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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  July 30, 2013 9:00pm-10:01pm PDT

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melissa harris perry sitting in for rachel. >> good evening, chris. thanks for that great show tonight. >> thank you. thanks to you at home for staying with us the next hour. rachel has the night off, but if you are watching rachel, we will be joined later this hour by the chief of staff of san diego mayor bob filner who tonight has been accused of sexual misconduct by an eighth woman. that will be the interview tonight. and you are going to want to see it. but, we begin here with a surprise victory. this was barack obama in january 2008 on the night he won the iowa democratic caucuses. senator obama was not supposed to win that night. senator hillary clinton was favored, but she came in third behind both senator john edwards and that new guy from illinois, the skinny one with the funny name. barack obama was not supposed to win iowa, but he did, and it gave him tremendous momentum, and with that momentum, he ran directly into a brick wall. less than a week later, senator
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clinton won the new hampshire primary. she righted her campaign, she was back on top. barack obama finished second and his momentum was looking like pixie dust cleared away with a single sneeze from the party establishment. and yet, what we remember from that night in new hampshire is not what hillary clinton said in victory, but what barack obama said in defeat about america. >> for when we have faced down impossible odds, when we've been told we're not ready, or that we shouldn't try, or that we can't, generations of americans have responded with a simple creed that sums up the spirit of a people. yes, we can. yes, we can. yes, we can. >> yes, we can! yes, we can! yes, we can! >> barack obama told the crowd that night that slaves whispered, yes, we can, on the road to freedom. women called out yes, we can, on
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the way to the ballot box. and his supporters would say, yes, we can, on the path to the white house. barack obama framed his real and painful defeat in terms of the broad sweeping arc of american experience. he could not change result in new hampshire but could change the way people saw that result. he could shift their perspective. in a way, it is his singular gift as a politician. last year, when vice president biden endorsed marriage equality, when he did that right in the heat of the presidential campaign, he forced the president's hand on the issue. suddenly the president needed to take a stand on an issue he had avoided taking a stand on. and so he evolved into an open supporter of marriage equality. then he framed that support in terms both personal and universal. >> malia and sasha, they have friends whose parents are same-sex couples.
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there have been times where michelle and i have been sitting around the dinner table and we've been talking about their friends and their parents, and malia and sasha, it wouldn't dawn on them that somehow their friends' parents would be treated differently. it doesn't make sense to them, and frankly, that's the kind of thing that prompts a change of perspective. >> for president obama, so much depends on the frame. he's saying right there, yeah, you have kids, right? and i have kids. their generation sees this differently. so i moved a little bit, and maybe you'll move little bit, too. no, he cannot make the nation move on the issue of marriage equality, but he can frame the issue in a way that makes it easier for the country to move. he did it, again, this month after a florida jury acquitted the man who killed young trayvon martin. >> you know, when trayvon martin was first shot, i said that this could have been my son. another way of saying that is
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trayvon martin could have been me 35 years ago. and when you think about why in the african-american community, at least, there's a lot of pain around what happened here, i think it's important to recognize that the african-american community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences and a history that doesn't go away. >> again, there's only so much president obama could do as president in the sense of governing. he could conceivably bring a federal charge against the shooter, but otherwise the case was a florida case tried under florida state law. what the president could do was change the framing. he could say trayvon martin could have been my child, trayvon martin could have been me. people with that experience and history see this story a particular way. he could try to change the
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framing enough so people could see the story in that way whether they looked like trayvon martin, themselves, or not. last week, president obama set out, again, to make the case for the federal government doing something about jobs and the economy. he began a series of speeches, the first one in galesburg, illinois, all with the argument that the economy grows best from the middle outward, not from the top down or the bottom up. the gap between the rich and poor in this country, he told "the new york times," is fraying the social fabric in our country. he said that everything he proposes over the next three years will be designed to do something about that. the thing about the obama presidency is that the president is supposed to work with a congress where the house is controlled by republicans who will not let his proposals pass. according to the beltway understanding of things, president obama might as well
