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The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 10/25/13

Guests: Cecile Richards, Don Morrison

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: And thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. Happy Friday. I should tell you right now, there is not a cocktail moment on tonight`s show. If you want to hit pause and go get a drink right now, I would understand though. Because Ted Cruz is in Iowa and that violates the rule from bans all reasonable people from talking about the 2016 presidential race. That`s the rule. It`s on our white board, in our office. We try to never violate it. And there`s good reason not to. The last presidential race was less than a year ago. There`s another really big nationwide election that has to happen between now and the next presidential race. Nobody is allowed to talk about 2016. It is against the rules. But Ted Cruz is in Iowa right now. And Iowa Republicans are kind of at war with themselves right now. The state`s Republican governor, Terry Branstad, is now talking nationally about how he is leading an effort inside the Republican Party in Iowa to try essentially to reclaim the party from the social conservatives who have taken over in Iowa -- and who especially have dominated the states presidential politics, so much so that also-runs like Mike Huckabee and Santorum are now winning not just straw polls of conservative activists in Iowa, but they`re actually winning the Iowa Republican caucuses, sort of. Maybe. It`s gotten hard to tell who has won recently because as the social conservatives have taken over the party, that has occurred simultaneously with the caucuses process collapsing on the Republican side and the whole structure of the Iowa Republican Party collapsing. Recently, since 2012, the Tea Party guys have taken over the official leadership of the state party in Iowa. That has meant the Iowa Republicans have not been able to do just the brass tacks stuff that you need to do to be a major party like fundraising, for example. The Branstad side in this argument is saying that under the Tea Party guys who`ve taken over the state party, fundraising has fallen by double digits. Also, Iowa Republicans have a really specific problem named Diane. Diane Crookham-Johnson, who not that long ago was the single most prolific fund-raiser for the Iowa Republican Party. She raised more for Iowa Republicans than anybody in the state. But she is pro-choice. So, she explained to "The Associated Press" that the social conservative takeover of the Iowa Republican Party has been a little alienating. Can mainstream Republicans get somebody like her back? Can mainstream Republicans regain their strength and take back control from the groups that have taken over? Can they get themselves back into power? Can they? Magic 8 ball, can they? Magic 8 ball says, oh, look, this is bad. Ted Cruz. This is not going to help. Tonight`s big annual fundraising dinner for the Republican Party of Iowa featuring the Tea Party Republican senator, Ted Cruz. This is not going to help. And, you know, Ted Cruz is not famous for it, but he is a Rick Santorum-style social conservative and he always has been. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is known to us when he was in Washington, during the Bush years, he worked for the U.S. Department of Justice and as a policy adviser of the 2000 Bush-Cheney campaign. But we were well- acquainted with him while he was in Washington and we certainly welcome him back to Washington as a U.S. senator and we want to be able to give him the opportunity to do even more, in a Senate majority so that he is a majority senator who can vote on all those pro-life bill and give them through the Senate. So, with that, I would like to give you Senator Cruz. (APPLAUSE) SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: This is a room of warriors. This is a room of patriots. This is a room of men and women willing to sacrifice, sacrifice on your knees in prayer, sacrifice standing up for the unborn. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Speaking in June at the National Right to Life conference, getting a standing ovation. And what he`s saying there about standing up for the unborn, that`s a fairly standard part of his stump speech to conservative audiences, even if the national press doesn`t always pick it up about him. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CRUZ: This is an administration that is telling Christian companies like Hobby Lobby, is telling -- that the Little Sisters of the Poor, they must provide abortifacients, or pay millions of dollars in government fines. