The Ed Show for Friday, February 20th, 2015
Read the transcript to the Friday show
Show: THE ED SHOW
Date: February 20, 2015
Guest: Anthony Rodriquez, John Nichols, Bob Fioretti, William "Dock"
Walls, Andrew Whitehead, Mike Robichaux
ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC HOST: Good evening Americans and welcome to the Ed Show
live from for New York.
Let`s get to work.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULZT: Walmart get an A for effort, but Walmart pay raise would roll
back income inequality.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The nation largest retailer giving up pay raise to
hundreds of thousands of its employees.
DOUG MCMILLON, PRES. AND CEO OF WALMART: This company was you probably
know has always been a people business.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The move comes after years of protest.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Slightly that Walmart and other companies are
increasing wages because they have to.
SCHULTZ: And later Rahm Emanuel faces headwinds from tough challengers in
the Chicago mayor`s race.
PRES. BARACK OBAMA, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Everybody knows that, you
know, he is passionate and he is tough.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mayor Emanuel is short of the votes he needs to avoid a
JESUS "CHUY" GARCIA, CANDIDATE FOR MAYOR OF CHICAGO: He essentially has
catered to the rich and powerful.
MAYOR RAHM EMANUEL, (D) CHICAGO: And I stand up for the people who this
administration leaves behind.
WILLIAM "DOCK" WALLS, CHICAGO MAYORAL CANDIDATE: The needle has not moved
on Rahm Emanuel`s behalf.
SCHULTZ: Plus, "The Gulf Today 5 Years After The Spill", a breaking
GLENN GILLYARD CARR, RIGGS & INGRAM, LLC: Personally, I just think that
B.P. been taking as much time as they can, retaining as much capital as
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is never going to be properly corrected.
ROCCO SCALONE, GULF COMMERCIAL FISHERMAN: Everything is dead, barnacle,
sea grasses, all dead.
SCHULTZ: You`re living on a hope and a prayer.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s all I`ve got, it disappoint me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHUTLZ: Good to have you with us tonight, folks. Thanks for watching.
We`re going to start with what we hope is a growing trend among companies
in this country to raise wages. It`s great news for workers in the
This week Walmart lead the way announced that they would be raising their
hourly minimum wage to $9 an hour. OK. Let`s hear it for Walmart.
But wait a minute, they`re not alone. Aetna, Ikea, and Gap, they`re all in
this game raising wages. Hey, is this the free market at work or is this
time to stop the embarrassment.
Earlier today, President Obama addressed the booming American economy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Over the past five years, as Debbie said, the longest stretch of
private-sector job creation in American history...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, yeah.
OBAMA: ... businesses adding nearly 12 million new jobs. And in perhaps
the single most hopeful sign for middle-class families in a very long time,
wages are beginning to rise again. So America is coming back.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Don`t you get a feeling that Democrats are like the most modest
people on the face of the earth. I mean what would Republicans if they had
the power be doing and if they were behind these numbers. I mean look at
Wall Street today, another huge day.
Today, the Dow closed 154 points up at 18,140. It`s the Dow`s first record
closed. Yes, another record closed. But the first record closed of 2015.
Economist on the roll, rising wages are proof that activism and protest
Now, we`ve had a big discussion about income inequality in this country.
And in recent years, minimum wage protest have taken a hold right out in
front of Walmart and fast food chains have had workers walk-off the job and
retails stores have been under enormous pressure to "Hey, let gives these
folks a raise".
Now, I think Walmart can do better. I think $9, OK. But wait a minute,
look at their profits.
Now, $9 an hour comes out to just over $18,700 a year. The poverty line
for family of three is at $19,790 a year.
So we`re still in territory that really isn`t great. $9 an hour didn`t cut
it. Workers are protesting for $15 an hour and they deserve it.
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, he is working hard at this hour in Iowa.
He released a statement saying this, "The Walton family which owns Walmart
is the wealthiest family in America and it is absurd that thousands of
their low-wage workers are forced to use programs like food stamp" -- which
of course Republicans hates -- "Medicate and subsidized housing. Walmart
should not be paying starvation wages, while this is a step forward and a
response to grassroots activism across the country, this is nowhere near
I agree, how can you argue with the numbers? Walmart -- good for them, I
hold no animosity toward them. They posted at enormous $16.4 billion
profit just last year. What do you with that kind of money, what are they
doing with 16.4 billion?
Well, I hope they got more coming for the employees. The income gap in
America still growing by the day $1.75 and hour raise from Walmart just I
don`t think is quite enough.
This chart tells us a story. I guess this is our new voucher chart. This
chart shows growth of household income from 1967 to 2012. Since 1967, the
top 5 percent grew in income by 88 percent. Middle income household have
grown under 20 percent. In 2012, the top 20 percent took it more than half
of all income in the United States.
