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All In With Chris Hayes,Thursday, March 19th, 2015

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Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
Date: March 19, 2015
Guest: Lawrence Wilkerson, Jamelle Bouie, Diarmuid O`Connell, Daniel
Malloy, Dave Weigel, Sam Seder



(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

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

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: I`m very proud to be the
prime minister of all of Israel`s citizens, Arabs and Jews alike.

INTERVIEWER: That`s not the way it sounded on election day.

NETANYAHU: Well --

HAYES: Netanyahu backs away from his election day rhetoric as the
White House ratchets up theirs.

JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: That cynical election day
tactic was a pretty transparent effort to marginalize Arab-Israeli
citizens.

HAYES: As the Iran nuclear talks come down to the wire, can the
president get a deal in spite of formidable opposition?

Then, the brutal arrest of University of Virginia student sparked
campus-wide protests.

PROTESTERS: No justice! No peace!

HAYES: Plus, what does Connecticut`s historic marijuana ruling mean
for the rest of the country?

And will Tesla`s victory in New Jersey revolutionize the way Americans
can buy cars?

And Obama tried to do what exactly in South Carolina?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Obama tried to blow up a nuke in Charleston a
few months ago.

HAYES: Welcome to the official launch of decision 2016 conspiracy
theories.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He`s trying to destroy the United States, the
Congress knows this.

HAYES: ALL IN starts right now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This man is a communist dictator.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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

Something remarkable happened today. And as of tonight, relations
between the United States and Israel have reached their lowest point in
recent perhaps living memory. The White House just announced that
President Obama called Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to
congratulate him on, in their words and I`m quote, "winning a plurality of
Knesset seats", hardly a ringing endorsement. And in what had to be an
incredibly uncomfortable exchange, a senior official says the president
made the same comments in private that his administration made in public.
Those comments have been pretty unsparing -- taking Netanyahu to task over
his racially tinged call to arms against Israeli-Arab voters and in
particular over his disavowal of the two-state solution, which has been the
pillar of American policy in the Middle East for decades.

In an exclusive interview today with NBC`s Andrea Mitchell, his first
since being re-elected, Netanyahu attempted to undo some of the damage.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NETANYAHU: I haven`t changed my policy. I never retracted my speech
in Bar-Ilan University six years ago, calling for a demilitarized
Palestinian state that recognizes the Jewish state. What has changed is
the reality. I don`t want a one-state solution. I want a sustainable,
peaceful, two-state solution, but for that, circumstances have to change.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: The too little too late. In unusually harsh language by the
standards of the U.S. Israeli relationship, White House press secretary
today continued to criticize Netanyahu`s end stage campaign strategy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

EARNEST: That cynical election day tactic was a pretty transparent
effort to marginalize Arab Israeli citizens and their right to participate
in their democracy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Even more ominously for Netanyahu, Earnest declined to deny
reports the administration may stop acting as Israel`s shield against
international pressure, 11 times in the past decade and a half, the U.S.
has single-handedly vetoed U.N. Security Council resolutions on Israel.
And those days could now be numbered.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

EARNEST: This commitment to a two-state solution has been the bedrock
of a lot of U.S. policy toward this region of the world. In terms of
making decisions at the United Nations and in other multilateral fora. But
now, the prime minister of Israel says earlier this week, days before an
election, that this is a principle that he no longer subscribes to, and
that his nation no longer subscribes to. That means the United States
needs to rethink our approach.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Imagine President Obama saying those words, more or less on
his phone call with Netanyahu. According to a senior White House official,
the president said the White House is, quote, "reassessing its options in
light of the prime minister`s new position."

This is brand new territory for U.S./Israeli relations. We`ve never
been here, quite here before, and it comes as negotiations over a nuclear
deal with Iran are ticking down to the March 31st deadline, with nothing
less than the future of war and peace in the entire region at stake. If it
happens, a nuclear deal could be the defining foreign policy accomplishment
of President Obama`s administration, one that Benjamin Netanyahu would stop
at almost nothing to block.

I`m joined by Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, who is, of course, chief of
staff to Colin Powell at the State Department, knows this terrain very
well.

Have we been here before? How long has it been since we`ve seen the
relationship this obviously and publicly stressed?

COL. LAWRENCE WILKERSON, FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF TO COLIN POWELL: I
think you go back to the Reagan administration and the sale to the Saudis
of certain weapons systems, AWACs, F-15s and so forth, or you go back to
the George H.W. Bush administration, of which I`m intimately familiar, and
you go back to the time when we were trying to keep the Israelis out of the
Iraq war, we had the Madrid conference and so forth.

But this is a little more strained. And I`m frankly -- I`m happy with
what the president has done so far. I think you`re going to see Mr.
Netanyahu being a lot more circumspect about what he says and does, and
that`s good. It`s good for the relationship. It`s good to bring balance
back to the relationship.

