tv Democracy Now LINKTV November 7, 2018 4:00pm-5:01pm PST
11/07/18 11/07/18 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> we wo back the house. nwe secured a full chamber, whichh is a very powerful check creed thisoritarian a administration has been pursuing. we need to be powerful about it. amy: in a historic midterm election, the democrats have seized control of the house of representatives while also picking up seven governorships. the republicans have expanded
their power in the senate. it was also a groundbreaking day for women. for the first time in u.s. history, at least 100 women will serve in the u.s. house of representatives, including the first native american women and the first muslim women. we will hear from democratic socialist alexandria ocasio-cortez who became the youngest woman ever elected to congress. we will also get analysis on key races across the country, including georgia's governor race where democrat candidate stacey abrams is refusing to concede to georgia secretary of state brian kemp as thousands of absentee ballots remain uncounted. >> we're going to make sure that every vote is counted. every single vote. every vote has been counted. because i will tell you this, in a civilized nation, the machinery of democracy should work for everyone everywhere. amy: all that anand more, coming
up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. democrats have seized control of the house of representatives, while the republican party expanded its grip on the senate in tuesday''s midterm elections. with some 20 house races yet to be called, democrats have clinched house majority for the first time in eightt years, picking up more than 23 seeds they needed to retake the house. democratic leader nancy pelosi, who is poised to reclaim her gavel as speaker of the house, barring a leadership challenge by democrats, celebrated tuesday's outcome. than about more democrats and republicans, it is about restoring the constitution checks and balances to the trump administration. the gop andndopping mitch mcconnell's assault on medicare, medicaid, affordablble
care act karen health c care of 130 million americans living with pre-existing medical conditions. let's hear more for pre-existing medical conditions. amy: one of the nation's most clclosely watctched races ofof e year remains too close to call. georgia secretary of state brian kemp is holding a sizable lead -- a slim lead over democratic challenger stacey abrams, who is vying to be the first black woman governor in u.s. history. but abrams is refusing to concede because thousands of absentee ballots have not yet been counted. kemp is currently at 50.5%. if he dips below 50%, the race goes to a runoff. the georgia race was marred by widespread allegations of voter suppression carried out by brian kemp, who is georgia's secretary of state. meanwhile in florida, democrat andrew gillum has conceded to republican ron desantis after a
tight race for governor. gillum was attempting to become florida's first african-american governor, but faced a string of racist attacks from outside groups and desantis, who told floridians to not "monkey this up." in otherer florida news, the senate race between the state's sitting governor republican rick scott and democrat bill nelson remains too close to call though scott maintains a small lead. in maryland, republican governor larry hogan was re-elected, defeating democrat ben jealous, the former head of the naacp. in texas, republican senator ted cruz beat out his democratic challenger beto o'rouke, who was attempting to be the first democrat to win statewide office in texas in more than two decades. meanwhile, at least three incumbent democratic senators lost their seats on tuesday -- heidi heitkamp of north dakota, joe donnelly of indiana, and claire mccaskill of missouri. the democrats won key
governorships in a number of states, including kansas, maine, wisconsin, and michigan. in kansas, state senator laura kelly defeated kansas secretary of state kris kobach, who was a key architect of the gop's voter suppression efforts nationwide. in wisconsin, voters ousted republican governor scott walker by electing democrat tony evers. meanwhile, in colorado, democrat jared polis became the first openly gay male governor. from coaoast to coast, it was ao a night of firsts for women, particularly women of color. for the first time in the nation's history, there will be more than 100 women in the u.s. house of repreresentatives. among them deb haaland in new mexico and sharice davids in kansas, who made history by becoming the nation's first two native american congresswomen. rashida tlaib in michigan and ilhan omar in minnesota became
the first muslim women elected to congress. in new york city, 29-year-old democratic socialist alexandria ocasio-cortez has become the youngest woman ever elected to congress. everyday people, knocking on our neighborsrs doo, and despite beingg outspent $4 million, 18 or 13 to one, despite the fact that we were running against a 10 term incumbent, despite the fact it was our first am running for office, despite the fact that we did not have the money, despite the fact that i am working class -- despite all those things, we won. amy: history was alslso made in new england where two states elected their first is elected their first african-american congresswomen, ayanna pressley in massachusetts and jahana hayes in connecticut. and in texas, veronica escobar, and sylvia garcia have become
