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All In With Chris Hayes, Friday, September 12th, 2014

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September 12, 2014

Guest: Mike Pesca, Shira Spring, Lawrence Wilderson, Raed Jarror, Bean
Jealous, David Dayden, Raphael G. Warnaock


CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN:

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): More trouble for an NFL star.

HAYES (voice-over): A league in turmoil. Reports that the former NFL MVP
running back Adrian Peterson has been indicted for child abuse. Tonight,
the latest on the charge.

Plus, the fallout over the Ray Rice incident continues. Is Commissioner
Goodell now blaming the victim?

Then: it`s official.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The United States is at war with ISIL in the same way
that we`re in war with Al Qaeda.

HAYES (voice-over): Col. Lawrence Wilkerson on the new White House
declaration -- how we got here.

thinking, our definitions, our actions, we may be drawn into more wars we
don`t need to fight.

HAYES (voice-over): Plus, the story of the so-called "foreclosure king" of
Michigan, now running for Congress. And Republicans are starting to worry
about the Georgia math.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Democrats are working hard and all these stories about
them, you know, registering all these minority voters that are out there.

HAYES (voice-over): ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.

More breaking news tonight from the NFL, a league reeling from scandal.
Minnesota Vikings All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson has been indicted in
Montgomery County, Texas, for reckless or negligent injury to a child.
According to the Montgomery County sheriff, Peterson was indicted by a
grand jury yesterday. And today, a warrant was issued and entered in
Peterson`s arrest for that charge.

CBS Sports Radio in Houston citing police reports claiming that the beating
Peterson gave his son resulted in an extensive set of injuries to his 4-
year-old son, including cuts and bruises to the child`s back and buttocks.

NBC News has not independently confirmed that report. A statement from
Peterson`s attorney, Rusty Hardin, reads in part, "The charged conduct
involves using a switch to spank his son.

"Adrian is a loving father who used his judgment as a parent to discipline
his son. He used the same kind of discipline with his child that he
experienced as a child growing up in East Texas. It is important to
remember that Adrian never intended to harm his son and deeply regrets the
unintentional injury."

About an hour ago we learned the Minnesota Vikings have deactivate Adrian
Peterson for this Sunday`s game against the Patriots.

Joining me now, investigative reporter Jace Larson over at our NBC station,
KPRC Houston.

Jace, it`s my understanding that you`ve seen the police report.

What does it say?

JACE LARSON, KPRC: Well, it`s really a sad report to read here. It`s
several pages and it goes through from an investigation that was done at
some type of -- it appears to be a law facility here as they talk to
Peterson`s 4-year-old son.

He talks about how his dad hit him several times with that switch. We`ve
also seen pictures of these injuries and there`s definitely some concern
around these, when you look at the pictures there of the child`s legs, of
his arms, of his back, and it appear in many of the pictures like the skin
is broken here.

As you read through the police report here, it talks about how he was hit
in his private parts as well. He also tells the investigator that he has
been hit with a belt before, that his dad has quite a collection of belts.

And then at the end of this report there`s something here that I think a
lot of people will also find concerning: this 4-year old says that his dad
grabbed leaves and then put them in that 4-year old`s mouth.

Tough stuff to digest here.

HAYES: Jace Larson, thank you so much.

Joining me no, NPR sports commentator and host of "Slate`s" daily podcast,
"The Gist," Mike Pesca.

Mike, this is, here is my reaction to this.

First, oh, my God, he`s been indicted on child abuse. Then it was, oh, he
hit his kid with a switch. And I thought, well, that -- there is a huge
range of what that could be and maybe this is overkill. And then reading
the reports, the police reports, if the police reports are true, it sounds
pretty grisly.

MIKE PESCA, SPORTS COMMENTATOR: Oh, yes, it`s totally disturbing. And
then we saw Rusty Hardin`s statement, he was the lawyer who got Roger
Clemens off. Kind of priming the jury, saying the kind of discipline he
received in East Texas, which maybe supposed to play on a spare the rod,
spoil the child type of argument.

HAYES: I`ve seen that -- that blew up all over social media, immediate
reaction to this. My parents used corporal punishment on me as a kid and I
turned out OK. And if you look at polling, a huge percentage of Americans
believe in corporal punishment across all (INAUDIBLE) demographics.

I think if the details of what happened are is what is reported in the
police report, opinion on that is going to be pretty --

PESCA: Prosecutors don`t charge for spanking and Texas prosecutors don`t
charge for spanking, from what I know.

The big issue is the headache that this is for Roger Goodell and the NFL in
light of Ray Rice and is it an opportunity for him to mete out justice and
show that he`s on the right side?

Or is it, as I think, a chance for us to all see he really doesn`t have a
process in place to make logical decisions.

