tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC February 27, 2014 1:00am-2:01am PST
so the idea that you need to expand this and enshrine it into law seems ridiculous. >> thank you both, gentlemen. >> that is all in for this evening, the rachel maddow show starts right now. >> good evening, chris, thanks very much. thanks to you at home for joining us. the breaking news this hour, is the announcement tonight from jan brewer that she will veto a bill to pass the arizona state legislature, which proponents of the pressure said it was designed to protect religious liberty. proponents said it would eliminate discrimination in the state of arizona. here's her statement tonight. >> thank you for joining me here this evening. i'm here to announce a decision on senate bill 1062. as with every proposal that reaches my desk, i give great
concern and carol careful evaluation and deliberate consideration to senate bill 1062. i call them like i see them, despite the tears or the boos from the crowd i took the necessary time to make the right decision. i spoke with my attorneys, lawmakers and citizens, supporting and opposing this legislation. as governor, i have asked questions and i have listened. i have protected religious freedoms when there is a specific and present concern that exists in our state. and i have records to prove it. my agenda is to sign into law legislation that advances arizona. senate bill 1062 does not address a specific or present concern related to religious liberty in arizona. i've not heard one example in arizona, where business owners religious liberty has been violated. the bill is broadly worded and could result in unintended and negative consequences.
after weighing all of the arguments, i have vetoed senate bill 1062 moments ago. to the supporters of this legislation, i want you to know that i understand that long held norms about marriage and family are being challenged. as never before. our society is undergoing many dramatic changes, however, i sincerely believe that senate bill 1062 has the potential to create more problems than it purports to solve. i could divide arizona in ways we could not even imagine. and no one would ever want. religious liberty is a core american and arizona value. so is nondiscrimination. going-forward, let's turn the ugliness of the debate over senate bill 1062 into a renewed search for greater respect and understanding among all
arizonans and americans. thank you. >> although there was that moment of meaningful eye contact with the people who just watched her make the statement and people started asking questions, she did not stick around to take those questions. this is big news tonight out of arizona for a few different reasons. the first is the most geographically immediate. you see people in arizona tonight in phoenix celebrating after the governor's announcement about an hour ago. this is big news in arizona first and foremost, whether it is legal to refuse services to people. can businesses put up signs saying they only serve people they believe to be straight people. no, you cannot eat at this
restaurant? no you cannot stay at this hotel because you're gay or i think you're gay. could any other religious belief be used to segregate businesses or deny public accommodations or government services in arizona. if a police officer holds the religious belief that domestic violence is sanctioned by god. if a police officer believes that the bible says a husband should beat his wife or beat his children. can the police officer refuse to respond to that kind of call? refuse to arrest the perpetrator? can you be refused service at a hotel if the hotel owner's religious belief call for strict vegetarianism and you look like the kind of guy who eats meat? will arizona allow discrimination by business owners and the segregation of public accommodations in the name of prioritizing religious beliefs over equal treatment. republicans in the arizona
legislature looked at that question and decided that the answer to that question should be yes. arizona should be allowed to describe that kind of discrimination. arizona republican governor jan brewer has decided that the answer to that question in arizona is no. this is a picture of the governor actually at the moment she is vetoing the bill. she's vetoing it with a red rubber stamp. that's how we know she did it. before she said she was just going to, now we know she's done it. that's the most immediate impact here on arizona specifically. the secondary impact here is on the other states that are considering measures like this across the country.
