tv The Ed Show MSNBC January 6, 2012 12:00am-1:00am PST
the defending forces of americana. this time around two of his co-religionists are up for the big prize of getting their endorsement. well, that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "the ed show" with ed schultz starts right now. good evening, americans, and welcome to "the ed show," tonight from new york. breaking news out of the beantown. "the boston globe" is endorsing jon huntsman for the gop nomination. apparently, they don't like their former governor mitt romney anymore. maybe because he's not being straight with the voters? you see, middle-class mitt is trying to hide how rich he is. tonight i'll blow romney's cover. this is "the ed show." let's get to work. >> i spent my life in the business world. people say, well, what difference does that make? >> the difference is mitt romney is the richest presidential candidate in a decade, and he's trying to keep it off the radar. >> with regards to income taxes, that's not something that's required by the law. i'm not planning on releasing my income taxes anytime soon.
>> i'll tell you what mitt romney's trying to hide. reaction from eugene robinson of the "washington post." >> i don't want to make black people's lives better by giving them someone else's money. >> rick santorum is surging in new hampshire. but he still can't explain his comment about black people. >> i'm pretty confident i didn't say black. >> msnbc political analyst michael eric dyson and salon's joan walsh are here with reaction. a top aide to scott walker has been arrested as the recall plows ahead. you don't want to miss the report from john nichols of "the nation." and the republican attack on workers' rights is blowing up in the hoosier state. democrats are fighting back. i'll talk to their leader in the state house. good to have you with us tonight, folks. thanks for watching. you can say at home, oh, there goes eddie playing class warfare again. no, i'm not. mitt romney hopes to win the new hampshire primary five days from now.
establishment republicans, well, they're out and about saying that, well, he's probably the nominee in waiting. i don't think so. romney is going to have a real hard time selling himself to middle-class americans. the proof is in his bank account, my friends. a financial consulting firm figured out the net worth of presidential candidates from the past 20 years. pretty lofty numbers. billionaire ross perot is the richest. steve forbes comes in second, who by the way is endorsing mitt romney. romney is third. that's right. he is the third richest candidate to ever run for president over the last 20 years. he's worth, ding ding, $250 million. now, let me give you another number. 3,140. mitt romney is one of the 3,140 richest people in america. good for him. nice to know he can make a dollar. those 3,140 people are in the top .001% of all wage earners in
this country. and let me make something perfectly clear. i don't have a problem with anybody that makes a dollar. i just don't want them picking on people that don't have that kind of success because that's really an elite group economically in this country. but as president mitt romney will protect these folks. the richest people in this country. while asking the poorest americans to pay a little bit more. that's what i don't like. now, if you call that class warfare, go right ahead. i think it's about fairness. the tax policy center crunched the numbers on mitt romney's tax plan. see, mitt's got a tax plan. this is what he wants to do if he's president. romney's plan would increase taxes on families making less than $40,000 a year. now, you tell me if that's not class warfare. he wants to pick on the little guy? american workers making less than $10,000 a year. they're going to see the biggest
increase. now, you tell me what's fair about that. people at the top, what's going to happen to them? well, they're going to pay less. that's where he comes from, the country club. a millionaire will see his taxes drop by almost 5%. keep in mind, romney will still not let you see how much he pays in taxes. >> with regards to income taxes, that's not something that's required by the law. i'm not planning on releasing my income taxes anytime soon. but we'll wait to see what happens. never say never. >> oh, yeah, we'll wait and see. romney won't even commit to releasing his tax records if he wins the presidency. >> it's not is that hard to make a commitment that if you're elected president of the united states that you would release the tax returns. every president does. >> you know, if i become president, then i'll consider that. it's a little premature for me to be talking about that at this stage. >> is there some secret? people know you're wealthy. >> yeah, i understand. >> there's nothing to hide. >> no, i agree. there's nothing to hide.
