tv Inside Story ABC October 16, 2016 11:30am-12:00pm EDT
>> the candidates for pennsylvania attorney general, on "inside story" now. ♪ good morning, everyone. i'm matt o'donnell, and this is a special edition of "inside story." you're about to meet the candidates for pennsylvania attorney general. one of them will replace current attorney general bruce beemer, who was appointed by governor wolf to replace acting attorney general bruce castor, who replaced the resigned attorney general kathleen kane. it has been an eventful several months. over to my right here is republican john rafferty, who is serving his fourth term as state senator for pennsylvania's 44th district in berks, chester, and montgomery counties. and mr. rafferty is also a former pennsylvania deputy attorney general. >> thank you, matt. >> good morning to you, mr. rafferty. democrat josh shapiro has been a montgomery county commissioner since 2012 and serves as chairman. mr. shapiro was also elected four times to the state house of representatives.
good morning to you as well. >> good morning. good to be with you. >> let's get right in on the questions. mr. rafferty has the first chance at this one. we're gonna start with the office itself. the last person elected to serve as attorney general in this state was also the state's first woman and first democrat elected to that position. kathleen kane has since been convicted of perjury and has since resigned and will be sentenced later this month. mr. rafferty, how would you help restore trust in the office not only for the voters of this state, but for the people who work in it as well? >> fair question. for the people who work in the office, certainly someone who has experience in that office -- i've here as deputy attorney general -- who understands the role of both the prosecution side and the civil side in the office of attorney general. that will enhance the morale. the people of the commonwealth of pennsylvania -- having been elected four times to the senate of pennsylvania with three counties -- knowing my integrity, knowing my desire to get jobs done, knowing my desire to do what's best for the people of pennsylvania, i will assure them, with an ethics policy that we've already published on our website, the
proper use of government property. we're going to have programs in place for all the attorneys to follow, all the agents to follow in that office. there will be continuing legal-education classes. there will be human-resource classes to make sure everybody in that office is following -- or are following all the same policies, in the same direction of that office. and i will take the time as well, as attorney general, to have press conferences to assure the people of pennsylvania where that office is headed, and to travel to 20 regional offices, the office of attorney general, to meet with the staff, to explain to them the policies of what's expected of them. and if they perform the duties as required, by law and by the directors of that office, i'll have their back and their support. and i think that's important, going forward, as the individual's reputation -- it starts at the top, down -- to make sure that the integrity and professional responsibility return to the office of attorney general. >> mr. shapiro -- restoring trust. >> matt, now more than ever, the office of attorney general needs an executive who knows how to clean up a mess and make government work again. i've proven that in montgomery county, taking over a
government that's actually four times larger than the office of attorney general. which everyone, including this channel, documented how bad a shape it was back in 2012 when i took over. and by every objective standard, we've turned it around and made it work again. i'm gonna do the same thing in the office of attorney general. i'm the only candidate running with those executive skills, with a knowledge of how to make government work again. the first policy paper i put out in this campaign was my integrity agenda, focused on, specifically, how we would restore integrity to the office of attorney general. things like mandating a code of conduct for each and every employee to sign. things like a gift ban, to make sure that no one in the office of attorney general could be perceived as being for sale. we need a leader who can go in there and refocus that office on meeting the needs of the people of pennsylvania. look, i've talked long in this campaign about being the people's attorney general, being the one person every pennsylvanian can rely on to protect their rights. so refocusing the office on doing things like rooting out senior scams, dealing with price gouging by pharmaceutical companies, tackling the heroin epidemic, which is the number-one killer in pennsylvania today. we need a leader who can get
that office running again, get it focused again, and i've got a proven track record of doing just that in government. >> you get the next question, mr. shapiro. douglas gansler, as you know, prepared a report on the state's e-mail scandal where public officials were caught sending obscene messages with state e-mail accounts. a scandal, which everyone knows as porngate, led to resignation of two state supreme court justices. current attorney general bruce beemer just said a few days ago that he wants to release this report to the public in about two or three weeks. do you believe that the public should be able to see this report before the general election? >> the e-mails should be released. period. and if they're not released before i take office, then i will release them. look, there's a deeper issue with these e-mails that i want the people of pennsylvania to be aware of. i think what it did was it highlighted the fact that there's a lack of fairness in our justice system today. it highlighted the fact that certain people in this commonwealth, according to the leaders of the justice system, count a little bit less. these were individuals who were supreme court justices and judges and deputy attorneys