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: The audience shouting, oh, no, no. The audience is correct there. Because no, no, what Senator Cruz said there is not actually happening. No! He totally made it up. The Hobby Lobby is a company that sells knickknacks and glitter and stuff. This week, as long as you`re not willing to buy from the seasonal department, you can get 50 percent off on decorative vegetable and fruit filled bottles or men`s metal and wood decor. The Hobby Lobby is a shop where you can shop by gender. The Hobby Lobby is a for-profit company. They are suing the federal government because they as a company disapprove of contraception and they want to be able to block their employees from having birth control covered on their health insurance. And birth control, contraception, is not the same thing as having an abortion. It`s not as Ted Cruz put it, an abortifacient. It`s not. Contraception and abortion, birth control and abortion, they`re not the same thing unless you are a Rick Santorum-Ken Cuccinelli type out there social conservative like Ted Cruz is. Ted Cruz does not get billed that way, but that`s absolutely what he is. And at home in Texas right now, in Ted Cruz`s home state, Republican Party there is on the brink of a social conservativism breakthrough. You remember back in June when Democratic state senator, now Democratic candidate for Texas governor, Wendy Davis, stood up for 13 hours and filibustered a real filibuster against Texas Republicans draconian new antiabortion law, which was designed to shut down abortion clinics across the state of Texas. Wendy Davis succeeded in her filibuster that day, succeeded in delaying the passage of that bill. But ultimately, Texas Republicans were able to force it through and that bill is due to go into effect in Texas on Tuesday. Between now and Tuesday, a federal judge is set to rule on whether or not that law is constitutional. The trial was held this week. The state called basically no witnesses. Didn`t make an argument in favor of the law because they`re so confident they`re going to win this court battle. But the federal judge in this case says that he hears the clock ticking. He knows those regulations are due to go into effect on Tuesday, and he will try to get in his ruling before then. If the law is upheld or if the ruling is too late, and the new law goes into effect on Tuesday as scheduled, that is expected to force essentially the immediate closure of 13 clinics that provide abortion in Texas. A third of the places in the state where you can get an abortion will shut down. Texas, of course, is a state where even before this law, Republican pressure against access to abortion was already forcing some women into crossing the Mexican border to try to buy medicine to self-induce an abortion at unregulated Mexican pharmacies. It`s also been reported there`s a thriving illegal trade in those same kind of medicines at Texas flee markets. People just guessing what it might take to cause an abortion, because they can`t go to a doctor, because there isn`t one anymore. That was before what is due to happen in Texas next week. And that is a dramatic and down to the wire situation in Texas which is a really big state where a ton of people live, but is not unlike what is happening around the country in Republican controlled state. In Ohio right now, clinics are shutting down across the state, one after the other -- thanks to the un-debated, last minute additions to the Ohio state budget, that Republicans slipped into that budget with no hearings and no debate before John Kasich signed it into law in July. You see John Kasich there signing the Ohio budget at the meeting of an Ohio women`s group, as you can see there. The caption must be wrong on that. No, the lead in "The Cleveland Plain Dealer" this week was this: at the start of 2013, there were 14 abortion clinics in Ohio. Today, there are 11 and thanks to newly enacted state restrictions, at least two more facilities are reportedly in danger of closing. Just this year, Republicans in Ohio have been able to shut down a clinic in Cleveland, and a clinic in Cuyahoga Falls, and a clinic Toledo. The only other clinic in Toledo is now on the brink of closure, as is the fifth clinic in the suburbs of Cincinnati. The head of the Ohio Right to Life group is bragging openly in the Ohio press now about how the Right to Life groups and the Republicans wrote the law, wrote this legislation that they stuffed into the budget in a way that was specifically designed to shut down as many clinics in the state as possible, and now, it`s working the way they intended. This is putting pressure now on bordering states. The clinic just over Ohio`s northern border in Michigan is reporting a huge spike in patients crossing the border from Ohio into Michigan because you can`t really get abortions in Ohio anymore since the Republicans took over there. Quote, "The number of Ohio women scheduling abortions at the Michigan clinic has grown so rapidly that the company is hiring additional staff to handle the demand. There`s been a, quote, "noticeable increase in patient from the Buckeye State." Ohio prides itself on having state-of-the-art world class medical facilities, right? The Cleveland Clinic, right? Come on. But, right now, women in Ohio are having to leave the state or having to flee the state and cross borders in order to get health care that just isn`t available in Ohio anymore because the Republicans are in charge of the state government there and that`s what they decided to do with their power. And so, this fight in Ohio right no now, about whether or not the Republican Party there really is the party of social conservatism, whether it really is a party so defined by its antiabortion activism that it`s going to repel the party`s top fund-raiser because she doesn`t agree with them on that one issue. This fight in Iowa, as birth control equals abortion, Ted Cruz takes the dais right now at the Reagan dinner in Iowa tonight, this fight in Iowa is the same fight that the Republican Party is having nationally. This week, the post-2012 election laws Republican Party autopsy report which said the party should reach out more to minorities and support immigration reform, and also said