ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
April 18, 2014
Guests: Michelle Fiore, Mark Potok, Jigar Shah, Karen Finney, Cathy Renna,
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris
At this hour, the family of Cliven Bundy is celebrating. This is the
barbecue the Bundy family is hosting right now near their Nevada ranch for
some of the roughly 1,000 militiamen, gun rights advocates and supporters
who helped the Bundy family stare down the federal government`s attempt to
collect Cliven Bundy`s cattle because Bundy has refused to pay federal
grazing fees for 20 years and now owes the government about $1 million.
After a tense standoff, the Bureau of Land Management backed down,
after Bundy supporters took up sniper positions, and vowed to lay down
their lives in support of the cause.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What we will do is we will stand, and we will
fight, and we will die, if the government tries to oppress the Bundys or
tries to attack us. I`m surrounded by some of the best Americans that have
ever been produced in this country and I have told them they may not go
home to their families, and they -- and they darn well know it.
But you know what? Our freedom is worth fighting for and worth dying
for. We`d rather the other guys die trying to take it, but if that
sacrifice needs to be made, by God we`ll make it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Today, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid doubled down in these
comments yesterday, supporters of Cliven Bundy are, quote, "domestic
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV), MAJORITY LEADER: If there were ever an
example of people who were domestic, violent terrorist wannabes, these are
the guys. And I think that we should call it that way. If they`re
patriots we`re in big trouble.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Cliven Bundy responded to the charges that his supporters are
domestic terrorists today on FOX News.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLIVEN BUNDY, NEVADA RANCHER: We`ve called to disarm the bureaucrats.
In other words, take the guns away. That`s the only thing we`re really
asking. And if that`s a terrorist act, I guess maybe he`s right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: At the Bundy barbecue today, his supporters embraced the term,
many donning name tags with the words domestic terrorist written on them.
The people who are now celebrating the fact the federal government backed
down from its attempt to enforce the law in the face of an armed
resistance, the fight is far from over.
A subset of prominent Bundy supporters called the Oath Keepers who
describe themselves as guardians of the republic is encouraging members to
come to the Bundy ranch to serve as volunteers as part of an ongoing
rotating watch in case the federal government tries to enforce the law
again -- something Harry Reid says will happen.
But for now, at least, supporters of Cliven Bundy are celebrating
their victory and joining me now from that celebration near the Bundy ranch
in Nevada is State Republican Assemblywoman Michele Fiore.
Assemblywoman, why are you there near the Bundy ranch tonight
STATE ASSEMBLYWOMAN MICHELLE FIORE (R), NEVADA: Questioning why the
heck the federal government felt the need to come in armed to collect an
unpaid bill. I mean, that was pretty bold and blatant. I mean, generally
when my -- when our federal government comes in armed, we`re expecting a
bigger problem, maybe terrorists crossing the border. Not an unpaid bill.
So, Nevada and Nevadans and people across America stood together and
basically made a loud and clear statement that we will not allow governance
by gunpoint, ever.
HAYES: So the objection it sounds to me like is the way that the law
was being enforced in terms of the BLM being armed. But you do agree that
the Bundys are in violation of the law, the court has found them in
violation of the law, they do owe the government a million dollars. Or do
you think Cliven Bundy should pay up?
FIORE: Disagree. Disagree. They do not owe the government a million
dollars. I was just on your point last week. Jeff, the host, said a
million dollars. I questioned if he saw the bill. I didn`t see the bill.
He was -- what`s your point, a couple of days later with Harry Reid, all of
a sudden, that went from a million dollars to a couple hundred thousand.
So, in question, right now, discovery on both sides, the Bundy side
and I`ll call it Harry Reid`s side because this is very suspicious activity
that he`s imposed upon Nevadans is what the bill is actually -- what is the
bill. So no one has seen it.
The media`s going crazy. If he owes the bill he`s willing to pay it.
He has --
HAYES: No, he doesn`t, he actually said he`s not willing to pay it.
He says he does not recognize the authority of the federal government I`m
basically quoting him there. Do you agree with that stance? Do you
recognize the authority of the federal government?
FIORE: I recognize our federal government overstepped and overreached
in our state of Nevada. That`s what I recognize. I recognize we have a
lot of issues to conclude. We also have the spotlight on Nevada right now,
looking at the way BLM had zero stewardship in herding cattle, slaughtering
cattle. That`s what I`m recognizing.
I`m recognizing what I`ve seen. This is my sixth day on the ground
here in Bunkerville, and I`m recognizing that this was handled totally
incompetent, I`m questioning the BLM and I`m also going to request either a
resignation or termination of the person that had ordered this to be done.
HAYES: But that`s a distinct question. I mean, I understand your
point. You think that the way that the law has been enforced the BLM has
been heavy handed. That`s a distinct question from lines of legal
authority. I`m just asking you a simple yes or no question -- do you
recognize the authority of the federal government?
FIORE: Oh, I recognize the authority that they`ve -- they believe
that they have. I just question it.
HAYES: So you do not -- you agree with Cliven Bundy the federal
government does not have authority over the land --
FIORE: No, I`m not saying I agree
HAYES: -- the taxpayers of Nevada.
