The Ed Show for Monday, April 20th, 2015
Read the transcript to the Monday show
Show: THE ED SHOW
Date: April 20, 2015
Guest: Lanny Davis, Caroline Heldman, Brad Woodhouse, Paul Henderson, Tom
Mesereau, Dean Blanchard, Brent Coon, Frank Pallone
ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC HOST: Good evening Americans and welcome to the Ed Show
live from New York.
Let`s get to work.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MARCO RUBIO, (R) FLORIDA: It`s not that I`m against gay marriage.
FRM. GOV. JEB BUSH, (R) FLORIDA: I`m for traditional marriage.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do we want?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cops dead.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m very determined to get to the bottom of this
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When do we want?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She has no confidence that the Baltimore City Police
Department will conduct a fair investigation.
SCHULTZ: And, the gulf today five years after the spill.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Despite settlements, fines and criminal charges the
legal battle over this oil spill is far from complete.
SCHULTZ: They all have concerns about the health of the environment and
the residence of the gulf.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Good to have you with us tonight folks, thanks for watching. We
start with big news out of New Hampshire this evening. Earlier today
Hillary Clinton paid her first visit to the Granite State, Clinton met with
employees at a childhood toy factory in Keene, New Hampshire. Clinton
continued her popular -- populous pitch today. It`s working. She called
for America to rebuild our manufacturing sector.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, U.S. FRM. SECRETARY OF STATE: How do we get back into
more basic production again so that we can resume our lead in
manufacturing? Something that I think is essential. A lot of people
disagree with me, they say, you know, those days are over. I don`t believe
it, you walk around here you see these machines from, you know, Italy or
Germany or wherever else they`re from. Why? Why aren`t we producing those
machines? What do we need to do that jump-start advanced manufacturing
once again in our country?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Well, the message is working. Clinton`s message on the trail is
hitting home with voters. A new CNN poll shows Clinton up big on all
Republicans. Hillary Clinton is beating Marco Rubio -- Marco Rubio by 14
points, she`s up on Jeb Bush by 17, she has a 19-point lead on Governor
Chris Christie if he jumps in, she`s got whopping 24 point lead over
Senator Ted Cruz and Clinton has a 19-point lead over Senator Rand Paul.
Americans aren`t buying what Republicans are selling. Case in point, the
issue of same-sex marriage, it just continues to dug (ph) the Republican
Party. Not one Republican has said that they think gay Americans should be
allowed to get married.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: I`m for traditional marriage I believe that -- traditional marriage
is been part of the glue that has kept our society intact.
GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R), WISCONSIN: My position on marriage is still is
defined between a man and a woman.
RUBIO: It`s not that I`m against gay marriage. I believe the definition
of the institution of marriage to be between one man and one woman.
SEN TED CRUZ, (R) TEXAS: For over 200 years marriage has been a question
for the states. Now personally I believe in traditional marriage between
one man and one woman.
SEN. RAND PAUL, (R) KENTUCKY: I am a "Leave me alone" kind of guy...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But not when it comes to marriage?
PAUL: Well no, I mean states who end up making the decisions on these
things, I think that there`s a religious connotation to marriage, I believe
in a traditional religious connotation to this but also believe people
ought to be treated fairly under the law.
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, (R) NEW JERSEY: In New Jersey I oppose same-sex
marriage. I believe that marriage should be between one man and one woman.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: I mean listen to them, they have no clue where the American
people are and how society has changed. So if you`re gay American and you
live in a certain state you could be treated differently from a different
state. Republicans are out of step with America. This is not what the
American people want.
The most recent Gallup poll shows 55 percent of Americans support same-sex
marriage and it continues to grow. Meanwhile some Republicans are trying
to soften their position by saying that they would attend a gay wedding.
Here`s Ohio Governor John Kasich.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. JOHN KASICH, (R) OHIO: I don`t go to talk (ph) wedding I go to
weddings of people that I`m close to, and in fact I have a friend whose gay
who asked me if I would go to his wedding. And I said, well let me think
about it and I went home and I said to my wife, you know, my friend is
getting married, what do you think you want to go she goes, oh absolutely
going. I called him today and he said hey, just let me know what time it
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is taking a similar position.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Would you attend to gay wedding?
WALKER: Well, in terms of -- that`s certainly a personal issue. For a
family member, Tonette and I and our family already had a family member
who`s had a reception. I haven`t been at the wedding.
But for someone I love, we`ve been at a reception.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: And Senator Marco Rubio was asked if he would attend a same-sex
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUBIO: Yeah. If somebody in my life that I love and care for, of course I
would, I mean that`s not -- I`m not going to hurt them simply because I
have a disagree with the choice they`ve made or I disagree with the
decisions they have made or whatever it maybe. Ultimately, you know, if
someone that you care for and is part of your family has decided to move in
that -- in one direction or another or feels that way because of who they
or who they love, you respect that`s because you love them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: So, Senator Rubio would not hurt them but he would allow the
government to discriminate against them. Senator Ted Cruz dodged the
question altogether saying that he`s never been asked to attend a same-sex
wedding. The rest of the presidential field has not been asked the
question. I guess this is the question of the week.
