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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  August 13, 2013 11:00pm-12:01am PDT

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iowa, things like that. but it almost seems to be just in case somehow hillary clinton backs out. e. j.dionne, thank you for joining us. >> good to be with you. voter id laws, a solution in search of a problem. let's play "hardball." >> good evening. i'm michael smerconish in for chris matthews. leading off tonight, carolina on our minds. yesterday, the governor of north carolina, republican pat mccrory signed one of the most sweeping is voting reform bills we've seen yet. seven weeks after the supreme court crippled parts of the voting rights act which required states with a history of discrimination to preclearance by the justice department, governor mccrory and his republican legislature leaped at
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the opportunity to institute strict voting changes. now, this bill doesn't stop at merely requiring a government i.d. to vote. it also reduces early voting by a week. it eliminates same day registration, ends preregistration for 16 and 17-year-olds, discontinues a statewide voter registration drive and decreases public disclosure for dark money groups. governor mccrory shied away from a traditional public signing ceremony, instead taking to youtube to announce his signature and to also take some swipes at the bill's opponents. >> photo i.d. has become a part of our everyday life. you need a photo i.d. to board an airplane, to cash a check, or even apply for most government benefits. in fact, just recently, both democrats and republicans joined together to require a valid government issued photo i.d. to buy sudafed at your local corner drugstore. let me be direct. many of those from the extreme
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left who have been criticizing photo i.d. are using scare tactics. they're more interested in divisive politics than ensuring that no one's vote is disenfranchised by fraudulent ballot. >> indeed, it seems that mccrory himself is doing the disenfranchising, since it's largely minority voter, in other words, democrats who will be disproportionately affected. opponents of this bill and more more than 80 bills like it propose this had year believe this legislation is designed to reduce voter turnout for key constituencies like minorities, the elderly and students. hillary clinton eager to jump back into the fray last night delivered the most political remarks she's made since leaving the state department and made clear what she believes is behind these new voter laws. >> legislators in north carolina have pushed through a bill that reads like the greatest hits of voter suppression. restricted early voting, no more same day registration, or
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extending voting hours to accommodate long lines, stricter photo i.d. requirements that disqualify those issued by colleges or public assistance agencies and it goes on and on. >> joining me to discuss this are former pennsylvania governor ed rendell, an msnbc political analyst and maggie haberman, senior political reporter for politico who is an expert on the clintons. governor, i'm sure if i were to ask you, if you were governor and this came to your desk, what would you do and you'd tell me veto it. a different question. are there any redeeming aspects of what this man just signed into law? >> none that i can think of and some are absolutely impossible to explain. why would you reduce the time period for early voting? just to suppress voting. we should be in this country trying to increase voter participation. in a presidential election, we have 65% turnout. we think that's great. that doesn't count the unregistered voters. we actually have less than 50% who vote for president of the united states.
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look, the bottom line is, as you said in the intro, this is a solution looking for a problem. there is no problem. in pennsylvania, our home state, michael, when the attorney general was asked in court to produce evidence of voter fraud by fraudulent voting, someone voting in someone's name, they admitted to the court in a consent decree that they could not find one example. one example to present to the court. >> let me prove what you're saying with data from north carolina. republicans in north carolina and many other states are determined to find a solution to a problem that doesn't appear to exist. consider this. in 2012, 6.9 million ballots were cast in the north carolina in the general and two primary elections. the state board of elections said that only 121 alleged cases of voter fraud were referred to prosecutors, which means that of the nearly 7 million votes cast, alleged voter fraud accounted for just .00174% of the ballots.