general and lawyers and other leaders in this commonwealth, swapping racist, misogynistic, homophobic, pornographic e-mails back and forth with one another. so if you're a woman in the commonwealth of pennsylvania, you have to wonder whether or not the system is really gonna work for you. you have to wonder whether or not the system is really designed to help you. i will apply the law without fear and without favor. and i will hold those people accountable. look, i was disappointed the other day to read in philadelphia magazine that my opponent john rafferty was out campaigning with the disgraced former supreme court justice seamus mccaffery, the person at the center of this. you know, wearing a rafferty button, doing all this and that. the reality is, we need someone who's gonna be a leader on these issues, who's gonna break up that culture in harrisburg. >> ready to cut you off there. and, mr. rafferty, obviously, you'll get the chance to respond right now and to answer the question. >> sure, sure. thank you. and look, it's absurd. i mean, my opponent has never condemned state representative costa. and there's a photo of him out there with a lawyer who's just being investigated by the feds as well. and their people are facing criminal convictions. i've known -- i'm not gonna
condone seamus' actions, i condemn seamus' actions and everyone else's actions involved in porngate. i think, as a prosecutor, as an attorney, you are responsible for the information that's received, to review it, and to make sure it's reviewed properly, and then dispensed with properly. i have to go through that file, just bruce beemer's doing right now. you have to make sure that there isn't information in there about grand jury investigations, you have to redact names of uncover agents in the office of attorney general. we certainly are not going to implicate them. and you're going to make sure that innocent people are protected as well, that might be information in those e-mails. and bruce is doing that right now. i would undertake the same thorough investigation into those files before i released that information. but i do believe that the information should be released, with those redactions. and i do believe that, going forward, and -- look, first of all, i'm gonna return that office to its original intent, as the chief law enforcement officer. under my policy, and under john rafferty as attorney general, we won't be talking about porn e-mails.
>> your time is up. but, mr. rafferty, do you believe the voters should see this report before this election? >> i believe that's mr. beemer's intention. >> meaning two or three weeks. it may not end up being that way. >> no, no, i have no problem with that. no problem with that. >> all right, you get the next question, mr. rafferty. we're gonna talk about law and order. this is the top law enforcer of pennsylvania. "stop-and-frisk" is a tactic that used to be deployed by the philadelphia police department, is in new york city. as the state's top law enforcer, would you encourage communities or discourage communities from employing this tactic with their police departments? >> i would work with the communities to see what's best and what they need within their individual communities. we have 67 counties in the commonwealth of pennsylvania. i know there was talk of eliminating it here in philadelphia, but it's still continuing here in philadelphia. i think what you have to do is look at the benefits of the program. is it really taking criminals off the street? is it taking illegal guns off of the street? i'm opposed to sanctuary cities as well, which philadelphia is here. and i'm on the bill to eliminate sanctuary cities in the commonwealth of pennsylvania.
and i think that any tactic that we can use that does not violate one's civil rights, any tactic we can use to curb crime in pennsylvania, should be looked at and should be investigated and implemented if that area decides they need to do it. >> okay. mr. shapiro. >> obviously, stop-and-frisk is a decision that's gonna be made by the mayor, by the commissioner. and it's not gonna be my job as attorney general, or john's job, to come in and dictate those terms. what is our job, though, and what will be my job, is to make sure we are empowering law enforcement with all the tools they need to go and make our communities safer. look, i'm very proud in this campaign that i've been endorsed by the largest local fop, the philadelphia police officers, here in the commonwealth of pennsylvania. but i'm also proud of the fact that i've been endorsed by a number of community organizations. and i think i'm the one candidate that can actually bring both sides together. i'm out there talking about the need for criminal justice reform, the need to get illegal guns off our streets, which is one of the biggest issues in the city of philadelphia. you know, i'm someone who's got a long track record of fighting for things like background checks and going against straw purchasers.
