Guest: Dan Stein, Michael Brune
KEITH OLBERMANN, “COUNTDOWN” HOST: And, now, with a member of the one
who groups who helped write the Arizona law, joining her to discuss, so
let‘s have that cleanup ready in the D.C. studio—ladies and gentlemen,
here is Rachel Maddow.
Good evening, Rachel.
RACHEL MADDOW, HOST: Good evening, Keith. I‘m expecting a spirited
and constructed and civil discussion.
OLBERMANN: Oil everywhere on the floor, on the ceiling, I‘m sure of
MADDOW: Thank you, Keith.
Thanks to you at home for staying with us for the next hour. Tonight,
there are politicians all over America. Who are probably wishing they
could take four simple syllables back, but it‘s too late for that.
MADDOW (voice-over): As political slogans go, it seemed like a pretty
catchy one at the time.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
MICHAEL STEELE, RNC CHAIRMAN: Drill, baby, drill.
SARAH PALIN ®, FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: Drill, baby, drill.
RUDY GIULIANI ®, FMR. NYC MAYOR: Drill, baby drill.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN ®, ARIZONA: As that sign says over there, my
friends: drill, baby, drill.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
MADDOW: After a Democratic president sides with the “drill, baby,
drill” crowd, reality catches up to and overtakes the political appeal of
And when your hot shot Senate candidate is against it and your hot
shot former half-term governor turned money machine is all for it, it is a
big problem for you. “It” is Arizona‘s “paper‘s please” law which is
teaching the Republican Party a hard lesson: Live by the wedge issue, die
by the wedge issue.
We‘ve already introduced you to the people behind “papers please” and
what they‘re all about. They‘re a group called FAIR and they felt we
weren‘t especially fair to them. Tonight, Dan Stein for the Federation for
American Immigration Reform joins us to respond and to face some questions
-- at length.
Plus, a scoop about Ken “The Cuch” Cuccinelli, Virginia‘s one-man gang
that sue the federal government over health reform, it turns his lawsuit
against the tyrannical Obamacare that he said would only cost Virginia $350
has turned out to be mainly a fundraising ploy. We have the evidence.
And we have the evidence that Vladimir Putin fears nothing, as long as
anything scary is drugged and blow dried to look pretty before he has to
THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW starts right now.
MADDOW: Ready or not, here it might be. It turns out they‘re going
for immigration reform. Yes. The long-awaited yet largely unexpected
fight to reform federal immigration policy is, as of today, unexpectedly
upon us. The tick-tock of what led up to us learning this today is a
little bit head-spinning.
Last night, President Obama told reporters on Air Force One that
Congress probably lacked the, quote, “appetite to take on immigration this
election year.” That comment from the president led to the broadly
understood truth expressed by this completely conclusive “Associated Press”
headline. It‘s not going to happen. “Immigration reform off the agenda,”
so says Obama.
Well, this morning, House Minority Leader John Boehner one up the
“A.P.,” saying, quote, “There is not a chance that immigration is going to
move through the Congress.” Not a chance.
Not long after Mr. Boehner took up residence on that particular limb,
Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid got all “oh, yes” on the subject.
Senator Reid called Mr. Boehner‘s bluff and introduced what he called a
framework for overhauling U.S. immigration laws. It spells out tougher
border security, high tech I.D. cards for immigrant workers, a new process
to admit temporary workers, tough sanctions on employers who hire people
who are in this country illegally, and eventually a path to citizenship for
those who are currently here illegally.
Neat. It‘s neat, that he introduced it. That‘s what they want to do.
We‘ve got a framework.
But didn‘t the president just last night say on his giant airplane
full of reporters that immigration was off the agenda? Yes, he did say
that. At least that‘s what everybody thought he said.
Tonight, it all changed. The president put out a statement that says,
quote, “The proposal outlined today in the Senate is a very important step
in the process of fixing our nation‘s broken immigration system. What has
become increasingly clear is that we can no longer wait to fix our broken
immigration system, which Democrats and Republicans alike agree doesn‘t
The president is saying we can no longer wait. Well, OK, then. As
unlikely as it looked at sunrise today, the Democratic leadership is right
now on pretty of the same page about immigration.
On the other side of the aisle, however, Republicans are not only not
on the same page, they‘re not even in the same book. As the country
prepares now for a new huge political fight over a critical issue, the
Republican Party has a giant crack running right down the middle of it.
Arizona‘s “papers please” law was signed last week. And while that can be
seen as an impressive accomplishment for the right-wing of the Republican
Party in that state flexing its legislative muscles, it also really puts
the rest of the Republican Party in the country on the spot. Suddenly,
everyone in the party is expected to go on record now and say what they
think about Arizona‘s way out there anti-immigration law.
And while the people on the far-right of the party who like that law
may be excited about that, it is not a recipe for party unity. Take for
example tea party favorite Marco Rubio, the guy who just forced Charlie
Crist out of the Republican Party for being too moderate. Marco Rubio
released a statement about the Arizona “papers please” law, which said in
part, quote, “I think aspects of the law, especially that dealing with
reasonable suspicion, are going to put our law enforcement officers in an
incredibly difficult position. It could also unreasonably single out
people who are here legally, including many American citizens.”
So the single most recognizable candidate associated with the tea
party movement nationwide has just come out against the “papers please”
law. Will all of his supporters in the tea party movement also be speaking
out about this law now? You know, all those people protesting too much
government intrusion into our lives?