It`s time the United States quit being Israel`s lawyer and became a
goodwill negotiator, and it`s time that Mr. Netanyahu stepped back and
stayed in his governing role, rather than his "Iran is an existential
threat and we need to derail the agreement" role. This is good.

HAYES: Well, that`s -- I mean, that is the next plot point in this
arc, which is that there`s going to be something coming down the pike.
Today, there were some details that were leaked. The State Department
knocking those down, draft details of the possible deal that might be
struck. Both sides saying no deal yet, unclear whether it`s going to get
done.

Were it to happen, though, I mean -- then we`re going to see what?

WILKERSON: That`s a good question. I`m still -- I`m optimistic. A
give it a 60/40, but I know there are a couple of things that need to be
done yet. And we may not get a framework. We may get an agreement and
then work on the framework and the details associated therewith.

But I`m discouraged by the fact that the 47 Republicans did what they
did. I`m discouraged by the fact that Mr. Corker, Senator Corker, chairman
of the Foreign Relations Committee, still wants to put his legislation
forth, because it`s a deal breaker. And if the 47 Republicans and Tom
Cotton in particular haven`t convinced Mr. Corker and certainly convince
people like Tim Kaine and Angus King and other people who might be an
opposite force, if you will, if that hasn`t convinced them that my party
and intent on derailing this agreement, I don`t know what will.

We need to have a situation where the Democrats to stand behind the
president if this agreement is to have any chance at all, if it does come
about.

HAYES: You`re referring to the Corker-Menendez legislation which
would essentially require a congressional vote sign-off on a deal that were
to come forward. Corker saying he is going to introduce that. The
question of whether it can achieve the filibuster now a very open one.

Can you imagine a different trajectory now? I mean, basically, we`re
in the situation where you`ve got these very stern words from the White
House towards the Netanyahu government. You`ve got the deal looming.
You`ve got a strategic bilateral alliance between the U.S. and Israel that
is extremely robust and durable and built on a lot in terms of domestic,
political constituencies, and strategic interest, et cetera.

Can you imagine a new trajectory? I mean, are we off on a new path
here?

WILKERSON: I think we`re off on a slightly new path. It`s a path
that is an off-ramp, if you will, from the 40 years-plus of failure. And I
think it has a positive aspect to it. And I`m going to remain optimistic.

If we can bring the U.S.-Israeli relationship more to a realistic
relationship, if we can bring some pressure to bear on the government in
Tel Aviv, if we can get this agreement and have a closer and more trusting
eventually relationship with Tehran and not disturb the balance of power in
the Gulf too badly by doing that, this could be a very positive thing. But
those are very complex ifs, and it`s going to be difficult to negotiate the
terrain associated with them.

HAYES: If the deal falls through, if the Republicans in Congress get
their way, if Netanyahu gets his way, if the administration walks away
because they don`t like the terms, or the Iranians do, then where are we?

WILKERSON: That`s an excellent question. I would suggest some
alternative answers there. Maybe the Chinese and the Russians, who are in
some respects, the Russians particularly, not exactly our friends all the
time. If they decide that the agreement is fine with them, and maybe even
the French and the British and the Germans do too, look at the isolated
position the United States is in.

This is the danger of these Republicans, my party, and their action.
Look at the position we`re in. China would probably hedge its own strategy
with regard to us in that respect. What would they do? They would
probably accept the fact that the United States was isolated and alienated,
trade with Iran, not support the sanctions regime. Others would follow
them. Certainly Moscow, and the United States would be sitting out there
with the Republicans with their fingers in a place they wouldn`t want them.

HAYES: Thank you, Lawrence Wilkerson. Always a pleasure.

The governor of Virginia is calling for a special investigation after
this man, Martese Johnson, member of the honor committee at the University
of Virginia, a student, was left bloody from injuries after being arrested
by the alcoholic beverage control agency. Stunning video of that arrest is
ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: We`re following breaking news at this hour in Claiborne
County, Mississippi, where the FBI is on the scene of a death of an African
American man found hanging in a tree.

MSNBC national correspondent Joy Reid joins me by phone with the
latest.

Joy, what do we know?

JOY REID, MSNBC NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Well, Chris,
well, I spoke with the statewide director of the NAACP in Mississippi, the
family is, in fact, in contact with the FBI that`s conducting a field
investigation. What we know is the gentleman went missing on March 2nd.
And his family reported him missing about a week later. This is in
Claiborne County, a very rural area not far from Jackson, Mississippi, but
extremely rural.

He was reported missing on March 13th. He was last seen being dropped
off by a friend near an area that was near a casino. He was not seen
since.

And then he was found hanging, not far from his house, less than a
mile from his house, hanging in a wooded area. So, now, you have the FBI
on the scene and trying to figure out the cause of death.

