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The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 1/8/2016

Guests: Bill Nemitz, Billy Damota

Show: THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW Date: January 8, 2016 Guest: Bill Nemitz, Billy Damota

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Thanks to you at home for joining us as well this hour. Happy Friday.

Vice President Joe Biden this week did a bunch of TV interviews with local stations around the country mostly on the issue of gun violence and President Obama`s new executive actions to try to tighten up background checks shows and make other sorts of gun safety reforms.

But at one of these interviews, the one with WVIT in Hartford, Connecticut, Vice President Biden also made some news when the local reporter from Hartford, Keisha Grant (ph) asked the Vice President Biden if he regretted his decision this past year that he would not run for president himself. Got a whole bunch of headlines this week because the vice president was very blunt in his response.

He said yes, he regretted it. He says he regretted that decision not to run every single day, but then he also said something else that didn`t get as much attention. That might have been one on those patented Joe Biden spills the beans moments. He says something that`s not quite true yet but it is about to be true.


REPORTER: Any regrets to not throwing your hat in the ring?

JOSEPH BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Sure, I regret it every day. It was the right decision for my family and for me. I plan on staying deeply involved. We`ve got two candidates.


MADDOW: Two good candidates. Which two? I honestly don`t think that was Vice President Biden himself winnowing the Democratic field and saying only two of these people are real candidates. I don`t think it was him conniving to throw some secret shade at one of the three candidates and we have to guess which one he meant to insult.

That said, if you are Martin O`Malley this was not a good week for Vice President Biden to have said the Democratic Party has two good candidates, however inadvertently he meant it. We learned at the beginning of this week that Governor O`Malley would not have his name printed on the ballot in the Ohio Democratic primary this year.

And this is not like what happened with George Pataki. One of the reasons we saw it coming before George Pataki dropped out of race is because we noticed, And I think we were the only national news service to report that Governor Pataki was not even bothering to try to get his name on the ballot in a bunch of important primary states. That looked like a sign, it turns out it was a good sign, that Governor George Pataki wasn`t really competing anymore and he was about to drop out. He did, in fact, drop out of the race over the holiday break.

But that`s not what`s going on with Martin. Martin O`Malley tried to get on the ballot in Ohio. He tried really hard. He needed a thousand valid signatures. He turned in more than a thousand signatures, but less than 800 of them were validated by the state in terms of being actual signatures for registered voters in the state of Ohio. Because he didn`t make that thousand votes threshold, his name will not be printed on the ballot there.

We then found out yesterday the second piece of bad news for Governor O`Malley, which is that his likely plan B in Ohio had also fallen through. Even though he knows he`s not going to have his name on the ballot, Governor O`Malley conceivably could have run as a write-in candidate in Ohio had he turned in paper work to the Ohio secretary of state asking for that by Monday of this week. Governor O`Malley again tried to do it but his campaign did not get the paper work in until Tuesday of this week. That`s day late.

That means he will not be running in the Democratic primary either as a person with his name on the ballot or a write in candidate in the great state of Ohio. Ohio is not everything, but Ohio is Ohio. Ohio is something important.

That seemed like a very bad sign for Governor Martin O`Malley`s campaign when we learned that new news as not qualifying as a write in. Well, now, today, the headlines for Governor O`Malley`s campaign got even worse. Headlines like these running at today and the newspaper of "The Hill". O`Malley could be axed from Democratic debate. O`Malley in danger of missing Democratic debate.

Part of the reason you know these are bad news headlines is they ran these very sad pictures of Martin O`Malley. Look how sad he looks. He`s a very handsome man. These pictures make him look like he`s 107 years old and recovering from a bad case of the itch. He doesn`t look like that. Those are terrible pictures of Martin O`Malley.

And it turns out those are kind of terrible headlines about Martin O`Malley too, in the sense that I don`t think those stories are right. And I don`t think those headlines are fair to him.

What the headlines are getting at is the fact the next Democratic debate, which is next weekend, it`s going to be hosted by NBC. The qualifying criteria for that Democratic debate were published today by NBC.

I also should tell you, even though NBC and MSNBC are connected as news organizations, I want you to know, I have no access to inside information about these criteria. They wouldn`t even give me more of a quote on the record than they would give to any other reporter about this criteria. I don`t have any special information because I work in this building.