FIORE: No. Chris, don`t put words in my mouth. I`m not saying I
agree with Cliven Bundy. What I`m saying is the way this was handled is
really suspicious. When in the heck do we send our federal government with
arms to collect a bill? When do we do that?
HAYES: Well, there are a lot of people --
FIORE: When have we ever done that? If we literally sent our federal
government to the borders to secure them against terrorist crossing, hey, I
got that. But they want to come here, with arms, because cows are grazing?
Chris, I`m sorry, I think you`re out of your mind.
HAYES: The principle that people are watching here, I want to give
you a view from outside Bunkerville, the principle people are seeing is
someone went to court, they lost, and they lost --
FIORE: First of all --
HAYES: Whether you think the courts are right or not.
FIORE: Let me explain something the BLM in 1993, wait, wait, OK, they
have -- they came up with these fees in 1993 to compensate damages. Which
they have not defined.
FIORE: So define --
HAYES: I understand you believe --
FIORE: -- define the damages.
HAYES: Here`s what we`ve seen. We`ve seen court judgments --
FIORE: Here`s what I`ve seen the federal government says do as I say,
not as I do.
HAYES: We`ve seen the government try to collect on a fee. I
understand you think it was heavy-handed. Then what we`ve seen is 1,000
people many of them armed --
FIORE: If you owed the federal government money, Chris, do you want
them coming to your house pointing guns at your wife and children? Is that
OK with you?
HAYES: No, but --
FIORE: Because it`s definitely not OK with me. It`s not OK with
Americans across the United States.
HAYES: Is it OK with you that every rancher in the country stops
paying their grazing fees?
FIORE: No, it`s not OK.
HAYES: Well, that`s the issue, right?
FIORE: I have to tell you --
HAYES: What this man has done is in violation of the law.
FIORE: Here, you ready for this? Great, lien the cows, lien the
property, don`t come here with guns and expect the American people not to
HAYES: OK. But let me ask you this. I agree, I think we`ve actually
found a point of agreement. I think you should lien the cows and the
property and I agree a nonviolent resolution to this is great.
But I would ask you this someone who finds themselves in a situation
in which a loved one is being deported, they have exhausted all of their
legal remedies and they decide to have 1,000 people show up at their house
with guns to stare down members of DHS to extract that person for
deportation would you be standing at the barricades with them, as well?
FIORE: Are we talking about cows or illegal immigration, Chris?
Because I`m talking about cows.
HAYES: I`m talking about human beings. Which seems to me --
FIORE: Human beings thank God that did not get slaughtered. But cows
did get slaughtered out here.
HAYES: What is going to happen to those cows later on?
FIORE: So are you saying it`s okay to cruelly slaughter them because
they`re going to be -- they`re raised for beef? Is that what you`re
saying, Chris? Because I hope you retract those words because that`s
pretty sad, Chris.
HAYES: No, no, don`t put words in my mouth. I of course don`t think
FIORE: Oh, oh, OK.
HAYES: Thank you. Assemblywoman Michele Fiore, thank you so much.
Enjoy the barbecue.
HAYES: Joining me now Mark Potok, senior fellow at the Southern
Poverty Law Center, editor in chief of "The Intelligence Report".
Mark, it seems pretty out of line to call these folks domestic
terrorists. What do you think?
MARK POTOK, SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER: Well, they`re not quite
domestic terrorists, not yet. But, you know, I mean I`ve seen the
pictures. They weren`t merely sitting overlooking law enforcement officers
with their sniper rifles. They had them trained, scoped rifles trained on
the heads of law enforcement officials.
I mean, you know, they were a split second away from real bloodshed,
and bloodshed that was entirely provoked by the Bundys and the Bundy
supporters. I mean, look --
HAYES: Explain that. The supporters as you just saw, one of the
things the supporters say is they want to kind of divide two issues here.
One is the legal issue Cliven Bundy, and I`ve heard even supporters say he
has no legs to stand on legally. The other is that basically this was the
heavy-handed federal government that they came with guns, they mismanaged
the whole thing.
What do you say to the argument that the BLM basically provoked this
POTOK: Well, I don`t think it`s true. I think we`re talking about a
man who is a thief, a man who has stolen a million dollars or whatever the
precise amount might be from the American people, from his fellow ranchers,
all the ranchers all over this country who actually do pay their fees.
You know, something else to respond to something the assemblywoman
said, you know, in fact the jails, the prisons are full of people who have
refused to pay their taxes for one reason or another.
So, you know, yes, I think the optics were bad. I think coming in
there with helicopters and police dogs was almost guaranteed to provoke
this kind of reaction, especially because the whole operation was dragging
on day after day after day.
But, you know, at the end of the day, what these people are proposing
is that we are not a nation of laws, that stealing money from other
Americans is somehow a defense of the Constitution and liberty. You know,
this whole idea of county supremacy truth be told is directly descendants
from groups like Posse Comitatus, you know, racist, anti-Semitic violent
groups. That`s where this whole ideology is coming from.