>> you know what i think? i think that's one of the most revealing interviews so far in this entire campaign season. because if you're proud of where you came from and what you've done you shouldn't have any reservations at all as a person if you want to lead to tell people about it because you want them to have the same kind of success that you've had. now, that's just a personal view on my part. we know why mitt romney won't release his tax returns. his investment income is worth millions. and he's taxed, my friends, at a much lower rate than regular wages. romney pays a lower tax rate than the person driving the campaign bus. he pays a lower tax rate than the janitor who cleans up after the campaign events. he wants that guy to pay more than the rich folks proportionately. you know, so where's the break? what has mitt romney ever done for the blue liners? now, hold it right there. think about that. we use this graph a lot. i said months ago this is the
only graph you really need to know about going into 2012. well, we're here. see, this is the blue liners. these are the middle classers of america. the wage earners of america. they're right down here on this line. they haven't gone too far in the last 30 years. but here's the country clubbers and the people who maybe don't want to reveal their taxes. the fact of the matter is romney's policies will continue to separate working americans from those at the very top. and don't take my word for it. the tax policy institute did it. if you were a wage earner, if you're down here, you're a wage earner, you're a blue liner, do you think mitt romney understands your struggle? check out this video from his campaign when he was running for senate back in 1994. >> the lady of the house. >> just a worker. >> just a worker. that's what we all are. >> nice to meet you. >> good to meet you. i'm mitt romney. how are you doing? good. good to see you. how are you? good to meet you. how's business? >> struggling.
>> struggling. how are you doing? i'm mitt romney. good to meet you. thank you very much. appreciate it. >> well, there it is. romney never stops to ask the woman why she is struggling. i thought he was into turning businesses around. he could have given her a tip. instead he presses the flesh and just moves on. just a snapshot of maybe who he is. there is only one person in this race really trying to make the top liners a little closer to the real folks of america. you know, or the blue liners to get back up to the top and be with them to have a better life and i think his name is president barack obama. you will never convince me that a guy who will not reveal his tax returns after a life of success is really concerned about the folks down here. i think that's very revealing. i think there should be full disclosure. you know, we can't find out who the heck is bankrolling their campaigns with these super pacs that are out there. but can we at least, mitt, know exactly where you are
financially? we know that you're up there really high with ross perot and steve forbes. you're the third richest guy in the last 20 years to run for president. you ought to be proud of that. so show us what you pay. get your cell phones out. i want to know what you think. tonight's question. percentagewise, do you think mitt rom mi pays more or less than you do in taxes? text a for more. text b for less to 622639. you can go to our blog and leave a comment there at ed.msnbc.com. i have nothing against anybody doing extremely well. that's what capitalism is all about. that's what america is all about. i think the republicans, what do they call it? oh, american exceptionalism. that's what they call it. hey, go have at it. but when you get there and you want to be in a leadership role, why is it that you want to give more to the top liners and expect these folks down here to pay more taxes? and that is exactly what mitt
romney wants to do. that is not where president obama and the democrats are. joining me tonight, msnbc political analyst eugene robinson. also associate editor and pulitzer prize-winning columnist for the "washington post." eugene, great to have you with us tonight. >> good to be here, ed. >> good americans knew about the wealth -- and this story is getting around. if every voter out there knew exactly what romney's wealth was and just how much he pays in taxes, do you think that would affect how people might view him as the president, or view him as the candidate or maybe affect their vote? what do you think? >> well, i think it's something people would want to know. look, i'm with you. i have nothing against a guy making a dollar. that's what, you know, this country's economic system is all about. it creates wealth. you know. the problem is that that wealth has become increasingly concentrated in just a few hands, and mitt romney is one of the, what, 3,140 top