i'm not someone who's been endorsed by the nra, as my opponent has been. it's one of the big reasons why "the philadelphia inquirer" has endorsed me over my opponent, because he's too close to the gun lobby. i think what we need to do as attorney general is make sure that we're giving tools to the communities, like the gun violence task force being beefed up in philadelphia, like the mobile street crimes unit, and other things to help complement the efforts of our local police department and our local district attorneys. >> you get the next question here, mr. shapiro. we'll talk about drugs here. again, again, we've seen the pictures of police departments proudly displaying weapons, illegal drugs, cash that they've seized. and yet the demand for illegal drugs never seems to diminish. >> right. >> as we know, colorado and washington do things differently right now. the state of washington, they allow regulated use of marijuana. do you support easing drug-possession laws, as philadelphia has done already in the city? and is this a pathway for pennsylvania to become more like colorado? >> i don't support legalizing recreational marijuana. i do believe -- and i think you've seen d.a.s of both
parties and law-enforcement leaders across the country embrace the idea of making sure that we are reducing penalties so that we're not locking people up for a long time for having a joint. what we're seeing in our communities, when it comes to drugs, though, is the number-one killer today being heroin and opioids. and i think we've got to be far more serious in our policies about recognizing that those who are addicted to drugs, like heroin, need to be treated, particularly when they're nonviolent, when they're not dealing, as opposed to incarcerated. i think we need to have a real, honest conversation with ourselves about who's actually sitting in our prisons today. in my prison in montgomery county, about 40% of our inmates are nonviolent, on psychotropic medications 'cause they have serious mental illness, or suffering from serious drug and alcohol issues. if we can divert those who are nonviolent into treatment, we can save the taxpayers' money. instead of $20,000 a year to incarcerated them, it's $4,000 or $5,000 a year to give them treatment. we can actually make communities safer, and we can repair lives, and we can reserve our prisons for the people who should be there -- the drug dealers, those who are violent, those who are a threat to the community.
>> mr. rafferty, what do you think? >> i supported medical marijuana, and i'm very supportive of medical marijuana. i voted for that here in the commonwealth of pennsylvania. i am not look to approve rec-- or legalize -- recreational marijuana. i think that's a gateway drug. working with the d.a.s and the law-enforcement community, for small amounts to be, maybe, a criminal summary offense instead. entertaining that idea going forward. but we do have a serious problem here in the commonwealth of pennsylvania, is the heroin epidemic. we've had a crack cocaine -- cocaine as well. and we really have to work as a team effort with our d.a.s. and, by the way, most of the d.a.s and 40,000-strong state fraternal order of police have stood with me and said, "this is the guy that we trust to be the chief law enforcement official." we'll go after those high-level, mid-level drug dealers and put them in jail where they belong. at the same time, the addicts, those that are nonviolent offenders -- as i did when i was a member of the veterans courts hearing committee here in pennsylvania -- we looked at alternatives to sentencing, to get them to rehabilitation, to get them, once again, a productive member of society. we need to do that going forward here in the commonwealth of pennsylvania.