The only Republican to say that they would never attend a same-sex wedding
of course is Rick Santorum from Pennsylvania, the former senator. Don`t
let these other Republicans fool you, just because they would attend the
same-sex wedding does not mean that they support the rights of gay
Americans. You know, the Republicans are having a hard time saying the
word discrimination and that`s exactly what this is.
They can`t let people be who they are because of their traditional
believes, their faith. Let God sort it out, the separation of church and
state. Who are this Republicans to render judgment on people who are born
a certain way? They didn`t asked to be gay they are living who they are.
But the Republicans have taken the position consistently, that they will
wordsmith this and they will try to whistle out of it instead of saying,
"You know what? They deserve the same rights as every American."
And the question comes up; will this be an issue in 2016? Go ask the gay
community, you think they`re going to vote for Republicans? No they`re
probably going to support Hillary Clinton because she is well-defined on
this issue. All people should have the right to get married, that`s where
American is today.
Get your cellphones out I want to know what you think. Tonight`s question,
"Are Republicans out of step with Americans on same-sex marriage?" You go
to poll.msnbc.com/ed to cast your vote. We`ll bring you the results later
on in the show.
For more let me bring in Lanny Davis, former special counsel of the White
House, Caroline Heldman, Professor of Politics at Occidental College and
also Brad Woodhouse, President of American Bridge 21st Century, great to
have all of you with us tonight.
Caroline you first, is this going to an issue in 2016? It seems like the
Republicans just can`t bring themselves to say we`re willing to
discriminate against gay people because that`s what they`re doing.
CAROLINE HELDMAN, PROFESSOR, OCCIDENTAL COLLEGE: Indeed that is what`s
happening. If you look -- as you noted 55 percent of Americans support gay
marriage but if you look at folks, 30 and under it`s 8 out of 10. So this
issue has been decided for newer generations. It won`t be an issue in 10
years and I do think it will be an issue in the 2016 election because it is
one of the series of cultural wedge issues whether there`s a very clear
choice between Democrats and Republicans.
SCHULTZ: Brad the fact that Hillary Clinton made it definite of statement
about this last week tells me she gets it, she understands where the
country is moving and isn`t willing to discriminate against Americans. So,
what does this do if anything for a campaign?
BRAD WOODHOUSE, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN BRIDGE 21ST CENTURY: Well I think -- I
think it`s very important. I mean I`m glad that she clarified that and she
absolutely did the right thing. I mean look, whether it`s Hillary Clinton
or Barack Obama, you know, or others, young people in our society. People
have evolved on this issue but the Republicans have not.
I mean look, just a few weeks ago we were talking about official
discrimination in the state of Indiana, every Republican running for
president stood up for that official discrimination. It took the ire of
the entire country to get that law -- to get that law fixed or to get that
law changed. The Republicans are playing a dangerous game here. They`re
trying to appeal to a primary electorate...
WOODHOUSE: ... but the middle of this country and a vast -- many more than
that I believe -- are not where the Republicans are on this issue.
SCHULTZ: All right, well Brad is there a political capital here for
WOODHOUSE: Well look, I think there`s more danger for Republicans. I mean
I wouldn`t be one to suggest that we should actually play -- this is a
wedge issue, it`s a really question of doing the right thing...
SCHULTZ: But is it a wedge issue if this is where the American people are?
I mean if you got the -- I mean she`s taking a very populous tone...
SCHULTZ: ... on a number of different issues early here in her campaign,
Lanny your thoughts, is this really what Hillary Clinton believes or she
just evolved politically on this?
LANNY DAVIS, WHITE HOUSE FRM. SPECIAL COUNSEL: Well, it was an introduced
sometime ago. A very good interview of Terry Gross tried to almost force
Hillary Clinton to say that she only changed her position because of
political reasons. When in fact everybody that I know and in my own
personal life in the last 5 years, 10 years, there`s been a revolution --
evolution is one word evolved into it. There`s been a revolution in
thinking and tolerance towards gay marriage.
My son is 17 and my younger son is 10 and I have two older children, and
the guys that preceded me was absolutely right, the generation divide is
DAVIS: And Hillary Clinton saying, I evolved and if Jeb Bush were to say,
you know, I`m still uncomfortable with this but I`m evolving, some
openness, some tolerance that there has to be no distinction on that which
-- as to who you love and who you are, whether it`s same-sex or heterosex.
SCHULTZ: So Lanny, put on your attorney hat now and you could wordsmith --
the way that wordsmith this the way the Republicans are.
Who`s against traditional marriage? OK? But they used that term to say,
"Well, gay marriage isn`t good enough for America." I mean that`s the
message that`s being sent. So how do they politically wordsmith that with
a generation that you`re saying is far more accepting than previous ones?