the state's first two latina congresswomen. in other election news, voters in florida approved a historic ballot measure to re-enfranchise 1.4 million people with felony convictions. missouri and michigan voters approved marijuana legalization measures. massachusetts voters approved a measure to protect key rights for transgender people. oregon voters overwhelmingly defended the state's sanctuary laws from being repealed. in colorado, an anti-fracking proposition was defeated, while a pro-oil and gas amendment was -- to the colorado constitution was also defeated. the oil and gas industry poured tens of millions of dollars into lobbying around both measures. and in washington, voters rejected a ballot measure that would have made the state the first in the united states to levy a fee on carbon dioxide emissions. the fossil fuel industry spent a
record amount, over $32 million, to defeat the carbon fee. in el paso, texas, u.s. customs and border patrol abruptly called o off a so-called crowd control jewel that they had controld for -- crowd drill it had planned for near a tuesday latino neighborhood after voting rights groups warned the exercises were likely to suppress voter turnout. lawmakers, activists, and the american civil liberties union said the timing of the drill appeared to be aimed at intimidating likely democratic voters on election day. president trump made anti-immigrant hysteria the centerpiece of his campaign in the midterm elections, making false claims about gang members, criminals and "unknown middle easterners" taking part in a caravan of migrants heading across mexico towards the u.s. border. in yemen, troops with the u.s.-backed, saudi-led coalition are fighting pitched battles with houthi rebels for control of the port city of hodeida. residents say saudi warplanes
have dropped more than 100 bombs on civilian neighborhoods over the past few days. the fighting came as the head of the u.n.'s world food program sasaid yemen remains t the worst humaninitarian crisis in the world. >> the situation is clearly dramatic. feeding between 6 million and a people -- and it millilion peope every month. but that is techninically a fame or not does not change anything to the situation. the worst two miniature in crisis in the world. the worst food security crisis in the world. sosomething muste e done amy: the trump administration continues to support the saudi-led coalition with weapons sales, intelligence sharing and midair-refueling missions for saudi coalition bombers. the united nations' chief of biodiversity is warning that
nations have just two years to reach a broad global agreement to protect animal and plant species, or humanity will watch whole ecosystems collapse as species become extinct. the dire warning came ahead of a meeting by the u.n.'s 195 member states in egypt this month, where they'll begin negotiating towaward a new agreement to protect the world's wildlife. in an interview with the guardian, the u.n.'s cristiana palmer called the loss of biodiversity a silent killer, adding -- "it's different from climate change, where people feel the impact in everyday life. with biodiversity, it is not so clear but by the time you feel what is happening, it may be too late." a pair of previous agreements since 2002 have failed to stop the planet's worst loss of biodiversity since the demise of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. back in the united states, a federal judge in new york city ordered the man accused of sending pipe bombs to prominent critics of president trump to be held without bail while he awaits trial.
cesar sayoc, a florida resident who frequently praised president trump while threatening his opponents on social media, is accused of sending bombs to the obamas, the clintons, former vice president joe biden, ex-cia director john brennan, congressmembers maxine waters and debbie wasserman-schultz, liberal activists tom steyer and george soros, actor robert deniro, and cnn's main office building in manhattan. at the supreme court, newly seated justice brett kavanaugh appeared receptive tuesday to the arguments of a condemned missouri prisoner who says he's likely to experience extreme pain if he's subjected to a lethal injection. russell bucklew was scheduled to be executed last march before the high court agreed to hear his appeal. his attorneys argued at the supreme court tuesday that bucklew's rare medical condition could prevent a lethal injection drug from circulating properly through his veins, likely leading to a death so agonizing that it would violate the constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
