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The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 06/01/12

Guests: Steve Bullock

RACHEL MADDOW, HOST: All right. Happy Friday night to everybody at home. I want to thank you for being with us. In 2010, as you know, the midterm elections went red in a huge way. Not just at the federal level but way more importantly than the Beltway acknowledges, the country in 2010 really went red in the states. Republicans gained hundreds and hundreds of seats in state legislatures after the 2010 election. There were more Republican state legislatures in the country than at any time since 1928. And in majority of states, Republicans controlled majorities in the state legislature. In 16 states, Republicans had the whole legislature and the governorship. They had total control. And right away, among this new class of Republican, it kind of seemed like they were all pursuing the same agenda. There were slight variations among the states, but they really seemed to be pursuing a lot of the same things at the same time all at once. They wanted to make voting harder for starters, with 180 bills trying to make voting harder just since the start of last year. Last year, they introduced 600 new bills to roll back abortion rights. They enacted 92 of them. That was a record. They moved to give tax dollars to businesses. Even in states that had big budget deficits and couldn`t afford to be giving money to anybody, they found lots of money to give business interests. And after the red tide elections of 2010, new Republicans who seemed to be acting in concert, doing all the same thing. They went after union rights in a really big way. In Michigan and Tennessee and in Maine, Republican governors with Republican legislatures just could not wait to go after union rights in their states. In the great states of Ohio, the FOX News personality and Wall Street guy John Kasich, who is the new governor there, he put John Kasich stamp on the anti-union agenda. In some other states, they would exclude cops and firefighters when they went after union rights. That`s because cops and firefighters are sympathetic figures. And so, who wants to alienate the voting public by going after their rights. But Ohio Republican governor John Kasich did not feel that way about cops at least. Not at all. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GOV. JOHN KASICH (R), OHIO: Have you ever been stopped by policeman who was an idiot? I had this idiot pulled me over on 315. Listen to this story. He says to me, he says, he says, "You passed this emergency vehicle on the side of the road, and you didn`t yield." He`s an idiot. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Unlike some of his fellow Republicans in the class of 2010, Ohio governor, had no qualms about going after cops and firefighters. He didn`t think anybody would mind that. When Ohio Republicans wrote their law to strip union rights in the state, they included uniformed officers, too. They were also going to get hit, just like everybody else. Now, the protests over this in Ohio weren`t memorable. They were big protests. But, you know, it`s interesting to be covering this at the time it was happening. I mean, given what John Kasich was going and given how big the protests were elsewhere in the country when all other Republican governors were doing it, the protests in Ohio were big but they were not incredibly big. I mean, in Michigan, people at the capital in Lansing said the protests there over stripping union rights, those were the largest they had ever seen in Lansing. The protests in Wisconsin were so big they shook the whole country for months. But while the protests in Ohio were significant, they were not ginorma-mega-ultra big. I mean, the country did not stop to watch what was happening in Ohio. While the protests were going on at the time, we kept hearing from labor activists and Democrats on the ground in Ohio that the reasons that the protests weren`t maybe as big as you might think they would be, the reason they weren`t putting their resources into organizing the largest possible protests is because they actually had something else to do. They had another plan for reacting to the stripping of their union rights. I mean, thanks to Ohio law, people who supported union rights in that state had another option besides protests. Ohio`s constitution let them put the law that stripped union rights up for a citizens` recall, before that law went into effect. Ohio Republicans did pass this law but union rights were not stripped. There was a hold on it. The state`s union still existed. Ad in prepping for the recall of that law, the union could play a role in organizing and funding and making their case against the new law. They gathered thousands more signatures than they needed, they put the law up for a vote. They did get out the vote efforts like nobody`s business and in November Ohio went to the polls and they struck down that law by more than 20 points. So, what happened in Ohio is that Ohio Republicans tried to kill the unions and they failed. In this year`s presidential election, Ohio is going to be a swing state -- again like it always is -- but the Democratic ground game will be in place with strong unions ready to help fund ads and knock on doors and get out the vote, like they always have. Democrats` greatest allies live in Ohio. In Wisconsin, it has been a very different story. In Wisconsin, the new Republican governor there, Scott Walker, and the new Republican legislature there specifically didn`t include the law enforcement and firefighters unions that had supported Scott Walker in the 2010 elections. They carved those union rights of those workers out. That was nice for them. But it also has the effect of splitting the opposition in terms of people who liked union rights in the state of Wisconsin. In