DAVIS: Well, let me give you the political answer that you`re asking for
earlier about the affect on the campaign in Hillary Clinton.
So if you ask about choice, the generational divide is tremendous.
Libertarian say, "Why should the government get between a woman and her
doctor on the issue of her pregnancy?"
And that generational divide has that to an evolution of thinking even
among people who say, "I`m personally opposed to abortion but I won`t tell
the government to get in between a relationship between a woman and her
Same thing on marriage, if Ted Cruz or anyone want to say, I personally
still believe in heterosexual marriage...
DAVIS: ... fine. The issue is tolerance. And right now, every Republican
I heard is intolerant of people who wish to get married to members of the
same-sex and that intolerance is not going to sell politically.
SCHULTZ: So Caroline, is it possible for a Republican to win a nomination
of their party and support same-sex marriage? It sounds impossible.
HELDMAN: I think it is impossible. We have more Republican contenders
than we have ever seen. We have at least 20 right now. It is going to be
fluid chaos in the Republican primary and I cannot imagine that anyone
could make that claim. I mean it`s going to be harder when this nomination
as it is, and that`s not what Republicans are. Majority of Republicans
oppose gay marriage.
SCHULTZ: Brad, why don`t the Democrats drive home the word discrimination?
I mean this is so easily defined, isn`t it?
WOODHOUSE: Absolutely, and the look I think Democrats did drive home that
term and that whole concept in Indiana with the law there. And I think
it`s entirely appropriate.
And look, it`s not just this -- it`s not just this. It extends to what
they feel about way, you know, wage equality. It extends to a whole
certain range of other -- whole range of other issues where they have this
traditional view that is shared by small segment of their party...
SCHULTZ: Preexisting condition on health care, I mean you discriminate
again somebody who`s sick.
WOODHOUSE: That`s right, and they seem not to have a problem with certain
types of discrimination. They suggested the other day on another network
that we ought to start, you know, testing -- giving people civics test
WOODHOUSE: ... go into the ballot box. I mean another form of
discrimination against people who you disagree with politically.
SCHULTZ: Lanny, do these numbers, these poll numbers that around suggest
to other Democrats there`s no sense in jumping in?
DAVIS: Well, I don`t think you need to risk exploiting something and
overdoing it. I think Hillary Clinton is in the right place and has
evolved into this position overtime.
I don`t take kindly to saint-demonious (ph) comments by others who claimed
that she did it too late or did it for political reasons, because I
appreciate if Jeb Bush were to change his mind. I would appreciate that
evolution to get with probably his children and his grandchildren on this
So we`ve got to be careful about overexploiting this and stating our
conviction against discrimination and in favor of tolerance and certainly
listen to our kids who are way ahead of us on this one.
SCHULTZ: All right. Lanny Davis, Caroline Heldman, Brad Woodhouse, great
to have you with us tonight on the Ed Show. I appreciate it.
Remember to answer tonight`s question there at polls.msnbc.com/Ed. We`ll
have the results for you right after the break.
Follow us on Facebook and what my Facebook feature "Give Me a Minute" and
you can get my video podcast at wegoted.com.
Coming up, the "Black lives matter" campaign hits the streets of Baltimore
in a major way. We`ll have the new developments on the Freddie Gray case.
And later, the gulf today five years after they spill the somber
anniversary brings new attention to the way forward for coastal
We`ll have a special coverage ahead. Stay with us, we`ll be right back at
the Ed Show.
SCHULTZ: And the voting is in. Here`s where we stand on tonight`s Bing
Pulse Poll. Question, "Are Republicans out of set with Americans on same-
sex marriage?" 88 percent of you voting "Yes", 12 percent "No". You can
keep on voting. We`re coming right back on the Ed Show on MSNBC. Stay
SCHULTZ: And we are back. Protesters demanding answers after the death of
Freddie Gray. The organization Justice League New York City will divert
their 250 mile march to justice to stand in solidarity with this family.
The non-violent activist group wants accountability from Baltimore police.
Gray suffered a severe spinal injury following his arrest by authorities.
He died Sunday morning. Independent and internal investigations are under
Reported Mark Barger of NBC news has more.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hands up, don`t shoot...
MARK BARGER, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Sounds of protest from about 50
people this morning outside Baltimore Police Headquarters.
PRECIOUS WILLIAMS: We just want justice. It`s not right at all. It`s not
BARGER: They`re looking for answers to the death of Freddie Gray. The 25-
year-old died Sunday, one week after accordingly suffering a broken neck
following this arrest captures on cell phone video provided to NBC news by
WILLIAM MURPHY JR., GRAY`S FAMILY ATTORNEY: This was a healthy man who had
a healthy spine and his neck wasn`t broken when he first taken into police
MEGER: Police haven`t given a cause for Gray`s injury or explained the
reason for his arrest, indicating that he run from four officers on
bicycles. During his transfer by a police, an ambulance was summoned and
Gray was taken to the hospital. An autopsy is under way.
