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tv   Inside Story  ABC  March 19, 2017 11:30am-12:00pm EDT

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>> moving and shaking in three big political races. let's get the inside story. ♪ good morning. good to see you. i'm matt o'donnell. it is sunday, march 19, 2017. it is time for "inside story." let's meet our panelists of the week -- george burrell, attorney and nonprofit executive. good morning, george. >> hi, matt. >> state gop chair val digiorgio. >> morning, matt. >> good morning, val. good to see you. and pedro ramos, attorney and nonprofit executive, a guest panelist, but has been on the show before. so welcome back, pedro. >> good morning, matt. >> and law professor jan ting. >> hey, matt. >> let's get in it. we have three races we're gonna start out here with. pennsylvania state senator scott wagner, who would like to be the next governor of pennsylvania, is starting to introduce himself to voters statewide as he prepares to run next year. he begins a campaign video, that he released on the internet, by saying he's very different than
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governor wolf. he talks about how he shoveled horse dung at the age of 10, knows how to repair tractors, started garbage and trucking companies, and he says he can take all this knowledge, hometown philosophy to help pennsylvania achieve more. so, val, is this the start of a populist campaign very much like the trump campaign we saw last year, and could he be called the front-runner? >> yes, it is the start of a populist campaign. he's running it that way. remember, scott wagner ran in a write-in race against the establishment for state senate and won. i don't think that's ever been done in pennsylvania where a write-in candidate beat sort of the establishment. >> never won. yes, you're correct. >> not that we could find out. he's a hard-charger. he's self-made in every way. and, you know, he's got a very strong populist message. if he could tie that in with some sort of positive vision for pennsylvania, not just talk about the things he doesn't like, but talk about what his vision is on energy, on education, or job creation, he's
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gonna be a formidable candidate. i think, right now, he's the front-runner. he's the only one who's really announced. >> one thing i have to ask you, with the republican party in this state, are you going to endorse a candidate before the primary? >> it is our intention to endorse at this point, but that is a state committee decision. we're leaving that up to the members. >> okay, scott wagner, anyone, anyone? >> somebody needs to tell him he can't drive a trash truck around the commonwealth the way he can drive a jeep. [ laughter ] >> obvious aside to governor wolf, who still owns his jeep. >> but he clearly is trying to emulate tom wolf's successful campaign for governor. it's a challenge 'cause he's not an outsider. he's not a true outsider. he may have come in as an outsider, but he's been there, and he's got a message, and he's got a record that he's gonna have to defend. >> they're both from new york, which is rather interesting in itself, right? >> something in the water. >> [ laughing ] right. >> i think republicans sense an opportunity here. governor, uh -- the current governor wolf doesn't have a long list of accomplishments to point to. the voters have shown a
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tendency, a willingness to turn out a first-term governor, and i think there's some hope that that could happen again. >> what happened with corbett. scott wagner could see that as a door opening, that it can be done. they always said pennsylvania always re-elects their governors. well, not the case anymore. >> and the other parallel, of course, is the presidential race and how that ends up cutting for him at this point. >> mm-hmm. all right, well, let's talk about some of the other races we got going on here. new jersey governor's race, which is this year, early ads are out. former u.s. ambassador phil murphy, who many consider the front-runner for the democratic nomination -- in fact, he was tops in a quinnipiac university poll recently -- was the first to release tv ads. jim johnson, who considers a dark-horse candidate, is the second to do so. and then we have on the republican side, we talked about some of these folks already, who would like to succeed -- gop governor christie, somewhat wide open, lieutenant governor kim guadagno, among the contenders there -- tom kean jr., who could be in
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the mix, joe piscopo from "saturday night live." let me ask you this. are democrats in new jersey wrong to think they've got this in the bag given the unpopularity of governor christie? >> well, i think they can see themselves as the favorites. i think that there is, if they can fill the void that they have a chance to win. murphy is, again, another one of these outsiders. he's an outsider with enough money to stay on television, which is critical, and so he's gonna be ahead. it's the wolf formula. and he's preempted fulop, the mayor of jersey city, and steve sweeney, the state leader. both have opted out. you haven't seen what cory booker's going to do yet or what george norcross is going to do, but he's consolidated the northern part of the state, and he's gonna be very difficult to beat, particularly with -- he's gonna be well-known by the time he goes into the general election. i don't think the republicans are gonna be as well-known. >> he's being portrayed as more politically competent than jon corzine, not as mean as