the supreme court split 4-4 earlier this year on whether to allow the execution to proceed, meaning justice kavanaugh will likely cast the deciding vote in the case. and in wisconsin, where republican governor scott walker was defeated tuesday in his bid for a third term in office, the high-tech manufacturer foxconn says it's seeking to bring in workers from china to help run a factory under construction near the city of racine. governor walker backed a plan, with the support of house speaker paul ryan and president trump, to provide $3 billion in tax credits to foxconn, claiming the taxpayer money would provide thousands of new jobs while renovating wisconsin's economy. but foxconn has scaled back its plans, now saying it will hire just 3000 workers in the short term -- most of them in engineering positions, rather than the 13,000 manufacturing jobs governor walker had promised. and the size of the taxpayer
subsidy has steadily increased to $4.1 billion. during two terms in office, governrnor scott walkeker was kn for r aggressively bustiting un, and for his close ties to right-wing dark-money groups. and those are e some of the headlinenes. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. juan: and i'm juan gonzalez. welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. democrats have seized control of the house of representatives, flipping more than two dozen seats. this gives democrats subpoena power for the first time since president trump was elected two years ago. while the democrats will control the house, the republicans picked up two more seats in the senate. on the state level, democrats picked up seven governorships. huge turnout numbers were reported across the country. president responded to the election results by tweeting "if the democrats think they're
going to waste taxpayer money investigating us at the house level, then we will likewise be forced to consider investigating them for all of the leaks of classified information and much else at the senate leveltw. o complete a game." for the first time in u.s. history, at least 100 women will serve in the u.s. house of representatives, including the first two native american women and the first to the muslim women. later in the program, we will hear from democratic-socialist alexander acosta card has become the instrumument elected to congress. ocasio-cortez, who became the thunderstorm and elected to congress. we begin with katrina vanden heuvel. she is editor and publisher of the nation, america's oldest weekly magazine. she is also is a columnist for the washington post.com we also speak with rashad robinson, executive director of color of change. katrina vanden heuvel, your thoughts on what has taken place
? >> thing taking back the house is crinkled as a check on president trump is also a think it is important people know a majority of the committees and subcommittees will be controlled by progressives. the progressive caucus will have about 90 members. some of the women you mentioned will join. it will have 13 committees. and i think 30 subcommittees. that is important. i think the ability to not only hold the president and the administration accountable on corruption, on self-interest, on self-dealing, but the ability to lay out bold initiatives, bold legislation a not pass in the senate, but it is critical i think that the progressive democrats lay out in this war of ideas that progressives have been wanting to some extent, $15 minimum wage, jobs program, infrastructure, free higher education. the governor's race is critical. critical both as a blue wall against the redistricting scams
we have seen from the republicans. critical also to rest back the rust belt from trump, who really did well in key parts -- wisconsin, how sweet it is. scott walker going down. my colleague john nichols has written so much copy about this man who bust of public workers, assault on education, histamine and degraded the wisconsin idea. i think that is critical. amendment 4. rashad robinson and i were talking about it. one thing we have seen, the barriers to democratic participation, the well-funded targeted funding suppression so that amendment 4, restoring rights to ex felons to vote, 1.4 million floridians will be able to vote a think as a vital step on the road to a true democracy. statehouses, we have not seen the numbers yet, but those will be hopeful as well, flipping a thick minnesota and a few others. bittersweet night
because we assume the toxic nationalism, xenophobia, anti-immigrant actions talk of this president and his enablers in the republican party. you know, they secured some wins. however, those who say was kind of split, let's all recall the senate map is the most horrific for democrats. i mean, you know, the one third up were really states in which the republicans and trump have played well. juan: you mentioned the rust belt. it is important to note there were three states that really delivered -- >> for trump. juan: and those three states, the statewide runs either for governor or for senate, u.s. senate, the democrats w won i think six out of seven. your cigna situation where those key states now are really not as reliable republican as they appeared to be in 2016.
