The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 12/16/2015
Show: THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW
Date: December 16, 2015
Guest: Jon Ralston, Dan Moynihan
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Alex. Thanks very much.
And thanks to you at home for joining us this hour.
The first Republican debate, the first one this year, it was in the
swing state of all swing states, it was in Ohio. A little bit of drama
about that location for the first debate, because it was very possible for
a long time that the rules FOX News was using to determine eligibility for
that first debate might have resulted in the sitting Republican governor of
Ohio not being allowed into the debate, even though it was in his own home
Governor John Kasich of Ohio almost had to watch that debate from
home, which is the governor`s mansion, which would have been really weird
for that first debate in Ohio. Luckily, though, in the end he made it.
The second Republican debate was held in California, which is a state
that is 100 percent totally irrelevant in presidential politics. It`s the
polar opposite of Ohio in that sense. But it`s also where the Reagan
Library is. So, they put the second debate there at the Reagan Library so
the candidates could all stand in front of Ronald Reagan`s big plane, his
Air Force One and CNN kept them sweating, standing there for more than
three hours in what was roughly 100 degree heat.
Third debate was in Boulder, Colorado. That was a really interesting
choice because Colorado isn`t even holding a primary in this presidential
election – not a caucus, not a primary, nothing. Colorado is opting out
of the process of choosing the Republican nominee this year. They are the
only state in the union that has just decided that they are not going to
take part in picking the Republican presidential nominee.
So, obvious place for a Republican presidential debate then, in front
of an audience that has no stake in the race whatsoever? Sure. That was
the third one.
Fourth Republican debate this year was in Milwaukee, Wisconsin,
which, you know, Wisconsin frankly hasn`t been that much of a presidential
swing state recently. It, therefore, didn`t make all that much sense as a
venue for the fourth debate, except for the fact that the chairman of the
RNC is from Wisconsin and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was expected by
many Republican insiders to be the likely front-runner by that time in the
race. In fact, by the time that Milwaukee debate rolled around, Scott
Walker had already quit running for president weeks earlier.
So, the most interesting question heading into the Milwaukee debate
sort of ended up being the question of whether or not Scott Walker who had
quit already, whether he would stay home because it would be weird that he
wasn`t participating or whether he just showed up and take a sit in the
hall and watched from the audience. It turns out, Scott Walker showed up,
took a sit on the aisle and watched from the audience.
So, it`s interesting. Location matters for these things. There
aren`t all that many debates. It is a significant choice by the party as
to where these things happen for good or for bad.
It turns out that last night for the fifth debate, it was just a
spectacular choice of venue. It was right on the news, even leading the
news because, yes, last night`s fifth Republican debate was in Las Vegas,
and that makes sense in pure political calendar terms because after Iowa
and then New Hampshire and then South Carolina, the next place that
Republican presidential candidates compete this year is in Nevada, the
Nevada caucuses. Nevada is third in the country for the Democrats this
year, fourth in the country for the Republicans.
And so, Nevada is a really important early state. It`s the first
western state. And so, overall, Nevada is very, very sparsely populated,
doesn`t have all that many people in it as a state, but those few people
are a really important audience for the presidential candidates. So, that
makes sense that you`d do a debate in Nevada.
Beyond just being in Nevada, though, beyond being in Nevada`s
population center of Las Vegas, there`s also one other reason that last
night`s debate venue was perfect in every way, and that`s because the
specific place in Las Vegas where they held last night`s debate is a hotel
called The Venetian, the biggest hotel and casino in Las Vegas.
The version of The Venetian that`s in Macau in China is the single
biggest casino in the world. And both of them and a lot more casinos and
hotels beside, they`re run by a conservative Republican multi-billionaire
named Sheldon Adelson.
Sheldon Adelson is a familiar name because he`s the zillionaire who
spent more money in the last election than any single other person in the
United States of America.
It was fascinating actually because he`s a Republican and his side
didn`t win obviously, but I think Sheldon Adelson had a huge effect on the
race in 2012. And it interesting because his effect on that race was
totally derived not just from the fact he was a Republican, it was derived
from his individual quirky personal preferences about who in Republican
politics he personally liked and who he personally didn`t.
What most people remember about Sheldon Adelson`s effort to basically
buy the Republican primary in 2012 was that more than anything in that
race, Sheldon Adelson that was Gingrich`s money guy. Sheldon Adelson
pumped $25 million of his sweet, sweet casino guys into the campaign to
elect Newt Gingrich, the Newt Gingrich campaign and his super PACs.