The city`s mayor and top police official say an investigation in the
officer`s actions will provide accountability and transparency.
STEPHANIE RAWLING-BLAKE, MAYOR BALTIMORE MC: The family of Mr. Gray
deserves to get answers and so does the community and they deserve to have
trust in those answers.
BARGER: Some of Freddie Gray`s friends say for now, that trust in police
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) from no gang members, no enemies on the
street. You can`t look at police to help. They are hurting people. I
have no gang (ph).
BARGER: Stranger relations between citizens and police are not new in
Baltimore but now they face all new challenge.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: I`m joined tonight by Paul Henderson, Veteran Prosecutor and
Legal Analyst along with Tom Mesereau, Criminal Defense Attorney.
Gentlemen, it seems like every week, we have a police story. What the heck
is going on in America? This one is for the archives. Let me tell you, a
25-year old guy has a broken neck riding a bike, did he have an accident?
I want to ask both of you. First, you, Mr. Henderson, the Justice
Department says it`s premature to intervene. Do you agree with that?
PAUL HENDERSON, LEGAL ANALYST: Well, they`re saying it`s premature to
intervene because there are investigations that are already going on at the
ground at two different levels. So, they`re going to be trying to figure
out at a local level what if anything -- Mr. Gray would have been or could
have been charged with?
And then, secondarily, and this is most importantly, what was the conduct
of the officers that were involved that have been suspended? And keep in
mind, this is more than just a two or four officers that were involved in
the initial detention. It`s going to expand and include the officers that
were involved in the arrest...
HENDERSON: ... and then also in the transportation. And what they`re
going to focus on is the probable cause, because the probably cause will
determine if they were acting within the scope of their duties when they
did whatever they did to Mr. Gray. Because we don`t know, and that`s why
we`re seeing all this discussion with the timeline because we don`t know
when exactly that injury occurred...
HENDERSON: ... and how it occurred, and which officers were involved.
SCHULTZ: And why are they being so tight with the information, Mr.
Henderson? Why is that?
HENDERSON: Because there`s liability attached to that. We`re going to see
what -- there`s possible the risk of wrongdoing from the officers involved.
Certainly, this isn`t standard procedure for when someone is either
arrested or detained for them to have a broken neck.
SCHULTZ: All right.
HENDERSON: So something happened and we don`t know what happened when he
went into the van. We don`t know why the van stopped, and how they had the
delay because the station was only three blocks away from where the
HENDERSON: So certainly they`re going to be having a medical review
involved to determine exactly what the officers did, and how the injury was
caused and, that`s going to be the linchpin for this investigation.
SCHULTZ: Mr. Mesereau, what do you make of all of these so far? When you
see how many officers were involved, where is the liability here? How does
a guy get a broken neck? I mean, the folks look at this saying they must
have beat the kid up. I mean, they`ll quickly come to that conclusion.
THOMAS MESEREAU, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I`ll agree the
investigation is ongoing, and we don`t have all the information. However,
I think we have enough to be extremely suspicious about police behavior.
How did his neck break? Even if there was probable cause to make an
arrest, you don`t break his neck, you don`t stick your knee on his spine,
pull up his limbs as I understand was done, and break his neck. It`s
Now, you know, police have a tendency if left unchecked to devalue the
people in these communities. If you`re in the community that`s low income,
that`s got to crime rate or a moderate crime rate, if you let police go
unchecked, they will treat people as less than humans.
I suspect that if a dog was the treated the way this man was treated,
somebody be charged with animal cruelty. I admit, all the information
isn`t in yet, but based upon what we`ve seen, this is an outrageous,
repeated attempt to devalue people because of their neighborhood, because
of their race, because of what they`re perceived in a stereotypical way as
being, and it`s an outrage.
SCHULTZ: Well, how do court document say that he was arrested without
incident, Mr. Mesereau? I mean...
SCHULTZ: ... there must have been some kind of -- incident.
MESEREAU: Well, it appears, the only incident was what the police created,
by treating him in a subhuman way, and actually murdering him from what I
He has an excellent lawyer in Billy Murphy, who knows his community, has
been a real pillar of a community for years. And I think he`s going to go
after these people tooth and nail, and I hope heads roll.
SCHULTZ: Well, police say that they have no physical or video evidence.
Mr. Henderson, what do you make of that?
HENDERSON: The -- well, we see once again, and I think we`re going to have
this conversation again and again where we`re seeing video coming from the
community. So, once again, this is going to raise the issue of body
cameras again, with police and police department determining whether or
not, they`re going to record things and how they`re going to record things
because that`s going to play a vital role in whatever liability comes out
of this investigation that`s ongoing in this case.
I mean, this is exactly why we have the real concern. And this is the
bigger issue that we have this arrest or we have this incident that
SCHULTZ: Sure it does.
HENDERSON: ... yet again, another death of an African-American man
involved at law enforcement somehow, and the community has answers, that`s
why we`re having these protests again to try and figure out what`s going
on, and how can we stop this pattern that we`re seeing...
