THE ED SHOW
March 27, 2014
Guests: Mike Papantonio, Jonathan Alter, Elijah Cummings, Ramogi Huma,
Chuck Hufstetler, Kain Colter
ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC HOST: Good evening Americans and welcome to Ed Show
live from Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. Let`s get to work.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our findings today .
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On the internal Bridgegate investigation.
RANDY MASTRO, PARTNER, GIBSON DUNN: Are a vindication of Governor
Christie and what he said all along.
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, (R) NEW JERSEY: All I know is -- I don`t know.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s a search for the truth.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They couldn`t get everybody in this. They
couldn`t get the most crucial player.
CHRISTIE: I refuse to be interviewed.
MASTRO: And we believe we have gotten to the truth.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If they want to be interviewed, how do you come to
CHRISTIE: Are you stupid? On topic. On topic.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Does this end here?
MASTRO: There are other investigations that will make findings after
we are done.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is over.
CHRISTIE: I`m not finished yet guys.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You were widely thought of as a strong
presidential contender. Is it something that you still think about?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Good to have you with us tonight folks. Thanks for
We`re going to start with a number tonight because it`s a number that
very few people in this country thought we were going to reach.
The breaking news at this hour is that the Affordable Care Act has
reached six million sign ups. To me, I think this is amazing. When you
consider the countless hours on rightwing radio, 600 stations across the
country that basically did a Jihad on Obamacare, Fox News segment after
segment after segment how bad Obamacare is, hundreds of millions of dollars
have been thrown at the American people about how bad it is and it`s not
going to work, the negativity coming from Boehner, and the countless hours
that have been spent on the House floor just jamming the law, and of course
the bad roll out.
Let`s go back to the bad roll out. Let`s go back to October 21st when
President Obama said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, 44TH AND CURRENT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF
AMERICA: Nobody`s madder than me about the fact that the website isn`t
working as well as it should, which means it`s going to get fixed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Well, it got fixed. Who would have ever thought at this
point and time we`d be at six million sign ups. Call this what it is. It
is an amazing turn around and I will tell you what, President Obama has got
major credibility with a lot of Americans. He said it was going to get
fixed and it did. I think it might even hit seven million.
We`ve got some other major news involving New Jersey Governor Chris
Christie`s Bridgegate scandal. If you haven`t seen enough Bridgegate
covereage, stay tuned.
You know, we`ve been talking about Chris Christie for a number of
years here on the Ed Show because of his philosophy the way he treats
people. Now, I`ve learned one thing about this guy. This is a guy that is
not an honest broker. You can`t believe what he says.
Tonight, we have more proof that Christie can`t be trusted. Earlier
today, Christie`s own internal investigation shockingly revealed that the
Governor, he had no knowledge whatsoever of his aides closing George
Washington Bridge lanes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MASTRO: We found that Governor Christie had no knowledge beforehand
of this George Washington Bridge realignment idea and that he played no
role whatsoever in that decision or the implementation of it.
We further found no evidence that anyone in the Governor`s office
besides Bridget Kelly knew of this idea in advance, or played any role, and
the decision, or the implementation of it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: We found? Whose we? Give me a break. I find it hard to
believe there was only person in Christie`s office who knew and
orchestrated the closure.
This report is most likely flawed. There are disturbing connections
between Christie and the law firm he hired for the investigation.
As you can see at the podium, Christie`s administration hired the law
firm Gibson Dunn to investigate his involvement in the bridge scandal.
Well, it turns out this law firm has quite a history with the Governor or
As Lee Fang of the RepublicReport.org points out, lawyers from Gibson
Dunn made two donations to Christie`s campaign in early 2013. There is no
proof these lawyers actually worked on Christie`s investigation. But the
connection exists. Gibson Dunn has also done legal work for the Governor
in the past.
Now, the New York Times reports a partner at the firm who is involved
in the investigation is a friend of Christie`s.
So what do you think? We should also note that Christie paid $1
million of taxpayer money to this law firm for the investigation.
So New Jersey State Democrats are questioning at this hour the
validity of the investigation altogether. State Assemblyman John
Wisniewski says the investigation is incomplete. He said Gibson Dunn never
spoke to three major players in the scandal. They are Bridget Anne Kelly,
Bill Stepien and also David Wildstein.
