BTS 6/2/08: Bad Money; Montana Primary; Local Elections

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As oil and food prices shoot skyward consumers know times are tough, whether we call it a recession or something deeper. Yet pundits, Treasury Secretary Paulson and government officials proclaim the economic crisis has stabilized and the recession has been averted, or that we are through the worst of it. Kevin Phillips unravels the number spinners, crunches the real numbers and says the economic crisis is worse than we know, that we’re being treated with Pollyanna versions of Washington’s ‘no inflation’ hoax. His latest book, Bad Money, tackles the numbers, the deceptions and the big picture.

Paul Edwards, President of the Progressive Democrats of Montana joins us from Helena on the eve of the Montana primary – to talk about whether the purple state will go blue, and much more.

State Senator Mark Ridley Thomas is running for County Supervisor against Bernard Parks to succeed Los Angeles County Supervisor Yvonne B. Burke in the 2nd District, which stretches from Mar Vista through South Los Angeles and into Compton and Carson. Tomorrow is the election, Ridley Thomas talks to us tonight.

Read More for info on tonight's guests:

1. Kevin Phillips, a former Republican strategist, has been a political and economic commentator for more than three decades. A former White House strategist, he has been a regular contributor to the Los Angeles Times and National Public Radio and has written for Harper's and TIME. His 13 books include the New York Times bestsellers American Theocracy and American Dynasty. Formerly a Republican Party strategist, Phillips has become disaffected with his former party over the last two decades, and is now one of its harshest critics. He is a regular contributor to the Los Angeles Times and National Public Radio, and is a political analyst on PBS' NOW with Bill Moyers.

2. Paul Edwards is chair of the Progressive Democrats of Montana. He is a film and television writer whose credits include episodes of “Gunsmoke,” “Knight Rider” and “21 Jump Street,” and a political organizer who managed Dennis Kucinich's 2004 presidential campaign in Montana. He was Western Chair of the Montana Democrats for two terms, won the 2006 Amnesty International Citizen of the Year Award, …and was instrumental in drafting a resolution passed by the Montana legislature against the Patriot Act.

3. State Senator Mark Ridley Thomas has worked as a classroom teacher, civil leader, City Councilmember, State Assemblyman and State Senator. He has a long record of working to bring people in communities together to improve services they need and deserve in their neighborhoods. In January 2008, he officially became Chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus. Mark Ridley-Thomas was first elected to public office in 1991 and served with distinction on the Los Angeles City Council for nearly a dozen years. He is widely regarded as the premier leader in the Neighborhood Council movement, by virtue of his founding of the Empowerment Congress, arguably the region’s most successful Neighborhood Council.