But I can tell you, because anybody can tell you, that the new criteria for the Democratic debate next weekend are these. Candidates qualify for that debate if they get an average of 5 percent from the five most recent polls in either Iowa or New Hampshire or South Carolina or nationwide polls. You just need to hit a 5 percent average in one of those venues, one of the three early states or nationwide.

The reason Martin O`Malley got these downcast pictures is right now in current polling, he only meets that 5 percent threshold to get into the debate in one of those venues. He doesn`t meet it nationally or in South Carolina or New Hampshire. He does meet it in Iowa.

And yes, that means he`s close to maybe not making it into the next Democratic debate but close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. He`s either in or he`s out. Right now, he`s in.

NBC additionally says it will round its polling average up to the nearest whole number which means that Governor O`Malley doesn`t really need to get 5 percent in one of those three states or a nationwide polls. He only needs to get 4.5 percent. That would be enough to round him up to get into the next debate.

And as the poll stands now, he makes it because of Iowa. The only scenario where I could see the math working against him is if another Iowa poll comes out that is a qualifying poll for this debate comes out between now and the end of the qualifying period of polls for this debate and the next Iowa poll puts him at 1 percent or less in Iowa.

If he tanks that badly in a qualifying poll, absolutely tanks, 1 percent or less in Iowa, true, and there`s only one more poll in Iowa, it`s true he wouldn`t make it. But that seems unlikely. Right now he`s all right.

So, stop with the doom and gloom for Martin O`Malley. He`s going to maybe it, probably. But these headlines today obviously did not help him. This kind of perception is bad for any campaign. And Governor O`Malley today in Iowa expressed some righteous anger and the headlines saying he might be boxed out.

I`m going to play the clip here. He has this righteous anger. He`s mad about this stuff. He`s fired up. His righteous anger is briefly interrupted by a super excited aside when he recognizes someone in the crowd, but then he goes back to be bad.


MARTIN O`MALLEY (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: News of the day. News of the day. The news of the day is that some executives at NBC think the next debate maybe should only have two candidates instead of three.


They`re treating your presidential selection process as if it`s another episode of "The Apprentice".


Bad enough that they let -- Mr. Chairman of Scott County. Thank you for being here, Mr. Chairman.

Bad enough that we would be limited to only four debates and they hide them on Saturdays behind football games. But now, they tell us that they can`t really manage a three-way race.

I`ve got news for them. This election is not up to NBC executives, not up to pollsters. It`s up to you, the people of Iowa.



MADDOW: It doesn`t actually look like Martin O`Malley is in danger of getting boxed out. You see him fighting back, effectively, just in case.

He`s right there not a lot of Democratic debates and they are absolutely hidden. The latest Democratic debate needle in a haystack, as I said, is going to be next weekend. But remember next weekend is Martin Luther King weekend. It`s going to be on Sunday night of Martin Luther King. So, it`s Sunday in the middle of a three-day weekend when most people have following Monday off.

Still, though, I`m guessing that despite the Democratic Party`s best efforts to get nobody watching, I think there`s chance the Democratic debate will get a pretty good audience in part because the Democratic fight for the nomination is getting to be more heated and more exciting than it has been at any time so far. Martin may not look particularly competitive but it is looking competitive between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders particularly in some of the early voting.

Today, after President Obama announced that he would not support for any Democratic candidates that don`t embrace common sense gun safety reforms. Hillary Clinton pounced on that and basically effectively claimed that Bernie Sanders wouldn`t qualify for President Obama`s support because of past votes against the Brady background check bill and his vote in favor for legislation that basically protects the industry from lawsuits.

The Bernie Sanders campaign is pushing back very hard on that and saying, actually, there`s no daylight between Bernie Sanders and President Obama on the issue of guns. So, it is a legitimate policy fight that`s getting very heated between the top two Democratic candidates. That`s exciting.

In addition, a new poll out from FOX News tonight says the Democratic race for the nomination could be quite a contest in the early states. Yes, Hillary Clinton is still far ahead in the national Democratic polling. A new FOX News national poll out tonight puts her 15 points ahead nationwide, but we don`t vote nationwide to pick a nominee. We vote state by state.

Look at this new poll, a new New Hampshire poll that FOX just published tonight. Again, this is a poll done by FOX News, but don`t let that disturb you. It`s a real poll. It`s a scientific poll. The last time FOX did this poll for the Democratic race in New Hampshire, Bernie Sanders was leading Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire by one point. That was in November.

As of tonight, Bernie Sanders is leading Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire by 13 points. Look, 50-37. He`s, A, at 50 percent. That`s an important mark, that`s an important thresholds, and B, he`s leading by 13 points in New Hampshire. Huge margin, fascinating.

