tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC October 24, 2013 4:00am-5:00am EDT
ezra klein from the "washington post." thank you for joining us. the rachel maddow show starts now. good evening. >> thank you, chris. and thank you at home for joining us this hour. let's say i married john boehner. right now my i.d. says my full name, rachel ann maddow. the picture looks nothing like that. thanks for dressing it up. ifs i was going to become rachel ann boehner -- it's pronounced boehner, the state of texas for a long time, if i lived in texas and that's where i was marrying my john, the state of texas would have required me to change the name on my i.d. to effectively declare maddow to be my new middle name instead of ann. these days in most places you have a choice as to whether or not you want to do that. but in texas by law, well into the 20th century, well into the time a lot of our moms were getting married, the law required me to be rachel maddow
boehner. that was just the way you had to do it. and under texas law as of this week, that would mean that i would not be allowed to vote there. if i'm registered under the name rachel ann maddow or rachel maddow or rachel boehner, that would not exactly match what was on my i.d. because my i.d. by law had to say rachel maddow boehner. and therefore under the brand new texas voter i.d. law that has just gone into effect for the first time this week, as early voting starts for the november elections this year in texas, women in texas who have never done anything weirder under texas state law than get married and get the married lady i. that texas required them to get, women who have done nothing weirder than that in their lives are finding they are being blocked from voting because of this new texas voting. texas' new voting law makes you show documentation in order to
vote that you never had to show before. and it's such a strict law that before it went into effect this week there was worries that this married woman maiden name issue was going to block women from being able to vote or force them onto ballots. just yesterday the texas tribune posted a survey piece on people worries about the issue and ultimately concluded, ah, don't worry. they quoted a spokesperson reassuring people there's really nothing to worry about. there you see the headline. could name change spur voter i.d. issue? officials say no. that came out yesterday in texas. by last night this was the local news in corpus christi. >> good evening, everyone. katia is off this evening. at the top, the state's new voter i.d. law may be causing delays at your neighborhood polling place. especially if the name on your driver's license differs from the name on your voter registration card. even a little bit.
the county election officials say it's often a problem for women who use maiden names or hyphenated names. the problem came to light yesterday when a local district judge had trouble casting a ballot. the story is first at 6:00. >> what i have used for voter registration and for identification for the last 52 years was not sufficient yesterday when i went to vote. >> 117th district court judge sandra watts has voted in every election for the last 49 years. the name on her driver's license has remained the same for 52 years. and the address on her voter registration card or driver's license hasn't changed in more than two decades. imagine to her surprise when she was told by voting officials that she had to sign a voter affidavit, affirming that she was who she said she was. >> someone looked at that and said they're not the same. the difference, on the driver's license her middle name is her maiden name. on the voter registration it's
her actual middle name. >> this is the first time i've ever had a problem voting. i don't think most women know that this is going to create a problem. that their maiden name is on their driver's license, which was mandated in 1964 when i got married and this. and so why would i want to use a provisional ballot when i've been voting regular ballot for the last 49 years? >> while on the issue of voter fraud, we spoke with a district attorney about the prevalence of this crime in the county. >> i have never seen an issue of that in oasis county in all the years i've been here. >> in the nuasis county texas, i have never seen a problem like that. the voter fraud not really a problem in that county where it's happening. also in texas broadly voter
fraud is not really a problem. in texas over the last 13 years tens of millions of votes have been cast in that state. tens of millions. and the grand total of documented instances of showing up at the polls and pretending to be somebody else in texas is one. literally. not 1%. one guy. one guy for the whole state over 13 years. it's justification enough to change state law in texases so people like this lifelong texan, this judge who has been voting in the state for 49 years now has a huge hassle trying to vote in the state if she's allowed to vote at all. there are an estimated 1.4 million voters in texas who are eligible voters, who do not have the kind of documentation you're now required to show in order to cast a vote in that state. and that doesn't even count the people who do supposedly have the right documentation, they do have the right kind of i.d. like that judge, but the i.d. doesn't match in exactly the way it has to match now for you to be hay
lowed to vote anymore. and this is all coming into focus in texas this week because early voting has just started in the texas november elections. i have to say, there are precisely zero high stakes big publicity super motivating statewide issues on the ballot in the election in texas this year. this is a whole bunch of constitutional amendments about things like the number of days that aircraft parts are exempt from taxes. something about reverse mortgages that i'm sure is very important. nobody is expecting massive turnout for elections in texas. for people to vote on if there's a hospital board district. a few sprinkling of municipal elections happening in various places around the state. this is going to be a very low turnout election in texas this