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propose building a colony on the moon and naming it after newt gingrich. he may as well propose that than ask congress to do something, anything about jobs because this congress is dedicated to doing as little as what president obama wants as they possibly can. help the economy? lunar economy, you say. today, president obama took his case for fixing income inequality to an warehouse in chattanooga, tennessee, which is an interesting choice of venue. an odd deliberative frame. interesting considering that jeff bezos of amazon amassed a fortune of $25 billion in counting. while workers sweated away in warehouses evocative of a charles dickens title. there's the president in the amazon warehouse today offering republicans in congress a grand bargain, a big cut in corporate tax rates in exchange for programs to create jobs. the president starting by
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reframing what it means to work. >> jobs are about more than just paying the bills. jobs are about more than just statistics. we've never just defined having a job as having a paycheck here in america. a job is a source of pride. it's a source of dignity. it's the way you look after your family. it's proof that you're doing the right things and meeting your responsibilities and contributing to the fabric of your community and helping to build the country. >> jobs are not just about paying the bills. so we need to make sure country is growing good jobs. that was part one. and then because republicans in congress have already said they will not go along with the president's economic proposals, the president reframed the pitch. he made a kind of separate
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pitch, not to congress, but to the titans of industry. >> at the same time, i'm calling on our businesses to do more for their workers. i talked to jeff bezos yesterday and he was so proud of the fact that he wants to see every employee in amazon continually upgrade their skills and improve, and if they have a dream they want to pursue, amazon wants to help them pursue it. that's the kind of approach that we need from america's businesses. you know, offering training programs, health care, retirement plans. paying better wages. that's not just the right thing to do, it's actually good for your bottom line. >> can you hear it there? the president working through that one. broadening the value of work. widening the responsibilities for creating new jobs. reframing what employers should
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do for their workers as a matter of fiscal good sense. we have seen reframing work for this president in moments of frustration and defeat. does it work for him now? joining us now is david axelrod, former senior adviser to president obama. now an msnbc senior political analyst. mr. axelrod, thank you for being here. >> good to be here, melissa. >> all right. so talk to me about where president obama is standing in this moment? can he still expect to govern in the traditional sense? can he actually go take a proposal to the hill, or is the best that he's going to be able to do in terms of economic change rhetorical? >> you know, i think one of his strengths is he thinks long term. he doesn't get terribly bogged down in the short-term mixmaster of washington politics. he, you know, listening to the
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clips that you played, i got very nostalgic because i've been hearing him talk about this stuff as long as i've known him, and i've known him for more than 20 years. he believes that this is the central challenge of our time, that the economic forces that have been at play for several decades that have marginalized the middle class, threatened who we are as a country and that we have to do things, affirmative things to push back on those forces and preserve what is best about our country. the ability to work hard and get ahead. and he is going to explore every avenue that he can to get that done. he'll use the authorities that he has. you know, outside of congress and he'll try and find partners in congress to work with him. and today was part of that effort. but to do that you have to involve the american people. that's been the lesson that i think he's learned over the last 4 1/2 years is that to move issues, you have to involve the american people. and he's on the road now. he's making the case. and it's a compelling one as you point out. >> so david, i appreciate what
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you're saying there about sort of this having been this president's world view for a long time. you know, he was my state senator way back in the years when i lived in hyde park. >> i know that. as we shared him as a state senator. >> that's right. so i certainly agree with that, but i also wonder, you know, part of what this president has also always been is a process democrat with a little "d." someone who really believes the actual process of governing between the branches matters. is he fundamentally frustrated now in his second term to keep coming up against a congress that won't move on these fundamental economic issues? >> i think that he is determined. i mean, i talk to him from time to time. i'm struck by the fact that he, you know, one of his strengths is he remains calm and focused. yes, you know, he has his frustrations. obviously when you have the speaker of the house say he's going to be measured by the laws that he repeals, not the laws that he passes, that's a kind of stunning statement. and if you're trying to govern and looking for partners, it's a depressing thought. on the other hand, we have gotten things done over the last 4 1/2 years.
