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The Ed Show for Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

Read the transcript to the Tuesday show

February 25, 2014

Guests: Lori Wallach, Larry Cohen, Jim McDermott

ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC HOST: Good evening Americans and welcome to the Ed Show
live from New York. Let`s get to work.


environment and open new markets to new goods, stamps made in the USA.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Walmart`s new big idea? It`s made in the U.S.A.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will build things, and build families, and build

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is that afraid that to dirty dogs that now people are
slinging mud because he`s supporting Walmart jobs?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All the ad really did was announced Walmart`s intention
over the next decades by quarter of a trillion dollars worth of U.S. made

MARC LAMONT HILL, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: You`re saying you can`t be a
champion of the everyday guy, the everyday woman and then where the

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They make around 12,000 a year which is poverty levels
(ph). You know, on that food base a lot.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People who work at Walmart can barely afford to shop at

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 133,000 U.S. manufacturing jobs were lost to China
because of Walmart.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m not the spokesman for Walmart. I`m a spokesman for
American Manufacturing.


SCHULTZ: Good to have you with us tonight folks. Thanks for watching.

A lot more coming up from the XL Pipeline on the back after the show. Lots
of interviews and information coming up.

You know, in our business or in any business, sales solves a lot of
problems. You got to believe the pitchman and there`s been some great ones
over the years. I remember, growing up, I use to listen to the radio all
the time and it was Paul Harvey. He wanted to give me a ride in his
viewing. Gosh, he was good. If you`re good to radio commercials like Paul
Harvey, you had a chance. There`s no doubt about it.

And I always wondered if Fred Thompson ever really did get a reverse
mortgage, you know, there`s pitchman everywhere. Mike Rowe and Walmart?
Really? Talking about American jobs is easy. Put your money where your
mouth is. Well, that`s the hard part.

TV host Mike Rowe`s partnership with Walmart, I find to be very puzzling.
And in the start of their national debate about American jobs at a
different level. You see, the conversation has been going on for a while
but not with Walmart. But now, it`s entering the mainstream media with
this ad.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I believe I will rise again. We will build things and
build families and build dreams. It`s time to get back to what America
does best. Because work is beautiful thing.


SCHULTZ: Oh, if you got good commercials, you can sell a lot of product.
Now, does this mean that Walmart`s going to be raising their prices?
Because everybody knows it does cost a little bit more to manufacture stuff
in America. You know, a rising tide lifts all boats.

Mike Rowe, the host of Dirty Jobs has appeared on the show. Good guy.
Really. I believe he honestly wants to bring back American jobs, but his
partnership with Walmart, I think is completely misguided.

For Walmart, this campaign to me is just nothing but another PR ploy to
make you think that they really care about jobs. You see, Walmart knows
exactly where they stand with the public. They`re just trying to make up
some ground because they`ve lost some ground. Maybe not when it comes to
profit, but when it comes to the image business, do you really think of
Walmart as American goods and a place where you can go to get them? I
doubt it.

Now, according to the Economic Policy Institute, Walmart`s trade deficit
with China between 2001 and 2006, well, it helped destroy 200,000 jobs in
this country. An estimated 133,000 of those were manufacturing jobs.
Manufacturing is a long term investment with the potential for long term
benefits for any economy.

Ask the Germans. Walmart is the largest private sector employer in the
United States. Good for them. Despite the fact that Walmart posted a $16
billion net income in 2013, the American taxpayer. Yeah. That would be
you and me.

We continue to pick up the tab for Walmart`s poverty wages and that`s
exactly what they are. You see, Walmart workers receive over $2 billion in
government assistance each year which can work out to be over $1 million in
public assistance per store or up to $5,815 per Walmart worker.

They got a heck of a gig going on, don`t they? You and I are helping them
make a dollar, all those billions of dollars.

Let me give to you those famous low prices Walmart outsources. That`s what
they do.

President Obama address the importance of U.S. based manufacturing today.


OBAMA: For generations of Americans, manufacturing was the ticket to a
good middle-class life. We made stuff. And the stuff we made like steel
and cars and planes, made us the economic leader of the world. And the
work was hard, but the jobs were good. And if you got on an assembly plant
in Detroit or in a steel plant in Youngstown, you could buy a home. You
could raise kids. You could send them to college. You could retire with
some security. And those jobs didn`t just tell us how much we were worth,
they told us how we were contributing to the society and how we were
helping to build America, and gave people a sense of dignity and purpose.


