All In With Chris Hayes, Thursday, June 11th, 2015
Read the transcript from the Thursday show
Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
Date: June 11, 2015
Guest: Wesley Lowery, Walter Madison, Rhonda Williams, Charles Scudder,
Wendy Davis, Jon Ward, Sabrina Siddiqui, Michael Tomasky, Ryan Grim
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My son is gone and I want to know how long I`ve
got to wait for justice.
HAYES: Breaking news from Ohio, where a judge says the policeman who
shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice should be charged with murder.
Plus, was the man who called the police at that McKinney, Texas pool
party, the same man accused of hurling racist remarks at the African-
American teens there?
Jeb Bush says he has evolved since his 1990s call for more shaming of
JEB BUSH (R), FORMER FLORIDA GOVERNOR: The book was written in 1995.
HAYES: Wendy Davis is here to respond.
And new reporting claims there`s all-out war going on between the
Republican National Committee and the Koch brothers.
ALL IN starts right now.
HAYES: Good evening, from Washington, D.C. I`m Chris Hayes.
We have a stunning development in the shooting death of 12-year-old
Tamir Rice of Cleveland, Ohio, as a judge finds probable cause for murder
charges against the police officer who shot him. It`s been nearly seven
months since police responded to a report of a kid in a park waving around
a gun, that according to the 911 caller was, quote, "probably fake."
As seen on the surveillance tape, Police Officer Frank Garmback pulled
the patrol car up to Tamir Rice. From the passenger side of the car,
rookie police officer, Timothy Loehmann, shoots the 12-year-old in the
abdomen. The entire incident last just seconds, gun turned out to be an
air soft gun.
As the family and community has waited, it was this tape, as we
reported earlier this week, that a group of activists used to invoke an
obscure Ohio law that allows, quote, "a person with knowledge of offense to
file an affidavit and formally ask a judge to order arrests."
Today, just two days after that affidavit was filed, Cleveland
Municipal Court Judge Ronald Adrine responded, and while he did not order
the officers to be arrested and it is still up to prosecutors to actually
file any charges and the ruling remain strictly advisory, he did find there
is probable cause to charge Officer Loehmann who shot Tamir Rice with
murder and voluntary manslaughter, reckless homicide, negligent homicide
and dereliction of duty, and probable cause to charge his partner, Officer
Garmback, with negligent homicide and dereliction of duty.
His ruling, Judge Adrine specifically referenced the speed with which
the officers approached and shot Tamir Rice. The video in question in this
case is notorious and hard to watch. The judge wrote, after viewing it
several times, this court is still thunderstruck by how quickly this turned
deadly. On the video, the zone car containing Patrol Officers Loehmann and
Garmback is still in the process of stopping when Rice is shot.
Judge Adrine has forwarded his opinion to city prosecutors and to the
Cuyahoga County prosecutor, Timothy McGinty, who currently has the case.
Prosecutor McGinty responded with a statement that reads in part, quote,
"This case, as with all other fatal use of deadly force cases involving law
enforcement officers, will go to the grand jury. Ultimately, the grand
jury decides whether police officers are charged or not charged."
Joining me now, Wesley Lowery. He`s national reporter of "Washington
Post", a Cleveland native who has been covering this case.
A lot of confusion today when this case first came out. Let`s talk
about what it does and doesn`t mean.
WESLEY LOWERY, THE WASHINGTON POST: Of course. In this case, it
needs to be pointed out has proceeded in a way that`s atypical as many of
these other police shootings. So, initially, the shooting happened, as we
always see, the police officers kicked it to a higher authority.
In this case, they gave it to the county sheriff. The county sheriff
ran an investigation for several months, and they concluded their
investigation and while many people expected to be we`ll find out will they
be charged, will they not be charged, rather the county sheriff said, we`re
handing our investigation to the prosecutor`s office, we`re not going to
make any recommendations, we`re just going to do recommendations based on
Today, what we saw was the judge, based on this, as you outlined the
petition of these activists and citizens asked for a judge`s opinion.
Should there be an arrest here? Is there enough probable cause for an
arrest? This judge concluded that yes, there is. However, this is a
nonbinding opinion. He`s handing off his take to the prosecutor who is
still in charge of deciding whether or not to bring charges.
HAYES: And part of the frustration that led to this very rare action
by the activist, using a law that`s not broadly applicable in other states.
LOWERY: Very few people knew it even existed.
HAYES: I mean, this was kind of a Hail Mary pass. And it does -- it
has not produced a binding legal result. What it has produced, though, I
think without doubt, is tremendous increase pressure and attention on a
process that many people have felt abandoned by.
LOWERY: Of course. What we know is that officers were very, very
rarely charged in these shootings. On-duty shootings, it very rarely
What this does, in the instance which there are not charges, if they
do not charge these officers, you will now see activists, the family of
Tamir Rice who will be able to say, well, why didn`t the system work
correctly? Because we have a judge, someone who works within the system,
someone who has local and regional expertise on this law, who concluded
there is probable cause. As you pointed out, this really raises the stakes
and raises the pressure on the prosecutor to bring some type of charges
here in this case.
