tv Inside Story ABC July 30, 2017 11:30am-12:00pm EDT
>> i'm monica malpass. on "inside story," a political legend and kingmaker in philadelphia is under fbi scrutiny. let's get the inside story on why. [ theme music plays ] ♪ >> good morning. welcome to "inside story." and let's meet our insiders today. they are donna gentile o'donnell -- welcome -- author and nonprofit executive. >> good morning, monica. >> glad to have you. brian tierney, marketing executive. >> good morning. >> david dix -- a new member of our panel -- a government-relations executive. welcome. we're looking forward to hearing your thoughts today. and ed turzanski, foreign-policy analyst. always good to see you with us, as well, ed. did a political icon in philadelphia pay off an opponent in 2012 not to run against him? that is the rumor that we're hearing from some fbi scrutiny that's going on of congressman bob brady, who's been in office 20-plus years. one of brady's aides, by the way, admits to playing a role in the alleged bribe, but many
facts need to come forward, and no charges have been filed. what do you make of it? >> bob brady is a very sophisticated player in this game, and i will be surprised in the end if he crossed the line, to be honest with you, in terms of doing something that is illegal. it does show, though, the need for a more robust two-party system. and it would be the same if the republicans were controlling the situation in any particular. it's healthy when you may win an election, you may lose it, and you have to kind of fight with the best talent, but i'm gonna be surprised in the end -- bob brady's played this game a long time -- if he's crossed any lines. >> and there was reportedly a conversation alleging that he tried to get a witness not to talk, and that witness, we now understand, off the record, is former mayor wilson goode. allegedly, he's person number three listed in the case. what do you think about that? >> i think maybe there's smoke where there's fire. bob brady's been chairman of the party since 1986. he's been playing this game for a very long time. but the folks that are listed in the reports are ostensibly "the brady bunch." i'm mean, these are the people who are the closest to him, who give him the most advice, and
when he's executing a political agenda, these are the people he relies on to do that. so i think there's gonna be a lot more investigations going on with this probe, but i do know that the people that are listed in the indictments or in the articles are the people that are closest to congressman brady and the folks that he does rely on for those types of activities. >> and it's including senior municipal court judge jimmie moore, of course, is the person in question. >> right. so, let me just take exception a little bit with what you're saying there. so, first of all, the only person that's been charged is ms. cavaness. and her association was with judge moore. >> right. >> and she was made part of the brady campaign in, i think, an effort for party unity, which, as we all know -- those of us that have followed political campaigns -- that's something that you always want to get committed to early on if you're gonna try to move an opponent out of the race. importantly, jimmie moore had five fec, federal election commission, violations on his filings. the brady campaign had no
election violations. so i think these are significant facts that sort of get lost. i mean, we in philadelphia, have developed a form of political ptsd. you know, whenever there is a headline about political corruption, people just go, "oh, my god, here it comes again." >> well, and with reason because, just in recent memory, congressman chaka fattah, kathleen kane, who was our attorney general for the state, seth williams, the former d.a. -- we've had a long list just in recent memory. that doesn't even go way back. what do you think, ed? >> well, i'm with brian on this. first of all, i think bob brady is a very cautious man, very experienced. i don't see him having placed himself in a situation where he could be the subject of any kind of litigation -- or prosecution, i should say. and, look, campaigns do this all the time in some form. you have someone who is running. you try to figure out, "how do i get them out of the way?" you want to stay within the rules. but to another point brian made
about a party being in power for too long -- you get a little sloppy. >> yeah. >> you think that you don't have to be too adherent to the rules -- close enough is good enough for government work. we don't have to stay right where the letter of the law is. >> and the fbi wouldn't stick its neck out and some of these allegations would become public in the light of day, unless, as you said, there might be something to it. i mean, they don't just lambaste people without some -- >> oh, no, no, they're serious people who are sworn to do the right thing. so if somebody stepped outside the bounds, they're going to pay a price, but i'm with brian. i'm gonna be very surprised if bob brady -- >> not that others didn't maybe cross a line, but i'm gonna be -- you know, when your opponent -- you're trying to get them out, you'll help them retire their campaign debt. that's done all the time. >> right. >> governor wolf did it with kathleen kane. >> right. so that part's not illegal per se. it's the reasoning behind it or the method. >> not kathleen kane.
