tv ABC World News With Diane Sawyer ABC October 25, 2010 4:30pm-5:00pm PST
tonight on "world news" from california -- final stretch, nerves on edge. why did this democrat take on the president? and we interview former ebay president meg whitman pouring it on in california against a surging jerry brown. road test -- is california about to legalize marijuana? see what happens when reporters get high and try to drive. cholera in the water -- dr. richard besser in haiti testing the water haitians have no choice but to drink. and shining moment -- something new at homecoming balls. kings and queens with huge smiles and huge hearts. ia, wher
of the vote. but today's trip did not display the kind of democratic unity he might have hoped for the week before the election. with much focus on democratic gubernatorial candidate frank caprio, whom the president did not endorse because he's fond of the independent candidate. >> he can take the endorsement and shove it. >> reporter: rancor was rampant. in alaska, incumbent senator lisa murkowski, running as a write-in candidate, took on republican nominee and tea party favorite joe miller. >> what would your instructors, what would your classmates at west point say about how well you have lived up to your code of honor? joe is not fit to lead. i have been leading -- [ boos ] i have been leading this state -- [ boos ] >> reporter: operatives from both parties hope the discord doesn't dampen multimillion dollar get out the vote efforts. targeted -- such as
christine o'donnell on the christian broadcasting network. >> god is the reason that i'm running. >> reporter: in an interview for the abcnews.com show "political punch," the democratic in charge of the house campaign committee seemed optimistic to a point. do you have a prediction for next tuesday? >> well, i do. i think the democrats -- i'm confident the democrats are going to retain the majority in the house. >> reporter: how about a $10,000 bet? [ laughs ] >> look, i'll leave betting to other people. we can bet offline. >> reporter: asked for a prediction about next week, one top democrat told abc news that it, quote, feels ugly but the white house will not concede anything. diane. >> okay, jake. a nice try with that bet out there. jake tapper reporting from the white house. but the issue of course overshadowing campaigns coast to coast, jobs. the stubborn 9.6% national unemployment rate. and the conflicting claims have been flying about the obama administration's $787 billion stimulus package and whether it has created new jobs or even
fewer jobs. so we asked john karl to fact check the numbers. >> reporter: no single issue has been subject to more disinformation than the president's economic stimulus program. first, republicans who sometimes claim it created no jobs. >> the only thing missing is jobs. >> reporter: others go further. >> it will cost us 2.6 million jobs. >> reporter: so did the stimulus cause job loss? no. economists differ on how many jobs were created. the nonpartisan congressional budget puts it at somewhere between 1.4 million and 3.3 million but no economist says it caused unemployment. next, democrats. >> i'm calling this the recovery -- the summer of recovery. >> reporter: chief stimulus cheerleader vice president biden said of the stimulus last year, in my wildest dreams, i never though it would work this well. did the stimulus exceed expectations? no. forget wild dreams, the
obama/biden economic team put out a report in early 2009 saying the stimulus would keep the unemployment rate to no higher than 8%. the unemployment rate now stands at nearly 10%. the most extravagant claim related to the stimulus, though, comes from harry reid. >> but for me, we'd be in a worldwide depression. >> reporter: hmm, maybe not. the bottom line, diane, the stimulus created at least some jobs and a boat load of bogus claims. >> all right. thank you, john karl. and now the politics of pot. california's proposition 19, it would legalize marijuana and polls show it's pretty close. there is no question it would bring the state billions in tax revenue. and a former u.s. surgeon general has said culturally it's much like alcohol. but a couple of reporters decided to take a car and drive stoned. the results? david wright is right here with me. >> reporter: this is one of the quirkiest campaigns ever in
california, even for a state where medical marijuana has been a fact for 14 years. just check this out -- a new political ad out tonight, one that you would never expect to see on tv. >> let's be honest, the war against marijuana has failed. >> reporter: it's a political campaign like no other. proposition 19 got an unusual road test last week. two journalists wanted to see what happens when potheads encounter potholes and all the other hazards on the roads. they got some help from the california highway patrol. >> the experiment was to see how impaired i would be on pot. >> reporter: california has more drivers than any other state, 22 million of them. so a big concern here is whether legalizing marijuana would make the roads less safe. proponents of prop 19 insist it won't. >> the impairment is rather slight. it's like taking antihistamines. >> reporter: the two journalists certainly found that driving and drugs don't mix. one of them nearly veered off the highway patrol test course. >> i wasn't okay.