because republican legislatures aren't just trying this on for size in arizona. they're trying this everywhere. in fact most observers thought the place this kind of la would be most likely to pass was in kansas. two weeks ago, slate published this piece about how kansas' anti-gay segregation bill is an abomination, but kansas decided not to go ahead with it. once they got to the state senate they decided to slow it down and maybe kill it. laws have moved one way or another this year in mississippi, oregon, west virginia, idaho, tennessee, in south dakota, oklahoma, georgia. as i mentioned, in kansas. also in ohio. the one in ohio actually was just pulled today, just pulled this afternoon ahead of jan brewer's veto. that one doesn't look totally dead necessarily, it looks like it's on life support. it's an interesting question as to whether or not these other states will also drop their similar bills. will any of those other states discrimination bills get as far as the governor's desk like they did in arizona? and if that happens in any of those other states, it looks like georgia may be the best
candidate to get it to the governor, if it happens in any of those states, should we expect that the same kind of pressure would be brought to bear on those states to not do it, the same kind of pressure as was brought to bear on jan brewer. you heard her mention in her veto statement tonight the economic impact of the proposed law, her effect on arizona's economy? the reason she brought that up. the reason she made that central to her veto message is presumably because of the kind of pressure that was brought to bear against the bill once it got to her desk. it wasn't just supporters of gay rights and civil libertarians against this thing. the arizona chamber of commerce was right at the front of the line, saying they strongly opposed this bill and they wanted the governor to veto it for business reasons. all of these individual businesses, some of which are headquartered in arizona, all of which have major business interests in the state.
all of these businesses weighed in as well, saying that it's okay to discriminate bill would be contrary to the business climate these companies wanted to operate in. so what happens now physical georgia keeps moving ahead with their legislation. will the same business interests weigh-in in that state as well. watch this space, because if republican legislators keep passing these bills, we're going to find out if the business interests will be brought to bear all across the country. that brings us to the third and i think most wide ranging impact of the big news about the veto tonight in arizona. when governor jan brewer made this announcement tonight, she was essentially standing astride the casm in the republican party. yes, it was the republicans in the arizona legislature who voted for this thing. it was the arizona legislators of her own party who passed this, then again, some of the republican legislators who voted
for it, changed their minds almost as soon as they cast their vote. they regretted their votes, they wanted the governor to veto what they had just done. there's a split even among the people who were voting on this as time went by. the governor also faced pressure to veto this republican bill from the state's two u.s. senators. neither is particularly known as a champion of gay rights or anything, both of those said that governor brewer should defy the republicans in the legislator and stop this bill from becoming law. then again, there were also these increasingly loud voices from the conservative most and the conservative media telling jan brewer she ought to sign it. liberty isn't only acting in ways that "the new york times" approves of. organized homosexuality remains on the permanent offensive,
using official coercion to impose their own values. that kind of pressure wasn't just from the conservative press it was on the airwaves. on fox news channel and talk radio as well. >> the governor of arizona is being bullied, by the homosexual lobby in arizona and elsewhere. she's being bullied by the nationwide drive by media, the certain elements of corporate america in order to advance the gay agenda. >> i'm just telling you, this has gone too far. everyone in america is terrified to tell the truth which is, this is insane, this is not tolerance, this is fascism. >> she's not talking about actual fascism i should be clear, he's talking about this bill jan brewer just vetoed which he thinks is fascism. jan brewer has vetoed this bill. this is important for arizona, it's important for the myriad of republican controlled states
that are considering this legislation even right now. it's also important for her republican party and for the conservative movement which right now -- and it's a fascinating thing to watch, they have not figured out what they're going to do with their own deep divide on cultural issues broadly, but specifically on the issue of gay rights. she's got some republicans polling her from the legislature this way. some changing her mind. she's got republican u.s. senators pulling her in a different direction. the conservative media pulling her in yet another direction. what do conservatives believe on this issue. what are they evolving toward? and that relates directly to the other major news today on this same issue. which is that the great red state of texas has just joined the great nonnortheast liberal hippie states of utah, kentucky, oklahoma and virginia as states where federal judges have just struck down state laws banning
marriage rights for gay couples. texas, yes, texas. a federal district court ruled that texas' ban is unconstitutionally denied texas couples access to the institution of marriage and it's numerous rights, privileges and responsibilities. the judge stayed that ruling for now, which means that gay couples in texas are not tonight getting married. the stay is pending a sure fire promise appeal led by rick perry and by the state's attorney general greg abbott, same ideology, same deal. he's the man who wants to replace rick perry in the state house. joining us now is kenji yoshina. thank you for being leer. >> it's great to be here. >> i want to talk to you about what happened in arizona, let me ask you first about what happened today with this district court ruling in texas. to be clear, there's the supreme court. and there's the circuit court
and the district court. this is the third level down from the supreme court. how important is this ruling beyond just the question of texas couples and whether or not it may result in their marriages. >> i think very important. usually think of the district court being lowest on the tote empole so they can get overruled. one thing trial courts are given deference on are facts. what this judge did was synced himself to other courts from kansas to california and whatever. gay parents are just as good as straight parents. he cited other district court cases.
