tv Democracy Now LINKTV December 8, 2016 3:00pm-4:01pm PST
12/08/16 12/08/16 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> president obama said the biggest threat to our country is global warming. give me a break. the biggest threat to our country is nuclear and we cannot let iran get a nuclear weapon. amy: after campaigning on a platform of denying climate change, donald trump has tapped a climate change denier to head the environmental protection agency. scott pruitt. she is accused by "the new york
times" of august ready a secretive alliance with the nation's top energy producers to fight obama's climate efforts. fromll get response 350.org and food and water arch. we will speak with the texas republican member of the electoral college who publicly announced he will not vote for donald trump. could this be the start of a rebellion within the republican party? if the judge orders in and to michigan recount, , we will spek with john bonifaz. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. president elect donald trump has scottced he will pruitt the head of the epa.
pruitt claimed the climate science change is far from settled. he is seen as a close ally of the fossil fuel industry. in 2014, "the new york times" revealed pruitt another republican attorneys general had formed an unprecedented secretive a aligns with the top energy producers to fight oh by ms. climate -- obama's climate effort. said the epa a letter accusing federal regulators of overestimating the amount of air pollution caused by energy companies drilling new natural gas wells in oklahoma. what pruitt did not reveaeal isa letter was to grilli drafted by lawyers at devon energy. senator bernie sanders said " pruitt's record is not only that of being climate change denier, but also someone who has worked closely with the fossil fuel industry to make this country more dependent am a not less, on fossil fuels."
more on attorney general pruitt after headlines. donald trump also announced he has picked retired four-star marine general john kelly to be the secretary of homeland security. kelly was formalally the head of the united states southernn command where he oversaw the military jail at once on a mowbray. wong, executive director of amnesty international usa, set of kelly "are particularly concerned that while chief of your seven command, kelly overstock wonton a mode during periods of extensive hunger strikes and force-feeding that was unsafe and inhumane." kelly has repeatedly testified to congress a u.s. mexico border represent a threat to national security, leading many to worry will escalate the militarization of the border and u.s. immigration policy overall. while the head of united states other command, kelly promoted the alliance for prosperity, a program that provides hundreds of millions of dollars in police and military funding to honduras, el salvador,
guatemala. the program has been criticized by some who are calling for the suspension of this funding to honduras until the country addresses its gross human rights violations. kelly retired from the military in 2015. he is the third general trump has picked for top positions so far. the other are mike flynn for national security adviser and james mattis for defense secretary. donald trump attacked union leader chuck jones on twitter wednesday after jones appeared on cnn criticizing trump for breaking his promise to carrier workers in indiana. last week, trump appeared at the carrier air-conditioning plant in indianapolis and boasted he had saved 1100 jobs from being moved to mexico. but jones, who represents the workers, says trump "light is [bleep] off."
inonly helped keep 730 jobs the u.s., not 1100. trump tweeted -- in syria, government forces are continuing to seize control of parts of eastern aleppo as the continuingrussia are negotiations over a potentiall deal to allow anti-government rebels to flee. russian foreign minister sergei lavrov is slated to meet with secretary of state john kerry today. the rescue organization the white helmets says 61 people died wednesday amid shelling and airstrikes in rebel-held areas as government forces seized control of aleppo's old city. medical doctors and other protesters gathered outsidide te russian embassy in berlin wednesday to denounce russia and -- russian and syrian bombing in aleppo. i am here to protest against
the war crumbs committed by russia and syria in aleppo. we believe it is outrageous the world is watching how mass killings are taking place and no one says anything. amy: in indonesia, a 6.5 magnitude earthquake has killed morere than 100 people after striking the northern tip of sumatrtra island wednenesday whe many resididents were asleep. at least 700 more haveve been injured and ththousands hahave n displaced. wednesday'y's earthquake is the worst disaster to hit the region since 2004, when a tsunami killed more than 120,000 people in the province. in the philippines, the death toll from m president rodrigo duterte's so-called war on drugs continues to rise. police have killed at t least t0 people and vigilantes have killed at least 3500 more since duterte took office in late -- this summer. tens of thousands more have been arrested or turned themselves over to police out of fear they'll be killed. human rights groups say many of those killed have been summarily shot or had nothing to do with
the drug trade. on wednesday, the white house condemned the extrajudicial killings in the philippines. but a recent buzzfeed investigation reveals the u.s. state department has continued to send millions of dollars in aid, as well as training and equipment to the philippine , national police. meanwhile, philippines president rodrigo duterte gave an impression of his december 2 phone call with donald trump, in which he imitated trump praising duterte and appealing for a closer relationship between the two men. te, you presidentduter just said something good here. you are doing great. about the worry americans criticizing you. you're doing good. go ahead. i have this problem on the border of mexico system america
and this [bleep] amy: that's philippines presidident rodrigo duterte,e, speaking in tagalog, s saying "o now the way hehe speaks makes me feel like a saint," in refereree to donald trump. in yemen, thousands of people took to the streets of the capital sanaa tuesday to demand an end to the u.s.-backed saudi-led bombing campaign, which has killed thousands of people since it began 19 months ago. a new human rights watch report details how u.s.-supplied weapons were used in two recent saudi airstrikes that killed several dozen civilians this fall. the attacks include a september 10 airstrike against a drilling site for water that killed more than 30 people, including three children. remnants of u.s.-made weapons were found at the scene of this strike.