so that was kind of shocking to me. >> reporter: public safety concerns are a big reason support for prop 19 seems to be slipping -- more than ten points behind for likely voters in one poll. the pollsters admit this measure could bring unlikely voters out of the woodwork. medical marijuana is already mainstream enough here that industrial growers like this one in oakland operate with full knowledge of city officials. >> we pay federal taxes. we pay state taxes. we pay all the normal taxes of a business. >> reporter: prop 19 would mean a windfall of new revenues for cash-strapped cities and towns. by legalizing pot, california could save nearly $1 billion a year in enforcement costs and generate as much as $350 million in state and local tax revenues. but the opponents say not so fast. the feds have already signaled that they would oppose this thing, even if the voters here say yes. and, diane, the political dynamics here are fascinating. you've got leading democrats, folks like jerry brown and barbara boxer, opposing prop 19
but still hoping that it will bring young voters out because they'll vote for them, they figure. >> it's a kind of "only in california" at the moment at least. thank you, david. good to see you out here. and we move on now to medical teams racing to contain the cholera outbreak in haiti and hoping the death count is slowing down. 259 people have died. more than 3,000 are sick. and our dr. richard besser who has investigated and treated cholera around the world went to haiti to tell us what it's like when the water you need to survive offers a kind of bacterial russian roulette. >> reporter: we journey to the epicenter of the outbreak. and as we got close, a disturbing scene. people bathing and collecting water to drink from the river, exactly what you shouldn't do during a cholera outbreak. a man told me they were scared. he knew two people who had already died with the disease. but they had no other options. are they delivering clean water to your town? >> no, they receive nothing from
anybody. >> reporter: when we reached the town of san martin, the center of the outbreak, we came across the crowded hospital. on the front gate, there's a sign right here saying that they need more doctors, more nurses. they don't have enough staff to get the job done. rescue workers are still rushing here, trying to keep up with demand. patients are streaming in too. without emergency hydration, cholera can kill in a matter of hours. this hospital alone is now treating 600 new patients daily. they're working frantically around the clock to build an entire 400-bed hospital. take a look at this. these tents, they'll be able to take care of 400 of the sickest cholera patients who need ivs. when did you start building this, how many days -- >> yesterday. >> reporter: yesterday? >> yesterday. >> reporter: and when will it be open? >> maximum on wednesday. >> reporter: whether or not the disease spreads to the nation's capital, a nightmare scenario, depends on whether towns around the outbreak have clean drinking water. we entered a home and tested their tap water to see if it was chlorinated.
chlorine kills the cholera bacteria. with a simple test, in a matter of minutes, i can determine whether this water is safe to drink. i discover it is not. it's not safe to drink unless you add chlorine yourself. it is a troubling discovery, one that may mean scenes like this could spread across this battered country. dr. richard besser, abc news, san mark, haiti. and we return now to this country. and as you're about to see, there were surreal scenes in northeast texas where a tornado tore through the town of rice. right in the middle of last night's disaster, the county's emergency management coordinator, a volunteer, headed straight into the danger. and now eric meyers described what he saw and did. >> we are in a tornado. we are in a tornado. we are in a tornado. i decided to actually go out on the road myself and do the
spotting here in our county simply because our radar wasn't operational. i've never dreamed of being this close. it was louder than a freight train no doubt. it sounded like a jet engine. raw power is the most amazing thing with a storm or tornado like that. if you can only imagine the wind's at 135 miles per hour, being within 100 yards of that. the debris, the sound, everything right there in your face. it's just unbelievable. it's hard to go out and preach safety to the public. when i need to take a step back myself and realize, you know, i put myself in a lot of danger. this just went right over us, just went right over us. what i experienced was a once in a lifetime deal. so, do i regret it, no, but would i do it again, absolutely not. >> incredible scenes. and no one was killed in the twister. four people were hurt. five homes were destroyed. still ahead on "world news" -- my conversation with meg whitman.
