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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  November 8, 2011 9:00pm-10:00pm EST

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columbus firefighters. all right. here's where the vote is on issue 2 currently standing. we're 13% of the precincts reporting, yes on issue 2 is at 37%. no on issue 2 is at 63%. you know what, this, governor kasich, this is real good protective gear. i'm ready for you, dude. that's "the ed show." i'm going to be back at 11:00 eastern with the latest results from ohio. i'm not leaving columbus until we get a call on this one. rachel maddow is next. here on msnbc. >> good evening, rachel. good evening, ed. honorary firefighter from the great city of columbus, ohio. you know, whoever came up with that stupid rule about don't put anything on your head on television, they were wrong. i'm just saying. it's been a great show, ed. looking forward to seeing you later, my friend.
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so awesome. get me one of those. all right. thanks to you at home for staying with us for the next hour. it's a very exciting day in political news. because it's election day. happy election day. all right. let's get right into it. you ready? in kentucky, polls closed just over two hours ago. incumbent democratic kentucky governor steve bashir was challenged by republican senate president david williams. kentucky voters rejected the republican challenge and re-elected their incumbent democratic governor. in the kentucky governor's race with 80% of precincts reporting, we're looking at 57% of the vote for the democrat steve bashir and and 34% for williams. in kentucky, democrat jack conway faced his own republican challenger, a man named todd p'pool. todd p' pool not only has an amazing last name but got huge support from national celebrity republicans in his efforts
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against jack conway, sarah palin, mike huckabee and rudy giuliani all giving endorsements in the kentucky attorney generals race to mr. p'pool. with 80% of precincts reporting, jack conway defeated the republican challenge from p'pool, 56% of the vote for conway the democrat and 44% for his republican challenger. in indianapolis, the incumbent republican mayor greg ballard facing a challenge from the democrat named molina kennedy. resul results so far with 87% of precincts reporting, ballard appears to be holding on at this point, 57% of the vote against his democratic challenger with 47% of the vote. in virginia, where republicans already controlled the governor's office and the majority of the house, tonight's races could give them a majority in the state senate as well. until tonight, democrats had a 22-18 majority in the virginia state senate. a net gain of two seats for
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republicans would flip the senate so they would control that, too. in georgia, 120 cities and counties held a referendum on whether to allow the sunday sale of control. no word yet on how many of those georgia referendums succeeded. we'll let you know as results come in. also a referendum today on whether booze can be sold in grocery stores in the great state of washington. we'll let you know as results come in on that one tonight as well. in ohio, the most closely watched race in the nation, an hour and a half half after the polls closed in ohio, here's what we have so far. on issue 2 which would reaffirm governor kasich's union busting law. with 13% of precincts reporting, 37% of ohio voters have voted yes to keep sb-5, to keep the union busting law. 63% of ohio voters have voted to repeal that law. again, that's just 13% of precincts reporting. that a very closely watched race tonight. we'll have much more on the ohio
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issue 2 race in just a moment. on issue 3 in ohio, that's a largely symbolic vote against national health reform. the national health reform law that president obama signed last year. so far, again, with 13% of ohio precincts reporting, we have 65% of ohio voters voting yes to amend their constitution against health reform, and 35% of ohio voters voting no. in maine, where polls closed a little over an hour ago, maine voters decided whether to reinstate a four-decade-old state law that allows you to register to vote on election day. they've had this law in maine 38 years. maine republicans changed that law this year. issue 1 on the ballot in maine would be a people's veto of what republicans did. so far in maine, with just 10% of precincts reporting, 60% of maine voters have voted yes to restore same-day voter registration, to undo what the republicans in maine did.
