ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
January 24, 2014
Guests: Michelle Goldberg, John Stanton, Jeff Smith
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
Well, Mike Huckabee is not backing down. He is doubling down as we enter
day two of libido-gate.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some of you may become somewhat uncomfortable as parts
of this film unfold, but I think if you will listen carefully, you will
agree that the concepts will contribute to the rearing of a mature person
who has a healthy, responsible attitude towards the sexual side of his
HAYES (voice-over): Given the GOP`s track record of talking to women about
their own reproductive health, the RNC`s winter meeting was the perfect
opportunity to roll out a new, more female friendly Republican Party.
Instead, they got this.
MIKE HUCKABEE (R), FORMER ARKANSAS GOVERNOR: If the Democrats want to
insult the women of America by making them believe that they are helpless
without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription each
month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their
reproductive system without the help of the government, then so be it.
HAYES: But this was no off-the-cuff remark. Huckabee had said something
similar before, as in this past Saturday.
HUCKABEE: For Democrats to reduce women to beggars for cheap government-
funded birth control is demeaning to the women that I know, who are far
more complicated than their libido and the management of their reproductive
HAYES: Huckabee is now fundraising off his remarks, warning that liberals
should get ready for more of this talk. But according to fellow social
conservative, Rick Santorum, this isn`t even about birth control.
RICK SANTORUM (R), FORMER U.S. SENATOR: That`s one of the things that`s
most frustrating is there isn`t a lot of disagreement on access to
HAYES: It`s a surprisingly different tone from this other guy, also named
SANTORUM: I don`t think it works. I think it`s harmful to women. I think
it`s harmful to our society to have a society that says that sex outside of
marriage is something that should be encouraged or tolerated, particularly
among the young. Birth control enables that and I don`t think it`s healthy
for our country.
HAYES: But now, Santorum 2.0 says this isn`t about birth control, this is
about the government.
SANTORUM: That`s one of the things that`s most frustrating is there isn`t
a lot of disagreement on access to contraception, whether the government
should pay for it, there isn`t a disagreement.
HAYES: Oh, yes, the government, or as Mike Huckabee calls it, Uncle Sugar
-- defined by the Urban Dictionary as another word for Uncle Sam -- the
concept the Uncle Sam is everyone`s pimp because he takes his share of your
money before you get your share.
The man charged with strengthening the Republican brand is slowly backing
REINCE PRIEBUS, RNC CHAIRMAN: We must all be very conscious of tone and
choice of word when we communicate those policies effectively.
HAYES: Another day, another plea from GOP leadership to the base, as NBC`s
political team wrote this morning, Huckabee falls into the contraception
So, what is that trap and why do Republicans keep falling into it? The
trap is this while birth control is widely popular and used by millions of
women in this country, there are powerful parts of the conservative base
who think birth control is back and that government and employers should
have nothing to do with it. Right, the Republican Party and its allies on
the regional right are waging a legislative and legal battle against the
Obamacare birth control mandate, which requires that employer insurance
plans to cover contraception, has no charge. Republicans object to the
mandate on what they say are religious freedom grounds.
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MINORITY LEADER: They don`t have the
authority under the First Amendment for the United States Constitution to
tell someone in this country or some organization in this country what
their religious beliefs are.
SEN. KELLY AYOTTE (R), NEW HAMPSHIRE: This is not a women`s rights issue.
This is a religious liberty issue.
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: This attack by the federal
government on religious freedom in our country must not stand and will not
HAYES: So, just remember, all these repeated gaffes from prominent
Republicans happen because the GOP is fighting against birth control and
yet desperately want to convince America it has nothing to do with birth
But, of course it does.
HAYES: Joining me now, MSNBC contributor Michael Steele, former chairman
of the RNC.
Michael, what`s going on? What is going on?
MICHAEL STEELE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Hell if I know.
You know, look, I appreciate the point. I think as we`ve seen coming out
of the RNC over the last four or five weeks or so, there is this push to
reenergize their evangelical base. There has been a lot of slippage, some
6 million evangelical Christian Republican conservatives stayed home. So
that base has got to get reanimated and be a part of this conversation,
this political conversation.
I don`t know if this is the way it should be done by the party, number one.
Number two, I don`t think that`s where Governor Huckabee was explicitly
going. I think he was trying to make a broader point about how we engage
and not let ourselves fall into these traps while he fell into the trap.
HAYES: So -- right, well, that was the irony, of course.
Part of the issue here, and I`ve been going back and forth with a bunch of
social conservative writers and thinkers that I really respect and have
very different views on who are really angry with me and frustrated and
offended by the notion that I think I`m saying this is about birth control.
