tv Politics Nation MSNBC October 27, 2011 6:00pm-7:00pm EDT
any president in history -- and that's "hardball" for for now. thanks for beingith us. "politics nation with al sharpton" starts right now. hey, republicans, stimulus works. the economy picks up some steam. new evidence shows stimulus spending works, as the president presses his case for action now. >> we can't wait for congress to do its job. so where they won't act, i will. >> but speaker boehner is almost laughing? >> it's almost laughable. >> the real joke is a congress with a 9% approval rating. tonight the chairman, barney frank, on republicans slow walking the economy. and ed rendell and rick lads i don't debate the gop going fat free on jobs, investigators, voter i.d. laws, are they
happening now because of this? >> and everybody is laughing about herman cain, except these guys. is the joke really on them? chris hayes on the gop raising contain. "politics nation" starts right now. welcome. tonight's lead, republicans have hit a new low, even by my standards. today speaker john boehner lashed out at the president for bypassing this do nothing congress in order to help students and homeowners. >> this idea that you're just going to go around the congress is -- it's almost laughable. >> laughable? helping the middle classes laughable?
but he didn't stop there. >> are you saying that the president with his approach today, from what you know of it, is acting around hi constitutional parameter and violating those parameters? >> i've got great concerns that he may be. >> let me get this straight. you have great concerns that the president is violating the constitution, because he's helping students and homeowners? this is why americans are taking to the streets all over the country. they're fed up. fed up with the fact that some in washington are working against them, and what's worse, is that while americans are dealing with crushing debt and unemployment, all they hear are false promises. >> listen, the president says we can't wait to take action on jobs, and i agree. >> the president has been traveling around the country saying that we can't wait, and
we believe that as well. >> we have an agreement, we can't wait. so what's the republican solution? today the house gop pushed a series of bills that they call the forgotten 15. it's their way of getting americans back to work, but i'm a little skeptical of these 15 jobs plans. eight of them try to deregulate. the other five are aimed at oil drilling. that's your idea of a serious jobs plan, speaker boehner? i think you said it best -- >> it's just -- it's almost laughable. >> but i'm not laughing, and neither are the american people. joining me now is congressman barney frank, democrat from massachusetts. he's the top democrat on the house financial services committee. mr. chairman, thanks for joining me this evening. >> you're welcome. >> let me ask you this. house republicans keep saying they have ideas for jobs.
are they credible? >> no. they are literally doing the opposite of what virtually every economist except for a handful on the right think, which is at this point you should not be further retrenching government spending. yes, over the long term we want to reduce the deficit and i have way toss do it, they're opposed, for instance, by ending the war in afghanistan, they want to keep going, but the near term, one example. in every month for the last year, the private sector has gained jobs, though generally not enough to meet what we need. the public sector has lost jobs -- firefighters, public works employees, teachers, cops have been laid off. so again there's an overwhelming consensus that the short term -- this comes from bush appointees like ben bernanke at the reserve -- you need to do some things to stimulate. it is interesting. i heard you say that stimulus works. it turns out they are converts in part to the notion that government spending creates
jobs. according to them when the government helps build roads, that doesn't create jobs or speed up environmental cleanup or hire some people or keep cops and firefighters on, but apparently it's the only way to create jobs, according to them -- weapons and bases. they are now trying to keep military spending at an all-time high. in fact, the republican position is cut medicare, so we can keep having troops in west germany and japan, now very hypocritically announcing if we cut the military, it will boost military. >> so if it's military or defense, it's job creation, and if you bother that, it's raising unemployment, but if you're dealing with infwra structure, bridges, tunnels, schools, that's not jobs? >> well, brother sharpton, you now have become a republican economist with that understanding. let me add this. of all the government programs, with the exception of foreign aid, which is much smaller and has been a valuable part, the greatest percentage of money we
spend in the military is overseas. there are no jobs for americans in the war in afghanistan, except for a few contractors. there are no jobs for west germany, but you hit it exactly right. they have done a total pivot, because romney is attacking the president for doing something overwhelmingly popular, finally undoing the continuation in iraq, but the republican plan is, first of all, cut taxes more, so businesses, by the way, that already have a great of cash, that are telling us the problem is, there isn't enough demand. they're not going to start producing, they think they can't sell it. if you cut unemployment compensation and fire public employees, and you don't put people to work in the construction trades, then you don't get the demand. >> and then when you look at the fact that we received this out this week from the cbo, congressional budget office,
that between 1979 and 2007, the top 1% -- the top 1% income went up 275%, where the middle class only went up 40%, and the bottom only 18%, you talk about class war fare, this is outrageous. then let me ask you something. i've been dying to get you on to really explain so the average american person that's watching this can understand. dodd/frank, something you pushed through, what does it mean to the average american? let's take it out of the beltway language. dodd/frank means while. they declared war on this, but i want people to understand what they are fighting. >> first it creates an independent consumer bureau, which elizabeth warren helped with. up to that bill, if you had a complaint against the bank, the regulator always decided it, and the bank won.
