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All In with Chris Hayes, Transcript 01/27/15

Guests: Robert Costa, Heather McGhee, Nick Confessore, Jennifer Fermino,Gabriel Sherman, Bomani Jones, Patricia Todd

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC ANCHOR: Tonight on "ALL IN." (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R) WISCONSIN: The measure of success in government is how many people are no longer dependent on the government. (APPLAUSE) (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: First, a big weekend, and now bigger news from Scott Walker as the billionaire Kochs lay out their 2016 plans and billionaire Rupert Murdoch steps up his campaign to stop Mitt Romney. Robert Costa on the evolving presidential field. Then, in the wake of the storm, who shut down the New York City subways and why didn`t anyone tell the mayor? (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO (D) NEW YORK: We found out just as it was being announced. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Plus, the marriage equality fight gets ugly down South. Alabama`s first openly gay lawmaker threatens to out officials having extramarital affairs. She joins me live tonight. And as the Patriot protests get louder, there may be finally a person of interest in Deflate-gate. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) WALKER: Sometimes you do stuff that`s not fair . (LAUGHTER) WALKER: So that you can win. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: "ALL IN" starts right now. Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. Back inside the studio. And we don`t have any candidates who formally declared yet, but all of a sudden it appears like we have a front runner in the Republican presidential race. I`m not kidding. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker just announced today, just today, he is launching a committee to help spread his political message, to take without what you will. A new organization called "Our American Revival" is being headed up by a former RNC political reporter and it is the strongest signal yet of Walker`s intention for 2016. And it comes almost immediately after the governor positively wowed an audience to conservative activists in Iowa over the weekend emerging as a crowd favorite. Among the large group of GOP stars hosted by Congressman Steven King. And also, easing fears he might be too mild mannered Midwestern to fire up the base and win over primary voters. Instead, - seems to be channeling his Baptist preacher father, he`s crisscrossed the stage and transfixed the crowd. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) WALKER: You see, there is a reason - there is a reason why in America we take a day off to celebrate the Fourth of July and not the 15th of April. Because in American we value our independence from the government, not our dependence on it. We need leaders in America who understand, who ultimately understand the measure of success in government is not how many people are dependent on the government, the measure of success in government is how many people are no longer dependent on the government. (APPLAUSE) (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: That speech earned him a standing ovation. And when he is up against a Democratic nominee who wants to make April 15th a national holiday - July 4. Well, they are toast. After Walker`s warm reception in Iowa, a consensus has emerged, the Republican - may have found, it`s meant to beat in 2016. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are a number of standout moments, but George, I would say the biggest was Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. This was his Iowa breakthrough. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The folks who won yesterday, Scott Walker won the Twitter primary. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is less well known, he`s thought to be sort of dull, and - he`s not, he`s impressive. Look - the guys - He is a good governor. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Scott Walker did his bio. He said I won three times in the last four years. He was - he didn`t have the charisma of Ted Cruz, but I thought the audience just seemed to be more . (APPLAUSE) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He spoke to the crowd there, they were very excited to hear about his Wisconsin record. The conservatives in there, they liked him, but there was nothing he said that will show up later and seem sort of out of touch. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: All right, not everyone I should say has been impressed by the Wisconsin governor who took the stage on Saturday with the song "I`m shipping off to Boston" by the Dropkick Murphys playing in the background who then later twittered at Walker "Please stop using our music in any way, we literally hate you. Love. Dropkick Murphys." Joining me now, Robert Costa, national political reporter for "The Washington Post." Robert, you were of course, there, at this big confab in Iowa, do you agree with that general impression that Walker was kind of the winner of the weekend? Or at least made the biggest gains in terms of how he is perceived? ROBERT COSTA, "WASHINGTON POST": He was very impressive from the perspective of his rhetoric, from his presentation. I`ve spent time with Walker and his father, Llewellyn Walker, a Baptist pastor that grew up partly in Iowa. And Walker has the reputation of being pretty singsong in his cadence low key, but pastors - preachers - they know how to turn it on, and Walker certainly did that. HAYES: What was your other impressions of this? I mean there was a lot of attention paid to Steve King? I think rightly, so because of the very extreme nature of his views on immigration among other issues. What was your big takeaway from what this - first, kind of beauty pageant of Republican candidates look like? COSTA: It was also a story of who wasn`t there. Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney are making their own - right now. They didn`t appear at Steve King`s event. But we are going to have such a crowded Republican field to cover, Walker, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul. He wasn`t there - Ted - Ben Carson, some of these other Tea Party favorites. It is really going to be competitive to get that launch out of Iowa that so many of them covet in order to compete long term. And especially to get the money that you need to compete against the likes of Bush and Romney. HAYES: Today, there was some news on the Governor Perry front, the indictment that he`s got from a prosecutor for - it`s a sort of a complicated story about basically denying funding to an office. It`s unclear whether it`s a policy dispute or a criminal prosecutor says it`s criminal. That indictment is going to proceed. Scott Walker decided to come to the aid of Rick Perry, at least on Twitter. "Prosecution of my friend Governor Perry is outrageous, sets the dangerous precedent." Ted Cruz also. Do you think this affects this prosecution has an effect on Governor Perry in terms of his standing in the race? COSTA: Maybe in a general election, but Walker`s had John Doan investigation hanging over, and Christie has the Bridgegate. And now you have Perry with his own legal problems in Texas. I don`t think Republican primary voters- they weren`t talking about these kind of things at Steve King`s event. I saw Perry, though, on Monday, I was with him at a kosher deli in Des Moines, he was speaking with Jewish leaders there. He`s bringing the energy, he has charisma. Why do voters really care at this point, we`ll have to see. HAYES: And do you think the last thing was that Sarah Palin`s speech there, which got really roundly panned by the - the folks there. But all sorts of - sort of interesting little reporting color of folks kind of finally throwing in the towel on Sarah Palin. Was that your sense as well? COSTA: I was with her on Friday night, and I asked her about the presidency, and she said she is "seriously interested," but she is not making any moves in that direction. Watching Palin`s speech you wonder, what kind of role does she want to play in the Republican Party? It`s clear from her comments to "The Washington Post" and others that she wants to play some kind of role. That`s why she`s teasing out a potential bid, but no one really knows where she fits and conservatives, they seem to becoming frustrated with her pitch and the way she goes after certain topics. HAYES: All right, thank you, Robert Costa. After a speech on Saturday, Scott Walker left Iowa and went to California to attend Charles and David Koch`s semi-annual donor retreat at the Ritz- Carlton near Palm Springs. Now, Walker and the Koch`s gave way back. Signing state records, you know (INAUDIBLE) Koch industry`s one of the biggest contributors to Walker`s original election campaign for governor. The president of the non-profit Americans for Prosperity told "The Times" executors from the Koch-backed group have worked behind the scenes to encourage the governor show down with public sector union. It was during that showdown that a prank caller, pretending to be David Koch managed to get Governor Walker`s ear. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) WALKER: Hall, I`ll talk: if they want to yell at me for an hour, I`m used to that. I can deal with that. But I`m not negotiating. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bring a baseball bat, that`s what I`d do. WALKER: I have one in my office. You`d be happy with that. I`ve got a slugger with my name on it. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Beautiful! (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: All right. There`s been an investigation, which has now stalled into whether there was illegal coordination between the extensively independent political groups, including one funded by the Kochs and the Walker campaign during - elections. Walker has denied any wrong doing. For Governor Walker who appears to be still inconsiderate the 2016 run, having the Koch informato (ph) is a big deal. Because the brothers and their wealthy friends are planning to spend close to $1 billion on the race. OK, not quite a billion, $889 million, to be precise. It is an unprecedented amount for a single donor network, and it`s way above the combined $657 million spent by the Republican National Committee. And the party`s two congressional campaign committees in 2012. And think about that for a second. These two men, Charles and David Koch, are positioning themselves to effectively supersede the Republican Party in the next presidential election. So it is no wonder their conference in California drew a record number of attendees this year, according to "Washington Post." They also drew some of the most talked about presidential candidates: not just Scott Walker, but Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz. Joining me now Heather McGhee, president of Demos and Nick Confessore, a political reporter for "The New York Times" where he covers money and politics. This figure, what do we make of it? What does it mean about what 2016 looks like, what does it mean about post Citizen United campaigns? NICK CONFESSORE, THE NEW YORK TIMES: You know, it means this is the new normal, it means that we have institutionalized the presence of extreme wealth and politics on both sizes of the aisle. Certainly, on the conservative side. The resources here are staggering. HAYES: I mean that is really a lot of money. CONFESSORE: It`s a lot of money. HAYES: It`s a hard . CONFESSORE: It`s a lot of money. (CROSSTALK) CONFESSORE: I was shocked. I remember when I got the call on that figure, I was like no, really? That much. Now . (CROSSTALK) HAYES: $890 to be clear. CONFESSORE: No, it`s a budget. (CROSSTALK) HAYES: Do you want to pay . (CROSSTALK) CONFESSORE: Two year cycle. HAYES: Right. CONFESSORE: And they plan things very methodically, and this is - it is also going to be partly for state elections and so forth. HAYES: This is the key - the key point, though, and this is something you report on very well, which is this isn`t just writing a check, it`s not kind of a free lancing, eccentric billionaire who`s got someone - this is a methodically planned, organized . CONFESSORE: That`s right. HAYES: Populated strategy that has an entire sort of interlocking set of institution - around it. CONFESSORE: You know, it`s fascinating. This is not quite a third party. Because the important difference is they`re not trying to supplant the Republican Party, but