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PoliticsNation, Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

Read the transcript from the Wednesday show

July 23, 2014

Guest: Donna Edwards, Lisa Bloom, Seema Iyer, Wayne Pacelle, Cody Carlson

Schultz. "Politics Nation" with Reverend Al Sharpton starts right now.

Good evening, Rev.

REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good evening, Ed. And thanks to you
for tuning in.

Tonight`s lead, helping Americans are hurting President Obama. If
Republicans get to choose, it`s no contest. They are so obsessed, so
obsessed with attacking the President, they don`t care if real people get
hurt in the process.

Take health care for example. A new poll finds 72 percent of Republicans
think the health care law hasn`t helped anyone. Really? Not one person.
What about the $20 million who got coverage under the law? What about
these people?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: As Andrea Ward finished her health care
enrollment, she said it was a burden was lifted off her shoulders, knowing
that dealing with her asthma would now be much easier.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Knowing that I have insurance. That`s a big relief
of me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`ve been held hostage to the insurance company. Now
I have peace of mind.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For the first time in my life, I`m covered. I can`t
tell you how good that feels.


SHARPTON: If it was up to the GOP, these people would be out of luck.
Because they killed a health care ruling that puts nearly five million
people`s insurance in jeopardy. They want to pull people off health care.

It is a party driven by ideology. Not by helping Americans. And we just
saw it play out in Georgia where David Perdue, won the state`s Republican
primary. He is against the health care law and against raising the minimum

This is governing principle of the party right now. And that is to put
politics over people. It is why they punt on working to solve the
humanitarian crisis at the border. It is why they lead millions of
unemployed Americans without jobless benefits and it is why they turn their
backs on long-term deal for infrastructure that would boost the economy.
Why? Because they want to deny president Obama a win. Even if the
American people lose.

Joining me now is Congresswoman Donna Edwards, Democrat from Maryland, and
Jonathan Capehart from the "Washington Post.: Thank you both for being



SHARPTON: Congresswoman, on issue after issue, it seems like your
Republican colleagues are more concerned about politics than people. If
they were actually concerned, actually concerned about health care, what
would they be doing?

EDWARDS: Well, you know, they`re concerned about politics and they are
concerned about processes. It is the reason that they are suing the
president. The fact is if they really cared about the American people and
that was their concern, they would be concerned about how we can actually
strengthen our health care system. How we can ensure that 9.5 million
insured Americans are now enjoying health care can continue to enjoy that.
How we can ensure that the state decline, implement the affordable care act
and to bring on a Medicaid population that would provide additional health
care to their citizens can do that.

And so, I just think that the Republican party demonstrates over and over
again that their concern about politics and process but they`re really not
concerned about the American people.

SHARPTON: You know, Jonathan, sometimes I think we look at the fact there
is such a human cost to this stuff. I mean, the opposition by GOP to
health care, it costs on the human side. Just listen to this story from
North Carolina where a hospital closed, partly because of the state`s
refusal to expand Medicaid.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were the first and we won`t be the last. So
everybody, please come together because we do need this hospital.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Barry Gibbs (ph) lost his wife, Portia,
after she suffered a heart attack in Fairfield, shortly after (INAUDIBLE)
hospital close on July 1st. Gibbs said she died while waiting to be air
lifted to the now nearest hospital in Washington more than 50 miles away.


SHARPTON: I mean, this woman may have died because the state wouldn`t
expand their Medicaid. Is how can Republicans live with that, Jonathan?

CAPEHART: Well, I`m not sure. But you know, one of the things that the
Republicans could do and hasn`t have not and specifically in this case on
health care, is they are so desperate to repeal the affordable care act and
yet they haven`t stepped forward with their own plans, their own
alternatives for either the affordable care act or what would go in its
place once, let`s say, they do succeed in getting the affordable care act
declared unconstitutional and then suddenly you have millions upon millions
of people just thrown off their -- possibly thrown off health insurance.
What is their alternative plan for that?

