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tv   Democracy Now  PBS  May 2, 2017 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT

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05/02/17 05/02/17 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from raleigh, north carolina, this is democracy now! >> today is may 1. we all know that immigrant rights are worker rights. no more deportations. no more breaking families. we are here and we are going to stay. we're going to fight because we work really hard. amy: millions of workers take to the streets to mark may day, international workers day. we will hear voices from the streets of new york and speak to an immigrant rights organizer here in raleigh. in the aclu melds a new fight --
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mounts a new fight to overturn the north carolina bill that did away with the anti-lgbtq bill known as hb2. we will also look at the political crisis in the tar heel state after republican lawmakers waged a legislative coup against the state's democratic governor. is the state of north carolina still a democracy? and we will look at how a group of african-american residents are fighting back against factory hog farms that spray liquid manure on their communities. thisu open the door, and melted sure by the way. you start gagging. i shut my hog operation down. i got out of it. i just could not do another person that way, to make them smell that. amy: all that and more, coming up.
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welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. around the world, millions of workers took to the streets monday for may day, also known as international workers day. this year, in california, tens of thousands of people took to the streets in the bay area, as immigrant workers refused to go to work and students walked out of class. in milwaukee, wisconsin, more than 30,000 people marched to demand the governor fire milwaukee county sheriff dave clarke, block anti-immigrant legislation, and return driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants. at least 140 businesses were shut down across milwaukee. in texas, two dozen people were arrested, including austin city councilmember gregorio casar, after an eight hour sit-in at the office of texas governor greg abbott in protest of anti-immigrant bill sb4. this is julie ann nitsch. a six generation texan.
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my family has served this country for a very long time. we did not come to this country to live in a country where people are stopped, detain, and abused because of the color of their skin. it is racist. all law enforcement officers are against it. the only why the politicians are pushing it is so they can get racistrom a constituency. they have to be stopped. amy: in many cities and rural areas, some immigrants launched a one-day work strike, including in homestead, florida, where farm workers refused to work and instead marched to city hall. monday's immigrant-led protests came as newly released data from the immigrations and customs enforcement agency, known as ice, shows nearly half of the 675 immigrants arrested in ice raids in february had either low-level driving convictions or no criminal record at all. in portland, oregon, police arrested at least 25 protesters monday, as some demonstrators hurled paint and pepsi cans at
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the police. the soda cans were a reference to a pepsi ad featuring kendall jenner in which she's portrayed , as a hero after making peace between protesters and police by offering a cop a can of pepsi. meanwhile, in puerto rico, thousands of protesters blocked traffic and marched downtown to protest austerity measures imposed by the federal fiscal control board. >> we are repudiating the measures taken by the government of rigo and the control board against the workers and those measures they hope to take against workers and the rest of the country. amy: may day were also held worldwide including in france, , kenya, indonesia, south korea, russia, and turkey, more than 70 people were arrested in istanbul. we'll have more voices from the may day protests in the streets after headlines. in news on syria, human rights watch says syrian government forces have used chemical nerve agents, such as sarin gas, in
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attacks at least quarter times in recent months, including in the april attack on a town that killed 86 people, including dozens of children. human rights watch also says new evidence, including photos and videos of weapon remnants, -dropped chemical bomb specifically designed to deliver sarin. one of the other attacks, on december 12, reportedly killed 64 people. the syrian government denies using chemical weapons, including in the april attack. meanwhile, u.s.-led coalition airstrikes continue in syria. the journalistic monitoring group airwars says these airstrikes reportedly killed at least two dozen civilians in the final week of april in and around raqqa. u.s.-led coalition airstrikes also continue in mosul, iraq, where dozens of civilians were killed by airstrikes launched by the coalition, or the u.s.-backed iraqi army, in the final week of april. in afghanistan, more civilians died last year amid the ongoing war than at any time since the
