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tv   Democracy Now  PBS  April 20, 2016 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT

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04/20/16 04/20/16 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from denver, colorado and new york city, this is democracy now! >> the race for the democratic nomination is in the home stretch and victory is insight. we don't have much of a raisin in more based on what i'm seeing on television, senator cruz is just about mathematically eliminated. amy: hillary clinton and donald trump when the primary with massive reports of voter every -- irregularities. 125,000 democratic voters were inexplicably purged from the polls ahead of tuesday's primary.
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absurd that in brooklyn, new york, where i was , tens ofually thousands of people, as i understand it, have been purged from the voting rolls. amy: we will host a discussion on the new york primary results. then from brooklyn to brazil or the lower house of brazil's congress has voted to impeach president dilma rousseff. she claims her opponents are mounting a coup. >> it is a coup. it is a coup dressed as original sin, which is the fact there is no legal basis for my impeachment. amy: all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. former secretary of state
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hillary clinton and real estate mogul donald trump scored significant victories in new york tuesday, in a primary marked by widespread reports of voter disenfranchisement and irregularities at polling sites. on the republican side, donald trump won 60% of the vote. he appears poised to win 89 of the 95 delegates up for grabs in new york. ohio governor john kasich came in second, with 25% of the vote. meanwhile, on the democratic side, hillary clinton won 57.9% of the vote statewide, with bernie sanders winning 42.1% of the vote. sanders won the majority of counties in the state, but clinton won big in metropolitan new york. the contest in new york city was marked by chaos, particularly in brooklyn, as tens of thousands of voters found their names had been removed from the polling rolls, or that they were unable to vote at their polling
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station. the new york city elections board has confirmed that more than 125,000 brooklyn voters had been removed from the voter rolls since november 2015. new york city mayor bill de blasio issued a statement tuesday decrying the voter disenfranchisement, writing -- "it has been reported to us from voters and voting rights monitors that the voting lists in brooklyn contain numerous errors, including the purging of entire buildings and blocks of voters from the voting lists." at one polling site at brooklyn borough hall, the coordinator estimated 10% of those who showed up to vote were unable to because their names had been purged. new york city comptroller scott stringer vowed to audit the new york city board of elections. we'll have more on the new york primary after headlines. in brooklyn, a judge has sentenced former nypd officer
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peter liang to serve no jail time for killing unarmed african american father akai gurley. in 2014, nypd officer peter liang shot 28-year-old gurley in the darkened stairwell of a brooklyn housing project. gurley was walking down the stairs with his girlfriend because the elevator was broken. following the shooting, officer liang first texted his union representative before making a radio call for help. as gurley lay dying. liang had faced up to 15 years in prison on second-degree murder charges. but on tuesday, judge danny chun sentenced him to serve only five years probation and 800 hours of community service. judge chun also made the rare decision to reduce officer liang's verdict from manslaughter charges to the lesser charge of criminally negligent homicide. following the announcement, akai gurley's aunt, hecicicirtencia petersen, spoke out.
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>> this is not justice. this is not justice. my family is going to continue -- we're going to continue to be in the streets. we're going to continue to march until we get justice. we're going to continue to help all black lives -- until all black lives matter. how on earth can you guys say it is ok to murder and not be held accountable? amy: after the announcement, protesters gathered outside the home of brooklyn district attorney ken thompson, who had recommended officer liang serve no jail time. >> will not sleep tonight. stop. murders must serve jail time. kill a cop, go to jail.