we set up an independent consumer -- we made illegal the kind of loans -- we want to help responsible home ownership. we outlawed those. we did -- well, derivatives, we had this whole business with these obscure and arcane derivatives, the aig got in trouble. we regulated them for the first time. you now cannot go in and do that. we had problems with cities that went into these deals that wound up getting taken, and we've now said if you're going to be an adviser to a city, you have a fiduciary responsibility, you have to take that city's interests into account, not your own financial interests. >> so let me sku summarize my way. if i were to draw this graph, which i just did it, because i wanted to be clear on this, dodd/frank, mortgage industry reform, who would be against that? establishing consumer protection bureau, who could oppose that?
addresses systematic threats to financial industry, establishes investor protections. nobody could be against that? let me show you who's southbound against that. i just want you to watch this, brother frank. >> you have obama care, you have dodd/frank, section 404 of sarbanes-oxley, which i would repeal all of those. those are job killers. >> i fought on barney frank's commit yes against dodd/frank. >> dodd/frank obviously is a disaster. >> repeal dodd/frank immediately. it's a disastrous bill. >> the uncertainty associated with regulations is not yet written, you don't know -- this is more uncertainty piled on uncertainty. >> yufr bill has become a unifying theme of the republican primaries. it's unbelievable, but when americans hear what your bill has, it's like why would they want to repeal this?
>> al, let me make an important distinction, and you're right. you know, when they put down the seltzer bottles and rubber chickens in those debate and try to talk about substance, they do get into our bill, but here's the distinction. in the republican presidential primary debates they were against it, but i just saw propaganda talking about the issues they want to use in the general election. they want to repeal health care and want to fight the environment. they don't mention financial reform. that is being against financial reform, straightening out wall street, protecting investors, blocking these razzle-dazzle maneuvers, that sells within the republican primary, but even the republicans understand it's not what you want to do in the general election. michele bachmann quoted there, the great scholar, filed a bill to repeal the whole thing, and it's not been taken up in the committee she serves on. it's one thing if you're trying to appeal to the very right constituency, but they have at least enough sense to know this
is not something you talk about in the general election. i make a prediction, whenever one of them wins the nomination, that would be the end of the discussion of repealing the bill. i say one other thing for people. if you really want to read denuns a's of what happens when you regulate the financial industry and put in safety protection, people have two choices, they can read the republicans today or go back to the '30s and read what they said about the new deal and securities and exchange commission, and they made the same arguments then, and of course they are also wrong now. >> they may not want to bring it up when they win the nomination, whoever that is in the general, but i have the "play" button, and they're going to watch the tape all the way through november. >> you're right. >> mr. chairman, thanks for your time this evening. >> thank you, al. ahead, signs the economy is gaining steam. signs that president obama's fighting is working. plus more evidence shows a
coordinated republican effort to suppress african-american voters. and republicans, meet your front-runner. ♪ >> we go inside the cases on that is herman cain's campaign. you're watching "politics nation" on msnbc. why do we have aflac... aflac... and major medical? major medical, boyyyy! [ beatboxing ] ♪ i help pay the doctor ♪ ain't that enough for you? ♪ there are things major medical doesn't do. aflac! pays cash so we don't have to fret. [ together ] ♪ something families should get ♪ ♪ like a safety net ♪ even helps pay deductibles, so cover your back, get... ♪ a-a-a-a-a-a-a-aflac!