HAYES: No, no. That is the point. This is King Roger. And it`s been
King Roger. And the whole thing about why Ray Rice has been such a
disastrous train wreck has been because there is no process. There is no
law above Goodell. It is Goodell`s law. He is the emperor and he hands
down this punishment and he hands down that punishment. And so now it`ll
all be on him, all eyes are already on him and they`re going to be on him

PESCA: Right. And everything that the owners have said and everyone else
has said to try to get past the Ray Rice situation has been a bit tone-


PESCA: Yes. Well, I`m even speaking in the last day or two, where they`re
saying things like this, well, you know what, this has been a learning
experience. And now we`re going to move forward.

What about Jovan Belcher, who killed his girlfriend? How was that not a
time to learn about this? But no one has talked about process. I think
that everyone just wants punishment for the bad men. But I think Roger
Goodell has taken some pats on the back that he did not deserve because he
has meted harsh punishments. And that happens for a few reasons.

But I think a big thing is like if you punish Ndamukong Suh, who`s on the
Lions, 31 other teams are saying, yes, Ndamukong Suh is out of the game.

So he thinks he`s doing a good job but you have to --

Ndamukong Suh was a lineman who somewhat famously stomped on the face of
another fallen lineman in the middle of a game.

PESCA: -- and you can punish this guy and punish that guy. But until you
have a logical process where you don`t go two games for Ray Rice, oh, we
saw a video game --


PESCA: -- a videotape, oh, an entire season for Ray Rice, is there logic?
Is there process? It`s just a spasm.

HAYES: Right. And what will make this more interesting is because they`re
now going to now react. And if something comes out publicly, then maybe
they`ll react again, right because they`ve been playing this PR.

A profoundly ironic and tragic, devastating wrinkle in all this, of course,
is that, in October, one of Adrian Peterson`s sons, I believe by another
woman, was killed by, it appears, a man, the victim of alleged abuse by a
man who was dating the boy`s mother.

Adrian Peterson, within a year, lost one of his sons to, it appears,
alleged murderous child abuse. And now here he is a year later being
indicted for child abuse.

PESCA: Right. And the facts of that case, the son wasn`t really a part of
Adrian Peterson`s life. He found out about it later. And so let`s put
aside every -- we don`t even have to speculate as to a fact in this case to
know that it shows -- because it shows that the NFL is in such a bind.

And it shows that if Roger Goodell under-suspends, he`ll be criticized.
And if he suspends harshly --

HAYES: There`s going to be a huge backwash --


PESCA: -- perhaps it should be. And he`s taking -- well, I do think that
perhaps if he drew the lesson, well, you know, the lesson with Ray Rice is
you`ve got to give everyone six games. That`s a bad lesson, too. You got
to give everyone eight games. You know, this whole idea about we have to
be the law, we have to step in instead of the courts and we have to do it,
kind of pell-mell, is really bad for the NFL.

HAYES: Mike Pesca of the great podcast, thank you very much.

PESCA: You`re welcome.

HAYES: In a letter to the NFL Players Association today, that
commissioner, Roger Goodell, laid out exactly why Baltimore Ravens running
back Ray Rice has been banned from the league.

"The Baltimore Sun" points out that Rice was suspended indefinitely
because, in Goodell`s words, "This video shows a starkly different sequence
of events from what you and your representatives stated when we met on June
16th and is important new information that warrants reconsideration of the
discipline imposed on you in July."

This and the official explanation Goodell`s giving for suspending Rice
indefinitely. This, despite the ESPN report yesterday quoting four sources
that, "Ray Rice told NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on June 16th that he
punched then-fiancee in a casino elevator, an assertion that contradicts
Goodell`s statements this week, that when he met with Ray Rice and his
representatives, it was ambiguous about what actually happened."

Another twist today from inside an NFL that appears to be trying to move
the blame off of Goodell. According to an unnamed NFL owner, in "The Wall
Street Journal," Goodell privately told other owners that, "during his
investigation in a meeting with the Rices in June, Janay Rice said she had
struck her then-fiance and that she believed she was partly at fault for
the incident.

"After Goodell suspended Rice for two games in July," this person said,
"Goodell told several NFL owners he felt it would have been insensitive to
question Janay Rice`s story because it would have come across as an
indictment of her character."

Meanwhile a new poll out today from ESPN says that more than half of
Americans surveyed do not believe Roger Goodell`s statement, that, to his
knowledge, no one in the league offices saw the second video of the
incident until this week.

Joining me now, Shira Springer, "Boston Globe" enterprise reporter, there`s
a lot to unpack here, but I want to start with that "Wall Street Journal"
report because a very cynical -- the most cynical interpretation of that is
that someone unnamed, one of the owners, is attempting to essentially cast
the blame for this on, of all people, Janay Rice herself.

I don`t even understand the logic, why you would have to publicly dispute
her account to give a harsher penalty.