HAYES: I`ve seen some reports from "Reuters", there`s a report from
"Reuters" and I`ve seen others other reports put up by your group that
basically this has energized the kind of militia movement. And I`d like
you to convince me that that`s the case. It seems to me there`s always a
sort of small subsection of American life that rallies around these kinds
Do you think it`s growing in strength? Do you think this has been a
catalyzing moment for them?
POTOK: At least for the moment. We`ll see if it really results in
further confrontations. But maybe it`s worth remembering that there`s some
real history of these kinds of very hot and at times very scary
This happened in Nye County, Nevada, back in 1991. A very, very tense
confrontation between county officials who wanted to bulldoze a road, in
fact did bulldoze a road into national forest lands, happened in Catron
County, New Mexico. I mean, this is all an outgrowth, really, the Sage
Brush Rebellion and the idea, the theory that the states should have
control of these lands that, in fact, were first ceded by treaties with
foreign governments mostly to the United States federal government.
HAYES: What do you predict to happen next here?
POTOK: Well, you know, my guess is, and it`s merely a guess, is that
the federal government will wait some months, and hopefully will go in in a
much better and more rapid way than they did this time. The way they went
in this time there was so much time involved, so much time for these
pictures of helicopters and police dogs and all the rest to get out that it
very much provided an opportunity for all of these people and militias and
similar groups around the country who are basically itching to start a
fight with the government.
HAYES: Mark Potok from the Southern Poverty Law Center, always a
pleasure. Thank you.
POTOK: Thank you.
HAYES: Coming up, the Census Bureau has been the authoritative source
on data for this country for more than 224 years.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Unbiased facts to measure markets for business and
the farmer, the plans of school and health officials, the needs of local
governments, facts to guide the lawmakers, facts from which a free people
can count its gains and chart its future, for you cannot know your country
unless your country knows you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That`s true. This week, census officials said they are
changing part of the survey. Now, they`re being accused of a conspiracy.
I will explain, ahead.
HAYES: Breaking news from the White House today, what you might call
a Friday afternoon pipeline dump. State Department announced today it is
extending the so-called "comment period" for the Keystone XL Pipeline,
giving the Obama administration more time to make a decision over whether
or not to approve the pipeline until April the November elections and maybe
While the news represents a big victory for progressives and anyone
else invested in the continuation of life as we know it on this planet,
many took today`s big news quite badly. Republican Congressman Terry of
Nebraska called the decision shameful; Republican Pete Roskam of Illinois,
shameful; Speaker Boehner, shameful.
Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp, ridiculous. Her Democratic
colleague Mary Landrieu, unnecessary, and unacceptable.
South Dakota Republican John Thune disagrees with the Holy Week timing
of it all, "On a day when many Americans are observing Good Friday and
preparing for Easter, the administration took the opportunity to quietly
announce yet another Keystone delay."
No toxic tar sands oil from the Easter bunny this year, Senator.
How about a new tax? Coming up, Oklahoma`s conservative governor
poised to raise taxes on her state citizens for generating their own solar
energy. That story, ahead.
HAYES: Conservatives have found yet another example of a conspiracy
to rig the numbers to produce information they don`t like. It`s been a
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We now know that the
number of Americans who`ve signed up for private insurance in the
marketplaces has grown to 8 million people -- 8 million people.
HAYES (voice-over): It was a good week for the Affordable Care Act.
Enrollment numbers are outpacing expectations and predictably,
conservatives aren`t buying it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is all bull. This is absolute -- here`s -- I
don`t care. I`m still not convinced that these numbers, 7 million, 8
million, I`m not convinced there are that many people.
HAYES: In addition to denying the numbers outright, they`re focusing
on something else entirely.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is about as intention as a moon landing.
They didn`t cook the books for Obama they nuked them.
HAYES: There`s a precedent for this line of thinking. During the
months leading up to the 2012 presidential election the unemployment rate
slowly ticked down. In October, it dropped to 7.8 percent, the good
headline for the president just weeks away from Election Day.
And so, Republicans and their allies came up with an alternative story
and head line. According to them, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a
nonpartisan agency, was cooking the books for the president.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Former G.E. CEO Jack Welch tweeting this just
moments after the release of today`s jobs report, quote, "Unbelievable jobs
numbers. These Chicago guys will do anything, can`t debate so change the
HAYES: Or how about this one? Around the same time the polling
showed Barack Obama beating Mitt Romney, conservatives remained publicly
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right, Dick, what do you think?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re going to win by a landslide.
HAYES: Why were they so sure of themselves when all signs pointed to
defeat? Because they didn`t believe the polls, insisting almost all the
polling from leading firms was wrong, with help making the case.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t believe these polls. I don`t believe -- I
know that`s irrational on my part. But I don`t believe them.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They have skewed these polls based on a 2008
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I think they oversampled Democrats. I don`t
think there`s any question about it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have a bunch of polls, Gallup, Pew, and the
CNN, which either oversampled Democrats, or at least in the case of CNN,
appeared to grossly underestimate the percentage of independents that are
going to be here.