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a lot of it has to do with his persistence. he's making a case that the majority of the american people strongly embrace. ultimately that has to matter in a democracy and he's going to keep plugging away at it. >> he's been clear over the past few days an this issue of inequality, this issue of jobs and of growth. he's spent a lo of years as a rhetorical deficit hawk also making a claim to the need to bring down the deficit, and let's say, actually bringing down the deficit. >> yes, exactly. >> has he seeded too much ground there? like, in other words, we still hear republicans pushing on this deficit question, despite the fact that it is shrinking. >> there is a long-term issue we have to deal with. when you look at the campaign he ran in 2008 and the campaign he ran in 2012, it was scary focused on these issues. that's what's so stunning about the republican response to all of this, because the president ran on these issues about the investments we have to make in the middle class, in our economy, to secure a better future to make sure that we're true to the creed of our country, to the history of our
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country as a place of opportunity. that's what he ran on. a majority of the american people supported him. and now you have a -- you have leaders in the congress, particularly on the house side, but also mitch mcconnell who's looking over his shoulder at the tea party in his own state, who are acting as if it never happened. that there was no message from the american people. >> david axelrod, former senior adviser to president obama. former hyde parker like me and relatively new twitter follower of mine. >> yes. >> it's nice to have you on the show tonight. >> thanks, melissa. good to be with you. >> thank you. bob filner is still the mayor of san diego, california. he stands accused of a pattern of sexual misconduct. there are calls for his resignation. he may even be recalled. and he is about to take two weeks off for intensive therapy around his behavior at the office. tonight his new chief of staff joins us for the interview. don't miss it.
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a lot to do on this show tonight. the bradley manning verdict. governor bob mcdonnell goes on the record about his current troubles. a charter school cheating scandal about the people who push for charter schools in indiana. and oh, yes, the chief of staff of the scandalized mayor of san diego joins us live for the interview. stay with us. the blisters were oozing, and painful to touch. i woke up to a blistering on my shoulder. i spent 23 years as a deputy united states marshal and i've been pretty well banged up but the worst pain i've experienced was when i had shingles. when i went to the clinic, the nurse told me that it was a result of having had chickenpox.
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i wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. the bradley manning trial has been going on for about two months now and if at any point you wanted to know what had happened in the proceedings that day or the day before, you had two choices. you could either read news articles about the trial of
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which there have been many. or if you wanted to take a look at things for yourself, you could read the transcripts of the trial. the transcripts couldn't be found on any military website. i mean, it was a military trial, after all. but rather here at a website maintained by manning's supporters. transcripts like these, they were clearly marked unofficial transcript. the freedom of the press foundation raised the money and paid for an unofficial stenographer to attend the trial and produce daily transcripts. however, they do not record the entire trial. a good chunk of it took place behind closed doors. cell phones were banned after someone made an audio recording and leaked it. for all the secrecy surrounding the trial of bradley manning, there was not a whole lot in dispute. first of all, bradley manning admitted that he leaked to the worldwide web about 700,000 documents, including battlefield reports and state department cables. that is not in dispute. he has also already pled guilty
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to ten charges. that isn't in dispute either. in dispute was motive. bradley manning was charged under the espionage act. the most serious charge against him was aiding the enemy. for that, he could have been sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. today the judge of the bradley manning trial after deliberating for about 16 hours over the course of 3 days found him not guilty of that charge. not guilty of aiding the enemy. on an espionage charge related to a video prosecutors say he leaked in 2009, which manning denied, she also found him not guilty. but on all other charges, five counts of espionage, five theft charges, computer fraud, and breaking military rules, bradley manning was guilty. throughout this whole trial, bradley manning's lawyers argued he was not a spy and shouldn't be treated like one because he did not intentionally give the classified documents to some specific enemy. if he wanted to do harm to the united states, or make money off
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of his thievery, he could have. one witness said bradley manning, what he leaked, just the war logs, were worth more than $5.5 million. and it's not hard to see why. private manning's leaks wrote a lot of the news reports in 2010. what the world now knows because of bradley manning is not in dispute, and it is significant. >> the documents reveal that even as pakistan accepted billions in u.s. aid, pakistani intelligence officials allegedly conspired with taliban leaders in may 2007. the taliban shot down a u.s. helicopter with a shoulder-fired missile, killing seven soldiers. but nato commanders concealed that fact. more than 66,000 iraqi civilians were killed even though the pentagon repeatedly claimed they never kept such statistics. the names of more than 300 iraqi informants working with the americans appear in the documents. >> this is the third and by far