Wisconsin, the pushback to try to save union rights included, of course, huge protests, huge protests -- mostly at the capital in Madison and also all over the state. They went on for a very, very long time. Also in Wisconsin, the minority Democrats in the Senate fought back as hard as they could. They fled the state to deny the Republicans a quorum. They kept Republicans from passing the union stripping bill for three weeks while they remained in an undisclosed location that was not so secretly, actually just Illinois. But in the end, Republicans found way to jam this union stripping bill through on just a few hours notice. They just declared it done. The reaction in Wisconsin to what the Republicans did was electric. Protesters stormed the capital, filled the rotunda in the dark of night. Unlike in Ohio, supporters of union rights in Wisconsin didn`t have the Ohio option. They did not have the option of stopping that law with a recall. The way the Wisconsin state constitution is set up, they couldn`t gather signatures and put the law on hold and put it up for statewide recall before the state decided whether or not it would go into effect. Instead in Wisconsin, they used the one option they had. They decided to put the governor up for recall. That election, their attempt to recall Governor Scott Walker is going to happen on Tuesday. Here is the most important thing we have learned since this whole fight started -- since this fight started with all of these Republican governors winning in 2010, with all of these legislatures going red, with the Beltway ignoring it because it was in the states and people only like to cover stuff that happens in Washington, D.C., here is the most important thing we have learned. Wisconsin`s law went into effect. It has served the purpose the Republicans intended for it. They have succeeded in effectively killing the unions in Wisconsin. This shows union membership nation wide from the 1950s down to the present. The decline you see has been driven by one factor, by corporations getting their way, getting nonunion work forces in the private sector. But even with this precipitous decline in union membership over the decade, still nearly one in eight American workers belongs to a union. And that`s because public sector unions have held on. They have remained stable, even as membership in private unions has gone to the floor. That public sector unions have remained relatively strong, has really big implications for Americans who work for a living. I mean, specifically for those that work as teachers and bus drivers and so on, that makes a very big difference on whether those working people are working for a living wage and have safety in their job that they want to bargain for and all that stuff. But that also supports all working class wages. So, the strength of public sector unions have been important economically in this country to people who have to work for a living. The fact that unions still exist supports everybody`s wages and everybody`s workplace environment. But the fact that public sector union still exists also has a very blunt political implications. We`ve shown this chart a bunch of times on this show. Every time we show this, we`ve got people saying, why don`t you show that chart more often? So, here it is, popular request. These were the heavy weights when it came to outside spending in the 2010 election cycle. These were the 10 groups that spent the most money on the election that year. Six of the ten spent big time on the right. They spent on the Republican side. They were lead by the corporate- funded U.S. Chamber of Commerce, far and away, the biggest spender in 2010. Almost all of the groups spending on behalf of the Republicans in 2010 were corporate-funded groups like that, business groups, right? The only major spenders on the other side, the only major spenders in behalf of Democrats in 2010 were unions. And that was it. They made up only three of the top ten spenders. The only thing that Democrats had were unions. If you kill public sector unions in Wisconsin, you can kill unions altogether in Wisconsin, and you can therefore kill this key source of Democratic strength. It`s true around the country. They`re doing it in Wisconsin. In Wisconsin, Republicans set out to kill the unions and that`s what is they have done. Look at this headline in "The Wall Street Journal". Look at this, "Wisconsin unions see ranks drop ahead of recall vote." It`s kind of stunning. Look at this -- this is the membership for Wisconsin`s second largest union of public sector workers, AFSCME. This is before the union stripping law. Here is that same union`s membership today. We don`t have the stats on all the public unions in Wisconsin, but what we have looks the same. This is the membership of the American Federation of teachers in Wisconsin before the union-stripping law went into effect and this is the membership now in the teachers union, a year after Scott Walker`s law took effect. That`s what they have been able to do in a year. Now because they could not stop the implementing of this law, the Democratic side in the Wisconsin recall effort doesn`t have the means to compete politically that they usually have, the unions play a political role to the extent that unions are going away, they can play less of a political role. It`s a big reason why the Republican side has had a spending advantage in this campaign that at times has reached 25 to 1 -- $25 on the Republican side for every single dollar on the Democratic side. This recall election on Tuesday even so is really close. I mean, Democrats might yet pull it off. They say that the ground game is key. Who used to be best at the ground game? Unions. Killing off the unions is what Republicans want to do in every state of the country. That`s why Scott Walker is the poster boy for the Republican Party this year. Republicans understand that this is the way they can win, not just now, not just in the current election cycle but forever. Republicans get this, and they want it to happen in every state in the country. Republicans get this. Do Democrats get it? Do Democrats understand what`s at stake here? Joining us now is my friend, Ed Schultz. He`s the host of "THE ED SHOW" on MSNBC and he is somebody who definitely, definitely gets it. Ed, thank you so much for spending part of your Friday night with me. I really appreciate, man. ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC HOST: Thank you, Rachel. I appreciate it very much. MADDOW: How much does it matter for Democrats in Wisconsin that what we know about union membership since this law went into effect shows that unions have had their teeth knocked out? They`ve already been decimated. How do you think that affects their chances in the recall next week? SCHULTZ: Well, I think it`s certainly hindered their ground game a bit. But there`s a mental aspect that goes with this right now, and that is -- the people of Wisconsin have seen terrible cuts in education that they are philosophically against. When I`m around the state, I hear it time and time again. I hear it on the radio. They don`t believe this is the right way to balance the budget. On the other hand of it is, is what you pointed out, how they are chipping away at the infrastructure of the voting bloc. They are chipping away at the infrastructure of the social networking, the door to door, the boots on the ground, because this is really the only thing the Democrats really have when it comes to getting the vote out and fighting against all this money that`s being thrown into Wisconsin. Rachel, I think it`s fair to say that Scott Walker is a very challenged candidate. He`s a very challenged when it comes to his credibility and some of the things that have unfolded under his leadership. I think the Republicans are sitting there thinking, you know, if we can keep this guy in office, just think what we can do with good guys. Just think what we can do when we have really good candidates that aren`t in trouble, that aren`t under investigation. And I think the Republicans and the corporate infrastructure is making a lot of mistakes and also making a lot of gains in Wisconsin. This is a template. They`re learning how to do this. And as they learn how to do it, they are chipping away at the Democrat infrastructure. That`s why from a mental standpoint for boots on the ground, this is so important, because there may come a point when Democrats say no matter what we do, we can`t fight this. That`s why this entire election cycle, not only on Tuesday but through November is going to be vitally important for this country. MADDOW: Ed, part of the reason I wanted to talk to you about this is specifically is because you are a national figure. You`ve got national radio show. You`ve got your national television show. You`re talking to people all over the country. You`re responsible for covering things all over the country. But you have been on Wisconsin, forgive the phrase, but you`ve been on Wisconsin every single day relentlessly since this fight started, covering it every single way that you can. And I wonder, from that dual perch that you have, somebody who`s focusing on Wisconsin but talking to people nationwide, you have a lot of great contacts with Democrats nationwide, do you feel like Democrats realize why Wisconsin is important? I mean, if Republicans get their way and they`re able to break the unions in more states, does the Democratic Party understand how that`s going to affect the party in every state in the country in swing states for every year to come? SCHULTZ: Oh, I think they do. I think liberals ands progressives in this country understand the ramifications of not a good outcome on Tuesday. I think they realize the importance of this. I think Democrats and liberals understand the workings of what their up against. And they`re frightened in many respects. They are afraid of what the result is going to be. And we`ll find out if fear is a motivator. But I think the Democrats in Wisconsin, in their heart, feel like they have done everything they can to cover all the bases. It`s an onslaught of commercials against information in a 16-month period. And they feel confident if they can get their people out they will be able to set example for the rest of the country to prove it can be done. So, I think this is a pivotal moment. I`ve been on this story because fundamentally, I knew what the Republicans were trying to do. Fundamentally, I knew that this was the last great voting bloc that the conservatives in this country wanted to take down. If they can get in there and really put a big hole in the flood gate and open up the flood gates, it`s going to be hard to turn around. It really is. Eighty percent of union membership in this country is concentrated in 16 states. The Republicans feel there`s no better place to go than the birthplace of unions to set the table and set the record straight for the way they want to run the country and make it a right to work state. That really is their mission, to make every state in the union a right to work state. I do think in answering your question that Democrats in this country get it. They are watching Wisconsin. This is a big development. MADDOW: Yes, and there`s a reason that every Republican boldface name in the country has been in Wisconsin taking Scott Walker`s side. They not only want him to win the recall, they want to use the Scott Walker template around the country to destroy the last vestiges of unionization in this country and thereby run the table in every election that they can. And you put the spotlight on that for Democrats more than anybody in the country, man. So, I know you`re going to be there in the next few days doing