And Sheldon Adelson repeatedly said there would be more with that are
came from. He said people should think of his potential spending on the
2012 race as limitless.
Do you remember when Gingrich stormed into 2012 in South Carolina and
just destroyed Mitt Romney there? Newt Gingrich beat Mitt Romney in South
Carolina by 12 points and won that primary. That win in South Carolina was
on the strength of some good Newt Gingrich debate performances definitely.
But it also came after the airing of a half-hour long anti-Mitt Romney ad
masquerading as a documentary called “The King of Bain: When Mitt Romney
Came to Town.”
Pro-Newt Gingrich forces paid to run that brutal, half hour long ad
ahead of the South Carolina primary. And did I mention the thing was a
half hour long?
You do not run a half-hour long ad repeatedly without really, really,
really deep pockets. And Newt Gingrich`s deep pockets were in this guy`s
pants in 2012. And even though Newt Gingrich did not win the Republican
nomination in 2012, Sheldon Adelson`s zillions of dollars he spent on that
race really did have a huge effect on the race, because remember, Mitt
Romney had a hard time locking up the nomination. It`s basically because a
bunch of the Republican base didn`t see Mr. Romney as conservative enough.
The good news for Mr. Romney about that was that even though the base
didn`t like him, the base had a hard time settling on an alternative. They
had a hard time agreeing on who else they might like better instead of Mitt
Romney. They kept skipping around.
So, Herman Cain did pretty well in the early polls and Newt Gingrich
won that primary in South Carolina. Rick Santorum actually won Iowa and
then won about ten other states all over the country.
If the conservative Republican base in 2012 was going to come to a
consensus on an alternative to Mitt Romney in 2012, it was this guy, it was
Rick Santorum, who had the best chance of being that, as long as he could
consolidate all of the not Mitt Romney votes. And Rick Santorum was never
able to consolidate all of the not Mitt Romney votes at least in part
because Sheldon Adelson kept funding Newt Gingrich to the gills, keeping
him in the race long after he was otherwise viable.
And that does not appear to have been an accident. Sheldon Adelson
was really upfront about this in 2012. He said he really, really liked
Newt Gingrich the best. Newt Gingrich was definitely his candidate. He
said he was sort of OK with Mitt Romney, he could live with Mitt Romney if
he had to, he`d be all right with Romney, OK, fine.
But he wanted everybody to know, this Rick Santorum guy, no. Likable
enough guy but he`s the one candidate who Sheldon Adelson believed could
not end up being president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHELDON ADELSON: I know Rick, I like him, we`re friendly, but I
don`t want him running my country.
The problem with Romney is and I`ve talked to Romney many, many
times, as recently as he was here in Vegas for the caucuses a couple, few
weeks ago. He`s not the bold decision-maker like Newt Gingrich is. He
doesn`t want to – every time I talk to him, he says – well, let me think
about it. Everything I`ve said to Mitt, let me look into it.
I`m in favor of Newt Gingrich because I like people who make
decisions. He`s a decision-maker.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: He`s a decision-maker. Mitt Romney a little mealy mouth, I
like Newt better. But Rick Santorum, the exact quote, “I don`t want him
running my country.” My country.
So, Sheldon Adelson picked Newt Gingrich and kept Newt Gingrich in
the race well beyond his natural life span in that race, at least in part
to box out Rick Santorum. So, Rick Santorum came in second overall, but
importantly, he did not win.
Sheldon Adelson got his second choice pick for the Republican
presidential nominee. Can`t have Newt Gingrich, all right, I can settle
for Mitt Romney. Once Mitt Romney was the nominee, Sheldon Adelson went on
to spend so much in his overall multi-varied efforts to defeat Democrats
and President Obama, he went on to spend so much in 2012 that he is widely
considered to be the single largest individual campaign donor in the
history of this country based on what he alone individually spent in 2012.
And so, the Republicans spent their fifth debate last night in his
house, at the Venetian, his hotel, on the Las Vegas Strip and he had a
front row seat.
It turns out he knew a guy. Yes. NBC News reports before that
debate, Sheldon Adelson had one-on-one meetings with not one, not two but
at least four of the leading Republican presidential candidates, he took
personal meetings yesterday ahead of last night`s debate with Donald Trump,
with Jeb Bush, with Marco Rubio and with Ted Cruz.
And, you know, why wouldn`t you take a one-on-one meeting with
Sheldon Adelson? Even on your last day of your debate prep, even at the
crunchiest of crunch times in terms of getting ready for this crucial
debate. I mean, Sheldon Adelson really is the guy who can buy the primary
for you if he wants to, or he can at least bury your opponent for you if
you ask nicely, and if you pledge allegiance to his issues. Learn from the
lessons of Rick Santorum, why don`t you? Look what happened to him.