If you‘re really for small government, you‘d think they‘d be lining up
alongside the tea party hero, Marco Rubio, to denounce any law that compels
people to stop people on the street and demand to see papers—a law that
presumes you‘re illegal unless you can prove otherwise. Talk about big
government, oh, boy.
So far, though, not a peep from the tea partiers—which is how you
get caught for not actually believing what you say you believe. When you
are confronted with the big national story that directly speaks to the
thing you say you‘re concerned about—too much government—and you say
nothing? It starts to look like maybe your movement is less about your
stated principles and more about something else.
But the Arizona “papers please” law is doing more than showcasing the
shaky principles of much vaunted tea party movement. It is starting up a
real ideological civil war among leaders and elected officials in the
Republican Party. As more high-profile Republicans are called on to
comment on the Arizona law, it just keeps becoming more and more clear how
much disagreement there is about it in the Republican Party.
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush said, quote, “I think it creates
unintended consequences. It places a significant burden on local law
enforcement and you have civil liberties issues that are significant as
Even after trying to come up with an argument for how it wouldn‘t
necessarily have to be implemented in a totally racist way, Karl Rove
admitted, quote, “I think there‘s going to be some constitutional problems
with the bill. I wish they hadn‘t passed it, in a way.”
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham also seeing a constitutional
problem, he says, with the “papers please” law.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM ®, SOUTH CAROLINA: What happened in Arizona is
that good people are so afraid of an out of control border that they had to
resort to a law that I think is unconstitutional.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Republican Congressman Connie Mack totally and completely
denounced the law today. He issued a statement that said, quote, “This law
of frontier justice where law enforcement officials are required to stop
anyone based on a reasonable suspicion that they may be in the country
illegally is reminiscent of a time during World War II when the Gestapo in
Germany stopped people in the street and asked for their papers without
probable cause. It shouldn‘t be against the law to not have proof of
citizenship on you. This is not the America I grew up in and believe in,
and it‘s not the America I want my children to grow up in.”
For the record, I am not making a Nazi analogy here. I am quoting
Republican Congressman Connie Mack doing that. Just so you know what he
Bob McDonnell, the very conservative Republican governor of Virginia,
has also hinted actually that same sentiment. He did it in a radio
interview this week.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
GOV. BOB MCDONNELL ®, VIRGINIA: I‘m concerned about the whole idea
of carrying papers and always have to be able to prove your citizenship.
That brings up shades of some other regime that‘s were not particularly
helpful to democracy.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
MADDOW: Former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate, Mike
Huckabee, registered his displeasure with the new law as well. He did so,
though, in the form of a bizarre theme park metaphor.
He told “The Dallas Morning News,” quote, “What does concern me is
that if it‘s not carried out and applied carefully, you could end up in a
situation where people are discriminately stopped who are absolute
citizens. America‘s a lot like Disneyworld. In that once you get a
ticket, you‘re in. You don‘t have to keep showing your ticket to keep
riding the rides. That‘s the whole point of liberty.”
Straddling the Republican divide on this issue are people like Senator
John Cornyn of Texas, who‘s not exactly sticking up for the Arizona law but
he says it‘s been misunderstood. Quote, “I don‘t think it‘s as onerous as
it‘s been represented.”
Actually, I don‘t think people misunderstand the Arizona law. This is
one of those bills that the more you know about it, the more surprised you
are about just how onerous it is. But if you want a sense of just how
uncomfortable the position is that Republican politicians have been put in
by this Arizona law, just watch this next clip. Watch this.
This is minority whip, poor minority whip, Eric Cantor, on ABC
yesterday. He‘s so desperate to not take a stand on the “papers please”
law, either way, that he basically filibusters the interview.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you in the Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Karl Rove
camp, that this law that Jan Brewer signed in Arizona goes too far, is
unenforceable, or lots of questions on how that to be enforced, or are you
in the McCain, Kyl, Brewer camp, in support of the law? Which camp are you
REP. ERIC CANTOR (R-VA), MINORITY WHIP: I don‘t think. I think
that‘s a false choice. I think—
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How is that false choice?
CANTOR: Because no one is going to accept the lawlessness. First and
foremost, we‘re a country of laws. Now, are you asking whether I think
that America is the country of opportunity? Absolutely. Are we a country
built on immigrants? Absolutely.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I‘m asking you if you agree with Marco Rubio that
the law goes too far. That‘s what I‘m asking.
CANTOR: Listen. I can tell you this. I am for making sure that
America remains a country that stands of freedom and opportunity for
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Also puppies, I‘m totally for puppies. Are you asking me
about puppies? I‘m so pro-puppies. How dare you insinuate that I‘m not
pro-puppies—oh, that‘s not what you‘re asking?
Eric Cantor is very sure that he does not have to give a direct answer
about the Arizona immigration law because he does really does not want to.
The thing is, every time a Republican does give a direct answer about
the “papers please” law in Arizona, the divide within the Republican Party
on this gets deeper and more public. And it looks like this problem is
only going to get worse. Both the problem faced by people who don‘t
believe in presuming everyone is illegal unless they can prove otherwise,
the problem of the bill itself, but also the problem for Republicans who
are going to have to now continue to fight each other in public over
whether we should presume everyone‘s illegal unless they can prove
otherwise. This is a big political problem.
