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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  April 24, 2012 4:00am-5:00am EDT

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they said if you are taking birth control pills, you are killing babies. that was 2008. in 2009, they kept the pill kills as their theme but they changes the theme for that year to specifically the pill kills women. if you take birth control pill, you are killing women. that was their theme in 2009. then in 2010 in their third year, it's kind of hard to go to a new theme after you've said the pill kills babies and women. in the third year they decided to say that the pill kills the environment. if you take birth control pills you are cutting down rain forests with your womb or whatever. last year, where do you go after that? a new idea for them. last year they decided that the pill kills marriage. if you take birth control pills, you're just as bad as the gays. i don't know because the gays
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kill marriage in other ways. the gays specifically not with birth control. that's part of the deal. now the anti-contraception forces at the american life league after saying last year that the pill kills marriage. now they are planning their fifth annual the pill kills event. what is going to be the theme this year? what the the fifth year going to be? turns out they are getting lazy. this year the pill kills women and babies. they are just recycling their old themes. this means in year six it means the pill kills environment and marriage, whatever else they have left over. look for them on june 2nd this year outside of whatever facility near you dispenses birth control if there's a
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facility near you like that still. if you live in republican controlled state, there's a chance your republican governor have tried to cut off the funding for whatever organization dispenses birth control in your neighborhood. the anti-contraception agenda on the right is not a myth. i did not have this sign designed and printed out. this exists. it's been around for a while. not even what you can call the far edge of anti-abortion politics. in any other movement you could call these guys the far right militant fringe. that territory is taken. the militant fringe is part of that movement that kills people and blows up clinics and stuff. the anti-contraception people you can't consider them the fringe. 99% of women say they will use birth control.
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the people that think it's murder are no are near a mainstream position. nay are organized and well-funded. they are visible and determined. they are starting to have a real big affect in republican politics kind of all of a sudden. all the federal and proposals to restrict people's access through their insurance plans. the defunding through which uninsured people get their contraception, one of main republican candidates for president saying that as president he would tell the country about the dangers of contraception as rick santorum said. this is not something the democrats have made up about the republican agenda. republicans are really doing this. part of the conservative movement has been pushing them to do it. in beltway political calculus, it doesn't make sense that a group with a position like this, a position so far outside the mainstream that it could never
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pay off, it doesn't make sense that a group could have any sway over politicians. they would be able to persuade politicians. it keeps happening on the right particularly around social issues like this. it's not just the contraception issue. it's also this. this was a tour organized last year in the great state of mississippi designed to persuade people that if you are raped and the rape caused you to become pregnant, it's the proper role of government to force you, force you the rape victim to go through with the pregnancy and give birth by order of the state. that's a pretty radical new idea of really big government. a government big enough and intrusive enough to take over the decision making process from a rape victim and her family as to what she is allowed to do to her own body to deal with the consequences of having been raped. that's a very big government idea. that's not a very mainstream
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idea. for decades as the republican party has become more draconian against abortion rights, they have said there ought to be exemptions for rape or incest. they said they should be left alone. the government shouldn't force something on those women in particular even if they think the government is going to force something on everybody else. it's no longer mainstream in republican thought anymore. what had been a very fringe view in the anti-abortion movement, in 2008, was the view of the republican party's nominee for vice president. she did not believe in exemptions for rape and incest. the forced rape victims to bear the child was taken up by five candidates for united states senate.
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>> how do you feel about abortion? are you for abortion, against it? if you're for it, what will you allow. >> i'm pro-life. i will answer the next question. >> is there any reason at all for an abortion? >> not in my book. >> there's rape and incest could not be something? >> i'm a christian. i believe that government has plan and a purpose for each one of our lives. he can intercede in all kinds of situations. we need to have a little faith in many things. >> of the five republican senate candidates in 2010, who did not believe in exemptions for rape and incest, of those five senate candidates, four of them lost their u.s. senate races even in that very republican year. one of those five u.s. senate candidates did get elected. rand paul did elected.
