tv Democracy Now LINKTV July 1, 2016 8:00am-9:01am PDT
07/01/16 07/01/16 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> we finally have legislation that at least is going to give puerto rico the capacity, the opportunity to get out from under this circus with respect to the debt and start growing again. amy: as puerto rico faces a paymenton debt president barack obama signs
, into law the so-o-called proma billll which puts a federally appointed control board with sweeping powers in charge of its economy. critics say it is a reversion to old-style colonialism that removes democratic control by the people of puerto rico over its own affairs. we'll host a debate. then for the first time in u.s. electoral history an openly , transgender candidate has won a major-party congressional primary. two, in fact. >> i am running for the u.s. senate. i feel the current government does not represent the average people, disproportionally filled with people from rich babackgrounds are lawyers rebellion is. they represent -- we want a government that represents all people instead of just wall street bankers. amy: we'll speak with 30-year-old misty snow in utah
and with 33-year-old military vet misty plowright in colorado. they both eat -- beat their opponents in primary elections on tuesday. onwill also get the ban transgender people serving openly in the military. all of that and more coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. president barack obama has signed into law the so-called promesa bill, which will establish a federally appointed control board with sweeping powers to run puerto rico's economy. >> in and of itself will be sufficient to solve all of the problems the puerto rico faces, but it is an important first creatinghe path of more stability, better services,
and greater prosperity over the long-term. amy: whilele the legislation supporteters say it will help te island cope with its debt crisis by allowing an orderly restructuring of its $72 billion in bond debt, critics say it is a reversion to old-style colonialism that removes democratic control from the people of puerto rico. in puerto rico students, union , members, politicians and , environmentalists have launched a series of protests against the bill, including marches and an indefinite protest camp outside the u.s. federal court in hato rey,y, puerto rico. this comes as a new wall street journal analysis reveals how puerto rico has experienced a severe, decade-long de-population. a a quarter ofof a million puero ricans have relocated to the mainland united states over the last decadade shrinkining the lr , force by 2 20%. it's the most dramatic population decline the u.s. census burureau has seen since rerecord-keepiping began i in 1. mamario marazzzzi of the p puero
institute of statistics said the scalale of the territory''s de-population is comparable only to the genocide of indndigenous taino people following the ararrival of the spaninish colos in t the 16th cecentury. we'llll host a debate over the promesa bill after headlines. defense secretary ash carter has announced the pentagon is ending its ban on transgender people serving openly in the u.s. military. >> our mission is to defend this country, and we don't want barriers unrelated to a person's them aretion to serve preventing us from recruiting or retaining the soldier, sailor, airman, or burning who can best accomplish -- marine who can best accomplish the mission. we have to have access to 100% of america's population for our all volunteer force to be able to recruit from among them the most highly qualified. amy: under the new rules, the military will provide all health
care, including surgery, to transgender troops. many hailed the decision as a step forward in lgbt rights. victoria rodriguez-roldan of the national lgbtq task force said -- "this decision is a great victory for the many trans people who have served and sacrificed in the military over the years." but others critiqued the move. award-winning writer mattilda bernstein sycamore wrote -- "how far we have come from the original goals of gay liberation as it emerged in the 1960's and 1970's -- an end to the oppressive state, organized religion and thehe nuclearar fay -- a rejection of war, racism, white supremacy and imperialism. " we'll have more on the pentagon decision with transgender colorado democratic congressional nominee misty plowright. meanwhwhile, the penentagon h hs confirmed the s.s. military y ad us-led coalition forces carried out a total of 26 different
airstrikes in iraq and syria on thursday. the pentagon has not released a death toll. on wednesday, u.s.-led airstrikes killed as many as 250 people near the iraqi city o of fallujah. north carolina lawmakers are moving to reserve 250,000 dollars for the legal expenses of defending the anti-transgender law hb two. the obama administration sued north carolina over the law, which nullifies ordinances protecting lgbt people from discrimination and forces transgender people to use the bathroom that matches what they were assigned on their birth certificate. in another victory for reproductive rights, a federal judge has blocked an indiana law that would have banned abortions based on a fetus's genetic anomalies or disabilities. the ruling is the latest in a series of decisions upholding women's right to access abortions following the supreme court's landmark decision to strike down texas' admitting