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the biggest release of u.s. secrets by wikileaks. >> friends like french president sarkozy described as thin skinned and an emperor with no clothes. foes like iranian president ahmadinejad called hitler. libya's moammar gadhafi, strange, and always accompanied by a voluptuous blond ukrainian nurse. one cable in january says yemen's president saleh told general david petraeus, we'll continue saying the bombs are ours, not yours. hillary clinton and condoleezza rice before her ordered u.s. embassies and intelligence services to gather private information on u.n. leaders and diplomats. including computer passwords, even dna and fingerprints. >> private manning also released this video. this disturbing video showing american helicopter pilots in iraq in 2007 firing on a group of iraqis and a journalist from the "reuters" wire service, and his driver. 12 people were killed. wikileaks added their own
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subtitles to it. the military said proper protocols were followed, but after this video was made public, people all across the world and in the united states outraged. until private manning leaked it, we had not seen video like this that the military did not want us to see. we had a whole new kind of access to our war in iraq. on the one hand, seemed like the trial of private bradley manning was over before it began. he had already admitted to leaking the hundreds of thousands of documents. he was held in solitary confinement for the better parent of a year. he denied very little of the government's findings against him, yet what today's verdicts will mean for private manning, that is still up in the air. tomorrow begins the sentencing phase of the trial. manning faces up to 136 years in prison. although there are no minimum sentencing requirements. so really, what happens to private manning, and for how long it happens, that is still an open question. as rachel says, watch this
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for 35 of the 42 years since 1971, the city of san diego, california, has been governed by a republican mayor. until this last year. the city had not elected a democrat for mayor since 1986, and then last november then-u.s. congressman bob filner, a democrat, was elected mayor. this man had been in congress since 1993. he was a former freedom rider. he was a founding member of the congressional progressive caucus.
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he was a big thinker. he had big ideas. and so for democrats, and for progressives in san diego, bob filner's mayoral election was a big deal. a moment of unlikely triumph, and optimism for liberals in the conservative and second largest city in california. in his first news conference after the election, mayor bob filner introduced his city to his then-fiancee, bronwyn ingram, whom he called the first lady of san diego. >> i've been working in support of the disabled community for 20 years, and the way that i met bob is some policies that were very disadvantageous to the disabled community were occurring in my department, and the reason i met bob, he was the only member of congress who would sit down and meet with us and who actually cared and together we changed that policy. so i hope we'll be an effective team here, too. >> she hoped they would be an effective team. it was all about hope in
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december of last year for progressives in san diego. a loving couple with big goals for their city. then early this month without warning, the mayor's fiancee sent an e-mail to members of her volunteer group which she named team first lady. this group was miss ingram's organized effort to address community issues and homelessness. the e-mail read, "i have broken off my engagement to bob filner and ended our relationship. i have struggled with this decision, as i really wanted to see the community projects we had initiated with such enthusiasm come to fruition. i'm extremely disappointed and heartbroken. both for what team first lady could have accomplished and for me personally." no real explanation. just a stark and painful missive to her team. then a couple of days later, a former democratic city councilwoman, a woman who was once an ally of bob filner, announced publicly that although she had supported the mayor in the past, she had just sent a letter to the mayor asking for
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his resignation. she added that she could not describe how anguishing it was to ask him that he vacate his office. and then she held a news conference. >> when i received credible firsthand evidence of more than one woman being sexually harassed, i could not not act. i believe what they have told me, and they need to know that they are not alone. >> mayor bob filner responded and apologized but refused to resign. >> i begin today by apologizing to you. i have diminished the office to which you elected me. the charges made at today's news conference are serious. when a friend like donna frye is compelled to call for my resignation, i'm clearly doing something wrong. >> a few days later, there was another news conference with more details. >> on the sidewalk, the mayor suddenly, in clear view of
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anyone who might pass by, grabbed and kissed her, jamming his tongue down her throat. >> there is no circumstance under which it would be appropriate for the mayor to enter into an elevator with my client or any person who he employs and to tell them that they would do a better job on that floor if they worked without their panties on. >> in response, the mayor put out a statement, stating that he deserved due process and asserting the right to defend himself against the allegations and declaring that he was, "innocent of sexual harassment." as days passed, more women have made grievances against mayor filner public. and then there was this. >> there have been a number of press articles referring to mayor filner and suggesting that he asked a woman to woman without her panties. the woman was not named. irene is the woman.