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united nations began keeping records in 2009. at least 11,418 civilians died in 2016. another 660,000 afghans fled their homes. the highest number of displacements on record. this comes as the white house is considering a plan to deploy an an additional 5000 u.s. troops to afghanistan. cia director mike pompeo visited seoul, south korea, monday, amid rising tensions between the u.s. and north korea. his visit comes as the thaad missile defense system installed by the u.s. in south korea is now operational. on monday, president trump said he'd be honored to meet north korean president kim jong un. white house press secretary sean spicer later tried to walk back the president's comments, saying -- "clearly, the conditions are not there right now." meanwhile, philippines president rodrigo duterte has said he might be too busy to accept
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president trump's invitation to the white house. human rights activists criticized the invitation, saying it condoned the thousands of extrajudicial killings in the philippines since duterte launched his so-called war on drugs. the white house is pushing for a vote on a new republican plan to repeal and replace the affordable care act, even as widespread questions about the plan remain, including whether president trump understands it. on monday, president trump reiterated his claim that the republican bill would guarantee coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. in fact, on saturday, republican lawmakers struck a deal that would not protect people with pre-existing conditions, instead allowing insurers to charge them significantly higher premiums. the white house is pushing for a vote as early as wednesday, even though a number of republicans came out against the legislation on monday. in one of his latest interviews, president trump sparked confusion and ridicule by
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questioning why, exactly, the civil war was fought, and suggesting former president andrew jackson could have averted the war itself -- had he not been dead for 16 years by the time it began. pres. trump: had andrew jackson been a little bit later, you would not have had the civil war. he was a very tough person, but he at a big heart. and he was -- he was really what wast he so happening with regards to the civil war. he said, there is no reason for this. people don't realize, the civil war -- when you think about it, why? people don't ask that question. but why was there the civil war? what could that would not have been worked out? amy: the civil war was fought over the expansion of slavery in the united states. president jackson was a slaveholder. princeton university history professor julian zelizer said trump's comments were the
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"height of inaccurate historical revisionism." trump ter doubled down on his statements, tweeting on monday night -- "president andrew jackson, who died 16 years before the civil war started, saw it coming and was angry. would never have let it happen!" fox news has ousted co-president bill shine as part of the continued fallout over revelations about widespread sexual harassment at the network. shine worked closely with former chairman roger ailes, who was ousted over the summer after more than 20 women accused him of sexual harassment and professional retaliation. fox's former top, bill o'reilly has also been ousted amid sexual , harassment accusations. on monday, however, fox promoted longtime executive suzanne scott, who has been accused in multiple lawsuits of working to cover up ailes' sexual harassment. in houston, texas, a federal judge has ordered harris county to stop imprisoning people on misdemeanor charges because they can't pay bail after ruling the
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bail system was unconstitutional and discriminated against poor defendants. harris county is the third largest county jail system in the united states. meanwhile, in wisconsin, a jury has recommended bringing criminal charges against seven milwaukee county jailers who denied 38-year-old terrill thomas water for seven days in his solitary confinement jail cell. thomas died from extreme dehydration on april 24, 2016. in minneapolis, a man has been sentenced to 15 years in prison after shooting and wounding five black lives matter protesters in 2015 at an occupation at a police precinct over the police killing of jamar clark. prosecutors say 25-year-old allen scarsella sent a series of racist texts to friends in the months leading up to his decision to drive over to the protest camp, put on a mask, and shoot five of the demonstrators. meanwhile, in texas, family and friends are mourning the death of 15-year-old jordan edwards,
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who was shot in the head by a police officer in a suburb of dallas on saturday. the balch springs police department had initially claimed the officers opened fire while the car carrying the high school freshman was reversing toward the police car. but, in fact, on monday the police chief admitted the police officer opened fire while the car was actually moving forward, away from the police. in washington, d.c., prosecutors have filed a slew of additional felony and misdemeanor charges against more than 200 people who were arrested at protests during president trump's inauguration january 20. while most of the protesters were already charged with felony rioting, the new charges also include inciting or urging to riot, conspiracy to riot, and multiple counts of destruction of property. the legal support group defend j20 resistance says the new charges mean protesters are now facing up to 75 years in prison.