There is your gap. Its number like this that force Walmart and I say force
Walmart to stay out of the news and stop the protesting out in front of
their front door. Hey, we got to do something, it`s good for business.
Now, to the executives of Walmart, they got to be thinking, "Well, I guess
this is just a cost to doing business. I guess we better do it". The
pressure got to him, public is not stupid.
40 percent of American`s don`t shop at Walmart. Now, maybe they`ll pick
more business because of this, they can`t lose. At that kind of profit at
$16.4 billion a year where is the downside? They know that Walmart felt
guilty and that the P.R. move on and was not good. So conservatives,
here`s what they going to do. Well, they`re going to say, "Hey, this is
the free market at work. Why in the world we need minimum wage and unions
Don`t let Walmart fool you. They can afford to pay these workers a heck a
lot more than $9 an hour. It was almost in admission of guilt all along
that they knew they could do better. And executives are saying, "Well, it
was in the works for a year."
What do you got in the works now, for next year? Because it looks like
Walmart is going to have another great year. The day after they do this,
the Dow closes at record and Walmart is up 78 percent. I`m just giving you
Get your cellphones out. I want to know what think.
Tonight`s question, "Do you think minimum wage protest made a difference?"
Text A for Yes, text B for No to 67622, leave a comment at our blog at
ed.msnbc.com and also @WeGotEd.com and we`ll bring you the result later on
in the show.
For more, let me bring in Anthony Rodriguez of OUR Walmart who is a Walmart
employee, and also with us tonight John Nichols, Washington Correspondent
of the Nation Magazine. Gentlemen, great to have you with us.
Anthony, you first.
ANTHONY RODRIQUEZ, OUR WALMART: Yes.
SCHULTZ: How is this news fall on your shoulders? How are the employees
reacting to this news and what do you make of it?
RODRIQUEZ: I think it`s a great beginning. The pressure is really getting
to Walmart now. It`s a great start, don`t get me wrong. I think it would
change a lot more if they start giving those $13 in full-time.
SCHULTZ: So are you full-time and are you -- so a lot our associates`
RODRIQUEZ: No. I`m actually part-time and a lot of those associates are
part-time as well. They do have to fight for hours.
SCHULTZ: What do you mean?
RODRIQUEZ: Well, recently they`ve cutback on a lot of associates` hours.
They`ve try to give them more hours in a remodeling project we have. So
they cutback their hours right after December going into January, they cut
all their hours made them asked and beg for hours. And then all of a
sudden, got this big idea to make the remodeling crew, had people signed up
to get 40 hours a week.
SCHULTZ: What is this sound like John Nichols? Great to have you with us.
JOHN NICHOLS, THE NATION: It`s good to be with you. And it sounds like
the struggle of workers in retails across this country, you know, that the
jobs with justice movement has been promoting a retail workers bill of
rights. And one of the things they`ve been saying is that wage increases
are vital and $9, $10 an hour in much of America does not get you near
where you need to be to get by but they also saying that -- yes...
SCHULTZ: But we just heard a Walmart employee tell us they`re cutting
hours. So somebody is doing.
NICHOLS: Well, that`s key.
SCHULTZ: . somebody is doing the math here that maybe it might not be that
much of the bottom line to operate these stores. I don`t know. I`m just
NICHOLS: Well, and here where it gets. This is the significant part. If
we`re talking about really improving the condition of workers and making
sure that they can get above the poverty line. Yes. They need a good
hourly wage, but they also need a lot of other protections to guarantee
that they can bid for and get full-time work...
NICHOLS: ... to guarantee that they hours will be clearly stated, so
they`re not called in at the last minute...
SCHULTZ: I mean, this is...
NICHOLS: The fact to the matter is, this is a start...
SCHULTZ: Is this the cost of doing business -- John, is this the cost of
doing good business? I mean, its better do this and have all these
protests, you know, by the way other companies are doing it too.
NICHOLS: This is the result of collective action. The fact to the matter
is that if workers like the young man that we have on the show with us
today and others, had not going out and courageously said that they just
can`t make it on this low wages, that they can`t make it with these
conditions. This wouldn`t be happening.
And so it maybe the cost of business...
NICHOLS: ... but it is a cost that was increased by the courage and the
commitment of workers to go out and demand better condition.
SCHULTZ: And, Anthony, do you think your activism had anything to do with
RODRIQUEZ: I think OUR Walmart have a lot to do with this. As we pushing
forward, fighting for what we think is right. I think it had a lot to do
with them (ph), I think Walmart is feeling the pressure now, so they`re
trying to do something about it. And we`re going to keep giving on that
pressure `til we can get $15 an hour and give full-time.
SCHULTZ: What`s $9 mean to you? You`re at 18 -- just over $18,000 a year
with that, if you work 40 hours a week.