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million of her own money, up against her forceful rival jerry brown, the former governor. we interviewed the former governor a few weeks ago. and tonight, meg whitman. as polls show, former governor brown is pulling ahead as much as 13 percentage points in the polls. so how's it going? >> it's going well. it's going well. you know, we're coming down to the last eight days here. it's all very exciting. and we're going to win this. >> realistically, how many jobs would it be possible to recruit in this state by the end of 2011? >> by 2015, 2 million new private sector jobs. so maybe 500,000 to 1 million of that. >> as you know, governor brown has also said, former governor brown, that this is very different from being a ceo. >> i have shown, i've stood there and received the howls of execution. so i know how to stand against the storm. >> a ceo, you can set the plan, what you want to do. >> well, let's look at his experience as governor. he was governor for eight years. at the end of that eight years,
he asked the voters of california to elect him to a new office. he wanted to be a u.s. senator. they said no way. >> reporter: now, brown is surging ahead in the polls. he's been trying to tie whitman to the unpopular governor schwarzenegger. in fact, there's an ad showing them using almost exactly the same words over and over again. >> insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. >> insanity -- >> governor schwarzenegger has said that he thinks his delivery is much better on those lines in that ad than yours. >> well, i would hope so. he's an actor. >> but is it a drag on your campaign to see the same words being used? it is eerily similar words. and i know you had the same campaign advisers. >> i came up with those myself. i mean, i used to say at ebay, the insanity of doing the same thing over and over again and hoping for a different results. >> $141 million so far of your
own money spent on the primary and this general campaign. as you know, governor brown, former governor brown, said it's a billionaire demolition derby out there. i think you have 1,300 ads running every day. >> i've never been up against a billionaire. i've never, and i don't know that any candidate in california has ever faced the prospect, every hour, maybe every 15 minutes, everyone's going to hear the opponent's message. that is quite extraordinary. >> is it possible that at some point it's just too much money being spent? >> well, here's i think what people need to understand -- the unions, the public employee unions and the other unions in california, pour money into politics in this state. they own sacramento. in contrast, because i have invested my own money, i don't owe anyone anything. i only will owe the voters of california -- >> are you prepared to spend more? how much more? >> you know, there's only a week left. i think we've done everything we can. >> so that's it, you're not going to spend any more? >> you know, meeting and
greeting voters -- >> so you haven't decided on whether you're going to spend more? >> we'll see how it goes. >> one more undertow for the whitman campaign, the housekeeper who turned out to be undocumented. she was fired. but a huge percentage of hispanics in california say they don't like the way whitman handled it personally. >> you know, i have thought about this, diane, and i can't think of anything i could have done differently. we hired her. we checked her forms of identification. we hired her through an employment agency and said we must have a documented worker. >> but do you think voters are expecting something when you discovered, when she told you that she was undocumented? were they expecting you to do something different? >> you know, i don't know -- >> -- to be there for her in a different way? >> you have to follow the law. i consulted with a couple of attorneys and said, is there anything we can do? and they said no, she has forged documents. >> but nothing personally you could have done? >> i don't think there's anything i could have done, given that she had forged documents for so long. >> a personal question -- and i think a lot about your mom.