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amy: seven people were arrested. ken were protesting outside thompson's house. thompson has said he will appeal the decision to reduce officer liang's conviction. in syria, the partial ceasefire between opposition groups and bashar al-assad's regime has collapsed, after airstrikes killed about 40 people in a crowded market in the rebel-held town of maarat al-noaman in idlib province. the market had been the site of protests against the assad regime in recent weeks. the strikes are the latest in a series of ceasefire violations by the assad regime. state department spokesperson juncker be confirmed tuesday's strikes were likely carried out by assad's forces, and that strikes compromise the ongoing geneva peace talks. >> it is our understanding at this time that it was most , buty regime forces information is still coming in. obviously, when there still continues to be violations of the cessation and there
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continues to be people being barrel bombed and gassed and denied basic food, water, and medicine, that makes it very difficult for the opposition to purchase a paid fully in these talks. amy: earlier this week, the main opposition group pulled out of the geneva peace talks, citing ceasefire violations and "no real will for a political solution." president obama and defense secretary ashton carter are flying to saudi arabia today, where they are slated to meet with king salman and leaders of the gulf cooperation council. the anti-war group code pink is planning to stage a mock beheading at the white house later today to pressure president obama to intervene on behalf of saudi youth, including ali al-nimr, who are facing death sentences for participating in protests. earlier this year, saudi arabia faced massive protests after carrying out a mass execution of 47 people, including prominent shiite cleric sheikh nimr al-nimr. the department of justice has launched a criminal
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investigation into tax avoidance following the massive data leak known as the "panama papers," which revealed how the panama-based mossack fonseca law firm set up a global network of shell companies for heads of state and other elites to store money offshore to avoid taxes and oversight. the leak revealed at least 200 u.s. citizens who used the firm to set up shell companies. the firm also set up more than 1000 shell companies inside the united states -- 600 in nevada alone. michigan, attorney general bill schuette is reportedly planning to announce criminal charges for at least two officials involved in the flint water contamination crisis. the water crisis began when flint's unelected emergency manager appointed by governor rick snyder switched the source of the city's drinking water from the detroit system to the corrosive flint river. the water corroded flint's aging pipes, causing poisonous levels of lead to leach into the
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drinking water. meanwhile, in detroit, two street artists are heading to court to fight felony charges for allegedly painting the words "free the water" and a large black fist on the highland park water tower in 2014. artists antonio cosme and william lucka are facing up to four years in prison on charges of malicious destruction of property. detroit has faced its own water crisis in recent years, as the city has cut off running water for tens of thousands of families. the united nations has condemned the ongoing water shutoffs as a violation of international human rights law. a virginia appeals court has ruled in favor of transgender student, saying that the federal law title 9 protects the rights of students to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity. student gavin grimm has been fighting for two years for the right to use the male restroom at his school. he spoke with tv station wtkr when the suit was first filed in
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2014. to comes terrifying out. i worried for my safety. but iow, i was scared came to find out that i did not have anything to be afraid of. it is just simply that i need to use the restroom like any other human being. and i should not be forced to use a restroom that i don't belong in. amy: tuesday's ruling is the first time a federal appellate court has ruled that title 9 protects transgender students' right to use the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity. lgbt activists say the ruling could have major impacts on such as north carolina's house bill 2. known as the "bathroom bill." meanwhile, a brooklyn court has sentenced a man to 12 years in prison for killing 21-year-old transgender woman islan nettles in 2013. james dixon attacked nettles in harlem after he began flirting with her, and then realized she
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was transgender. he punched her, knocking her down, and then continued beating her while she lay on the pavement. she later died in the hospital of head injuries. her brutal murder sparked a series of vigils and protests against the violence transgender women face. on tuesday, her mother delores nettles told the court the 12-year sentence was too short, saying -- "how can you sleep at night? how can you rest? i can't rest." in argentina, thousands marched in buenos aires tuesday to protest sweeping layoffs and austerity cuts imposed by argentina's new right-wing president mauricio macri. his economic reforms include a sharp devaluation of the argentine peso, the dismissal of nearly 20,000 unionized public sector workers and the elimination of taxes for mining corporations. president macri has also cracked down on press freedoms. eduardo belliboni of the workers party spoke out.
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>> we have come from the poorest neighborhoods of the suburbs, which have no water, no electricity, and have a problem with rate hikes. there are tremendous problems of joblessness, especially among youngsters. we are marching for that lame, for work -- for that claim, for work. amy: non-tenured professors at the university of illinois urbana champaign are launching a two-day strike today to demand a contract. the professors have been trying to negotiate for a contract since october 2014, when the nontenured professors union was first recognized. and at columbia university, a student occupation of low library has entered its sixth day to demand columbia university president lee bollinger endorse fossil fuel divestment. the occupation has garnered support from presidential candidate bernie sanders, who tweet on monday -- "let us stand in solidarity with the students at columbia and nyu for demanding their schools divest from fossil fuels. #keepitintheground." and those are some of the
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headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. we are on the 100 city tour marking democracy now! 20 the anniversary. i am amy goodman in denver, colorado. juan, you're in new york, juan gonzalez, and you were there yesterday for the new york binary. juan: yes, and welcome to all of our listeners and viewers around the country and around the world. the republican donald trump and democrat hillary clinton scored decisive victories in new york, moving both -- both candidates closer to becoming the respective parties presidential nominees. in the republican race trump crushed his rivals ted cruz and john kasich. he appears poised to win 89 of the 95 delegates up for grabs in new york. trump spoke to supporters last night at trump tower in new york city. >> we don't have much of a race anymore based on what i'm seeing on television.
