Uranium Mining in the Grand Canyon, Copper Mining in Oak Flat: The Public Interest vs. Private Exploitation — Podcast May 16, 2016


The Politics of Public Lands, Part II: National Monument Battles. Paul Schwartz rejoins Democratic Perspective regulars, Mike Cosentino, Gary LaMaster, and Steve Williamson for part II of a discussion on curbing the destructive exploitation by private interests of our remaining public lands.. How a National Monument designation can guarantee protections that the Forestry Service’s legal mandate prevents it from addressing.

Posted in Bureau of Land Management, Department of the Interior, Environmental Issues, Federal Lands, National Politics, Podcasts, Public Lands, Public Policy, U.S. Forest Service | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Public Lands: Held In Trust For the People, Or Sold Off To the Highest Bidder? — Podcast May 9, 2016


The Politics of Public Lands, Part I: A Willful Ignorance of History. Democratic Perspective’s regulars, Mike Cosentino, Gary LaMaster, and Steve Williamson, are joined by Paul Schwartz for the first of a two-part series on the developing controversy over the ownership of federally-administered public lands. How did the Federal Government come to own and administer so much land in the western United States, and why have so many people in the West come to believe that federal ownership of these lands is illegitimate? The short answer: to take the anti-federalist position of a Cliven or Ammon Bundy, or a Paul Gosar, you have to pretty much ignore a) the public interest, b) 240 years of United States history, and c) what the Constitution actually says. This would be quite a reach for honest people, but when there’s money to be made, there’ve always been those willing to  give it a try, the public interest be damned.

Posted in Anti-Federalism, Bureau of Land Management, Democratic Governance, Department of the Interior, Environment, Environmental Issues, Federal Lands, Government, National Politics, Podcasts, Public Lands, Tax Revenues, U.S. Forest Service | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Those Whom the Gods Would Destroy: The State of the Nation in May, 2016 — Podcast, May 2, 2016


Election Year 2016: Trump, Cruz, Bernie, Hillary, Prop. 123 and 124. Six More Months of Crazy Left Before We Can Go Back to Sleep. Democratic Perspective’s veteran election watchers, Mike Cosentino, Gary LaMaster, and Steve Williamson, look at the national primary elections, and at the state ballot propositions. Is there light at the end of the tunnel? Is it an oncoming train?

Posted in Arizona Politics, Democratic Governance, Education, Education Policy, Elections, Government, Income Inequality, National Politics, Podcasts, Political Parties, Political Polarization | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tom Chabin and Bill Mundell Interview — Podcast April 25, 2016


The Arizona Corporation Commission: A Sordid Example of the Consequences of Regulatory Capture. Tom Chabin and Bill Mundell, Democrats running for the Arizona Corporation Commission join Democratic Perspective hosts Mike Cosentino and Gary LaMaster for a discussion of what happens when a public utility — in this case APS, the Arizona Public Services Electric Company — employs large-scale anonymous contributions to influence the election of commissioners to the state agency charged with regulating it, Once upon a time this was rightly called corruption, Now, thanks to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, it’s just business as usual.

Posted in Arizona Economy, Arizona Politics, Citizens United, Corruption, Dark Money, Democratic Governance, Elections, Interviews, Podcasts, Regulatory Agencies | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mikel Weisser Interview — Podcast April 18, 2016


For the Love of Arizona: Mikel Weisser is Running for Congress. Mikel Weisser, Democratic Candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in Arizona’s Congressional District 4, talks to Democratic Perspective’s Mike Cosentino and Gary LaMaster about his background, his view of the issues facing Arizona in 2016, and what it’s like to run in a Congressional district that’s larger than the state of Pennsylvania.

Posted in Arizona Economy, Arizona Politics, Corrections Policy, Corruption, Criminal Justice Reform, Democratic Governance, Education, Education Policy, Elections, Environment, Environmental Issues, Federal Lands, Interviews, Judicial System, Podcasts, Political Lies, Private Prisons, Privatization, Public Education, Public Lands, Public Policy, Tax and Investment Policy, Tax Law, Tax Revenues, Taxation | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Mikel Weisser Interview — Podcast April 18, 2016

Harriet Young Interview — Podcast April 11, 2016


On Being More Careful What We Wish For: What Electing an Ignorant and Corrupt Republican Legislative Majority Has Cost Arizonans. An impoverished public education system. Incompetently managed private prisons. Denial of health care to needy children. Hysterical ideological crusades against the federal government. Voter suppression laws. Gun-nuttery. Anti-immigrant demagoguery. A shrinking state revenue base. Is this really what we voted for? Democratic Perspective reviews  the failures of the Tea Party Republican-controlled Arizona Legislature with Harriet Young, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Northern Arizona University, and Vice-President of the Coconino County Democratic Party. Maybe it’s time to remind our fellow Arizonans once again that elections have consequences.