>> many of those voters went for obama in 2008 in 2012. so that flip in 2016 that has to be looked at. i think last night was a good insight into what is possible in 2020. in effect, we can talk about 2020 victim last night, but that is a different discussion. i think you see it with taking back those statehouses. there were some good minimum wage initiatives in the states. very troubling that good initiative in washington state, the carbon tax, the green new deal went down. you still see the power of corporate money in our system. one cup at the state level, i i think your sixix statetes that d into total democratic control. one of them being new york state, where the new york state senate, which had been very evenly divided both republicans in control, is now overwhelmingly democratic. number in now is the
the new york state senate. what that means in terms o of wt can be accomplished i progressives -- amy: and democrats of aggressive's one super majority in the firm on house, neutralizing the newly elected governor phil scott's veto threat. >> it is critical on so many levels but historically, we have lost over 1000 state legislative seats in the last three years. this is coming back and saying, democrats, progressives, are going to play at all levels. new york state is a major win. let's see what governor cuomo does with it. he hid behind the inability to do much with the independent democratic conference now defeated. one last race which i think is very important, and to know delgado in the 19th congressional race. that was supercharged with toxic racist rhetoric. it is bittersweet, but i think
real gains were made and i think would be wrong to downplay those . amy: one of the nation's most closely watched races of the year remains too close to call. georgia secretary of state brian kemp holding a slim lead over democratic challenger stacey abrams, who is vying to be the first african-american woman in u.s. history. abrams is refusing to concede because thousands of absentee ballots have not yet been counted. kemp is currently at 50.5%. if he dips below 50%, the race goes to runoff. the georgia race was marred by widespread allegations of voter suppression, carried out by brian kemp, who is, as georgia secretary of state, in control of the elections, despite the fact many demanded that he recuse himself. meanwhile in florida, democrat andrew gillum conceded to republican ron desantis after a tight race will stop geomet attempted become for hihis first africacan-american governor, but faced a string of racist attacks
and desantis who told floridians not to "monkey this up." larry hogan was reelected, defeating democrat ben jealous, former head of the naacp. rashad robinson commute are the executive director of color of change. >> i think what happened last night, particularly with andrew and stacey's race, represents the way the south is changing. these are candidates who came out of democratic, progressive infrastructure and were able to win primaries, where they were not the establishment choice. and not only did they win their primaries, but they showcased what the next generation can actually look like on the national stage. through their debates, through their campaign, attracting wide range of donors, a wide range of support. in in both places, we're not sure what is going to happen yet with stacey's race, but four
years ago we have to remember that jimmy carter grandson was at the top of the ticket and did not get as close as stacey abrams. there is never been a black woman governor in the united states. if always known there was going to be a high hurdle to get there, especially in a state like georgia. i do think that the message that the democrats should be taking away from this for 2020 and beyond is that we do have to speak directly to our base, that we do have to excite people with the type of passion, energy about what we can achieve. because trump is going to mobilize his base. if we are not working in the space of ideas -- and also downg to build power ballot. i think some of the other victories that happened last night for the secretary of state victories in michigan and wisconsin. yes, the governor victories are important, but being able to headthose positions as we
into 2020 is going to be incredibly important. we have been looking closely at a much larger secretary of state strategy at colorado change. we have been working diligently over the last couple of years to really focus more attention on district attorney races. we sought real victories last night, some of which happen in the primaries with winning that victory in st. louis in the aftermath of the ferguson uprising. it also last night, a victory in dallas where there has been so much attention around policing and police shootings and being able to go in and actually win that victory in dallas led by local organizers, texas organizing project and others. means for ahat this party that i think oftentimes struggled with having a base that is deeply diverse with actually addressing the issues directly that that base needs them to address, for folks to
feel the type of passion and energy to turn out in high numbers -- i hope that with this new wave of women, women of color, coming into office that there will be some leadership changes at the top. juan: in terms of -- you mentioned texas and georgia. these are states that have been for decades. you are seeing is a jewish and where it is better or work or the race testing situations where it is beto o'rourke, where the progressive democrats are coming close to showing you texas is no long reliably red, nor is georgia and also florida, it may be the last time it is a swing state because of amendment 4 >> it is kind of debunking some of the consultants will tell you about what it takes to win those types of seeds. oftentimes what they will say is they need to find that sort of
middle-of-the-road candidate. someone maybe has come from the military or has the right last name, maybe their parents or grandparents had won. that is the pathway to taking back the sort of tough to reach places. but i do think what stacy, what andrew, what o'rourke have demonstrated is that mobilizing in states and in places where the demographics are rapidly changing is our best path to power. it is also our best path to delivering real results for folks. elections are not about getting people jobs or moving people of a ladder, they are about delivering for folks. of what we heard from our members and from the members -- our member volunteers talking to folks, is that people were disenchanted with the political process. and this time around, the number of volunteers, the number of