he's creating a web or a net that it's going to be very hard for an appellate court or supreme court to supersede. >> essentially trying to say those questions of fact whether or not gay people can be good parents, those questions of fact are being settled around the country all in the same direction. and so what we're going to be argues about at the appellate level is constitutional issues and not the factual matters. >> i would hang a caveat on that. unless i get hammered by my colleagues out there. there is a legislative fact. some would argue that the latter, gay parents are just as good as straight parents, they all deserve as much deafer answer from the court. was the light red, green? that hasn't been settled by the supreme court. the more that these cases stack up, how does the supreme court know? how does the law know? often times it knows by gathering facts to itself. at the insulated body, one of ways it gathers facts is by deferring to the lower courts. >> with all of these courts
backing up in the same direction, i think we all see this is going to the supreme court. do you have any clearer sense when the supreme court may decide to take up the case that will decide this in a more final way for the country zm. >> yeah, next term, the supreme court is like academic years, it's either 2014-2015 or 2015-2016. i think that depends if the conservatives want to say, let's grab it now while we have a chance. >> on arizona, i have to ask you what you made of the veto message from governor brewer tonight. we played it all i think. it wasn't a particularly long statement. are there constitutional issues here for this matter?
is this something that would have had a hard time in court had she signed it? >> it's interesting to piece the two things together, you think about the forums in which religion has the most force. the courts are like the worst place in order to try to get a religious belief codified or encoded into law. because the way in which the supreme court. >> you have to have a secular purpose for the law. when religious right was on the offense, what it did was to use a ballot initiative. everyone goes into the voting booth and votes their religious convictions. you can't second guess that. now that those statutes have become to be struck down by the courts, giving us secular reasons. now that they're playing defense, what the religious right is doing is saying, let's rely on the free exercise clause in order to allow individuals to sort these claims in court. in some ways, arizona was the
easiest case, she showed no evidence of religious discrimination against businesses. land of legal, gay rights organization told me today they had received almost 500 complaints over the past four years about lgbt discrimination in arizona. >> which is legal. >> it starts to feel like, you hurt my fist when i hit your face argument. but i think as we move to other states, that do have these lgbt laws, i think the conflict is going to be more of a fair fight between the two sides. >> and politically because of that, it's going to be fascinating to see if any other state moves on this after jan brewer decided to veto it. fascinating, thank you. >> thank you. governor chris christie just spoke publicly moments ago about the george washington bridge lane closure scandal. he answered questions about it that he has never answered before, and you will want to hear what he said, and we have the tapes next. of bounce outdoor fresh
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when it rains it pours. we have developing news to bring you out of the great state of new jersey. chris christie has just wrapped up a live radio independent view in which he somewhat against his will answered questions about the bridge gate story that has quickly enveloped his second term. on the ask the governor program on new jersey 101.5.com. governor christie was asked about two former members of his administration, who have lost their jobs over this scandal. his top appointee, bill baroni,
and his deputy chief of staff, briget kelly. baroni resigned in december. governor christie announced that bill baroni was leaving the port authority. and he said the resignation had nothing to do with the bridge controversy at all. this was nothing i had not planned already. he gave what turned out to be false testimony about the bridge to the new jersey state legislature. he testified that the lane closures were all the result of some traffic study, nothing at all to do with politics. the port authority clarified there was no legitimate traffic study. it was a cover story to obscure whatever was really happening on that bridge for as yet unexplained political reasons.
