All In with Chris Hayes, Transcript 04/09/15
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN –
OFFICER MICHAEL SLAGER: The reason for the stop is because your brake
light is out.
HAYES: Dash cam video of the Walter Scott traffic stop is released.
And tonight, another man comes forward, saying he was wrongfully tased by
Officer Michael Slager. That man and his lawyer and a witness join me,
Then, co-chair of the Obama task force on policing, on the push for more
Trymaine Lee on the change that came to Ferguson this week.
Why Rand Paul is openly feuding with the NRA.
And another state is banning employees from saying climate change.
GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R), WISCONSIN: Being green is about saving green.
HAYES: ALL IN starts right now.
HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
In the shooting death of an apparently unarmed black man by a white police
officer in South Carolina, there is now dash cam video.
Officer Michael Slager has, of course, been arraigned, charged with murder
for the shooting death of Walter Scott. Officer Slager was also dismissed
from the North Charleston police force after this video was presented to
authorities, which appears to show Officer Slager shooting Mr. Scott as he
The South Carolina law enforcement division as well as the FBI are
conducting ongoing investigations. The dash cam video shows what happens
in those first minutes after Officer Slager pulled Mr. Scott over. It
shows the final moments before the shooting.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SLAGER: Can I see your license, registration and insurance card?
WALTER SCOTT: (INAUDIBLE)
SLAGER: What`s that?
SLAGER: OK, let`s start with your license. The reason for the stop is
your third brake light is out.
SCOTT: Oh, OK. (INAUDIBLE)
SCOTT: I don`t have insurance papers yet because like I said, I just
bought the car from my neighbor.
And I was planning on doing that Monday. He still has insurance papers on
SLAGER: Do you have insurance on the car?
SCOTT: No, I don`t have insurance –
SLAGER: Well, if you don`t have insurance, it`s on your car since you
bought it, you have to have insurance.
SCOTT: I haven`t bought it yet. I`m saying I`m about to do that Monday.
SLAGER: You told me you bought it.
SLAGER: Oh, OK.
SCOTT: My car is down (INAUDIBLE). I can call him (INAUDIBLE)
SLAGER: Let me have your driver`s license. So, you don`t have any
paperwork in the glove box?
SCOTT: No, sir.
SLAGER: No registration in there? No insurance?>
SCOTT: He has all that stuff.
SLAGER: Why isn`t it? OK. But you`re buying this car?
SCOTT: Yes, sir.
SLAGER: Did you already buy it?
SCOTT: No, not yet. I`m about to buy it Monday.
SLAGER: Just a minute ago, you told me that you bought it and you`re
saying (INAUDIBLE) Monday.
SCOTT: I`m sorry about that. (INAUDIBLE)
SLAGER: All right, be right back with you.
SLAGER: Have a seat in the car!
SLAGER: Taser! Taser! Taser!
SLAGER: Get on the ground now! Get on the ground!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Of course, we know what happened next, after the two men
disappeared from the dash cam video, because it was caught on video by a
bystander. Officer Slager fired eight shots, five struck Mr. Scott,
according to the coroner`s report.
The man who recorded that video, Feidin Santana, without which there might
not be a true accounting of what happened that day, met with the parents of
Walter Scott today, for the first time since he turned over his video to
Joining me now, MSNBC national correspondent, Joy Reid.
Joy, I know you`ve been down there today and you`ve been talking to the
family. One thing that struck me about this is that the initial stop is
for a third brake light being out. It was pretty clearly, essentially an
investigatory, a pre-contextual stop because he saw this guy and he want to
search him and see what he was up to.
JOY REID, MSNBC NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, absolutely. And the initial
parts of this approximate three-minute video are pretty routine. The third
brake light, which I assume would be a – presumably a minor violation, but
it becomes very clear that Walter Scott did not want to continue the
interaction. We`re still trying to confirm at what stage he was in
purchasing that car. So, he clearly did not want to continue the
But there was nothing in that initial stop that seemed threatening or
violent in any way. But once Mr. Scott gets out of the car and runs, that
is where the big questions begin. The hearing “taser, taser, taser.”
Hearing, something on the order of “Stop or I`ll tase you,” and later on
saying, “get on the ground, put your hands behind your back.”
Well, the question is, was he yelling get on the ground and put your hands
behind your back before or after the actual shooting? What happened in
terms of that taser that was – was that the object that was dropped
somewhere, 15 feet or so, from the body, and then dropped near the body?
Those are the huge unanswered questions that this dash cam video does not
help us to answer.