year. you can track the voter turnout already and see in some precincts the total number of voters so far is like 13 or 26. so the problems the people are having voting right now under the new strict texas voter i.d. laws, these are quiet little problems happening here and there in a very, very low value yum election. but what is going to happen say next year? what is going to happen in the next big hot texas election? like say, the wendy davis for governor election or for that matter the next presidential election? of the at minimum 1.4 million texases who right now do not have the right kind of i.d. to be allowed to vote, texas republicans have said nobody should worry about whether or not the people will be able to cast their ballots because they will make sure, the republican state controlled government of texas will make sure that everybody who is an eligible voter but doesn't have an i.d. everybody will get one. they started what they described as statewide efforts to get everybody an i.d. starting in june. since then of the 1.4 million
voter who is are eligible but don't have an i.d. of the 1.4 million who have gotten the i.d. so they can vote is 50. that according to state of texas is the count ads of this evening. we called them and asked. 50 people out of 1.4 million. you want to do the math on what percentage of the problem is solved? there are two zeros after the decimal point before you get to start putting together other integers. tenths, hundredths, thousandths of a percent. but the reason they were able to change the law about voting is because of the united states supreme court. when the supreme court this summer gutted the voting rights act, texas was thereby freed of the burden of having to preclear changes in texas election law with the federal justice department to make sure that
those changes were not going to have a racially discriminatory effect. texas republicans had wanted to pass this voter i.d. law forever, but the justice department wouldn't clear them to do it because of the racially discriminatory effect. now that the voting rights act is gutted, though, texas gets to go ahead with what was too discriminatory for them to get away with in the past. at least for the time being. the justice department is suing to try to stop them after the fact. anyway. even though they couldn't stop them from putting it into effect in the first place. meanwhile, the same thing is underplace in north carolina where the gutting of the voting rights act freed republicans in that state to per sue their own version of not just a voter id bill but a crackdown on what the advancement project described as all the ways that african-americans in north carolina have gotten used to voting. in north carolina the republicans there have narrowed the window for early voting. they're putting new restrictions
on voter registration drives. they're making it harder for students to vote. they're ending same danger registration. they're even putting specific new limits on voting on sundays. which nobody has even tried to link to some voter fraud threat. but sunday do tend to be the days when they all go vote. the justice department is also challenging the north carolina law. they were never able to go ahead with this before the supreme court. and on the same day that judge in texas was getting turned away tr the polls because heaven forbid she once got married, on that same day north carolina republicans started to file their legal defense to all the lawsuits that they're facing challenging their new voter suppression law. and on the same day in north carolina as the state republican party was starting its defense of this law, which is expected
the to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of african-american voters in north carolina, on that same day, the republican party in north carina opened up a new north carolina office of african-american outreach to try to convince african-americans in north carolina that if they do vote, they really ought to be voting for the republican party. that's turning out to be a really big if. if you can vote, think about -- the influential reagan appointed conservative judge richard pausner who wrote the first federal court ruling okaying stricter voter i.d. laws. he said in an interview recently for the first time that he regrets that opinion. he said he did not realize when he wrote that landmark decision okaying voter i.d. laws that the effect could be so racially discriminatory. and that is nice to know at this point. but it's not his regret. it's his ruling.
even if hoe now says that ruling was wrong. the democratic party today announced a new national director of voter protection to work on these issues across the country. but in the meantime these issues are happening at the very local level. texas elections, for example, are under way with these new draconian and bewildering set of rules and for now at least it's being left to local officials operating precinct by precinct, town by town, county by county, to try to figure out how to make this new law work and how far they're going to have to try to stretch the law and try to work around it and work through it to let people who have been voting for years keep voting like they are used to doing. joining us now is one of those people who have involved in the struggle. tony pippins pool from dallas county. her state is searching for voters who do not have i.d. or who may run into problems with the i.d. they do have. dallas county decided to try to find the voters ahead of time and help them now so they will not get blocked at the polls.