Andrea Nill at “Think Progress” is reporting that legislation similar
to the Arizona “papers please” law may be brought up in at least seven
other states besides Arizona. And if Scott McInnis, the Republican front-
runner in the Colorado governor‘s race, wins that governor‘s race, you can
add Colorado to the list as well. As we noted last night, as a U.S.
congressman in 2001, Mr. McInnis: A, had a mustache, and B, argued
favorably of racial profiling. This week, he promised if elected governor
that he would pursue legislation in Colorado similar to what Arizona‘s got,
which everyone outside of Arizona who isn‘t a proponent of the bill admits
is essentially a racial profiling bill.
It‘s turned Arizona, that bill, into a—into a—that bill has
turned Arizona into a civil rights pariah. That bill has turned Arizona
into a huge battle ground. That bill has also apparently cleaved the
Republican Party right in two.
Now that the political can of worms labeled “draconian immigration
legislation” has been opened by the great state of Arizona, expect a long,
bitter, intra-Republican battle on this issue—just in time for Democrats
to lead a charge, finally, for comprehensive federal immigration reform for
the whole country. Wow!
Stay tuned. The politics is totally different for the whole rest of
the year now. This is a big deal.
MADDOW: Among the party‘s glad to see Arizona‘s new “papers please”
law is the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a group that helped
write the legislation. We introduced you to this group, FAIR, recently.
They felt we have been unfair in our characterizations of them. In just a
moment, we will welcome their president to the show to explain.
MADDOW: “The New York Times” today ran an op-ed by a lawyer who is
taking credit for helping draft Arizona‘s new anti-immigration law. He‘s a
lawyer with the legal arm of a group called FAIR, the Federation for
American Immigration Reform.
In defending the Arizona law against its critics, this lawyer, Kris
Kobach, notes that this is not Arizona‘s first brush with anti-immigration
legislation. He describes, for example, a law passed in 2007 in Arizona
that makes it illegal to, quote, “knowingly employ unauthorized aliens.”
Even before that, in the summer of 2004, there was another fierce
battle in Arizona over an anti-immigration ballot initiative. It was
called Proposition 200.
Both of Arizona‘s Republican senators, John McCain and Jon Kyl,
opposed Prop 200, as did the Democratic governor at the time, Janet
Napolitano. On the national level, opposition was bipartisan as well from
the very pro-labor group, AFL-CIO, to the pages of a very pro-business
“Wall Street Journal.” This anti-immigration measure, Prop 200, was
drafted by a group that was called Protect Arizona Now.
In order to get it on the ballot on election day, you need to collect
a lot of signatures, right? A big signature drive like that for a
statewide ballot initiative is an expensive measure. The money for that
expensive measure, the money for the signature drive, was provided in large
part by FAIR, the same group that‘s now taking credit for helping write the
bill that we‘ve been calling the “papers please” law in Arizona.
To get Prop 200 on the ballot, FAIR reportedly dumped about $400,000
into Protect Arizona Now for their signature gathering effort. The two
groups held joint press conferences in Arizona featuring officials from
both organizations. FAIR gave practically minute-by-minute updates about
how many thousands of signatures had been collected for Prop 200. FAIR and
Protect Arizona Now were essentially joined at the hip in this effort to
get Prop 200 on the ballot.
And then something happened—local newspapers in Arizona started
looking into Protect Arizona Now. And they found out that one of the top
officials at that group helping to push this anti-immigration ballot
initiative was a self-described ethnic separatist. Her name is Virginia
And when contacted by a local newspaper in Arizona about her views,
Ms. Abernathy said, quote, “I‘m in favor of separatism. I know that ethnic
groups are more comfortable with their own kind.” Ms. Abernethy then wrote
a letter to the “Washington Times” in which she said, quote, “I‘m an ethnic
separatist, European-American, to be exact.”
That looks bad, right?
To its credit, FAIR immediately distanced themselves from her. They
blasted out a press release that said, quote, “The views expressed by a Ms.
Virginia Abernethy are repugnant and divisive. FAIR and everyone FAIR
represents categorically denies and repudiates Abernethy‘s repulsive
That‘s the important point here. Obviously, being a proud white
separatist is a view that most people in the country are going to find
repugnant. Doing the savvy P.R. thing and distancing themselves from the
person caught admitting to be a white separatist is exactly how FAIR has
built its fair image—as a seemingly moderate, seemingly middle-of-the-
road anti-immigration group.
But beyond the press release, is there a reason Virginia Abernethy and
FAIR were working so closely in the first place?
FAIR was founded in 1979 by a man named John Tanton. Around the time
he started FAIR, John Tanton was writing stuff like this, quote, “to govern
is to populate. Will the present majority peaceably hand over its
political power to a group that is simply more fertile? As whites see
their power and control over their lives declining, will they simply go
quietly into the night or will they go with an explosion?”
For nine of the first years of its existence, as we‘ve reported on the
show, John Tanton‘s FAIR organization received more than $1 million funding
from a group called the Pioneer Fund. The Pioneer Fund is an outfit that
bankrolls all sorts of controversial research about race and intelligence,
essentially aiming at proving the racial superiority of white people.
While founding FAIR and seeking and receiving funding for it from
groups like the Pioneer Fund, John Tanton was also heading up another
organization called U.S. English. When a series of Mr. Tanton‘s memos on
racial issues were published by the “Arizona Republic” newspaper in the
late 1980s, U.S. English sort of fell apart. Many of the prominent
mainstream people associated with U.S. English jumped ship, people like
Arnold Schwarzenegger and Walter Cronkite and former Reagan administration
official, Linda Chavez.