HAYES: That dash cam video getting released by the South Carolina Law
Enforcement Division, SLED. You and I were discussing last night how they
are the investigatory body for officer-involved shooting. Some reporting
today from unnamed officials the SLED basically saying, we had some
questions when we showed up at the site of that shooting and saw what
looked pretty clearly like entry wounds in Walter Scott`s back.
REID: Exactly. And we do know that there were approximately eight shots
fired from Officer Slager`s gun. Five of them hit Walter Scott, four of
them hit him in the back, one of them hit him in the ear. None of those
shots hit him from the side, nothing from the front. He was definitively
shot in the back, as we of course saw in that now-infamous cell phone
But the other big question, Chris, and I think my biggest question would be
the second officer on the scene – the African-American officer who arrives
some time around the time that Officer Slager is standing over the body and
dropping whatever that object was near the body, how much of the
interaction before that, the chase, did he see, what did he do?
There`s not a lot of narrative. I have not yet been able to obtain much in
a way of a narrative from that officer, there`s just a very short paragraph
that we hear that he says he administered some sort of aid to Mr. Scott.
But I would love to know what that officer saw and what he did and whether
he reported seeing Mr. Slager drop something near that body.
HAYES: MSNBC national correspondent Joy Reid, thank you very much.
REID: Thank you.
HAYES: Officer Michael Slager had been accused of using excessive force
against another unarmed black man back in 2013. The incident in question
occurred at the home of Mario Givens where Officer Slager and another
officer arrived in the middle night. Mr. Given said Officer Slager ordered
him to come out of the house or he would be tased.
Mr. Givens described what happened next to our own Joy Reid.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARIO GIVENS, FIELD COMPLAINT AGAINST OFFICER SLAGER: I`m being honest, I
knew if I came out of the house, he would do me all kinds, I didn`t come
out of the house. The other officer ended up running around to the front.
He grabbing on to me too, the white officer backed up, pulled out the
taser, the black officer moved out of the way, I hold my hand up and he
still hit me. When he tased me now, he sat on me and twist me up. He
didn`t just tase me and put no cuffs on me. They sit there, sit on my
back, twist my arm.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Mr. Givens was not arrested, because it was apparently a case of
mistaken identity. According to Mr. Givens` account of the incident, the
police were looking for his brother.
Mr. Givens later filed a formal complaint against Officer Slager, but, this
is key, Officer Slager`s personnel file shows he was exonerated of
wrongdoing in the incident. But now North Charleston police spokesman,
Spencer Pryor, tells the “A.P.”, the department will review its decision to
exonerate Officer Slager in that case.
Mr. Givens and his attorney Eduardo Curry held a news conference today and
they joins us now.
Mario Givens, Mr. Givens` fiancee Yolanda Whitaker, an eyewitness to the
incident, who also represented by Mr. Curry, attorney for Mario Givens,
Mr. Givens, let me start with you. When this incident happened, it was the
middle of the night, police knock on the door. You say that Officer Slager
tased you, essentially for no reason, even though you were in your
doorstep, with your hands up. Is that correct?
GIVENS: Yes, sir.
HAYES: What motivated you to file a formal complaint? Were you hoping
that you would see some accountability for him? And did the police ever
get back to you about how that complaint was processed?
GIVENS: Yes, I was looking to hope to get some kind of justification,
because he used his power, just because he got power. And, no, they did
not get back at me about the situation. When they told me they got back at
it, they told me they didn`t find him doing no wrong.
HAYES: Ms. Whitaker, you watched all this happen. What was your
understanding of what was going on when you saw Officer Slager fired the
taser at Mr. Givens?
YOLANDA WHITAKER, FIANCEE: Say that again for me.
HAYES: What was your understanding of the situation? Did it look
unprovoked to you when Mr. Slager fired his taser?
WHITAKER: Well, when he fired the taser, that`s when he fell to the
ground, but he already had his hands up, so I couldn`t understand why he
fired the taser from the beginning. If he was already, you know, there
with his hands out, like, not fighting, not resisting, anything.
HAYES: Mr. Givens, did you remember the name of the officer when you saw
the news accounts, that it was this officer, Michael Slager, the same one
that had tased you in your own home, did you immediately make that
GIVENS: When I saw his picture, not by the name, but his picture, yes.
HAYES: You remembered him?
GIVENS: Yes. When I saw his face, the picture of him, but not by name.
HAYES: What`d you think when you saw his face?
GIVENS: First thing came to my mind was, if they had really honestly
listened to me and investigated it like they should have, then that man
would have been alive right now and not dead.