privileges requirement and another provision requiring abortion clinics to meet the standards of hospital-style surgery centers. meanwhile republican presumptive , presidential nominee donald trump has spoken out on the landmark supreme court's ruling on abortion, while speaking with conservative radio host mike gallagher. >> if we had scalia living or group late me, you would not have had that. it would have been the opposite. --re's your first example that is going to be the first of many. if she gets in, it is going to get worse. you won't even have to bother going to court. you're going to know the answers. >> you know what will happen before it gets here. just to confirm under eight president donald trump appointed supreme court, you would not the majority really like the one we had with the texas abortion law this week. cox am a know, you would not see
that people understand that. amy: in response to trump's comments, dawn laguens of the planned parerenthood action fund said -- "electing trump means he will fight to take away the very rights the supreme court just ruled this week are constititutional and necessary health care." meanwhile, trump is facing questions about a federal lawsuit in which a woman accuses trump of raping her in 1994 when she was only 13 years old. the lawsuit alleges trump raped her at a party hosted by billionaire jeffrey epstein. epstein has paid a series of settlements over allegations of sexual assault at his infamous parties. donald trump has denied the allegations in the lawsuit, which was refiled in manhattan federal court after it was dismissed by a judge in california last month. the suit has largely been ignored by mainstream media or dismissed as "bizarre." but lawyer and author lisa bloom writes -- "if the bill cosby case has taught us anything, it is to not disregard rape cases against famous men."
meanwhile, on wednesday, the university of connecticut trustees voted unanimously to revoke bill cosby's honorary degree, in light of accusations from more than 50 women that cosby drugged and raped them, some in cases dating back decades. in more news from the campaign trail, a meeting on the tarmac of a phoenix airport between attorney general loretta lynch and former president bill clinton has ignited a political firestorm, with republicans saying the meeting compromises the justice department's continued investigation into dedemocratic preresidential candidate hillary clinton's use of a private email s server r we she was secretary of state. lynch spoke out about the meeting. >> i did s see the president at the phoenix airport the other night as i was landing, , he was headed o out. hehe did comome over and speak y husband d and myseself. he talked about his grandchildren and his travels and things like that. that was the extent of that.
amy: the "new york times" reports lynch is set to announce today that she will accept whatever recommendation prosecutors and the fbi director make about whether to bring charges against hillary clinton. a newly released internal cia report has revealed how the agency arrested, imprisoned and interrogated german citizen khaleed al masri at a secret prison in afghanistan even though the cia knew he was not the man they were looking for. the report chronicles how the cia seized masri after macedonian agents accused him of beining a member of q qaeda traveling onon a false passport. yet no one from the cia even looked at masri's passport for the first three months of his imprisonment, at which point agents determined his passport was real. and there was a cia agent "no justice to continue to detain him." yet the agency continued to hold masri for months because it could not decide on a "exit strategy."
finally, cia agents dumped him in albania and told him to go home. al masrsri says he was tortured while imprisoned by the cia. he is seeking an apology from the u.s. government. meanwhile, a human rights lawyer has accused the e cia of paying romania mimillions of dollars to host sececret u.s. prisosons tht were the site of cia tortuture programs under the george bush administration. the allegations were raised during a hearing of the european court of human rights. romania, a close u.s. ally, has denied the charges. in austria, the highest court has ordered a rerun of the presidential election, after the far-right candidate norbert hofer was narrowly defeated. hofer, who won 49.7% of the vote, ran on an anti-migrant platform and would have become the first far-right head of state elected in europe since 1945. the court ruling opens up the possibility he may seize power in the new round of elections. in cameroon, the u.s. has paid