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>> the past six months turned out to be the worst time of my entire working life. i had to work and do my job in an atmosphere where women were viewed by mayor filner as sexual objects or stupid idiots. i saw him place his hands where they did not belong on numerous women. i was placed in the filner headlock and moved around as a rag doll while he whispered sexual comments in my ear. >> irene mccormack jackson, a woman who had believed in bob filner, filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against bob filner and the city of san diego. the mayor released another statement in response to the lawsuit saying that the claims against him are invalid. he said, "i know that justice will prevail." that very day in wake of the sexual harassment suit, the san diego city attorney restricted mayor filner from meeting with women alone at city facilities.
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the mayor officially could no longer be alone with a woman while he was at work. this policy was to be enforced by his chief of staff. soon thereafter, mayor filner lost his second chief of staff in a matter of ten days. the person he tapped to replace him is lee burdick, a woman, in charge of enforcing the mayor can't be alone with filner rule. in the next days five more women accused the mayor of making unwanted sexual advances. among them, a retired navy admiral. a san diego state university dean. a leader in the san diego's tourism industry. the head of a group of businessowners in san diego. everyone from his former fiancee and first lady, to chair of the democratic national committee, called an mayor filner to resign. last week, mayor filner called another presser. >> let me be absolutely clear. the behavior i have engaged in
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over many years is wrong. my failure to respect women and the intimidating contact i engaged in at times is inexcusable. so beginning on august 5th, i will be entering a behavior counseling clinic to undergo two weeks of intensive therapy to begin the process of addressing my behavior. >> he is not leaving. he is just checking into a behavior counseling clinic which means something is wrong. he plans to return to work on august 19th. today in response to bob filner's attorney asking that the city council pay his legal fees as he fights the sexual harassment allegations, the city council authorized the city attorney to file legal action against bob filner to shield public funds from any potential payout in the sexual harassment lawsuit against the mayor. and then tonight, on san diego local news, another woman came forward to accuse bob filner of misconduct. she became the mayor's eighth accuser.
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>> he grabbed my left hand and looked at the wedding ring and twirled it around and asked if it was a real wedding band. and i said, yes, it was, about 25 years' worth of wedding band. he then asked me if it could come off while i was in d.c. and if i would go out with him. i said, i really didn't think so. and at that point, he pulled my hand closer to him and he reached over to kiss me. i turned my head at that moment and on the side of my face, i got a very wet, saliva-filled kiss including feeling his tongue on my cheek. >> all of this scandal, all of these salacious allegations, gigantic mess which has kept san diego from having an effective mayor, all of it falls at the feet of democrat bob filner. in whom so many people put their faith, for whom so many women went to work with the idea that progressive principles finally had a champion in san diego's mayor.
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which makes the bob filner scandal most notably sad in this season of salacious political stories. bob filner has risked political progress for people who had waited and worked for a really long time to achieve it. in just a moment, lee burdick, mayor bob filner's new chief of staff, joins me for the interview. stay tuned. [ male announcer ] these days, a small business can save by sharing. like carpools... polly wants to know if we can pick her up. yeah, we can make room. yeah. [ male announcer ] space. yes, we're loving this communal seating. it's great. [ male announcer ] the best thing to share? a data plan. at&t mobile share for business.
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add a soft apple-flavored center ...and say no more. new heartfuls from beneful baked delights. spark more play in your day. the behavior i have engaged in over many years is wrong. my failure to respect women and the intimidating contact i engaged in at times is inexcusable. it is simply not acceptable for me to try to explain away my conduct as product of the standards of a different generation. i am responsible for my conduct, and i must take responsibility for my conduct by taking action so that such conduct does not ever happen again. >> that was san diego mayor bob filner on friday acknowledging his behavior toward women was inexcusable, following multiple sexual harassment allegations. mayor filner went on to explain that starting monday, he will be
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entering a behavioral counseling clinic to undergo two weeks of extensive therapy. this as his new chief of staff, a woman named lee burdick was standing by his side. joining us for the interview, lee burdick, chief of staff to san diego mayor bob filner. thank you for being here tonight. >> melissa, thank you for having me. >> before the commercial, you heard me talk about the fact that this mayor was a very important win for so many progressives in san diego. and yet now his extremely troubling behavior sort of stops that forward momentum. is there anything about what i said that i got wrong? >> well, actually, melissa, there is, and i appreciate the opportunity to correct the record. you said that the city attorney is the one who imposed this new policy that the mayor would not meet alone with any female constituents. the fact is, the mayor and i, together, developed that policy. we felt that it was a reasonable and prudent business practice in