RODRIQUEZ: That doesn`t really help me support my family at all. I have
two-year-old son. I have a fiancee. I support for both of them and that`s
not really cutting it at all.
SCHULTZ: So the protest is going to continue?
RODRIQUEZ: The protest is going to continue `til we get $15 and full-time.
We`re not going to settle for anything less than that.
SCHULTZ: OK. John Nichols, the union busting is pretty well documented by
some of these companies. Does this slow that down a little bit?
NICHOLS: Not necessarily. I think that in many ways, this is an
acknowledgment that these companies have a problem. That America
recognizes that we`ve got a big wage gap. We have an income inequality
issue, and that with a booming economy, you need to share the prosperity.
So doing these wage increases, definitely is a way of trying to ease the
pressure but the fact to the matter is, that workers ought to recognize
that if a company is willing to do this, to make the big announcement, then
there`s a lot more concern behind that. This is not the time to back off.
NICHOLS: This is precisely the right time to push forward and ask for fair
wages and fair working fees.
SCHULTZ: It sounds, Anthony, you got them to move, and you can get them to
move, and you`ve proven you can get them to move, so now is the time to
really to go even double down on your efforts. I mean, I think that there
might be that school of thought, how do you see it?
RODRIGUEZ: I think that`s a great idea. We`re going to keep going
forward. I mean, it seems like it`s working now. Like I said, it`s a
great start and we`re not going to quit now.
SCHULTZ: All right. Gentlemen, I want to switch gears.
John Nichols, stay with us.
I want to play a clip of Scott Walker refusing to distance himself from
Rudy Giuliani`s controversial comments on President Obama not loving
America. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BECKY QUICK, CNBC SQUAWK BOX CO-ANCHORWOMAN: You were at this dinner last
night where Rudy Giuliani spoke. You were sitting just a few chairs away
when he said, "I do not believe and I know this is a horrible thing to say,
but I don`t believe that the President loves America. He doesn`t love you
and he doesn`t love me. He wasn`t brought up the way you were brought up
and I was brought up to the love of this country".
What did you think about those comments because they are raising a story
GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R) WISCONSIN: Yeah. I mean, the Mayor can speak for
himself. I`m not going to comment on what the president thinks or not. He
can speak for himself as well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: I mean I just find that outrageous, that he is so intimidated by
the right-wing. He doesn`t know what to say.
Now, we all know that Walker is very well defined anti-union, slashing
public education against workers. This guy has no problem finding himself
on some issues but he couldn`t find himself on this one.
John, what do you make of that?
NICHOLS: Scott Walker published a book about a year ago entitled
"Unintimidated." And he claimed that he was a guy who is going to speak
his mind, be a straight talker no matter what. That`s how he is selling
himself as a potential presidential candidate and yet, on the simplest of
all issues, simply saying, "Look, I believe my President loves our
country." He couldn`t do it. And you really have to ask yourself, you
know, where is the dare there with this guy?
NICHOLAS: If he is so intimidated by donors and powerful players, how can
you expect him to lead as a president?
SCHULTZ: It`s almost been like he is been ordered, don`t you say a damn
word that`s worth anything about our President if you want to get this
nomination. I mean, you have gut to make country hate his policies
everything else. I mean it sounds like he`s been coached.
I mean -- you mean to tell me that Walker -- I mean, we -- do we not, John,
have one of the most complete and one of the most highly vetted processes
in this country when it comes to picking a president?
NICHOLS: We sure do. And, look, here`s the bottom line. I`ve known Scott
Walker for a long time and I don`t believe that Scott Walker thinks
President Obama doesn`t love this country.
NICHOLS: And I really find it troubling that he`s so managed now that he
just can`t say that simple statement.
SCHULTZ: Gentlemen, great to have you with us tonight. I appreciate it.
I want to get that end because, John, of course, you`re Wisconsin
Remember to answer tonight`s question there at the bottom of the screen.
Share your thoughts with us on Twitter @edshow, like us on Facebook. We
appreciate that. We want to know what you think.
Coming up, two candidates want to defeat Rahm Emanuel as Mayor of Chicago.
They`re going to join us live. There`s quite a race in Chicago. And
later, developments on the B.P. court case plus, we`re going to take you
back out on the gulf our series, "The Gulf Today 5 Years After The Spill"
continues. We`ll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought that they would get it contained and cleaned
up and life could go on for us but it seemed to go on and go on and go on
and the oil keep coming and it got worse and worse.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: I have confidence as a voter and as a resident of Chicago that he`s
going to continue to do a great job. I`m glad he`s my Mayor and I`m glad
he`s going to be my Mayor for another four years.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: OK. So how do beat that endorsement? Welcome back to the Ed
Tonight, we`re talking to two of the mayoral candidates trying to derail
Rahm Emanuel`s reelection bid. It`s going to be an uphill battle according
to the numbers as you saw the President travel to Chicago on Thursday to
give his former Chief of Staff a Powerhouse Endorsement.