compensation to the family of a seven-year-old boy who was fatally run over by you and abbasid or samantha power's motorcade in april. the compensation includes two cows come hundreds of kilos of flour, onions, rice, salt, and sugar and about $1700. the boy was killed after an armored jeep hit him at top speed. in maryland, a judge has granted a new trial to adnan syed, the subject of the first season of the award-winning podcast "serial." in 2000, syed was convicted of murdering his ex-girlfriend hae min lee. he has long maintained his innocence. his lawyer celebrated the judge's decision, while hae min's family said -- "it remains hard to see so many run to defend someone who committed a horrible crime, who destroyed our family, who refuses to accept responsibility, when so few are willing to speak up for hae." in new york, some women keep
right has conceded to dominican born man and he was congressional race to secede longtime commerce member charles wrangle. wrangle as the founding member of the congressional black caucus is served as representative since 1970. he was the hand-picked successor. this means for the first time in more than 60 years, the congressional seat in harlem will not be held by an african-americican. on capitol hill, water tests haveve found high levels of lead in the drinking water in the cannon office building. at least one drinking fountain tested had lead levels three times higher than the epa safety limit. a "usa today" investigation, launched in the wake of the flint water poisoning crisis, found nearly 2000 water systems across the united states contained high levels of lead contntamination. and in vermont, the nation's first mandatory gmo labeling law goes into effect today. coca cola has announced it will likely stop selling some of its
products in vermont. multiple companies have sought unsuccessfully to block the law. farmer and vermont state senator david zuckerman spoke out. >> i'm here today to celebrate our gmo labeling law gogoing ino effect wherere consumers will he the right to know what is in their product. straightforward, clear labelelig on the packaging. i'm standing in front of a field of nonon-gmo form on my farm. 90 percent to 95% of not close to wonder percent of the corning vermont is genetically injured in for cattle production but also across the country, huge amounts of corn, titan, soybeans, beats for sugar all grown -- amy: and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. president barack obama has
signed into law the so-called promesa bill, which will establisish a federally appointd control board with sweeping powers to run puerto rico's economy. while the legislation's supporters say it will help the island cope with its crippling debt crisis by allowing an orderly restructuring of its $72 billion in bond debt, critics say it is a reversion to old-style colonialism that removes any semblance of democratic control by the people of pueuerto rico over their own affairs. on thursdaday, obama said the legislatation is an important first step in helping the island regain financial stability. >> amazing work by our treasury department, legislative staff, and a bipartisan effort in both the house and senate, we finally have legislation that at least is going to give puerto rico the capacity, the opportunity to get out from under this lingering uncertainty with respect to
their debt to start stabilizing government services and start growing again. if not in itself will be solving the problems that puerto rico faces, but it is an important creatinghe path of more stability, bebetter servic, and greater prosperity over the long term for the people of puerto rico. amy: earlier this week, the senate voted 68-to-30 in favor of the promesa bill just days beforere puerto rico was expectd to default on a more than $2 billion debt payment. new jersey senator bob menendez led the oppositition to the bil. anit is a vote to authorize unelected, unchecked, and all-powerful control board to determine puerto rico's destiny for a generation or more. it is a vote to force puerto rico without their say to go
$370 million further in debt to pay for this omnipotent control board, which they don't even want. it is a vote to cut the minimum to $4.25 per hour for young workers in puerto rico, a vote to make puerto ricans work long overtime hours without fair compensation. it is a vote to jeopardize collective bargaining agreements. it is a vote to cut worker benefits and privatize and nearly government functions. a vote to close schools and shutter hospitals and cut senior citizens pensions to the bone.e. a vote to put hedge funds that of the people. it is able to sell off and commercialize national treasures that belonged to the people of puerto rico. juan: that was senator bob menendndez of new jersey. democraticic presidedential candidate and vermont senator bernie sanders also spoke out against the legislation. meanwhile, democratic senator dick durbin of illinois spoke in favor of the promesa bill. >> what is the alternative if we vote no? you'll hear a lot a member say, let's put it end to it.