Now Wisniewski told the star ledger, "It does not include information
from Ms. Kelly. It can`t be a complete investigation." Assemblyman
Wisniewski is absolutely right. There`s no way Christie can be cleared
without Bridget Kelly`s testimony. She was the key person who orchestrated
Meanwhile, Christie`s investigation also cleared him of any wrong
doing and allegations that he used Hoboken`s Sandy aid as bargaining chip
for a development project.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MASTRO: We find that Mayor Zimmer`s allegations, that members of the
Christie Administration delivered a message from the Governor to her
threatening Hoboken`s Sandy Aid, unless she`s supported a private
development project. I`m not only unsubstantiated, they are demonstrably
false in material respects. Mayor Zimmer`s subjective perceptions do not
match the objective reality reflected in the hard evidence that we
uncovered during our investigation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Well, how about that? Everything is just magically working
out for our good old buddy Chris Christie all in his favor.
Christie is getting out ahead of other investigation. He`s white
washing his record before it can be tarnished any further. Right now, if
Christie is not looking vulnerable because he`s winning the narrative.
Here`s where he is vulnerable as I see it, he loves to attack unions.
He doesn`t like workers. He`s not for the minimum wage. He`s fired
teachers. He`s going after public education. He plays games with
pensions. He crushes infrastructure projects. I mean -- and of course the
guy`s personality we know he`s not a bully. He`s just an all around nice
guy all the time and he has the demeanor that we really want for commander-
in-chief. This guy is not helping the middle class he never has.
Christie got out ahead of the state investigative panel and I think
it`s time the state investigators quit dragging their feet and release
Get your cellphones out. I want to know what you think. Tonight`s
question, "Do you think Chris Christie cooked the investigation?" Text A
for Yes, text B for No to 67622, you can always go to our blog
@ed.msnbc.com. We`ll bring you the results later on in the Show.
For more, let me bring in Ring of Fire Radio Host and America`s
Attorney Mike Papantonio, and MSNBC Political Analyst and Journalist
Jonathan Alter. Great to have both of you with us tonight.
Mike, you first, I mean, is this standard operating procedure that you
have your friends investigate the possibility of any wrong doing or
involvement in a major scandal? Do you think this investigation is
MIKE PAPANTONIO, HOST, RING OF FIRE RADIO: It`s the equivalent of
having Dick Cheney investigate George Bush for the failures in Iraq. This
is a -- look, New Jersey just squandered a million dollars paying a law
firm that was handpicked by Chris Christie, personal friends of Chris
Christie, professional friends -- the money exchange hands on several
different occasions. Of course he`s going to pick these folks.
This was never intended to be an investigation. This was a hit piece,
a tabloid cheap hit piece on all of Chris Christie`s enemy. It starts with
Anne Kelly. They attacked Anne Kelly by making her look like she was some
rogue odd ball who had personal issues, and family issues and romantic
issues that for some reason caused her to secretly engineer this entire
scam without Chris Christie not knowing about it.
Then they attack Mayor Zimmer. The same thing. Another enemy. This
is an enemy hit piece. And what they tried to do, Ed, real quickly is they
try to add some credibility to it by talking about this conversation that
Wildstein talks about where Chris Christie`s supposedly heard something.
They know that that`s not going to go anywhere but it`s add credibility to
-- and it almost makes it look like this was a legitimate investigation and
it`s anything but that. No serious media outlook could possibly take this
SCHULTZ: Jonathan Alter, how can they say that Governor`s done
nothing wrong without interviewing the key players? How can they deem this
a complete investigation with key players not being interviewed?
JONATHAN ALTER, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, they can`t. I mean, I
wish if had brought a prop, you know, I had some white wash so I could
demonstrate what this report is really like. I mean, it is. It`s a little
bit like getting Johnnie Cochran do issue report on O.J. Simpson`s
innocence, you know.
There are close relations between Governor Christie and former Mayor
Giuliani and Randy Mastro, he is, you know, a Former Deputy Mayor of New
York. These two political outfits are very closely aligned with each
other. So this was a kind of a useless investigation from the start.
Unfortunately, we have the U.S. attorney for New Jersey who is going
to be issuing, you know, his findings before too long and the New Jersey
state legislature has an investigation.
So we`ll get closer to the truth as time goes on. But there were a
couple of things in the report, however matters of fact that in a 300 plus
page report where, you know, interesting and should lead into some other
disclosures down the road.
The first is that David Wildstein told Governor Christie on September
11th during the shut down of these lanes and on the memorial -- at the
memorial for the September 11th terrorist attack .