HAYES: Now, this prosecutor has this case, prosecutor today coming
out and saying something I thought was interesting, this will lie with the
grand jury. Of course, in previous cases, the question of whether the
grand jury is independently deciding whether to indict or not, or whether
they`re being led along by the prosecutor towards their conclusion has been
a very loaded one.
LOWERY: Exactly. I mean, that was something we went on back and
forth in Ferguson and other places, in Staten Island, as well.
HAYES: Ferguson with Michael Brown, which there was not an
indictment. Staten Island with Eric Garner, which there was not an
LOWERY: Exactly. And in both of those cases, the prosecutor were
able to say, listen, we gave this to the grand jury, it was up to them one
way or the other. In Cleveland, people who were close to this prosecutor
as well, who`s follow this process, do not necessarily believe. In fact,
there are some confidence or some hope here that this prosecutor, Timothy
McGinty, might bring charges in this case, especially now empowered by this
However, like I said, what we know is very rarely are police officers,
even with all the ducks in line, it`s so rare to see charges.
HAYES: And yet we also have the prosecutor`s office, this
prosecutor`s office just coming off an unsuccessful prosecution of a police
officer in Cleveland who was acquitted after firing dozens at a speeding
LOWERY: Exactly, a car with two unarmed people in it. And so, again,
and that`s a great point, because it`s so rare, we`ve had --
HAYES: You have to wonder how that calculation --
LOWERY: We`ve had over 400 fatal police shootings this year, in 2015,
over 400 fatal police shootings. Three officers have been charged. So,
less than 1 in 100 are charged.
LOWERY: And we`ll see if any of them are convicted, even if they are
HAYES: Yes, that`s right. Wesley Lowery, great reporter, thank you
LOWERY: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: Joining me now, Walter Madison, attorney for the family of
Tamir Rice, and Rhonda Williams, a professor at Case Western Reserve
University, who signed the affidavit of seeking charges, and joined us the
Mr. Madison, let me start with you. The family`s reaction to this
WALTER MADISON, ATTORNEY FOR FAMILY OF TAMIR RICE: Well, they feel
empowered, they feel engaged. They believe they are now part of a system,
that engagement, and they know exactly now what went into it, offers the
transparency which will ultimately hopefully lead to legitimacy and the
authority that law enforcement officers wield. We have this great divide
between the African-Americans and law enforcement officers, and I can`t
think of a better way to foster that trust, which will lead to legitimate
authority, than to allow them to be engaged and have transparency in a
HAYES: Professor Williams, I had you on this program just a few
nights ago when this affidavit was signed. Frankly, it did seem something
like a Hail Mary to me. I`m somewhat surprised by the speed and
definitiveness with which the judge has responded. Are you?
RHONDA WILLIAMS, CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY: Yes, and happily
so. Six months, again, we talked about this on Tuesday, more than six
months ago, Tamir Rice was killed. And here, we filed affidavits on
Tuesday and within a couple of days, we have the judge says there`s
probable cause to arrest both of those men, both of the Cleveland division
police officers, Garmback and Loehmann.
And so, this is a win for the people. It`s a beginning of a process,
but it`s a win for the people. It`s a sign we need to stay engaged, be
engaged, speak up as residents and make our voices heard on behalf of those
who are voiceless and on behalf of a system that we want to see actually
coming into fruition, and that is a just and equitable criminal justice
And we want police to treat our communities equitably and fairly, and
we want police who don`t feel like they`re above the law. And good police
don`t feel like they`re above the law.
WILLIAMS: So we want to see justice in this case.
HAYES: Mr. Madison, I want to read you the Loehmann attorney
statement. Mr. Loehmann, of course, the person who the judge found
committed an act that warrants probable cause of murder charges.
"The order issued by the municipal court does not and should not
impact the investigation being conducted by the Cuyahoga County sheriff`s
department. We respect the authority of the Cuyahoga prosecutor to review
and investigate this case. We all have a responsibility to respect our
Do you have confidence in that same office?
MADISON: Well, what we`re talking about is procedural justice. The
Cleveland eight have offered a blueprint worthy of emulation throughout the
country. And the government, including people like Mr. Loomis, should
encourage this, because when people feel engaged and they can see what
you`re doing, and see that your motives are wholesome, they`re more than
likely to obey and less likely to drive and lead police on chases whereby
fuselage of 137 bullets will have to be released.
It will allow people to stop and learn and interact with each other.
And that`s what we should be pushing towards in the 21st century. I note
the other day, he indicated this was vigilantism and all this other sort of
wild comments. It is simply the law and the people have chosen to make
public servants aware that the servants are there to serve.
And the Cleveland eight -- sure, the Cleveland eight just done just
HAYES: I just wanted to this statement for a second, that statement
was from the Loehmann attorney. I believe you`re referring to the
statement by Loomis, spokesman with the Police Benevolence Association. I
just want to distinguish between those two gentlemen.