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and in new york city, author and editor jean stein has died after she took her own life on sunday. she was 83 years old. the former editor of the "harris review,"-- "paris stein was well known for writing best-selling oral histories, including "american journey: the times of robert kennedy," and "west of eden: an american place," about her family. stein is survived by her daughter, katrina vanden heuvel, publisher of the nation, and actress wendy vanden heuvel. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. around the world, millions of workers took to the streets monday for may day, also known as international workers day. in the united states, the marches were led by immigrant workers and their allies, drawing comparisons to the massive may day 2006 when millions of immigrants protested nationwide. a series of protests were held
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in new york. the first of the day's protests was a picket line outside of b&h photo video, the nation's largest independent retailer of photo and video equipment. hundreds of b&h workers staged a one-day strike. it was to oppose a plan to relocate more than 300 jobs from brooklyn to new jersey. democracy now!'s charina nadura, john hamilton and andre lewis , filed this report. my name is armando and i've been working at the nh for nine years now. we are very concerned because the company wants to move to new jersey and a majority of my coworkers and i live here in new york. in the bronx, queens, and brooklyn. we are fighting here to stop the company from moving because if
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they do so, we, more than 300 employees, will be put out on the streets. they're planning to move to a place far, far away where there is no transportation. the president of local -- today is may 1. we all know that immigrant rights are worker rights. no more deportation. no more breaking families. we are here and we are going to stay. we're going to fight because we work really hard. we feed the american public. we take care of the children. we clean the offices. makingthe ones were america strong. and we are here to stay. >> what we want? >> justice.
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>> when we want it? >> now. >> if we don't get it -- >> shut it down. to reclaimtriking the rights of all workers, but immigrant workers. we are striking to make very -- immigrant labor, particularly because of women's immigrant labor. we believe it is necessary to show everyone that without our labor, the city cannot move. we marched together. we keep one another safe. i work at the golden steps
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cooperative, a group of immigrant women trying to make their businesses thrive. and at the same time, trying to help the country's economy. we are a group of women fighting to make a living, to get our families moving forward. i am a native new yorker originally from kenya, an immigrant. i'm an actress, organizer, and i come here with my friends. we have a creative localized boycott targeting the trump administration, including the cabinet. >> it is a day were people can come together and recognize the history and a more honest sense. and workers rights are in everyone's interest. my organization is brand
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workers. i want to send a message to donald trump. we come here to work. we are good people, not criminals, as he says. i think that that is not true. this country as a country of immigrants, built by immigrants with their work and second vice. i hope his a administration makes changes, because the current situation is unfair for us immigrants. >> i teach at the college. i'm here supporting cuny adjuncts, who are part-time workers in they cuny system where faculty -- they could be full-time teaching, but we get paid as part-time workers. so we are severely exploited in terms of not being old and a
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whether we will have a job from semester to semester. you can see how impossible it is to plan, you know, pay your rent if you don't know whether you're going to have a job the next semester. i am here with drums. you have had privileged or whole life. you've had so many privileges that we don't have an you judge us from such a high horse. first of all, get off your high horse. talk to me standing at the same level as me. walk a mile in my shoes. then you can tell me what to do. then you can tell me where my home is. because this is my home and you're not taking me out of here. amy: voices from may day in new york. special thanks to democracy now!'s charina nadura, john hamilton and andre lewis. , meanwhile, here in north carolina, more than 100 people braved the rain to take part in a may day rally outside the
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state capitol in raleigh to protest a series of proposed anti-worker and anti-immigrant bills. we are joined now by two guests. raul jimenez is an organizer with the triangle people's assembly, which helped organize the may day rallies and sarah gillooly is the policy director of the aclu of north carolina. we welcome you both to democracy now!raul, talk about what you are out there yesterday on may day. your major concerns here in north carolina. >> i was out there because there are a lot of attacks on -- events and workers at a national level. you have bills -- on amy: explain. cook's hb 113 is a bill that would basically create a process to create penalties for local governments that don't comply with immigration laws. that would mean they would be
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put into sanctuary cities. it would also -- this bill would make it so that local law enforcement can use organization ideas that are given to undocumented immigrants. all and document it immigrants would also be afraid to call 911 or to call the police in case there is a crime, or even -- amy: when people are afraid to call police, that endangers everyone. quite that is correct. someone breaks into your house, so you know there is a robber around. you cannot call the police because you are afraid you're going to be deported or law enforcement is going to put you through the process of ice. so you have that. and you say bill 145, which basically forces the department of public safety to enter into an agreement.