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even governor mccrory conceded that the number of voter fraud cases are low. this is what he wrote yesterday in the raleigh news and observer. quote, even if the instances of misidentified people casting votes are low, that shouldn't prevent us from putting this safeguard in place. quote, just because you haven't been robbed doesn't mean you shouldn't lock your doors at night or when you're away from home. maggie, when i heard that, okay, but neither should you go out and purchase an expensive security system or live in a bunker if you're not in a threatening neighborhood to fit into his analogy. >> right. i think that none of these arguments are surprising. i think you are seeing republicans making a line here that they have for a while. i think what you heard senator clinton, former secretary clinton saying is also not surprising. this is where democrats are. i think this is going to be an ongoing fight. it is also a fight i think democrats believe they can win and that is mostly on their side despite the ruling of the supreme court. >> well, here is what i consider to be the miscalculation. you heard in the setup piece,
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the audio where governor mccrory refers the criticism as coming from the extreme left. i don't know what the extreme left is, but i know i'm not a part of it. i think people in the middle are offended by this, and governor, i think in 2012, this came back to bite them in the fanny because independents took a look and said, you know, play fair and win honestly and don't go trying to change the rules. do you agree with me, governor, that this impacted voters who are centrists? >> no question. not only did it impact centrist voters but the best way to get someone to vote who isn't necessarily a regular voter is to tell them they can't vote. the backlash had two effects. one with independent voters as you say, michael, but two, when we were preparing in pennsylvania, we eventually got the voter i.d. law stayed in court but when we were preparing to try to deal with it, we found people absolutely adamant that they would do whatever it took to get the necessary identification to vote.
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and the turnout was far greater than we expected because i think people were ticked off. they were angry that someone was trying to take their votes away. but when governor mccrory says it's nonburdensome, that's ridiculous. there were so many accounts published. people don't have the photo i.d. if they don't have the cars how are they going to get to the motor vehicle license places to get the photo id when they're infirm? it's impossible to do in many cases. there was one 91-year-old woman who voted in 71 consecutive elections who didn't have i.d. she went to get it and they told her she couldn't qualify because the only identification she had was her marriage license and her marriage license had her listed at her maiden name. she didn't have anything to prove she was married in had your current married name. ridiculous. >> maggie, in hillary clinton's fiery speech to the american bar association, she said these laws are reviving old demons of discrimination, insisting legislation like the north carolina law is a deliberate and
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unnecessary barrier to voting. >> right. >> in the years since, we've seen a sweeping effort across our country to obstruct new obstacles to voting. often under cover of addressing a phantom epidemic of election fraud. now, not every obstacle is related to race, but anyone who says that racial discrimination is no longer a problem in american elections must not be paying attention. >> are you surprised by her subject matter? there are a lot of things she could have used to address the aba. >> i'm not surprised by her subject matter per se. i am surprised by something you hit it on the head earlier which as you said, she is eager to jump into the fray. that is what is surprising. she doesn't need to be out there as early as she is right now. people around her have said she wants to take time, she doesn't want to get sucked into every issue in washington right now but she is really putting herself in front of a lot of these issues. she did at the bar association. she said there she is going to give a speech on the nsa debate right now. correct, which is really interesting, given that in 2008,
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the primary was lost in part because of the left's upset with her vote for the iraq war. the nsa is an issue liberals are very unhappy about and the base of her party is unhappy about. i am surprised that she is getting out there ahead of things as much as she is. >> and very forward looking. >> correct. >> she could easily go in and reminisce about being first lady or talk about her tenure as secretary of state. hey governor, i want to ask you the $64,000 question. here it is. how much are these movements across the country by the gop precipitated by census data pertaining to what's to come in this country in 2050 when whites become a minority as a group of the population? >> i think a lot of it's being driven by that. by the way, you're showing your age. no one under 35 knows what the $64,000 question was. but you're absolutely right. it's being driven by that, and it is truly despicable. i don't care where you are, and by the way, it's not just
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presidential elections. they're aiming at in north carolina. kay hagan is running for re-election as senator in 2014. it's going to be a close election. they're hoping that voter i.d. can cause kay hagan to lose her re-election bid. i think north carolina voters have a surprise coming for them because they ought to be ticked off, really ticked off. >> look at who gets disproportionately affected. the north carolina law will disproportionately affect nonwhite voters who tend to vote democratic. the state's population is 30% nonwhite but look at this, according to the north carolina secretary of state's office, 33% of those who voted early in 2012 were nonwhite. 46% of voters without a state issued photo identification nonwhite. and among voters who registered to vote the last day they cast their ballots, 56% were nonwhite. i think maggie, something else telling is that a college i.d. is not permissible. so i mean, to me that's what