>> and in the almost 20 years that congressman brady's been in office, he has never had a real serious opponent in the democratic primary. and until the last redistricting, that was a congressional district that was overwhelmingly african-american. you've had a number of african-americans in this area who have looked at that seat as one of opportunity for them and have thought about challenging him, but, for some reason or another, whenever it comes down to election time, there's never an opponent against congressman brady. i think that there is some political machinations there, and, again, i think the fact that they have listed his closest political consultants means something. >> well, but it's also -- jimmie moore was actually a friend and ally of congressman brady, and brady was the guy who helped him get elected, despite the fact that he was not endorsed by the board -- not once, but twice. so it's not that there's no relationship there. and, also, i think that, when you look at sort of the bigger picture, i think the press -- the correlation of what has happened so far and the press coverage, i think there's a
divide there. you read the headline, and then you read the story, and the divide is quite substantial. and can i just -- >> so much ado about nothing so far, in effect? >> well, not nothing. there's something because somebody pleaded guilty to something. but it's much ado about lots of things -- no charges, nothing pro-- so i think that doesn't merit front page above the fold. >> and so far, both of the major players have denied anything, so they're already -- >> and if i could just amend an error i made here, which is -- >> you meant tom kane. we know. >> no, no, not... katie mcginty. >> oh, okay. >> so sorry. >> no worries. all right, let's move on and talk about allentown's mayor and reading's mayor -- two other officials also, alleged, had corruption in their backgrounds. and the allegation is pay-to-play, that they were selling their cities, allegedly, big-contract projects in their cities to get some political gain, either campaign contributions or tickets to games, for heaven's sakes, other things like that down the way. what do you make of those kinds of allegations? >> well, you have to establish the quid pro quo.
so, remember bob mcdonnell, governor of virginia, was convicted of corruption? it was overturned because they couldn't establish, "you give me this, and then here's what i'll do for you." so that'll be the key to look for. it's not just what the politician received, it's what they did in return for that gift. >> i agree with that, and, in fact, that was the driving force behind the bob mcdonnell appeal to the supreme court, in which the supreme court came down on the side of -- that there was no improper behavior. so that has to be proved. and they've done a fairly extensive investigation, so we'll see. >> but you also have, out of this reading and allentown situation, i guess, 11 guilty pleas so far in terms of things. i don't think they're as sophisticated perhaps. you know, that's kind of our farm team, like the reading phillies are for the philadelphia phillies. >> [ laughs ] >> absolutely. allentown's our third-largest city in the state, but, still... >> yeah, but it's the farm-team system, i guess, and they got to
the level of sophistication to not cross that line, but 11 of 16 people have already pled guilty, so i think that's something. >> to brian's point, when you have folks who are the political consultants, advisors, the folks who are designed to execute on these elected officials' wishes and they're turning over and they're being indicted -- i mean, the fact that they indicted mike fleck over a year ago i think means a lot, because he was the consultant for both the mayor in reading and the mayor in allentown. >> and another thing to keep in mind, as you have this large number of people who fall within the gears of justice, they, in an attempt to save themselves, have to give something to the prosecutor. and that usually means they're going up top. >> that's right. >> it's a four-year federal investigation, a 50-count indictment. this is not any small matter. they're playing for real over here. >> yeah. >> and do you think that, in the end, we'll see some fire where there was smoke? >> well, the feds don't expend that kind of effort where isn't something going on. and to brian's point, the number
of people who are now caught up in this, it's in their self-interest to give up whoever's above them. >> sure. save their own skin. >> 'cause instead of getting "x" years, you'll get half as many years. >> that's right. >> but it could take a while, as we saw in the congressman chaka fattah case -- 10 years of investigation behind the scenes. he called it a witch hunt, but, in the end, he was convicted. so it may be a slow -- >> well, i mean, mccord still hasn't been sentenced, right, here in pennsylvania. >> no. not yet. >> i was gonna say, similarly, in the chaka fattah situation, you had one of his top deputies turn over, and that's what kind of led to the investigation and led to the -- >> and the prosecutors have an unlimited budget. >> right. >> they don't have to worry about running out of money. >> there's another loud voice in the "sanctuary city" issue, which, of course is front and center for philadelphia. we are a sanctuary city, and our mayor has said we'll continue to be. attorney general jeff sessions, just this past week, said funding is gonna dry up very quickly for sanctuary cities. it's a major theme by our new president. mayor kenney says, actually, the city's gonna lose financially either way. if we do or if we don't, we're gonna be losing money.
