tv Viewpoint With Eliot Spitzer Current July 30, 2012 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT
t all together. republicans stop lying. "viewpoint" with eliot spitzer [ ♪ theme music ♪ ] >> eliot: good evening i'm eliot spitzer, and this is "viewpoint." mitt romney's whirlwind introduction to the world of diplomacy is almost over. and while all be grateful for that it would be nice if his campaign would cut back on the lies it tells about president obama. more on that in a moment. after offending the british and trampling culture sensitivities in the middle east, romney landed in poland and an opportunity to connect with swing state voters of polish descend. he met with the poland's president who said, i wish you
to be successful because this success is needed to the united states, of course, but to europe and the rest of the world too. since he left the u.s. romney has succeeded in mostly making himself a laughing stock of london and raising $1 million at an israeli fundraiser. sheldon adelson were among others in attendance. quote, you see the gross domestic product per capita and compare that to the palestinianan authority which is more like $10,000 culture makes all the difference. actually the numbers are $31,000 for israel and $1,500 for the palestinians. >> the israelis may be in a conflict. and such sentiment does not save those who are trying to protect
and save lives in this region. >> eliot: perhaps he did not realize of factors that the romney campaign is all about. take a look at their latest ad. >> obama: we tried that plan and it worked. that's the difference. [ cheering ] that's the choice in this election. that's why i'm running for a second term. >> eliot: what is working here is the romney campaign cynicism and lack of ethics tearing the president's comments out of context so they have an entirely different meaning. president obama said he was going to ask those over a quarter million dollars, i quote, the tax rates they were paying under bill clinton back when our economy created 23 million new jobs, the biggest budget surplus in history and everybody did well. just like we tried their plan, we tried our plan, and it worked. that's the difference. that's the choice in this
election. that's why i'm running for a second term. nothing about how he's economic plan worked. just a comparison between the tax plans that he and president clinton favored and the g.o.p.es. bill clinton will reportedly have a leading role in the charlotte convention. he'll place president obama's name in nomination and a speech for the case of a second obama term. a second source says that the party will marriage equality. for more. let's go to national political reporter nia and errol and morris. did mitt romney on his first
journey overseas do anything to make himself appear more presidential and at ease in a diplomatic setting or did he just trip over that. >> that was the object to, come across as a credible commander in chief. he got off to a rocky start in london, botching something that should have been easy, talking about the olympics and then going to israel. speaking mainly to the donors in that room, speak to go evangelicals as well as, people i don't get a sense that he has grown in terms of his stature in terms of his credibility on the foreign stage. of course, he'll wrap up in poland, and i think even some republicans will be glad to see him off of foreign soil because even they have criticized his lack of specificity in terms of what he would actually do. his lack of specificity in detailing exactly what he would do that would be different from president obama. there is just simply little
daylight in terms of what he has outlined so far in terms of what his aims are in terms of foreign policy. he is good at the rhetoric for his base but not necessarily put meat on the bones in what he would do. >> eliot: errol, he has had errors, but he has not had enough time to show if he can trip over himself. he manned managed to offend the british and the palestinian. did he not rise above test any capacity in a diplomat i can context, as nia said. >> the president is the leader of the free world. it's an important job and someone has to do it. the trip that obama made four years ago was stunning. he connected with people. he was clearly going in a
different direction and bringing a change to the previous administration. to go to jerusalem and say i want to overturn decades of american policy and move the american embassy right here, and then waffle on it at the same time. it doesn't show strength. it doesn't show clear leadership. it shows someone who is playing to the crowd back home. he did that with them and he certainly did it on the trip to poland. >> eliot: when candidate obama went to europe there was something too regal about it, but he showed the world that he was viewed around the world that he could transform and transcend. it was an inspiring moment. that's far afield from what we get from mitt romney who sits down with brian williams and trips over himself and then sits in the room of king david with 50 donors and that's about it.