in charleston, south carolina, testimony has begun in the trial of dylann roof, who faces the death penalty. he is accused of opening fire at emanuel ame church in june 2015, killing nine black worshipers, including the pastor clementa pinckney. roof embraced white supremacist views and was shown in photographs posing with the confederate flag and a pistol. on wednesday, the first witness in the trial, felicia sanders, says she watched as roof pulled out a glock .45-caliber handgun and began shooting, striking and wounding her son and killing her aunt. she says she took cover underneath a table with her 11-year-old granddaughter and tried to cover herself and the girl in other people's blood so roof would think they were already y dead. a new report has accused the u.s. border patrol agency of using the desert of the borderlands as a weapon that has led to the death or disappearances of tens of thousands of people since the 1990's.
the report, issued by the group no more deaths and la coalicion -- and the coalition of human rights, accuses border patrol of intentionally promoting deadly apprehension policies, such as chasing people into remote areas of the desert that lead to migrants' deaths or disappearances. this is alicia dinsmore of no more d deaths, recounting one sh story. march, threeht of men were crossing through the u.s.-mexico border land in the desert southeast of arizona. when u.s. border patrol agents detected their group and began chasing them. the three men became separated. border patrol agents arrested two of them, but one was unaccounted for. later, was discovered here fallen off a cliff nearly 200 feet down and died. amy: the report says -- "the known disappearance of thousands of people in the remote wilderness of the u.s.-mexico border zone marks one of the great historical crimes of our day."
in texas, two private detention centers continue to hold migrant women and children seeking asylum even after a judge barred , the state from licensing them as child care facilities. the state has appealed the ruling. for-profit prison companies geo group and core civic -- formerly known as cca -- insist they are in compliance with federal standards. immigration authorities say operational activities continue without interruption. but advocates reported that after the ruling on friday, nearly 500 women and children were released with almost no advance notice to local shelters that usually handle dozens of people. they told democracy now! they expect another mass release in the coming days. even with the releases, there are currently an estimated 600 women and children in the karnes detention center and another 1800 held at a detention camp in dilley, both about an n hour soh of san antonio. the american civil liberties
union has sued the u.s. customs and border protection agency over its refusal to provide complete records of stops and detentions in michigan. the entire state of michigan is designated as part of homeland secucurity's 100-mile zonone, meaning border patrol agents have wide powers to engage in warrantless stops. aclu of michigan said -- "it's not reasonable to claim that the entire state of michigan is a border zone. border enforcement -- and the powers that go with it -- belongs at the border and not in our communities." in washington, d.c., minnesota state house representative ilhan omar says she was attacked by a cab driver who called her "isis" and threatened to rip off her hijab as she was leaving a policy training at the white house. omar recently made history by becoming the nation's first somali-american lawmaker. she e wrote on facebook wednesdy that the attack was "the most hateful, derogatory, islamophobic, sexist taunts and
threats i have ever experienced. i am still shaken by this incident and can't wrap my head bold people are becoming in displaying t their hahate towards muslims." portland's city council has voted to impose additional taxes on companies whose ceo's earn more than 100 times the median pay of their workers. the oregon measure which , portland officials say is the first in the nation, targets and penalizes companies that perpetuate income inequality.