tonight governor christie was asked for the first time really extensively about bill baroni's role in the scandal, and watch had a the governor said. >> i don't want to belabor the bridge gate stuff. we have gotten some e-mails and questions about it, we've been over the time line. there are some things that people can't seem to wrap their mind around. and one of those is what happened in the days after bill baroni and david wildstein resigned. i know that bill baroni was one of your biggest political
allies, he was one of the first people who came and supported you. yet when he resigned, why didn't you ask him what was going on? >> because my staff had already spoken to him about it, and he said it was a traffic study, as he testified before the legislature, as far as i know, that's still senator bar ownny's position. >> even as that was falling apart, did you not feel compelled to pick up the phone and say, bill, what's going on here? >> you look at everything through the prism of what you know after january 8th. you're talking about a time that was before january 8th. we're going through an internal investigation. all of this stuff will come out over the appropriate period of time, and i'm not going to give into the hysteria of questions that are given by folks who have information today that i didn't have at the time that you're talking about, why didn't i ask certain questions? i didn't ask the questions, because i didn't think they needed to be asked. >> i didn't ask the questions because i didn't think they needed to be asked.
i'm not going to give into the hysteria of these questions. governor christie also faced questions tonight concerning his former deputy chief of staff briget ann kelly. she sent this e-mail, time for some problems for ft. lee. a christie ally david wildstein responded by saying, got it. that exchange between david wildstein at the port authority and chris christie's deputy chief of staff bridget kelly, that led to the town of ft. lee
new jersey being shut down with gridlock for four days on what happened to be the first week of school last september. after that e-mail exchange was revealed publicly last month, governor chris christie announced that he had fired bridget kelly. he had terminated bridget kelly's employment in the office. tonight he was asked about her firing. >> what about the situation with bridget kelly, though. you said you were angry when you read her e-mails to wildstein, you said you personally fired her. >> no, i did not say that. >> that was not -- >> i ordered it. >> okay, you personally ordered her firing. >> yes. >> did you have no face-to-face with her on that day? >> no. >> so there was no opportunity for you to pull her aside and say, what was going on? >> eric, by that time, it was evident from e-mails what was going on. and it was not appropriate for me to have those conversations. >> because -- >> because there was obviously legal consequences going on, potentially for her and others. so, you know, you -- and by the way on december 12th and 13th, she was questioned extensively by her superiors. and said she had no involvement, no knowledge, no e-mails, nothing. if someone's not going to tell you the truth, they don't tell you the truth, what are you going to do grab them by the ankles and shake them upside down? until e-mails fly out of their pocket? come on, let's not be hysterical
about this. >> do you think she ordered those lane closures on her own? >> i have no idea, and i'm no longer going to speculate on things i know nothing about. that's why we're in the midst of an internal investigation. when we develop all the facts that need to be developed. maybe i'll have a better view of what went on. >> governor christie ended that exchange tonight by saying he does not want to speculate any more, until they develop all the facts that need to be developed and review all the documents that need to be reviewed. on that point, the governor's legal team and maybe even the governor himself may want to keep a little bit of tomorrow open. we're learning tonight that the new jersey legislative panel that's investigating the george washington bridge lane closures is about to release some new documents. last month they released these super redacted documents handed over to them from david wildstein, that's how we found out about time for some traffic problems in ft. lee, got it. before he turned over these documents, david wildstein and/or his lawyer sharpied out huge portions of text, making it hard to understand what the documents meant in most cases. and who was saying what to who? we are learning tonight that david wildstein has turned over the unredablgted names and e-mails to the panel that's leading this investigation, and the unredacted copies are expected to be released to the public early tomorrow. again, that is what we are
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and do the asking yourself. in the closest thing we have to prom in american politics, it turns out that democrats and republicans approach prom strategy very differently. in the republican party, today was the deadline that the party set for various cities across the country to ask someone to go to the prom. they had to submit their bids to host the nominating commission for the republican party. you'll remember in 2012 it was held in tampa. it had to be cut short a day because of the hurricane. the time before that, it was in st. paul, minnesota. this year, today was the deadline, and these are the cities that have applied to host the republican national convention. for the democratic party, though, they are approaching this process completely differently. the democrats are not waiting to be asked by cities around the country.