ALTER: . that this was a problem. The reason that that`s significant
-- so this is what Christie`s allies are confirming in this report, the
reason that that`s significant is that there is almost no evidence of Chris
Christie probing his own administration to find out whether this was true
In other words, what would a responsible governor do? He had from
September all the way to January to get to the bottom of this and he didn`t
do so. So it doesn`t matter if he knew in advance or not, Ed. This is a
phony question. When Nixon didn`t know about Watergate in advance, it`s
the cover-up that has always the big problem and that remains an open
question tonight. What happened after the shut down of those lanes?
SCHULTZ: Excellent point. Mike, the lawyers from Gibson Dunn donated
to Christie`s campaign. This law firm is connected at the hip financially.
Is this a conflict of interest?
PAPANTONIO: Well, I don`t know if this is conflict interest. It
certainly doesn`t help the credibility of the report when you look at the
relationship between Chris Christie and Debra Yang, his top partner with
that law firm, when you look at the fact that the donations were made, when
you look at the fact that money exchanged hands between Chris Christie`s
administration and this law firm, there`s no way that -- again, a serious
media outlet can look at this and say that this is anything but a hoax.
And so, you know, as you look at this report, to me, things like
mentioning in the report that, "By the way, Chris Christie started crying
when he heard about his team being involved in engineering this bridge
scam." I mean, how ridiculous. And every other word is an attack on
somebody who is an enemy of this man. The problem, Ed, you know what it
is? Is he`s controlling the narrative and he`s -- and the other side is
The narrative is being established by Chris Christie. This report is
a vehicle to further that narrative and the other side seems to be sitting
on their hands and not taking control of the narrative. You watch what
they do .
ALTER: Mike, I wouldn`t worry about it.
SCHULTZ: OK. Go ahead.
ALTER: I`m just saying Mike and Ed, I wouldn`t worry about the
narrative because this, you know, the fat lady hasn`t taken the stage yet,
right? This thing is going on for a while. Paul Fishman, the U.S.
attorney in New Jersey is a very, very experienced and good prosecutor and
so he has a .
SCHULTZ: Well, I think what Mike is talking about is the arena of
public opinion. I mean .
ALTER: It doesn`t matter. I mean, because, you know, the wheels of
justice can grind slowly but they do grind. And so, you know, whether he
has a good day or a bad day in the media and, you know, in March of 2014
isn`t really significant. What`s important is when are these
investigations going to show at the end of 2014 going into, you know, the
new election season.
ALTER: . And I don`t think it`s going to be good news for Chris
SCHULTZ: OK. So the state investigators, they`re going to take a
heck of a lot longer. We don`t know when they`re going to be done with
their work. They have gone on record saying that they believe that this is
Mike, I want to ask you, what about the credibility of the law firm?
Why would they go out on a limb like this to do this without being --
without them being tarnished if this reverse is on them, if we do find out
later on? I mean, isn`t their reputation at stake or somewhat?
PAPANTONIO: Not really. Look, this is a law firm where one of the
senior partners handled the Bush v. Gore case. If you take a look at the
history of this law firm, they handled the big cases. They handled the big
ugly cases I might point out. Go online, take a look at the Chevron case
where they represented Chevron down in Nicaragua, take a look at the --
Ecuador, excuse me, the Dole case that they handled in Nicaragua. These
are big, big kinds of cases where they make big, big money. This is an
issue that is just not that important from the standpoint of their
reputation. I thought one thing they did was -- that it is important talk
about, they took 70 statements and they try to make it look like we did
that for completeness. They took those 70 .
PAPANTONIO: . statements to hold those people`s position if in the
future they comeback and any of those 70 people have anything to add to the
fact that Christie might have been involved with this. They have the
statement. They have something to impeach him with. They have something
to attack him with. If you read this very carefully, this is text book
methodology for getting ready for the big fight.
SCHULTZ: In the meantime, Jonathan Alter, finally it looks like Chris
Christie this day is walking tall and feeling good about things.
ALTER: Well, I mean, look, he`s been exonerated by his friends and so
he`ll try to .
ALTER: . spin that a little bit.
SCHULTZ: That`s true.
ALTER: You know, it doesn`t help him on the long run and the short
run is not meaningful because there`s not an election right around the
SCHULTZ: All right gentleman, Mike Papantonio and Jonathan Alter
great to have you with us tonight on the Ed Show. Thank you so much.
Remember to answer tonight`s question there at the bottom of the
screen. Share your thoughts with us on Twitter at Ed Show and on Facebook.
I always want to know what you think.
Coming up, an unprecedented labor ruling grants college athletes the
right to unionize. Key players in this case join me exclusively to discuss
what this means for students across the country involved in athletics.
But first, 12 Pinocchios in 12 months. Oversight Dems are feed up
with Darrell Issa`s lies. Congressman Elijah Cummings joins me.