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and so far, again, with just 10% reporting, 40% of maine voters have voted no to let stand the republicans taking away same-day registration. in mississippi, voters deciding whether or not to define a fertilized egg as a person. initiative 26 would have the effect of banning all abortion, no exceptions. it could also ban the most popular forms of birth control. hormonal birth control. also some types of fertility treatments. it could turn a miscarriage into cause for a criminal investigation. so far, with 0% of precincts reporting, we have nothing to tell you whether or not mississippi voters are voting for a constitutional amendment defining a fertilized egg as a person. at this point, the polls heading into today's voting in mississippi are all we have to go for which showed this essentially neck in neck. right now, 0% reporting from mississippi. we will stay on this throughout this hour. this is a fascinating race in mississippi. also on ballot in mississippi,
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initiative 27 which would amend the state constitution so you can no longer vote in the state unless you show documentation you've never before been required to show. and that not every mississippi registered voter has. again, we have no reporting yes from mississippi so can't yet tell you how initiative 27 has done today. it was heavily favored heading into today's voting. in houston, texas, first-term incumbent democratic mayor annise parker is facing five different challenger. parker is the first ever openly gay big city mayor in the country. polls closed an hour ago. we're waiting on results from texas in that race. there are two big recalls on the ballot tonight. big recalls, attempt of recalls of republican state officials. republican state officials seen as broader bellwethers for how this year's republican politics in the states are going over. in michigan, it's republican assemb assemblyman paul scott who's seen as an ally of republican governor rick snyder. the yes or no vote on republican paul scott's michigan recalls,
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therefore, seen as a bit of a proxy for whether michigan is feeling buyers remorse from the republican agenda they got. results are still coming in on the michigan race. also facing recall, republican state senator, russell pierce of arizona. the man who wrote arizona's paper's please law, a very powerful republican controlling the state senate there. his challenger, interestingly, is also a republican. but russell pierce's challenger is a republican who denounced who pierce and jan brewer have done to the state's image with their anti-immigrant legislation and announced it as something akin to alabama 1964. polls only closed in arizona moments ago. we're awaiting on preliminary results in the russell pierce recall. that watched closely around the nation. in iowa, today, a special election could make the whole state go red there. republicans in iowa control the governor's office and the state house and they're only one seat away from tieing with the democrats in the senate.
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if there is a tie in the senate, the deciding vote is the republican governor. effectively putting all parts of iowa state governance in republican hands. now, the republican governor appointed one democratic senator from a republican leaning district to a state board earlier this year. a bit of political genius that forced tonight's election to replace that state senator in cedar rapids. if the democrats are able to hold on to that seat, they will keep their one-seat majority in the iowa senate. if republicans are able to take that seat away, well, then it's a tie with a republican governor as the deciding vote and frankly the first thing that will probably happen is the republicans will repeal iowa's same-sex marriage law. it is republican cindy golding in that race against democrat liz mathis. that's special election tonight in iowa with very, very broad statewide consequences. polls just closed on that. we're waiting on preliminary results there. another race we're keeping an eye on is the mayoral race in san francisco. ed lee has been the interim
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mayor of san francisco since gavin newsom became lieutenant governor of california. ed lee facing 15 different challengers tonight. if he is elected today, he will be san francisco's first asian mayor. san francisco a heavily asian-american, particularly chinese-american city. ed lee will also be the only mayor in the country elected in part due to a video endorsement that is anything at all like this. ♪ thank you for blessing me and the rest of the city with mayor ed lee ♪ ♪ too legit to quit ♪ ed lee >> let the record show that was emc m.c. hammer but not doing the dance, himself. we're waiting on the mayor race results tonight. the most closely watched race is where we're getting the live shot right now. the effort to repeal what ohio
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republicans did earlier this year to strip union rights. a yes vote tonight for ohio's issue 2 would leave what the republicans did in place, stripping union rights in the buckeye state. a no vote on issue 2 would repeal what republicans did and reinstate union rights. again, right now, with 13 -- excuse me, 15% of precincts reporting in ohio, tonight 64% of ohio voters have voted to reinstate union rights and 36% of ohio voters have voted against union rights with governor john kasich and the republicans. now, last night when we covered the lead-up to this vote in ohio with columnist connie schultz, we played a little sound of one of the fox news celebrities who has been in ohio campaigning for the republicans and governor john kasich's side on issue 2. this was sound that we played last night of mike huckabee speaking recently in ohio. >> make a list of ten family members, ten friends, ten neighbors, ten folks you work with or have worked with in the