and you brought up another issue. i was a big supporter of the brad fox bill, when it passed the house and came over to the senate. in fact, i got the brad fox bill through the senate in record time. that was the straw purchases of guns -- >> the next question -- i'm sorry we're cutting you off here, both of you, but we're trying to get as many issues as possible. the next question is actually about guns. some estimates indicate pennsylvania has the second highest nra membership in the country. while at the same time, as we've seen, outside money favoring gun control has entered this race. so, mr. rafferty, how do you balance the rights of people to purchase weapons and the prevalence of gun violence, particularly in our larger cities like philadelphia, pittsburgh, allentown, so on? >> you're right. my opponent's received a quarter of a million dollars from an outside-state billionaire, regarding the gun issue. i've been out front in the legislature on a number of gun issues. i've been the senate champion for the brad fox legislation. if you remember, brad fox legislation is the law now that arrests, allows for criminal conviction, and strong penalties
for those who are straw purchasers of guns, those who can legally and lawfully buy a gun and give it off to somebody who cannot legally and lawfully own a gun or operate a gun, much as we're seeing addicts do with drug dealers now here in the commonwealth of pennsylvania. additionally, i was a big advocate for -- and funding for, and continue to push for -- the gun violence task force here in philadelphia, and not just philadelphia. i want to propose it for cities of second class and thire work on intel and going after those illegal handguns on the streets, and curb crime. and today, it's a very successful program, still looked upon that way. and additionally, we just recently had a vote in the senate judiciary committee, where i held up the bill, that they were gonna take a mandatory out of, and ceasefire pa -- >> you got to wrap it up. >> i'll give you a little extra time, mr. shapiro, to answer the retort and also the question. >> look, this is a defining issue in this race. john rafferty has been criticized by "the philadelphia inquirer," just last sunday when they endorsed me, for being too close
to the gun lobby. he opposes things like universal background checks -- something i have fought for for years and something 90% of gun owners in pennsylvania support. he has made it harder for communities like philadelphia to try and make their community safer by passing ordinances and regulations to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. i don't want guns being in the hands of criminals. i don't want them being in the hands of the mentally ill. i want to make sure we have commonsense gun-safety measures, commonsense gun-violence prevention measures here in pennsylvania. and there is a way to do that while still protecting people's second amendment rights. look, guns are an important part of the heritage of people here in the commonwealth of pennsylvania. and just as vociferously as i'm gonna go out and make sure that the people in the cities of philadelphia and reading and norristown and other places across pennsylvania that are being -- in chester -- that are being wracked by gun violence each and every day. just as i'm gonna protect their rights to live in a safe community, i'll protect people's second amendment rights, when they responsibly bare arms. i think it's important that we have someone who is independent of the gun lobby, someone who has demonstrated independence
and conviction on this issue, not someone who's been captive to the nra, as my opponent has been. >> more questions for the candidates for pennsylvania attorney general, next. >> "inside story" is presented by temple university. remarkable change isn't easy, but for those who take charge, it comes naturally. explore temple's impact. visit temple.edu/impact. do you own a plane? do you own a bank? pat toomey owned both.
the fact that toomey owns a seat in the u.s. senate that should really concern us. while on the senate banking committee, pat toomey voted to rewrite rules to help bankers like him ...and he tried to eliminate protections put in place to stop wall street's risky practices. pat toomey: looking out for wall street and himself, not pennsylvania. senate majority pac is responsible for the content of this advertising. i've always taken on the status quo. in harrisburg, they didn't like it when i stopped their perks
and pushed for reform. as head of pennsylvania's third-largest county, i cut out wall street middlemen to protect pensions. now, as chairman of the pennsylvania commission on crime, i'm leading the fight to stop the epidemic of heroin and opioid abuse. as attorney general, i'll prosecute anyone who scams our seniors. and i'll hold the oil and gas companies accountable to keep our drinking water safe. i'm josh shapiro. i'll be an attorney general who always fights for you. ♪ >> we are continuing our
discussion with the candidates for pennsylvania attorney general -- john rafferty, the republican, and josh shapiro, the democrat. first question here for you, mr. shapiro. this could be the first presidential campaign in modern history where both major-party candidates will have below 50% favorability ratings on election day. despite the flaws of donald trump and hillary clinton, do you still support the top of your ticket, and will you vote for that person on election day? >> i do. i support hillary clinton, and i'll vote for her. look, i think it's unfortunate that senator rafferty is stuck on the ticket with donald trump, and i don't blame him for that. that's his party's nominee, and he's running for a separate office. i do think it's important, though, to have republicans with the courage, that they're gonna stand up and be independent-minded and stand up to donald trump's, you know, sexist remarks, his racist remarks, his xenophobic remarks. and i've been disappointed that senator rafferty hasn't stood up and condemned those remarks. what i've seen is former governor ridge stand up and oppose donald trump. i saw congressman meehan and