Stay with us, we`ll be right back.
SCHULTZ: Time now for the Trenders on social media. You can check us
out on Twitter@Edshow, and on the radio we`re there Monday through Friday
Sirius XM Channel 127, noon to 3:00 p.m. We are talking about it everyday.
And of course the Ed Show Social media nation has decided. Thanks for
joining up. We`re reporting what you`re talking about.
Here are today`s top Trenders voted on by you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi honey. I`m home.
SCHULTZ: The number three Trender, Minnesota nights.
Do you people want to know what its like to do the show here on the
Welcome to the Ed Show live from Detroit Lakes, Minnesota in the North
I`m getting to work in Detroit Lakes.
That`s not what we drive to work.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nice ride.
SCHULTZ: The number two Trender, stone cold.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The mass quality WGBH Gubernatorial Forum just
STEVE GROSSMAN, CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR OF MASSACHUSETTS: My name is
Steve Grossman (inaudible) about leadership. I hope I`ve demonstrate that
SCHULTZ: A Massachusetts Gubernatorial candidate more than passes the
test for the nomination.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have a little bit of news to break about the
debate. Steve Grossman, the treasurer, is passing (inaudible).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The horribly unattractive thing to announce to
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought the treasurer was especially fiery
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If that more information that inferiors (ph) me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You shall not pass.
SCHULTZ: And today`s top Trender, thin Issa.
REP. DARRELL ISSA, (R) CALIFORNIA: Our tools in congress are limited.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What would you say, you do here?
ISSA: Seeking truth is the obligation of this committee.
SCHULTZ: Dems want Darrell Issa to take his sights off his baseless
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The oversight committee has been very busy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have become under fire both in the IRS and
Benghazi for political witch hunt.
REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS, (D) MARYLAND: Mr. Chairman, you cannot a run a
committee like this.
ISSA: Sometimes the biggest tool we have is to shame the
administration. That`s not our goal.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So what`s your point?
ISSA: We want the best. We`re entitled to the facts.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Joining me tonight Congressman Elijah Cummings of Maryland.
He is a Ranking Member of the House Oversight Committee. Congressman,
great to have you with us tonight. You know .
CUMMINGS: Good to be with you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: . you go down the list -- you bet. You go down the list,
you`ve got fast and furious, you got IRS, you got Benghazi, and Darrell
Issa`s got nothing to show for it.
SCHULTZ: It`s a waste of taxpayer dollars at this point. The only
thing the guy has done is cut jobs at the postal service. How would you
characterize this man`s leadership?
CUMMINGS: I think it`s very unfortunate. And I think it`s a waste of
opportunity to do the things that are right for the American people.
Our committee as oversight in government reform, were supposed to go
out there and find the facts, we forgot the problems that might be
happening in government and then try to address them. But it seems to be
this is all about a witch hunt. And that`s one of the reasons why we, the
17 Democrats, won the oversight committee to send Chairman Issa a letter
with regard to Benghazi, telling him that after a year and half they still
seem to be pounding on Benghazi but they`re not addressing the issues that
came out of all of the research that was done with regard to what happened
There were 23 recommendations, Ed, and we rarely even talk about
those. Recommendations with regard to training, security, funding for
capital projects, we don`t even talk about it. We are steadily trying, I
think it appears, he seems to want to be trying to tarnish Hillary Clinton
in anticipation of her run for president in 2016.
SCHULTZ: What do you make of his comment, he says that the best tool
they have sometimes is to shame the administration?
CUMMINGS: Well, clearly his position has been to go out there and try
to connect the White House as some kind of scandal. He`s done it over and
over again, he`s done it with IRS, he`s tried to do it Benghazi, fast and
furious, on and on and on. And he makes these accusations and in most
instances with no accuracy, Ed, and no facts to back him up. And then he
just moves on to the next untruth that he wants to tell. And we see it
over and over again, that`s why he got the 12 Pinocchios that you talked
about earlier over the last 12 months. I think that`s probably a record
SCHULTZ: Yeah, you know, he says the public is entitled to the truth.
Is there anything about Benghazi that we don`t know about? As the public -
- do we know everything we need to know and everything that there is to
know about Benghazi?
CUMMINGS: I`ll tell you, we have done numerous interviews, we talked
to Admiral Mullen, and Ambassador Pickering to -- this wonderful gentlemen
who research this with the board and look into it. I think they put all
the information out there -- and by the way, the arm service committee, the
Republican-led Arm Services Committee came out and said that a lot -- some
of these allegations that Chairman Issa has been making and saying that
Hillary Clinton told Secretary Pineda to stand down he said sending a
troops to help our folk.
