Tuesday, August 28, 2012

  • Party Time: RNC Awash in Corporate, Lobbyist-Funded Events for GOP Delegates and Lawmakers


    The Republican National Convention in Tampa is officially beginning today after Monday’s session was postponed due to Tropical Storm Isaac. But the storm did not stop the partying. Dozens of events have already been held across Tampa — mostly paid for by lobbyists and corporations taking advantage of loopholes. We’re joined by Keenan Steiner, staff writer at the Sunlight Foundation, a D.C.-based organization that promotes transparency in government. To keep track of the RNC’s sponsored events and parties, the group has launched a website called "Political Party Time." [includes rush transcript]

  • Ex-Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell Questioned on Vote Suppression, from ’04 to Wave of ID Laws


    A recent study by the Brennan Center estimates that new voter ID laws could disenfranchise more than five million people across the country in November, including voters in swing states such as Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Virginia and Wisconsin. On Monday, Democracy Now! producer Mike Burke spoke with a prominent supporter of the new voter IDs laws, Ken Blackwell, vice chair of the Republican National Committee’s platform committee and the former Republican secretary of state in Ohio. In 2008, Blackwell oversaw the election process for Ohio while serving as state co-chair of the committee to re-elect George W. Bush. His role in the Ohio election, which saw George W. Bush narrowly beat John Kerry, remains controversial to this day, making him the target of over a dozen lawsuits. [includes rush transcript]

  • As ID Laws Risk Disenfranchisement, Intimidation Fears Grow with Tea Party Group’s "Poll Watcher"


    A coalition of groups are planning to stage a protest outside the Republican National Convention today to decry new voter ID laws and cutbacks in early voting. To discuss voting rights ahead of November, we’re joined by two guests: the Rev. Charles McKenzie of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition and organizer of a protest today at Tampa’s Centennial Park in Tampa against voter suppression, and Brentin Mock, a ColorLines reporter covering the challenges presented by new voter ID laws, suppression of voter registration drives, and other attempts to limit electoral power of people of color. Mock’s latest article reveals how a tea party-backed organization called "True the Vote" is building a nationwide "poll watcher" network for November that critics say is designed to intimidate voters. [includes rush transcript]

  • Rachel Corrie’s Parents Denounce Israeli Military Exoneration for 2003 Killing in Gaza


    An Israeli judge has cleared Israel’s military of responsibility for the killing of the U.S. peace activist Rachel Corrie. A 23-year-old college student, Corrie was crushed to death by an Israeli army bulldozer in Gaza nine years ago. She was standing in front of a Palestinian home to help prevent its demolition. Today’s ruling came in a wrongful death civil suit brought by Corrie’s family, with the judge rejecting any negligence on the part of the driver and finding that Corrie’s death resulted from "an accident she brought upon herself." Today’s ruling follows an earlier internal Israeli army investigation that also exonerated the bulldozer drivers. The Corrie family had been seeking a symbolic $1 in damages, as well as legal fees. [includes rush transcript]

  • The Rise of Marco Rubio: Manuel Roig-Franzia on the Emergence of GOP, Tea Party’s Rising Latino Star


    Florida Senator Marco Rubio is known as one of the Republican Party’s rising Latino stars. The 41-year-old tea party favorite was a former top pick to be Mitt Romney’s vice-presidential running mate in this year’s election. Now he is slated to deliver a key speech at the Republican National Convention on Thursday, introducing Romney just before he accepts the Republican Party nomination for president. We’re joined by Manuel Roig-Franzia, a Washington Post reporter and author of "The Rise of Marco Rubio," a biography that tracks Rubio’s extraordinary personal story and political career, and exposed that a key part of Rubio’s story — that his family left Cuba as exiles forced off the island — was untrue. [includes rush transcript]

  • On Katrina’s 7th Anniversary, Tropical Storm Isaac Poses Biggest Test to NOLA’s Rebuilt Levees


    Tropical Storm Isaac is heading through the Gulf of Mexico, threatening to batter the Gulf Coast. Federal officials expect the storm to develop into a Category 1 hurricane and make landfall on Wednesday. The storm will mark the most serious test of New Orleans’ rebuilt levees in the seven years since Hurricane Katrina. We go to New Orleans to speak with Washington Post reporter Manuel Roig-Franzia. [includes rush transcript]

  • Comedian, Author Baratunde Thurston on Vote Suppression & Romney’s 0% Support from African Americans


    A recent poll by NBC and the Wall Street Journal found zero percent of African-American voters support Mitt Romney, compared to 94 percent supporting President Obama. Critics say Republicans have lost support among people of color by pushing controversial laws to crack down on undocumented immigrants and suppress voting rights. Democracy Now! producers Sam Alcoff and Amy Littlefield had a chance to discuss some of these issues when they ran into the black comedian and author Baratunde Thurston at the Republican National Convention in Tampa on Monday. Thurston is the author of "How to Be Black," and co-founder of the Black political blog "Jack & Jill Politics." [includes rush transcript]

  • Storm Cancels RNC’s First Day, But Hundreds Brave Tampa’s Wind and Rain to Protest GOP Agenda


    As the Republican National Convention is set to resume today, we turn now to some of the voices of people who marched on the RNC Monday in Tampa, Florida. The event was billed as a demonstration that would bring thousands into the streets, but it ultimately attracted hundreds of people. Conservatives had a field day on social media noting the low turnout. Meanwhile, organizers said that they may not have gotten the numbers they wanted due in part to the threat of a massive storm — but at least they showed up. By comparison, the RNC canceled the first full day of the convention completely due to the weather. Democracy Now! spoke with some of those who braved the driving wind and rain to protest the Republican summit. [includes rush transcript]

  • Workers at Bain-Owned Illinois Factory Bring Fight to Save Their Outsourced Jobs to Romney and RNC


    After repeatedly touting his business experience as an asset towards reviving the U.S. economy, Mitt Romney has been put on the defensive by Bain Capital workers who are fighting back against the outsourcing of their jobs. One hundred seventy workers at a Sensata Technologies plant in Freeport, Illinois — of which Bain is the majority owner — are calling on Romney to help save their jobs from being shipped to China. The factory manufactures sensors and controls that are used in aircraft and automobiles, but has been dismantling and shipping the plant to China piece by piece — even as it requires the workers to train personally their Chinese replacements, who have been flown in by management. We’re joined by two workers from the Sensata plant in Freeport, Illinois: Tom Gaulrapp and Cheryl Randecker. Both worked at Sensata for 33 years and were told their jobs would be terminated by the year’s end. [includes rush transcript]