beneficiaries of what's been happening to the economy. now, i know the answer to your question, i think. he almost certainly pays a lower tax rate than your listeners do because he's paying the capital gains rate, which is 15%. >> well, you know what? why doesn't he just come out and say that? it would seem to me it would be a credibility issue, full disclosure. if someone's running for president, everyone's going to find everything out anyway, you might as well come forward and do it. so what in the world he be hiding? ah, probably a pretty nice rate. has barack obama, the president, do you think he's positioned himself well with this populist approach that he's taking over the last few months? >> yes. i think obviously he has. i mean, his numbers are going up as the republican party's numbers come down. and i think it's due to the fact that the president has more aggressively and more
definitively, i would hope, positioned himself as with the people, as with the 99%, or the 99.99% in this case. it's a smart political move on the president's part and i think a sincere move because i do think if you think of his background, for example, he did lead not a privileged upbringing. his family was on food stamps for a while. he earned what he has in life. and i think he appreciates that. >> i think there's really something to what you're saying because i think people, when they have success, they have to remember where they came from to help others also have the same kind of success, especially if they're in a leadership position. president obama came from the blue line. okay? he hasn't forgotten. because his policies have helped people on the blue line. there's no question about it. i'm going to spend more time looking into what mitt romney has done for the blue liners of
america. i think that is the story. when we talk about income inequality in this country, and it is a big issue. its polling is a big issue with a lot of americans out there. this is the story about who they're going to be electing. and i really do think if you've been there done that you can't forget how you did it. and i just think that romney's got some serious economic questions to ask. now, establishment republicans, i guess you can say are circling the wagons. karl rove wrote this editorial in the "wall street journa calling romney's eight-vote and here's what john mccain told cbs after endorsing romney in new hampshire. >> well, i think that it's very much timed to select our nominee and to move forward into the general election mode. >> well, will the establishment -- the establishment republicans, i guess we can call them, are they going to shut down any threat to romney?
is he really the threat? >> well, you know this is what they've been saying for a while, ed, trying for months now to convince the party, the party faithful just to say, okay, accept mitt romney, you don't love him but he's the best shot we've got. and people aren't buying it. i was out in iowa, and i talked to a lot of republicans. some supporting mitt romney. not a lot of passion. and some who told me they wouldn't vote for mitt romney under any circumstances, even if he were the nominee. now, that was a minority. but there's a problem there, that the republican establishment is trying its best to deal with. but they haven't put out this fire, i think. >> well, a guy that bounces around on the social issue of abortion the way he has, and he doesn't want to reveal his taxes to you, i don't think that's a way to kind of build up any trust in anybody. eugene robinson, good to have you with us tonight. i appreciate your time. thanks for being with us on "the ed show."
>> great to be here, ed. >> you bet. remember to answer tonight's question at the bottom of the screen and share your thoughts on twitter, @theedshow. rick santorum has raised $2 million in two days and he's gotten an endorsement of a major catholic organization which is expected to really help him. i think that this guy better be taken seriously. and santorum's surge in popularity is putting him, well, under the microscope, as it should. he's denying making a racially charged comment about social welfare programs. we'll play you the tape and let you decide. stay with us. we're right back.
coming up, george will explains rick santorum's appeal. roger simon and jennifer donahue on whether rick has a shot in new hampshire and beyond. that's coming up next. herman cain is back, and he's got a new plan. we'll tell you all about it in "psycho talk," where it belongs. and indiana democrats are doing all they can to keep their state from becoming the next to work
welcome back to "the ed show." i have to go back to the last segment for just a moment, if i may. think about this. there's a guy who wants to be president of the united states of america, and he wants people making $10,000 a year to pay more in taxes but he doesn't want to show you his taxes. he doesn't want to do full disclosure.
