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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  April 5, 2012 9:00pm-10:00pm PDT

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right now. happy thursday. thanks for joining us this hour. the chairman of the republican party has the best name in american politics. his name is reince preibus, the former republican chairman. he made himself the most famous he has ever been for anything other than his amazing name. he made himself very, very famous today by telling al hunt of bloomberg news that as republican party chairman he does not understand why everybody keeps carping about the republicans having some sort of problem with women. he says he does not understand why there's a 30-point gender gap between the two parties in the presidential race in the swing states. he says he does not understand why everyone keeps asking him about the ridiculous idea that republicans have some sort of war on women. >> the democrats, of course, say the gop is waging a war on women. i know you don't agree with that.
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but looking at the polls, you have a gender gap problem. recent polls show a huge, huge margin for democrats with -- among women voters. how big of a problem is it and how do you close it? >> well, for one thing, if the democrats said we had a war on caterpillars and every media outlet talked about a war on caterpillars, then we'd have a problem with caterpillars. the fact of the matter is, it's a fiction. >> i think there's just one piece missing from what otherwise is obviously a perfect analogy of women as caterpillars. i think there's just one thing missing. if democrats said that republicans had a war on caterpillars and every mainstream media said we had a war on caterpillars, the republican party would not then just have a problem with caterpillars. there is a missing piece of this analogy, right? in this analogy what he's missing is the part where the republican party introduces
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hundreds of pieces of legislation all over the country attacking the rights of caterpillars, which in his analogy is in fact what the republican party has been doing. the republican party in this analogy has to be seen as a radically, what, anti-cocoon party? sacrifice the caterpillar? save the cocoon? metamorphasis? there's an empirical reason why the president obama is leading a two to one margin among women under the age of 50 in the big swing states right now. and it is not because of some allegation by democrats. it's not the media reporting that republicans are doing things that republicans haven't actually done. it's because the republicans took control of the house. they said they were going to focus on jobs, jobs, jobs and then hr 3 literally their third bill, was an anti abortion bill. it's because republicans said they were going to play hardball and shot down the government over the new found excitement over fiscal conservatism.
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when it came down to, they threatened to shut down the government over funding for planned parenthood. it's because they consulted this all-male witness table and because republicans in the senate voted unanimously, except for olympia snow, to roll back access to contraception and even after they realized how that looked and got shy on the issue in the house, republicans in the house still moved last week in committee on yet another federal anti-abortion bill. these are not things that democrats are not just accusing republicans of doing. these are not things that the media is making up about republicans. this is your life. this is what republicans do. under your leadership. they are voting to eliminate federal funding. all four support personhood measures which define life as beginning roughly at the time of the twinkle in your eye and
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banning all abortion and probably banning the pill. you don't have a problem with caterpillars because caterpillars have been misled about your intentions. particularly because being chairman of the republican party is being chairman of the whole party, including republicans in the state legislatures. this is what republicans in the state legislatures have been focusing on since they won so many seats in the last election. watch what happened after republican big victories in 2010. here's the number of new anti-abortion laws, each year through 2010. and, oops, that's what happened last year. more than 90 anti-abortion bills signed into law in the states in that year after republicans took over. so far this year largely republican-led legislatures have introduced more than 400 anti-abortion bills. this is what you guys do. this is what you work on. sometimes it seems like this is what you work on under the exclusion of everything else.
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in mississippi today, republicans are sending to their governor legislation that the republicans are openly wishing and hoping is going to end all access to legal abortion in the state of mississippi. it's one of the so-called trap laws. a law that radically ups the amount of regulation and red tape and rules that apply specifically to abortion providers. specifically trying to drive them out of business or shut them down through targeted overregulation. republicans have proposed anti-abortion trap laws in session in alabama, arizona, florida, indiana, minnesota, north carolina, oklahoma, tennessee, west virginia. the idea with these measures is that republicans are supposed to pretend that these laws aren't anti-abortion per se. it's just that in this particular field republicans like a lot of regulation. they think that red tape is good for their state in this one particular field.