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you can still see him online bragging about wanting to force rape victims to carry the child that is the result of the pregnancy conceived in rape to term. you can still see him bragging about that on his website. it's not just at the federal level. in the states, the basic principle of making sure that they're forced by the state to give birth if the rape or incest caused them to become pregnant, that basic principle extended to the new restrictions that republicans are putting on abortion rights. it used to be that those laws in the states also had exemptions for victim that were raped or victims of incest. maybe you wouldn't have to see the same doctor three times or go through the waiting period or sit through the lecture. used to be exemptions for those. not anymore.
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now they will have to go gu what everybody is goes through. that's true when new hampshire republicans went through a waiting period to exercise your abortion rights this year. in virginia, that one after much debate, they decided you could be exempted from having the state force the medically unnecessary ultrasound on you if you were a rape victim, but only if you reported that rape to the police because otherwise it might not be real enough rape. in indiana republicans invade against the rape and incest loophole. in idaho, he said if a woman
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bring a rape issue to her physician, he hopes the physician will ask her about her marriage. i defie you to draw a line on this issue between the fringe and the mainstream. where do fringe politics on this issue stop and the mainstream begins? what started with sarah palin's position in 2008 and those far right positions in the next election in 2010 and working its through these republican controlled states in the last couple of years have totally taken over republican politics. that conceived in rape tour was a campaign to pass a personhood constitutional amendment in mississippi last year. we're not just talking about banning all abortion. we're talking about banning all hormonal contraception for women who have been raped or the victims of incest.
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all of the republican presidential candidates, signed on to the personhood position. when rick perry was in the race, he's always been anti-abortion but he has believed in an exemption for rape and incest. he said when he watched one of mike huckabee's dvd's, he decided that rape and incest victims should be forced to give birth by the state. is there no anti-abortion position that's too fringe, that's too extreme for mainstream republican politics anymore. this stuff is in presidential politics now. is there nothing that might cost them at the ballot box. turns out that's an open question. it's a very interesting one. did you see this today? governor ultrasound, the governor of virginia really
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wants to be vice president. he's about to start running pro-bob mcdonald ads even though he's not running for office. he's term limited for running for governor. he's running ads for himself. what are you running for? he seems to be running for vice president. he's got to try to drop the nickname governor ultrasound. he had just signed into law the forced ultrasound bill. when he was a state legislature he sponsored 35 different abortion bills. for all 20 years of his career this public office he's been one of kind of fringe radical edge of the anti-abortion movement people that didn't believe in rape and incest exemptions. abortion should not be legal when it resulted from rape or incest. the government should force you to give birth.
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when he was running for governor ten years later in 2009, that was reported as his position. here is the washington post. bob mcdonald's supported 35 bills to restrict abortion and he opposed the practice of abortion even in cases of rape and incest. even when other republicans thought that was a bridge too far. when other anti-abortion republicans thought it was too far. even when there was a non-mainstream position, the rape and incest thing did not bother bob mcdonald. just shut up. you do not get a say. bob mcdonald decides whether you're getting an abortion. he's now trying to say it's not. the washington post reporting that he would allow you to have an abortion if you're pregnancy was the result of rape or incest. this is new. this is a whole new position for him. he's never said this before. he's never said this to appear
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he was going to be vice president. asked to explain. his spokesman said there's been no flip-flop. there's been no change. it's just that bob mcdonald's issue has been misunderstood for two decades. it's been misreported and he's never complained about it before which is an amazing political contention. it also raises an interesting and open question which is whether the conservative movement have been so successful in swinging republican politics so far to the right on the issue of abortion that republicans have now scared themselves and they where maybe starting to let it swing back the other way. have we reached the limits on republican radicalism in the person of one very, very desperate want to be vice president from virginia? joining us now is nancy keenan. thank you very much for joining us.
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>> thanks. >> you've been a combatant through the your career. let me ask you about those issues changing over time. >> a grand slam. bob mcdonald wants to rewrite history. he's attempting to modify his very anti-choice record to make it look less extreme. he's so out of touch with america's value and priority. as you said, this is a guy that was not on the sidelines of thi debate. he was the quarterback as a legislature, and the attorney general and now as governor to pass the mandatory ultrasound, to take on abortion providers in the state of virginia. his ambitions are trumping his values here in trying to modify this position. the american public will not be fooled.