FOX News also put out new polling tonight in New Hampshire for the Republican candidates. That poll is like a bucket of cold water in face for the overall dynamic of Donald Trump leading that race might somehow be changing.

A month ago in the FOX poll of New Hampshire, Donald Trump was leading with 27 percent of the vote. Now, he`s still leading but he`s leading with 33 percent of the vote. A month ago, Donald Trump was beating his nearest competition, Marco Rubio in this poll by 14 points. Now, he`s beating Marco Rubio in New Hampshire by 18 points.

More new FOX polling out tonight shows Mr. Trump is a close second behind Ted Cruz. He`s pretty consistently leading now in Iowa. They also did a national poll that shows Mr. Trump winning nationally by a 15 point margin, and 15 points is down a little bit from where he was from the same national poll last month, but 15 points is still a massive, massive lead.

And again, in terms of New Hampshire, these numbers just belie the common wisdom now that somebody like Chris Christie or John Kasich might be surging ahead in a place like New Hampshire, to steal the race. Look at Christie, Christie is back at 5 percent. He`s tied with Rand Paul right now. John Kasich is way down there at 7 percent. He`s below Jeb Bush.

Donald Trump, when you look at the numbers, whatever the dynamic say when people look at them esoterically and anecdotally whatever, look at the numbers, Trump is romping in New Hampshire.

And honestly, if you are looking for a sad face story in the presidential race right now, despite the terrible headlines and sad pictures from Martin O`Malley about him not probably not making the debate, when in fact he probably will make the next debate, if you`re looking for sad, sad story right now, the guy who actually is getting potentially thrown out within the next week is not one of the Democrat candidates. It`s one of the name brand Republican candidates.

The next Democratic debate is next weekend, but the next Republican debate is sooner than that. The next Republican debate is Thursday. It`s being hosted by the Fox Business Network. Their criteria says they`ll take the top six finishers in national polling, the top five finishers from Iowa and New Hampshire polling over a specified period of time.

And in that polling, right now, the Republican candidate who has been on the main stage all along but who is maybe about to not be is Rand Paul.

You might remember at the last Republican debate, the one hosted by CNN, Rand Paul similarly did not qualify to be on the main stage. CNN had announced very clear criteria in advance about what it could take to get on to the main stage in that debate, and Rand Paul failed to meet the criteria. His polling numbers were too low for him to make the cut.

But CNN just decided to let him on the stage any way, which was really weird. It continues to be a very strange decision by CNN.

But unless FOX Business Network decides they`ll do something similar for Rand Paul, he is on track to not make it in this next one. He`s probably out.

If the polling stays the same as it is now, unless there`s some unusual spike or somebody else has an unusual implosion, Rand Paul is going to be relegated to the kids table as of this upcoming week, the debate on Thursday.

And we can speculate as to what kind of affect that big public demotion would have on Rand Paul`s campaign two weeks out before the Iowa caucuses. But in Rand Paul`s case, the speculation will be difficult because the demotion of his campaign will apparently be compounded by the fact that he says if he`s only invited to the kids table debate, if he`s not invited to the main stage, he says, well, he won`t know up at all.

And again, this is a real prospect. Rand Paul really looks like he`s not getting into the Thursday debate. If polling were a deciding factor today, he would not get in. And if he doesn`t get in the stage, he says he won`t turn up at all. That is a more likely outcome than not, which means, I guess, this time next week, effectively, Rand Paul might have withdrawn from the race.

And you would think that might get some sad, sad headlines. Sad pictures make them look older. But no, the beltway saves those for the Democrats.

Lots to come tonight. Stay with us.


MADDOW: Every once in a while we do something from the show that people find online, print out from their computers and once they printed it out, they clip out what they have printed and put it up on their refrigerator because it helps them win arguments that they are sick and tired of not winning.

We`re about to have one of those moments. You may want to check the toner in your printer now. That story is next.


MADDOW: Chart imitates life. This is amazing. And it`s exactly what you think it is.

At our blog, the great Steve Benen has been keeping a running tally for years now of who gets booked as guests on the marquee Sunday morning political talk shows on our country.

This tally is hilarious because basically every year, you get the same results. We`ll have more on that in a moment.

But in terms of what he`s counting we`re not talking journalists or TV hosts. We`re talking political figures, policy makers, candidates, elected officials, public officials, former public officials, et cetera. Among those kinds of guests, the person, the individual person booked more often than anybody else in the past year was -- no surprise -- Donald Trump.

