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Public Statements

MSNBC "The Ed Show" - Transcript

Interview

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Now, let me know if you see any difference. Joining me now from Ohio is Ohio State Senator Nina Turner. Senator Turner, good to have you with us tonight.

NINA TURNER, OHIO STATE SENATOR: Thank you, Ed.

SCHULTZ: It is amazing when you look at the plan that"s coming out from all these different states, where Republicans just happen to be in charge. What should be the game plan in your state of Ohio, first, working against John Kasich?

TURNER: Well, Ed, as you laid out the--picture perfectly. And hopefully the 11 million citizens of the state are paying attention. Governor Kasich"s budget is really a continuation of Senate Bill 5, which is an attack on our working class men and women.

And what Republican governors across the country are doing, which is create--to take us from the United States of America to the corporate states of America, really in Governor Kasich"s budget is all about creating a low wage work force.

So, in my mind, you know, you have the have mores, the have somes and the have nots. And when the governor is done in the state of Ohio, you"ll have the have a lots and the have nots. It is absolutely devastating.

SCHULTZ: How are you going to deal with these cuts?

TURNER: Well, we"ve got to work hard, as you know. The Democrats are outnumbered in both the House and the Senate. But we really need the people of the state of Ohio to recognize this for what it is, an attack on firefighters, on teachers, on police officers. And if anybody for one second believes that just because they are not a public sector worker, that they"re going to escape this, imagine that local governments have to lay off police officers, have to lay off firefighters. If you need the help of those public servants, who"s going to be there to help you?

So we have to continue to fight. We have to take this message to the people. And they should understand very clearly that everybody is impacted by this.

SCHULTZ: This isn"t, as I see it, looking at all the different states, really a left-right, Republican or Democrat issue. Look at the poll numbers of Mr. Kasich. He just recently got elected to the governor"s chair. His approval rating, done by a University of Cincinnati poll, he"s at 40 percent, 47 percent disapproval.

Now, it"s not left or right. It"s a priority list. And it seems that the priority list by those in power just don"t believe in shared sacrifice. Do you believe that number? Do you think opinions are turning in your state?

TURNER: I do, Ed. I think people are beginning to see the picture very, very clearly. Teachers and police officers and firefighters, they are our neighbors. They are our friends.

And I think the public is smarter than we give them credit for. They get it. And they understand that this just will not work. It is an insult. It is devastating. Two billion dollars worth of cuts to local government, two billion dollars worth of cuts to K through 12 education, 450 million dollars worth of cuts to higher education. You have got to be kidding me.

We are in a downward spiral in the state of Ohio. And I think both--and folks get it. This is a human issue. And this is not about Republican or Democrat. But it"s about the type of state that we want our families and our future generations to inherit.

SCHULTZ: Senator Turner, tell us about the stimulus package, what you know. The money that has gone to Ohio, there have been a number of governors who have not worked with the Obama administration, that have been tight with the dollar, that have not put the money into effect to create these jobs.

And obviously the conspiracy theory that I have is they don"t want to see President Obama get any credit whatsoever. Have you seen the stimulus money get to work? Or is it being held back in your state?

TURNER: At least under Governor Strickland, he put the stimulus money that came from the president, which--by the way, we need to remember that if the president and the Congress had not acted, we would have been not in a recession, but in the Great Depression. So they had to act.

But the criticism that"s coming from the Kasich administration about living within our means, you know, he"s proposing to sell prisons at pennies on the dollar. It"s almost laughable. It"s almost a giveaway.

SCHULTZ: He wants to privatize the penal system? He wants to privatize the prisons in that state. Obviously people would come in and cut a fat hog on that. But what kind of product would you get?

TURNER: Absolutely, about five prisons for about 200 million dollars. I don"t even know if you can build a prison for 200 million dollars. And again, any money that the state would get would be one time--would be a one-time money windfall.

So it absolutely makes no sense. And also, the prison guards that work there--private prison guards make about one-third less than public sector, again, creating a low-wage state, vilifying public workers, as if they don"t work hard, as if they don"t bring it every single day, as if they don"t serve the constituents in the state of Ohio. It is absolutely unconscionable.

SCHULTZ: Senator Turner, I think we"re going to have to bring THE ED SHOW to Ohio. You"ve got a lot of things going on there. I don"t like what"s going on there.

TURNER: We would love to have you, Ed. And I want to say in closing, Councilman Fanny Lewis used to say it doesn"t matter if you kill me by accident or kill me on purpose, dead is dead. And between the governor"s budget and Senate Bill 5, we are creating an environment in the state of Ohio that will not promote death--excuse me, that will not promote growth, but will promote death.

SCHULTZ: Senator Nina Turner from Ohio with us tonight here on THE ED SHOW.

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