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exposes this for what it really is. i personally don't have a problem with saying show an i.d. when you vote but you ought to take into consideration what form of identification the folks in that particular community are most likely to possess. if they don't drive cars because they don't own cars and sorry if i'm preaching at you, it shouldn't be the voter i.d. >> i mean, without getting into motive on either side, there is no question that there are certain core constituencies that are affected, just as you said. and in many of those cases, certainly younger voters as we just saw. those are voters who have been voting at national elections democrat. i think that going to a real issue of exactly whose constituencies are impacted here. the question is what the governor said is do people get upset about this, feel targeted and turn out because of that. >> all good points. >> thank you, maggie. thank you, governor. nice to see you both. >> thank you. coming up, it's hard to ignore. birtherism and race are playing a big role this summer. even some republicans are embarrassed by what they're seeing. also, progressives were thrilled with attorney general eric holder's speech against minimum sentencing laws but not everyone agrees.
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they argue the new policy could give criminals more incentive to deal drugs. and there is no denying whitey bulger's criminality, but guess who may have been his most faithful partner and protector? the fbi. finally, anthony weiner is well-known for exposing things that should be kept private. so has he just exposed a secret about hillary? this is "hardball," the place for politics. you make a great team. it's been that way since the day you met. but your erectile dysfunction - it could be a question of blood flow. cialis tadalafil for daily use helps you be ready anytime the moment's right. you can be more confident in your ability to be ready. and the same cialis is the only daily ed tablet approved to treat ed and symptoms of bph like needing to go frequently or urgently. tell your doctor about all your medical conditions and medications, and ask if your heart is healthy enough for sexual activity. do not take cialis if you take nitrates for chest pain, as this may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. do not drink alcohol in excess with cialis.
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that calling obama an american-hating communist despot is hardly the worst of it. take for instance what we saw over the weekend in missouri when a rodeo clown put on an obama mask, prompting the announcers to mock and insult the president. one audience member said it was like something out of a klan rally. chanting obama is 47% negro, chanting bye-bye black sheep. and in orlando earlier this month, the president and first lady were recently greeted with signs that said kenyan go home. renewing calls for impeachment and investigations into the president's birth certificate, two issues that some read as veiled attacks on the president's race. the recent from blake farenthold from texas.
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>> unfortunately, the horse is already out of the barn on this, on the whole birth certificate issue. the original congress when his eligibility came up and looked into this. i'm not sure how we fix it. >> you want more? representative ted yoho, a representative from south florida at a recent town hall that he too supports the birther movement. >> if it is truly illegal, he shouldn't be there. and i said i can agree with that but is that the best way to spend our time? >> at least the admitted witch-hunt is a waste of time. it has some republicans what in the world is going on. what happened to the republican autopsy and rebranding that we heard so much about? michael steele is a former rnc chair. joan walsh is the editor at large of, and both are msnbc political analysts. it's not emanating from the rnc, but it does impact the brand. how do you control the bad
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behavior if you're the head of the party? >> you can't control the bad behavior, be you can certainly special team to it, and you can speak out against it. i think that's something as we see coming off the 2012 cycle and getting ready for 2014, that i think the republican leadership, not just the chairman of the party, but the house and senate leadership will also vehemently begin to push back against student. these comments are just beyond the pale, particularly from members of the house. >> right. >> who take these arcane, asinine positions that they know have no basis in fact or no grounding in reality. so the fact of the matter is it draws the party down. it stereotypes us further into this very, very small chasm of, you know, the idiot class who can't figure out that america's changing and how to adapt to this change and become a part of it as opposed to resisting it. >> joan walsh, you would think to yourself as a rational person, at least they'll be penalized by the voters, but of course they represent hyper