SCHULTZ: Very interesting. Twice in that sound bite, the president
mentioned steel. Steel prices have taken to hit as of late because of this
lousy trade agreement we have with Korea. Korea now has 30 percent of the
steel market out there and they`re pushing prices way down and that`s
affecting American jobs.

We`ll have the full story for you on that next week here on the Ed Show.
Just give me a little time.

But in the meantime, folks continue over the TPP Trade Agreement. This is
such a good deal, ain`t it? The trade talk they stalled last night which
is good news where the United States and Japan -- they`re great friends of
ours -- could not agree on market access. That`s a mouthful.

You mean to tell me the Japanese want to bring in a lot of product to
America but they really don`t want to take too much American product? This
is a significant development if you care about American jobs. This gives
Americans more time to voice their concerns about the trade agreement which
I don`t think we should be messing with.

President Obama is aware that past trade agreements haven`t been on the
best interest of American workers. Take a listen to what he said just last
week in Mexico.


OBAMA: And I`ve said this to some of my own constituents who are opposed
to trade that those who are concerned about losing jobs or outsourcing need
to understand some of the old agreements put us at a disadvantage, that`s
exactly why we`ve got to have stronger agreements to protect our
intellectual property, that open up markets to our agricultural products,
that make sure that when it comes to government procurements or sovereign
wealth funds in these other countries, that they`re not taking advantage of
our business and preventing us from competing there. That`s exactly why
we`ve got to get this done.


SCHULTZ: Somebody has to sit down with the president new (ph) and get a
long interview on trade and exactly find out how much better the TPP is
than NAFTA.

The bottom line is, it isn`t a stronger agreement. The TPP is just as bad.
It got worse than past agreements including NAFTA.

Now, here`s what the bottom line is. You got to believe the pitchman. Hey
look, Mike Rowe, great guy, no question about it. But does he really
believe that Walmart is in it for American jobs and manufacturing? You
mean that Walmart is going to go out and they`re going to seek out American
factories to make sure that that product gets on their shelves so they can
have low prices? No, it doesn`t work that way.

Our standard of living in this country has been diminished because we have
had lousy trade agreements. In this idea about reinvigorating the American
economy, and oh by the way, the largest importer in the country is going to
make a commitment to American manufacturing. Oh man. I want that story.

Get your cellphones out. I want to know what you think tonight`s question.
Can you be for American jobs and the TPP? Text A for Yes, text B for No to
67622. You can always go to our blog at We`ll bring you the
results later on in this show.

Joining me tonight is Lori Wallach. She is the director of Public Citizens
Global Trade Watch. She joins us tonight to talk about this. And Lori,
great to have you with us.

This is a subject that you have been front and center on for a long time
and I want to get right to what is happening with the TPP. Japan and
America. They couldn`t come to an agreement on market access. What are we
talking about here? What`s market access? It was the definition of why
they can`t get the deal done.

set of agricultural products that they consider sacred -- rice, beef,
barley, wheat, dairy, and they have said, and in fact, the ruling party,
the current prime minister`s party has said, they will not accept zeroing
out of tear-ups on those commodities. At the same time, they`re trying to
get the U.S. to get rid of tear-ups in automobiles and the U.S. is asking
for a very long face out plus for better rights to get into the Japanese
market that go beyond tear-ups.

And so, on those old fashion trade issues, they`re very stuck. But all the
focus on that really obscured the fact that actually there are a lot of TPP
issues that aren`t really trade ones that gotten stuck like the U.S. keeps
insisting on all of these extensions of patterns (ph) and other policies
that would increase medicine prices. And the other countries are saying,
ixnay (ph) or the U.S. is saying let`s limit financial regulation and allow
-- the countries are saying no. Or the U.S. is actually been pushing this
fairly, crazy investor-state corporate tribunal rules and now another
country is joining Australian saying.


WALLACH: . no.

SCHULTZ: So there`s a lot on the table to unpack, so to speak, on the TPP.
But, getting to Walmart, does a company like that fuel trade agreements
like this?

WALLACH: You can see up in the halls pushing for fast track. The
extraordinary outrageous legislative leisure (ph) on process, the president
wants to trail a rail road TPP into place, folks like Walmart, Kmart, all
of the big retailers are running around, they actually love the rules that
were in NAFTA that are also in TPP, they`re at the core of TPP that
actually promote off-shoring of U.S. jobs. These are the investor
protections that literally remove most of the risks that would always
otherwise be associated with going to a place like Vietnam with the wages
are much lower than even China.