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christie, so curious to see how it's gonna play out in new jersey. >> interesting you mention wolf, because governor wolf, when he ran, he did spend a lot of money, but he also put out some early ads, too. >> oh, i was gonna say that he's following the wolf playbook, and that i do think the democrats feel that they're in a strong position, so the only question is, who's gonna get the nomination? strike early, strike often, get those ads up on tv -- that's the plan. >> you think booker might run? >> no, i don't think he's gonna run. i think the question is, who's he -- he's certainly not gonna run this time around. i mean, i think he wants to brandish his credentials in the united states senate. he probably wants to see whether, despite everything he said, whether he becomes a viable vice presidential nominee candidate the next time around. and i think he's gonna keep his options open. >> all right, want to talk? >> that race is very telling, too, in one way. remember, christine todd whitman in 1993 won, and the next year was the 1994 republican wave, so it'll really give us a precursor or a look at what might happen
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in the midterms. >> could be a harbinger. >> yes, harbinger. i was looking for that word. [ laughter ] >> it's an sat word. let's talk about the philadelphia district attorney's race. it just got more crowded. jack o'neill was a prosecutor in the da's special victims unit, left for private practice last year. there you see lawrence krasner, who's also a democratic candidate, joining teresa carr deni, joe khan, rich negrin, tariq el-shabazz, mike untermeyer, and then you have beth grossman, who is running as a republican. let's talk a little bit about negrin, as well, specifically because the fraternal order of police in philadelphia, which has clashed with seth williams, the current da, announced its support for rich negrin this week, along with the guardian civic league and other law-enforcement groups. how big is that endorsement? >> significant, but maybe not decisive. the new candidate makes six white candidates running in the democratic primary. i think tariq el-shabazz has to
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be celebrating that he is, at least at this point, the only black candidate in that seven-way primary. so i think that all union endorsements are significant in the city of philadelphia, but in a multi-candidate race, anything can happen. >> but this becomes less significant -- i won't say it's unimportant -- unless rich can get enough money to promote it. i mean, at the end of the day, if it doesn't get promoted, it's the bomb that goes off in the middle of the desert that nobody sees. this is an organizational race. so the ward leaders are gonna make a lot of money, and the political operatives are gonna make a lot of money. whoever puts the best field operation together, going into the election and on election day, is ultimately going to be the winner. this is not gonna be won on television. you just don't raise enough money to win district attorney races on television, and so what's gonna be more important, i think, in the fop, because it can be promoted, is who the newspapers endorse. >> i think negrin's interesting, the fop endorsement's interesting because he's been
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seen as a good government guy. >> mm-hmm. >> and he's getting -- i think the fop endorsement's a major, major win for him. tom leonard's running his campaign as a seasoned democratic operative and fundraiser, and something that got less attention with the fop endorsement was that the guardian civic league and other affinity groups within law enforcement, have endorsed negrin, as well. >> maybe this is an opportunity for the latino community in philadelphia to actually rally behind one of their own in the citywide race. the six caucasians, one african-american, and latino candidate, we'll see if race politics or identity politics enter into it, but i think george is right. this is an organization race and who the ward leaders get behind. >> yeah, the party chair, congressman bob brady, said they're not gonna endorse anyone, so it'll be interesting how it plays out. 'cause you saw it with the mayor's race, the last go-around, there's so many people at these debates, you know, up on the table. >> but not endorsing makes the ward leaders free agents. [ laughs ] so they could cut their own
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deals for who they're gonna support in their wards and who they're gonna be out there passing out literature for on election day. >> talked about governor wolf a little bit. let's get back to that and what's going on in harrisburg. the state budget, it's, you know, always a problem every year. and republicans seem to be sobering to the idea that filling a huge budget deficit, which they estimate at nearly $3 billion through half of next year, is extremely difficult. who would've known how complicated it is, right? now, a report on pennlive suggests that even though the gop in harrisburg vows it would be a last resort, tax hikes may -- may -- somehow enter the picture, and you remember, governor wolf, back in his first budget, his first proposed budget, had proposed an increase in the state income tax in 2014. it was shot down completely, and he's not even really offering, you know, a state income tax hikes, for one thing, in his proposed budget for this year. so, val, i guess maybe this somewhat vindicates that first budget that was so maligned back in 2014, that you have to pay
