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tv   Power Politics  Al Jazeera  October 18, 2014 5:30pm-6:01pm EDT

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full force for the mid-term elections. the future of the guantanamo prison remains in question five years after the president promised to close the facility. and nigeria's deal with boko haram, all of that and more straight ahead on "al jazeera america." . >> today on "power politics" october surprise: ebola. >> this is the responsibility of our elected officials to actually protect this nation. >> as public confidence erodes, the president tries to contain the damage. >> we are surging resources into dallas to examine what exactly has happened. >> plus, senate battleground kentucky, mcconnell dodges on obamacare. >> i think it's fine to have a website. >> andrantic challenger gets hammered for refusing to reveal
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who she voted for. >> every kentuckian has the right for privacy at the ballot box. >> fangate in florida. >> governor scott will not be a part is -- participating in this debate. >> including -- >> a debate about a fan? are we going to talk about education and the environment and the future of our state? >> the latest 2014 campaign adds i am manny pachau. >> all that and more on "power politics." i am david shuster with just over two weeks until the mid-term elections. voter anxiety over ebola is now spilling into the political campaigns. this week, two dallas nurses had been infected with the virus president obama cancelled political meetings. >> we are monitoring, supervising, over seeing in a much more agressi way exactly
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what's taking place in dallas initially in making sure that the lessons learned are it then transmitted to hospitals and clinics all across the country. >> even officials at the centers for disease control said they aren't sure yet what those lessons are. when with mr. obama's approval rate down to 40% in one poll, the worst in his presidency, lawmakers are opening fire. >> people's lives are at stake. >> immigrately concerned as congresswoman degett expressed, the administration did not act fast enough in responding in texas. >> that second congressman, bruce braley, a democrat runic in iowa from los angeles, al jazeera political con transitbutor, michael schor. how much is to show opportunity with an unpopular president? >> some is driven that way. bruce braley. it's almost a gift to bruce braley, these hearings are
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because he can go back to iowa and can do what he is being hammered for not doing, which is separating himself from the president and go back there. and i am sure that sound byte is going to be cut into an ad that may be airing already in iowa david because it gives him an opportunity. a lot of these republicans have been trying to tie an unpopular president, as you said, to the candidate against whom they are running, often sitting senators already. >> that's a big problem for democrats. it's a line that they have to tow. it's a series of local elections. so the president plays better in some places than he does in others. but balancing it right now is huge. so this does give them an opportunity to say, hey. the administration didn't do or isn't doing what they should be doing. and that's a little bit of a currency for them. >> some democrats have tried to hit back at the republicans running campaign ads related to ebola noting that republicans cut the budget, the national institutions of health, juxtaposed saying the virus has been hurt. >> there are outbreaks happening
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today that were not able to recognize and stop as effectively as we should be able to. >> cut. >> cut. >> cut. >> cut. >> cut. >> cut. >> cut. >> make a cut. >> michael, that line, republican cuts kill, is that resonating with voters? >> well, it is. >> that's just the kind of thing that will resonate. you have to remember now, david, there is such a short period of time between now and election day so, these quick sound byte type a ds are the kinds that are going to resonate, that are going to make a difference. you know, david, do you know who boris lushniak is? rear admiral? i did not either when i woke up this morning. he is the acting surgeon general. that's because since july of 2013, we haven't had a surgeon general in this country. >> that's something that the democrats are trying to
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capitalize on. there is nobody to oversee this, the president appointing ron klein and the ebola zar these things happening because democrats are saying budget cuts and an intransigent congress but the democrats are able to make hay out of this, it will be something for them. >> you mentioned the congressional oversight hering this week where top officials were some oned to testify about the government's response. republican congress woman marsha blackburn from tennessee tried to turn this into a boarder issue. watch. >> do we need to worry about having an unsecure southern and northern border? is that a big part of this problem? >> i was referring to the border of the three countries in africa. >> you are referring to that border, not our porous border? >> in sierra leone? >> would it help you all, the border patrol, if we secured the southern border and eliminated illegal entry. >> travel is coming across the southern border like the
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northern border, we are going to query their travel history, how they arrived in the country. >> yes or no was sufficient. >> doh. the effort to link ebola to illegal immigration from mexico. what was up with that? >> right. this is a congress woman with sort of a one-track mind on immigration and someone who has spent a good deal of time in public denying science for better or worse or having trouble with science. so remember bill ny, the science guy, and marsha blackburn got into it together on the air over climate change. it was interesting her to drop the northern border because i am sure that's the first time that she has ever worried about canada. very seriously, what the republicans are trying to do is link the sort of the spread of ebola as a scare take it and en lindsey graham last week linked it to the spread of isis and how the president is unable to to do anything about the spread of