>> cenk: that's right. as much as i think mitt romney is betting that people really aren't engaged paying attention, that he can wait to roll out policy and reset in terms of foreign policy when the general election finally gets under way after his name has been placed in the nomination, i think people are paying attention and people will remember specifically that gaffe in london because it was just--it was just so bone headed. it was an easy thing that he botched so memorably. he consistent the sort of application who is self self-deprecating, who can sit on and make fun of himself. they'll come back here. this they've got campaigning to do out west, colorado, nevada important swing states and one of which they'll have to win. the campaign will be back to have them back where they can change the subject and back on the economy and we'll get the
unemployment numbers on friday. >> what has been a disastrous trip in many rebackwards regards is the trip to poland. you look at states like wisconsin, with large populations, this is a big deal, a manage of good politics that he executed fairly well. whether it plays out for him, remains to be seen. >> eliot: i was surprised we would see that endorsement. let's switch to what would be a more difficult issue, which is long term. there is something of a sense the taking of comments out of context the way they do is deeply problematic. it's one thing to argue what numbers mean, but it's another to take quotations and distort them. at the end of the day will that under cut his credibility? >> it debates his currency. if it becomes the ads that we
laugh about for prescription drugs. they give you the ads and then the side-effects of death and dismemberment and once in a while they disclose that it will not cure the thing that they keep telling you that it's supposed to cure. >> you're not going to get a job at a pharmaceutical company. >> not exactly. that will be the problem. they'll spin more and more and convince less and less. there is a saturation point where people stop tuning in, stop paying attention. have we reached that point? every election cycle we say it's never been worse. we may have to say that.-malika. each of them is blatantly out of context, and yet some how he's getting away with it some how. >> one thing to point out is they are web ads. these are not big-time
television ads that they're running in swing states. these are ads on youtube. i went on it a while ago and it said there were 7,000 hits. some people are saying this is a great ad and others say these are words out of context. these are small ads. not a lot of people will see them. will they make these same moves when they're putting large amounts of money and putting ads on television in these swing states. so far this is just a drop in the bucket in terms of impact. no one is really going to see them. >> eliot: the ads may be a drop in the bucket, but 18 events across a whole raft of states where this is the argument. you didn't build that representative what they're trying to manifest of president obama's lack of understanding of the private sector and romney going back on the ceo, i'm the job creator, that whole argument. does that work? can they use it as a wedge to
divide? >> unfortunately, i think it does work. you get the magnification effect. all the talk radio shows hosts who will use this, and talk for man houran hour, and gets out to hundreds of people, or millions of people if you're rush limbaugh. they just had this feeling that obama said that it works. >> eliot: the reason why it works is because it plays to a narrative of barack obama that nia-ma lie lika. bill clinton to the rescue. will will he wave his wand over the democratic party and say i'm bringing you back to the good ol' days. does he still have that passion and power? >> i think he does. his gallop ratings are off the chart, off 10% what they were four years ago.
i think this is going to be a big move. and it's going to make this point that i say all the time, that part of what president obama's argument is simply democrats do better when it comes to the middle class when it comes to the economy. so you have bill clinton here, the great communicator, someone who connects with the base, who connects with suburban women who connects with some of those lunch pail democrats, reagan democrats. i think this is going to be a big win for democrats. you notice if you look at republicans, they don't have the star power to draw from so far. from the past. bush isn't going to be there. i don't think cheney is going to be there. they'll have a deficit of the kind of star power they're going to be able to bring to their convention. >> eliot: i think that's exactly right. i think bill clinton will be the big winner. does barack obama or hillary clinton win more in what clearly be the highlight of that convention until the president gives his own speech. all right nia-malika henderson
and errol morris. thank you for coming on tonight. >> thank you. >> eliot: another campaign issue to cut government spending, except we already did >> we talk a lot about the influence of money in politics. it is the defining issue of this era. the candidate with the most money does win. this is a national crisis.