Mayor Emanuel needs to hit 50 percent plus one benchmark in order to avoid
a run-off election on April 7th with the second place finisher.
So the later poll looks like this, out of the Chicago Tribune showing
Emanuel with 45 percent, 18 percent of the voters said that they`re still
undecided in the last leg of the race among black residents. Emanuel seats
at 42 percent, one-fourth of black voters said that they`re undecided.
That`s as big number with black residents making up a third of Chicago`s
They`re seat to play a key role in deciding whether Rahm Emanuel faces a
run-off. Emanuel angered voters with his decision to close 50 public
schools of the city, most in minority neighborhoods on the south and west
Some residents felt that he was picking and choosing neighborhoods which
alienated a lot of minority voters.
A couple of candidates with us here tonight. Joining me is Bob Fioretti
and also Dock Walls candidates for mayor in Chicago. Gentlemen, great to
have you with us tonight.
Bob -- excuse me, Dock you first. Describe Rahm Emanuel`s time as Mayor.
What does he done wrong? Why are you challenging him?
WILLIAM "DOCK" WALLS, CHICAGO MAYORAL CANDIDATE: Rahm Emanuel have not
taking care of those voters who need help most including our homeless, our
senior citizens, 97 percent of the young black men between the age of 18 to
25 who are unemployed in the city of Chicago, those voters who living check
to check, the disabled, Rahm has not done anything to make life better for
any of them.
SCHULTZ: Bob, you have called Rahm Emanuel, "The most destructive Mayor of
this city has ever seen", explain that.
BOB FIORETTI, CHICAGO MAYORAL CANDIDATE: Well, first of all, this city is
headed in the wrong direction. And thanks, Ed. That is the quote that
I`ve used and it`s true.
He has declared war essentially on communities of color. He`s all but
When he presided over the CHA, he saw the destruction of more housing units
that have never been replace here in this city. And when we talk about
income inequality and what is happened here in this city, you know, we keep
leading the charge for $15 an hour here in this city and it`s important.
Yes. He did a $13 an hour increase but it doesn`t take effect and really
until before the next mayoral election in 2019.
Rahm Emanuel stands for the things and he try to wipeout the Progressive
Caucus -- when he was in Congress. At the same time, he has have tried to
extinguish progressive voices in the city council by establishing tax that
are aim to destroy them.
FIORETTI: ... is in the pockets of big Wall Street bankers and Wall Street
bodies over there. He is not for the average person.
We need to build the middle-class based upon solid foundations and that is
not what`s happening under this administration.
SCHULTZ: Dock, what about $30 million war chest he`s got. I mean, how can
any of you compete with going against the numbers like that?
WALLS: Well, the interesting thing about me is I have a million dollars
message. My opponents all have millions of dollars but then, I resonating
with the voters. I mean, people understand that Rahm Emanuel, Bob
Fioretti, Jesus Garcia, Willie Wilson, all millionaires and they don`t
connect with the average voter.
Rahm Emanuel`s $30 million is not enough. He probably needs $70 million
given all of the damage he`s done to his image, his reputation, his record.
He is not stood for average people. He is disaffected and alienated a
whole lot of voters including those parents who send their children to
schools in the City of Chicago.
Those police officers who serve in the streets of Chicago don`t get the
WALLS: ... Rahm Emanuel. Everybody is unhappy with.
SCHULTZ: All right. Mr. Fioretti, yesterday, President Obama designated
the Pullman Historic District a national monument. Now, I understand that
you were not invited to the event despite your worked with this Historic
Pullman Foundation. What was your role and why weren`t you invited? Do
you think you should have invited?
FIORETTI: Well, obviously, I should have been invited but that`s besides
our point. I know how petty Rahm Emanuel is. And I`ve seen that when I
build -- help build the school in the South Loop and he had a ribbon
cutting. But then we, the community, had ribbon cutting forward and
everybody turned out.
SCHULTZ: What was your role?
FIORETTI: I was the president of Historic Pullman Foundation when the fire
occurred. I`d tell the replanting come down there for saving America`s
treasures. I retained $10 million to save the Clock Tower. I was active
voice to making sure we were billing tourism down there. And I`ve actually
should have been the place for the Obama Library because it was just a few
blocks away from where they it opened it up...
SCHULTZ: So you think that Rahm Emanuel (inaudible) to that on purpose
because of this election?
FIORETTI: Oh, I had heard that that my name was definitely submitted to
the White House. So yes, it was. Because I think Rahm Emanuel doesn`t
want to appear on stage with any of us. Rahm Emanuel really doesn`t want
to debate. He hasn`t been at any of the community forums and he doesn`t
want to deal with the issues that affect day-to-day people here in this
SCHULTZ: Mr. Walls, what is the black vote going to mean in Chicago
considering the fact that there were 50 public schools closed and
economically challenged neighborhoods?