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isis and seemingly unable at that time gram said about the spread of ebola. it is like we just talked about, david. it's two weeks of just cramming this down the throats of undecided voters and people who are just getting into it a little late. and sometimes, that is for better or worse effective. >>ays's michael shor. thank you. according to democratic strategists, there are some key economic statistics that explain why president obama and his party have lost some credibility. first, despite record corporate profits in a lengthy bull market on wall street, research reports that median household is about 5% lower than it was in january 2009 when the president took. secondly while the u.s. economy has been creating about 225,000 jobs per month, most of the new jobs are paying less than the jobs that disappeared. incomes are only rising about 2% per year, and that is about the same as inflation. >> means workers cannot get ahead and that the gap between
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the wealthy and the middle class keeps growing. driven by all of this, several democratic senators facing a tough reelection are trying to highlight their index from president obama, colorado's mark udall is reminding voters he stood up to government surveillance. >> taking on presidents bush and obama, the denver post praises mark udall's crusade. our rights include the freedom to be left alone. and that's why i approve this mention. >> colorado republican cory gardner, though, is on the attack, accusing udall and the white house of marching mostly in lockstep. >> senator udall's brand of politics divides us, keeps us from fixing obama's failures. when my party is wrong, i will say it. when something is broken, i will fix it. >> democrats have treed repeatedly to energize women voters by talking about gardner's record against abortion rights. the effort to drive up voter concern about social issues is
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also on display in arkansas. incount incumbent myer pryor is trying to hold on against challenger tom cotton. >> the violence against women act helps women get the resources that they need. when tom cotton voted against it, he turned his back on arkansas women. >> meanwhile, in alaska, the battle is between democratic incumbent senator mark begich and dan sullivan. >> alaska women can't trust dan sullivan. he transferred power over women's private choices to the government, taking away a woman's right to an abortion. he has pledged to give employers control over birth control coverage. >> abortion rights are also now the focus in new hampshire. >> scott brown says: ? >> i am proceed choice. >> way too often, that's nots how he votes. scott brown responseod a bill so employers could deny women insurance coverage for birth control. >> standard colldemocratic play. in south dadakota, the senate re has become al campaign that
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could determine the balance of pour in washington. this is a three-way race featuring rick wylan, trailing his opponents, is independent rather pressler, a former republican senator who has pledged not to caucus with republicans or democrats in warrant. pressler is now even with republican candidate mike rounds. rounds, the crain governor, was supposed to cruise in this race but he is having trouble, and democrats are now spending a million dollar to attack rounds over controversies like an investment scandal. >> after using a beef packing plant to sell citizenship to wealthy chinese investors, rounds gave tax breaks to a shady offshore corporation to keep the scheme afloat. mike rounds, schemes, special favors, investigations. >> if rounds loses and republicans don't pick up south dakota, their path to the majority in the u.s. senate becomes steeper. in several competitive house races, the top issue involves the candidate's character or lack of character.
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colorado democrat andrew roman-off is getting hit with this: >> andrew romanoff, the dishonest spending politician who cares about himself. in congress, he will fit right in. >> in new york, democrats are reminding voters that republican depressionman michael grim is under a 20-count federal criminal indictment. >> on top of all of that, i have an election to win. i will not abandoned my post. >> michael, what is wrong with you? >> you have lost a lot of credibility. >> he's not the guy. >> he's not the guy. >> he's not the guy i thought he was. >> the latest poll suggest grimm is leading this campaign. why? because his democratic independent has often sounded inartic look at. here he is explaining his experience on foreign policy. >> when i was on the local school board, i ran appear student exchange program with japan for the students of his district that he represents. all right? with japan. i have been to israel. i have been to many, many
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countries across this world. >> that's right. he got lam pooned by jon stewart on the daily show. >> that's not a way to help your campaign two weeks before the election. >> just ahead, drowning kids and wheelchairs. we will look at the impact in the week's most controversial political ads. in many states, you are going to need an identification to vote. the latest after this. >> i wanted to be in on the big >> many of these involved
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florida, mattered and virginia are among the won'tstarts for voter times. voters during the 2012 election had to wait 25 to 35 minutes to cast a ballot. the gao found 12% of voters in florida, virg and maryland waited 61 minutes or more to vote. sometimes outside in chilly weather election officials in these states are promising improvements during the mid-terms. on the flip side, voters in alaska enjoyed the shortest wait times: on average. >> less than a minute and a half. in many places across the country, voting is going to require you present an identification be al jazeera's lisa stark reports.
