend, and Bob
McDonnell`s case, a personal friend whose name he couldn`t spell for most
of the time, the allegations that are being investigated, right, as long as
you say it`s a friend, you can take anything you want. There really were,
it appears, to be no state laws broken here, which is amazing given the
number of federal laws that were broken.
I mean, this is one of those cases, a little bit like trying to
understand the Rick Perry indictment right now. Rick Perry absolutely has
the right to veto funding for that office. Rick Perry also has the right
to call for somebody to step down from office. You don`t necessarily have
the right to combine those things.
MADDOW: He may have the right to take $50,000 in an undisclosed loan
from a Virginia businessman, and he may have the right to set up a meeting
with a Virginia businessman in the state department of health. But if he`s
doing one for the other, you`re going to the pokey.
HAYES: The sociological point I found most fascinating about this
trial, reminded a portion in David Brooks` book "Bobos in Paradise", which
is -- he coined this term called a status income disequilibrium, to
describe people who have a status that puts them around people with lots of
money but not the same amount of money. So, he describes these people that
are moving in circles where they`re a fancy magazine editor, and they`re
around these folks that are going to nice restaurants and spending a lot of
money. They don`t actually have a lot of money and creates this weird kind
of like psychological trade.
One of the things that comes true on the public records is an intense
status income disequilibrium of this couple. The life of a modern
politician is spending lots of time around rich people, befriending rich
people, ingratiating yourself to rich people, asking rich people for stuff.
But they, themselves, were not rich, right? And it, like, messed them up.
MADDOW: And also, part of the Bob McDonnell defense was we had plenty
of money. We didn`t need this money.
Bob McDonnell`s sister was his equal partner in the real estate firm
that took $70,000 in loans from Jonnie Williams. And Bob McDonnell`s
sister got up on the stand and was like, listen, I`m loaded. (INAUDIBLE)
actually need the money -- we didn`t need this. We took it because it was
there. I mean, essentially that`s the problem.
MADDOW: They needed that defense in order to say, like, oh, it wasn`t
that we were so desperate for money that we had to take these bribes in
order to get to our next gubernatorial paycheck.
They wanted to say, listen, this was just something that Maureen
McDonnell did because she had a crush on this other man and she`s a
terrible person. So, part of his stipulated defense was, I didn`t need the
money. He certainly didn`t need the white Ferrari.
HAYES: Right, or the watch.
MADDOW: Or the watch.
HAYES: No one needs a watch. Including al Baghdadi of ISIS.
Rachel Maddow will have much more on this. It will be must viewing.
MADDOW: Thank you. Thanks a lot, man. Thanks for having me.
HAYES: All right. Stick around for Rachel`s show after this. Always
great, but especially great tonight. I promise.
How St. Louis County where Ferguson is makes almost half its money.
Take a guess. The answer ahead.
HAYES: It`s a big, big news today and there was some big news out of
the Department of Justice about the Ferguson Police Department. We`ve got
the latest details coming up.
First, I was at fast food worker`s demonstration outside of McDonald`s
in Midtown Manhattan, today, and I had the opportunity to speak to two
young women who came to New York to protest. They work at the McDonald`s
in Ferguson, Missouri, the infamous one on West Florissant Avenue which was
virtually under siege for weeks during the protest.
I asked them about that experience and why they decided to travel to
HAYES: Have you been in New York before?
JEANINA JENKINS, WORK AT FERGUSON MCDONALD`S: No, this is our first
HAYES: Why did you come up?
JENKINS: I came up -- we came up to basically stand with the New York
workers, that we`re all fighting for the same thing, $15 in the union.
We`re here to support them because they`re supporting us.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Basically she said it all.
HAYES: Were you -- do you work at that McDonald`s in --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We both do.
HAYES: -- on West Florissant?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
HAYES: Was that crazy to work there during that period of time?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Actually, we -- we was not at work.
HAYES: You were out there on the street protesting in Ferguson?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
HAYES: And you`re now protesting here.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
HAYES: What have you learned from the protests in Ferguson do you
think could be applied here?