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of sexual assault slipshod work of any kind is simply inexcusable. which brings us to our number of the day. $1,200. that's how much money some rape victims have been charged in the state of wisconsin. it's not for the cost of medical care which would be outrageous enough. it's a bill for collecting crime evidence. it's for things like taking pictures of bruises and gathering traces of dna. you don't expect to pay officers who investigate a robbery in your home. you certainly wouldn't expect a surcharge after a sexual assault. with this crime evidence is sometimes gathered in a hospital which then sends out a bill. when insurance does not cover the cost, the bill may go to the person they view the patient in this case, the victim of sexual assault. there ought to be funds for this and there are from a couple of sources. the sexual assault forensic exam fund and the crime victim compensation fund. but not all hotels now about
that. the wisconsin newspaper is trying to do its part by breaking a story but some how hospitals didn't know what to do it's go time! >>every weeknight cenk uygur calls out the mainstream media. >>overwhelming majority of the county says: "tax the rich don't go to war." if you have an opinion, you better back it up. >>eliot spitzer takes on politics. >>science and republicans do not mix. >>now it's your turn at the only online forum with a direct line to eliot spitzer. >>join the debate now. view it's back. all the topic in the president campaign will fade away on friday as focus turns to the release of july's jobs report. but as weak as the private sector has been over the past few months, the public sector is an even worse story.
last year alone, federal employment has dropped by 52,000 jobs while federal spending was cut by 3.3%. on the local level states continue to shed jobs with over 600,000 public sector jobs cut since the president took office. in fact, in the second quarter of this year government spending represented only 19.5% of our economy, almost a full point below the post-war average. many are pointing to this dramatic cut in public spending as a major drag on oh our economy. even the wall street journal that bastion of progressive economic theory wrote today, i quote, the cuts are partially offsetting private-sector growth that while slow has been consistent. to break down america's spending problem, let's bring in bill cohen, our thorough of "money and power: how goldman sachs came to rule the world," and catherine rampell economics
reporter for the business day section of the "new york times"." government employment is away down, government spend something way down. why, and what is this doing to our economy? >> it's happening because it's the second wave of a recession. first you have businesses retrenching, laying off workers having their revenues and profits go down. when the profits go down, the taxes go down. it's the second phase of that pain comes when the state and local governments in particular end up having to layoff workers because they can't make ends meet. >> eliot: to put it in a different context, having been there, balancing budgets they're obligated to balance their budgettings they have no choice but to layoff public sector workers and bill this seems contrary to the narrative that seems to be out there that we have a government sector that is growing growing growing. you look at that number, 19.5%
of gde spend something government sector and it's very low. >> it will go even lower if we get off this cliff and we get into the sequester mode and we have to cut that is required by law in january. if people think it is slowing down now it will only get worse if congress doesn't get together and resolve these issue so these automatic cuts go in and auto tax raises go up and we get the double-whammy. that will probably put us in a double dip recession. >> what could be done about this this? back to ancient history there was revenue sharing where the federal government would look at states and localities and say you're having trouble making ends meet we'll send you money so you can hire back teachers and cops and firemen. >> have has been a few installments. to be fair the recovery act did
some of that. there were a few other subsequent legislation pieces that went through that did the same kind of thing. but you know there are a few problems that--a few roadblocks, one, we're in a political stalemate, and until after the election it seems unlikely that the federal government would do anything consequential along these lines. if you're the congressman you want to bring home the bacon yourself. if you're giving money to governors and localities you may not be getting credit for expansion or retainment of jobs. >> eliot: you're right. at the political level, they want onthe other hand, in the healthcare act the federal government said we'll cover your medicaid spending if you increase your roles. a lot of conservative governors are saying no.
