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LOU DOBBS TONIGHT

GOP Calls for Investigation into Classified Leak; U.S., Iraqis Secure Border Town; French Authorities Hope Curfews will Quell Riots

Aired November 8, 2005 - 18:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


LOU DOBBS, HOST: Thank you, Wolf.
Good evening, everybody.

Tonight, a major new leak investigation under way in Washington. Republicans trying to shift the political debate from pre-war intelligence on Iraq. We'll have that special report for you from Capitol Hill.

And U.S. Marines in Iraq using overwhelming firepower to blast insurgents out of a strategically important town near the Syrian border. We're live in Baghdad with the story.

And then, the 13th day of rioting in Muslim and Arab areas of France. The French prime minister declares his country is, quote, "at an hour of truth." We'll be taking you live to Paris.

And on this election day 2005, a day of truth in California, where a series of referendums could determine the future of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's political career.

We'll also tell you about a rare victory for working men and women in this country, handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court.

We begin tonight with major new developments in what has become a highly partisan battle on Capitol Hill about the leak of secret U.S. intelligence. Republican leaders today launched an investigation into the leak of classified information to the "Washington Post" about secret CIA prisons for terrorists overseas.

Ed Henry on Capitol Hill with the latest for us, Ed?

ED HENRY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And Lou, the latest is that CNN has just learned from U.S. officials that the CIA has now officially sent a report to the U.S. Justice Department suggesting that, in fact, classified information was leaked in this "Washington Post" report.

What's significant here is that's exactly what happened in the Valerie Plame case. The CIA referred to this to Justice, and of course, they launched a criminal investigation that resulted, ultimately, in at least one indictment of Scooter Libby, the vice president's former chief of staff. So we're expecting that to be a big development.

Also, as you mentioned, House Speaker Dennis Hastert and the Senate majority leader launching today a separate probe here on Capitol Hill, a joint investigation by the House and Senate intelligence committees to get to the bottom of this.

But a little bit of a hang-up just in the last hour here, Senate Majority Leader Frist telling reporters he has not officially signed a letter that he and Hastert had drafted earlier today to the intelligence committee chairs to officially launch this investigation. What's the hang-up? Well, a little controversy has been brewing this afternoon.

Officials up here were basically saying throughout the day that they believe former and current CIA officials were to blame for leaking this classified information to the "Washington Post" about the secret prisons where allegedly terror suspects were held.

But then late this afternoon, Republican Senator Trent Lott basically stunned reporters saying that, in fact, he thinks that at least one Republican senator may have been involved in this, as well. Basically, Senator Lott told reporters that at last Tuesday, a private lunch between Republican senators and Vice President Cheney, this information about secret prisoners and prisons were actually -- this information was discussed in the Capitol among Vice President Cheney and Republican senators.

Lott said point-blank, referring to the "Washington Post" report, quote, "A lot of it came out of that room last Tuesday," referring to the room where Cheney and Republican senators had lunch.

He also added of senators, quote, "We can't keep our mouths shut." And then he added of Cheney, quote, "He was up here last week and he talked up here in that room right there in a room full of nothing but senators, and every word that he was said -- that was said in there went right to the newspaper."

Now, I can tell you just in the short little while various Republicans telling me that Senator Lott is going to eventually be clarifying his remarks, that he was not saying that, in fact, the information was revealed there. There was some information -- was discussed. But I have not gotten a chance to get to Senator Lott to actually get to the bottom of it.

Democrats are having some fun with this. They say now these Republican investigations might wind up investigating Republican senators -- Lou.

DOBBS: Well, investigating whomever. The fact that the majority leader in the U.S. Senate, Senator Bill Frist, has pointed out that he's not officially signed the agreement with Dennis Hastert, the speaker of the House, that seems like a pretty clear statement. Would you like to conclude what it means?

HENRY: Well, it's unclear. Hastert has signed the letter. He has signed it several hours ago. That was when we -- CNN first reported it, about 1 p.m. this afternoon. Now, why Senator Frist has not officially signed it, it's unclear. It's hard to speculate, and I don't want to speculate at this point. This controversy has popped up this afternoon and certainly raising some...

DOBBS: Speculate if you will, Ed Henry, on this. Why would the Senate majority leader be telling everybody he hasn't signed it yet?

HENRY: Well, perhaps because people are wondering whether this investigation is going to boomerang on the Republican leadership. And I think the Republican leaders are a little nervous about exactly where this investigation may go. But by the end of the evening, Senator Frist may end up signing the letter to show that, in fact, he does want to get to the bottom of it.

I should also point out that, while he told me and other reporters he had not signed the letter, he did say he wants to get to the bottom of whether or not classified information was leaked. But it's very curious that on the one hand he's saying he wants to investigate it; on the other hand he's saying he hasn't signed the letter.

DOBBS: Did he go on to say that he would sign the letter, Ed?

HENRY: He did not go on to say it, but he told me that he had a 6 deadline. He didn't say what the deadline was, but it's now a couple minutes after 6. This was a few minutes before. I would expect that he was expecting to decide whether he would sign the letter by 6, so hopefully in a few minutes we'll have an answer.