HAYES: Mr. Curry, what would you like to see from the North Charleston
police in terms of how they did investigate this claim by your client?
EDUARDO CURRY, ATTORNEY: First of all, I would like to see transparency,
Chris. What is going on down here is there is a systemic problem. This is
not an isolated case as it`s been painted up to be. But there`s a systemic
problem about the aggression of North Charleston police and the police
department toward the citizenry.
And what we want to address is, is there a cultural sensitivity training?
Are they really holding themselves accountable? Are there situations where
they really should look at it to see whether or not the police are doing
The time is out for the citizenry to be under terror and fear. Police are
here to protect and serve. And when you put a badge on, it doesn`t make
you Superman, and it certainly doesn`t make you a super villain. So, what
we`ve got to do is have a sense of accountability about a systemic and
systemic problem that has raised its ugly head.
HAYES: Mr. Curry, do you have any reason to believe that the process that
was used to investigate your client`s complaint was insufficient or in any
CURRY: Well, I think it`s flawed, because when you talk about the blue
line effect in officers evaluating other officers, I believe that it`s
almost impossible to get a true and accurate accountability and
transparency. We need to have an external investigation that would look at
all of the complaints toward every police officer, red, yellow, white or
black, against every piece of the citizens or every part of citizenry that
is in North Charleston. And when you do that, you can get a clearer view
about what`s really going on.
HAYES: Mario Givens, Yolanda Whitaker, and Eduardo Curry – thank you all.
I really appreciate it.
CURRY: Thank you very much.
WHITAKER: Thank you.
HAYES: All right. Does Walter Scott`s shooting death make the case for
requiring all police officers to wear body cameras? The co-chair of
President Obama`s task force on policing will be here to answer that,
HAYES: Right now, there`s breaking news out of Suitland, Maryland, where a
gunman is apparently barricaded at the headquarters of the U.S. Census
Bureau. According to NBC Washington, initial reports that the gunman
rammed the gates outside the building and then at same point shot a guard
in the chest. That guard is reportedly in extremely critical condition.
The FBI currently still investigating. It`s still an active shooter
situation. A gunman barricaded at, we believe, Census headquarters right
We will keep monitoring this breaking news and bring you the very latest as
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STATE REP. WENDELL GILLIARD (D), SOUTH CAROLINA: 3057 is a mandate that
all law enforcement agencies in the state of South Carolina would be
adorned with body cameras. I`m sorry it took this to sort of make people
realize how bad we need this bill to become law.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: In South Carolina yesterday, I spoke to State Representative
Wendell Gilliard, who represents Charleston County, which includes North
Charleston, and who even before the killing of Walter Scott had introduced
and pushed hard legislation mandating that all law enforcement in the state
wear body cameras. Police groups have expressed opposition to such
legislation, citing privacy concerns as well as the cost of buying the
cameras and then storing the data.
But, in the wake of the killing of Walter Scott, which was captured on a
bystander`s video, opposition to video cameras among lawmakers may be
fading, as South Carolina Congressman Mark Sanford told me last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MARK SANFORD (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: I`ve had a couple of conversations
with state legislators at the state level today, and what they have said is
that this has, in essence, changed their vote, the events from Saturday –
HAYES: From being skeptical –
SANFORD: From where they were maybe a week ago, correct.
HAYES: To being for it?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: In December, the White House proposed spending $75 million to get
50,000 police body cameras on the street.
A short time ago, I spoke to the co-chair of the Federal Task Force on
Police Reform, Commissioner Charles Ramsey, about how Walter Scott`s
killing changes the debate.
COMMISSIONER CHARLES RAMSEY, PHILADELPHIA POLICE DEPT: Well, I mean, body
cameras are certainly a part of it, but clearly from the video that we saw,
at least in my opinion, I didn`t see any justification for the shooting.
What a body camera would have done, it would have captured the entire event
from beginning to end and you probably would have not have any gaps, even
though recently, they just released the initial dash cam. But there is a
gap in between that and the actual shooting that took place.
With a body camera, the entire event probably would have been captured on
HAYES: The South Carolina state legislature has some members who have
proposed body cameras, mandates for body cameras. The commission that you
are a co-commissioner on has stopped short of endorsing an official policy
solution in terms of body cameras.
Do you think you`re going to re-visit that?
RAMSEY: No, well, we actually, in our tech and social media, we do spend
time talking about body cameras, but we wanted to address a larger issue of
technology and how quickly it`s advancing the need for policy, the need to
make sure that we work within constitutional guidelines. I mean, today
we`re talking about body cameras. Tomorrow, it will be something else.