it's great to have you here. thanks for being with us. >> thank you for having me here. >> so what prompted you in dallas county to make this decision to try to find out ahead of time which voters might have problems when they get to the polls because of this new law? why did you decide to take these extra steps? >> well, i have been working with the elections for over 25 years, and being in the polls, i've seen people come in with the voter registration cards, the certificate that we have for centuries given to voters as their i.d. i'm seeing some of the voters walk in with just that item because that's all they've had. i've seen the voters come in with expired driver's license, and that was acceptable in the past. so we realize there's going to be some issues. so we wanted to know just what we were facing with.
so we wanted to know how many of our voters did not have proper identification on our records. and also those who are looking at those that possibly have given us a driver's license for their records, but it's no longer valid for one reason or another. so we want to this make sure that those voters understand what they're going to faced with and be prepared so that they don't actually get turned away or have a failure or desire to go into the polling locations because they fear that someone is going to challenge their right to vote. we want to make it easier for the voters. so we want them to know what they need to face before they go into the polling place. >> it's interesting to hear you
say that from the perspective of a county official. one of the things that you wonder about in the state in terms of people's right to vote is whether or not your right to vote, your ability to actually get a ballot and cast your ballot at the polling place on election day is affected by where you live. i mean, under the law everybody should have equal access to the ballot in a statewide election. but it sounds like in dallas county with the outreach that you're doing, maybe people are going to have a better shot at actually voting than in some other counties that aren't being as proactive as you are. are you getting the sense that this will have some sort of patchwork effect statewide in texas? >> well, hopefully other counties will actually take the same approach to find out their particular voters that may have some issues and try to inform them of what they need to do in order to cast the ballot at those polling locations and also to be able to change your name
so you have a hassle free right to go into the polls without someone really scrutinizing your name by first name, former name, hyphen or even initial or a customary variation. you may have always been called bill for william or bob for robert. so we want people to understand that. we're also looking at an issue that women have had for years. they were able to register by mrs. john smith. now when you come in and your driver's license doesn't have or your i.d. doesn't have mrs. john smith, that's going to be an issue. and we have decided to identify those and send out notices to them to let them know that that's going to be problematic
at the polls. >> wow, it's going the be problemattic if you're named mrs. husband's name, mrs. with your maiden name. it's problematic if you have a nickname. it's problematic if you have a hyphen. it's problematic if you have any difference between any of the forms of i.d. that will be checked here. you have a big job on your hands, ma'am. i appreciate the proactive effort you're taking with it. i'm sorry you have to go there all of this. >> thank you. >> the dallas county elections administrator. it's great to hear what that is like on the ground. if this is a big deal high turnout? election right now, this is would be the hugest story in the country. it's because this is a low turnout election and this is sort of the dry run that these freak show stories about how people are being turned away, so far only looks like a local story but boy is this going to be a big deal in the long run. all right. we'll be right back. ♪
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just now been made public. congress goes forward in the budget process and all the rest, they have found a way to at one, to the rest of the republican men. dianne black of tennessee may be a rare woman among that sea of republican men, but dianne black does not want me to call her congresswomen. she wants you to call her congressman. she goes by congressman dan black. this is her official web site, diane black. also at the bottom, contact congressman black. a unique perspective to her work in washington. the republicans have added a woman to their roster of men, and with the addition of dianne black, you're free to describe the group as a group of congressmen, even though they
remember this guy? not a superhero or a wrestler who looks good in primary colors, but note the placement of the stars amid the blue and red. he calls himself the southern avenger. this guy is back, or at least his brand of southern republican politics is back. hold on. that story is next. maybe you've noticed.