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light of the allegations that were being leveled against him. and we put forth that policy because we felt it protected both the mayor and the citizens of san diego, ensuring them that city business was being conducted with the highest level of integrity. >> mr. burdick, i appreciate you for taking clearly the responsibility for that policy, because i want to ask you about that policy. you say that it is prudent and reasonable. it is also prima facie discriminatory. women who live in san diego will never have the opportunity to meet alone with their mayor as constituents, but men will. in other words, it is now as a matter of policy in mayor's office that women will be treated differently than men. >> you know, it's funny that you put it that way, because there is no reason in an open and transparent government why anyone should feel the need to meet alone with the mayor. virtually every event, every meeting the mayor has, he is always staffed by somebody. our responsibility, my staff's responsibility, being to ensure
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that whatever commitments or promises he makes in those constituent meetings are carried forward and fulfilled. so it really isn't discriminatory, and it really isn't a problem as far as how we do business in san diego. >> let's talk about what is a problem in terms of how the mayor has an opportunity or not to do business in san diego. these are very serious allegations. an eighth woman coming forward today accusing her boss of unwanted sexual advances and claiming mayor filner attempted to kiss her in 2011 after a business meeting in d.c. this woman and others are very credible sources. so explain to me, do you believe that these women are not telling the truth? or do you believe they're telling the truth, but you simply don't think that it is important relative to the mayor's ability to do his job? >> melissa, quite frankly, i haven't made a judgment one way or the other as to whether these women are or are not telling the truth. we have in place a legal process whereby someone who's been
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injured has a right to file a claim or level allegations, and that triggers a legal process which also presents due process rights for the accused. i believe in the legal process, and i know that at the end of the day if the mayor has done what he is accused of doing, that process will result in the correct remedy. until then, i've got to step up and make sure that the business of the city of san diego moves forward. >> miss burdick, i appreciate your point about due process and absolutely agree that, of course, mr. filner along with every american citizen has a right to be first assumed innocent until proven guilty. and all of that. that's different than the question of effective governing. he has the right in the question of court. given the credibility of those who have leveled these allegations, has it become impossible for this mayor to actually govern? >> absolutely not. and, in fact, that's really why i wanted to come talk with you this evening is because the mayor is surrounded by very sophisticated advisers who are committed to his progressive vision, committed to the vision
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that the people of san diego voted for last november. and we're actually using this opportunity to hunker down and really develop a foundation for supporting that vision and moving it forward, both while he is away getting the help he needs, and when he comes back. to be able to pick up where he left off, to make sure that the citizens of san diego get the kind of government that they dreamed of when they voted for him in november. >> but, see, miss burdick, my concern is exactly that. in fact, you and others are people who deeply believe in this mayor's progressive vision. i get that. clearly his trajectory, again, from being a freedom rider, to a founding member of the progressive caucus. all of that. what we know is that often women who are victimized by men, whose vision they believe in. think of the teenage girl in san diego who may get harassed by an athlete on her school's team, but thinks she shouldn't come forward because she's got to take one for the team. that's what this sounds like to me because i haven't heard anything that makes me think i should disbelieve these extremely credible people from
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his fiancee on down to folks who were working for him and did believe in this vision. >> melissa, i am not going to judge these women. it took a lot of courage for them to come forward and make their faces known. the mayor has a right to face his accusers, and there are always two sides to every story. i believe in the development of an evidentiary record where a jury of his peers can judge what has happened, and if, in fact, he has done something wrong, he will be held accountable. but what is important to me is that we have a unique opportunity in this administration to carry forward the passion of a vision of a better government, a better future where neighborhoods are empowered, where homeless veterans are off the street, where we can take care of each other toward a better, sustainable future. >> the vision is lovely.
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unfortunately, i have to say the messenger at this point not so much anymore. but i do appreciate -- >> you don't like me? >> no, no, no. not you. i'm talking about -- i'm talking about mayor bob filner who in bringing this vision forward has now become the person and is accused by at least eight people of some pretty serious allegations. but lee burdick, i appreciate you coming and joining us tonight. chief of staff to san diego mayor bob filner. thank you for your time.
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>> thank you, melissa. and we'll be right back with governor bob mcdonnell on the record and on video about his own dicey situation. stay tuned.
