THE ED SHOW
April 17, 2014
Guests: Kenneth Vogel, Mike Papantonio, Holland Cooke, Patricia Mazzei,
Annette Taddeo, Larry Cohen
ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC HOST: Good evening Americans and welcome to the Ed
Show live from Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. I`m ready to go. Let`s get to
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HOWARD KURTZ, HOST OF "MEDIA BUZZ" ON FOX NEWS: The appearance is
awful of a commentator who is way too cozy with the union.
BILL O`REILLY, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Is that a conflict of interest
or anything that you couldn`t do that on the box on this channel.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.
O`REILLY: You could not take that kind of money in any capacity
whether your commentator, a janitor.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think Fox is, you know, tends to be more fair
than the other networks.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tea Party groups have $2.2 million (ph) for
promotional and fundraising help from some of the top talkers on the Right.
O`REILLY: Is that conflict of interest or anything that .
SEAN HANNITY, HOST, THE SEAN HANNITY SHOW: The Tea Party Patriots
have created their website Hannityforsanity.com.
O`REILLY: You could not take that kind of money in any capacity.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We rolled up our sleeves and we went to work.
GLENN BECK, FOX NEWS HOST: I`m Glenn Beck, sir, how are you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What a phenom (ph), you know, you became here,
while you`re at Fox and now you`re king of the airwaves.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tea Party groups and talk radio hosts.
O`REILLY: Is that a conflict of interest or anything that you work
for, you know, almost the political party arm?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Good to have you with us tonight folks. Thanks for
watching. I`ve been looking forward to this all day long. We`re going to
start with a couple of stories tonight. One story that I think really
needs to be told and another story that will never be told on the Right-
I want you to hear with the president of the United States have to say
about healthcare within the last hour, here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: The first open
enrollment period under this law ended a little over two weeks ago and as
more data comes in, we now know that the number of Americans who`ve signed
up for private insurance in the marketplaces has grown to 8 million.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Wow, that`s a hot number. 8 million? I told you, I told
you it was going to happen. Keep the faith and it`s only going to get
better. Now, this is a number that Americans for Prosperity or some of
these Righties over there that are funding all of these Right-wing talkers,
they don`t want that number out there.
In fact, they`re probably being paid and probably being coached to say
"That`s a lie." Now look, there`s no doubt that I`m a big target for these
Right-wingers, no question about it. I`m a champion of Progressive views
which they hate, worker`s rights, the middle class, and bringing up income
inequality, how it is a problem with our economy in this country. They
don`t want any of that.
This threatens the Republican way, so they come after me. Yeah, every
chance they get. Remember, I`m the guy on the take. For example in
December, it was reported that I quote, "took $252,000 from labor unions
over the past two years." Let me be clear. No, I wasn`t paid and I didn`t
take. I do sell advertising. I have done absolutely nothing wrong. I
donated all the speaking fees to charity as outlined by MSNBC policy.
My radio website is completely independent of MSNBC. I own my own
radio show. I sell the union and non-union advertisers. Now, is that
being on the take? Well, this didn`t stop Fox News and Bill O`Reilly from
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
O`REILLY: Commentator on MSNBC Ed Schultz, apparently taking hundreds
of thousands of dollars from labor unions, even as he promotes big labor on
KURTZ: The appearance is awful of a commentator whose way too cozy
with the unions especially since Schultz fashions himself as a crusader on
labor issues. Now Bill, I don`t have any problem with advertising money
going to Schultz`s radio show, it`s a business, that`s how businesses get
their income in the broadcasting field.
O`REILLY: He`s gotten in 2012, 2013 more than $250,000, I mean,
that`s a big money.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Well, that`s a lot of money, isn`t it Bill? Well Bill,
there`s a new report out today that shows Right-wing media personalities,
even a guy on your network, has taken massive amounts of money from
Republican PACs, political money. Political reports that Conservative
groups have spent, how much? $22 million to sponsor Right-wing talkers
including, let`s go down the list, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, my old friend
Laura Ingraham, Mark Levin and Sean Hannity, who I think still has a show
They`ve moved him around I think somewhere way in the back of the line
up. Now, that`s how much money they gave to these guys between 2008 and
2012. Are they on the take? Hey, it`s bigger than just advertising.
These Republican groups actually tell Right-wing talkers what to tell you
on the radio airwaves across America.
The former chairman of FreedomWorks has admitted Right-wing talkers
are selling their influence. That`s right. Dick Armey told POLITICO, "For
them to basically sell their influence and say whatever the contract asks
of them, it compromises the integrity of the pundit."