the party should not be so doctrinaire and social on conservative issues that they repel people who agree with them on other issues -- that autopsy report this week got a rebuttal from an anti-abortion and antigay group who argued that the official Republican Party report had it wrong. They say that the real reason that Republicans lost in 2012 is because Republicans in 2012 were not socially conservative enough and the reason Ken Cuccinelli`s going to lose that Virginia governor`s race and the reason any Republican is going to lose any race anywhere in the country is because they are not socially conservative. They need to get more hard lined and that`s how they`ll start winning. This is the national story for the Republican Party right now. There is a fight in the Republican Party right now in the states and in Washington, about whether or not Republicans should just give in and admit, hey, this is what we have to offer. We make no bones about it. Elect us. We will force you to give birth against your will. I mean, that is what they have doing in the states. They affected radical change in the states and the fight right now is not about whether tor not to keep doing that, it`s about whether or not they admit to it and pretending to be proud about it, instead of pretending right now that`s not their first priority. If they pick Ted Cruz, that means the we`re proud of it side wins. Joining us now is Cecile Richard, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund. The group`s super PAC, Planned Parenthood Vote, is running a TV ad in Virginia right now highlighting Ken Cuccinelli`s anti-abortion positions. Ms. Richards, thanks very much for being with us. I appreciate your time tonight. CECILE RICHARDS, PLANNED PARENTHOOD: Sure, Rachel. Good to see you. MADDOW: We have talked before about the way that abortion is both used in political campaigns and sometimes disappears. Conservatives have been trying to use the abortion issue to turn out their base as the last minute thing in this Virginia governor`s race. You`re trying to do the opposite and opposing force in Virginia. How do you see your efforts there working? RICHARDS: Well, if you look at what`s happening in Virginia, where, of course, the Republicans have nominated the most extreme ticket ever in the commonwealth, running not only Ken Cuccinelli for governor, but also the down ballot races, what you`re seeing now is that women are leaving the party in droves. I think the latest polls show that there`s a 20-point gender gap of women supporting Terry McAuliffe, and this was a race dead even in the spring. Literally, women in the state of Virginia or the commonwealth of Virginia will not vote for Ken Cuccinelli because he wants to get rid of birth control. He wants to, of course, he said he wants to get rid of Planned Parenthood. He`s tried to get rid of -- he`s closed -- supported closing health centers in Virginia. I don`t really get it. This is, again, we saw after the 2012 elections, women overwhelmingly voted to re-elect Barack Obama over these issues. We`re seeing the same thing play out in Virginia. It seems like a very bad strategy of the Republican Party and Ted Cruz is a classic example. MADDOW: I`m fascinated to see in Iowa right now, this anecdote about the former top fund-raiser for the Iowa Republican Party being totally alienated from the party, and obviously not doing that great fundraising work for them anymore because she is pro-choice and she feels like she doesn`t have a home in that party anymore. Do you see any effort, with any successful effort within the Republican Party to essentially bolster or unify or at least somehow support pro-choice Republicans? Is there any resistance in the Republican Party to what they`re doing nationwide? RICHARDS: Well, honestly, Rachel, I`d say that there is enormous disaffection in the rank and file. Of course, a lot of Republicans started Planned Parenthoods around the country. That was the first thing that they were concerned somehow the national Republican Party in Congress was trying to defund Planned Parenthood. Then, they went after birth control. They kept going. And so, I`d say that rank and file is very discouraged. That`s why you`re seeing this big gender gap across the country. Unfortunately, though, you know, we think of Ted Cruz as being an outlier, sort of some lone wolf. But the truth is, he is lockstep, he is leading the Republican Party. It`s incredible. We talk about these antics to close down the government, which he took part in, totally unsuccessfully, disrupting our economy, losing taxpayer money and yet, the Republican Party, the Republicans in Congress voted right along with him. MADDOW: Do you see this could not become a litmus test issue for the Republican Party in the future? Right now, there is no such thing as a pro-choice Republican running for office at any sort of national level. And I can`t imagine they will allow that to happen anytime soon. Can you see any way to interrupt that process where pro-choice Republicans might be able to gain any ground? I know you`re saying it`s not happening already, but if you were inventing a strategy for them and I bet you have been thinking about this, how would you have them do it? RICHARDS: Well, I absolutely think that moderates of the party have to run for office and they have to challenge people in the primary. And, unfortunately, maybe it is that they have to just lose so many successive elections that they