HAYES: Conservatives unskewed the polls, and found that Mitt Romney
But defeat in 2012 hasn`t stopped Republicans from endorsing
conspiracies to distract from information they don`t like.
This week, after a flood of good news about Obamacare the latest
conspiracy theory was born. This time, about the census.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Bureau of the Census is faced with the task of
finding out just exactly how many people there now are in the United
HAYES: On Tuesday, "The New York Times" reported the Census would be
changing the way it measures health care coverage, noting it could mask the
effects of the health care law. That led to allegations of a vast Census
Bureau conspiracy led by the White House to once again cook the books.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are new allegations today that the
administration is, quote, "cooking the books."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This, to a lot of people, is awfully convenient.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The headline in "The Wall Street Journal" today
is, cooking the Obamacare stats. I think that tells it all.
HAYES: Even some of the GOP`s so-called moderates bought the line.
Charges don`t really hold up. The Census Bureau, nonpartisan agency, will
still be able to measure the success of the health care law from 2013 to
SARAH KLIFF, VOX.COM: We`ll get a one-year read on what things were
like before Obamacare and be able to compare how well the law is or isn`t
HAYES: And most importantly, the changes are not new. They are the
culmination of 14 years of research, and two national tests, 2010 and 2013.
The census has been talking about the changes way before the ACA was an
But if you think this is the last Obamacare conspiracy? Think again.
Because the higher the enrollment goes, the better the news about the law
becomes, the faster conservatives come up with theories to deny it all.
HAYES: Joining me now, MSNBC policy analyst and editor in chief of
Vox.com, Ezra Klein.
All right. Ezra, so there`s two questions here. One is, was this a
good idea for the census to change this methodology? And two is, was this
an elaborate scheme cooked up by the Chicago guys to rig the numbers?
Which one do you want to take first?
EZRA KLEIN, MSNBC POLICY ANALYST: Let`s go with the latter first --
whether or not it was a Chicago scheme to cook the numbers.
What has been kind of amazing to me about this particular conspiracy
theory is that what you hear a lot of people say, what you heard sort of
more moderate skeptics of the administration say is, OK, fine, this might
be a perfectly reasonable change but they shouldn`t have let the Census
Bureau do it because it looks bad. It is the Obama administration`s fault
for creating or permitting a situation in which conspiracy theories could
So, we are literally in a situation where the argument is that in
order to prevent conspiracy theorists from believing that the Obama
administration intimidated the Census Bureau into changing their numbers,
they should have intimidated the Census Bureau into not making a change to
their numbers to get a more accurate count of the insured in America.
When you end up with an argument about structure --
KLEIN: -- you kind of need to step back and wonder if you`ve taken a
wrong turn somewhere.
HAYES: Yes, you quote the conservative policy writer Yuval Levin who
basically says the White House don`t do -- census come to them and say we
want to make this change, will you sign off on it? If they say no, right,
then, it looks like they`re squashing the census to cover up the truth.
KLEIN: Imagine that leak, imagine if this had really happened and one
of the Census Bureau appointees, there are very few political employees,
one of the career employees who`s been working on this for 14 years comes
in and goes to "The New York Times" and says, look, we have this more
accurate count of the insured we`ve been working on this for a decade, it
was going to show there were fewer uninsured people in the country so maybe
the problem wasn`t as bad as Obama administration thought when they
(INAUDIBLE) Obamacare, they wouldn`t let us do it, they stopped us, they
intimidated us, they destroyed all our work, and now, we`re going to have a
less accurate count that`s going to make it possibly seem like -- I mean,
that would actually be a huge national scandal.
HAYES: That would lead FOX News program after FOX News program.
The other, so the other numerical question that I see the sort of
statistical truther-ism around Obamacare enrollment has to do with the
number of people. You see this all the time, conservatives saying you`re
crazy if you think that many people actually enrolled. How many paid? How
many paid? How many paid?
Here are the stats we have right now. We basically -- it looks like
we`ve got about 7.47 million paid or will be paid in a reasonable amount of
time. About half a million unpaid or may not pay. Those are obviously
But do you think there is some, as conservatives contend, some huge
iceberg of people who signed up and aren`t going to pay?
KLEIN: No, I don`t see much evidence of it. But look, I mean I guess
anything could happen.
The thing that I think every a lot of folks miss, particularly
conservatives, but a lot of more general folks, too, when we looked at the
numbers was that people really want insurance. The real bad thing here is
not Obamacare, it`s being uninsured. And when people have an opportunity
to get insurance, they will go through an enormous amount of hardship,
including spending hours and hours on the phone or on a glitchy Web site in
order to get it.
The huge surge speaks to something that I think we forgot a lot of the
time in Washington. This was not fundamentally about a law. It was about
a condition people were in. It was not about Obamacare, it was about the
state of being uninsured and possibly the relief of having a way to
actually have insurance.
So, no, I don`t think you`re going to see tons of people who can`t
pay. If this becomes very unaffordable then they won`t pay because they
won`t be able to. But what stops people from having insurance isn`t not
wanting it, it`s not being able to get it or not being able to afford it.