SHERMILLE HUMPHREY, WORK AT FERGUSON MCDONALD`S: Not to be negative
and let the police, if they try to lock you up, let them do their job.
Don`t be aggressive with them. When you be aggressive with the police, we
see other things can happen. We don`t want that.
What happened in Ferguson came after what we`ve been doing. We`ve
been learning a lot. It`s not like we don`t know how to protest or, like,
what ways of protesting. But we`ve learned that, like, it comes to the
police and being aggressive, that`s one thing we didn`t know about.
HAYES: So you feel like you were doing sort of the fight for $15.
You trained up, you learned sort of how to protest and then the Ferguson
HUMPHREY: They helped up with Ferguson.
JENKINS: To lead people to be leaders and lead it, themselves. We
organized them to lead their own fight. That is the youth fight. They
have to lead it themselves.
HAYES: So, you were doing organize there learning what you had
learned on the job, really?
JENKINS: I was. I was.
HAYES: And 22 months ago you didn`t know any of this, right?
HUMPHREY: Twenty-two months ago we didn`t know nothing about this, 22
months ago if you asked us coming to New York and stand with fast food
workers, we`d be like, what? Huh?
HAYES: So you feel like you`ve changed as a person in these 22
JENKINS: I have. I`m a leader. Like, I`ve always been a leader.
I`m a leader. It pushed me to be a leader, to be a better leader.
HAYES: What does that mean to you? You just are more comfortable
knowing what you`re doing, doing what you have to do?
JENKINS: More comfortable. A salesman, do it the right way, instead
of being positive. If you do a positive, the police hate you being
positive sticking together. It shows you how to be positive and do it the
HAYES: Jeanina Jenkins and Shermille Humphrey joined the
demonstration. Shortly after I talked to them, they were arrested, just
minutes after our conversation. They will be returning to Ferguson where
the fight over policing continues.
That movement got an assist from the federal government today. We`ll
bring you that story, ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIC HOLDER, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: Interacting with residents of
Ferguson by speaking to the investigators, who were involved in the ongoing
investigation. I think that is certainly, at least for me, you know,
sharpened my own sense of what was going on there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST OF "ALL IN" SHOW: That was attorney General
Eric Holder announcing earlier the news we brought you last night. The
justice department has opened a sweeping new civil rights investigation
into the entirety of the Ferguson Police Department.
Attorney General Holder who visited Ferguson, Missouri, last month
today cited the conversations he had with Ferguson residents, and the total
accounts, he said, that underscore the history of mistrust of law
enforcement in Ferguson.
His probe is separate from an ongoing DOJ Civil Rights investigation
specific to the shooting death of Michael Brown, unarmed African-American
teenager, who was killed by a white Ferguson Police Officer, Darren Wilson.
For his part, Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson says his department will
cooperate with federal authorities.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THOMAS JACKSON, FERGUSON POLICE CHIEF: There is nothing wrong here.
I am saying that we are a good, solid community. We can be better and we
are going to be.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: In the meantime, there is still pent up frustration and anger
at the police within the community. Ferguson Mayor James Knowles said the
police department is working on improving relations.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES KNOWLES, MAYOR OF FERGUSON, MO: We have been meeting with
African-Americans in our community and getting their concerns. We will
continue to do that and continue to help bridge any gap that may be there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The DOJ`s investigation will examine department conduct over
the past several years and will analyze stops, searches and arrests, as
well as examine the department`s use of force. Five current and one former
member of the Ferguson Police Department, that is out of 55 folks, face
pending federal lawsuits claiming those officers used excessive force.
DOJ will also work with the St. Louis County Police to review how it
operates. A new piece from Radley Balko in the "Washington Post" sheds
some light into the current state of affairs there, describing a nightmare
of petty infraction hunting leading to a cycle of citations, debt, and
potential jail time. Some of the towns in St. Louis County can derive 40
percent or more of their annual revenue from the petty fines and fees
collected by their municipal courts.