>> yeah. >> i just wonder, as you head through this, if you see in some ways your life in a different way what she did, what she taught you in a different way. >> well, i miss my mom. as you know, she died in january of this year. and what she taught me was that the price of doing nothing is far greater than the cost of making a mistake. and you have to try. you have to make a difference. and i'm sorry that she has not lived to see this campaign. >> what's been the hardest day? >> i'd been called a lot of things by my opponents in this campaign. i've been called a nazi. i've been called a liar. you know, lots of things have -- it's been a character attack. and the reason i think is that jerry brown can't run on his record. his record as governor was terrible. you have to sort of say, gosh, you know, i know the kind of person i am. and californians will too. but that's the hard part. i care what happens to every
community. so i'd do it all again in a heartbeat regardless of the outcome but i think we're going to win. >> and we'll be back with more. >> and we'll be back with more. [ male announcer ] it's simple physics... a body at rest tends to stay at rest... while a body in motion tends to stay in motion. staying active can actually ease arthritis symptoms. but if you have arthritis, staying active can be difficult. prescription celebrex can help relieve arthritis pain so your body can stay in motion. because just one 200mg celebrex a day can provide 24 hour relief for many with arthritis pain and inflammation. plus, in clinical studies, celebrex is proven to improve daily physical function so moving is easier. and celebrex is not a narcotic. when it comes to relieving your arthritis pain, you and your doctor need to balance the benefits with the risks. all prescription nsaids, including celebrex, may increase the chance of heart attack or stroke, which can lead to death. this chance increases if you have heart disease or risk factors such as high blood pressure
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six light beers and, on top of that, caffeine, equivalent of nearly two cups of coffee. nine college students in washington state became violently ill and were rushed to the hospital after drinking it. one of the nation's top medical groups says doctors should routinely screen new mothers for depression. the american academy of pediatrics issued a study today that found up to 1 in 4 women develop postpartum depression. doctors say the disease can have devastating effects for both mother and child, and they estimate that 400,000 babies are born each year to depressed mothers. and the father of the classical cartoon characters "rocky" and "bullwinkle" has died. his flying squirrel and hapless moose were tv fixtures during the height of the cold war. he died at the age of 90 years old.
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a rare but potentially life-threatening condition, reported sometimes less than 2 weeks after starting plavix. other rare but serious side effects may occur. meg whitman's hometown newspaper said it best: "meg whitman has demonstrated a loose relationship with the truth" "a poor understanding of government" "pat solutions for problems whose depth and complexity clearly elude her" "she utterly lacks the qualifications to be governor" jerry brown "offers california exactly what it needs" "good ideas, strong principles, a reputation for telling the
truth" and the ability to "get things done in sacramento" meg whitman's hometown newspaper and newspapers across the state have endorsed jerry brown for governor. and, now, something completely wonderful. the old tradition of homecoming kings and queens with new heart. sharyn alfonsi reports. >> reporter: what makes britney mcgee beautiful isn't her blonde hair or those big blue eyes. the 17-year-old had her pick for homecoming of escorts, but she made an unexpected choice -- jordan rogers, a fellow student with cerebral palsy and autism so severe he can't speak. he was so excited about homecoming, his his mother said he slept with his suit in his bed for the week before the big dance. just when things didn't seem like they could get any better --
>> britney mcgee! >> reporter: -- classmates voted the two homecoming queen and king. and in austin, texas, john kiltz wheeled his daughter gracie to the 50 yard line where she was crowned homecoming queen. gracie was 2 years old when she was being treated for leukemia and suffered a brain injury. >> i was on the field with her and whispered in her ear, gracy, you know i'm so proud of you. >> reporter: but gracie needed a king. enter jared friemel, crowned homecoming king the same night. >> he jumped up, threw his hand in the air, waves and takes off running. >> reporter: similar fairy tale endings have played out across the country this fall. new mexico, illinois and kansas. an entire generation now re-defining royalty. sharyn alfonsi, abc news, new york. >> just great. we'll see you again tomorrow night from california. the giants get a world series workout at at and t
park. tonight's memorabilia sales, and disappointment at the ticket window. >> first lady michelle obama comes to the bay area to rally support for democrats. why she's here tonight and her husband isn't? >> pg&e meets a late deadline on the san bruno pipeline explosion z a neighborhood concern following a weekend of wet weather. >> not all web sites are created equal head. on 7 on your side, web sites can save you money. >> good evening, people are out of their minds with excitement tonight. giants start the world series here at home on wednesday. >> yeah. it's the hottest ticket in town z getting into the game will cost thousands. we've seen seats listed as much as 20,000s oodz if you can believe that. and don, it all begins in two days. >> indeed. you might want to