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it has nothing to do with abortion. any impact in running abortion out of business is completely coincidental. that's how you're supposed to play trap laws, right? in mississippi they have forgotten that's the way they are supposed to say it. here's the state's republican governor how excited he is to use overregulation in an effort to make it impossible for anybody in mississippi to get a legal abortion. >> it has been seven years since we have got good pro-life legislation passed out of the mississippi legislature. that is a bill that gives us a great opportunity to do -- to accomplish what our goal needs to be. our goal needs to be to end all abortions in mississippi. i believe the admitting bill gives us the rights to do that. >> this is your life when your party at the federal level and at the state level and in hearing rooms and in state
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houses and even on the presidential campaign trail is constantly and tirelessly and relentlessly waging war on women's rights. you don't need the democrats or the media to help give you a reputation for that. dude, you have earned it. you guys are earning it every single day. either own t. don't be afraid to run on your record, or stop doing it. those are your choices. joining us now is karen finney, a columnist for "the hill" and msnbc contributor. it's good to see you. thank you for being here. >> good to see you, too, rachel. >> as somebody who has been a professional in this field, how would you respond to reince priebus' argument about the war on women. he says it's fake, as rid dike cue louse as the republicans waging war on caterpillars. >> they don't believe in science either. we're going into science biological areas? on the one hand, they are not stupid. they know behind the scenes even though they won't admit it publicly, this conversation is hurting them. when you talk to moderate republicans who won't say so publicly, unfortunately, privately they see the same polling numbers that the rest of us do. it's not only like the usa gallup poll that shows president obama with a 19-point lead. it was looking specifically at
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virginia and how they have increased their popularity in virginia. there is polling that suggests that they are starting to lose men over this issue. the problem is, reince priebus is trying to do, they want to pivot. that is a classic communication tactic. they want to change the conversation. unfortunately, what he doesn't get is trying to demean and diminish the importance of what is going on here by talking about caterpillars is not the way to do it because the accumulative effect of all of the laws that you were just talking about really served to undermine women as credible, thoughtful human beings and equal participants in our society. that's what women are feeling. the language that women have been using is so disgusting. you've had state legislatures in more than one state talking about the fear that women will use rape as a loophole in order to get access to an abortion. i mean, that's just ridiculous. women are really tired of being talked about in that manner
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because, again, it sort of demeans and undermines us as human beings. >> the gender gap in politics, in elections broadly speaking, usually tends to favor democratic candidates. not always but usually. but that gender gap, as you point out, really is huge right now president president obama and mitt romney. you've just described a lot of things that you think reince priebus is doing wrong to try to turn that around as chairman of the republican party, what do you think would be a better way for them to do that if they are going to turn it around and they have to and what do you think will be their best approach? >> well, certainly they don't want to continue to have this conversation about contraception. for starter, they could stop talking to women like they are idiots where we couldn't vote or take care of our own money, for heaven's sake. i don't think most women want to have this conversation about
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contraception because we all thought it was settled. we do care about the economy. most women -- the white house will talk about this tomorrow -- would rather talk about access to their capital. would rather talk about ways that the economy is going to come back. women, we are the majority of the workforce for most families in the middle class. women make a lot of these decisions for families. so that is what we want to talk about. but if you start to threaten our basic fundamental access to things that we thought were settled, that's when women say, wait a second. that's so too far. if they were to change their rhetoric and start talking to women like thoughtful human beings on a range of issues rather than -- you know, mitt romney saying, well, my wife and reports back to me on what women talk about rather than just go talk to women, right?
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president obama gets it. talk to us about the irons we care about and understand we care about a range of issues but we're not going to let you treat us like we're less than equal human beings. >> karen finney, columnist for "the hill," msnbc contributor and one of the people least likely to be accepted. >> true. >> thanks, karen. appreciate it. >> thanks. hey, we have a big exclusive coming up on the show tonight. a bit of a political bombshell concerning the state of michigan. this is reporting that nobody else has. that's ahead on the show. plus, mitt romney decides that what he really, really hates is harvard, people who went to harvard, like him. that's next. a n irregular heartbeat called atrial fibrillation a puts you at 5 times greater risk of stroke. don't wait. go to for a free discussion guide to help you talk to your doctor about reducing your risk.