congressman dent, two republicans from his party, oppose donald trump. he's been silent. and, unfortunately, what i see happening is some republicans are trying to have it both ways. you know, they might sort of not agree with something trump says one day, but try and benefit from the hysteria that he's creating another day. and i think that's unfortunate. and i think we need an attorney general who's gonna be independent from that kind of rhetoric, condemn that kind of rhetoric. how can we possibly condone the comments about sexual assault? and perhaps even sexual assault occurring, based on some of these new allegations. i think it's a serious issue. and i think it's important for candidates to state very clearly where they stand. >> mr. rafferty, will you support your ticket, and will you vote for the presidential candidate in november? >> i'm disappointed in my candidate. my opponent and his research people -- it's been on my website for some time now, where i condemned donald trump's actions of last week on the tape. and, once again, very concerned, going forward, as to what the other revelations have been in this campaign. i've been running for, and
focusing on, john rafferty for attorney general, unlike my opponent who's shown up at just about every hillary clinton office opening. i haven't been involved with statewide candidates other than myself. i've been focusing on taking politics out of the office of attorney general -- obviously, we run as a d and as an r -- but taking politics out of the office of attorney general, not beholding to a-- i'm not asking any presidential candidate for support or money or anything else, so i don't want to be beholding, 'cause there's gonna be times where, as attorney general, you may have to sue the federal government for the benefit of the people of this commonwealth. so i have really been focused on my own election as attorney general. i happen to be on the same ticket as mr. trump, and i'm very concerned over his statements, i'm very concerned over the recent allegations, but as any good prosecutor would do, you're going to continue to research those issues, make a determination. i'm really hoping i'm in a position, come november 8th, to pull that lever, but i'm not there yet. >> so you don't know whether or not you will vote for mr. trump. >> i know i'm not voting for hillary. >> okay. all right. fair enough. >> but you endorsed him, and now you're not sure -- >> i never endorsed him.
i never endorsed him. >> on your website, it talks about -- >> no, it talks about support. it doesn-- see, there again. it -- it makes a difference for someone who's practiced law. support is a lot different than endorse, and i said i support my ticket. >> okay, so you support trump. >> you haven't said whether or not... okay, well, l-l-let's move on to the next issue. pennsylvania used to have a voter i.d. law. a commonwealth-court judge struck it down in 2014, saying it hampered the ability of thousands of voters to cast their ballots. mr. rafferty, do you hope that the state legislature will revisit the issue of having a voter i.d. law in this state? >> i most certainly do. i voted for voter i.d., though, i think at that time, it was too narrow in its focus of identification to be able to use. i think that we should have voter i.d. we've seen some recent revelations about illegal voters on the polls here in the commonwealth of pennsylvania. i think -- you need an i.d. to go cash a check. you need an i.d. to pick up a prescription. you need an i.d. to get a hotel room. so why would you not need an i.d. to show who you are before
you cast a ballot here in the commonwealth of pennsylvania? to me, it's a commonsense measure. and i think it not only enhances voter turnout, but i think protects the individuals who want to turn out to vote, that you know that that is the individual casting that ballot. >> mr. shapiro. >> john rafferty and his republican legislative leaders in harrisburg made it very clear when they passed voter i.d. that it was designed to suppress the vote in places like philadelphia, designed to make it harder for seniors to vote, designed to make it harder for poor people to vote, designed to make it harder for people of color to vote. i was a county commissioner when this came up. i voiced my objection against it. and we found a particular prevision in the law that allowed for nursing homes to issue identification cards. you know what we did in montgomery county? we created a mobile nursing home, and we went around to communities affected, where people didn't have identification cards, and issued them i.d. cards so they wouldn't lose their right to vote. look, that is a sacrosanct right in this country. and we need to make it easier for people to vote in this country, not harder. and i think, when you have politicians in harrisburg, like senator rafferty and his
colleagues, putting forth legislation under the, you know, sort of guise of "we want to protect the institution," but really designed to make it harder for people to vote, it undermines our democracy. it makes it harder for people's voices to be heard, at a time when we need more people weighing in on the process, more people selecting our leaders, and more people acting in a way that furthers our democracy. >> and recently, though, the media has reported on thousands of illegal voters here in the commonwealth. >> that's just simply not true. i mean, there's absolutely... >> read the papers. >> ...no evidence of this taking place. it's one of the things the courts cited when they threw this out. look...i understand that the republican party -- john's party -- is, you know, a million votes down in terms of registration, and they want to do everything they can to win. >> quick response there? >> but you can't rig the rules in a way that makes it harder for people of color... >> there's no rigging. >> ...that makes it harder for seniors to vote. >> everybody in pennsylvania is used to showing identification for those areas that i mentioned. all we're asking is to make sure that person who's registered to vote is actually that person going in to cast the vote.