That the fight against this birth control mandate I am being told by
conservatives has nothing to do with birth control but --
STEELE: They`re absolutely right. At the end of the day it doesn`t of
anything to do explicitly with birth control. Birth control like a number
of other subset issues are symbolic of the broader concern that a lot of
conservatives have about the role of government infiltrating into the lives
and decisions of individuals.
HAYES: But here`s the question, I want to -- first of all, if that`s true,
I want to see the lawsuit against the colonoscopy mandate that is also part
of the Affordable Care Act which is required in coverage as preventative
along with a whole battery of things, right? So, you go show me the right
wing and conservative movement rallying behind the objection of the
colonoscopy mandate and I`m going to take more seriously this is about
government interference as opposed to the fact that the issue here is birth
STEELE: But as you know, Chris, a colonoscopy has nothing to do with
behavior. Whereas birth control is tied to behavior in some aspect, you
make an affirmative choice to use it or not use it. You make an
affirmative choice to have access to it or not have access to it.
A colonoscopy does not fall in the same category. While I understand your
point, I think it misses the mark in terms of how conservatives look at
this issue and how society itself under the rubric of the government
mandates and so forth is being dictated to by the federal government with
respect to behavior.
HAYES: The behavior point I think is important and I want to just
highlight. But that is personally -- this is where -- we found some -- we
found something here, which is that I don`t think -- no, really, that the
moral distinction between birth control having to do with behavior and a
colonoscopy not having to do with behavior, that actually is close to what
the ideological bedrock is here.
And the other thing I want to clarify, just about this case, particularly
the birth control mandate --
HAYES: Huckabee said famously Uncle Sugar. I keep hearing two different
things from conservatives. One is the government should not be paying for
anyone`s birth control and the other is employers should not be paying for
birth control. And it`s the latter is being made before the Supreme Court,
HAYES: But it`s not Uncle Sugar. Can we at least agree on that, the
government is not paying for anyone`s birth control? It can`t both be the
case, the government is paying for the birth control and employers paying
for the birth control, which is why it`s coercive and unconstitutional?
STEELE: Well, it is to the extent that the government mandates that the
employer pays for the birth control through the government-run health
program. So that`s the nexus by which this comes full circle for a lot of
folks out around the country.
And so, the question then becomes why you have some conservatives argue
that we should take the employer out of the mix altogether and you sort of
solve that piece of it.
HAYES: Here`s what I want to do. In my magical word where Michael Steele
and Chris Hayes rule everything and we wave our magic wands and policy
happens, I call the bluff and we create a national contraceptive insurance
program for all women anywhere that can get contraception without a co-pay
and we see if any conservatives object because I guarantee you will.
MSNBC contributor Michael Steele, thank you for your time tonight.
STEELE: They will. Of course they will because it`s government mandated.
HAYES: Right. Of course, all right.
Joining me now, John Stanton, Washington bureau chief for "BuzzFeed", and
Michelle Goldberg, my colleague at "The Nation", where she`s a senior
contributing writer, also author of "The Means of Reproduction: Sex, Power
and The Future of the World," a fantastic book about the battle over
women`s control, their reproductive health and birth control.
Do you -- what`s your feeling about this? Is it about birth control or
MICHELLE GOLDBERG, THE NATION: Well, I guess he`s right in that maybe it`s
not about birth control as much as it`s about sex, right? They have no
objection maybe in theory. You have to assume Mike Huckabee be has three
children, not 13 children. Either he knows something about controlling his
libido or his family is using contraception like 99 percent of sexually
active women in America.
But there is this sense of kind of women`s out of control sexuality as
being what -- that`s why you hear them talking about libidos. That`s why
you hear Rush Limbaugh talking about birth control as if it`s something
that you need more of it the more sex you have.
You know, I think that you guys talked about it as a gaffe or you fell into
a trap. I don`t think he fell into a trap. I think he knew exactly what
he was doing. He was invoking the kind of two great boogie men of the
conservative movement, which is out of control female sexuality and
And this issue is a place where he can kind of symbolically bring them
together, even though, as I`m sure we`ll talk about later, you know, Mike
Huckabee signed a birth control mandate as governor of Arkansas.
HAYES: This is the craziest thing. In 2005, Huckabee signed state
legislation that required all health insurance plans providing prescription
drug coverage to cover contraceptive drugs and devices as well. Huckabee`s
exemption for religious organization was actually narrower than the
exemption in the Affordable Care Act.
JOHN STANTON, BUZZFEED: I think what this all comes down to honestly is
abortion. It goes always back to that. The Christian conservatives like
Mike Huckabee, their religious beliefs have nothing to do with any of this.