SHIRA SPRINGER, "THE BOSTON GLOBE": Yes. That was my take, as well. It
seemed like, unfortunately, more NFL spin with this unnamed NFL owner
coming out and saying that Goodell didn`t want to press Janay Palmer, now
Rice, when she told her story.

But the fact of the matter is this needed to be a good, strong, in-depth
investigation. This is -- Goodell is the leader of this league. He is
paid many millions of dollars to make big decisions. He runs a league
that has an annual revenue of $10 billion.

He makes the tough decisions. He is in tough situations and he should have
taken this opportunity to do an in-depth investigation. And this was just
yet another example of the NFL stance, where they see no evil, hear no evil
and turn the other way.

HAYES: And part of the reason I think that polling shows that people don`t
believe him when he says that no one, to his knowledge, no one in the NFL
had access to the video is that people know that the league keeps very
careful tabs on people. There`s -- CBS dug this up, which I have to read

"In 2009, the NFL wrote up a job description obtained by CBS News that
defined for teams the responsibility of the team security director,
basically saying you guys have to have a team security director.

The description says the director is required to conduct, quote -- and I`m
quoting here -- "personal visits to local casinos, night clubs, et cetera,
requesting the cooperation of the establishments management in the event a
player or team employee is perceived as a potential problem."

SPRINGER: Translation? We know we have problem players. We know they`re
going to get into trouble. Please tell us before it becomes national news
and we`re in a situation like we are now with Ray Rice.

HAYES: Right. And that`s exactly why I think people have responded so
cynically to the kind of machinations from Goodell and the NFL. Of course,
on the other side of this, is the multi-billion dollar enterprise, the NFL.
And let me play this out for you, as the show goes on last night with
Baltimore Ravens against the Steelers, held by Ben Roethlisberger, who`d
been accused of sexual assault, those -- there -- he was never charged or
found guilty of that.

Here`s someone explaining why she`s wearing a Ray Rice jersey. Take a


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cathy (ph), interesting choice of jersey tonight.

CATHY (PH): Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did you -- I don`t think it was a compliment, by
the way, but what did you think about it when you put it on? Did you think
I`m trying to make a statement here?

CATHY (PH): I`m making a statement and I totally -- I don`t believe in
domestic violence. But I will say any woman who can hit a man, a man
shouldn`t have to sit there and take the abuse. The abuse goes both ways.
As a woman, she shouldn`t have hit him. If I hit you, I would expect you
to hit me back.


HAYES: Now I didn`t play that tape last night because I thought it was
sort of inflammatory and I wasn`t clear how representative it was.

Since then, there has been lots of activity on social media. A friend of
mine from Baltimore, saying tons of people on my Facebook saying, defending
Ray Rice. I mean, this is the dilemma at the heart of this whole thing,
isn`t it?

SPRINGER: It is. That you have a fan base, at this point, that is still
supportive. And not only supportive, you have more than one but multiple.
I saw 10, maybe 10, 50, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 women that was reported wearing
Ray Rice jerseys to last night`s game.

Not only that, sponsors have not taken any action yet. You still have this
incredibly profitable machine going forward the way it`s always gone
forward, doing business. And it seems that really in the end all that
matters is the bottom line and that fans keep coming in to support players,
whether they`re Ray Rice or Ben Roethlisberger or other players.

HAYES: Yes, that seems to be the big question going forward, whether this
scandal starts to eat into the bottom line. And whether sponsors start
getting hinky.

As of yet, there`s no evidence of that. But we shall see, of course. We
should also say last night`s Thursday night football game was the highest-
rated Thursday night football game in history.

SPRINGER: That may say it all.

HAYES: Yes, that may say it all.

SPRINGER: That may say it all.

HAYES: Shira Springer, thank you so much.

The good news: our government is finally starting to get honest about the
fact that we are at war with ISIS. The bad news, we are at war with ISIS.
Col. Lawrence Wilkerson joins me next.


HAYES: We are at war. Is it mere semantics or an acknowledgement of an
ugly truth and ahead, the last kind of person you might want as a
congressman, the "foreclosure king."

Later, turning red Georgia blue, a thing Republicans dread -- coming true?


HAYES: White House press secretary Josh Earnest declared the U.S. is at
war today. When I asked him just a couple weeks ago whether the U.S. is
currently at war with ISIS, this was how he responded.


doing is we are working very aggressively with international partners, with
Iraqi and Kurdish security forces to take the steps that are necessary to
mitigate the threat that`s posed by ISIL.


HAYES: Just yesterday, Secretary of State John Kerry told NBC News the
campaign against ISIS is not a war, it`s a counterterror operation.


JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: I believe what we are engaged in is not a
full-fledged war like we were before, it`s a heightened level of
counterterrorism operation. And it will have its own pace, its own
dynamic, but it`s counterterrorism.

HAYES (voice-over): But today, shortly after Pentagon spokesman Admiral
John Kirby used the W word, Earnest finally said what to many already
seemed obvious.