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the piper at some point down the line. >> well, it really leaves you scratching your head as to what governor wolf's vision is for the commonwealth of pennsylvania. you know, he started out as the most liberal governor in america, according to the huffington post, with a huge tax increase. he doubled down that and became the angriest governor in america, as he was obstinate on trying to get those tax increases through, and he failed again. now he's totally backed off of that, i guess because he's heading to re-election, and the republicans in the house and senate kept him away from his tax increase and defeated his tax increase plan. so how do you fix this budget hole? no one has the answer right now. i can tell you there's a significant portion of the house and senate republican caucuses who think you can do it through efficiencies and through zero-base budgeting. the governor's actually alluded to some of that work, and he thinks there are a couple billion dollars in efficiencies, too. we're gonna see. pension reform is likely to pass in the next few weeks in some iteration. >> really? >> yeah, and curious to see what the governor will do, but even then, that doesn't give you any savings right off the bat.
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those are down the road. so, it's a great question. we're looking at, you know, what additional revenues can be brought in, including expanded gaming, which could bring in $100 million to $200 million, but you still got -- >> that's what a.c. thought. >> well, well, their model was different. the model for expanded gaming here is actually -- it's come down significantly as to what the revenues could be. $100 million to $200 million's kind of conservative for online gaming and some expanded revenues for the casinos. but you're right. that doesn't often materialize. >> so the budget's $30 billion, typically, in size, and getting $3 billion out of it is a big chunk, and you're shaking your head when val was saying efficiencies in government's gonna cover some of it. >> we've been going almost for two decades on "we're gonna get the efficiencies. it's gonna balance the budget." the fact is that when ed rendell was governor of the commonwealth of pennsylvania -- and this is what the republicans have really done over the last four or five years -- when ed rendell was governor of the commonwealth of pennsylvania, there was a $1.5 billion rainy day fund. and where the state has balanced their budget is going into that rainy day fund, which everybody
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has said -- republicans and democrats have said, "we need a bigger rainy day fund." it's today $250 million, i think it is. >> it's not $3 billion? >> it's not gonna balance the budget. governor wolf has used their playbook. he's reducing the size of government, no new taxes, expect on marcellus shale, and doing whatever efficiencies he can, and spending money on education, senior citizens, and the opioid problem. >> i think the governor sent a signal, that he doesn't want another confrontation with the legislature. i call that a willingness to deal, and i think it's an opportunity for the republicans, when you've got a governor that's willing to deal, you can get some of the things that maybe you've always wanted, like pension reform. so i think it's an opportunity for both sides, keyed to the fact that the governor's in a re-election race and can't afford a third year of confrontation. >> sure, and so it wouldn't complicate things at all, right? not that this budget couldn't be radioactive to scott wagner's prospects or wolf's as well. >> i guess the question is
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whether this will be a year where both sides face any reality. i mean, i saw a republican legislator quoted as saying, "the budget's been cut to the bone." you haven't heard that, necessarily, before. at the same time, there are waves of demand and need coming on the types of services provided by the state, and that's before you take into account any effects of federal budget cuts. so the human services organizations, for example, around the state, are very concerned and are trying to -- preparing to try to hold the line on cuts to human services. >> all right, one more thing before the break we want to get to, and it's #woke. i don't know if you saw this on twitter, but pennsylvania senator bob casey has always been known as one of the more undramatic politicians in washington. some people even go so far as to call him dull, and i think he might, you know, accept that. political analysts say he has been awoken by the policies of president trump or even raised his voice during a town hall
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meeting. so what do you think, george? i mean, he's been in the senate for a while. could we see a different senator casey given what's going on in washington right now? >> i don't know that it's a different senator casey. he's decided which side of the ledger he's going to be on in this debate. people were talking about where he was gonna be on the supreme court nominee and where he was gonna be on some of those discussions. i think he's decided, both substantively and politically, that the best place for him to be is with the action groups and not to try to win the moderate middle, in that he has that residue 'cause he's from the central part of the state, he has a presence there, he has a family respect there, and i think he's made the political and substantive -- i wouldn't say it's just political -- but political and substantive decision that to be with the crowd is the best place for him to be. >> a lot of his constituents, though, voted for president trump. he did carry the state, so... >> look, i think calling him unanimated's pretty unfair. if you watch his eyebrows, he's very expressive.