so you really have to factor in, according to the mayor's point of view, which is the worst-case scenario. are you giving up the people, in his eyes, and then you're not getting the benefits of having them here -- >> but you can measure the amount of money you're gonna lose. but i feel like, in the long term, we're gonna be -- >> $1.7 million is the measurement. >> right. so here's the thing, though -- you can't have cities and states making foreign po-- dealing with the international borders. i mean, i admire somebody, and if it was father jim kenney and sister jenette kenney, i'd -- but he's a mayor. it's government. we have a system. we have a federal government, we have a state government and a local go-- local governments and state governments can't make decisions on our borders. and i think it's arrogance and it's stupid and it's cro-- and i'm no big fan on grabbing people off the street, but the idea that we arrest somebody and we can't ask them their immigration status -- come on, guys. >> well, just on the subject of whether or not the mayor is being appropriate, let's just point out the fact that there are a whole lot of policies that are emanating at the national
level that have religious phenomena tied to them, and this is one of them. and, you know, i admire the mayor because he showed moral courage, along with the pope, along with other people in our city who believe that we cannot and should not be subjugating immigrants and refugees to a standard that is just unreasonable. the federal government ought to be working with philadelphia and other sanctuary cities on thoughtful ways of approaching these significant moral/governmental issues, because they are intertwined. >> and some critics would say that's in a perfect world, and now, in the world where philadelphians live, which is the largest poorest big city in america -- poor -- you're gonna stand to lose $1.7 million a year? and you got people who have no job, no home, no food? and we're gonna stand -- it would be nice if it were all perfect. what do you think, ed? can we afford to lose that money? >> no, we can't afford to lose the money, and to speak to donna's point, if we're concerned about the moral hazard of what happens when you enforce
immigration law -- first of all, the question, as a nation, shouldn't we have the right to establish the rule of law and then to objectively follow it? and, secondly, what people fail to recognize in most cases is that these illegals very often wind up being the victims of unscrupulous employers and others principally because they are illegal. so we admit more people legally into this country than the rest of the world combined. certainly, let's have the discussion if we want to find a way to fix the status of some of these people, but the ironclad rule of government -- the more you subsidize something, the more you get. you let illegal immigration happen, you will get more and more of it. it will make legal immigration that much more difficult. it'll make the crime situation much worse. >> all right, before we go to
break, let's talk about the healthcare debacle. what in the world happened? that early morning/late night vote where it came up short, that is a trump failure. anybody seeing that from the outside would say, "boy, the president has got to be hot about that one." what do you think happened in the end? obviously, senator mccain surprised a few folks. >> he put so much stake in this vote -- president trump put so much stake in this vote. he put so much stake in the assumption that senator mccain would vote with him on this vote, and he was left flat-wrong last night. senator mccain, in a very dramatic way, signaled a no vote with a thumbs-down, and when you heard the gasps through the senate chambers, it really sent chills through anybody who was watching it live. >> was it personal? i mean, the senator is suffering with brain cancer, so he has a medical situation. my bet is he's not using obamacare to pay for his, so it's not personally affecting his bottom line, but is it personal because the president had some not-so-nice things to say about him along the way? >> i think -- look, the vote was so close, and you had other republican senators going, and there were other republican
senators, had we got to an actual vote, would've peeled off, as well -- i mean in terms of the larger issue of healthcare reform. but i got to think, at some level, john mccain's thinking what he thinks is the right thing to do, part of it is legacy, and if i'm him, i can't shake the fact that, during that campaign, this same guy, trump, said, "i like guys who didn't get captured during the vietnam war rather than guys who got captured." and this is payback in a way, okay? this is payback as it relates to president trump, and why should he burn the gas for him, for a person who's shown him no respect, as well? but here's also the thing. this is complicated stuff. when you're an entrepreneurial builder, you can decide, "you know what? we'll add a garden to it." this is government -- very complicated. you can't be tweeting one thing in the morning and tweeting something else in the afternoon. you can't run an organization the way he's doing it, because he's failing. >> in the meantime, did mccain do himself no favors by kicking the can down the road, saying that he'll come back and there should be more discussion? i mean, did he sort of fuzz -- make some smoke out of an issue where there shouldn't have been any? >> no, he's saying things that