he might if he's elected someday, never say never. the middle classers, the blue liners, who he has in my opinion no record of helping in his legislative career or in leadership, in fact, he's cut a lot of jobs in his private sector that he loves to talk about, he wants to raise their taxes and he doesn't want to show you his taxes. doesn't want to show you his tax returns. i mean, i think it speaks volumes as to who mitt romney is. he can tweet us using the hashtag edshow. democratsish don't dismiss rick santorum. many of you accuse me of being his promotional guy on television. but let me tell you something, i believe that this guy needs to be taken seriously. he can be a dangerous contender. even some conservatives are wondering what rick santorum is all about. but santorum is the only candidate in the republican field who has the potential to tap into middle-class voters who are culturally conservative. columnist george will, i think he may have said it best. he has written, "white voters
without college education, economically anxious and culturally conservative, were called reagan democrats. today they are called the republican base. who is more apt to energize them? santorum, who is from them, or romney, who is desperately seeking enthusiasm?" well put, mr. will, and on target i think. the santorum surge is really very real. very real when it comes to social conservatives. if he has any problem drawing a contrast between himself and mitt romney, he should take this john mccain ad from four years ago out and play it over and over again and attach his name to it. ♪ >> i believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country. >> i will preserve and protect a woman's right to choose and am devoted and dedicated to
honoring my word in that regard. >> i am pro life and favor that legislation. >> you will not see me wavering on that or be a multiple choice, thank you very much. >> you can go back to youtube and look at what you i said in 1994. i never said i was pro choice. but my position was effectively pro choice. i said that time and time again. >> there is no doubt new hampshire is in an uphill battle for santorum. in the latest new hampshire poll he has moved into third place behind romney and ron paul but still at just 8% but he's heading in the right direction. but he has raised $2 million since tuesday. it's getting better. he's gotten the endorsement of a major catholic group, catholicvote.org. i'm joined tonight by roger simon, chief political columnist for politico, and jennifer donahue, huffington post contributor and fellow at the eisenhower institute at gettysburg college. great to have both of you with us tonight on the program from new hampshire. you know, new hampshire really is a tough one for santorum. but does he have the potential to do well here?
i guess it's all about mojo at this point. jennifer, what do you think? you know that part of the country as well as anybody. do you think that the social conservatives and the catholic endorsement is going to take him into double digits before next tuesday? >> at this point i'd be surprised if he didn't get into double digits. he's had events here all day. he did especially well at the tilton diner, which was a pure retail event, where he was hand holding and talking to people and looking in their eyes. they were kicking the tires, trying to get to know him. but 60% of new hampshire is catholic. and i think that a lot of people in new hampshire have really continued to feel anybody but romney. and these are the early primary voters. these are the people who are going to go out no matter what the weather is on tuesday and they're going to cast their vote. a lot of them are single issue voters based on abortion. i think santorum has the potential to capture the non-independents in the race. >> you know, roger, i've always been one to believe that no part
of this country has a lock on great people. there's great people wherever you go in america. i don't think the folks are any different in the middle of the country from the east or the west coast when it comes to assessing qualities of people. and santorum is well entrenched in the social conservative movement of this country and the catholic vote. how do you think it's going to play for him? >> the catholic vote will definitely help him here. it would also help him in a general election if he gets that far because catholics are truly swing voters in america. they'll vote social issues in one election. they'll vote pocketbook issues in the next. but the problem for santorum here is not getting in double digits. he will. the problem is how we in the media define romney's success or failure here. if santorum can keep romney's margin of victory below 10%,
that is, if he can keep romney to a single-digit victory, santorum will claim that he had a very good night. and i think the media will agree with him. however, this is a tough state to do that in. romney lives here. neighboring governor. the polls show him 27 percentage points up. this is a tough second state for santorum after a very impressive tie in iowa. >> what do you make of his money coming in, jennifer? is that enough? not enough? you never have enough in this day and age. but is $2 million a pretty good number this close after iowa? >> i think 2 million's pretty good in two days. i think what you're seeing is what santorum has in his back pocket is a man named mike bandeau, who orchestrated pat buchanan's win against bob dole in 1996. they've been able to hit the ground running yesterday and today, while romney has left the
state to go to south carolina to try to build some kind of firewall and protect himself against rick perry down there. but i think santorum is trying to capitalize on his ability to connect on a retail level, something that romney has yet to do in new hampshire even though he's been campaigning here for five years. he's really capped by his own lack of retail connection. and i think when he comes back from south carolina tomorrow night that's romney's biggest challenge. he may have all the money in the world to spend on this race, but nothing will replace that grassroots hand holding that voters in new hampshire are used to seeing and expect to see. >> and roger, what do you think about mitt romney's strategy? will he go negative on rick santorum, or does he just have too much of a lead right now to think about that? >> i would be shocked if mitt romney goes negative on anybody. i think he would be delighted if newt gingrich and santorum and others become -- especially in the case of gingrich a human hand grenade at the debates this weekend and try to blow him up. he will sit there or stand there and take the punches.