The NAACP saying that they are being very careful, just allowing the
FBI to do what they need to do to conduct this investigation. This
gentleman does have a criminal history, his name is Otis Bird. He`s 54
years old. He was incarcerated up until less than a year ago and was
released, and this was in a murder case in which he was convicted back in
1980.

So, he`s been free from prison for less than a year. And now, we just
have -- are awaiting the official cause of his death.

HAYES: And we do not know whether this was possibly a suicide or a
murder at this moment, am I correct?

REID: That is the issue, right. So we don`t know. I mean, the last
time there was a case in Mississippi that became -- you know, it made a bit
of a press flash. It was a case of a person that was found hanged, but
that one did turn out to be a suicide.

So, everyone is being really careful, the family, the NAACP. They`re
just allowing the FBI to do their work and figure out what happened. No
one`s jumping to any conclusions as of yet. The family has just gotten the
-- I guess minor closure of finding their loved one, knowing where he is,
but he is deceased.

But the cause of death, I reiterate is not yet known. It`s just he
was found hanging, whether it was by his own doing or something more
nefarious is yet to be determined.

HAYES: Joy Reid, thank you for that.

We will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: Two independent investigations are under way. Demonstrators
staged protests for a second day at the University of Virginia today,
following the broody injuries sustained by a student during arrest on two
misdemeanor charges of public intoxication and obstruction of justice
without force.

The third year UVA student, member of the honor committee and Kappa
Alpha Si fraternity, Martese Johnson was arrested after trying to get into
a bar after midnight, following St. Patrick`s Day.

And this is what he looked like during the arrest.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARTESE JOHNSON, UVA STUDENT: I go to UVA! I go to UVA! (EXPLETIVE
DELETED) I go to UVA (EXPLETIVE DELETED)!

OFFICER: Stop fighting!

JOHNSON: You (EXPLETIVE DELETED) racist! You (EXPLETIVE DELETED)
racist! (EXPLETIVE DELETED). How does this happen? How does this happen
you racists! How does this happen?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They were just like, yo, we need a picture ID.

JOHNSON: How did this happen you (EXPLETIVE DELETED) racists!
EXPLETIVE DELETED) racists!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: According to his lawyer, Johnson`s head wound required 10
stitches. Johnson`s lawyer offered details of the incident.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DANIEL WATKINS, ATTY. FOR MARTESE JOHNSON: Martese presented a valid
Illinois state identification card issued in 2011. The employee then asked
Martese for a zip code and he recited his mother`s Chicago City zip code at
her current address, which is different from the Chicago City zip code on
the identification card that was printed almost four years ago.

Nevertheless, Virginia ABC officers who are present on the scene
questioned my client about being in possession about false identification.

The conversation resulted in my client being thrown to the ground, his
head hitting the pavement, the officer`s knees pressed into his back, his
face and skull bleeding and needing surgery.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: According to the bail document, Johnson was very agitated and
belligerent but has no previous criminal history. Virginia Alcohol
Beverage Control, which is approximately 100 special agents with police
power with regard to liquor laws, refer ALL IN to its official statement
which reads, in part, "While monitoring licensed establishments in the
University Avenue in the city of Charlottesville, uniformed Virginia ABC
special agents arrested a 20-year-old male early on the morning of March
18th. Uniformed ABC agents observed and approached the individual after he
was refused entry to a licensed establishment. A determination was made by
the agents who further detained the individual based on their observations
and further questioning.

In the course of an arrest being made, the arrested individual
sustained injuries. The individual received treatment for his injuries at
a local hospital and was released."

Statement from ABC also indicated the agency will provide whatever
assistance is required by Virginia state police investigating the arrest.

Last night, hundreds of students protested and Martese Johnson himself
appeared at the rally, calling for calm.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHNSON: I want to call on the students out there to be able to share
their opinions and share their feelings. And so, I beg for you guys,
regardless of your personal opinions and the way you feel about the
subject, to please respect everyone here. We`re all a part of one
community.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Special agents involved in the arrest have been restricted to
administrative duties while the investigation is under way. An
administrative investigation has been called for by the governor and a
criminal investigation is being conducted by local prosecutors.

Joining me now, Jamelle Bouie, you just saw him a moment ago, a staff
writer at "Slate", who attended the University of Virginia.

Jamelle, I know you`ve been in contact with students at your alma
mater. What`s your reaction and what`s their reaction?

JAMELLE BOUIE, STAFF WRITER, SLATE: My reaction to this is that it
immediately reminded me of an incident two years ago involving a student, a
woman student at the University of Virginia who was arrested by ABC
officers after purchasing water from a grocery store.

They thought it was alcohol. They surrounded her vehicle. They drew
guns. It was a very dramatic and dramatically escalated situation.

So, I look at this and I see something very similar. ABC enforcement
officers sort of going far further than is necessary in doing their jobs, I
think.