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senator cruz is just about mathematically eliminated. state.have one another we have won millions of more votes than senator cruz, millions and millions and more votes than governor kasich. we have won and especially after tonight, close to 300 delegates more than senator cruz. we are really, really rocking. amy: in the democratic race, former new york senator hillary clinton beat bernie sanders by a margin of 58% to 42%. sanders won the majority of counties in the state but , clinton won big in the much collagen area. the election results came close to mirroring the 2008 race when clinton beat barack obama by a margin of 57% to 40%. hillary clinton spoke last night in manhattan.
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>> and to all the people who supported senator sanders, i believe there is much more that unites us than divides us. racenow, we started this not far from here on roosevelt island. pledging to build on the progressive tradition that has done so much for america from franklin roosevelt to barack obama. [applause] and tonight, a little less than a year later, the race for the democratic nomination is in the home stretch and victory is in sight. juan: bernie sanders was in pennsylvania tuesday night campaigning ahead of the state's , primary next tuesday. primaries nextve
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week. we think we are going to do well. we have a path toward victory, which we are going to fight to maintain. while i congratulate secretary clinton, i must say that i am really concerned about the conduct of the voting process in new york state. and i hope that that process will change in the future. and i'm not alone about my concerns, the comptroller of the city of new york talked today about voter irregularities and about chaos at the polling places. amy: we're joined in new york i two guests. virginia fields is president and ceo of the national black leadership commission on aids, she is the former borough president of manhattan. mark weisbrot is co-director of the center for economic and policy research, and president of just foreign policy.
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weisbrot's new book is call, "failed: what the experts got wrong about the global economy." virginia fields, we're going to shut with you -- start with you. can he talk about the significance of hillary clinton's victory? >> i think was very significant because it really did kind of solidify the base and i think it also gave her the support she needs now and moving forward. it continues to confirm that in the metropolitan areas, certainly, hillary clinton -- or i should say secretary hillary clinton, presidential candidate, is very well known in new york. she has worked with new york as our u.s. senator. so i thought -- i expected her to win. and i think the win solidified her base as well as touched highly upon her experience. and i think it also pointed out
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the difference between she and senator sanders as we have been moving forward. i think was significant on all fronts. juan: i would like to ask you to follow up on that, the gap tween the two candidates was larger than most people had expected or in the polls had been predicting. why do you think that is so? also, why do you think this persistent difference in the base of support between young people for bernie sanders and the white male democrats versus latino,can-american, and larger female support among older democrats that hillary clinton has? >> i cannot speak to the white males, but i've spoken to some of the younger generation people who are supporting hillary. and some have said things like, the only things they have known are the failure of the banks, the corporation, inequality.
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and so the message that senator sanders has obviously made central to his campaign, speaking about the issues day in and day out, has resonated more with them. they have not focused so much based begin on young people i talked with, even in my family, or supporting senator sanders, that they have not had other -- good times that led up to a lot of these fallouts that they have experienced. and the possibilities of returning to those. i think a lot of that resonated with them just based on life experiences. i think here in new york, again, it was -- senator clinton in terms of the relationship with african-americans in the latino communities is much stronger, certainly, than that of senator sanders here in the state of new york.