So, we didn`t want to just focus on one aspect of technology, but
certainly, most departments, including my own, are moving towards body
cameras. But I would hope that any legislature that`s planning on passing
legislation mandating the use of body cameras also supplies funding for
that, because it is a pretty expensive proposition.
HAYES: There`s also been proposals in a number of states to restrict the
right of citizens to videotape police interactions with police. What do
you think of those proposals?
RAMSEY: Well, I don`t agree with that. People have a right to videotape.
I don`t have a problem with that at all. You know, as long as they`re not
interfering with an arrest. If they`re interfering with an arrest, that`s
But people have the right to videotape. And our actions should be such
that it doesn`t matter if someone is videotaping. In fact, it could
actually help tell the story about what actually took place.
So, I think it would be a mistake to pass legislation like that. But it is
appropriate to make sure that people understand that they cannot interfere
with the arrest process.
HAYES: As a veteran police officer yourself, as a co-chair of this task
force on police form, what do you say to the hundreds of people who have
contacted me on social media, if not thousands, to say, look at how police
reported this when it happened and what actually happened. Why should we
believe what we hear from police officers when they self-report about some
officer-involved shooting or some incident with a suspect?
RAMSEY: Well, what I would hope people do is not stereotype and paint all
police with the same brush. I mean, essentially, many people are doing the
same thing they`re accusing police of doing, and that is stereotyping an
entire community or a group of people.
We`re all individuals. It doesn`t mean if there`s not misconduct on the
part of a few police officers, but we have 18,000 police departments in
this country, almost 500,000 law enforcement officers. The vast majority
of whom do the job very, very well – accurately report whatever took place
during the course of their tour of duty.
But there are some that don`t. And those are the ones that we have to weed
out and we have to deal with. I think this whole issue around videotaping
is going to go a long way toward making sure that there`s transparency in
terms of police conduct out there in the community. And I think that`s a
HAYES: Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, thank you very
much for your time.
RAMSEY: Thank you.
HAYES: While national attention was focusing on North Charleston, South
Carolina, there was something happening in Ferguson. Did the shooting of
unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson changed, who showed up to
vote in the first local election since Michael Brown`s death? We go to
Ferguson to find out. That`s ahead.
HAYES: More news out of South Carolina today, as newly minted Republican
presidential candidate Rand Paul made a campaign stop in the state in front
of the USS Yorktown aircraft carrier – a backdrop seemingly chosen as an
olive branch for hawks concerned about his past efforts to trim defense
The “more wars” caucus isn`t Paul`s only problem. Paul complained today
about the National Rifle Association decision not to invite him to speak,
alongside almost every major Republican presidential hopeful at the NRA`s
annual meeting tomorrow. A snub that raises the question, is Rand Paul too
extreme for the NRA? We`ll discuss that later in the show.
Plus, a Wisconsin state board votes to ban any discussion or work related
to global warming. I`ll talk to the lone dissenter in that vote, ahead.
Plus, change comes to Ferguson, Missouri. We take you inside this week`s
historic election in Ferguson. That`s next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEITH SUMMEY, MAYOR, NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C.: I was taken back by the warm
and kind reception that we received today from the family. They are an
outstanding family within our community. Those of you, however you choose
to offer up prayers, please pray for this family and the time that they`re
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Mayor of North Charleston is a man by the name of Keith Summey, who
has received high marks for the way he has handled the shooting death of
Walter Scott, particularly from the handful of folks I was talking to while
I was down there.
Of course Summey has a reason to take this all very seriously, other than
the obvious moral outrage over what North Charleston police officer Michael
Summey is a white Republican. He`s been in office for over 20 years, and
he`s up for re-election this year in a city that is 38 percent white, 47
percent African-American, and gave 71 percent of its vote to Barack Obama
in the 2012 presidential election.
Summey happens to be the mayor of a city where voter turnout in mayoral
elections tends to hover around 10 percent.
Battling similar voter turnout numbers in the past is the majority black
city of Ferguson, Missouri. Ferguson`s mayor is white. Its six-member
city council had only one African-American serving on it, but all that
changed on Tuesday when the city held its first municipal election since
the shooting death of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown and the subsequent
report that the city`s police department from the Department of Justice.
MSNBC National Reporter Trymaine Lee was there in Ferguson to chronicle the
LEE SMITH, FERGUSON CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATE: I`m asking for your vote and
we need to get things changed around here.