pretty intensive coverage. Thanks for staying up late on Friday and helping me cover it tonight, Ed. I really appreciate it. SCHULTZ: Thank you, Rachel. You`ve been on it as well. I think this is vitally important for the country, no question about it. A real turning point. Thank you. MADDOW: Thanks, man. I appreciate it. All right. You can catch a full hour of Ed every weeknight, of course, right before this show, 8:00 Eastern on MSNBC. And as we head toward the recall election on Tuesday night, Ed will be doing live shows in Wisconsin, including big shows that are open to the public. You want to check out the Ed Web site which we have linked to our blog tonight. There`s not going to be anymore intensive and interesting coverage on that story anywhere else in the country than right here with the Ed Schultz show. All right. Even if Republicans do run the tables in Wisconsin, let`s say they defeat Democrats in every recall election on Tuesday, I have to say there`s something else going on in the battle of corporate control of politics. One state is trying to do something about it in a way that has gotten really no national attention but totally deserves it, and that`s coming up. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: I mentioned a minute ago that every time we show this thing, and we show it a lot, we get all sorts of feedback from people saying, why don`t you show that more? I got to tell you, we show it all the time and nobody else shows it ever. But, apparently, it blows everybody`s minds when we show it. We`ll keep showing it because it is true and it is kind of shocking. But maybe if we show it the rest of the year, it will sink it. I don`t know. What this shows is outside spending in the last election, the biggest outside spenders in the last elections. And for the purposes of talking about partisan politics and what`s happening in Wisconsin and what`s going to happen in 2012, the important thing is that all of the biggest spending on the Republican side is funded by corporations and all of the biggest spenders on the Democratic side are all unions. So, Republican getting rid of unions means they get to run the table. If they kill unions, there will be no big outside spenders on elections except the spenders who fund them. So, they win every election, every state, every year forever. It`s like if you were in a pinewood derby race and one year what you decided to do in the off season was remove the other guy`s supply of wheels for the rest of his life. So, yes, you`ll still have a race every year, you and that other guy. You always race against it, it`s just that every year from here on out, your car will have wheels and his will not. So, you will win every year. The wheel blockade in that analogy is a good investment for you. So, that`s why the chart blows everybody`s mine, right? It shows the dynamic at works when it comes to who is giving money. You want to know who isn`t giving money? Who doesn`t factor into this at all, who essentially makes no splash whatsoever in money in politics? You. And by you I mean you my fellow individual human. In an average midterm election, right -- so like at the time corporations and unions are fighting it out to fund their favorite side in the election, like they were in 2010, in an average midterm election, midterms, right, in 2010, the proportion of human beings, individual Americans choosing to give money to a political campaign is roughly 1 percent. That`s it. So, if money decides what happens in politics, individual Americans, 99 percent of individual Americans are having no influence on politics whatsoever. Why would you bother? I mean, in this election cycle, two guys, two brothers who inherited an oil and chemical conglomerate from their dad, they`ve said that the two of them alone are going to spend $400 million trying to defeat President Obama. Well, we`re not dumb. I mean, if someone else is going to spend $400 million, why would you bother spending what you can afford? Five bucks or 50 bucks or even 500 bucks. What it`s going to do. That`s not like messing with your opponent`s pinewood derby car. That`s like running your pinewood derby car against a Lamborghini. Why would you bother? You don`t go out to water the plants in a rainstorm? You don`t do stuff that`s not going to make a difference. As Republicans try to dismantle union rights state by state, in Wisconsin, in Indiana, in Ohio, everywhere they can, they are eliminating the Democrats abilities to keep up with them in big money politics. Without the unions to compete with them, the corporations and the Republicans the corporation supports will just run the table. One way the Democrats and people who have to work for a living can fight back against that is by fighting for union rights. So, trying to recall Scott Walker and recalling John Kasich`s union stripping law in Ohio, stuff like that. Trying to play defense and hold onto their ability to compete when it comes to big money. That is the way to play defense on this. The other way, though, is to play offense. To change the game so it`s no longer just big money. So, it`s not just those big organizations competing with each other but rather the 99 percent of Americans that are on the sidelines now are off the sidelines and into the game. Imagine if the system was set up that way, set up in a way that regular humans contributions weren`t rendered all but meaningless by all of the giant, corporate and billionaire money. Imagine that. That`s not impossible. And no, I`m not drunk. We haven`t had an early cocktail moment today. Maybe it`s possible. At least it`s more possible than you might have heard. Because have you heard about how Montana factors into all of this? Montana might be one way out of this national disaster that we are in right now with our politics. That`s next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: So the guy who is here for the interview tonight is somebody has just been whacked by one of the rarest things in America today, he has been hit upside the briefcase by something we were not sure existed in this country anymore. Our guest tonight is Steve Bullock and she just ran headlong into a living example of bipartisanship. Who knew that still existed? Two U.S. senators, Sheldon Whitehouse, Democrat, and John McCain, Republican, have joined forces together across the aisle to both take Steve Bullock side in case at the United States Supreme Court. Steve Bullock is the attorney general for the great state of Montana. And Montana has done something that just might offer the country a way out of the mess we have gotten ourselves into in this past couple of years. Before the Citizens United ruling a couple of years ago, almost half of the states in the country had laws restricting corporate spending on state elections. But when Citizens United removed the corporate ban on federal election spending, the states followed. Every state reverted back to the "Wild, Wild West" of rich guys and corporations just buying the government they preferred. Every single state in the Union abandoned its own corporate spending regulations after Citizens United except for one. Except for Montana. For 100 years, since 1912, Montana has had a law that limited how much corporations could spend on state and local elections. It`s called the Corrupt Practices Act. Back in the early 1900s, Montana was a mining baron`s playground. Gazillionaire mine owners would spent $1,000 per voter in order to try to win the election -- the elected officials that they wanted. They sponsored parades and speeches and fireworks. They distributed free cigars and free drinks. They gave out $5 bills to win people`s loyalty and buy votes. Montana thought this was a lousy system, and so they changed it. They passed the Corrupt Practices Act in 1912. For 100 years, it has been the law. And when Citizens United happened, Montana said it is still our law. They said that was about federal elections. This is about us, our state in Montana. We know our history and we are sticking with the law we know we need. Say hello to American Tradition Partnership, though. I know their logo has a waterfall and some trees in it. But this is not an environmental group. It`s an anti-environmental conservative interest group that is not based in Montana. They, in fact, sued the state of Montana saying the Citizens United ruling made the Corrupt Practices Act invalid. It should be struck down. They shouldn`t be allowed to stick to their old state law. Citizens United meant that they can`t. Montana`s attorney general, Steve Bullock, disagrees. He has personally fought as attorney general to keep Montana`s election laws the way they are, thank you very much. He`s fought it in district court and then again in the state Supreme Court, and he has won. The Montana Supreme Court sided with the state`s attorney general saying Montana has got its own reason to hold on to its law. It`s history what the state has been through justifies the state having tight restrictions on what corporations can spend in the state`s elections. I mean, after all, you were talking about a state where the average state Senate candidate today spends $17,000 getting elected. That`s it. That`s what Montana has been protecting with its restrictions on corporate spending. If the corporate spending limit is gone in Montana, and some big corporation decides it wants to determine who sits in that Senate in the state, 17 grand is going to get you nowhere. That`s going to change in a hurry. So, does Montana get to keep its law? Does Montana get to be the one toe-hold, the one ray of hope, the one place in the country that holds out as this conservative majority on the Supreme Court tries to hand every election in the country over to big money? What`s going to happen with this? Montana wants to hold out. Are they going to hold out? We don`t know. The fake environmental, water fall conservative group asked the court to keep Montana from enforcing its law and hear the case. The Supreme Court agreed to the stay. So, that means they temporarily suspended Montana`s law. That means the 2012 election cycle is going to be the first election in 100 years where the state can`t limit corporate expenditures. But check this out -- the corporate also said this, quote, "Montana`s experience, an experience elsewhere since this court`s Citizens United decision makes it exceedingly difficult to maintain that independent expenditures by corporations do not give rise to the corruption -- excuse me -- do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption." You see these quotes there around, "do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption." The justices who wrote the order there are quoting their own Citizens United ruling. They are basically saying Montana`s experience proves, hey, maybe we got that Citizens United case wrong. That`s why people who pay attention to this stuff say that Montana`s attorney general has a pretty good shot at chipping away at one of the most reviled Supreme Court rulings in history. If this Supreme Court takes up this case, Montana and now the 22 states who say they are on Montana`s side in this, they could offer us our first glimmer of hope getting out of this mess that they`re in if the court picks it up. Joining us for the interview tonight is Steve Bullock. He is the attorney general of the great state of Montana. He`s also a Democratic candidate for governor in the state, running to succeed the current governor, Democratic Brian Schweitzer. Mr. Attorney General, thank you very much for joining us tonight. It`s real pleasure to have you here. STEVE BULLOCK, MONTANA ATTORNEY GENERAL: It`s great to be with you, Rachel. MADDOW: You are the expert on these