I will ask, though, Professor Williams, there is a much lower bar. In
the affidavit you filed bringing, requiring a judge essentially -- making
this request that the judge review probable cause, probable cause is the
lowest threshold, right? I mean, a prosecutor`s office has to make a
determination that`s far above just simple probable cause.
WILLIAMS: Right. I mean, probable cause is important, though,
because probable cause means that there is evidence there. When you have
language used by a judge, Judge Adrine, who says he`s thunderstruck that
there is no -- that there is no evidence of appearance of movement, that
there just seemed to be not enough time for any kind of a response. I
mean, if you`re talking about something that happened under one second,
So probable cause, many people every single day who meet the justice
system, who meet the police system, who are arrested on probable cause and
then have to go forth, and the system has to reckon with whether they can
sustain those charges and move them forward in the process.
And so, we as citizens are asking that the police are treated in a
similar manner, police who break the law or who we deem to break the law,
who we see from this video actually use deadly force, that is clear, that
they move through the system like everyone else moves through the system.
Public servants actually should have a higher bar of the ways in which
they engage with the public. They should have a higher bar. They`re
trained. They know they`re going into a dangerous situation, and we
So, we want to see justice prevail and we want the community to remain
engaged and people to continue to support us in Cleveland. The Cleveland
eight, I am one of eight people and we want justice.
HAYES: Walter Madison and Rhonda Williams, thank you so much.
Coming up, the witness to the McKinney, Texas pool party incident who
went on FOX News and suggested race had nothing to do with it is now
accused by other attendees of being the one shouting racist remarks in the
Plus, bro in a hot mic. You won`t believe what one Republican had to
say about Senator Lindsey Graham when he thought no one was listening.
All that and Wendy Davis is here. Don`t go away.
HAYES: Earlier today, the Senate Appropriations Committee had
convened for what was intended to be a routine markup session. But a live
microphone not only caught the roll call but rather some -- I don`t know,
unexpected comments from Republican Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois regarding
the love life of Senator Lindsey Graham.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
SEN. MARK KIRK (R), ILLINOIS: I`ve been joking with Lindsey that he
doesn`t have a -- did you see that? He`s going to have a rotating first
lady. He`s a bro with no ho.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
HAYES: Senator Kirk was commenting on remarks made this week by
presidential hopeful Lindsey Graham. Graham who is single was asked by
"The Daily Mail Online" who would serve as first lady if he were elected
president, Graham`s response, "Well, I`ve got a sister. She can play the
role if necessary. I`ve got a lot of friends. We`ll have a rotating first
Perhaps the foundation for America`s next great reality show, or
something for Senator Mark Kirk to pass the time during an appropriations
In a comment to "The Huffington Post", Kirk`s office would only say
the senator was joking around with colleagues, indisputable.
I`ll ask former Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis about
Senator Kirk`s comments and much more, ahead.
HAYES: New details are emerging about some of the people at the
center of the now infamous pool party in McKinney, Texas, including a FOX
News star witness. The incident became a national flashpoint after this
YouTube video showing Police Officer Eric Casebolt violently wrestling a
15-year-old girl to the ground, and drawing a firearm when a group of
teenagers ran to his aid.
One of the women in a different video of what was said to be the
original scuffle of the party was publicly identified by Twitter users, and
subsequently placed on administrative leave by her employer. And we learn
today, the officer, Casebolt, who resigned on Tuesday, has now retained a
criminal defense attorney.
As the McKinney incident became a national story, conservative media
has rushed to defend the officer and argue that race had nothing to do with
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRENT EMBRY: This is not Ferguson. This is not Baltimore. This is
not Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, or Eric Garner or anything like this.
What this is, is an out of control pool party.
JONATHAN GILLIAM: When you have the one parent, the parent of the one
girl who was really the most disrespectful, coming out and playing the race
card, what you see is a direct correlation between her behavior and his
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m sick of the instant race narrative the minute
black kids are involved.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: All right. A man named Sean Toon (ph) seen here holding a
sign in support of the McKinney police has been offering media outlets what
he casts as a disinterested eyewitness portrait of what really happened.
Toon was at the pool party and says he called police and he told FOX News
that none of the residents were racist towards the teenagers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MEGYN KELLY, FOX NEWS: Did you hear any of the residents use any
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn`t hear anything like that. The stuff I was
hearing was towards the residents of the pool saying you guys just don`t
want any black people here and you`re racist.
KELLY: There was an allegation that somebody there, that a security
guard there has said to those jumping the fence something like, go back to
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I never heard him say anything remotely
similar to that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Sean Toon says he never heard anything like that. But here`s
the thing -- on Monday, I interviewed Grace Stone, who attended the party,
and her party. She said at least one resident had used a racial slur
against the teens.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE STONE: He -- well, when we were trying to get a group of teens
in the pool, he said, to go back to section eight housing where you belong
and get out of my neighborhood.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Today, Grace Stone told ALL IN that that man was, in fact,
none other than Sean Toon (ph), who explicitly told FOX News he had not
heard anyone using language like that.