influence, change it, turn it into - for certain policies, and set it in a certain direction. And they have been very successful with that. How often do you here about a gay marriage or social issues in the national presidential contest, except for immigration, of course? HAYES: OK, so I think in a counterintuitive way that this is bad for American democracy - this is for the post Citizen United era, but I do think in a one way, the increased scrutiny of the kind of billionaire primary and donor class is basically the last shred of accountability that we can impose on a system that has lifted any kind of limits. HEATHER MCGHEE, PRESIDENT DEMOS: Yeah, I think so. I think, obviously, the fact that you have -- we know that the Koch brothers is planning to do this is one step, but that said, you know, there are 300 donors behind this. HAYES: Right. MCGHEE: It`s not just the Koch brothers, and there are lots of different Shell groups and front groups for different corporations. The Koch brothers have really mastered using the dark money loophole of the C4 and C60s. And we don`t really know where the money is actually coming from. HAYES: Right. This is just - that`s a good point. This is one number, we don`t know what other stuff is out there. MCGHEE: Yeah. And I think most importantly here, there is - OK, we can have transparency and accountability, but this is about fundamentally tilting our economy in a certain direction. And on the issues that are most important to most Americans right now, they are very outside of the center, right? This is union busting. This is rabidly anti-tax, rabidly anti-regulation, and so it is a real agenda, that is an economic agenda that is very far from the center of where most Americans are. HAYES: Do you think that we`re going to see something like this on the Democratic side. MCGHEE: I don`t. I don`t. I mean there was a really good . HAYES: I mean there are sort of - sui (ph) generous figures in certain ways because of their personal upbringing and who they are. MCGHEE: Right. But well, there is two things that make it different. One, I mean the scale we`re talking about, I mean there`ve been some - talking about the democracy alliance, which is the set of donors who organize together and have conferences. HAYES: Right. MCGHEE: And they have raised over their nearly ten years that they have been organizing together what the Koch brothers can amass in one year, right? So the scale . (CROSSTALK) MCGHEE: The scale is very different. And I think fundamentally this is the question that people are asking about the Koch brothers, right? Their main goal is anti-regulation, it`s very much about padding their own bottom line, right? It`s a fossil fuel promoting industry. HAYES: They would say - I just should say - They would say - they have - ideological fidelity of these views whether . MCGHEE: Whether or not it helps them. You know. HAYES: They say that. (CROSSTALK) CONFESSORE: Listen, I would just say that there is, you know, no policy that can be enacted that will make them substantially less wealthy in their lifetime. So, I don`t think it`s about making money for them. I honestly . HAYES: Well, they`ve also have the greatest - it`s the greatest six years in the history of the Koch industries . CONFESSORE: That`s right. HAYES: From wealth and (INAUDIBLE) standpoint under President Obama, which, of course, is one of the great . MCGHEE: No, of course, it is, because I mean they talk about health care a lot, they talk about regulations in general. They very rarely actually talk about climate change. If we actually did what we need to do on the climate it would very much affect Koch industries. So, I think it`s very - I think it`s important that we keep highlighting what the ends are here, which is, unfortunately the cost of our planet for just a few narrow interests. HAYES: So, but answer that question. You don`t - you said the scale on the sort of Democratic side is not sufficient, and you don`t see any figures like this. I mean the fact is we have -- we just have billionaire democracy at this point. We just do, it`s just a fact about American democracy. It was true before Citizen United, but combine Citizens United with the inequality we have, and the way we head into this 2016, really is like this focus. It`s always like I wish we could get them into a room, you know, for a reality show. (LAUGHTER) HAYES: Because it would be a more honest coverage of the American election than what we are going to get. CONFESSORE: Well, in fact, Chris, look, we are watching this part of the campaign. And if it was a Democratic primary, it would be the same thing. For the next six months, these guys will do one or two appearances, you know, every couple of weeks for the public, and the rest of it is donors, donors, donors. Every day. HAYES: Right. They`re like dolphins. And they are like swimming among billionaires and they come up for air with the public. CONFESSORE: It`s a money progress. MCGHEE: I just do have to say . (CROSSTALK) MCGHEE: It could be another way, right? So, we just did a report called "The Money Chase Was Looked At: Big Donors Spending and Contributions in the 2014 Midterm." And actually, there`s something that has never been done. We looked at a few races where people who are viable candidates, were, you know massively outspent. And said that if the bill that`s currently in the House right now, the Government by the People Act that would make a small donor match public cementing system in place, and showed how much they would have been able to get because of their alliance on small donations, they actually would have been able to run competitive campaign. HAYES: There`s another way. That`s true. Heather McGhee. Nick Confessore. Thank you very much. Keeping track of just who is running or not running on 2016 is starting to get more complicated. More than two dozen potential candidates making noise about entering the race, we`ve decided to make a bit of sport of it. So, this Thursday, very special, all of this breaking new ground with the first ever "ALL IN" 2016 fantasy candidate draft. Five political expert contestants will be here before - to the audience to draft their pics, 25 potential candidates - the United States. Tune in live, set your DVRs, 8:00 p.m., right here. It`s going to be epic. OK, we have a lot of important news to get to tonight and we also have this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Doddy. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Lots more of that coming up. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: A small drone crashed on the White House South Lawn yesterday. Apparently, too small to be detected by the radar system. I say "drone" in quotes, because to me this thing you are looking at is really more like a very expensive toy helicopter. This is a drone. The kind of thing that`s been raining down death upon hundreds of suspected militants and also civilians, including children for years. Let`s not confuse the two. That aside, the mystery of how that drone - toy helicopter got himself on the White House has been solved. It wasn`t these guys. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You want to take it up for a spin? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you crazy? This is not dad`s drone. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you have any idea how much fun we can have with this thing? We can spy on everyone. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My dad said it`s not for spying on people. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But it`s (INAUDIBLE) (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: It was an off duty employee for Government Intelligence Agency, who to funk? Whose drone was according to officials, quote of "The New York Times"; "nothing more than a drunken misadventure." Of course, the drunk droning incident triggered headlines like this, and in an interview today President Obama talked about it. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I have actually asked the FAA and a number of agencies to examine how are we managing this new technology. Because the drone that landed in the White House you can buy at radio shack. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: He`s right, these automated flying machines buzzing over our heads need to be regulated. But also, the flying robots of death operating thousands of miles from our shore with essentially no accountability. Back after this. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: The blizzard that walloped much of the northeast closing schools causing more than 7,000 flight cancellations and leaving major cities at a standstill - it`s finally beginning to wind down this evening in most places. But things are nowhere near back to normal: more than 20 inches of snow fell in parts of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Maine, and Rhode Island. Some areas getting more than 30 inches as residents grappled with whiteout conditions and gale force winds.. On the island of Nantucket, a popular birth place of Limor characters, located off the coast of Massachusetts in the Atlantic Ocean, just out of Cape Cod, the entire island lost power amid significant flooding. And winds up to 78 miles per hour with at least 11 people evacuated from their homes. Officials cut power to homes - fires in a coastal town of Scituate 30 miles south of Boston, as flooding prompted overnight request for evacuations. Daily maximum snowfall records were set today. In Providence, Rhode Island, Worcester, Massachusetts, which you got more than 28 inches today and in Boston, where the snow continues to fall. After transit remained closed and most residents were hunkered down in their homes, as the mayor says schools may be shut down for the rest of the week. People did find the ways to get out, however, including this guy, who dubbed himself the Boston Yeti on Twitter. Just had that suit apparently lying around, waiting to use it. And emergency medical personnel of Brigham and Women`s Hospital who broke out their skis and snowshoes to get into work. Plenty of people found ways to have fun in the snow, including these kids in New Jersey who got a sled pulled by a truck - just kind of go and say that, doesn`t look particularly save. The heavy snowfall also made a whole bunch of dogs, including this one very, very happy. In fact, there was worse ways to spend time today than clicking around for videos of dogs enjoying the snow. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) (LAUGHTER) UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Hi, Doddy. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Here in New York City, officials sounded dire warnings to drastic historically unprecedented precautions, as the snow approached, but while the storm did bring a good coating of snow, most of New York City recorded less than ten inches of snow in the end. Far less than forecast. Some meteorologists decided to apologize publicly for the ultimately incorrect forecast. The National Weather Service noted that weather bans are nearly impossible to predict until they develop. Controversially, New York City`s subway system was shut down overnight due to snow for the first time in history on orders from Governor Andrew Cuomo. The decision has prompted a lot of second guessing: the president of the MTA, which runs the subway said on Monday there was no reason to shut down the underground portion of the subway system since they are shielded from snow. We learned today, Governor Cuomo gave Mayor Bill de Blasio just 15 - one, five minutes notice before announcing the shutdown. Grabbling from the New Yorkers, Cuomo defended his decision making today: (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D) NEW YORK: The system is going to come back online much faster than it would have if the trains were exposed to the conditions, and they were shoveling out this morning. If you tally it up, I don`t know that this wasn`t the more prudent course of action in any event. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: All right, joining me now is Jennifer Fermino, City Hall Bureau Chief from "New York Daily News." OK, let`s put aside whether it was a right thing to do to shut it down or not. Are you freaking kidding me to give the mayor of New York 15 minutes heads up you`re going to shut down the subways? JENNIFER FERMINO, CITY HALL BUREAU CHIEF "NEW YORK DAILY NEWS": One of the things I think that people - even people (INAUDIBLE), is that subway is the total state - so he doesn`t have to talk to the mayor. HAYES: Total? He doesn`t have to. He runs it. FERMINO: It`s totally his decision -- HAYES: But . FERMINO: But . HAYES: Wouldn`t you think it would be, I don`t know, courteous, to say, oh, hey, Bill, check it out! We`re going to shut down the most vital means of transportation in the city that you govern. FERMINO: Mayor de Blasio agrees with you, he said today that he would have preferred to have a little more dialogue with the governor. And that in the future he hopes that that happens. HAYES: OK, but come on. How do you not read this as a total power move? I mean it just - it reads to me like I honestly can`t understand - I understand that people have to make difficult decisions, policy makers in the blizzard. Huge predictions for snow that didn`t pan out. But you would imagine that like these things have to be coordinated between the relative authorities. FERMINO: They don`t really, like it came from the governor and he is in charge of the MTA. The governor`s defense, you know, what they said in response to this, was that this was a fast moving storm? They had no idea what`s going to happen, they had to think quickly, they`ve given an update around like noon, and said we`re going to look at the weather at 4:00 and they did, and they made a decision, they called the mayor, and then they went public with it. HAYES: One of the things we`ve seen as a lot of people are talking about, you know, erring on the side of caution. Josh Perry had a really good piece on - on the offshoot to the "New York Times" today. Shutting down New York`s subways is very expensive. He goes through - details here. I mean this was a very expensive set of actions taken by both the governor and the mayor with the thinking, I think from them being if we underprepare we are going to get destroyed politically, it is safer to over-prepare. FERMINO: I mean the thing is, is there used to be a time I think when you would never shut down the subway. HAYES: Yep. FERMINO: They did it for Hurricane Irene, which was sort of - you know. HAYES: Which was like this blizzard - it didn`t sort of pan out . FERMINO: Right, right. Then they did it for Sandy, and it was so well received. Because Sandy was so damaging, but I feel like that sort of like raised the bar now that you can do it, it was before it was seen as something you just could not possibly do. HAYES: Do you think - I know the mayor of this -- these end up being big political tests for anyone who`s in power. Mayor de Blasio has a fair share of enemies essentially, that would like to see him suffer politically. How do you think he came out of this? FERMINO: Well, I think he came out good, I mean he had a snowstorm really, right, when he was elected that he sort of by everybody`s admission kind of screwed up. This one, you know . HAYES: Including charges that he did not pile the streets of the city`s Upper East Side . FERMINO: Right. HAYES: Because there are rich people there. FERMINO: Right. Right. HAYES: And he was starting on a foot of class war by a snow plow. FERMINO: With this, it really wasn`t a snowstorm, so it was so hyped up. Of course, he is going to . (CROSSTALK) FERMINO: Yeah, Yeah, it`s like - I mean it was like ten inches, you know what I mean, so - but I don`t think anybody - I don`t think really the blow back, no pun intended was that he did it - you know, that he overhyped it deliberately. HAYES: Yeah. FERMINO: It seems like the predictions were there. And that sort of - it seems like (INAUDIBLE) HAYES: Jennifer Fermino, thank you very much. FERMINO: Thank you. HAYES: All right, if you were paying attention to the president`s visit to Saudi Arabia today, you may have noticed the giant delegation he brought with him. You may have also noticed the first lady doing some things she normally doesn`t do. What those were, next. Plus, the first openly gay state legislator in Alabama threatens to expose who among her colleagues has had an affair. I`ll ask her why she`s doing that ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: Today the Obamas cut their trip to India short to pay their respects to King Abdullah, the Saudi monarch who died last week at the age of 90. At first, the scene of their arrival to greet the new Saudi king plays out in a fairly familiar way. President and First Lady walking side by side out of Air Force One to greet a U.S. ally. Then things start to veer into less familiar territory. If you watch the tape carefully, you can see Michelle, who did not have her head covered, step back and let her husband lead the way towards all male Saudi delegation. According to the poll report this was not by accident. The First Lady purposely stood next to, but slightly behind the President to adhere to the Saudi royal family`s cultural disposition towards womens`, let`s say, second placeness. Minutes later, Michelle Obama stood next to her husband while he shook the hands of dozens of men, some shook her hand and some did not, according to the pool report. First Lady waited for a gesture to be made to her by the men who walked by. If the man initiated the handshake, she smiled and shook their hand. If not, both she and the man politely smiled and nodded heads. Now, the President and First lady were the most high profiled for the visit but they were most certainly not alone, not by a long shot. The United States, get this, sent a delegation over 20 people to honor the late king. A who is who of high ranking government officials that included Secretary of State, John Kerry, National Security Adviser, Susan Rice, CIA Director, John Brennan, former Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, House Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi and Senator John McCain to name a few. It was quite the gesture. It comes less than three weeks after cell phone video appeared to capture the public lashing of a Saudi blogger for insulting Islam, something that lead to wide spread international criticism. Under pressure, the Saudi`s postponed his second round of lashings on medical grounds. Most are not so lucky. When asked if he was speaking to the new Saudi king about the case, President demurred and said "The relationship between the two countries was about balance". (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What I found effective is to apply steady, consistent pressure, even as we are getting business done that needs to get done. And often times that makes some of our allies uncomfortable. It makes them frustrated. Sometimes we have to balance our need to speak to them about human right`s issues with immediate concerns that we have, in terms of countering terrorism or dealing with regional stability. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Now the President didn`t seem to eager to talk about the Saudi`s dismal human rights record, but, if you are, there could be a great opportunity for you to express yourself, courtesy of the Department of Defense. Yesterday, the D.O.D. announced an essay competition to honor the Saudi king. Sponsored by the Chairmen of the Joint Chief`s of Staff himself. It`s billed in the release as "an important opportunity to honor the memory of the king..." So, if you would like to honor the memory of King Abdullah in your own way, this could be your chance. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: A federal judge struck down Alabama`s same sex marriage ban last week. The decision came from a George W. Bush appointed federal judge ruling in favor of two same sex couples who filed lawsuits. But, marriage lionesses are not yet being in Alabama, the judge put her own decision on hold for two weeks while the state while the state appeals it. Meanwhile, some Alabama conservatives are voicing their objections to the judge`s ruling, defending the states ban on same sex marriage. And that has led State Representative Patricia Todd, who is also Alabama`s first openly gay elected state official to throw down the gauntlet. Taking to Facebook to write over the weekend, "I will not stand by and allow legislators to talk about "family values" when they have affairs, and I know of many who are and have. I will call our elected officials who want to hide in the closet OUT". And joining me now is the women wrote that, Alabama Democratic State Representative, Patricia Todd. Representative Todd, is this a bit of sort of idol boasting on your part? Is this any actual threat? Are you going to do this? PATRICIA TODD, ALABAMA STATE REPRESENTATIVE: Well, obviously I don`t have proof because I wasn`t the person involved in the affair, but the rumor mills is pretty strong in Montgomery and, my purpose was to say, be careful when you cast that stone of family values, you need to look at your own family values first before you attack ours. HAYES: Let me make sure I understand this correctly, because I`ve covered politicians a lot. Are you suggesting there are politicians, state legislatures, you`re saying, in Alabama, who may be violating their marriage vows? State legislatures violating their marriage vows? That is very difficult for me to believe, I have to say. TODD: Shocking. And what`s is interesting is Alabama is the most conservative, most Christian state in the country, yet our divorce rate is fourth in the country. HAYES: So, what do you think is going to happen here? I mean, the broader issue is that that kind of rhetoric served conservatives across the country very well for a long time, particularly in the South, in a state like Alabama, which is a very conservative state. What do you see as the next step here? I mean are the people who are expressing their displeasure with this ruling for the court going to keep their displeasure and just kind of swallow it, or what is going to happen? TODD: Well, remember this is Alabama and we don`t have a really good history when it comes to the Federal Courts telling us what to do. I like to say that Missouri is the show me state and Alabama is the make me state. You know, they`ll have to get over it, but in the meantime we are hearing a lot of rhetoric from the conservative Republicans and I just want to remind them they don`t have the corner on family values, that there are thousands of gay couples across the state, many raising children, who have much stronger family values then they do. And it`s an attempt to try to cool the rhetoric. If you want to talk to me about the merits of the issue, that that`s fine, but I`m not going to let you get away with a five-second soundbite where you can condemn me and my community. HAYES: There are 36 states that have allowed marriage equality. There`s 14 states right now that are banning it. This issue is going before the court and will be settled, we suspect, uni formally in some direction. Today, the infamous Roy Moore, who is, once again, Chief Justice of the Alabama State Supreme Court, which is in and of itself an amazing fact because he was stripped of that title before because he refused to remove the ten commandments from his courthouse, "today the destruction of the institution of marriage is upon us by federal courts using speech as pretext based on Equal protection, Due Process, and Full Faith and Credit Clauses of the United States Constitution". I guess my question is is how big of a percentage of the voters of the voters of Alabama does Roy Moore speak for when he says stuff like that? TODD: I`d say about 10%. The reality is--- I do. The only way he elected was in Alabama you can go into the voting booth and vote straight party. So, the Republicans had, obviously, many people went in and just pulled that lever and he got elected. But I have talked to many Republicans who would not have voted for him, but he got elected due to that fact. HAYES: State Representative Patricia Todd, we will follow this if you want to make any news down there, or right here on this program, just let us know. TODD: I appreciate it. HAYES: Alright, a big new piece of news in Deflategate. What was the Patriot`s locker room attendant allegedly doing in the bathroom with two bags of balls for ninety seconds before the start of the game? Now stop it, get your mind out of the gutter. We`re going to talk about that ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: What I see this all heading towards is some poor equipment manager at the bottom of the totem pole is 100% going to take the fall for this. DAVE : Absolutely, I mean if I was an equipment manager for the Patriots, I wouldn`t even be boiling eggs at this point. I would be really, hopefully I didn`t have a mortgage, I would be like let me get out of here because this is going to get