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Idaho Lt. Governor Goes Rogue While Governor is Out Of State; NFL Hopeful Finds New Dream After Accident; Women's Soccer Players Stop Games To Protest "Predator" Coach. Aired 7:30-8a ET
Aired October 07, 2021 - 07:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MIKE WAKSHULL, AUTHOR, "THE END OF THE ZODIAC MYSTERY" (via Skype): Is all the evidence that came out in that case correct? Well, I don't know the answer to that.
But when I -- when I look at -- for example, what they're showing here is a 1963 photograph of their suspect next to a police artist's sketch that was made by interviewing victims of the Zodiac. And what I did is I -- using Photoshop, I lifted the two faces -- overlayed them -- and there's nothing even close.
And then I did the same thing -- they have a 2007 photograph of this person looking straight on, just like the police sketch -- overlayed the two. They don't comport at all.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Mike Wakshull, we appreciate you --
WAKSHULL: So --
BERMAN: -- joining us this morning and lending your expertise. Thank you so much.
WAKSHULL: Well, thank you very much. I appreciate the opportunity to give some feedback.
BERMAN: So, Idaho's governor is taking new action after the lieutenant governor tried to pull a powerplay when he was away.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: And later, was a most-wanted fugitive hiding in plain sight behind home plate at a Major League Baseball game?
KEILAR: The polls and numbers pretty much always show it. Americans are consistently disappointed with the two major political parties in this country and most Americans identify themselves as Independent. So, why hasn't a third party in this country ever been successful?
John Avlon with a reality check. JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: In our polarized hyperpartisan times the extremes always seem to disproportionately dominate our debates, and this isn't your imagination. Less than 10 percent of House seats are considered competitive due to the redistricting, while most of our state legislatures have an overwhelming red or blue hue.
Now, that's despite the fact that more Americans, for example, say they're moderate on social issues than liberal or conservative, while more American voters identify as Independent, not Republican or Democrat, which would all suggest that there's a market failure in our politics. And so, every once in a while, a few brave souls declare their independence from the two-party system.
Now, we saw that this week with Andrew Yang, who is leaving the Democrats to form a new party called Forward. While in Utah, former 2016 third-party candidate Evan McMullin is challenging GOP Sen. Mike Lee as an Independent -- a smart strategy for an anti-Trump Republican.
Professional partisans see these moves as somewhere between naive and insane, but proponents see the opportunity for constructive disruption. So, let's dig in the data and see who's right.
Now, a record 62 percent of Americans say there is a need for a third party now, according to Gallup, while only 33 percent say the two parties are doing an adequate job. And then there's the rise of Independent voters over the past two decades. As of last month, 41 percent of Americans identify as Independent, compared to 29 percent for Republicans and Democrats alike.
You've got to go back to 2004 to find a sustained period where there were fewer Independents than Republicans or Democrats. And not coincidentally, the two parties have only gotten more polarized since that time.
So, why hasn't a viable third party materialized? Well, a big part of the problem is structural. While the Constitution does not mention political parties -- George Washington was our only Independent president to date -- the U.S. doesn't have a parliamentary system, which is an obstacle to the creation of smaller parties. Moreover, there are state laws that make getting on the ballot as a third-party candidate a real hassle in federal races.
We also have what's known as asymmetric polarization in America, which means the Republican Party is more far-right than the Democratic Party is far-left, and that matters because there's always the danger that Independent candidates could act as spoilers. And that's particularly true in presidential races where the Electoral College means that it's almost impossible for a third-party candidate to win.
Take the case of Theodore Roosevelt's 1912 Progressive Party, which topped out at just 27 percent of the popular vote. The next-best showing for an Independent was in 1992 when Ross Perot won nearly 19 percent but not a single electoral vote. In fact, the last successful third party was the Abraham Lincoln-led Republican Party of 1860. But it is a mistake to view Independent candidates only through the prism of presidential politics. Because there have been six Independent-elected governors since 1990, but only one of them was elected to a second term. That's Maine's Angus King, who now serves as an Independent in the U.S. Senate but caucuses with the Democrats, like Vermont's Independent senator, Bernie Sanders.