You could possibly argue his win should get an asterisks since a lot were on the phone instead of in person, which I`ve never really understood. But regardless, in terms of sheer number of performances audiolly or visually, Donald Trump wins.

Second place, interesting, is a tie between Ben Carson and Bernie Sanders. Hmm, that`s interesting.

What is most interesting about this chart is that every year, Steve codes the guests on the Sunday morning shows for political party. Red for Republican guests, blue for Democratic guests.

And, yes, if you feel like Sunday morning beltway establishment politics is thoroughly saturated with Republicans, which just a sprinkling of Democrats thrown in, that`s not just you having an icky feeling, you are mathematically correct in that feeling. Even with a Democratic administration in its eighth year of power, of the 20 people who appeared on Sunday shows the most this past year, sixteen of the 20 of them are Republicans. Once again, pattern holds.

We are a two-party system in this country but for yet another year, we`re a two-party system where only one of the parties gets asked what it thinks on the weekends. Amazing.

We`ll be right back.



TV ANCHOR: We`re about to put on screen what the governor said in response. Some of our viewers who may find it distasteful may want to hit the mute button and turn away for the next 20 seconds or so. The governor told the reporters, "Senator Jackson claims to be for the people, but he`s the first one to give it to the people without providing Vaseline." When asked if some people may find that comment offensive, he`s reported to have said, "Good, it ought to because I`ve been taking it for two years."


MADDOW: Governor LePage is a little bit of a fish out of water in his home state of Maine. In a state used to Republican and independent elected officials like Senator Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, and the Democrat- turned-independent Angus King.

In the midst of politicians like that, there`s Paul LePage -- new style Republican with his thoughts on taking it without Vaseline and telling the press he despises them and saying that he wants to blow up the building of the biggest newspaper in the state, telling the main state NAACP that they can kiss his butt, saying publicly that President Obama should, quote, "go to hell", reportedly telling Republican donors that President Obama, quote, "hates white people", although the governor denied saying that.

But then this week, this week, Paul LePage perhaps topped even himself.


GOV. PAUL LEPAGE (R), MAINE: Number one, I got to bill into legislature now to take the traffickers. Now, the traffickers, these aren`t people that take drugs. These are guys named D Money, Smoothie, Shifty, these type of guys that come from Connecticut, New York. They come up here, they sell their heroin and then they go back home. Incidentally, half the time they impregnate a young, white girl before they leave, which is a real sad thing because now we have another issue that we have to deal with down the road.


MADDOW: Impregnating the young, white girls. Very sad.

This is the governor of the state of Maine. That was the news yesterday. Today, we got the governor`s explanation for what he meant, sort of.


LEPAGE: I was going impromptu and my brain didn`t catch up to my mouth. Instead of saying Maine women, I said white women. If you -- I`m not going to apologize to the Maine women for that. If you go to Maine, you`ll see that we essentially 95 percent white.


MADDOW: We`re almost all white any way. Why should I sound like I`m talking about impregnating black women! I`m not! In any way, it`s the press`s fault.


LEPAGE: There was many people there, lot of cameras. I made that comment. It never ever was picked up by any of you. It was picked up by a blogger who was an adversary and he spent a whole day selling it to you.

Folks, you are in the back pocket of Maine bloggers. Shame on you. Shame, shame, shame. I find that appalling.

Having said that, I made a mistake, and I`m not perfect.


MADDOW: But shame on you for listening when somebody told you about a thing I said. It was a mistake and impromptu remark.


LEPAGE: My passion and my desire is to rid ourselves of domestic violence and to get drug dealers off the street. I had to read a report in my briefing binder of a young woman who got killed Christmas Eve, and she left like a 6-year-old daughter. These are the type of things that while you people look for the sound bite, like Rachel Maddow who were years has been after me.


MADDOW: I didn`t know you cared.

That was Paul LePage earlier this morning. Meanwhile, a number of lawmakers in Maine, Democrats and independents plan next week to move forward with the motion that could result in the governor`s impeachment. The impeachment motion concerns abuse of power allegations against the governor, which are currently being investigated in the legislature.

The LePage impeachment motion has been floating around for months now as a potential thing that could happen but it looks like it`s probably up next week. In the middle of this guy`s name D Money impregnating the white girls stuff, has Governor Paul LePage made this the new normal in his state or is this actually trouble for him?