WALLS: 47 percent of the voting population is black. And...
SCHULTZ: So they`re going to go with Emanuel or you think it will make a
WALLS: Oh, no. No. They`re going in the other direction. You see all
the candidates really appealing to the black community because it`s the
black community that will decide this election. Its black history month
and people are taking this seriously.
This is the most exciting elections in recent history. Rahm Emanuel has
lost the black vote. He can`t get it back. The others have seeking the
black vote but on the one person who`s being connected to the black
community, who speaks to the issues of the black, white, Latino and Asian
community on evenhanded basis.
I don`t need an election to show up and represent the interest of people.
People know I`ve been out here fighting...
WALLS: ... for them for a long time.
SCHULTZ: Mr. Fioretti, do you think that the black community will decide
FIORETTI: Well, I hope people come out. So far, the early voting shows
that we`re at all time low. I hope we get beyond 30 percent of people.
The problem is people in this city have one foot out. They want to leave
this city. They don`t feel comfortable. The quality of life hasn`t
improved and a lot of them especially city workers, police, fire...
FIORETTI: ... are planning their retirement elsewhere and not here in the
SCHULTZ: All right. Bob Fioretti and Dock Walls, great to have both of
you gentlemen with us tonight. Thank you so much.
WALLS: Thank you, Ed.
FIORETTI: Thanks sir.
SCHULTZ: We invite (ph) Rahm Emanuel to come on the program. We haven`t
got a yes yet.
Still ahead, we continue our series, "The Gulf Today 5 Years After The
Spill." Plus, we`ll take another look at stories making headlines around
Stay with us. We`ll be right back.
SCHULTZ: And welcome back to the Ed Show.
The White House announced today that 800,000 customers who signed up for
healthcare online were given the wrong tax information. The administration
says that they will send out corrected tax forms by the first week of March
but the mistake could delay refunds for some customers. They`re asking
people who have already filled -- or excuse me, filed for their refund to
contact the Treasury Department.
To Virginia, where the former first lady Maureen McDonnell, was sentenced
this afternoon to a year and a day in prison. McDonnell and her husband
former Governor Bob McDonnell were both convicted of corruption back in
September. Governor McDonnell was sentenced to two years in prison. Their
lawyers are appealing to both verdicts.
And I want to recap what has been an awful week for the North American oil
industry. We have seen multiple oil disasters occur in just the last seven
days. Over the weekend, a train carrying crude derailed and caught fire in
Ontario, Canada. On Monday, another crude oil train went off the track and
exploded in West Virginia. And on Wednesday, the ExxonMobil oil refinery
in California went up in flames. In the State of North Dakota saw a
handful of oil spills this week that are being blamed on, "suspicious
activity. We`re told those spills may have affected wetlands.
In a note tonight about my social media, until today we have been operating
two Twitter accounts, the WeGotEd Twitter account has been my personal
account. Well, that`s history and it`s no longer active. Managing two
accounts was just really not fruitful in some ways.
I invite all of you who followed the @WeGotEd now to follow me @edshow.
And yes I will distinguish which tweets are directly from me and thanks for
the follow -- @edshow.
There`s lot more coming up. Stay with us, we`ll be right back.
HAMPTON PEARSON, CNBC CORRESPONDENT: I`m Hampton Person with your CNBC
Stocks end the week with a rally. The Dow surges 154 points to close at a
new record high. The S&P adds 12 also leading a new high, the NASDAQ
climbs 31 closing within striking distance of the 5,000 level.
Investor shared news that Greece breached the deal with creditors to extend
the countries bailout for another four months.
And bankrupt RadioShack has gotten court approval to sell leases on more
than a thousands stores. It`s closing by the end of this month.
That`s it from CNBC, first in business worldwide.
SCHULTZ: And we`re back.
This week we`ve chronicle the lasting affects, the Deepwater Horizon
disaster has had on gulf region. Now, a new court ruling means B.P. could
be on the hook for $13.7 billion in fines.
On Thursday, U.S. District Court Judge Carl Barbier rejected B.P.`s attempt
to reduce the fine. They could pay under a violence of the Clean Water
B.P. argued the law cap define it $3,000 per barrel spilled. Judge Barbier
rejected the claim and agreed the federal government`s maximum penalty of
$43,000 per barrel.
This leaves B.P. liable to pay up to 13.7 billion dollars base on the
judges ruling that over 3 million barrels of oil leaked into the gulf
during the spill.
A B.P. spokesman said the company disagrees with the decision and is
considering their legal options.