there's nothing wrong with that. there's nothing trying to hold anything down. >> okay. closing statements when we come back. ♪ i spent many years as a nuclear missile launch officer. if the president gave the order we had to launch the missiles, that would be it. i prayed that call would never come. [ radio chatter ] self control may be all that keeps
these missiles from firing. [ sirens blearing ] i would bomb the [ beep] out of them. i want to be unpredictable. i love war. the thought of donald trump with
nuclear weapons scares me to death. it should scare everyone. i'm hillary clinton and i approve
this message. pat toomey and donald trump: they're just wrong for the women of pennsylvania. "new fallout for donald trump." "should a woman be punshied for having an abortion?" "there has to be some form of punishment." "for the woman?" "yeah, there has to be some form." "i would support legislation in pennsylvania that would ban abortion and i would suggest that we have penalties for doctors who perform them."
pat toomey and donald trump: they're not for you. senate majority pac is responsible for the content of this advertising. >> "inside story" is presented by temple university. remarkable change isn't easy, but for those who take charge, it comes naturally.
explore temple's impact. visit temple.edu/impact. ♪ >> closing remarks from our candidates for pennsylvania attorney general. we start with the republican, john rafferty. >> thank you. this is a critical election. this election is about who is going to represent you as the attorney general and protect your health, safety, and welfare as residents of pennsylvania. i have a record that is unique for this position. i was a businessman. i was a prosecutor for a number of years. i was a civil attorney and have 14 years in the senate of pennsylvania. i've been known as the go-to guy for the law-enforcement community, worked on dui legislation, worked on child-protection measures, worked on measures that would protect all of us here in society, including the transportation bill, which is based on health, safety, and welfare. and i've been the dui legislature in the senate of
pennsylvania, closing dangerous loopholes to keep our roadways safe and those safe in our commonwealth of pennsylvania. i did the ignition interlock. as attorney general, we're going to have an elder-fraud abuse section. we're going to enhance, once again, the child-predator unit. we're going to go after heroin here with our d.a.s in a partnership. we're going to continue to have an aggressive program and, at the same time, enhance consumer protection to make sure that you, the consumers, have a level playing field, as john rafferty as attorney general. >> josh shapiro, the democrat. >> as attorney general, i'll work every day to restore integrity and fairness to our justice system. i'll use my executive skills to clean up the mess in the attorney general's office and make it work for you again. and most importantly, i'll be the people's attorney general -- the one person every single pennsylvanian can rely on to protect their rights, to make sure seniors are proutical comps that are price-gouging individuals, increasing the cost of pharmaceutical drugs, to have a comprehensive plan to deal with the number-one killer in pennsylvania today -- the heroin
and opioid crisis -- to make sure we get illegal guns off our streets, and to protect people's rights, always protecting women's right to choose, protecting the lgbtq brothers and sisters in pennsylvania from discrimination, and making sure that, together, we move pennsylvania forward. on november 8th, i'd be honored to have your vote for attorney general. >> and both candidates tell me that this their only televised debate, so we thank you very much, mr. rafferty, mr. shapiro. >> thank you, matt. >> november 8th -- election day. thanks for watching "inside story." see you later. >> i'm nydia han along with gray hall. >> coming up next, thousands of septa workers decided to walk off the job at the end of the months if the contract negotiations fall through. shots fired at lincoln university. the eagles look to get back in the win column taking on the