CBS ’60 Minutes’ Episode Guide (April 24): Congressmen On Fundraising; The Heroin Epidemic

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CBS ’60 Minutes’ Episode Guide (April 24): Congressmen On Fundraising; The Heroin Epidemic

Ohio’s attorney general says arresting drug addicts is not going to solve the heroin epidemic in his state. Attorney General Mike DeWine is hoping the use of drug courts can help reduce the drug addiction that’s taking the lives of 23 Ohioans each week.

DeWine speaks to Bill Whitaker about how his state is addressing opioid addiction, to be broadcast on “60 Minutes,” Sunday, April 24 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

Whitaker reports that one in five Ohioans knows a person who uses heroin, according to a new study.

One sheriff says up to 80 percent of his prisoners have drugs in their systems, mostly heroin. The death toll from opioid addiction has risen steadily in Ohio over the past decade. One rehab facility shows Whitaker a memorial wall that staffers say in 2010 contained about 50 names of people who died from drug abuse. The wall now has over 3,000 names, largely of people who died from a heroin overdose.

“The attorney general’s not going to solve the problem– your local sheriff, your local prosecutor is not going to,” says DeWine. “I’ve been involved in law enforcement for four decades. And I’ve learned over those years– that we’re not going to arrest our way out of this problem.”

“60 Minutes” cameras visit a drug court, where defendants can have their charges erased from their records if they stay clean and abide by the court’s orders for rehabilitation. There are 91 of these courts in Ohio, but their judges are sometimes criticized for doing what some see as social work. Whitaker also interviews an Ohio prosecutor who takes a harder line. Hardin County Prosecutor Bradford Bailey believes some of the heroin addicts he prosecutes are not candidates for drug court. “They don’t have the ability to stop using, some of them. They don’t,” he tells Whitaker.

Bailey prosecuted a young woman in 2011 for heroin possession after she had a near-fatal overdose. Five years later she is in jail on drug charges and has accumulated multiple felonies. Asked if the woman should have been treated a different way because she is an addict, Bailey replies, “Everything she’s done she’s chose to do. We didn’t tell her to do these things. She chose to do felony crimes, not the state. We’re not giving her a free pass.”

Whitaker also speaks to two addicts who have been clean for some time and appear to be getting on with their lives. They both went to drug court. “Drug courts work,” says DeWine. “Some people look at them and say… it’s the judge becoming a social worker. It’s not true at all.”

Then, later in the “60 Minutes” broadcast, Rep. David Jolly says he was told his first job as a newly elected congressman was to raise $18,000 a day so he could get re-elected. On Sunday’s “60 Minutes,” the Florida Republican calls the daily phone calls he and other members of Congress feel pressed to make to donors a “shameful” distraction from work they should be doing for the people who elected them. Jolly and other frustrated congressmen talk to Norah O’Donnell on “60 Minutes” Sunday, April 24 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

Two years ago, Jolly won a special election to the seat he occupies, a seat that was up for grabs again only months later. In a strategy session, he says, one member of the Republican Party leadership showed him he had six months to raise $2 million. “And your job, new member of Congress…your first responsibility is to make sure you hit $18,000 a day,” he says he was told.

Asked how he could achieve such a goal, he tells O’Donnell, “Simply by…cold-calling a list that fundraisers put in front of you… ‘They gave $18,000 last year to different candidates, they can give you a thousand too if you ask them to,’” he says. “And they put you on the phone and it’s a script,” says Jolly. “It’s a cult-like boiler room…where sitting members of Congress are compromising the dignity of their office…It’s shameful.”

And it’s a daily routine for many members of Congress from both parties. The law does not allow them to make such calls from their offices, so both parties provide convenient call centers just a few blocks away. Says Jolly, “The House schedule is actually arranged, in some ways, around fundraising…You never see a committee working through lunch because those are your fundraising times.”

Jolly introduced a bill a few months ago called “The Stop Act.” It would prohibit federal elected politicians from personally soliciting contributions, but not do anything to limit the huge influx of money in the political system made possible by the Citizen’s United Supreme Court ruling –one of the reasons politicians need so much money to be elected. “This is Congressional reform,” says Jolly. “Members of Congress spend too much time raising money and not enough time doing their jobs.”

Rep. Rick Nolan, Democrat from Minnesota, is co-sponsoring The Stop Act. “Thirty hours is what they tell you you should spend. And it’s discouraging good people from running from public office,” he tells O’Donnell. “I could give you names of people who’ve said, ‘You know, I’d like to go to Washington and help fix problems, but I don’t want to go to Washington and become a midlevel telemarketer, dialing for dollars, for crying out loud.”

Finally on “60 Minutes,” the parents of military members who gave their lives in the wars since 9/11 are finding solace in an old San Francisco hotel at a unique event held annually. Scott Pelley reports on the annual gathering of “Gold Star” families on the next edition of “60 Minutes,” Sunday, April 24 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

The Marine’s Memorial Hotel and Club was transformed into a living memorial after WWII. Once a year, “Blue Star” mother’s–whose children served in the military – invite “Gold Star” parents–whose children died while serving in the military–to a commemorative gathering. Mike Anderson has attended all eleven.

“Not a day goes by that I don’t think of my son. He was Mike Jr., he was my only son, he was my firstborn,” Anderson tells Pelley.

As a veteran attendee, he serves as an ambassador to newly aggrieved parents, offering the advice only another Gold Star parent could. “We tell them that we love them, we welcome them…We’re walking the same dark valley. I know how you feel. It does get a little better over time,” he says. “People talk about closure. There’s never real closure, at least not in my mind. But there are steps forward to ease the pain, to help with that closure.”

Anderson’s son Mike was killed in 2004 in the battle to retake Fallujah. To help ease his pain he traveled to where his son died. “Going to Iraq myself to see some of the same faces, be in the region, breathe some of the same air that my son unselfishly fought and died for.”

Counseling new Gold Stars reminds him of his own pain, but Anderson says helping others is natural. “My son went abroad to help people that he’d never met, that he would probably never see again. It’s just that, in some ways, it’s human nature to want to help others.”

“60 Minutes,” the most successful television broadcast in history, began its 48th season in September 2015. Offering hard-hitting investigative reports, interviews, feature segments and profiles of people in the news, the broadcast begun in 1968 is still a hit in 2015, making Nielsen’s Top 10 list nine consecutive weeks in the fall of 2014.

Over the 2013-2014 season, “60 Minutes” continued its dominance as the number-one news program, drawing an average of 12.2 million viewers per week – almost twice the audience of its nearest network news magazine competitor and three million viewers ahead of the most-watched daily network evening news broadcast. The average audience for a “60 Minutes” broadcast still dwarfs the biggest audiences drawn by cable news programs.

LAST WEEK’S TOP 10 BROADCAST SERIES

SeriesNet.A18-49Viewers
Source: Nielsen Media Research // 11/13/17 - 11/19/17
Sunday Night FootballNBC7.0021.06 million
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Sunday Night FootballNBC6.7719.04 million
Thursday Night FootballCBS4.7314.75 million
Young SheldonCBS3.8015.86 million
The Big Bang TheoryCBS3.2514.48 million
This Is UsNBC3.1811.42 million
The Voice (Mon.)NBC2.5010.72 million
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