They have no alternative care for health care, for immigration, for
infrastructure, for minimum wage, for unemployment insurance, I could just
keep going down the line. There is a time when, you know, in Washington,
you know, if you had the affordable care act maybe a generation ago and
there was a problem and it was the legislative accomplishment of the
Democratic President, you would have Republicans pushing hard to make
changes to that law to make it better so that they could claim credit for

And instead, what we have now is a bunch of people on Capitol Hill who are
making it their sole mission to, not no longer replace Obama care, but to
just completely repeal it. And that is, I think, unconscionable because
there are real people, real lives at stake involved in these.

SHARPTON: But Congresswoman, let me go on that political point because the
fact of the matter, Speaker Boehner wasn`t the only one cheering ruling
against yesterday`s health care subsidies. Yesterday we also saw the
governor of Mississippi Phil Bryant said that the ruling was quote "another
step in dismantling Obamacare and returning the control of individual
health care to the people."

But the ruling could really hurt his own constituents. Sixty thousand
Mississippi residents receive federal health care subsidy. And the
governor thinks it would be a good thing that they lost those subsidies,

EDWARDS: Well, I mean, it really does seem pretty shocking, Reverend, Al.
The fact that people would be cheering on people losing health care. You
know, when the affordable care act was tasked, I mean, Republicans were all
against it, people in communities. But the fact is that 74 percent of
Republicans who are newly insured actually like their health care plan.

So they don`t even represent their own people. And it is really shocking
that you have people who are legislators who refuse to legislate, who only
want to repeal. And at the same time, they would think it would be
preferable for poor people to go without health care. It is pretty

SHARPTON: You know, Jonathan, you mentioned immigration. Republicans also
would rather attack the president for immigration than solve the border
crisis. I mean, listen to this from Congressman Mo Brooks.


REP. MO BROOKS (R), ALABAMA: This president caused the problem by enticing
children to America by waving in front of them the prospect of amnesty and
right now the president of the United States is the world`s sugar daddy and
that has to stop. And that`s the incentive for the kids to come here.


SHARPTON: Sugar daddy. I mean, sugar daddy. He`s calling the president
sugar daddy. Well, my colleague, Jose Diaz-Balart, I want show to you
this, my colleague Jose Diaz-Balart, he interviewed one woman,
undocumented, this is what she said, Jonathan.


JOSE DIAZ-BALART, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Now that you`re here in the United
States, are you worried that you will be deported?



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Because I arrived to this
country without papers. Without any permission. So I could save my own
life p. So I could continue my dream. So I could save my family.

DIAZ-BALART: What if you are deported?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): It would be a tragedy. It would
be a death for me.


SHARPTON: Here is a woman talking about a certain death, a certain death.
This is a humanitarian issue. This is not about anybody being a sugar
daddy, Jonathan.

CAPEHART: Yes. I mean, I think the congresswoman was saying after that
clip, it is pretty insulting to sort of reduce the humanitarian crisis
that`s going on on our southern border to just a bunch of people who are
looking to come to the United States, get free stuff which is part of the
larger Republican mantra.

You know, I saw that interview that Jose did, and it`s pretty incredible.
I mean, she said in that interview, please give me a chance. Please let me

SHARPTON: A chance to live, by the way. And I think that`s what`s
I`m going to have to leave it there.

Congresswoman Donna Edwards and Jonathan Capehart, thank you both for your
time tonight.

CAPEHART: Thanks, Reverend.

EDWARDS: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Coming up, is Sarah Palin`s impeachment plan back firing? She
is a major force in the party. And now we`re learning, she`s causing a
major problem.

And opening arguments in a case compared to the George Zimmerman trial.
Was this man acting in self-defense when he shot and killed an unarmed 19-
year-old? A mom was emotional on the stand.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you familiar with that picture?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is that a photograph of?



SHARPTON: And as investigation into this disturbing video continues,
tonight we celebrate Eric Garner`s life, the man known as the gentle giant.

Please stay with us.


SHARPTON: Our facebook community has a lot to say about Republicans
bringing down the affordable care act.

Dellosa says the ACA is the law of the land now. Accept it and move on to
more pressing matters, like education for our youth.

I agree, Dellosa.

And Charles says, if it requires adjustments, do so and continue with it.