A majority of these fines are for traffic offenses. The cost includes
fines for fair hopping, loud music or noise ordinance violations, zoning
violations for uncut grass or unkempt property, violations of occupancy
permit restrictions, trespassing, wearing saggy pants, business license
violations and vague infractions such as disturbing the peace or affray
that give police officers a great deal of discretion to look for other
Joining me now is Stephen Ryals, a Civil Rights Attorney in St. Louis.
Stephen, walk me through what happens when someone is pulled over, when
they are driving through St. Louis County and people -- when I was there
for two weeks, it was just nonstop stories of getting pulled over from
everything for the light around the license plate being out, to creeping a
little over the speed limit. They get pulled over. What is the process
that unfolds next?
STEPHEN RYALS, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: Well, the officer has a couple
choices. Let the person go with a warning, issue a citation, or make a
custodial arrest. There is no offense for which a citizen cannot be
arrested under Missouri Law. And, if they do not cite the person, they
frequently will run the record, and like the Balko article pointed out, if
a person has warrants, then they are going to take them into custody.
HAYES: Yes. This is case. So, what happen is, let us say you get a
citation and you get a court date, right, for that citation?
HAYES: And, it is going to cost you 200 bucks. You have to show up
in court and pay, right?
HAYES: What happens if you just do not go to that court date because
you do not have the money?
RYALS: When you do not show up, the judge will issue a bench warrant
and that is a warrant just like any other warrant for a felony, a
misdemeanor, does not matter. A warrant is a warrant is a warrant. So,
that person, like the subject, Ms. Bolden in that Balko article, ends up
getting arrested when they find her like they did -- the person gets
arrested like when they found Ms. Bolden.
HAYES: So, the point is you can start out, and I heard this story
from numerous people there, you can start out with an infraction that is,
for instance, not having the light around your license working, right?
That bulb goes out. You get pulled over. You get a court -- you get a
citation and a court date.
HAYES: You skip that court date, which because you cannot afford to
pay what the citation -- the fine is going to be, which is heavy because
the municipality is depending on that revenue to run the entire operation.
You miss that, now you have got an outstanding warrant. Now, the next time
you get pulled over, know you are going to jail.
RYALS: Exactly right. I mean, these little municipalities really
have no reason to exist. It seems, other than to pay the salaries of the
chief, the police officers, the mayor, and the city council. And, once
they have warrants in the system, and like Ms. Bolden had several warrants,
so she ended up being bounced from municipality to municipality. And, she
was able to post bond in one, then got picked up by the other where there
was a warrant. That is a very common occurrence in the St. Louis area.
HAYES: And, the point is, once you are in jail for an outstanding
warrant, because you missed a court date, because you blew it off either
because you just did not go or you were irresponsible or you had to watch
your kid or you did not have enough money. Once you have done that, then
when you are in jail, the way to get out is you got to post bond. You got
to come up with money for that.
RYALS: Right. It is interesting you mentioned, you know, you got to
watch your kid. Some of these courts will not let you bring children in.
So, these poor people who are struggling in anyway, they have to go to
court, maybe they have to miss work. They have to either pay for daycare
or a sitter, and/or take the child to court and a lot of times in the
winter it is really pathetic.
You see these poor people lined up outside these small municipalities
and I have heard these horror stories about people arriving a little bit
late and the police saying, "Hey, you got here late and you are not coming
in." And, you know, the person is left with a choice, try to defy the
police officer or do not show up, and of course, when they do not appear in
front of the judge, they get a warrant.
HAYES: And, the key thing I think to really reiterate here, this
happens everywhere, right? Anywhere I have ever covered a court system,
this kind of things happens. It happens in Chicago when I was there. It
happens in New York all the time.
But, in these places, there is this deep incentive for the local
police to come up with these citations because the revenue stream for the
municipality, a significant portion derives from all the different fees
that we are talking about being added up.
I mean this is how the paychecks are paid, right? From the traffic
citation to the paying the actual fine, to paying the warrant or posting a
bond. All that money is actually the thing that is feeding the beast here.
RYALS: Exactly right. These small municipalities are balancing the
budgets on the backs of these poor people.
HAYES: Stephen Ryals, Attorney in St. Louis. Thank you very much.