democratic party chair debbie wasserman schultz is instead doing the asking on behalf of the democratic party, the chair has sent letters to all of these cities. asking if they would please consider hosting the democrats for their presidential nominating convention in 2016. i think we have the list here, the list includes all of the cities that applied for the republican convention except for denver. because denver hosted the democrats in 2008. nobody knows if these cities that the democrats are offering themselves to will respond to the letter and try to get the convention, nobody knows if they're interested in hosting the democratic convention. that's going to be a fascinating thing to watch. it's an interesting insight into the way the two parties approach this situation. on the republican side we do know who wants the republican next time around, it's one city each from texas, arizona, missouri, nevada and colorado. but also three cities from the
same state. three cities from one state all competing against each other to get the same convention. cincinnati, ohio and cleveland, ohio and columbus, ohio are all applying overtly to please try to get the republican convention for 2016. any city in ohio or maybe every city in ohio has to think that they've got a pretty good chance of getting the rnc, right? as cleveland points out in their application to host the convention, as goes ohio, so goes the nation, right? ohio has become the proto typical swing state. ohio is split down the middle politically. it's absolutely a presidential bell wear, in '04. ohio went for george w. bush for two points. in '08 the state went for barack obama by five points. in 2012 the state went for barack obama by 2 points and he won the presidency. that pattern holds back to 1960, the last time ohio picked somebody who didn't go on to be
the winner of the general election is when ohio loved richard nixon too much. because ohio is such a bell weather, and because it's always so close there, ohio has ended up being really really important in election years, and that's not just because of how they vote in terms of who they vote for, it's also become important how ohio votes literally. how they go to the polls, whether or not they find it easy or difficult to cat their very important vote. how ohio votes matters to the nation, and in 2004, the way ohio voted was a disaster. particularly in densely populated parts of ohio which tend to leave heavily democratic, it was a disaster in 2004, people waited in line for 7 hours, 8, 9 hours, all night long in order to cast a vote. voting lines stretching out the door, but around the block. if you're in line before the polls close, they have to stay open until you've made your way through the line and cast your vote. in ohio in 2004, the polls
stayed open way into the night, while ohio's monstrously poor voting lines inched 230rd. some people were still voting in ohio at 4:00 a.m. on election day in 2004. it was a close outcome in ohio that year. and you know, it's easy to see the heroism of people who stayed online for nine hours, who stayed on line until 4:00 in the morning out in the cold in order to cast their vote. but by definition of the word hero, not everybody can be a hero. and the estimates of how many votes were not cast in ohio that year because of voting problems, the estimates were devastating, 175,000 people are thought to have gone home that year after trying to vote but failing to because the voting lines were so terrible and they didn't have nine hours to spend many and george w. bush squeaked by in that state by two points as he won re-election. his margin of victory in ohio was 120,000 votes. after 175,000 people in the state looked at the lines and
decided they couldn't take it. significantly less than the number of people who went home rather than stay in lines was the margin of victory for george w. bush that year. after that voting disaster in 2004, ohio tried to get their act together a little bit. they didn't want that embarrassment again. between that presidential election in '04 and the next one in '08, one way ohio tried to fix its third world caliber system was by giving people more time to vote than on election day. the weekend before the election. and so 2008 rolled around and there were still lines in ohio, and people did still have to do some work to vote, particularly in densely populated places, on the whole it was much, much better. on the last weekend before the election alone, that saturday and sunday more than 9,000 -- excuse me, more than 90,000 ohio votes were cast on that weekend
before election day. and you'd think that early voting would be a relatively noncontroversial thing. it's not like the kind of fights we have over what sort of documentation, what papers you have to show in order to be able to vote, or the republican worries about who's allowed to vote and how you prove you're allowed to vote. early voting doesn't invoke any of those concerns at all. it's about when you turn up. right? >> and people like having more options about when to vote than just election day. by 2012, by the next presidential election in ohio, fully a third of the people who voted in that election in 2012 voted early. people like it, it's convenient to be able to vote early. but that almost didn't happen in 2012 because smooth convenient voting processes do have the nasty side effect of making voting kind of easy to do, and that has a terrible effect meaning that a lot of people end up doing it, and any political strategist you can bribe into telling you the truth, will telling you that higher turnout elections tend to benefit
democratic candidates. republican candidates between the 2008 election and the last election, they got control, they got complete control of the state government in ohio. the legislature and the governorship, and with that complete republican control, they did everything they could to try to make voting harder in ohio for the last presidential election. and they specifically tried to get rid of early voting on the last weekend on election day. they would have gotten away with it too if it weren't for those medaling kids. the obama re-election campaign sued ohio over them trying to get rid of the last weekend of early voting, when 90,000 people had cast their ballots in the previous election. the obama campaign sued ohio over that, and they won their lawsuit in the supreme court 37 the obama campaign incidentally also went on to win ohio in 2012. and on that last weekend on election day, the cincinnati inquirer sent a reporter to stake out the vote.