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this is a national group headquartered in virginia that call themselves the largest and most influential women's political organizations in the country. the national federation does have chapters all across the country. every year they hold a board of directors meeting that is theirs for the year. and 2010 they held their meeting in charleston soh carolina. the thing that they chose was a southern experience. boy, did they mean that. a very specific kind of southern experience which led to photos like this one and a lot of embarrassment for the group at the time. what is interesting is that it happened in 2010. the guy in what became the iconic photograph of the republican women's group plantation colusa in south carolina in 2010, that guy, the white guy in that photo was a republican state senator in the
great state of south carolina. did this picture of him, did this embarrass him at all? to the contrary. he is no longer a state senator. he is now the lieutenant governor of the great state of south carolina, which i'm sure is great for him. it does put a fine point on this question of whether or not being seen as a neo confederate, pining for an reenacting and singing the praises of the confederacy is an embarrassing thing for conservatives, for republicans, even elected republican officials. a run the same time the national federation of republican women was having their southern experience on a fake plantation in 2010, governor bob mcdonnell in virginia did seem to be embarrassed, and eventually, when he issued a proclamation honoring confederate history month.
government donald's did not mention celebrity. it they had found a way to note confederate history month when it happened while also acknowledging that, yeah, the confederacy thing did have something to do with slavery, and that's not the part we are commemorating. he just left the slavery part out. after a national kerf awful, he retroactively did go back and added a reference to slavery. it was this past year when kentucky republican senator, rand hall, held on for a really long time in his own scandal before he got in there is enough to do something about it. this is a guy known as the southern avenger, a commentator and pundit who wears a confederate flag wrestling mask and opined about avenging the south. he wrote about how john wilkes booth was right, he of course assassinated abraham lincoln. when everybody started to learn about what he used to do before he was working for rand paul, he
tried to dismiss his confederate leanings as a youthful indiscretion, something that was goldman's. in fact, less than a year before rand paul had hired him, he was still writing about how he supported the idea of how the old confederacy was rising again, southern secession today. eventually rand paul did finally get too embarrassed about it, and he had to go. but he held on for a long time defending him before he had to cut him off. right now we are at a moment in republican politics of deep turmoil. in one specific part of the republican party, it's not what it is for the rest of the country. in one specific part, the problem is not that we just had a shut down. the problem is that it ended and we did not hit the debt ceiling. that is the problem. their problem is that anybody who voted to end the shut down and not hit the debt ceiling is obviously a trader who needs to
be run out of the party. the highest profile incumbent senator to be primary from within the republican party is thad cochran. when his challenger announced he would run against him in a primary this past week, he said he would run against him because he committed the unpardonable sin of raising the debt ceiling. when he said he was going to primary him because of that, this new opponent was endorsed by a bunch of other pro shut down groups that have been fanning this insurgency inside republican politics. now we know that the guy they picked and endorsed against sitting mississippi republican senator, his challenger spent the summer with these guys. this is a local mississippi chapter of the sons of confederate veterans, a very pro confederacy group that buys billboards wishing a happy birthday to confederate heroes
like jefferson davis, president of the confederacy during the civil war. that is not what they call it. they call it the war of southern independence. this is a newsletter for that pro confederacy group. here is another one. southerners have less reason to be loyal to the connected enterprise of the united states than does any group of citizens. the state was invaded when it tried to uphold the original and correct understanding of the declaration of independence and the constitution. correct. that group posted mississippi republican state senator, kris daniel as the keynote speaker at one of their recent events. kris daniel, the guy who conservatives have rallied behind. he also appeared at another event held by the same confederate group featuring attendees dressed in confederate uniforms.
the web site, mother jones, reported on this today. chris mcdaniel said he has driven across mississippi to speak to many groups over the past decade. it is an interesting question whether being associated with the confederacy, not just with the south, but with southern, white secession. interesting question as to whether being associated hurts individuals elected officials. there is also this question of whether we should think of the insurgent movement inside the republican party right now as a brand-new thing. the tea party is a brand-new name we put on some conservatives. we never used to call them southern, borderline. that special name until now. could we think of what is going on inside the republican party has essentially just a continuation of these old neo confederate boys who have consisted on or off the radar for a very long time now?