realize that you cannot be elected in the United States of America and be against women. We`re 51 percent of the voters in this country. And that`s why, you know, you mentioned the Wendy Davis situation in Texas. Wendy Davis has now put Texas in play because there are men and women in that state who simply will not vote for this kind of extreme politics. So, I wish there was a short and simple answer. We work with moderate Republicans at Planned Parenthood every single day and hope that many of them will decide to run for office and take their party back. MADDOW: Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund -- Cecile, thanks very much for being with us tonight. Appreciate your time. RICHARDS: Good to see you, Rachel. Thanks. MADDOW: You, too. All right. The breathtaking week of Republican outreach to minority voters in North Carolina was pretty breathtaking last night. It got like 100 times worse today. Amazing, amazing news out of North Carolina, next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: This has been a hard week for the kickoff of the Republican Party`s outreach efforts to African-Americans in the state of North Carolina. Republican Party`s presidential candidate may have won North Carolina overall in 2012, but that was no thanks to the black vote. African-Americans in North Carolina voted 96 percent for President Obama. That was up from the 95 percent of black voters who supported him in the previous election. More than one in five residents of North Carolina is African-American. The black voters in North Carolina have really not seen much to appeal to them from the Republican Party. This was a really unfortunate week to pick for Republicans to try to change black voters minds. This was the week the Republican governor of the state went to court to defend the Republicans` new law restricting voting rights in the state. A law that have been called the worst voter suppression law passed anywhere in the country since the Voting Rights Act in 1965 banned things like literacy tests and poll taxes. So, Republicans went to court to defend those laws the same day they opened up their black outreach office in North Carolina. Two days later, "The Daily Show" on Comedy Central talked to a local North Carolina Republican official about that law and what it`s for. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DON YELTON: The bottom line is, the law is not racist. REPORTER: Of course the law is not racist. And you are not racist. YELTON: Well, I`ve been called a bigot before. Let me tell you something. You don`t look like me, but I think I`ve treated you the same as I would anybody else. As matter of fact, one of my best friends is -- black. REPORTER: One of your best friends -- YELTON: One of my best friends. REPORTER: Is black? YELTON: Yes. REPORTER: And there`s more. YELTON: When I was a young man, you didn`t call a black a black, you called him a Negro. I had a picture one time of Obama sitting on a stump as a witch doctor and I posted that on Facebook. I was making fun of my white half of Obama, not the black half. Now, you have a black person using the term nigger this, nigger that, and it`s OK for them to do it. REPORTER: You know that we can hear you, right? YELTON: Yes. REPORTER: OK, you know that. You know that we can hear you? YELTON: Yes. REPORTER: OK. Then, I found out the real reason for the law. YELTON: The law is going to kick the Democrats in the butt. REPORTER: Wow! An executive GOP committee member just admitted that this law isn`t designed to hurt black people, it`s designed to hurt Democrats. YELTON: If it hurts a bunch of college kids that`s too lazy to get up off their bohunkus and go get a photo ID, so be it. REPORTER: Right, right. YELTON: If it hurts the whites, so be it. If it hurts a bunch of lazy blacks that wants the government to give them everything, so be it. REPORTER: And it just so happens that a lot of those people vote Democrat. YELTON: Gee. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: And this is the week the North Carolina Republican Party is kicking their outreach to black voters. Mr. Yelton resigned from the North Carolina Republican Party leadership job that he has yesterday after "The Daily Show" segment ran and everybody got upset with what he said. But he told a reporter today that he stands by everything he said in the interview. He said local Republicans have long complained they can`t get enough media coverage and he has finally provided some, then started using a N-word again to the reporter, telling the paper when an N-word can use the word N-word, he said it again, and it not be considered racist, that`s the utmost racism in the world. Mr. Yelton has also been enjoying time today on North Carolina local radio. Here he is on Asheville`s WWNC. (BEGIN AUDIO CLIP) YELTON: No, I don`t take back anything that I said. Would I do it again? Yes, but what has happened is through this appearance on this show, has confirmed some things for me. Number one, it`s confirmed that the Democratic Party can`t take the truth. When I said it`s going to kick the Democrats in the butt, this law about having the voter ID, I meant it. To heck with it, I don`t want to be part of a group that is that mealy mouthed and that gutless. (END AUDIO CLIP) MADDOW: So, the North Carolina Republican Party`s efforts this week, to move black voters away from the Democratic Party -- that turning out to be great timing, already. Then today, we got