SCHULTZ: We are.
HENDERSON: ... in communities that are being victimized by law enforcement
in this way.
SCHULTZ: I want to get Mr. Mesereau in here again. How`s the city
handling this Tom? What do you think?
MESEREAU: Well, I mean clearly, there`s an ongoing investigation. It does
take time and has to be done professionally and with precision. However,
this withholding information on a daily basis, I don`t go for. OK?
We have enough information to be extremely suspicious on why a life was
taken and a family was destroyed. You`ve got the station three blocks
away. It`s ridiculous.
What -- why was he treated this way? Why was a knee put on his spine? Why
were his arms lifted up? And why did his neck break?
It`s outrageous and they should be giving us information on almost an
SCHULTZ: Attorney Tom Mesereau and Paul Henderson, gentlemen thanks for
the conversation. I appreciate it.
Still ahead, Donald Trump`s unexpected stance on protecting the poor, I`ll
have commentary after the break.
And later, we`ll take you to the gulf where communities are still
struggling five years after the Deepwater Horizon disaster. It`s the
Stay with us. We`ll be right back.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show. Here`s a shocker. One very
unexpected Republican has come out in full support of the social safety
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, BUSINESS MAGNATE: Every Republican wants to do a big number
on social security, they want to do it on Medicare, they want to do it on
Medicaid. And we can`t do that. And it`s not fair to the people that have
been paying in for years.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: We can`t do that, meaning the country? Wow, Donald Trump, he`s
100 percent right. It`s unfair to cut people out of the system who have
been paying into it their whole lives. You just can`t privatize
This tells me that Trump is willing to work with the other side or at least
listen. I know everybody thinks that Trump is a joke, and he jumps in
front of the parade all the time, and he`s a carnival barker and all that
kind of stuff. But if it is about the economy, he`s created more jobs than
any of them, than all of the candidates put together.
He`s done more deals. He signed more contracts. He has the business
experience. He`s the guy who`s taken the risk, he`s the guy who has been
successful. I mean Trump`s business experience compared to the rest of the
Republican field is unparalleled, so why don`t they listen to him?
What I`m going to listen for as if there`s any Republican in the field that
will stand up and say, "I have more business experience than Donald Trump",
come on Rubio, I want to hear that.
Stick around, there`s a lot more coming up the Ed Show. We`ll be right
JANE WELLS, CNBC: I`m Jane Wells with your CNBC Market Wrap.
I bet Donald Trump made some money today. Stocks begin the week with a
rally. The Dow jumps 208 point, the S&P is up 19, NASDAQ climbs over 62.
One big winner today Hasbro which surged more than 12 percent, the company
reported much better than expected earnings thanks to strong demand for
boy`s toys superhero and Transformer theme items.
And IBM shares were lower early but returning around for a bit. Earnings
from big blue beat estimates but revenue fell short for the 12th quarter in
That`s it from CNBC, First in Business Worldwide.
SCHULTZ: And we are back. Five years ago today BP`s oil well in the Gulf
of Mexico exploded. More than 3 million barrels of oil spewed into the
gulf, 11 workers were killed. It was more than a deadly accident though.
The blast unleashed an environment catastrophe impacting marine life,
wildlife and human life in a devastating way.
BP has taken a few steps to correct the issue. Earlier today BP along with
the federal and state trustees announced tentative approval for 10 more
natural resource restoration projects, none of the projects are for
Louisiana. Last week in a historic move, shareholders voted for the
company to provide more information about its preparation for low carbon
Today activist are out on the streets demanding more, many feel that the
big oil company is not doing enough. It is virtually impossible to cover
every facet of this tragic event. Earlier this year I went to the gulf to
meet the people in the region, I found out how they are feeling about the
business devastation, the environmental impact, the health concerns, the
restoration projects and the legal fight to achieve restitution.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That fire is still burning on that rig which is said to
be leaking oil into the gulf this, is the coast guard begins to investigate
what went wrong.
SCHULTZ: Describe the impact on the environment from the spill five years
after the fact.
DEAN BLANCHARD, OWNER, DEAN BLANCHARD SEAFOOD: Ed if we tell you some of
the stuff we see and you wouldn`t believe it. I mean I`ve seen birds fly
and then liquid coming out off the bird and all of it suddenly they wiggle
a little bit and just crash and die.
SCHULTZ: The gulf today is nowhere near what it was before the spill.
P.J. HAHN, PELICAN COAST CONSULTING: The Grand Isle as they refer to it is
baffling booming town. I mean it was an awesome place -- and its still an
awesome place to come visit for the locals but it was growing by leaps of
bounds, they got a wonderful mayor that was really promoting the island and
it was doing it was doing fabulous and then when the oil spill came in it
shut everything down.
SCHULTZ: You see the effects everywhere from the environment, to wildlife,
to the seafood industry and to the health of the people. It seems and
What`s the water quality right now?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Its messed up beneath the sea. Whenever you hit the
bottom with a wheel you can see oil coming from the bottom, you know, stuff
like that. It`s this sick (ph).