Joining us now is Bill Nemitz, columnist for "The Portland Press Herald, who I`m sure is going to incur the wrath of the governor by simply speaking to me.

Bill, it`s great to see you. Thank you very much for being here


MADDOW: That was a very, very strange moment. I want to kind of leave it there.

Is Governor LePage so known for saying stuff that is offensive that other people apologize for that essentially is something that will have no recourse for him?

NEMITZ: Well, it`s hard to tell. I mean, this one stood out, I thought because of just the nature of what he said. You`re right, there`s a long litany of utterances by the governor over the years. And I think to some extent, LePage fatigue has set in in the state in which a lot of what he says kind of flies by people.

There was something in the underlying racist nature of this remark that I think touches a sensitive nerve for a lot of people. It touches upon the real roots of racism in this country, that kind of primal fear that the black men are coming and they`re going to take our white women. For him to touch on that, particularly at a time when things are so incendiary in the country right now, I think it`s why this one in particularly has taken off so much.

And I think it`s -- I`m surprised not only at the reaction nationally but also at the reaction, at least in parts of Maine. You know, it`s typical in Maine there are some people aghast at what he said and there are other people who are saying they lining up behind him as they always have. So, here we are, polarized again, as usual.

MADDOW: This comes at a time when, of course, the governor is in his second term. But he has been making some noises about a next chapter in his political life. He told talk radio host this week that he`s seriously thinking about trying to challenge Angus King for his seat in the United States Senate.

If he does that, do you expect the state Republican Party would get behind him as a U.S. Senate candidate?

NEMITZ: That`s hard to tell right now. There`s been largely quiet on this one. One day, he says he`s going to run for a particular office. The next, he says he`s not. Today he said he`s not running for anything.

So, his future political life remains in question. But repeatedly when something like this happen, it`s greeted usually by silence and little by little the Republican powers that be in the state try to figure out some way to respond without really responding. That`s really what`s happening right now.

Basically, what they are all doing is going after this one particular blogger, a Republican himself who has become an outlier in being critical of LePage. And they`re going after him rather than going after the governor right now, saying that he`s just a disgruntled Republican and he should be keeping is mouth shut and leaving the governor alone, without really addressing the essence of what the governor said.

MADDOW: Yes, it would be a devastating critique had the guy not drawn attention to something the governor actually said. It`s an amazing Paul LePage world, we all live in it.

Bill Nemitz, columnist for the "Portland Press Herald" -- it really is nice to see you, Bill. I know it`s been hell of a year for you. I really appreciate you become back with us and I`m glad you are.

NEMITZ: Sure. Good to see you too, Rachel.

MADDOW: You too.

All right. We got a lot more tonight, including the answer to a question we`ve been getting asked over and over by you, our viewers, about a story we`ve been covering the heck out of. You asked and asked and asked this question of us because you`re good people. And tonight, we`re about to answer. That`s ahead.


MADDOW: A horrible incident last night and some very chilling surveillance video released today out of Philadelphia. It shows a police officer in a squad car being ambushed late last night.

As you can see in the footage, the gunman approaches the squad car and then basically fires at point-blank range. He shoots at the officer in that squad car at least 11 times.

Somehow, it is a miracle ,but that the officer, 33-year-old Jesse Hartnett, despite being shot at 11 times at that range, that officer was not killed. He was shot three times in the arm, in the left arm, but Officer Hartnett actually managed to give chase to the suspect. Got out of his car and chased the suspect. The suspect was captured shortly after the shooting.

Tonight, the details surrounding the shooter`s motive are still a little bit unclear. Police say he did tell investigators he had pledged allegiance to ISIS, which may well turn out to be true. It`s also worth nothing however that his mother told the "Philadelphia Inquirer" that her son had been hearing voices recently and the family asked for him to get help.

The suspect has prior convictions on assault and firearms charges. Police are looking for trips he made to the Middle East in 2011 and 2012.

Again, the motive is still murky. Thankfully, though, and miraculously, the officer in this case is expected to make a full recovery. Honestly, it`s a miracle itself that he`s alive.


MADDOW: This is a water buffalo. Not a furry and legged water buffalo, it`s the giant canteen version of a water buffalo.

When the water where you live goes bad, the National Guard or FEMA or somebody can send one of these to your town on an emergency bases, so you come down to the water buffalo with a jug and get safe water for your family.