It`s the Catholic Church they`re playing to here. They`re playing to the
pitches and this is one of the things that the bishops has extracted from
the Christian conservatives to get them to say we will fight this
contraception fight for you. It is what it is. Even if it`s about --
HAYES: But here`s the thing, I don`t think -- I think there`s something
about the coalition of politics in terms of Catholicism and the role of
conservative Catholics and Catholics and evangelical Christians and the
coalition they`re in, that is true. But I also don`t think this is
cynical. On the part of the people who are keyed up about this case, the
Hobby Lobby case or Little Sisters of the Poor, which is about the
exemption, it is not a cynical -- they are genuinely angry, they`re
genuinely outraged, they genuinely think this is a contravention of
GOLDBERG: Well, part of this, too, is that there`s been a kind of move
broadly towards the Catholic position on birth control. And I don`t know
about Huckabee in particular, but you see a lot of this -- you know, you
see this with the Duggars and the emphasis on these enormous families. So
there has been over even the last decade a growing evangelical discomfort
STANTON: I don`t think your average Baptist who is very anti-abortion is
not -- is going to go out and say, look, I don`t believe in contraception.
For Mike Huckabee and people like this, for the sort of last year or two to
be suddenly out there saying this, if you had John Boehner coming out and
denouncing this mandate, you know, a year and a half ago.
HAYES: And that`s why actually -- so you look at the polling today and a
bunch of the conservatives that are showing polling, and there is pretty
good polling that shows basically about 87 percent of Republicans think
that birth control is morally acceptable and 90 percent of Democrats. So,
I mean, the difference in the coalition is that the people that don`t think
it`s morally acceptable, their relative power and their prominence and
GOLDBERG: And what`s the difference between morally acceptable and the
idea that it`s somehow illegitimate to expect this as a routine part of
your health care. That, you know, fine, you can go out and get it
privately, but it should have some kind of a stigma. You certainly
shouldn`t expect anyone else to pay for it in the way that you expect
somebody else to pay, say, your antibiotics or your eyeglass prescription.
HAYES: Exactly. Are we talking about sex or are we talking about health
or are we talking about religion, right? It`s one of these great framing
debates. And they keep -- you know, the libido thing is precisely --
that`s the trap, right?
HAYES: If you want to convince me, conservatives of America, that this
isn`t some fear about female sexuality or doesn`t have to do with ickiness
around birth control, then don`t say the word libido, right? That`s why
the forehead slapping was happening all over America. That`s why Reince
Priebus was trying to walk it back. That`s why, you know, that the whole
Sandra Fluke episode with Rush Limbaugh was so destructive politically,
John, was because that`s what people were saying.
STANTON: And they don`t have a person they can put out there at this point
that doesn`t fall into this, and does not constantly trigger that in the
general public. You see Reince Priebus looking very much like Kevin Bacon
at the end of "Animal House". All is well. No, it`s not all is well with
And I think, you know, there are a lot of Republicans that I`ve talked to
that say we need to find somebody, if we`re going to talk about this
issues, that can go out and make the moral case on contraception, on
abortion, that does not step into this sort of, you know, Todd --
HAYES: Todd Akin.
STANTON: Todd Akin kind of situations.
HAYES: Well, and I also think what`s fascinating about this issue is that
I think conservatives saw the contraception mandate issue and they thought
it was the perfect issue to ignite their coalition. You know, business
owners who don`t want government mandates. Anti-government Tea Party
conservatives and social conservatives all can unite and it`s proved to be
a massive trap because what they have ended up doing is talking about and
litigating birth control. That they thought it was going to be the perfect
issue for them and it`s just blown up in their faces.
John Stanton from "BuzzFeed", Michelle Goldberg from "The Nation", the book
again is "The Means of Reproduction: Sex, Power, and The Future of the
World" -- thank you all.
GOLDBERG: Thank you.
STANTON: Thank you.
HAYES: Coming up, remember that documentary the right wing went nuts for a
few years ago called "2016 Obama`s America," the one the left thought was
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL MAHER, TV HOST: You understand that this man who only met his father
once when he was 10 years old is somehow channeling that father and that`s
what guides him? That`s what I got from you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, the same guy who hardly met his father wrote a
500-page book called "Dreams From My Father." Now, by the way, not dreams
of my father, not about his father`s dreams -- dreams from my father means
here are the dreams that I, Obama, got from my dad.
MAHER: (INAUDIBLE) up your ass. You have to go to pull that out. I mean,
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The guy who made that film has just been indicted by a federal
grand jury and I`m going tell you why, ahead.
HAYES: Hi. Maybe you`ve noticed I haven`t begged for Facebook likes in a
while, right? You`ve noticed and you`re wondering why. I took some time
off because I didn`t want to set a bad example for my daughter. I just
imagine four years from now, her saying, well, daddy, since you begged for
Facebook followers, I can beg for the new iPhone that lets me fly to outer
space. Because that will be happening right then I`m sure.
But clearly, that`s just how big the vision of the future has scared me off
because I`m here back begging you to follow me, but only because it`s
different this time. This time you`ll get something from me in return. Go
to Facebook.com/ChrisHayesMSNBC and follow my fan page and start
commenting. I will respond to you personally. Pretty good trade-off, huh?