Both Andrew Yang and Evan McMullin say polarization is the prime obstacle to solving our problems. They see an alternative as an off- ramp to counter the corruption and groupthink that comes with one- party rule in deep red or blue states.
Look, big picture -- healing polarization requires adjusting (ph) the incentive structures that push candidates to the extreme in our politics. And that means election reforms, like open primaries, rank- choice voting, and an end to the rigged system of redistricting. You change the rules, you change the game.
The drive behind the third-party dream is, at the end of the day, about putting country over party. It's a good-faith effort to move our nation not left or right but forward.
And that's your reality check.
KEILAR: Yes, it's just so hard to see folks putting country over those party politics, though, John.
AVLON: It is, and -- but, you know, you look at these Republican senators and congressmen who get attacked by Donald Trump from the right and abandon their office effectively, particularly in the Senate.
You wonder what would happen if more folks like Flake or Corker had run as an Independent, as Lisa Murkowski did when she was Tea Party- primaried from the right. It's that kind of breaking through this stranglehold of close partisan primaries that Independent candidates maybe could get some traction on a state level; not presidential.
KEILAR: Yes, very good point.
John Avlon, thank you.
AVLON: Thank you.
BERMAN: So, Idaho's Republican governor, Brad Little, quickly has rescinded the actions taken by the Republican lieutenant governor, Janice McGeachin, while Little was gone. Little, the governor, had left the state and went to Texas.
The lieutenant governor, while the governor was gone, used the temporary executive authority mandated by the state Constitution while the governor's away to issue an executive order extending a ban on COVID vaccine passports. She also inquired about sending the state National Guard to the border. Basically, she did a bunch of stuff that Little was against while Little was gone. And Little claimed McGeachin was acting without legal authority.
I want to bring in Idaho's Chief Deputy Secretary of State, Chad Houck. Thank you so much for being with us.
Just to be clear, what is the Idaho Constitution say about this?
CHAD HOUCK, IDAHO CHIEF DEPUTY SECRETARY OF STATE (via Webex by Cisco): Well, good morning, John.
The Idaho Constitution does state that among the different things -- specifically, that if the governor is absent from the state or has an inability to discharge the powers or duties of the office. And it's that specific group of words there that the two executive officers of this state seem to be in disagreement about.
BERMAN: Yes, that's a little bit of a thing with the Constitution. So then, if the governor ever leaves the state, the lieutenant governor, whoever he or she is, can basically just run willy-nilly?
HOUCK: Well, I don't know if I would call it willy-nilly but in the last -- at least twice, so far this year, there has been that debate. We've -- this is the second time that we've seen the governor reverse an executive order that the lieutenant governor put in place while standing in as the temporary governor in the governor's absence.
BERMAN: And again, as your role in the Secretary of State's office, when you get these executive orders, you've just got to -- you've got to carry them out even if you know they're only going to last 12-13 hours?
HOUCK: Absolutely. So, it's the responsibility of the Secretary of State as the keeper of the seal of the state to affix that seal and attest to the signature of the governor on all official documents, proclamations, and things of that nature. The challenge comes in when you've got two individuals asserting that they hold that authority at any given moment. And that's something that we, once again, found ourselves in the middle of in the last couple of days.
BERMAN: Yes, I would say that's a challenge. I mean, I don't live in Idaho but it may be something you guys want to address going forward.
Look, you guys have also been in the news in Idaho because of the My Pillow guy who launched all these baseless claims about the presidential election in Idaho, which the former president, Donald Trump -- he won Idaho two to one, at least. So, My Pillow --
HOUCK: It was a very significant difference, yes. I think it was a 31-point gain or 31-point lead in the state.
But then, Lindell comes out with these claims that across the state, universally, every county in the state of Idaho -- and for that matter, every county in the United States was actually off by about 8.4 percent. And we looked at that and said that is an absolute impossibility. We
have seven counties in the state of Idaho that could not be mechanically manipulated because they actually still tally their votes. They're small enough they can do that in a paper ledger -- a tally book. How do you manipulate a paper ledger?
BERMAN: And so -- but you did run, basically, audits or counts in two counties, yes?