Good point, Charles.

We want to know what you think. Please head over to our facebook page and
join the conversation as going long after the show ends.


SHARPTON: Today Sarah Palin`s big impeachment drive is back firing big
time. She kicked off a plan two weeks ago with an article in a right wing
Web site saying the time had come for impeachment. And she`s been pounding
that message since.


SARAH PALIN (R), FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: Impeachment is a message that has
to be sent to our president that we are not going to put up with this

You don`t bring a lawsuit it a gun fight. And there`s no place for lawyers
on the front line.

We should vehement impose any politician, any candidate, on the left or
right, who would hesitate in voting for impeachment.

There a president with high crime and misdemeanors and it`s impeachment,
it`s the "I" word.


SHARPTON: Sarah Palin is a major driver in the GOP and she is steering the
party towards impeachment. In Congress, lawmakers, like ted Cruz are
tossing, freely tossing around the impeachment talks.

Last night in Georgia, a Senate candidate showing support for impeachment
won the GOP primary. And the "I" word is all over the right wing media
complex. This has become blood sport for this party. And now it`s back
firing. It is actually helping Democrats.

"The Washington Post" reports quote, "while talk of impeaching Obama makes
some in GOP uneasy, Democrats see an opportunity."

The Post reports that congressional -- the Democratic congressional
campaign committee sent out two emails after Palin`s impeachment article.
It raised $500 thousand in four days and yet, listen to what Speaker
Boehner says.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: You said in your letter to the numbers a few
weeks ago that the president has declined to faithfully execute the law.
Is that an impeachable effect?

battle between the two branches of government. Others could make a
determination about whether it is impeachable or not.


SHARPTON: That`s what I call riding the fence.

Speaker Boehner knows impeachment is a losing idea but he is afraid of
Sarah Palin so he can`t slam the door on her plan.

Joining me now is "Washington Post`s" Nia-Malika Henderson who wrote the
article about politics of impeachment and MSNBC`s Karen Finney.

Thank you both for being here.



SHARPTON: Nia-Malika, is this high profile impeachment call from Sarah
Palin a problem for the GOP?

HENDERSON: It is a problem. And many of the Republicans that we talked to
for this, quote in the article, suggests it is a problem. And that`s why
you see Republicans here sort of playing defense, as you talked about
Boehner there, or essentially saying no, this isn`t on the table. This
isn`t something they want it do. But in the meantime, they do have this
lawsuit that is hanging out there and many see that as sort of a bone to
the base that in some way says clamoring for impeachment.

And so in the meantime, the lawsuit talk, in the minds of many, sort
functions at impeachment light. So as much as they sort of want to sort of
cordoned off Sarah Palin in the more sort of radical voices in the
Republican party that are calling for impeachment, they are sort of bunched
in the same group because people see the lawsuit as sort of interchangeable
with impeachment. So you see Democrats being able to raising money on
that. You saw all day (ph) send out. and yesterday they write to John
Boehner and tell him that the lawsuit is just a political stunt.

SHARPTON: Yes. Well, in fact, some thought that moderates were using the
lawsuit to stop the impeachment talk and it is working the other way.

And Karen, you have worked many campaigns. We are getting ready to get
into the heat of this midterm election and this impeachment talk, back
firing on Republicans, could be a significant seat change into the fall.

FINNEY: Well, it absolutely could for a number of reasons. I mean, as
Nia-Malika points out in her piece, it could serve -- we know that it is
serving as a fund-raising tool. But it also could serve as a way to
motivate voters, particularly African-American voters.

But I would argue the sort of base of the Democratic Party to turn out in a
midterm election and turn out when they might not otherwise because we know
we always have trouble with those drop-off letters.

You also have, you know, Congress is supposed to go home next week for
their work period, three more weeks off. I would love to have their work
schedule. And the question is, what is it that Republicans are going to
say to their constituent? When I talk to my sources, Democrats say they
will make this contrast. They are going to say, hey, they are talking
about impeachment. I`m talking about jobs. I`m talking about increasing
minimum wage. This is how what they are doing is detracting from my
ability to deliver for you and I think that I contrast is going to really
be harmful for Republicans if Democrats make that argument.