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past and call them and ask them, are you going to vote on issue 2? are you going to vote for it? if they say no, well, you just make sure that they don't go vote. let the air out of their tires on election day. tell them the election has been moved to a different date. that's up to you. how you creatively get the job done. >> mike huckabee obviously joking if you know anybody in ohio that's going to vote to reinstate union rights and vote no on issue 2, tell then the election is a different day. ha. tell them the election is tomorrow. hilarious voter suppression dirty jokes trick from mike huckabee. today registered democrats in ohio did report getting robo calls saying the election was tomorrow. >> hi, i'm calling to remind you that tomorrow is election day. it is critically important that you go vote to protect the future of our country. >> part of the suspense -- i should say, actually, that was totally inexplicable we had a
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picture of mary cheney along with that full screen there. mary cheney's group, political interest group, is one of the groups involved in the campaigning for the john kasich side of the issue 2 fight. her group was not the one that was associated with that robo call today. i don't know how that picture got there. that was an error. i'm sorry about that. part of the suspense around issue 2 in ohio is that both sides have seemed to understand that polling on ballot initiatives in off-year elections is notoriously incon c collusive. people don't turn out to vote in great numbers in off-year elections. the polling has shown huge majorities of ohio voters wanting to vote against issue 2 and vote to repeal the union stripping thing. if past is a prologue, people find it easier to tell that to pollsters than to actually go out and vote that day. anecdotal reports that have been high for early voting numbers in ohio. franklin county, for example, columbus, ohio, reporting unusually high numbers of early
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vote totals heading into today's off-year election. in lucas county, which included toledo, local officials saying turnout expected to surpass 2010 midterm election numbers. again, right now with 18% of precincts reporting in ohio, 36% of ohio voters apparently voting yes tonight against union rights. and 64% of ohio voters voting no on issue 2, voting to repeal the republicans' union stripping law. again, that's just 18% of precincts reporting. joining us now live from columbus, ohio, democratic state representative armand budish, democratic leader of the ohio statehouse. mr. minority leader, thank you for joining us tonight. >> my pleasure. great night to be here, rachel. >> let me ask you your reaction tonight to what we got so far on the vote on issue 2 in your state and what you expect to happen tonight. >> fabulous. i expect ohio to send a huge message to governor kasich and republican leaders that have adopted this anti-middle class,
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anti-worker legislation. that message is coming out loud and clear. i expect a big victory tonight, rachel. >> it was only a year ago that ohio voters chose governor ba c kasich. he won by 77,000 votes over the democrat in the governors race. the polling since then says if there's a rematch in that race, governor kasich would lose that race by 18 points. what explains the big turnaround in ohio voters' stated feelings in just one year? >> governor kasich ran on a platform of creating jobs in ohio. that's what people want, but unfortunately the governor has done nothing to create jobs in ohio. you don't create jobs by tearing down the middle class. you don't create jobs by attacking working people. and that's what's happened. so i think that explains the change in the public. they've seen what the governor is doing, and it's a radical extreme agenda that does not create jobs, but instead taxes
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the middle class. i don't understand how that going to create one job in the state of ohio. >> tonight, of course, is not a recall effort. that is directly about governor kasich. although this certainly reflects on the state's feelings about him. why do you think the governor and state republicans in the legislature where you serve made going after union rights such a top priority? i mean, they could read the polls, themselves. they knew this would be dramatically unpopular among ohio voters. >> it's a power grab, rachel, in ohio. and around the country. the fact is that the republicans are doing everything they can to consolidate the power that they currently have. so they're changing the election laws, you've talked about it on your show, with photo i.d.s and getting rid of early voting. they're attacking labor, because labor is a powerful counterforce to the big corporate interests. >> mr. minority leader -- >> they're doing everything they can to tilt the player field. >> i never like to interrupt people on the show for any reason.
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i have news you'd like to hear. the "associated press" has just called issue 2 in ohio, issue 2 has been defeated. >> very good. >> would you turn around and tell the people behind you that news? >> i will be happy to. they just called it. issue 2 is gone! we won! we won! [ cheers ] >> i think people are happy, rachel. >> i figured that people would be mad at me if they didn't know because you were on tv with me when it happened, sir. so thank you for helping and that means that i probably need to pay you some sort of royalty for the show for helping out. >> it's great news. this is a huge victory for the people of ohio. for the middle class, for working people. this is great. >> democratic state representative armond budish, the democratic leader in the ohio statehouse.