HAYES: If I were to ask you to name the second most popular political
documentary of all time after Michael Moore`s "Fahrenheit 9/11", I bet you
couldn`t answer. It`s called 2016 Obama`s America and it was created by a
right wing propagandist named Dinesh D`Souza.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NARRATOR: We could guess or speculate or conjecture about Obama`s inner
compass, his dream, but we don`t have to. Obama himself gives us a big
clue in the title of his autobiography. Notice it says "Dreams From My
Father," not "Dreams of My Father."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: 2016 lays out D`Souza`s bizarre conspiracy theory that President
Obama is an anti-colonialist whose beliefs are from the Kenyan socialist
father he barely knew.
Of course, the founders of the country are anti-colonialists, too, but
that`s another matter. D`Souza argued the president had been hiding these
beliefs but planned to unleash his secret plan to weaken and impoverish the
United States after he no longer had to worry about re-election.
This movie made $33 million, $33 million. In fact this guy has been making
a mint in the weird subculture that is the conservative hustle. On his Web
site, you can buy books like "The Roots of Obama`s Rage." D`Souza even
appeared in a video last year hocking his buddies $500 artificial Christmas
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DINESH D`SOUZA: If you click on the link, Bruce is offering you $50 off
for the tree, which is really good because then you can use the $50 to go
order a couple of my books.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: D`Souza has been in this game a long time. He first attracted
national attention as an undergraduate editing the conservative "Dartmouth
Review". Among the racist articles that run among his articles that run
during his tenure was one assailing affirmative action that was written in
Ebonics and headlined "Dis Sho Ain`t No Jive, Bro".
D`Souza and his cohorts also outed members of Dartmouth`s gay student
alliance to their families, prompting at least one to consider suicide.
The hierarchy of conservatives saying and doing outrageous things, D`Souza
is right near the top. Last year, he tweeted he is thankful to, quote,
"remember America is big enough and great enough to survive grown-up
Trayvon in the White House."
Not an anomaly. This is who this guy is. Yesterday, Dinesh D`Souza got
indicted, and he got indicted for perhaps the stupidest alleged crime I
have ever heard of.
Now, some context. The Supreme Court`s Citizen United decision made it
essentially impossible to break American campaign finance law. If you want
to give a ton of money to a candidate, there are now countless ways to do
it legally and constitutionally. But somehow, some way, D`Souza found the
one way there is to actually break a campaign finance law according to the
indictment that was handed down in New York. D`Souza donated the maximum
to an unnamed Senate candidate and then got others to give $20,000 more to
that candidate. He then reimbursed the other donors, which means he was
effectively donating more than legally allowed.
D`Souza pled not guilty today. He was released on $500,000 bond, is being
represented by celebrity lawyer Ben Brafman who said in a statement emailed
to ALL IN that Mr. D`Souza did not act with any corrupt or criminal intent
whatsoever. Adding at worst, this was an act of misguided friendship by
Here`s the craziest part. The candidate D`Souza allegedly funneled the
money to, a friend mentioned by the lawyer, appears to be Republican Wendy
Long, who is absolutely crushed by Kirsten Gillibrand in the 2012 Senate
race in New York. Long and D`Souza go way back, all the way back to the
"Dartmouth Review" where they jointly had to apologize after a staffer put
a quote from Adolf Hitler`s "Mein Kampf", into the statement of principles
published in the paper and distributed on "Yom Kippur".
We reached out to Dinesh D`Souza to see if he wanted to come on the show
tonight, or at least give us comment, we did not hear back. But joining me
now is someone who is the previous record holder of indicted for the
dumbest crime of the decade, at least according to his own Twitter feed,
former Democratic Missouri Senator Jeff Smith.
In 2004, Smith ran against now former Congressman Russ Carnahan for the
congressional seat vacated by Dick Gephardt. He went to federal prison
after pleading guilty to obstructing charges, stemming from that campaign.
He`s now assistant professor of politics and advocacy at the New School,
and he writes about politics.
And it`s always great to have you on the show, Jeff.
JEFF SMITH, NEW SCHOOL: Good to be here, Chris.
HAYES: OK, I want to read you. So, this is what the conservatives are
saying. They`re saying on FOX News. They`re saying on Drudge. They`re
going after Obama critics with indictments. Virginia governor, now Dinesh
D`Souza, Holder unleashing the dogs.
Do you think Dinesh D`Souza is a political prisoner?
SMITH: No, I don`t think he`s a political prisoner. Along with two other
Democratic state legislators, I was indicted by the Obama Justice
Department. I went to prison, so did one of the other two. They were
Democratic elected officials all over the country going to prison. It just
happens to be a bad week for Republicans this week.