In a statement to ALL IN, Grace Stone and her mother said, quote,
"Grace was truly disappointed to see what he believes are absolute lies
from the interview given by Mr. Toon. Grace witnessed Mr. Toon use racial
slurs and profanity. She found it ironic that he was complaining about his
children hearing the DJ`s music and chatter from teens but OK to hear the
filth from his own mouth."
"BuzzFeed" reports that Toon was allegedly part of a group of adults
who instigated the racist abuse. The reports said he had been at the pool
with the women involved in the fight. According to another eyewitness, a
woman involved in that fight also used racial slurs.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: Tatyana Rhodes says two white women at the pool started an
TATYANA RHODES: And saying things like, you black f`er, and that`s
why you live in section eight homes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: FOX News promoted Toon`s version of events on Tuesday, while
questioning the credibility of activist Dominic Alexander with FOX anchors
characterizing Alexander as having a checkered criminal past, yet BuzzFeed
reports that Toon served 285 days in jail for being among the group of
teens charged in breaking into a barn, beating at least 12 turkeys to death
and spray painting the animal with his school`s colors to celebrate a
Toon was also reportedly arrested in 1999 for aggravated assault with
a deadly weapon. We`ve reached out to Mr. Toon for comment and we received
Joining me now is Charles Scudder, who covers McKinney, Texas, for the
"Dallas Morning News".
Charles, there`s been a lot of conflicting accounts about how this
whole thing started. But what seems firmly established at this point is,
A, that Mr. Toon has been going around portraying himself as a
disinterested eyewitness was in the midst of whatever instigated there in
the beginning, isn`t that right?
CHARLES SCUDDER, DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Well, honestly, Chris, I don`t
know anything about that. I haven`t talked to him. I haven`t run into him
when I`ve been up there, so I can`t say much about what he`s been saying on
HAYES: What is your sense of how this is -- the sort of fallout has
played out in the community?
SCUDDER: The community itself, I talked to a lot of local pastors and
leaders in McKinney and they`re preaching reconciliation right now. I know
there`s a bunch more protests scheduled for tomorrow, protests and counter-
protests from activists in Dallas and elsewhere. But the folks in McKinney
are really hoping to distance themselves a little from that and find an
opportunity to build on things that happened this week to create a more
HAYES: What was the reputation of McKinney been like locally before
SCUDDER: You know, McKinney, "Time" magazine rated McKinney last fall
as the number one place to live in America. And it`s a wealthy suburb,
majority white, but it`s got cute as a button downtown, it`s got a really
nice art scene, arts and culture. And they have a playhouse and all that
It`s by no means a bad place to live. I think everyone there is
hoping that they can, as the number one city to live, that everyone I
talked to mentioned that and talks about how they`re trying to live up to
HAYES: Do you -- there was a court settlement around McKinney
essentially barring section eight housing from entering into the town. Has
that controversy been resolved?
SCUDDER: Are you talking about the 2009 lawsuit?
HAYES: That`s right, yes.
SCUDDER: I don`t know specifically. I can tell you that there is a -
- somewhat of a split between east and west McKinney. It`s one town, but
the east side and west side, I think it`s U.S. Highway 5 that runs down the
middle of it.
But that doesn`t necessarily mean that the east side is a slum by any
regards. I know a lot of people have been talking about that. And it`s a
wealthy community. It`s -- it has its problems just like any other
community in the U.S., but, you know, they`re trying to, like I said, make
it a more inclusive place, just like I`m sure everywhere is.
HAYES: All right. Charles Scudder, thank you very much.
SCUDDER: Thank you.
HAYES: Up next, "The Restoration of Shame". That`s the name of the
chapter Jeb Bush`s book which he argued out of wedlock were up because
we`re not ridiculing single mothers like we did in the good old days. I`ll
ask Wendy Davis for her thoughts on that little gem.
Stay with us.
HAYES: Jeb Bush was in Poland today trying to explain a passage in
his 1995 book that advocated for increased public shaming of unwed mothers.
"Huffington Post" first unearthed the passage from Jeb`s 1995 book,
"Profiles in Character". In a chapter titled, "The Restoration of Shame,"
Bush cited Nathaniel Hawthorne`s 1850 book "The Scarlet Letter" as an
example of the good old days.
"Infamous shotgun weddings and Nathaniel Hawthorne`s Scarlet Letter
are reminders that public condemnation of irresponsible sexual behavior has
strong historical roots."
Also, "One of the reasons more young women are giving birth out of
wedlock and more young men are walking away from their paternal
obligations, there is no longer a stigma attached to this behavior, no
reason to feel shame."
Today, in Warsaw, Bush chuckled when asked about the passage by
MSNBC`s own Benjy Sarlin, and explained that his views have evolved since
the `90s, or the 1850s for that matter.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: The book was written in 1995. My views have evolved over time.