WALLACH: 50 cents an hour. So these guys love this agreement because it`s
a way to get cheap stuff so they have a bigger margin.

SCHULTZ: Lori Wallach, good to have you with us tonight. We will follow
the story in this latest development of the TPP.

Let`s turn now to Larry Cohen who`s the president in Communication Workers
of America. Larry, good to have you on with us tonight.


SCHULTZ: The president -- you know, I going to give a credit. He talks a
good game. He talks a great game but he`s for the TPP in one`s fast track.
So, which President Obama are we talking about here?

COHEN: Well, it`d be great to go back to the President Obama in the
campaign of 2008 when he made it clear that he stood with American workers,
with the environmental community, we can have it both ways, he knows that
too. We can always call out export sectors, but the question is where is
the net at the end of the day? And as you`ve said so often, there`s a
trillion dollars in trade deficits from this trade deals. This one`s the
worst one ever. There is no change, whatsoever. We, the citizens in this
country need to say, here`s what 21st century trade should look like and
it`s not the 20th century version.

SCHULTZ: Yeah. Now, do you believe that Walmart is going to make a
consorted effort to make sure that they buy American manufactured goods and
put them on the shelf for those low, low prices where they`ve made billions
of dollars? And if they do that, is this going to turn into better wages
for the workers who are on public assistance?

COHEN: Yeah. Well, first of all, as you`ve said, the main reason, the
number one reason that every White House dichotomist knows that we`ve had
no wage increases for decades here has been a global economy and our
response to it compared to a nation like Germany as you mentioned. That`s
number one. Number two, I`m sure Walmart will promote certain products.
They`ll find a flag made in the U.S. and waving. But, net -- no, no way
are they going to shift their strategy as you just pointed out because that
would be directly at the cost of their profits and that would be a shock to
all of us.

SCHULTZ: The more we hear about the TPP, the more facets of the economy it
really affects. Agriculture. American farmers in the middle of the
country ought to be paying attention to this because we are going to be
forced to bring in so much agricultural products as opposed to putting them
out. We`re the best producer on the phase of the earth when it comes to
egg products. Why would we want to serve that up?

COHEN: Well, I think it`s a split, as you know, better than most of us
coming from the planes, it`s the split between corporate farmers and
fertilizer companies and chemical producers like Montano (ph) and the
family farmer who loses out every time. And the worst of this is they
wouldn`t be able to label your produce or your meat or anything else made
in the USA. Part of TPP will be eliminate those vary labeling requirements
that the president talked about.

SCHULTZ: And the president just talked about by American. There`s nothing
in the TPP that calls for that. That`s a great slogan but nowhere has ever
been put in any trade agreement that forces anybody to buy an American good
which would correlate directly to the increase in manufacturing jobs in
this country, period.

COHEN: Yeah. Absolutely. Or agriculture. In fact, they would wipe out
the by America label. The last remnant of hope in terms of how does a
consumer, if they wanted to, identifies things that were made here.

SCHULTZ: All right. Larry Cohen, President in Communication Workers of
America. Good to have you with us tonight. I appreciate your time.

Remember to answer tonight`s question there at the bottom of the screen and
share your thoughts on Twitter @EdShow, and on Facebook, we want to know
what you think.

Coming up, the faith of a controversial discrimination bill in Arizona will
be decided this week.

What is she waiting for? And I`m talking about the Governor of Arizona.
Congressman Jim McDermott joins me next to discuss whether Jan Brewer will
do the right thing. She says she`ll do the right thing. What`s that?

Plus, we continue our special series "Divided Heartland, The American
Debate." Proponents to the Keystone XL Pipeline get their chance to weigh
in. Stick around.


SCHULTZ: You don`t feel any environmental threat at all?

Male: No I don`t, no I don`t. And of course I`m raising crop right on top
of this pipe. And you know, had all kinds of things -- it won`t dry, it
won`t freeze, and it`ll be soft there and everything else. Never have a



SCHULTZ: Time now for the Trenders. In the social media this is where you
can find us. I appreciate all your Twitter activity
on the pipeline stories that have been coming up. And also and On the radio, Monday through Friday,
SiriusXM 127 noon to 3:00. And of course you can get my pod cast and my
radio website at

The Ed Show social media nation has been deciding all day and we`re
reporting tonight.

Here are today`s top Trenders voted on by you.


like me.

SCHULTZ: The number three trender, vit (ph).

SETH MEYERS: You`ve been very open about talking about 2016.

BIDEN: I have this plan on making a major announcement tonight. But I
decided tonight`s your night. Thank you.