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287g is a lost that -- law that passed quite a waves back that gives law enforcement the right to act as immigration officers. in wayne county, if you are pulled over were arrested, the police runs through your records and immigration system. , can youh gillooly talk about taking on these laws at the aclu? >> the acellular of north carolina has been fighting these bills in the north carolina legislature along with our allies and partners and immigrants rights community. senator 145 is incredibly dangerous, not only does it create the only statewide 287g in the country turning all highway patrol officers potentially into immigration enforcement officers -- amy: how do they do that? >> they enter into an agreement with the federal government. this is an arrangement with the federal government. it would effectively create highway patrol officers who are also acting as federal
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immigration agents. amy: so they would be tracking your drivers license and also figure out if you are undocumented or not? >> it is hard to say, but the intent of those programs is to make it such highway patrol officers could be detaining people who are undocumented and transporting them into ice custody. amy: are there sanctuary cities in north carolina? >> raul, do you want to answer that? >> as far as i know, there are none at the moment. i think after last year, if i remember correctly, there was sort of a ban on sanctuary cities in the state of north carolina. a lot of those went away. as far as i know, there are none. >> there are none. sink sure cities have been banned in north carolina for over a year. this new law creates a process by which citizens can anonymously report or local government or the law enforcement agencies. it would create financial
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penalties to withhold tax revenue from any law enforcement agency that does not enforce it. amy: these are all in effect? >> they are pending in the north carolina legislature. amy: yesterday was international workers day, may day. how were workers treated? what were your main concerns? >> as someone who comes from an immigrant background, my dad worked in the fields and i worked in the fields, the treatment is horrible. amy: which fields? fields, sweet potato fields. as a farm worker, we were treated bad. all farm workers across north carolina, they live in deplorable housing. you're talking about housing that has bedbugs and rats. sometimes not even mattresses. holes in the walls. conditions are horrible. working 13 and 14 hours a day in the heat of the summer. that is when tobacco needs to be harvested. alsoare also in --
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sometimes not paid minimum wage. they do this because they need to support their families in mexico. they suffer through the exploitation, suffer through the oppression because they need six dollars an hour -- which is ridiculous because the minimum wage federally is seven dollars citizens an hour. amy: and if they complain they are concerned about being deported? >> yes. amy: what about deportations and the trump administration? president obama came to be known, even by his immigrants as theallies, deporter-in-chief will stop the oversaw the deportations of millions of immigrants. >> yes, he did. he certainly did. we don't applaud obama for a lot when it comes to immigrants. when it comes to a lot of things, but since trump's presidency, there have been a lot of deportations, a lot of people being sent to the attention centers. i cannot tell you a number, but everywhere on the news,
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facebook, everywhere you see people are getting detained. people are getting deported. families are being separated. amy: you are setting up know your rights seminars around the state? >> yes. there are a lot of those going on around the state. unfortunately, a lot of people get pulled over or go into the detention centers without knowing exactly what to do. fortunately, a lot of people will go into a detention center and sign whatever the detention center -- officer gives them because they do not know what they're reading or what they are supposed to do. we want people to know their rights. amy: what are their right? >> right now, basically, to remain silent. to ask for a lawyer if they need 1 -- officer, they need one if they are in a detention center. but they also have a right to appeal any immigration, what do you call it, -- amy: when they are held. >> yes. that are right to appeal and have a stay, so that way they
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can fight their case. a lot of these people are normal people like us. they're not criminals. that is one thing trump has done really well is criminalize the immigrants. criminalize them and put fear in them. is tolly, their rights not be treated as a criminal. amy: as a lawyer, what you tell people when they are picked up in terms of what their rights are and when they are in an ice detention facility? >> i'm not an immigration attorney, but the aclu is excited by the know your rights events happening around the state and supporting them and making sure people, whether they're undocumented or document, understand have the right to remain silent, the right to appeal, that they have the right to request an attorney -- although, that does not mean an attorney will be provided. i think it is important to note, at the same time that these
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rallies are happening in north on maya, these protests day, the general assembly has been debating two proposals to chill those kind of protests to scare people away from protesting in north carolina. one of those bills passed in the house last week would remove civil liability for any driver who hits a protester in the streets during a protest. another bill would have created the new crime of economic terrorism. it would have been a new felony. if you were arrested during a protest in our protests caused a business to lose more than $1000 of business because you are blocking entryway war in the street, you would be charged with a new felony of "economic terrorism." more than 1700 north carolinians spoke out against the bill and defeated it. the purpose of these bills is very clear, it is to prevent may day protests and prevent the charlotte uprising, to prevent north carolinians -- amy: explain the charlotte uprising. >> in september 2016, the result