Tanton‘s memos asked transient questions like, “What are the
differences in educability between Hispanics and Asiatics?” Also, “Can
homo contraceptivus compete with homo progenitiva?” As in, no, you don‘t
have to go look those things up, they don‘t exist.
What he was suggesting with those fake Latin words is that there are
different humans species, those who reproduce a lot and those who don‘t.
Which are you?
John Tanton‘s papers are archived at the library at the University of
Michigan, which has put in a public record written statements like this
from him, quote, “I‘ve come to the point of view that for European-American
society and culture to persist requires a European-American majority and a
clear one at that.”
Whatever happened to old John Tanton after he founded FAIR and
everybody bugged out of his U.S. English group because of these memos?
FAIR kept him on the board of directors. He‘s there now. That‘s on their
Web site today.
FAIR likes to project a very moderate image and, by and large, the
media gives them credit for having a very moderate image. But why is that
Joining us now for “The Interview” is Dan Stein. Dan Stein is the
president of FAIR.
Mr. Stein, I really appreciate you offering to be here with us
tonight. Thanks very much for your time.
DAN STEIN, FAIR PRESIDENT: Happy to be here.
MADDOW: I said a lot there about your organization. Let me ask you
if I got any of the facts wrong about FAIR so far.
STEIN: Well, I don‘t think you‘ve said much about FAIR itself as an
organization in the course of this thing. But I mean, I think, the point -
the reason why I thought it was important to come on was that you—even
though tonight have you repeated some of this stuff generated by the
Southern Poverty Law Center, piecing together out-of-context snippets from
third party people that are not directly associated with or even—or in
that matter speaking directly for the organization is not a fair
representation of FAIR or this movement.
And, you know, certainly in this day and age, we would expect
mainstream journalists like yourself to do some independent research on
their own and not just take talking points from discredited smear artists
like those folks down in Alabama. Southern Poverty Law Center really
doesn‘t have credibility at all. FAIR certainly—Fair certainly never—
MADDOW: But wait—hold on. Hold, wait, let me just—
STEIN: You made a couple of statements that are flat-out not
MADDOW: OK. That‘s—let‘s get to that. I mean, you can impugn my
STEIN: FAIR never --
MADDOW: Hold on. Wait. You can impugn my research techniques all
you want, but if you want to talk about things that I have said that are
inaccurate, tell me what they are.
STEIN: Well, first of all, you‘ve neglected to point out that for 30
years, which FAIR—one of the reasons FAIR is a go-to organization with
the media is that we‘re credible. We talk about the issue from its
currency in national standpoint. But we‘ve also made a point of saying and
I think we‘ve vindicated that over 30 years that immigration policy should
not discriminate on the basis of ethnicity, race, or any other invidious
And I think you‘ve got a track record of thousands of television
appearances, hundreds of congressional testimony, a virtual public record
as long as your arm of this organization that would bear out those issues.
MADDOW: Well, let‘s talk about—
STEIN: And I think people know that we‘re extremely fair-minded
STEIN: We certainly never had anything to do with Virginia Abernethy.
I don‘t know where you got the idea we ever worked closely with her. We
never have. And FAIR was funded—
MADDOW: Wait, hold on.
MADDOW: On that point, sir, did you not give her organization
hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Prop 200 race?
STEIN: No. We never—
STEIN: First of all, we never gave that organization a dime. And
secondly, even if we were going to give them a dime, we wouldn‘t have given
them a dime with Virginia Abernethy associated with it.
See, the problem is that Southern Poverty Law Center has made about 75
factual allegations all of which are wrong about FAIR.
MADDOW: Well, let‘s talk about the factual allegations.
MADDOW: You‘re not—you‘re not being interviewed by Southern
Poverty Law Center. You‘re being interviewed by me.
STEIN: FAIR was funded—FAIR was funded in 1979 --
MADDOW: OK, by John Tanton.
STEIN: -- and received money from the Stewart Mott Foundation, OK?
STEIN: John Tanton, several other people involved in U.S. population
policy, Dick Lamb, Sharon Barns, people working with Planned Parenthood,
Zero Population Growth and others, Sidney Swensrud, who helped build and
founded the Nature Conservancy, former chairman of Gulf Oil—all got
together said we need a responsible national organization to help ensure
that immigration doesn‘t fuel too rapid population growth, because there
was a time when it was believed that population stabilization was in the
And there were Democrats and Republicans together on this. After the
Hesburgh Commission, people like Father Hesburgh, Barbara Jordan.
STEIN: We worked with them, the NAACP, to try to bring together a
MADDOW: Let me—
STEIN: And what‘s happening in this debate now is there‘s a
polarization taking place where somehow there‘s this idea that Democrats
don‘t favor any immigration enforcement and want the borders out of
control, and Republicans or anybody who wants to see the laws enforced in
this country is somehow a bad guy or a bigot. And I‘m telling you, that is
a misrepresentation of—this is a very sensitive, very delicate, very
difficult policy issue. It‘s obviously very emotional.
But if we‘re going to take this country down a bipartisan—a
partisan road on the immigration policy debate, we‘re heading down a very
treacherous road indeed because this is—this is ultimately something
about who we are and what we are as a people and what we‘ve become over
MADDOW: Do you mind if I ask you a question?