are we just experiencing another upswing in the legitimacy of these groups in republican politics? at least for now republicans may not being affiliated with these guys. this close to the mainstream in republican politics. is this tea party thing just a new name for something that is not really new? joining us now is a professor of government of sociology and co-author of the 2-party and the remaking of republican conservatives. thanks for being with us. >> very nice to be here. >> as there always been a neo secessionist under current among to party activists, or is this a new phenomenon? should we see this as separate things? >> it's striking that it's so visible right now, but from the beginning of the tea party outburst in 2009 and 2010, there were always ties in the grassroots part of the tea party
to various fringe extremists, anti-government groups, militias in the west, the john birch society in parts of the country. i'm sure all along there have been ties to various confederate commemorative groups, groups that talk about secession as a way to express their alienation from the things the federal government is doing under democrats estimate how much continuity do you see between the affiliations between people who identify and the people, hard-line conservative elements of the republican party that we did not used to think of as a separate and competing force? >> keep in mind that the tea party right now is not one thing. it has a bottom up component of grassroots activists, and half or more of the voters across the
united states say they are republicans. it's also got a series of top down groups, opportunistic way jumping on and goaded on and leveraged this grass-roots phenomenon. those are long standing groups like americans for prosperity and freedom works, the new heritage action operation that former senator jim demint leads. those are about pushing low taxes, removal of regulation, blocking environmental -- at the grassroots, we found in our research, and others have too, that the active lists and the people who identify with the tea party all are longtime conservative minded people with deep ties going back to earlier popular movements on the far right. >> that structural explanation of the historical continuity, at
least among some of the people we think of as being part of this new phenomenon, that leads me to believe that all of this hyperventilating and huffing and puffing right now with people in my profession that the tea party is done for and that they have been discredited, this shutdown was so bad for them that the mainstream republicans will snuff them out and get rid of them. that seems to be overstated. >> keep in mind that the 2-party has this combination of top down and bottom up forces pushing on the republican party. for that matter, taking over a bunch of the republican party. it doesn't depend on general popularity in the country to get its clout, to get its leverage. >> right. >> a lot of media commentators declared it did again and again. they indeed are, but the question is whether republicans
are frightened of these people or are often identified with them, a part of them. >> thank you very much for helping us understand this. it's good to have you with us. >> nice to be here. >> we will be right back. big plans. so when i found out medicare doesn't pay all my medical expenses, i looked at my options. then i got a medicare supplement insurance plan. [ male announcer ] if you're eligible for medicare, you may know it only covers about 80% of your part b medical expenses. the rest is up to you. call now and find out about an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan, insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company. like all standardized medicare supplement insurance plans, it helps pick up some of what medicare doesn't pay. and could save you in out-of-pocket medical costs.
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tylenol cold® helps relieve even your worst cold and flu symptoms, so you can carry on with your day. but for everything we do, we know you do so much more. tylenol cold®. this was the headline in the "boston globe" the headline was girlfriend screamed they're all dead. waltham killings likely not random. on september 11, 2011, three young men were murdered in a boston suburb of waltham in a particularly gruesome fashion. on a dead end street these three young guys were found with their throats slit with their bodies in three rooms of one house. their bodies were essentially staged at the crime scene. they were all found facing down
with their heads all turned in the same direction all in different rooms but their heads were all facing the same angle as was their bodies and all over their bodies was strewn marijuana. also found was $5,000 in cash left behind along with the drugs by the killer or killers. whoever killed these young men left the money and the drugs and weirdly staged the scene and fled. the bodies were discovered the following day when the girlfriend of one of the victims came into the apartment and ran out into the street screaming they're dead, they're dead, they're all dead. from the beginning police said publicly this was a drug crime. they said those guys were involved in drugs and that's why they were killed that night in waltham. but that murder in 2011 remained unsolved with no reported leads and no suspects and no arrests. it remained that way for almost