SCHULTZ: Joe Biden brings the laughs on Late Night with Seth Meyers.

MEYERS: Look how happy he was.

BIDEN: I really got into it man. Except they said keep your hands off the

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don`t touch it.

MEYERS: You guys have any other projects lined up?

AMY POEHLER: Yeah, we`re going to do -- make somebody train (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have had it with these monkey fighting snakes on this
Monday to Friday plane (ph).

SCHULTZ: The number two trender, personal foul.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Banning gays from the NFL?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who`s ball? But all the goal monsters (inaudible)
each other.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lobbyist Jack Burkman plans to impose legislation
banning gay athletes from joining the National Football Leagues.

JACK BURKMAN: It`s about restoring common decency.

SCHULTZ: A lobbyist pushes legislation to ban gay players from the NFL.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He said he came out with the idea after college
football star Michael Sam came out of the game in.

MICHAEL SAM: I just wish you guys will see me as Michael Sam, the football
player than (ph) Michael Sam, the gay football player.

BURKMAN: And we expect to have a lot of support.

SAM: I just want to do what I love to do and that`s to play football.

SCHULTZ: And today`s top trender, bias cuts.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have to decide if we want to be a state that
continues to legislate hate or if we want to be a state that is open for
doing business with everybody.

SCHULTZ: As Arizona`s discriminatory bill gets pushed back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s bad for us, owners.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s bad for business.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Blake said "I hope Governor Brewer vetoes SB1062 and
Senator McCain echo the sentiments.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`ve got plenty of time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Veto this bill. Veto this bill.

SCHULTZ: Legislators are peachy keen on pushing it in Georgia.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s called the preservation of Religious Freedom

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Responses of the bill state, its goal is to protect
people and businesses from being, of course, to do things that are against
their religious beliefs.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There will be people saying "I won`t serve
(inaudible), so I won`t serve anyone who`s gay." How did they know?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) does not (inaudible) with constitution. I
have it (inaudible).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If we just Liberty Protectin go there to be a shield
to protect your religion, not a sort to hurt other people`s religion.


SCHULTZ: I spoke to the Arizona progressives in Phoenix on Saturday night,
and of course, this was a big story down there and they were all shaking
their heads in embarrassment. They cannot believe that the Republicans in
the House and the Senate have passed this and now, it`s going to one
person, the governor, who says that she`s going to do the right thing.
What`s the delay?

Joining me tonight, Congressman Jim McDermott of Washington. Jim, good to
have you with us tonight. I mean, it`s like these state Republican Houses
are trying to out crazy one another. This -- we have fought discrimination
in this country for decades to get where we are and if this is in a step
back, I don`t know what is. Do you view this in just amazement?

REP. JIM MCDERMOTT, (D) WASHINGTON: I -- when I heard about this, this
morning, I thought to myself, I thought I`d seen every crazy thing in the
world that could happen in a state legislature. But this really beat them
all. I mean, it is so stupid -- first of all, it`s unconstitutional and
it`s unfair and it`s wrong but it`s unenforceable. What are you going to
do when somebody walks into your store to buy a suite or buy a new shirt?
You`re going to say, "Are you gay or are you straight? Well, if you`re
gay, you`ll have to leave. I`m not going to serve you." I mean, what kind
of craziness is this?

SCHULTZ: Well, this.

MCDERMOTT: There is no way this can work.

SCHULTZ: This bill gives business owners the legal room to say, "Get out
of my store because you got a turban on." I just don`t think it`s about
the gay and lesbian community. I think that there`s a lot of other things
that play into this, too. How a person looks is going to be judged. And
then they`re going to have the legal back up to say, "Well, I threw him out
of my store and I wouldn`t serve him because it was against my religious

I mean, isn`t there a broad area here for interpretation that could lead to

MCDERMOTT: Well, we actually had that in Seattle. If you remember back in
2001, we had to seek a man with a turban beating almost to death and he
owned a motel and one of the people in there thought he was one of the
people who was causing all the problems in New York and used a baseball bat
on him. We formed the Seattle a free zone immediately and said, "We don`t
care what you look like or who you are. You are safe in this city." And
what they`re doing opening up this in Arizona is just opening up all the
awfulness of hating people.

SCHULTZ: That`s exactly what it does. And, of course, we know how they
love firearms in Arizona. I mean, I think this opens the door for
confrontation because there`s going to be an interpretation going to have
to be made at the scene as to why someone is not being served when they`re
being discriminated against in their mind, and of course, by the law would
back it up.