SHARPTON: Nia-Malika, you write about how impeachment would impact midterm
elections in various state in the piece. Georgia, Louisiana, North
Carolina and Michigan, all of which with have sizeable black populations,
could make the difference in which party controls the Senate. The calculus
among some Democrats is that an Obama presidency threatened by the prospect
of impeachment would bring black voters to the polls in droves. This is
what she wrote.

What is your sense in Washington? How worried are Republicans about this,

HENDERSON: There is worry. And that is why you see them trying to sort of
put Sarah Palin off in a corner an on her own island but it is not all
really working. They very well know what happened in 1998 through Bill

Bill Clinton was able to make gains in the House and basically have a draw
in the Senate, lose no seats, because of all of the impeachment talk that
will surrounding his presidency then in his six years. So he was able to
make up a piece of the house. He gained five seats in the house. That was
a rarity in terms of a midterm rate for a sitting president. So they have
seen this movie before. It hasn`t ended well for Republicans.

And one of the things, if you look at the map, this is a race that, again,
goes through a lot of southern states. If you look at a state like
Georgia, that state that is seeing hundreds of thousands of new African-
American voters and we saw it in 2012 where there is an uptake in black
voter participation and a lot of people, at least anecdotally think that
was because of the talk around voter identification law.

So the theory here offer 2014 is whether or not this same talk about
impeachment could motivate African-American voters on who obviously
supported this president because they would be angry and angry people show
up at the polls.

SHARPTON: Absolutely.

And Karen, you know, she mentioned Georgia, four Republicans won primaries
in Georgia last night. One for Senate and three for House seats. All of
them have indicated support for impeachment. Here is what three of those
candidate have said.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m not up there. I don`t have the facts. But right
now, one thing I know is that if they violate the oath of office to the
degree to do that, I will be involved in that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I agree that there has to be an inquiry into
whether or not we could proceed with impeachment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The constitution confers upon Congress the power to
limit the jurisdiction of federal judges. It also grants Congress the
power of impeachment.


SHARPTON: You know, is this what it takes to win the GOP primary now,
Karen? I mean, calls for impeachment and even if it is hurting the party.
And when you look at the Democrat, Michelle Nunn, who is the senate nominee
in Georgia facing Perdue, early polls indicate it is close. That Georgia
turned blue because of this?

FINNEY: Well, it is a possibility. I mean, you know, if African-American
voters in Georgia turn out to their numbers and a number of places in
Georgia, I mean, they could make up the differential. So if they were to
turn out and if Michelle Nunn was able to get kind of the baseline number
she needs to turn out, she could win. I think in the house race it is
going to be a little bit tougher because they are so gerrymandered.

But you know, look yes. The Republicans must believe that they must have
some kind of polling that suggests that this message is effective for them.
And that`s where as a Democrat, I would put in a word of caution that
Democrats not get too excited about this potential message because at the
same time, there are parts of the Republican base who want impeachment.
That`s part of why Boehner has gone to, as Nia-Malika called it, you know,
impeachment light with the lawsuit. Yes, angry people show up at the
polls. But their angry people may show up at the polls as well because of
this message.

SHARPTON: All right. We are going to have to leave it there.

Nia-Malika Henderson and Karen Finney, thank you for your time tonight.

HENDERSON: Thank you.

FINNEY: Thanks.

SHARPTON: Coming up, it is the case some are comparing this to the George
Zimmerman trial, an armed teenager shot and killed. Today, opening
arguments in the trial for the man charged with murder.

Also, the undercover video that uncovered harsh truths about food safety in
America. But is this truth being hidden again?


SHARPTON: Drawing comparisons to the George Zimmerman trial. Unarmed
teenager shot dead. Today the trial started in Detroit. That`s next.


SHARPTON: Was itself defense or murder? The McBride murder trial kicked
off in Detroit today. It is being compared to the Zimmerman trial. Fifty
five-year-old Theodore Wafer is charged with second degree murder and
manslaughter in the killing of 19-year-old Renisha McBride. Last November
Wafer shot and killed McBride when she showed up drunk. But unarmed. On
his front porch at 1:00 in the morning.