As far as students on grounds, and I talked to a few students and I
talked to some faculty, for students, this seems to be emblematic of sort
of an atmosphere at the University of Virginia, not so much an atmosphere
of racial discrimination, but certainly there are racial tensions at the
University of Virginia. The population of African-Americans at the school
has been going down consistently for the past several years, and there`s a
feeling that the administration, for as much as it says it`s committed to
diversity, isn`t necessarily committed to sort of the maintenance of a
healthy community of black students at the university.

HAYES: Yes, I want to talk about both of those, first of all, just
give the context. Virginia`s a state that very heavily regulates alcohol
sales, or state liquor stores. I think this idea that there are state
liquor cops running around is maybe foreign to some folks that are not in
states that don`t have that.

How present are they on campus? How present were they? How
accountable are they? Did you have run-ins with them when you were there?
Are they known to be sort of roving around downtown Charlottesville?

BOUIE: That`s the thing. They`re sort of hidden from view. I don`t
recall ever having an encounter with them.

I certainly heard about them. We knew that they existed, but this
sort of them making these sort of things, I just don`t necessarily recall.
Part of the problem in terms of accountability, unlike the university
police or even the Charlottesville police, which are local agencies and
their direct line of communication between the students and those agencies,
ABC is a state agency, and the ABC officers in Charlottesville, aren`t
necessarily accountable to anyone in Charlottesville personally.

And so, it kind of -- the lines of the communication just aren`t
there. And I have to imagine that for Charlottesville police, this is a
very difficult time as well, because there`s -- in talking about it this
incident, we have a tendency to just say "police." And I have a feeling
that Charlottesville police are going to be dealing with the fall-out from
this, since people don`t distinguish between the ABC cops and the city
cops.

HAYES: We saw some protesters, obviously a very diverse group of
protesters, students, black, white, Latino, and other, all gathering. But,
you know, there`s been a marked decline in African-American enrollment in
the University of Virginia. What -- I mean, that is the background context
against this taking place. What is going on there?

BOUIE: It`s sort of hard to know. One thing that might be happening
is that in the past couple of years, universities sort of pulled back on
its scholarship program for low-income and working-class students. And so,
if you think that African American students are going to belong to those
categories, pulling back is going to result in some decline.

But the decline has been so sharp. And sort of just to illustrate it,
when I graduated from UVA, which was in 2009, about 9 percent -- enrollment
at the school among African-Americans was around 9 percent. Now, it`s
somewhere closer to 5 percent. And that`s such a steep decline that I`m
not entirely sure what`s behind it.

HAYES: Yes, that is really dramatic. That`s 4 percentage points.
So, that`s almost a 50 percent decline in the sort of relative
distribution.

Jamelle Bouie of "Slate" -- thank you.

BOUIE: Thank you.

HAYES: Tesla, the revolutionary electric car company that I am
admittedly kind of obsessed with, did something no other car company has
been able to do in the state of New Jersey. We`ll tell you what that is,
next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: Over its short life, the electric car company Tesla Motors has
experienced explosive growth. The company now valued at more than $24
billion. At the same time, Tesla has been waging a war for survival
against America`s traditional car dealerships. Traditional dealerships are
you independently owned franchises and they are protected by state laws
that prevent auto manufacturers from selling directly to customers.

Tesla doesn`t want to have a dealer service or middleman. It wants to
sell its cars to you, the consumer, through show rooms it itself owns.

This is an approach that as Tesla CEO Elon Musk pointed at a 2013
shareholder meeting makes sense to most Americans.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ELON MUSK, CEO, TESLA MOTORS: The percentage of people in favor of
allowing Tesla to do direct sales varies from a low of 86 percent to 99.
So, clearly, if democracy was working properly and the legislators were
implementing the will of the people, something else would be happening.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: State by state, Tesla has been waging this battle. They`ve
been chalking up both wins and losses in their battle against the dealer
lobby for the right to sell cars directly.

About a year ago, Tesla lost a big battle in New Jersey, when the
Motor Vehicle Commission under Governor Chris Christie blocked Tesla sales
after local car dealers argued the franchise system protects consumers.

Musk responded to that idea with a scathing statement, "If you believe
this, Governor Christie has a bridge closure he wants to sell you. Unless
they`re referring to the mafia version of protection, this is obviously
untrue."

But now, somehow, Tesla has won. Yesterday, Christie signed a bill
allowing the company to sell its cars directly to consumers in up to four
New Jersey locations. While Musk was celebrating and thanked his boards
over Twitter, New Jersey car dealers were outraged with their trade
association saying in a statement to ALL IN, "The Tesla factory store model
creates a vertical monopoly, limits consumer access to service, and steers
money and jobs out of New Jersey and into Silicon Valley."

Joining me now, Diarmuid O`Connell. He`s Tesla`s vice president of
business development.

Mr. O`Connell, how did you get the job done? How did you win?