Now, what`s amazing to me is that all day long, I`ve heard say, "Well,
there`s a lot of Republicans against it. Well, there`s a lot of
Republicans in Arizona." No, no, no, no, no, wait a minute. Hold on, hold
on. The Republicans in the House and the Senate, they passed this. This
is what they want as a majority body in a state. They want to
discriminate. They want to target. And they want to open the door to
confrontation. And now, it`s up to the governor to set them all straight.
No, the Republicans are for this and I don`t think we can give them any
room on this. Your thoughts on that congressman.

MCDERMOTT: Well, I hope that the people of Arizona remember that this is a
representative government, and that when election time comes, they throw
the whole bunch out. People who would put something like this up and
seriously vote for it and act like it`s a reasonable thing to do simply are
not representing most Americans. Even most people in Arizona, I can`t
believe that they are representative.


MCDERMOTT: . of the people.


MCDERMOTT: And I think they`ll get it in the next election.

SCHULTZ: Well, I hope so. You know, the Arizona progressives are getting
organized. That was a rather -- impressed with, you know, how much heart
and desire they have to make a change. And maybe this will do it. This
will open up their ass in the second session and try to get some good
things done.

Now I open this up saying, states are trying to out crazy one another on
the right. How about down in Georgia, Congressman Paul Broun laid out his
criteria for voting on a bill. Here it is.


REP. PAUL BROUN, (R) GEORGIA: The four questions that I ask about all
legislation. All four have to be asked (inaudible). The first, is it
constitutional according to the original intent? The second, does it fit
the Judeo-Christian Biblical principles that our nation is founded upon?
Three, do we need it? Fourth, can we afford it?


SCHULTZ: Does his record back up those Judeo-Christian Biblical

MCDERMOTT: I, you know, I don`t know his record well enough but I doubt
that he has followed them very much because it`s trying to make this a
religious country is just not the American way. There`s always
compromises. We are made up of Muslims, and we are made up of Protestants,
and Catholics, and Jews, and Bahai. And there`s all kinds of people in
this country. Anybody who wants to run their life on simply the biblical
principles is not able to make the compromises necessary to make this
society work.

We`re not all one religion or all one group. We have to live with people
who are a little bit different than us. And that require some flexibility.
And he`s talking as though, if you just read it in the bible, well that`s
it. I mean, there`s a lot of stuff in there. I`m not sure you`d go along

SCHULTZ: Well, whatever happened at that day, it`s just doing what your
constituents want. I wish we could get back to that.

Congressman Jim McDermott, great to have you with us tonight.


SCHULTZ: I appreciate your time.

Coming up, more from the Divided Heartland. I sat down with proponents of
the Keystone XL. And still ahead, one of the strongest lobbying efforts
Nebraska has ever seen. My exclusive interview with the Nebraska State
Senator who voted in favor of the Keystone XL.


ABBIE CORNETT, KEYSTONE XL OPPONENT: I think that both sides of the issue
had adequate time to debate the issue and put forth both sides of the
arguments. And I think that both sides have been well represented.


SCHULTZ: But next I`m taking your questions. Ask Ed live just ahead here
on the Ed Show on MSNBC. We are right back.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to our Ask Ed Live segment. I appreciate all the

Now, joining us for our -- joining on the conversation on the social media
pages and you can get the question, this is new.

All right, let`s go to Ask Ed Live. Let`s get our first question tonight.
It comes from John. "Why does Scott Walker get away with lying and
stealing from the people of Wisconsin?"

I have a different question and I`ll get to this in a moment. A state that
is so rich in activism, a state that never takes anything sitting down. It
just seems to me that they`re awful quiet in the heels of this, after all
of these e-mails that have come out. Where are the 14 senators that left
the state? Where`s the pressure on the prosecutor to give the public a
statement as to how Walker could escape prosecution when he clearly it
illustrates that he knew about the secret e-mail detail that was going on,
and the system that was going on when he was county executive. I just find
that really, really amazing.

Now, why does Scott Walker get away with lying and stealing from the people
of Wisconsin? Well, I guess he`s just a master at it. I don`t know. I --
this is amazing to me that he has escaped the prosecution but there is
another investigation going on that deals with this recall on the way he
ran that campaign.

Our next question is from Christina. "Do you think the GOP can find anyone
to run 2016 that isn`t involved in some sort of scandal?"