McBride crashed the car into a parked vehicle and her family said she
wandered to Mr. Wafer`s house seeking help. But the 55-year-old shot
McBride in the face through a closed door, killing her. Today prosecutors
called Wafer`s actions unnecessary, unjustified, and unreasonable. But the
defense said Wafer acted in self-defense. Speaking at length about
Michigan`s castle doctrine law.


Stand your ground is more, when you`re outside somewhere, because when
you`re in your home, it happens, and the law treats your house as your
castle. You get special protection. The castle doctrine is to keep us
safe. And if somebody does intruding on us, we can use deadly force to
protect ourselves. The time he acted the defendant must (INAUDIBLE) in
danger of being killed or seriously injured. Ladies and gentlemen, this is
exactly his state of mind. This part is important. If the defendant
believed with honest reasonableness, and that`s for you all to decide, he
could ask immediately to defend himself even if it turned out later that he
was wrong about how much danger he was in. A person is never required to
retreat attack in his own home. That`s the important part. No duty to


SHARPTON: No duty to retreat. He could use deadly force to protect
himself. I heard this one before. So it comes down to this. Will the
jury believe Theodore Wafer felt threatened by Renisha McBride?

Joining me now is Lisa Bloom from the Bloom firm, and legal analyst and former prosecutor Seema Iyer. Thank you both for being here.
Lisa, here we go again. Is this stand your ground on trial again, Lisa?

LISA BLOOM, LEGAL ANALYST, AHVO.COM: Well, she is actually right about the
castle doctrine. And that`s a doctrine that`s in effect all over the U.S.
Stand your ground is only offered in about half the states. And castle
doctrine goes back about a hundred years. And the basic premise is that we
don`t have to retreat from our home. However, just as with stand your
ground you have to feel reasonably and fear for your life and in Michigan
law, also honestly in fear. So, he might be able to prove to the jury that
he was honestly in fear but he also has to show that that fear was
reasonable. And if the young unarmed woman is simply knocking on your
door, even banging on your door, even under the influence of alcohol, it
sure doesn`t sound like it`s reasonable to be in fear for your life, and to
shoot her in the face and kill her and that`s what he did.

SHARPTON: Seema, do you agree?

SEEMA IYER, FORMER PROSECUTOR: I do not, most respectively to my
colleague, Lisa Bloom. And here is why, Rev. First of all, we are saying
that he shot her in the face. But perhaps the defense is going to show
that he was attempting to fire a warning shot. Thereby demonstrating his
reasonable belief of fear at that moment in time. When he heard, not just
knocking or banging, but booming thunderous sounds at various portions of
his house. And I would like to just go a little further with that, Rev, he
shot through the door. A door that was minimally able to protect the
second door, the screen door, he was not protected in that sense. He
wasn`t going to keep intruders out by that door. And because he shot
through the door, instead of opening the door, that also support that he
lacked the intent to murder McBride.

SHARPTON: But look at the Michigan jury`s instructions when considering
the use of deadly force and self-defense. If the defendant honestly and
reasonably believes that it was immediately necessary to use deadly force
to protect himself, or herself, from imminent threat, the law does not
require him or her to retreat. He/she may stand his or her ground and use
the amount of force he/she believes necessary to protect himself/herself.
So it is stand your ground, Lisa.

BLOOM: Right. So, stand your ground is an offshoot of the castle
doctrine. Stand your ground which began in 2005 in Florida was essentially
trying to expand the castle doctrine. Saying, well, if we don`t have a
duty to retreat in our homes, why should we have to retreat in the street,
or in a park car, in a bar, anywhere else. So, that`s why see similar
language. But, you know, Seema, Theodore Wafer opened his interior door.


BLOOM: Let`s assuming it was locked, then he could unlock it and open it.
The interior door was open. The screen door, yes, was locked. And he shot
through the locked door. Now, why didn`t he simply close the larger
heavier interior door, lock it and call the police? He said he couldn`t
find his cell phone. Is not being able to find your cell phone
justification for taking the life of the 19-year-old girl?