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could create more than half a million jobs in the us alone. from the canadian border, through the mid west, to the gulf coast. benefiting hundreds of thousands of families throughout the country. this is just what our economy needs right now. this is mitt romney and his wife and two of their sons at a clam bake at the harvard business school where mr. romney at the time was a student. mitt romney is a harvard man. that's how he got to massachusetts in the first place. after growing up in michigan and graduating from byu, mr. romney spent four years at harvard earning both a harvard law degree and a harvard business degree. this is mr. romney with a few of his harvard school business study buddy. they get together every five years for a mini-harvard reunion n a weird way it explains his line of attack today against
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president obama. >> we have a president who is a nice guy, perhaps he spent too much at harvard or not enough time working in the real world. >> mitt romney, as we discussed on this show last night, has exactly one trick as a presidential candidate. you take some perceived weakness about his own candidacy and you say that it's actually barack obama's weakness. does obama spend too much time at harvard thing, this is a favorite of mitt romneys. >> i didn't learn about the economy just reading about it or hearing about it in the faculty lounge at harvard. all of those years perhaps in the harvard faculty lounge -- >> that may be what they think at the harvard faculty lounge. >> it is true, he went to harvard. he earned a law degree there. but mr. romney sent three of his five sons to harvard. 14 of his policy advisers are
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harvard graduates or professors. but barack obama, he's the one with the harvard problem, says the former governor of massachusetts. now we're just waiting for the romney campaign press release attacking president obama for all of his years at bain capital and what a lousy governor of massachusetts romney was. he's spending all of his rhetorical energy on attacking president obama. he does still have a nomination to win in his own party. pennsylvania, of course, the home state of mr. romney's main opponent now, rick santorum. >> and winning pennsylvania at the white house. so this is a critical state for me. >> actually, pennsylvania is not at all a critical state for mr. romney. if he wins it, he's still roughly where he is now in the race, just closer to the end. if he loses, the loss will be chopped up to the fact that it's santorum's home state. the home state, the state that
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he represented in the senate is a must-win for him but the latest polling out of pennsylvania shows that that race is now starting to get away from mr. santorum. mr. romney appears to have opened up a small pennsylvania lead. last night i spoke with rick santorum's chief strategist, john brabender and i asked him what happens if rick santorum does lose in pennsylvania. listen to his answer. >> if the pennsylvania race does not go the way you want it to, do you even make it to may? do you make it to -- >> we re-evaluate everything. >> if we lose pennsylvania, we re-evaluate everything. rick santorum has to win pennsylvania. he's even admitted it. so what is rick santorum doing right now to make sure that he wins pennsylvania? rick santorum is taking four days off.
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he's taking four days off the campaign trail because, why not? mitt romney's already running as if he is the republican party's presidential nominee. apparently now so are all of his opponents. hey, we've got a scoop tonight. it's fresh reporting that you won't see anywhere else about a story that we've done a lot of s through the mail. now washington, they're looking at shutting down post offices coast to coast. closing plants is not the answer. they want to cut 100,000 jobs. it's gonna cost us more, and the service is gonna be less. we could lose clientele because of increased mailing times. the ripple effect is going to be devastating. congress created the problem. and if our legislators get on the ball, they can make the right decisions. and if our legislators get on the ball,
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tonight. it's fresh reporting that you won't see anywhere else about a story that we've done a lot of work on over the last year or so. i think this is potentially a political bombshell for the state of michigan. that story is exclusive and it's ahead. stay tuned. ♪ you do
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they have rechristianed themselves, conserve america. i know the name sounds like a scam. a mortgage company that's going to trick her out of the house or a scam direct facts campaign that gives you a prestigious award but conserve america is actually the new name of the artist formerly known as environmental protection. they've dropped the word republican from their name. before their big name change, this was their honorary board that included 22 members of congress. notice that 17 of the 22 are retired members of congress. yeah, it's a good question. how many current members of congress want to be known as caring about environmental issues. republicans in the house voted to strip environmental protections more than 150 times. the thing is, this all seems to have happened fast. it was only the last republican election when the republican ticket, remember, was running on cap and trade.
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>> joe lieberman and i, my favorite democrat, have proposed legislation called cap and trade. >> cap and trade, incentives for those who reduce greenhouse emissions. >> he's got a good cap and trade policy that he supports. >> that was only 2008. the republican ticket in favor of cap and trade, within just two years the exact same people were denouncing this thing that they had just run on. >> they have to address a little bit of the cap and tax is what i call it. not cap and trade and the devastation was already suggested that it would have on our country if it were to pass. >> i will not and cannot align myself with a giant government slush fund. >> it's even worse than the financial hits that our country would take. it would so desensitize industry and production because we are so reliant on our energy source.