if we vote no, it is to give the bondholders, thus holding the debt of puerto rico, all of the cards july 1. all of the cards. they can then go to court and forced their hand for payment on these debts. in puerto rico, which is struggling to provide basic services, will have even more money taken away from them. what is a disaster situation will become worse if we vote no and do nothing. this oversight board, for all its flaws, has the power to stop , the power to enter into voluntary negotiation on the dead of puerto rico, and if they cannot reach a voluntary agreement, they have power to go to court for restructuring on all of the debt that faces that island. that is significant. i hope it doesn't reach that point. i hope there is a voluntary negotiation. but to say we're going to protest the board by voting against the creation all board
and this outcome i have described, is to throw this for island and the people who live there into chaos. amy: that's senator dick durbin. also this week, puerto rico, demonstrators in opposition to the promesa bill have established an ongoing protest camp outside the u.s. federal court in the capital city of san juan. well, for more, wewe host a debate. in washington, d.c., we're joined by eric lecompte, the executive director of jubilee usa network, which has backed ththe promesa bill. and here in new york we're , joined by longtime labor activist j jose la luz, who is n opponent. he organizes, promotes and , advocates for worker rights in puerto rico and the united states. la luz is retired from the american federation of state, county and municipal employees, or afscme, and now works as an adviser to the afscme affiliate civil service employees association. we welcome you both to democracy now! the bill passed, so eric lecompte, your thoughts today? >> essentially, the legislation
is incredibly important. there can be no economic growth in puerto rico before the debt is restructured. unfortunately, without this legislation, puerto rico had no protections to pay pensions, to pay teachers, and to pay social services. it is incredibly important. i know your listeners are very aware of the argentina situation and what happened when a group funds essentially held that south american country hostage for nearly 16 years. puerto rico was about to become the next argentina. fundsme types of vulture today, at the legislation did not pass, would have swooped in, bought the debt for pennies on the dollar, and help puerto rico hostage. where argentina is a relatively wealthy country as a caucuses with the g20, we are talking about in island, puerto rico, where 60% of the people lived --
of the children live in poverty. where 45% of the people live in poverty. the rates are staggering. they are unbelievable. what happen with this legislation passing, the vulture were told they're not allowed to come to the party. we prevented puerto rico from becoming the next argentina. thisis is absolutely crucicial o undederstand. it is also absolutely crucial to understand that because the president signed this legislation yesterday, last night the governor of puerto rico was able to declare a debt moratorium and announce at the pensions t that have been being taken from for years to pay the debt are now going to be able to pay back. that social services goingng toe paid on the island. that there is going to be protections for children in reducing poverty. even though there are concerns with the legislation and we have worked in the legislative process and able to address many of thehese concerns, we have not
been able to address all of them. we knew there was no alternative and if we did not act by today, the vulture funds were being invited to the party and puerto rico was about to become the next argentina. juan: jose la luz, what about that? your thoughts s this issusue of whether the v vulture funds have been stayed by the legislation passed by the senate? >> the truth is that this nothing morea is than a glorified collection agency for the hedge funds and the vulture funds. in fact, everything that eric explains is precisely the reason why this is such a bad piece of legislation. there is absolutely no protections, no provisions to protect pensions, collective-bargaining rights, worker rights. there will be a sub minimum wage.
it put the most serious consequence of this is that it takes us back to the days immediately after the u.s. military occupation of the act.dnd, before the this is a very, very serious, seriously flawed piece of legislation. thate deeply disappointed jubilee usa, a catholic organization, which has been known consistently for its defense of working families in other parts of the world, has taken such a position. we suspect it may have something to do with the relationship that mr. lecompte has with the archbishop of san juan who terminated the pensions s of the catholic schools employees unilaterally, who shut down catholic schools. so this isis in fact something that paves the way for a feast,
for a field day for the hedgdge funds and wall street. and it has serious and great consequences because now we will witness this as spain, consistent and escalating resistance of people in puerto rico which will have serious differences in terms of the relationship with the united states. i think mr. lecompte must realize that his organization has made a very serious, serious mistake in supporting this piece of legislation. amy: eric lecompte, your response? >> i agree with some of the concerns that j jose raises. i don't think he understands the legislation. i do not believe he has read the legislation. i think we've seen a lot of compromises to address the particular issues he is raising, but we have to understand we do
work with a religiously to her's and puerto rico and we do believe the religious leaders, the catholic church in puerto rico, the pentecostal leaders, the embed jell-o leaders -- evangelical leaders, have been the real heroes. they been the most out token group about the effectstsf the debt crisisis. nearly 60% of people live in poverty. we talk about legislation not passing today, that means a lot more than the choices that teachers are making in puerto rico about whether or not to turn on the computers today or whether or not to turn on the lights today. it means more than law enforcement getting cut. it means more than health care getting cut in the face of the zika virus. right now puerto rico, for the past few months, at the central hospital, sick kids the only newborn you nato special care unit -- neonatal special care unit have not been able to get
