tv [untitled] September 6, 2012 4:00pm-4:30pm EDT
sunstone water it migrating watermelon from all over the summer was part of the globe's america's getaways by no matter where you are two years after the largest oil spill in u.s. history the federal government is aggressively going after b.p. accusing the oil company of a culture of corporate recklessness so where is the evidence and how is b.p. responding the line has been drawn in the sand and we'll bring it to you. and if you think super pacs are influencing the outcome of the federal elections wait until we tell you about the major funding and power behind trade associations and their international connections.
and it's no secret the democratic party has strong ties to hollywood coming up we'll take you behind the scenes of one of the star studded events with a mega star power. it's thursday september sixth four pm in washington d.c. i'm meghan lopez and you're watching r t. well topping the news this hour it's been two years three months and seventeen days since the deepwater horizon rig started spewing oil into the gulf of mexico and still the story keeps seeping into the news this week the news was twofold first that hurricane isaac has uncovered oil that was previously covered up by the spill that this has left tar balls washing up on the shores of alice. in the louisiana it's just another sign that there's still
work to be done in the region and that the gulf is still years away from returning to normal and also new this week the u.s. justice department is ramping up its rhetoric against b.p. for using what it calls quote gross negligence and willful misconduct in the thirty nine page finding the d.o.j. gives the harshest tongue lashing against the british oil giant to date saying that the company has a culture of corporate recklessness but wait a minute i thought things were back to normal in the gulf i mean that's what the commercials are showing after all. but you missed it earlier this year. if you are already here on back to mississippi or louisiana alabama the close america's getaway spot the matter where you. go and help make twenty twelve an even better year for tourism on the gulf rajiv and all of us who call the gulf. now let's just say that b.p. isn't voluntarily getting involved in the gulf coast tour as an industry and the
reparations certainly don't and it was a few promotional videos or with a slap on the wrist the trial is set for january of two thousand and thirteen in new orleans as a result of the gross negligence a result of a gross negligence ruling could nearly quadrupled the civil damages owed by b.p. under the clean water act to twenty one billion eighty percent of that money would go directly to the gulf coast as part of the restore act but one thing in particular to pay attention to is the timing of the d.o.j. rhetoric they were very critical and then they backed off a bit and now the new report is out could have something to do with the election season greg palast is an investigative journalist and author of the book billionaires and ballot bandits that is coming out on september eighteenth and he joins me now to talk everything b.p. hey there greg so lots to talk about here let's start off by talking about the timing of this thirty nine page report in the diogenes ramp d.o.j.
is ramped up rhetoric i mean residents in florida in particular will be benefiting and that is you know it's a country it's a state that's very influential in the elections so is this a political ploy or is it long overdue. here's the weird thing is that if you're going to announce this why would you do it on a day were buried under the message of the president at the convention i mean you know the statement at the convention last night i actually think it's d.o.g.s. is very this. they definitely want to stick it to b.p. . but i think that the administration actually does not want to make a big deal out of this and i'm glad you are glad you're putting it top of the news but i think that the democratic party would rather it go away they want to be seen as not against oil companies right now they want to be seen as the guys who are trying to get down your gas prices yes they did the right thing they nailed the b.p. for gross negligence and the money will be valuable later but right now i actually
think they want to kill this story so then if they want to tell the story then what thought with all the roundup rhetoric. well look at the timing today's a day that other than our t.v. than your you know your serious news organization the the other news organizations are worst going to put just. you know the the banter is obama going to show that he's a real guy tonight and he's going to be cuter than mashal that type of thing so it's really kind of a last word is next week it would have been if they simply don't go off to monday would have been better now i do think that they are going to try to get some big bucks settlement down to be that they wouldn't mind to say listen we're getting big checks into florida and into the gulf coast just before you lectured so i look to this is being a basically a slap around b.p. and say get out your checkbook boys and we need to check right away now we kind of
