Mike Siegel - Peter Flaherty of National Legal and Policy Center

The Kuhner Report
Monday, November 20th

Mike Siegel fills in for Jeff, and speaks to Peter Flaherty, the President of the National Legal and Policy Center about the sexual misconduct allegations against Al Franken, and the uselessness of a Senate Ethics Committee.


Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Conan report presented by Kelly financial services. Whether it's got out of four have been a good injection of. And I think he'll get there. Above plot commit good to have you whether here we come back to a brand new week that a Monday Mike Siegel and war. Our good friend Jeff what are today it's 1206. And we get started right out of the box. About Al Franken. A second accuser. And there is an organization the national legal and policy center. A group that promotes ethics in public life. That's kind of like swimming upstream against the hurricanes and in the super storm as opposed but they do research investigation educational legal action. They say that bigger the government the more opportunity for corruption. The more intervention in the economy the more reason for special interest to seek influence. That of course we EC with. Our old friend that I use the world advisedly Hillary Clinton. And the pay for play problem that secretary of state. Among others beat that has that made this time it's about sexual harassment sexual abuse. Al Franken. Would all about Roy Moore as well let's get right to it. Peter Flaherty is the president. Of the national legal policies and was flirting or you today. And Mike Hubbard well. Doing very well and I wanna get right to it with you because before we get to your point. As an organization as to what Mitch McConnell was doing to help Al Franken. A we have now have a second accuser Lindsay men's. Has now said that Franken grabbed her but while the two took a photo together the Minnesota state fair and 2010. She said quote he pulled me and really close like awkward close. And that's my husband took the picture. He put his hands full fledged on my career. It was wrapped tightly around my butt cheek. Frank it says that remember taking a photo he felt badly that she felt this respected. He takes thousands of photos he says that the state fair surrounded by hundreds of people. And he says he certainly didn't remember taking the picture. Is that I feel badly ms. Mendes came away our interaction. Feeling this respected. We already know about the Sweden. The radio anchor in Los angels gave BC. And we have now a second accuser. Of I don't want to touching. Which by the way is a battery when you and don't want when you touch somebody and and on wanted to fashion. Maybe not criminal but certainly civil and so it's it would be actionable theoretically but as a practical matter. This guy's going through. A lot of trying to manipulate. The terms of what happened or the degree to which it happened. And the lack of remembering what happened except for the fact we have that photograph. Of the sweeten them on the airplane with him groping her in her breasts we would not have maybe have the same admission from him. What about that second accuser now with regard to Al Franken split. Speak clear these media reports that say Al Franken has apologized or just plain wrong. With this skit incidents with the official that's with the first victim. He said he has no recollection of the second victim now comes forward he says he doesn't remember. So I think he's being given a pass and and all this goes to underscore. The point that I've been making in that. It was a folly for Mitch McConnell. To. Refer this to the ethics committee and it can only serve a purpose. Preserving Al Franken in the US senate. When it's clear to me what he should do and that's resign. Yeah he you have according to you to your analysis as your as an organization. Basically you're saying that Mitch McConnell has done a favor wild really chastising him going after Roy Moore. With with those allegations very credible. But that the one thing about that case is that the voters of Alabama. If more states and have have the decision making authority in that case and that's preps wage should be at that a piece about that for our WRK a dot com people take a look at it but the the point about. Franken. Is that it's graphic it's there. And and McConnell is now sending it to the ethics committee we need to understand that the ethics committee of the senate. Is basically a place where it goes to die you mean it just gets buried in their that. That is correct and that's why Al Franken filed a complaint on himself with the ethics committee. He knows that he can say in the interim. That this is the appropriate venue for. This is where it's banged out west but we all know of this senate ethics committee meanders Bachmann do any effect or is unlikely to do anything. But more than that it burst the bubble it's. It's. Takes all the steam. Out of any other alternative. Including the most appropriate one as which is for Al Franken 39. There was a huge double standard here by Mitch McConnell. He wants the senate ethics committee to look at Al Franken but in the case of Roy Moore. He's been trying to get him to withdraw from the race. I even though his name will be on the ballot every barrel of what happens 'cause it's past the deadline. And if more were elected. I think the appropriate thing to do is the senate ethics committee. To look at more they're gonna look at Franken the dilemma for the people of Alabama right now is that these allegations cannot be proven or disproven. Before the election. So. If they're true and more as elected and the voters lose but if they're untrue. Moore has been a victim of a huge frame up. So it's a dilemma. But why should Al Franken get. This kind of forbearance from McConnell. But not. But not. More. McConnell has been. Actively undermining more his candidacy. He said that he should get out. As senator Cory Gardner from Colorado they had the National Republican Senatorial Committee says that if he's elected. They will seek to expel him. So let me might take what's really at play here. This is not about sexual harassment. This is not