STEIN: I‘m all—I‘m right here.
MADDOW: All right. So founder of FAIR, John Tanton, is still on your
board of directors. He has argued for the advancement of a European-
American majority. He‘s warned white people not to cede power to other
ethnic groups who breed—
STEIN: Wait, wait, wait.
MADDOW: Wait. This is in public papers, right? Is there a conflict
STEIN: No, I don‘t think he‘s ever—there‘s no public paper that
MADDOW: What are the differences in—
MADDOW: Wait, hold on.
STEIN: Where‘s the evidence of that? You said—you made a
statement—what‘s the source of that about him publicly advocating a
MADDOW: The European-American majority has advocated—is something
that he advocated to another member of your board of directors, it‘s in his
public paper that are stored at University of Michigan. Let me ask you
STEIN: You said he publicly advocated that.
STEIN: You publicly—you said he said—
MADDOW: It‘s in his public papers that are archived at the University
STEIN: He put all of his private papers. He put all of his private
MADDOW: At a library.
STEIN: -- at the University of Michigan.
STEIN: And what you‘re saying—you‘re taking a private comment made
out of context from a private letter and saying he made a public comment.
MADDOW: What about him asking, “Is there a difference in educability
between Hispanics and Asiatics?” That‘s a memo that he wrote that was
published by the “Arizona Republic.” Nobody has ever questioned—
STEIN: And you‘re asking this question—it was a private document,
not in the context of FAIR and not a FAIR position obviously. And you‘re
raising this issue 25 years later—
STEIN: -- in order to inflame a public debate.
MADDOW: Because he‘s on your board of directors.
STEIN: What‘s going on now is that there is an effort—well, he‘s
asking a question.
STEIN: But there is an effort going to inflame this issue—
MADDOW: Is that an appropriate question to be asked?
STEIN: Well, you‘re raising the issue in order to divide—
STEIN: -- Hispanic-Americans from other people.
MADDOW: I have no interest in doing that.
STEIN: You are the one who is being divisive in this country. We are
MADDOW: Mr. Stein—
STEIN: You are the one who is making this a racial and ethnic issue.
We are not.
MADDOW: Mr. Stein, this is what‘s going on. Everybody in the country
is trying to figure out if the Arizona law is as racist as it seems.
That‘s what‘s happened.
STEIN: It‘s not racist.
MADDOW: This is the national debate that we‘re having. It is germane
it seems to me—because you guys wrote the bill—
STEIN: So, why are you—why are you tossing—
MADDOW: Because you guys—wait, hold on.
STEIN: Why are you coming on TV and tossing out—you‘re tossing out
stuff from 25 years ago that has no relevance about anything about
somebody‘s comment in a private correspondence. John Tanton, I will go to
bat for any time, but he‘s one person involved in this organization, on our
board of directors—
MADDOW: He‘s the founder of your organization and he‘s on the board
STEIN: He‘s one of the founders of this organization.
MADDOW: It seems germane to me, since you wrote the law, since your
organization is taking credit for writing the law, it seems germane to me
to examine whether or not your organization has a racist track record. So,
having John Tanton on your board of directors currently—
STEIN: I don‘t see why that follows. None of that follows.
MADDOW: -- somebody who said, “What are the differences in
educability between Hispanics and Asiatics,” who has advocated the idea
that in order to sustain a European-American civilization, we need a
European-American majority, it seems like there‘s a conflict between having
somebody like that on your board of directors and trying to be seen as a
responsible moderate organization.
STEIN: You‘re imputing things to FAIR and you‘re also imputing things
to John Tanton.
MADDOW: He‘s on your board.
STEIN: Well, what your—the point is, this is not ultimately
fundamentally relevant to the policy debate that we‘re having now. Nobody
is talking about the question of whether or not the United States should
maintain a majority European-American population.
MADDOW: Except the guy on your board of directors.
STEIN: Well, the point is, everybody—we have a big tent.
People have lots of ideas, people entertain ideas, OK? We have—how can
you—how can you turn around and say—Henry Ford founded the Ford
Foundation. Henry Ford was an advocate of the Protocols. Does that mean
LARASA, which gets money from the Ford Foundation, is anti-Semitic? I
mean, you‘re making - this is an absurd comment. You‘re digging -
MADDOW: Let me ask you about you. Let me ask you about you. You are
the president of FAIR - can I ask you about you?
STEIN: If you want to dig yourself into a hole, go ahead.
MADDOW: Sure, I‘m happy to. I enjoy it. In 1997, you did an
interview with Tucker Carlson. And he has asked you to respond to this
quote from somebody who is on FAIR‘s board of directors. And the quote he
has asked you to respond to was this, “It would be better to encourage the
breeding of more intelligent people rather than less intelligent.” He said
that in the context of -
STEIN: Tucker Carlson has already conceded -
MADDOW: Expressing his alarm about people in other countries
reproducing so much.
STEIN: Rachel. Rachel -
MADDOW: Your response to that was - let me just finish the question
and then you can answer. It works every night. I try it. Trust me.
Your response to that was, “Yes, so what? What is your problem
with that? Should we be subsidizing people with low IQs to have as many
children as possible and not subsidizing with high ones?” Did you not say
that? Was that a misquote from Tucker?
STEIN: Rachel, no, I didn‘t say that.
MADDOW: It was a misquote?