stall out when they talk to tony hayward and kind of got him slapped around while he was you know he was a very remorseful so he would make it up here but yeah let's talk about this money as you well know the last major oil spill was the exxon valdez spill in one thousand nine hundred nine i mean eleven million gallons of oil were leaked into the spill in alaska prince william sound and it's contaminated about thirteen hundred miles of coastline so that spill resulted in about seven billion dollars total as a result of what the company had to pay but now you look at the the i mean it makes it makes the exxon valdez oil spill look like child's play nine thousand miles of coastline have been affected two hundred millions of gallons of oil were spilt and so the gulf. is offering to pay seven point six million in record billion in reparations but i mean kind of like bill clinton said in his speech last night you know the first test of fiscal responsibility is whether or not the numbers add up
and it looks to me like the numbers kind of just aren't adding up what about you. well in fact since i was an investigator on the exxon bell these case for the natives on the coastline i can tell you this that b.p. was the party that was most responsible in alaska so they are basically repeat offenders that's very important if you're going to go before a jury which is that these are the same guys i mean exxon's name was on the ship but those who read my prior books like vultures picnic know that it was b.p. that was in charge of stopping the tanker from running aground b.p. in charge of the containing that oil spill cleanup and they didn't do it because they didn't have the equipment out there once again the negligence we're talking about is not having the equipment in case there's an oil blowout they could have simply you know surrounded that rig in the gulf with what's called a rubber boom and sucked out the oil they could have done that in alaska so they've repeated the same problem and you know there's another thing we've investigated and
found out in our that our t.v. is bless you for putting out but no one else which is that in asia is there by john b.p. had a blowout just like the deepwater horizon seventeen months seventeen months before the deepwater horizon spill that was covered up unfortunately by the bush state department helped cover it up and it never got out and therefore b.p. was able to basically get over the same sloppy methods that led to the gulf spill so you have alaska you have central asia you have deepwater horizon this is a serial spill or apps and and greg just to kind of put some numbers onto this punishments that. we're receiving right now i want to bring up a quick graphic to kind of show you some of these numbers so right now they have already put out eight billion dollars and payouts they're expected to put out
fourteen billion dollars in a clean up and seven point four billion interest attention and business says the total expenses they're about you know out there. a billion dollars but i mean how much of a difference is this money or if they're accused of being closely negligent how much is twenty one billion dollars thirty billion dollars actually going to have on the people of the gulf coast especially considering that i mean the the louisiana seafood industry alone is worth two billion dollars annually that's just the louisiana one you're correct because in alaska. there this is needed to recruit very very few people live. we're talking about a populated area that was destroy medicare seen a worker who was living in his car and went bankrupt you know when he's feeding his kids hot dogs and himself nothing he got a job cleaning up the beaches for b.p. for fourteen bucks an hour loses it the second that the that the cameras going off this pretty paltry for
a trillion dollar your current company and i should also know very quietly in the deal obama cut for b.p. is that one hundred percent of the money that b.p. pays out must come from their profits in the gulf in other words if b.p. doesn't make a profit they don't pay that's right in the deal that obama cut so that yeah the president did his i'm a tough guy speech and got some money from them about twenty billion first pop and they going to end up spending thirty to forty billion but it's all going to come out of their gulf leases because the obvious thing to do was to say you made a mess you lose your lease you get dumped oil in your part and you lose your lease why don't they lose their oil leases those are be a better deal if the state of louisiana and the united states government took back those b.p. leases and said you're swab you're out of here you lost it it's ours again now these are public lands it's public oil they're simply have
a lease right to pull it up so b.p. is really saying oh spake me i'm so sorry but they're getting away with the with murder and they're putting the the money in their pocket all right greg palast investigative journalist and author of the book billionaires and ballot bail and ballot band that is coming out on september eighteenth i appreciate your analysis i shall have more of it in the coming days thanks for covering. it's a presidential elections now where president obama is conceding that he will in fact be outspent by mitt romney's powerful backers he also admitted that he is losing the so-called ads war on t.v. and radio the president was slow at first to sign on to the idea of super pac funneling super pacs funneling money into his reelection campaign but now he has set his own super pac and is actually asking money for our for it grudgingly but super pacs aren't the only ones lending leading the pack when it
