tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC April 15, 2016 1:00am-2:01am PDT
unpoelgsic. >> i know. thank you both. happy thursday night. thanks for being with us tonight. the 1976 republican national convention was contested. quite dramatically contested. gerald ford was the president at that time. he was seen as a very weak incumbent. not only had he not been elected president, he had not been elected vice president. shortly after they won that election and were sworn in to start the second term in 1973, vice president spiro agnew came under investigation for bribery. nixon's vice president got investigating for bribery.
he ended up getting criminally charged. he had to resign from office. we sort of forget this now because of the way the nixon administration ended. even before nixon became the great scandal of the nixon error he had to resign in disgrace and face criminal charges. the vice presidency may not be the most crucial job in the federal government but there does have to be somebody holding that position. when he had to go into that criminal cloud, president nixon had to choose someone to replace him. that's how a congressman from
michigan who had never been elected by an electorate larger than his congressional district got himself into the presidency. that's how we got gerald ford even though he had never been nationally elected to anything. that's how we got the contested republican national convention in 1976 when gerald ford decided to run to hold onto this position in oval office that he arrived at through such unexpected and undemocratic means. because of that series of back doors that gerald ford took to the presidency, he didn't get the deference that's afforded to an incumbent president. he was still the front-runner, he was such a weak front-runner that an unstart conservative named ronald reagan took the
nomination from president ford at the party's 1976 convention in kansas city. that 1976 convention was a bit nuts. it was a lot of confusion on the floor among the delegates there were long and impossible fights to follow over seemingly arcane rules that ended up being crucial to how delegates would vote and pick. president ford may have been weak front-runner and an accidental president but he was still president for that 1976 convention he was not above using things like flights on air force one and promised visits to the white house as bribes. 1976 was a little nutty. 1976 was the last time the republican party had a contested national convention. that's what everybody is expecting to be replayed this summer, but worse when this year's republican convention
unfolds in cleveland. back at the last contested convention in 1976, there's two important world changing outcomes that were the results of that contested convention. the first one was the obvious one which is that gerald ford beat ronald reagan. he got the nomination and he went onto lose the election to jimmy carter. even though ronald reagan didn't succeed, how close he got to it did play excellent ground work for him to take over leadership of the republican party much more easily. in 1980 when republicans convened for their next convention in detroit, that republican convention in 1980 not only was that not a fight, it was an absolute coronation.
reagan put his chief rival george bush on the ticket as a running mate. there was a little noise that he would pick jesse helms. it was a pretty smooth transition. the vice presidency went to poppy bush. they had also set up the rules at the 1980 convention so only one name could be put in nomination. there was no drama over that. another reagan challenger named john anderson had fought hard that year to get a speaking slot at the republican convention but the republican party and the reagan campaign forces figured out way to box john anderson out of that so he didn't get to speak. it was a no drama occasion. '76 had been crazy. '80 was not crazy. ronald reagan got 97% of the delegate votes that year. it was as smooth as glass.
they cast their votes. they formally nominated him. he gave his acceptance speech. the convention was seen as huge, smoothly run success in 1980. the first thing reagan did, the first thing he did in that perfectly tightly scripted pageant, the first thing he did was to go here. to go 800 miles south southwest from that convention in detroit to an out of way place that's hard to get to. that had no national political significance as a location other than the one thing that town and that county were famous for. again, this was 1980. one of the things going on in president politics that year was that 1980 was the first presidential election since 1960. first presidential election in
20 years in which alabama's segregationist governor was not a candidate in one way or another or this the general election. he ran in '64, '68, '72, '76. 1980 is the first one in which george wallace wasn't going to be a factor having run in the previous four elections. when ronald reagan became the nominee for president in 1980, he had to make a decision about where to start his general election campaign. he made a decision that was widely seen, at the time, as ronald reagan's attempt to lock up any stray remaining george wallace votes that might still be out there in the country. reagan run in '76 and '80 as an insurgent force. he was promising to bring the republican party significantly to the right.