RYALS: Thank you.
HAYES: Republicans are panicking right now. They are panicking about
Kansas as they might be looking at their chances of a senate majority slip
away. That is ahead.
HAYES: We are all used to hearing about candidates fighting to get
their names on the ballot. Right now in Kansas, a bizarre through the
looking glass battle is taking shape in which a candidate is fighting in
court its peers to get his name off the ballot.
Chad Taylor was running as a democrat for U.S. Senate against the
incumbent Republican Pat Roberts, until yesterday when Taylor announced he
was ending his campaign, dropping out of the race. Now, this was not
welcome news for republicans because Chad Taylor was seen as a candidate
who had virtually no chance of unseating republican incumbent Pat Roberts.
This guy, however, this guy, Greg Orman, who is also running against
Pat Roberts as an independent candidate, is seen as someone who could
potentially win. At least, now, that there is no democrat in the race to
split the anti-Pat Roberts vote. So, republicans swung into action,
dispatching a veteran strategist to oversee what suddenly looks like a
dicey re-election campaign for Pat Roberts, who has been in congress, first
the house and senate, for more than 30 years.
But, in yet another major campaign plot twist, this afternoon,
Republican Chris Kobach, he is Kansas` Secretary of state, announced he
will not remove Democrat Chad Taylor`s name from the ballot as requested
saying Taylor did not follow the law when he tried to withdraw.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS KOBACH, (R) KANSAS SECRETARY OF STATE: We have received no
declaration from Mr. Taylor stating that he is incapable of serving. The
law is very clear on this point. We now have no choice but to keep his
name on the ballot.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: For his part, Chad Taylor says he consulted with Kobach`s
office before he withdrew and he plans to challenge Kobach. Joining me
now, Jonathan Martin, National Political Correspondent for "The New York
Times" who has been covering this race.
Wow. What a fascinating and complicated tangled web here. So, what
is -- let us start with the sticking point. It seems to me weird that you
would not be able to take your name off a ballot. I mean it seems strange
to say you are going to be forced to run for an office you no longer want
to run for.
JONATHAN MARTIN, NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, "THE NEW YORK
TIMES": Yes. I mean, my joke was that all of us thought all along that
the control over the U.S. Senate would come down to legal wrangling in
MARTIN: Look, there is a state law that says -- I am forgetting the
exact phrase here, so forgive me. But, basically, you have to demonstrate
that you are incapable of serving.
MARTIN: And, the Secretary of State, Mr. Kobach, is saying that the
democrat has not proven that. Now, I can tell you that there is a
development that is happening even in the last three hours tonight, Chris.
And, that is that in a response to Kobach`s ruling, the democrat is now
going to file a legal suit trying to force his name off the ballot.
MARTIN: So, to your point, we have heard lots of examples of
candidates suing to get on the ballot. Now, he is suing to get off the
HAYES: So, Chad Taylor wants to get off the ballot.
HAYES: Now, there was some reporting that suggested he conferred with
Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill, that democrats recognized.
HAYES: Now, tell me about the independent in this race and why
democrats feel he has a shot against Pat Roberts where Chad Taylor did not?
MARTIN: Sure. First of all, he has money. He has been on the air,
Chris, since July broadcasting in Kansas and actually this is notable, in
the month since Senator Roberts won his primary. Senator Roberts has been
off the air in Kansas and Mr. Orman has been on the air. In fact, Mr.
Orman has been on the air, I think for two months straight now.
So, you have got a candidate with the money to spend to be on
television, airing commercials, and you have got somebody who is young, and
he is 45, fairly articulate. And, somebody who not tied to the Democratic
Party with a libertarian also on the ballot potentially taking votes from
the right from Senator Roberts, who actually could be a real threat given
Senator Roberts` weaknesses, which include the fact that he is a longtime
incumbent, someone who has not had a great campaign yet this year.
And, who has residency issues. He did not have a home of his own in
Kansas. His primary residence is in Alexandria and the Washington suburbs.