this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) STATE REP. LARRY PITTMAN (R), NORTH CAROLINA: I saw on Facebook recently, that there was -- someone had posted something with a picture of Barack Obama and across it said traitor. And, you know, I don`t always agree with the guy, I certainly didn`t vote for him. But I got to defend on him on this one. I just don`t think it`s right at all to call Barack Obama a traitor. There are a lot of things he`s done wrong, but he is not a traitor, at least not as far as I can tell. I haven`t come across any evidence yet that he has done one thing to harm Kenya. (LAUGHTER) (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: North Carolina Republican State Legislator Larry Pittman speaking at a town hall in North Carolina this week. So, the worst voting law since Jim Crow, the lazy black people N-word guy hits "The Daily Show" and then tours the state media, making himself a star. The president is secretly African. Anything else North Carolina Republican Party, is there you want to do this week to woo black voters to kick off your outreach efforts to the black community? Got anything else up your sleeve? Today, Republican North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory will honor the late Jesse Helms, right, because why not? If North Carolina Republicans are really going all out this week to try to make it seem like they`re super-welcoming to black people, why not do an event honoring this guy. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) AD NARRATOR: You needed that job and you were the best qualified. But they had to give it to a minority because of a racial quota. Is that really fair? Harvey Gantt says it is. Gantt supports Ted Kennedy`s racial quota law that makes a color of your skin more important than your qualifications. You vote on this issue next Tuesday. For racial quotas, Harvey Gantt. Against racial quotas, Jesse Helms. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: When Helms was in the Senate in 1993, he stepped into the Senate members` elevator, along with the first African-American woman to ever be elected to the U.S. Senate, Carol Moseley Braun. She was the only black member of the Senate at that time. Senator Helms saw her standing in the elevator, alongside Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, he walked up to Senator Moseley Braun in the elevator and started to sing, "I wish I was in the land of cotton." Quote, "And he looked at Senator Hatch and said, `I`m going to make her cry. I`m going to sing `Dixie` until she cries." When Jessie Helms retired from the United States senate, David Broder at "The Washington Post" wrote that he was, quote, "the last prominent unabashed white racist politician in this country. What is unique about Helms is his willingness to pick at the scab of the ground wound of American history, the legacy of slavery and segregation and to inflame racial resentment against African-Americans." When Jessie Helms finally died in 2008, his "L.A. Times" obituary noted that unlike other symbols of segregation like Alabama`s Governor George Wallace or South Carolina Senator Strum Thurmond, who eventually recanted their opposition to racial integration, Jessie Helms held firm on that, until his death. And so, that`s who North Carolina Republican Governor Pat McCrory is honoring tonight to put the capstone on the North Carolina Republican Party`s efforts this week to win over the African-American vote. Anybody else besides me afraid to see what they`re going to try next week? (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: We reported on this a couple of weeks ago, an unusual a large oil spill that happened on a wheat farm near Tioga, North Dakota, in the central part of that state. A farmer was out harvesting his wheat and noticed the spill. That was in late September. The pipeline company that ran the pipeline that was spilling told the state that it appeared about 750 barrels of oil had been spilled. As the cleanup started, state regulators said nothing to the public. More than a week later, state regulators got a new estimate for this spill they had been keeping quiet about. They had thought it was 750 barrels. It turns out, it was more than 20,000 barrels plus and that`s when they finally at least told the state`s governor, more than a week into the clean up. But even after that, nobody told the public what was happening, until a reporter from the associated press started asks about it. Left with our own devices, who knows when officials in North Dakota would have said anything about the big, big oil spill if ever. Quoting the lead state official, quote, it`s on a top of a low heel in the middle of a wheat field and in an area with no residents at all. The public has a right to know, but do I have a responsibility to run out and tell the public every time there`s a spill that`s not going to threaten them or the environment, that the company is aggressively cleaning up? That was yesterday. Today, North Dakotans got more news about what they do not know. It turns out that in the midst of their state`s headlong oil boom, there have been hundreds of oil spills reported to the government, but never revealed to the public. According to these new documents obtained by "The A.P.", North Dakota logged 291 oil spills this year alone that the public was not informed of. Since January 2012, North Dakota regulators have recorded more than 700 oil field incidents. Again, none of them