comes to political funding you see super pacs must eventually disclose where the money is coming from trade associations actually do not and they're donating much much more than the stigmatise super pacs as one reporter describes it all of the benefits of a super pac without any of the filings disclosures and that's what a trade association has so how is it happening in a country that touts election transparency. as a communications and outreach coordinator for united and public and joins me now for more. so can you explain the difference with me is that about trade associations versus super pacs i mean we all know that everybody from from stephen colbert air to jon huntsman is attacking super pacs but i but the traits session seem like they're much worse yes so you know i think there's been a lot of focus sort of on the super pacs i think that's appropriate because they're really a powerful vehicle for people to sort of move their agenda and impact elections especially in a really wealthy individuals like child needles and you may pledge of two hundred
million dollars but i think one of the biggest problems is that super pacs the donors are actually disclosed eventually the public doesn't know where this is about money comes from the problem is that there's all sorts of vehicles they impact elections where the money isn't disclose one is trade associations so corporations set up basically large nonprofits a social welfare organizations that they're legally called and they could donate pretty much unlimited amounts of money and we have no idea where the money comes from unless you know one corporation happens to voluntarily disclose or we just figure out some other way and that was actually in one sense much more deadly because we don't know where the money's coming from we don't have to legally and they're not going to i mean most of them are not going to disclose at all in terra layer hames no i mean i think probably the major vast majority of money that we know goes to trace associations or to you know what's what are legally classified as five one c. four five one c. six organizations the vast majority of money that we know that goes there just because you know they've tripped up in a corporation listed on their server disclosure on their website or someone has
admitted that money has gone somewhere you know for example the largest organization that really is troubling is the u.s. chamber of commerce which is a very very large corporate fund group and we you know decades people have been trying to figure out who its members are and who finds we know a few of them because they're on the board or they voluntarily disclose a few corporations but they have literally hundreds of members and we don't know who's funding ads when when they drop a hundred million dollars of ads in back to election like in twenty ten so it let me ask you this who is getting more of the funding. from trade associations as a republicans or as a democrat this point tend to lean more towards republicans they have sort of an edge when it comes to the congressional elections in two thousand and twelve for now and then may switch going into the election into a job and things are kind of up in the air but you know historically the outside groups they were going to one side or the other used to be five twenty seven groups which were the big deal and those were almost all for the democrats. but now you
know things have shifted a lot and i think most of the big trees associations and other side groups are for the republicans and actually as you mentioned these organizations are spending way more than super pacs and we have no idea who's funding them which is which is a huge problem here and i know that also the problem about this or the big question that comes in with trade associations as right now u.s. law still bans foreign money from coming into the election process from being directly funneled into the election process does this open the door for foreign countries to to fund election election campaigns in favor of the candidate that they want well it's still illegal technically for a foreign corporation to directly find a candidate however they can find a trace of or one of these large advocacy groups the u.s. chamber of commerce and then those organizations can use their money in elections they say separate the money but as we all know that's kind of a silly excuse because if you're not using money you know for guest chairs you'll be using them for elections so someone giving you money it ends up in the same
place so yeah it can be happening in the worst part is we could be totally in the dark about it because the disclosure requirements are so weak and so there disclose requirements are so we know that in particular american petroleum institute is being funded is funneling a lot of this money into the elections and that the saudi arabian oil companies are funneling money into the american petroleum institute so how can we guarantee that money coming from the. a.p.i. organization isn't coming from saudi or. you know there is no way to guarantee that they may say well we're finding that the u.s. is syria but it's the same company they share the funds they can move funds around to finance anything they want and so you know it's a gigantic problem and fundamentally i think we need to start doing what president obama said last week is that we need to start mobilizing a movement for a constitutional amendment to really tackle you know the fact that corporate funding in elections shouldn't be a first amendment right you know my money is property not speech right and everyone has the same amount of property the same same amount of speech so you know i