STEIN: It was an absolute misquote. Tucker Carlson has admitted that
most of the quotes in there were twisted in misquotes. Obviously, anybody
who knows me knows I wouldn‘t take positions like that. That‘s absurd.
MADDOW: In 2006 you hired a man named Joseph Turner to be FAIR‘s
western region field representative. He had founded a group called Save
our State and he wrote on groups - that group‘s online forums, “I‘ll be
damned if I‘m going to sit back and watch my state turn into a third world
cesspool. I consider accusations of bigotry and racism to be
He then went on to say, “I can make the argument that just
because one believes in white separatism, that does not make them a racist.
Did you know those things about Joseph Turner when you hired him to be your
western regional representative?
STEIN: I don‘t know the context of the statement. He certainly never
made that statement in the context of working for FAIR. Now, I think fair
and he worked for FAIR for a little while.
But ultimately, I think we worked very hard and have worked hard
with hundreds of people working for our organization to find people who are
good, constructive, solid participants in this debate.
And I think this effort to try to smear, not just FAIR, but
everybody on this issue is not going to move us forward. The reason why
this bill is not going forward in Congress that you‘re so happy about -
this Democrat bill is not going anywhere because immigration policy has
historically been decided on a bipartisan basis.
And the kind of invidious partisan name-calling and smearing
going on here is not going to advance the national dialogue. People want
solutions. That‘s why Arizona passed this law. Not name-calling and not
MADDOW: I‘m not trying to be shrill and I‘m not calling you any
names. I‘m sorry if it feels that way.
STEIN: So if you want to ask me anything about me or FAIR -
MADDOW: Oh, I want to ask you about FAIR -
STEIN: You (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and say - ask me something about
something that FAIR has done in its official capacity as an organization.
MADDOW: OK. OK. So FAIR - that guy, Joseph Turner, was your western
regional field representative. Joseph Turner took that job after a guy
named Rick Oltman had had that job. Rick Oltman -
STEIN: No. Well, not true. Anyway -
MADDOW: Was Rick Oltman - was a western field representative for
FAIR? Or a different job title?
STEIN: Yes, Rick Oltman worked for FAIR, yes.
MADDOW: He‘s linked to Council of Conservative Citizens. We have a
photo of him on a Council of Conservative Citizens panel here that we can
put up here. Council of Conservative Citizens -
STEIN: Rachel, wait a minute. Let me get this right.
MADDOW: If you go to that group‘s Web site right now, here‘s what
STEIN: Wait, wait, wait.
MADDOW: Hold on. I‘ll write up -
STEIN: You‘re saying - are you saying -
MADDOW: There‘s a question at the end of this. There‘s a write up on
a book about African people and intelligence with - we have the picture of
the Web site here, Council of Conservative Citizens - yes. “Erectus Walks
Amongst Us” - it‘s a sort of mockup between a black person and an ape.
They also have this summary of a recent Al Sharpton interview,
quote, “Sheriff Arpaio debates the nappy-headed race hustler.” Rick Oltman
ties the Council of Conservative Citizens just like Virginia Abernethy. He
was on your payroll. Was that also a mistake? Or was that -
STEIN: First of all, I think you‘re trying to raise divisive and
inflammatory issues here.
MADDOW: I‘m trying to get to the bottom of what FAIR is.
STEIN: The allegation is made by the Southern Poverty Law Center
MADDOW: I‘m not talking about the Southern Poverty Law Center -
These are facts that you can address independent of where you
think I‘ve sourced them from. Is it true?
STEIN: Well, the point is you‘re not - no. You‘re not stating any
facts that are accurate. If Rick Oltman, back 20 years ago, went to a
panel at the invitation of the CCC to talk about immigration policy, how
can you impute to FAIR or even Rick Oltman the positions of that
organization which, by the way, at the time, Trent Lott and a lot of other
senior politicians were senior members of?
I think you‘re completely - this is a-historical. You‘re
confusing facts, jumbling things up, trying to create something that‘s not
MADDOW: Were you the advisor, an editorial advisor, to a magazine
called “The Social Contract” for a long time?
STEIN: Oh, yes.
MADDOW: “Social Contract” is also run by John Tanton or set up by
John Tanton? Yes. I‘ll say yes.
STEIN: The editor of the Social Contract is a man named Wayne Lutton.
He‘s also a regular contributor to a journal that‘s called “American
Renaissance.” He goes and talks at their conferences.
This is a journal that publishes stuff like this, quote, “Blacks
and whites are different. When blacks are left entirely to their own
devices, western civilization, any kind of civilization, disappears.”
Wayne Lutton is currently the editor of “The Social Contract.”
You‘re an advisor to it. It‘s a John Tanton joint. Are you worried about
Wayne Lutton spoiling your image as a moderate non-racist organization?
STEIN: Absolutely not. First of all, it has nothing to do with FAIR.
It‘s not a position I would ever agree with or anybody associated directly
with FAIR. But in the end - and I‘m not an adviser on “The Social
Contract” anymore. But in the end -
MADDOW: But you were.
STEIN: Are you saying - somehow, you‘re suggesting that every
political position that appears in a magazine, if you‘re an editorial
adviser on, that somehow, it can be imputed to you?
This is McCarthyism. This is guilt by association. And you
know, groups like the SPLC never respond to their own credibility. They
turn around and make this kind of smear - go into smear campaigns without
any accountability to anybody. And I‘m telling you -
MADDOW: Dan Stein, this is not an interview with the Southern Law
Poverty Center. If anything that I said you think was not based on fact,
I‘ll be happy to have you back to talk about. You impugning the way that I
do my research isn‘t going to change -
STEIN: I‘m saying basically you‘re not - you‘re asking me a fact.