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i'm going to leave you in columbus, ohio, with your happy supporters. thank you for joining me. congratulations. it's coming down the way you wanted it to. >> thank you, rachel. appreciate it. >> joining us know, ben jealous, president and ceo of the naacp, who's been in ohio doing get out the vote work. as you may have just heard, i was speaking with minority leader from the ohio state assembly. issue 2 has now been called in ohio. it has been defeated which means that the effort to restrict union rights in ohio, by the republicans there, and the state republican governor john kasich, has been repealed by the people of ohio. let me just get your reaction to that. >> this is great news. this sends a strong message to governors across the country. don't mess with main street. don't, you know, yes, if people need to negotiate, negotiate. but don't go after the basic rights. this is a great day. >> ben, as the national leader of a civil rights organization, like the naacp, i wanted to talk to you about this tonight because i guess mostly i simply wanted to ask, what were you doing in your role as a, in your
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capacity at the naacp, door knocking and canvassing on this union rights issue in ohio? why is this a national issue for you and for your group? >> look, you know, when you look at the black community in ohio, disproportionately black men, for instance, one of the demographics in this country, probably the demographic that has the hardest time finding a job, yet alone a good job, disproportionately those jobs are union jobs, are public sector jobs. people came up from the south to ohio for a better life. and this bill was aimed right at the heart of that better life. the reality is, rachel, we're active in 1,200 communities across this country. we very much recognize that in this century, the battles are really about laws, about passing laws, enacting laws, defeating laws. you know, in the last century, it was about actually going into court and arguing. now it's about really getting into the street, doing the
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hand-to-hand combat that's required to make sure that the right law passes, the wrong law gets defeated. that's why it was so important that before we defeated issue 2, we kept that crazy voter i.d. bill to the 2012 ballot. that was going to go into effect before that. quite frankly, this victory would not have been possible if it had. >> why do you think it couldn't have passed had it been on the ballot in 2012? what would have been the difference there, ben? >> look at a state like wisconsin. they passed their voter i.d. bill and right away, one-half of blacks, one-half of latinos, a similar portion of students, couldn't vote because they didn't have an i.d. it literally is the reincarnation of the poll tax. when people come after your right to vote, they do it to make it easier to come after all of your rights. i was up in new york where we announced a big second push around voting rights. we'll have a big day of action on december 10th, human rights day.
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saying to this country, saying to this world, we right now are going through the most coordinated attempt to go after voting rights this country has seen in a century. we all need to wake up to the fact that they're coming after our voting rights because they are trying to come after our right to organize. come after women's rights. come after all sorts of basic civil rights. we have to come together and defend the basic right to vote. >> ben jealous, president and ceo of the naacp, a man who i learn something from every time i talk to you. ben, thank you so much for joining us tonight. i really appreciate it. >> thanks, friend. all right. amid the genually critical elections around the country today, including news issue 2 has been defeated and the union stripping bill from republicans in ohio has been repealed, among the election news around the country today was also another installation of the herman cain performance arts project. it was unartful as always. >> i am herman cain, and i'm running for president. >> flashing red light and
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screaming red banner. breaking news. he's herman cain and running for president. we have more election results. more reaction about the big news out of ohio with issue 2 going down to defeat. and more performance art. all coming up. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 let's talk about the personal attention
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♪ chips from here, boards from there ♪ ♪ track it all through the air, that's logistics. ♪ ♪ clearing customs like that ♪ hurry up no time flat that's logistics. ♪ ♪ all new technology ups brings to me, ♪ ♪ that's logistics. ♪ other than election day if america, you might have also noticed sneaking into your news day the fact prime minister bungabunga is gone or going. today silvio berlusconi will step down.