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federal police shooting of keep scott and charlotte, north carolina. people in charlotte fortinet the streets to protest to exercise their first amendment rights, to express their outrage. they were -- streets were blocked. where appropriate, people were detained when they were violating public safety. this do bill would create this crime of terrorism for people protesting in the street. that is about scaring people away from protesting. amy: are you nervous, raul? we have been going around the country. we were just in vermont where we two immigrants rights activists who work with micro justice in burlington. they were arrested by ice. they were held for 11 days. there was tremendous outcry. now they are out. we were in denver, and there jeanette vizguerra has taken
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refuge in the unitarian church there. she was just named one of the most 100 imports in people by "time" magazine. the day after they had a gala in the church because she could not go to the "time" gala in new york, the next morning arturo hernandez garcia was picked up who had taken refuge in the church two years before and had a paper who said he was not a priority for deportation. when american friends of his committee called ice and said, why did you take him, they said, we don't have priorities anymore. and on way to put it. >> am i scared? yes. i family who is undocumented, who drive around and charlotte -- in charlotte. i have family here that is undocumented. yes, i'm afraid they're going to get picked up, be deported by ice, and sent back. my family has family. they have kids who were born in the u.s. to like yes, i'm afraid, but that does not stop
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me from marching and protesting in the streets and telling trump the legislature, the north carolina legislature, that it needs to stop passing these laws that affect families in north carolina and nationwide. by turning to end another issue, the issue of the a cell use plans to fight the north carolina bill that replaced the anti-trans bill known as hb2. sarah gillooly, for people who don't live in north carolina, maybe even some who do, can you give us an update on what is happened yet go now to republican governor has been placed -- replaced by democratic governor, cooper. what happened with hb2 and what has happened with his replacement? >> the story people heard about the replacement of hb2 is hb2 has been undone, has been repealed, bass cabal has returned, the harm has been undone. amy: explain by basketball has returned. >> the ncaa have been boycotting
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.orth carolina because of hb2 basketball has returned. let me be clear. hb2 has stop and repealed and the harm of each be to has not been undone. hb2 did three things. his head trans people could only be using the bathroom other biological sex in accordance with the birth certificate. it said no city could has a nondiscrimination ordinance to protect transgender north carolinians. he further -- third thing is that is only the general us a look and regulate access to bathrooms and locker rooms. the legislature did under the first part and that is really important. transgender north carolinians are no longer prohibited from using the restroom if it does not comport with their birth certificate. however, the other two pieces of the law are still in place. those two pieces of the law perpetuate the dangerous believe that transgender north carolinians are a threat to privacy or public safety. the aclu has been challenging
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hb2 in the court. we will continue to challenge the new law hb2 142, admitting our current complaint and the court and weeks to come, and moving for to make sure transgender north carolinians are protected equally under the law. amy: and the fact that the governor, says he does not love the new bill, calls it a compromise? >> no lgbt people were at the table discussing the copper must. no civil rights organizations were consulted and drafting the compromise. it was a full and clean repeal of hb2. what we have been left with is a partial hb2. amy: we will continue to follow this. i want to thank you both for being with us. sarah gillooly is with the aclu of north carolina. the jimenez is with triangle people's assembly. we're broadcasting from raleigh, north carolina, as we continue our journey through the united states. tonight we will be in miami and the tomorrow we are moving on to temper, florida. then atlanta. we will be going to madison,
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wisconsin. chicago. we will be in michigan as well. this is democracy now! when we come back, we're going to look at the politics of north carolina in the broadest sense. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: performing at washington square park in new york city in celebration, day. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i am amy goodman. we are broadcasting from raleigh, north carolina. we will turn to look at the state of politics in north carolina. it has been nearly six months since voters elected democrat roy cooper as governor. republican lawmakers responded by waging what many described as a legislative coup to strip away much of cooper's power. meanwhile, republicans in north carolina are attempting to
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solidify their legislative power by passing a series of new laws to restrict voting rights. this comes despite report by the electoral integrity project that determined that north carolina's democratic institutions are so flawed, the state should no longer be considered a functioning democracy. i am joined here in raleigh by chris kromm, executive director of the institute for southern studies and publisher of facing south. chris, it is great to have you back. >> welcome back to north carolina. amy: talk about what north carolina faces today, and your assessment, this report that says north carolina is no longer a functioning democracy? >> is remarkable. i think north carolina is ground zero. it is a cautionary tale about what can happen with unfettered conservative rule, but also about the possibilities of resistance. you think back historically, north carolina was always viewed as this moderate date. really then fueled by big money.