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welcome back. some signs of life today from the economy, despite gop efforts to stall the recovery, things are beginning to pick up. the economy grew by 2.5% between july and september, way up from the beginning of the year. it's a sign that a real recovery is happening, slowly but surely. under president bush, the economy tanked, president obama has turned it around. month by month, quarter by quarter, the economy has now
finally reached the size it was before bush's recession began four years ago, but we need more. that's why this week's democrats will once again try to pass a key part of the president's jobs act, investing $60 billion to rebuild roads and bridges paid for by a surtax on millionaires. president obama has been selling this plan all week. >> all these construction workers that got laid off after the bubble burst, how about putting them back to work rebuilding roads, bridges and schools all across the country. >> we're rebuilding or roads and bridges. >> if we want business toss come here, we have to invest in new roads, bridges, airports, wireless infrastructure, and a smart grid. >> it's a great idea, about you we know how republicans will respond. >> what he calls his jobs package, and what we call
stimulus 2. >> more stimulus spending, short-term gimmicks, higher taxes, more regulations. >> every time he goes to identify a bridge or another project that is yet not funded and is in disrepair, he's going to remind people that it's his stimulus that was unable to deliver. >> joining me is analyst and former pennsylvania governor ed rendell, and former republican congressman rick lazio, from ignite with rick lazio.com. governor, is something happening here? >> we are, though let's be clear, the growth in this quarter is good, 2.5, not good enough, but good, but we're still in the midst of a jobless recovery, which mean the jobs bill that has been outlied needs
to be passed. mr. kantor is dead wrong. in pennsylvania, the original stimulus bill, we got over a billion for roads and bridges, we repaired over 700 bridges with that money. 700 bridges. now, mr. kantor, that's not chopped liver. >> no, it's not. rick, let me ask you, when you look at the fact that according to a recent poll, 08%, 80% people want to see money spent on infrastructure. then something happened sunday that was really rare. we saw big labor and big business agree. let me show you something that was said by richard trumka of afl-cio, and tom done hue of the chamber of commerce, when they came together on a sunday morning show. you're talking about having church on sunday, this was real gospel to the american people. pinches unless we have infrastructure that allows us to
be in agreement. >> we're in great agreement. you can tell based on the healthier infrastructure what your gdp is going to be. you are on target, no growth, no jobs. >> this is really a no-brainer simplgts rick, does that mean that there's hope that the republicans will vote on this infrastructure bill next week? >> there's no doubt it would be an important component in growth for the next couple decades. i know governor rendell has been involved in a lot of innovation. we ought to be pursuing that. that is an important piece. what i hesitate about is calling this all stimulus. we ought to be making smart investments for the long run, projects of regional significance that make sense, we're getting good return. you have the high-speed rail plan in california. so far about $10 billion allocated, not much being done
right there. i'm not sure that's a wise investment. >> but again, my question, does this mean in your opinion that republicans will vote next week? >> my view is they're going to stand against it. until we get agreement on a global basis on dealing with our problem, which is enorming on, if you were to say we have a pathway to reduce i think you'll find many more republicans who would be open and amenable to investing in things like smart infrastructure bush every time you have a -- we're going to raise tacking on the same people, we're under current law, they're already going to look at increases when the bush tax cuts lapse, and number two, when the health care bill gets phased in, we'll be faced it more taxes. at what point when people are
paying 55%, 60% of taxes is it just too much for a growing economy? >> well, governor, but isn't it a fallacy to say, quote, stimulus doesn't work? and secondly, how can we tell the people that are suffering that are unemployed, that are going through this, to wait on some global solution? can't we bring relief while we move toward -- i don't discount at all we have to deal with the deficit, but why do we have to deal with people who are unemployed, running out of unemployment hurricanes, running out of all kinds of things they need to survive? why do they have to suffer while the republicans are waiting on this partisan kind of concession to them? >> well, you're absolutely right, al. like at simpson-bowles. they're playing political games. i don't fault rick. i think rick's point is right.