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the united nations released evidence iran is not just working on nuclear things for nuclear power, they're working on a nuclear bomb. also russia shot a deep space launch toward a mars moon today but weirdly they asked for help from regular people with telescopes around the world to figure out when and where the thing leaves orbit. that's ominous. also we're having the first ever national coast to coast test of the emergency alert system at 2:00 p.m. tomorrow. do not be alarmed. also the decrepit bridge over lake champlain between vermont and new york that was imploded, two years ago in 2009, that bridge has as of today been rebuilt. and re-opened. and it's cute. hooray. also today, along with your election day news, this happened. >> will the businessman by the name of herman cain step forward? here i am. because that's the person herman cain is. you see, that's one thing about herman cain that i think a lot of the american people know, and that is just because it's tough is no reason for me not to do
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what i feel like i have to do. some people don't want to see herman cain get the republican nomination and some people don't want herman cain to become president of the united states of america. i can't tell you what their motivation is other than to stop herman cain. >> herman cain art project today proclaiming at a bizarre, long press conference that a person named herman cain never acted inappropriately with anyone. ever. herman cain added that herman cain does not even know herman cain's latest accuser. herman cain referring to anonymous accusations despite the televiszed press conference of one very specific name, now publicly identifiable accuser and second very specific now known by name accuser who spoke this afternoon to "the new york times" about her alleged sexual harassment by herman cain. herman cain adding herman cain does not know herman cain's latest accuser but being persecuted by the democrat machine and the media and forces that do not want a businessman
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such as herman cain to be president. >> i've also had the privilege to represent a number of innocent victims accused by the media of serious crimes, false accusations, on trial in the court of public opinion where there are no rules. the rules are made up by the media. >> the machine to keep a businessman out of the white house is going to be relentless. and if they continue to come, i will continue to respond. >> mr. cain, lee ross with fox news. you made several mentions of machine, the democratic machine. who are these people? who is involved in this? is it a conspiracy? >> i cannot -- i cannot say that it is a conspiracy. we do not have definitive, factual proof. we can only look at some
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co-incidences to suggest it that maybe someone is deliberately behind this. we have not been able to make any determination to point any fingers or place any blame on anybody at this point. when we step back and look at the fact that there's no facts, no factual evidence to back these up, we can only infer that someone is trying to basically wreck my character and like the other gentlemen alluded to, plant doubt in the minds of a lot of people who are going to go to the polls and vote. >> last night on the "jimmy kimmki kimmel show" they said they were raising so much money since the sexual harassment allegations were made public, that if other republican candidates for president were smart, they would hire women to make similar accusations, which is hilarious.
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but that was late night. joking around time. today it was time for explanations for some straight talk. making things clear. here, for example, is the official herman cain art project explanation of a settlement between mr. cain and one of his accusers. >> i've been criticized by some members of the media that i have changed my story. when the firestorm started a week ago monday, i was presented with the accusation of some settlement was made. settlement to me means there were legal implications. later during that same day, i then recalled after all those years that there was an agreement. that's what businesses sign with employees who are departing the company. they call it an agreement. settlement implies legal implications. all of the potential legal implications or ramifications or accusations were found to be baseless. >> all clear? just in case it's not, earlier
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tonight on "politics nation" with reverend al sharpton on msnbc, a lawyer for one of mr. cain's accusers told reverend sharpton he's planning a press conference for all five of herman cain's known accusers. it's hard to glean if hearing from all the women at once is likely to have impact on the herman cain campaign for president. at least in a bad way. we're told to expect that press conference. herman cain is statistically tied with mitt romney in the latest nbc news/"wall street journal" poll for republican nomination for president of the united states. he's tied for first. joining us now, melissa harris-perry, professor of political science at tulane university and msnbc contributor. >> it's election night. >> it is election night. can we break away from herman cain for a moment and ask your reaction to the issue 2 news, issue 2 has been defeated which means the union stripping bill in ohio has been repealed. >> that's right. so one win for the unions, now we have to get one for the uterus. in mississippi. so we're hoping that just as
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it's hands off my unions, it's hands off my fertilized eggs. >> still watching results from mississippi at this point. yes. i mean, the fact it happened on election day is a tragedy because i could be going into, like, incredibly great detail on, like, county school board races right now all over the country, but instead, once again the republican presidential politics of the day are about herman cain and sexual abuse allegations. he seems to be making the case the allegations have been good for him. raising a ton of money. other candidates should seek these allegations, too, because they let you run against the media, the conspiracy. what do you make of that? >> a little bit of both. this is one of the moments where none of my political science models made sense. i went and talked to some folks today and spoke with a woman who was working in a shop and said to me, i feel so bad for mr. cain because he seems like such a nice guy and why would anybody wait a decade to tell this story? and so clearly these are people trying to bring this nice guy down. i said, what is it that makes
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you think he's a nice guy? she says, well, i think that 9-9-9 plan might mean i have to pay more taxes, but he has a plan. he has something i can understand. so then i backed up and said, okay, the one model that makes sense to me here is this. one of the things that challengers always benefit from is very low information. people don't know much and so they take just a few cues and then they form pretty actual durable opinions based on the initial cues. and herman cain is doing a beautiful art project here. he is performing the kind of strong republican who no matter what you say against me, i'm always going to stick to my story. sarah palin did this when the pregnancy of her unmarried daughter came out and said, you will not use this against me in typical ways. george w. bush used this when the tide turned against the war in iraq and said nonetheless, i'll send in a surge. this is the way the republicans have demonstrated we have backbone, we're strong, you can't beat us with all of the things you normally would use to discredit a candidate.