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>> it's cap and tax. it's cap and tax. >> what changed? this was your own idea. similarly, when mitt romney was governor of massachusetts back in 2003, he liked the idea as well. they published this letter and i concur that climate change that the joint work to create a flexible market-based cap and trade system could serve as an effective approach towards meeting these goals. what changed? mitt romney decided to run for president? he now says that cap and trade is the gateway to hell? what changed? >> cap and trade was originally proposed by conservatives and republicans as a market-based solution to solving environmental problems. the first president to talk
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about cap and trade was george h.w. bush. now you've got the other party essentially saying we shouldn't even be thinking about environmental protection. let's gut the epa. >> president obama, the democrats, they think they may have a winning issue here. not necessarily in selling their own ideas about environmental protection but rather selling the republicans wholesale abandonment of this issue. as republicans for environmental protection strips the word republican out of their name, are democrats on track to strip away centerous voters who used to care about the issue? are they about to strip that from the party that clearly no longer cares about that issue?
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joining us now is chris hayes host of "up with chris hayes" here on msnbc. mr. hayes, thank you for your time. >> always a pleasure, rachel. >> in our current politics, why does being pro environmental protection equal weakness? >> well, that's -- there's a long complicated answer that i will try to give a short version of which is, i think what we've seen with the environmental policy on the right is this sort of perfect alignment between the economic interests and the culture of our politics. it's sort of right out of what's wrong with the book. there are huge incumbent corporations in the history of human civilization on the planet who do not want anything like cap and trade. i call it cap and tax. to be passed because it will be bad for them. it will be bad for them in the sense that it must make fossil
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fuels more expensive. what has happened is there is a lot of money pouring into revving up the base on this issue by turning it into a symbolic cultural war issues. the big bad nanny state and socialists want to take care of light bulbs and have been amazingly effective at taking the issue and making it into a badge of tribal pride that you are not one of those socialists barack obama loving people that they want to cap and tax. you're for industry, hard work, and buying your own light bulbs. so they've managed to take something that wasn't a cultural war issue and made it into a cultural war issue. >> most americans don't want to gut the epa. most americans don't want salmonella in the food supply, right? but are you saying that essentially those being actual results of environmentally protective policies have been disguised with this idea of it's
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nothing than a liberal elitism and regular voters? >> the part of it is that the gains, in some ways, the environmental movement is a victim of its own success. clean water act has been very successful. so the success becomes invisible at a certain point but i also think the terrain upon which the biggest environmental fight has happened recently, the one you highly lighted which is climate change is a much more abstract issue. it is a tougher sell because it's not as tangible as clean drinking, as arsenic in the drinking water or mass deforestation or preserving some plot of land that everyone can take photos of and it's beautiful. i think they saw a strategic opportunity to do manage for the benefactors but also because it's a tougher position to advocate than some of the environmental fights that happened before that were more tangible. >> briefly, do you think that the democrats have any potential
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traction at getting centrist voters who might care about basic environmental issues by characterizing or just describing the republican party as being radically anti-environment in the way that they weren't three years ago? >> it's part of a larger story about a party going off the rails. when you can point to the top of the ticket four years ago advocating a position which two years later, it shows that it's gone terribly wrong in the level of ideological extremism in the republican party and that feeds into something very in the polling and in the independents. >> chris, thank you very much. appreciate it. >> thank you. lawrence o'donnell has as his guest abby huntsman livingston, one of jon huntsman's famous daughters. here, a rachel maddow scoop. stay with us.