things. You`re inside this fight. I`m definitely just the observer. So, let me know if I got that right in terms of explaining Montana`s law and what you think is at stake here. BULLOCK: Yes, you did get that right. It`s interesting. In 1906, a newspaper said the greatest living issue that confront us today is whether the corporation shall control the people or the people shall control the corporations. After that, we did make some changes. We`ve had a history in Montana, the last 100 years, where elections are noticeably different. And now, that`s jeopardized with the Corrupt Practices Act being put on hold for now. It`s also an opportunity to revisit the fundamental underpinnings of what that Citizens United decision is. MADDOW: In terms of that 100-year-old law being on ice essentially, being stayed by the Supreme Court while they decide what to do, that means that this election year, where you`re running for office, you`re running for governor, is being run under different rules than Montana`s been used to for a century. Have you noticed a difference? Can you see a difference between past elections when corporate spending had a limit and now, when you can`t limit it anymore? BULLOCK: That`s right. In our primary is just actually next Tuesday. We`ve seen spending in judicial races, supposed independent expenditures in legislative races and the statewides. And we don`t know who the wizard behind that curtain is that is making the expenditures. But there`s a lot of them coming in and we can only expect more as we go through these elections cycle. MADDOW: Do you think that Montana is different from other states in terms of how money can corrupt the Democratic process? Do you think that Citizens United will have a similar affect all over the country or is there something unique about how it`s going to affect Montana? BULLOCK: Well, I do think it can have an impact all across the country. Citizens United dealt with federal elections and the presidential election. It doesn`t take a copper king to buy a $17,000 state legislative race. And there`s a whole lot of difference offices -- county assessor, local judges at the state level are elected. So, it really just the amount of money and also the different offices that are up, you know, that can be elected unlike the federal system, it can really impact all of it. Now, I think that`s one of reasons why 22 states joined us. Those are some very blue states but also some real red states saying let states be the master of their own elections and decide how we want to make sure that everybody can participate. MADDOW: So many people who have an interest in politics for whatever reason coming from whatever place, despair because of Citizens United. Despair that regular humans can have any effect what`s going on in elections because of this unlimited and unaccountable money that`s flowing through the states. I think that`s why people, as they are learning about the Montana case, they`re learning about this case that you`re arguing, they`re sort of grasping onto this as ray of hope as maybe a way out of this. When you do talk to other attorneys general in other states, is it a partisan thing? I mean, do people express the things you`re expressing here regardless of ideology? Is this something that`s splitting Republicans and Democrats in a way that we should better, just as regular humans watching this happen? BULLOCK: Well, that`s be it talking to my fellow attorneys general or talking to folks, you know, across this whole state when I`m out either working or campaigning. I don`t think it`s a partisan issue. It`s really an issue about the integrity of our elections and whether people are going to be able to participate and feel like their participation matters. Montana has had really high levels of individual participation, voting, things like that. Everybody, be it in Montana or elsewhere, I think really feels that could be jeopardized given the Citizens United decision. If it`s not revisited and put some side boards on it. MADDOW: Steve Bullock, the attorney general of Montana, Democratic candidate for governor in the state -- thanks for joining us tonight for the interview, sir. It`s good to have you here. BULLOCK: Thanks for having me, Rachel. MADDOW: Now, if the Supreme Court does decide to hear that case, it`s the one way Citizens United could be undermined. If the Supreme Court does decide to hear that case, the oral arguments would likely be in November. What else is going on in November 2012? All right. So, right now in Washington, what is everybody working on? Jobs, jobs, jobs. Kidding. That`s next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: We have an astrophysicist at the show. The phrase neener- neener comes to mind because I`m not kidding. And how us having an astrophysicist can help us all understand the most important political thing that`s going to happen in the news next week is coming up on the show. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: These are really tough numbers. MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: These job numbers are devastating. REP. ERIC CANTOR (R-VA), MAJORITY LEADER: These jobs numbers are pathetic. REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Why don`t they pick up the bills and pass them and help the American people, instead of playing politics over there? (END VIDEO CLIPS) MADDOW: Americans woke up to some gut check news. Unemployment rate went up by a tenth of a point. It`s now 8.2 percent. The economy did add new jobs this past month, but it added less than half as many jobs as economists were expecting it to. In terms of why this is happening, well, part of it is that government jobs, public sector jobs continue to be the major drag on unemployment. Every time somebody talks about shrinking government, because they care about jobs, what they mean is they`re