DOBBS: And -- and hopefully, within a matter of just a few minutes after that you'll be back here reporting to this audience exactly what is going on.

HENRY: I look forward to, Lou.

DOBBS: Thank you very much. Ed Henry from Capitol Hill.

The announcement comes as special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald continues his investigation into the CIA White House leak case. Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, is the only person indicted so far. Fitzgerald's investigation has now gone on 678 days. Of course, more than twice as long as Watergate 30 years ago.

Congressional Democrats today stepped up their criticism of the way the White House used intelligence before the war in Iraq. House minority leader Nancy Pelosi declared any information into the CIA prison leak should include a look at pre-war intelligence as well.

The Democratic vice chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, Senator Jay Rockefeller met with the committee's chairman, Senator Pat Roberts. Senator Rockefeller said there's still much work to be done on the issue. The chairman of the intelligence committee, Senator Roberts, said that there are difficulties. Senator Roberts said the two senators have what he calls a frank and candid discussion on the issues.

As politicians argue about pre-war intelligence, it appears one of our most senior intelligence officials has inadvertently disclosed one of the government's most closely held secrets.

A top CIA official last week revealed for the first time that the country's annual intelligence budget is $44 billion. That's slightly higher than published estimates, although the CIA has previously revealed, up until 1999 the budgets, this is the first time in six years it has done so. Not surprisingly, the official who released that information is now saying nothing, certainly nothing in public.

Turning now to the war in Iraq, a top U.S. Marine officer declared that American and Iraqi troops have secured a strategically important town near the border with Syria. That after four days of heavy fighting. The Marine offensive is in the town of Husayba. It was the biggest U.S. offensive in a year.

Aneesh Raman now joins us live from Baghdad -- Aneesh.

ANEESH RAMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Lou, good evening.

As you say, day four of Operation Steel Curtain winding down as U.S. And Iraqi force secure the city of Husayba. Now we have more exclusive CNN video of the operation to show you tonight.

The city is of critical importance because for months it has been an insurgent command post. It also lies right on the Syrian border, across which foreign fighters, weapons and cache continue to flow into Iraq. They have destroyed a number of significant weapons caches, detained a number of suspected insurgents.

The key now will be whether Iraqi security forces, who will remain behind permanently as its operation ends, can keep the area secure, that is key to U.S. troops coming home.

The Pentagon yesterday announced that some 92,000 U.S. troops would rotate into Iraq from mid next year until 2008. That number, though, Lou, of course, dependent on the situation on the ground, the situation which very much is still war. We're just about eight days into November and already, 27 U.S. troops have been killed in Iraq -- Lou.

DOBBS: Unfortunately, 27 more, the total rising, well above 2,000. Aneesh Raman, we thank you very much, reporting from Baghdad.

Police in Australia say a radical Islamist cleric there who praised Osama bin Laden is the leader of a group of suspected terrorists planning a jihad against Australians. The cleric and 16 other radical Islamists were arrested in a massive security operation in Australia's two biggest cities, Melbourne and Sydney.

Friends and relatives of some of the accused men attacked reporters and photographers outside a courthouse in Melbourne. None of the newsmen were seriously -- were seriously hurt.

Radical Islamist rioting continues in France tonight, the 13th night of attacks and riots and the violence that has swept across the entire country. As some local officials impose curfews, the French prime minister declared that France is now at an hour of truth.

Becky Anderson is live in Paris with the very latest for us, Becky? BECKY ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Lou, this is the hour of truth. And let me tell you, the law that was passed earlier today allowing for curfews has just gone into effect. We know of one area to the northeast of Paris, a very depressed area, a town known as Aneuille (ph).

That annex suburbs are under curfew from now on through the next 12 days from 10 p.m. until 7 a.m. in the morning. Anybody out on those streets breaking the curfew will be either fined or put in prison for up to two months. That is the situation. So we know of one town in and suburb to the north of Paris just here that is under curfew at this point.

The interior ministry said it has defined the other areas across France where curfews will be allowed. They haven't released those details to the media. It will become clear in the next few hours exactly where those towns with curfews are across France.

Let's set some context for this for you. On Monday night, 226 towns and cities across France suffering violence and riots of some sort, and tonight, once again, in Toulouse and in Marseilles, before these curfews went into place, we're hearing reports once again of the torching of cars. A thousand cars torched last night, 350 people arrested. That was on the twelfth night of violence.

The state here is hoping that these curfews will do the job. The people who live in these neighborhoods are calling these curfews draconian and provocative. They don't think this will necessarily help. We'll have to see -- Lou.

DOBBS: Becky Anderson from Paris. Thank you, Becky.

Still ahead, a deadly school shooting in Tennessee today. We'll have the very latest for you.

And important elections all across the country today. We'll have complete coverage, of course, coast-to-coast.

And a grave new warning about communist China's threat to this country economically and militarily. We'll have that special report coming right up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DOBBS: A hard-fought and nasty campaign season is coming down to the wire this evening. This year's campaigns have been notable for their brutal attack ads that virtually ignored issues important to struggling men and women across the country. Now, on this election day, from New Jersey to Virginia to California, it is the people's turn to speak.