nobody knew if that kind of campaign would work at national level. if it was going to work, everybody knew that reagan would need every single conservative vote in the country. george wallace voters had been a very specific kind of conservative for the previous four presidential elections. in 1980 with george wallace finally and completely out of presidential running for the first time in 20 years, there was a strategic decision made to try to make sure the republican nominee in 1980 would be able to mop up votes from any of the people left in the country who had favored segregationist candidate who might have felt in 1980 like they didn't have candidate anymore now that wallace wasn't running again for the first time in two decades. ronald reagan didn't go campaign
in his home state of california after he won the nomination. he didn't rush off to some swing state. reagan's first stop after the convention, the place he started his general election campaign was mississippi. specifically is nationally famous, still today, for exactly one thing. philadelphia, mississippi is where they were launch and local law enforcement participated in their murders and covered it up. the reason they make movies about that case. the reason they are still household names today, the reason that story is incredible
and emotionally heart wrenching. it's because of the critical and dramatic fact that local law enforcements was fine with it. local law enforcement was in on it. it took the federal government to go down and force themselves in in order to solve the murders. under local authority it was not otherwise going to happen. on august 3rd, 1980 right after he was made the republican nominee, neshoba county is where ronald reagan went. he went on a hot sweaty day in august and he told a crowd of 30,000, wildly enthusiastic white mississippians quote, i believe in states rights. he stood in front of that all white, huge, screaming crowd of tens of thousands in mississippi and said that the federal government had too much power
and if he became president he would reign in that federal overreach and restore to the states and local communities those functions which properly belong there. i believe in states rights. andrew goodman lasted one day in that town before the klan murdered him. the town did not cough up their bodies until august. when reagan stood up on that stage 16 years later, at that time some of the co-conspirators were still being protected in that town. as the newly minted republican nominee of 1980 went down to that town and spoke to an all white audience and said not one word about the murders the town was nationally famous for and
whipped that sea of 30,000 white faces into a frenzy and preached states rights to them and told them that he was their candidate. that was 1980. in 2008, in the presidential election that year, the country elected our first african-american president. that election was november 4th, 2008. on november 4th, 2008, that was a tuesday. election is always on a tuesday. that same day, four days later on saturday of that week, a group of teenagers from a county called suffolk county in new york went out in the very morning hours with a bb gun. the plan was to try to find a hispanic immigrant in their town and shoot at that person with a bb gun. they found a hispanic man sitting on his porch not doing anything, not bothering anybody and shot him multiple times with that bb gun. later that day, that same day, the same group added a few more friends and added again looking for hispanic immigrants to attack.
they found a hispanic man walking on the street. they got out of their car and started screaming racist slurs. they circled him and they started beating and kicking him. they did not kill him. the man was able to get away. the group was not done. later the same night the group went out again looking for another hispanic immigrant to try to terrorize and attack. they found two hispanic men walking near the train station in this same time where they had earlier beaten up the guy with the bike. they surrounded these men who they found on the street who were doing nothing to them, doing nothing wrong but they had the misfortune of being hispanic. they beat them. they called them racist names, attacked them and this time, one of those two men they were attacking, they did kill him. one of the men who they attacked, a 37-year-old man, they stabbed him in the chest and killed him. the national story at that point, that week, the week of november 4th, 2008, what was
beginning on in the country, we what were all thinking about in terms of race and our country, we're the country who just elected a black president. in new york, the local story was suffolk county and these racist attacks that had suddenly turned fatal. in the wake of that murder, this hate-crime murder. this murder came at the end of beating by seven teenagers. the local hispanic population started reporting that this was the culmination of what had been years of these kinds of organized attacks unprovoked, racist predatory attacks. the new york times published ten pages of racist unprovoked attacks on hispanics in that town and surrounding towns. people beaten with baseball bats and belts and chains. each attack, the story of the
police is the police just seemed not to care. eventually in 2009, the federal department of justice investigated the local police, discouraging latino victims from filing complaints, failing to investigate crimes, failing to investigate hate crimes against latinos. the number of raw crimes against latinos. the justice department entered into an agreement with the county police department. the county police department agreed to cooperate. that happened in place called suffolk county, new york. the epicenter of the these racist attacks, the epicenter was a little town called patchogue. it's a little town. i mean 12,000 people. it has no national political significance other than this thing from a few years ago if which it's sort of famous.