The Koch brothers get all the attention as conservative donors. But
Sheldon Adelson, he is, A, not afraid to have his money on what he`s doing,
B, happy to explain what he`s doing. And, C, he is the one man more than
any other who has proven himself willing to spend the most money in the
country to either pick his preferred president for the United States or at
least orchestrate the Republican Party`s nominee.
He has such an outsize influence on Republican politics in his home
state of Nevada, that when Nevada held their Republican presidential
caucuses in 2012, veteran Nevada political reporter Jon Ralston, is the
dean of political reporting in Nevada, Jon Ralston reported at the time
that Nevada Republicans established a special one precinct caucus just for
Sheldon Adelson. His caucus closed its doors hours later than all the
other precincts in the whole state just to accommodate Sheldon Adelson`s
religious observance of the Sabbath. They held that special hours late
caucus fittingly, in a building that had Sheldon Adelson`s name on it.
So, it must be nice, right? It not like the guy doesn`t have sway.
And now, there is the matter of the largest newspaper in the state of
Nevada, “The Las Vegas Review Journal”. “The Review Journal” has been at
the heart of a major journalistic mystery for the past few days. Since we
got word the paper had been sold for cash, for an unexpectedly ginormous
amount of cash to an owner or owners who prefer to be remain anonymous.
All week long, reporters have been protesting in ways quiet and loud.
They`ve been trying to report out their own story of their own paper. As a
reporter or an editor, it`s bizarre and in some ways verges on unethical to
be in the dark as to who owns you as to who is your boss. As a state, it`s
just bizarre for Nevada to not know who is the owner of the state`s largest
paper, particularly on the eve of the hugely important early presidential
caucuses tht are about to happen in that state.
Well, after a week of speculation and hand-wringing and protest and
fruitless reporting on who the mystery buyers or buyer might be, today,
after Sheldon Adelson`s casino hosted the fifth Republican debate last
night, today, “Fortune” magazine reported that according to their anonymous
sources, surprise, indeed the mystery cash buyer of the largest newspaper
in the state is Sheldon Adelson.
And it`s interesting. He has never been shy. He has never been
anonymous about where he`s put his money and what he`s trying to influence
in the past.
But until today, if this reporting is true, he was apparently a
little shy about this and didn`t want his name on it.
A reporter for CNN says that he spoke with Mr. Adelson about this
last night and, as of last night, Mr. Adelson still would not say that he
was the new owner of the paper. He told CNN that he has, quote, “no
personal interest in the paper”.
But two sources tell “Fortune” today, the day after the debate that,
yes, it`s Sheldon Adelson. If “Fortune`s” reporting is borne out, it would
seem that Mr. Adelson didn`t intend for no one to ever know that he just
bought the media in his state. It just didn`t want anybody talking about
it until after he hosted all the candidates and their debate last night
because, you know, wouldn`t want to be a distraction from the robust,
inspiring, small D democratic process, by which we citizens pick our
president in this country, wouldn`t want to distract from that.
Joining us now is Jon Ralston. He`s the host of “Ralston Live,”
which airs statewide in Nevada on PBS. He`s also former columnist for the
“Las Vegas Review Journal.”
Jon Ralston, it is great to see you, my friend. It`s really nice to
have you back.
JON RALSTON, RALSTON LIVE: Always great to be with you, Rachel.
MADDOW: So, first, I have to ask you, we`ve got two anonymous
sources to “Fortune”. We`ve got a sort of cryptic quote to CNN last night.
What do you know or what do you understand about this? Do you think that
Sheldon Adelson just bought the biggest paper in the state?
RALSTON: I think Sheldon Adelson is involved, Rachel. It was my
guess from the beginning because he fit the profile. Who has that much
loose change lying around and $140 million that he can just overpay for an
operation that really isn`t doing that well? Who essentially would want to
use a newspaper for political or business purposes?
As you know, Sheldon Adelson own as newspaper in Israel and has often
been accused of using that as a political bludgeon. And who would – and
you alluded to this – who would not care what people thought about him
owning a newspaper? And, of course, the one thing that goes against it is
Now, I got some information myself late today, Rachel. I talked to
somebody close to Adelson who said, and this quote was very interesting,
“Sheldon Adelson did not personally buy `The Review Journal`.”
Now, why insert the word “personally”?