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>> reporter: duchess is filling out the paperwork to make sure she can vote next month in virginia. she has never missed an election. >> why is it important for you to vote? >> that's my right. i think we have earned those rights to vote. >> this year, she needs it he something new, a photo id, something she does not have. >> look at the camera, 1, 2, 3. >> officials are heading out to senior and community centers to register voters and offer free voter identification cards. >> i think it's great that we are providing it free of charge. definitely. just, you know, we want people to come out and vote. and if this is one of the requirements, hey, let's help them out. have that photo id. >> in virginia, a host of ids are allowed including employee identification cards and student ids. a number of other states are much more restrictive. >> in texas, for example, voters must have a government-issued
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id. so a permit to carry a concealed gun is okay. but not a student id. those fighting the texas law say about 600,000 registered voters may not have the right identification. many of them, minorities. >> we as americans don't want politics manipulating the rules of the game such that some are voting and some aren't. >> last week, a district court judge ruled the texas law unconstitutional saying it discrip natures against blacks and hispanics. this week, a higher court allowed the texas regulations to proceed saying its too close to the election to retrain polling workers. voter id laws in pennsylvania and arkansas have been struck down by state courts and the u.s. supreme court has blocked a wisconsin law. even though studies have consistently shown there is little evidence that voter fraud is a problem, supporters of the id laws argue: they serve an important purpose. >> to secure our election
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process and make sure we have fair and free elections. we are one of the only countries in the world or the western democracies that doesn't uniformly require a voter id. >> for now, states with id laws are waiting to see what happens on november 4th. >> you really have no idea how this is going to play out on election day? do you? >> we really don't but we know that we will assist our voters in any way that we can. >> the battle over the c constitutionalty of these laws will continue long past the election. >> lisa stark, al jazeera, arlington, virginia. >> now, to the kentucky senate race, if republican senate incumbent mitch mcconnell wins re-election and republicans take control the senate, mcconnell will become the next senate majority leader. he has been trying to portray his opponent as an obama clone n terms, grimes has refused to say if she voted for president obama. and she stood firm this week at
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a debate. >> you won't answer that question tonight? >> again, you have that right. senator mcconnell has that right. every kentuckian has the right for privacy at the ballot box. >> mcconnell promptly turned grimes' position into an attack ad. >> did you vote for president obama? 2008? 2012? >> you know, thisly. >> she refused to answer. >> dodging whether she voted for president obama. >> kentuckians expect her to cast a tough vote on anything? >> that is a tough ad. the problem for mcconnell is that he's also refusing to answer certain questions that may impact the lives of kentucky voters. senate mcconnell has refused to take a clear position on raising the minimum wage, extending the earned income tax credit. he refuse to see say whether climate change is real or whether kentucky's obama care program known as "connecticut" should continue. >> you would support the continuation of connecticut? >> it's a state decision. it's several states. >> would you support it?
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>> that's fine. yeah. i think it's fine to have a website. yeah. >> well, it's also insured 521,000 doctor? >> no, it hasn't. >> 85,000 of those are in the private insurance market. what would you do with them? >> what would he do? mcconnell wouldn't say. there is a bus of nuns driving across the country ahead of the mid-term elections. instead of spreading the gospel, they are encouraging people to get out there and vote, and they are trying to bring attention to so-called dark money, anonymous campaign donations. kill berly hall connection joined the numbers from louisville to lexington. >> it's just after sunrise and sister simone campbell and her fellow nuns are heading to a political rally in lexington, kentucky. they organized this bus tour to tell apathetic residents that on election day next month, the issues of ordinary voters still matter. >> i think what big money is doing, one is scaring people, to keep them ahead. on there is a lot of negativity and arero and fear.