this was his report, this was filed on monday november 5th, so that's the day before election day but the day after ohio had spent that last weekend early voting. the cincinnati inquirer on that day says this, the first results from election 2012 are in, leaving no doubt about the outcome. early weekend voting is a big winner. the inquirer interviewed a 37-year-old single mom who said her weekdays get pretty busy, voting on the weekends would be her best chance she said. an 88-year-old man said i don't know if i'll have the time on tuesday. he told the inquirer, it's just easier to do things like this on the weekend. but again, ohio republicans had tried to get rid of that way of voting for the 2012 election. it was only that victory by the obama campaign that gave ohioans their chance to vote on the weekend before the election that year much and many voters chose to grab it, it was a fight to
vote in ohio in 2004. in 2008 early voting made it easier, in 2012 it was a fight to hold on to early voting that had made voting easier in ohio. after the 2012 election, with republicans in control of ohio state government, they seem to have found a way to mostly kill early voting. john huston announced today there will be no early voting on sundays at all, including the sunday before the election, sundays are traditionally when african-american churches do the souls to the poles events. there would be no early voting whatsoever on week nights. if you were planning on doing your voting after work, that will not be available for the next election either. this comes on the heels of two new bills to restrict voting last week. one of those bills cut a total of six days out of the early
voting period overall. john kasich eliminated the one week period in ohio where you could register to vote and vote on the same day. they've made it harder to get your provisional ballot counted. and they made it harder to get your absentee ballot. that's definitely been a huge problem, right? way too many voting machines, a terrible scurge of voting being easy. it must be stopped. it must be stopped. ohio republicans voted last year to make it easier to kick people off the rolls. all of these voting rights changes in ohio last year, last week and now today, they have all been made on party line 100% republican votes. or they've been decisions made by 100% republican officials. and yes these changes in ohio matter for ohio, john kasich after all is up for re-election himself this november, and more people voting would presumably help his democratic opponent and
fitzgerald, and fewer people voting would help him. ohio republicans making these decisions to make voting harder, the tide of decisions since the last election, yeah, ohio republicans are helping themselves. they're making decisions that will affect their own elections, their own ability to hold on to their jobs. this is ohio. and when they change the rules by which people vote in that state, it does not end up just affecting ohio. it aends up affecting all of us. we should be making it easier for people to vote not
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it aends up affecting all of us. we should be making it easier for people to vote not harder. >> you should be making it easier for people to vote and not harder. it's a shame it's become harder and harder and harder to cast a vote in the state of ohio. >> nina turner today at a press conference organized by ohio democrats to respond to new voting restrictions ohio has just everyone enacted. senator turner is trying to replace john husted in the upcoming elections this year. joaning us now is senator turner. thank you very much for being with us. >> thanks, rachel. >> what do you think the practical impact of these new restrictions would be, you said today you think it's become harder and harder to cast a vote
in the state of ohio. >> you laid it out really nicely, rachel, in the last segment. there are over 400,000 ohioans who are either underemployed and unemploy 37d think about folks in the middle class stringing two or three jobs together and them not having an opportunity to take advantage of sunday voting or having the opportunity of take advantage of evening voting. all of this is being done by design, rachel. it is not an accident that the republicans in the state of ohio are trying to break the spirit and the will of the voters in the great state of ohio. it is a shame. this is a moral issue and everyone in this state should be outraged. as you pointed out, these roadblocks, voters should not have to jump over hurdles and roadblocks just to be able to vote. voting is designed to determine their will, not how high they can jump. they're taking us back to the bad old days in the state of ohio. >> the secretary said today one of his goals in announcing these changes was in his words to make it hard to cheat during