"income inequality is real, it is a national problem and the federal government isn't doing anything about it." and prominent palestinian activist rasmea odeh has won a new trial. odeh was convicted of immigration fraud in 2014 and then sentenced to 18 months in prison and deportation from the united states for failing to disclose her conviction on bombing charges by an israeli military court more than 40 years ago. odeh says her conviction was obtained through weeks of torture and sexual assault in israeli custody. she has lilived in the united stat foror more ththan 20 years. her supporters say she was targeted over her support for palestinian liberation. her new trial is slated to begin in january. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. nermeen: welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. president-elect donald trump has announced he will nominate oklahoma attorney general scott pruitt to head the environmental protection agency. pruitt has been one of the epa's fiercest critics and has led a legal effort to overturn parts of president obama's climate change policies, including his clean power plan. pruitt claimed the science of climate change is "far from settled."
he is also seen as a close ally of the fossil fuel industry. in 2014, "the new york times" revealed that pruitt and other republican attorneys general had formed what the paper described as a "unprecedented, secretive alliance" with the nation's top energy produces to fight obama's climate efforts. amy: "the new york times" also exposed pruitt's close ties to the oklahoma firm devon energy. in 2014, pruitt sent the epa a letter accusing federal regulators of overestimating the amount of air pollution caused by energy companies drilling new natural gas wells in oklahoma. what pruitt didn't reveal was that the letter was secretly drafted byby lawyers at devon energy. in 2015, pruitt testified before congress about his opposition to the epa's clean power plan regulations. when questioned by democratic senator sheldon whitehouse, pruitt refused to acknowledge the existence of climate change. >> is climate change a proroblem
ananywhere in ththe world? >> senator, i think the process matters that the epa engages in -- >> i get that, but i did not ask your process question. i asked you whether climate change is a real problem anywherere in the world. >> i think the question about climate action plan of the president, climate change, is something as a policy consideration of this congress. if you want epa to address that in a direct way, you can amend the clean air act to do so so the state can no how to conduct themselves in a way that is consistentnt with statututory coconstruction. >> to be clear, neither of the attorney general's present will concede that climate change is a real problem anywhere in the world. >> i t think is immateterial to discscussions about the legal framework of the clean air act. i get torial or not, ask three questions.
itit is material t to my questi. let's go on to something else. nermeen: sheldon whitehouse questioning oklahoma attorney general scott pruitt last year. trump's selection of pruitt has been widely criticized by environmental groups and lawmakers concerned about the climate change crisis. senator bernie sanders said -- "pruitt's record is not only that of being a climate change denier, but also someone who has worked closely with the fossil fuel industry to make this country more dependent, not less, on fossil fuels." amy: environmental working group president ken cook, said -- "it's a safe assumption that pruitt could be the most hostile epa administrator toward clean air and safe drinking water in history." to talk more about scott pruitt, we are joined by two guests. here in new york, may boeve is executive director of 350 action, the political arm of the climate organization 350.org. and joining us from washington
, d c, is wenonah hauter, the executive director of food & water watch. wenonah hauter, let's begin with you.u. oklahoma attorney general scott pruitt cap to head the epa. your response? >> i first ran into scott pruitt when i was writing my recent book on the history of the oil and gas industry. i saw that he was one of the leading attorney generals lobbying on what he called sue and settle legislation, which we has the rightenry to sue the federal government when the government is not doing what is in their best interest. he was lobbying in favor of dev on and continental resources in trying to stop the ability of citizens to actually move forward with lawsuits. i think putting pruitt in charge of the epa is a lot like putting
one of the three stooges in charge of the agency. credible on any of the issues around the environment. incan look at what he did 2013 when he brought nine attorney generals to oklahoma city, some of the most powerful law firms that represent the energy industry, along with the ceos of many energy companies, to put together a scheme about how they were going to stop the federal government from taking action to stop the pollution from fossil fuel, drilling, and fracking. this was paid for by the right-wing energy and law institute at george mason university. the fossil fuel industry actually helped raise the money to put him in office.
and one of the first things he did upon becoming the attorney general of oklahoma was to start a committee on federalism. because what is unfortunate is he auitt, not only cartoon character, but he is a very smart politician. and he saw the possibility of creating what is a lot like a national law firm made up of attorney general's and also the legal arm of the energy industry to be able to not only hassle the epa, it also what was going on at state legislatures regarding fossil fuel development. so i think he is a very dangerous character. i think he is going to attempt to destroy the environmental protection agency.