Well, let`s see, you got Jindal was making a pretty good case for it
yesterday, hawking (ph) the microphone and the cameras outside the White
House trying to be a kind of a troublemaker. Let`s see, we got Christie,
we got Walker, we got Rick Scott, gosh, they got a lot of governors in
trouble. But there is one left, John Kasich of Ohio maybe the new rising
star when it comes to presidential hopefuls on the right.

All right, and final question tonight comes from, we got three of them,
David. "If you lived in the path of the Keystone XL Pipeline, would you
let it go through your front yard?"

That`s a heck of a question. First of all, I don`t think these people are
going to be able to stop it. They might be able to. So I`ll put myself on
the front line in Nebraska. If I live there, no, I wouldn`t want it coming
across but I would exhaust every angle to make sure that they would pay me
as much as I possibly can get if it did go through so I could go buy a nice
place somewhere else.

I`m now on the fence on this issue and I know how people feel and I think
this discovery that we have done on this story in Nebraska has changed a
lot of folks and it`s working on me.

A lot more coming up in the Ed Show. Stick around.

BERTHA COOMBS, CNBC CORRESPONDENT: I`m Bertha Coombs with your CNBC Market

Stocks ending the day a bit in the red. The DOW falling 27 points, the S
and P was off two while the NASDAQ shuts five.

Consumer confidence fell this month as expectations about the economy took
a hit. Economists were expecting sentiment (ph) to improve.

In the meantime, shares of Home Depot rose nearly four percent today. The
company`s earnings beat estimates. It also raised its quarterly dividends.
It seems a lot of folks are buying shovels.

And home prices rose a little more than expected in December according to
the S and P case-shiller index.

That`s it from CNBC, we`re first in business worldwide.


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show.

Tonight, we continue our examination of the Keystone XL Pipeline. Our team
was on the ground last Friday finding out the facts. This is the Divided
Heartland and the American Debate. The Canadian government officials are
determined to see this project through. Republican U.S. senators are
pressuring President Obama for a decision they`ve written him a letter of
retaining to.

And the folks in Nebraska are in the middle of this fight claiming
TransCanada, the oil company, is just cash whipping everybody in the path
of the proposed pipeline.


SCHULTZ: This oil pipeline already goes through Nebraska, part of a
previous project. Proponents of the Keystone say this is evidence.
Another major project will only be upside for the region and the country.
They feel there is nothing to be concerned about.

through this whole process, you know, farming here right next to where I
was working all the time. How careful they were to been to the pipes and
groom the bottom of the trenches so the pipe laid in there just perfect,
and the welding, X-ray stuff that went on. I was really confident. I was
impressed, very impressed.

SCHULTZ: To your knowledge, what`s the difference between this and the
Keystone XL project?

HILGER: Well, for one thing, it goes in a different direction, you know,
it`s a shortcut but I believe that as far as pressures and the size of the
pipe and so they`re pretty much the same.

SCHULTZ: Similar in operation?

HILGER: Similar, yeah, pumping stations they`ll have to have locations
things like that.

SCHULTZ: So what`s your response to those who are concerned about --
they`re coming over the aquifer?

HILGER: I think they`ve alleviated that process, you know, that problem,
like kind of going and route it up there in the Sand Hills. We have
aquifers all over in this state and they have voice of monitoring this and
the oil will come up if we ever have a week and I just don`t anticipate
that there`ll be a problem.

SCHULTZ: So, you don`t feel any environmental threat at all?

HILGER: No, I don`t. No, I don`t. And of course I`m raising crops right
on top of this pipe and you don`t have all kinds of things where the ground
won`t freeze and it`ll be soft there and everything else. Never had a

SCHULTZ: Some of the concern of the antis of the XL Pipeline project is
that it`s an international corporation doing how they`ve been to deal with?

HILGER: You know, I see some Toyota cars here, you know, parts who you`re
not expect up (ph) are probably coming from oversees. It`s just the way it
works in this world nowadays. You know, we take care of other nations and
they should take care of us and we work together on these things. A lot of
our egg products get shipped overseas so the oil companies probably won`t
have market for their products over there too.

SCHULTZ: Are you surprised that the pushback on the pipeline?

HILGER: Yeah, I think it`s political. I think its gotten way out of hand,
way too much time that they put into it. Money talks, that`s what`s making
it work now in the opposition. I`m just really disappointed that it is --
it`s a black eye on our nation that has taken so long to get this done.

SCHULTZ: To not have it?

HILGER: That`s correct.

SCHULTZ: This pipeline will in-line in 2010. There have been with the
company says minor events but it is also the pipeline that had a major
spill in North Dakota.