that's huge. governors are rejecting that which seems a little bizarre. bill, how do we create a political dynamic? you refer to the fiscal cliff. we're facing this. it will cause a double dip. what can be done to get rid of the uncertainty between now and disease todecember to get people to hire and get jobs back. >> i was talking to a wall street ceo earlier today. his point was very much if they could just resolve these differences. if they could show some progress. even if it means raising taxes on the wealthy. even if it means cutting some programs. if we could just get some resolution then he thinks corporate executives all around this country are sitting on 2 trillion-dollar in cash. begin to spend this money, hire more people and build new equipment they've been sitting on it for months now and not
spending as they should. i'm not talking about krugman krugman-esque responses, but some movement towards-- >> just stability. >> stability resolution, answers, making it look like congress is working together to resolve it. >> eliot: krugman keeps saying we need a stimulus to generate demand. catherine, you've talked about the multiplier effect. if localities were in position to spend the money that would generate a multiplier. plain what that would do and why that would be so important. >> when you talk about cutting back government spending, not only that the government spends less and there are fewer workers on the public payroll and these things, but the ripple effect. that's what you're referring to with this multiplier effect. let's say i'm just a teacher laid off. i don't have a paycheck coming in. i'm probably not going to buy a new car if i'm expecting to buy a new car let alone some smaller
scale purchase. the businesses that i would have patronize don't have the same amount of orders. they in turn might layoff workers or freeze their hiring because they're a little bit concerned about what might go on next. so you would have the same effect if governments, in fact, increased their spending, by as we discussed seems unlikely. the fact that the governments are cutting back has this secondary effect. >> eliot: explains this to me. government spend something down. but deficits are way up, which means revenue needs to be down even more than the spending cuts. we're caught in this huge deficit, lower spending, fewer jobs. we're getting the worse of all possible roles and the president has not explained this to anybody. everybody says that we have big debts and yet we're spending even more. >> it's a great communitier. as much as i like him he has not doing a good job explaining this. as bad as we think it is now if
you cut $600 billion out of the deficit budget and then raise taxes and other entitlement programs, this is going to get worse, much worse than what we're talking about now. the president needs to be out there saying, this is a serious problem. let's get people back in washington to solve this instead of letting it go to the period between the election and the inauguration. >> eliot: catherine, if you went out and did a poll and said to the public, true or false the government spend something down, and percentage of gdp is down. you would only get 2% of the public saying that's the case. people just don't get this fact. >> you hear rhetoric about big government particularly in the context of the presidential election. so it seems counter intuitive that government has been shrinking. people are not putting the pieces together. partly because of what they're hearing and what they see around
them. they hear about big deficits. we hear that we're trillions of dollars in the hole. it seems hard to reconcile this idea that our government could actually be shrinking at this point, and that could be hurting us. >> eliot: the way to reconcile tax cuts have obliterated revenue. and the republicans keep screaming at the top of their lungs, government is getting bigger bigger, bigger, it's false. but people believe it. bill cohen and catherine rampell, thank you for coming in tonight. >> thank you. >> eliot: after all these year we still have not worked out the create pronunciation of cheney.
so... [ gasps ] these are sandra's "homemade" yummy, scrumptious bars. hmm? maybe. rich chocolate chips... i just wanted you to eat more fiber. chewy, oatie, gooeyness... and, and...and then the awards started coming in, and i became addicted to the fame. topped with chocolaty drizzle... and fraudulence.
surprise, mitt romney sleeps well at night. when it doesn't fit anywhere else, we put it in the viewfinder. >> you played in the celebrity soccer match football as they call it. >> i could take credit for anything good that happened and deny responsibility for anything bad that happened and just be the mitt romney of celebrity soccer. >> if i'm worried about what the media said, i would not get much sleep. i sleep pretty well. >> how do you think romney is artful importance in london. >> since the olympics started it may be called an unforced error. >> how is he doing so far on his international trip? >> i think it's been a successful trip. the issue about the olympics in london was just a tea cup. >> the goldman sachs that the u.s. will finish first with 37 gold medals, and i know how much
faith we have in goldman sachs these days. >> i was just going to say that. >> there will be flack at home for the american athletes. some of our lawmakers are upset because some of the uniforms are made in china and they found on their iphoned andy pads. >> and he was unable to pronounce his last name. >> you're wrong. you can pronounce it any way. >> chris, i just said, after we play the sound byte, you can call him anything you want. >> it's cheney. >> i'm comfortable with what i did, how you did it, and i'll let others judge whether they liked it or not. >> do you have any regrets? >> not really. >> chris, what say you? >> it's the same as cheney. we all check it out and we'll know what we're talking about. [ chuckling ] >> eliot: now they've got me con