and not just in the area of fossil fuels, but also around the pollution from factory farming and industrialized agriculture. he has been an ally of the big corporations that own these large animal factories. in fact, there was legislation that was turned down in oklahoma in the last election called freedom to farm, which of course, really means freedom of factory farms to pollute. so we know because the epa has not done a real great job of regulating factory farms anyway, that we're going to see a lot of trouble ahead. nermeen: may boeve, in the news release that announced his nomination, the trump transition team called pruitt in expert in constitutional law and said he "
brings a deep understanding of the impact of regulation on both the environment and the economy." could you respond to that? in particular, the significance of him being a constitutional lawyer? >> business surprise he knows about the impact of regulation because the regulations were starting to work. we were starting to see real pressure on the oil and gas industry on the issue of climate change, and they are pushing back. they are celebrating that scott pruitt has been selected for this role. so his expertise in this area mean he is going to try to dismantle the foundation of laws that this country has built around environmental protection. most significantly right now are the regulations that have been plants,lace around coal fracking. they're not nearly as strong as they need to be, but we certainly need the ones that we have. this is a very dangerous appointment. it cannot be overstated. it shows us exactly what we need
to know about donald trump. amy: i want to go back to oklahoma attorney general scott heitt's appearance when testified d about his legal figt againsnst presidenent oba's clen power plan regulations. >> i think what is lost in the debate a at times as the impactn consumumers. those that will be consuming electricity in the future. in the state of oklahoma, between coal l and naturaral g 8 percent of our electricity is generated. as i indicated, 15% of o our elecectricity is g generated thh wind. the choice is available to the state of oklahoma to comply with this mandate from the epa of reducing co2 by ovover 30% -- -t puputs us in the position of having to make decisions about the shshatteringng o of coaoal generation, whwhich makes up ovr 40% % of our electricity generation. that will increase cost consumerers. too
for exexample, i in the cleaeanr act, there's somemething called the reregional hazee statute. alolone, 15% % to 20% increases in generation of electricity with just one rule. others, itombine ththe will obviously be substantially more than that i in the fufuturr consumers in the state of obama. >> so these regulations would directly hurt t the people of oklahoma. >> some of those who can least afford it. amy: there you have scott pruitt testifying before the senate. wewenah hauterer, rerespond to t pruitt has just s said. >> we see this all the time when energy is discussed. really, what we need to do is be moving into a more an energyicient and future that relies on renewable energy. this would create many jobs and it would also solve many of the problems that are going to cost
taxpayers a lot of money as we see the problems from climate change really snowball. it is interesting that pruitt and his allies have attacked the clean power plan. i don't think they completely understand what the plan does. coal,tainly disadvantages which is a very, very dirty fossil fuel, but states are able to make their own plans. and one of the criticisms of the plan has been it really incentivizes natural gas. -- these, coal is being industry is being destroyed because the amount of fossil for that has been cracked has increased so much that coal is now a higher price. i think what we're going to see
at epa is a real attack on anything that protects people or the environment. this is really disturbing because attorney generals are supposed to be the attorneys for the people. and pruitt clearly is an attorney for the fossil fuel industry. and we are going to have to unite against pruitt and the policies that he is going to put forward. fracked talked about oil. i want to talk specifically about oklahoma, where residents have filed a class-action lawsuit against fracking -- companies. cushing bills itself as the pipeline crossroads of the world and home to above ground tanks that store millions of barrels of crude oil. scientists believe wastewater disposal wells from oil and gas
fracking are linked to the dramatic rise in earthquakes in oklahoma recently. oklahoma experienced 907 magnititude three e plus earthts in 2015.5. for 2008, , an average of onlnle ininto earthquakes of 3.00 magnitude each year. your response to that, may boeve ? >> this is telling of what we will see more of. recently, we heard from the chief of a pawnee reservation that had three earthquakes that one day. here we have someone who wants to do more drilling, who was there to be more earthquakes in oklahoma. it is clearly not concerned about the people who live in that state and all of the people in other states around this country who suffer from the impacts of fracking. instead, he's going to make the pathway to more oil and gas development much smoother for his allies in the industry. but the good news here, if there is any, is the climate movement
has focused on fossil fuel infrastructure and won incredible victories at the local and state level. if he intends to expand drilling, we will be there at every turn ready to resist. nermeen: what do you think the climate movement should be doing in response to this? >> we have to be clear eyed about what we're up against. trump has been saying two different stories about climate change. on the one hand, maybe he is repositioning -- revisiting his position. on the other hand, he is making an appointed like this. no one should be under the illusion we are going to see any sort of continuation of the progress we have seen on climate action. what the movement needs to do is be strong and unified and fight back on all of these decisions and appointments. and also, we can grow our movement.