Two years ago tomorrow, a chemical spill in West Virginia wrecked the local source of drinking water in that community. West Virginia`s governor declared state of emergency that same day. He asked the federal government for help. The president responded right away and in came the water buffaloes, in came the big trucks of potable water. Here is safe water for you until this mess gets cleaned up.

I don`t mean to say that dealing with poison drinking water is ever an easy thing. But we do have some ideas for how you do it, starting on day one.

In the currently ongoing, infamous case of a whole water`s town being poisoned, we`re now on month 21 of the poisoning, and we`re on day four of it being called a state of emergency. And even so, on day four, the governor in this case is still considering what to do.

Governor Rick Snyder signed the declaration of emergency for Flint, Michigan, on Tuesday of this week. His administration managed to poison that town`s water with lead a year and a half ago. But now, supposedly, they`re in an emergency response mood, there still is no government run program for getting water to residents of Flint on any regular basis.

NBC News reporting on the ground this week found that people who can`t afford bottled water are getting it through local charities, soup kitchens and food banks. Some of whom are telling us they have been getting their water from private donations, nothing from the state. This local pastor told NBC News this week that he was just flat out of water to distribute.

So, people are mad and people are thirsty for clean water. Just a couple of hours ago in Flint, protesters gathered outside Flint city hall in a very cold rain. They called for Governor Snyder to be fired. They called for him to be arrested. They handed out bottle water, because along with the need for accountability and answers, people in Flint also need water that is safe to drink. They cannot get it out of their taps.

We do have some breaking news to report tonight, some breaking news to report tonight from the federal level about this emergency in Flint. We have learned today from FEMA that FEMA has not received any request from help from the governor of Michigan. FEMA tells us however that they nevertheless decided to send two FEMA staffers to Michigan anyway.

They`ve sent FEMA staffers to the emergency command center that`s been set up in the state capital in Lansing. Basically, those FEMA staffers who have not asked to be there, they are there at FEMA`s idea, FEMA`s insistence, FEMA`s own initiative to be the federal government`s eyes and ears in Michigan to get familiar with what`s going on in Michigan just in case Governor Rick Snyder ever decides he`s going to ask for federal help.

But until he asks, FEMA just can`t bring in the water buffaloes. They can`t just provide direct help even if the state still isn`t.

At the state level tonight, a spokesperson in that Michigan command center told us it`s too soon to know whether Michigan should ask for federal help. A spokesperson told us she didn`t know whether the state intends to start buying bottled water for Flint but she did say the state plans to go out into flint and find where the bottled water may be in that community if there is any. If they find some they will start moving it around to distribution points.

And here, I would like to offer a clue -- there may be bottled water in government stockpiles somewhere in Flint, but really where there`s water right now that`s accessible for human beings in Flint is at local charities that have been doing it on their own by themselves with no help from the state.

Except now, maybe the state might think about providing a truck to move that water around. That`s their plan for an emergency response -- four days in.

Since we began covering the story a few weeks ago, we have received so many requests from our viewers for us to please give you ways to help. We have had so many people tell us they want to do something.

We have decided to put together a list of what we have so far, what we know so far about how you could help if you wanted to. We`re usually not in the business of doing this sort of thing, but, honestly, the requests have been sort of overwhelming in number and in passion. And so, I personally, and we here on the show, feel a responsibility to try to help you direct your help to Flint if you feel like helping or donating.

So, we have put together a list. It`s at We`re going to put it on our Facebook page. We have tweeted it out once already tonight. I`m going to tweet it out again during the show.

Who knows if Governor Snyder will ever call in the water buffaloes for Flint? But if you personally want the try to help, boy, has he left you plenty of room to not step on the state`s toes while you do it.


MADDOW: There`s a laundry list of rules around gift-giving and receiving for politicians. The rules are especially strict when it comes to gifts related to lobbyists.

Apparently, though, there`s no such thing as too strict when it comes to politicians receiving gifts if lobbyists and the kind of gifts that ought to hold sway.

Meet Missouri State Legislature Bart Korman. He has just filed a bill in the Missouri state legislature, hoping to close what he sees, I guess we`ll call them loophole when it comes to lobbyists palling around with elected officials in the great state of Missouri. This is real bill and real state government filed by a real life government official. I promise, I`m not making this up.


REPORTER: Well, here it is, House Bill 2059. It changes the definition of gift. Gift being something that lobbyists often give to lawmakers. Now that definition includes sex.