it makes him look good. he is sitting on top of a fat lead in this state, and i doubt if he can really blow it. >> and jennifer, the table is set for a barn burner on both saturday night and sunday morning. do you think it will get as pointed as it has been, some of the comments coming from newt gingrich? is this going to be a republican debate that we've never seen before? >> i think it has that potential. i think what's happened is newt gingrich really has those negative ads from romney under his skin. it's the old newt gingrich. he's angry. he's bitter. i think we're going to see that coming out. i think ron paul has shown the capacity to go really negative, and he'll do that. huntsman i doubt will go negative, but he's drawing sharper and sharper contrasts with romney. romney has to try to remain steady and keep his -- himself
cool under all this pressure. but what you could see on tuesday night is you could see the independent vote sort of splitting between romney, ron paul, and jon huntsman. and then the conservatives going toward santorum, that could bring romney's numbers way down to earth. i would not at all be surprised if romney got a 12-point lead, a 10-point lead. and i do think that would be perceived as a loss for romney because then how does he land in south carolina where the field gets even bigger with perry? >> a wounded leader. great to have both of you with us. roger simon, jennifer donahue, thank you so much. mr. 9-9-9 is back with a huge announcement. herman cain's news is so big it's going in the zone tonight. a former aide to scott walker is arrested for stealing money from a veterans' charity. what does it mean for the governor and the recall effort? john nichols will have the latest and explain it all. stay tuned. uyjl6ns'4m4oxl,f3+
and in "psycho talk" tonight herman cain is back. the pizza man went on hannity's show last night with a blockbuster announcement. >> it's not an endorsement. >> no. >> you're not getting back in the race? >> no. i've started a new movement. the biggest comment that i got when i ended my candidacy was "keep 9-9-9 alive." that's what this is about. and i'm going it keep it alive with what i'm calling cain's solutions revolution.
and the first solution we're going to promote -- >> you have a bus. >> yes, sir. got a bus with a picture on it. the first solution we are going to promote actively is 9-9-9, the revolution. >> great get, hannity. that's some breaking news if i ever saw it. you've got herman cain again on your program to talk about some bus tour. hmm. herman cain. you think he wants to be another sarah palin? oh, yeah, he really wants a reality show. that's what it is. the pizza man's going to travel around the country begging members of congress to vote for his 9-9-9 plan, which would raise taxes on most low and middle-income households. i was thinking, you know what he ought to do is take a page out of grover norquist's playbook and get him to sign one of those pledges. all of the congressional members are for 9-9-9. see how that works out for you. herman cain is optimistic, though. he released a promotional video for his new venture. >> they think we are stupid. well, you know what comes after
a tea party? a revolution. it's time for history to repeat itself. we the people are coming. and we want our power back. welcome to the solutions revolution. victory. >> he's back. good luck, dude. you're going to need it. herman cain's big announcement, just another steaming slice of "psycho talk." rick santorum is -- well, he's in damage control mode after pushing an ugly racial stereotype on the campaign trail. he's denying it ever happened. but we have the tape. you can be the judge. joan walsh and michael eric dyson will join me next. and indiana governor mitch daniels joins john kasich and scott daniel in attacking unions. will it work in the hoosier state in state democratic leader
rick santorum is scrambling to spin his way out of trouble over a racial comment he seemed to make during a recent campaign event. santorum was talking about his opposition to programs like medicaid and food stamps. then he said this. >> i don't want to make black people's lives better by giving them somebody else's money. >> it sounds like he said i don't want to make black people's lives better by giving them somebody else's money. the following day rick santorum, he didn't deny it. >> i've seen that quote. i haven't seen the context in which that was made. and yesterday i talked, for example, about a movie called -- what was it? "waiting for superman." which was about black children. >> so santorum fully
acknowledged it was something he could have said. but after his success in the iowa caucuses he rethought his position. last night he gave a new response. >> i'm pretty confident i didn't say black. what i think -- i started to say a word and sort of blu -- sort of mumbled it and changed my thought. i don't recall saying black. what i started to say is a word and sort of change and it sort of blu -- came out. people said i said black. i didn't. i don't use the term black very much. i use the term african-american more thain use black. >> blu isn't what i heard. let's play it one more time. >> i don't want to make black people's lives better by giving them somebody else's money. >> i'm not buying santorum's excuse, and neither is reverend jesse jackson. today he released the following statement. "santorum's comments are not accidental. they are a calculation to target immigrants and now blacks. he is appealing to the fear vote that will take us backward, not the hope vote that will take us forward."