Louise Schiavone has the report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LOUISE SCHIAVONE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Nowhere are the stakes higher than in Virginia's governor's race. President Bush last night did his part for the Republican, despite a long return flight from a grueling trip to South America.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Decided to stop a little short of our destination. See, I know a man of character and integrity, and he's standing next to me; and that's Jerry Kilgore.

SCHIAVONE: Some consider Kilgore's fate a referendum on the Bush administration. The contest has swirled mostly around the broad question of whether Virginians want a Bush conservative or a Democrat.

Kilgore's biting ad against Democratic Lieutenant Governor Tim Kaine was a low point.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tim Kaine says that Adolf Hitler doesn't qualify for the death penalty. This was the worst mass murderer in modern times.

SCHIAVONE: The tone hasn't been any more cordial in the New Jersey governor's race, where the campaigns have wallowed and traded suggestions of marital infidelity. And millionaires Jon Corzine, the Democrat, and Doug Forrester, the Republican, have spent a combined $70 million, much of it their own money.

As elsewhere, a GOP victory in this blue state might signal that, despite the CIA leak case and the worsening situation in Iraq, Mr. Bush is not a lame duck yet.

In New York City, though seemingly destined for another term as mayor, incumbent Republican Michael Bloomberg has been spending his own money like there's no tomorrow. His roughly $80 million investment is minor compared to the $500 billion fortune.

And in California, Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is finding that his movie star fame and good looks may not be enough to power major ballot initiatives that pit him against the state's labor unions, not to mention other movie stars.

WARREN BEATTY, ACTOR: He keeps saying the same thing over and over again, that he wants to change the broken system. But as nearly as I can tell, the broken system that he wants to change is called democracy.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCHIAVONE: Lou, tomorrow morning or may be even later tonight, the pundits will start looking at these returns and start handicapping next year's congressional elections. What we're seeing here today is really just the first inning of the midterm elections -- Lou.

DOBBS: Louise, thank you very much. And Louise, on this broadcast, we're not going to wait for those pundits and mavens and gurus. We're going to have them ourselves in a few minutes to analyze what's going on across the country. Thank you, Louise.

California Governor Schwarzenegger's bold election gamble could be backfiring. California voters appear to be poised to defeat three of the four Schwarzenegger backed referendums. In some cases the polls suggest it's simply too close to call. Defeats, of course, would cripple Schwarzenegger's political career.

Bill Schneider now joins us live from Los Angeles with the very latest -- Bill.

BILL SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I've been talking to voters here in California. Some of the voters are voting behind me. The polls are open now for a few more hours.

And most of them are saying they're here to make a statement either for or against Governor Schwarzenegger. He's the one who put initiatives on the ballot. He's the one who called this special election.

And do you know, Lou, that this will be the most expensive election for any office in any state's history? Somewhere over $200 million. Some say a quarter of a billion dollars total will be spent in this special election.

DOBBS: Bill, I mean, that's an extraordinary amount of money, and obviously one of the issues, that is, in terms of extending the tenure of teachers, I believe it's Initiative 74 there of the referendum, 74, the union dues issue, are the unions and corporations focusing primarily on that issue or where is all that money going?

SCHNEIDER: There are two kinds of advertising you see. One is -- most of it, actually, is coming from the unions who are telling voters that they should vote no on everything, all four propositions that Governor Schwarzenegger put on the ballot. They deal with redistricting reform, with union dues for political contributions, with teacher tenure requirements and with budgeting. The unions are spending a lot of money, much more than the governor, to tell people, vote no.

DOBBS: And to vote no, is this because of the number of union issue, and you could throw redistricting in there, because the incumbents obviously want to retain that power in the state legislature. Is this really a contest between corporate America and unions in the state of California?

SCHNEIDER: I'd call it a contest between Governor Schwarzenegger and the public employee unions in California. He challenged them back in January and they said, "OK, we're going to meet your challenge," and they're spending a lot of money to do it.

DOBBS: Bill Schneider, thank you very much. We appreciate it.

Most Americans disapprove of the jobs that Republicans and Democrats are doing. President's poll numbers are low; Congress' poll numbers are lower. So we've got a poll tonight and we'd like to know, "Would you consider membership in a third political party?" Yes or no. Cast your vote at LouDobbs.com. We'll have the results later here in the broadcast.

Still ahead, a rare victory in the Supreme Court for working men and women in this country. We'll have details.

And a shocking new exclusive report, sounding the alarm on communist China, but is anyone ready to listen? We'll have a special report.

And the stakes are high for the president in tonight's off-year election results. A political roundtable, a live report from the White House are next here. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DOBBS: Tonight, communist China continues to do nothing about the blatant intellectual piracy of American movies, books, software and more. But Chinese are cracking down on a distribution of another material: the Bible.

A Chinese court today sentenced three people to up to three years in jail for printing and handing out Bibles without authorization. The prisoners include a Protestant minister, his wife, and the minister's brother-in-law.

That crackdown as China fails to enforce intellectual property rights, and that failure to enforce property rights costs the United States an estimated $250 billion each year.