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amy: i want to ask -- >> we're seeing that play out nationally. juan: mark and i want to ask you in terms of these results, the establishing -- astonishing map you see of the new york primary is that bernie sanders won when all of upstate with the exception of buffalo, syracuse, rochester, and the metropolitan area of new york. it is remarkably different sort of base of support among democrats that he had versus clinton. >> yes, well, there's a big group excluded. he went very big among independents. in new york, if you wanted to register as a democrat, you had to do that back before -- back in october of last year. you excluded a big part of the base that usually votes for him. incourse, the biggest bloc the general election. that is part of the story. with regards to the demographic divide, i think that is a lot --
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the media likes to say it is because young people are naive and idealistic. i think they actually can see things that the people -- hillary is really only getting 40 --ty of people in over over 45, in some polls, over 50. i think that is because they are stuck in the cold war narrative. you don't have any polling data that really says ask democrats who you would vote for if you thought the democrats were going to win in the general election, for sure. but there's a lot of exit polling data that indicates that sanders would win overwhelmingly on that. you see these, for example, people voting for hillary are much more driven by fear. -- the candidate losing the donald trump, which of course the polling data indicates the opposite and it makes sense because he wins the independent voters. and fear of terrorism, for example. you don't have those same fears, the whole cold war ideas that he
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can't win because he calls himself a democratic socialist. you don't see that as much in the young people. i think that is because it is a different country, and they are actually right. they have not grown up in this period were these things would have determined the race. >> just a comment on the one word "idealism [captioning made possible by democracy now!] i've never looked at the young people as being idealistic. look at really serious these issues and as we said, too, it hasn't been their experience in terms of growing up. and they do believe the possibility is there, the hope is there. movements,g about mark weisbrot, bernie sanders lost by, what, 16%, 17%. after the break, we're going to talk about voter irregularities. this is quite astounding. alone0 people in brooklyn
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purged from the voter rolls. we will talk about that in a minute and get both of your reaction to what has taken place in new york. but, clearly, what bernie sanders represents is more than himself. he has tapped into a movement. and i'm wondering where this movement goes from here. >> i think we're going to see it continue and even as a staunch supporter of secretary clinton, i do see that, instantly did bring to the forefront a lot more people and the issues. i think there is been much less attention to the amount of dollars that go into campaigns, the whole citizens united issue has been -- people are really talking about that now. and i think they better understand how campaigns are driven or supported. i also think he has brought to
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the forefront issues like, quite frankly, donald trump. the whole delicate -- delegate selection process. how do you become a delegate to be a part of a political process as we move to presidential nominees. i think we will see the movement continue because of the issues. juan: mark, your comments on this? also, the fact that certainly, secretary clinton has moved to the left on a lot of issues as a result of this enormous campaign of bernie sanders. >> she sure has. even google the new york times" editorial board -- even the "new york times" editorial board said that bernie should stay until the end. it was because of the issues and because even they appreciated -- i think maybe they were split on the endorsements, but they appreciated what he has done. this is a social movement. this is very real.
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just even the $6 million donations. never had anything like this before. you have had other and surging candidacies and people hoped that the movement would continue after the election -- did not happen with the nader campaigns or with the jesse jackson campaigns, but i think this one i think the candidate is very committed to that. he said it very many times. i think definitely something will come out of this because it is a huge shift. it is a big political shift in the base of the democratic party among independents. break through these media barriers before. that is really what has happened. now that they have, they're not going to go away. amy: now we're going to go to break and come back to this discussion. we're also going to talk about what took place in new york most of you know, when the vast majority of people do not vote in primaries, then in particular when you people purged from the
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polls, it has an enormous impact. we're talking to mark weisbrot with the center for economic policy research, as well as virginia fields , national black leadership commission on aids. we will be back with them in a moment. ♪ [music break]
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amy: "tubthumping" chumbawamba. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we are on the road on our 100 city tour in denver, colorado. juan gonzalez is in new york. juan: voting in new york city was marked by considerable chaos, particularly in brooklyn as tens of thousands of voters found their names have been removed from the rolls.