we're joined tonight by joan walsh, editor at large ndlon.co dyson, msnbc political analy and georgetown university professor. great to have both of you with us. joan, are you buying his answer at this point? >> -- it sounds so clear and he didn't deny it. and you you know, ed, if i said to you, hey, ed, you know, what on your show last night it sounds like you might have said kind of racist about black people, you would say, joan, you must have misheard me because i would never say a thing like that, that's not in my thinking, it's not in my language. you wouldn't say, well, i don't know, maybe i did. so i mean, that's the first tell. and the second is that this really is the kind of dog whistle politics that the republican party has used to lure our people, the white working class, over to their party, to tell them over and over that money's being -- their money's being given to black people when in fact, as we all
know, it's been given to rich people. so it's hard to take this seriously. >> michael, do you buy santorum's excuse? and is this going to be a problem for him? >> i don't buy it at all. i think joan is absolutely right. not only is it dog whistle politics, it's the politics of divisive, cynical republican ideology here. because if you're talking about government funding through tax dollars, you're talking about social security, medicaid, medicare, veterans' benefits. you're speaking about unemployment benefits, bailouts for corporations and the like. and as joan said, the redistribution of money upward to rich people. so why in the world would you single out african-american people who are a small percentage of those who receive the benefits, by the way, of their tax dollars? it's their money as well. so you're not giving black people who are on welfare somebody else's money. you're giving them part of the money that they've contributed as members of this society. so all across the board, in every score rick santorum is wrong, and his racist politics i think are pretty clear.
>> well, let's say he didn't say it. his follow-up has been terrible. santorum is also trying to play up his work with historically black colleges. here it is. >> there's no one that's worked more in -- when i was a senator from pennsylvania in the urban communities, both black, hispanics, as well as whites. every year i used to bring all the historically black colleges in to washington, d.c. to try to help them. i helped to try to introduce them to people in the department of education so they could have more resources. we had two historically black colleges in pence pen. >> the congress had a summit every year for historically black colleges not just in pennsylvania of which we have three. so i'll match my record against any democrat or republican in working in african-american communities. >> joan, does santorum's record with african-american communities hold up? >> well, you know, if you have to spend the day talking about all the good things you've done for black people, ed, you're in a little bit of trouble. i don't think it holds up.
i think the people know that he has consistently been a voice for the rich and powerful. he's mr. k street. he has -- he talks a good game in terms of catholic morality, but he ignores catholic social teaching about the poor of every color. i just don't -- i just don't think this is going to work for him. >> well, he's not alone. gingrich is also quick to connect programs like food stamps to the african-american community. listen to this sound bite from gingrich. >> more people are on food stamps today because of obama's policies than ever in history. i would like to be the best paycheck president in american history. i am prepared, if the naacp invites me, i'll go to their convention and talk about why the african-american community should demand paychecks and not be satisfied with food stamps. >> michael, your reaction. is the naacp looking for newt gingrich to teach them about food stamps? >> i don't think we need newt gingrich's pedagogy in the naacp. i think this is condescension at its most poignant.