EARNEST: The United States is at war with ISIL in the same way that we are
at war with Al Qaeda and its Al Qaeda affiliates all around the globe.

In the same way that the United States is at war with Al Qaeda and its
affiliates around the globe, the United States is at war with ISIL.

And so in the same way that we are at war with Al Qaeda and its affiliates
around the globe, we are at war with ISIL.


HAYES: Later this afternoon, the State Department clarified Secretary
Kerry`s comments in more or less identical language.


Secretary Kerry have said, this will be a steady, relentless
counterterrorism campaign to take out ISIL wherever they exist, the kind of
campaign that we`ve gotten pretty good at in recent years.

We are at war with ISIL in the same way that we are at war with Al Qaeda
and its affiliates around the world.


HAYES: There is a reason the administration is making this connection
between ISIS and Al Qaeda, despite the stark differences and the public
schism between the two groups.

The White House is basing its argument that President Obama can act without
Congress on the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force against Al
Qaeda and its allies was passed by Congress in the wake of 9/11. That
justification coming under considerable criticism from legal scholars and
other observers and, in a stroke of irony just last year, President Obama
called for scaling back the authorization, known as a AUMF and ending the
very war he`s now extended.


OBAMA: So I look forward to engaging Congress and the American people in
efforts to refine and ultimately repeal the AUMF`s mandate. And I will not
sign laws designed to expand this mandate further. Our systematic effort
to dismantle terrorist organizations must continue. But this war, like all
wars, must end.


HAYES: Joining me now, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to
General Colin Powell, currently distinguished visiting professor of
government and public policy at the College of William and Mary, someone
intimately familiar with the Iraq War of the Bush administration.

Colonel, what is your reaction to this, the line today now, we are at war
with ISIL in the same way we are at war with Al Qaeda?

Chris, the soldier in me says, yes, when you drop bombs and you kill
people, it looks a lot like war. The scholar in me says -- and the
constitutional scholar in particular, says I don`t like the way this is
coming down.

You just pointed out the complexity of these decisions and the
contradictions the president himself has made. I don`t like the war power
being so glibly entrusted to the executive branch. That said, the reason
it is so glibly entrusted is because of the cowards on Capitol Hill. And I
can`t put it anymore bluntly than that.

They`ve been cowards since they abdicated the war power to President Nixon
in the so-called War Powers resolution and now they`re just abject cowards.
They want it both ways. If it goes well, they`re support him. If it goes
badly, they`ll be agin` him.

This is a terrible thing for Congress to do.

HAYES: Yes, and there`s talk now of the Congress is going to -- this fits
with your theme, possibly not have a distinct separate vote on
authorization for the new campaign, particularly for moving that campaign
to Syria, but to move that authorization into a must-pass continuing
resolution, budget bill that is needed to fund the government so that
everyone in Congress can say they voted for that and sort of had to vote to
authorize this new offensive because they had to vote to keep the
government open.

WILKERSON: Yes, I`ve heard about that. That`s -- the midterm elections,
of course, are scaring everyone. My party is set to gain by most
predictions five to seven seats in the Senate or to maintain or increase
its majority in the House if things go as pundits are predicting right now.

So no one wants to touch that. And, again, my definition of the Congress,
as a group of cowards, is reinforced majorly.

HAYES: Now today there was this news -- One of the reasons I wanted to
talk to you tonight was obviously, intelligence and the intelligence snafu
that was the WMD discussion around Iraq. You were intimately involved in
the -- in how that all played out, working with Colin Powell`s office; he
gave the presentation to the U.N.

The CIA today just doubled its estimate of the number of ISIS fighters. So
the last assessment said they had 10,000 fighters; now they`re saying there
are 20,000-31,000.

Now this could just be they got new information. But having been burned by
bad intelligence before, there`s also a cynical part of me that thinks,
well, OK. Now they`re saying now we have to go to war with them, they`re a
much bigger threat.

WILKERSON: I agree with you. I have concern in that direction, too. I
was pleased to see that David Petraeus said that we shouldn`t overestimate
this group of people. I would agree with him 100 percent. They`re not 10
feet tall. They`re not even four feet tall. I think what we`re looking
at, though, is a two-pronged problem here.

One, we`re going to get too close to the dictators that we`ve been close to
for so long, one of whom, of course, in one particular country that will go
unnamed, probably had as much to do with 9/11 as anyone else.

And the other side of the problem is if we put major forces on the ground
in the region, which we may wind up doing, then we risk fusing all of these
people together, which is precisely what Osama bin Laden and Abu Musab al-
Zarqawi wanted before we killed him and what al-Baghdadi and others want
today. They want the U.S. on the ground, in force, in the region so that
they can kill U.S. Marines and soldiers.

HAYES: And we saw how much easier it was to do for Zarqawi and his folks
in Iraq when U.S. service men and women were there than attacking from
afar. Turns out it`s a lot easier to kill Americans if they`re in your
back yard.

Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, thank you very much.

WILKERSON: Thanks for having me, Chris.

HAYES: And Congress is debating the campaign against ISIS. The White
House is debating it and pundits are debating it. But there`s been a
pretty important question in all this that no one seems to be asking.

What do Iraqis think? After all, as the president himself said in his
announcement Wednesday, it is their country.


OBAMA: This is not our fight alone. American power can make a decisive
difference. But we cannot do for Iraqis what they must do for themselves.
Nor can we take the place of Arab partners in securing their region.

And that`s why I`ve insisted that additional U.S. action dependent upon
Iraqis forming an inclusive government, which they have now done in recent

HAYES (voice-over): There may be an new Iraqi government that doesn`t
necessarily mean the reality on the ground is changed. The Iraqi people
have faith in their institutions to rise to the challenge posed by ISIS.


HAYES: Back in 2002, everyone, including myself, was reading this amazing
blog called "Salam Pax" by an anonymous Iraqi. He was giving outsiders a
snapshot of life in Baghdad at the end of the Saddam era and then under the
U.S. invasion and occupation. The blog had a contributor named Raed
Jarror, the son of a Shiite mother and Sunni father, who grew up in Iraq
and later worked on reconstruction efforts.

He moved to the U.S. in 2005. And joining me now is Raed Jarror, policy
impact coordinator for American Friends Service Committee.

And Raed is someone who has lived there through the first war, lived there
through the subsequent American occupation.

Do you think this would work? Is this a good idea, what is being proposed?

it`s not a good or new idea. Unfortunately, President Obama is the fourth
consecutive U.S. president to announce that he`s planning to interfere
militarily in Iraq. Iraqis have heard this before. They`ve been living
through U.S.-Iraqi military hostilities since 1991 and all of these things
that have been debating this week about defeating extremism through
military resources or bombing Iraq into moderation and stability, they were
all tried before. And they failed miserably.

HAYES: But someone -- but let me give the counter argument, all right?
We`re seeing this group that it seems unanimously across the region except
perhaps amongst disaffected Sunnis in the Sunni Triangle, but broadly seen
as pretty monstrous, committing war crimes, pursuing genocide against
ethnic minorities, doing horrible things. And the idea is we can`t just
let these people run roughshod.

JARROR: Correct. And there are so many shades of gray between letting
them be and interfering to bomb them with more U.S. strikes. I think many
people inside Iraq and in the region, and even here, at home, in the U.S.,
are thinking about political solutions for what seems to be more of a
political problem than literally a problem in Iraq.

HAYES: And the political problem is the fact that the country is just very
divided along sectarian lines, that ISIS is able to grab and hold the
territory it does because the Sunni minority doesn`t feel -- and it feels
persecuted by the government in Baghdad.

Now, do you think any of that has changed? We keep hearing that the
strategy here is we`re going to have a military arm of this but then
there`s going to be these political solutions. It`s going to be a more
inclusive government.

Is there faith that this government, this new government is going to be
able to pull off what the previous government wasn`t?

JARROR: Well, actually President Obama didn`t even mention the war
political during his speech when he`s talking about Iraq. So even the lip
service that is usually given to political solutions has dropped off the
radar. And now we`re focusing exclusively on military means.

I don`t think that Iraq has went through any major changes in the last few
weeks or months, any real reforms that would end sectarianism and the
corrupt system and would allow for those Sunnis or others or feel that they
have been excluded from the system, would allow for them to come back to
the political process.

So unfortunately, when the president speaks about the Iraqi government
being this good ally that we`re working with, you know, to attack the bad
guy called ISIS, it doesn`t really have that presence on the ground. The
things on the ground are different. There are Shiite militias, Kurdish
militias, some of them are as bad as ISIS.

So the situation is different than the way it`s been explained by the

HAYES: It`s funny to think that Muqtada al-Sadr`s Shiite militia was once
-- we once ran tape on cable news of that militia in much the same fashion
we`ve run tape of ISIS now, as they committed horrible acts against people.
They were all in black; they looked scary.

Those are the people who are now on our side, that Muqtada al-Sadr militia
that was once the ISIS of its time.

Last question here for you is, I read today that two of the generals
overseeing large parts of ISIS territory for ISIS in Syria and Iraq are
former Saddam Hussein generals.

What do you -- how does that make you feel when you hear that?

JARROR: I don`t think these reports are accurate. So and this is another
part of the problem. The areas that fell out of the control of the Iraqi
government are not exclusively run by ISIS.

So there is ISIS on the one hand -- and there are smaller groups who are
more legitimate with more legitimate grievances, including leaders of the
former Iraqi government or former Iraqi leaders. And I think that is one
of the reasons why attacking Sunni areas now or bombarding them,
collaborating with Shiite and Kurdish militia is a bad idea.


