tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC March 31, 2015 1:00am-2:01am PDT
that will be a hot one in 2016 as is the governor's race. jay nixon is term limited out. that seat will be open. the democrats seem to be coalescing around another young popular candidate that already held state office. it looks like they will pick chris costar. it is turning into a free for all with six candidates entering the ring already. it is six candidates that all have a reasonable shot. that free far all is fall fascinating enough within but it is starting to field like a huge level of tragedy in that state.
the story look an unbelievable turn today. one of the first republican cap dates to declare he was running this year was tom schweich. a month later he killed himself under circumstances that even now a month later are hard to get your head around. a half hour before he called two reporters and said he wanted to talk to them. tom schweich believed the chairman of the republican party was telling people that tom was jewish.
he believed this guy was falsely spreading a rumor that he was jews as a smear campaign to under cut his chances in the governor's race. so tom schweich spoke to these reporters numerous times about these issues. he left them messages minutes before taking his own life. everybody knew that he was upset about this. that day his chief of staff was worried enough about his mental state that she called a trusted old family friend and asked him to check in with tom and his family.
that old family friend was the assistant to former u.s. senator john danforth. that afternoon, he called tom and his wife at their home. tom schweich wife called her back. cathy returned my call. we spoke briefly. kathy said that he was up and about making phone calls. i told him i thought it was best to let others stand up for him. he then threatened to kill himself and handed the phone back to his wife. seconds later i heard kathy said "he shot himself." police have not said whether he
wrote a note before he pulled the trigger and killed himself. but there is an unusual amount of evidence, there is an unusual amount of evidence about why he did it. about what had so upset him. what had so upset him was his belief of the chairman of the republican committee was falsely telling people he was jewish. mr. hancock did not deny that he had been telling people that tom schweich was jewish. only denied that he said it in a bad way. in that e-mail he said, quote --
chairman later explained to the "st. louis post dispatch" that hann kahn said he may have mentioned his belief that tom was jewish, but it was not a smear, merely just a description like saying someone is catholic. at tom schweich funeral, john danforth delivered a euology for trying to get away with that excuse for trying to get away with that. >> tom called it anti-semitism
and it was. the only reason for going around saying someone is jewish is to make political profit from religious bigotry. someone said there is no difference in seeing a person is a presbatyrian. when is the last time someone came up to you and whispered into your ear that such and such a person is a presbatyrian. and he released a sworn affidavit that this smear campaign was a real thing. the donor said he met with john hancock at his office to talk
about raising money. when he came to his office and they talked about raising money, he said although i do not recall the exact words, mr. hancock said something in the tone of, well, tom is jewish. and that is a negative attribute. 2015, really? leading candidate for governor, statewide elected office holder kills himself because she so up set about an anti-semitic smear campaign. this is a loyal party donor swearing in a notorized letter
saying it happened. and tom's friend and spokesperson spence jackson came out and said it before anybody else would. he said john hancock should resign as state chairman of the republican party because of his whisper campaign not reflecting the values of the majority of missouri republicans. he said you can't have a chairman that's been out conducted and coordinating this whisper campaign. for the state party chairman saying he didn't mean anything
bad by it, spence jackson saying i believe in my heart that he knew what he was doing. spence jackson was the first person in missouri politics to call for the state party chairman to resign. he called on a completing candidate, katherine hanoway, saying she should demand that he resign. senator danforth was asked if he too believed that john hancock should resign. jack said no. he should not be allowed to resign. he should be fired. he said explicitly he wanted the head of the party forced out of office. does our party stand for what happened to tom schweich.
don't allow him to quit, fire him because it will say more about us. for awhile, it really seemed like he was going to have to go. the whole state republican party sort of went quiet after tom killed himself, after the funeral. governor suspended her campaign for awhile. but apparently by friday, this past friday, his soul had been searched and he decided to keep his job. so just check out this very brief timeline. thursdays, this past thursday was the one-month anniversary. tom killing himself.
one day after that john hancock said he was not going to resign or talk about this any more. he said he is sick and tire of even talking about it. i'm tired of talking about the controversy. i'm ready to move on beyond it. that same day, katherine hanoway started her candidacy back up again. spence jackson took a sick day, and some time that night or the next morning, he apparently he shot himself. sunday march 29th just after 7:00 p.m., police were called for a check well-being call for robert spence jackson.
according to the caller he was unresponsive to phone calls or other attempts to raise him from the apartment. the apartment manager was able to provide a key. they located jackson in his bedroom. he died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. there was no signed of forced and try or a struggle. there was a firearm recovered and one spent round as well. i will answer questions and i will remind you this is an open investigation. some things i cannot answer, but i will try to answer to the best of my ability. >> we do have a note. i won't go into the contents of what was in that note. >> do you anticipate releasing it at some point?