DIARMUID O`CONNELL, TESLA MOTORS: Well, you know, it`s an interesting
story, but I should probably add a little context here. You characterize
this as a story of our survival. Actually, the truth is, that we`ve been
largely successful in opening up stores around the country.

The truth is that in most states, this is non-controversial. There`s
a small, maybe, handful of states where manufacturers are clearly
prohibited from selling. And in a lot of those states, there are actions
right now in the legislatures to open up those states, so that a
manufacturer such as Tesla, who`s never had franchise dealerships, can sell
directly.

So, New Jersey was an interesting case, we had stores open, a
regulatory action was taken to suspend those license or pullback those
licenses. And so, we engaged in a year-long advocacy campaign in the
legislature, with the public, which bore fruit ultimately yesterday when
the governor signed a bill which had been passed unanimously in the New
Jersey assembly and overwhelmingly in the New Jersey Senate.

So, we`re open for business and that`s really the punch line. We`re
open for business in New Jersey selling cars again, and we`re really
pleased about it.

HAYES: You`ve been blocked, I know the biggest states you`ve had
trouble with are Arizona and Texas, is the biggest one if I`m not mistaken,
where you still have these rules prohibiting direct sales, right?


O`CONNELL: That`s correct. It`s just as I said, a handful of states.

Texas is the most prominent among them. I mean, Texas is, of course,
a big market. And so we`re interested in moving the needle there, and
we`re engaged in -- I`ll characterize it as a debate in the legislature
down there right now. The Texas legislature meets for the first part of
the year every two years and that debate is under way right now.

HAYES: You`d think Texas loves freedom, although it`s also the home
of Buddy
Garity, so you`ve sort of got cross pressure there. Do you think this is
going to
change the industry more than Tesla? I mean, the fear that dealers have,
right, is that, OK, you guys want to sell your electric car yourselves for
your own weird idiosyncratic reasons, but this is just the camel`s nose
under the tent is going to destroy the whole dealership system.

O`CONNELL: So, first off, they aren`t weird, idiosyncratic reasons.
The reason we`re doing this fundamental to the mission of the company,
which is we`re trying to launch a new technology, a novel technology that
people aren`t familiar with. And our stores are really education centers.
We`re trying to bring people along to help them understand what the
technology is. It`s a very sales-intensive
-- it`s a very education-intensive process. It takes place over multiple
hours and multiple visits and the existing third-party dealer model doesn`t
really support that, that`s a model that`s built on making sales every 20
minutes and moving the metal, that`s literally where that expression comes
from.

So -- but as regards like where we are in the debate and where we are
in
certain places like Texas, I mean, fundamentally, this is a free market
issue, and really consumer-choice issue where, you know, it`s -- while it`s
true that for
historical reasons cars have overwhelmingly been sold through third-
parties, through dealers since the 1920s or `30s, that that`s not -- things
have changed. I mean, people are buying very substantial products directly
from manufacturers across our economy. These dealer distribution
monopolies, whether enshrined in law or just enshrined in practice, are
really anomalous.

In almost every other industry you have manufacturers who are selling
direct to consumers and who are also selling to third-parties, to retailers
and franchise
dealerships or franchise stores.

And so, you know, it`s really the fact -- I mean it`s, as I said, it`s
exceptional that this is still the case that you have these horizontal
monopolies, these distribution monopolies. You have it in the dealership
world.

But, you know, I understand the instinct of the dealers in these
states. I mean, it`s a very good business. It`s a protected business. And,
any businessman who enjoys those sorts of advantages would be within their
rights to protect it.

O`CONNELL: Diarmuid O`Connell from Tesla, thank you very much.

HAYES: It`s throwback Thursday and Connecticut`s highest court just
made a ruling that could erase some unpleasant past incidents for thousands
of the state`s
residents.

I`ll talk to the governor about it next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: There`s something happening in Connecticut that could
radically change the way this country handles marijuana conviction.

This week, Connecticut State Supreme Court cleared the way for people
preciously arrested for marijuana possession to have those cases erased
from their
criminal record.

The seven to zero ruling came down on Monday in favor of Nicholas
Menditto, who has sought to have his convictions overturned. Now, Menditto
and his lawyer seemed to believe they had a pretty good argument to have
those convictions thrown out because back in 2011, Governor Dannel Malloy
and state lawmakers changed possession of a small amount of marijuana, less
than half an ounce, from a misdemeanor, which carried jail time, to a fine,
roughly on par with a parking ticket.

And, Connecticut has a law that allows people to petition to have
their convictions erased if their crime has been decriminalized.
Connecticut Supreme Court agreed, saying the ruling, quote, "the state has
failed to suggest any plausible reason why erasure should be denied in such
cases".

Now, Connecticut is one of several states that now has some sort of
liberalized marijuana policy on the books. 23 states allow marijuana for
medicinal purpose. 18 states have decriminalized marijuana possession of
varying amounts. And, four states, and Washington, D.C. have legalized the
recreational use of pot.