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>> i take responsibility for all of my actions. and the ones that i feel that in
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any way undermine the trust of people of virginia i take personal responsibility. and i'm deeply sorry for things that i have done or choices that perhaps members of my family have made that have hurt that trust. >> virginia governor, bob mcdonnell, who has been under fire for perks that he took from a virginia businessman announced today that he is giving it all back. last month he announced he paid back $120,000 worth of loans that he was given, and said all that he was giving back, including a wedding gift for his daughter, including the one that probably attracted the most attention. >> you're going to give back the tangible gift, does that include the rolex watch? >> everything that i have received from this particular donor, because of concerns raised by the public? >> just to be clear, the rolex is going back?
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>> all of his gifts that i have, including that, yes. >> oh, no, not the rolex, well, it is not clear exactly what anyone else can do with the rolex that is engraved with the inscription "governor of virginia" looking at the ever-growing scandal, the question of whether he traded access for gifts. and while it is bad to be bob mcdonnell right now, it may be worse to be his wife. over the weekend we learned that the virginia first lady spent hundreds of thousands of dollars from her husband's pac, all on clothes. and today, he sort of threw her under the bus, saying she was the one responsible for the high profile event held at the governor's mansion, to tout a product from that businessman who was giving them all gifts, gifts that are now being given back, the rolex, all the gifts are now going back. but here is the question, even once you have given back the money, the gifts can you restore the thing that virginia voters must be most interested in you restoring at this point? which is their faith in the system, their faith that when they elected you, their primary
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interests, their well-being. that sort of faith in one's political leaders is not that sort of thing that can be returned as easily as a rolex can be. given the quirks in a state such as virginia, where a governor can't serve more than one term, he is out at the end of the year. and as the people decide who will replace him, if their faith can be restored, they're not exactly being offered a clean break from bob mcdonnell, because bob, protege, ken cuchinelli, is sitting on gifts. bob mcdonnell announcing he is giving back these gifts actually makes things harder for "the kutch" because of kutch watch, and the gifts going back, so far he made no promise that that would happen. we'll see how long that remains tenable in virginia, kutch watch
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. we googled tony bennett today, and surprisingly, stories about the legendary singer were not the first stories to appear. instead we got stories about this person, this tony bennett is not making headlines because of his current job, but because of his old one as a school chief in indiana, where one of the schools in which he had
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oversight was this one, the charter school in indianapolis, named for a person who had a fortune in time share business. ms. dehaan has also been a big supporter of school choice, it takes millions from the public school system and gives it to privacy schools in the form of vouchers. she is a major donor in republican politics in indiana, donating nearly $3 million to republicans in the last 15 years, including the tony bennett school. the school was not doing well, test scores were dragging down the performance. crystal house got a c on the state evaluation, and that put the school in jeopardy, now, state evaluations are meant to hold schools accountable, come what may, except in the school of crystal house charter schools. he and his staff found ways to boost the charter house school's test results. they made the c look like an a, and appeared to have done it
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with christel house in mind. quoting them, they said anything less than an a for christel would compromise the school, compromising what? compromising the signature accomplishment as schools guy, it was his calling card, and crystal house's grades was the mean for which he got support for the school. so yes, unless they compromise ethically, they would compromise. it is the system in which they determine which schools get taken over by the state. the man in charge calls it into question. doesn't that show that it merits a closer look, as well as for the charter house, what is going
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on with the rest of tony bennett's work? he denied the allegations in the press quote, the fact that anyone would say i would try to cook the books for chrystel house is so wrong. tony bennett knows he won't get fired, at least not in indiana, because voters have already kicked him up. in an upset they elected a woman who was the superintendent of public construction, she ran against school vouchers, so tony of bennett took his talents and believes to florida, where he was the school chief. and hoping that what happens in indiana stays in indiana. that does it for us tonight. we'll see you again, time for "the last word" with lawrence
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o'donnell, have a great night. paul versus chris christie, now guess which one used fact his in his argument? and guess what one was able to keep his argument completely fact-free? >> most washington politicians only care about bringing home the bacon. >> two big republicans lost in a nasty feud. >> i have nothing personal against him. >> chris christie took a shot at rand paul. >> if he cared about protecting the country, maybe he wouldn't be in the give me, give me. the way we defend our country is by being frugal. >> maybe he should start to cut the spending he brings home to kentucky.