Kiana Sears and Elliot Woods Interview — Podcast December 4, 2017

Case Studies in Regulatory Capture: The Arizona Corporation Commission. Kiana Sears, Water & Wastewater Executive Consultant (Public Utility Analyst) for the Arizona Corporation Commission, and Democratic Candidate for membership on the Commission, joins with Elliot Wood, Democratic Party Legislative Committee Member for Arizona Legislative District 13, for an analysis with Democratic Perspective host Stephen Williamson of the regulatory actions at issue in the upcoming Arizona Corporation Commission election.

With public utilities commissions in general, and Arizona’s Corporation Commission in particular, the sad fact is that most voters don’t even know that they exist, let alone who is on them, what they do, and how important their regulatory actions are to our overall quality of life. As a result, it’s often the case that lobbyists for the industries that these commissions are supposed to regulate are able to persuade them to act against the public interest without arousing any effective opposition from the public itself. If you want to know how this happens, and what we can do about it, listening to this podcast is a good place to start.

Posted in Agricultural Policy, Arizona Politics, Corruption, De-regulation, Democratic Governance, Energy Policy, Interviews, Podcasts, Public Policy, Regulatory Agencies, Renewable Energy, Water Policy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jason Dick Interview — Podcast November 27, 2017

Keeping a Close Eye On the Process: a Washington Reporter Explains How the Legislative Sausage Is Currently Being Made.  Jason Dick, Managing Editor, Leadership & Enterprise, for CQ Roll Call, shares his insights with Democratic Perspective’s Mike Cosentino on the Republican Party’s current struggle to pass a new tax cut for corporations and the rich. Will some version of the Senate measure pass under the budget reconciliation rules, which require only a simple majority for passage, and if so, how difficult is it likely be to reconcile the significant differences between the House bill and the Senate measure? Do we have any idea yet on which way Arizona Senators Jeff Flake and John McCain are leaning on the Senate measure? A careful watch on the clash of ideologies and interests in a legislative conflict like this one can tell us a lot more about what’s going on than a Twitter feud or a Facebook algorithm, and for that we need the experienced observers of the Fourth Estate. Fortunately, as this interview shows, they are still with us.

Producers’ Note: The producers of Democratic Perspective apologize for the poor quality of the audio on the first two minutes of this week’s show. A technical difficulty in the studio recording process was unfortunately not caught early enough, and the resulting distortion couldn’t be remedied post-production. The rest of the recording is fine, though, and we hope that our listeners will find the content compelling enough to endure the flaws at the outset.

Posted in Budget Negotiations, Class Conflict, Corporate Welfare, Deficit Reduction, Democratic Governance, Health Insurance, Income Inequality, Interviews, Investigative Journalism, Journalism, Mass Media, National Debt Ceiling, National Politics, Podcasts, Special Interest Legislation, Tax and Investment Policy, Tax Law, Tax Revenues, Taxation, Taxes and the Deficit | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Max Richtman Interview — Podcast November 20, 2017

The Republican Flim-flam Continues: First They Reduce Taxes for the 1% Enough To Ensure a 1.5 Trillion Dollar Federal Budget Deficit, Then They Cut Billions From Social Security and Medicare To Help Reduce the Deficit They Just Created.  Max Richtman, President and CEO of the National Committee To Preserve Social Security and Medicare, joins Democratic Perspective co-hosts, Mike Cosentino and Steve Williamson, for a discussion of the devastating effect provisions of the current Senate and House tax bills will have on the Social Security and Medicare programs should they, as now seems likely, be enacted into law. If there isn’t already a special place in Hell for the Republican Senators and Representatives who are pushing these bills through Congress, there surely ought to be.