SCHULTZ: One of the scary things about this is that the birds are still on
these islands coming in here feeding. So you can just imagine the
contamination that takes place within the wildlife. Five years after the
fact, look how dark that is right there. This is stuff that`s been kicked
up from the bottom by prop. This is what it looks like.
Along the beach here in Grand Isle, Louisiana there is evidence all over
the beach of the damaging effects of the spill. Right here right here on
the beach, if I were to dig here what would I find?
BLANCHARD: You find all these tarballs that they buried.
BLANCHARD: Yeah, yeah you`ll find tarballs buried. I mean a lot of people
won`t let their kids on the beach because they, you know, that`s, you know,
if kids get on their beach, they have this little scoop shovel and they`ll
dig them up all day long.
HAHN: Today they`re still getting tarballs on the beach that they have get
cleaned up. Every time we have -- anytime type of -- we can say a
hurricane, high-energy environment that creates a little bit of a storm and
pushes up against the shoreline, these guys come out here and find
tarballs. You`ll find tarballs all day out there.
SCHULTZ: It`s not unusual for the shrimp boats here at Grand island to
come up with this in their nets, this is known as a tarball from the
Corexit that was put on the surface to push the oil down, now all the oil
is gathered like this and it`s on the bottom and it ends up in shrimper`s
nets and they don`t like it.
This is the economic bread basket of the region, shrimp. What is it like
here now is it, there`s no shrimp?
BLANCHARD: Very little, very little we`re probably doing about 30 percent
of what we did before. And it actually got a little bit better last
winter. You could see a couple of dolphins right there, but it used to be
a common as beach you could see thousands of dolphins over here.
SCHULTZ: What about the quality of the shrimp?
BLANCHARD: Here are on the inside water we`re still having mutilated
shrimp, shrimp with no eyes, shrimp with a sores on them. On outside it`s
getting a little bit better.
See this whole (inaudible) that`s not normal that`s all going on to the
heads well that`s a sore you got over here that`s not normal.
SCHULTZ: That`s a sore and that`s not normal right there.
BLANCHARD: His whole shell fell off right here. There should be shell
going all the way to its bottom, that`s a cancer right here you got.
SCHULTZ: That`s a cancer right there.
SCHULTZ: And you can tell about the color of the shell.
BLANCHARD: The shells gone.
SCHULTZ: The shells gone?
BLANCHARD: Yeah you feel it feel it right here. You see there`s shell up
see the shell right here?
BLANCHARD: You see it up.
SCHULTZ: Now what will you do with that?
SCHULTZ: What will you do with that?
BLANCHARD: We don`t eat the head but that`s what most of the stuff
SCHULTZ: So you head (inaudible) off as you ...
SCHULTZ: ... do your going to consume that?
BLANCHARD: Yeah. The government says it`s all right eat...
SCHULTZ: The governor says it`s OK.
BLANCHARD: If you can`t believe the governor you can believe Ed?
SCHULTZ: It`s not only shrimp. The oyster industry has been dramatically
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For us what`s happened is our bay is really down all
(ph) from the last three years, I wish the beds have died for some reason.
What does it do with the oil spill? Some say dispersants were the problem,
the lack of freshwater were some of the problem. I would say no.
SCHULTZ: In all the years you`ve been working?
BARBER: In all the years I`ve never seen -- we used to be -- we`re one of
the biggest suppliers of oysters in the county from the bay and we used to
get 200 to 300 bags a day and now we get about 50.
SCHULTZ: And how about the quality of the oysters?
BARBER: Well, the quality is still pretty good. They we`re just -- you
know, because they reproducing, they`re small and we had a problem with a
lot of them being small. And down in the west into the bay, the oysters
used to grow a little bigger down there. Now, all those oysters have died,
you know, a friend of mine owns an oyster (inaudible) on that side and
he`s, you know, he has nothing.
SCHULTZ: Many local seafood workers believed the tarballs are a direct
result of the chemicals used in an effort to clean up the gulf.
BP refutes that claim and says dispersants weren`t important and highly
affected component of the response to the spill.
What about the Corexit that they use? Did that make it worse?
BLANCHARD: In my opinion that`s what -- that`s the whole problem we got.
If they (inaudible) all the natural substance, I mean once you put a
chemical, I mean, you then destroyed the gulf by putting all the oil in
there. Why would you, you come from a mile by putting that a full five
million galloon of chemicals in there.
SCHULTZ: So they put the chemical on the oil spill, it massed up and fell
to the bottom and it`s still there.
BLANCHARD: And I really believe that when they spread those chemicals,
then the cycle stopped in the bottom (inaudible).
Yeah, it is, that they just suck up the oil. You see in the old days when
you had an oil spill with like my grandfather and I would do, they would
throw hair on the oil because they weren`t put chemical. The oil was
SCHULTZ: That was absorbed.