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>> are his ambitiouses opening up a window for the rest of us into seeing how far is too far for republicans? when we saw rick perry who has always been very anti-abortion. he's been anti-abortion legislature and governor, to see him go through his public conversion tearing up on the stump in iowa talking about how he no longer believes in exemptions to the criminalization of abortion, to see that, i felt like there was no going back. i thought if that's what you need to do in order to compete for republican votes, there's no going back. do you think his ambition shows us there place they have to full back from? >> i think they can't be trusted. i think they know they are out of touch with america. he's trying to modify his position. let's look at 2010. many, many of those republicans ran on jobs and the economy and as soon as they arrived whether
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it was in state capitals across the country or here in congress, the first thing they did is launch the war on women. they can say one thing, but we have learned in this last year, year and a half that the fact is they cannot be trusted. they can say whatever they want. the record is the record is the record. bob mcdonald can't be trusted. mitt romney can't be trusted. we have to draw the contrast now in about who is standing with women in this country and protecting their freedom and their privacy and who are those that will say one thing, say one thing but literally to get elected trump their own value system. >> why do you think there was a tipping point on this issue on the right? we've seen the strength of the anti-abortion movement wax and wane over time. we have seen the number of republicans that are willing to be pro-choice. something happened in 2010 where the number of anti-abortion restrictions in the states spiked. we're at that same level again, that same pace now this year
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even though it's an election year. we did see this collapse around the long standing republican consensus that there ought to be exemptions around rape and incest. why did this start happening so quickly? >> they ran on one thing and kind of did a bait and switch. you saw this cumulative effect of women seeing it. the american public said, enough. stop this. i think they are feeling that pressure. again, the bottom line is, they can't run from their record. that's our job is to expose the hypocrisy. expose the contrast between president obama and a mitt romney and if it's somebody like a bob mcdonald that they are all
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anti-choice from beginning to end. there is no modifying their position or their record. the american public are not going to be fooled. they are not going to be fooled in 2012 like they were thinking this was going to be about jobs and the economy in 2010. they're not going to buy that this time around. >> nancy keenan, thank you for being with us. >> great to be with you. >> i have to think that what she was saying about the response to these things is on point to the way people reacting to all these measures and the way republican politics have changed so much on this issue in the last two years. why republicans have just kind of gone off the cliff in terms of contraception and the number of abortion restrictions and rape and incest and all this stuff. why the last two years have been so different than previous republican movement on this issue? nobody can explain it.
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democrats can't explain it. i still don't know. i will keep asking. frank rich is here for the interview. we'll be right back. what makes the sleep number store different? you walk into a conventional mattress store, it's really not about you. they say, "well, if you wanted a firm bed you can lie on one of those." we provide the exact individualization that your body needs. oh, wow! that feels really good. it's about support where you find it most comfortable. to celebrate 25 years of better sleep-for both of you - sleep number introduces the silver edition bed set, at incredible savings of $1,000 for a limited time. only at the sleep number store, where queen mattresses start at just $699. woman: what do you mean, homeowners insurance doesn't cover floods? [ heart rate increases ] man: a few inches of water caused all this? [ heart rate increases ] woman #2: but i don't even live near the water. what you don't know about flood insurance may shock you -- including the fact that a preferred risk policy
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sad news for newt gingrich today. today was the day we learned that of the last four candidates in the race for the republican presidential nomination this year, newt gingrich is the only one who did not win iowa. on election night the iowa republican party said that mitt romney had won the caucuses. then a couple of weeks later the iowa party said it was a tie.
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i mean no, we don't know who won. actually it turns out rick santorum won. now it turns out that ron paul won. ron paul won iowa. that's next.
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at this time tomorrow we will be getting in results from the very, very anti-climatic races. there's no one in the seat breathlessly awaiting the
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results of those primaries because the republican nomination appears to be all but sewn up. there continues to be off script moments on the republican side. things that run counter to the prevailing sense that the republican primary is stick a fork in it, done. newt gingrich kicking off a campaign swing. north carolina is not on the list of states that will be voting tomorrow. north carolina doesn't hold its primary until may 8th. newt gingrich is trying to win that one. the candidate ron paul drew a huge crowd despite driving rain. it has over 4,000 people over. can the main idea it's done. it's over. there are things going on in the republican side that make it
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seem like it's in the done, at least not totally done. perhaps the most thing is that i think ron paul just won iowa. seriously, this weekend. you'll recall that the iowa caucuses on the republican side were a bit of a disaster. >> the numbers we're receiving do not match from the county chairwoman. >> what do you mean the numbers don't match? >> i'll explain it to you. you go ahead and explain it. >> the numbers, i'm not questioning your numbers. i'm saying the numbers you're giving us now do not match the number the state central committee has reported from your county. if these are the final numbers from clinton county, but 437 now 386, we can stop right there.