Judge Barbier has not yet decided how much the company will pay. Back on
the Gulf Coast, many business owners have already paid the price because of
the spill economic and environmental impact.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please we had high goals for this restaurant to, you
know, it was doing 2 million a year, it was great, and if you will mom and
pop operation that (inaudible) my son and I and we were just having a
wonderful time even ended good (ph) and then and all of a sudden...
SCHULTZ: Five years after the oil disaster businesses have been lost and
lives have changed forever.
KEN PALMER, FORMER RESTAURANT OWNER: Spill took place. Sales dropped 45
percent to 50 percent, couldn`t make payments to the bank. And the bank
after three months to four months took the property back in December 2010.
ROCCO SCALONE, GULF COMMERCIAL FISHERMAN: I`m more upset in my heart that
they did what they did to the gulf. Seen and saw (ph) what I did because
what I put down on the bottom, I could be after generation to fish on.
SCHULTZ: People who depended on the gulf as their economic engine, their
livelihood. Say they`re left with nothing but debt, stress and lost
Rocco was a commercial fisherman and a steward of the gulf. Over the
years, he constructed what`s known as living racks (ph) to support fishing.
That`s all gone.
SCHULTZ: Here`s the Deepwater Horizon.
SCALONE: That`s correct.
SCHULTZ: 54, 55 miles from where we`re now. Where were you operating?
SCALONE: I was operating right here on this area. Tampa (ph) Clearwater
is here. Apalachicola Bay is right here. I concentrated my racks (ph) in
this area here. All these little Xs are where my racks (ph) are. Some of
them down here, I`ve got some over here. What we concentrate -- I
concentrated them over her because the oil platforms, they not allowed to
drill in Florida waters. That the oil platform stopped at the Florida
SCALONE: ... so I concentrated my stuff over here to build structure for
SCHULTZ: Are there other guys that do what you do that are out of
SCALONE: Yeah, a lot of them, a lot of them. Let say (ph) -- just out of
the Clearwater area out, out of the one marine that work out of, four
captains just packed in, so that`s a -- so the boat packed (inaudible).
SCHULTZ: It`s interesting in your commercial fishing operation, you
created habitat that drew the fishing in.
SCALONE: Exactly. Exactly.
SCHULTZ: That`s all gone?
SCALONE: Yeah. It`s all -- the hole is still there.
SCALONE: But all the resources are on it, the (inaudible) fish, the --
everything that was there is gone, barnacle, seagrasses, urchins, clams,
SCHULTZ: It`s almost hard to find the words when at no fault of your own
you`ve lost everything and are left with just memories.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In order to fix the spot out, it`s everywhere.
RUSTY HEFT, FORMER RESTAURANT OWNER: What they did to the Gulf Coast and
our community is that, they`ve put a lot of people in a standard of living
that was far below what they were accustomed to.
And like us, have had a very difficult time trying to recover. People are
doing things that they would have never done, had their livelihood not been
affected that B.P. spill.
SCHULTZ: What do you doing now?
SCALONE: I`m retired. I got out of business. I retired and move to
Georgia, move up to Atlanta.
SCHULTZ: Do you want to retired.
SCALONE: No. Oh, no.
SCHULTZ: Do you love what you do?
SCALONE: Oh yeah, been on near shore all my life. I got pictures of me --
at two months old in a bassinet on Long Island Sound. I got six year on
Coast Guard, Four years on two ships, two stations on Long Island Sound.
In 1985, I get out. I was here and all of these in 1986 in clear water.
And I`ve been here ever since.
SCHULTZ: Do you think B.P. has clue of who you are?
SCALONE: They don`t care. It`s not that they don`t know. They don`t
SCHULTZ: So you`re leaving on a hope and a prayer?
PALMER: Yes sir, most definitely. That`s all I got at this point.
SCHULTZ: And five years ago, you had no idea this is where you were going
PALMER: Not at all.
SCHULTZ: And when that oil spill took place, within hours did you know
what the future held for you?
PALMER: No, sir. I didn`t. I thought that they would get it contained
and cleaned up and life could go on for us, but it seemed to go on, and go
on, and go on and the oil keep coming and it got worse and worse.
SCHULTZ: This wharf in Niceville, Florida was a thriving business. And
then the oil spill took place. And almost instantly lives were destroyed,
things changed and future dreams just erased.
This folks think that life has just played a dirty trick on them.
HEFT: My wife is 75 and still working because our income was affected.
I`m 71 and still working because our incomes were affected. Our retirement
goals are affected because B.P. hasn`t come to the play (ph) and fix
BRENT COON, BRENT COON & ASSOCIATES: Look at Rusty`s (ph) place here.
They built this, blood, sweat and tears, 15 years of their lives went into
it and after the spill it was all taken away. Not just that they lost
money, their livelihood, their careers, the heart and soul of everything
they built was taken away from them.