he knows won't happen. that's the problem. there will not be this grand accommodation he talks to. if there was any opportunity at all, it would've been in reconciliation between the house and senate versions. and that's why 10 senators on the republican side said, "i will only vote for this as long as the house doesn't accept the senate version and pass it." they wanted to see this process to continue. well, it didn't make sense, and that's why i think the tail part of what brian said may be the one that really drove this. mccain voted to continue discussion. yesterday, he killed it. >> right. one last word, and then we have to take a break. >> two important points. the republican leadership, mitch mcconnell, made a terrible political error in judgment when he locked out the three women senators, the three women senators from being involved in the crafting of the bill. and two of them voted against him, and he shouldn't have been surprised. second point -- john mccain, as
we've all acknowledged, has a terminal illness. and this is a guy who, for his entire political life, has been "the maverick." i believe that this will be -- just as people have noted that, when ted kennedy was sick, he came back. john mccain's back to make this part of his legacy. >> all right, we got to take a break. "inside story" continues right after this. >> "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. ♪ we buy any car dot com ♪
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♪ >> welcome back to "inside story." last week, several blows against transgender rights, specifically the ban in the military against them on troop usage and other points, as well. a new ambassador-at-large was appointed by president trump who is anti-gay, and, in a private lawsuit, they said the 1964 civil rights act does not apply to it. so it's been a tough week for people who are lgbtq. what do you make of all of these developments, brian? >> well, i think, if this was critical piece of the legacy, president obama wouldn't have waited until june of 2016. it was four or five months before the election that he did this. so this was basically an image thing for him to do. it was something, part of his legacy. we were talking about mccain, and now you're coming back to the other side of it. first of all, lgbtq rights are paramount. how this affects itself into the military, though, is another thing, and i'd want to be, in the military, kind of
understanding it more, but i do think it's important to people. obama didn't do this as soon as he got in. he got this on the way out the door. "oh, one last thing, i'd like to burnish my legacy, and here's what i'm gonna do." >> well, i thought the one thing that was incredibly important was that the joint chiefs were blindsided by trump's statement that this was gonna be a new policy. and they have since asserted that they were gonna continue to follow the existing policy until there is more detail associated with this. but i find fascinating that, in both the news clips and on facebook, what you see is donald trump walking across the stage, carrying a lgbtq banner, saying, "i will be your voice." some voice. >> 1,300 out of the 1.3 million troops are transgender. there are some who are going to be undergoing surgery. i guess the bottom line, david, is, should the military pay for it? >> i just think it's unprecedented for the commander in chief to have such a bold action and that action be announced via twitter without any conversation with his
generals. and to her point, they didn't have a conversation about what's best for the military. and you now have the joint chiefs and other generals -- even the secretary of defense saying that he had no idea about this, and they don't have any plan to implement his twitter action. >> they said basically, "ask the white house," right? >> president trump has been a master manipulator of the media, and, for me, this is just an opportunity to distract from his sessions' beef, which is distracting from russia, which is ultimately distracting from the fact that his policies have been a failure, as evidenced by yesterday's healthcare vote. >> we have to move on to the pennsylvania budget before we say goodbye -- a $32 billion budget. there's still a $2 billion hole. they haven't fixed the deficit in the end, still working on some ideas how to fill that. what do you think's gonna happen in the end, ed? >> well, it's just interesting to pass a budget without the mechanism to fund it, and this is where it's going to get very messy because, in some cases, they're talking about increasing the taxes that are part of our utility bills.