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or that they were unable to vote at their polling station. the new york city elections board has confirmed that more than 125,000 brooklyn voters had been removed from the rolls since november of 2015. there were also reports that polling staffs were unable to operate voting machines to mugabe out conflicting information, and erroneously directed voters to alternate sites. the new york city mayor issued a statement tuesday decrying the disenfranchisement, writing -- democratic candidate bernie sanders expressed concern about new york's voting process late on tuesday after rival hillary clinton won the state's primary. >> like congratulate secretary clinton, i must say that i am really concerned about the conduct of the voting process in
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new york state. and i hope that process will change in the future. and i'm not alone about my concerns. the comptroller of the city of new york talked today about voter irregularities and about chaos at the polling places. amy: new york city comptroller scott stringer said his office had received reports of polling stations had failed to open on time and poll workers who were unable to tell voters when they would be operational. stringer ordered an audit of the new york selection authorities citing deep concern over , widespread reports of poll site problems and irregularities. for more we're joined by kristen clarke, president & executive director of the national lawyers' committee for civil rights under law. the lawyers committee leads the election protection program which operates a voter hotline during elections. still with us, virginia fields, president of the national black leadership commission as well as
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mark weisbrot, codirector of the center for economic and policy research. kristen, lay out for us what you understand took place yesterday. i mean, the admission by the city authorities that 125,000 voters were purged from the polls in one of new york city's five boroughs alone, brooklyn? >> this was far from a smooth election. throughout election protection, we operate a hotline where we field complaints from voters across the state, across the country during elections. we heard from over 900 voters across the state for reported issues that range from poll sites that opened late, rivals at poll sites where they were directing voters elsewhere because of technical problems. we heard from voters who have been longtime affiliated with one party, but were told they were ineligible to participate
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in the party primary yesterday. it is clear there were breaks in the system and that more work needs to be done to ensure we have a smooth process that allows every eligible voter to cast a ballot. juan: i have in covering new york city politics now for close to 30 years. toant to ask virginia fields comment on this because she is a veteran of the political war and while it is certain nature there is a lot of questions about what happened in brooklyn, i would counsel people not to jump to conclusions about some kind of a suppression operation because the new york city board of elections is notoriously incompetent. virtually every election, there seems to be problems. small elections, large elections , with the handling of voters and registration. virginia fields, i would like you to comment. >> i think it is outrageous what we heard about over 125,000 voters.
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with so many changes that have taken place in terms of locations where people vote, not being able to vote if you have moved from one election district to another election district, even though it might be across the street. i think at this stage, with technology and all we know, that the board of elections should be in better control in terms of communicating these changes far in advance. here in new york state this year, we have four elections. yesterday, one injured for congressional, our regular primary in september, then the general election in november. there has been sufficient time to address these issues. i think the board of election must be held accountable and changes need to be dust take place in the top town. ,my: can you, kristen clarke can you talk about why new york's voting system seems especially that? how does it
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compare to the rest of the country. >> we are the bottom of the list. new york is consistently at the bottom of the list when it comes to turn out and participation. when you look at election reforms that exist in other states like same-day registration, preregistration opportunities for 16-year-olds and 17-year-olds, the ability to cast absentee ballots if you wish. none of those rules exist in new york. i really pleased the comptroller has expressed an interest in shining a light on the new york city board of elections, but we have to remember that that is a band-aid solution. out we need is real reform of albany. we need lawmakers to finally follow through on election reform that has been on the table for a long, long time, and are needed to bring new york into the 21st century. and looking at the numbers of votes cast yesterday, it appears roughly 33% of voters turned out
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to vote. and that is abysmal. even in maricopa county were some voters had to endure wait times of up to five hours, you saw voter turnout rate of about 50%. new york is always at the bottom of the list when it comes to turn out. it is time for real reform. juan: when you talk about real reform, i remember just a few years ago after particularly contentious congressional race, a challenge of charles ringel in harlem, new york city council hearings, promises of reform of the board of elections. what do you think needs to happen to be able to finally fix new york's broken election system? >> we need all of these folks who are expressing angst today. the mayor, the comptroller to direct that energy toward albany. we need lawmakers in albany to finally, finally follow through on the need for an election
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overhaul in new york. we need same-day registration. we need automatic voter registration so that people can be added to the rolls and their information can be easily updated. we need preregistration opportunities for 16-year-olds and 17-year-olds. we need real and present early voting opportunities. it is simply shameful that in 2016, we do not have those kinds of reforms in place in new york. all of this angst today i think needs to not be directed on issuing reports and shining a spotlight on all of the issues that we are ready know are there and are broken. it is time for real reform to come out of albany and time for lawmakers to put pen to paper and bring new york into the 21st century. amy: kristen clarke, we have talked about the 125,000 people purged from the polls. thathat about this issue it is a closed primary in new york.