SCHULTZ: And what hope do you have that this is all going to be corrected?
COON: Very little.
SCHULTZ: Very little?
COON: Very little. This is never going to be properly corrected.
SCHULTZ: What has life been like for you the last five years? Describe
what you`ve been through?
PARMER: It`s like starting over with a mountain of debt so that you can`t
start over and being in limbo and waiting for B.P. do the right thing. And
make us whole, so to speak, so that we can start over.
You know, over the last years has been difficult, very difficult. Because
before that occurred, the oil spill, you know, we`d on this place for 13
years and it`s been open since 1976. So it had a great name and did a
great business here in the area.
SCHULTZ: Life was good.
PARMER: Life was good.
SCHULTZ: Ken Parmer and his business partner lost the wharf they operated
for 13 years in Niceville, Florida. The oil came to their deck and the
rest is history.
How immediate was the damage to your business?
PARMER: A week, right afterwards, the fears of contaminated seafood. You
could smell the oil in the area if were out here on the deck, and it was a
very strong toxic oil smell. The guests stopped eating seafood because of
the worries of the dispersants and the oil contaminating the seafood.
SCHULTZ: So you have moved on in your career and -- but you have this
banknote just hanging over your head?
PARMER: Yes, sir. I`ve moved on, you know, as a restaurant manager but
certainly making, you know, a lot, lot less and the dream of being your own
boss has gone at this point.
COON: Whatever money they lost from the spill is much greater than their
true lost because they lost their livelihood. They`ve lost their business.
SCHULTZ: What is left is irreversible personal damage.
What you`re thinking when you saw those pictures on T.V.?
SCA:ONE: I went it right at the wellhead?
SCALONE: I was almost in tears. I can say I was almost in tears because
that`s where I live. It`s not like I only worked out there.
OK. When I`m off shore for 10 days, that`s where I`m living. So I don`t
throw anything over the side. Everything goes in a trash can. My friends
are all around even though they`re over the horizon. They`re all friends
of mine, our fishermen.
Somebody gets in trouble. You need hamburger or something, sure I`ll give
you hamburger but then come on over, all right. Then that happened, and
within the first two minutes they dumped more oil in the gulf than I`ve
ever -- in my life time (inaudible) anywhere.
What I going to do is just keep it going so that my kids would have
something in their later life and now I got nothing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: And coming up on Monday, our biggest story in the series on our
final story -- restitution, where is the Money?"
We have invited representatives from B.P. on the show all week. They have
thus far declined our offer but the invitation remains open anytime.
B.P. has directed us to their website the stateofthegulf.com.
Coming up, I`ll talk to a professor in environmental studies and a
physician on what they are seeing in the gulf.
Stay with us, we`ll be right back.
SCHULTZ: And coming up on Monday on the Ed Show the series continuous,
"The Gulf Today 5 Years After The Spill". We`re examining the Deepwater
Horizon Settlement Program.
Many businesses saw a catastrophic economic lost after the oil spill and
the majority are still waiting for payment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCALONE: No one down there where I was fishing that I`ve got any
SCHULTZ: And have you gone through the process?
SCALONE: I`m still going through the process been lied to, been told, "OK,
we`re going to give you this one on this day" and nothing.
OK. We have to wait but we need more information. We need more of this.
We need this. I don`t know how much information I can give you gentlemen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show.
Addressing the toxicity of oil is tricky business. After oil disasters
like the B.P. Deepwater Horizon Spill, it`s a challenge to learn the full
scope of impacts on human health and the environment.
B.P. has pointed us to numerous studies that show no correlation between
health impacts and the spill. Other studies and some doctors and
environmental scientist (ph) tell us a different story.
Researchers from NOAA studied the effects of oil on bluefin and yellowfin
tuna. The tuna exposed to contamination measurements based on the gulf
showed heart development abnormalities. B.P. discounted the study because
it was performed in a lab.
B.P. Senior Vice President Geoff Morrell said, many of the studies that
activists push are far removed from the reality of the resilient gulf
environment. A different study of our researchers at LSU and U.C. Davis
concluded lab research on oil spills can work.
Their study showed the genes of killifish exposed to oily sediment from the
gulf had developmental abnormalities. Heart defects, DNA damage and other
The lab results corresponding with real world outcomes and we have invited
B.P. to join us all week to discuss all of these issues surrounding the
spill but they of course have decline. B.P. did direct us to their blog at
stateofthegulf.com. The blog reputes the U.C. Davis study and points to an
October, 2014 study that found no minimal long-term impact on killifish.