TRYMAINE LEE, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Election day in Ferguson. IUn the
city`s 120-year history, only three African-American candidates have run
for city council. But on tuesday, that all changed, with half of the seats
on the city council up for grabs, four African-American candidates were on
the ballot. And in the first municipal election since an unarmed 18-year-
old was fatally shot by a Ferguson police officer, a lot is at stake.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The new council could set Ferguson on a new path,
helping select a new city manager, police chief, and top judge. Leaders who
have resigned since the DOJ report.
LEE: In a city where two-thirds of the residents are African Americans,
there`s only one African American who currently serves on the city council.
Lee Smith was a candidate in ward three, home to the Canfield Green
apartments, where Michael Brown died.
So, what do you think it is about this time in Ferguson and the
circumstances that made it pop
like this. I mean, Michael Brown`s death sparked ina way that few other
LEE SMITH, FERGUSON CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATE: The governing body had just
become comfortable with taking advantage, I think, of people that don`t
The court system here, the law enforcement here, had became a place where
there was complete
disrespect of the citizens and especially in the African American
LEE: Wesley Bell, Smith`s opponent, is a lawyer and a judge in another
town. He hopes that the activism seen over the summer will turn into
WESLEY BELL, FERGUSON CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATE: You cannot effectuate
sustainable change without political access.
LEE: In ward 2, a familiar face is on the ballot. Ferguson`s former mayor,
and theman behind the I Love Ferguson campaign, Ryan Fletcher. He
acknowledged a need for change in how the police serve the community.
RYAN FLETCHER, FORMER FERGUSON MAYOR: I do favor the police department
staying, but we obviously have to have very, very heavy sensitivity and
diversity training with these
officers, and explain what is acceptable and what is not acceptable.
LEE: Fletcher`s opponent, Bob Hutchins, sees a starker reality.
BOB HUTCHINS, FERGUSON CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATE: We have a good community.
There are good people. There are good policemen. But, we`re in a system of
the courts and the police and again, economics, that is oppressing the
majority of this town.
LEE: Some voters, meanwhile, remain cautiously optimistic.
Moving forward, what kind of Ferguson do you want to see in the coming
SMITH: A closer relationship between the people and the political
individuals. Meaning the police department, meaning the mayor, meaning the
ones who actually make changes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good evening, the world will be watching as voters in
Ferguson go to the polls this week. Those voters have the chance to
transform the political landscape in that city.
LEE: Ferguson voters elected their former mayor, Brian Fletcher, to the
city council. They also elected two of the African American candidates on
the ballot. Wesley Bell was one of them.
The Ferguson city council now has three African American members and three
white members. And while a 29% turnout doesn`t seem like much, it`s more
than double the 12% that voted election.
Ultimately, history was made here on tuesday, a change was made to the
levers of power. The question now is, will it be enough?
BELL: We have an opportunity to effectuate broad, sustainable change. And
I think we`ve got to take advantage of that. We can`t look back three years
from now and say, oh, we missed an opportunity.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me me now, MSNBC`s National Reporter, Trymaine Lee, whose
voice you heard tracking that.
Trymaine, you`re now in North Charleston, you came straight from Ferguson,
where you`re covering that election.
In terms of Ferguson, there was a lot of emphasis, effort and attention put
on that election. What was your big takeaway from it?
LEE: I think the big takeaway was is that over the course of seven months,
the question really was always going to be, could all the organizing, and
all of the anger and protests amount to some sort of political power?
And in some ways, it did in this election, and some ways it didn`t, in
terms of the candidates of choice for many protesters. But as we mentioned
in that package, to go from 12% turnout last election to 30%, that`s an
extreme – that`s an explosion.
I was told by a state senator that in one polling place near Canfield Green
Michael Brown was killed, last election, four people showed up to vote.
That`s four. This year, when she was leaving, there were 80 people in that
Now, that`s big difference. And clearly, many folks are motivated by all of
the emotions and all of the context of the last seven months.
HAYES: In North Charleston, where you are now, when you and I were there,
we were talking to a bunch of different people who were sort of laying out
what the picture of that place is like.
And a lot of people, their first line was, this isn`t Ferguson, this isn`t
Ferguson, which seems to be true, both literally and but also in terms of
the level of tension there is.
But, a lot of people, I know that you were talking about, we were talking
about parts of North Charleston that are predominantly African American,
where folks feel like their profile doesn`t matter, of course.
LEE: That`s right. So the same issues that were reflected in the
Department of Justice report out of Ferguson, disproportionate stops of
black folks, wide and long complaints from some community members saying
they were targeted and harassed by the police.