we have to do something about everything. his point about long-term investment and infrastructure is absolutely right. in the short term, we need to do something to stimulate growth. i'm happy to show this to representative kantor, but in pennsylvania, as i said, we've got a billion for roads and bridges in the first stimulus. we tracked it. jobs produced on the construction site, jobs back at the factory. 24,600 jobs from that stimulus. >> rick, you and i have different views, but also respect each other. isn't a lot of this politics? when you have karl rove saying, quote, pointing out that obama's stimulus is not a serious solution, know that it is clearly a serious solution, whether you agree or not, it certainly moves the dial in terms of jobs and development. >> sure. >> aren't they really just playing politics at the expense of a lot of people that are suffering right now? >> i' not sure they're playing politics, but it's a silly
argument to say that a stimulus package creates no jobs. of course it's going to create jobs. >> you hear that, karl? rick lazio said it's silly to say that. >> but let me say this also. when you president rolled out his first still lulls package, in the context of a $15 trillion economy and said this was going to keep unemployment below 8%, and how they define, then you've got to say a lot of those projects that they focused on, including a lot of transportation projects, were taking a lot longer to get in the ground shovel ready, as he was the one to admit than should have been the case. if we really want money in people's markets more quickly, we probably should have focused more on tax relief, which is what republicans would say, and other ways in which to get that money quickly to people. because you know, when you do a transportation project, including this proposal, you've got to do an rfp, you've got to
prepare the rfp, you've got to send it out, which takes months for people to respond, you've got to decide on the rfp, then you've got people that can contest it. >> but you need the bill. governor dr. >> sure you need the bill. that argument makes no sense. first of all, you can speed up the process. we did it in pennsylvania, number one. number two, rick forget of the original stimulus, there were $350 billion of tax cuts. so if tax cuts were the answer, the republicans would have loved the first stimulus and it should have worked even better than it did, because that was 40% tax cuts. look, the bottom line is, if our pennsylvania experience and every experience sis $1 billion on infrastructure, 25,000 jobs, we would have been producing nearly 2 million new jobs. >> you have the last word. >> first of all, in terms of historical context, we've had ten recessions since world war ii. this has been the most anemic
recovery of all ten. if we had been growing about the average rate of the last ten, we would have had about 12 million more jobs than we have right now. number two, as republicans say, they don't like some of they measures, because they're tempora temporary. people make judgments over the longer term. >> let's do it now. >> but don't put everybody's life on hold while you do it. let's tend this another time. ed rendell, rick lazio, thanks so much. ahead, it was one of the most stunning moments of the gop race so far. >> in 2010 when i was deployed to iraq, i had to lie about who i was, because i'm a gay soldier. do you intend to circumvent the progress that's been made for gays and lesbians in the military? >> that soldier's husband responds to the boos tonight.
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welcome back. one of the most stunning moments in the republican presidential campaign came last month. take a look. >> in 2010 when i was deployed to iraq, i had to lie about who i was, because i'm a gay soldier. do you intend to circumvent the progress that's been made for gay and lesbian soldiers in the military? >> booing a u.s. serviceman.
they are fighting for equal rights. snyder joined gay and lesbian service members today, filing a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the federal ban on gay marriage. joining me now is joshua snyder, the husband of captain hill, one of the plaintiffs in this case. thanks for being here, joshua. >> thank you, reverend sharpton. what was your reaction when they booed steve? >> um, we didn't really notice the booing. we were overtaken by the whole moment. we kind of really got more of a reaction to the response from his service members as well as friends. a lot of support. >> let me show you what president obama said about the -- >> we don't believe the kind of smallness that says it's okay for a stage full of political leaders, one of whom could end up being the president of the united states, being silent when
an american soldier is booed. you want to be commander in chief, you can start by standing up for the men and women who wear the uniform of the united states, even when it's not politically convenient. >> now, that's how the president responded. what a lot of us were struck by is, you may not have heard the booing, and your husband, but the candidates on that stage, the republican candidates heard it and none of them said anything. that spoke volumes to us in their silence. >> it would have been nice to get some support, but you know what? we got the question and the response from the candidates. >> now, getting the question out there. you were part of a lawsuit filed today. a lot of people don't understand it, even with don't ask/don't tell things that are not covered are what you are trying to deal with in this lawsuit. let me show this screen to the american public.
benefits not provided to same-sex military couples. we must remember now, these are people that are in the service in many dangerous places around the country. health benefits, more real and welfare programs, access to military bases. so most people did not know that none of this is protected, just don't ask/don't tell. >> correct. >> your lawsuit is to make sure you get simple, basic things like i've just outlined, rights to national cemeteries. am i right? you just want to be treated like any other human couple that put themselves in danger's way for the country. >> steven is doing the same thing as any other soldier, and we're legally married, we just want the same rights. >> if you're legally married,
whatever people's views, you're saying then treat me like i'm legally married, don't say i'm legally married, but then take away the rights i would have that any other married couple would have for someone putting their life on the line for this country? >> exactly. >> well, josh snyder, thank you so much, thank you for your reaction to what happened. >> thank you, reverend. ahead, herman cain inside his campaign, and the chaos behind the scenes. every month brings hormonal changes, and that means acne flare ups. olay challenges that. with new olay professional prox clear designed to balance oil and moisture levels and help bring breakouts under control for consistently clear skin. [ female announcer ] under eye circles. pile on the products. or challenge all that effort with olay.