Posted in Affordable Care Act, Corporate Welfare, Corruption, Democratic Governance, Domestic Policy, Entitlements, Health Care, Health Care Policy, Health Insurance, Interviews, Medicaid, Medicare, Pharmaceutical Pricing and Procurement, Podcasts, Privatization, Public Health Policy, Social Insurance, Social Security, Special Interest Legislation, Tax Revenues, Taxation, Welfare | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Yavapai College Update — Podcast November 13, 2017

Getting What We’ve Paid For: Administrative Support for Yavapai College’s Verde Valley Programs Is Better Than It Was Three Years Ago, But It’s Still Far From Equitable.  Democratic Perspective welcomes Bob Oliphant and Ruth Wicks back to the show to catch us and our audience up on the latest in the struggle to provide the Verde Valley with educational services from Yavapai College commensurate with the tax revenues it generates. The latest issue: residence halls on this side of Mingus Mountain are essential to the mission of the Verde Valley campuses, but so far no funding for such capital improvements is even on the agenda.

Posted in Community Activism, Continuing Education, Education, Education Funding, Education Policy, Interviews, Oenology, Podcasts, Public Education, Viticulture | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Wade Carlisle and Felicia French Interview — Podcast November 6, 2017

Democratic Candidates for the Arizona Legislature from Legislative District 6: Education Funding, Environmental Sustainability, and a More Prosperous Future for Rural Arizona.  Democratic Perspective welcomes two Democratic candidates for the Arizona State Legislature from LD 6, Wade Carlisle, candidate for the State Senate, and Felicia French, candidate for the State House of Representatives. We Arizonans have suffered so long from a dysfunctional, corrupt, and ideologically hag-ridden State Legislature, that it sometimes seems as though incompetence is the natural order of things. In a democracy, though, that is never true. All we have to do to see things improve is to support candidates like these, who are serious about serving the people who elect them.

Posted in Agricultural Policy, Arizona Budget, Arizona Economy, Arizona Politics, Corruption, Cultural Diversity, Dark Money, Democratic Governance, Economic Policy, Education, Education Funding, Education Policy, Elections, Environmental Issues, Federal Lands, Income Inequality, Infrastructure Investment, Interviews, LIberals and Conservatives, Local Politics, National Sovereignty, Paul Gosar, Podcasts, Political Polarization, Public Education, Public Lands, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Development, Tax and Investment Policy, Tax Revenues | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Wade Carlisle and Felicia French Interview — Podcast November 6, 2017

Steve Segner Interview — Podcast October 30, 2017

If We Knew Who They Really Were, We Wouldn’t Elect Them: A New Arizona PAC Aimed At Exposing the Toxic Agendas Behind the Public Posturing Of Our Republican State Legislators.  Steve Segner, progressive Sedona businessman, and one of Democratic Perspective’s sponsors, talks to Mike Cosentino and Steve Williamson about why he decided to start a new 501 (c)(4) political action committee, AZ Elections 18.

Sometimes all you need to defeat the kind of dysfunctional state legislators we have here in Republican-dominated Arizona is to publicize what they say when they think voters aren’t paying attention. To do that in the age of TV and social media campaigns, though, you need money. That’s what the AZ Elections 18 PAC is designed to do, to raise enough money to expose legislators like Sylvia Allen, Brenda Barton, and Bob Thorpe for the reactionary wreckers that they really are. If the PAC succeeds in that task, Steve is confident that the voters will take care of the rest.

Posted in Arizona Economy, Arizona Politics, Bureau of Land Management, Community Activism, Corruption, Cultural Change, Democratic Governance, Demographic Trends, Economic Policy, Education, Education Funding, Education Policy, Elections, Environmental Issues, Federal Lands, Housekeeping, Interviews, Podcasts, Political Action Committees, Political Contributions, Privatization, Public Education, Public Lands, Special Interest Legislation, Tax and Investment Policy, Taxation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Steve Segner Interview — Podcast October 30, 2017

Nancy MacLean Interview — Podcast October 23, 2017

The Leninist Libertarian: James McGill Buchanan and the Subversion of Representative Democracy.  Nancy MacLean, William H. Chafe Professor of History and Public Policy at Duke University, talks with Democratic Perspective’s Mike Cosentino and Steve Williamson about the origin and methodology of her new book, Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America.