HAYES: Do you think that the politics on this turn around any time
soon? Josh Marshall had a post today over at "Talking Points Memo" I
thought was interesting basically said all the politics on Obamacare change
on November 5th. Yes, there`s a lot of juice in the orange to squeeze out
one last midterm rebellion in opposition to Affordable Care Act but then
that`s it. Basically, it`s up because after that the truth of this is
going to settle in so much that you`re it`s going to be a ridiculous
position to be to want to repeal Obamacare. >
KLEIN: Yes, I don`t know what it means for elections. The politics
of the law itself will change by the 2017 -- 2016 election, I`m sorry, we
expect to have somewhere in the neighborhood of 25 million to 35 million
people whose insurance is in some way or another directly dependent on
I do think it will continue to be a problem for the GOP in this
particular way. You`re going to have Hillary Clinton or some other
Democrat running in the exact position the American people want which is
that OK we have this law, there are ways we can make it better, it`s pretty
good, there are ways we can make it better.
The GOP candidate is really going to have a lot of trouble getting
through a primary with "amend it, don`t end it" kind of strategy. So,
they`re going to have to say something that satisfies the party. They want
to rip the thing out by its roots, and on the other hand doesn`t terrify
not only those 25 million, 35 million people but their family, their
So, I think there`s a tendency that midterms are easier for
Republicans and presidentials are easier for Democrats based on
demographics, based on other things.
But I think it`s going to be true for Obamacare, too. It works for
the Republican base and midterms when there`s much more Republican turnout
in the demographics but in presidentials, you have a lot of problems with
it in the primaries.
HAYES: Ezra Klein from Vox.com, thanks a lot, man.
KLEIN: Thank you.
HAYES: All right. Coming up, this guy is running for re-election.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROB FORD, TORONTO MAYOR: Yes, I have smoked crack cocaine.
REPORTER: When, sir --
FORD: But no -- do Ii? Am I an addict? No. Have I tried it?
Probably in one of my drunken stupors.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: He maybe an opposition researchers dream, but he might
actually serve another term. We`re on that, ahead.
HAYES: We all know how much conservatives, particularly red state
conservatives and state house legislatures hate taxes. So, you might be
surprised to learn of a tax bill that sailed through the Oklahoma state
legislature. It passed by an 83 to 5 margin in the house with no debate.
63 republicans and 20 democratic votes in favor.
It is expected to be signed by Republican Governor Mary Fallin. And,
it taxes something that republicans tend not to like very much. Solar
power. It allows utility companies to impose a surcharge on customers who
install solar powers or small wind turbines.
Here is the deal, if you install solar on your roof in most places in
the U.S., including Oklahoma there are many times where you generate more
power than you use, and you can sell that power back to the grid often at
retail prices. Utility companies do not like that.
They say solar power users are not paying their fair share of
infrastructure costs. So, utility companies have lobbied state
legislatures in plenty of states across the country, including Oklahoma, to
tax you. You see, utility companies call it a fee or a supercharge, but it
is basically a monthly tax. What does that do?
It makes solar less appealing, because there is no bigger threat to
utility companies in the world than cheap, efficient solar energy. It
blows the doors off the whole system, and look at what is happening to
solar. Solar production costs per watt have been dropping and continue to
Someone is installing a solar power system in the U.S. every four
minutes. That is why conservative groups like Alec and industry groups
have been pushing legislation from California to Maine to tax people who
are using solar.
Joining me now, Jigar Shah. He is the founder of SunEdison, solar
energy provider. Also author of "Creating Climate Wealth." So, do utility
companies have a point here? Are you a moocher? If you put solar panels
on your roof and you sell some of that power back, you are just using an
infrastructure you do not pay for?
JIGAR SHAH, SUNEDISON FOUNDER: Well, thanks for having me on. I
think what is interesting here is that the solar industry has grown so fast
that we have just snuck up on the utility companies and they are trying to
figure out which arguments will resonate, because in Oklahoma specifically,
what you did not lead in with is that they have raised rates by over 20
percent. Oklahomans have actually had the fastest growing electricity
rates since -- since 2010. And, so if you --
HAYES: So, you are talking about a state that is seen the highest
growth in electricity bills in the entire country since 2010.
SHAH: That is right. And, so, if you are suffering from income
inequality and other things, then that amount of money actually is material
SHAH: And, what are your options? Self-generation of power. So, if
you are retired and you are on a fixed social security benefits plan, well,
if your electricity rates are going up faster than inflation, the only
thing you can do to solve that problem is to fix them using solar power.
HAYES: And, the utility companies see that as a huge threat.
SHAH: Absolutely. I mean, the thing is that the whole concept of
creating climate wealth is that the fact that oil prices are up 250
percent, the fact that electricity prices are up 50 percent since 2000
across the country, means that all of these technologies that we invented
in America after the Arab oil crisis are now cost effective to deploy and
the utilities are scared out of their minds.
HAYES: Why is it a threat to the utility companies specifically for
people to be generating their own power and selling it back to the grid?