direct access to dialysis or life-saving drugs. kids in the center cannot get access to chemotherapy drugs because they don't have credit. they can only do cash on demand. as limited as t the credit crunh was s becoming alreaeady on the island, if the legislation did not pass, wewe were going to see things even become more worse. now,w, with the archbishop of puerto r rico, who is been very outspoken about the legislation and concerns about the legislation, who worked on both sides of the aisle with who came to bat on this legislation, we know they've had the best interest of their people at the heart of this. they have been the ones most outspoken about the crisis him and we have worked with him closely for a year. working on every possible solution. our work does not end the day. there's still a lot more work to
do, , but we have worked on solutions at the u.s. treasury, the white house. -- pressure onrk congress to act. it is important to understand what the religious leaders said in puerto rico. legislation has to pass in order to stop the humanitarian crisis, to move forward in order to reduce child poverty. at the same time, they reminded all of us that the problems in puerto rico, and this current crisis, is a direct result of the island's colonial status. in order to stave off the next crisis, we have to address the colonial status on the island. but we have to also understand that without passing this legislation, the vulture funds would have swooped in without passing this particular legislation, there would have been no protections to pay pensioions, to pay teachchers, o pay firefighters. it's actuaually -- essentially e
would've had a great invitation for the vulture fununds. in terms of -- john amy: i'm going to interrupt because with to take a break. when we come back, we will get response from labor activist jose la luz. misty plowright from we're talking about the passage of the promesa bill that president obama has signed off on post up today, puerto rico defaulting on its $2 billion debt repayment. we will be back in a moment. ♪ [music break]
this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. our guests are eric lecompte, executive director of jubilee usa, and labor activist jose la luz joining us in new york. juan: i want to ask jose, taking over from what eric lecompte just said, this whole issue of the chaos that would have resulted, supposedly, if this bill had not been passed. maria cantwell, and her debate, in her remarks on the senate floor as well as bob menendez, said number one is, you're deluding yourself if you think there is not going to be legal challenges. the bondholders and vulture are not going to sit back. they're going to challenge the constitutionality of this law and there seems to be significant grounds, for instance, a report, even questions what kind of agency this is, the legislation says it is created by congress as an agency of the porter can government by the congressional budget office has, no, this is
anan agey of the federal government, not the puerto rican governmeme. is a host of issues that the bondholders are going to challenge anyway. the only differences at this stage, eric, you mentioned the governor has put a moratorium on the debt and will not be able to expenses of the porter can government. but as soon as the control board comes in the power, he is not going to have any more power. the control board will be controlling it. ask about this whole issue of this law had to be passed before july 1 or there would be chaos in puerto rico. >> as recently as last night, the president of the senate indicated that there would be litigation occurring, precisely the reasons you pointed out to.
senator orrin hatch has requested an investigation by the security's and exchange commission about the role of treasury secretary lew. many questions are unanswered. there's an inquiry commission, discovering and its findings that as much as $30 billion of the debt may be legal because it exceeded the ceiling provided by the constitution of the commonwealth. there many questions, but one of the fundamental things here is there is no guarantee that in fact there will be restructuring. it reqequires a simple majorityf 5 and four of the 7 will in fact be right-wing republicans whosee main interest is undoubtedly would be that the creditors get paid. these are their friends and wall street a and the hedge funds. -- in wall street and the hedge funds. i find this repugnant, eric.
essentially, coming from a an organization that distinguished itself for being an advocate for the poor around the world. colonialism is repugnant in all of its forms and manifestations. you, my friend, will have blood on your hands if this results in the kind of unrest that we witnessed in the 1970's. veryl tell you with certainty that people in puerto rico, once they discovered a serious implications of this, will not tolerate it. in this imposes only harsher austerity measures on the puerto rican people of the situation that is already very bad. this is a classic case study in what naomi klein calls the shock doctrine. pittman started operating from the vulture funds since the
moment puerto rico and exclusively was removed from dust inexplicably was removed from pregnancy in 1984 and the republicans kept borrowing. puerto rico had no tools for economic development. this bill contains no measures to restore economic growth and development. none whatsoever. yet senator sanders offers a legislation that addresses the question of economic growth and economic development for something similar to what fdr did in the 1940's with eleanor roosevelt and others support that created the reconstruction administration. nothing of that sort exists in this legislation. it is all about austerity, harsh austerity measures that will affect the most honorable and porter go. -- vulnerable in puerto rico. >> y you realize there is amazig and how sturdy measures that have been put in place,
including what we have been able to amend the legislation so that in economic growth plan, any recommendations must take into account reducing child party on the island. this is incredibly important. also what -- with the legislation, we were able to protect the work of the debt to find outtee where the debt comes from, what are the questions about the debt, is the debt legitimate or not. that is going to go forward because of this legislation. we have to understand that is really important. i think one of the great concerns that the religious leaders have had on the island and we have certainly express in every debt restructuring plan we have worked on around the world for the last 20 years is that going forward, there needs to be greater public budget transparency. the debt audit commission is key to this. we also agree that the oversight board is not the actual answer for this.