What happens when a minority of right-wing billionaire ideologues decide to fund a decades-long project to undermine representative government in the U.S.? The short answer is nothing good. The long answer, eloquently presented in Professor MacLean’s book, and discussed at some length with her in this week’s show, is a carefully plotted campaign of institutional subversion that would be the envy of V. I. Lenin himself. The bottom line: beware oligarchs who call themselves libertariansIn the real world, a libertarian oligarch is at best an oxymoron, and at worst, which is exactly what we get with people like the Koch brothers, a threat to everything a believer in democracy holds dear.

Posted in Bigotry, Capitalism, Citizens United, Civil Society, Class Conflict, Climate Change, Conservatives and Reactionaries, Corruption, Dark Money, Democratic Governance, Demographic Trends, Disinformation, Domestic Extremism, Elections, Entitlements, Ethics, Federal Lands, Health Insurance, Income Inequality, inherited Wealth, Interviews, National Politics, Podcasts, Political History, Political Lies, Political Parties, Political Polarization, Political Theory, Privatization, Propaganda, Public Accountability, Race and Class, Regulatory Agencies, Social Contract, Taxation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Nancy MacLean Interview — Podcast October 23, 2017

The Case Against Trump — Podcast October 16, 2017


The Madness of King Donald and the Politics of the Unthinkable: Can We Actually Get Rid of This Guy Before His Term Is Up, and If So, How?  Democratic Perspective’s co-hosts Mike Cosentino and Steve Williamson, go where an increasing number of people, however reluctantly, now seem willing to go. If the increasing evidence that Donald Trump is unfit for his office overwhelms the constitutional barriers against removing a sitting President, what is likely to happen?

Posted in Affordable Care Act, Bigotry, Constitutional Issues, Democratic Governance, Economic Policy, Education Funding, Ethics, Global Warming, Health Care Policy, Health Insurance, International Relations, Middle East Policy, Military Policy, Misogyny, National Politics, Nuclear Weapons, Paul Gosar, Podcasts, Political Lies, Presidential Elections, Tax Law, Tax Revenues, Taxation, Taxes and the Deficit, Women's Issues | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Case Against Trump — Podcast October 16, 2017

Scott Thomas Anderson Interview — Podcast October 2, 2017

The Cutting Four-Piece: Scott Thomas Anderson, Investigative Reporter, On the Crime and Tragedy of Prison Overcrowding.  Mike Cosentino interviews Scott Thomas Anderson, crime reporter for the Sacramento News and Review. His book, The Cutting Four-Piece, offers an illuminating tour through the horrors of the American prison system left in the wake of decades of underfunding, misguided political initiatives, and predatory capitalist hucksterism. What a dedicated reporter with years of experience on the frontlines of the American injustice system knows that no one else can be bothered to tell us.

Posted in Corrections Policy, Criminal Justice Reform, Digital Revolution, Interviews, Investigative Journalism, Journalism, Judicial System, Justice System, Law Enforcement, Mass Incarceration, National Politics, Penology, Podcasts, Policing, Private Prisons, Public Accountability, War On Drugs | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Scott Thomas Anderson Interview — Podcast October 2, 2017

Indivisible Sedona: Focus on Climate Change — Podcast September 25, 2017


This Is America: When Elected Representatives Refuse To Do What Needs To Be Done, Citizens Have Other Options. Democratic Perspective talks to three representatives of Indivisible Sedona, Peggy Chaikin, Pam Drake, and Frankie Riemer, about local efforts to raise awareness of the threat of climate change, and to hold the climate change deniers amongst our elected officials accountable for their lack of action.

Posted in Arizona Politics, Biodiversity, Bureau of Land Management, Civil Society, Climate Change, Community Activism, Democratic Governance, Department of the Interior, Domestic Policy, Energy Policy, Environment, Environmental Issues, Environmentalism, Federal Lands, Global Warming, Interviews, Local Politics, Podcasts, Public Health Policy, Public Lands, Public Policy, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Development, U.S. Forest Service, Water Policy | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Indivisible Sedona: Focus on Climate Change — Podcast September 25, 2017