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partisan districts frankly will reward this kind of shenanigans. >> it's only gotten more shrill, more racist or feels free to express their racism. i want to go to something michael said about the leadership stepping up on this. when steve king made his idiotic remark about calves the size of cantaloupes, very colorful. we all remember it, right? people did step up and say there is no place in this party for that kind of language. why doesn't john boehner ever say that about the birther movement? instead when he took over, he said it's not my business to tell people who what to think. he puts his arm around birther in chief donald trump and goes golfing with him. at this outbreak in idiocy, he doesn't say a word. where is his conscience on this question? >> i thought the same thing when the bad behavior was coming from the audience in the debates of 2012, michael. i wondered why don't some of the presidential candidates from the stage single these folks out. i'm afraid to say that the
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answer is because this sort of thing plays well with a certain constituency in the base. and they don't want to offend them. >> well, there is no value in seeking elective office if you're not prepared to stand in the town square and really speak truth to power in moments like that. and i thought at the time, and still do, that that was a missed opportunity by those on that stage to really put a different brand, if you will, on the party. >> me too. >> and to stand up against that kind of ignorance. >> well, here is a question. could these distractions cost republicans the house? conservative columnist byron york says the party is at risk. quote, behind the scenes, in whispered asides not for public consumption, some republicans are now worried that keeping the house is not such a done deal after all. the majority is at risk, says one well-connected republican strategist. it should be a good year, but you need to run like you're trying to win, and you need a good solid strategy. is that a realistic, joan walsh, possibility because of this? >> i think it's realistic,
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because it does two things. it turns off voters in the middle. you've seen a decline just since the last election, michael, in the number of people who identify as republicans. they don't even want to call themselves republicans. that happens. the other thing that happens, i'm a democrat. our voters tend to stay home disproportionately in the midterms. but as we saw in 2012 with voter suppression, when they get energized, when they get angry, they are more likely to turn out. and the disrespect with which they're treating the president and his agenda and obama care i think both turns off moderates, but also energizes the democratic base, which is always an issue in the mid terms. >> i said the same thing earlier in the program with regard to these voter identification methods. republicans have rallied around their dislike of president obama, but some are taking it a little too far. this is congressman farenthold of texas at a town hall talking about impeachment. >> you tie into a question i get a lot. if everybody is so unhappy, why don't you impeach him? and i'll give you a real frank
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answer about that. if we were to impeach the president tomorrow, you could probably get the votes in the house of representatives to do it. >> michael, that kind of talk is the sort of thing should be singled out by the leadership, among others. >> should it be singled out. but i think the congressman is flat wrong. he wouldn't get the votes in the house. i can't think outside of a small pool of people who would actually tolerate that process to the point of a vote in the house. and if you really want to give away the house, go ahead. start impeachment, because the fact of the matter is the republic, the public as a whole would repel against that so much that it wouldn't even be funny going into 20 -- you wouldn't even bother with 2014. just skip right to the next election. i think the party needs to think beyond where it is right now and focus on how it can develop a message on the economy, on jobs, health care. those issues that matter to women, minorities, all americans, and talk more inclusively and openly about how we grow the country and the economy and not how we make fun
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of the president or impeach him. >> thank you so much. for more on the story about birtherism, check out the story by benjy sarlin on our website, go to and click on "hardball." did anthony weiner just spill the beans on a hillary clinton run for president? that's ahead. this is "hardball," the place for politics. and didn't know where to start. a contractor before at angie's list, you'll find reviews on everything from home repair to healthcare
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back to "hardball." time for the sideshow. political dynasties are all too familiar inside the beltway, but is washington ready for the duck dynasty? according to "the washington examiner," republican operatives are reportedly trying to draft duck dynasty star willie robertson to run for the louisiana congressional seat that will be vacated by representative rodney alexander in september. well, the self-described redneck
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millionaire has not commented on the speculation, robertson is not exactly a stranger to washington. he and his wife attended the 2013 correspondents dinner just last april. next up, did anthony weiner accidentally confirm that hillary clinton plans to run for president last night? listen to how he answered this question about his wife, huma abedin, in an interview with buzzfeed's ben smith. >> do you know what her role in hillary's 2016 campaign is going to be? >> i do. >> and what will it be? >> i'm not telling you. >> it sounds like a 2016 campaign is in the works. weiner also took a shot at buzzfeed after he was asked about his former roommate, jon stewart. yes, the same jon stewart that we have come to know on the daily show. the two of them shared an apartment together when weiner was working for chuck schumer in the '80s. here was that exchange. >> someone else who is hard on you is your old friend, i think roommate jon stewart. and i wonder kind of what the state of your relationship with him is these days.