Well, you heard it from the former Chairman of FreedomWorks. Dick
Armey said Right-wing talkers are selling their influence and saying
whatever the contract asks of them. Well, you know what? I think we
should just go right down the list and see who`s on the take.
First up, Glenn Beck, FreedomWorks has paid Glenn Beck $6 million in
recent years to promote its initiatives in advance. Next up, let`s go to
the king of them all, Rush Limbaugh. Overall, the Heritage Foundation has
paid Limbaugh over $9.5 million. FreedomWorks paid Limbaugh $1.4 million
And then of course we have Mark Levin, the new comer to the block,
Americans for Prosperity. Well, he got kind of shafted. They only paid
him $757,000 to sponsors radio show during the 2012 election cycle. I
think he was for Mitt Romney. Now, when Americans for Prosperity sponsored
Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, oh there he is, Levin, he promoted Hatch big
time. When the Super PAC ended their sponsorship, Levin, what did he do?
He apologized for endorsing the senator.
Now, it had to be some kind of big coincidence or mix up that both
Americans for Prosperity and Levin both stopped supporting Hatch at the
same time. Finally, we have Sean Hannity, the guy who loves to stand with
law breakers. But before we get to Hannity, I want to play another clip of
Bill O`Reilly last December. Now, according to O`Reilly, not even a
janitor at Fox News could accept money from political groups.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
O`REILLY: Look and Howard, you couldn`t do that on the Fox News
channel. I assume that you couldn`t do it on CBS or ABC News. You could .
O`REILLY: . not take that kind of money in any capacity whether
you`re a commentator, a janitor, and you can`t do it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: In any capacity, you can`t do it. You just can`t do it.
The merit (ph) cable said it, it must be true. You can`t do it unless
you`re Sean Hannity at Fox News. The Heritage Foundation paid Sean Hannity
$1.3 million in 2011. Hannity also started airing ads for Tea Party
patriots in 2013.
He even used Fox News airwaves to promote the Tea Party Patriots
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: The Tea Party Patriots have create their websites
Hannityforsanity.com and -- because they put this ads up and they are
trying to get this ads out and it`s a testimony of people that are saying,
"Hey, I was targeted because I`m a Conservative."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Bill O`Reilly clearly doesn`t know what`s going on, on his
own network. Sean Hannity is promoting one of his political advertisers on
Fox News` air. There is a big difference between me and the Right-wing
talkers. I mean, they say what they are told to say, what they are paid to
say. I say what I believe.
Bottom line here is folks that I think that Bill O`Reilly can really
fix all of this. He could bring Howard Kurtz back on the air and explain
to us one more time what the rules are about political money for people on
Fox News because, gosh, after the way they ripped into me, I`m kind of
foggy about this whole thing.
I do own my own radio show. I do sell advertising on my website and
no one tells me what to say. The unions are for the Keystone Pipeline. I
am adamantly opposed to it. Now, the other thing that I think is also very
interesting is that the Republicans and the Righties, they always say this
is the free market. Well, we`re finding out now that this is the paid for
market and the stories do connect.
You will not hear any of these Right-wing talkers on the take. The
honest brokers had admit that eight million people that have signed up for
Obamacare is one heck of a number in six months. They wanted it to fail
from day one because the people that are lined in their pockets wanted to
fail, but it didn`t going to happen.
Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think tonight`s
question. "Are Conservative talkers on the take?" I love that question.
Are Conservative talkers on the take? Text A for yes, text B for no to
67622, you can always go to our blog at ed.msnbc.com. We`ll bring you the
results later on this show.
For more, let me bring in political reporter Ken Vogel who wrote the
article about Republican groups funding Right-wing talkers. Ken, good to
have you with us tonight. I`m just looking for the facts. No commentary.
I know you`re a reporter.
Dick Armey said Right-wing talkers are selling their influence in
contracts. What does that say? Break that down for us. What`s happening
KENNETH VOGEL, POLITICO CHIEF INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Well, Dick
Armey clearly has an act to grind here Ed, because he was forced out of
FreedomWorks. But, the argument that he`s making I heard from other folks
in the Conservative movement, which is that it calls into question that
core ideological beliefs to some of this talk radio hosts. If they are
running political shows and establishing political positions while taking
money and sponsorships from organizations that have a particularly narrow
focus, lots in terms of candidates, positions on ongoing issues, and
promoting those groups and promoting those group`s candidates, it begs the
question, where does the line between the core ideological beliefs of the
host and where is the paid sponsorships start?
SCHULTZ: OK, Bill O`Reilly said not even a janitor at Fox News could
accept political money. Is he wrong?