elections. and he said this while announcing cutting back on early voting. has there ever been, even the allegation that there's some connection between cheating and voting and voting at a time other than election day? >> no, rachel. they have no facts. the republicans certainly don't let the arithmetic get away of a good story. they are harming the foundation of our democracy. one thing we can say, although it's been a hard way to go for a lot of groups in this country, we have been a nation of progress. what the republicans are doing in the state of ohio, they're taking us back. they are impacting that single mother. they are impacting the elderly community, the young community. they are impacting the greatest equal ietzer that we have in this state. and rachel, i want you to know that the ohio democratic party does plan to sue based on the voter suppression bills that passed this week and also last week, asking for them to be enjoined in federal court. and over the last five years, we have not lost one case that has
been filed in federal court. help is on the way for the voters of this state. >> that is important news, actually. and there are nationally implications every time there's a voting matter like this in the state of ohio. ohio state senator nina turner, thank you for helping us understand this. thank you very much for your time tonight. >> thank you, rachel. >> i should mention that we reached out to secretary of state john husted's office today to see if he would talk to us about his decisions on ohio voting. his office told us the secretary's schedule would not permit him to appear on the show tonight. but if you're watching, you're welcome any time. seriously. the best new thing in the world today that's truly great. stay with us. your hepatitis c.forget it's slow moving, you tell yourself. i have time. after all there may be no symptoms for years.
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emergency response plans, that sort of thing. we asked in march of 2011. and then we finally got word back the following january. so on the one hand, great. here's that information we were looking for. around, wow, was asked for this nine months and 25 days ago. what was that information again? foya lets journalists get access to government documents and records and then share that with the american period. but if you've ever had to file a foya request, you know the sinking feeling of oh, god, i'm sending this into a black hole. if you want foya documents from the cia, you go here. good luck with that. . the interior department, you go here. it's just a labyrinth of a process. then assuming you do manage to get your request to the right person, then there's the waiting. 300 days.
part of the pain here is the antiquated process you have to go through. sometimes part of the pain, though, is hostility towards the whole idea of granting the public access to records in the first place. for example, george w. bush's attorney general john ashcroft put word out to have agencies if they didn't want to release documents through the foya process, the justice dam had their back. when president bush took over, look at how that number shrunk. down to less than 200 million pages in total for '02 to '06. after president obama was sworn into office, he said he was going to fix this problem. >> for a long time now, there's been too much secrecy in this city. the old rules said if there was a defensible argument for not disclosing something to the
american people then it should not be disclosed. that era is now over. >> that era is now over. and five years later, it might be starting to feel that way. late last night, the house voted unanimously 410-0 to change the foya process. they passed a bill that would, among other things, require the government to move toward a single website to handle all foya requests across the whole government. no more labyrinth. they're going to recommend a panel to figure out how to speed up response times. that bill passed the house unanimously and it's now going to the senate. do you like the smell of journalism? do you like knowing what your government is doing? a potential end to the crippling backlog and the 300 day waits that we're all supposedly used to now, for supposedly publicly available documents, that will
be the best new thing in a long time. but this vote already a good start. have a great night. . the arizona governor kills a bill that would legalize levels of discrimination. cold war games. 150,000 russian troops on military maneuvers and secretary of state kerry says russian military action in ukraine would be a grave mistake. fine print, the white house is proposing sweeping changes to nutrition labels that will impact almost everything we eat. plus, jay leno's big announcement. a smart phone for the super secret designed to self destruct. and a fascinating study uncovers what our dog's expressions really