what it's famous for is the racist targeting of immigrants to the point of murder. today that town is where donald trump decided to campaign. he didn't just go to suffolk county. he decided to campaign on the street where 37-year-old lucero was beaten and stabbed to death by racist mob that attacked him because he was a hispanic immigrant. >> the message from hispanic advocate s clear is that trump shouldn't appear on the same street where lucero was killed in a 2008 hate crime. 21-year-old residents said she remembers when immigrants were beaten routinely here. she worried that trump's visit will start the violence again. >> i'm really afraid because i don't want this bad things happen.
>> donald trump is the front-runner. we welcome him to suffolk county. >> the chairman says he has no plan to move or postpone the trump appearance. >> that is a report from last night. today the suffolk county went ahead with the invitation to campaign on the same street as the fatal hate crime. literally a couple hundred yards from where that young man died. mr. trump was introduced at that event by former republican candidate for new york governor carl paladino. this is how he introduced them. >> anybody in this room know if we're going to build a wall? are we going to build a wall? who's going to pay for that wall? is that right?
new yorkers are with donald trump all the way. because he speaks truth and because he doesn't fear. we're going to build that wall? is mexico going to pay for it? one more time, who's going to build that wall? who's going to pay for that wall? thank you. god bless america and god bless donald trump for facing these people. >> we're going to have strong voters. we're going to have a wall. the wall will be built. you know who's paying for the wall. who's going to pay for that wall? 100%. john is predicting this is going to be my single biggest margin suffolk, this whole area. he better be right.
he better be right. >> patchogue's history of racist and fatal hate crimes against latino immigrants. it's not necessarily a nationally famous story. sit a new york famous story. he's still trying to win the new york primary but campaigning on the street where lucero was murdered, it means something specific in new york. local activists and local boards have been beginning to please not do this. the new york times editorial board called it a disgraceful provocation by trump and local republicans for inviting him. he did it. he was greeted by an almost entirely white crowd inside. while a more diverse group of protesters outside expressed themselves as well. tonight mr. trump and other republican candidates for president are at the new york state republican gala in midtown
manhattan where more protesters are outside trying to be a counter point to what the candidates stand for. protests are part of politicking. this nomination is not yet sewn up by anyone. racial provocation is something with a deep and resonant history. being a presidential front-runner is a powerful thing. it can also be a dangerous thing if you want it to be. they said it wasn't possible... to make a sunscreen you can apply to wet skin. a wrinkle cream that works in one week. and a shampoo that washes away the residue hair care products can leave behind. but we did it. no wonder dermatologists recommend neutrogena® 2 times more than any other brand. we're always re-thinking
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last night i made an embarrassing but i still think kind of funny mistake of showing republican congressman peter king when i meant to be showing a picture of senator angus king. i would like to thank everyone on twitter that corrected me immediately. i would like to thank the people that corrected me not kindly. i get it. i screwed up. now with that experience behind me, i'm going to try again. this, as best as i can tell, is the entire republican presidential field from 1876,
including the great roscoe konklin and eli washburn. rutherford was one of nine fighting. it was decided at a contested convention in cincinnati, ohio. although ohio governor hayes finished near the back of the pack, the convention ended up going to seven ballot before they got a nominee. it was the hometown guy who won. in advance of that hotly contested convention of 1876 which was held in cincinnati, ohio, the ohio legislature passed a new law to try to avert shenanigans. they tried to prevent anybody
from bribing their way. they were worried about that because that happened a lot at conventions. this is the cincinnati enquirer. a class of political bummers who have arisen who will sell their votes to the highest bidder. political bummers. that state law prohibiting political bummers for the bribing of delegate conventions, that 1870s ohio law is still on the books. this is the law. no person shall before, during or after any primary convention
or election give, lend, offer or procure or promise to give, lend, offer, procure any none to or for a delegate or other person. in other words, you can't bribe delegates at a convention in ohio. it's illegal. however else you're supposed to win that crazy contested convention of 1876, ohio law straight up banned the bribing of delegates. the fact of that decision way back in the 1870s, that now matters all over again because republicans this year really do seem to be mud wrestling their way to another contested convention. that law might be an important part of how it's decided. stay with us. and with that it's a four-nothing score right here in the bottom of the fifth. and that's all she wrote for the young lefty... now it's in the hands of the bullpen. and out comes... papa john??? it looks like he's taking this official pizza thing pretty seriously. right now for just 6.99 each get two medium two-topping pizzas.