and as with rick santorum, when you have pet negro causes you tend to treat negros like pets. sought reality is that they begin to isolate these racial strata that they've contributed to, overlooking the broad sweep of history, which is what newt gingrich's supposed strength is, and what they end up doing is reinforcing stereotypical thinking about black people that dismisses the overwhelming empirical evidence that black people are a lot more complicated than they seem to understand. >> joan walsh, michael eric dyson, always great to have you with us. thanks so much. >> thanks, ed. scott walker preaches to a choir at a right-wing think tank. john michael -- or john nichols will join me with the latest on the recall effort. the recall effort. stay with us.
if your neighbor could bring his jaw back up, he'd say, "thank you for making every day halloween." inspired by all you attention grabbers comes gain hawaiian aloha and other scents that are, like you, anything but ordinary. up next on "the ed show," bad news for scott walker, the governor of wisconsin. as three people with ties to the governor are arrested. the latest from washington correspondent of "the nation," john nichols. don't forget to tweet us using the hashtag "edshow."
well, there's another chapter for you. with the recall effort in wisconsin moving right along, governor scott walker had no choice but to leave the state today and rub elbows with washington insiders and gop fund-raisers. walker explained his war on unions to the folks at the american enterprise institute, a right-wing think tank. >> collective bargaining in the public sector's not a right. it is an expensive entitlement. >> walker also told the group he's not afraid of losing a possible recall election but is bothered by the out-of-state money pouring into the effort. >> people ask me who my opponent's going to be. i said the person doesn't matter. it will be the big money union bosses in washington who will pour limitless money into our state and will try to influence our vote. >> and as the huffington post reports, walker's appealed for some out-of-state money of his own meeting with republican donors at the capitol hill club. now, potentially more trouble is brewing for the governor in wisconsin.
three people were arrested today earlier as part of a secret criminal john doe investigation. one of them is a former top aide of scott walker's. here's the report from wtmj tv. >> reporter: tim russell was charged in court with three counts of theft. he's accused of stealing money from a military charity fund for families of wisconsin soldiers killed in iraq and afghanistan. the fund was part of then county executive scott walker's "operation freedom" events at the zoo. it was walker's administration who asked prosecutors to investigate allegations of missing funds. >> we go where the evidence leads and partisan politics plays no role in any decision made by this office. >> let's turn to john nichols, washington correspondent of "the nation" magazine. john, what's the latest on this investigation? >> well, ed, it is a very serious investigation.
and one of the things that's been revealed today is that this charity, which had been run very effectively by an american legion post, was shifted to control by governor walker's political aide, the guy who's been arrested, by walker himself when he was serving as county executive. so he's not coming out looking particularly well in this. and remember, this investigation follows upon a broader investigation. it's part of a broader investigation that has seen the fbi raid the home of a top walker aide, that has seen governor walker's press secretary take immunity, and that has seen one of his top donors plead guilty to felony violations of campaign finance laws. so it's really adding up to a lot of concern for wisconsinns. >> no matter how you look at this, it is not good for scott walker and certainly not in condemning him or indicting him
here, but it would seem to me that he would want to distance himself from this as much as he possibly can. what has his reaction been? >> he hasn't distanced himself in nearly the way you would expect. he said he would be disappointed if these charges turned out to be true. that's a lot different than saying that something really bad is going on and you're shocked by it. the fact is that with all of these investigations playing out, so many of them related to campaign finance issues, you really begin to get a sense of a peyton place situation going around this governor where even if he's not personally tied to the wrongdoing he seems to have very bad judgment in the people he hires and trusts. >> what do you think this does to the support for his recall effort, both ways? >> i think it feeds into it, ed. because across wisconsin there are many, many people that are concerned about the collective bargaining issues that you and i have talked about for a whole year now. but there are also folks in the middle who might not be that concerned about union rights but
are concerned about whether their governor is an ethical person, whether he's working within the law, and frankly whether he's hiring people that are ethical and work within the law. so it does broaden the concerns about scott walker. >> john nichols, great to have you with us. it's a story to follow, and it's just another chapter in wisconsin politics. it just never stops. thanks so much. governor mitch daniels is hoping to take out unions in indiana. state democratic leader pat bauer is trying to stop the governor. it never stops in the midwest, does it? he joins me next.