All that adds up to the possibility here in the final two months of the
campaign of a republican losing a senate seat in Kansas for the first time
HAYES: This has also been -- I mean you got Orman who has a lot of
money. He is young. He has been on the air.
HAYES: He is a businessman in the energy industry. He sold his
business to a utility. You then got Roberts running one of the most head
scratchingly campaigns I can recall in recent memory. I mean, he is
talking about, Oh I have full access to the recliner in his friend is house
in Dodge City where he has his Kansas residence.
HAYES: After he wins the primary, which he does not do very well.
And he says, now, his campaign manager says he is going to go back home for
rest -- Home meaning Alexandria. What is Pat Roberts doing? Like are the
republicans -- Is anyone taking his side and being, like, buddy?
MARTIN: Well, yes. Which is actually the story that I wrote today
that will be in tomorrow`s paper. I think what happened yesterday where
the democrat sought to get off the ballot was the final trigger for
national republicans to say, "OK. We have a real problem here and we have
tolerated a sort of mediocre campaign for much of the last year. It is
time that we now intervene."
And that is what is happening. I think in the next few days you are
going to see national republicans taking over Mr. Roberts` campaign.
Longtime campaign operative is being sent to Kansas City over the weekend.
I think you are going to see some intervention there. I think you will see
a robust T.V. ad campaign against Mr. Orman that will try to portray him as
basically a liberal democrat.
HAYES: Yes. You see them saying they are going to come after him,
basically -- we should say that Orman has not said who he would caucus
HAYES: There is some reason to think the Angus King model here, which
is the main independent who caucus the democrats. There is some suspicion
that might be the case. Jonathan Martin of "The New York Times." He has
been doing great reporting on this. Thank you.
MARTIN: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: All right. Joan Rivers, she did not suffer fools, or censors
and most definitely not hecklers. What it looked like when someone tried
to cross her, next.
HAYES: Joan Rivers passed away this afternoon at New York`s Mt. Sinai
Hospital, where she has been rushed after reportedly losing consciousness
during an operation on her vocal cords last Thursday. New York Medical
Examiner`s Office and State department of health are investigating the
circumstances that led to her death.
Rivers died surrounded by friends and family according to a statement
from her daughter, Melissa. She was 81 years old. In 2014, it can be hard
to appreciate just how groundbreaking Joan Rivers was when she burst into
national consciousness in the 1960s. She was edgy and confessional,
boundary pushing and willing to stay things no one, especially a woman was
supposed to say in polite society.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOAN RIVERS, AMERICAN ACTRESS/COMEDIAN: My mother gave me
philosophies, you know, as a kid during puberty and she would say to me
like, "Looks do not count. You know, when a man goes out, he takes -- when
it comes to marriage, he is looking for other things. When it comes to
marriage a man wants a woman who will come for him, sew for him. A man is
looking for the mother of his children, right? When it comes to marriage,
a man does not want to come home after a hard day at the office and find
some wild looking sexy white lying on the carpet saying, hi yah, tiger."
Yes he does. You know who made up these lies? Ugly girls` mothers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joan Rivers also had this insane famous legendary work ethic,
never too good to fly to Cleveland to play a standup show for a few hundred
people. She knew from experience that success was far more fleeting and
capricious and indeed cruel experience than it sometimes looks, something
she talked about on a brilliant episode of the T.V. show "Louie."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RIVERS: I have got up. I have gone down. I have been bankrupt. I
have been broke, but you do it and you do it because -- because we love it
more than anything else.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: And, for Joan Rivers, there was no such thing as offensive
humor. A great documentary about her called "A Piece Of Work" where she
gets into a confrontation with a heckler and reveals what she thinks the
purpose of comedy is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RIVERS: The only child I think I would have liked ever was Helen
Keller because she did not talk. And, it is just -- [ laughter ]
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: Not very funny.
RIVERS: Yes, it is.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: Not funny if you have a deaf son.
RIVERS: I happen to have a deaf mother. Oh, you stupid (EXPLICIT
WORD). Let me tell you what comedy is about.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: Ho ahead and tell me.