kicked down the train until somebody is gone. HAYES: Last week Dave --- speculated that the Deflategate controversy was going to eventually land at the feet of some hapless, low level employee. This week, Fox sports reporter Jay Glazer, citing unnamed sources, reported there`s now a person of interest, quote, "The NFL has zeroed in on a locker room attendant with the Patriots". On that report NBC sports reported that according to one unnamed lead source the person carried, quote, "two bags of balls into the bathroom. The twelve balls to be used by the Patriots and the 12 balls to be used by the Colts". The video shows the employee in the bathroom for approximately 90 seconds. The question, could the employee have deflated 11 of the 12 Patriot footballs in a bathroom in a minute and a half? Is that even possible? Two days before this report came out, the coach of the New England Patriots, Bill Belichick suggested that the drop in pressure in his team`s ball was probably due to quote, "rubbing process" along with atmospheric conditions. That theory was knocked down by rep for Wilson Sporting Goods, the manufacturer of NFL footballs, who said quote, "That`s B.S. That`s". And by Bill Nye, the science guy, who said Belichick`s theory, quote, "didn`t make any sense." That has not stopped some very prominent conservatives from rushing to the Patriot`s defense. Here`s Rupert Murdoch, a guy who knows a thing or two about bending the rules tweeting, quote, "ridiculous charges against Patriots. A great team by any standards with good, tough leadership. Big winners always attract naysayers." And here is Bill Kristol`s tweet. "Am I alone in feeling it`s time to rally to Bill Belichick, a tough impressive winner being hounded by a bunch of whiny goodie two-shoes?" It appears right now that Deflategate won`t hurt the Patriots, at least not before Sunday`s Superbowl. And the Seattle Seahawks` Richard Sherman who will be lining up against Tom Brady and the Patriots in a few days thinks he knows why. It has to do with a relationship between NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and Patriots owner Robert Kraft. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) RICHARD SHERMAN, SEATTLE SEAHAWK: Will they be punished? Probably not. You know, not as long as Robert Kraft and Roger Goodell are still taking pictures at they`re respective homes, you know. I think he was just at Kraft`s house last week before the AFC championship. You know, you talk about conflict of interest. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: That`s not some conspiracy theory. Here is the picture Sherman referenced showing Goodell indeed at Kraft`s house the night before the AFC championship game. Robert Kraft said today that since that party was for team sponsors, which he says not only helps the team, but the NFL grow revenues, that Sherman benefited from that party too. But a deeply reported article in GQ, Gabriel Sherman, no relation to Richard, points out this choice little morsel, quote, "so large is Kraft`s sway with Goodell that one veteran NFL executive likes to call him the assistant commissioner." Now, one of the two Shermans I just referenced will join me at this table next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST, LATE NIGHT WITH DAVID LETTERMAN: Tell me about the Super Bowl. What do you care? Do you like? Do you want? Do you know anything? LOUIE CK, COMEDIAN: Well, I`m from Boston so I`m a Patriots fan. LETTERMAN: There you go. Now why are they so oily? LOUIE CK: Well, because they want to win real bad. So sometimes you do stuff that`s not fair so that you can win. I have no problem with it. I think it is hilarious... LETTERMAN: Well, it is hilarious. LOUIE CK: And why not, it is a stupid football game. I mean, just deflate the balls, poke a guy in the eye or whatever. It`s football. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Louie CK as is his want had the best take on this. Joining me now Gabe Sherman whose article on the relationship between Patriots owner Robert Kraft and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is up on GQ`s website and in the February issue. And ESPN`s Bomani Jones, cohost of the sports talk show Highly Questionable. All right, Gabe, so how -- this piece must have been in the works for much longer... GABRIEL SHERMAN, SPORTS WRITER: Yes. I mean, I couldn`t have planned it any better. I mean, I worked on this for four months, and I just kept hearing over and over again that to understand the NFL you have to understand the relationship between Roger Goodell the commissioner and Robert Kraft the owner of the Patriots. HAYES: What is that relationship? Why is it so key to understanding this multibillion dollar enterprise, which is one of the most powerful and lucrative brands in America? SHERMAN: So back up, Roger Goodell became commissioner in 2006. Robert Kraft was one of his biggest champions in helping propel him into this office. He sits on the league committee that determines Roger Goodell`s salary. He makes $44 million per year. HAYES: Roger Goodell does? SHERMAN: Roger Goodell does. HAYES: Just 44 mil? SHERMAN: Robert Kraft is on that committee that decides that. He is also on the broadcast committee that negotiates the multibillion dollar rights deals. HAYES: Which is the main source of revenue. SHERMAN: With the networks. And so Roger Goodell, his inner circle is a select group of owners, but the number one owner in that circle is Robert Kraft. HAYES: What do you think this -- how do you think the two of them reacting to this entire... SHERMAN: Well, this is a -- I would just love to be a fly on the wall here. For the first time really anyone can remember, they`re on the opposite sides of an issue. Kraft does not want discipline in Deflategate scandal, Goodell has to come out and do something that shows that he has control over this league. So now he is essentially at odds with his biggest ally. HAYES: And here is Kraft -- Bomani, here is Kraft sort of -- I think sort of firing a warning shot towards Roger Goodell with this statement about demanding an apology if they`re cleared. Take a listen. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ROBERT KRAFT, OWNER, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: If the Wells investigation is not able to definitively determine that our organization tampered with the air pressure in the footballs, I would expect and hope that the league would apologize to our entire team, and in particular, Coach Belichick and Tom Brady for what they have had to endure this past week. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Two observations. First of all, the verb endure seems a little much there. Second of all, Robert Kraft`s hair game is tight. Aside from that Bomani Jones, what do you think? BOMANI JONES, ESPN: Well, I wish he would have gone and ahead and used the word besmirched so it could be full on Godfather 2. Like that`s what we wound up with. He pulled Goodell`s guard. He basically said if you don`t have anything, you owe me an apology, which I think ties to a point that Mike Flourier (ph) of Pro Football Talk has made, Dan Wetzel wrote on this, which is it seems like this could have been fixed weeks ago with a phone call to the Patriots saying hey, guys, knock it off. Instead it seems like the Patriots feel as though the league tried to set them up. And if you`ve got the relationship with Goodell that Kraft has as outlined in Gabriel`s piece, then you wind up in a situation where you, Robert Kraft, feel really betrayed by a guy that you help make $44 million a year. Rich people don`t like that at all. HAYES: OK. So here is the real question, which gets to something genuinely I think profound about the rule of law and rules generally, right, which is like do these rules mean anything? Like is it just relationships between people with relative amounts of power? Or is there some kind of like actual rules? Not that I care that much either way -- to be clear, I don`t care. SHERMAN: You are touching on the fundamental controversy of the Goodell era, which is that he make decisions that don`t seem to have any basis in consistency. You know, look at Spygate. He punished the Patriots in 2007, fined Bill Belichick, the coach. They lost a draft pick. Fast forward to the bountygate scandal with the New Orleans Saints, suspend Sean Peyton for a year, suspends a raft of players. All of those... HAYES: Some of which overturned... SHERMAN: ...were vacated by his predecessor Paul Tagliabue. And then you have the Ray Rice scandal where he suspends him for two games. There`s an outpouring of public criticism. Then he suspends him indefinitely once the video is released. So we don`t have any standard of rule of law within the NFL under the Goodell era. JONES: Well, that is one interesting part about this, though, is people say we`re only here because it`s the Patriots. That`s partially why we`re here. The other reason why we`re here is the dwindling credibility of Roger Goodell. You need to go back to Spygate, see all the materials that wound up being destroyed, which leaves all those questions And what happens with your dwindling credibility it`s -- it doesn`t just hit you all at one time, it`s piece by piece by piece and then look up and you`re Goodell and now you have to answer for footballs. HAYES: All right. So, today was media day, which is a big day for Marshawn Lynch, star running back of course of the Seattle Seahawks famously does not like to talk to the press. He usually gives them the same rote answer over and over again. Ed Warner (ph), ESPN reporter had tweeted that he was threatened with a half million dollar fine if he didn`t show up to media day. So he showed up and here is how played media day. Take a listen. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Marshawn Lynch, it`s your show, take it away. MARSHAWN LYNCH, SEATTLE SEAHAWK: So, I can sit here and answer all the questions you all want to. I`m going with the same answer, so you all can shoot if you all please. I`m here so I won`t be fined. I`m here so I won`t get fined. I`m here so I won`t get fined. I`m here so I won`t get fined. I`m here so I won`t get fined. I`m just here so I won`t get fined. I`m here so I won`t get fined. I`m here so I won`t get fined. I`m just here so I won`t get fined. I`m just here so I won`t get fined. Hey, I`m here so I won`t get fined. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: All right, this was very polarizing, Bomani. Marshawn Lynch, ungrateful jerk or sort of amazing hero of labor resistance to management? JONES: It is probably neither, right. Like the only reason -- first of all I find it to be insane that the most memorable thing about media day is him doing that. Like that should tell you everything you need to know about how ridiculous this has all gotten. He doesn`t want to do it. He does seem to be uncomfortable with doing it, which raises its own set of questions. But the people who have such a problem with the fact that he is doing this really seem to have a problem with the fact that nobody can tell them what to do. And that seems to me at the surface to be what the issue is, because nobody is building their stories around Marshawn Lynch at this point. And if you`re not one of those people tracking him down, why are you mad. If you are one of the people there who is mad, there`s a lot of other people that you could go talk to. You know you`re not getting this guy. You`re mad because he won`t break for you. HAYES: Media day is another reminder of just the sort of power and centrality of the NFL in American culture and enterprise. SHERMAN: Oh, it is by far the most powerful entertainment brand in America. It is still consistently the biggest audience in broadcast television. Revenues are north of $10 billion. So, really, I mean, Roger Goodell, don`t think of him as a football guy, you`ve got to think of him as the CEO of a massive corporation. HAYES: And one of the most important corporations and one of the most powerful corporations in the whole country. I mean, nothing else at this point can deliver 60 million viewers the way an NFL football game can. SHERMAN: No. In our fractured media world... HAYES: And that`s not going to change. JONES: But that is his mistake. Because he looks like a CEO and not a football guy when people care more about football than a CEO. HAYES: Gabe Sherman and Bomani Jones, thank you for joining us. That is ALL IN for this evening. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts now. THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END