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>> what? he is a comedian. >> come on, he is your friend. is he still your friend? i'm going to start asking you about stop and frisk soon. >> you can do this. >> but i think this is something that is interesting. >> you can do this or show videos of cats or whatever it is you do at buzzfeed. >> we do it all. >> no, no, jon, this notion that somehow i was a victim of late-night comics or a victim of someone else, look, i did these things. they were embarrassing. the jokes clearly write themselves. as far as a comedian, he would get thrown out of the comedian's union if he didn't do these jokes. well, his motorcade may be causing traffic, but some on martha's vineyard seem to be welcoming president obama with open arms. retailers for one. but also several islanders who happened to catch a glimpse of the president when he was getting lunch today. now, if you caught me let me finish last night, you know that i don't believe in begrudging a president of either party for taking time off to recuperate from the demands of that office.
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that said, criticism of presidential vacations is a routine part of our politics these days. i guess the haters are going to hate, as they say. but imagine this. a presidential vacation in a foreign country hosted by a hollywood celebrity. well, it happened back in 1982. take a look. >> president and mrs. reagan were fully on vacation in barbados today. and as presidents do wherever they go, mr. reagan attracted a lot of attention when he went swimming. john palmer now in barbados. >> with the president part of the president's working vacation now over, the reagans went to the beach. the president was dressed for it. mrs. reagan was not. the with secret service agents alongside, the 71-year-old president put on an impressive demonstration of aquatic skill, freestyle, diving, and backstroke. later, the president was joined by mrs. reagan and their hostess, long-time friend and hollywood actress claudette colbert. the president's concern with budget battles with congress and
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foreign policy problems seemed a long way off. i'm very pleased to have a day off. >> i doubt we'll be getting that kind of footage from the obamas at martha's vineyard. coming up, progressives liked eric holder's speech yesterday against minimum mandatory sentencing, but some conservatives argue that the new policy is soft on crime and undermines the war on drugs. that debate is straight ahead. this is "hardball," the place for politics.
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it's clear as we come together today that too many americans go to too many prisons for far too long and for no truly good law enforcement reason.
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these are issues the president and have i been talking about fors long as i have known him, issues he has felt strongly about ever since his days as a community organizers on the south side of chicago. >> welcome back to "hardball." attorney general eric holder left no doubt that the president was behind him when he announced the reduction of mandatory minimum drug sentence, but plenty of people are not, including former special counsel to former president george herbert walker bush, william otis, who characterized holder's move as a move for drug dealers. the professor joins me now, along with laura murphy, director of the washington legislative office of the aclu. professor, make the argument. why is this a win for drug dealers? >> it's a win for drug dealers because under the attorney general's proposed policy, the cost of doing business has gone down. he has said that he is going to allow, indeed he is going to require federal prosecutors from now on to omit the amount of
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drugs being dealt from the indictment. that in turn will permit judges to go below the otherwise applicable mandatory minimum sentence. when the price of doing business goes down, that's a win for the person doing the business. unfortunately, the business here selling drugs. and we're not talking just about marijuana. the federal mandatory minimums apply as well to child pornography, to selling heroin, methamphetamine, pcp. these are not harmless drugs, and they lead eventually to severe injury and in some cases for an addict death. >> but professor, your argument seems to suggest that no punishment will be forthcoming. what this program really says is discretion is going to again be vested in the hands of judges, not that you're going to get a free pass or get out of jail free card. >> i don't think i did suggest that, that no punishment would be forthcoming, and i don't think that's true. i also think the judges ought to have discretion.