a bad. The senate ethics committee. This is about the absolute panic that apparently gripped Washington establishment. About somebody like Roy Moore coming to the senate. The problem for the Republicans is that there. Dependent on corporate America for their support. In in recent years over the last two decades or so corporate America has been moving further and further to collapse especially on social issues. Big companies are in the grip of the cultural left. And so what McConnell and the cook gardener and the others fear is having to go and ask for huge amounts money these companies. They're gonna say well what about Roy Moore that's what's behind this whole thing and that's why we have this double standard yeah. You know that's a great point. And if it's also a point that it's really Steve Bannon. Vs Mitch McConnell a look Mitch McConnell is part of the yes swamps so to speak that troubles talking about it and we asked to work with a and so this battles much bigger. Then just Roy Moore or the other case Al Franken. It's about maintaining the status quo. For the electorate that bearish on. They that the descended is a club. And Mitch McConnell would rather rescue Al Franken. In imperil his own Republican majority. Then to allow a robe and heck. Like way more to join the club. Now Steve Bannon did not. Invent Roy Moore. He's been in the public guy. In Alabama for forty years he's been twice on the State's Supreme Court has been removed twice. So. The Bannon didn't invent this. There's devised. He may be seeking to act. Exacerbated now. But the real question is at what point does it become untenable. For congressional Republicans. To be married to corporate America I think it's starved for divorce. Because they have to go out and tell you and me one thing about where they stand what they're gonna do and I have to go and tell there. Financial benefactors. Something else that they really don't mean it in we've seen it. Manifest itself time and time again with this congress and in a court's most dramatically with this fiasco around Al Franken. And a judge Moore went. Quality of the big thing to me because I was on the air in Miami in 1981. When the Mariel boatlift. Really pounded. South Florida. And scarface was not very far from the truth by the way. Without you know at the threw it down there on the air. But the fact of the matter was that that immigration issue from then to now. Has been huge because the US chamber of commerce funded by big corporate America the just describe us clarity. Is an organization. That has funded to the tune of about eighty million dollars per election cycle candidates or moderate Republicans most primaries when Tea Party candidates ran. To offset them because why. These big corporations through the US chamber of commerce want illegal immigration to continue. Just as Democrats do Democrats because they want the votes Republicans because they want the cheap labor. And at the Republican leadership won't tell the public this openly. But they'll do it and kind of avoid. The immigration issue because. They yet don't wanna. Confront. Dealing with the strong immigration laws have not won a two and they've been doing the bidding of these big corporations who want the cheap labor. Well that's right and the other problem for the Republicans is that corporate America. In recent years has moved further further to the left as. The Silicon Valley firms have gain. More more prominence within the economy. They used debate. Pepsi and and and these other old economy companies that pushed all these several things. But now all of when you have Google. And FaceBook. And apple and Twitter. All the executives of these companies are all on left wing. The role. Extremely wealthy. They only talk to each other and. When Amazon and Microsoft Bill Gates. And to appease those. Well and an Amazon probably the worse the Amazon as calling now they have the Washington Post. Well yeah and base those paid at 250 dollars 250 million dollars in cash for there was such a pittance. In in the meantime Amazon appalling at. The real economy. When a retailer in the local mall goes out of business. Jobs are lost money is not paid into the out of unemployment compensation fund. Property taxes lost perhaps. But. Amazon gets bigger and bigger. It does not seek to profit it is never side to make a profit unlike local businesses and it doesn't need a profits and business. It is always aspired to monopoly status. And that's where it's headed now and so base just recently gave a speech where he. Advocated for a national. Minimal income. So in other words as these hollows out the real economy and destroy Israel jobs replaces them with with robots and in these massive distribution centers and drones. Yeah and drones in whatever. He wants what's left of the old economy to pave the people who put that work. So you know I'm a capitalist I believe and creative destruction and so forth. But we are now facing a situation where they Amazon where. It is threatens to hollow out the whole. Old economy and what I'm most worried about it is its effect on. The political system and civil liberties. If Amazon becomes the dominant force in every community in the in the country. On base doses left wing political views are kind of filtered out whether that's gonna affect. Everything that to the point where. You know right now we're facing a progressive assault on our civil liberties and it's just gonna accelerate and and it's going to be very difficult thing to a post. Welcome the bottom line of what you just describing this part of the conversation. Relates directly back to Franken because Mitch McConnell is more as you pointed out is more willing to allow of that. Kind of ideology seek more and more into the system. That to control that situation. By staying out of the Roy Moore case look the people of Alabama after the side this these are pretty credible allegations and assertions. And maybe he should have dropped out was not gonna drop out so it's going to be there so the Alabama voters are gonna have the ultimate right witches. The best version of democracy. To take care this problem and decide one way or the other. Bottom line is. That