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as somebody that does the same, i can appreciate it. i'm confident that he's gonna stay the cerebral guy that he is. i think he is -- he's a thoughtful person. i do believe that he's been genuinely more emotive and all this, and, politically, it has a reality that he's got to be heard more, but i'm glad that he also won't turn into a screaming panderer. i mean, he's a person that's been pretty consistent through -- agree or disagree with him -- he's always very thoughtful. >> so much energy, though, in this state in the anti-trump demonstrations, and i think the senator, up for re-election this cycle, realizes it's to his advantage to try and get in front of all that energy and have it behind him. >> back to "inside story" after the break. we'll be right back. >> "inside story" is presented by temple university. remarkable change isn't easy,
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but for those who take charge, it comes naturally. explore temple's impact. visit
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♪ >> back with "inside story." yet another impact from the philadelphia sugary drinks tax -- temple university says it raised room-and-board costs for incoming freshmen this fall because the tax will cost the school $400,000 per semester.
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a staffer from mayor jim kenny, who is the father of the tax, criticized temple, saying it used the tax as a scapegoat. pepsi, if you remember, earlier this month, said it is cutting jobs because the tax has led to a drop-off in drink sales. now, jan, you're a temple professor. you're not speaking for the university. we know that right now. but are we simply -- i mean, there's two things here, i guess. one is we're seeing dominos fall one by one, and this may continue, or you have companies or institutions that are using it to blame bad budgeting or whatever. >> yeah, it's unfortunate that temple university ended up at the front of this parade of institutions dealing with this issue. i think a lot of things are going on here. there's resistance to tuition increases, so universities are all looking for ways to increase revenue while minimizing tuition increases, and one of the ways to do that is increase your room-and-board charges. so that's going on there. then you need to justify your increases in room-and-board charges, and the soda tax is a
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easy reason to pin at least some of that on. i'm not sure that the numbers that were initially released hold up. i mean, we're talking about a 1 1/2-cent per ounce tax, and if you kind of crunch the numbers, and i tried to do that, i mean, it assumes that students are drinking gigantic amounts of soda, which i think is, you know, in this day and age... >> you see them walking around with water a lot, right? >> ...less likely than it was in the past. yes, absolutely. they've installed these water-filtration machines everywhere on campus now. people carry water bottles. so, i'm not sure the numbers are right. i think temple's doing the right thing by backing off their initial numbers and recalculating. >> okay. what do you guys think? >> i think the numbers -- we don't know what the numbers are. it's clear the cost is being passed on, so there is a cost factor. my concern, and i would encourage the administration, and i think it's legitimate for them to push back against these institutions, but to not vilify
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folks. i mean, they've kind of vilified temple, they vilified harold honickman, they've vilified jeff brown. these are really good people and good corporate citizens. have a fight with them, but don't vilify them. >> i agree. i think that the priority of pre-k and moving towards universal pre-k is a great thing, great thing for the city and for the region. it pays for itself over time. i think the political tactic of name-calling and vilifying doesn't -- i think the administration should step away from that. as a former university administrator, universities have enormous food operations, as big as some malls, the equivalent of multiple restaurants, so it doesn't surprise me that the food operation would feel that cost or that they would pass it on to their consumers, in this case, within the university, the food service operation, i
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wouldn't assume that it's going to subsidize other parts of the university more than it normally does. >> the law of unintended consequences of liberal policy-making strikes again. so you see that in the minimum-wage increases, you see that in tax increases, especially regressive ones like this. instead of focusing on pro-growth policies, which would create jobs and take care of a lot of problems, we keep taxing, we keep trying to find new sources of new revenues, whether it's marcellus shale or sugary drinks, to feed the beast of an ever-growing government. and the city needs to start focusing on policies which would lead toward growth, toward opportunity, and to taking people out of poverty, instead of regressive taxes like this. >> if more and more businesses or institutions come out and say, "listen, we're cutting jobs here, we're raising prices there," when does it become a huge problem for the administration to maybe consider changing this? reducing it? [ indistinct conversation ]