>> i'm not sure. >> spence jackson was tom's communications director. he lived alone. his body was found last night after his mother was not able to get in contact with him on friday, saturday, or sunday and she got worried. they say he killed himself friday or saturday. the missouri republican party rocked by a second suicide in a month. a reporter from the kansas city star spoke with friends of jackson that say he continued to be angry to the reaction of his friend's suicide. that they would face retribution for their roles in his death. instead it appeared to be dwindling.
and so now two men are dead. the party chairman still has his job, katherine hanoway's campaign continues. joining us now is a political reporter and columnist with the kansas city star. is there anything more to add tonight in terms of what we know about this investigation. >> they believe it may be related, but i can tell you that everyone else in missouri, republicans, democrats, other people you talk with think that the two suicides are directly linked and that spence jackson
was upset that john hancock had not steps down, and that they were not punished by other members of the party and that consultant continued to get work. the word that we got today service that spence jackson was upset over those developments and took his life over the weekend. >> in terms of what is happening over missouri republican politics right now, it is a story about politics, families, human beings, lost, and there is no been to put more politics in there but it is interesting to see what the appropriate response would be from the party, and what seems to be the best we know about what drove best we know about what drove
them at the end of their lives was about party politics. >> no one really knows why someone takes his or her life. republicans will say that too. politics are very tough, but that doesn't completely explain two suicides. i spoke to a republican that told me they think that the party should blow itself up in missouri. that everyone involved should step away from the party, let other candidates come in. he thinks this will dominate the discussion into 2016 and make it difficult for republicans to redirect attention to issues facing the state. it is increasingly a red state, but the democrats believe they have a real opportunity now that the republicans have essentially
struggled with their reaction. >> and dave, the allegations and the concerns at the center of the story, i put it at the center of my narrative leading into this discussion with you, is this alleged anti-semitic campaign. is there continued debate in the state about whether something like that or not would be politically effective? has he defended himself against the allegations? >> the controversy was going away for several days after the schweich suicide. there was momentum for john hancock to step down. but that was dwindling. he said that to quit would be
admitting to being anti-semitic. you get the feeling that spence jackson was very frustrated that john hancock was not leaving. i think spence jackson was very, very frustrated with that. >> dave helling, thank you for being here. they mentioned a consultant that produced a radio ad. against him. the consultant that has appear to have created the ad has not been punished.
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they scored a few more. enough to keep them going for awhile before they run out again. everybody is running out. it is difficult enough to run a system to legally kill your state's prisoners without the difficulty of running out of those drugs. drugs meant to diagnose and cure things and alleviate pain. no drug is manufactured for the use of killing people. so they have stopped allowing them to be used. it is putting a real crimp in the supplies to those countries. this has been going on for awhile now. it is sort of over the tipping point now. more and more companies are lowering the sales, but it seems like the supply lines are
basically now gone. there are not legal ways for states to buy any of the most continuely used injection drugs any more. one of the only options that states have left is to do what texas just did. they were down to their last lethal dose of drugs but then they got three more doses. now they can kill four more people. where they got the new three doses was a licensed pharmacy that has the ability to compound. that means they're having the drugs made to order for them by hand. compounding pharmacies make they were down to their last lethal dose of drugs but then they got three more doses. now they can kill four more people. where they got the new three doses was a licensed pharmacy that has the ability to compound. that means they're having the drugs made to order for them by hand. compounding pharmacies make drugs by hand in small batches. if you have an allergy to something that is a filler in a
drug that you need, you can have them make the drug for you without that ingredient. states have been turning to the compounding pharmacies to cook up the batches of drugs to kill people. over the last few months, that is pretty much the only option nationwide for states to legally get that stuff any more. that option is going away too. two things have just happened and they will be a big deal. the first one is a few days ago. the international academy of compounding pharmacists told their members to stop participating in this system. stop making drugs that prisons use to kill their prisoners. this is the leading trade group saying they discourage their members from participating in the distribution of drugs used for legal executions. stop making drugs that prisons use to kill their prisoners. the distribution of drugs used for legal executions.
tonight, just a couple hours ago, the whole big trade group for all pharmacists in the county, the american pharmacy association, just voted tonight, a couple hours ago, to do the same thing. telling all of the pharmacists of america don't do this any more. now, other medical associations have made statements like this in the past including the ama, the american nurses association, and the group that certifying american anesthesiologists. pharmacists are how they get the drugs now. that is where they come from. that is the only way they can get the drugs.
texas is better off than most states now, and they're down to their last four doses. but the compounding pharmacists now say they out of this business, they're not going to do it any more as of tonight, that means the supply line for legal execution in this country is gone. so get ready. if we won't give up killing our prisoners, then what we're looking at from here on out is firing squads, gas chambers, electric chairs. maybe we'll hang people again or cut off their heads, maybe we'll stone them or boiled in oil.