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last night we had the senior strategist for the rick santorum campaign on the show. i love talking to republicans. it's really hard to get them on the show. i thought it was a good discussion. in our discussion last night i brought up a couple things that mr. braybender's candidate has said that is not true. mainly, the dutch killing the elderly people against their will. i also brought up what mr. santorum said this week about the university of california. >> i was just reading something last night from the state of california and that the california universities, it's several -- it's seven or eight of the california system of universities don't even teach an american history course. it's not even available to be taught. >> that is not true. it's really not true. and since not true, i asked if mr. santorum would correct that just as a matter of integrity. he told me that rick santorum would be the first person to
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admit he's wrong if it does if fact turn out he was wrong about that. he was wrong so today we followed up by e-mail to the campaign documenting mr. santorum's error and we are now waiting for the correction. and in the interest of modeling good behavior, now i will do a correction of my own. watch. >> it is true that you can't take american history courses at one campus in the university of california system, at least i think that you can't. as far as i can tell, you cannot take a history class at ucsf. that's because it's a medical school. but, still, i'm sure there's a reason to be outraged about that any way. after all, you know, san francisco. correction. it turns out you can take american history courses at ucsf even though it's a medical school.
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you can take all sorts of history classes. you can take the history of pharmaceuticals. you can take disease and social order from the black death to sars and, yes, specifically american history. you can take a history course in 20th century medicine. so when i said rick santorum was lying about not being taught. i was correct. i was wrong to speculate that his lie might be true for even just one of the ucs school. it turns out santorum was 100% wrong. he was utterly wrong. and that's how you make a correction. and now we are waiting for a correction from rick santorum. [ barking ] i'm your dog,
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[ male announcer ] strip away the styling. strip away the rearview monitors, tv screens, bluetooth... and even the cup holders. you know what's left? the only suv's with american-built f-alpha truck frames. the ruggedly capable pathfinder, xterra, armada. nissan. innovation for all. ♪ constipated? phillips' caplets use magnesium, an ingredient that works more naturally with your colon than stimulant laxatives, for effective relief of constipation without cramps. thanks. good morning, students. today we're gonna continue... we think we have a scoop here. in the early 1960s michigan reworked their constitution. they had a constitution convention. that guy that you recognize on the left, that's mitt romney's
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dad, george romney. he chaired that commission before he became governor of the state. one of the reasons why they had the constitutional convention, one of the things they thought needed tinkering with was a bills that were passed at michigan would become law. so once something is passed, what do they take effect? no act shall take effect until the expiration of the 90 days from the end of the session at which it was passed. okay. that's a really slow process. that's slow by design. the legislature is in session all year in michigan. the legislature often doesn't end until the end of the calendar year. what that means is theoretically a law could pass in january and not take effect until march of the following year. 90 days after the end of that year's legislative session. michigan has a really slow process on purpose.
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they did it that way on purpose. laws taking a long time to take effect allows people affected by that law to have time to adjust. it also gives people who don't like that law a chance to start overturning it by a citizens repeal. michigan designed that process to be a slow one, clearly and on purpose. it's in their constitution that way for a reason. but as practical people they also recognize that sometimes extenuating circumstances you need your loss to take effect faster. something has happened, right? maybe you've been invaded or you've had an outbreak or a flood of a disease. an emergency that needs responding to right now by lawmakers. to account for that in michigan, while most bills do have to wait until the end of the session plus 90 days, they have to wait that really long time. the constitution really says this. but the legislature may give immediate effect to acts by a two-thirds vote of the members elected to and serving in each house. that means with a two-thirds majority vote you can have a new law go into effect right away, immediately.