MADDOW: This new bill in Missouri requires lobbyists to report which lawmakers they have stooped. Quote, "The term gift shall now include sexual relations between a registered lobbyist and a member of the general assembly or his or her staff."

This legislator wants lobbyists in the state to declare their sexual relations with members of the legislature as gifts on their monthly lobbyist disclosure forms.

First of all, gift seems to apply it was not earned. I think that`s just mean.

Second, this is real bill. Now, THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW has no official position on this bill. We just report this kind of news.

But in the interest of helpfulness, if Missouri is going to do this, they`re going to need updated forms. So, we went ahead and mocked something up. Merely a suggestion, I`m like to introduce you to our proposed Missouri state ethnics commission sexual rider.

Now, there are some differences between this and your run of the mill disclosure form. You got the basics. You know, last name, first name, company or industry you lobby for. Next is the contact information. Home address, telephone number, but also who made contact first. Who Skyped first or, if you`re older, two texted first and if you`re really old, who called first.

Because this is a state document and very serious business, we also need details on who received this gift of love and also a description, please, height, hair color and a few of personality traits you like best about them. This is not descriptive of the event itself. There`s a whole separate section for you to draw pictures if you`d like for ethical purposes.

I mean, typically with gifts you have to declare a certain value. Some specific dollar amount you`d like to assign. The dollar amount provision by statute would not apply to this declare which legislature you are stooping rule. It actually says that in the bill.

Quoting from the bill, "The reporting of sexual relations for the purpose of this subdivision shall not require a dollar valuation." And thank God for that.

In lieu of that section we substituted, rate your experience. Your government needs to know. All that`s left is for you to list the dates, the most recent three is fine. Thank you. No need to brag. Just sign the bottom where it will be available through the ethics committee for the public for their review.

This is a real proposal in history. Hey, lobbyists, please declare members of the legislature you have be stooping. This is a thing. If you decide to move forward, Missouri, consider this a helpful suggestion, committee hearings are expected to start next week. We`ll keep you posted on how this one develops. We promise this story will not be just a one night stand for us.


MADDOW: I have been waiting for this since last year.

Friday night news dump time.

Wendy McNeal, who is our first news dump player of 2016?

WENDY MCNEAL, TRMS PRODUCER: Well, Rachel, we have Billy Damota from our home state of California, Glendale. Billy is a casting director. He is originally from San Francisco. He likes to rescue cats.

Rachel, meet Billy.

MADDOW: Billy, it`s very nice to meet you. Thank you for being here. Can you hear me?

BILLY DAMOTA, GLENDALE, CA: It`s great to be here and a pleasure to meet you.

MADDOW: Oh, thank God.

DAMOTA: I can hear you, can you hear me?

MADDOW: I can hear you. It`s working. Don`t worry.

Are you -- you are a casting director who rescues cats. We didn`t get that backwards. That`s the correct alliteration there?

DAMOTA: No, that`s correct. I rescue actors once in a while. So, I`m a casting director who rescues cats. That`s correct.

MADDOW: All right. Hard to pronounce but both very worthy endeavors.

All right. You`re going to get three multiple choice questions all about this week`s news. If you get two of them right you`ll get this piece of junk.

Wendy, please show everybody.

MCNEAL: This amazing cocktail shaker.

MADDOW: Not so amazing, but it is a cocktail shaker. Yes, it`s very small.

If you get them all right and you need extra credit or you do poorly needed a consolation prize, we also have something random for you that until tonight has been cluttering up our office swag. It`s a little weird.

MCNEAL: A little weird, but a lot of fun. This happy New Year`s hat was left behind in our office. Someone had a little bit too much fun in our office around New Year`s.

MADDOW: Just a random happy New Year hat.

MCNEAL: With a big blue tassel on top.


MCNEAL: And then we have this from Ross` restaurant. You may remember this story. This place in Iowa is the place to go on the campaign trail in Iowa. It`s all of the rage among the candidates. And this hat here, these guys came to the studio. They did our one and only cooking segment with us.

MADDOW: Yes, that`s exactly right. And, Billy, if you`re at all a politics nerd and you wear a Ross` restaurant hat anytime in the next six weeks around the whole, leading up to Iowa and beyond, people will stop you on the street and laugh out loud because they`ll get the joke.

DAMOTA: Nice. I hope I win that hat.


We also need to bring in the disembodied voice of Steve Benen from Maddow Blog. He`s the man who will determine whether or not you got the right answer.

Say hello, Steve, Billy. Billy, Steve. .