excitement -- because there actually candidates willing to speak clearly and directly. the fact that we are so close in georgia, and we w were so close into winning in florida, does send a real clear message about what is possible. amy: a lot is being made of the record number of people who came in thesemillion people midterm elections compared to something like 83.3 million in 2014. but still, that is half the population, the voting age population did not vote. i want to turn to what happened tuesday night when we talked to carol anderson, chair of african-american studies department, author of "one person no vote." where staceylanta abrams was. it was in the very close count. we still don't know what will hasen because stacey abrams
said s she will not concnceded s point. i asked professor anderson about her to secretary of state brian kempmp's lead over stacecey abrs in the race for governor. >> when i think about georgia, frankly, is the power of voter suppression. i am listening to this theersation about democratic party and that it should be a landslide. but what we are not taking into account is that you get more vote -- i mean, we got more votes in the 2016 election. .nd trump won when we look at what we're seeing right now, the number of votes it takes because of the massive gerrymandering that we have going on, it still is part of that thing work requires a blue tsunami in order to get a blue trickle. and we need to have that as part of our analysis. when i look at what is happening
here in georgia, we cannot forget that kemp purged in the last two years 10.6% of the registered voters in georgia off the list. closedot forget that he 214 polling places. most of those in minority and poor neighborhoods. we cannot forget that kememp has alone, in this round 53,000 regegistered voters. 70% of whohom were african-american. so as we begin to look down and drill down into those numbers and that is in else's that we did not get immediately coming off of 2016, is what does it mean when we depress the vote by doing massive voter suppresessi? elementabsolutely a key in what we need to be thinking through. the ground game that stacey
abrams had is phenomenal. there is no question about it. knocking on every door dog on your, going to 159 countiess. but we see the politics of f fer veversus the politics of h hope. at ththe results coming i in throughout the nati, on one hand you get these incredible victories of a alestinian woman becoming member of congress. at the same time were you get ted cruz winning. so you're looking at a nation ast is fishery -- fissuring you're getting the wants of the from fearng diverted and suppression. you're looking in florida and
desantis is a weak candidate, but we also think about what the politics of fear -- the politics of fear is real and american society. this is why you see the republicans, like donald trump, doubling down on it, particularly driving white fear. this fear the demographic change happening in america as envisioned and embodied in andrdrew gillum and stacey abras may be just too jarring and to threatening. kemp was one who talked about, late in the campaign and during the debate, that in writing on the issue of the caravan that what stacey abrams really wanted to do was to bring all of these illegal -- i hate that term -- but he meant it the way he said it. to create an other, , to dehumanize people, to bring all georgia illegals into
to vote, to steal the election away from these hard-working -- which is coded white georgians. we have got to understand the power of that. and that power, frankly, for so many -- too many, is more powerful than what looking at these individudual issues mean. they know what it means when you don't have w water. they know what i it means when u don't have health care. but it is that power of fear. that is the work that has to be done. talked about the needs to have those conversations happening within the white community. that is some of the groundwork that must happen so that we can begin to see the kind of america that we really d deserve. amy: that his professor carol anderson, chair of africacan-american studies department speaking last that from georgia. early this morning, stacey abrams vowed three main in the race.
>> democracy only works when we work for it. when we fight for it. when we demand it. and apparently, today, when we stand in lines for hours to meet it at the ballot box, that is when democracy works. to tell youight votes remain to be counted. there are voices that were waiting to be heard. across our state, folks are opening up the dreams of voters in absentee ballots come and we believe our chance for a stronger georgia is just withinn reach. but we cannot seize it until all voices are heard. and i promise you tonight, we're going to make sure that every vote is counted. every single vote. every vote has been counted. amy: that is stacey abrams. thousands of votes have yet to be counted. again, if during this count 50% of thedips below
amy: less than victory party for alexandria ocasio-cortez. she became the youngest woman in the u.s. house of representatives ever. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juann gonzalez. democrat took the house of representatives. republicans expanded their control of the senate. juan: i wanted to ask katrina vanden heuvel, we have been talking about this now, a split situation in the house and the senate, and you raised the issue
of aggressive caucus in the house. unless thereosi, are some major of people, will be the speaker of the house and in the issue becomes to what degree will that leadership of the house allow the progressives to pursue, whether it is subpoenas, whether it is investigations of the trump white house -- how do you see the battle within -- > impeachment.. juan: about how to go forward? >> there will be tension and friction. i suspect nancy pelosi stays in the leadership speaker position for at least a year or two, but puts together a new leadership committee, a new generation. i think she would be wise to understand that the house needs to do accountability investigations, needs to really use its subpoena power. but at the same time, fuse it with what was talking about before. the house is doing the peoples
business, is exposing the corruption that hurts you, that it is not vindictive but it is about trying to right the wrong that this a administration has imposed on this country. and i think there is a way to do that, but i really think it needs to lay out -- i think were shot spoke of this, able vision. initiatives and markers that war this insurgent reform of ideas, which is winning in many ways -- we saw it on the campaign. that that is reflected. that will lift up the house more effectively than just hearings or disarray. juan: wouldn't passage, for instance, of a much higher federal minimum wage by the house, initial signal to the american people? looks or tuition-free higher education. a set of issues that be to people. best is abouts improving the condition of people's lives. i think the house is to show that it is in that business.