VOGEL: Well, what -- they do draw this distinction here and you
mentioned it as well when it comes to your show between what they`re paid
to do on their radio show and what they`re paid to do on Fox News. And
they say that the two don`t mix, that they can`t take money for
sponsorship, for advertising and air those ads on their radio show and not
have it bleed into their Fox News shows. What you saw there and what you
played in the clip is an instance in which Hannity was in fact referring to
Tea Party Patriots who does take out ads on his radio show.
He was referring to them on the Fox News airwaves. Beyond that, he
has also hosted a number of their leaders on his Fox News show and talked
about them in other instances on he`s Fox News Show. Now again, would he
have done that without the sponsorship on his radio show? It`s certainly
arguable. There is no real smoking gun here, but it is an interesting
connection to raise that I think his viewers and his listeners like should
be aware of here.
SCHULTZ: Well, it is a conclusion that Bill O`Reilly came too with me
in MSNBC. He clearly stated that I`m being paid by unions although they
advertise on my website that is bleeding into my coverage on this show. I
mean, come on, what`s happening on Fox News? Is he saying that Hannity
doesn`t do that? No, Hannity does put his sponsors all over the work that
he does. And so, I have a question about POLITICO, because I just want to
clear something up.
POLITICO wrote the story about me and you didn`t do it. Some other
reporter did that I was paid by the unions. Is Hannity being paid?
VOGEL: Hannity is certainly accepting advertising revenue from Tea
Party Patriots (inaudible) .
SCHULTZ: Well, so am I. But wait a minute. Well, this -- hold on a
second, Hannity is accepting advertising revenue. That`s what I`m
accepting. But why is it that it`s pointed out in POLITICO that I`m being
paid by unions but Hannity is not being by FreedomWorks?
VOGEL: Well, I think - well, Hannity`s radio advertisings with Tea
Party Patriots, but I think that we are pointing that out in this story and
we are trying .
VOGEL: . to put in a context of the radio industry as you mentioned.
There is a long history of this live reads in this case that what is new
about these or relatively new is that these live reads which traditionally
had been the province of for-profit companies are now taking in these
political groups and these are political shows.
So, it`s more difficult to draw the line between a sponsor, a paid
sponsor, who was selling washers or dryers or gold coins when you`re on the
political show. It`s clear that`s an ad. Your political show is the
content when you`re taking sponsorship from political groups. It`s less
clear where the line is between the sponsorship .
SCHULTZ: But .
VOGEL: . and your own organic programming.
SCHULTZ: But it`s the free market. It`s the free market. They have
chosen to purchase time on a website. They have chosen to align themselves
with an audience that might believe what they believe or what they`re
trying to advocate. My point in all of these is that Bill O`Reilly is not
a fair player with the numbers that you`re pointing out.
And the other connection that needs to be made here is when Rush
Limbaugh goes out and trashes Sandra Fluke, he doesn`t worry about
advertisers because he`s got $9.5 million coming in the back door and that
money is going to be there because it`s pay all political pay down.
Ken Vogel, good to have you with us tonight. Excellent reporting, by
the way, getting to the numbers. I want to bring in talk radio consultant
Holland Cooke tonight. Holland, good to have you with us.
You know, the Sandra Fluke story is very important. Rush Limbaugh
doesn`t worry about advertisers. He`s got $9.5 million where the political
money coming in. Do you think that this plays into it and does these
reports surprise you?
HOLLAND COOKE, TALK RADIO CONSULTANT: Well, they got to put something
on those commercials because some 3,000 advertisers said, "Keep me out of
I got a call today from somebody who owns a radio station in a medium-
sized city in California, has Rush Limbaugh on, and he says that post
Sandra Fluke, his policy is he won`t put any advertiser in the Rush
Limbaugh Show unless they specifically asked to be there. Listen to the
commercials on that show. There`s a lot of enter the promo code Rush,
direct response advertising.
COOKE: He`s selling iced tea by mail order. He`s writing books for
children. You`re going to have to put something in those commercials
because you`re sure not getting your General Motors there. And as you
point out now, he`s got these issue advertising. Ken .
SCHULTZ: Well .
COOKE: . pointed to a really important distinction. Here on cable,
the viewer deserves to know when they`re watching a paid announcement. An
over the air radio MTV, the station is required to disclose, it`s called
"Sponsor Identification." And something that is identified as a commercial
is understood as such as one thing. But all of these organic references
and treating the sponsor as a news source is where it becomes a very gray
area, and the listener, the viewer might not understand .