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that would make romney the winner. >> 20 minutes after that strange middle of the night moment on cnn, this guy, the state republican party chairman until iowa officially declared that mitt romney won iowa. they declared him the winner by eight votes. eight votes by out of more than 120,000 cast. >> congratulations to governor mitt romney winner of the 2012 iowa caucuses. congratulations to senator santorum for a very close second place finish and an excellent race here. >> don't believe him for a second. about two weeks after that, the party released final certified results that said that mitt romney was not the winner. the iowa state republican party had changed its mind. they said there was no way to know who won and the results should be viewed as a tie and rick santorum had won. >> it's indisputable that the certify caucus results have rick santorum winning by 34 votes.
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>> you sure now? after all of that, the chairman resigned. now, 16 weeks after the voting happened and, now it appears that ron paul is the winner in iowa. iowa gets to send 28 delegates. the new guy is an avowed ron paul supporter. that's one ron paul delegate. this weekend the state nomination that picks 13 more of the delegates, that economy was won over by a majority of ron paul supporters. he's locked up half of iowa's delegates.
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14 of the 28 delegates are his. ron paul either wins iowa or worst case scenario, he ties for first place. while we're on the subject, looks like ron paul just won minnesota too. minnesota has 40 delegates total. this weekend ron paul won 20 of them. not all the rest of minnesota's 40 delegates have been allocated yet. with half of them locked up, he cannot come this worst than first. anything better than that, he wins outright. it should be noted he warned us this was going to happen. >> when the dust settles, i think there's a very good chance that we're going to have the maximum number of delegates coming out of minnesota. >> ron paul was right. nobody is getting more delegates than he did in minnesota or in iowa or in where ever this ron paul delegate strategy of his
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pays off. the main plot of the republican nominating process remains on script. mitt romney appears to be buttoning up the nomination, but it is not tidy. this weekend in texas, texas republicans met in their senate district party conventions, whatever those are, and this was no coronation for mr. romney. forget the beltway media narrative, forget the main script. the ron paul supporters were marching under the banner of warren g. harding. in 1920, warren g. harding went into the convention with the fewest delegates and walked without the nomination. he won on the tenth ballot. if it worked 92 years ago for the man that would become our 29th president, couldn't it work now in who know? if this race goes the way it has
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been, frank li newt gingrich is due to win iowa any day now. it's time to get going. to have the energy to turn a "to do" list into a memory. to put more giddy-up in our get-along. to keep stepping up even in overtime. it's time to start gellin' with dr. scholl's... ... and mix a little more hop in our hip hop. thanks to the energizing support and cushioning of dr. scholl's massaging gel insoles, your feet will feel so good... ... you'll want to get up and go.
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america meettony rudy. tony rudy was one of jack abramoff's guys. he was the first people to plead guilt in the saga. much of what we know about the jack abramoff enterprise was because of tony rudy singing to federal prosecutors once he turned himself in. even though jack has been to trial, been to jail and been released from jail, tony rudy has been stuck in judicial limbo for about six years until now. tony rudy has become the very last person to be sentenced in the whole jack abramoff saga. his punishment as handed down, five months in halfway house and three years probation. five months in halfway house but
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a lifetime in the history of washington scandal. this is the famous photo of jack abramoff. he's the guy left in the black baggy polo shirt. you can see his pal, ralph reed. that's also republican congressman bob nay of ohio. he turned that polo shirt in for prison stripes instead. they are seen here mugging for the camera at the st. andrews golf resort in scotland in 2002. this junket was a tony rudy joint. he helped organize the all expenses paid part of this trip. when he got home from the trip, he said the whole thing had been paid for by a group for the national center for public policy. that group denied paying for the trip but they were hip deep in the scandal.