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i just don't think they should have 100% discretion, which they will once the mandatory minimum goes away. judges right now have considerable discretion in sentencing, but it seems to me that congress is well within its rights in saying that there are some crimes so serious that a judge cannot go below a rock bottom minimum. again, i'm all for giving the judge a great deal of discretion, just not 100%. >> laura murphy, the statistics that are a part of this argument that we've all heard, the u.s. has 5% of the world population, 25% of the prison population. at the same time, we're told that crime is at a 40-year low. isn't crime at a 40-year low because so many are incarcerated? and isn't that an argument for the continued incarceration of them? >> scholars disagree with the reason is behind the low rate in crime right now. it's like me, though, saying i
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have an elephant gun in my office, and there are no elephants in my office. you can't attribute the war on drugs and mandatory minimums, all this power that they alone have stopped the rate of crime. scholars really vigorously disagree. but where the american people are in agreement is that we don't want cookie-cutter justice. we don't want a one-size-fits-all penalty, not allowing judges to take individual factors into account. and i totally disagree with mr. otis. i think the attorney general made it clear that this is about nonviolent low level offenders. and the question he asked is this in the federal interest for the federal prisons to be filled up with drug offenders? in 1984, only 25% of the prisons were filled with people with drug convictions. now it's 55%.
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is this good for society? is this good for our economy? is this good for the american values we hold dear? and the compelling answer is. no. >> mr. otis? professor, go ahead. >> one interesting thing about the attorney general's talk is that he said a good deal about low-level offenders without ever defining what exactly that means. and i don't know what it means. i don't know that he knows what it means. >> well, if you read -- >> excuse me. as to your answer. we don't know what has been the cause of reduction in crime, first, there has been an enormous reduction in crime, 50% over the last 20 years. secondly, the subject has been studied by the university of chicago, and the study by professor leavitt indicates that a quarter or more of the reduction in crime during that time has come about because of the increase in incarceration. >> but the human cost of incarceration is just extreme, as well as the financial cost.
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in 1984 -- in 1980, rather, we had about 20,000 people in the federal prison system for drug offenses. and now we have 500,000 people. and you can't tell me that the difference in the rate of drug use justifies such an extreme growth in our federal prison population. and putting people in prison destroys their lives. they can't vote. it's hard for them to find housing. it's hard for them to get college loans. it's just a terrible pox on our society. >> professor otis, allow me to ask you, do you believe the congress should be taking this initiative, given it was congress that put on the books the mandatory minimums, as opposed to the justice department through the attorney general taking this path? >> it seems to me that present law is what we continue -- is what we should be continuing to
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do. present law already provides for three methods for defendants to escape mandatory minimums where they're deserving. one of them, the most frequently used is plea bargaining. it's very frequently the case that defendants will plea bargain out of a mandatory minimum offense to a lower grade offense in exchange for considerations they give the government. in addition to that, current federal law already contains a safety valve proposed i might add, but then senator joe biden. that safety valve allows the judge without any motion from the prosecution to go below a mandatory minimum if the defendant comes clean about all that he is doing, if this crime has not involved violence, if he has a relatively low criminal history. so we have that. and the third current method for getting a below a mandatory minimum sentence is a motion made by the prosecutor in exchange for the defendant's
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giving information about how his suppliers are, who his customers are, who else is working with him in the drug gang. >> professor, thank you. laura murphy, take my final 20 seconds. you get the final word go. ahead. >> well, 94% of the people in prison are there because of plea bargains. and most of the people who go to prison do so because they have inadequate counsel. so the attorney general addressed that too. but the attorney general made a great change in government policy. the war on drugs is a failure. it leads to huge racial disparities. it leads to expensive. >> thank you. >> overburdened prisons, and that is right move for the federal government. >> thank you, laura murphy and william otis for the dialogue. we appreciate it. >> thank you. up next, the case of convicted mob boss whitey bulger may be the worst example of fbi corruption in american history. this is "hardball," the place for politics.