RALSTON: There was a parsing going on here. He`s involved probably
in an LLC with other people, maybe family members, maybe people close to
him. I have no idea who “Fortune`s” sources are, but my source is a pretty
MADDOW: Jon, in terms of the potential he wants to own the biggest
paper in the state in order to expand political influence that way,
obviously, the tale for him in 2012 is lurid and fascinating and very
expensive in terms of the way he tried to and I think did influence the
Republican race that year. What do we know about what he wants this year?
RALSTON: Well, that`s a really good question. First, let me just
tell people, “The Review Journal” editorial page is already very
conservative. It`s set out to defeat Harry Reid in 2010 unsuccessfully.
But I guess the issue would be his – what Sheldon Adelson wants to do in
2016 that he was unable to do in 2012 is actually back a winner, right?
RALSTON: He wants to elect, help elect the next president of the
United States. He wants to help that person in the primary.
First, you mentioned those four meetings that he had. He met with
Marco Rubio and I think he`s very impressed with Marco Rubio. I think if
Sheldon Adelson buys the conventional wisdom that Marco Rubio is the
strongest general election candidate.
Sheldon Adelson, people may not know this about him because he`s
known for his conservative views and his views on Israel is a pro-
immigration reform guy. I think he thinks that issue was going to help
determine the next president of the United States.
Now, I happen to think Marco Rubio has a lot of problems on that when
they came out in debate at Sheldon Adelson`s place, but I believe Sheldon
Adelson right now thinks Marco Rubio is the most viable candidate.
I think he likes Ted Cruz, too, don`t get me wrong, but I think he
thinks Ted Cruz is more of a just base candidate who might not be as strong
in a general election.
If he owns the biggest paper in the state, could he theoretically use
that to help elevate Marco Rubio, who, by the way, already as well organize
in Nevada? Of course he could. Could he help influence the debate in the
general election if Marco Rubio becomes the nominee? Of course he could.
So, again, this is all speculation but I know for a fact that there
have been discussions inside Sheldon Adelson`s inner circle for quite some
time about buying that newspaper.
MADDOW: Jon Ralston, host of Ralston live out there in Nevada, the
guy who always knows, if it can be know, you`re always the guy who know.
Jon, it`s great to see you. Thank you for being here.
RALSTON: Thank you.
MADDOW: By the way, that Republican debate that Sheldon Adelson
hosted at his casino last night, where he sat right there in the front row,
it ended up being the third most watched primary debate ever in the history
of the United States, 18 million people watched. Not as many as watched
CNN`s last Republican debate in September but way more than watched the
last two debates.
Sometimes, it feels like everyone in America is just sick of politics
and can`t take it anymore. This is not one of those times. Not when 18
million people watched even that one last night.
More on that just ahead. Stay with us.
MADDOW: Interesting and I think soon to be consequential news out of
Ohio tonight. Contrary to what you may have seen or heard, there is a man
name George Pataki, who is still running for president. He does, though,
have a weird way of doing it.
Earlier this month, Governor Pataki became the only Republican
candidate who failed to qualify for the Republican primary ballot in the
state of Florida. That seemed bad. That seemed like a bad sign for the
question of whether or not he was actually running.
We asked his campaign about the fact he wasn`t going to be on the
ballot in Florida and his spokesman wrote us back one line, quote, “Last I
checked, Florida is winner take all.” We asked for an explanation, we
couldn`t get any further explanation. I think just that means they think
George Pataki has not chance of winning in Florida and so they didn`t even
bother trying to get him on the ballot there.
The problem is that`s the kind of logic that could be applied to a
lot of places around the country if you are George Pataki. Like for
instance Ohio. Today was the deadline for candidates to file to get on the
Ohio Republican primary ballot. Almost all of them made it.
My friend Jim Gilmore did not qualify, but all of the rest of them
did, all except for George Pataki, because the Ohio secretary of state`s
office said George Pataki never tried to get on the ballot. He never even
The Pataki campaign has not responded to our request for comment this
evening on why they didn`t even try to get him on the ballot in Ohio, but
he will not be on the ballot in Ohio. And, yes, for the record, Ohio is
also a winner take all state in terms of delegates, just like Florida. So,
maybe that`s it? They think it`s not even worth it to try because there`s
no chance they`ll get anything out of it? Maybe.
But if you`re running a betting fool about which Republican candidate
is going to quit the race next, I got to tell you, you are going to win
absolutely nothing in that betting pool if you are betting against ol`
George Pataki. Honestly, he isn`t even trying anymore.