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who determines that? why do they determine that? and what does that mean? if you want to devote in this primary -- wanted to vote in this primary, independents, for example, they had to switch their party affiliation, say to democrat, by early october. this is before any debate. this is before any primaries. of course, someone like bernie sanders, his large attraction is with independent voters. it had a huge effect on who could vote outside of the 100.5 thousand purged in just one borough -- 125,000 purged in just one borough. >> about half the states around the country have closed primaries or some version of a closed primary. the issue in new york is that we don't have real notice and communication, clear indication to voters about the rules and about the deadlines. and often, these deadlines are
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so far out, that voters are not even focus on the process. part of this election overhaul needs to be putting more resources into the hands of local boards of election so that they can be held accountable and so that they have the ability to give accurate and clear information to voters so they know what the rules are and know what the deadlines are. the new york city board of elections, i think it is been a fiasco this cycle. they issued notice to about 42,000 new voters advertising the primary election in the fall . that notice have the wrong date. they issued a second notice that had the correct date of the primary, but failed to mention yesterday's primary happening on april 19. and then had to do a third notice to voters that made clear the april 19 primary in a primary happening this fall. these kinds of problems are
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intolerable. they lock people out of the process. if people don't have accurate and clear information about went to vote and what they need to vote, and we ultimately are disenfranchising voters, and that should not be tolerated. part of this election overhaul that we need requires putting more hands into local boards of election, putting more resources into local words of elections so they have the ability -- boards of elections so they have the ability to do their job right. juan: mark weisbrot, i would ask about the closed primary. some of those -- there are some that say political parties exist as separate organizations and if you want to participate in this selection of that party's candidate, should be part of the party. admittedly, a year before him is far too long for someone to have to switch their affiliation. but where they should be a
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little restrictive, some states do, the selection of the candidates only to party members? >> i think it is much better, as you have more participation in the country, especially -- you can make the case of this were more of a parliamentary system or you did not have this two-party system where they're basically like state institutions in the sense that it is so difficult, almost impossible for a third party to have a chance. they really should have these primaries as open as possible. this country really is what it is today in large part because of disenfranchisement. if you had voter participation rates like you have in europe or exulting middle income countries, you have a very different election in the republican party knows that. their main strategy for survival is all about disenfranchisement. they use control over the state legislatures and governors to redistrict, you know, this big offensive to disenfranchise
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people. that is our strategy for going forward. so we really need a voter reform, i would say, at least as much as campaign finance reform. we would really see a very different politics in this country if people voted. all we want to thank you for being with us. kristen clarke in washington, president and executive director of the national lawyers committee for civil rights under law. the lawyers committee leads the election protection program which operates a voter hotline during elections. also, virginia fields, president and ceo of the national black leadership commission on aids, former borough president of manhattan. and finally, mark weisbrot co-director of the center for , economic and policy research, and president of just foreign policy. his book "failed: what the , experts got wrong about the global economy." mark them a we would like to ask you to stay because we are going south next. from brooklyn to brazil, to the
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impeachment of brazil's president. is it a coup? that is what we will be talking about in new york and rio de janeiro. we will be back in a minute. ♪ [music break]
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amy: "chega de saudade" by joao gilberto. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we are on the road on our 100 city tour in denver, headed to boulder in colorado springs and beyond through the weekend. check democracynow.org. juan gonzalez is sitting there in the studios of new york. juan: we turn now to the political crisis in brazil. on sunday, brazil's lower house tocongress voted three at 67
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to start impeachment proceedings 137 against president dilma rousseff. early next month brazil's senate , will vote on whether to put rousseff on trial on allegations of manipulating budget accounts. on tuesday, president rousseff said attempts to impeach her constituted a coup and an original sin. >> what i feel is unjustifiable is the attempt to diminish the fact the necessity for a legal basis to propose and seek the impeachment of the president of the republic. so i ask you all, why then is this not a coup? it is a coup. it is a coup dressed as original sin, which is the fact there is no legal basis for my impeachment. juan: brazil has been engulfed in a major corruption scandal but president rousseff herself , has not been accused of any financial impropriety. members of the brazilian congress, including many who backed her impeachment are under investigation or face , charges.