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>> eliot: the state of pennsylvania formerly acknowledged last week that there has not been one case of in-person voter fraud in the state of pennsylvania. this however did not prevent the state of pennsylvania from passing a strict voter i.d. law that may keep nearly half the residents of pennsylvania's largest city, philadelphia, from voting. according to state data, about 437,000 registered voters or 43% of the registered philadelphia electorate do not have a valid state-issued i.d. which would now be requireds to a cast a ballot. and even for those who do, the new law has many residents confuseed. one such pennsylvanian apparently the state's governor
tomorrow corbett. >> other forms of i.d. could be student i.d. um, we've been working with the nursing homes to get people new i.d. it can be military--there are two or three other forms right now off the top of my head. >> that's helpful governor. nationally, new voter i.d. laws could contribute to the disenfranchisement of least 5 million people according to the brennan center of justice. joining us now is the president of the brennan center of justice, michael waldman. not one case of voter fraud. how do you admit that and then pass this law. >> there is no basis for passing a law like this. they have admitted it in court and now pennsylvania is like the rest of the country because there is no evidence that shows fraud like this either. this is a classic case of
politicians manipulating the system to benefit themselves, to benefit their own re-election. we look back at b boss tweed who said i don't care how people vote as long as i count the votes. we look back and say how could peeppeople put up with that? this is the same spectrum of voter fraud. >> eliot: the system is not broken. they're creating a false issue to pass a restrictive law that will keep hundreds of thousands perhaps millions of people away from the ballot box. this is an outrage to anyone who believes in democracy. >> this is a mess to do this now just a few months before election day. the fact of the matter is, look, i think it's important to protect the integrity of elections, but that's not what this. pennsylvania's law and several other places specifically
require a specific i.d. that one in ten eligible voters don't have, and as you reported, it's worse in the cities. >> eliot: we all believe and are dedicateed to the electoral process. when people talk about a problem, we say where is the evidence. let's understand the problem so we can remedy the issue if there is one. here killing the fly with an aboutbazooka. they have come this far without people standing up and saying this is pure fiction. we're getting people coming out of the woodwork saying this is a combination of racism and pure partisanpartisanship. >> in pennsylvania, to a cheering raucous crowd party members, we passed the voter i.d. that will win the state for romney done. it's as a if he took truth serum. and over the country people
occasionally let slip what is behind this. >> eliot: the political gaffe of when you tell the truth. the motivation came out here. here's the thing if in fact there were an enormous problem with voter proud fraud, we would say deal with it. but it's not there. that has led to an official electoral official who said he was not going to enforce the law. he washe would not enforce i.d.es. >> in the press he said he was willing to risk punishment and violating the law himself. i don't think that civil disobedience by local officials is going to be any kind of an answer. the real answer to what people in pennsylvania can do, first of all, there is a very high stakes lawsuit. this law i'm convinced is illegal under the pennsylvania constitution, which gives people the right to vote. will you also local officials all over the state can be doing as much as they can to help people get the i.d.
get people to the offices. you give them the education. even the governor didn't know what was in the law. a real education effort, and let's make freedom rides to get people together to go to the dmv to get the i.d. >> eliot: you make a point of the confusion and chaos that will result. is that intention intentional. i governor, i can't fault him for not knowing a particular answer to a particular issue at a particular moment. but on the other hand, he should could say get one of these i.d.s and go and vote. >> when you sign a law dis disenfranchiseing hundreds of thousands of your citizens, you should know the law. in this case i'm not quite as charitable. we have, unfortunately chaotic elections any way in america. we don't have one election
system. we don't even have 50 election systems. we have individual counties crafting ballots making mistakes, the kind of mess we saw in florida in 2000. unfortunately, it's the under side of the american election system and the margin this time, the margin of disenfranchisement could be the margin of winning the election. >> eliot: what we don't want, as you said, is rules and laws that prevent voters from showing up when the margin is going to be so thin. the number one five million the number of potentially affected oat voters in these new laws. >> in pennsylvania the trial just started last week. as you said, the state fessed up to the fact that there was no evidence of the problem that supposedly it was crying-- >> eliot: they even said in the affidavit they were not going to try to present evidence of that sort. >> that's right. >> eliot: to their credit. >> but the plaintiff's in the case are real people.