STEVE BENEN, MADDOW BLOG: Good evening to you, both.

MADDOW: Good evening. Very good.

All right.


MADDOW: Here`s your first question, Billy, Tuesday`s show, we ran a side by side comparison of the presidential campaigns of Donald Trump in 2016 and Alabama Governor George Wallace in 1968. All but one of the following quotes was said by George Wallace in 1968. The other one was said by Donald Trump. Which of these is the Trump quote?

A, speaking about protesters, there are two four-letter words they don`t know, W-O-R-K and S-O-A-P. B, speaking to a protester, "You`re a little punk. That`s all you are." C, again speaking to a protester, "You are a loser. You really are a loser." Or D, speaking about reporters, quote, "They`re more interested in two or three pickets now than thousands of people here, and that`s what they show on television."

Which of those was not said by Alabama Governor George Wallace but was, in fact, said by Donald Trump?

DAMOTA: I`m going to say it`s the huge number C, you are a loser.

MADDOW: You are a loser. Steve, did Billy get that right?

BENEN: Let`s check Tuesday`s show.


GEORGE WALLACE, FORMER ALABAMA GOV.: Two four-letter words they don`t know, W-O-R-K and S-O-A-P.

You`re a little punk, that`s all you are.

They`re interested in two or three pickets not the thousands of people here. And that`s what they show on television.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You are a loser. You really are a loser.


BENEN: Billy is not a loser. He`s correct. He`s 1-1.

MADDOW: Exactly right. A huge winner.

Got to get two right to win the tiny cocktail shaker. Let`s go to question two.

Wednesday show, heart warming story, we reported this the U.S. Navy has decided to name a ship after civil rights icon and U.S. Congressman John Lewis. Not only will there be a ship named after him, they`re going to name an entire John Lewis class of U.S. Navy ships now.

What kind of ships is the Navy naming for Congressman Lewis? Are they A, hospital ships, B, amphibious transport docks, C, replenishment oilers, or D, aircraft carriers?

DAMOTA: I know it sounds like a sports team from somewhere, but I think C, replenishment oilers, and I hope they win the Super Bowl this year.

MADDOW: Steve, is that the right answer?

BENEN: Let`s check Wednesday`s show.


MADDOW: Today, the U.S. announced a brand-new fleet of these guys, the replenishment oilers. The next generation of these ships is about to be built. Want to know what the first one of them is going to be called? The U.S. Naval Ship John Lewis.


BENEN: Yes, the correct answer is C, and Billy is right again.

MADDOW: All right, last question. This is for all the money, or all the hats or whatever.

Last night`s show, we reported ones from -- on remarks from Maine Governor Paul LePage, remarks that raised some eyebrows. I`m going to play you the first part of his remarks and then we`re going to see if you can correctly complete them. Here from Maine Governor Paul LePage is the first part.


MAINE: Now, the traffickers, these aren`t people who take drugs. These are guys named D-Money, Smoothie, Shifty, these type of guys that come from Connecticut and New York. They come up here, they sell their heroin, then they go back hem home. Incidentally, half the time they`re --


MADDOW: According to Governor LePage, half the time these out of state drug traffickers do what? A, they commit an act of gun violence while they`re here, B, they don`t go back home, they set up heroin operations here in Maine. C, they get lost on the back roads of our beautiful state. Or D, they impregnate a young white girl before they leave.


DAMOTA: That would be D, impregnate a white young girl before they leave.

MADDOW: Steve, you got the confirmation for us on that one?

BENEN: Let`s check the cringe-worthy video.


LEPAGE: Incidentally, after the time they impregnate a young white girl before they leave.


BENEN: The correct answer is D, and Billy was right once again.

MADDOW: So disturbing.

DAMOTA: Just half the time, by the way.

MADDOW: Only half the time. Statistics say.

Wendy, did Billy win?

MCNEAL: Yes, Billy you win the awesome cocktail shaker and the really cool, amazing hat.

MADDOW: With the weird blue tassel and the Ross` restaurant one.

DAMOTA: So I can get drunk and wear the hat.

MADDOW: Yes. I might recommend putting the h hat on first. If you wait until you`re drunk, it`s awkward. You know how it is.

Billy, thanks so much for playing. It`s been really nice to meet you.

DAMOTA: Thanks for the invitation. Great meeting you.

MADDOW: If you want to be a news dumpee, send us an e-mail, We do read our e-mail. Tell us who you are and why you want to play. 2016 could be your year.