Posted in Anti-Federalism, Arizona Budget, Arizona Economy, Arizona Politics, Campaign Finance, Citizens United, Corruption, Dark Money, Democratic Governance, Education Policy, Elections, Federal Lands, Health Care Delivery, Immigration, Interviews, Podcasts, Public Education, Public Lands, Public Policy, Tax Revenues | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Harriet Young Interview — Podcast April 11, 2016

Heidi Wayment Interview — Podcast April 4, 2016


Compassion: The Politics of the Golden Rule. Democratic Perspective’s co-hosts, Mike Cosentino and Steve Williamson speak with Heidi Wayment, Professor of Social Psychology at Northern Arizona University, about the importance of compassion as a psychological concept, a moral practice, and a foundation for a more humane politics. Why does the natural tendency to defend the self against real and imagined threats so often result in heightened competitiveness and aggression, and a willful blindness to the legitimate needs of others? Why is compassion, a virtue according to all of the world’s religions, so often perceived as weakness? If we want less conflict and violence in the world, we need answers to both of these questions.

Posted in Bigotry, Interviews, Podcasts, Social Psychology | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Heidi Wayment Interview — Podcast April 4, 2016

Gary LaMaster, Author and Democratic Perspective Contributor, Talks About His New Book — Podcast March 28, 2016


Setting the Record Straight: A Catalog of Political Misinformation. Long-time Democratic Perspective contributor Gary LaMaster talks with us about his new book, Antidote to Fact-Free Politics: Debunking the Falsehoods, Fabrications and Distortions Told by Conservatives and Perpetuated by the Media. It’s a truism that politicians lie, but knowing that they’re lying isn’t much help unless we also know what they’re lying about. Fortunately, Gary has spent a lot of time and effort uncovering the facts behind the more egregious lies of our current election cycle. With his book as a reference, concerned voters can check out for themselves the truth behind the lies.

Posted in Disinformation, Elections, Government, Interviews, Journalism, Mass Media, Media Campaigns, National Politics, Podcasts, Propaganda | Tagged , | Comments Off on Gary LaMaster, Author and Democratic Perspective Contributor, Talks About His New Book — Podcast March 28, 2016

Proposition 123 and Arizona’s Public Education Funding Crisis — Podcast March 21, 2016


Proposition 123: A Good First Step, or a Surrender to Legislative Irresponsibility? Karen McClelland, Vice President of the Sedona-Oak Creek Unified School District #9 Governing Board, and Christian Palmer, Communications Director of the Let’s Vote Yes for Arizona Schools Committee, join Democratic Perspective’s Mike Cosentino, Gary LaMaster, and Steve Williamson for a discussion of the pros and cons of Arizona Ballot Proposition 123, which, if passed, would increase the percentage of the State Land Trust income disbursed to the K-12 Public School System.

Posted in Education, Education Policy, Interviews, Podcasts, Public Education | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Proposition 123 and Arizona’s Public Education Funding Crisis — Podcast March 21, 2016

Cottonwood Mayoral Candidates — Podcast March 14, 2016


Tim Elinski and Terence Pratt: Two Candidates for Mayor, Two Visions for the Future of Cottonwood. Democratic Perspective continues its coverage of the 2016 national, state, and local election campaigns, focusing this time on the local mayoral election in Cottonwood.

With a population (in 2011) of 12,000, and a median annual household income (in 2013) of $33,000, Cottonwood, Arizona, might be considered typical of a number of small towns in the state, except that in the past ten years, in what we think is an admirable display of cooperation between local government and businesses, Cottonwood has been undergoing a remarkable economic renaissance. Terence and Tim, as veteran members of the Cottonwood City Council, have both made significant contributions to this success.

Now they’re both running for mayor. With the election still five months away, Democratic Perspective co-hosts Mike Cosentino and Steve Williamson give our listeners an early opportunity to hear why Tim and Terence are running, how they view the issues facing the city, and what they envision as the keys to future civic development.

Posted in Civic Renewal, Elections, Interviews, Local Politics, Podcasts, Small Business | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Cottonwood Mayoral Candidates — Podcast March 14, 2016