there's no way to talk about the oversight board in puerto rico without talking about puerto rico's colonial status. and it is also true the religious leaders acknowledge that reality and are very saddened by that. but they knew going forward, passing this legislation in order to get votes on both sides of the aisle had to do this. acknowledging the oversight commission's status and the issues o of colonialism on the island, i think it is really important to understand what the legislation actually says about the oversight commission. even though we don't believe it is an efficient way to install public budget transparency, this is not the control board we had an d.c., new yorork, or we s stl haveve in detroit. this particular oversight commission is in addition to the political process. it does nonot circumvent the govevernor andnd does not circut
the legislative process. it does add an additional monitoring process to the budget. with that said, we very much understand the concerns about any kind of oversight commission . that is why we have supported the public budget transparency initiatives, debt audit, why we believe there needs to be legislation that passes in the legislature in puerto rico to hahave a hard dedegree of accout ability. but i think most importantly, what we need to understand is these are some of the best and most powerful debt restructuring tools we have ever seen past by the u.s. congress. in fact, some of the provisions, whether negotiatations are donen a voluntary way or they are forced, this is even better than chapter nine or chapter 11 in the united states because it forces all sides of the problem to come together for negotiations and come with a negotiated solution. it also forces any vulture funds that exist not to be the table
because three quarters of all creditors when they agree to a solution, it binds all the creditors. juan: if i could interrupt you for a second. when you talk about the voluntary negotiations, these are voluntary negotiations not between the people of puerto rico and the bondholders. these are voluntary negotiations between the control board, six of seven people do not even have to live in puerto rico, and the bondholders. so these are voluntary negotiations between two entities that are not part of the puerto rican nation -- i mean, so -- >> that is not how it reads. to clarify and certainlyly understatand what you're saying, but in terms of how the legislation actually operates when we talk about voluntary negotiations, that is between the government of puerto rico and the creditors. if the voluntary negotiation happens -- this is significant -- because all of the bondholders are going to be forced into these negotiations.
a final plan does need to be approved by the control board, but they are not the ones that are actually negotiating it. the legislation and the outset has strong protections for pensions. it has strong protectctions for social services and it also notes any negotiation, we cannot see these types of serervices c. --the entire labor movement i don't know what planet you're living in. seiu, all of the unions here in the u.s. and in .uerto rico rejected this rejecteded this. so i don't t know what legislatn you are referring g to. all of t the s social advovocacy organizationss acceptt your frid the bishop, the one ththat termininated the pensions for te school e employees, , accepted . i want you to understand something very clearly. yoyou, my friend, will be held
accountable to the puerto rican people. and i can say that no puerto rican that agrees to serve on this board ought to feel safe. i can say that becauause the rae the puerto rican people will express as they discover the consequences of this legislation is such that you have nono ideaf what this will turn into. i tell you one thing, i find that repugnant. repugnant that jubilee usa, which is a an organization assoated with ththe pope that we admire because of his defense of the poor and working families, has taken this position in what is now the grief of the united states. this is the grace of the united states. and d you now arare responsibles much as any of your friends t tt
supported ththis legislation. thatreally, r really sorry your organization endorsed this thing, eric, really sorry. amy: how do you account for the congress members velazquez and serrano, who are both puerto rican born, how do you account -- >> luis gutierrez was adamantly opposed to this because it has no safeguards for pensions, no protections for pensions whatsoever. i don't know what law eric is reading here. that is why the entire labor movement rejected this thing. luis gutierrez was very emphatic . this is repugnant because it iss colonialism. it is raw and crude colonialism. and whwhen you speak of colonialalism in this daday and, thisis is an invitation -- thiss an invitation for people to take any measures, you know, to get
rid of colonialism. lidia and jose serrano will have to answer to the puerto rican people in due time. i believe they are good people. they have been consisistent supporters of democratic rights. that on n this one, they got it wrong. nta, y you certain fundamental democratic rights of the puerto rican people. and this is very perverse. juan: i want to ask eric about the legislation which has to do with the critical infrastructure portion, which i don't understand why was even in the lelegislation to begin with, but basically it allows, e especialy with the electric company -- which i've always called the crown jewels of puerto rico, the puerto rico electric and power authority, government owned electric company -- it seems to pave the way f for the privatization and the selling