But my views about the importance of dads being involved in the lives of
children hasn`t changed at all. In fact, since 1995, if you look at the --
this book was a book about cultural indicators, the country has moved in
the wrong direction, 40 plus percent out of wedlock birth rate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now, former Texas state senator and former
candidate for governor, Wendy Davis, someone who knows a little something
about single motherhood, in your own life and your mother was a single
mother, as well.
WENDY DAVIS (D-TX), FORMER CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR: She was, yes.
HAYES: First of all, respond to Jeb Bush`s response to his own
DAVIS: Well, I think it`s part and parcel of the women problem that
we`re going to see with these GOP presidential candidates. What`s
interesting to me is that Jeb Bush is supposed to be one of the more
reasonable of the bunch. And clearly, he`s demonstrated a complete lack of
understanding about the challenges and the support that we, as a society
through our policies and otherwise ought to be providing to women who are
doing the most difficult thing there is, and that is to raise a child on
HAYES: It also strikes me as a kind of message in a bottle or time
capsule for a little bit of a different political time. I mean, actually
out of wedlock births have come down, teen pregnancies have come down --
I`m sorry, take that back, teen pregnancies have come down, out of wedlock
births remain around the same rate. But we`ve also seen a shift in the way
the conversation happens culturally or politically than it was happening
DAVIS: Indeed we have.
And, you know, we, I think, had advanced -- or hoped had advanced to a
place of greater understanding that what women really need, particularly
young women, they need good sexual education. Young men need that, as
It`s really interesting this perspective, because it puts women in a
no-win situation. They aren`t to be appropriately educated on sex. They
are held to a standard that says that they ought not to terminate an
unplanned pregnancy. And then they`re condemned if they carry a pregnancy
to term as though somehow they ought to be shamed for having done something
that, on the Republican side at least, they`ve certainly been pressured to
HAYES: Yeah, right, the same -- why should the shame attached to
choosing to carry the child to term which is presumably the action that
they would want.
That brings me to a bill introduced by Lindsey Graham today in the
Senate, which would create a 20-week abortion ban, that`s modeled on
legislation that has
sprouted up across the country, in your own Texas for example.
What is going to happen? This teams inevitably headed towards the
courts and the most aggressive attempt at a sort of frontal assault we`ve
seen on Roe that
we`ve seen in a while.
DAVIS: Well, again, this is Senator Graham demonstrating the problem
the GOP presidential candidates have with women. This is clearly
unconstitutional. And in the states where it`s been challenged and gone up
to circuit courts, it`s been held to be unconstitutional. If it makes its
way to the Supreme Court, I expect that the same response will occur.
And again, it is a politician using women as a political wedge to try
to gain an advantage in a political contest, in a way that has a
devastating impact ultimately on women`s rights and their constitutional
HAYES: You know, it strikes me that Roe still exists today
essentially as a
Supreme Court holding, but that the actual on the ground reality is that
it`s essentially been functionally overturned in a lot of places.
Your home state of Texas right now, which is down I think eight or
nine facilities that are going to be left after this latest court ruling.
DAVIS: That`s right.
And again, I think that the Supreme Court, I hope that they are going
to push back against this. There was a decision made long ago about the
right of privacy
that is constitutionally guarantied to women in the reproductive arena.
And on this question that Lindsey Graham raises, it certainly begs us to
talk about that.
This is a deeply personal issue. And it`s very, very rare that women
have post 20-week abortions. When they do, it is almost always the case
that there was
an undiscovered fetal abnormality or something in the mother`s health that
will be threatened and we ought to be leaving it up to the private decision
making of doctors and women, and not have politicians intruding upon this,
and not only not intruding upon it, but using it literally as a way to try
to gain political advantage in a Republican primary.
HAYES: What remains to be seen is the politics of this. There`s the
sort of constitutional question, which ultimately I think should carry.
But part that part of the week that these -- part of the reason these 20-
week bans have been successful is they are good politics, right, at least
on their surface they appear to be.
DAVIS: You know, there`s no question that on the ideologically
conservative side of the aisle people have come to understand that using
abortion as a political wedge plays well to their base. But the long-term
consequences of these intrusions into a woman`s constitutionally protected
right are devastating over time.
And it is my hope that women, Republican and Democrat, will react to
this and will demonstrate to these politicians that though they are trying
to appeal to a far right-wing part of their party`s base, it is going to
have a backlash and there will be a response by women who will vote with
this issue, single most of importance when they go to the ballot box.
HAYES: Wendy Davis, a real pleasure to see you in person.
DAVIS: Thank you, Chris, great to see you.
HAYES: All right, up next, Marco Rubio`s luxury speedboat, is it
even that luxurious? Is it each a speedboat? Does any of this really
matter? Oh, it matters. We will tell you why when we return.
HAYES: Luxury boatgate entered its second day as the political world
continues to debate what has become the most controversial splurge purchase
in presidential politics, currently centering around the boat owned by one
Senator Marco Rubio.
This week, in a front page investigation into Senator Rubio`s
financial past, The New York Times reported Rubio`s 2012 purchase of what
they describe as an $80,000, I`m quoting here, luxury speedboat after Mr.