According to the ASLU between 2001 and 2010, someone was arrested for
marijuana every 37 seconds in this country. What`s taking place in
Connecticut could potentially open the door for millions of Americans to
erase their marijuana convictions.

Joining me now, Connecticut Governor, Dane Malloy. And, governor, my
understanding is you are glad the court did what it did?

DANNEL MALLOY, CONNECTICUT GOVERNOR: I am. I think it`s the right
thing. I think we`ve had a long and storied fight with respect to drug
usage and I think, in most cases, we`ve used the wrong tools. I think it
ended up with a lot of folks having convictions and therefore, in some
sense their lives being made difficult
with respect to housing or jobs or education.

When we decriminalized marijuana, we found that it led to 6,000 fewer
arrests per year. That`s 6,000 fewer lives that are perhaps thrown into
some sort of chaos as a result of those arrests and in many cases,
ultimately leading to convictions which really cause a chaos.

HAYES: you were first elected governor in 2010, and you had a very
ambitious agenda in that first term, did a lot of stuff, and, you know,
people fought you, you had a tough re-election that you won in 2014.

Where was this in the scale of items on your agenda that created
backlash? That created opposition? Or was this something that people kind
of, shrugged their shoulders and said, yeah, this makes sense?

MALLOY: No, there was a fair amount of backlash on this issue.

HAYES: You`re like, don`t get me wrong, Chris, they fought me.

MALLOY: Yeah, they -- well, it was funny. In fact, I was told to make
a choice, because I wanted to make medical marijuana legal and I wanted to
decriminalize marijuana. And then I was basically told by even my
supporters in both regards that I had to make a choice, that it had to be
one or the other. And I said, well, let`s go with decriminalization,
because I understood the adverse impact that this was having on many
people`s lives, and this whole idea of conviction of a crime can be very
detrimental, particularly with a behavior that is somewhat ubiquitous, a
lot of experimentation at the very least.

I`m not talking about people who are selling drugs. I`m talking about
people who, at some point in their life, may have tried marijuana and it
ended up with an arrest and I`m trying to prevent people from having
criminal backgrounds if they
don`t have to.

HAYES: It does appear, according to (inaudible) polling that support
for the policy has actually increased. Last year, it was about 52% in
favor. Last week, it was up to 63% in favor.

There`s a lot happening on this issue in which the states really are
the laboratories. And I wonder what you think, as a governor, someone who
had this
policy change in your state, as you look towards what`s happening in places
like
Washington and Colorado.

MALLOY: Well, I want to draw the line there.

I`m not advocating a legalization of marijuana. I`ve drawn the line
where I thought it`s appropriate. It should be decriminalized with respect
to possession. Obviously, sales should be treated differently under that
definition.

I also think that making medical marijuana available for treatment is
very important, and we now have that law in the state of Connecticut.

I`m not sure we have to throw out more things that can cause
difficulties in people`s lives and by, quote/unquote, making them legal and
allowing for easier
sale. Perhaps cause more people to use the substance, which quite frankly,
I don`t think is good for people, except under certain circumstances.

HAYES: Are you persuadable on that, though? I guess my question is,
you know, we`re doing this very rare thing, where we`re conducting these
live, real-time experiments, in which you have states taking a fairly
radical policy departure, and I just wonder whether you and other fellow
governors and legislators are thinking about this in an empirical sense of
what happens in Colorado and Washington?

MALLOY: Well, I suppose you never say never, right?

But the early work doesn`t convince me yet, and I`m not convinced,
based on everything I`m seeing and hearing and I certainly don`t think
states should be
going down this road simply for the tax revenue. I think that`s the wrong
idea,
wrong headedness.

On the other hand, I have a very aggressive program for recreation of
a second chance at society.

In Connecticut, we tripled our prison population between 1985 and
2008.
And it really was not in our best interest, I think, in many ways.

We ended up with many, many people having, not only a criminal record
and a felony record, but being incarcerated, which makes education, housing
and employment almost impossible or very difficult to accomplish.

And I`m arguing that we need to treat, for instance, other possessions
of drugs as a misdemeanor, as opposed to a felony.

I think we need to untie the hands of judges and let them decide what
the best treatment for someone in those circumstances is.

HAYES: Governor Dane Malloy, thank you for joining us.

MALLOY: Thank you.

HAYES: All right, pop some popcorn, grab a frosty beverage, because
I`ll be doing some good, old fashion, right-wing myth busting ahead.

Plus, one of the best moments so far from March Madness.

All that is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: We witnessed possibly the greatest moment in dad coaching
today when 14 seated Georgia State pulled off an incredible upset against
third seated Baylor 57-56 in March Madness.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got to push this to the basket. Take it to the
basket, guys. Nine seconds.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No time-outs left.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are they doing?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: R.J. Hunter for three! Good!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: That was Georgia State coach Ron Hunter`s son R.J., scoring
the winning three-pointer. And in all the excitement there, you may have
missed what happened on the sideline.