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otherwise you wait. you pass it under normal rules, under a majority, you have to wait. if you want it to go into effect immediately, you need a two-thirds vote. that's what they decided back in the 1960s. that's what the state constitution says. half a century later, january 2011, a new and hardcore conservative republican majority took over the state government in michigan. republicans controlled both chambers of the legislature and they have the governorship. they have been passing bills at quite a clip. the democrats in michigan say since republicans took over the michigan house, they've passed 566 bills. we have looked into that count ourselves. it does seem accurate and the republicans are not contesting it. of those 566 bills, 546, all about 20 of them, were passed under the immediate effect clause. 96% of the bills they've passed have essentially been an emergency. almost everything they've done
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has been done under this provision of the constitution that let's you put things into effect immediately because you've got a super majority. they've been designed to rush from the legislature to governor schneider to take effect that day, that minute, right now. this is new in michigan governance. this is not the way michigan was set up. this is not the way it was supposed to be. this is if a cop once waved you around a traffic accident to get around the crash and then on the next day on your commute and the day after you drove on the shoulder because you think that's your lane now. they are use an emergency provision for everything, even for the most contentious and partisan and divisive things they want to do. to take away health benefits for domestic partners of public employees. they jammed it through, the governor signed it and then three days before christmas, it was like, hey, gay folks, we just stripped your benefits on the basis of your sexual
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orientation, starting right now. merry christmas. they then used immediate effect to set aside $10 million to pay for that primary for rules they had screwed up and rewritten and to top one of michigan's most powerful unions from expanding. now, seriously, this is a fierce union. seriously thuggish. i'll show you. here they are conducting a labor action. ooh. it's the union of michigan grad students. michigan grad student employees, here they are staging a grade in. so everybody can see them at work. grading papers from the classes that they teach. are you afraid when you see this? are you afraid of their vicious union thugliness? i think that guy is looking like he's ready to end as we know it,
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right? when these graduate students ask the state for permission to consider including more grad students in their union, michigan republicans went into emergency mode. they used the emergency immediate effect thing to hustle through a bill to block them. they hustled through so immediate in fact that governor schneider signed the law and an hour and a half before the state hearing that could potentially have said yes to what the grad students union wanted to do. never mind your democratic process. republicans are in charge now. nobody gets a hearing. nobody gets a vote. grade this. you might recognize the sponsor of the bill to stop the grad students union. he's the republican freshman who
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represents a town called benton harbor in michigan. he's celebrating the signing of another bill, the state's revamped emergency manager law. that's the law that we've been covering for a year now. it's the law that let's the state take over your town, the law that says michigan republicans, governor rick schneider can strip democracy from your tone if they want to. it's the law that let the state take control of his benton harbor. under this law, the state installs a single unelected manager who is free to fire all the elected officials, sell off the town's assets, move to dissolve the town, cancel contracts, almost anything the manager wants to do. this emergency manager person has unilateral control. in michigan now, a long list of cities and school boards are run this way.
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they are being run as something much closer to dictatorships. and i realize that's a very inflammatory word, but frankly, that's what it is. when you have somebody in charge who has unilateral authority to do whatever he or she wants, that is autocracy. as has been their custom, the republicans passed the souped up emergency manager law naturally under immediate effect. they passed it on march 15th last year, the next day the governor signed it and it took effect right then, immediate effect. and less than a month later, benton harbor's emergency manager seized all power, took power from the elected mayor and elected commission in the span of one month starting with the bill sponsored by benton harbor's own representative, michigan republicans routed the democracy of that mostly poor, mostly african-american michigan town. and they were just getting started. the emergency manager law is the reason that pontiac, michigan, got its own new boss who joked about himself being the tyrant in pontiac. and remember the students who got arrested for protesting the planned closing of the ferguson academy? the school for pregnant girls and young moms. the idea of closing that girl was made possible by the new emergency manager law because the state appointed czar for the city schools didn't have to listen to the elected school
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board anymore, democracy didn't matter anymore. those girls did end saving their school, but just barely. here is the crazy thing. the thing that we have been digging for since we first got wind of this story last week. it is something -- it is astounding enough that i almost can't believe it, i have to tell of you. my mind almost cannot compute what i'm about to tell you. we can tell you this with confidence. under the michigan constitution, remember, again, you can only make a law take effect immediately if you have a 2/3 majority, a super majority. michigan republicans don't have that. in the house they don't have a 2/3 majority. in order to get a 2/3 vote, house republicans would need the help of almost a dozen democrats. you need 63 lawmakers on your side before you get what the state constitution says you can have if you want that immediate effect, right? you need 73 votes to take effect right away. so for the emergency manager law, for example, democrats voted against that law in a block. republicans did pass it with
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their 62 votes, and 62 votes is enough to pass it but not nearly enough for it to go into effect immediately. but regardless, they just attached immediate effect to it anyway. look, it's in the record. representative stamas moved the bill be given immediate effect. 2/3 of the members serving voted therefore. that did not happen. i do not see how that could be true. republicans don't have a 2/3 majority and democrats voted against the bill. so you're telling me that a dozen democrats voted against this bill they hated, they voted against it and then once it passed anyway over their objections they decided, oh, well, it passed, i guess i'll vote to put this thing in effect immediately. seriously? if you look at the numbers you need for immediate effect in michigan and the numbers republicans actually have, it does not seem possible that the emergency manager law or maybe any of these laws passed in the way republicans are saying that they did. it didn't happen that way.