What about that challenges utility companies? Utility companies are still
going to, you know, make money coming and going. They are going to sell
power. They still own the grid. What is their beef with it?
SHAH: So, utility companies make money by investing money. And, they
choose not to invest money in solar, not to invest money in energy
efficiency. So, both of those things are a threat because it reduces the
total amount of electricity people buy from them.
HAYES: I see.
SHAH: But, they are not making money on both sides of the deal. Now,
they could choose to start investing in solar power and in energy
efficiency, but they simply choose not to.
HAYES: What about this argument you hear from conservatives all the
time that solar is basically this kind of hippie affectation. That it is
essentially a welfare case that it only is economical with enough tax
credits and subsidies and Solyndra, yada, yada, yada, is it -- can it
compete in an open market right now?
SHAH: Well, what is important to note is that sew solar power prices
have come down. So, today, we actually can work without tax credits. And,
many solar advocates are actually advocating that we retire solar tax
credits by 2016, so that we can actually bring in a lot more investors who
cannot take tax credits. Today, if my parents want to invest in solar
power, they cannot do it because they are not allowed by law to take the
tax credits whereas they can if they invest in oil and gas.
HAYES: Wait. Explain that, why not?
SHAH: So, there is this notion of active passive loss rules, which
means if you are a doctor, which my dad is, you cannot use those tax
credits against your income from your job. You can only use it against
rental income or other things you have. But, if you invest in an oil and
gas drilling rig you can use those tax credits against your job. It is
HAYES: The tax system works so you can take those tax losses if you
are investing in fossil fuels but not if you are investing in solar right
SHAH: That is right. So, what is happened is that the company I
founded SunEdison is now doing a Yieldco, which is a publicly traded
vehicle that anyone can invest in and get a dividend yield owning solar.
And, that is coming out in the next few months.
And, what you are finding is, is that vehicle is really good vehicle
for everyone to invest in, and it does not need tax credits because the
interest rates will come down so far for solar that it will be so cost
effective for Oklahomans to move that is why the Oklahoma utilities are so
worried about this.
HAYES: So, how scalable is this? I mean how plausible is it that we
are going to see a significant portion of power being generated by solar in
the next 10, 15 years?
SHAH: So, Ray Kurzwell who is the famous, you know, sort of
exponential growth futurist is now saying by 2025, the majority of our
power in the United States is going to come from solar. That is how
SHAH: That the growth rates. And, in Australia for instance they
have gone to 1 million homes now that have solar. Only a population of 22
million people. So, if the same thing happens here, we have over 10
million homes. We only have 500,000 right now.
HAYES: Wow. Amazing. Jigar Shah from SunEdison, thank you so much.
HAYES: Coming up. A report from this week in bigotry featuring a
small south Carolina town, a police chief who is out of a job and this
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EARL BULLARD, LATTA, SOUTH CAROLINA MAYOR: Now, all of these people
showering down and saying, "Oh, it is a different lifestyle they can have
it." OK, fine and dandy, but I do not have to look at it and I do not want
my child around.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The best part of this story is how the town is reacting and
that story is ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: There is breaking news regarding
Toronto`s embattled Mayor Rob Ford. Watch out for that camera, eh?
ROB FORD, TORONTO MAYOR: Oh!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: This time almost a year ago when allegations of crack smoking
and bizarre impromptu press conferences made Rob Ford an American cable
news sensation. The general thinking was that politically this guy is
toast. But a funny thing happened. Rob Ford just kept on Rob Fording.
He admitted to smoking crack in a drunken stupor. He was seen acting
like a drunken lout at a parade. He was caught on tape drunkenly imitating
a Jamaican accent in a restaurant. And, somehow he is still the Mayor of
Toronto, and guess what? He is running for another term.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR FORD: I am running on my ideas of further cutting the cost of
government, keeping taxes low, and removing red tape. I promise you, Rob
Ford will have your back for the next four years. Thank you. Thanks,
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: From the outside, the rise of a crack smoking right winger
might be hard to figure. The political story of Rob Ford highlights two
important lessons about politics. One is, never resign. Never! And two,
is that politics is not logical. Voters vote as much with their hearts as
with their heads.
And, there is a sizable constituency that is looking at Rob Ford and
saying, "Yes, this guy is looking out for me." A lot of people wonder how
this guy ever got elected in the first place and the answer to that is why
he has a good chance of being elected in the second place.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Just a few days ago, News 13 reported
Latta Mayor Earl Bullard fired the town`s Police Chief Crystal Moore.
Latta Town Councilman Jared Taylor told us, the town fired Moore because
she received seven reprimands. Some Latta residents and elected officials
say Mayor Bullard has a vendetta against Moore.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Now, Crystal said, she does believe the
mayor had a vendetta against her and fired her because she is gay.
CRYSTAL MOORE, LATTA POLICE CHIEF: I cannot believe that we still
have no equal rights. That is the biggest issue. I have been harassed,
intimidated, and this is the first time that we ever -- it has ever been
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Small town Latta, South Carolina has an opening for police
chief that is because Crystal Moore the town`s first woman to hold the job
and who was promoted to the position March 2012 has been fired. She was
let go this week after 23 years with the Latta Police Department.