They`ve already said that these are Republicans who said that it was
not accurate that it`d never happen but again still Chairman Issa wants to
continue down this road. This is so sad because we could be doing so much
SCHULTZ: You really could. Now, it just goes to show how powerful
some people in Congress can be and how they can just be a spoke in the
wheel. Now, Congressman is accusing you of being uncooperative. Listen to
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ISSA: We`ve had very little cooperation at all from Elliah Cummings
on any investigations. He seems to think they either phony or they need to
end in about a week to a month.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: What`s your response to that Congressman?
CUMMINGS: I have over and over
again said to Chairman Issa and to our committee, I want the truth the
whole truth and nothing but the truth.
And, Ed, I don`t have any problem.
There`s nothing that I have seen that I don`t think should be revealed to
the American public. I think they need to see it. Mr. Chairman Issa that
holds back transcripts that are exculpatory of the administration when he`s
trying to accuse the administration of doing something wrong.
So, no, I think what happens to
Chairman Issa, in my search for truth, he then confuses with obstruction.
I`m just searching for the truth and I`ve said it and I mean it. I want to
go where the facts lead us. But now we`re on some witch hunt in the forest
somewhere and the hearing after, hearing after, hearing and it`s gotten be
SCHULTZ: Yeah. Congressman just
before you go, I want to switch subjects quickly. I want your gut reaction
to the news that there are 6 million people that have signed up for the
Affordable Care Act, considering where we were on October and the mixed up
of the website. The President said it was going to be corrected. What`s
your gut feeling tonight about that number.
CUMMINGS: I am elated. But you
know what Ed? I think we`re going to do a lot better. We just had an
event in my district and on the weekend, we had 5 or 600 people to show up.
We`re going to have thousands here on Saturday at another event signing up.
I think you`re going to see -- we going to approach seven.
SCHULTZ: Congressman Elliah
Cummings, great to have with us tonight. I appreciate your time so much.
CUMMINGS: Good being with you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Coming up -- you bet.
Coming up, football players at Northwestern University win the right
unionize. Key players in the case weigh in on the future of college
athletics exclusively here on the Ed Show.
Plus, Georgia`s epic battle for
healthcare. One Republican State Senator is fighting against his own party
and fighting for Medicaid expansion. He joins me live with his unusual
take on the issue.
But next, I`m taking your questions
Ask Ed Live coming up in the Ed Show in MSNBC. We`ll be right back from
the North country.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed
Show. Love hearing from the viewers, appreciate the questions.
Tonight, in our Ask Ed Live segment,
our first question comes from India. "Do you think House Republicans will
ever extend long-term unemployment benefits?"
Absolutely not. It pains me to say
it. Got to dig in for the long haul all the way to the election. I do not
think that the Republicans have polls on this. This is all a political
calculation of people that they don`t think who`s going to hurt them and
they just don`t want to do it. They don`t believe in it. That ought to
tell you something, they don`t believe in it.
Our next question is from Lenora.
"Why is Mitt Romney inserting himself so much into the news right now? Is
he running into 2016?"
Well, there`s a couple of things
here, first question, why is he on the news? He`s bitter. He`s got an ego
bigger than Asia and he`s bitter. And he wants to do when I told you so on
President Obama. Secondly, he knows the Republicans aren`t going to go to
him, but he sure would like them to.
Stick around, Rapid Response Panel
is next. We`re right back.
MARY THOMPSON, CNBC CORRESPONDENT:
I`m Mary Thompson with your CNBC Market Wrap.
Stocks in the day lower on mixed
economic data. The Dow closed up just about 5 points, the S and P down
3.5, and NASDAQ finished off 22.
Unemployment lines were shorter last
week, filings for first time jobless claims dropped by 10,000.
Meanwhile, pending home sales fell
for the eighth straight months in February.
And it was another tough day for
Candy Crash maker King Digital. Shares dropped more than 2 percent after a
15 percent climb in its first day of trading on Wednesday.
That`s it from CNBC, first in
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed
Tonight, we got some major news on
labor rights in the world of college athletics. We know how much money is
floating around. Where is it going? This is big. The National Labor
Relations Board of Chicago has ruled football players at Northwestern
University are employees of the school and can unionize. This ruling is an
unprecedented victory for college athletes. It could lead to the formation
of the first college players union in sports history.
Now, if the ruling is upheld and
players vote to create a union, the ripple effect could change the
landscape of college sports. Northwestern University says it will appeal
the decision. The issue of college athlete unionization has been a hot
issue for a long time, all the way back to 1997.