Let`s watch that again.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got to push this to the basket. Take it to the
basket, guys. Nine seconds.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No time-outs left.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are they doing?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: R.J. Hunter for three! Good!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ron Hunter has fallen off his stool, for good
reason.

Georgia State up by one.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: All right, so that`s Coach Hunter, his son hit the game
winning three, in a huge upset.

He was sitting on his stool because on Sunday he tore his Achilles
celebrating his team`s Sunbelt championship win.

Georgia State will now face off against Zavier on Saturday. Ron Hunter
should probably have some kind of seat belt installed on his stool before
then.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: R.J. Hunter for three! Good!

R.J. Hunter for three! Good!

R.J. Hunter for three! Good!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: Okay, so yesterday we played you a an exchange between Rick
Santorum and a woman named Virginia who was at an event in South Carolina
in which this
woman asked Rick Santorum a rather rambling question that involved a few
factual
assertions that were pretty intense.

Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VIRGINIA, WOMAN AT EVENT: I don`t think the country will be around
for the next election.

Obama tried to blow up a nuke in Charleston a few months ago.

And the three admirals and generals, he has totally destroyed our
military. He`s fired all the generals and all the admirals that said they
wouldn`t fire on the American people if you asked him to do so, if he
wanted to take the guns away
from them.

This man is a Communist dictator.

We need him out of that White House now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Rick Santorum went on to answer the question and express his
offense that he was called a member of congress. That`s what he found most
offensive about that question.

But after I listened to that the sixth, or seventh, or eight time, it
occurred to me, maybe in my rush to hold up Virginia as representative of
some broadly kind of, paranoid tendency in the right-wing base, I had
missed a pretty big story.

Take another listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VIRGINIA: I don`t think the country will be around for the next
election.

Obama tried to blow up a nuke in Charleston a few months ago.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Obama tried to blow up a nuke in Charleston a few months ago.
This was news to me. Seemed like something we should run to ground. So, we
looked into it today.

Now, it`s not the first time that someone at a Town Hall, a
conservative event, has asserted things about the President or about what
the government`s up
to that don`t quite, really stand when you first hear them.

Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why are you people ignoring --

He`s not an American citizen. He is not an American citizen. He is a
citizen of Kenya.

UNIDENTIFED MALE: I`m getting long in years. Would you address the
death (inaudible) that we`re going to have?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I never refer to Obama as President.

He is an avowed Muslim.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why do you continue to support a Nazi policy, as
Obama has expressly supported this policy?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: So, you get a lot of that. And there`s a lot more.

I mean, if you go onto the internet, you can find some pretty intense
theories about what the President`s up to.

I remember being an expert on these in 2008 and 2012. We want to check
in on the 2016, blow up a nuke in Charleston vintage.

We`re going to do that right after this break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFED FEMALE: I can`t trust Obama.

JON MCCAIN, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I got it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE SPEAKER: I have read about him and he`s not --
he`s a -- he`s an Arab. He is not --

MCCAIN: No, ma`am, no, ma`am. No, ma`am.

He`s a decent family man citizen that I just happen to have
disagreements with on fundamental issues and that`s what this campaign is
all about.

He`s not. Thank you, thank you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Jon McCain famously, if slightly off topically, dispatched
with one particularly ill informed supporter at a Town Hall in the closing
weeks of the 2008 Presidential campaign.

That is not always the way our elected leaders treat the purveyors of
fevered conspiracy theories. And, as the 2016 election cycle nears, I think
it`s safe to say we can expect a whole new bunch of stories from the e-mail
forward fringes.

Joining me now to reflect on that old and new, MSNBC contributor and
host of Majority Report, Sam Seder, and Dave Weigel, reporter for Bloomberg
Politics in New Hampshire, where today he was covering Donald Trump.

Let`s start with a pretty important fact check. Dave Weigel, did
Barack Obama try to blow up a nuke in Charleston?

DAVE WEIGEL, BLOOMBERG POLITICS: He did not. As realistic as it
sounds, what this goes back to a rumor that started on Alex Jones` site and
a bunch of conspiracy-minded websites, based on which seems to be kind of a
fabricated Russian intelligence report, and the theory went that Obama
tried to start a false flag attack, ended up detonating a nuke that caused
an earthquake, and he fired generals to cover it pup.

The generals were indeed fired, but for other reasons. The nuke did
not blow up.

And, I mean, that`s not the sort of thing people miss. A birth
certificate might get lost in a filing cabinet. A nuke will not.

HAYES: Well, the sort of telephone-esque nature in which a foreign
report
that takes some germ of actual truth, which is there were some generals
fired because the oversight of the nuclear program has been a disaster, and
sort of morphs that into something that then gets passed along such that
you end up with Barack Obama tried to detonate a nuke.