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in 2012, 2010, there was a sharp rightward turn. you saw trifecta conservative control in the state, much like you see nationally now. so you understand what we have been going through in north carolina at the federal level. there was an outright full skill attack on workers rights, lgbtq writes, voting rights. the valerie the limits of democracy -- the very elements of democracy. there was also a resistance movement formed. we know about the moral monday movement in the legal challenges that ended up striking down a lot of those laws. there was another leg twirl surge last your were there was a democratic governor elected, one of the most progressive attorney general elected, supreme court is now progressive majority. it shows how deeply contested north carolina is. i think a bellwether for the rest of the country. amy: talk about what is being described as a legislative coup against the new governor. >> as soon as mercury was voted out of office, there was a
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special session held in december. immediately, the republicans who still have the majority in the house and senate went to work with a slew of bills really aimed at trying to limit the control of the new governor. limiting the types of appointed second do, trying to change the way the election boards were set up. it was pretty amazing just to see the full scale attack. they have a veto-proof majority. or each of these bills, governor cooper, elected by a narrow margin in the last election, has been able to feature of these bills. they have the ability to overcome those who choose -- because. the cooper administration is said they will legally challenge that these are overreach. that they violate the separation and it is a power grab by the legislature to try to hold on to the conservative control since they have enjoyed since 2012. amy: explain the limiting of the governor's powers. what governor markell re:, who
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signed hb2 into law, what powers he had the governor cooper doesn't. >> some of the biggest have to do it election boards. for example, knowing this -- one of the key battlegrounds in the coming years is the deeply contested state like north carolina. there's been a composed -- proposed overhaul of the election process. it used to be the governor can appoint member, the chair of the board of elections, that there would be a three-to majority forever who was the governor from the party in power can have a three happen to majority. they have a new bill that will be evenly divided, which means they're never going to have an thatment was critically, republicans at the local level will have the control on even year elections. of course, those are the most important elections in the entire state. senate races, presidential races. it is a full skill power grab to try to put back the power to
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control the election process and democracy in has of the conservative controlled legislature. amy: i want to turn to the president of the north carolina naacp moral mondays leader reverend dr. william barber. he spoke to democracy now! earlier this year about voting restrictions. >> north carolina has been found guilty twice on voter suppression. last august we won a case that said the so-called voter integrity law was a voter suppression law when they cut early voting, cut same day registration, denied 17-year-old the right to preregister, and try to pass not just photo id , butelp america vote act wanted to pass a law that says even in this state if you had a college id or a federal id, it still would not be considered valid. , responding tom
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what reverend barber has to say and the whole issue of voting rights? >> north carolina has been ground zero national for the whole voting rights struggle. to keep things happened last her. first of all, as reverend barber pointed out, the court struck out key elements of this sleeping voting law that have been passed in 2013, which had voter id that slashed early voting days and took away great programs like this team preregistration program. if you're 16 or 17 and wanted to learn more about politics, you could preregister for when you do turn of age. those got knocked down. a court that was overreach, almost surgical precision in a way that it state. that got overturned. a lot of those key provisions, which were considered far sighted reforms in north carolina, were reinstated. the other big one that came down was the shooting down of the legislative districts, which have been so heavily racially
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gerrymandered in north carolina. the upshot of that is next year, they will have to redraw the maps for at least 28 seats in the house and senate. that will affect over 50 races in the state. while the conservatives in power in north carolina have been able to engineer these lines down to a science to ensure they could preserve, conserve, and control, that means next year, a lot of these will be redraw on. a lot of them will be competitive again. i think that will make north carolina a very interesting state to watch in 2018. amy: i want to talk about north carolina as the site in the south also of trump support and what that means. we're going to go to break first. we're talking to chris kromm, executive director of the institute for southern studies . this is democracy now!, democracynow.org. we are north carolina. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: performing at washington square park in new york city in celebration of may day. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we are broadcasting from the capital of north carolina in raleigh. we are turning out look at the increasing power of states in the south to shape national politics list of our guest, chris kromm, writes in his latest fees, the southern states gave 160 electoral college votes to trump, more than half of the 306 total he needed to become president. with this victory, he goes on to write -- john "southern republicans have emerged as key figures in the new administration and the gop controlled congress. giving southern states growing influence and shaping the nation's political agenda." many republicans from the south have been confirmed in senior cabinet positions, including south carolina's mick mulvaney as director of the office of management and budget. as energy from texas