HAYES: Because it will drive those forces -- it will be like you`ll dry
the cement between those two groups.

JARROR: It will unite them rather than drawing a wedge between them. And
that`s one of the main political problems --

HAYES: Raed Jarror, thank you very much. Really appreciate it.

It sounds like a parody. Foreclosure King runs for Congress, but it`s
real. He hails from Michigan and he has set his sights on Washington,
D.C., ahead.


HAYES: A few months ago, we shared a math problem.


HAYES (voice-over): It`s a simple matter of arithmetic. Ben Jealous,
former president of the NAACP, walked me through the math.

BEN JEALOUS, FORMER PRESIDENT, NAACP: 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: The reality is starting to catch up with that projection. That`s



UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Foreclosure King Dave Trott evicted 101-
year-old Texana Hollis from her Detroit home of 65 years. Stranded in her
wheelchair, she was dumped on dangerous, rainy streets, no food, no water,
her lifesaving medication thrown in a Dumpster with her other worldly
possessions, all to line the greedy pockets of Dave Trott.


HAYES: That absolutely brutal campaign ad attacking a candidate named Dave
Trott came out of the Republican primary fight in the 11th Congressional
District of Michigan, right next door to Detroit.

The ad did not succeed in keeping Trott from winning that GOP primary,
partly because he was running against this guy, incumbent and Tea Party
activist Kerry Bentivolio, known as the accidental congressman, a former
reindeer rancher and Santa Claus impersonator who was elected in 2012 when
Republicans made the ballot. We profiled Bentivolio on this show last


HAYES (voice-over): During the proceedings, Bentivolio told the court,
quote, "I have a problem figuring out which one I really am, Santa Claus or
Kerry Bentivolio. Now I prefer to be Santa Claus."


HAYES: OK. Now as for Dave Trott, the man who beat Kerry Bentivolio this
year with the help of the GOP establishment and his personal fortune, he
put out this ad during the primary campaign.


working at my mom and dad`s business in 1985. After my mother passed away
and my dad retired, I took over and expanded the business. The business
grew from six people to 1,800.


HAYES: Funny thing about that ad: Dave Trott never actually explains what
that business is. But he`s right. He`s done very, very well with it.
Dave Trott, Republican candidate for U.S. Congress, made millions building
what is basically the largest foreclosure empire in Michigan.

And the foreclosure business in Michigan is booming. Trott`s law firm
processed two-thirds of all Michigan foreclosures, as many as 80,000
foreclosures in a year. His name is so associated with foreclosures that
activists in Michigan set up encampments last year called Trottvilles.

Trott sold his stake in the firm last month, which was worth between $5
million and $25 million and a disclosure statement before that sale put his
and his wife`s financial holdings at between $60 million and $205 million.

Trott`s company has been accused of an array of unscrupulous tactics. The
register of deeds for Ingham County, Michigan, told "The New Republic" on
the record, "He built the machine that was made to feed off of human
misery. I`ve seen terrible human tragedy and, frankly, they didn`t care.

Trott declined an invitation to join us tonight. Asked to respond to
criticism of his business practices, his campaign manager said in a
statement, quote, "Dave`s proud of his record of the 1,800 jobs he created.
Dave`s opposite has no history in the district, no record of owning a
residence in the 11th District, never created a job and is unprepared for
the job."

Joining me now, David Dayen. He`s contributing writer to "Salon," a weekly
columnist for "The Fiscal Times." He wrote that great piece in "The New
Republic" profiling Mr. Trott.

All right, Dave. How do you make money on foreclosures? I understand the
banks are trying to reclaim property that is due to the fact they haven`t
been paid.

How is a law firm -- is -- what money is there to be made in the process of

DAVID DAYEN, "THE NEW REPUBLIC": There`s not a whole lot of money to be
made just if you`re just doing the legal work. But Trott and Trott had a
unique business strategy, where they bought up practically every company
down the line that gets a little bit of money out of the foreclosure

There`s a requirement in Michigan that you have to put out legal notices in
the newspaper. They bought the newspaper that did that. There`s a
requirement that you have to do a title search. They bought the company
that does the title searches and they get money off of that.

They bought a real estate agency that then sells the houses after they go
into foreclosure. So they made money at every step down the line. And
once you add that up, it`s lucrative.

HAYES: Yes, they created a turnkey foreclosure operation for the banks,
where they`re basically every step in the line, they own it. It`s like
Henry Ford growing the rubber in the Amazon to build the tires on the

So that`s the Trott foreclosure empire. There`s some accusations they
engage in some pretty gnarly practices in your piece.