two years until this year when another young man was killed. this time in orlando, florida. he was shot to death we think by the fbi. after he was killed in the presence of fbi agents in massachusetts state troopers who were interviewing him in his apartment in orlando whether he was connected to the boston marathon bombing. after they killed him anonymous law enforcement officials leaked to the press he confessed to the horrible and gruesome triple murder in waltham. he confessed that he and the older of the two boston marathon suspects killed those three young men in waltham. mystery solved? that was just one leaked piece of information that we learned after he was shot and killed in florida. waltham murder solved. the dead guy/dead guys did that murder. you don't have to worry about
that any more. but everything about the shooting has been sketchy and self contradicting. he was said to have been shot because he had a knife. then the leak changed. he didn't have a knife but some kind of blade. within 12 hours, then two law enforcement sources recanted, took back what they said about the knife or blade and said they didn't know what happened at all. the new sources said that he was totally unarmed when he was shot and killed by law enforcement officers. but maybe he overturned a table. maybe that's why they killed him. time for a new leak. no he had a pole, it's a broom because of all this contradictory information leaked by law enforcement sources over time and no official on the
record information to clear this up, this is how reporters have to hedge. you get leads like this, some allege that he wielded a knife, a sword, a blade, or a broom stick. other says he was unarmed. so the fbi shoots and kills someone in his home in the united states. the first we hear of it. the first we hear of this guy at all is law enforcement sources telling us we killed this guy but we also solved the waltham murders. he did it and told us but then we killed him but that's a long story. they offer reasons for why they killed him. but they anonymously are assuring everybody, trust us, he said he was a murderer. maybe that is true or maybe none of is it true. none of it is on the record or provided by named sources. this is a baffling and terrible case, all of it. the weirdest to the boston bombing story.
today finally though there was a new revelation and on the record for the first time. prosecutors in the ongoing boston marathon bombing case have now stated on the record that the guy they killed in florida told them not that he had anything to do with the waltham murder but that the boston bombing suspect did. there was no mention in the court filing of him killing them himself but at least now for the first time, we have at least hearsay evidence about somebody who might have been involved in that triple killing. some family members of the waltham victims have spoken publicly about the lack of official information to them. even with law enforcement implicating in the crime the guy they shot in florida, the victims families have criticized law enforcement for killing that guy especially if he was responsible he could have stood trial.
as for the friends and loved ones of the guy killed in florida this is the part where it is sketchier. one of his friends was arrested and denied a lawyer. he was asking for one probably because his friend had been shot and killed by the fbi when he was questioned with no lawyer present. he is still in custody in florida. the girlfriend, the other person who lived in the house where he was killed, she gave this interview and revealed that she, herself, was arrested ahead of her boyfriend being shot and on the day the fbi killed him they moved her into solitary confinement. after giving the boston magazine that interview she was arrested again. she says it is because she talked to the media and she is now in moldova. if you want to meet her, she was deported there october 11th. this is a story that does not feel possible. it is not supposed to feel possible at least in this country. a man is shot and killed by government agents in his home.
there is an information blackout. no one is arrested for killing him or charged. local authorities say they have no jurisdiction and federal authorizes, except leaking to the press that the guy they killed is a terrible guy. his friends are harassed, arrested and deported in part for speaking to the press about it. no government official is compelled to tell the public what happened. two months ago, the state attorney in florida announced that he would investigate what happened in this killing since it happened in his jurisdiction in florida. we have not heard one peep from that investigation. and the fbi is conducting an internal investigation into the shooting. why was this unarmed lone guy shot maybe up to seven times during an interview where multiple law enforcement officers were present? an internal fbi investigation might be a comfort to the
families of the victims who were murdered to know that the fbi will at some point provide answers for this man who knew something about this crime. maybe the fbi will explain why they killed him before he could say what he knew. and it might be a comfort to the family who wants to know why their son was killed without a trial in the united states if he was indeed a suspect in a murder, a confessed suspect. it might be comforted to know that the fbi is conducting an internal investigation if we did not also know what tends to happen when the fbi does this self investigations. for the past two decades, for 20 years and 150 cases where fbi agents shot and killed or wounded someone, every single one was deemed justified by the fbi's internal review process. no fbi agent has been unjustified in shooting someone in the last 20 years if you ask the fbi. maybe it was justified this time, maybe not. in the meantime we have to keep guessing.