Are there any other kind of 2016 theories like this that you`re
hearing out on the trail?

WEIGEL: It`s early days yet, but I`ve heard some of this at Town
Halls.

I mean, you mentioned that I was just at a Town Hall with Donald
Trump. There was a man who noticed I was a reporter and wanted to convince
me afterward that Michelle Obama was born a man. That`s been going around.

I was in South Carolina a few weeks ago and I had heard that there are
training camps for ISIS soldiers in the United States that Barack Obama
refuses
to shut down.

And, you do notice that the first person to mention this was just
talking to me. He wanted to ask Donald Trump. As a reporter, I`m devastated
he did not get a
chance to ask Donald Trump that question on camera.

But -- I don`t know, I feel like we`re still feeling how much these
conspiracies are going to flower in a post-Obama election era.

We know what kind of conspiracies were for Hillary but we`ll see.
We`ll see what there are after Obama.

HAYES: What do you think, Sam? What can we expect as we move towards
Town
Hall season?

SAM SEDER, MAJORITY REPORT: Well, I`m going to just take Weigel at
face value and just assume he`s telling the truth about this whole thing.

HAYES: Maybe he`s in on it. Maybe it`s a false flag by Weigel.

SEDER: I mean, I -- it`s sort of impossible to know on some level.

But, I`m sure there`s going to be a lot of sort of Benghazi sort of
variance that come out. Because it`s going to -- at one point, it`s going
to shift to Hillary Clinton.

HAYES: That`s right. When do we start seeing the pivot? That`s going
to be an important moment in the kind of, in the sort of collective
subconscience of the conservative base.

SEDER: I`m not convinced that a lot of this isn`t, you know like a,
for instance, Louie Gohmert the other day was talking about how of course,
how President Obama refused to help deal with a Nigerian deal with Boko
Haram.

HAYES: I want to play that sound. It`s good stuff.

Here`s Louie Gohmert talking about why we won`t aid Nigeria,
apparently.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LOUIE GOHMERT, REPRESENTATIVE OF TEXAS: It was reported from Nigeria
that this administration said, unless you change your law to allow same-sex
marriage, then we`re not going to help you against the radical Islamist
Boko Haram. Which is killing Christians, having girls, young girls raped
and sold into sex slavery. I mean it is incredible the way this
administration is turning its back on Christians and Jews around the world.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SEDER: I mean, the question is, how does he pivot this, now, to
Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State, this is our foreign policy, or
maybe they just full stop and just sort of take a left or a right turn and
they just start with something new.

HAYES: Well, the other thing is, there`s this great body to draw on
with
Hillary Clinton.

So I went to Snopes.com today, which, of course is this amazing
internet site that does debunking, right?. And let me just say, it`s not
completely ideologically limited. There are lots of conspiracy theories
across the ideological spectrum.

I believe they have a particular virulence on the right.

But at the top of Snopes, which sort of order its debunking based on
what`s around, there was this story about how Hillary Clinton refused to
meet with the
mothers of people -- soldiers who died. Gold star moms, right?

That is a story that I wrote about when I wrote a cover story for the
nation about right-wing e-mail forwards in October 2007. Eight years ago I
wrote about that and it was based on an incident that happened in 2001.

So Dave, there is so much Hillary stuff that you can kind of, bring
back out
of the attic and start passing around that doesn`t even like, forget all
the Benghazi stuff, you can go decades back.

We`re going to be talking about the Rose law firm before all of this
is over.

WEIGEL: Yeah, that`s definitely going to color the way that more
responsible Republicans talk about the Clintons.

I feel that Trey Gowdy is in the position he`s in, running the
Benghazi Select Committee, because Republicans are confident he wouldn`t do
anything like that. They remember when Dan Burton ran the oversight
committee in the `90s, how the Clinton scandals were taken away from them.

And, the Clinton operation is very good at emphasizing the craziness
that can bubble up on the right.

But I should say, it`s not like I do deep investigative reporting
beyond showing up to things, and reading what popular online. These stories
are not stoked by Media Matters or Correct the Record or the Clinton
network, I`ll notice them because they were shared 50,000 times, or they
were tweeted 20,000, or, a human being mentioned them at a Town Hall.

HAYES: That`s the key point, Sam. Like, these are out there, they are
getting around always.

SEDER: They go around through e-mail chains, and through what used to
be fax trains, basically, probably when that gold star moms thing started,
and frankly there`s also, I`m convinced, sort of -- there are people out
there monetizing this stuff.

I mean, I`m surprised Dick Morris didn`t pick up to the South Carolina
thing and say here`s the secret, if you own real estate in North Carolina
it will all be coastal or something.

HAYES: Right, right. That kind of paranoid mode is very monetizable.

Sam Seder, David Weigel, thank you both.

That is All In for this evening, the Rachel Maddow show starts right
now. Good evening Rachel.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
BE UPDATED.
END

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