COOKE: . that free speech had a price tag.
SCHULTZ: Well, the Conservatives call this free speech. They call
this the free market. I called it the paid for market, because that`s
exactly what it is. And when you have $22 million coming in to the bank
accounts of Right-wing talkers, they don`t have to worry about what they
say. They don`t have to worry about advertisers because they know they`re
going to be supported by Americans for Prosperity, the Heritage Foundation.
They`re going to back up the ideology no matter how rough and tumble it
gets with any other people that they`re attacking.
And lo and behold, advertising revenue is down right now for Right-
wing talkers. They don`t care, they got money rolling in from these
advocacy groups. So the question, are they on the take, Holland?
COOKE: Well, arguably, they are. And this free speech tour swings
both ways because the well-orchestrated relentless advertiser boycott that
the Sandra Fluke flow path begot has caused that format a lot of money.
And those boycotters are exercising their right to free speech and it`s a
marketplace solution. So that door swings both ways.
SCHULTZ: Yeah. And sure does. Holland Cooke, talk radio consultant,
great to have you with us tonight. Appreciate your time, thanks so much.
COOKE: You bet, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, the attack on voting rights continues, as a new
rule forces voters to hold everything. Yes, I mean everything in Florida.
Rapid Response Panel weighs in. But first, Conservatives start to
back off the Bundy bandwagon. Trenders is next. Stick around, we`re right
SCHULTZ: Well, what`s hot, what`s not? Time now for the Trenders on
social media. You can check us out on Twitter, thanks for the follow
@EdShow. And thanks for follow on our Facebook. And on Sirius XM radio,
you can hear the radio show, Channel 127, Monday through Friday, noon to
Ed Show social media nation has decided. We are reporting tonight.
Here are today`s top Trenders voted on by you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Say cheese.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The number three trender, no filter.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is this our new favorite selfie?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dr. Joe Biden.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I became my BFF joke.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Motivated her husband, the Vice President to
take to Instagram.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Joe Biden joins Instagram and gets some selfie
help from President Obama.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In less that 24 hours, 47,000 people now,
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can`t help that I`m popular.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Vice President and the occasional aviators
will be posted.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Followers eagerly anticipating that shot of him
washing the Camaro.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The number two trender, crank call.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Vladimir Putin spoke on Russian T.V. He took
questions from the public.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who do you think I should invade next?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Another question from a pensioner, "Are you
planning to acquire Alaska as well?"
FMR. GOV. SARAH PALIN, (R) ALASKA: Putin, where`s the patent in --
comes into the air space of the United States, where do they go? It`s
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Putin says he doesn`t plan on wearing he`s head in
Alaska anytime soon.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What you need Alaska for?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People are calling Ice Crimea as calling Alaska
VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT, RUSSIA: Alaska, is it in the south? It`s
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I heard Jamaica is nice this time of year.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let`s not be over enthusiastic about it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Captain Buzzkill. It was joke.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And today`s top trender, saddle up.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bundy, does he fired Bureau of Land Management
in 1993, and hasn`t paid settled raising fee since (ph).
SEN. HARRY REID, (D) NEVADA: I do breaking federal laws evidently if
they`re really laws.
SCHULTZ: Cliven Bundy`s picture I think should be right next to this
word of the dictionary.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hannity stays with the pack (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am concerned that the Federal Government, they
may want to make an example out of you.
CLIVEN BUNDY, NEVADA RANCHER: Whatever they want to throw at me, I`m
ready to take. I`m sure not scared. I`m not concerned.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: While Conservatives stray from Cliven Bundy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Bundy is on the wrong side of the law.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you use a public resource for profit, you`ve
got to pay something. And that`s a pretty Conservative principle.
DONALD TRUMP, AMERICAN BUSINESS MAGNATE: You got to go and cut a good
deal right now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, you want to control the land? Buy it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Joining me now is America`s lawyer Mike Papantonio, host of
the "Ring of Fire" radio show. Mike, good to have you with us tonight.
Well, we`ve seen the Conservative -- good buddy. We`re seeing that
the Conservatives are now starting to waffle a little bit in the Bundy
camp. Did they really realize that they were supporting a law breaker?
Break it down for us.
MIKE PAPANTONIO, HOST, RING OF FIRE RADIO: You have Glenn Beck to
give it -- put in perspective, he has said, he`s backing away. There`s
really no -- the good news is there`s no credible broadcaster, there`s no
credible politician that`s standing behind this man. And except obviously,
Sean Hannity. Sean Hannity has a different agenda. Sean Hannity, if he`s
not careful, he`s going to be spending his afternoons talking to Alex Jones
about conspiracy theories about UFOs. That`s where his career is going.