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>> if you say so, i have some -- >> no, i'm not stupid. no, but i know -- >> no, people tried to committee suicide with it and have failed fairly regularly. it's not dangerous to humans. >> so you want to drink some. >> no, i'm not an interview. >> interview me about golden rice. >> all good interviews end that way. one good rule for doing a tv view is that in that interview, you should never offer to drink a quart of something if you're not willing to drink a quart of that thing. you may have also recently have seen this poor man make a similar mistake.
a lobbiest for the nonwoven fabrics industry. he tried to do his job last week by praising his industry like babywipes. he was not prepared for chris hayes wants to get to the bottom of how adult flushable wipes have become such a huge business. i don't think he was ready for this. >> my question is a chicken or egg question. say baby wipes, we could get adults to use them too? or did you catch on and the industry was catering to the need. >> more the latter than the former. there was attempted to market moist toilet tissue as toilet tissue that did the not work. there was a need out there mention consumers to supplement toilet paper with a moist
if they refuse to serve a gay couple at their wedding, is that legal now in indiana. >> george, this is where the debate is going. >> protect a christian florist against any punishment. >> is tolerance a two way street or not. >> does that mean that people of any faith that was to refuse service to gays is legal. >> the question here -- >> no, governor, do you think it should be legal in the state of indiana to discriminate against gays or lesbians. >> george -- >> it's a yes or no question. >> should it be illegal to discriminate against gays and lesbians. >> george you're following the mantra.
>> if you're wondering why he kept asking the same question, i think six times, it's because mike pence never answered it. he never even tried. it just got more and more pained by the fact that "george." problem solved. issue clarified. here is how bad the interview was. the leaders of the indiana house and senate, mike pence's colleagues that sent him that bill to sign, called a press conference this morning to try to clarify what the bill is going to do. their response was, let me get the exact quote "yes." and the reason there is so much clarifying going on is because
everybody in america is dropping indiana like a hot potato because of this bill. tim cook slammed the indiana bill. the ceos of line of the largest companies wrote letters urging them to change the law including angies list, dow. >> they published an op-ed trying to talk people down about how they're freaking out about this bill. the governor does sort of answer the question that he would not answer this weekend. if you're worried about gay people being denied service in indiana restaurants, don't worry. he explains there is a plan for that. quote, if i saw a restaurant
owner refuse to serve a gay couple, i would not eat there any more." so if you were concerned they would be refused service, don't worry that could never happen because the state is wielding the threat of depriving businesses of mike pence's personal patronage. it's going to well now that two states are thinking about following mike pence down this hole. arkansas is saying he will sign it. arkansas's largest company is walmart, they're against the bill. in north carolina they're against the bill, but it seems like pat mccrory spoke about it he said what is the problem
they said they wanted to clarify the language of the law that has been called discriminatory by business leaders across the nation. joining us now is the minority leader. we have seen the swell of criticism get bigger and bigger as the country figures out about what indiana has done. how worried are you about what this will do to the state? >> i'm extremely worried. the republican super majorities and the governor are drunk with power right now. when you're drunk with hour you do embarrassing things that affect everyone else, in this case the entire state. we're seeing investors threaten to pull out. headquarter expansions canceled,
and key employers question their commitment to indiana. >> do you believe the republican leaders in the super majority, do you think they are worried enough that they may undo what they just did. >> it was jury interesting to see the speaker of the house throw his governor under the bus this morning in is a problem that we have not seen in indiana before. we're accustomed to a quiet life here. people working very hard. we're accustomed to enjoying what we know as hoosier hospitality. this just sends an image to the rest of the nation that can probably only be fixed by taking this so-called religious freedom act, tearing it out from the roots, throwing it on the trash
changes to ensure that all people, that including people of all sexual orientations are completely welcomed. and that will take some time. >> do you you think they will come up with a smaller fix, a patch, a clarifying bill and try to make it go away that way? >> that's what it looks like right now. an attempt at a bandaid or a fig leaf or whatever metaphor you want to use. this bill is so tainted nationally and internationally, but repealing it is just the first temperature. we have do that and then we have to demonstrate to the rest of the nation that we're serious about equality and we're serious about welcoming folks from all across the country and across the world.