Rubio got an $800,000 book advance.
Last night on this program, conservative columnist A.J. Delgado
questioned Rubio`s financial responsibility. She was cheered on by Ann
Coulter who tweeted during this show, "conversely, the Daily Show, like
yours truly, is on Rubio`s side.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENITFIED MALE: Splurging on luxury items? Not saving enough? We
get a peek inside Marco Rubio`s bankbook. Do his past money troubles
JON STEWART, HOST, THE DAILY SHOW: Suddenly the man who paid off his
student loans and got a boat is printing counterfeit hundreds in his
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Perhaps the best take on luxury boatgate comes from the
Huffington Post in the form of a column when my friend Ryan Grim entitled
"A speedboat is not a fishing boat. Here`s why that matters to Marco
Here to expand on that is Ryan Grim of the Huffington Post.
OK, I love this piece. The difference between a speedboat and a
fishing boat, why is that distinction important, and which is this boat?
RYAN GRIM, HUFFINGTON POST: Well, you know, I thought the piece was
actually fine. I disagreed with Jon Stewart except for that one piece
where they said that this is a speedboat, because to me that is a
disqualifying fact about Marco Rubio, if it was true.
HAYES: You`re saying speedboat ownership would disqualify you from
the presidency of the United States?
GRIM: It should disqualifies...
HAYES: Because it`s such an odious thing to own?
GRIM: It disqualifies you from civilized society, let alone the White
House. Nobody who owns a speedboat belongs anywhere near decent people and
they know it.
So -- but it turned out that he was not riding a speedboat.
HAYES: Right. That`s a speedboat just for the record. They`re
incredibly, incredibly loud. They go very fast. They guzzle fuel.
They`re sort of seen as kind of scourges of the sea to anyone else who is
operating in the open water.
GRIM: Right. And I actually reported my assertion out. It`s always
been my belief...
HAYES: That`s what made this piece so good.
GRIM: And we`ll call them jerks since this is a family show, but it`s
always my opinion that people that are riding around in these boats are
jerks. So, I called as many representatives as these jerks as I can find.
HAYES: And they basically on the record concede to you, yes,
basically you`re right.
GRIM: Yeah. That`s right. That`s more or less right.
And the guy is like, well sure, it`s easy to generalize one guy, like,
well is the generalization true? He`s like, yeah.
And more or less to be honest, yeah, it`s pretty much true.
The difference, though, a fishing boat, though, is completely
different. If you want a fishing boat, what does it say about you? It
says -- you`re not trying to give the middle finger to the world. You want
to get out on the bay, you want to get out on the water. You want take a
little time away, drink a beer with your family, with your buddies. You
might catch a fish, you might not catch a fish, but it says something
decent about yourself and what you want out of this life and world.
HAYES: Do you own a fishing boat? Is this some sort of elaborate
justify your own fishing boat purchase?
GRIM: No. But when I watch the promotional video for the fishing
boat that Rubio did buy, I wanted that thing. I don`t have $80,000. I
don`t have a dock.
HAYES: What you learn from Marco Rubio, maybe you don`t need to have
GRIM: No money down. Sure. I need an $800,000 book advance to pay
off my student loans and get a boat.
But the impulse is to get a boat, the aspiration is very essentially
middle class, and especially South Florida. You`re going to knock a guy in
South Florida for wanting a boat?
HAYES: This -- I thought it was also a good point that there was
actually data you got from like the median income if you were buying these
boats is beneath
$100,000 a year.
GRIM: And the boating industry took a huge hit after the recession.
HAYES: Right. You can imagine the first thing to go when you`re
looking -- kicking down your expenses is like maybe we won`t buy the boat.
GRIM: And that wouldn`t be true if this was a one percenter activity,
because you can still afford everything. They just go from $35 million to
$30 million in the bank or whatever.
But -- no, so the boating industry took a huge hit and an overwhelming
number of people who own boats have incomes of less than $100,000, less
HAYES: Very quickly on a slightly more substantive knock on Marco
Rubio, he was one of the people that voted for this now very controversial
bill, the "Scarlet Letter" bill, which basically when he was back in the
state legislature in Florida with Jeb as a governor, would have required a
woman giving up her child to basically print her sexual history in the
paper to tell the possible father that she was giving the father up for
adoption. He voted for that.
GRIM: Yeah. It`s legalized shamming of women.
What I don`t understand here is that the police blotter in a typical
Florida newspaper is already several pages long and extremely entertaining.
HAYES: The source of Florida Man.
GRIM: Now they need to know who everybody is sleeping with, as well?
I mean, come on.
HAYES: And the guy voted for it. And it was overturned by the
Ryan Grim, thank you for your time.
GRIM: Thank you.
HAYES: Coming up, you know things are rough when the GOP --
turned on the Koch brothers. One RNC operative is calling it, quote, all
Get the popcorn. We`ll be right back.
HAYES: In the fall of 2003, I attended a fund-raiser at the Chicago
Hilton -- Chicago Hyatt for an Illinois state senator running for the U.s.