Joining me tonight is Dr. Andrew Whitehead. He`s a Professor in the
Environmental Toxicology Department at U.C. Davis and author of the
Killifish study. Also with us tonight is Dr. Mike Robichaux. He is a
physician from South Louisiana who has treated over 100 patients who were
exposed to the products of the spill. Gentlemen, great to have you with us
Dr. Whitehead, you first. What`s your reaction to B.P.`s Senior Vice
President Geoff Morrell saying that many of the studies that activists push
are far removed from the reality of the resilient of the gulf environment.
What`s your reaction to that?
DR. ANDREW WHITEHEAD, PROFESSOR, U.C. DAVIS: Well, it`s important to know
that science is an innovative (ph) enterprise that we sort of build
evidence for many studies over many years. And a lot of people are
studying what`s going on in the gulf.
Our first study that we published on the effects of the oil spill was
criticized by B.P. because it was a field study. And so -- and that wasn`t
based in sort of controlled conditions in the lab. And now B.P. is
criticizing other studies because their lab studies are not field studies.
And so, this is a strategy by responsible parties to try and, you know,
cloud the issue.
But all of the work that has done so far, both field studies and
laboratory-based studies have clearly shown that the effects of the oil
spill are correlated and causative (ph) for the kinds of developmental
defects that we`re seeing in killifish which like, you`ve mentioned
earlier, are cardiovascular, development defects, their hearts aren`t
formed properly, the cardiovascular systems aren`t formed properly. And
that doesn`t bode well for a fish`s health.
SCHULTZ: Would you say that this is rock solid?
WHITEHEAD: No science is rock solid. And this is the language of science
that sometimes opens the door to the spread of misinformation by, you know,
parties that have other self-interest. These scientists never say, this is
it for sure. But the weight of evidence is very clear, that there`s a very
strong correlation, causatively.
We know oil cause this kind of effects. We know we saw these effects in
the field, in the lab, coincident with the arrival and timing of oil, the
effects that we see in killifish and that the NOAA folks that you`ve
mentioned before saw in their fish were -- at the kinds of doses that we
saw all over the gulf with the spill.
So I think the evidence is very strong. But no scientist will ever...
WHITEHEAD: ... tell you with a slam shut down (ph).
SCHULTZ: Dr. Robichaux, we had you on earlier of this week. You`ve
referred to the testimony that you gave about the sick patients in court.
You`ve said that you were ignored after our segment. B.P. contacted us
reiterating the district judge discounting your evidence. What`s your
response to that?
DR. MIKE ROBICHAUX, SOUTHERN LOUISIANA PHYSICIAN: Well, I didn`t actually
make a presentation in court. I -- presented information to them
previously and what has called the declaration.
What was really interesting about that meeting in the court house was that,
the Plaintiff Steering Committee which represented the victims of the spill
and was appointed by the federal judge, Judge Bob Barbier, had (inaudible)
that their consultant, a very distinguish doctor (ph), Ed, was a -- had
never seen a patient, had never seen a single patient with problems down
here. But he made his presentation based upon information he gotten from
doctors down here and he believe that they were telling the truth.
On the other hand, I had seen over 100 people that I`ve put detox program
and the program itself is immaterial (ph). But I`d seem 100 patients at
least 25 days in a row. So I had 2,500 patient days of experience with
this and my experiences were ignored whereas, this absentee physician and
scientist was given a sway over my position with this. It was rather
humorous if they weren`t so sad.
ROBICHAUX: And we have -- the thing I want to emphasize is we have some
extraordinarily sick people that are still sick from this problem.
SCHULTZ: And Dr. Whitehead, B.P.`s Geoff Morrell also said, advocacy
groups that are pushing a narrow one-sided perspective, many of them
cherry-pick facts and promotes studies that paint an incomplete and
inaccurate picture, and they continue to blame B.P. for any and all
environmental problems afflicting the gulf. What`s your reaction to that?
WHITEHEAD: Well, of course B.P. isn`t responsible for any and all the
inflections that are the affecting the gulf and that`s an overstatement of
the issue. B.P. is also -- or have responsible for a cherry-picking
criticisms of studies.
I have read -- many of their criticism of studies and they`re just this
guilty as anyone, have cherry-picking data. And I`d like to reiterate, the
scientist aren`t advocates here.
And this is pretty much straight out of a playbook that`s been around for
decades. And the playbook basically says that when it comes to things like
a big tobacco and smoking, when it comes to CFCs and the ozone hole, when
it comes to fossil fuels and climate change, all that big business has to
do is, throw some dust in the air to confuse the issue. And that`s what
we`re seeing here.
WHITEHEAD: We see a lot of illegitimate criticism of science that together
across multiple studies is forming a picture of what`s going on in the
SCHULTZ: All right. Dr. Andrew Whitehead and also with us tonight Dr.
Mike Robichaux, I appreciate your time so much. Thanks for this.
And that is the Ed Show. I`m Ed Schultz.
PoliticsNation with Reverend Al Sharpton starts right now.
Good evening Rev.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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