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>> on the substance of the woman who you spoke with today, on the substance of the idea the sexual harassment allegations against mr. cain are suspect because they happened a decade ago and people didn't talk about them until now, he was never a front-runner with a chance of winning the republican presidential nomination before now. people are presumably bringing these forward because it's a question of the character of a guy who's about to be in a very, very powerful position. is that a hard to grasp concept? >> not necessarily. so, you know, when i responded to her, the reason this woman had not come forward previously, she didn't actually work for the organization. she had not filed the sexual harassment claim. that's not what was going on here. you can understand why you wouldn't file a claim in court. because there was not enough that happened in a he said/she said to actually get a criminal conviction. she saw, yeah, that makes sense to me. still, i wonder, why didn't these other people? i said, you know, they're actually bound by an agreement that says they can't talk about it. she was like, oh, wow. it occurs to me that in our
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current discourse around women and who women are, we have this language that women are these money grubbers, they're gold diggers. and what they do is go after powerful men, claim false paternity suits and claim sexual assault. we should always look at any woman with suspicion and suspect she's just after a powerful man for his money, that this framework, kind of our popular culture, this degrading of women, i think has infected our political understandings as well. >> and it is seeing these women who have come forward, getting their names dragged through the mud and seeing them get outed as they try to preserve their an nim anonymity. melissa harris-perry, tulane university professor and msnbc analyst. s we'll be back with the elections including our first results on the mississippi personhood amendment.
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happy election day on ohio's issue 2, a vote for issue 2 would have upheld republican governor john kasich's repeal of union rights in ohio. a now vote on issue 2 would everturn what kasich and republicans did and reinstate union rights. 33% of precincts reports, the "associated press" called the race. the union stripping bill in ohio will be recalled, repealed. right now with 33% in.
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62% of votes against issue 2. 38% of votes for issue 2. and in maine, question 1 deciding whether there will be same-day voting registration. the "associated press" has now called this as well. same-day voter registration will be coming back in maine. it had been there for 38 years. republicans in the governor's office and the state legislature in maine got rid of it. maine voters have now put it back with 24% of precincts reporting. 59% of mainers voting to reinstate same-day voter registration, being able to register to vote on election day. 41% of voters voting against it. again, the "associated press" has called maine issue 1. in the great state of mississippi, the mitt romney supported so-called personhood amendment that would ban abortion as well as most popular forms of birth control and fertility treatment by defining a fertilized egg as a person, right now just 16% of precincts reporting, the no vote ahead at this point.
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57% voting no in mississippi. 43% voting yes. again, just 16% in. we will have much more about what's happening right now on election night including further details from the fascinating race in mississippi coming up after the break. is this a chevy volt? [ stu ] yeah. it's electric. i don't think so. it's got a gas tank right here. electric tank, right over here. an electric tank? really, stu? is that what you pour the electricity in? it's actually both, guys. i can plug in and go 35 miles gas free, or i can fill up and go a whole lot farther. is that my burger? oh. i just got bun. i didn't even bite any burger.