We have a shocking report tonight that is exclusive to this broadcast. It is an important new warning about communist China's rising economic and military threat to this country. This warning comes less than two weeks before President Bush is scheduled to go Beijing, and as U.S. and Chinese officials sign a new trade agreement designed to ease tensions before the president's visit.

Christine Romans has the report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Even as the United States and China forged a textile trade agreement a stern report to be presented to Congress tomorrow finding that over the past year, little, if any, progress has been made in addressing economic and security issues in the U.S./China relationship.

The report is from the U.S./China Trade Commission. Richard D'Amato is its chairman.

RICHARD D'AMATO, U.S. CHINA ECONOMIC REVIEW COMMISSION: The report card is pretty bad. And currency, there are currency manipulation and there are violations of IPR, and there are WTO illegal subsidy programs and there are forced technology transfers from us. We haven't made any progress at all.

ROMANS: Quote, "The trends in the U.S./China relationship have negative implications for the long-term economic and security interests of the United States."

The report finds while China pursues its national strategy, the United States is offguard. The U.S. isn't ready for a provocation in the Taiwan Strait. The Defense Department may not realize the national security impact of the outsourcing of manufacturing and research and development.

The Treasury Department should be tougher on China's currency manipulation. The administration should be filing more complaints to the World Trade Organization.

The report concluded the U.S. must step up its diplomacy and pressure on China. But former ambassador to China, James Sasser, says U.S. diplomacy is working.

JAMES SASSER, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO CHINA: The one bright spot, I think, in this administration's foreign policy has been their -- our relations with China. And I think the administration is sending the Chinese the right message, and that message is we want to accommodate the peaceful rise of China, but at the same time, we want China to be a responsible player on the world stage.

ROMANS: Perhaps best summing up China's strategy is its commerce minister. He says the Americans were under pressure because they had hundreds of textile workers. "In China, we've had pressure because we have 20 million textile workers."

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROMANS: And even what is hailed as a trade success in textiles today still amounts to a four percent increase in imports from China. This is how we measure success in the dialogue with China.

And also in the dialogue with China, the president speaking to Asian journalists tonight on the eve of this -- this trip in a couple weeks. He calls the U.S. trade deficit with China bothersome. That's the word the president of the United States uses to talk about this $200 billion deficit.

DOBBS: Well, the interesting thing about saying even bothersome, Christine, as you know, is that this is the first time the president of the United States, to my certain knowledge, has even addressed the trade deficit with China with any suggestion that it might be a problem.

I think, I could come up with a lot of words better than "bothersome." I'm sure you could. But we asked our crack research team to come up with the word bothersome in a definition, and there it is.

Want to read that, Christine?

ROMANS: Causing irritation or annoyance. Bothersome. Two hundred billion dollars more than irritating or annoying, I would say.

DOBBS: Absolutely. But strong language from this president on the trade relationship with China.

Christine Romans, thank you. Coming up next here, the very latest on a very deadly school shooting in Tennessee.

Election day in America, and President Bush closely watching results nationwide and how those results could affect a presidency already in turmoil.

And then, the battle over teaching intelligent design in one school will be determined by the ballot box. We'll have a live report for you from Dover, Pennsylvania.

And the bird flu strikes again. We'll have the very latest on a deadly disease that is spreading. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DOBBS: In just the past few minutes, new developments in our report tonight on the Republican calls a bicameral investigation into the leak of secret intelligence on CIA prisons overseas.

Ed Henry is on Capitol Hill and has the very latest on this breaking story -- Ed.

HENRY: Good evening, Lou, again. That's right, Now Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist in the last half hour now has actually signed this letter, officially launching the congressional investigation. It is a letter basically from Speaker Dennis Hastert and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist to the House and Senate intelligence committee chairman, saying they want a bicameral -- it means basically both chambers -- investigating whether or not classified information made it into this "Washington Post" report last week about secret prisons holding terror suspects.

And also, as we reported at the top of the hour as well, we have -- CNN has also learned through David Ensor, our senior national security correspondent, that, in fact, the CIA has sent a report to the Justice Department saying that it appears that classified information was in the report.

I want to make clear of that. Information was sent from the CIA to the Justice Department last week. We're getting it confirmed tonight, but last week the CIA sent information to the Justice Department saying they believe that perhaps classified information was leaked in this "Washington Post" report -- Lou.

DOBBS: Two quick issues, Ed. First, the "Washington Post" itself, in that report, quoted former and current CIA officers. And secondly, as you reported, Trent Lott said that the information in that report in the "Post," much of it, appeared to have emerged from that Senate Republican meeting?

HENRY: Well, this is something that may have to -- we may have to get to the bottom of it through these two separate investigations, the Justice Department as well as now this congressional investigation. There is some confusion, you're right. First of all, the "Washington Post" report did extensively quotes former and current CIA officials commenting on these secret prisons. They did not quote any senators or Senate staffers.

What Trent Lott appeared to be saying was that, coming out of that luncheon the day before the "Washington Post" report, he believes some of the information, some of the information, leaked out from a senator or senators as well, from the information they got from Vice President Cheney. All that has to be sorted out.