i also think you have, for example, in elizabeth warren, arrogant anticorruption integrity act am a roadmap for another issue that should play big moving forward into 2020 and beyond, which is essentially a system that is rigged. but you have people, low income versus the very wealthiest. cut that this a just gave ton corporations and the wealthy. it is not playing out. no wonder there wasn't a lot of talk about it in the campaign. i will say one thing that the caucus is going to do and needs to do, the progressive caucus, we need to build independent political power. and the mobilization we have seen in this campaign, you know, the door knocks, the retail politics, the mobilization was extraordinary. and local committed is, whether georgia, florida, the florida race heartbreaking, but the caucus with its new center is going to link with movements, which i think is critical.
movement outside of washington. and lift up their issues and ideas. amy: as we talk about those issues, let's go to alexandra-socialist cortez, at 29, becomes the younsgest woman ever elected to congress. she rose to popularity engine when she unseated joe crowley, the fourth renting democrat and the house. she was elected to represent new york's 14th congressional district by a landslide last night, defeating republican with 78% anthony papas of the vote. she ran a progressive grassroots campaign at the democratic-socialist advocate in medicare for all, abolition of eyes. she celebrated her victory in queens last night, giving this speech. possible whent is everyday people come together in the collective realization that all our actions, no matter how
small or how large, are powerful, worth while, and capable of lasting change. [applause] words cannot express my gratitude to every organizer, every small dollar donor, every working parent and d dream or wo helped make this movement happen. and that is exactly what this is. not a campaign or an election day, but a movement. in larger movement for social, economic, and racial justice in the united states of america. [applause] when i started this campaign a year ago, i was working in a restaurant in downtown manhattan. -- we did not launch this campaign because i thought i was special or unique or better than anyone else.
we launched this campaign because in the absence of anyone giving a clear voice on the moral issues of our time, then it is up to us to voice them. [applause] launched this campaign because no one was clearly an authentically talking about issues like the corrupting role of money in politics, like the disturbing human rights violations being committed by ice, by the fact that no one was giving voice to the idea and the notion that an entire generation is graduating with crippling loads of student loan debt, ticking time bomb for our economy. no one was talking about these issues. and when no one talks about them, we have the duty to stand up for what is right. [applause]
i think about oftentimes that whendible day on june 26 nopite no attention, despite media fanfnfare, despite the fat that no one wanted for us to get the word out on what was going on, we were able to organize everyday people, knocking on our neighbors door, and despite being outspent formally and or 13s -- $4 million, 18 to one, despite the fact we were running against a 10 term incumbent, despite the fact it was our first time running for office, despite the fact that we did not have the money, despite the fact that i am working class, despite all of those things, we won. amy: that is alexandria ocasio-cortez last night during her victory speech. and right after that, well, in our special joint broadcast democracy now! do with the
intercept, i got a chance to talk to alexandra cortez about her plans. >> i'm really looking forwawardo seeing and analyzing more of the results tonight to see what kind of team we can put together. an asthink just as we ran we said, we need to focus on as ang progressives priority on top of the agenda. i think for me, what that means is medicare for all, where we have so much power over cosponsorship from t the last to years. it is time to make a statement and really declare this as part of our agenda. amy: can you talk about what yourur stances on nancy pelosi s house speaker, what you feel needs to happen right now? you coming out of the bernie sanders faction of the democratic party. you are an organizer for bernie sanders. who do you think needs to leave the house?