The national College Athletes
Players Association, CAPA has long champion rights for college athletes.
The group has helped Northwestern football players in their fight to
unionize. Their concerns are very simple, they want the full cost of
scholarship covered, they want athletes to have rights to their names,
images and likeness. The group wants to minimize college athlete`s brain
trauma risks such as concussions, and they want to prevent players from
being -- stop paying sports-related medical expenses.
This is the big one. They also want
to prohibit universities from using permanent injuries during athletics as
a reason to eliminate of player`s scholarship. Now, that list I think is
far from being radical. College athletics generates massive amounts of
money and the players are being left behind.
Players put their minds and their
bodies at risk not the NCAA. In 2012, the NCAA put a record amount of
revenue at $841 million. It distributed $522 million to Division One
schools that played in a March Madness Men`s Basketball Tournament. Well,
in 2010, the NCAA reached a 14-year $10.8 billion deal with CBS Network and
Turner Broadcasting to cover the basketball tournament known traditionally
as March Madness.
That`s $770 million a year, the
facts are simple. Student athletes are doing all the work and putting
their bodies at risk as the NCAA rakes in all the cash. It`s wrong. And
the Chicago Labor Board`s decision is the first step I think in the right
Joining me tonight are the key
players in our Rapid Response Panel. Kain Colter, he is a former
Northwestern quarterback who lead his team in voicing their concerns. Also
with us tonight, Ramogi Huma, he was the President of the College Athletes
Players Association known as CAPA. Gentlemen, great to have you with us
Kain, you first. What are the
concerns of the players and why did you decide to do this?
KAIN COLTER, NORTHWESTERN
UNIVERSITY: You know, the number one concern for us is that we don`t have
a voice and we don`t have seat at the table right now. You know, all these
rules and regulations are formed by the NCAA in this competition and we
have no input in that. Nobody comes and ask the players "how do you feel
about this," how do feel you feel -- you should fit in the equation. And
yesterday`s decision was a huge step in the path for players to have that
voice and have that seat at the table.
SCHULTZ: Ramogi, you have been
working on this since 1997. What are you trying to accomplish for the
players? What has to be done?
RAMOGI HUMA, PRES., COLLEGE ATHLETE
PLAYERS ASSN.: Well, I think exactly what Kain said, they need to say when
it comes to issues concerning their physical and financial well-being,
their academic well-being. You know, 60 years ago, the NCAA invented the
term Student Athlete because it begun to pay players, but it didn`t want to
pay workers compensation. And they did that in order to try to avoid this
ruling. It would someday come in and yesterday it came. It`s a big
testament to unleash it (ph) from Kain Colter and the courage from the
Northwestern football players. So, this is going to give players the
leverage that they need to protect themselves.
SCHULTZ: So Romogi, this ruling by the NLRB says that the players at
Northwestern, they`re employees, what does that mean?
HUMA: It means they have rights. It means they have the right to
form a union. If they want to form a union, this can lead to players
enjoying worker`s compensation protections. You know, right now, when a
player is injured in school college during a game, the NCA is not obligated
and neither are the schools to pay one penny in medical expenses. Much
less, the former players who might need surgeries down the line.
And really, if these players are successful and joining a union
forming it bylaw, the employer has to sit down and negotiate and say, you
know, you have a sit at the table, this is a partnership, and let`s discuss
your future. And at the end of the day, their future is the most important
things to them and their physical and financial academic well-being is a
big part of that.
SCHULTZ: 17,000 athletes across America Division One or a member of
CAPA. Kain, a lot of people are saying that this is all about the money.
What`s your response to that?
COLTER: You know, if you go on our webpage or if you`ve heard us
topped before, not once have we said that our objective was pay for player
or to fill the player`s wallets. You know, as we said numerous times, this
is all about getting players a voice. And right now, you know, even if we,
you know, are successful in winning the appeal, we still have to operate
under the NCAA`s, you know, rules. We can`t negotiate for anything outside
of that. So, you know, right now, it`s all about, you know, ensuring that
the best things and the basic protections for all of these players. It`s
not a money thing and, you know, it`s discouraging with people making into
SCHULTZ: Kain, is the main issue here that if a player gets hurt,
they`re basically kicked under the bus, there`s no medical coverage or
liability at all for years to come if there`s a terrible injury. And also,
it`s one year scholarships. What about that?