IYER: He didn`t know she was 19, Lisa. He saw a shadowy figure. I submit
that I don`t think he didn`t knew it was a woman or a man. And reports are
saying that at certain times he thought there were more than even two
people banging on his door. Again, at separate locations in front of the

SHARPTON: Then why did he open the interior door if he thought there was a
group of people out there?

IYER: I think he was still trying to see if there were only one person.
And I think it sounds like he wasn`t convinced that it was just one person
because --

BLOOM: Well, once he opened the door, he would he have seen. There is one

IYER: No. He thought there were knocks on the other side of the house.

SHARPTON: They why did he open the door? That`s what I`m saying?

BLOOM: I think he was still trying to see if there was just one person.

SHARPTON: So, you thought there were a lot of people outside, so you open
the door.

IYER: At that location. At that location.

SHARPTON: Let me go to something else. The prosecution but Renisha`s best
friend on the stand who testified that they went to buy a bottle of vodka
just hours before Renisha was killed. Listen to what she says happened
after that, Lisa.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. You played cards to a shot game, would that be a
drinking type of a game?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: During the course of this game, how much of the alcohol
that you had purchased was consumed?

JENKINS: We drunk about half the bottle.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: About half of the fifth?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were you smoking anything?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What were you smoking?

JENKINS: Marijuana.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who was smoking?

JENKINS: Me or Renisha.


SHARPTON: Now, this is a prosecution witness, Lisa. Why would they put
this testimony on?

BLOOM: Well, I`m sure if they were here, the prosecution would say, we put
her on for the sake of completeness because she was there with Renisha in
the final day and everybody wants to know what Renisha was doing on her
final day. But I think this was a very poor choice on the prosecution`s
part. For the first day of trial, I mean, let`s set this up in a way that
somewhat is sympathetic to the victim. The fact she was drinking a lot and
smoking marijuana, I supposed it is what it is. I wish young people would
drink a lot less and do less drugs in our culture. But, you know, this is
the way it happened, she certainly didn`t deserve the death penalty for
being under the influence of alcohol and maybe marijuana on her final

SHARPTON: Seema, you prosecuted a lot of case --

IYER: I did. I have. Yes. And I agree with Lisa that the order of the
witnesses is strange. Because you don`t want it start off with this


IYER: However, as a prosecutor, absolutely, you bring your whole story
out. Because Rev, you don`t want the defense attorney, you don`t want to
bring in Amber Jenkins to say, oh, we were sitting there and we just had
one drink and we were playing cards and everything is fine. Then the
defense comes up and says, wait a minute, you were smoking marijuana, you
were playing, drinking games, she was drunk. So, game credibility with the
jury. Give them the whole picture.

SHARPTON: Well, this was opening day. We`re certainly going to be
following this trial, stand your ground on trial again, we will be watching
that. Lisa Bloom, Seema Iyer, thank you both for your time tonight.

IYER: Thank you.

BLOOM: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Coming up, this under cover video is raising serious questions
about the food you are eating and we are seeing everything we need to see
or are we? The secret investigation is ahead. And later, the Eric Garner
case, left to die without any humanity. Tonight, if life cut too short.
It will be celebrated. Stay tuned for that.


SHARPTON: This segment concerns an issue that touches every viewer, every
consumer. Food safety in American. One note, some of the footage that you
have to say maybe disturbing to some viewers but we feel this important to
illustrate this story. In February of 2008, the Agriculture Department
issued the largest meat recall in American history. One hundred and forty
million pounds of potentially contaminated beef. Some of it intended for a
national school lunch program.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Recall the largest in U.S. history more than 140
million pounds of beef.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just hours before millions of Americans sit-down for
their evening meal, the government today announced a major recall of frozen
beef, the largest meat recall ever. But it is not just the amount of beef
involved, it makes this recall extraordinary rather it is ordered. A
disturbing discovery of jus how the animals that meat came from were


SHARPTON: It was this undercover video shot by The Humane Society of the
United States that prompted the recall. The video showed six cows. Some
too sick to walk. Potentially contaminated beef headed for dinner plates
around the country. The response to that undercover videotape was used not
just the recall but the many questions followed. About how safe is the
food we eat.