All this time according to local news reporting she is had a clean
record. Not even so much as a verbal warning. Then on Tuesday, the town`s
mayor, a guy named Earl Bullard issued Moore seven reprimands and she found
herself out of a job. Moore suspects it might be because she is openly
And, that suspicion is led credence by a pair of city council members.
One, according to WBTW News says that Bullard told her, quote, "Before he
was sworn into office that Crystal would not have a job" and another
council members released this same tape to the same news organization of
the mayor expressing some bigoted views about gay people.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR BULLARD: I will say this to anybody`s face. I would much
rather hire someone who drank, and drank too much taking care of my child
than I had somebody whose lifestyle is questionable around children,
because that ain`t the damn way that it is supposed to be.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: But, wait there is more, because for Mayor Bullard this is
implicitly about turning his children gay.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR BULLARD: I am telling you, buddy. I am not going to let two
women stand up there and hold hands and let my child be aware of it. And,
I am not going to see them do it with two men neither. I am not going to
do it, because that ain`t the way the world works. Now, all these people
showering down and saying that "Oh, it is a different lifestyle. They can
have it." OK, fine and dandy, but I do not have to look at it. And, I do
not want my child around it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: All right, so gay police chief out of a job. Bigoted mayor it
appears. But, here is what is amazing. What happened next. About 100
people showed up to a city council meeting yesterday to show their support
for Crystal Moore, the fired police chief.
While inside city council members voted 6 to 1 to move ahead with a
measure that would weaken the mayor`s power. For his part, Mayor Bullard
denies the firing was related to the police chief`s sexuality. Telling NBC
in a statement tonight, quote, "The gay issue in this case is a moot point
and not even a consideration as it pertains to Crystal Moore`s recent
termination. I cannot go into particulars because of it being a personnel
That is unclear whether Crystal Moore will get her job back, but it is
clear the norms around gay equality in this country are moving faster than
the laws. It is still legal in 29 states including the state of South
Carolina to fire someone for simply being gay. But, it is increasingly not
OK with people for that to be the case and we are going to talk about that
and a really controversial case and where all this came to a head, next.
HAYES: We are back. Joining me now, my MSNBC colleague Karen Finney
host of "Disrupt," former director of communications at the democratic
national committee. LGBT activist Cathy Renna, Senior Vice President
Republic Relations in Marketing Firm Target Q and Richard Kim my colleague
at "The Nation" where he is executive editor of thenation.com.
OK, I think the story is fascinating for a number of reasons. One it
appears mayor contends it has nothing to do with sexual orientation. But,
let`s say at least the perception is that it is amazing to me that "A" she
was there for 20 years and no one seems to say boo. And "B" that the town
seems to be rallying around her.
And, I think you have this like big city liberal idea about all of
what their views are in South Carolina. It is like here is South Carolina
in 2006 residents voted 78 percent in favor of outlawing gay marriage. By
2013 only 52 percent of South Carolina residents say gay marriage should be
against the law. That is amazing and that is -- what is that? Six years
or seven years?
RICHARD KIM, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, THENATION.COM: You know, the thing is
also across the country, employment discrimination has always polled very,
very high. There has been something like 70 percent -- 80 percent support
across the country for the employment nondiscrimination act. Even in a
state like Alaska, for example, there is an executive order saying you
cannot discriminate against gay people in public employment. So, this
strike at a very American, you know, sort of understanding of basic
fairness and decency. And, so I think that is really one thing that you
are seeing here in this public outcry.
KAREN FINNEY, MSNBC HOST, "DISRUPT": It is also personal, right? It
is one thing when it is, "Wait a second. We have known her for 20 years.
What is going on?
HAYES: That is exactly right.
FINNEY: But, I bet you if you went into that town and said do you
support LGBT rights you would get a different answer. I think that is
something to understand it is about personal connections. It is a very
different conversation for people.
CATHY RENNA, LGBT ACTIVIST: This used to be a really abstract
argument as a gay rights activist for over 20 years where you talk about
gay people. But, when you now look at the fact that over 80 percent of the
people in this country say they know someone who is lesbian, gay or
bisexual and you have got increasingly people who say they know someone who
is transgender that is when it changes, when it is your neighbor, family
member, someone you work with, whoever.
HAYES: So, here is the other interesting part of this. I want to use
this as a segway to the Brandon Eich story. Because what you see here are
changing social norms\, right? I mean, it is legal, in South Carolina, to
fire someone because they are gay. Increasingly, that is not viewed as
socially acceptable. Right? Rightly so? Everyone at the table agrees.
That is wrong.
It is also now there is also social norms about whether it is socially
acceptable to have the belief that gay folks cannot get married or to
oppose guy equality. And, this came to head in the tale of Brandon Eich
who was the CEO of the firm Mozilla, which makes a popular web browser.
People found out that he had given a contribution to the wrong side,
which is the anti-equality side, was a public record and there was a
campaign that basically got rid of him. Basically, saying this is an
unacceptable view of the CEO of a major firm to have, and there was part of
me that did not know how to feel about how this whole thing unfolded. What
was your take?