MADDOW: Russia is the largest nation on earth physically. It`s
ginormous. It covers an area equal to basically 1/8 the size of all the
inhabited land on earth. We think of China as huge but Russia is
We`re pretty big, too. We`ve got outlying areas in Hawaii and Alaska
that give as you big geographical reach across a big spread of the globe,
but you know what? Russia has got 11 time zones contiguously across the
belly of their huge country. We`ve got three. They`ve got 11.
Still, though, as big as Russia is, in 1971, Russia decided in one
really specific way, there were not big enough because even though their
huge size means their own military bases just inside Russia span a huge
portion of the globe and a bunch of the most important waterways on earth,
in 1971, 44 years ago, Russia decided what they really needed was a naval
base, a military port on the Mediterranean.
So, outside of Russia – yes, on the Mediterranean, way over there,
helpful for even more geographic reach for that giant country, also and
helpful to have a nice warm weather port when a lot of your other ports are
pretty freaking icy in the winter. And so, in 1971, Russia entered into a
long-term lease deal with the nation of Syria, for Russia to operate a big
old Russian navy base inside Syria. It`s Russia`s only big military port
outside of Russia itself.
They took it over in 1971. They operated it for 20 years until the
Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, they have operated it for the next 24 years
since then. It`s a really important. It`s a really important lily pad for
Tartus, this base in Syria, it`s Russia`s outpost on the
Mediterranean. It`s their outpost in the world. That`s how they are in
Syria. It`s very important to them. They`ve been there for more than a
Really, it`s very important to them. They have been there for more
than a generation now, I swear. Governor Christie, I swear.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WOLF BLITZER, CNN MODERATOR: Governor Christie.
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R-NJ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Wolf, I`ll tell
what you reckless is. What reckless is, is calling Assad a reformer. What
reckless is, is allowing Russia to come into Crimea and Ukraine. What
reckless is is inviting Russia into Syria.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Gosh darn you, Barack Obama, for traveling back in time and
inviting Russia into Syria when you were 10 years old in 1971. That was so
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTIE: What reckless is is inviting Russia into Syria.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: To be clear, Russia already in Syria. But it was that kind
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARLY FIORINA (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: One of the things I would
immediately do in addition to defeating them here at home is bring back the
warrior class, Petraeus, McChrystal, Mattis, Keane, Flynn, every single one
of these generals I know. Everyone was retired early because they told
President Obama things that he didn`t want to hear.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Carly Fiorina last night saying that General David Petraeus
was retired early for telling President Obama things he didn`t want to
hear. General Petraeus actually left the army in order to become head of
the CIA under President Obama, and then he left that job because he had an
extramarital affair and gave classified information to his mistress for
which he was found guilty of a crime. Maybe she meant a different General
As for General McChrystal, he left after an unflattering portrayal of
him and his top staffers was written by the late reporter Michael Hastings
and then published in “Rolling Stone”. It`s possible, though, that Carly
Fiorina meant an entirely different General McChrystal who`s nobody has
ever heard of.
I`m quite sure, though, that she knew who she was talking about when
she mentioned General Jack Keane. I know that`s who she was talking about
because he`s on FOX News all the time. So, I know that`s who she was
He, too, she said was retired early after giving President Obama
advice that the president didn`t want to hear. Let`s let FOX take it from
here. This is freaking amazing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FIORINA: One of the things I would immediately do in addition to
defeating them here at home is bring back the warrior class, Petraeus,
McChrystal, Mattis, Keane, Flynn, every single one of these generals I
know, every one was retired early because they told President Obama things
that he didn`t want to hear.
FOX ANCHOR: You heard it, Carly Fiorina last night mentioned General
Jack Keane by name and guess who is here, General Jack Keane, alive and
alert and with us this morning.
Did you in fact, general, give advice to President Obama which he
didn`t want to hear and didn`t take?
GEN. JACK KEANE: No, I`ve never spoken to the president. That`s not
accurate. And I never served this administration. I served the previous
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: General Jack Keane retired in 2003 when Barack Obama was a
member of the Illinois State Senate. But somehow surely he exerted his
evil Obama influence from the Illinois state house to take down good
General Jack Keane because of his advice that made the state senator so
And now, Carly Fiorina will restore the general for his billet.
Honestly, though, it was that kind of night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTIE: I will tell you this, when I stand across from King
Hussein of Jordan, I say you have a friend again, sir, who will stand with
you to fight this fight. He`ll change his mind.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: You see the serious thing at the end? He`s like nailed it,
yes. Got the name in there. Whoo.
Chris Christie really going for it there saying he will give King
Hussein of Jordan what-for.