Agriculture business had another response. And they came as an effort to
keep consumers in the dark about what was going on inside slaughter houses
and animal factories. Since then, states have been trying to pass anti-
whistleblower bills so call Ag-gag law. Criminalizing undercover
investigations to make it a crime to document what goes on inside animal
processing facilities. These laws ban taking photos of video, of a factory
farm. They make it a crime for an investigated again work at a factory
farm. And they require immediate reporting so that no pattern of abuse can
be documented.

But eight states now have Ag-gag laws. Iowa, Utah, and Missouri. Just in
the past two years alone and similar bills have been introduced in 13 -- 15
other states. This is videotape from another undercover investigation.
Before it was illegal, showing alleged -- and filthy conditions for the
animals and dairy, egg and pig factory farms. We reached out to industry
representatives of these farms and while they condemn any abuse of the farm
animals, they point out that conditions and treatment are actually standard

None of the farms were charged with any wrongdoing. The Ag-gag laws just
like stand your ground and voter ID can be traced back to the American
legislative exchange council, Alec. Their push through coordinated task
forces that draft modeled bills and help Alec members secure votes for
their legislation and states around the country. We contacted industry
representatives for the pork, milk and egg farmers and they said there is
plenty of federal oversight of farms, for critics disagree and said
oversight is being chipped away.

Friday, Food Safety experts said a sweeping new USDA rule would eviscerate
poultry inspections that would protect consumers from tainted chicken and
turkey. Eliminating all but one food inspectors to inspect three chicken
carcasses every second. The Ag-gag laws take away the rights of consumers
to see where their food comes from and to hold the food industry
accountable and is not just about the safety of the food we eat and feed to
our families. It is also a question of animal welfare and whether animals
are being treated humanely. That`s what`s at stake in this laws, that we
fight for more transparency.

Joining me now is Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of
the United States. And Cody Carlson, a former undercover investigator for
Mercy for Animals and The Humane Society who shot the footage you just saw.
Thanks to you both for being here.

Wayne, people don`t know this issue. Laws have sprung up to prevent
consumers from knowing what`s going on inside these factories. How has
that changed what we know about our food?

food to survive. Every single one of us touches the food production
system. We all have a stake in this. We all care about animals. We all
care about food safety. And what the industries are trying to do by trying
to enact these Ag-gag laws, is keep the public in the dark. To criminalize
the work that Cody and other brave investigators do to expose animal
cruelty and to expose food safety problems. If they didn`t have anything
to hide, there would be no Ag-gag laws even contemplated.

SHARPTON: And I think that`s the point when, you know, Cody, you went
undercover in three different states to get this footage. What did you

undercover on four factory farms including two in Iowa where this now Ag-
gag law. And, you know, like Wayne said, I saw each of these factory
farms, animals have treated like -- in the machine, there`s virtually no
regard for their welfare. So, they get confined, they had body parts
chopped off, et cetera.

SHARPTON: Let me hold you right there because I want to show the audience
a video you shot while under cover at an egg farm in Iowa.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: You have many birds who die in their cages and are
simply left to rot.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: We had a disease go through here where we were putting
out our next barn, it was nothing to put 5,000 out of there a day. That`s
all we get for about two weeks straight, is just pull dead birds.


SHARPTON: What kinds of conditions did you see inside that egg farm?

CARLSON: These chickens are kept ten to a cage, in the cage about the size
of a dresser drawer for their entire lives with no oversight. Three
hundred thousand birds per barn. So, they would routinely dying and not
getting found, I was costly playing mummified birds out of the cages,
diseases for tripping through, rats were living in the nests.

SHARPTON: In fact, soon after your report, Iowa farms had a salmonella
outbreak that prompted the largest recall of eggs in the country, over half
a billion eggs in 14 states. And while your farm to be factual was not
part of the recall, there was similar unsanitary conditions found at those
farms. Wayne, you know, these so-called Ag-gag bill that are being
introduced in the states are very similar. And state after state we are
seeing the same language, no unauthorized recordings or video or audio. No
recording of image or sound. Who`s pushing these bills, Wayne?