Those who are adamantly opposing the project say this spill in Tioga, North
Dakota from another pipeline is a big reason for concern. This oil
disaster released over a million gallons and will take at least two years
to clean up. It got virtually no national media attention.

They question, what if this happens over the aquifer in Nebraska? They
claim it could be devastating.

you know, there`s a vast amount of water right there and in this sand and
gravel mixture, if there`s a crack or leak anything like that is going to
get into that porous material and it`s going to be in that water very

SCHULTZ: So, contamination could be permeating throughout the whole system
before people could realize exactly what`s going on?

TANDERUP: Exactly. And somebody`s going to be dead or some live stocks
going to be dead and they`re going to wonder what the heck happened here
and it`s going to be bad water.

SCHULTZ: Oil officials say they have helped train local volunteer fire
departments in case of an oil spill emergency. We were unable to confirm

There have been other spills from this pipeline. The most recent in North
Dakota was cleaned up in seven to 10 days and oil officials say there was
no damage.

Local elected officials in York and Butler County, Nebraska claimed the tax
revenue is a big financial help.

about $19 million boost increase in property tax value to our county
because the pipeline has gone through.

SCHULTZ: And what about jobs? There have been estimates the pipeline will
bring thousands of jobs in construction along the route. That plays big
with union workers in the economy.

RON KAMINSKI, LIUNA, LOCAL: This is the largest construction project that
we see on the books with the PLA signed by TransCanada to employ union
workers with good paying jobs and benefits for them and their families.

SCHULTZ: As for long term employment, even county officials say the
pipeline will bring very few jobs for the long haul once the project is

JANAK: Jobs not so much in the county. They have people that come through
the pipeline to service these stations not from our area but from other
areas up and down the pipeline.

JIM TARKICK, KEYSTONE XL OPPONENT: It`s known there that there`s not that
many jobs, permanent jobs that are associated with this pipeline at all.

KAMINSKI: There is going to be a job for maintenance and upkeep. Is it
going to be as many jobs? No. But we`re talking thousands of jobs for
people in Nebraska and I think it`s -- well worth it.

SCHULTZ: Still, for some it`s a no brainer.

LEE KLEIN, MADISON, NE COUNTY COMMISSIONER: This is about the safest way
to handle products there ever was and I`ll tell you what, the history and
the record that the folks from TransCanada have is phenomenal so we`re
proud of them, they`ve been really good neighbors to us and we appreciate
them being here.


SCHULTZ: Coming up, one of the biggest lobbying efforts Nebraska has ever

We`ll have more on how money and influence factor into the debate over the
Keystone XL Pipeline. More from the Ed Show Special, Heartland Divided:
The American Debate coming up.


and they are so hell-bent on getting the tar sands to the export market.
Find a different path because you`re not coming to our state.




RUSS GIRLING, CEO, TRANSCANADA: They`ll build the pipeline.


GIRLING: We`ll be moving that oil and by alternate means which are less --
let`s say Canada is still the safest place to get that imported well. But
in fact, we`re actually moving a significant amount of that Bakken crude
and as that crude grows, yeah, we would expect that the Keystone Pipeline
could play even a larger role in moving that crude all safely to the
markets inside the United States.



SCHULTZ: The Keystone XL Pipeline will pump over 800,000 barrels of tar
sand oil a day. TransCanada officials now say that 25 percent of that oil
in this pipeline will be oil from North Dakota which is sweet crude.

TransCanada also tells us that 90 percent of the land owners in Nebraska
have approved the pipeline coming through their land. But late this
afternoon, I spoke with an advocacy attorney who`s telling me that that
figure isn`t correct. He says of the 275 miles that the pipe would go
through Nebraska, 75 of those miles are not committed.

Now the company will not say how much money they have spent in payouts to
landowners to make this project happen. And local landowners tell us that
it`s just too much to calculate.

When we comeback, how money and influence change Nebraska law to make this
happen only to be turned back by a district court judge and slow the


SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show.

For the Keystone XL Pipeline to happen it was inevitable, some things had
to change. TransCanada was so determined to see this project through.
They were willing to support changes to the Nebraska Constitution to make
the Pipeline a reality.

A recent legal ruling has the pipeline construction now at a standstill.
That lawsuit was brought by three landowners, everyday citizens in Nebraska
just fighting for their property rights.

This is almost David and Goliath in the environmental fight for America.