for that. amy: scott pruitt is donald trumps choice, and that is what is key, his view on climate, the environment. may boeve, one of the desk a couple of the choices that have been bandied about, media speculated about for secretary of state, are the current and past presidents of exxon. can you talk about scott pruitt's relationship with exxon as attorney general of oklahoma? >> welcome on the subject of a, it is devastating that the ceo of exxon would be considered for secretary of state. just to be completely clear. amy: they say it means he has global experience. >> it is disastrous as even an idea. scott pruitt joined forces with other attorneys general backing
up exxon when it came under fire for its climate denial. there is an investigation underway into just how long ago exxon knew about climate change and funded a disinformation campaign. naturally, our government is doing its job in trying to find out how much they knew and when and exxon has gathered around its allies at the state level, including attorney general scott pruitt, to back it up. so we are seeing exxon try to use its freedom of speech july the public about climate change, and we're seeing climate deniers heading out for the epa. amy: how does exxon affect you at 350? ourxxon has come after organization and many of our allies. we have received a subpoena from a representative of the state of texas and another subpoena from exxon directly. we are fighting back, but this is the kind of thing we can
always expect to see more of under a trump administration. we have to fight back. they are not playing around. greenpeace,ws from trump's top energy advisor in cr the largest fracking company, 2013hair of pruitt's reelection campaign for attorney gegeneral in o oklahoma, more recently made newews as a propoponent to the dakota access pipeline. it is his company's practice oil that would have flown -- flow through the pipeline if it had been completed. wenonah hauter, if you could talk about this. donald trump has vowed, says he supports the dakota access pipeline, not their how much he personally has invested in the pipeline. last we knew between $500,000 and $1 million. one of his spokespeople said he has sold that and there is his investment in phillips 66 that would also profit. for trumphis means
when he becomes president, scott pruitt if he becomes the head of the epa, what it means for the dakota access pipeline. the army corps of engineers at this point says it will not grant final permit to drill under the missouri river. advisoras also been an on energy issues to the trump campaign. and they have been associated for the last several years. so we can see that when trump comes into office, he is going to probably try to attack or president obama has done on the dakota access line. and we can see there is really an unholy alliance here. companyamm's continental resources is one of the largest frackers for oil. 80% of fracking since 2012 has been for oil.
and much of it from the dakotas. and the industry is desperate to get the oil out for overseas delivery, and that is why the export ban was released as part of the omnibus budget bill in 2015. so we see there is going to have to be a concerted efforts to make the connections between these fossil fuel corporations and the trump administration very clear, and we're going to have to hammer it home. i also want to say that i think standing rock in the massive movement that has been created out of this terrible debacle that the false of fuel industry to the siouxbring
tribe in north dakota, we're seeing that kind of infrastructure development all over the country. there are thousands of miles of pipeline. attan make a lot of progress the state level on some of ththe issues. and it is completetely true what may says about the movement. the movement is growing. we need to be there during the process for confirming pruitt and really bringing to light what he stands for and what is going to happen to our environment and climate. amy: i want as quickly, a lot has been made of this meeting that president-elect donald trump has had with his daughter ivanka and al gore on the issue of climate change. >> he can have all of the
meetings he want the makes it sound like he cares about this issue but if he makes a point at i guess, we know exactly where he stands, which is supporting more drilling, more fracking -- which we know causes, change. amy: we will leave it there, wenonah hauter and may boeve. when we come back, a faithless elector. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
christopher suprun, a paramedic from texas, wrote in an op-ed published in "the new york times" monday "trump is not qualified for the office of the presidency." he goes on to write -- "the election of the next president is not yet a done deal. electors of conscience can still do the right thing for the good of the country. presidential electors have the legal right and a constitutional duty to vote their conscience." suprun is the first republican member of the electoral college to publicly announce he won't vote for trump, but there are reports of other so-called faithless electors. meanwhile, a group of democratic electors is trying to block trump by encouraging electors of both parties in every state to unite behind a yet-to-be determined consensus republican candidate. they've dubbed themselves the "hamilton electors" after founding father alexander hamilton, who they say intended the electoral college to safeguard the presidency.