So, Hannity has to get up there and give us reptile talk that`s going to
insight his people, maybe to take arms, but certainly, to watch Sean
So as this thing develops -- the good news is, the credibility of
Bundy is in the tank. We know he`s nothing more than a dead beat. We know
he`s lied from day one about what his responsibility has been. Three court
orders. They`ve tried to negotiate with him. They pleaded with him.
They`ve said just do what you should do, do what other taxpayers in the
country do. Do what other cattleman do. The Cattleman`s Association, as
you know, has even distanced themselves from Bundy.
So, the only hangers on are the Sean Hannity types. And really, it is
because his numbers are in the tank. In radio, he`s being beat out by
Michael Savage, another, you know, somebody`s in competition with him.
He`s being moved to "Nowhereville" on Fox News. And when it gets to that
point, you know, you don`t have many options open.
SCHULTZ: What`s the next step for the government, Mike? How does
this play out, I mean, you`ve got Conservatives saying, "Oh, just let him
cut a deal." I mean, this guy owes the government a million dollars. If
the government doesn`t enforce this, what does that say?
PAPANTONIO: There`s no reason to cut a deal at all. The government
has got to enforce what they can. And you know what? It`s fairly easy.
They go on his wages. They go after his money, everywhere they can find
it. He`s got a $1.6 million worth of cattle out there. Every time he
sells a cow, they attach the money that goes there. They don`t have to do
anything except make this guy into a pauper. And that`s what they`ll do
simply because they`ve backed out in Nevada. It was a very smart move.
They don`t have to do anything except make his life miserable from the
standpoint of paying the tax payers back. So they`re doing everything .
SCHULTZ: You know .
PAPANTONIO: . they should do. They`re going to garnish wages.
They`re going to go after any kind of tax income that he has. They have a
lot of options here, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Has the Republican Party ever been more dangerously anti-
government than right now?
PAPANTONIO: No, you have to understand, the Republicans had got to
understand, they`re being associated with sovereign nation that was out
there, the white supremacist that were out there. There`s no way they can
separate themselves from this imagery, because Ed, they created this
imagery. You understand? This is .
SCHULTZ: Yeah, I sure do.
PAPANTONIO: . what they wanted to create. An angry America that
hates the government and that`s what you saw in there. Listen, there were
people out there, if you did a warrant search for the people in that crowd,
you would come up with hundreds of warrants outstanding. This was a crowd
that the Republicans have got to embrace from the standpoint. This is
their voters in 2014. These are their voters in 2016.
PAPANTONIO: This is a small club that they have left with. It`s a
small bunch of people that unfortunately has become the face of the
SCHULTZ: All right. Mike Papantonio, America`s Lawyer. Good to have
you with us tonight my friend. Thank so much.
Still ahead, Florida`s Conservatives, well, they get creative in their
attacks on voting rights. Rapid Response Panel weighs in on the latest
rule, banning bathroom use at the polls. You better stand and hold it.
And later, House Democrats make a move to support labor as workers of
the Chattanooga Volkswagen Plant continue to fight to unionize. But next,
I`m taking your questions. Next, Ask Ed Live, coming up on the Ed Show at
MSNBC. We`re right back.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show. Love hearing from our viewers,
I appreciate all the questions tonight in our Ask Ed Live segment.
Our first question comes from Rodak. "Why are Republicans and their
followers so intent on destroying the federal government just because Obama
Well, no, it`s much deeper than President Obama. This is about
regulation. If they can sell the American public on the idea that the
federal government is the bogeyman, the federal government is the problem
then this is going to be a faster pathway selling people that we don`t need
any regulation whatsoever. No regulation means more corporate profits.
Our next question is from Stella. "Why won`t the Republicans let up
on their war on the poor, even during Holy Week?"
Well, look, they have voted on the Ryan Budget. The Ryan Budget is
nothing but an attack on the poor and it is as ruthless as it gets. They
don`t care what week it is. They don`t care how holy things are. That`s
who they are.
Stick around, Rapid Response Panel coming up next.
JOSH LIPTON, CNBC CORRESPONDENT: I`m Josh Lipton with your CNBC
The Dow drops 16, the S and P up 2, the Nasdaq added 9.
A sign the labor market maybe recovering, the number of Americans
filing claims for unemployment benefits rose less than expected remaining
near a seven-year low.
Congressional budget office says President Obama`s 2015 budget plan
would increase tax revenue by nearly $1.4 trillion over 10 years. And the
average rate for a 30 year mortgage fell to 4.27 percent last week.