RIVERS: Please. You are so stupid. Comedy is to make everybody
laugh at everything and deal with things. You idiot. My mother is deaf
you stupid (EXPLICIT WORD). Do not tell me. And just in case you can hear
me in the hallway, I lived for nine years with a man with one leg, OK? You
We are going to talk about what it is like to have a man with one leg
who lost it in World War II and never went back to get it because that is
(EXPLICIT WORD) because that is littering. So, do not you tell me what is
funny. Comedy is to make us laugh. 9/11, if we did not laugh, where the
(EXPLICIT WORD) would we all be.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now, a great comedian, Judy Tenuta. Judy, I have
been seeing female comments, particularly sort of this outpouring of grief
and appreciation and it really is the case that when Joan Rivers started,
it was essentially a complete boys club that she was attempting to break
JUDY TENUTA, COMEDIAN: Oh, no question. I mean, you know, it was --
I mean, I think she was -- yes, she was definitely even before Bill Cosby
and George Carlin, all of that, and she was tough. You know? She was just
a real role model for me and I think every female comic and comics in
general, and also she was very supportive.
HAYES: Was she? You just said tough. I mean one of the things about
her personality was, even in the reality show she did and that documentary,
she is tough to the point of sometimes cruel, sometimes abrasive, sometimes
misanthropic, sometimes like pretty rough on people.
TENUTA: Right. She had no filter. And, that is what I loved about
her. She did not edit herself. Oh, you, you are going to prison. You
know? She -- yes.
HAYES: But was she -- was she sort of a mentor or advocate or did you
feel kind of -- did other comics feel kind of taken care of by her, or was
she so sort of, like, competitive and driven that you were just going to
get an elbow the way everybody else was?
TENUTA: No. I have to tell you, when I was coming up in 1986, she
started her FOX show, and I was one of the first comics that she had on.
And, she was real -- and I just had a great time and she was very
supportive. And then she had her shows, again, she had her morning talk
shows in the beginning of the 90s and she invited me on those as well.
And, she just let me run wild. You know? I really felt very supported by
her, you know as a comic.
HAYES: One of the things that came across in the documentary that I
was reading today about she had library cards like sort of card catalogue -
- Every joke she had ever written is kind of like -- you see this in Jerry
Seinfeld`s, you know, comedian cards getting copied. This the kind of
behind what looks like a funny 10 minute bit of material, the insane
slavish amount of energy and work that goes into honing jokes.
TENUTA: Exactly. And she obviously had an incredible memory. You
know? I mean, just to come up like this with the jokes. And, she -- I
remember, I actually -- I did Hollywood Squares with her. I was in the
middle seat. On the left of me was the Smothers` brothers and she was on
the right. I said, "Oh my God, Joan. I think Dicky Smothers is hitting on
me." She said, "Oh, that two timer." You know, she always came up with
something. She was just hilarious.
HAYES: There is also this part to her career that is kind of
fascinating because in some ways she is legendary. She is this icon. She
was sort of flew very close to the son. At very moments she was guest
hosting with "Tonight Show." She had her own shows. And, she also went
through these periods where she fell out of favor, where she had to tour
constantly to pay the bills. There is some kind of, like, strange lesson
about the vagaries of show business that she, herself, is really upfront
TENUTA: I did not know that she had a problem with money because I
thought that she was really very savvy about that. I know she worked
constantly. And, she was like the energizer bunny. You know? From gig to
gig to gig and joke, joke, joke. And she also had QVC.
So, I do not know, there might have been a period before that, but --
where there was a problem with money, but I -- I do not know. She never
said, can I borrow some money? You know? So, I do not know.
HAYES: Do you think -- how much has comedy changed or transformed as
a sort of welcoming place for women in the 50 years since Joan Rivers`
TENUTA: I really think that because of comics like Phyllis Diller and
Joan Rivers, women have a much more visible -- a lot more visibility. You
can just -- you can just see women, a lot of women comics now, and I think
they have really -- they have really blazed the trail for us, you know?
HAYES: Judy Tenuta, thanks so much.
HAYES: That is "All In" for this evening.
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