KIM: Yes. First of all I do not think anyone is rights were
HAYES: No one has a right to be CEO.
KIM: Exactly. I do on the level of proportion question this. So,
this guy gave one -- $1,000 donation six years ago to a campaign that 7
million Californians voted for that 6,500 people gave a donation at his
level or higher. Mozilla has an anti-gay discrimination policy.
He has no intent to change that. Marriage in California is settled
law. There is this question of whether all this fury targeted at him and
this one sort of attempt to oust him is in proportion to any threat that he
represents to gay people in the future.
RENNA: Somehow, it is how the culture works too. This is a major
tech company in Northern California, and as we are talking about before
this is not just about gay people. This is about allies. I mean the
second this went on social media on Facebook, on Twitter. People just find
this unacceptable. It is no longer acceptable to be --
HAYES: Do they find it unacceptable or was this weird kind of
advertising of one`s own enlightenment that this was part of? You know
what I mean? It felt to me a little bit like I can like this. I can get
behind this because this is kind of -- it is no skin off my back, you know?
I do not care who the CEO of Mozilla is. Conservatives were saying, right?
Conservatives were saying that this is basically hounding people. This is
RENNA: It is right to say that when it works for them. Because their
big thing is it is all about the free market. Well, in this case it was
not about the free market. People are making decisions about what they do
and what they buy and the organizations and companies they support and the
decisions they make as consumers voting with their wallets based on the
FINNEY: And, it is a little bit of power that we have as consumers.
RENNA: That is right.
FINNEY: You hear Karl Rove and the right wing. What do they always
say about the companies that give to right wing causes? We do not want to
have to publish our names because we are afraid of a backlash. Well, guess
what? I can decide I do not want to spend my money with your company if I
do not approve how you spend that money. I can just --
HAYES: Barack Obama in 2008 was opposed to marriage equality.
FINNEY: And, he still got elected.
HAYES: This guy gave --
KIM: I did ask some of my gay activist friends, look, here is a list,
6,500 people gave the same amount that he did or more in California.
Should we go down the list and sort of start targeting all these people and
I asked it fastidiously and people were like, "let`s do it. Let is find
out where these people live." To me that is a disturbing level of
targeting people --
RENNA: But, it is targeted because --
FINNEY: It became such a heated issue in this country and it sort of
became I think and it is a sort are either you are on the right side or the
wrong side and ironically even the lawyer in the case now evolving as he is
planning his daughter`s wedding.
HAYES: Here is the other issue to me is that people say, people will
make this point. I heard this around this like, look there are certain
views that we would not have if it turned out that he had given a donation
to the KKK or something, right? I think there are certain views that we
just view as unacceptable, right?
They are outside the bounds of what we would call normal politics,
like explicitly white supremacists organizations, right? And, so, the
question becomes does opposition to gay equality fall on that side or not?
I think you can embrace it and say yes that is where it is going.
RENNA: It is starting to. It is definitely starting to. I think the
interesting thing about your comment about the 6,000 people, I would
question who are those people? Because I think part of this is about --
HAYES: They are in the database.
RENNA: I do not mean literally. I mean are they people who have a
large platform, a lot of influence, people who run major corporations for
whom taking that kind of stand sends a message to all the people who work
at that company and all the people who are consumers and buy that product.
That is the thing --
FINNEY: But, at the end of the day it feels Mozilla made a business
decision. They know who their audience is. They know that a large portion
of their audience are progressives who did not like this, were not going to
use Firefox and they said we cannot -- so that is the --
HAYES: But then the other side of this is that while all this
conversation is happening, while this police chief is fired in South
Carolina, she says because of her sexual orientation, you know we have got
end up sitting there.
HAYES: It is unbelievable. This thing has not been passed and it is
amazing to me at the same time these social attitudes are changing so
rapidly. And, the polling, that there has not been a political price
frankly. No political price is being paid by the republicans in the house
who are stopping it. Republicans in the house from getting this thing
passed. No political price.
KIM: I agree with you that the sort of boycotting power is one of the
things to really have here. I just would question whether this was the
right target for that. And, if among all the sort of campaigns that we
need to run together, and the path to look at LGBT kids, transgender
rights, is this one guy who gave this donation six years ago, and who is
not a major funder of anti-gay causes, is bringing him down --
HAYES: But, I also think -- I do think this I think Enda and
opposition to Enda is an unexploited opportunity for progressives
politically and for the democratic party. There is a big thing right
there. Go on offend.
RENNA: Because if you look at the polling, 75 percent of people in
this country think we already have those protections and we do not.
HAYES: Karen Finney, you can catch her show "Disrupt" weekends at
4:00 P.M. eastern at MSNBC, LGBT Activist Cathy Renna and Richard Kim from
thenation.com, thank you. That is "All In" for this evening. The "Rachel
Maddow" show starts now. Good evening, Rachel.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Chris. Happy Friday.
HAYES: Have a good weekend.
MADDOW: Thanks. And, thanks to you at home for joining us this hour.
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