BLANCHARD: It would float at the top. All is lighted in water. Water
(inaudible). So, if you really want to pick up the oil Ed and it`s on top
of the water, why would sink to the bottom, wouldn`t it be easy to pick it
up if it`s on the top? When they start taking it to the bottom, we knew
they weren`t trying to pick up.
SCHULTZ: While, the gulf is left with chemical residue, many residents are
left with health issues, from rashes on the skin to respiratory problem, to
fatigue. It`s a health misery.
BLANCHARD: You know, (inaudible) air quality over here. You see that
(inaudible) going across the beach? The air quality was right in back in
(inaudible) is this high.
So the wind would blow over the top (inaudible) good air quality.
SCHULTZ: What kind of health problems have you experienced, your friends,
HAHN: I`m sorry, do you have a problem with breathing and a weird rash
that breaks out from time to time. And I, you know, I went to the doctor
and the doctor, I will say what he said, basically he dint know what it was
and came up with some kind of (inaudible) and what the hell is...
SCHULTZ: A lot of folks would have that?
HAHN: Well, and I thought I just contributed to (inaudible) trouble of
breathing and then talking to people that work out there. They`re all
complaining about the same thing, and when we went to the doctor and get
treated for it, it doesn`t help. They treated as like it`s asthma but
vanillin and the other medications that they give you for asthma weren`t
working on it, you still felt the same and it didn`t even relieved it a
But there`s a lot of people that are far off total worst than me. And
still haven`t seen a dime from BP for medical claims.
SCHULTZ: That had nothing to do with the agriculture industry...
HAHN: No. No.
SCHULTZ: ... they`re just folks that live here.
HAHN: Folks that live here, folks that work out there during the oil
spill, folks that came in contact with the oil and they`re in a lot worse
shaped and many of them out there that are worse shapes than I am and it`s
a shame because they`re still suffering and it still have racking up
SCHULTZ: And they`re not getting a dime?
HAHN: They haven`t seen it, they`ll be dead before they see it done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: We`ve reach out to BP and invited representatives to join us here
on the Ed Show, the decline our invitation. BP did send us a statement
which reads in part, "Data, we have seen thus far indicates that the
environmental catastrophe that so many feared, perhaps, understandably at
the time, did not come to pass, and the gulf is recovering faster than
The company also tells us that they have paid $13.7 billion in claims.
Coming up, we`ll have more on our ongoing series. The "Gulf Today, Five
years after the spill." We`ll be right back.
SCHULTZ: Coming up on the Ed Show. More on the impact of the Gulf Coast,
five years after the Deepwater Horizon disaster. I`ll be joined by Brent
Coon, an attorney who`s firm represents nearly 15,000 victims, also
Congressman Frank Pallone who is working to introduce a bill to ban
offshore drilling in the Atlantic, and the Dean Blanchard one of the
country`s largest shrimp buyers.
Dean will discuss what he has seen in the wake of the spill.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BLANCHARD: Ed if we tell you some of the stuff we see and you wouldn`t
believe it. I mean I`ve seen birds fly and then liquid coming out off the
bird and all of it suddenly they wiggle a little bit and just crash and
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: And finally tonight, five years after the BP oil spill, negative
effects are still lingering, and the recovery is slow. Some members of
Congress and people living in the Gulf Coast region want more to be done.
I`m join tonight by Dean Blanchard, New Orleans areas shrimper and owner of
Dean Blanchard Seafood, also with us tonight is Attorney Brent Coon whose
firm represents victims of the BP spill, and with us here in New York,
Congressman Frank Pallone who`s a member of the Energy and Commerce
Committee who`s introducing legislation to ban offshore drilling at the
Congressman, I`ll start with you first tonight. What would this ban mean?
What would be allowed? What would not be allowed?
REP. FRANK PALLONE, (D) NEW JERSEY: Well there wouldn`t be any offshore
drilling for oil and gas off the coast of the Atlantic. Ed, what I want
people to understand is that the BP oil spill could happen easily again.
There were bunch of recommendations by a bipartisan commission which
Congress never enacted, and this type of deep water drilling is as just as
dangerous and prone to a spill as it was five years ago.
SCHULTZ: So, they`re doing the same stuff today they were doing five years
SCHULTZ: ... that there`s really been no curtail of operations at all?
COON: No. Not really. And beyond that, the fact to the matter is that in
the Atlantic, all of the drilling would have to be far out at sea just like
the BP drilling had done. You don`t have the oil or natural gas close to
shore as you do in the Gulf.
So, the type of deep sea drilling if you will, that took place in the case
of BP would have to be done all on the Atlantic to have any results, and
the impact on the tourism industry would even be greater because we`re so
dependent on tourism off the coast of New Jersey, Virginia, the other (ph)
SCHULTZ: Would you go so far as to say that the BP oil spill five years
after the effects is really had no impact on law makers?
COON: It has had no impact whatsoever.