i asked percentagewise, do you think mitt romney pays more or less than you do in taxes? 5% of you say more. 95% of you say less. coming up, indiana governor mitch daniels is the latest republican to take on unions. the state's house democratic leader pat bauer tells us how they're standing up for workers. stay with us. they'll save you by switching, you'd have, like, a ton of dollars.
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well, it's already happened in wisconsin and ohio, and now republican governor mitch daniels in indiana has his eye on killing unions in that state. what stands between daniels and his goal? well, about 40 democratic lawmakers. it's the same old story. the latest story out of the hoosier state is part of a nationwide effort to attack workers, weaken unions, and ultimately put a republican in the white house. mitch daniels and republican state lawmakers are doing their part by making so-called right to work legislation a top
priority. currently 22 states have right to work laws. these laws prohibit businesses and unions from requiring workers to pay dues to a union. now, a right to work bill was introduced last year but stalled as democrats fled the state for five weeks. yesterday was supposed to be the first day of a new legislative session. instead the democratic minority managed to stall business once again by staying away from the house floor. and today they did it again. here's the report from wthr. >> for the second consecutive day now democrats in the house of representatives have prevented a quorum call on the floor of the house. speaker brian bosma tried to convene lawmakers for business twice today but to no avail. it takes 67 members to conduct business on the floor of the house and only 64 will showing up.w up for
various committees but once again, not enough to conduct business. >> joining me now is pat bauer, indiana house democratic leader. mr. bauer, good to have you with us tonight. how long -- >> hi, ed. >> you bet. how long can you keep this up? i mean, will you continue to stall this until people put pressure on lawmakers, telling them they're doing the wrong thing? what's the game plan here? >> we can only try, ed, one day longer, one day stronger. but there's a lot of pressure on my members. they manage to do it for five weeks. but that cost them quite a bit in fines and other trouble. but we've had a time for the people to learn about our right to work. but at least still 50% don't understand it. but the way their schedule is now they want to ram it through the house in one short week and do likewise in the senate, and that's for a controversial bill like this that's probably not only unprecedented but it sure shows they're afraid of public -- the public getting to know what right to work stands for. less pay and less workplace safety and maybe no health care. >> okay. where do you think the people of indiana stand on this? i mean, have there been any measurements taken, any polls out there? do you have a good grip on where the public is in your state? >> the most impartial poll by ball state university showed
out there? do you have a good grip on where the public is in your state? >> the most impartial poll by ball state university showed that 50% of the people don't even know what right to work is and once they learn about it most of them are against it. but that's why we want to have time so the people can understand what will happen -- >> so -- >> it will make indiana one of
the least attractive places to have jobs in the country. we're now the fifth most attractive in the country. >> sure. >> and they want to make us like mississippi, which is the 50th least attractive. >> i mean, that's very telling. half the people in your state don't even know what right to work means, although you've got a bunch of lawmakers who think that they just absolutely have to have it that way. >> yes, sir. >> would you call for a full walkout? are you willing to do that? >> well, that's very difficult to do. i think what we have to do is try to slow down the process and continue to try to draw attention to what the bill is. and that's what we're doing. and find other ways to bring the public involved. we are going to have voluntary local hearings on our own because we asked them to have hearings around the state and they refused. they are on this very fast track. so we're going to have our own this weekend to try to do it on our own. >> okay. what is happening around the country i think is that you have got all these right to work legislation laws being put up, proposed in many of these states. they're just trying to deplete the infrastructure of all of the unions, deplete their funds, and of course hurt the democratic infrastructure. and of course it will deplete wages as time goes on.