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leading the impeachment process has been brazil's speaker of the house eduardo cunha who has been accused of squirreling away finally and into swiss bank dollars -- $5 million into swiss bank accounts. meanwhile, the intercept is reporting a key brazilian opposition leader has traveled to washington, d.c. to partake , in closed-door meetings with various u.s. officials and lobbyists. senator aloysio nunes of brazil's center-right psdb party is reportedly meeting this week with the chairman and ranking member of the senate foreign relations committee, republican bob corker of tennessee, and others to discuss the situation in brazil. amy: for more we go to rio de , janiero, brazil where we're joined by the co-author of the article, andrew fishman. and we're also joined in new york city by mark weisbrot. he is co-director of the center for economic and policy research and president of just foreign
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policy. weisbrot's recent article for the huffington post is titled, "brazilian coup threatens democracy and national sovereignty." his new book "failed: what the , experts got wrong about the global economy." we welcome you both to democracy now! mark, what do you believe is happening right now in brazil? >> i think it is definitely a coup. the international media has shifted in the last couple of months, especially more recently. they had been like the brazilian media, really reporting it from a proposition point of view as though this were a legitimate impeachment. and now you see more and more they're saying it is not legitimate, of course, because there's no real charges against the president that would warrant impeachment. by theeally an attempt opposition to reverse the results of the 2014 election, to take advantage of the fact the
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economy is in recession. and go after her. i think that article in the intercept was very important. at 1 -- one point they made nunesthe visit of senator , it did not get attention from the media but it really should because he met with tom shannon. tom shannon is the most influential person on latin america in the state department. he's going to be the one recommending to secretary of state kerry what he should do, where u.s. should come down on this process. that is extremely important because shannon did not have to meet with him. he is just a senator, you know? by meeting with him, he sends a message to everyone who is paying close attention in brazil that the u.s. is ok with this process. very similar to a coup in honduras. close attention to that and everyone in washington knew the very first day of the coup when the white house put
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out a statement that did not say one bad thing about the coup, u could make in support of a coup, a military coup, and the 21st century. it is a very similar thing. the media totally ignored it but that was a signal and i think it shows what we are ready know, the u.s. really does want to get rid of the workers party and always has. juan: mark, what specifically are the charges against president rousseff? >> specifically, she is charged with using money from -- not using the money, but in an accounting sense, counting money lowerhe public banks to or increase the primary physical surplus. in other words, to make a national accounts look better by using money from the public banks like -- counting that in the budget balance. an example i like to give, 2013, the united states when the
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republicans were threatening to default on the debt and there was a deadline for when the debt ceiling would be reached, and he treasury just kept changing the deadline that counting mutilations. juan: she is not specifically accused of bribes or any kind of personal enrichment. >> know, and with the media did for a long time both national and international, made it look like so -- i'm sure most of your listeners believe her impeachment has something to do with corruption scandal. in fact, it doesn't. amy: i want to turn to andrew fishman in rio de janeiro in brazil. andrew, the piece in the intercept that you wrote headlined "after vote to remove , brazil's president, key opposition figure holds meetings in washington." talk about is significant and what has happened. morning. the senator is the chair of the senate foreign relations committee in brazil and the vice
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presidential cap does candidate that lost to doma recep in 2014. he has been one of the leading opponents of demo rousseff's government and the workers party. became that of the senate foreign relations committee, one of his core tenets he wanted to bring brazilian for policy closer to the united states, which had been damaged after the stone revelations that the u.s., that the nsa was spying on petrobras and illness specifically -- domas specifically. he had planned to go previously, but yet knowledge is that the vice president who will take over if dilma rousseff is removed from office, which seems , he said the vice president called him and said the international press was giving a bad image to the process and he wanted him to go to washington and give it
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basically -- basically, a pr trip. juan: andrew, your written in one of your articles of brazil's extra ordinary political of people shares some similarity with the trop-led political chaos in the united states. could you explain? >> this is very stnge me is t common that such tensions anduch strong feelings are felt on the streets of the country. i mean, because of this political scandal going on right now, there had been this fight in the streets over politics. i went to a protest on sunday in rio. they had one scheduled early in the morning and support of the government -- at least in support of democracy, depending on who you ask post up they put up a barricade and into the protests early so later in the day, another protest could come onto the streets and there would not be any overlap to reduce the
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potential for any violence. this is very strange in brazil. this is not something that is happen in living memory. tensions,y, the high the potential for violence, the extreme rhetoric is similar to what is happening with the trump phenomenon in the united states. amy: the intercept when greenwald recently interviewed the former brazilian president lula does hula -- president lula da silva. lula described the situation in brazil as a coup. >> i will tell you why it is a coup. while the brazilian constitution allows for impeachment, it is necessary for the person to have committed what we call high crimes and misdemeanors. and president dilma did not commit high crimes or misdemeanor.