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he served as an aid to tom delay in the mid-1990s. tom delay took a six day trip to russia. jack abramoff went along for the ride. tom delay said it was paid for and organized by the obscure washington, d.c. profit called the national center for public policy research. this organization funded all sorts of abramoff's activities. his goal was to search his clients by using corporate money to bribe members of congress to support legislation that favored whatever corporation that hired him. this group, the national center for public policy research was one of ways that abramoff funneled money or perks to various members of congress. he would have his client donate tens of thousands of dollars to this obscure forgettable group and then that group would
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bankroll an all expenses paid trip to scotland for tom delay. that six-day trip to russia, appears to have been paid for with money that was given to that group by his oil clients. it comes from an abramoff client. it gets paid off to members of congress but because there's this little forgettable organization in the middle moving the money, nobody is supposed to be the wiser about where the corporate money is ending up. it was the middleman between the corporate money and whatever legislative goal they were paying jack abramoff to arrange for them this congress. put a pin in that name for a second. today one of most significant developments in the how this country makes our laws department was that the consumer products corporation procter & gamble became the 13th major company to drop out of an
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organization called alec. it's a corporate funded group that promotes conservative legislation at the state level. corporations join alec. alec writes model legislation to serve the bottom line of those corporations. alec spoon feeds that legislation to mostly republican state legislatures across the country and those legislatures turn it into law. corporations get to pay for the result. they get to shield their influence through this third party group in order to achieve some policy goal. it's per spect set up. it was perfect until alec starts getting unwanted attention for pushing stuff like the stand your ground gun laws. laws that make it harder for people to vote as well. sure those things might be good for some corporations bottom line somewhere but how about the affect on the rest of us. alec announced they are disbanded their task force that pushed for things like the relaxed gun law and laws that make it harder to vote.
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alec is getting out of that part of their game. guess who is taking their place. a group called the national center for public policy research. that jack abramoff middleman organization that helped funnel cash and perks to members of congress, they have announced that they are taking over the voter i.d. stuff. they are launching a new voter identification task force in order to pick up where alec left off to keep pushing bills to make it harder for people to vote across this country. corporation money has warm its way into politics. could a scandal like that even happen today? would an oil company or whoever even bother with abramoff and the middleman.
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will they bother. why would they bother now that corporate money is not only almost all there is in politics? it's not only no longer illegal, it's not considered embarrassing anymore. would the scandals happen anyone? now nobody is ashamed of it any longer. frank rich joins us next.
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the new best thing in the world today which will make mitt romney psyched but make him declare that "the rachel maddow show" is a bunch of socialist softies.
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the white house does not want anything in the papers tomorrow about oil. or plastics. >> her whole position is green jobs. >> you love this. >> i'm not going to say i don't enjoy it. >> ladies and gentlemen, i want to welcome you all here tonight and thank you for coming. >> just a small change in the speech. >> what is that? >> plastics, talk to the president. white house doesn't want us mentioning oil or corn starch or plastics. just wing it. >> that's the entire speech. what's left here. i've got hello and prepositions.
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>> just wing it. joining us is frank rich. he has a new piece called sugar daddies. the old, rich white men that are buying this election. congratulations on this. it's great. >> thank you. it's been a lot of fun and working with great cast. trying to tell the truth about washington and make it funny, try to make it funny. >> you feel like because you have the -- because you get to use humor as your medium you can say harsher things? >> i think humor always works that way and allow you to say harsher things in my regular writing and the writers of veep can be really funny and use words that cannot used on this network because it is hbo.
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it's not television. >> we had to set up one of these systems that make sure it was tripled checked that the bleep was complete because i'm quite sure that nobody has kept their job after not bleeping that word on this network. you're talking about dark money in politics. you get at one of the things that is least appreciated about the distance between what we expected from citizens united and what we got. we all thought we would get elections brought to you by exxon. what we got to you is elections brought to you by sheldon adelson and foster friess and these individuals rather than corporations becoming overwhelmingly large players in terms of the money and elections. why is that? >> i don't want to minimize the role of corporations that you were just discussing because
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they are big players. there's a slight checks and balances on them. if they're a company like procter & gamble that dropped out of alec, they do have shareholders. they do have board members that might object to it. they also tend to give to both parties to protect themselves, so when a party that's out of party comes back in again, they can still fix everything. these sugar daddies, most of then republicans, don't have any of those obligations that someone running a fortunate 500 company would. they can do whatever they want and because of citizens united but other decisions and rulings they can give unlimited amount of money.