and would you consider the possibility of being the speaker yourself? mean, i don't want to bite off more than i can chew. that in termsk is of her leadership in context, we need to see what our options are. my fear is i just would not want to see candidates running to her right and adding our only option. and that being our only option. no matter who it is, we need to make sure that we are electing party leadership and strong -- to putting medicare for all, tuition free college, and more at the top of the agenda. things like a living wage. that is what i'm going to be looking for in terms of where we speaker.elect our next and i know i certainly don't want to supupport anyonone who
doesn't have those missions in mind. amy: president trump called tonight a success. what is your message for him? bound to call anything a success and just kind of speak it into existence. but the fact of the matter is, we won back the house, we secured a a full chamber in our government back -- which is a a very, very powerful check. we need to be powerful about it. we need to take this opportunity. this is not the time too negotiate with an administration that systematically and repeatedly violatetes human rights. this is a time for us to have a strong response into really come and the power that we secured tonight. amy: and your thoughts on the senate actually increasing its republican majority? >> you know, it is very that thatin many ways
is the direction things went. but we also saw with this cycle, the were more democratic senators up for reelection. it is really going to be 2020 that we're going to have a slew of republican challengers -- rather, republicans up for reelection that could potentially the unseeded. as a party anddo is a progressive movement is that we need to really start building the movement around us challenges now. we need to start laying the groundwork. in terms of the senate, because of the reelection and who was up for reelection in terms of there being more democrats, it was going to be tough. but honestly, they have the majority before. there were putting through atrocious legislation before they confirmed kavanauaugh. frankly, it is more e of the sae when it comes to the senate but we need to start laying the groundwork to take the chamber back in 2020. amy: and your thoughts on president trump latest
anti-immigrant racist does theng as he domestic terror attacks occurred one by one in the last week from african americans killed in kentucky to the letter bombs that were sent to perhaps 14 or 15 people or institutions to the attack on the jewish synagogue in pittsburgh? president trump talked about terrorists coming up in a caravan, in fact, referring to immigrants, and threatening -- saying they were going to engage in illegal voting, though he had obviously no proof of this. but the assault of the last few weeks as he campaigned? >> in terms of the response to that, i do believe that our president has abdicated his responsibility as a leader of all people in the united states. he has very clearly drawn lines into which americans he champions in which he doesn't. that is why i feel we have a
very important duty to not only fight against the spread of anti-semitism, racism, xenophobia, but that we need to affirmatively champion the causes of these community's and our neighbors because this is a very dangerous time in our democracy. this is a very dangerous administration that we cannot take for granted. we need to make sure e that we e shoring up the support of these communities in tangible ways. amy: democratic socialist alexandria cortez speaking last night on democracy now! special joint broadcast with the intercept. this is democracy now! full six hour special that ended at 1:00 eastern time this morning, this is democracy now! when we come back, we go to orlando, florida come to speak with desmond meade, who spearheaded amendment 4. it is one of the most significant enfranchisement actions that have taken place in u.s. history.
amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: we turn now to a historic win in florida, where at least 1.4 million people have regained the right to vote following the passage of amendment 4 -- a statewide initiative to re-enfranchise people with felony convictions who have completed their sentences, excluding people convicted of murder or sex offenses. the amendment passed overwhelmingly with 64.5% of the vote. it needed 60% to pass. it was the largest enfranchisement since the women got the right to vote. the win will permanently alter politics in a state that elected republican ron desantis as
florida governor by just over 55,000 votes according to the latest numbers. desantis defeated democratic gubernatorial candidate andrew gillum, who was vying to be the first african-american governor in florida's history. amy: one in five african americans in florida and more than 10% of the state's adult population were ineligible to vote in florida's 2018 election because of a criminal record. well, for more, we go to orlando, florida, where we are joined by desmond meade, who has been fighting for this victory for years. he is president of the florida rights restoration coalition. he's also chairman of the floridians for a fair democracy. he is an ex-offender who was previously homeless. he is one of some 1.4 million people who has just regained his right to vote. welcome back to democracy now! can you talk about your reaction? you had to get 60% of the vote. you got well over that number. how are you feeling? >> amy, first of all, let me thank you for having me on this