I can tell you Democrats are making great hay of this, because regardless of who leaked what, they're wondering now -- I spoke a little while ago to Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid. He wants to know why Vice President Cheney was discussing the secret information with Republican senators in an unsecured room in the Capitol, Lou.

DOBBS: Washington not famous for being a bastion of quick learners. Thank you very much. Ed Henry from Capitol Hill.

Turning to today's off-year elections, which are watched closely, of course, by this troubled White House, voters appear to be angry and frustrated. The president is increasingly unpopular. Today's vote could mean more bad news for the Bush presidency or perhaps the beginning of some enthusiasm. Dana Bash has the report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BASH (voice-over): His name is not on any ballot, but the impact and extent of the president's slump may be.

MARK ROZELL, GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY: Should the Republican candidate lose, a lot of people are going to say that Bush was part of the problem, that it's not a good time to run as a Republican right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: George W. Bush.

BASH: Virginia's GOP gubernatorial candidate kept Mr. Bush at arm's length until election eve, finally deciding the troubled president could still help rally the base.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Turn out that vote.

BASH: But many conservative activists are angry at Mr. Bush over government spending and the Harriet Miers nomination. And some say they'll take it out on GOP candidates.

RICHARD VIGUERIE, CONSERVATIVE ACTIVIST: They are very, very disappointed, discouraged, to a large extent, sitting on the sidelines, waiting for signals that this president is going to govern as he promised as a conservative.

BASH: White House allies played down the idea that off-year governors' elections are in any way a referendum on the president, insisting local issues like high-property taxes in New Jersey and traffic problems in Virginia matter most.

And Republicans say recent history shows no correlation between presidential standing and these governors' races. In 2001, right after 9/11, Mr. Bush was at 87 percent in the polls. Democrats won both New Jersey and Virginia.

In 1997, Bill Clinton had a 59 percent approval and Republicans won both states.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BASH: And the bigger trends now have Republicans increasingly concerned, especially looking towards the 2006 election. They, of course, control the White House and Congress. And Americans increasingly think that politicians in charge really can't solve their problems, Lou.

DOBBS: Dana Bash from the White House. Thank you, Dana.

Joining me now for a look at these elections and what they may mean, Ed Rollins, former White House political director for President Reagan; Mark Sheinkopf -- or Hank -- sorry, Hank. Hank Sheinkopf worked for President Clinton's reelection campaign and did pretty well, as I recall, Hank; and Jeff Greenfield, our senior political analyst, who always does well.

Let me start with you, Ed, if I may. This stuff with the bicameral call for an investigation into these leaks, is this the kind of successful -- does this have a potential for being a successful ploy?

ED ROLLINS, FMR. REAGAN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: It has the potential for being a serious disaster for the White House, too. I mean, my sense is that we don't -- you never ask the question until you know the answer, and I don't think we know what the answer is, so I think it's a subject that obviously this administration could pay a heavy price, and have to be careful with it.

DOBBS: I think everyone assumed, as soon as Dennis Hastert and Bill Frist called -- made this call for an investigation that they have good reason to assume it was a Democratic senator or another Democrat. Hank, what do you make of it?

HANK SHEINKOPF, POLITICAL CONSULTANT: Get in front of the trouble before it becomes trouble. They got elections coming up next year, put the blame somewhere else or pay the price in the heartland.

DOBBS: Jeff, let's turn, if we may, to these elections as we look from California to Virginia all across the country. How important are these decidedly off-year elections to the president's fortunes?

JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN SENIOR ANALYST: I think less than we'll read about tomorrow. I think the one place where I think you could maybe find an impact is if Mr. Kaine, the lieutenant governor of Virginia and a Democrat wins in that red state. But I mean, historically, as we just heard, the link between the off-year elections and next year's elections are weak. I think it's more the conversation because this president is at historically -- he's at the lowest point of his presidency, and I think we'll make more of it. As I said earlier, I think the most interesting thing in these elections is how rich you have to be to run.

DOBBS: And that's a great point. I mean, we're looking at multimillionaires in New Jersey, for example, showing us just how low we can go in the political arena. I mean this race between Forrester -- it's just insane how disgusting the advertisement ...

ROLLINS: In the state Republican -- 12 years ago when I ran Christine Whitman's campaign against Florio, who was the incumbent governor, they both lived within limits. They could barely television -- really a week of television. This time ...

DOBBS: But Corzine and Forrester have basically, Hank, accused each other of infidelity, being lower than a snake's belly. Can it get any worse than what they're doing in New Jersey, and why should anyone vote for either one of these people?

SHEINKOPF: It's going to get worse. The voters respond by not turning out with tremendous intensity. Politics become a form of entertainment. And what's more entertaining than good negative commercials? Now, not that I think it's a good thing. It's bad for democracy long term, but it's how we communicate.

DOBBS: But great entertainment.

SHEINKOPF: Great entertainment.

DOBBS: Is that what we're left with right now in this country?

GREENFIELD: No, I'm more optimistic than that. I think -- and the last election, we had one of the record high turnouts ever, because the real issues were at stake and it was a close election. And there was a ton of money poured into getting out the vote. I'm looking to 2008, and the possibility of the Internet as driving new kinds of campaigns and they reject this kind of politics. So I'm not that pessimistic.