HAYES: Yes, in fact there were 60 officials rolled up in the big sweep
that happened back in 2009 when Christie was running for office and a lot
of them, I think most of them were Democrats.
So, I guess, the first thing is the way that prosecution works, as your
experience on the other side of it, how much room is there for the
president of the Department of Justice to kind of like issue some political
directive to the public corruption unit or campaign finance enforcement
SMITH: You know, a lot of people don`t realize there`s career civil
service attorneys who are working. All these AUSAs, they`re not political
appointees, they`re just people who are doing their job. In most cases,
they have been doing that job on the public corruption beat for years, if
So, I don`t think that it was anybody who just had it out for Dinesh
D`Souza any more than the guy had it out for me.
HAYES: Are you shaking your head at the -- I mean, again, innocent until
proven guilty. This is an alleged indictment. He has pled not guilty. I
don`t know if the facts are true. If they are true --
SMTH: Actually you do know the facts are true because we saw something we
rarely see, which is that the defense attorney granted the facts that were
alleged by the prosecutor in the indictment. He basically said, hey, there
was no corrupt intent, but he doesn`t dispute any of the facts in that
statement. So, I don`t think that they`re going to argue on that basis.
HAYES: Should people go to jail for these kinds of violations?
SMITH: I don`t think so. I think D`Souza should be sentenced to take all
the proceeds from "Obama`s America" and give half to Trayvon Martin`s
family and the other half to hunger relief in Kenya.
HAYES: In an abstract moral sense you mean that.
SMITH: Well, I think there`s a lot better things he could do with his
time. If I was being facetious, I`d say he ought to spend the next year
maybe making --
SMITH: Making a pro-Hillary Clinton documentary with Michael Moore.
But there are a lot of good public service things that he could do that I
think -- you know, I think some type of community service would probably be
more appropriate for this type of crime.
HAYES: I thought this was also strange. This is him, there`s a genre
known as the humble brag on Twitter, which is a genre in which you kind of
pretend to be self deprecating but actually you`re kind of self inflating,
and that genre was absolutely destroyed by Dinesh D`Souza yesterday because
he won the category forever with this tweet, "Hollywood reporter reports on
my indictment." That`s the all-time humble brag.
SMITH: I think it`s called a brag brag.
HAYES: Well, it`s on my indictment. I mean, I think that`s pretty
humbling. I mean, that`s the whole point.
Should you be tweeting about your indictment?
SMITH: I think what he was trying to say is he sort of fancies himself
this great filmmaker. You know, a public intellectual instead of a
Hollywood guy. You know, it`s been interesting, look at his choice of
attorney. He didn`t get someone who has expertise in campaign finance law.
HAYES: He got Jay-Z`s lawyer.
SMITH: He got attorney for the celebs. So, I think part and parcel of
that myth that he`s created in his own mind.
HAYES: The other thing I think about it that`s fascinating is you go to
the guy`s Web site and I`m always struck by how many -- how much money
there is in the world of being a conservative personality and how many
things are being hawked on their Web sites. You go to his website and he`s
trying to sell you this Christmas tree, he`s selling you his books, he`s
selling you his movie.
You know, this is going to raise his profile in some perverse way. Like
he`s on FOX News as this target and he -- you know, there`s this idea that
the Obama administration is out to get him. In some ways this might be a
great career move for Dinesh D`Souza.
SMITH: It might. I`m thinking about maybe selling menorahs next holiday
HAYES: For $500 apiece.
Former Democratic Missouri State Senator Jeff Smith, thanks a lot.
HAYES: All right. Remember when New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: I don`t know what else to say except
to tell them that I had no knowledge of this, of the planning, the
execution or anything about it. And that I first found out about it after
it was over.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Well, now the U.S. attorney has issued subpoenas for both
Christie`s re-election camp and the New Jersey Republican Party. The house
of cars looks like it`s beginning to crumble, next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: According of the world`s 85 richest people is equal
to the 3.5 billion poorest people.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s fantastic. And this is a great thing because
everybody gets the motivation to look up to the 1 percent and say I want to
become one of those people. I`m going to fight hard to get up to the top.
This is fantastic news, and of course I applaud it. What can be wrong with
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Really!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Inequality is at the front and centre of the American political
conversation these days in no small part to the fact that income inequality
is the highest it`s been since the great depression. Low wage workers are
increasingly mobilized and the president is signaling his own focus on the
I have always found something frustrating and vague about the world
"inequality." it isn`t inequality of income or wealth, although that`s
extremely important, it`s inequality of accountability. Take, for example,
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`re just getting numbers now on Jamie Dimon`s
compensation as chairman and CEO for JPMorgan chase for the year 2013. He
will get a $20 million compensation package. It might surprise the public
to see that his compensation nearly doubled from full year 2012.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Yes, you think? You think that might surprise the public? JPMorgan
has under Dimon`s leadership agreed to settlements totaling more than $29
billion in order to settle investigations into a variety of large and
destructive misdeeds from criminal and civil allegations it failed to Staff
Bernie Madoff`s Ponzi scheme to probes into botched derivative bets, credit
The Justice Department has not let them off the hook for criminal
liability and no matter the level of scandal, misbehaviour or criminal
activity; the board has decided that Mr. Dimon deserves a raise. This when
the median income for American workers has been falling!