publicly reported. And here`s the thing. The oil and gas industry in North Dakota just closed a $25 billion year the part of the state economy involving pipelines is worth more than twice the crops and livestock part of the economy. The part of the economy and land that includes the wheat fields where those pipelines sometimes spring their giant leaks. North Dakota runs on oil and gas these days. The question is to what extent oil and gas runs North Dakota governments. Joining us now is Don Morrison. He`s executive director of the Dakota Research Council, which is a group of more than 700 conservation-minded landowners in North Dakota. Mr. Morrison, thanks very much for being with us. DON MORRISON, DAKOTA RESEARCH COUNCIL: Good to be here, Rachel. Thanks for having me on your show. MADDOW: Sure. Well, I got to ask if you were surprised by the number of oil spills in your state as described today by "The A.P." To me, it was a surprisingly large number. MORRISON: Well, I think from what we`ve been hearing from farmers, ranchers, and small business folks out in western North Dakota, 300, not surprised. But, really, it`s not good news. But it`s a large number. MADDOW: Why do you think there hasn`t been more notice given to the public when those spills happen? I mean, part of it is that the spills are happening. The other part is that the public isn`t being told. Why do you think that is or what`s your reaction to that at least? MORRISON: Well, I think if I could go back, this is normal operating procedure I think for the current North Dakota state government. We have farmers, ranchers, small business owners, workers, Native Americans, and folks who have been calling North Dakota state government agencies, whether it`s the Health Department or other agencies, industrial commission, on difficulties and problems they`ve had with pipeline sighting, well pads and dust and roads and different kinds of difficulties, water contamination. And for a while there, the state government didn`t respond very quickly, or very fast. But we, the Dakota Resource Council, the organization that I`m with, we started shining the light of the public on what was going on. So, now, what happens, Rachel, is that some of these things are reported and calls are going to the state government, they`ll send somebody out. Then, they`ll go talk to the oil companies and they`ll come back to the landowner, a person, or North Dakotan, and they`ll go -- well, the oil company said there` no problem and shrug their shoulders, and go, so there`s no problem. And I think it is -- North Dakota state government, the current government, is so intent on making sure that the oil companies and the oil industry in North Dakota, that that`s their constituency. MADDOW: How is that changed over time? Are you saying that the North Dakota government used to be more responsive, if not ideally responsive, when you complained? But as the oil boom has gone on in North Dakota, the government has gotten more and more differential to the industry? MORRISON: Yes and I think at the end, I -- thank you for asking your question that way. It really is, this isn`t the first oil boom or energy boom or coal boom that North Dakota has had. In past booms, North Dakota state government and the people of the state have reacted very differently. Dakota Research Council formed in the late 1970s when there was coal strip mining. And we have -- because of the efforts of a different kind of government and the Dakota Resource Council, we have one of the strongest and toughest coal mining, strip mining reclamation laws in the country. So, this really is a different way. North Dakotans weren`t expecting that their state government would leave them out of this equation. MADDOW: Don Morrison, executive director of the Dakota Research Council --thank you very much for talking to us tonight, sir. Please stay in touch. Appreciate it. We`ll be right back. MORRISON: Good to be with you. MADDOW: We`ll be right back. Thanks. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: This is Alan Greenspan. When Mr. Greenspan was appointed chairman of the Federal Reserve by President Reagan, he had already chaired the president`s council of economic advisors for three years. This is Ben Bernanke. Before he got appointed chairman of the Federal Reserve, he held that same job Alan Greenspan had, but he`d only held it for about six months. He also had been on the board at the Federal Reserve, though. This is Paul Volcker, who preceded both of them as chairman of the Federal Reserve. Before Mr. Volcker got nominated for that job, he had also run the New York Fed and he had worked at the Treasury Department. So, that`s the history of the last three guys. Can we put that up there? Chronologically, the first guy, he worked at the Treasury and at the New York Fed. Second guy had chaired the president`s economic advisers. The third had shared the president`s economic advisers and was on the board of the Fed. So, that`s the experience of the three guys who have done this before. Now, here is the person who President Obama has just nominated to do it next. And she`s not a guy -- Janet Yellen, who would be the first woman to chair the Federal Reserve ever. On paper at least, she is more qualified for the job than anyone in modern history. Yes, Paul Volcker ran the New York Fed for four years. She ran the San Francisco Fed for six years. Greenspan and Bernanke both ran the president`s economic advisors. Yes, she