off of the assets of the electric company in an effort to modernize and bring in new investments. and also the legislation, as senator menendez said, allows all kinds of existing environmental laws and regulations to be waived in the process of expediting the modernization of the electric power generation in puerto rico. do you have any concerns about that aspect of the legislation? >> we certainly have concerns that are related with respect to senator menendez, we believe he was in his for debate referring to a much earlier v version of e legislation where it talked about selling off p portions of the wildlife refuge. it was one of the many provisions we were successful in getting removed and this particular legislation. some of the greater issues overall around this, it does have to do with implementation
and how the oversight commission moves forward. we have very specific concerns about the legislation, where we respectfully disagree with jose that the pensions are respected, number one, to be paid back, and the pensions also have very strong language to protect them in the legislation, our biggest concerns about the legislation remains that the new overtime protections could be delayed in puerto rico. and we do have certain concerns about certain powers that the oversight commission has. with that said, i think what we do understand from this legislation that right away, this has stopped pueuerto rico from bececoming the next argentina. we have stopped the vulture funds. we have said debt is paid first. we have stopped 16 lawsuits against the government of puerto rico that we have made sure that vulture funds are not coming to
the table and that teachers, firefighters, and social services are paid first. amy: we have to leave it there but we will continue to follow this. i want to thank eric lecompte executive director of jujubilee , usa network. , labor activist who organizes, promotes and advocates for worker rights in puerto rico and the united states. when we come back, history is made. theirans candidates win primaries in their respective states. -- colorado.da going on to the major election in november. and we will talk about the pentagon's the store decision, allowing trans people to openly serve in the u.s. military. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
amy: "maybe misty" by clem snide. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: we turn now to election news. history was made on tuesday when two transgender women were nominated by democratic primary voters in utah and colorado to challenge republican incumbents for the u.s. congress in november. 30-year-old misty snow of utah and 33-year-old misty plowright, of colorado are two of the nation's first openly transgender candidates to win a major-party congressional primary in u.s. history. amy: misty snow was a late entry into the utah primary race, offering a progressive alternative to conservative democrat jonathan swinton.
she beat him in tuesday's race with 59.5% of the vote to his 40%. snow will now face incumbent tea party republican senator mike lee in the general election. i.t. worker misty plowright similarly beat out her primary opponent by more than 16 percentage points. she will challenge republican incumbent representative doug lamborn in what's considered one of the most conservative districts in colorado. for more, we are going to denver where misty plowright is. talk about your victory and the significance of this moment, misty. >> thank you very much and thank you for having me. was very cool, very interesting. you know, i find it very humbling that income as you said, whatat is traditionally thought of as a very
conservative district even among democrats, would nominate me for the u.s. house in that district. juan: howitzer candidacy received when you are out on the campaign trail? >> people were veryy receptive. my trance status did not come up very often at all in a few times it did people were just kind off asking questions because they were not really s sure what it was. issue ofd not make an it. ththey were much more focused on issues, my stances on things, and that is really how i prefer it to be. i want to campaign on issues and i want to win on issues. amy: talk about your race and what you think the critical issues are, just outside colorado springs, and we are talking aboutut one of the most conservative areas in the country. >> well, actually, that is something that i am not sure i
agree with. colorado springs and the area around it is not as conservative as p people te t to think ththat is. is onnly, the focus family and similar organizations get a lot of attention, but realistically, colorado springs itself -- it is more libertarian than conservative. you know, out on the campaign trail, jobs are big concern. especially -- colorado springs is the most populist area in this district, but it covers a lot of area outside of colorado springs. there is a lot of people struggling in that district, so -- i think that is one of the biggest concerns for a lot of people. juan: talk about what inspired you to run. you were a late entrant into the campaign. the process you went through in deciding to run. beenll, this has actually a very long process.
the answer to the questioion isa very long one. basically, it boils down to i could not sit on the sidelines anymore. i had to really get invnvolved t a much different level. i did not think i could sit on the sideliness anymore casting a vote here or there and hoping that something changes. be the change you want to see in the world are words i try to live by for a very long time. anytime someone has been, you know, there's nowhere you -- no way you cann win, everything is impossible until it is done. amy: o on defense secretary ash thursday, carter announcnced tht the pentagon will end its ban on openly transgender people serving in the military. this is what he said. >> our mission is to defend this country, and we don't want barriers unrelated to a person's qualification to serve preventing us from recruiting or retaining the airman, sailor, or marine.