DAYEN: Yes, there are allegations of something called dual tracking, which
is when you negotiate with a homeowner on a loan modification and then try
to put them into foreclosure at the same time. The Consumer Financial
Protection Bureau has since banned this practice. There are allegations
that it was a mediation law in the State of Michigan, where representatives
of the bank, the lender and the homeowner had to meet to try to work out a
solution prior to foreclosure. The law firm was the representative and
they basically would blow off these meetings. They would not take them
seriously. And they rarely, if ever, led to any kind of workout or

Probably the worst allegation is the fact that Trott and Trott lawyers had
signed mortgage documents and sent them to county offices all over the
country that were clearly forged. The names were written 10, 12, 15
different ways. These were fabricated documents that were intended to
prove that the law firm -- not the law firm, but the lender actually owned
the --


HAYES: That`s right.

DAYEN: -- the underlying property.

HAYES: This is part of a national scandal, the robosigning scandal in
which there were so many foreclosures being processed at such a high rate
no one -- none of these banks actually had records of the title of holding
these things, because they`d all been packaged.

And so they basically all -- there was a huge widespread forgery that was
happening throughout the industry and you`re saying that there`s
accusations they were part of that.

DAYEN: I mean, it`s not just accusations. You can actually go in my piece
and look at the documents and you can see that they`re clearly forged. So
I think it goes beyond the level of accusation. Trott and Trott was deeply
involved in this megascandal for which banks paid tens of billions of
dollars in penalties and they were right at the heart of it.

HAYES: And he`s running for Congress, David Dayen, thank you very much.

DAYEN: Thank you.

HAYES: (INAUDIBLE) told you about in which hundreds of thousands of
formally unregistered voters turned into registered voters? It looks like
it`s happening. That`s next.


HAYES: Republicans in the deep red state of Georgia should be cruising
along towards big victories this fall without a care in the world. They
are not. It would appear, in fact, Georgia Republicans are in the midst of
something of a total freak-out.

In the race for governor, Nathan Deal, the current Republican governor of
Georgia, is in a dead heat with Democratic challenger Jason Carter. The
latest polling from the "Atlanta Journal-Constitution" showing Governor
Deal up by just one single point.

In the race for Georgia`s open U.S. Senate seat, the story`s similar;
Republican David Perdue in a tight battle, up by just four points against
Democrat Michelle Nunn. And a new poll from WSBTV tonight actually puts
Nunn ahead by three points.

Now, these surprisingly tight races are being run against a backdrop of an
influx of tens of thousands of new voters getting registered. A non-
partisan group founded by a Democratic state lawmaker called The New
Georgia Project has been working away towards its goal of tapping into the
state`s huge reserve of unregistered people of color, young people and
unmarried women and getting them registered and out to vote.

And the idea of all these new voters in the mix, it seems to be driving a
Republican fear right now.

Listen to this. This is what Georgia`s Republican secretary of state had
to say about voter registration efforts to a group of fellow Republicans in


BRIAN P. KEMP, GEORGIA, SECRETARY OF STATE: You know, the Democrats are
working hard and all these stories about them, you know, registering all
these minority voters that are out there and other that are sitting on the
sidelines. If they can do that, they can win these elections in November.
Well, we`ve got do the exact same thing.


HAYES: Georgia`s Republican secretary of state, spreading the world to
fellow Republicans, be afraid of an influx of voters of color.

Now back in June, as part of a special ALL IN America report from the
South, we reported on this registration effort. And explained how, if it
works, Georgia won`t look so red anymore.


HAYES (voice-over): 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.


HAYES: Former NAACP president Ben Jealous and the Reverend Raphael G.
Warnock have been hard at work with this voter registration project. When
we come back, I`ll ask them how much progress they`ve made with all these
unregistered voters.



MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY: You care about justice and equality, then you
need to get registered, and then you need to vote. And then you need to
get everyone you know, everyone you know, to vote, too.


HAYES: First lady Michelle Obama was in Georgia this week, urging people
to get registered and vote. Now there`s a massive voter registration
project underway in the state right now. It`s called the New Georgia
Project. It was founded by a Democratic state lawmaker and it`s aimed at
getting tens of thousands of voters of color registered.

But the project was met this week with a fraud investigation from the
state`s Republican secretary of state.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Tonight, an investigation is underway
into claims of voter fraud involving the state`s highest-ranking Democratic
elected official.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): The secretary of state`s office slapped
Abrams` organization, the New Georgia Project, which has spearheaded a
massive statewide voter registration drive with a subprime, demanding they
turn over all documents related to their efforts to, quote, "register
voters, store voter information, contact voters or any other canvassing


HAYES: Joining me now, two people who have been working on that voter
registration effort in Georgia, Reverend Raphael G. Warnock. He`s senior
pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church and spokesperson for the New Georgia

And Ben Jealous, MSNBC contributor who serves on the advisory board of the
New George Project.

Reverend, I`ll begin with you.

So how successful have you been? Where are you in this effort?

REVEREND RAPHAEL G. WARNOCK: Well, thanks so much. It`s great to be here
with you, Chris.