HOUCK: We went back and we looked at it and said if something is so broadly blanketing that kind of a -- that kind of an assertion, what is the -- what is the lowest-hanging fruit that we could look at to disprove this. We went after the numerical approach that the numbers that were being alleged to have been shifted.
Now, interestingly, Oklahoma -- and there was more information on the spreadsheet. Oklahoma just recently went after the other side of the data -- all the I.P. addresses that were allegedly the starting points of this manipulation. (Audio gap) independent looking at these -- at these sets of data said there's absolutely no validity to them.
BERMAN: And in one case in one of the counties, Biden actually gained -- actually, Biden gained a substantial amount of votes there; not Trump.
Are you going to -- I mean, you were chasing your tail because of the My Pillow guy here, you know? Should he pay for this, at least?
HOUCK: Well, we actually will be totaling up the expenses that were -- that were incurred in the process and we will be sending him a bill.
BERMAN: It will be curious to see if he pays.
Why bother, though? I mean, you know who this guy is. Why bother even doing this at this point? Doesn't it just somehow lend credence to his lunacy?
HOUCK: This was never about Mike Lindell. This was never about a partisan position on this. This is about going after the integrity of not only the election system in Idaho, but people going after the integrity of the election system as a whole.
And as election officials -- as professional election administrators, we invest a tremendous amount of time. I have 44 clerks here in the -- in the state of Idaho that are elected officials as well. You're criticizing and impugning the integrity of those individuals, their teams, and that reputation is something we work very, very hard to defend.
BERMAN: Idaho Chief Deputy Secretary of State Chad Houck, let us know how the billing goes with the pillow guy.
HOUCK: We'll keep you -- BERMAN: Whether you get that check.
Appreciate your time.
HOUCK: Thanks. Take care.
KEILAR: A young man's dream to become a star football player was derailed by tragedy, so he sought out another dream, motivating others to be their best. Here's Dr. Sanjay Gupta with this week's "The Human Factor."
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Timothy Alexander realized at a young age he was very good at football.
TIMOTHY ALEXANDER, MOTIVATIONAL COACH: I wanted to grow up and play ball. Not just to play, but have a career and do something for myself and for my family.
GUPTA (voice-over): But in his senior year of high school, an accident changed everything.
ALEXANDER: We swerved headfirst into a telephone pole. The car went down the cliff, which left me paralyzed from the neck down.
GUPTA (voice-over): Eventually, he did regain the use of his upper body, but depression plagued him.
ALEXANDER: I've tried to take my life three times in one week and it did not go as planned. I said to myself it must be a reason why I'm here.
I told the head football coach my dream that I was going to be one of the best tight ends that ever came through AUB football, but I probably would never touch the field. And he said I want to invite you out to a practice.
GUPTA (voice-over): The honorary player worked out and did mental reps with the players. The coach was so impressed by his drive, Timothy earned a full football scholarship at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, motivating everyone with his positivity.
After getting a master's degree, UAB hired him as director of character development.
ALEXANDER: My job is to remind them why they decided to play this game.
GUPTA (voice-over): His motivational speaking skills have led to bookings by pro sports teams and Fortune 500 companies.
ALEXANDER: It's our positive response that allows us to be unstoppable.
KEILAR: I love that. I love that the team saw something in him besides what he was going to contribute as a player. That he could contribute so much more to so many players.
BERMAN: It's amazing. I mean, I love what he now sees in himself and how he's using the gifts that he has.
KEILAR: It's amazing.
Some news just in. CNN is reporting what Trump allies are testifying under oath about the bogus fraud claims that they made. This could make their legal jeopardy even worse.
BERMAN: Plus, the circle of support on the soccer field for two women who spoke out, accusing a coach of abuse. These women will share their stories with us, next.
KEILAR: A show of solidarity on the pitch as Women's Soccer League players pause their games during the sixth minute last night for former teammates Mana Shim and Sinead Farrelly. They revealed in a report by "The Athletic" last week that they had been sexually harassed by their coach, Paul Riley, for years.
Riley has denied the accusations in the report, and CNN has not been able to reach Riley for comment.
The Players Association said in a statement the "Players will join together in solidarity at the center circle for one minute in honor of the six years that it took for Mana, Sinead, and all those who fought for too long to be heard. We call on fans to stand in silence with us. During that time, we ask you to stand in that pain and discomfort with us as we consider what we have been asked to sit with for too long."