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might be weird health remedies and do all sorts of strange housewives sell at home and make money kind of schemes. and it's really, they're all regulated by government agency who is presumably will be defanged and have employees or friends or cronies of these sugar daddies in them if there's a romney presidency. >> the howard simmons example, i think, is interesting. because simmons has so clearly, and has been very overt about it, and part of the reason it's so clear is he admits it, is quite clearly used money in texas to get the regulatory climate that he wants for, for example, his giant nuclear waste dump. and some of the other things he wants to do. so he has had regulations not only stripped, but he's also had people who might have claims
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against him diverted into boards within the state -- within state agencies that could be easily stacked with people who have views that would be friendly to his business interests. do you see somebody, harold simmons or others, with their donations at the federal level than they've had in some of the states where they've been involved? >> i think they'd like to and i think they'd like to feather the nest of their friends and their cronies. i think they're in it in a bigger scale. a texan in the home building business has given a ton of money to rick perry over the last few years. he was able to influence regulation of home building in texas, but he's a big businessman. why wouldn't he want to have a bigger effect beyond texas? not that texas is small, but i think, you know, we'd see a lot of it. and some of them are up against federal regulated by federal agencies. like the federal trade commission, the securities and
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exchange commission or the department of justice in the case of some of adelson's gaming interests. >> you compiled this list, as you said, of about 25 different donors, giving more than $1 million, $1 million or more to super pacs during this cycle. is there anybody who you feel like really isn't famous, but ought to be? it is interesting to see these guys have an option to give anonymously. and in most cases, they're giving in ways where they can be found out. guys like foster friess and sheldon adelson seem to enjoy the attention. >> they give out outrageous quotes on the air to people like andrea mitchell. i think there are these guys in the health business like frank van der sloot, another one named lund, that should be known, because they sell products that some people watching tonight may have bought. sometimes they've been questioned by regulatory agencies about their practices or the viability of some of their products. yeah, they're dealing in consumer goods in the way that a procter & gamble might, but they're much more tightly held and not famous.
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>> do you think that over time we are going to see the emergence of this kind of thing on the left? do you think that the ultimately, over time, even in this election cycle, we're going to see as much money emerging in pro-obama ways, from zillion narrows, as has emerged for mitt romney and for the other republicans trying to unseat mr. obama on the right. do you think it's just a democratic lag or do you think we'll never see parody? >> i don't think we'll see parody. i think there are plenty of wealthy liberals who would want to give money to obama and some of them, like some people in showbiz already, might step up to the plate. but they don't seem, for whatever reason, maybe it's a character flaw, if you want to be cynical about it, they don't feel the need to sort of further their business interests in the same way through the political system. the right often cites george soros, who does have interest before the government. so far, that's the kind of person that might step up, but
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there aren't many of him and he may not. >> when you they think about politics in structural terms, when you think about people having zillions at their disposal, being able to influence elections almost infinitely, to the extent that money is speech, you end up with a structural disinclination in our politics to deal with the politics of anybody other than those at the very top. and it's hard to imagine a way out of this. >> it's pretty bad. and it furthers the inequality that's choking the system as it is. >> yeah. frank rich, "new york" magazine writer at large, executive producer of the new hit hbo show "veep," frank, congratulations. >> thank you. >> great to see you. we will be right back.
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a little bit of late-breaking news for you before we go tonight. recently, we've been reporting on a trend in the u.s., a sort
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of little-noticed and little-reported trent in the u.s. for states to turn away from capital punishment. this week connecticut is expected to become the fifth state in five years to get rid of the death penalty as a potential punishment for state prisoners in connecticut. but we have been told tonight that it is now expected that california voters will have the option in november of replacing the maximum sentence in california for murder. they will be replacing the the death penalty with a sentence of life in prison with no chance of parole. it's called the savings accountability and full enforcement for california act, the s.a.f.e. california act and we are told that it will be on the ballot in november, giving california voters the option to repeal that state's death penalty. member is under investigation as the secret service prostitution scandal