What I‘m telling you is -
MADDOW: It‘s not true. You‘re saying -
STEIN: I wouldn‘t - I don‘t agree with those points of view
MADDOW: You‘re implying that it‘s not true, because you‘re implying
that I am the Southern Poverty Law Center. I‘m Rachel Maddow.
STEIN: But you‘re reading all this stuff.
MADDOW: This is MSNBC. I‘m bringing you facts that I‘ve
independently researched. If you can‘t criticize them, don‘t criticize me
for asking you about them. Rebut them if can. That‘s all I want you to
STEIN: All right. The answer is no.
MADDOW: OK. Dan Stein, the president of FAIR. Thank you for being
here tonight. I wish this could have been a more civil discussion and we
didn‘t talk over each other so much.
STEIN: I thought - are we going to talk about the bill? I thought we
were going to talk about the bill.
MADDOW: I wanted to talk about FAIR and I think you pretty much given
me all that I needed to know.
STEIN: You haven‘t given me a chance to talk about FAIR. I think
FAIR has done a lot of things that are very important to talk about. And
this is an important issue and you‘re not giving me a chance to talk about
anything of substance.
MADDOW: Well, Mr. Stein I‘m sorry that you feel like it wasn‘t
substantive. I feel like we covered a lot of important things.
STEIN: I think you‘re wasting people‘s time.
MADDOW: I‘d be happy to have you back if you want to waste some more
MADDOW: We‘ll be right back.
MADDOW: Right after President Obama signed health reform legislation,
you might remember the new conservative attorney general of Virginia had
his staff race to a federal courthouse to sue the federal government over
After Virginians protested maybe that was a waste of taxpayer
money, the attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli, said, “Pshaw! This lawsuit‘s
only going to cost the state $350. It will only cost the filing fee.” The
state payroll attorney time, that‘s free, or something.
While a total cost of $350 may seem unbelievably low, the lawsuit
itself appears to be worth quite a lot to Mr. Cuccinelli, because look what
came through our fax machine today, a letter from Ken Cuccinelli campaign.
It begins, quote, “Dear blank, I urge you to sign and return the
enclosed pledge of support to challenge Obamacare. The clock is now
ticking and I need your help and support today. The fight is not over. In
fact, it has just begun because there is something that you and I can do to
stop this legislation in its tracks.”
What can you and I do to help Ken Cuccinelli stop Obamacare in
its tracks? It gets better. Quote, “Ignoring are the outcry from
opposition from millions of Americans, they got what they wanted and passed
the bill into law. I will not sit on the sidelines and allow the
Constitution to be violated. And I have already filed suit to have the
Obamacare law rightfully ruled unconstitutional.”
So he‘s already taken care of that $350 quixotic lawsuit thing.
What‘s left for us to do? Here it is. Quote, “Please join side by side
with me in this effort by immediately signing the enclosed pledge of
support to challenge Obamacare and returning it to me today along with your
most generous contribution of $25, $50, $75, $100, $250, $500 or more to
Cuccinelli for Attorney General.”
Send money now and lots of it. That‘s what you can do because
I‘m using the entire legal apparatus of the state of Virginia to bring a
quixotic stunt of a lawsuit whose real cost I won‘t reveal but which will
help me in my political career.
Join together, everyone. Quote, “I‘m reaching out to my
supporters from across the commonwealth to join with me in this fight
today. The bill for the government takeover of health care is not merely a
bill that adversely affects Virginia. Rather, it affects every single
citizen of all 50 states.”
“The bottom line is this, if we can prove that this massive
overreach of federal authority is unconstitutional, and you millions of
Virginians and Americans will not have to worry about -“ blah, blah, blah,
blah, blah the end of the civilized world. We will still have totally
shameless peacocking stuntmen attorney generals to contend with. Those
never seem to go away. Send money.
MADDOW: A month after President Obama lifted the decades-old
moratorium on exploratory offshore oil drilling, an offshore oil leak oozes
210,000 gallons a day of raw crude, a leak five times worse than what was
originally thought. It threatens to devastate Louisiana‘s environmentally-
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: DHS Secretary Napolitano
announced that this incident is of national significance and the Department
of Interior has announced that they will be sending SWAT teams to the gulf
to inspect all platforms and rigs.
While BP is ultimately responsible for funding the cost of
response and cleanup operations, my administration will continue to use
every single available resource at our disposal, including potentially the
Department of Defense to address the incident.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: BP has in fact already asked the Department of Defense for
help, specifically with underwater equipment. There‘s also now a third
leak point from the blown-out well nearly a mile under water.
So far, BP‘s efforts to stop the leak using robots have failed.
They‘re also now suggesting technologies like a giant dome to cap the leak
site and chemicals that could break up the oil under water.
Those are technologies never before used in water this deep. And
while the coastguard did report some success with a controlled burn of
surface oil yesterday, it‘s not enough.
This massive oil slick has now started coming ashore at the mouth
of the Mississippi river in Louisiana as of tonight.
Joining us now is Michael Brune. He is the executive director of
the Sierra Club, which opposes offshore drilling. Mr. Brune, thanks very
much for your time.
MICHAEL BRUNE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, SIERRA CLUB: Hi, Rachel. Thanks
for having me on.