a 93-year-old grandmother who has been voting, but had her purse stolen and no longer can vote. they have a very strong case. in other states, their state voter i.d. laws such as texas and south carolina, those laws are being challenged by the justice department under the voting rights act. the voting right acts says you cannot pass laws that make it hard for minorities to vote. if you pass these laws, they have to get them approved in advance by the experts at the civil rights division. they said wait a minute there, is clear evidence that hundreds of thousands of latino and black voters, much more than the white community, would be affected. >> eliot: that's because they're covered by the voter rights act from prior history. >> under section 5 which applied originally to the states that were oppressing minority voting rights in the 1960s. the state of texas governor rick perry said, oh, the answer is the voting right act is
inconstitutional. we don't need it any more. it's hold history. but they would have a better argument if they do in the keep passing laws that would make it heart to vote. >> eliot: rick perry was going to include the justice department--michael wadl man president of the brennan center of justice. thank you. >> thank you. >> eliot: it will take more than votes and fractionininininininininininininininininininininininin of sununu, you're wrong. mitt romney, you're wrong. we need more teachers, not fewer teachers and more cops and more firefighters that support our
fruit just got cooler. a fruity, cool way to break the ice. vanguard: the documentary series that redefined tv journalism. >>we're going to places where few others are going. >>it doesn't get anymore real than this. >>occupy! >>the award winning series "vanguard" only on current tv. >> eliot: mall factors on wall street just love to blame their problems on the prosecutor. that's coming up. but first let's head west and check in with jennifer granholm in "the war room." good evening governor, what have you got for us? >> we're also focusing on mitt
romney's tour degaffe we'll look at his trip to pole land and the stumbles and bumbles and whether it was intentional or not. and then we'll turn our attention to no women moderating presidential debates since 1992. we'll have that woman the one and only presidential moderateor carol simpson the last woman who have moderated a debate. and then three young ladies who tartstarted a petition drive to get women to moderate this year. amazing statistic that you presented. almost unfathom billion. >> everybody thinks there is an assumption, nope. >> eliot: that's just crazy. that's got to change. and nobody on top of this, either. >> we're on it man. >> eliot: you're going to change that. more "viewpoint"t"t"t"t"t"t"t"t"t"t"t"t"t"t"t"t"t"t"t"t"t"t"t"t"t"t"t"t"t" our conversation is with you the viewer because we're independent. >>here's how you can connect with "viewpoint with eliot spitzer." >>questions, of course, need to be answered.
>>we will not settle for the easy answers. tt >> eliot: wall street titans will continue to rewrite history, whitewashing their role in the maze of malfeasance that led to the greatest economic cataclysm in the years. one recent example is the article posted july 26th by ken langone in the "business week" about the case brought to the new york attorney generals office when i was attorney general to recover over $100 million in excess pay given to dick grasso, the then ceo of the new york stock exchange, a not-for-profit entity. langone would have you believe we brought the case because of the evil of personal ambition blinding him to the responsibilities. that's me he's talking about. but facts matter. here are the facts of the case. here is the report that john
reed former co-ceo of the citigroup and the chair of the new york stock exchange brought to me when i was attorney general. he asked me to pursue the matter pursuant to the office's jurisdiction over not for profits. the report, done by dan webb and a former united states attorney in chicago and one of the most respected prosecutors in the nation concluded that grasso was overpaid by at least $140 million because of multiple flaws in the compensation and benefits process. who was on the board and the very committee that gave grasso this grotesque over payment? the ceos of the very companies lehman brothers, aig, merrill lynch, goldman sachs and grasso was supposed to regulate coincidence? of course not. the economy was chaired by ken langone. after we brought the lawsuit they converted to become a for-
for-profit entity, and they claim that they lost jurisdiction to seek recovery of the money. in a horrendous decision a mid-level appellate court found for them on that issue even though it was factually wrong. here is what the dissenting judge, judge mazzarelli said, on its face, this argument is meritless. she is correct. she that a not-for-profit still remained and the ag's office was still suing on their behalf. we had jurisdiction. our arguments were correct. this horrific appellate decision was issued after i left office. the ag's office had an automatic appeal but they chose not to take it. perhaps the then ag should be asked why not. but let's be clear. the report accepted by the nyse board and the trial court found grasso was grotesquely overpaid by tens of millions of dollars by a not-for-profit. you can go to the website where we posted all of the links to these documents for your
reference. mr. langone, you may not like these facts but they are facts. as i said before, challenging the motives of the prosecutor is the last refuge of the guilty. the effort to correct the outrageous level of ceo compensation is critical piece of restoring sanity to our economy and >>it's the place where democracy is supposed to be the great equalizer, where your vote is worth just as much as donald trump's. we must save the country. it starts with you.