COLTER: You know, obviously, medical is our main objective. And as
Romogi said, you know, in sports, you know, injuries are part of the game
and, you know, when you sacrifice so much, you know, your mind and your
body for your school, you help that, you know, you`re not going to be stuck
with your medical bills and unfortunately, that`s not always the case. And
especially for players, you know, who don`t have anymore eligibility, you
know, if there`s -- you`re suffering from past injuries and chronic, you
know, pain. If they, you know, need something down the road, they`re all
in their own.
And you know, for me, and Romogi, and a bunch of players, you know,
across the nation, we just don`t feel like that`s right and there
definitely needs to be a change. And you know, all we`re about is setting
up these players for success. You know, down the road, fore-passed, you
know, the playing days. So, we know we need to support them academically,
you know, medically and financially.
SCHULTZ: Well, Romogi, what about the concussions. Has the NCAA not
done enough in your opinion and more has to be done here and what would you
like to see have done?
HUMA: Well, obviously, there`s mounting evidence of the long-term
health effects of traumatic brain injury and contact sports especially
football. And we saw the NFL player`s union negotiate some very good
protections on NFL level. Unfortunately, NCAA sports is running away from
the issue. And in fact, in litigation against it, all concussions, it`s a
legal defense on this issue and this is a quote "is that the NCAA has no
legal duty to protect student athletes." That`s the NCAA`s position. And
We have players putting their bodies at risk every game and every
practice. You know, last year, have they done taking one of the steps for
instance reducing contact and practices like the NFL. That would have
reduce the chances of players sustain this long-term risk. But instead of
sitting down at the table with us, it`s, you know, we`re met with close
doors and it`s not an option to continue apprehends a sports that way when
the stakes are so high.
SCHULTZ: Romogi, what do you say when the people who are against your
position say, "Well, you know, the players choose to play and they do get a
scholarship for a year." I mean, they choose to do this.
HUMA: Yeah. You know, every job in America is voluntary. You know,
every employee in America voluntarily goes to work. It`s always a choice.
But that doesn`t mean they have to sacrifice their protections under labor
laws, you know, and you know, they do get a scholarship and that`s the
point. That`s why we won this decision to get a scholarship, but it`s not
a gift, it`s not charity, these players must play football or basketball or
their sport. It`s a requirement for them to continue .
HUMA: . receiving that money. And if they voluntarily withdraw, the
money`s gone. It`s much different than the average academic scholarship.
SCHULTZ: Kain Colter, how excited are the players at Northwestern
that this was the ruling?
COLTER: They`re definitely excited. You know, obviously, they put
their trust in us and our lawyers to get the job done and, you know, I was
excited to break the news to some of them. You know, a lot of them are on
spring break right now, but, for once I talk to, you know, they`re very
excited and I think we`re all excited to see the changes that will come
SCHULTZ: Well, this could spread throughout all of college athletics.
This could be a rather amazing development. And finally Mr. Huma, does the
NCAA, does major college football, basketball have enough money to cover
all of the things that you think need to be done?
HUMA: Absolutely. They`ve already had enough money it`s just a lack
of will, it`s a lack priority in. And on top of that, there`s $1.2 billion
in brand new revenue coming in every single year. That those are
substantial resources, they can be redirected for medical expenses and
degree completion, things that we`ve been advocating for.
SCHULTZ: All right. Kain Colter from Northwestern, former
quarterback for that great university, and Ramogi Huma who has been working
on this since 1997. Gentlemen congratulations. I think it`s a great move
forward. All the best to you. We`ll follow the story. Thanks so much.
Coming up, a Louisiana congressman called his constituents illiterate.
Pretenders is next on the Ed Show. Stick around. We are right back.
SCHULTZ: And in Pretenders tonight, bookworm Bill Cassidy, the
Louisiana congressman wants Mary Landrieu`s Senate seat. Well, Cassidy hit
the campaigns real bashing Obamacare and insulting voters and the
uninsured. Here`s Bill Cassidy`s plan for healthcare.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP BILL CASSIDY, (R) LOUISIANA: It wouldn`t be bells and whistles.
It wouldn`t have all these benefits that we have to pay so much for. That
I actually think reflects the reality of who the uninsured are. Relatively
less sophisticated, less comfortable with forms, less educated. They`re
illiterate. I`m not saying that to be mean. I say that in compassion.
They cannot read.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Bill Cassidy wishes his constituents whereas unsophisticated
as he claims. Maybe then, they would vote for the guy. Read it and weep
congressman. If Bill Cassidy thinks calling his constituents illiterate
will win their vote, he can keep on pretending.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show. This is the story for the
folks who take a shower after work.