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president obama will be taking a bus tour through pennsylvania and upstate new york late next week. he'll hit the road for a two-day swing starting next thursday. it's part of his push to strengthen the middle class ahead of the fall budget negotiations with republicans in congress. don't forget, you can follow me on twitter if you can spell smerconish. more "hardball" right after this. 
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hey, we're back. yesterday, boston mob boss james "whitey" bulger was convicted on 31 out of 32 counts of racketeering, murder, conspiracy, murder, extortion, and other chargers. we know how the story will end, behind bars for the remainder of his days. but the case always raised troubling questions about the level of corruption in the system that aloud bulger to be a long-time fbi informant while he was slaying witnesses, rivals, and other enemies right under their noses. yesterday, bulger's lawyer told reporters the defendant was happy that some of the corruption had surfaced. >> jim bulger was very pleased at how the trial went and even pleased by the outcome. i don't think he expected that nine times the jury would come back and say not guilty or not
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proven. it was important to him that the government corruption be exposed, and important to him that people see firsthand the deals that the government was able to make with certain people. >> over a 20-year period, bulger seems to have gotten a lot more from the fbi than they did from him, his handler, the agency, john connolly is serving a 40-year sentence for conspiracy to commit murder. he tipped bulger off about witnesses and informants who would testify against him. they wound up dead. michael kendall is a former federal prosecutor and told "the new york times," quote, this is the worst case of corruption in the history of the fbi. it was a multigenerational systemic alliance with organized crime where the fbi was actively participating in the murders of government witnesses or at least allowing them to occur. michael kendall joins me now, along with msnbc contributor mike barnicle, a long-time columnist in boston. michael kendall, i'm sure people
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are just wake up now to the fact to people that didn't follow it that closely, wait a minute, the fbi was in bed with a guy who was responsible for the murder of 11 people? >> certainly parts of the fbi were. we had boston agents who were giving the names and locations of people so that organized crime could murder them. paul rico who died in jail before he could reach trial, john connolly another one, john morris w.h.o. was immunized, all played varying levels in that corruption. but we also had it at the local level too. >> what did washington know and when did they know it? >> washington was happy with the success that these people brought in for the prosecution of la cosa nostra, the italian organized crime. so they really didn't look very deeply into the relationship with bulger. >> who is this john connolly fellow? apparently whitey bulger called him zip, because they grew up in the same housing project when connolly went to boston college. joined the fbi as a young man, had a couple of postings before he ended up in boston.
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he was in charge of confidential -- he had his own confidential informants and recruits james "whitey" bulger as one of them. he tipped bulger off about witnesses and informants who could testify against him. they wound up dead. michael kendall is a former federal prosecutor and told "the new york times," "this was the worst case of corruption in the history of the fbi. it was a multigenerational systemic alliance with organized crime where the fbi was actively participating in the murders of government witnesses or at least allowing them to occur."