encourage people to get involved to really tackle this issue if you go to progress is that they just launched a tape back democracy campaign fifty thousand people have joined it you know more every day and we really really need to start tackling this issue in a way that doesn't look at it as a matter of party like oh well if we don't do this i won't win or if we won't do this you know romney will will lose but just look at it as a matter of you know you have a tiny group of people with an extraordinary amount of money able to impact elections and we don't even know who they are and i don't think that's the kind of system the founders set up when they were setting up american democracy i think it's evolved the wrong way and you know we can only fix it through you know through this sort of concerns that we have about democracy slipping away from whatever ideology you are just the fact that money is deciding instead of just free debate and democratic discussion i want you better be careful saying that money isn't speech i think couple of people would disagree with you i mean money is free speech according to you know several people now and corporations are people money speech corporations are people so very quickly we just have a couple seconds left but is there anything you or i or the average joe can do i
mean to get money out of politics or is this the way it's going to be for the rest of our lives you know i definitely think it is i mean i already told you guys one thing that progress is that we're going joint a back to marketing campaign is going to really exciting and then from then just demand every every member of congress every city councilors every state legislators say that we don't want big money being speech we want it all disclosed we want to regulate it you know it's not it's not a constitutional right for billionaires to buy our elections and you tell it to every elected official you know right said july navy's the communications and outreach coordinator for united for public thank you so much for your opinions. now trade associations aren't the only ones giving the presidential candidates a big boost both men are getting some star power to boost their popularity as well last week we watched clint eastwood deliver a colorful speech at the r. and c. and this week's democratic convention has also been very star studded so what exactly happens after the convention curtains drop zone liz walsh is this an inside look at the hollywood glitz that goes hand in hand with election season. the red
carpet rolled out the swarm of media awaits the arrival of the stars fresh out of the democratic national convention we just left president clinton's speech which was electrifying in and rallying the really energized everybody in that arena the event called got your six is a hollywood back campaign aimed at raising awareness for veterans and military families the performer of the night grammy nominated hip hop artist flow writer. dances. also gracing the red carpet retired general wesley clark to water great speeches. and of course just launch out of pork or we darn well the democratic national convention wouldn't be complete without red carpet events and celebrities let's take a look at what happens when the speeches and and the party begins brock obama.
i've been traveling around the country speaking of americans i don't know what's important to them and how we're going to keep moving this country forward. showing off his patriotism blow right away and his dancers energize the crowd it's not an american flag inspired ensembles. is it this is. the music pumping in the drinks flowing it's time for v.i.p.'s attendees straight out of the democratic national convention to let loose the democratic party typically the one with hollywood star power standing behind it how do celebrities impact politics i don't think celebrities impact politics i think americans and citizens impact politics and says being an actress is is what i do but who i am as an american who i am as a woman who i am as a spanish i think celebrities can speak up for causes and this is right here we've got celebrities who are coming out to speak for veterans flow right i wouldn't
disclose who he's voting for but has this message. you do have the freedom to go broke and you know i'll just look for support and they keep everyone else to go to school. in charlotte north carolina. all right joining me now so take me to the action behind the scenes as well as a wrap up of last night our teams only as walls and charlotte hey there liz i saw you got to talk to eva longoria and flo riders so i mean democrats have tried to to position themselves as a populist or or to turn to to big republicans do these wash parties in lounges on conflict with that. i would say so i mean you saw the party there there was that the red carpet was rolled out for all the celebrities and that's what happens after the speeches and here is a lot of partying a lot of exclusive partying a lot of powerful people mingling with corporate interests and with lobbyists and
actually kind of a crowd if you can hear it's kind of a party and here there was a mark anthony. practicing doing a practice run for the national anthem mary j. blige was just singing so kind of a party atmosphere inside but definitely once the speeches and the parties began and to these parties seem in step with the challenges facing regular america. i would say no i don't think regular americans are are worried about getting into exclusive red party events i think they're more worried about the economy and jobs and and things of that nature so i would say that is a little bit out of step with with the worries and concerns of the average of the average american one i mean as you talk to in your story you talk to eva longoria i saw that question and i saw that she said something like you know celebrities don't influence politics people do but couldn't it be argued that celebrities influence people so therefore they influence politics. well i mean i think that they they