this is democrat bret chiafalo, a "hamilton elector" from washington. >> the electoral college e is or failsafe mecechanism. we h have neverer used to b bef. but our cocountry hass nevever d it beforore. we havave always elected experienced statesman. but this time is different. this is the moment hamilton and madison warned us about. this is the emergency they built the electoral college for. it is our constitutional duty and moral responsibility to put the emergencncy measures into action. if only 37 change their vote, donald trump will not have thehe 270 elecectoral votes h he needo be president. 37 people can save this country. amy: electors are typically selected by their state's party leaders. according to fairvote, 29 states have laws forbidding electors from bucking the will of their voters. however, 21, including texas, have no binding restrictions. historically, it's extremely
rare for electors to dissent and, so far, no elector has changed the outcome of an election by voting against his or her party's designated candidate. for more we go now to dallas, , texas, where we're joined by christopher suprun. his fees for the "nenew york times" titled, "why i will not cast my electoral vote for donald trump." talk about how you came to this decision. >> painfully, i intended to support the nominee. unfortunately, mr. trump has proven again and again he is not qualified for the office. he is a complete demagogue, as we've seen for the past 18 months, up until last night where he picked on a steelworker who had to say something about his jobs plan for carrier. that is a scary thought. when you are simple steelworker, union boss, in a factory in indiana, you question the president and he comes after you 30 minutes later. i'm not sure what the president is going to do with north korea
says something even worse about him in international relations. which brings up the second reason why he is not qualified. 50 of my republican colleagues were national security and foreign-policy experts said mr. trump would be a danger if you were president. where he hasthat exacerbated situations in taiwan and china with his change in the one china policy or what appears to be a change, and beyond that, part of the issue with taiwan was it appeared to be a sales call. mr. trump cannot profit off the office of the president. it appears every time he calls another country, it is to sell a trump property. , can you talkn about what the response has been to your decision not to support trump? >> which response? anre is feedback saying i'm awful person, a traitor, i saw a tweet a while ago that said i should live out the rest of my life and gitmo -- which is a scary thought when a person takes a conscious decision to
vote their conscience that our answer is to charge them with treason, even verbally. the other feedback i've received from across texas in my county and across the country and even outside the country has been positive. americans of all shape and form have said to me, you have restored my faith in america that maybe we can still be that great country we should be. amy: talk about how it works. what will happen on december 19? where do you go and what will you do? >> electors from each state will go to the respective state capital and then cast ballots -- i believe it is a six page form. each ballot goes through different person. you write in a name. it is not a tickle ballot at the ballot box on the november election were you check a box. this is my first time participating in the process. you write in a name. nermeen: how reselected, christopher susuprun, to join te
electoral college? >> i was elected at the republican state convention in may. the texas republican state convention, not the national. amy: 29 states have laws permitting electors from bucking the will of the people of the state. texas is not one of them. texas is one of the 21 that have no binding restrictions. explain how it works for you when you will vote not for president t trump, and how it works for others in other states. >> well, again, as i just described, i think i will place a name of a person who i think has great executive and legislative experience and can unite the country. i think we're going to go through the basic process -- i'm not entirely sure what that is. as i understand it, the secretary of state will provide is that information we arrived
that morning. in terms of other states, i think that have a similar process, though i am not sure how they're going to be different in what the binding laws -- if they're even going to exist. there's a lawsuit i believe in colorado to overturn that function. amy: who are you going to vote for? >> i don't know. i am in a to liberation's phase. i said in my op-ed i think john kasich would be a great person. while i know he is a climbed it, when i speak to other electors, there is one name that comes up as an acceptable alternative over and over and that is john kasich. i am not sure who the person is going to be, but i think there will be like governor kasich. amy: do you know of other governor -- other electors that are likely to join you in opposing trump? ready to sayre i'm that. when i wrote the op-ed, it was so i could be accountable for my vote. i did not want to go to austin and cast a vote of appeasement and simply write in donald trump
because i was lazy. but since that time, i've had a number of people reach out to me. i am not ready to tell you who they are or what they are, but i don't think i will be alone. amy: there is a change.org petition asking you be removed as a gop member under >> if there is a link, i get those tweets all the time. people say, where can i sign up? i try to refer to them to change.org. this is a great country. i'm so glad i live in america were people have the first amendment right to tell me they think i am wrong. i'm ok with that.