SCHULTZ: Dean, now, that you hear that, its five years after the fact, how
do you feel about it? Good to have with us tonight.
BLANCHARD: Well, it`s surely not surprising. I mean, the Exxon Valdez,
didn`t have no effect on the lawmakers to make new rule. They made new
rule but the oil company didn`t follow.
SCHULTZ: Where are you five years after the fact? What is your business
like today compare to what it was?
BLANCHARD: I told my wife, we`re going to go `till Labor Day, if things
don`t change we`re going to close.
SCHULTZ: Why is Labor Day the drop dead day for your shrimp industry?
BLANCHARD: Well, it`s the last day of our summer season on the isle and
I`ll figure we`d give it to the (inaudible) so we`re going to give it until
Labor Day and if there ain`t any change, we`re just going to close.
SCHULTZ: You get a sense that your area has changed forever?
BLANCHARD: It would never be the same in my life time. I realized that.
I mean, all you got to do is look at what happened in Alaska. I mean, I
don`t know if I got 30 years left.
SCHULTZ: Brent, what about BP`s announcing $134 million in proposed early
restoration projects? Are they trying to make it right?
BRENT COON, BRENT COON & ASSOCIATES: I think it`s the part of their long-
term public relations campaign. To a layperson earning $134 million sounds
like a lot of money but when you break that down into -- how much it
actually cost to make proper reparations, it is a proverbial drop in the
SCHULTZ: The 15,000 people that you represent, Mr. Coon, are they going to
COON: You know a lot of them are not. Ed, we talked about this on your
last series on this case and nothing`s changed. I mean, it`s five years
SCHULTZ: Since the last time you and I talked nothing`s changed?
COON: Nothing`s changed. BP`s entrenched; it`s a witch hunt against the
claimants at this point. Nothing`s changed with the numbers.
They appeal every word that comes out of the claims process. Less than 15
percent of the claimants that submitted claims over the last three years
have been paid, less than 1 percent of the businesses that went under of
the 4,000 businesses at submitted claims had been paid.
It`s a debacle. BP is winning that public relations battle, and they`re
basically starving everyone out and wearing them out.
SCHULTZ: Congressman, what do you make of those numbers?
PALLONE: I didn`t see the actual numbers there in terms of the recovery
but I wouldn`t be surprised. I see...
SCHULTZ: I mean BP, according to Mr. Coon, the attorney who represents
15,000 people, less than 50 percent of the people are going to get
restitution on this.
PALLONE: Yeah. I`m...
SCHULTZ: Why does Congress let them get away with this?
PALLONE: Well, I think they shouldn`t. I mean, you know, one of the
things I should tell you, Ed, is that, you know, the Democrats have wanted
to implement these changes to protect the drilling which, you know, ever
since the BP spill, the Republicans have been in the majority in Congress.
So, that`s why we haven`t been unable to make any changes and to do what is
necessary for recovery as well. But, I think that they should get every
cent of what they`re looking for damages so that they can come back.
I would hate to think the same thing would happen in New Jersey or around
the East Coast if we had a similar spill.
SCHULTZ: But they`re operating the same way, and it could happen.
PALLONE: It could easily happen again.
SCHULTZ: All right. Dean, Governor Bobby Jindal released a statement
today saying that more needs to be done. What would you like to see him
do? What has he done in your opinion?
BLANCHARD: Well, I don`t know if you realized that but it`s Brad (ph) is a
lawyer for BP. I mean, he hasn`t done that.
He has done nothing to help us. I got in an argument with him right at the
beginning. I`ve known Bobby for a long time. He`s done nothing to help
us, nothing at all.
SCHULTZ: Dean, again, you say, Labor Day is the drop dead date for your
business. Don`t they win if you do that?
BLANCHARD: I got no choice. I just can`t afford. It cost me $5,000 a day
to run my business. If I can`t make money between Memorial Day and Labor
Day, I know for sure, I`m not going to make money in the winter time. So
if I can`t get head enough by Labor Day to (inaudible) me through the next
winter. I just as soon (ph) shut down and -- if I`m going to go broke, I
rather go broke watching T.V. on the sofa than working myself to death.
SCHULTZ: Brent, have you seen lives destroyed?
COON: Well, it`s just like what Dean said. I mean I`ve been sitting here
talking to him before the show today. It`s tragic what`s happened to these
coastal communities that lived of about of our marine estuaries in the
gulf, and in the tourism. We`ve had literally millions of lives affected.
We`ve had hundreds of thousands of businesses affected. We`ve had
thousands of businesses that ran out of capital, Ed.
Every week, some of them, still collapsed from the impact of the economy
from five years ago. They just ran out of money to keep things going.
SCHULTZ: Five years ago today. It is the anniversary.
Dean Blanchard, Brent Coon, Congressman Frank Pallone, great to have you
with us tonight. I appreciate it.
That`s the Ed Show. I`m Ed Schultz.
"PoliticsNation" with Reverend Al Sharpton starts right now.
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