DOBBS: Well, Howard Dean has been talking about the power of the Internet, demonstrated some of it. But the fact is we're sitting here in 2005, Ed. We don't have a public discussion or debate or dialogue amongst our elected officials. There really is not one in the war in Iraq and the way it has been conducted.

There is posturing about pre-war intelligence, which requires some leap of faith to get back to it. We're not talking about immigration reform which is one of the top two issues in every poll in the country and these politicians are not dealing with it, nor is it on any ballot as a referendum.

ROLLINS: Well, with all the money they had, you really can -- and with philosophical differences, you really could have had a very good debate both in the paid media and the free media, and they didn't do that.

And I think at the end of the day it's sort of like steroids in the '80s. Every NFL football player thought he had to take it because he needed it, did damage to himself and did damage to the game.

I think the negative commercials do do damage to the process, and whoever wins this New Jersey race is going to begin with extraordinarily high negatives and it's going to be very difficult to govern.

GREENFIELD: Yes, that's for sure. I just -- my point is this is 2005, and it's not a time for a national debate. The one national election we did have in August when Paul Hackett in Ohio almost won in a solidly Republican district, that was in large measure a debate on the war in Iraq. So I'm just not that pessimistic. I'm a realist, I hope.

SHEINKOPF: Yes, but it tells you when you do raise issues and you do have public discussion, people pay attention. And when you don't, something else occurs. That's the lesson here.

DOBBS: It's certainly one of the lessons I think we can take, Hank. But the fact that we're also not talking about health care in any meaningful way in this country, we're not talking about trade relationships. We're not talking about the quality of life.

I have not heard this president or any Democratic leader talk about a vision for this country over the next five years, the next ten years, which seems to me to be a pretty important beginning point for any administration for any opposition.

ROLLINS: It's clearly what the public would love to have a debate on, and I think that -- when -- and I think it's part of the reason why the president has not been able to sell any of his programs and why his numbers are so low and why the country holds the Congress in such disdain. No one is out there talking about things that matter to ordinary people.

DOBBS: I think perhaps 35 to 39 percent is disdain. I think when you've had, as the Congress has, the 29 percent, that is getting borderline contempt.

GREENFIELD: It suggests the target of opportunity is all I'm saying, and a target of opportunity even for somebody to break the two party monopoly and say neither of these guys, both of these guys broke it. We're going to try a different way. I am not this -- you know I don't do predictions.

It's just that I think what Hank and Ed are talking about, and what you're talking about, creates the terrain for a very different kind of campaign. The question is, does anyone have the -- what shall I say?

SHEINKOPF: The guts?

GREENFIELD: I had a different word in mind -- to do it. DOBBS: You got it. And thanks for not using that word, Jeff. Jeff Greenfield, thank you very much for being here. Appreciate it.

GREENFIELD: Yes, thank you.

DOBBS: Our nation's border crisis, as we know, is a key issue in this country. It is an important factor as well on a number of races all over the country.

In Virginia, Republican candidate for governor, Jerry Kilgore, wants to cut off public services for illegal aliens. Democratic candidate Timothy Kaine says illegal immigration is the federal government's responsibility and he supports using taxpayer money to pay for day labor centers and in-state tuition for illegal aliens.

In Prince William County, incumbent Republican designate Jeffrey Frederick is calling on Virginia's current governor to declare a state of emergency because of the overwhelming illegal immigration in the state.

And in New York, Nassau County's incumbent district attorney, Denis Dillon, has promised to crack down on crimes related to illegal aliens.

Tonight, new allegation that Wal-Mart executives at the highest levels knew illegal aliens were working in their stores. A newly unsealed federal affidavit says two Wal-Mart executives -- top executives -- were caught on videotape in 2003, openly discussing how Wal-Mart cleaning contractors and subcontractors hire illegal aliens. Wal-Mart insists that its senior executives had no idea that its contractors hired illegal aliens, but Wal-Mart agreed to pay $11 million in fines to settle those charges earlier this year.

The Supreme Court handed an overwhelming victory to American working men and women today. Imagine that, if you will. The high court ruled unanimously in favor of IBP and Barber Foods meat-packing workers. These workers were demanding something just outrageous.

They wanted, and said they were entitled to be paid for the time that it was required to change into protective clothing and walk to their work station.

Big business interest fought them all the way to the Supreme Court. Today's Supreme Court victory for workers, one of two high court rulings today. The first Supreme Court ruling under the leadership of Chief Justice Judge Roberts. I guess we can call him Justice Roberts now, it's all over with. Chief Justice. I'm all up to date now.

Coming up next, how a vote in Dover, Pennsylvania, could affect your child's science and religious education.

And liberal hypocrisy? How some well-known liberals may not be practicing everything they preach. I can't imagine that. I know that a conservative would never be like that.

I'll be talking to the author of the revealing new book, "Do as I Say (not as I do)", next. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DOBBS: Tonight, a deadly shooting at a high school near Knoxville, Tennessee. Police say a student shot three school administrators. One of them an assistant principal, has died. That shooting happened at Campbell County High School in Jacksboro, Tennessee.