we have to have 100% for our all volunteer force to be a little recruit from among them the most highly qualified and to retain them. the reality is that we have transgender service members serving in uniform today. and i have a responsibility to them and to their commanders to provide them both with clearer and more consistent guidance than under current policies. amy: under the new rules, the military will provide all health care, including surgery, to transgender troops. many hailed the decision as a step forward in lgbt rights. victoria rodriguez-roldan of the national lgbtq task force said -- "this decision is a great victory for the many trans people who have served and sacrificed in the military over the years." but others critiqued the decision, such as award-winning writer mattilda bernstein sycamore, who wrote -- "how far we have come from the original goals of gay liberation as it emerged in the 1960's and 1970's -- an end to the oppressive state, organized religion and the nuclear family
-- a rejection of war, racism, white supremacy and imperialism. " misty, your response as now democratic nominee for congress, as a trans woman youourself, ana mililitary veteran, misty plowright? >> i think it is a lot more than just a victory for the lgbgbt community. i think it is also an amazazing ththing for america itself. we keep striving too realize our lolofty ideals. and anyone who wants to serve this country and is capabable of fulfilling t the job of doing so should be allowed to. it should not matter who you are . the only thing that should matter is, can you do the job? nothing else. juan: you would be considered a longshot candidate against representative doug lamborn. what do you see as his primaryry weaknesses and what you will hope to gather a majority of the voters around how -- how you
would gather them around your candidacy? >> there are five military installations around colorado springs and mr. lamborn is very weak on veterans issues. and that is something i can really go after him on. i intend to go after him on the heavily. he is also in favor of the tpp. he blasts obama foror its, but then he votes to fast track it. he is pretty vulnerable on a lot of issues. it is just a matter of taking my case to the people and really making it all about the issues and just hammering away on that. amy: misty plowright, we're trying to get misty snow in studio in celtic city but we're having a technical problem. i wanted to ask you about bernie sanders campaign, is that inspired you and about the platform debate that is now going on for the democratic platform.
>> bernie sanders was certainly an i inspiration and definitelya papart of whwhat was behind my . hehe has said from the get-go he cannot do it alone. that was definitely a part of my decision to run. the platform -- i'm not surprirised at all by what the party leadership is doing list of i myself was actually an unaffiliatated until july of lat year. i'm not shy about criticizing the democratic party leadership, especially w with - -- you know, they refuse to put in language against the tpp. they have shot down just about every progressive idea thatt really drove a lot of things in this election cycle and during the primaries and caucuses. democrats don't lose because they're not conservative enough. they lose elections because they are not the party of the peoeope anymore. the voice of t the people has bn lost. that really needs to get brought
back to the party. it doesn't surprise me what they're doing with the platform, but bernie sanders is right. they need to wake up because my generation -- frankly, we're not going to put up with that kind of crap for very long. on thed your thoughts clinton, the burning or bust, and donald trump? >> donald trump is scary. he is like 1930's germany scary. scary. bernie or buste movement. i considered myself bernie or bust for quite a while. i'm really n not sure. i have a lot of deep, deep concerns and issues with hillary clintoto i was actutually a hillary supporter in 2008. her tenure as sesecretary of ste
got into a lot of things and destabilized a lot of regions in the world that really make it hard for me to be able to get behind her. icily do not want trump -- amy: we got misty snow on the line with us. the democratic nominee for senate in utah, the first openly trans candidate to be nominated for senate from a major party, primarydemocratic on tuesday. talk about the significance of your win and have you plan to win in november. >> i think it is a great moment in our country for the lgbt community. people.ly trans i've had many reaching out to me telling me how much it means to them i am running. some even told me they -- a trans woman in texas says she wants to run in 2018.. i am making a difference just by
running. how i'm going to win in november, my opponent has a 38% approval rating right now. i am already polling at 37%, which is better than democratic senate candidates typically do in utah. i did not have as much name recognition as i do now from the press. i'm chinese this moment to start appealing to people all across -- i am trying to use this moment to start appealing to people all across the country. bernie sanders, small donations without corporate funding. we need to make the case for the revolution to continue, those same donors due to start donating to congressional candidates. amy: we have to leave it there. i want to thank both of you for joining us. you both have made history, misty snow in utah and misty plowright in colorado, the first openly trans women to win their party's nomination for the race