under federal law, there basically are no rules when it comes to what you can offer a delegate in exchange for his or her vote at a contested republican nominating convention. public officials aren't supposed to take bribes as public officials. say you're a delegate who's not a public official. there's nothing that sell you can't sell your vote for a car or suitcase of cash. under federal law, a rich candidate like, say, donald trump, could spend a few tens of millions of dollars of his personal wealth buying a few hundred delegates new houses or new cars or just wrietsing them checks in other words to seal up the nomination for himself. federal law would not stop that. this particular republican
convention will take place in the great state of ohio. it turns out, weirdly, since the 1870s, ohio has had a very specific law that bans anyone from bribing the delegates at a political convention. it may be fine under federal law but under ohio law it would be a fourth degree felony prosecutable under the long arm of the law. how how long is that arm? does it mean only for bribing in ohio? what if it's offered this indiana and the delegate travels to ohio? what if they turn up in cleveland in time to collect the keys to their new lake tahoe timeshares that they have traded in exchange for their votes. would they have to face trial in ohio? who would arrest them? how does that work?
joining us now is a former u.s. attorney for ohio. it's nice to have your here tonight. thanks for being here. >> thanks for having me. >> have i explained the ohio law and asking the right questions? >> i think you are. i'm in the sure i agree it's clear that even under federal law you can't pay a delegate for their vote and be in some trouble. we don't have to get there. as you said, in ohio, of all place, there's a specific law that clearly covers delegates at conventions. look, like all criminal laws, they apply to conduct that ours in part or in whole in ohio. we talk about venue with jurisdiction. where can something be done? just as if you committed fraud and part of the fraud occurred in ohio and part of the fraud
occurred in indiana or a crime of violence or rape or any horrible crime, if part of this crime occurs in ohio you're going to have to face an investigation and prosecution in ohio. >> in terms of, i don't mean to get too technical, this terms of "by taking place in ohio," how would that apply to a bribe consummated in cleveland. say someone in the u.s. virgin islands makes a deal and accepts the crime and all they do in cleveland is vote. >> that's a pretty big thing to do. that's what you're being bribed for is the vote. one example is cases involving congress people on the federal side. a lot of things of value, a lot of corrupt action happened in illinois. he was prosecuted in the district in the district of
columbia by then u.s. attorney eric holder. it's hard to imagine a situation where the convention happening in the state of ohio where there would be some sort of illegal conduct that would not touch ohio at all. if a client came to me and said i'm going to do this thing that's clearly illegal but i'm going to do around it by doing most of the stuff outside of ohio, i'd tell them to channel the republican party's nancy reagan and just say no. that's a very dangerous place to be. juries don't like those arguments and judges don't like those arguments. you don't want to be making those arguments from some jail cell in an appeals case. >> thank you for helping us understand this. it's good to be forewarned. thank you. >> thanks. >> the prospect of ohio prosecutors prowling the cleveland convention site when one of the contenders for the nomination is the ohio governor. they're going to prosecute this
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remember when spam was just delicious canned meat? remember the original junk mail when it wasn't an inbox folder on a screen. it was shady printed material promising you've already been selected as a winner. if you got far enough into reading the nonsense they probably already lured you this enough to scam you. it turns out that real old fashioned spam has been updated. spam now comes in lots of delicious different flavors. it turns out that real old fashioned junk mail has been updated. it comes in political flavors designed to swindle your grandparents for political purposes. i'll warn you, this is a fairly disgusting story. it involves the national republican party. we first covered the story several weeks ago. the story has broken wide open. we have that story ahead. bring your bucket.