The two other administrators are hospitalized. One of them is in critical condition, the other in serious condition. Police locked down the school and arrested the suspected shooter. The school's 1,400 students were evacuated to safety. There are no reports that any students were injured.

The Kansas School Board tonight has approved controversial new guidelines for the teaching of evolutionary theory in its schools. Under these new rules, students will be taught evolutionary theory. But, they will also be taught that evolutionary theory is flawed and is being challenged in some quarters.

Critics say today's ruling opens a door to the teaching of creationism in Kansas schools. The Kansas School Board gained national attention back in 1999 when it eliminated most references to evolution in its science classes. Those science standards were reversed two years later.

Another vote is under way tonight that could have far reaching implications in the fight over intelligent design and creationism. The Dover, Pennsylvania, school board sparked a lawsuit when it voted to require the discussion of intelligent design in 9th grade science classes. Tonight, eight of the nine board members who made that decision are up for reelection. Bill Tucker has the report for us from Dover.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BILL TUCKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): To look at it, Dover, Pennsylvania, seems an unlikely town to be at the center of national attention.

But, there are signs, lots of them, that indicate this is no ordinary school board election. The issues are a mix of the usual. Taxes and an expiring teacher contract and one unusual one.

The introduction of the theory of intelligent design into 9th grade biology classes. That issue resulted in the resignation of two school board members, sparked a lawsuit and deeply divided this small town.

CASEY BROWN, FORMER SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER: It's divided the community. I won't say necessarily in half, but probably pretty close. I think when politics and religion intersect, very often that happens. People are no longer talking to one another.

TUCKER: But incumbent board members say the policy is widely misunderstood.

ALAN BONSELL, INCUMBENT, DOVER SCHOOL BOARD: The only difference between last year's biology class and this year's biology class is a one-minute statement. That's it. This whole lawsuit is over a one- minute statement.

RON SHORT, MEMBER, DOVER SCHOOL BOARD: That's all it ever was, just a statement that there are other theories out there.

TUCKER: The challengers want that statement out of the classroom, arguing that it is introducing religious concepts into a science classroom.

BRYAN REHM, CANDIDATE, DOVER SCHOOL BOARD: The action that would be taken initially, is not for the school board to do anything, but to send a curriculum back to the high school science faculty that have expertise in science and say, we want to know what your actual recommendations are.

TUCKER: Those recommendations are already known. It is the science teachers who stood up against the school board's policy on intelligent design and sparked a lawsuit brought by members of the community who oppose the teaching of intelligent design.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

TUCKER (on camera): Now that lawsuit has been heard in Pennsylvania courts. In a way, it's a ruling, Lou. And as you mentioned, Dover is hardly the only community where the issue of intelligence design is being played out. The largest current venue, of course, is Kansas, where the state board of education this evening, voted teaching a theory which is critical to Darwin's theory on evolution. Lou?

DOBBS: As we just reported here, Bill.

What is the feeling there on which way the vote is going to go for these school board members?

TUCKER: It is very, very tight. I talked to members of both sides . They obviously feel it is going to go one way or the other. There's been a pretty heavy turnout at the voting booths, tonight, Lou. We're going to have to wait, because this count is expected to take well into the night before a decision is finally reached.

DOBBS: Bill, thank you very much. Bill Tucker from Dover, Pennsylvania.

Coming up, THE SITUATION ROOM and Wolf Blitzer. Wolf, what are you working on?

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks very much, Lou. We're working on several important stories. Election Day, more on what's going on. How much will President Bush's troubles affect his fellow Republicans who are up for elections today? Polls closing in Virginia in less than 15 minutes. We'll have the early numbers coming into THE SITUATION ROOM.

Plus, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. He's called a special election in California, but will The Terminator be denied? We'll go live to L.A.

Also, tonight. Riots and outrage continuing in France. Emergency laws passed to stop the violence, but will tough curfews be enough? Our Christiane Amanpour is live for us in Paris.

And the Bush/Cheney relationship. Is there a divide in the White House? What's going on? We'll take a closer look.

All that, coming up here in THE SITUATION ROOM, right at the top of the hour. Lou?

DOBBS: Wolf, thank you very much.

Vietnam has announced another person has died from the avian flu. The victim is a 35-year-old man from Hanoi. He contracted the disease after eating chicken. Forty-two people have now died in Vietnam from the avian flu, 22 other people in east Asia have died from the disease. This deadly string of flu has now been detected in birds in 17 countries, including countries in southern and eastern Europe.

Still ahead, here. Michael Moore, Barbra Streisand, Al Franken, Ted Kennedy. They have something in common. The author of a provocative new book will be here to take a look at what binds these prominent liberals. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DOBBS: On this broadcast, we devote a lot of time to pointing out the inconsistencies, contradictions, outright lies and hypocrisies on the part of both the left and the right. In his new book, my next guest focuses on the hypocrisies of noted liberals. He calls Michael Moore for example, a racist union buster, and Nancy Pelosi an immigrant labor exploiter, Hillary Clinton a corporate shill. And they're the subject of a new book called "Do As I Say Not As I Do: Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy." Peter Schweizer, the author, is my guest now. Peter, good to have you here.