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secretary. alabama's jeff sessions as attorney general in the former exxon ceo rex tillerson of texas confirmed as secretary of state. chris kromm is still with us, executive director of the institute for southern studies and publisher of facing south. so talk about the leadership being drawn from the south and that significance. >> this is part of a larger trend. the south is rising again for sure in national politics. one third of the electoral college votes it takes to be elected president in this country are in 13 southern states. that is only going to grow after the 2020 census. there will be another five electoral college votes that will come from southern states. it is a shifting of the gravity of political power in this country going to the south. i think the trump administration knows that. they know the south, for all of the attention we put on michigan and battleground states, which is important, it is the fact
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that seven states account for half of his electoral college votes that he is in the white house today. he understands the power of southern conservatism behind the wind in the sales of his presidency. you see that in these key positions, especially the trump cabinet. you also see it in the delegation from southern states that are having a lot of influence in congress. i think what it adds up to, we understand that the south has to become contested territory. it can't be seated to conservative republicans, or they will be up to up their game in using the south as a platform to drive -- amy: are you saying that change in north carolina? as you said, when you look at the latest election? absolutely. north carolina is an example of the conflicting trends. i'm one hand, the demographics are changing, becoming an state ofg diverse growing populations, and immigrant communities, asian-american communities to return aggression of
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african-american to charlotte and raleigh. this is changing the makeup from the so-called new american majority. we saw the evidence in the last election. on the other hand, we have to reminded about the deep white conservative trade that exists in many southern states. that is what trump was able to inivate in winning the state 2016. amy: i want to turn your recent piece at which you profile several trump cabinet ministers from southern states, including head of the omb, office of management and budget, mick mulvaney of south carolina. let's turn to mulvaney talking about the budget last month in an interview on msnbc's morning joe. he was questioned by willie geist. >> can we really continue to ask a coal miner in west virginia or a single mom in detroit to pay for these programs? the answer was no. we can't ask them to continue to pay for the corporation for public broadcasting post up make
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no mistake, this is a hard power budget, not a soft powered budget. budget, 3.7 in this billion dollar cut in grants for teacher training come afterschool summer programs and aid to low-income students. what do you say to a family right now who is a low income family and depends on this kind of money? what do you say to a teacher who is busting his or her butt everyday and relies on this money? >> those programs have great. they always do. we don't put of that name on her program. programs are wonderful. small business or whatever. many simply don't work. i can't justify them to the folks paying the taxes. i can't go to the auto worker in ohio and say, please, give me some of your money so i can do this program over here, something that really isn't helping somebody. i can't ask them to pay for defense. any code that was mick mulvaney on msnbc. >> it is a great example. yet someone who is in charge of devising a budget that will fund
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the government whose deeply antigovernment. all the can do is come up with a list of programs that he thinks are antithetical to free enterprise and american way. he was so far to say he could not justify the meals on wheels program, then he had to walk that one back later. it is a great example. he is deeply hostile to government programs. he was viewed because he is in a member of the freedom caucus that he was supposed to be a bridge disowned the other republicans doubt push through the repeal of obamacare. they did not work out. he was not able to make a coalition happen. one interesting thing, when he was a representative from south carolina, this anti-spending impetus he had even expended -- expended to military spending. was some democrats. now that he is in office of management and budget, the budget he unveiled for the trump administration had a $50 billion increase in military spending. i guess he has made peace with the war budget now that he is in the trump cabinet. amy: talk about tillerson from
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texas, sessions from alabama. >> sessions, i think is got a lot of national attention just given his checkered history on voting rights, civil rights, coming out of alabama. one of his top aides was a top aide to trump amash on miller, who went to school at duke university. he is been rewarded. i don't think anyone would have picked them to be the top candidate for the attorney general position, especially given his history of targeting african-american voting leaders in alabama for which scott king -- coretta scott king famously author that letter. senator warren tried to read it in the senate with a confirmation hearing was happening. you think about -- amy: issue is censured -- >> blocked from reading this letter that was so laid out about why the civil rights committee was so concerned about sessions in the 1980's. you look at tom price coming out of georgia.