Senate named Barack Obama. I was there because my friend was his fund-
raiser at the time and well, they didn`t have enough actual donors to fill
the place, so she invited some
friends to fill the room, I was one of them, and eat cheese cubes.
And that night, I met these two guys, Ben Helfand (ph) and Paul Smith
who would later become goo friends of mine. As soon as I met them, I
learned of this crazy ass plan they had to turn an abandoned elevated
freight rail line on the west
side of Chicago into an elevated public park, stretching across four
neighborhoods and three miles. It sounded awesome but a preposterous pipe
I mean, this was three years before the high line in New York had even
I thought at the time, hey, this idea will never happen, but you know,
everyone needs a hobby.
And yet, last weekend, 12 years after Ben and Paul founded Friends of
the Bloomingdale Trail as their plucky little group was called, the trail,
now called the 606, opened to great fanfare.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RAHM EMMANUEL, MAYOR OF CHICAGO: I want to congratulate all the
residents of the four communities for never giving in and they have giving
up. This is your day, this is your park. This is your celebration.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Paul Smith took this awesome time lapse video of a bike ride
across the length of the park. And you can see how beautifully it connects
neighborhoods in a city that`s one of America`s most segregated.
I honestly cannot believe this exists, a victory for public space,
public mindedness and a urban diversity, and also a reminder of a big
important truth that`s all too easy to lose sight of in these bleak news
cycles. Sometimes the good guys win.
As Nelson Mandela said, it always seems impossible until it`s done.
HAYES: There`s a beef emerging between the Koch brothers and the
Republican National Committee that`s turning into what one Republican
operative described as, quote, all-out war. Detailed in an amazing report
today from Yahoo News, and it comes down to what is arguably the single
most valuable commodity in contemporary electoral politics: voter data.
Not only talking about who the voters are, but where they are, what
they like to do, how often they have voted and how they like to vote. The
RNC reached a deal last year to share its voter information with the Koch
brothers. In a press release the agreement was called, quote, a historic
data sharing partnership.
But according to that report from John Ward in Yahoo News today, after
the fall midterm elections, the deal was allowed to expire without being
renewed. The RNC and Koch brothers are now battling over who gets control
of that data. And although both organizations have their own datamining
operations, Yahoo News is reporting the Koch`s I-360 platform for managing
voter contacts, which is viewed by many as a superior, easier to use
interface than what`s on offer from the RNC is becoming increasingly
popular among Republican campaigns.
I think it`s very dangerous and wrong, said RNC chief of staff Katie
Walsh, to allow a group of very strong, well financed individuals who have
no accountability. To anyone to have control over who gets access to the
data when, why and how.
We reached out to the Koch brothers for comment, but have yet to get a
Now in this post Citizens United era in which super PACs have changed
the game, what the heck, one has to ask, is the point of even having a
Republican National Committee when you`ve got the Koch brothers and their
database? We`ll tackle that question, next.
HAYES: Joining me now, Jon Ward, senior political correspondent for
Yahoo News, who wrote that piece we were just talking about; Sabrina
Siuddiqui, political reporter for The Guardian, Michael Tomasky, special
correspondent for The Daily Beast.
Jon, let me start with you. It was a great piece, and it revealed
something profound about the modern campaign architecture post Citizens
Unite. Two things. One is, why do we have parties anymore? And two, the
absolute importance of voter data.
Let`s start with the voter data. Why it`s so important.
JON WARD, YAHOO NEWS: Yeah. I mean, there are two things that
parties of campaigns or state parties need data for: targeting and turnout
and persuasion. That`s basically it. You want to find out who you need to
get to the polls and the
people that you`re sure if they`re going to vote for you, you`re going the
try to persuade them.
Republicans have traditionally been very good at turnout, Democrats
have gained an edge over the last several years in persuasion. Those are
the kind of two main things that data is used for.
HAYES: When I was doing very little bit of field organizing back in
2004, when I`ve been around it even a decade ago, that data, that voter
file was kind
of the cornerstone of what a local party was. Like, when you talked about
what a local Democratic Party in some county was, it was like they had the
voter file basically.
What is a political party, Mike, without a voter file?
MIKE TOMASKY, THE DAILY BEAST: It`s nothing much without a voter
file. And this is what national committees do now. They maintain and
update voter files and they raise money. Those are really their only two
Reince Priebus has always kind of been a little bit surprising to me
ways that he has jumped into policy and even philosophical debates
sometimes when he has done that, particularly with his autopsy after the
election. Party chairs don`t do that kind of thing. They raise money and
maintain the voter file, that`s all they`re supposed to do, period.
HAYES: But we now live in an era in which they have to raise hard
money, they have caps on donations. And they have to disclose their donors
and they might have an inferior voter file product, as Jon`s reporting
And so the question becomes at what point are they essentially
surpassed in importance? And is that going to happen in this cycle,
particularly on the Republican side?