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for the past year, we have been reporting on republican governments in michigan. for the past year, we have called emergency -- michigan's emergency manager law the most radical republican legislation in the country. and if that radical, radical law had passed under regular rules. if it hadn't been put into immediate effect, if they couldn't get a 2/3 super majority to put it in effect that day when governor schneider signed it, then that radical law would only just now being taking effect. now in 2012, benton harbor would only just now be losing democracy instead of barrelling into the second year of having no local voting rights. that would not have happened yet. it should not have happened. those pregnant girls would not have been arrested trying to save their school in detroit. the law would be going into effect as of last week. the city of detroit would not have been in the position of
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choosing between handing the state oversight of its finances as it did yesterday or facing an involuntary takeover. if you are an african-american living in michigan, there's a 50/50 chance that this year, the state of michigan has considered scrapping your right to vote, scrapping your right to elect local officials to represent you. well, governor rick schneider and michigan have done is radical beyond radical. and if it is true that the law should not have even been in effect all this time, if it is true that republicans circumvented democracy and the legislature too. what do you call that? radical beyond radical beyond radical beyond radical, it's revolutionary, and i can tell you now that finally somebody has. michigan house democrats have sued the house of representatives. and specifically they have sued the republicans in the house of representatives. the democrats say that republicans are denying them the right to vote in the legislature. it's not just for benton harbor anymore, it's for the whole state. democrats have begun demanding
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role call votes to see whether republicans have this 2/3 majority they claim. they're demanding an actual count to see if they have all 73 votes that the republicans would need for these laws to go into immediate effect. this is the picture of the democrats demanding a vote like that last week. demanding it and not getting it. we asked the michigan democrats if they could provide us with an example of the way that republicans are running the house. saying that they've got a 2/3 majority when it seems impossible that they do. and they sent over this clip from last month. this is amazing. what's happening here, the context here is that republicans have just passed a measure making it harder to get a repeal on the ballot, to get a citizen's repeal on the ballot. michigan democrats want to repeal that emergency manager law, right. republicans are trying to unilaterally change garn law to make it harder to repeal it. and naturally, they want that to take effect right away. watch. >> speaker recognizes majority floor leader stamas. >> i ask for --
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>> the majority -- >> 26 members -- >> the speaker -- >> the majority floor leader has requested a record roll call vote. all those in favor, please rise -- i'm sorry -- the majority floor leader has requested immediate effect. all those in favor, please rise. immediate effect is ordered. >> wait, that was the count. depending on how you time this, the republican speaker let the voting go on for i think three seconds before he gavels in his party's success. what he is purporting to have done there is counting at least 73 votes in favor of the motion in a blink. in a snap. one, two, three -- 73. like he's a kid speed counting for hide and seek. >> all of those in favor please rise. immediate effect is ordered. >> in that time do you believe he counted 73 people in favor of that motion in the span of that clip? on monday a county judge issued
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a temporary injunction ordering michigan house republicans to follow the law, to follow the constitution, to let the minority vote even though the minority are democrats. the court put on hold several bills that republicans have passed using this kind of technique. passed what appears to be ill illegally. republicans are appealing the judge's ruling. their arguments boil down to, a, they say no court can interfere with the legislature, and b, they say this is dog bites man. this is standard operating procedure, nothing to see here, totally normal. keep moving. this case has implications for what happens in michigan over the next few months and what happens nationwide. michigan republicans are now considering a law that would make it much harder to register to vote in the state. if that passes, under immediate effect and goes into effect right then, that will become a factor in 2012 race in michigan. also michigan voters voting on a bill that makes it harder to get a referendum on the ballot. that could affect the current
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drive to put the rick schneider emergency manager law up for appeal. do you think he would like repealing his law to be a harder thing to do? and does anybody else get a say in that? the 2010 elections ushered in a lot of radicalized republican legislatures and governors across the country and have done a lot of radical things. scott walker is famous for a reason. but what's happened in michigan is the most radical thing republicans have done anywhere in the country. they have eliminated democracy. they have eliminated voting rights at the local level in their state. they have tried to eliminate democrats' voting rights in the state legislature. whether you're on the left or the right or in the center or if you don't particularly care about politics. if all you care about is we have a form of government in this country called democracy. we vote. if you care about the idea that we still use voting here, democracy, if you care about the constitution.
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