You`re hearing the same things here. And, so why this isn`t Ferguson, one
in that the police officer, Michael Slager, was charged with murder, and
he`s locked up right now in the county jail. So the system seems to be
working. But they say the killing itself just highlights, you know, the
breadth of the issue here.
And talking about the city council in Ferguson. Just in about an hour ago,
a dozen or so protesters, many of them Black Lives Matter protesters,
spilled from city hall behind me.
What they did is they actually read a list of demands. One of those demands
was that they wanted a sit-down meeting with the mayor within 24 hours to
set a meeting within the next seven days.
They want a civilian complaint review board with subpoena power. They also
want to push for a voter registration drive to kind of change the
complexion of what`s going on here politically.
But they also, outside of politics, want to start something called the Do
Shoot campaign, where if you see someone pulled over by the police, you
pull out your camera and shoot it. Many of them say that, again, without
video of this killing of Walter Scott, there would be no arrest. The would
be no murder charges.
And so, here they`re trying to figure out the same thing. How do they turn
this anger into some sort of political power or power otherwise?
HAYES: Trymaine Lee, thank you very much.
LEE: Thank you.
HAYES: All right. Why has the NRA snubbed a guy who says there`s no
greater advocate for the second amendment in congress than himself? An
HAYES: On Tuesday, we told you about how activists affiliated with
Greenpeace used climbing equipment to board and set up camp on a drill rig,
that`s being hauled across the Pacific Ocean, in an effort to draw
attention to Shell`s plans to use the rig to drill for oil in the Arctic
later this summer.
The company has not drilled in the Arctic since 2012. The rig, which the
activist boarded three days ago, is now northeast of Hawaii, en route to
Seattle, where Shell hopes to base its Arctic drilling staging ground.
The company has now filed a complaint in federal court in Alaska against
Greenpeace, seeking an injunction to get the activist off the rig, and to
prevent similar actions in the future. The activists say they have no plans
to leave, and they have hung a pair of bar banners to the rig to show the
Earlier today, we spoke to one of the activists Aliyah Field, and asked
when she expected to get off the rig.
ALIYAH FIELD, POLITICAL ACTIVIST: I`m wondering the same thing myself, in
the middle of the cold, cold nights. But I really don`t know. I know that
myself and my teammates are all pretty
committed to staying here for as long as we can and as long as it takes to
get our message out and
I guess we`re just going to find out how long that really is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m eagerly anticipating meeting 100,000 of my fellow
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, we`re here to see the vendors and also just
support the NRA, it`s been so crucial in defending our entire constitution,
and not just our second ammendment.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And there are a lot of folks here in the NRA that are
out here for the first time. that makes my heart grow with joy. A lot of
kids and women. I mean, it`s wonderful!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: It is wonderful. The NRA`s annual convention starts tomorrow in
Nashville. Practically the entire 2016 Republican primary field is
scheduled to speak tomorrow. Two notable exceptions, however, Chris
Christie and Rand Paul.
Now, according to the NRA, neither was invited to address the NRA`s
leadership forum. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie got a “C” rating from
the NRA back in 2013 when he ran for re-election.
But as Politico points out, Senator Rand Paul on the other hand, maintains
an “A” rating with the group.
So why is an official 2016 presidential candidate who is, frankly, a gun
rights maximalist, in good standing with the NRA, being snubbed by the NRA?
The Daily Beast`s Olivia Nutsy suggests that Rand Paul just might be too
extreme for the
NRA. Rand Paul has passed ties to other gun rights groups who see
themselves as conservative
options to the NRA. Groups like Gun Owners for America, and the National
Association for Gun Rights.
Takes Gun Owners for America, for instance, whose website has testimony
from Ron Paul,
proudly displayed, calling the group, quote, the only no-compromise gun
lobby in Washington. And his chief council, just days after the Sandy Hook
mass shooting, accused the NRA of hiding from the press saying, quote,
people see the NRA as AWOL and I think a lot of people see and hear us
fighting, at a time when gun control advocats are ready for battle, they`ll
In an interview with Bloomberg Politics today, Rand Paul acknowledged the
cold shoulder from the NRA, but shrugged it off, telling reporter Dave
Weigel, quote, it probably looks a little bit petty for them not to invite
a major candidate because I raised money for other second amendment groups.
According to Politico, the NRA claims Paul wasn`t invited simply because
accommodate all the 2016 hopefuls.
Joining me now, Joan Walsh, editor at large for Salon.
I love this story.
JOAN WALSH, SALON: It`s a great story.