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i'm not saying it's happening now, but... >> there's a clear challenge to begin "let's figure out how to see the future." supply-side economics hasn't worked. it didn't work when ronald reagan was the champion of it. it helped those who were well-to-do. it created a bigger poverty section in our country. you hear all of these companies talking about efficiencies, which are creating either reducing jobs that they need to fill, and the jobs that they need to fill, they're saying they can't fill or they're very low-income jobs. and so everybody -- republicans and democrats -- need to have a different vision of the future. their vision of the future has not worked to reduce poverty and do all of the things they said it would do when they were in power. our vision of the future has not done all the things that we said it'd do. both parties should come to understand that we're failing americans and that we need to find a way to address the needs of americans, and if we don't, this country's gonna find itself reducing its world power, not improving it. >> i think how this is funded is debatable and has continued to be debated. in terms of the program itself, one of the nobel prizes at the most prestigious economics department in the country, if
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not the world, is heckman at the economics department at the university of chicago, won a nobel prize demonstrating how a dollar spent on pre-k's probably one of the smartest dollars you could ever spend on any social or economic program. >> inside stories of the week coming up.
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>> "inside story" is presented by temple university. remarkable change isn't easy, but for those who take charge, it comes naturally. explore temple's impact. visit >> inside stories -- we'll start with george. >> the medicaid debate and the affordable care act -- they're saying one in three doctors in the country don't see medicaid patients. that suggests that the 2/3 of the doctors who do see medicaid patients can't provide them adequate service, and the second part is, those who don't see them don't see them because they either don't think they fit their patient profile or they don't like the repayment schedule. >> thanks, george. val. >> there's a special election coming up this week in the
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state house in the 197th district in north philadelphia after two state representatives there either pled guilty or were convicted of crimes. we now have an open seat. the democrats could not put someone on the ballot, they couldn't get their act together, and we have maybe as many as eight democrats in a write-in race running against one republican who's on the ballot, and we're looking to pick that one up. >> thanks, val. pedro. >> this week, the philadelphia foundation, the knight foundation, and a bunch of other community and civic organizations announced on the table philly, which people can sign up for at it's a chance for people to have civic conversations over food or over drink to talk about ways that, individually and together, we can make our region stronger. >> thanks, pedro. jan. >> the federal court's temporary restraining order on the so-called "trump travel ban, revised version" is not the end of the story. it's the beginning of the story. it's the prelude to a long litigation that will end up in the supreme court. i am reasonably confident that
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the supreme court will sustain the executive order on the basis of precedent, on the basis that it's not a first amendment issue -- read the language of the first amendment -- and on the basis that the character of the supreme court is gonna change. >> good discussion, gentlemen. thanks for joining us. thanks to you for watching, and tomorrow is spring. monday. can you believe it? let's hope it feels like that soon, too. >> i'm nydia han along with gray hall. >> coming up next, police are investigating after someone shot and killed a man overnight outside a lounge in north philadelphia. plus, fbi director james comey is about to take the hot seat as questions linger over wiretapping claims and contact with russia. >> villanova wildcats are home after a disappointing loss in
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buffalo. >> it was a heartbreaker. those stories and more, next on "action news." > good afternoon it is sunday
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march 19 i'm nydia han along with gray hall. >> here's some of the stories we're following on "action news." a woman is killed overnight in a multiple vehicle crash ahead what police caused this horrific scene. brackets


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