PACELLE: Well, as you said, the American Legislative Exchange Council came
up with the novel legislation. And then the farming industry, which is
really the different state farm bureaus, the cattleman`s association, the
pork producers, have really been driving it. They`ve been doing grunt work
in the state legislators to try to pass it. They are trying to get this
enacted in all 50 states. They`ve got it done in seven already. So it is
really relevant for your viewers, Rev, to contact their state legislators
and say, we care about animals. We care about the safety of our food and
what are you trying to hide.

SHARPTON: It also is preventing a larger discussion on the appropriate
treatment of animals. Isn`t that really part of the problem?

PACELLE: It is, you know, Cody and the other investigators should get a
medal, not a court date. And we, as people who care about animals, if we
believe that animal cruelty is wrong, it must apply to animals to the
animals on our farms. And to have a pregnant pig live in a crate that`s
two feet wide that doesn`t allow her to take more than one tiny step
forward and one tiny step back for three years is morally wrong. Same
thing with these four laying hens confined in cages that give them 60
square inches. This is standard piece of paper, eight-and-a-half by 11,
that`s 93 square inches. For the hen, get this one straight, two thirds of
the size of the page, for the living space for her life.


PACELLE: I mean, we this surmise that this is the best we can do?

SHARPTON: Well, the least we can do and we must force this is have a
national discussion on what is appropriate behavior to animals and on what
we are putting in our bodies, particularly sanitary conditions and other
things in where animals are at. We must have that national discussion.
We`re committed to it here.

CARLSON: Thanks, Rev.

PACELLE: Thanks for having us, Rev.


SHARPTON: Coming up, the Eric Garner case. The 43-year-old father of six
was taken down by police and left to die without any regard for his
humanity. Tonight he will be laid to rest and his life will be celebrated.
How his family and the community will remember the man they called big E.


SHARPTON: Finally tonight, remembering the man his friends called a gentle
giant. The funeral for Eric Garner is just moments away. I will deliver a
message there. And I will remember a life of a loving husband and father
of six. In the video seen around the country, over the last six days, you
can see and NYPD officer putting Mr. Garner in a chokehold. While down, he
says, I can`t breathe, 11 times. But no one stops and no one helps him.
Even after paramedics show up, no medical treatment is administered. No
care is shown to him. He is on the ground, motionless, as minutes tick by
before he was finally brought to a hospital.

When does a sense of humanity kick in? Have we gotten so cold? Last night
demonstrators march through the streets of Staten Island, friends,
families, and community members all coming together to demand change. And
while the investigation goes on, tonight, we will celebrate his life. He
was a father of six, and the grandfather of two. One of his sons was
getting ready to go to college on a basketball scholarship. He recalled
his dad beaming with pride that he would be the first person in the family
to go to college. And Eric Garner`s loss is being felt throughout the


UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I knew he had my back. I felt safe with him. This is

CHARLENE THOMAS, FRIED OF ERIC GARNER: He`s still a young man. It`s not

ELLISHA GARNER, SISTER OF ERIC GARNER: We are kind of a big family. We
come from a great background. A great background. A southern background
and we were raised with respect.


SHARPTON: Right new, six children are in mourning for their father. As I
speak at the funeral moments from now, and look out and see them, what do
you tell them? What happened to their father`s humanity? Who had the
right to take that away? I understand the dangers that policemen say they
face. I understand mistakes. But when you`re looking at a man totally
unarmed and the tape shows that. When you put him in a chokehold and he
said, 11 times, I can`t breathe. And at what point do you stop?

At what point does trying to apprehend him turn into an intentional harm?
And how do officers stand around and do nothing as you apply an illegal
chokehold? And how do paramedics show up and never do CPR and never try to
aid a man laying there who had no motion in his body? Have we reduced
people now to where they`re not even worth the value of a Lucy cigarette?
These are questions that we`re going to have to answer in the coming days.
Tonight, we have to make sense to children why they are at their father`s

Thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton. "HARDBALL" starts right now.


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