HAYES: There`s a few things here. One is, you know it strikes me that Rand
Paul, like Chris Christie, is someone who, kind of likes fighting, likes
arguing, likes being in beefs with people. Derives some sense of personal
satisfaction from it.
WALSH: He enjoys it personally and he enjoys it politically.
He really wants to show to the right that he`s a guy who will stand up to
female journalists, on the one hand, and the NRA, let`s point out, on the
HAYES: Yeah, right. Doesn`t this, I mean, the rights of the narrative is,
oh, this guy, he`s a jerk to female journalists, but like, he`s beefing the
WALSH: I`ve come around to that point too.
HAYES: Equal opportunity!
WALSH: I`m happy to see that. But, you know, the NRA, he`s right, in a
way, they are being
very petty. He does have an “A” rating and he is a top tier candidate, like
it or not.
It`s sort of strange, unless you look at the NRA as a big racket, which it
is, and he`s with this
On the other hand, the other rackets are really pretty shady operations,
too. It`s hard for me to be
sympathetic to the NRA, but they`re pretty creepy.
HAYES: Yeah, the National Association of Gun Rights, NAGR, which Politico
today pointed out, is basically sort of supported and has affiliates,
people working for it, who are direct male fund-raising consultants, who
are also super tight with his father, Ron Paul. I believe the figure is one
of these outfits made 7.7 million dollars off of that –
WALSH: 20% of the money that Ron Paul raised in 2012 went to this guy who
founded the NAGR.
HAYES: Right, okay.
And he is now working for Rand Paul.
HAYES: Right. So, I mean, this is what this place were like, when you
start gettinginto the world of the business around people that love Ron
Paul, it`s frankly like, looks like a big grift. It really looks like a
bunch of grifters.
WALSH: It is. It`s grifters versus grifters. But, these are kind of shady
black helicopter kind of grifters.
I mean, I was looking at some of the letters that Rand Paul signed for this
HAYES: And Rand Paul signed these?
WALSH: They`re from Rand Paul. Senator Rand Paul, give us all your money,
because Barack Obama wants to take away your guns. They make up quotes from
the President that he never said, they accuse him of signing the U.N. Small
Arms Treaty, which again is going to take all of our arms, which it is not,
it has not even been signed. They make up lies and they raise money around
these very scary lies.
It`s a big grift, it`s a big paranoid grift.
HAYES: This also raises the fact that we talk a lot about Bush/Clinton,
Bush/Clinton, familiar politics, or dynastic politics in the case of Jeb
Bush, but Rand Paul is a dynastic candidate in a very, very direct sense.
He worked on his father`s campaigns. His – a lot of people around him are
his dad`s people, this firm being a perfect example, and he`s going to have
to answer for them and deal with that world.
WALSH: You know, he – yesterday, one of the great things in the interview
with Savannah that
nobody talked about was that he actually said – he made one of the
statements about Iran. When he was working for another candidate, he didn`t
say my candidate, didn`t say Ron Paul. There`s a weird way in which he`s
trying to shove his father in the background.
HAYES: That is a great catch. Just another candidate.
WALSH: Just another candidate. Can`t rember his name, though.
HAYES: And the big question is going to be, those are his people, like,
that`s his base? That`s why he`s got the organization and the following
that he does, and I think he`s a very talented politician, obviously.
But, those are also those people are going to be the people that come back
to bite him.
WALSH: Again and again.
HAYES: Joan Walsh, thanks for joining us.
Alright, following Florida`s lead, the State of Wisconsin also decides it
would be a good idea to ban the phrase “climate change”. That`s next.
JEFF CLEMENS, STATE SENATOR: What were those words you were using?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I used climate change, but I`m suggesting that maybe as
a state, we use atmospheric reemployment, that might be something that the
governor can get behind.
But, my understanding is, at this point, is that it will require that
future versions of our mitigation plan will be required to have language
discussing that issue.
CLEMENS: What issue is that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The issue that you mentioned earlier regarding…
UNIDNETIFIED MALE: I`m going to turn the chair back over. Well, maybe I
shouldn`t right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Florida Governor Rick Scott denied reports that state agencies were
unofficially banned from using the words “Climate Change” or “Global
Warming” in official communication, though the strenuous efforts by his
chief of emergency management to avoid precisely those words to pretty
ridiculous effect seemed to tell a different story.
Now another agency in a different state appears to be following suit. This
week, Wisconsin`s Board of Commissioners of Public Lands voted 2-1 to ban
any discussion or work related to global
warming at the agency, which manages land and funds for the benefit of the
state`s public schools.