Or look at the case of the former Goldman banker tapped by the Goldman CEO
to oversee the $700 billion handed over to the banks to save them from
their own recklessness. He went to work for the big California bond
company which benefited from the same program that he oversaw.
He surfaced to write an op-ed decrying me first attitude in America, not
of the bankers who ground millions of people`s lives to dust, but rather
the greedy moochers sucking off the government Teat. Quote, "Cutting
entitlement spending if we don`t focus on our collective good, all of us
He did a terrible job enforcing the promises made to taxpayers and
legislators about TARP, is now launching his candidacy to be governor of
the great state of California. Maybe he`ll be able to get Dimon to spare
some of that $20 million to write him a check.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just pulled the rug out from underneath of us. There`s
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s not a crutch, no. It keeps a roof over your
head. The electric is on, the water on.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bills, day-to-day living, travel costs, food,
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How do I feed my four children? How do I feed the
dogs? My husband, Everything, it`s so overwhelming that you don`t know
where to start.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Seems to me the impression that the people on
unemployment benefits are just kind of sitting around enjoying the money
and nothing could be farther from the truth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Long-term unemployment in America is as high as it`s ever been
since World War II, with about four million people who have been out of
work for 27 weeks or more. As you can see from this chart, what caused
that trend was the financial crisis. That`s it, full stop. Either that or
a strange national epidemic of laziness that just happened to start at the
very same moment Wall Street almost went bankrupt.
And yet today, like every week, tens of thousands of those people had
their emergency unemployment insurance run out because republicans in
Congress refused to extend it. And they join the 1.3 million who lost
their benefits starting December 28th. They are now scrambling to make do
to feed their families or avoid foreclosure or eviction, to keep a roof
over their head, somehow some way.
So, when we say inequality, this is what we`re talking about. Not charts
and graphs. We are talking about justice and fairness and basic human
decency. We are talking about a society, indeed a world, in which billions
of people get up every day and say, as Kevin O`Leary would want to have
them say, I want to work hard, be successful, make money and do right by my
family and what they get is a pummeling by the forces of power and money
into submission and poverty.
And when it is done and they are broken and trying to figure out where
their next meal will come from, they are told to stop being so greedy.
They are told it is their fault. We`ll be right back.
HAYES: It was a big week for federal law enforcement going after high-
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi, fans! It`s time for all in this week in
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Yes, it`s time for all in this week in indicts, inaugural edition.
We also shared the story of Denish D`Souza`s. The honour goes to former
Virginia governor. They alleged they extended state favours to a dietary
executive who lavished them with gifts. A watch and a golf bag to name
just a few of the more than two dozen gifts cited in the indictment.
We also taught that then governor McDonnell passed on an opportunity to
plead guilty to unrelated fraud charge in return for his wife avoiding
charges completely. By far the most satisfying indictment of the week is
not a political figure, but as someone with an extremely high profile.
Hunter Moore, who`s built an empire on revenge porn! People showing naked
pictures of their ex-girlfriends!
He was acting as if his empire was being fueled by jerky and resentful ex-
boyfriends. But no, not so simple! Moore and an accused hacker were
charged with conspiracy, unauthorized access to protect a computer and
aggravated identity theft. Moore and his hacking buddy were illegally
hacking into the photos and personal information of women and exploiting
them to make millions of dollars and destroy women`s lives. Hunter Moore
is now facing criminal charges, as he should be.
And let`s not forget Justin Bieber was arrested and charged with drunk
driving, resisting assist and driving with a suspended license. Remember,
kids, and this is important and not ironic. Everyone is innocent until
proven guilty. Tune in next time for this week in indictments and may God
have mercy on your soul.
Kerry Fox, I love you. No indictments in New Jersey yet but lots of
movement towards possible ones. Stick around.
