Hardball | January 29, 2013
>>> new york senator chuck schumer gave his blessing to the nomination of chuck hagel for defense secretary , his path to confirmation was essentially cleared. but the hawks who oppose hagel have only dug in deeper and the latest evidence comes from a newly created anti- hagel group called use your mandate. they have no website and an address that exists only as a p.o. boshtion and anonymous backers who claim to be obama allies. here is their anti- hagel ad. it's been on tv. let's watch it.
>> chuck hagel , he's been nominated to be secretary of defense, and president obama nominated him with the best of intentions. but it's still a bad choice. hague sel anti-woman, anti-choice, anti- israel , anti-gay, and pro-assault weapon. that's just not what we voted for in november. chuck hagel doesn't share our values. there are other people who can do the job. why do we need someone like this? we don't. urge your senator to vote no on hagel .
>> so why the anti- hagel backers in the group use your mandate so shy in a source close to the group told " huffington post ," quote, those involved are choosing to stay anonymous because they're allies with the obama administration and hesitant to criticize the president publicly for fear of retribution or pressure from the white house . the source characterized members as a concerned group of people who have some questions about chuck hagel , including individuals who have fought for lgbt rights for a long time. oh, really? that just doesn't sound right to a lot of people, including many reporters and our own rachel maddow . let's listen to rachel.
>> probably they're asserting there's some kind of broad democrat opposition to chuck hagel . we're just not allowed to know who it is. i'm not buying it. i call bullpucky. i say it's even money that this is the right running ads against hagel while pretending to be the left. i might be wrong but i call bullpucky. if i am wrong, there's an easy way to prove it. come out, come out, whoever you are.
>> rachel as smoky. joining me right now two reporters who have done the legwork to leinvestigate who is behind this group , the great jim routen burg of new york times and andrew krasinski. jim , thank you. i appreciate you coming on tonight. i was curious when he saw the log cabin ads. they're not a well-funded organization but they seem to have an enormous amount of money to pay for a "new york times" ad. i said where is that money coming from? it's apparently, i don't know if you know this, but it's $140,000 to put a full-page ad in. i said, well, that's interesting. somebody is feeding them from the back room. what's going on here? are these hawks, neocons, sauld people that just want to go to war, they don't like hagel 's geopolitics?
>> there are definitely hawks who don't like his politics who are out in the open saying we don't want this to go forward. but then there are people in the shadows who are giving a lot of money for these ads who don't say who they are so we're only left to speculate.
>> you were able in your reporting to come across the ad group out of the group that makes the ads which is a republican group . there's also a group called the emergency committee , whatever it is, for israel . that's two pieces, one partisan, one ideological to tell you where they're coming from, right?
>> and they happen to share the same firm to buy their media. these are the firms that kind of put television ads on the air and some of the firms are partisan and it so happens the group they use, smart media is a republican group . they buy for republicans and republicans only more or less.
>> let me be the most naive person in television and ask you why don't they come out and say who they are and why they're opposing this guy?
>> well, i think in "the huffington post " report they said they're gay rights democrats --
>> but --
>> hrc, a group i have worked with for years, almost two decades, is with them, they accept the man's change of heart as part of the country's change of heart about gay rights and certainly marriage equality and who are these people that stay in the shadows and say they have a problem with his positions on guns, on israel , on gay rights , on everything? it just seems like quite a potpourri and, therefore, suspicious i think.
>> i mean, you look at the list of groups that would oppose chuck hagel who are gay rights groups who would be willing to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars who don't want to alienate the white house , and you think maybe the list is down here. you think of conservatives who are willing to do that, and the list is a little bit higher. so i mean i think the spount people are spending monhundreds of thousands of dollars. we don't know who it is. they're saying they're gay rights democrats but the fact they use a media farm with ties to the rn c, christine o'donnell, and, i mean, it's very sketchy. i think people want to spend all this money to oppose chuck hagel , that's fine but the fact we don't know who it is is a little disconcerting.
>> here is a statement from a friend of mine, chad, president of the human rights campaign , one of the largest gay rights groups. he was conciliatory after hagel apologized for ace-tie gay comments. he said his apology and statement of support for lgbt equality is appreciated and shows just how far as a kubt we've konl from a former conserva nebraska can have a change of heart on lgdt issues. tllt they are. talk about conciliation there, jim . the lgbt community and under the name there of the great organization human rights campaign are accepting him as an ally. let me get back to you. you're a student now as a reporter of media. you have always been a great reporter of media. now how media works into politics. are we seeing more of this subterfuge of this, apparent subterfuge?
>> i think this is just the way it's going to be unless there's a new law, the disclose act in the senate that we're talking about that would make the donors have to step forward . if that doesn't happen, this is the way it's going to be done now definitely for the next few years. expect more of it in the next two gans.
>> people like the koch brother, i have heard them, i don't think adelman is the name, but the koch brothers believe they have the right to influence american politics big time with lots of spening, big promotion of certain candidates, big opposition to people like the president, and not to have any investigation of who they are, any exposure of their own personal or political involvement. is that a reasonable thing to believe in? they can have this power without any identity? last question to you, andrew ?
>> i think there are a lot of -- i mean, someone like sheldon adelson or other groups, you think about do they mind spending tons of money against chuck hagel ? no. i mean, but are they going to do it disguising as lgbt democrats and you wonder if they're willing to go that far, but like i said, who is willing to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars and not have their name out there who is powerful enough that they don't want to alienate the white house ? i mean, it really -- it doesn't -- it's very sketchy like i said. we don't know who is behind it.
>> well, they're not the first wolves in sheep's clothing. that probably doesn't fit but it sounds like a historic combination. thank you jim rutenberg and andrew kaczynski, congratulations for coming on. just a remind ir, tomorrow andrea mitchell will interview the outcoming secretary of state. that's coming up at 1:00 p.m . tomorrow on msnbc. we'll be using parts of that but if you want to catch the whole thing, watch andree at 1:00.
>>> political movies are hot stuff, and when can he come back, the great kevin spacey will be here. he has a new political show called " house of cards " swi almost ripped from tomorrow's headlines if these headlines had occurred. maybe they won't occur but his show will. this is "hardball,"