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as a doctor, he was part of this group that was called medicaid and medicare -- aspects of socialized medicine that should be vehemently opposed. he at a checkered record because was known for going to bat for pharmaceutical companies. a lot of conflicts of interest where he tried -- we try to pull reports that were critical of different drugs. got money from the copy that creed of the hard drug. stocks and pharmaceuticals that he was being discussed in this committees. he had a checkered record. i think some of those will come back to haunt him. tillerson, i think you're absolutely right, the most interesting one there is given his history of conflicts where in his position as a ceo at exxon, exxon having interests that really antithetical to the interest of the state department and wanting to operate in
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countries where there were sanctions, other limitations for the government was trying to put -- turn the screws on human rights violations. exxon wanting to do business. stillinteresting he will have this conflict as secretary of state post a amy: of the 13 southern states them only virginia voted for hillary clinton. can you talk about what accounts for this? >> i think trump was remarkable in being able to activate -- we know the demography of these southern states is rapidly changing. we know they're becoming more diverse, a lot of majority people call their community's across the style. -- across the south. there's a deep well of southern conservatism that trump was able to effectively mobilize. you really saw a turnout job in a lot of states. it was some of the newer voters for the future of a lot of these southern states, but also he was able to mobilize a white conservative electorate, which in many cases carried the day
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and allowed him to win those states. amy: there's a recent piece headlined "america could look like north carolina in 2020. yikes." do you agree? >> cautionary tale. it shows when there's unfettered conservative control like we saw north carolina starting in 2012, just the scale of the agenda that was able to really dig into voting rights, lgbtq rights, workers rights, the environment -- just this. attack, immigrant rights, just to see how much could happen in a short period of time with the control. on the other side, the resistance. amy: i would like to talk about our pope. we just cover the people's climate march. there was a lot of discussion about the koch brothers in the power of dark money, the
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influence on ever thing from congress to the us supreme court. can you talk about art scope in north carolina? when we last spoke here in charlotte at the democratic convention that took place, you were talking about his power. who is this figure? >> he is a multimillionaire who over the last decade has invested about $50 million in trying to shift the agenda of the state in a more rightward direction. he is a close ally of the koch brothers. you was the chair jesse was the chair of americans for prosperity, the national tea party group. he founded a retail -- inherited a retail business in part that is the basis that fuels his money and his political scene. ability to not only find politicians and inject money into the political process after citizens united. he was funding a lot of the so-called dark money groups and
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injecting money that really helped fuel the takeover of conservatives in the state legislature in 2010 and 2012. he also had a network of groups like americans for prosperity, think tanks, advocacy groups. these were the masterminds behind the attacks. for example, on voting rights. ofwas these places that road the bills taking out the protections for clean elections, drawing up the bills to cut early voting, and drumming of concern about voter fraud. it is a sophisticated network, very well-funded. when governor mccrory, the republicans took power in 2012, lo and behold, he appointed as his budget director, a perch in the office of the governor, as budget director, art hope. i think that was the apex of his power and influence in the state. one of the first things he did was defied a clean elections program that tried to drive many other judicial races in the
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state posted was able to exert his influence. with mccrory out of power, you don't see his influence as directly as you saw before. he is one of the most important state-level big-money players you will see anywhere in the country, and his ability to shape state politics. amy: i want to turn to the democratic congressman john lewis from the south, from georgia. he testified during sessions confirmation hearings earlier this year. how senatort matter he may may smile, how speak to you. is goinged someone who to stand up, speak up, and speak people that need been for people who have discredited against. it doesn't matter whether they are black or white, latino, asian-american, or native
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american. whether they are straight or gay. muslim, christian, or jews. ,e all live in the same house the american house. we need someone as attorney general who is going to look out for all of us, and not just for some of us. amy: so that was john lewis speaking against the confirmation of jeff sessions as attorney general. of course, he was confirmed. your final comments? >> that is a powerful reminder that despite how dark things look and when you think about these strong agendas, the right-wing agenda we see right now, this unbroken tradition of resistance in the south -- people like representative lewis and body of the institute for seven studies, founded by civil rights veterans. you think about that unbroken history that you really see today, that is able to continue to push the south forward. amy: chris kromm, thanks for
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being with us executive director , of the institute for southern studies and publisher of facing south. we will link to your piece "south's political clout rising , under trump." that does it for our show. we will be covering the story of hog farming and liquid hog manure thing sprayed on largely african-american committees later on our journey. this does it for our show as we continue our tour around the country. i will be speaking -- democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to outreach@democracynow.org or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
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