Conservative lawmakers in Georgia are refusing to expand Medicaid.
Governor Nathan Deal wants to deny insurance to more than 600,000 of the
poorest people in his state. He`s pushing the GOP-sponsored bill that
would require lawmakers to give legislative approval to any Medicaid
expansion future plans in the future. Any Medicaid expansion plans in the
future. So this would really, really harness a future lawmaker, a governor
who might want to do it.
This is just another way conservatives are trying to stop Obamacare
from working as I see it. Last week, a group of activists protest to
Governor Deal`s move in the State Capital. 39 people are arrested.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REV. RAPHAEL WARNOCK, PASTOR, EBENEZER BAPTIST CHURCH: This is a
critical moment. A lot is at stake. We`re talking about the governor of
our state saying that he will deny access to healthcare to citizens of the
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Expanding Medicaid is not only the morally correct thing to
do, it`s also smart economically. A Georgia State University report shows
Medicaid expansion would create more than 70,000 jobs in Georgia. A new
study from the common wealth fund shows Georgia could see a net loss of
$2.9 billion by the year 2022 if it continues to reject Medicaid expansion.
Today, one lone Republican in Georgia is taking a stand against
Governor Deal. That Republican is Georgia State Senator Chuck Hufstetler.
He joins us here on the Ed Show tonight.
State Senator, great to have you with us tonight. What is the
motivation behind rejecting any future expansion of Medicaid, and you being
a doctor, how was this going to hurt your state?
STATE SEN. CHUCK HUFSTETLER, (R) ROME, GA: Well actually, I`m a P.A.
in anesthesia but I voted and did not want the Affordable Care Act to take
place. I can`t bind against it. It`s been along for four years. I`m
looking at the dollars, the $34 billion that could come to our state. And
I can say, we can leave that money in Washington and I`m sure they`re going
to use it more wisely or we can try to help our hospitals here. We`ve had
four hospitals closed in the last two years. And they have to treat the
indigent for free.
We`re sort of putting them in a box. We`re saying, we can as a state
help you, but we`re not going to let the federal dollars help you either.
If I thought this would in anyway reduce the federal deficit. I would be
concerned. But we`re not reducing the federal deficit, but we are putting
our hospitals in a bad situation here.
SCHULTZ: Is there going to be any recovery in Georgia for those
hospitals or is this just the way it`s going to be?
HUFSTETLER: Well, some of our hospitals are doing good. And I think
the governor has rolled out some plans to try to help him. And I`m
certainly supportive of them. But, we do have an opportunity to make this
work for our state. The majority of Georgians are not for Obamacare. But
in this conservative state, six out of 10 Georgians support expanding
Medicaid. And I think we can do it the right way.
We can do it like Jan Brewer did. She did it at no cost to the State
of Arizona. John Kasich in Ohio, the budget chairman back in the `90s,
when we balanced the budget, has done it in his state, at the same time,
he`s reducing taxes. He has inherited three years going $8 billion
deficit. And now, he has a billion and a half dollar surplus. And we have
to look at these issues and study them and it`s the law of the land. And
say, how can we make it work best for the citizens of our state?
SCHULTZ: Well, Medicaid expansion is a part of Obamacare, the
Affordable Care Act. So, it`s affecting your state, it could help your
state. Is there anything that would turn Georgians when they realized the
facts of how many people are going to be hurt by this by not taking the
Affordable Care Act seriously and embracing it and expanding it in Georgia?
HUFSTETLER: Well, of our 236 legislators in this state, there`s only
a handful of us that are in the healthcare industry. And we probably
haven`t done a good job of explaining this issue. And I hope that we can
continue looking at it and we`re going to look at data and say, "Wow, we
oppose federal deficits. Let`s look at what`s best for our state".
SCHULTZ: Well, it`s going to hurt Georgia. No question about that.
We`re talking $2.9 billion over the next five or six years. I mean, it
would see to me that the majority of Georgians would go along with that.
I appreciate you coming on the program State Senator Chuck Hufstetler.
Thanks so much, sir. And we`ll follow the story. It certainly seems to me
that they`re trying to limit any kind of future expansion of healthcare in
the State of Georgia by doing this. And Governor Deal is on a rampage
That`s the Ed show. I`m Ed Schultz
Politics Nation with Reverend Al Sharpton starts right now. Good
REV. AL SHARPTON, POLITICS NATION HOST: Good evening, Ed. And thanks
to you for tuning in.
I`m live tonight from Chicago. We had made your news on the
president`s healthcare law. It reached a big milestone. So we will have
news on that.
But, we begin tonight with .
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