going to fire somebody that works for the government. So, it means people lost their jobs. We lost 13,000 government jobs in May. The only reason we still added jobs overall is because of the private sector -- private companies adding jobs but not enough. But overall, take a look at the great Steve Benen`s famous job growth chart, formerly known as the bikini graph. And you can see that job growth is slowing down. Yesterday morning, reports that the Republican House speaker, John Boehner, held a closed door meetings with Republicans in the House. "Politico" quotes him as telling his caucus, quote, "Let`s call bullpuckey, bullpuckey. This election is about jobs, jobs, jobs." Only he didn`t say, bullpuckey, he said a word that also begins with bull and only has two syllables and it`s one that I cannot repeat on basic cable. But he says, jobs, jobs, jobs. Jobs are the agenda. Jobs are the only issue that matters. Jobs are all we are working on. Jobs is our only focus. So says John Boehner to House Republicans yesterday. You want to know what House Republicans did work on yesterday? Say it with me now, abortion. Just a few hours after the big rousing jobs, jobs, jobs speech, Republicans went to the House floor to work on what they work on, which is yet another Republican anti-abortion bill. An anti-abortion bill they have put on an expedited legislative fast-track to make sure they could bring it to the floor. Because of that expedited process, the bill needed a two- thirds majority to pass -- that did not happen. So, the bill failed. Don`t let this make you think that Republicans are giving up their laser like focus on jobs by which I mean abortion. Ahead of yesterday`s big anti-abortion vote, that bill sponsor, Republican Trent Franks of Arizona, told "The Hill" newspaper that Republicans might, could, maybe bring the bill up again later, under regular rules this time so it would only need a simple majority to pass. In fact, he said yesterday`s defeat of the big Trent Franks anti-abortion bill was all part of Republicans master plan to keep the whole focus of the Congress on jobs by, which I mean abortion. As reported in "The Washington Post" even before the vote yesterday, Congressman Franks conceded in an interview that his anti-abortion measure would probably fail, but he said, "I think we`re doing the right thing strategically by forcing Democrats to vote against it." So, we know it will fail but we like making Democrats vote on abortion any way. It just feels good. Also, it passes the time. Jobs, jobs, jobs. When Republicans took over the House, H.R. 3, as in H.R. 3, as in right at the top of their policymaking agenda was an anti-abortion bill. Last year, with Republicans newly in charge, the House held more votes on abortion bills than it had in a decade. This year, this election year, this jobs, jobs, jobs election year, Republicans are introduced five new, five more anti-abortion bills on top of what they did last year. What is it that you were saying about bullpuckey, Mr. Speaker? (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BOEHNER: Why don`t they pick up the bills and pass them and help the American people instead of playing politics over there? (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Why don`t they? Jobs, jobs, jobs. Excellent point, sir. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Halley`s comet. Halley`s comet Susan says -- Halley`s comet. I`ve always said Halley. I`m going go with Halley -- Halley`s comet. If you`re old enough to remember your mom and dad hauling you out of bed so you could squint at Halley`s comet in your pajamas or if you just read about Halley`s comet in science class, then you have heard of Edmond Halley, a British astronomer, famous for figuring that the long list of people reporting over the centuries that they had seen a come, were not actually all people seeing different comets. They were people seeing comet as it came around again and again on a regular schedule. That he figured out, he figured out that comet`s orbit, he figured out where the comet was in space and when it would come around again. That is the idea that Edmond Halley became famous for. But he had bigger ideas even than that. Way back in 1716, same dude realized that human beings were going to get an amazing chance, an amazing chance to figure out where we are in space. We knew already that we were on a planet and that our little planet went around the sun, but we could not yet be sure about where we were in the sole oar system. We didn`t know how far apart the planets were from each other, we didn`t how far we were from the sun. In 1716, in Edmond Halley`s lifetime, that part of life on earth was still very much a mystery. Here`s what he figured out, the Venus -- the planet Venus, second from the sun, a nearly twin planet to our own earth. Every so often, the orbit of Venus and the orbit of us line up in such a way that we can actually see Venus between us and the sun. We`re third from the sun, Venus is second from the sun, and we can see it once in a really, really rare while as it scoots between us and the sun that we both go around. Our boy Edmond Halley predicted that if we measured that, if we counted how much of time it took for this movement of Venus across the sun, which we can see, we could figure out how far we are from the sun and how far we are from other planets and how far those other planets are from the sun. We could figure out how big the whole kit and caboodle is. We could calculate in a cosmic sense where we are, all from the transit of Venus, that briefest transit across the giant sun of little itty-bitty Venus. From such a little thing comes such a huge thing to know. How big the universe that we`re in is, or at least our solar system. The transit of Venus happens only rarely. Edmond Halley died without ever seeing one, didn`t happen until half a century after he published his theory. But his theory is right. The transit of Venus does teach us all that stuff. And it is a rare event, the last time it happened before this century was in the 1800s. But it is about to happen again. And wince we are the kind of TV show that has a really friendly in- house astrophysicist to explain all of this, we are all in luck. Watch. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SUMMER ASH, IN-HOUSE ASTROPHYSICIST: So Venus transiting the sun is going to look like that. LAURA CONAWAY, TRMS PRODUCER: Like a little raisin or a tick. ASH: Right. Tiny, tiny, tiny. You won`t be able to see this with your eyes. You can see it with telescopes. You shouldn`t try to see it with your naked eye ever. It will hunt you down and hurt you. But Venus will actually kind of move across the disk of the sun, and this is so cool because it only happens every 120-ish years. It happened in 2004 so if you missed that, you really have to see it again this year. And it`s not going to happen again until 2117. CONAWAY: So Tuesdays is your big chance. ASH: Tuesday is your big chance. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Tuesday is your big chance. That`s Laura Conaway, our producer here talking to the great Summer Ash, who is our in-house astrophysicist friend. On our blog, on Maddow blog, we`re going to keep you posted on our blog where you can watch the transit of Venus on Tuesday without burning your eyes out of your sockets. Of course, the fact it`s happening on Tuesday means it`s also happening on the day of the Wisconsin recall election when with voters are going to decide whether Republican Governor Scott Walker gets to finish out his term after he stripped union rights in the state and thereby all but wiped out the strongest unions in the state, which is all but wiped out the only answer Democrats have to compete with the corporate money that funds Republicans in elections. Scott Walker has led the nation in losing jobs. He has scorched the civility out of Wisconsin`s civic discourse. On Tuesday we`ll learn if he faces electoral consequences now before his first term is up. Since what he did in office is kind of a shock to those who voted on the election. He didn`t run on any of the stuff he ended up doing. The Scott Walker recall on Tuesday is the second most important election in the country this year, before the presidential election. And Democrats have been so dramatically outspent. It is going to be a really hard election for them to pull off on Tuesday. We do not know what`s going to happen. But, you know, that Walker recall is not the only recall election that`s happening on Tuesday. Activists in Wisconsin also put four Republican senators up for recall at the same time, for going along with Scott Walker`s agenda. Each of those Senate races matters almost as much as the one for Walker himself. After a round of recalls last year and a resignation this year, Wisconsin Republicans have lost their majority in the state Senate. They`re at an even split with Democrats with one seat empty and one Republican who sides with the Democrats on union issues. Scott Walker couldn`t pass the union stripping thing in this chamber now if he had to do it again. And if Democrats win even one of the four Senate recalls on Tuesday, they`re going to take back the Wisconsin Senate. They`re going to be able to stop Scott Walker from doing anything else, even if he does remain Wisconsin`s governor on Tuesday. Here`s the thing about tiny little local races like Wisconsin`s Senate recalls on Tuesday. We have almost no information about how those races are going. If you look back at polling from mid-April, you`ll see Republican incumbents with strong leads in every race, except for this one in the district that includes the town of Racine. This one, the race was almost tied. This is the same district where the Democratic National Committee chairwoman this week told volunteers they need to eat, sleep and breathe the recall to get the Democratic candidate elected. This is the same district where a group thought up by Karl Rove is spending money to defend the Republican senator, this is the same district where the Koch brothers-funded Americans for Prosperity group is going to be ending their totally not about the recall/totally about the recall bus tour of Wisconsin it they`re doing this week. They`re going to three of the four senate districts that have the recalls with the grand finale in Racine. A Republican`s one-party rule of the state hangs in the balance. The political world is focused on the question of Scott Walker, waiting to see whether he stays or goes as Wisconsin governor. But the Senate races? Your guess is as good as anybody`s. It is an exciting prospect for it Democrats who really can only gain here. If every one of those Senate recalls go against them, they`re exactly where they are now. But if one of them goes their way, they win a lot. It`s a scary prospect for Republicans who really only have ground to lose here. If everything goes their way, they stay where they`re at. They lose one, they lose the Senate. What`s going to happen in those little races in Tuesday is going to tell us all a lot about what`s going to happen in the state of Wisconsin in November. It`s going to tell us a lot about what`s going to happen to all of these newly red states who went so radically red in 2010 from the tiny little barely perceptible motion of these little Senate seats across the sun on Tuesday, all of us political geeks will be able to calculate so, so much about where our political world is right now and where we`re heading. It`s exciting. That does it for us tonight. We`re going to see you again on Monday night. Until then, I hereby sentence you to several hours at least in NBC prison. THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END