fill out the petition and we will go through the process. if there is a process to remove me, i will oppose it, i was like but that is how democracy works. amy: larry lessig, free and legal support any electoral college elector who chooses to vote his or her conscience. writings robert jackson in 1952 saying "no one faithful to our history can deny the plan originally contemplated that electors would be free agents to exercise an independent and nonpartisan judgment as to the men best qualified for the nation's highest offices." your response to that, christopher suprun? >> he has reached out to me. havee been lucky enough to him help rreresent me. i believe he will be representing me going forward. i agree with the statement completely. this is what the electoral college is for, so we do not elect a demagogue, someone who could not practice it national defense of the country appropriately, and one who has played fast and loose with the rules. amy: do you consider yourself a hamilton elector? >> in the sense i'm voting my conscience, absolutely.
amy: did you ever think you would be e in this position, chris? >> no. i am an average person. i'm a paramedic firefighter. i responded to the 9/11 event. for me, that was the last time our nation was united and unified. i wish we could get back to that point. unfortunately, i see again, doesks on first amendment anyone trump does not believe is appropriate or worthy are perhaps the right color, he attacks them. that is not america and that is not what we want as a nation, i don't think. amy: i want to thank you f for being with us, christopher suprun republican presidential , elector, one of the 538 people asked to choose officially the president of the united states. we will link to our peace in the "new york times" titled, "why i will not cast my electoral vote for donald trump." when we come back, we are one to talk about the recount, how it is going to michigan and
amy: a shout out to the students at hunter college media studies department who are here visiting today. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the wawar and peace reportrt. i'm m amy goodman with n nermeen shaikh. nermeen: on wednesday, a federal judge ordered michigan's board of elections to stop the state's electoral recount. u.s. district judge mark goldsmith said he would abide by a court ruling that found that former green party presidential candidate jill stein could not seek a recount. goldsmith concluded -- "a recount as an audit of the election has never been endorsed by any court." stein has pledged to continue to push for a recount. michigan is one of three battleground states where stein
had demanded a recount. the other two states are wisconsin and pennsylvania. president-elect donald trump narrowly defeated democratic presidential contender hillary clinton in all three states. the recount has faced hurdles from the outset. in pennsylvania, the recount must wait at least until a federal court hearing on friday, just four days before the december 13 federal deadline for states to certify their election results. in wisconsin, the recount is more than 70% complete. clinton has gained just 82 votes on trump, who won the state by more than 22,000 votes. meanwhile, in florida, three voters have sued to demand a hand recount of the paper ballots, alleging the presidential election was skewed by hacking and malfunctioning voter machines. trump was declared the winner of florida by more than 112,000 votes. amy: to talk more about the recount, we're joined now by john bonifaz, attorney and political activist specializing in constitutional law and voting rights.
of a group of leading election one lawyers and computer scientists calling for a recount in wisconsin, michigan, and pennsylvania. boninifaz is founder of the national voting rights institute and cofounder and president of free speech for people. welcome to democracy now! talk about the latest, what has happened in michigan, the halting of the recount. >> last night a federal judge halted it on the grounds the state report ruling should stand, which fouound jill stein, the presidential candidates seeking a recount in michigan, is not an aggrieved party. this is a misreading of the state law and an outrage that the voters in michigagan will nt have their votes properly counted. the fact is, in this country, we do not have mandatory audits in most states for verifying. we are led to belilieve the machchine talallies on election night is what the outcome actually was. we do not look at the ballots. 75% uses paper ballots, but we never use those ballots.
that is what we're starting in michigan. we were doing a hand count. it has been halted. now we have 75,000 blank votes forr president that will never e reviewed with a 10,000 votes margin. it i is an outrage for our democracy. amy: can it be appealed? >> it will be appealed to the michigan supreme court. this is a partisan decision made by the state appeals couourt. these are judicial elections in the state of michigan n and ther partisans on the supreme court. while the appeal is pending, i think it is unfortunate they may not take it up in a timely basis. nermeen: john, in wisconsin 70%e the recount is almost complete, clinton has just gained 82 votes on trump. >> but it is important to note that while some counties have agreed to hand count the ballots, others are not. they're feeding the ballots through the e very samee machihs they gave us the tallies on election night.