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aside from the vote today in ohio to recall the republicans' stripping of union rights there, aside from ohio, the most closely watched race in the country tonight is in mississippi. mississippi had a full blown statewide election today. members of the state house, the state senate are being elected today. statewide elected officials are elected today including the state choosing a successor for republican governor haley barbour. the governor with the highest approval rating of any governor in the country. looking at the statewide officials races in mississippi gives you some sense of how the political playing field is tilt now in that state. republican lieutenant governor phil bryant is heavily favored to succeed haley barbour. right now, current lieutenant governor phil bryant is ahead with 18% of precincts. excuse me, johnny dupree is
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ahead, ahead 58% to 42% of the vote. the democratic party did not even bother running anybody in three of the statewide races. tonight in mississippi. they're not even running anybody for lieutenant governor in the state, or for secretary of state or for state auditor. democrats did not field candidates for those offices. they're just letting the republicans have those. the main reason everybody has their eyes on mississippi tonight is because of their ballot question that proposes a constitutional amendment to define a fertilized egg as a person. when the national media reported on this, they described it as an abortion ban but it's much more than that. if this were simply an antiabortion measure, there wouldn't be much suspense about the outcome of today's vote. a large proportion of mississippi voters are against abortion rides. the so-called personhood amendment, defining a fertilized egg as a person not only bans abortion in all circumstances, if a woman became pregnant through rape, for example, she would be forced by the government of the state of
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mississippi to bear that child. same goes for incest, same goes for pregnancies that could threaten a woman's life. this could ban some forms of hormonal birth control like, for example, the pill and also the iud and in vitro fertilization. a fertilized egg anywhere in mississippi that did not result in a live birth nine months later could be a crime scene under this measure. in a state like mississippi, a strongly antiabortion state like mississippi, the prospect of the state opening up a miscarriage investigation detectives division has struck people as a little bit oogey, which is why it is so astonishing, frankly, that republican presidential front-runner mitt romney says he supports this thing. mississippians with strongly held antiabortion beliefs say they have been weirded out by this initiative. for example, the aforementioned
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haley barbour. >> i believe life begins at conception. unfortunately this personhood amendment doesn't say that. it says life begins at fertilization or cloning or the functional equivalent thereof. that ambiguity is striking a lot of pro life people here as concerning. and i'm talking about people that are very outspokenly pro life. i am concerned about some of the ramifications on in vitro fertilization. eptoptic pregnancies, pregnancies outside the uterus and fallopian tubes. >> why it's been hard to predict in mississippi, you heard him publicly voice arguments against 26, publicly voicing arguments against mississippi's personhood initiative and did it in multiple venues. after explaining the reasons why as an antiabortion advocate this was a bad thing to vote for, governor haley barbour of
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mississippi then said he voted for it. what in he said he voted absentee for it. even after he made that rather strong case about why it was such a bad thing to vote for. >> well, it does concern me. i think that it's unnecessarily ambiguous. i ended up voting for it because i do believe life begins at conception, but i think there are a lot of other pro life voters who won't. therefore, it's not going to be a very good test. >> haley barbour representing the we yes on 26 and no on 26 arguments there. polling was evenly matched on the issue in mississippi. when it has been voted on before in colorado, it lost big both times. right now with 19% of votes in in mississippi, we've got 56% of mississippians voting no on the personhood amendment. 43% of mississippians voting yes. again, that's just 19% of precincts reporting right now.
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regardless of how this turns out, though, one of the most remarkable things about this whole initiative will have been the largely fwr lly grassroots that sprang up against this thing. in a part of the country where it's impossible to imagine a movement like this springs up. mississippi mounted a fierce, scrappy, homegrown campaign to stop this personhood thing. this fertilized egg are people thing. there are petitions gathered for personhood initiatives that would ban birth control and ibf and make your miscarriage subject for criminal investigation. these things are being proposed all over the country by conservative groups and republican legislators. 90 house republicans, 40% of house republicans say they support a personhood bill for the country. a personhood bill in the u.s. congress. but they had figured i think if they could actually pass this thing anywhere in the country they probably could pass it in mississip mississippi. the no on 26 movement has been trying to prove them wrong. by the end of the night, we will know much more.
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voters in maine today went to the polls, lucky them. among the issues they voted on is whether it should be much harder to vote in maine. mainers asked whether they want to restore the state's decades-old law that lets you register to vote on the same day you vote. this started when republicans in maine won control of the governorship and state legislature last year. by june republican lawmakers sent governor paul lupage a bill to end mainers' long-standing
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ability to sign up on election day. lots of petitions showed people were unhappy with lupage's decision. rationale q at" from the republican state party chairman, i quote, many of us believe that the democrats intentionally steal elections. despite the republican chairman's clearly heartfelt beliefs, same-day registration has never shown to actually be a fraud problem in maine. next, republicans went with the virtue argument. this longtime republican operative wrote, if you haven't registered by the date of the election, you're not committed enough as a citizen to vote. quote, most of the people same-day registration serves are unengaged in the process. because nothing says unengaged in the process like showing up to take part in it. it is amazing to me this logic. republicans in maine have put forward a new rationale that is jaw dropping.