HAYES: A little more than two weeks ago when everyone read time for some
traffic problems in Fort Lee, galvanized national attention. Even many
Chris Christie defenders had to concede that while the revelations did look
bad and amounted to petty politics at its worst, A, there was no evidence
that governor Christie was involved and, B, didn`t appear to be anything
criminal going on. Well, that lasted for about a week. Then last weekend
we got this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The fact is that the lieutenant governor came to
Hoboken; she pulled me aside in the parking lot and said I know it`s not
right, I know they should not be connected but they are and if you tell
anyone, I`ll deny it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lieutenant governor was telling her to fast track a
private development in order to get needed Sandy funds, something Zimmer
says she memorialized in her diary.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The diary entry goes on to add that I don`t know all
the details but I was with the governor on Friday night and all I know is
that the impression is that you are against this project and you have to
move it forward.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Christie administration has strongly denied Mayor Zimmer`s
accusations, but the U.S. attorney found it compelling enough to bring in
Dawn Zimmer for several hours for questioning on the Sunday of a holiday
weekend and they are talking to as many as five others, including two
Zimmer aides to whom Zimmer may have made contemporaneous statements about
the incident of the and the problem for the Christie camp with these
allegations is that if true, Christie may have been directly involved and
it may very well be criminal.
For instance, 18 U.S. code 666, theft or bribery concerning program
receiving federal funds might apply but that is open to spirited debate.
And now to top things off, we`ve seen the U.S. Attorney filing subpoenas in
relation to Bridge gate, the original scandal, the one we thought probably
wasn`t criminal. As any defense lawyer knows, as anyone who`s never been
prosecuted knows, you do not want to be around a U.S. attorney with a
And if that second major accusation, the one made by mayor Zimmer says is
true and corroborated, Governor Christie may find himself trying to make an
argument that goes something like this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have apologized for my poor judgment and I accept
full responsibility for accepting these legal gifts and loans. The federal
government`s case rests entirely on a misguided legal theory.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now, Maya Wiley, founder and president of the Center for
Social Inclusion and a former U.S. attorney and "New York Times" political
reporter Nick Confessor, who covers the money and politics beat and Paul
Butler, a law professor in Georgetown University Law Center former
prosecutor with the U.S. Justice Department where he specialized in public
So I begin with you. If you were working in the U.S. attorney`s office in
Newark right now and someone says did you see what the mayor said, we
should look into this?
PAUL BUTLER, PROFESSOR, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY LAW CENTER: Yes.
HAYES: How are you thinking about what the possible criminal exposure here
might be? How are you pursuing this?
BUTLER: You know, I`m thinking we have 4,000 federal criminal offenses.
We have more than enough crimes in the United States, that`s why we have so
many people in prison.
HAYES: Well said.
BUTLER: So it`s really a gut level feeling about did somebody here do
something that they need to go to jail for or, on the other hand, is this
just politics as usual. You know, you do me, I do you. Isn`t that just
the way it works?
HAYES: What you said right there is fascinating because it gets to
something that I think is poorly understood about the law, right? And this
is this whole thing about a federal grand jury can indict a ham sandwich,
right. The idea that like if you want to, you can fine someone for
something. When you talk about a gut feeling, that at some level at the
early part of a corruption investigation, there is a kind of discretionary
judgment call being made by the first line attorneys investigating of does
this stink or not, basically.
BUTLER: Yes. Look, the FBI is the world`s best law enforcement officer.
I wouldn`t want them looking at everything I ever did. I don`t think
anyone would want to be in that position so it is this gut level check, is
there immoral or unethical thing that makes someone dangerous enough to
lock up. It doesn`t surprise people to know we know politicians and
governors have all these goodies that they get to hand out. So is it
surprising, is it a crime when they say if you do me this favor, then I`ll
give you this goody.
HAYES: But here`s the thing, the goody is money to stop Hoboken from
drowning the next time there`s a storm. Let`s be clear what the goody is.
It`s not like, mayor, you asked for state money for a new city hall, like
we`re not going to give you that new city hall. You want money for some
generators because your entire city was under water? That to me strikes me
as more serious.
MAYA WILEY, CENTER FOR SOCIAL INCLUSION: Yes, there`s wrong and there`s
criminal, and that`s the distinction we`re talking about. There`s lots
that`s wrong that`s not criminal. In this case, though, a city that was 80
percent flooded, that actually it appears from all the statements the state
was saying should be receiving the federal funds. I mean, that`s the
distinction here. Nobody was disputing in fact Hoboken was hard hit and
should be getting significant Sandy aid. That`s federal money. That`s
federal money and you are not.
HAYES: So in terms of this question, this is politics. I want to link
this to the McDonnell case and Nick, I got to say, the reporting you were -
- take the McDonnell case. I was this thought in my head. Let`s say
rather than getting the Louis Vitton stuff and the direct personal loans
and bailing out their underwater rental property and driving the Ferrari
around, all this stuff that just makes you go like this is super corrupt
Let`s say that was all just campaign contributions, $150,000 in campaign
contribution in exchange for the same kind of behavior about McDonnell,
which is basically trying to get this guy in the right room with people
that can make things happen for his company. Would that be illegal?