This is footage of the funeral of King Hussein of Jordan from when he
died in 1999. He`s been dead 16 years. And his son, the king of Jordan,
since then, King Abdullah, he`s not exactly like an obscure low-profile
guy. If American political leaders know the name of one king in the Middle
East, it`s probably King Abdullah. But not last night, not with these
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HUGH HEWITT, MODERATOR: Mr. Trump, Dr. Carson just referenced the
single most important job of the president, the command, the control, and
the care of our nuclear forces. And he mentioned the triad. The B-52s are
older than I. The missiles are old, the submarines are aging out. It`s an
executive order. It`s a commander in chief decision.
What`s your priority among our nuclear triad?
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, we need somebody we
can trust, who is totally responsible, who really knows what he or she is
doing that is so powerful and so important.
HEWITT: The three legs of the triad, though, do you have a priority?
TRUMP: To me, nuclear is just the power, the devastation is very
important to me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: It was that kind of night. The devastation is very
important to me. Just the power, devastation, that`s what really counts,
It has been a really interesting question in American politics as to
what would happen in the Republican Party on national security and foreign
policy after the catastrophe of the last Republican administration, the
Bush/Cheney administration. We really need two parties who are good at
this issue in order to have good policy on this issue. We need good debate
because this stuff is hard and our best decisions will come out of good,
Can the Republican Party hold up its end of the debate? What would
the Republican Party become on national security after the disaster of Bush
Huge question. Huge, important question. Please, God, let this not
be their final answer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I think to me nuclear is just the power, the devastation is
very important to me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: So this letter was sent out this week to parents of school
kids in Baltimore.
“Dear parents, families and community members, as you are all aware,
the trial of the first police officer in the death of Mr. Freddie Gray is
drawing to a close and a verdict could be rendered as early as this week.
Like the mayor and city police officials, I`m concerned about the
possibility of civil disorder following announcement of the verdict.
I need your help in preparing our students to act responsibly and
safely in the event that disorders occur. Students walkouts, vandalism,
civil disorder and any form of violence are not acceptable under any
The letter was much longer than that, it goes on for several
paragraphs, that`s the general gist of it, though, and it is signed by the
bottom by the CEO of Baltimore city publics.
So, that letter went out, got sent him home on Monday. Yesterday,
the lawyers for that officers, the first officer to be charged in this
case, they moved for a mistrial and change of venue specifically because of
that letter. They said that letter could affect the jury in terms of how
they`re thinking about their verdict and the consequences of their verdict.
Well, the judge denied that motion. He instructed the jury to ignore
the letter, continue their deliberations. The jury said yesterday that
they were stuck, that they couldn`t come up on a verdict in this case. The
judge told them to get back at it and start deliberating again today.
Today they did keep deliberating for a third full day.
But late this afternoon, they told the judge they were hopelessly,
irretrievably deadlocked. The jury of seven women and five men said they
would not be able to reach unanimous agreement on any of the four charges
this officer, up to and including manslaughter.
And so, after denying the request for a mistrial yesterday, today the
judge declared a mistrial on the basis of this hung jury. In terms of what
happens next, attorneys will be back in court first thing tomorrow morning
to determine whether or not this officer will be now retried before a
different jury and if so, when. That officer has pled not guilty on all
counts. That still stands.
The next officer`s trial is scheduled to start on January 6th. That
maybe pushed now and given the sudden and now, inclusive ending to this
first trial. And all the while, after the riots that rocked Baltimore over
this case in April and May, all the while, Baltimore could not be more on
edge about this case.
We`re keeping an eye on the situation in Baltimore tonight. We`ll
bring you more as it develops.
MADDOW: Good news. We have a story tonight that is such a great win
for the underdog, such a triumph of human effort, such a surprise victory
for common sense and American decency and right people and good people
finally being persuaded to do the right thing that we wanted to do it as a
best new thing in the world.
But then turns out that`s not usually like a segment with a guest and
it turns out we`re able to bring here tonight a hero of that fight to talk
about it. I still think it might be the world`s best new thing, but it`s
going to happen right here and it`s going to happen right here next with
Stay with us.
MADDOW: This week, the New York City mayor`s office started an
advocacy campaign to push for passing the Zadroga Act. That`s the law that
provides health care and support to 9/11 first responders, people who got
sick after helping in the rescue and clean-up efforts at Ground Zero on
9/11, because it turns out a ton of them got sick from doing that work.
The new campaign is basically a series of photos, like this one,
showing a woman who lived downtown when the Trade Center towers fell. Do
we have that one? Do we have that individual photo there?