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they now say that same-day registration is bad because same-day registration is gay. that's the new republican party argument against it. the republican party of maine placing this ad in the state's newspapers warning mainers that gay and lesbian special interests support reinstating same-day voter registration because they're out to corrupt maine's democracy or something. also from the republican party, this mailer name checking the, quote, gay marriage alliance. first you want to make voting harder because you say democrats are stealing elections, then it's because you don't like new voters. they're not committed. and now you're blaming, like, elton john, right? now you just want to knock the gays around a little bit. oh, you're not trying to knock the gays around? the maine republican chairman insisted the anti-gay ad they put in the newspapers is not gay bashing but part of the republican party's, quote, education efforts. for the record, some maine republicans have taken umbrage
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of what's being done to their party. ian dodge is a tea party guy challenging olympia snowe from the white, telling the blog blue dirigo that the republican chairman of the state of maine needs to resign, needs to step down over these gay hating and vile newspaper add veverts. the response from the voters tonight, put same day voting registration back. the "associated press" called this vote moments ago. maine voters citizen repealed the efforts by the state's republicans to get rid of the ability to register on the same day you vote. joining me, congresswoman chellie pingree, married to a man who's named in the republican advertising for his support of marriage equality and voting rights in maine because they want you to think that's a bad thing.
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chellie pingree, thank you for joining us tonight. i really appreciate your time. >> thank you. i'm glad to hear they've called the race. this is crazy, and you can see it's happening all over the country. the attempt to take away people's right to vote, to discourage people from voting. the republicans overplayed their hand once again in trying to talk about a gay alliance was frankly just a disgusting turn of events on their part. maine voters have said no. >> sorry to interrupt for a moment. it's strange to me they ran the big gay add, that was their final missive before people voted today. why did they turn to anti-gay advertising at the last minute here? it seems so unrelated and so random. >> so random. i think because they have no good argument for taking away your right to register on voting day. we've been doing this for almost 40 years in the state of maine. had two incidents of fraud. it encourages people to vote. it makes it easier for working people and people who can't get to the polls. let's face it. this is a national agenda, money
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pouring in from the outside. they won't even disclose their donors. and they're putting up these crazy ads trying to form some kind of alliance, really, just around hate. question the voters. it's disgusting what they were doing. i'm thrilled maine people pushed it back. >> because of the way the governor's race was decided this past year, governor lupage was elected with a third of the vote, nowhere near a majority. what do you see as tonight's loss for him on this issue, meaning for the future of republicans in maine? do you think this is a broader shot across the bough? >> the republicans had a crazy agenda the governor got behind in the state. they had a crazy redistricting plan in the legislature, including the republicans' pushback on that one. they were gerrymandering the lines. if you can't win the election, change the rules. they're doing that again. i hope this sends a strong message to our governor, our legislature and the victories around the country. this is one of the first 2012
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elections and starting to tell us what the voters are thinking out there. the voters are saying this is an extreme agenda, don't take away our basic rights, don't mess with democracy. i hope the voters are starting to question this bizarre agenda out there. >> chellie pingree, democratic congresswoman from maine. thank you for talking to us tonight. i really appreciate it. >> thanks for having me. thanks to all the voters for doing the right thing. >> all right. next on this show, some more election results. we're still live here. it's going to be a long night. in all sorts of good ways. stay with us. economy-- delivering mail, medicine and packages. yet they're closing thousands of offices, slashing service, and want to lay off over 100,000 workers. the postal service is recording financial losses, but not for reasons you might think. the problem ? a burden no other agency or company bears. a 2006 law that drains 5 billion a year from post-office revenue while the postal service is forced to overpay billions more into federal accounts. congress created this problem, and congress can fix it. and here's what we did today:
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breaking news out of wake county, north carolina, tonight, where an incumbent democratic school board member won his runoff race against a republican challenger. democrats already won four seats back from republicans last month on this board. this win tonight puts democrats back in control of wake county schools. wake county schools elections have had national implications and been of national interest ever since republicans last year on the board moved to