The ban on mentioning climate change was championed by the newly elected
treasurer, Matt Adamczyk who explained, quote, it`s not a part of our sole
mission, which is to make money for our beneficiaries, that`s what I want
our employees working on, that`s it.
Adamczyk cited concerns that executive secretary Tia Nelson had spent the
board`s time working on climate issues back in 2007 and 2008, when she was
appointed to a global warming task force by Wisconsin`s then-governor.
Nelson is the daughter of the late Wisconsin governor and U.S. senator,
Gaylord Nelson, the
very same man who founded Earth Day, 1970. And Adamczyk had previously
tried and failed to get her booted from the board altogether.
Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Shimmel, also Republican, joined Adamczyk
in voting for the ban, saying in a statement, quote, “it would be
irresponsible for me to vote to prospectively permit government employees
to engage in political activity while at work. I would have voted the same
to any political activity.”
Joining me now, the lone dissenter in that vote, Wisconsin`s Democratic`s
secretary of state,
Doug La Follette.
Mr. Secretary of State, is this political work they`re talking about? I`m
a little confused about what the nature of the objection is here?
DOUG LA FOLLETTE, WISCONSIN SECRETARY OF STATE: Well, this is all part of
a national trend, that I find very threatening. And I was trained a as a
scientist. Before I was elected, I taught environmental science at the
university, so I understand science. And for these elected politicians,
who either don`t know any better or use it for political purposes to not
only deny important science like climate change, but to forbid other people
from being involved in it, even when, in the case of Wisconsin, it`s
relevant. We manage some 70,000 acres of forestland. And anybody who
knows anything about it knows that climate change is affecting the forest,
the species of trees, the health of the forest. And people in northern
Wisconsin are concerned about this. And we should be able to work with
them and analyze what climate change might be doing to the forestland that
HAYES: Yeah, I just want to be clear about the relevance here. You know,
there is an insect called the pine beetle, which is currently cutting a
swath of destruction across the western U.S. and up into Canada, destroying
lumber towns at higher – further and further northern latitudes as the
planet warms that`s destroyed forests.
You are a steward of the north woods in Wisconsin, which I`ve been to,
which are absolutely gorgeous, huge source of tourist visits and such for
the state. That is under your purview, right?
LA FOLLETTE: Well, exactly. And we manage that forest sustainably. The
goal is to make it last as long as possible. And so that we can continue
to raise money for our beneficiaries, which are the
schoolchildren of Wisconsin. And for these politicians, who don`t know any
better, or for personal vendetta – if he has a personal vendetta against
Tia Nelson, and as you pointed out, he`s tried to get her fired, because he
holds a grudge, to use this scientific issue, which is probably one of the
most important issues facing our planet in the next couple of decades, for
political purposes, is just outrageous.
HAYES: How has the state, under the stewardship of the governor, Scott
Walker, who I should note is not part of the three memer – commissions of
the board of public lands, how has Scott Walker`s
stewardship in Wisconsin done in terms of preparing for, acknowledging
LA FOLLETTE: Well, not very well. The task force that Tia Nelson was on
appointed by a
previous governor came up with a number of recommendations that the
Republican legislature refused to pass. Our current governor has slowed
down the use of wind energy. He has eliminated the scientists from the
Department of Natural Resources. He is basically doing nothing positive to
deal with this issue.
And I think that`s a shame.
HAYES: You`re a politician as well as a scientist. You had to get
yourself elected in Wisconsin. I wonder, do you feel that voters in a
place like northern Wisconsin, which is a beautiful part of the country,
feel viscerally, that this is an actual issue that`s going to start to show
up on their doorsteps, is starting to show up on their doorsteps?
LA FOLLETTE: Well, I think the ones that are involved in the timber
industry do. In fact, a number of associations of forest management in
northern Wisconsin, on private land, on the national forests, have been
discussing this issue. And they actually invited our staff to participate.
B ut now
under this gag rule, we`re not going to be allowed to participate with the
other land managers in northern Wisconsin. It`s ridiculous.
HAYES: You`re saying the other land managers who have to manage forests up
there, recognize this as an issue, including parts of the timber industry,
saying, hey, let`s talk about what this is going to mean for these forests.
You are now – your bureau is now banned from that, as of this vote?
LA FOLLETTE: Exactly. Isn`t that ridiculous?
HAYES: So the private industry gets to acknowledge the obvious science.
The government has to pretend to be stupid in this case.
Doug La Follette, thank you very much. Appreciate it.
LA FOLLETTE: You bet.
HAYES: All right, that is All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow show
starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.
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