SCHULTZ: It`s one of the strongest lobbying efforts ever seen in Nebraska
politics. TransCanada spent hundreds of thousands of dollars for the
proposed extension of the Keystone XL Pipeline in an effort to change
legislative control.

KLEEB: They were elected to represent us. They we`re elected to represent
our families. Their salaries paid by our tax dollars not TransCanada. And
TransCanada had no right to come in to our state and not only threaten them
at domain but start to change our state constitution?

RANDY THOMPSON, FILED PIPELINE LAWSUIT: When our politicians decide to
trade away our property rights. You know, we need to step up and do
something about it.

SCHULTZ: Legislative action gave Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman the
executive authority to approve the pipeline. Former Nebraska State Senator
Abbie Cornett who was in the legislature at the time of the vote talked
about the power shift.

CORNETT: There was heavy lobbying on both sides.

KLEEB: Over a million dollars, TransCanada has spent lobbying our state
senators. We have UniCare (ph), well it`s not many, there`s 49 state
senators and they have spent over a million dollars. They brought up every
single lobbying firm except one. So, none of us could hire lobbyist to
kind of be our voice.

TARKICK: This group right here that we`re -- that are here, you know,
we`re not lobbyist. Those people out there there`s no lobbyist, there`s no
people getting paid to be here. We are on our own time.

KEVIN GRAVES, KEYSTONE XL OPPONENT: I think that this information is
largely stopped because they figured out it doesn`t work. They`re on a new
a better tactics now.

SCHULTZ: Abbie Cornett and other Nebraskans have no problem with the way
the legislator gave Governor Heineman all the power.

CORNETT: At that time, we felt that the Governor should have the
responsibility for deciding whether the pipeline came to the state or not.

SCHULTZ: OK. So, what was the purpose of the public service commission at
that point then? That was one of their major duties.

CORNETT: It was, at that time they just felt that it was a better decision
to have the governor determine whether we were going to have the pipeline
or not.

SCHULTZ: And when that law was up for discussion, was there a conversation
about it possibly being unconstitutional?

CORNETT: I don`t remember or knew that conversation. No.

SCHULTZ: Did you vote on it?


SCHULTZ: And it was a no that you can`t remember any conversation about it
being unconstitutional?

CORNETT: No one spoke to me about the issue that being unconstitutional at
that time.

THOMPSON: The constitution says we have property rights. And I have yet
to see the asterisk next to that that says these rights are only yours
until a big corporation wants it.

SHANNON GRAVES, KEYSTONE XL OPPONENT: This is just going to turn the
United States into an alleyway for a foreign product going from one foreign
country to the open market, straight down through the middle of our world
and our lives and our livelihoods.

SCHULTZ: When you were in the legislature, was there a lot of conversation
about eminent domain that landowners were concerned that they just didn`t
want this structure in their land they felt powerless?

CORNETT: There were a few landowners that came in and discuss that issue.
The majority of landowners though in Nebraska, I believe well over 90
percent voluntarily entered into contracts with TransCanada for the
pipeline. But there were discussions about that. Yes.


SCHULTZ: We`ll continue our special series "Divided Heartland, The
American Divide" tomorrow with an interview with members of the Rosebud
Sioux Tribe. Their land falls on the path of the proposed pipeline. I
spoke with Former Nebraska State Senator Abbie Cornett about the concerns
that the tribal members had.


SCHULTZ: We`re there concerns and conversation about the Native Americans
who claim that this Pipeline would be going over some culturally sacred

CORNETT: I never was contacted by any of the tribal leaders. And that I
know that was a point was brought up by one of the groups but none of the
tribes ever spoke to me about it.

SCHULTZ: Did you notice some are lobbying about their concerns at that

CORNETT: Constantly. We`ve had quite a bit lobbying of the issue of light
clay which is up behind the Indian reservation. We`ve had issues in
regards to cross deputization issues in regards to taxation for cigarettes.
So quite a bit of -- the tribes are reactive.


SCHULTZ: Tomorrow, we`ll take you live to the Rosebud Sioux Reservation in
South Dakota for a compelling part of the pipeline debate. They are
concerned about safety, they`re concerned about the environment, and they
also say that the pipeline would be very close to some culturally sensitive

Part of the safety they`re concerned of is that there`s just not much law
enforcement up in that area. And God forbid if something were to happen
they`re afraid of some kind of a possible confrontation. That`s story
comes to MSNBC and Ed Show tomorrow night from South Dakota.

That`s Ed Show. I`m Ed Schultz.

Politics Nation with Reverend Al Sharpton starts right now. Good evening


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