>> eliot: the natural gas boom has up ended the american landscape in more ways than one. extracting gas through fraking is not without risks. among the effects of injecting hundreds of millions of gallons of water and chemicals into the soil and free trapped gas some say fraks has polluted american politics. 5,000 gathered in washington, d.c. this weekend demanding cross put a halt to the drilling and close legal loopholes allowing the industry to ignore environmental safety regulations. among those speaking at the rally was environmental activist and oscar nominated director of "gas land" josh fox. >> if anybody has got a spare of $747 million, which is the amount of money that they have spent getting the exemption to one law. just one. three-quarters of a billion dollars for the exemption to the
safe water drinking act. then you can maybe start to buy back our government. my guess is you probably don't. i don't. but what you do is something more worth more than money. you have your bodies, your minds and your hearts. >> eliot: joining me now is josh fox. thanks for joining me now and for your advocates your advocy on this issue. many say frak something our future jobs. explain to us what the risks are. >> fraking is an extreme form of drilling for natural gas. what the industry does is drill very deep into shale formation, and this is happening in 48 states across the nation. inject water laced with fraking fluid, and there are different kinds of fraking fluid. that fractures the rock and releases the natural gas. you have to drill through
aquifers and the process contaminates water the air and causes health issues in the drilling zone. so there are a lot of problems associated with fraking, as you mentioned, seismic activity. the rally in washington, though, was really about another form of contamination, which is that they inject hundreds of millions of dollars into our political system. that, in fact, is a contaminant to our democracy. >> eliot: we'll get to that in a second. tell us about the dangerous chemicals. where does that stuff go? >> a lot of of it stays in the ground. some of it gets sucked up, and it's housed in pits and you're creating trillions of gallons of toxic waste and the gas industry does different things with it. they inject it back into the ground using inject wells that they are so deep that they don't
leak, lonely this only they do leak. and some are sprayed on the road as deeyes de-icer. >> eliot: is that legal? >> in some states it is legal. in some areas it's treated and they put it back into the drinking water supplies. in pittsburgh this shut down the public drinking water supply in pittsburgh. they couldn't drink the water in pittsburgh. >> eliot: do you know what the effect of all this is? it seems to me that this is a minimum, a new technology where the industry is pushing the boundaries of what is legal and permissible, and no one knows what the consequences are. earthquakes in the ohio value being blamed and no one refuting it on the seismic activity on all the boring and drilling that they're doing. >> it has shown that fraking causes e. as far as the health risks we
know that there are carcinogens. they've had 50 sometimes the level of benzene in the drinking water and the studies show that. we know there are health effects. once you contaminate water you really can't go back. if you've got chemicalling--we know how hard it is to clean surface water but forget if it's 8,000 feet underground. you have pollution going into ground water and the industry itself has admitted that their well casings fail. >> eliot: who is regulating this industry right now? >> well, the regulations are on the states. we have a big issue facing us in new york state right now. governor cuomo is deciding right now whether or not to open the state up to 50 to 100,000 gas wells. they're looking at the regulations and the regulation versus come under fire. >> eliot: why are the states giving this enormous risk and the federal government comes in
and says we'll mandate what needs to be done? >> in 2005 the energy policy act passed by the bush-cheney administration it wassed the safe drinking act. it controls the underground water. if you're injecting water, you underground you have to report it to the epa. if you're exempted, you don't have to report it. >> eliot: so in some states, we only have a couple of seconds left, but in some states regulations will be red sox ax. >> you'll be trading water for gas. i go into this with my new film, the sky is pink. you can see it at www. www.pinksky.com. we know the pollution is going to happen. you're going to be degrading the water quality in that area. >> i'm going to ask you to hang around for a couple of minutes. director of "gasland," josh fox. it has been a pleasure. see his