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When I first read this story, I thought of you first because you"ve been on this show and you have been--you know, a "tell it like it is" representative senator for the state of Ohio. What was your reaction when you first heard about this plan dealing with the liquor licenses ending up as an investment on Wall Street?
STATE SEN. NINA TURNER (D), OHIO: Well, thank you, Ed, so much. I was surprised. I think everybody in the general assembly should pause.
And let me tell you, Ed, this bill at least in the Senate did receive some bipartisan support because folks are desperate for jobs. But the way it was sold to the general assembly is that they were going to utilize private money to market, for--to spur employment, and now come to find out they want to use the liquor sales to do this -- $700 million to pay back bonds and $500 million as one time funds to close the budget deficit for $1.2 billion.
And as you stated so eloquently--I mean, these bonds are going to be sold on the market. Somebody is going to make that money, and it"s surely not going to be the teacher that"s making $50,000 a year or the firefighter or the police officer that may be making $60,000 or $70,000 a year.
Something is awfully wrong with the plan in the state of Ohio that seeks to privatize the profits but socialize the risks.
SCHULTZ: Senator Turner, what will the loss of this kind of money mean, you know, $6 billion, in liquor revenue over the next few decades? I mean, this is a gamble. There"s no guarantee this is going to work. Can the state play with this money?
TURNER: Really, there is no guarantee. And liquor, you know, the money that comes into the--into the general fund for that is a--it is a stable funding source. So, yes, we"re taking a risk. Why wouldn"t it be more prudent to put a shorter time line but to lock in future governors and future general assemblies over 20, 25 years for a plan that has not created one job? It is absolutely irresponsible.
SCHULTZ: So this plan, in your opinion, will not create jobs?
TURNER: Well, that remains to be seen. But it hasn"t created one yet.
And again, all of the tax we have on middle class and working class men and women in this state and then to have the unadulterated gall to put the state at risk like this, to deceive the general assembly--because that"s exactly what happened. Again, when this bill was touted it was touted as one that would use private money to spur this kind of development and now, the turn-around to use money that comes--
TURNER: -- to the state of Ohio in this way is absolutely unconscionable.
SCHULTZ: What"s your response to the governor appointing himself chairman of Jobs Ohio?
TURNER: Well, Ed --
SCHULTZ: I mean, this is unbelievable. I mean, this guy gets elected. He dumps the state agency, makes himself the chairman of Jobs Ohio, gets some help with his Republican buddies to take the liquor money and go play with it on Wall Street.
TURNER: We certainly need to have an objective approach to do this. It"s almost like the fox watching the hen house, Ed. I mean, we should definitely question the way that this is being run.
SCHULTZ: Can the Democrats do anything to stop this?
TURNER: Well, Ed, again, in the Senate, it passed bipartisan and in a bipartisan way. We are certainly for economic development. But why should the taxpayers bear the brunt of the burden on an experiment that has not proven itself? I will tell you that the Democrats are going to stand strong. We"re going to stand strong for working class men and women in the state of Ohio.
And I want to remind us we are fighting--fighting in the state of Ohio to make sure that our workers continue to have the collective bargaining rights.
You know, the American Dream is going to be no more. It"s turning into the American nightmare. And if you are not ultra wealthy, you can forget about it. And that"s why all of us should care about what"s happening in Ohio, what"s happening in Wisconsin.
You know, Dr. King once said that the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards justice.
And I want the folks in the state of Ohio to remain encouraged that we"re going to continue to be vigilant to make sure that folks still have the opportunity to pursue the American Dream. For some, if you"re middle class and working class, you shouldn"t have any rights. But we"re not going to stand idly by and let this happen in the state of Ohio.
SCHULTZ: Nina Turner, you are a fighter for the people, no doubt about it.
But I want to ask you one final question on this issue. Now, this obviously is going to line the pockets of some Wall Streeters. They"re going to remember who the guy in Ohio--you know, who was responsible for this. If this works, it"s a big gamble--if it works, do you think John Kasich has presidential aspirations? You can"t get to the White House without connections on Wall Street.
TURNER: Well, Ed, that is--we should certainly deal with how much it cost to run a presidential campaign. But for now, the citizens of the state of Ohio need a governor who cares about what happens here in Ohio for the 11.5 million people he was elected to serve.
SCHULTZ: Does he care more about Wall Street--does he care more about Wall Street than he does the citizens of Ohio?
TURNER: Well, Ed, that is a question for the governor, but I will tell you that we have a lot of suffering going on here besides Senate Bill 5. This House Bill 159 that seeks to take away some voting rights. I mean, we have a lot of issues in the state of Ohio that we have to work on collectively, and I hope all of the citizens in this state, both Democrat and Republican, are watching what happens as the middle class goes, so do the rest of us.
So, I am really about working very, very hard, along my other Democratic colleagues and some other folks of good consciousness, to make sure that there is an American Dream for other folks to inherit and to make sure that all folks had the opportunity to pursue happiness.
SCHULTZ: All folks. That is the key phrase.
SCHULTZ: Ohio State Senator Nina Turner, thank you for joining us tonight. Thanks for your time.
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