NICHOLAS CONFESSORE, NEW YORK TIMES: If you put all those goods in cash
form and deposited them into a campaign account and didn`t have the e-mails
totally fine. And what`s amazing -- you know, we as a reporter covers this
stuff. We see what we think are quid pro quos in policy and campaign
finance all the time, right? In both parties, all these money slashes
around. On top of that, there are so many ways that elected officials can
use campaign funds for their --
HAYES: Hold that thought because I actually that is also poorly
understood. Who is paying for your dinner? So I want to come back to that
and continue this conversation right after we take a quick break.
HAYES: We`re back and we`re talking politics, corruption and crime and how
the three overlap. I`m here with Maya Wiley, Nick Confessore and Paul
Butler. And Nick, you we were talking about Bob McDonnell. I think part
of what is so shocking about that, indictment, alleged, they pled not
guilty, but that it was all for personal gain. We desperately need money.
We need you to buy us stuff. And I was saying, OK.
WILEY: We desperately need a Rolex.
HAYES: You made the point that there`s not a fine line between what
campaign spending and personal spending is when you get right down to it.
CONFESSORE: It depends on the state or if it`s a federal race, but for
instance, here in New York, if you were a state lawmaker in New York, you
can lease your car, you can pay for your plane tickets, you can go on
vacation, and you can do almost anything with your campaign funds. It is
And even in Virginia, I think the rules allow a lot. The gift laws there
are especially lax so part of you is thinking you watch all day the
creative ways in which you can perfectly legally enrich yourself in your
campaign funds. But instead the old-fashioned way is to ask for it
HAYES: So what`s the line, Paul?
BUTLER: You`ve got to love the defense in this case because he`s being
charged with giving some kind of a favor in exchange for all these gifts
that he`s got. And he`s saying, well, I didn`t do any favors and I didn`t
know about the gifts. And the wife is saying, well, I knew about the
gifts, but I`m not the governor so I can`t do anything official.
HAYES: Actually, in some ways the argument when you scratch it is that
actually we`re just Grafters who managed to take this guy for $150,000 but
never gave him the quo.
BUTLER: He`s saying, look, I`m the governor. It`s my job to promote the
businesses of this state so this is just one of many businesses I was
promoting. Once again, it`s this line between when politicians do favors
for people who were nice to them versus when they cross that line and
deserve to go to jail.
WILEY: Well, this is also why the Governor Chris Christie scandal on the
Hoboken money is more complicated than, say, the Virginia case because, you
know, here he`s saying that he was influencing money for the benefit of the
lawyer friend who represented the client.
HAYES: That`s the theory of the case thus far.
WILEY: That`s the theory thus far if the media is getting it right. So
that`s obviously a lot more common.
HAYES: And presumably one defense would be the governor so let`s say what
happens is it`s corroborated, OK? Let`s say that it is corroborated. How
do you defend yourself? You say this was a policy priority for the
governor. This development, we believe in development, we believe this
would be good for Hoboken, for Jersey taxpayers, for everyone. It`s a
policy priority to see development in Hoboken. That`s why I wanted to get
it done. Is that a defense?
BUTLER: It`s a darn good one. That`s how good laws get made. That`s how
the civil rights act got made. Lyndon Johnson said if you don`t vote for
my law, I`m going to get you. If you do vote for it, you`ll get that
bridge in that community that you want. So we like the civil rights act.
HAYES: Let`s just be clear here. That`s high praise for political horse
trading, right? The issue here to me seems there`s a difference between
carrots and sticks, OK, or it seems like there should be. There`s a
difference between I will reward you with this extra thing if you do the
thing I want you to do, compared to I will punish you by withholding
something that you`re entitled to if you don`t. Like it seems there`s a
WILEY: I get your point, but legally it doesn`t work that simple Leech the
pointing is you can actually withhold or you can do either/or and it
doesn`t have to be money. The quid pro quo doesn`t have to be around
money. So I think it does go back to your sniff test example which is
because public integrity and part of the thing a public integrity unit does
is really think about what is the public interest here and what are we
trying to vindicate.
HAYES: And is the public being deprived.
WILEY: And in a democracy, remember that we`re also thinking it`s the
judicial branch is not the only vindicator here. There`s a court of public
opinion and he can be wrong and we can be vindicated that way.
HAYES: And the world in which you operate, if you go back and read that
opinion, so much of it is the appearance of corruption. That`s the thing.
We don`t want any quid pro quos. But anxious quid are happening here and
quos are happening here and as long as they show up at the same dinners and
go to work at the same offices, they can kind of merrily clink glasses and
that is the world of big-time campaigns.
Maya Wiley from the Center for Social Inclusion, Nick Confessore from "New
York Times" and Paul Butlet, Georgetown University Law Center. Thank you
all. That is ALL IN for this evening. The "RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts
right now. Good evening and happy Friday, Rachel.
RACHEL MADDOW: You too, Chris. Thanks very much. Have a great weekend.
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