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>> do you -- >> for months, residents have been bombarded with anonymous t.v. ads paid for by rich donors hoping to sway the vote in kentucky and ultimately, the make-up of the u.s. congress. the catholic sisters say the conservative industrialists charles and david koch are footing the bill for as in kentucky through a foundation known as americans for prosperity to influence how voters will cast their ballots. >> but it's not just the political right that is flooding this u.s. election campaign with secret spending. it is also the left. liberals and conservatives are spending tennessee of millions of dollars to influence thely's the outcome. >> according to data filed with the u.s. federal election commission, a liberal group calling itself patriot majority is doing its best to sway the vote. >> cutting social security and medicare may be mitch mcconnell's plan. >> one expert said almost untraceable election spending is roughly eight times greater than
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four years ago. >> a small number of wealthy elites are having an incredible influence on the process. what that means is not only that they change the nature of the debate in an election. you know, they define what is discussed. >> and because it is 100% legal, voters say they feel they no longer have a voice in u.s. politics. >> i think the corporations are trying to take over. they are trying to control us. >> we could have sure used that money someplace else. >> so the sisters are setting up registration drives to inspire residents to vote. they say their efforts are shining a light on issues important to the working class like raising the minimum wage. >> for the first time in a decade or so, we are talking about poverty in our nation. we are talking about the needs of those who are most left out, the holy spirit is using it all to hopefully wake us up as a
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nation. >> she says america's working and middle class can counter the dark money in u.s. politics if they vote. kimberly halkett, al jazeera, lexington. this week saw the release of the most controversial campaign ad so far this year. in texas, democratic gubernatorial candidate accused greg abbot of being a hypocrite but it's the imagery that has generated so much controversy. >> a tree fell on greg abbot. he sued and got millions. since then, he spent his career working against other victims. abbot argued a woman whose leg was amputated was not disabled because she had an art official limb. he ruled against a rape victim who sued a corporation for failing to do a background check on a sexual predator. >> greg abbot shrugged off the attack and suggested it would probably backfire. >> it's her choice if she wants to attack a guy for being in a
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wheelchair. i don't think it's going to sell too well. >> wendy davis held a news conference with disabled texans and said the point is not anybody's disability but greg abbott's character. >> that ad seeks to point out the hypocracy in who he is. >> meanwhile, in california this week, the controversial ad came in an attack of democratic governor jerry brown. challenger neil kashkary feature add drowning child. >> he is the one losing oxygen, though n california. polls show him behind by double digits. just ahead, short-circuited, rick scott may lose this election thanks to an embarrassing debate over his opponent's floor fan. and there is nothing quite like a gubernatorial debate in vermont. we will show you why after this.
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♪ the political world was in disbelief in one of the strangest debate moments. it happened in the florida governor's race, charlie chris stood on stage for several minutes alone because republican governor rick scott refused to join him there. here is the debate moderator.
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>> governor chris has asked to have a fan, a small fan placed underneath his podium. the rules of the debate that i was shown by the scott campaign say that there should be no fan. somehow, there is a fan there, and for that reason, ladies and gentlemen, i am being told that governor scott -- >> really? >> will not join us for this debate. >> after a couple of seconds, chris began to ridicule scott's absence. one-of the moderators asked chris if he was violating debate rules. >> so the rules that the scott campaign just showed us that says that no electronics can be used. >> are we going to debate about a fan? are we going to talk about education and the environment and the future of our state? i mean really. >> that seems to be enough for governor rick scott who likely heard the applause backstage
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about 30 seconds later, he headed towards the stage. one of the first questions to the candidate: fangate. >> why did you insist on bringing a fan here when your campaign knew this would be a con tentious issue? [applause.] >> why not? >> you know, is there anything wrong with being comfortable? i don't think there is. having compassion with other people? we did fine. thank you. >> governor scott, why the delay in coming out over a fan? >> i waited until we figured out if he was going to show up. he said he wasn't going to come -- he said he was going to come to the debate. so why come out until he is ready? >> hum? republican strategist noted that scott not only embarrassed himself with the delay. he fumbled the explanation. ouch. in vermont democratic governor peter shumlin has a double digit lead in the race. his race got little attention until this week's debate
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nationally broadcast on c-span featuring all seven candidates. in vermont, an application and 500 signatures gets you on the ballot and each candidate on the ballot gets invited to the debate. this year, that included 78-year-old liberty union founder peter diamondstone who has run more than 20 times for governor. judging by the shorts he was wearing, he may have benefitted from charlie crist's fan. he believes political repress is similar to hong kong. she is running for u.s. house seat in case the governor's race and her hat don't pan out. emily payton is a self described organic politician. she hopes to build the first hemp creek building like concrete but made out of hemp. bernie peters is running as an independent. importantly what he said was not covered in the media as much as his astouning resemblance to someone in duck dynasty. republican scott milne is running second in the polls.
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from the start, he made a little bit of a gaffe. watch. >> my name is scott milne. he i am a third-generation, born in vermont. i take that back. i was born in brooklyn. i got here about 90 days after he was born. my dad was a -- -- in law school. my mom was a new yorker. not exactly passionate speaker. this is his first campaign for public. chris christie preparing a 2016 presidential campaign just explained in a speech why he will never run for the u.s. senate. >> i would rather die than be in the united states senate. i would be boared to death. can you imagine me banging around with 99 other people asking for a motion on an amendment in a subcommittee? forget it. you would watch me walk out and walk into the potomac river and drown. >> what an image that is. >> that's our show for today.
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a reminder to our viewers. in most states, early voting for the 2014 mid-term has now begun. i am david shuster on behalf of all of us at "power politics," thanks for watching. with feesh of ebola running high, hospitals across the country assure the public they are prepared. >> you shouldn't have to start your training when it gets here. >> in west africa, it's a desperate struggle against long odds. the supreme court upholds texas restrictive voter identification law. in hong kong, protesters line the streets refusing to give up dreams of democratic reform. it has been five years since the president

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