And joining me now are former National Women's Soccer League players Mana Shim and Sinead Farrelly. I want to thank you guys both so much for coming on to talk about this and to tell your story here.
I wonder, Mana -- to you first -- what did this signify to you -- this one-minute pause at the sixth minute?
MANA SHIM, FORMER PLAYER, NATIONAL WOMEN'S SOCCER LEAGUE: Oh, thanks for having us.
I can't tell you how much it meant to me. I broke down in tears. It makes me emotional just thinking about it this morning. Yes, it was just players standing behind us and we didn't know that was coming. So it was a really emotional moment.
SINEAD FARRELLY, FORMER PLAYER, NATIONAL WOMEN'S SOCCER LEAGUE: Yes. I, again, was just left in awe of these players and I think it's so important.
Thank you for bringing this up because we need to honor these players. They have been through so much, not just this last week but since the start of this league. And I want to honor the players that have spoken their truth and haven't been heard before us and have carved the path -- and to see them standing in unity and solidarity.
I hope it's clear that people know the players are the league and they need to be protected. They are the most important part of this. And to see the power of what they did last night to stand in unity with us and also with each other arm-in-arm, it was -- it was just -- it was very powerful and I hope people felt that.
KEILAR: This didn't crack wide-open until you two connected and understood that you had these experiences that were similar. And you also found this strength in numbers coming forward between the two of you.
I wonder, Sinead, can you just -- can you tell people what you endured and what it has done to your life and to your career?
FARRELLY: Yes. I mean, it truly damaged my life as a player and as a person for almost 10 years. And I felt so alone during that time and I was made to feel that way -- that it was my fault and that I needed to stay silent and stay small. And that really affected me on a deep level.
And so, to have someone like Mana, who I disclosed to, and she was able to hold me in that place and feel not alone and support me and validate me. And then to see it on a global scale by the world and other players -- it has just -- it has given me a strength that I have never known and felt during this -- during this healing time for me. And I just feel so honored to be surrounded by these amazing women -- these amazing people, truly.
KEILAR: Mana, tell us about your complaint that you filed in 2015 and what came of it -- or really, what I should say, what didn't.
SHIM: So, I filed my complaint of sexual harassment in 2015. I reported it to my team -- my manager, coach, who was -- the harassment was -- he was harassing me. And I reported it to the league as well.
And I was failed. They didn't respond appropriately. They didn't take necessary action. They brushed it under the rug and let him go coach on another team.
KEILAR: So this moving him -- moving him somewhere else.
Mana, tell us now what is in place and what that means for other players.
SHIM: Well, part of our intention here was to draft policies. So when I came forward in 2015, I confided in one of my closest friends, Alex Morgan, and we looked everywhere for policies where we could -- to guide us in how to report this -- and there was nothing.
So, over the years, we just enacted them or instituted them in April of this year. And the league started in 2013, so that's eight years -- approximately eight years that there's been no policy protecting players. Not a single anti-harassment policy. So, that's really our intention is to protect the players and we had to do that ourselves.
After we drafted the policies, the players urged the league to adopt them. And without that, they wouldn't have anything. And it's still not good enough but it's something.
KEILAR: There's an avenue that you did not have, even in 2015, which is it's rather baffling, quite frankly.
Sinead, Women's Soccer is launching an independent investigation. I know the Players Association is requesting a very transparent process from all owners and GMs, and coaches.
What do you want to see come of this independent investigation?
FARRELLY: I just want the truth to be seen by all of those people that are watching and those who have refused to take real accountability for what they've done. It's not enough to apologize for how we feel. People need to, again, take responsibility for how they played a part in this. How they have enabled someone to take full advantage and abuse their power and damage a lot of people.
So, I'm very excited to see what happens with this investigation -- with these multiple investigations.
KEILAR: You know, Mana, you play soccer -- you both do because you love it. And I know that this has taken some of that joy away. You play because you are so good at it and it brings a lot of joy to fans. And I just -- I wonder what you say, Mana, to fans who are watching who have enjoyed the opportunity to see both --