Ninety thousand stands for more than 90,000 liters of jet fuel that
combusted in the World Trade Center attack. Quote, “Because of the toxins
in the air, we were reluctant to return. We were told the air was safe to
breathe. Clearly, it wasn`t.”
Jet fuel exacerbated the dust cloud which scientists say was as
caustic as Drano, leading to a wide range of cancers and symptoms in
responders and local residents.
In this case, 1.8 millions, that stands for the tons of debris
removed from the pit in the months following the attacks. The job of
removing all that concrete, and steel and drywall and glass left people
like this man with lung cancers. More than 4,100 responders and other
survivors having 9/11 related cancers.
Jennifer McNamara`s husband spent weeks working on the pile in Ground
Zero. He was diagnosed with colon cancer when his wife was four months
pregnant with their son, Jack. John McNamara died in 2009.
9/11 first responders are 239 percent more likely to get thyroid
cancer than the rest of us. Rob Sara (ph) was 21 years old on September
11th. 9/11 was his first day on the job as a New York City fireman. On
the morning of his attacks, wearing his brand new firefighter gear on, a
priest read him his last rights. Firefighter Rob Sara is now only in his
mid-30s, but he`s been forced to retire because of his 9/11 related
One hundred and forty is the number of miles that Ray Pfeiffer (ph)
in D.C. hallways this year, lobbying elected officials to please
reauthorize the Zadroga Act. Congress let portions of the bill expire in
October and he and other first responders have been fighting their guts out
to try to get Congress to re-up it. And while they`re at it, make it
permanent, so the first responders themselves and their families don`t have
to keep doing this over and over again. Ray Pfeiffer himself has stage
So, the idea behind this faces and numbers campaign was to try to put
more pressure on this, try to do something else to try to move Congress, to
re-up the help for all those first responders, to somehow add enough weight
to the door knocking in Congress by people who were not always well enough
to be there and the celebrity politician shaming meted out by Jon Stewart,
among others, to somehow add enough wait to finally get it down. They`ve
been trying for months to get Congress to vote on Zadroga.
But the expiration date for this law came and went, and the law lapse
from the Republican-led Congress. There was nothing for months now except
sometimes a promise someday, someday, we`ll get something worked out on
this issue. For months now, it has been nothing. Until now.
Finally, last night, Congress reached a deal on a spending bill that
include what is these first responders and their families have been asking
for, finally. At least it`s in writing now. The full bill is headed for a
vote this Friday. It`s this close.
Joining us now is Dan Moynihan, 9/11 first responder. He joins us
Dan, thank you for joining us tonight. Should I be saying
DAN MOYNIHAN, 9/11 FIRST RESPONDER: Not quite. First of all, thank
you. You have certainly been one of our champions in getting the word out
about this bill.
MADDOW: Thank you.
MOYNIHAN: So truly, honestly, thank you, Rachel.
I don`t quite want to say congratulations yet. We`re right at the
goal line. We are almost across it, but Friday will be the true test. You
know, with that cage match of a building that`s behind me, it is D.C.
We have a great bill, we have not only what we asked for but what we
deserve, what the 9/11 community deserves. There are a few – there`s one
glitch and that is Speaker Ryan and the whip, Majority Whip Scalise – for
a very large what they consider to be very expensive omnibus bill, and some
of them perhaps a little leery about spending on National Institutes of
What I would suggest to them is not only is our bill included, which
is not only the right thing to do but necessary and it`s human life, but
there is also $6.4 billion in extra spending for veterans health care. So,
there are two very important measures right there that need to be passed.
MADDOW: Dan, to be clear, when you say that the last bit of this,
the last yard of this is about making sure the Republican votes are there,
and the Republicans having to police that among their own members, that is
not Republicans fighting to get Zadroga extracted from the omnibus. That`s
them fighting to get the votes they need to pass the omnibus altogether,
it`s not specific objections to this.
MOYNIHAN: Exactly, the omnibus itself. I would suggest for
everybody to just be sure that this does pass, everybody to please call
their congressional representatives and, you know, just for the heck of it,
their senators as well and make sure that they support the omnibus bill.
Do this, please, tomorrow, Thursday. Call your senators and your
representatives and say support the omnibus bill, so it passes.
MADDOW: Dan Moynihan, 9/11 first responder – Dan, thanks for
joining us. Keep us apprised minute by minute, my friend.
MOYNIHAN: I absolutely will. And thank you again.
MADDOW: All right. Thank you. We`ll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SUBITTLE: Today at the TRMS production meeting.