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>> the i want of -- ♪ i am america ♪ one voice united we stand ♪ i am america >> the pizza man, the guy who puts out hilariously bizarre ads with random campaign managers smoking cigarettes, the guy with no knowledge of foreign countries. wow. so how did he get here? mr. front-runner, meet mr. microscope, an explosive peet in "new york times" today takes us inside the chaos of the campaign. former staffers spill the dirt on campaign, being m.i.a., not planning conference calls, staff meetings, calling off appearances at the last minute. and mr. nice guy routine, not with the folks in his campaign. a memo was sent out to the staff
that said, quote -- do not speak to cain unless you are spoken to. and some former staffers couldn't believe he focused on a book tour smack in the middle of the campaign. inch they can go to this is herman cain.com. that happens to be the name of the book. >> folks, we're getting a look at the real herman cain. joining me now is chris hays, host with "up with chris hays" here on msnbc. thanks for being here tonight. >> great to be here. >> you know, the commercial that everyone is asking about. i did my own rendition the other night. it was weird, but do you know there were other weird commercials. they seem to have overlooked the
fact that we we are able to find another one. this is yellow flowers. this is weird. >> what are you guys? liberals? >> card carrying. >> in 2012, let's get real for a change, people. take a real look at herman cain. i think you'll like what you see. i stand with herman cain. because herman cain stands with us. >> nice chicken, honey. >> i -- >> nice chicken, honey. >> i have watched that ad -- i've watched that ad four or five times today. i still do not understand what the object of the satire is, who is being skewered by the ad's
writers. it is delightfully entertaining, but extremely baffling, which is a good way of summing up the campaign so far. >> but he still has that smile. weird. >> the iconic slow-motion cain smile. there's something about the cain phenomenon who speaks to the conception of what is authentic, and there is a degree to which he has managed to project a certain authenticity, even if the weirds in of the campaigns, even in the sort of going around book tour when he should have been -- it clearly has some traction. they're looking for something that is authentic. all his weirdness, his strangeness, that seem completely out of the norm for what you're trying to do as president, i think may work to his benefit. it endear him to a base that
views it as repudiating the culture of politics they're so set against. >> all jokes aside, let me talk about why what you say is disturbingly true. he's number one in the polls, he's leading, and this guy, as laughable as he is to some of us, he is being supported by a lot of people. >> yes, and he has -- i mean -- the way to interpret the cain's leadership status in the field right now is, a, there's a certain percentage that wants the reddest of the red meat thrown to them reliably, and the sound bites they crave. second of all, he has an appealing air. i thought to myself, of all these people standing on the stage, forget about substance or what they believe in, they seems like a pretty nice guy. i don't necessarily feel that way about rick perry when i'm watching him, but the experience
thing is so fascinatingly per verse. we had buddy roemer, a congressman, a governor and congressman. extremely popular, those are fringe candidates. they can't get any traction. jon huntsman, ambassador to china and governor, this guy with zero experience is leading the field. it tells but what they are looking for. >> i know in 2004 when i ran, you cannot put -- you can't measure the importance of people liking you or not liking you. you can have all the policy in the world, and i think he's a likable person. >> absolutely. >> i think what his opponents have not been able to do is say, but this is what he'll do if he wins the nomination or what he will do if he wins for president. so when you get past this cuddly nice, grandfather pizza guy, this is what it is, and none of
them have successfully brought it out. >> no, and that's why i think the "new york times" article today was important, because it took aims at the center conseat of the cain candidacy. the article de25i8d i thought the fact that he's a terrible manager, the campaign is a terribly run enterprise. i think that's going to be a problem for him. we'll see. the real question is, does the primary reporter want this symbolic figure, or are they going to develop in such a way that they actually care about the possible abilities and qualifications of the person they're voting for. >> and when you look at the allegations, and we all get them in any campaign, about you when you look at the fact that he said he was more interested in the book tour, look at the
schedule he did the last month, in october, how many appearances, the 5th, 6th -- 15, 25th, you're a front-runner for the presidency, and you're making these many book tour appearances? you can't act like these are sour grapes from campaign staffers, when the facts say, wait a minute. >> it's absolutely the case. the fascinating thought is this, what if it's the case that it doesn't matter if you build an organization. media matters ran an analysis, and herman cain has gotten the most airtime in fox news of any of the candidates in the last month and a half, two months, so it's possible in a period of time in which one media outlet so thoroughly dominates the way they get their information, that all that matters to run for president is getting on fox news, and not doing the traditional things like shaking hands in manchester. >> and i can tell you as a new yorker who grew up meeting
pizza, you can have an affable man deliver the pizza to your house, but if you bite hard crust, it will break your tooth. chris hayes, thank you for joining us. you can catch his show saturday mortgages at 7:00 a.m. and sunday mornings at 8:00 a.m. right here on msnbc. ahead, how did republicans choose where to implement voter -- the ants is next. so i was the guy who was never going to have the heart attack.