until that happens that will be dogging our state for awhile. >> scott pelath, thank you for being with us, i appreciate it. >> thank you, rachel. >> still head, exciting news about tomorrow night's show, and a brand new play house for civics geeks. one day, it started to rain and rain. water got inside and ruined everybody's everythings. the house thought she let the family down. but the family just didn't think a flood could ever happen. the reality is floods do happen. protect what matters. get flood insurance. visit floodsmart.gov/flood to learn more. the conference call. the ultimate arena for business. hour after hour of diving deep, touching base, and
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that stands for vice president. because the vice president is also president of the senate. there are also rows of 100 desks in total, one for each senator. democrats on the left, republicans on the right. but there is one desk here that's labeled desk 24. you see it there on the right side? sort of a hidden gem of the senate chamber. desk 24 is most commonly referred to as "the candy desk." it is a desk that is literally a stockpile of sweets, and it's not like a random extra desk that the candy lobby controls. this is an actual senator's desk. the tradition started in the '60s with a republican senator named george murphy from california who apparently had a wicked sweet tooth. he would pack his desk with candy, share candy with his fellow senators and the tradition stuck. whoever is at desk 24 is the
candy senator. the current one is republican pat toomey. it is stocked with all sorts of candy native to his home state, including hershey's the chocolate and gertrude hawk candy barts. the placement of the candy desk is key to the whole thing. it is next to the door most used by senators as they come in and out of the senate floor. that's pat toomey's desk. packed with candy. that's the candy desk. hold that thought. today, the center of the political universe shifted about 400 mile to the north and to the east from washington d.c. to boston, massachusetts. it's not often that president obama and vice president biden travel to events together. today they were both in attendance for the dedication of the ted kennedy institute, just outside of boston, where massachusetts senator ted kennedy passed away in 2009. but before he died, he made his wishes known that if there was going to be some memorial for him, he wanted it to be a place that honored not him, not his own personal achievements but rather the body in physic righ today, the center of the political universe shifted about 400 mile to the north and to the east from washington d.c. to boston, massachusetts. it's not often that president obama and vice president biden travel to events together. today they were both in attendance for the dedication of the ted kennedy institute, just outside of boston, where
massachusetts senator ted kennedy passed away in 2009. but before he died, he made his wishes known that if there was going to be some memorial for him, he wanted it to be a place that honored not him, not his own personal achievements but rather the body in which he served for so long of his life. the united states senate. he wanted a place where you could essentially stand in a senator's shoes for a few hours. well, this is what he got. do not adjust your tv machine. this is not the actual u.s. senator with a cleaner carpet. this is a life-sized replica that they have just built. the walls are the same, carpets are the same. there's even a press gallery. they basically took the u.s. senate in washington and made a physical carbon copy of it in boston. and it's not a scale model. it's full-scale. the carbon copy, the exact replica nature of this extends right down to the fact that yes,
there is also a candy desk in the boston replica. what they have just unveiled is essentially a living, breathing, u.s. senate chamber, but if you were dropped in there, you would be forgiven for thinking it was the real thing. trent lott was in there and said he walked in and got a chill. this was the headline at roll call. even senators are awe struck by ted kennedy's senate chamber. you are hard-pressed to know if that is the real thing or the fake thing. the purpose of this place is to act as basically a model senate. to have kids from all over the country go there and pretend to be senators, to stand in a full-scale model and debate and argue the big issues of the day, and unlike the actual senate, the thing that happens after the debate is there's a vote -- the purpose of this place is to act as basically a model senate. to have kids from all over the country go there and pretend to be senators, to stand in a full-scale model and debate and argue the big issues of the day, and unlike the actual senate, the thing that happens after the debate is there's a vote -- weird! >> who but ted kennedy and his family would create a full-scale replica of the senate chamber? and open it to everyone.
we live in a time of such great cynicism about all our institutions. and we are cynical about government and about washington most of all. it's hard for our children to see in the noisy and too often trivial pursuits of today's politics the possibilities of our democracy, our capacity together to do big things. and this place can help change that. it can help light the fire of imagination. plant the seed of noble ambition in the minds of future generations. >> president obama continued by saying, it's maybe not just for kids.
the replica senate is going to open to the public tomorrow in massachusetts. it is sort of astounding how close it is to the real thing, with your own eyes what a functioning senate would be like. "first look" is up next. >> good morning. right now on "first look," a fire storm over indiana's religious freedom law is creating a national controversy over discrimination. >> we're not going to change the law. okay? >> we don't allow you to use your religious freedom to discriminate against somebody educational. >> the boston marathon bombing trial. the defense says the government failed to prove its case. >> an attack by two men dressed in women's clothing. >> possible traumatic arrest. >> good morning, e