MIKE YARVITZ, TRMS SENIOR PRODUCER: Just to answer your question
about the New Mexico secretary of state. He seems to have a pretty good
reputation. He`s the one whose city councilor, council president four
time, track coach, teacher. The one interesting thing is that he is going
to be the first man to hold that job in about 100 years.
MADDOW: New Mexico is like, secretary.
YARVITZ: It`s apparently only a lady`s job. And when you look at
the past one`s, it`s like Mary, who is the current one, Diana, Mary,
Rebecca, Stephanie, Rebecca, Clara –
YARVITZ: Ernestine, Betty, Ernestine, Alberta, Betty, Natalie,
Beatrice. It`s always a woman.
MADDOW: Is it the only statewide elected office that is where the
title is secretary?
YARVITZ: I`ll have to find out. It could be. Since 1922.
YARVITZ: That is the last time it was a man.
MADDOW: N.M. goes crzly, picks man.
ISAAC-DAVY ARONSON, TRMS PRODUCER: Maybe that man in 1922 was so
SUBTITLE: History made in New Mexico. That story is coming up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: On Friday, mark it in your calendar, the secretary of state
of New Mexico goes to jail. Started great in 2010 when Dianna Duran became
the first elected to the state secretary job in 80 years. But then it
ended badly when she got hit with a 65-count criminal indictment, mostly
about stealing her campaign donations, and then blowing all the money at
casinos around the state.
On Friday, she`s going to report to the Santa Fe County Jail after
reaching a flee deal. She`s been sentenced to 30 days behind bars, plus a
kind of astonishing array of fines and restitution that includes a giant
basically unending apology tour that she has to keep afloat around the
state for three solid years after she gets out of jail. She needs to do
more than 140 apology speeches at schools and civic groups around the
So the last secretary of state gig did not end well. The job of
replacing the secretary of state who`s going to jail falls to the state`s
governor and that has just mapped.
The state`s governor is Susana Martinez. She picked an Albuquerque
City councilor named Brad Winter. And they swore Mr. Winter into office
immediately as soon as the governor designated him as her choice.
Now, I propose to you that at first blush, this mid-career Mr. Winter
may not seem like a radical choice for this statewide job, the secretary of
state gig. He`s a long-time public servant. He`s a teacher. He`s a high
school sports coach.
There`s nothing controversial about him, nothing particularly
groundbreaking about him as a choice, but for this particular job there`s
Consider the previous secretaries of state in retroactive order
starting with the recently disgraced Dianna Duran. Before her, Mary
Herrera, before her, Rebecca Vigil-Giron. Before her, Stephanie Gonzalez.
Before that, it was Ms. Vigil-Giron again. Before her, it was Clara
Padilla Jones. Before that, it was Shirley Hooper. Before that, it was
Ernestine Duran Evans.
If you`re noticing a pattern, you are correct. Every single
secretary of state in the great state of new Mexico from Dianna Duran all
the way back to 1923, every single one of them has been a woman. And on
the one hand that`s quite a feat. I mean, a top statewide elected office
really consequential, and you run the elections for the state, right, held
only by women for nearly a century.
On the other hand, I have to point out that of New Mexico`s seven
major statewide offices, the one that`s always women is the only position
that has the word secretary in the title. It`s governor, it`s lieutenant
governor, it`s attorney general. That has general in the title. State
auditor, state land commissioner, state treasurer, and secretary of state.
And there`s no female domination in any of the other jobs. You can
see the state has not yet removed Ms. Duran`s name from all of its Web
sites. So it`s conflicting emotions, right?
Which is it, New Mexico? Is your streak of 22 consecutive female
secretaries of state a sign of strength for women in New Mexico politics?
Or is it a sign that you believe that if it`s going to be a job title like
secretary, then people like Dianna and Ernestine and Rebecca and Stephanie
are the people who get those jobs?
Either way, along with the Republican corruption, we can now also
charge Dianna Duran with breaking the streak, because now, Brad Winter has
the job. I don`t know whether to be happy that New Mexico is no longer
employing exclusively in its long-state wide secretary role, or sad that
Mr. Winter took away a powerful office that has historically been held only
by women. I have conflicting emotions.
At least we can say that he probably will not end up any worse than
the last secretary, and so congratulations to Dianna Duran for helping Mr.
Winter finally smash his way through a weird form of, I guess, sexist glass
ceiling? Glass floor? I don`t really understand it – but well done, sir,
That does it tonight. See you tomorrow.
Now, it`s time for “THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL”.
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