That`s it from CNBC, first in business worldwide.
SCHULTZ: Thanks for staying with us tonight. Welcome back to the Ed
You know, voting should not be the reward of a contest over just how
long you`re going to stand inline. But during the 2012 election, thousands
of voters in Florida`s Miami Dade County waited up to six hours to vote on
the final day of early voting.
Now, we`re not even talking about Election Day here folks. Now,
imagine waiting in line for those six hours without access to a restroom
and the Miami Dade County Elections Department gets it way. This is way
it`s going to be.
Residents in Florida`s most populous county will be forced to hold it.
If they want to exercise the right to vote, it all started when the center
for independent living of South Florida asked the county elections
department about their plans to give the disabled access to the polls.
Well, the director of the center wanted to be sure polling places met the
requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Now, looking for reasonable accommodations like accessible bathrooms,
instead the elections department told them that it would prohibit all
voters from using restrooms.
Their reasoning? According to the Miami Herald, if no voter could go
to the bathroom, the county argued, then it couldn`t be accused of
discriminating against only the disabled ones.
Sure, just discriminating against everyone instead of accommodating
everyone. That`s the easy way folks. You know, here`s the bottom line
long lines are enough to deter voters. We found that out. This is just
another creative way to keep people away from the polls.
And joining me tonight on our Rapid Response Panel, Patricia Mazzei
who is a staff writer at the Miami Herald, and also Annette Taddeo Chair of
the Miami-Dade Democratic Party. Great to have both of you with us
Patricia, you first, reporting on this, who`s responsible for handing
down this decision? And is this a legal issue or is it a moral issue or
PATRICIA MAZZEI, STAFF WRITER, MIAMI HERALD: It seems to be an
internal dispute between the elections department and the county attorney`s
Here in Miami-Dade the election supervisor is appointed by the county
mayor. And when the Center for Independent Living of South Florida asked
about the restrooms, an assistant county attorney who`s in charge of ADA
issues made the call -- wrote the e-mail that said, "We`re going to close
all the restrooms to all voters."
The elections department however, said that`s not the case. And they
plan on continuing to allow voters to use the restroom where they are
available. The problem is you don`t have ADA accessible restrooms in all
of the polling places because some buildings like churches are exempt from
the ADA. So they might not .
MAZZEI: . have restrooms one way or the other.
SCHULTZ: Annette Taddeo, does this mean that there are going to be
long lines in Florida to the fact that we`re talking about the restroom
relief for Americans who are going to be standing in line for hours just to
vote? I mean, I thought that this problem of long lines was going to be
addressed. What`s happening here?
ANNETTE TADDEO, CHAIR, MIAMI-DADE DEMOCRATIC PARTY: We`re trying to
address it and I`m glad we`re talking about it. And honestly, I knew in
Florida that always the Bush`s are involved in our elections, I just didn`t
know it was going to be the real Bush`s.
But I -- joking a side, I can tell you that this is a problem and this
is a problem of the perception for us, this voter suppression. And we`re
getting conflicting information, my hope is that it`s resolved, not just
that everybody get to use the restroom, not just that we don`t have long
lines but also that they follow the law which is that they need to provide
restrooms for those with disabilities. It doesn`t exempt them .
TADDEO: . just because churches are exempt. This is a government,
the most precious right that the government gives us and that`s the right
to vote. Just because you`re disabled you shouldn`t be put aside because
you happen to vote at a church that doesn`t have to follow that law. The
government has to follow the law.
SCHUTLZ: And Annette, the Republican Mayor Carlos Gimenez appointed
the election supervisor as was previously stated in charge of this
decision. And do you believe that this is part of a larger Republican
effort to suppress the vote in Florida?
TADDEO: I hope not. We`re getting conflicting information. I mean,
the supervisor for election says one thing, you know. But it bothers me
that they`re saying that they`re offering restrooms as a courtesy, that
Florida law doesn`t actually require for them to provide restrooms.
Well, I mean you would hope that they would also work on making sure
they were not in line for seven hours. But as Patricia Mazzei .
TADDEO: . has been providing us with reports, it`s been really
difficult to get them to reprecinct. I mean, every -- we have to fight
them every step of the way.
SCHULTZ: Patricia, private buildings are exempt as -- and that said
from federal law requiring accessible bathrooms. So what`s the legal route
to fight this as you see it?