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amy: so that was the former president of brazil lula da silva being interviewed by glenn greenwald. they're attending to charge him, too, and so the president, the current president rousseff has appointed him to work for her so he would share community. andrew, can you talk about his role and also what the media is doing in brazil? >> yes. president dilma brought lula back into be her chief of staff
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a few weeks ago. blocked,approved, approved, blocked. this whole back-and-forth. right now he is still not officially in the position that will be decided by the supreme court of believe today. she brought him in a stiff lovely to help build a coalition to push back against the move for impeachment. in the lower house, that did not work. he has been to a lot of behind-the-scenes dealings and trying to offer ministries or different positions or -- during the backroom dealings that basically how brazilian works and most politics work in the world. said this process is a coup. most of the international observers that have been paying attention agree with him that this is an anti-democratic movement, and the new york times, the guardian, even the economist, secretary general of the oas -- they have all said
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that this -- there is no legal basis for impeachment. crimes committed their crimes, have not reached the level of high crimes and his demeanor's, which is the standard for impeachment, therefore this is an legitimate, anti-democratic movement. i do not call it a coup coming . either a military group 70 taking power -- they are using the judiciary and the legal processes to do this action, but they're doing it in a way that has no basis in legality. juan: mark i would like to ask how we got to this position right now? brazil had become a darling, seen as an economic miracle. even during the period when avowed socialists and worker leader lula was president of the country, and now how -- if this
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is not a truly legal situation that is happening with the congress, why is there so little apparent support for dilma and the rest of the country? >> there is support. there's a base within the workers party. the media was ignoring them for quite a while, and still does to a large extent. thei think the reason -- media is a huge part. imagine if we had fox news, 70%, 8% of the media here -- 80% of the media here, what obama even have gotten elected? that is a huge, huge part of it. they can convince the whole country that she is tied up in notuption and lula is, too, whole thing. the biggest part of it is really the recession. the economy did very well for really all the way until a couple of years ago under the workers party.
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it was an enormous change. they reduced poverty by 55%, extreme poverty by 65%. double the real minimum wage. reduced inequality significantly. this had not happened. brazil had 23 years with almost no growth of income per person prior to their election. so they did extremely well. i think they made mistakes and actually lula said that dilma but a mistake by trying to please the bank. that has been their problem in the last few years. basically, they implemented austerity policy, raised interest rates, cut public investment enormously, and really pushed the economy further into recession. that is the biggest stake they made. they would not be having these problems if it were not for that. amy: i want to ask andrew fishman about the role of former secretary of state under president bill clinton,
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madeleine albright, and also the ceo of kellogg's corporation. yes, senator nunez is in washington -- was in washington yesterday, hosting a private luncheon by the albright group, which is madeleine albright firm in the former ceo of kellogg's is also the cochair of the firm. we try to get in contact with them. we asked them who would be attending. they said it was a closed-door meeting with no media access for washington political leaders and for business leaders. one of the senior advisors with the group is the leader of an organization that is very involved in the pushed against the dilma government. as mark was saying, it seems -- while the u.s. government has not made any official stance on their opinion in terms of lula and dilma in impeachment, it
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seems pretty obvious as to what their stance is and which side they're supporting. or would support. amy: i want to thank you both for being with us, andrew fishman, researcher and reporter for the intercept. we will link to your piece "after vote to remove brazil's , president, key opposition figure holds meetings in washington." co-authored by glenn greenwald and david miranda. and thank you to mark weisbrot co-director of the center for , economic and policy research, and president of just foreign policy. we are on the road. we are here in colorado. on thursday, i will be speaking at boulder college. at the boulder theater. and then on friday, colorado springs. saturday, eagle, colorado within carbondale and p oneale. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to outreach@democracynow.org or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
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