today's april 14th, which means tomorrow is tax day or it should be. this year it's not. tax day isn't april 15th this year. it's april 18th. it's monday. that is thanks to a abraham lincoln and washington, d.c. the emancipation proclamation freed more than three million slaves in this country. about nine months before that, president lincoln issued a sort of mini emancipation proclamation or a geographic special one for washington, d.c. more than 3,000 slaves held this d.c. was freed nine months before the emancipation for the whole country. d.c. celebrates emancipation day every year. they will bring out what the mayor says is her fave ri thing about emancipation day. they bring out the dump trucks and snowplows.
there's going to be fireworks and because it's a hollywood everything in d.c. will be shut down tomorrow for the holiday. that includes the irs which is located in washington, d.c. that is why you get until monday to turn in your taxes this year. while you are thanking d.c. for that, spare thought for what d.c. also has to put up with because the federal government happens to be situated there. paul ryan was the biggest story in republican politics when he had to hold a press conference to convince people he's not running for president. the job he does hold is speaker of the house. one of the lower profile things about paul ryan is he seems like he's not going to be able to pass a federal budget this year. that is embarrassing for him.
it's annoying to lots of people who depend on the federal budget. for d.c., it's insane and dumb. when d.c. comes up with its budget every year it's not like states. they can't debate and amend and pass a budget. the budget has to go to the white house where the president is asked to please include that budget request this his federal budget request and it goes to congress and congress decides on it. like members of congress from hawaii and utah get to decide whether or not the city of d.c. gets its budget or if it should be changed. that's annoying enough when d.c. has to wade through the interference and wait for the federal budget the pass through the country before this one city gets to spend its own money. d.c. ends up being in limbo forever through new fault of their own. d.c., as a city, is doing pretty great. they are doing so well they are
adding a thousands people to their population every month. so many people are moing into the district. they are forced to put everything they want to do as a city, even with their own money, through this totally dysfunctional and incompetent congress. at least they have been until now. this year, d.c. has decided to celebrate emancipation day, this awesome holiday that buys us extra three days to do our taxes, they decided to celebrate by not sending congress its budget and proceeding on its terms to spend their money as they see fit. the mayor and city council passed an amendment that says they have the right to do this.
d.c. voters said d.c. should be able to do this. d.c. believes it's on firm legal ground to act of its own and leave congress out of it for the first time since being founded in 1790. congress believes d.c. has no right to do this at all and everything has to go through congress. d.c. this year is going for it, which mean, a, fight. b, happy emancipation day. as we celebrate emancipation back guarantee. always discreet is for bladder leaks and it's drier than poise. try it. we're so confident you'll love it, we'll give you double your money back if you don't. incredible bladder protection. double your money back guarantee. that's always discreet.
day, we honor the many champions who have fought for equality and civil rights throughout our history. we also use this opportunity to continue to fight for equality for all in our city as we renew our push for full democracy and statehood in the district of columbia. >> joining us now is the mayor of washington, d.c. thank you so mump for being here. it's great to have you here. >> thank you. happy emancipation day. >> i was going to ask if there's a more appropriate greeting? >> i think it's great. i couldn't be more thrilled with the introduction you provided the nation to let people know what's happening in washington, d.c. >> you'reeeehe i country where y have to send your budget through congress every year. am i right to say you're stopping doing that for the first time this year?
>> you're right to say. the budget autonomy allows us. it was a measure passed by the council. it went to the voters. it was overwhelmingly approved. it's been uphold in our courts. for the first time, i'm the first mayor in the history of washington, d.c. that will send our local budget will not go to the white house and be a part of the federal budget. we will not be treated like a federal agency. we will send our local budget to what the real fight is for us. how can we be treated like every other american citizen and have full democracy in statehood in washington, d.c. >> what are you expecting in terms of a backlash or blowback from congress? >> i think that we and so many people have been a part of getting the vote from our voters, fighting the legal battle.