MAZZEI: Well, it seems to me that first, the county needs to decide
what it`s going to do. You know, Election Day is not the day to figure out
what the policy is. It has to happen before then. If they say that the
restrooms are open where they are available and they say that Florida law
doesn`t require them to offer restrooms in all of the polling places. I
would think someone would need to show them somewhere in the law where does
it say that or challenge it in some way.
These are two separate issues obviously. If they do allow people to
go to the restrooms, then you`re not going to hear about, you know, long
lines of people holding it in. But if then they decide on Election Day
that nobody is going to be using the restroom, it`s going to turn into
We have .
SCHULTZ: It is going to turn into trouble. It`s unfortunate, you
know, that -- I mean I think this is just the ultimate in voter
suppression. This is really making it an inconvenience for people to go
And Annette, this change would it take place before the 2014 election?
And of course, how do you reverse this? I mean, if you`ve got the
Republicans in-charge of this, how do you reverse it?
TADDEO: Well, what I`ve done is I have gone to our elected officials
and actually the person that brought this to my attention was Debbie
Wasserman-Schultz, the congresswoman who happens to be the chair of the
Democratic Party nationally, who have represents parts of Miami-Dade
County. And Senator Nelson has written a letter to Eric Holder asking him
to look into this. So we are going to have to have the federal government
look into it.
SCHULTZ: Patricia Mazzei, Annette Taddeo great to have you with us
tonight. I appreciate your time. It is ultimate voter suppression, that`s
how I view it. Thank you so much.
Still ahead, which Right-wing radio host wants ticker tape parades to
honor the wealthy for paying taxes?
Pretenders is next. Stick around.
SCHULTZ: And in pretender`s tonight PD parade. Bryan Fischer, the
Right-wing talker, says the top one for senator being thrown under the bus,
instead Fischer wants to throw them a parade.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRYAN FISCHER, DIRECTOR, ISSUES ANALYSIS FOR THE AMERICAN FAMILY
ASSOCIATION: Top one percent are funding 30 percent of the government.
So rather, rather than the poor and the low income and the middle
class being resentful of these people, they should be kissing the ground on
which they walk.
They ought to be given ticker tape parades once a week in -- all of
our major cities to thank them for funding welfare for everybody. A half
of federal tax revenues go to entitlements. These are redistribution of
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Well, I`m ready to rain on Bryan Fischer`s parade.
Here`s vulture chart in case you missed it. Income for the top one
percent has sky rocketed while average earners see stag at wages. Tax
rates aren`t about resentment. They`re about fairness.
Bryan Fischer wants low income Americans to kiss the ground wealthy
Americans walk on. The rich don`t want to walk on the ground. They want
to walk on the backs of average Americans. Bryan Fischer is filled with so
much hot air and hate. We could vote him in a Macy`s parade. But if he
believes we`ll throw him one, 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.
I like it. House Democrats are trying to expose a Right-wing
propaganda machine down in the state of Tennessee.
Now, employees at the Chattanooga Volkswagen Assembly Plant voted
against joining the United Auto Workers union back in February. It would
have been the first foreign-owned plant to unionize in the United States.
But now, House Democrats are investigating whether Republicans Senator
Bob Corker and Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam violated federal labor laws
to influence the outcome of the vote. There was a blatant Republican left
-- led anti-union media blitz leading up to the vote.
Here`s what Republicans were saying.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BOB CORKER, (R) TENNESSEE: The officers a month ago, talking
about fighting and combat and all of those kinds of things. If that`s the
environment you want, the UAW certainly is the people for you to -- are the
people to choose.
GOV. BILL HASLAM, (R) TENNESSEE: There`s no question that if the UAW
comes in there, it will impact our ability recruit other businesses in
Tennessee. We`ve had several folks recently and not just people who were
looking at this part of the state say, UAW comes there, that would -- see,
that dampen our enthusiasm for Tennessee.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: After the vote, the United Auto Workers challenged the
outcome siding outside interference. They asked the National Labor
Relation Board to overturn the results and order a new election and it
On Wednesday, Democratic Congressman George Miller of California and
also John Tierney of Massachusetts sent a letter to Governor Haslam. They
want to find out more information about the time leading up to the vote and
to find out why workers voted against their own best interest.
Larry Cohen, President of the Communication Workers of America joins
us tonight to talk about this. Larry, great to have you back with us,
thank you so much.
You know, this is if -- if it goes unchallenged, this will be the
template and it will set a standard of how elected officials can inject
themselves into a process. This is a new level of union busting that we`ve
seen. So from that stand point, how important is this inquiry? Is it good
LARRY COHEN, PRESIDENT, COMMUNICATION WORKERS OF AMERICA: It`s a
critical step. Yes, they`re taken us back before 1935 when there no laws,
when elected officials did do things like this and the documents that have
already surfaced showing that the governor said to Volkswagen directly that
there would be state incentives if the labor relations in the plant were
satisfactory to the state of Tennessee. Not to the workers in the plant.