they try she say that she's not a celebrity that she is she's a woman and she's a hispanic and and she's a citizen and you know the democratic party typically does have the support of celebrities behind we have obviously a villain gauri she is the co-chair of president obama's campaign to reelect jessica alba. all these people supporting president obama whether or not they do impact the vote i'm not sure about that but i think if you're voting based on a still have pretty telling you to do so i think that's kind of a problem you know if nothing else it's a positive message to get out there and actually use the freedom that you you are flex in this country well let's go ahead and talk about the second issue that only has freedom of speech yes absolutely and let's go ahead and talk about the actual d.n.c. speeches last night massachusetts senate candidate elizabeth warren blasted wall street let's take
a look at part of it. i'm here tonight to talk about hardworking people people who get up early stay openly cook dinner and help out with homework people who can be counted on to help their kids their parents their neighbors and the lady down the street whose car broke down. people who work their hearts out but are up against a hard truth the game is rigged against them so there you go as the game is rigged against them do you see our attitude being shared by others in the convention or red meat. well you know who elizabeth warren kind of sound it sounded like fair she sounded kind of like an occupy wall street protesters saying that the system is rigged pointing out problems of greed and corruption and and corporate influence in our in our government so i think it's kind of interesting that she kind of sounds like an occupy wall street protester but that brings like
a whole nother issue to the table here is that the democratic party you heard out of the words of elizabeth warren built play and they try to portray it as this this populist party and they aren't immune to corporate spending but the reality is that they are i mean. a lot of the democrats flocking to the convention are schmoozing with lobbyists and special interest groups so this is the this is contrary to this populist message of president obama tried to convey in two thousand and eight like here we are four years later a lot of people say that he hasn't delivered on that message so i would say these are the grievances that we've seen protests across the country is that both the republican party and the democratic party are susceptible to the power and influence of special interest groups and we don't have much more time and this in this element but i do want to ask you one quick question i know that there have
been protests occupy protests immigration protests going on at the d.n.c. . what have you seen last night when president obama got there was it ramped up. well i definitely would say that the security especially today i saw it get ramped up yesterday it's more intense than i've ever seen it before today with the arrival of president obama just getting here there's numerous checkpoints if you're not credentialed you're not getting anywhere near this time warner building there's actually the t.s.a. outside screening all your stuff like that like you're at the airport one thing i've gotten used to if you're anywhere in the area there is a helicopter hovering above you so definitely security there but they are not leaving any stone unturned all right aren't you are a wall thank you so much for joining us and now we'll get to get you back to you pretty soon. all right well capital account is up next on with lauren lyster let's go ahead and check on to see what's on the lowrance agenda war and i know we have
the jobs reports numbers coming out soon are you talking about megan we do have a jobs report number coming out tomorrow so that may have a lot of people thinking about the job situation in this country at worst it's horrible at best job growth is pretty untenable pretty meager and so many people don't have the the safety of knowing that they will have a job and they will have wages providing for them now war in the future at all so i think today would be a really great day for your viewers to watch our show because we're really going to dig into this especially with much focus paid to government solutions with people watching the d.n.c. in the aaronson for respective parties view of solutions the question is if there is a government solution that can anybody can rely on for financial safety nets in the future so we're going to talk about how to build your own safety net meg and save yourself absolutely thank you so much lauren i hope our viewers do in fact tune into your program is coming up right after this but that does it for now for more
that flight for them was one of many. and the last one. locomotive. leaving the ice on our cheek. wealthy british style as i said that's what i'd like my. car to. market why not come to. find out what's really happening to the global economy with max cause or for a no holds barred look at the global financial headlines tune in to kaiser report on our.