SABRINA SIDDIQUI, THE GUARDIAN: I don`t think it`s going to happen in
this cycle. I think there`s the difference between the short-term and the
long-term. And I think that at least for now one thing that`s clear,
though, is that a lot of Republican candidates, and certainly Republican
leadership and congress, they don`t want to pick an open battle with the
Koch brothers. You know, they were so heavily reliant on the Koch brothers
when it comes to donations.
So this is an RNC right now looking at the longer term where they feel
they`re losing influence anyway with the rise in super PACs.
HAYES: I love that quote about -- I love the quote from the chief of
staff being like these unaccountable -- these people are accountable to no
one. We can`t just let have all this power. It`s like, yeah, that`s --
yes, thank you. That`s what we`ve been saying.
SIDDIQUI: At least for now, though, the RNC has a binding commitment,
though. They can`t turn away anyone who has an R attached to their name
when it comes to accessing these files whereas the Koch brothers could down
the road decide...
TOMASKY: I mean, they can, but they`re more constrained.
SIDDIQUI: More constrained.
HAYES: But that`s what makes this -- that`s what makes it so
fascinating, right. Because you can imagine a future (inaudible), at least
one of the Koch brothers gets his start in libertarian party politics,
right. There was an alternate party. And then he sort of turned away from
that, because he sort of thought that was a dead end.
But you can imagine the Kochs essentially -- I mean, they have the
resources to do it. They`ve hired a lot of very smart people. You could
imagine, Jon, that they build something that really does start to look like
essentially a parallel party.
WARD: Yeah. And I would just distinguish between the quality of data
the quality of tools. Obviously this is like a mind numbing topic. But I
think the RNC`s data is good, it`s fine. It`s just these tools that people
use for voter contact, I-360, the Koch brothers organization has gotten a
leg up on that.
And as far as, you know, trying to take the place of the party -- I
was quite frankly stunned at the frankness the RNC had in these comments,
especially the one the record by the chief of staff. I mean, it`s pretty
HAYES: It`s sort of like they`re trying to put us out of business.
And the other one that was a blind quote by an anonymous source was
TOMASKY: Well, the Kochs are going to spend $900 million -- almost a
dollars. Is the RNC going to raise that much money?
HAYES: No way.
WARD: That`s how much money was spent all last cycle.
HAYES: That`s how much was spent all last cycle. But also, remember
we`re dealing with completely apples and oranges in terms of the legal
regimes guiding that fundraising, right. The RNC has got to raise this
from what $32,000 chunks, or whatever the hard limit is now. It`s very
hard -- The Koch brothers can literally go -- and that`s how they`ve raised
it. Like done. Now we are done raising it.
WARD: But I think the RNC is pivoting now to a different argument
than they`ve been making. Because they`ve been, I think, concerned about
this for at least two or three years. But for the first time they`re
acknowledging that they have gotten behind on some things and that they`ve
made some mistakes and they`re
making the philosophical argument, which is definitely strongest ground to
HAYES: I want to talk about also the sort of developments in the Jeb
campaign this week. I think -- I mean, look, I remember we were talking in
the editorial meeting this morning. I said I remember articles being
written in November of 2007 about Barack Obama was dead in the water in
Iowa and what a disaster and he was never going to win and what the heck.
So, like, obviously this doesn`t mean anything for the future. But in
terms of what it means now, it was an acknowledgment of what seemed to be
pretty obvious, the Jeb Bush campaign has not gone very well at all.
TOMASKY: Barack Obama was a pretty bad candidate in the summer of
2007, as Jeb Bush has been a bad candidate this summer. But bad candidates
can be bad in different ways.
Barack Obama was a rookie, he made some rookie errors. But I don`t
think there was any question that he was hungry for the job.
Now, Jeb Bush`s problems are different problems. He`s really rusty.
And he seems very ambivalent about this whole thing.
HAYES: I`m always amazed by watching the clips of the sound that
comes in. In a weird way kind of find it weirdly appealing, because it`s
like, are you campaigning or are you just chilling?
SIDDIQUI: Well, look, I think there were three main miscalculations
on the Bush campaign in waiting`s part. One was simply that they projected
that he would fund-raise at these record levels and he`s poised to fall
well short of that.
They also thought that putting out this fast, hard fundraising threat
would scare away some of the other candidates like Marco Rubio. And on
that same point, they`ve underestimated some of the desire for a fresh
face, for a younger face. You needn`t look further than Scott Walker and
Rubio as that example.
And thirdly, he just simply hasn`t performed along the stump. He`s
sticking to the middle ground. He`s trying to play a longer game. He`s
not pandering. But he`s struggling to articulate why it is that they should
trust him on education, on immigration, or some of these issues that the
base is angry about.
HAYES: The point you made to me is a key one. And it hooks to the
Kochs. Which is that the supply of funds has expanded so much. You can`t
scare someone out of the race by fundraising...
SIDDIQUI: Marco Rubio has a billionaire backing his entire campaign.
HAYES: All right, Jon Ward, Sabrina Siddiqui and Michael Tomasky,
thank you all for joining us.
That is All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow Show starts right
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