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a smaller number of bad guys were able to corrupt parts of the system and get away with it for at least a period of time. >> mike barnicle, it was very important to whitey bulger during this trial. in fact, it seems like the only reason he didn't plead guilty is he was trying to convince folks he didn't kill women or participate in the killing of women and he wasn't a snitch. he still at least publicly disputes this whole issue we're discussing. >> he was absolutely a snitch. i mean, he gave up people all along the way. he gave up people while he was running his own mob in boston. he gave up people in the mafia which was the fbi was obsessed with the mafia for years. i mean, they thought that jim bulger and steve flemmi and others of his crew could help him get into the la cosa nostra. the fbi were able to actually record la cosa nostra abduction, in massachusetts. that was the highlight of the
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fbi for two decades and didn't care what jim bulger was doing on the side. >> so that's what they were getting in return. michael kendall, that's what i wanted to know, what was in it for the fbi, and was connolly just a guy, there are people like this who wanted to rub shoulders with mobsters? was he enamored with this relationship and friendship? >> according to bulger's lawyer, connolly was part of the game. they claim he got $240,000, maybe more in cash payments. he got other benefits in help. he was taken care of when he left the fbi by bulger's brother, by getting a good job after he left the fbi. so connolly got much out of it, benefited directly and personally. it was not just rubbing shoulders. it's making money, getting career advancement. >> mike barnicle, we have a minute left together. where does this go from here? it seems like there's a whole other chapter now that ought to unfold to get to the bottom of this and perhaps some prosecutions. >> i don't know what the statute of limitations is on several of
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the crimes committed obstruction. i don't know statute. mike kendall would know better about that than i would, but there are several fbi agents, former fbi agents who were complicit in allowing james whitey bulger to conduct business as usual, killing, murdering people, drug dealing, extortion. they knew it and they allowed it. >> mike kendall, in ten seconds or less, will there be prosecution of those folks? >> for corruption, the statute has probably run. some of the murderers that worked with bulger have not yet been convicted and there's no statute of limitations for murder. >> mike barnicle, nice to see you. michael kendall, we appreciate you as well. we'll be back right after this. [ female announcer ] made just a little sweeter...
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let me finish tonight with this. yesterday's decision by a federal judge regarding stop and frisk has sparked a national conversation about crime and punishment and race. in her nearly 200-page opinion, the judge said the nypd conduct, indirect racial profiling violating the 4th and 14th amendment. the key supreme court precedent is called terry v. ohio, a 1968 ruling that said stop and frisk is permissible under certain circumstances. importantly, it's got to be based on more than an offer's hunch. mostly, in new york, individuals have been stopped for so-called furtive movements, a person was fidgety or changed directions or
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walked in a certain way, maybe grabbed a pocket or looked over their shoulder. furtive movements were cited in 48% of the cases where blacks were stopped. 45.2 for hispanics. 39.9% for whites. 83% of stops between 2004 and 2012 involved blacks and hispanics, even though they comprise just over 50% of city's residents. so were the stops successful? well, between january of '04 and june of 2012, the nypd conducted over 4.4 million terry stops. 52% of all stops were followed by a protective frisk for weapons. a weapon was found after 1.5% of these frisks. said differently, in 98.5% of the 2.3 million frisks, no weapon was found. now, were the number of minorities stops for furtive movements far exceeds the rates for whites, it sounds reasonable
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for the judge to say this is indirect racial profiling, especially where few weapons were found. still, before we champion this decision as a victory for civil rights, we need to consider who it will impact. here's new york city mayor michael bloomberg yesterday. >> we go to where the reports of crime are. those, unfortunately, happen to be poor neighborhoods and minority neighborhoods. >> when he spoke, i thought of what president obama said in the aftermath of the trayvon martin case. >> now, this isn't to say that the african-american community is naive about the fact that african-american young men are disproportionately involved in the criminal justice system, that they're disproportionately both victims and perpetrators of violence. >> here's my observation. should crime rise as a result of limiting stop and frisk, most
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victimized, sadly, will be from the same community as those whose civil liberties the judge sought to protect. that's "hardball" for now. thank you for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. tonight on "all in" it's the hottest show not on television. netflix's true story women's prison drama "orange is the new black." tonight i'll be joined by piper kerman, author of the book and inspiration for the show's lead character. you definitely want to stick around for that. plus, did the department of justice really try to change a bunch of numbers on its website and hope we didn't notice? well, we noticed. that and a collection of other political sneakiness coming up. we begin tonight with what appears to be the most restrictive voting measure