and that's where i think they're gonna get significant pushback. >> cellphone, utitlity bills. will they tax marcellus shale finally? we've been talking about it ad nauseam. >> we're the only state, i think, that doesn't tax it like that now, and part of this deficit is last year's deficit that got rolled into the new. so this is like, all of a sudden, you're not paying your whole credit-card bill off last year and now you're rolling it into the new and you're trying to borrow more. it makes no sense. there were some other areas -- the taxes, online gaming. i work with a company that's in that space. it would be hundreds of millions of dollars. it's working well in new jersey. there's other ways to get these monies. >> the thing that's sad about this is that, when tom corbett was governor, he had the opportunity to tax marcellus shale at the point at which it was becoming very profitable... >> $100 million, i believe, a year. >> ...and walked away from it because he signed a pledge for grover norquist, a no-tax pledge. i mean, grover norquist doesn't live here, but yet that was more important than making sure the commonwealth was attended. >> it's interesting to me that these later budgets and these fiscal spending packages have now become the new normal here in pennsylvania. you have essentially the senate republican leadership and the
governor agreeing to a package that the house has said that they haven't seen and haven't analyzed, so you have real discord among groups that are naturally on the same page usually. and this new normal of, "our budget starts in july," or, "it starts in august," or, "it starts in december," i think we're on the wrong path in terms of just coalescing around when a budget needs to be done and having one done on time. >> so, a quick question -- who's to blame? because we're really sort of -- you know representatives in harrisburg. so why can't they agree? >> lot of diverted interests and not enough strong leadership. there's nobody there who -- you know, in the not-so-long-ago days, it would be, "i might not agree 100%. i'm gonna go along with this because i respect my leader and he's gonna help me get re-elected," et cetera, et cetera. now everybody's got their own social-media account. everybody -- the lobbyists are much more powerful up there. >> every person for themselves. all right, we got to leave it at that. "inside story" is coming your way right after this. ♪
remarkable change isn't easy, but for those who take charge, it comes naturally. explore temple's impact. visit temple.edu/impact. ♪ >> time for inside stories of the week, and let's start with david. >> with the widening investigation on congressman brady and his "brady bunch," i've already been notified that sharks are seeing blood in the water. i think that you'll have a challenger to congressman brady in 2018 and that challenger will come from outside of politics and from a background that either has enough access to money -- him or her have access to money or the ability to raise it. >> all right, we'll be watching. brian. >> couple weeks ago, never heard the term "mooch" other than somebody borrowed something and didn't return it. now we have scaramucci, the new communications director in the white house. i've been doing this all my life, this communications thing. everybody thinks they can do it. what we're seeing is it's harder than you think. scaramucci is supposed to be putting out fires, not creating them, and i predict disaster, unfortunately, for the president with this appointment. >> all right. donna. >> an under-covered event occurred about a week and a half ago. the pennsylvania building trades, led by john dougherty, endorsed larry krasner.
lot of people were surprised -- no coverage of it, which is, i think, significant and interesting. one of the things that they talked about was the opioid crisis. there have been a number of fatalities of kids that are part of the building trades locals, and krasner articulated a platform that he wants to pursue. and so it was an important political moment in philadelphia. >> all right. ed. >> charlie gard is an infant with a rare lethal disease. his parents wanted to spend $2 million to bring him to the u.s. for experimental treatment. british doctors and courts, along with the european union court, said no. they wouldn't even let him go home to die in his parents' house. when you're thinking about government healthcare and single-payer, ask yourself, "what if we were in their situation?" >> and the key point there is it was $2 million out of their own money. >> it's their own money, and the court wouldn't allow them to
care for their own child, for that home-run pass that each of us would try for our children. >> and they probably spent $10 million in legal fees, et cetera, to say no. >> all right, and that's "inside story" for this week. thanks to all of our insiders, and welcome again to david. thanks to you for watching. hope you have a great week ahead. we'll see you right back here next sunday morning. ♪ ♪ >> i'm nydia han along with gray hall. >> coming up next a person is recovering after being hit by a car? center city. we'll tell you what police say how theyed found the suspected -- how they founded the suspected driver. this week's rain brought a mess to the jersey shore in the middle of a dunes dilemma.
those stories and more on "action news" next at noon. for $79.99 a month online for the first year. plus hbo for one year and multi-room dvr service for two years, all with a two-year agreement. and switching has never been easier. get out of you contract with up to a $500 credit to help cover your early termination fee. go to fiosgigabit.com he gets things done stevfor south jersey.o tell you don't believe him. because steve sweeney gets things done for himself, for the special interests who pay for his campaigns, and definitely for chris christie. but steve sweeney doesn't get things done for you. unless you count cutting education funding, raising the gas tax, and sending more of your tax dollars off to trenton instead of south jersey. if you're tired of typical politics, stop electing typical politicians like steve sweeney.