believing computer scienentist from m.i.t. says that if i going to the same doctor for a second opinion. it makes no sense. what we needed in wisconsin wass a full statewide recount of all of the ballots hand-counted and there are other systems in the state of wisconsin, unlike in michigan, that don't have any paper ballots. they also exist in pennsylvania. the systems have been proven to vulnerable.e and amy: last month, democracy now! spoke to bruce s schneier about the recount. >> there are anomalies in n the results that seem to correlate with voting machine -- that is a wretch like for hacking and something we should look at and we should definitely research this. my guess it isn't. my guess is there are some confounding variable that the
machine type is correlated to demographic in some way. but we don't actually know until we do the research. my worry right now is the recount -- that process was designed decades ago when it meant counting the ballots slower and more carefully. it did not mean looking at the voting machines for forensic evidence of hacking. i am not convinced even after the recount t there wilill be no more. ?my: john bonifaz >>e is rightht. stein's attorneys are going before judge tamara to make the case, why voting machines should be examined. these election laws haveve been written long before these voting machines appeared on scene. they appeared after the florida 2000 election debacle. private voting machine companies sold these systems to states throughout the country, and now they have been banned in many states. california did a top to bottom review of electronic voting
systems and others and attorneys particular v voting machines we you touch on the screen, yourr choices for president or any other office, that t they in fat are vulnerable to hacking, unreliable, and should be banned altogether in the state of california. pennsylvania still u uses them r most, wisconsin for some of theirs. what we need when we engage in a recount is an examination of those machines. so far, that has not been granted. that is why there's a federal court hearing tomorrow on this. nermeen: donald trump senior advisor kellyanne conway dismissed the recount efforts during an interview last month on fox news. >> their president barack obama is going to be an office for eight more weeks and they have to decide whether they're going to interfere with them finishing his business, interfering with a peaceful transition -- transfer of power, or if there are going to be a bunch of cry babies and sore losers about an election they cannot turn around. , canen: john bonifaz
you talklk about how trump has been responded to the recount effort? >> the republican party and trump campaign a showed up in every single one o of the statas to stop these recounts. when i was involved in ohio i in 2014 the recount there, the election officials of the part of the state were friendly and others were resisting. thebush campaign and republican party never showed up. they were not involved in trying to stop the recount. it is very different here. wisconsisin republican party h s pushed to ststop it in wisconsi. is s showing upgn in f federal court tomorrow to y to s stop this c case from going forwrward. what are they afafraid of? what are they afraid of we're going to properlrly verify the process? in any functioning dememocracy,e should verify the vote will stop it a amazes me we would d want o have a c cloud go over this
election and continue into this next presidency without verifying the vote. we should be entitled as voters to ensure the integrity of our process is protected. there are two explanations for what happened on election day. one explanation is there was a huge hidden subset of voters who live to the pollsters were chose not to respond to the pollsters and showed up on election day. that is believable or not believable depending on where you sit, but it is one explanation. another explanation is that the election was compromised. we ought to engage in verifying the vote to determine which occurred, the people of the united states have a right to know that. nermeen: there's a third explanation people give, namely there are number of people who came out to vote who had not voted before so they were not contacted byby pollsters. >> you are rigight. a voter percent - -- voter suppression occurred p prior. that is a next one natition.
that is papart of what i s suggt may have been the hidden subset of voters. but we will never know if we don't verify the vote, and we also know there was serious concern at all levels of the united states government about foreign interference leading up to election day. and somehow wewe decide we're going to move on and not verify the vote after this election. it is amazing. amy: you are one of the main figures who pushed jill stein to do this recount. some have criticized his saying, why are you just choosing the states where hillary clinton lost? these were the three states that were the closest margin of victory for donald trump. they were the three states were all of the polls show leading into the election day would h he a different result. i think k if we had manandatory audits drought the country, , tt would d be far b better. level.t t to audit every but these were the t three stats that were most concerning given what happened.
i think the clinton campaign should have asked for these recounts. the trump campaign should show up and support these recounts. we all as americans should want to verify the vote. amy: you just heard our conversation with the faceless elector. overall, what would make you rest most easily when it comes to votingng and how we chchooser president? >> i thinknk we need a lot of reforms to protect our democracy. the faceceless electors is important move that mr. suprun are voting their conscieience. who w won.7body million more votes than the declclared winner. this is -- we need to abolish the electoral college and get big money out of politics. we need a lot of improvement. all hands on deck for fighting