our council in the district of columbia has been involved. i think the fact the courts have weighed in suggest to everybody that sending our budget, our everybody that sending our local dollars up through the process, not to the white house, but directly to the congress makes sense for everybody. >> i'm going to paint this with a broad brush and you can correct me if i'm wrong here, but it seems to me as an outsider that the democratic party is sympathetic to d.c. becoming a state, having a normal member of congress and two senators and republicans are against this. why is this a partisan issue? >> it absolutely shouldn't devolve into a partisan discussion. very fundamental to our rights as americans is the idea that every person in our nation
should be represented in the congress and in very practical ways this disadvantages the residents of washington, d.c. when senators and congress people are considering matters of great importance like the affordable care act, we had no vote in the congress whatsoever and no voice in the. >> the senate. just this week senators were meeting about our met resystem and there was one senator from maryland and one senator from virginia so we had no voice. so to the people of washington, d.c. who pay taxes and go to war to not have those votes in the congress is a tragediesty. >> thank you so much for being here tonight. i appreciate it. we'll be right back.
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this one has a happy ending. last month a viewer of this show from california sent us this. kind of makes your heart race a little bit, right? it's an envelope with past due. notice of delinquency printed on the outside of it. inside that scarey envelope is a letter that says it's recipient has funds past due and that letter is from reince prebus, chairman of the republican national party. that's not a bill. it's a fundraising mailer, but it's one that's designed to scare anybody who receives it into thinking that you actually owe somebody money and maybe a bill collector is going to come after you and your credit is about to get screwed up. this is the kind of sleesy tactic that elderly voters are
suspectable too. we were the first to report that the republican national party were sending these things out to try to scare elderly people into sending them money. this started showing up in mailboxes all over the country and it turns out there caused there to be a lot of anxious and angry older voters around the country who got these things and then that -- those angry voters, that caused there to be a lot of outraged local news teams who followed up on their local viewers' behalf. >> it looks like a bill came in the mail, but mary has reason to be suspicious. >> i don't owe anybody. >> the retirees see a warning stamped in bold red letters. >> notice of delinquency. >> there's more.
the return address says office of records and a membership activation form. >> past due, $25, $250. >> sent to the republican national committee. >> very deceptive. >> good word. definitely it's a trick. it's like it wants to put a scare factor into you and then you're afraid if i don't send this $25, maybe i won't get to vote. >> i brought it in from the mailbox and this is where i opened it right here. >> and in bright red letters notice of delinquency. >> it's not fair. it's not right. >> is there any question in your mind this is predatory? >> no question at all. i think they're taking advantage of people who might not know otherwise. >> i was very frightened at what bill did i miss and my heart started racing and then when i opened it up, it was just my heart started racing because i was angry.
not only the mail carrier, whoever handled this from washington, d.c. to here, they're thinking oh, boy, here's another dead beat. >> so when are you going to kick in a few bucks to this person you owe money to, which happens to be the republican national committee. here's the thing, all of these local news teams across the country, there are news reports from nebraska and virginia and north carolina, all of them have been pushing the rnc hard on this. they've been calling and e-mail their state parties too. they contacted the united states postal inspection service to find out if this mailer from the national republican party violates federal law against mailing a solicitation in the form of an invoice. one station reported that the postal cops were launching an investigation over this. through all of this, the rnc
itself never appears to have answered any of these local reporters' questions, not even to confirm that the mailer was actually from the national republican party. they wouldn't give these local reporters the time of day. but now today i'm pleased to report that the rnc has given us an answer. the republican national committee told us today that, yes, this thing was their mailer and they told us it won't happen again. their exact quote was this was a limited mailing and won't be sent again. nice. good. now all that's needed is an apology to all those nice old ladies and the millions of other republican party people who they sent this to and then probably the next step would be sending back any of the money they got off this nonsense because who knows how much of it was sent by older people who thought they were sending money because they had to, not because they wanted to. don't mess with old people,
republican party. and don't mess with the local news reporters all over the country who are watching out for them. this story makes me so mad. it's friday, april 15th. right now on "first look," the brooklyn brawl ahead of tuesday's new york primary. and a big endorsement for the donald. a deadly earthquake rocks japan with aftershocks continuing to rattle communities but an 8-month-old is pulled from a collapsed house. then the debate about corporate punishment rages. and plus in new details of the escaped chimpanzee. a canoodling couple can care less during a bar heist. "first look" starts right now. good morning to you on this