Please, Hillary Clinton a corporate chill?

PETER SCHWEIZER, AUTHOR, "DO AS I SAY": Well, all the titles of the chapters are actual names that they have applied to other people, who engage in the same actions that they themselves are guilty of.

DOBBS: Well, Nancy Pelosi. You point out in your book that she is definitely not practicing what she preaches when it comes to illegal aliens.

SCHWEIZER: Well, that's right. Nancy Pelosi...

DOBBS: And unions. SCHWEIZER: ... yeah, Nancy Pelosi professes to be very pro- union. She won the Cesar Chavez Award from the United Farm Workers Union, and yet she uses non-union labor on her vineyard in Napa Valley. She's received large contributions from the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union, and yet she and her husband are part owners of a hotel and a chain of restaurants that are also strictly non-union. In fact, they use immigrant labor in a lot of cases, which seems to contradict her position on that issue.

DOBBS: And Ted Kennedy, certainly a champion of the poor, a liberal icon. You kind of worked him over too?

SCHWEIZER: Well, you know, in Ted Kennedy's case, for 40 years he's advocated higher taxes for Americans. His latest cause is the inheritance tax, which he says is socially and just and fair at 49 percent. Now, we can have a debate about that, but Ted Kennedy, if he favors it, should actually pay it, and the reality is, based on the Kennedys' own numbers, is that they've transferred between $300 million and $500 million in the last generation, and they paid a grand total of $134,000 taxes on that. Less than 1 percent. That's just hypocrisy.

DOBBS: What's the name of your book again?

SCHWEIZER: "Do As I Say, Not As I Do."

DOBBS: Michael Moore, you worked him over pretty good.

SCHWEIZER: Well, you know, Michael Moore. I mean, he's said half a dozen times that he doesn't own a single share of stock, that he thinks Wall Street is dirty money. And he's right -- he doesn't own a single share of stock; he owns tens of thousands of shares of stock in some very interesting companies. He owns pharmaceutical companies, defense contractors, offshore oil drilling operations. In fact, I even found out a few years ago he was a shareholder in, of all things, Halliburton.

DOBBS: Now, was he a shareholder through a mutual fund, just to be fair here?

SCHWEIZER: No, no. These are all individual stocks that he traded, and he took capital gains on them, and it's also important to point out, Lou, that he signed all these tax forms himself. So this is not somebody else that did this. He knew exactly what was going on.

DOBBS: And Peter, Al Franken, you are very unkind to Al Franken, a man who is simply trying to spread humor around the country.

SCHWEIZER: Well, you know, my beef with Al Franken is that Al Franken criticizes corporate America and conservatives and Republicans, saying they're racists and bigots because they don't believe in affirmative action. I decided to check and see into whether Al Franken actually practices affirmative action, and what I've found is that on his radio show, his television projects, his books, et cetera, that since 1990, he's hired 112 people, and of those 112 people, a grand total of one was black. So I don't think he's in any position to criticize anybody on the issue of affirmative action.

DOBBS: Peter Schweizer, we thank you for being here. We appreciate it, the book, "Do As I Say, Not As I Do," we appreciate it. Peter Schweizer, good luck.

SCHWEIZER: Thanks, Lou.

DOBBS: We're going to take a look at some of your thoughts now on the proposal to build a fence along the U.S./Mexico border.

Wilson Petit (ph) of Pensacola, Florida -- "Lou, how many illegal workers does it take to build a 2,000-mile fence?"

Bob in Lafayette, Indiana: "If we want a fence along our border for security, maybe we should get Halliburton a no-bid contract, with no oversight and no spending limit. Should be secure in no time."

Bob in Wadsworth, Ohio: "To build that U.S.-Mexico border fence, this would be a good community service sentence for those individuals who employ illegal immigrants."

And Bruce Dutton (ph) of Henderson, Nevada: "A fence? Not yet. There is a better way. Outsource George W. Bush and administration and cronies to Mexico for the remainder of his term. That will reverse the flow of illegal aliens back to Mexico. Once they're over the border, then put up the fence. That helps in many ways. It saves energy, raises the IQ and the credibility of both countries."

Thanks for writing in. We love hearing from you. Send us those thoughts at loudobbs@.com. And each of you whose e-mail is read here, receives a copy of my book, "Exporting America."

Still ahead, the results of our poll. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DOBBS: Now the results of tonight's poll. Eighty-nine percent of you say you would consider membership in a third political party. That appears, at least to me, to be a strong warning to both Democrats and Republicans on the issues for the upcoming midterm election.

Thanks for being with us. Thanks for voting. Please join us here tomorrow when we'll have the very latest on election results from all around the country. Also, Congressman Curt Weldon joins us with what he says are new revelations about the Pentagon's secret intelligence project Able Danger. Please join us.

For all of us here, thanks for being with us. Good night from New York. "THE SITUATION ROOM" starts right now, with Wolf Blitzer standing by -- Wolf

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