This has been a very successful effort. We have registered about 85,000
new voters in the state of Georgia. And this we`ve done over the last few

HAYES: That`s a lot of people.

WARNOCK: That`s a lot of people. There are 800,000 minority voters who
are unregistered in the state of Georgia. If you think about that, that`s
about a 10th of the state.

And so this is very significant.

HAYES: How have you been doing that?

WARNOCK: Well, really, just by sort of door-to-door. We`ve literally
hired hundreds of canvassers.

HAYES: So you have a staff. I mean, there`s a budget and the staff and
you`re hiring folks.

WARNOCK: There`s a staff, grassroots people who are very committed to this

HAYES: Ben, you and I spoke this summer in the reverend`s church,

JEALOUS: That`s right.

HAYES: And we talked about the math, the basic math with the reverend just
referenced, 800,000 unregistered voters. And we did a package about it,
which we just played a little bit of and you came away from it being like,
well, the fruit is there on the tree, but how hard is it? Looks like it
might be hard to pluck.

What`s your reaction to this 85,000 number?

JEALOUS: Look, I had organized with Stacey Abrams for 20 years, 22 years.
And what Stacey is known for, just like what Reverend Dr. Warnock is known
for, is actually following through. And that`s what you`re seeing. And we
have told people across this country, look, we can register tens of
thousands of people in Georgia. We can do what was done decades ago today.
It just takes money and it takes will. The will is there in Georgia.

And quite frankly, people from across the country have been willing to go
to, and say I`m going to back you in doing this
because you are creating the state and ultimately the country that we all
want to see so urgently.

HAYES: Reverend, you are now -- the New Georgia Project is now being
investigated. And there have been subpoenas issued.

What is your response to that investigation?

WARNOCK: Well, it`s sad and disheartening. This is a grassroots effort to
register people registered to vote so that we might practice that which is
basic to what it means to be an American, to participate, to bring voices
to this conversation.

And the secretary of state has decided to issue a subpoena basically asking
for every piece of paper that the New Georgia Project has.

HAYES: He`s saying, basically that -- I think it was 10 percent of the
registrations that have been passed in were incomplete or not filled out
correctly. And that`s his grounds for this kind of audit.

WARNOCK: Well, think about it. We`ve registered 85,000 people to vote.
And so when you have that many applicants, you will have some errors, I
have to say that. I`m very proud of the work that the New Georgia Project
is doing. When you look at the success rate of this effort and how few
errors you have, I think many corporations would die to have those numbers.

HAYES: And you also -- are you legally obligated or just a matter of
policy to pass along every application?

WARNOCK: That`s right. So that`s a very important point, Chris, and a lot
of people who are not engaged in registering to vote may not understand
this, that when you are registering people, you have to turn in every

HAYES: Right, because what you would not want to be the case is some group
going out and being like I`ll register you to vote and then being like, oh,
I don`t like the looks of this one.

WARNOCK: Right, exactly, The danger in that is obvious.

And so we`re required to turn in every piece of paper. In effect, he is
accusing us of obeying the law.

HAYES: Right.


JEALOUS: No, right. And that`s just it. I mean, that`s what makes this
secretary of state partisan stuff so plain is that he`s being completely
disingenuous. The law says even if you see an error in the form, you have
to turn it in. So, of course, there will be forms with, you know, problems
in them.

And what it -- really, if he was doing his job, he`d be doing two things
right now, right? One, you would actually be processing these. He is
involved in both trying to intimidate people from doing the work and, at
the same time, trying to distract people from the fact that he`s not doing
his job.

HAYES: So is this just -- do you think this has been just partisan

JEALOUS: Oh, totally. Look, it was just a few weeks ago that he got up in
front of his fellow partisan Republicans and said, hey, I`m really worried
that they`re signing up so many people to vote, we might lose if they sign
up so many people to vote.

What we know is that the only antidote to massive voter suppression is
exactly what is being done right now, which is massive voter registration.
And, so, he`s now trying to actually destroy the one antidote we have.

HAYES: Reverend, is he processing these forms, the secretary of state?

WARNOCK: Well, we`re very concerned about that. We have 85,000
applicants, but there may be as many as 50 percent, it seems to us, based
on our cross-matching that have not actually landed on the rolls. And
early voting actually begins on October 13th, Chris. We`re right around
the corner. And these people have not been placed on a roll.

This is what I`m concerned about, that in this era, where we do not have
all of the protections of the Voting Rights Act, namely Section IV, I`m
concerned that there are officials in Georgia who see this as a time to
pounce. And, right now, we are looking to see what relief we might still

HAYES: The only answer to that is legal pursuits and an ever-vigilant
press. So we`ll be keeping an eye on the developments in Georgia.

Reverend Raphael G. Warnock and Ben Jealous, thank you, gentlemen, both.

WARNOCK: Thank you.

JEALOUS: Thank you.

HAYES: That is ALL IN for this evening. THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW starts


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