MADDOW: Put this into some context for us. How bad an oil spill is
this one in the gulf, given other spills that we understand?
BRUNE: Well, you know, first, if you‘re one of the 11 families of the
workers who are missing, it‘s devastating. If you‘re a member of the
fishing industry in the gulf, it‘s devastating to your livelihoods.
And, you know, of course, the impact on wildlife is extreme. It
will take decades. Even if the cleanup is successful, it will take decades
to recover from this. So it‘s a great tragedy.
MADDOW: The administration implied today that they‘re going to take
this spill into consideration when figuring out the details of their
expansion of offshore drilling. Do you believe that any new offshore
drilling carries this inherent risk of environmental disaster?
BRUNE: Of course. Of course. You know, even the mineral mining
service a year ago, a couple years ago, under the Bush administration said
that we should expect a major oil spill from offshore oil drilling every
year, arguably, though, not one this large.
But what we know is that drilling for oil is a very dirty - we
now know it‘s deadly and it‘s certainly an extremely dangerous business.
And when you compare that to investments in clean energy, the choice
becomes clear, that we should just not be expanding offshore oil drilling.
We should actually be starting to minimize it.
MADDOW: Let me ask you about one specific thing about this that
bothers me. The Deepwater Horizon rig, this rig that caught fire and sank,
one of the most technologically advanced in the world, if not the most
advanced deep water rig in the world.
MADDOW: But even as drilling technology has advanced so we can do it
in places that we couldn‘t do it before, it doesn‘t seem like we bothered
to make sure we knew how to clean up in these places if we needed to.
Am I being naive to think that the regulatory process, the
approval process, should link those two things, that you shouldn‘t be
approved to drill deeper than you know how to clean up?
BRUNE: Of course. You know, to put it another way, we‘ve all heard
about the need to separate church and state. We need to separate oil and
state. The reality is that we just don‘t have effective organization over
the oil industry in the gulf, in the North Slope in Alaska - really
anywhere in the world.
And so we shouldn‘t be expecting the oil industry to police
itself. And the MMS, the coastguard lack the adequate resources and the
capacity to effectively manage the industry.
So whether we‘re talking about this one particular rig or whether
we‘re talking about the impact of the industry more systemically, there are
big problems that need to be resolved.
MADDOW: Michael Brune is the executive director of the Sierra Club.
Thank you very much for joining us tonight. I appreciate your insight.
BRUNE: Thanks again for having me on.
MADDOW: You‘ve seen him shirtless on a horse. On a horse, shirtless.
Fishing, shirtless. And now, you‘ll see him with a polar bear. We‘ll keep
whether or not he‘s wearing a shirt this time a surprise. Vladimir Putin‘s
latest amazing photo-op, coming up.
MADDOW: When it comes to manly photo-ops, there are many politicians
who try very hard to impress the world. But no one compares to the
heavyweight photo-op champion of the world, Mr. Vladimir Putin. That story
- he has topped even himself - is up next.
MADDOW: Because we all need a little terrifying cuddle now and then,
we turn now to our big Arctic memo outreach correspondent, Mr. Kent Jones.
KENT JONES, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Rachel. Once again, the great,
peerless Vladimir Putin, schools the entire west in the manly, masculine
art of the self-serving photo-op. And this time, he‘s got a bear with him.
MADDOW: I‘ve been so looking forward to that.
JONES (voice-over): Ever since Teddy Roosevelt created the template,
our leaders have taken great pains to display themselves as athletic,
strong, testosterone-y macho guys. Emphasis on “pain.”
Aside from a certain Austro-Californian governor, this strategy
has generally succeeded only in making voters spit soda out of their
nostrils. Have Americans learned nothing from Vladimir Putin?
Behold, Vlad, judo master, horseman, fisherman, pectacular(ph)
hero of white chromosome pseudo-democracy. In his latest hero action role,
Putin and a team of scientists trek way up north so he can lay a concerned
hand on this very confused, very tranquilized polar bears, which makes
sense because Polar bears and Putin are a natural fit.
Both are beefy carnivores that belong to a species that will
probably be gone in 20 years. Putin helped tag brother bear with a
satellite tracking device to monitor his migration habits.
After much deliberation, Putin decided to leave his shirt on.
Bold choice. You‘ve got to admit, he controls his message brilliantly.
Even though Putin called the bear the master of the Arctic, at the photo-
op, he made it clear he is the master of the master of the Arctic.
And what about the hat, huh? It‘s cool, yes? That‘s how it‘s
done, Yankee politicians. Drug them and then pet them.
MADDOW: So wrong in so many ways. Thank you very much, Kent.
JONES: Yes. Sure.
MADDOW: Coming up on “COUNTDOWN”, Keith is joined by comedian Paul
Rodriguez who has just canceled a gig in Arizona in protest of the new
“Papers, Please” law.
We, on the other hand, will be right back right here.
MADDOW: If you‘d like to learn more about the group, FAIR, who wrote
the Arizona anti-immigration law and whose president was the subject of the
interview here on the show tonight, we posted a little bit of homework,
some background reading about FAIR at our blog, “MaddowBlog.MSNBC.com.”
FAIR gets represented in the mainstream media as a mainstream
group. I think our reporting on them shows that moderate reputation to be
That does it for us tonight. We will see you again tomorrow
night. “COUNTDOWN” with Keith Olbermann starts right now. Have a good
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