would McConnell is doing. Is it is in directly enhancing. Pesos. And his ideology. Because Al Franken has the same ideology. Well that's right and let's remember that. It didn't take these allegations war McConnell. To seek the destruction or more. During the prior Marie is the super pacs spent a million dollar down there. Much of the material and ads they ran was. And I think going waking characterize it is vicious. And and even after more. Won the nomination. McConnell was trying to undermine him. In a variety of ways. So it's it's quite remarkable that McConnell would rather lose his senate majority then do the right thing on on Al Franken it's it will if it's astonishing. Right back Peta Larry is whether it's good to have him here. As we continue along he is the president of the national legal and policies that are much more coming mikes in the Jeff cooler the voice of Boston. WRKO it's twelve wanna. So maybe it seems to be pardon season when it comes to the president. Calling on the president to not pardoning turkeys that is the dumbest tradition in America. As if ever I want him to make a stand and be the anti president this is that what he's doing it tomorrow. He is doing and I cannot wait to see if we're to talk about that pardon and a whole lot more if we get this six day. Killing DB weekday mornings 62 and a half on the voice of Boston. WRK EL. 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Good to have you here of course on over to Boston 6172666868. Back we go with beautiful Marty who is here about the Al Franken case particularly but a lot of other elements. Motivating. Mitch McConnell do what he's doing about sending it to the ethics committee. Mr. clarity is the president of the national legal policy center you know it strikes me. That there's another motivation here in the part of McConnell was Larry of that is that maybe there are Republicans who could go under the same. Umbrella as Franken for behavior of theirs in the past and their four. If he were to. Three Franken with the stain that. Demand the arrest him to resign. His have to do the same what this fellow Republicans what about that. Well I think it's true I think McConnell understands that there may be Republicans you'll have allegations come forward against them. He doesn't want to set a precedent or get locked in. Now while their position as morally bankrupted it's at least rational. But that does not address the double standard when it comes to his treatment of of judge Moore. In in Alabama. So. You know he can't have it both ways. And you know by the way that he can't do anything about if Roy Moore is elected. Mitch McConnell is gonna have to live with the because. Even if it with the senate ethics committee I know your your organization. Filed a complaint about Charlie Rangel because of that report rent that he was getting from a a wholly owned in the Dominican Republic. But he. He was actually chastised. Heather and at the blow leave his chairmanship of ways and means in the congress in the house. And thanks to your complaint but also because of the huge outcry most of the time ethics complaints never go anywhere yes so. House and senate ethics committees don't do anything unless there's a constant. Steady stream of news articles and pressure put on them. And that's what we're able to do in the Rangel case every time things settled that we would find something else and be back in the news so they had to act. But I believe if we were unable to generate all that attention they would not have acted. And I think what Franken is banking on in this case. And what McConnell understands. Is that when this thing blows over a bit. Al Franken will be perfectly say. Is that as this that second by the way in my view Al Franken needs to resign I wrote that in the piece that I did for wrko.com. Which is up now. People look at it but I think he should resign. I I think as a matter of honor the Zenyatta left in this individual because there's also a lot of talk about the way he spoke about women. Over the years in a very derogatory fashion as sex objects rather than is respected human beings so. A lot of that they've warned of coming out now as well and if it does does that then add fuel to the fire along with the second. Woman complaining about his behavior toward her. Two lead to the possibility of us having to resign. Well I think so and there could be before a woman a third woman. You know it depends how many come forward. I think that. This folly of sending a thing to the senate ethics committee can be overcome. If there's more attention and the pressure is just kept on and and that's what will be doing. In the in the upcoming days. Well that it's going to be interesting to watch. It's good that organizations such as yours or are staying on top of this. To me it's very clear. That that the graphic nature of that photograph. Of Al Franken doing what he did Patterson I sit in the United States senate on any committee. He did a lot of chastising. Of Jeff. That the yet Jeff Sessions the attorney general. Questioning him how good question anybody now we have 45 seconds go ahead. Well that's a good question and Mike the reason we are so. Attentive to the separate committee issue is because. In LPC was founded in 1991. As a response to the senate ethics committee punting on the Keating five. Matter which included. Or John McCain and and and four Democrats. And they. Said that. The date they were there to work it joining but senators should refer to as senator Paul Douglas is writings about that's what they were referring to. Was the act code for government service that they were so afraid of giving up higher standing they wouldn't even. Caught by its real name they just said senator douglas'. Writings so there's too much for us we decided to. Former group to expose corruption and promote ethics. The problem is that in the 2526. Years whatever it is since we were patted the situation has gotten no better the center that their committee has no more credibility. And left to their own devices they'll do nothing and that's the case here with this Al Franken investigation. Mr. Larry appreciate your strong position thank you for your good work.