morning. i know the last time we talked, we had mentioned my first forray into television or the internet was through you. many years ago in tallahassee. we did a show again about a week or two ago in florida, and here we are this morning on the eve of a very historic win. i want to thank you for being with me along this journey from the very beginning. listen, i am tired, but i'm excited because i think we have something special that happened last night. i think a lot of folks arere not really g grasping at right now, bubut eventually, they will reay understand that what we have seen in florida was love prevailing. that simple. love prevailed. we had over 5 million votes for amendment 4. those were votes of love, people
voting for their loved ones and friends who made mistakes and paid their debt and wanted to move on with their lives. and so we are very excited. we think this victory can serve as a bright spopot for this country and can serve as a launching padad for how we condt busineness and how we can move issues along the lines of humanity and transcend above the partisan politics, transcend ababove the racial anxieties. juan: desmond, what are the prospects of what happened in florida spreading to other states? and also, how do you think this will change the political landscape in florida, especially coming up now jusust a couple of years for the presidential race? >> well, let's talk about the prospects. campaign that was successful last night that dealt felelons,g, dealt with
and it was in the state of florida. those three things do not mix. but throughohout the entire campaign, there was a lot of amazing things that happened. one of the things that i just realized maybe a week or two ago was that not one law enforcement officer spoke out against it. not one in the entire state of florida. and we had the christian coalition. we had thekoch brothers. we have the aclu. we had a broad spectrum of support. let me tell you something amazing that happened. workrking with faith in florida, we had over 827 congregations of faith that participated in the election. in wasn't just african-american churches. it was evangelical churches, latino churches, jewish .ynagogues, muslim mosques they all participated. when have we seen people come together from all walks of life,
from all religions come together around an issue as volatile as the one that we just successfully passed? we don''t see that happening. so i really do believe our victory warrants close inspection because how we were successful can be how others are successful in other states across this country. significantnt. when i was down in florida talking to you a few weeks ago, you said, if there were negative ads against you, you might have trouble. but no one waged a campaign against this. desmond meade, can you talk peopleour designation of -- it is not just people who have come out of jail. you might be convicted of a felony and never served time in prison. this would apply to you, too. universally, you cannot vote for the rest of your life if you are
convicted of a felony. you call yourself a returning citizen. >> we might have to change that name because after last night, we have returned. citizenson american and now experience what it feels like to be a full citizen. before that, we were just second-class citizens in spspite of having paid ourur debt to society. but after tonight, i can honestly say i feel like i have returned. i can vote for my wife should she decide to run for office. and i hope you help convince her to do that, amy, because she would be an amamazing, amazing candidate. but i can vote. i can step in that booth. i can have my voice heard. i will share something with you. last that when we were celebrating, mr. shackelford, at joe mcknight documentary with neglected to go vote -- a gentleman in the documentary with neglected to vote, they turned him away.
we felt when they denied him the ability to vote because of a charge of driving with a suspended license that happened in 1993, and he was turned away in 2016 -- i remember crying that man wasieved not going to be able to live or he wasas going to die before he would get to vote again. it really strengthened m my resolve to push forward with this amendment. last night he came to our watch party and he was there in his be a full blue suit. he said to me, "i can now vote. thank you so much. i know i will vote before i die." that is what this is all about. american citizens having that opportunity to be citizens again. i am excited about it. effect fors were in yesterday's midterm election,
what effect do you think it would have had on the governor's race in florida? we're talking about 1.4 million floridians eating the right to vote. in 2000 with, what, 500 votes. president trump won with something like 116,000 votes. you are talking 1.4 million florididians now will have the right to vote restored. that is a great question. like i told people in the past, when i was arrested by the police, they did not ask me if i was democrat or republican. when i appeared before the judge, he did not ask me that, either. it is hard to say. there are studies on both sides that will say it would break either way. this is what i do say, if 1.4 million returned citizens were able to vote y yesterday, they would vote for the candidate that spoke to their issues. one of the things we are really stressed in florida is that we don't lean left, we don't lean
right, we lead straight forward into the issues that affect people that have been impacted by the criminal justice system, people with felony convictions. so if you were to ask me how folks would have voted, the only thing i can tell you is that they would have voted for the person that spoke more precisely, clearly to the issues that impact them as returning citizens. amy: president of the florida rights restoration coalition, i hope we can come down and cover you in 2020 when you vote. 4,spearheaded amendment which has re-enfnfranchise 1.4 million floridians. also, breaking his, georgia's sixth congressional lucy mcbath has won. she's a gun control activist whose 17-year-old blacks and jordan davis was killed by a white man when he opened fire on his car. that does it for our show. a special thank you to katrina vanden heuvel, publisher of the