did that, too, for two years. Also, she did three years on the Fed Board of Governors, and she`s vice chair there now as well and she also worked at the Fed as an economist back in the day. The day before Janet Yellen was announced as President Obama`s nominee to be the next Fed chair, "The Washington Post`s" economic policy blog called her perhaps the most qualified fed chair in history. Yes, she predicted the financial crisis when other people were pooh-poohing it and yes, she would be the first woman ever at the Fed, but brass tacks, ignore all of that, she is more qualified for the job than any of the men who have gone before her in modern times. So, naturally, Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky today said that he would put a hold on her nomination next week. Senator Paul has just released this new weird audio message that has videos titles saying that his fight to stop Janet Yellen will be the fight of our lives. Everybody needs to join this fight against the most qualified person to ever be nominated for that job. That said, he pledged to block the Janet Yellen nomination is only start. The other thing they just said they are going to block has got to be some kind of special Halloween treat or something or trick, yes, I don`t know. But in any case, that is amazing. And that story is next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Republicans say that if you only know one thing about what the party stands for, you should know that Republicans stand for smaller government. One of the most awkward things about that is how much government has actually grown whenever Republicans are in charge of it, from President Ronald Reagan, to President George H.W. Bush, to President George W. Bush. When they were in charge, government grew a lot. Now, it also grew under Clinton, but what`s awkward now is that under President Obama, the socialist-communist-Marxist-big-government-bogeyman, during his time in office, government has actually shrunk. The size of the government right now, about 2.7 million employees is the lowest it`s been since 1966. Government under President Obama is shrinking. Under Republican presidents like George W. Bush, government grew. One of the ways the government grew under President George W. Bush is that after 9/11, Republicans supported a plan to combine 22 agencies into one new giant mega federal agency, smaller only than the V.A. and Defense Department. It was and remains the mammoth Department of Homeland Security. Because it has the word "homeland" in its name, it is also the creepiest named government of all. The Department of Homeland Security hasn`t been around that long. It`s only had three leaders since it officially opened for business in 2003. The nominee to be the fourth ever leader of this agency is now Jeh Johnson. He was the top lawyer for the Defense Department in President Obama`s first term. President Obama has nominated Mr. Johnson and now, he must be approved by the Senate. And in the Senate, guess what the objections are? Republican Senators John Cornyn of Texas and Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III of Alabama, they`ve decided to raise the alarm about Jeh Johnson as a nominee for Homeland Security because Jeh Johnson donated money to Democratic candidates in the past, including to President Obama. Senator Sessions said about those donation, quote, "this is deeply concerning." Senator Cornyn included Mr. Johnson`s political donations as among his grave concerns about this nomination. I mentioned before that there have been only been three total leaders of this agency the whole time it has existed. Two of those three were nominated by President George W. Bush and then confirmed by the Senate. One of them, former Pennsylvania governor, Tom Ridge. He raised and bundled over a quarter million dollars for President George W. Bush, who then nominated him for Homeland Security secretary. The second one, Michael Chertoff, also gave thousand of dollars in direct donations to Republicans, including to George W. Bush, who then nominated him for Homeland Security secretary. When each was nominated to run the Homeland Security Agency, Senators John Cornyn and Jeff Sessions, were in the Senate, they raised no objections to the political donations from either candidates. Both senators voted to confirm both nominees without a peep. Now though they profess to be outraged that Jeh Johnson has done the same thing that guys did. It bothers them. It is deeply concerning them to when a Democrat does it. But when a Republican does it, oh, that was OK. It`s OK if you`re a Republican. It is the single most consistent principle in Congress today. That said, if this is the best they could come up with, if this is the quality of the opposition to Jeh Johnson`s nomination, I think it is safe to say this is pretty much a done deal. But watch this space. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: It is a rule in American politics whatever party the president is in, the other party tends to do better in the midterm elections. So say it`s 1970, before Watergate. The president was obviously a Republican, Richard Nixon. And in the midterm elections that year, 1970, the president`s party, the Republican Party, got crushed. Democrats took 12 seats from Republicans in the House that year. Republicans also lost a ton of governorships in 1970. GOP is set back in major states. It`s just a bad year for the Republicans that year. But into every rain storm, a little sun must shine. So, even in that bad year for Republicans, they did have some bright spots. Por ejemplo, that year, 1970, a gentleman named Bill Young was first elected to the House of Representatives from Florida. Although he did not know it at the time, Bill Young would go on to hold that seat in Florida for 42 years. Congressman Bill Young, first elected in 1970, he went on to become the longest continually serving Republican member of Congress ever in the history of the country. He was serving in his 22nd term when he died last Friday at the age of 82. This week, thousand of people gathered in Largo, Florida, for Congressman Bill Young`s funeral. The House canceled their scheduled business yesterday afternoon in honor of Congressman Young`s funeral, so members who wanted to attend could do so. And more than 100 members of Congress did attend the funeral. They all flee down to Florida. And no disrespect to Congressman Young, some members of the House said they were ticked off that House business got canceled for the funeral. And they were mad specifically that John Boehner arranged military transport for the members of Congress who wanted to fly down for it. They flew down there in big C-32 and C-40 planes that were flown by the Air Force. But even though some conservatives said they were mad about it, more than 100 members of Congress did fly done to Florida to pay their respects. And as such this was all right most a variety of a state funeral. One of the more interesting things about Bill Young`s long time in Congress is that he was a huge supporter of the military, and specifically of increased military spending. He was on the appropriations committee. From that influential position in Congress, in recent years, Congressman Bill Young was one of the most outspoken and avowed supporters of the war in Afghanistan. For the first 11 years of that war, he was very much in favor of it. And that made it a huge deal when Congressman Bill Young told "The Tampa Bay Times" last year that he thought it was now time for that war to end. The congressman told "The Times" editorial board, I think we should remove ourselves from Afghanistan as quickly as we can. The congressman said he was moved to the position in part by a young staff sergeant from his district who had written to him from Afghanistan about the conditions of combat there. And then shortly after he wrote off to the congressman, he was killed in Afghanistan by an IED. Staff Sergeant Matthew Sitton was 26 years old when he died. He left behind his wife and their 9-year-old son. Congressman Young told "The Times" about his communication with Sergeant Sitton before he died and then he told the paper, quote, "I just think we are killing kids that don`t need how to die." And he turned against the war. So, rest in peace, Congressman Bill Young, the longest serving Republican in Congress. Rest in peace. And now, because Congressman Young was a congressman from Florida this is the part where the story has to take a weird turn now. I am sorry, you can blame Florida. Shortly after Congressman Bill Young died, his widow started sending letters to a list of people who she wanted to make sure did not show their faces at her husband`s funeral. So, dear Charlie Crist, quoting Mrs. Young`s e-mail -- "Charlie, this e-mail is to officially advise you that your presence at my husband`s memorial service will be unacceptable. I have watched over the years as Bill had your transparent attempts to manipulate the political arena. I don`t want my husband`s memorial service to be another opportunity for that. I will not tolerate anyone turning this into a platform for political gain." And then she signed it, "sincerely." She also said similar "I`ve see your face around here" warnings to two of the congressman`s former Democratic opponents, people who had run against him unsuccessfully in his district. So, yes, that happened. When it comes to the congressman`s now vacant seat in the House though, here is where things get even more Florida. Local press reports indicate that among those considering running to replace Bill Young in Congress, is the congressman`s younger brother. Now, that`s not all that strange, but it will be an awkward Thanksgiving this year if Congressman Young`s son also tries to run for the seat. So that would be uncle versus nephew, or depending on how you look at it, brother versus son. And if you think that`s awkward, consider also that Bill Young`s wife, his widow of the "don`t show your face" at the funeral emails, she is also reportedly considering running for the seat. Congressman`s brother, son, and congressman`s wife are all trying to get his seat. So, the congressman`s brother, the congressman`s son, and the congressman`s wife are all trying to get his seat against each other, leading "The Tampa Bay Times" to suggest that just as a matter of common decency, perhaps before anybody hold a Democratic primary or Republican primary for that now open seat in Florida`s Eight District, perhaps we should first have a primary just for members of Bill Young`s immediate family, just to be courteous. Leave it to Florida to turn a stately and somber affair into a story this -- eh, and awkward. Florida if you did not exist, some creep would invent you. I swear. That does it for us tonight. Thank you for being with us. Now, it`s time for "UP LATE WITH ALEC BALDWIN." Good night. THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END