And so we have a situation where the management in Wolfsburg and the
supervisory board have said "Hands off. Every other plant in Volkswagen is
a union plant and we`re the most successful car company in the world." that
elected officials in Tennessee feel like they can step in with their own
ideology and step right on the backs of those workers.
So and amazingly right down the road in Nashville in UAW plant at
general motors plant recently 2,000 workers were brought back into that
plant and it`s booming. So they don`t even look at what the facts are in
their own state.
SCHULTZ: Yeah, that`s right. UAW has been in Tennessee for some time
and of course, Volkswagen has absolutely no problem working with unions.
But this really is something we`ve never seen before and isn`t it obvious
that they were interfering with employees` rights to organize?
COHEN: Yeah. They told the employees, Corker did this himself that
he had it on high authority that only if they voted no would they get a new
car or truck into the plant and that`s absolutely false. He knows it but
he said it to get votes just like they do in their own elections.
So the real question and Grover Norquist that CPAC, the Conservative
Political Action Committee, led a panel three weeks ago called the future
of unions in which he used Chattanooga and what they`ve done in Madison and
across the country in the public sector to say this is what we must do to
stop this voice for working people. It`s the biggest voice that stands in
our way. And the question is what do the rest of us going to do?
SCHULTZ: So at this panel which was organized by Grover Norquist,
this is the template. I mean, this is what they want to do. This is the
new standard operating procedure and anytime where there`s going to be a
vote this is the way they are going to play the game. And recently
released documents are showing that Tennessee state officials made the
availability of state aide for expanding the Volkswagen plant like cash
grants and tax incentives contingent upon the workers decision as you
Now, here is where this can snowball. You have activist groups who
don`t like labor, that don`t want to pay people, that don`t want voices in
the workplace. If they are successful and they go unchallenged here, the
Grover Norquists of the world are only going to be empowered to take down
the voting base of this country when it comes to workers. How else do we
COHEN: That`s how we read it. It`s directly connected to the voter
suppression we just heard about. They do have a master plan. It`s well
funded. The Koch brothers were part of the funding of this campaign in
Tennessee. It`s up to the rest of us though.
And what George Miller has done in that letter has put him on notice
that he is not asleep and he`s going to demand the facts and the other
documents that show that there is in fact a conspiracy in this case.
Though what`s important here is the German workers. In this case, the
metal workers union in Germany that supporting organizing rights in the
United States in the case of our union, the United Service Worker Union
also had two million members, supporting organizing rights at team mobile.
Germans are saying now to their own government, no trade deals with the U.S
unless there`s workers rights in the U.S. So a lot of these stories are
SCHULTZ: All right, I love to see the Democrats get aggressive on
this because this isn`t the last stop on this kind of show. I mean, this -
- they`re going to be doing more of this stuff and if it`s not vehemently
opposed or challenged right away this will spiral out of control.
We got a number in front of us tonight, Mr. Cohen. The president came
out within the last hour and said eight million people have signed up for
the Affordable Care Act. What`s your read on that?
COHEN: I think it`s super. Obviously, there are some problems in
terms of how that affects workers and others who have had good insurance.
But this shows that one of the commitments that was made that we would take
a good whack at the 40 million Americans without insurance that were well
in our way. And again, the cynics in the Congress who said this will be
nothing but a failure, they`re proven wrong.
If they really cared about Americans healthcare, they`d work with all
of us and the president and Democrats in the Congress and fix the things we
can fix that they just want to throw the whole thing out. This shows that
eight million Americans know exactly why it helps them.
SCHULTZ: They want to throw it all out and they don`t want to
accomplish anything. Do you hold out any hope whatsoever of anything
legislatively of any importance getting done between now and the midterms?
COHEN: Nothing. Nothing at all. That`s what they want. They have
to show the government doesn`t work so they want to make sure that there`s
gridlock in Congress and they`ve done it.
SCHULTZ: They`ve done a heck of a job about it. There`s no question
COHEN: It`s up to us to continue to build that movement.
SCHULTZ: Yeah, they do. They do. Larry, good to have you with us
tonight, thanks so much.
COHEN: My pleasure.
SCHULTZ: Keep up the fight, my friend. You bet.
That`s the Ed Show. I`m Ed Schultz.
Politics Nation, with Reverend Al Sharpton starts right now. Good
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