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we've been telling you about the radical effort to suppress the vote, with a slew of voter i.d. laws. now we're seeing a pattern that explains why we're seeing this. let's bring on mara coffee casco for more on this. >> for the first time in history african-american turnout exceeded the percentage in the population. we saw that turnout especially high or growing in five key swing states. those were florida, nth
carolina, virginia, ohio and michigan. it's been the -- let's look at a -- are either on the books or been pushed by state legislatures, including those five key swing states. let's start with virginia where african-american voter turnout jumped 20% between 2004 and 2008. this year the republican legislature tried to pass an i.d. law. this year the state legislature passed a voter i.d. law that bev purdue vetoed. another big swing state, ohio, a 15% jump in african-american voter turnout between 2000 and 2008. this year they passed a strict photo i.d. law that was eventually blocked by the state
senate. rev, back to you. >> thanks, mara. folks, make no mistake about it. it's a coordinated attempt to defeat president obama. let me bring in andrew gillum, thank you for joining us. >> thank you for having me. i hope you're well. >> eel well. your group is breaking a new record on voter suppression tonight. >> one of the central ten either is the idea -- there is widespread voter fraud going on across this country is simply not true, not evidenced. the well documented cases from state to state, in even one as important as when the bush administration went into office, the justice department conducted a widespread investigation to weed out voter fraud happening
throughout the united states. you know what they yielded? 86 occasions of voter fraud, and when you delve deeper in the 86 cases, you come to find out that much of those were accidental. 86 cases out of 200 million votes cast. to me i'm not sure, but to me that does not sound like widespread voter fraud in my opinion. this is a well coordinated and highly effective. >> and well started, as mara just showed us, turndown, key states, key african-american votes. that's where a lot of these voter i.d. laws are in effect, just because i'm paranoid -- a friend said just because i'm paranoid doesn't mean no one is following me. so clearly when you see the pattern, look at these graphs here with the m.i.t. study. 2.2 million people -- this is in 2008, did not cast ballots,
because they lacked proper i.d. this was before the laws. discrimination at the polls, who was -- >> that's exactly right. >> african-americans, 70%, hispanics 65%, whites only 51%. so clearly who was questioned before the law overwhelmingly african-american. now you have the law and it's in the states where african-americans have huge turnouts that made a huge difference in the results. >> well, you don't need me to draw any more lines than what you have just drawn. that is that these laws are not intended to fix a problem. these laws are intended to fix elections in their favor. that's not what this democratic society is about. we're supposed to be opening the doors of democracy. to take that 2.2 million legally registered voters in 2008, who were unable to vote, and four
i'm all for getting kids into the political process, but rick perry donors are taking it a little too far. the huffington post reports that children of several big donors are also given to their campaign, even though they live at home with their parents. an oil executive who perry appointed to a position has four kids who live at home. three of them are students, but they all donated $1,000 to perry's campaign. the chair of the texas parks and wildlife commission is a perry
supporter. his two college-age sons chipped in $2500 apiece for perry. but one family of perry supporters has really taught their kids to be generous from a young age. texas railroad commissioner barry smitherman has a son in college who contributed to perry. so did his high school and his daughter who "the huffington post" reports appears to be in middle school, also gave $2500. that's a whole lot of allowance money, unless it's really coming from mommy and daddy. the truth is it's legal for minor toss give to political campaigns as long as it's their money and it's given knowingly. even if those two conditions are true, wouldn't the kids rather go to the mall or the movies than spend money on rick perry?