Midterms and Political Division – Podcast November 19, 2018

The Blue Wave, Voter Suppression and the Rural-Urban Divide. Democratic Perspective co-hosts Steve Williamson and Mike Cosentino welcome regular contributors Klaus Von Stutterheim and Gary LaMaster back to the show. They begin by discussing the Blue Wave that turned Arizona purple. Later they discuss the growing political divide and the voter suppression that allowed the GOP to hang on to the Senate and a number of high-profile offices.

Posted in Arizona Politics, Elections, LIberals and Conservatives, National Politics, Political Polarization, Voter Suppression | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Ledbetter and Rutherford Interviews – Podcast November 12, 2018

Blue Wave Turns Arizona Purple. On Veterans Day, Democratic Perspective co-hosts Steve Williamson and Mike Cosentino welcome James Ledbetter and Cathy Rutherford to discuss the results of the midterm elections. Ledbetter begins by saying, “Nationally, it was a blue wave, not a tsunami. But definitely a blue wave. Time to drain the swamp created by this administration.” However, he did say that there will be one downside to this election, “This will elevate Trump’s chances in 2020 because he now has a foil. It has enhanced his opportunities to be re-elected President of the United States.”

As one of the most effective organizers in northern Arizona, Rutherford credited the many volunteers who canvassed door-to-door throughout the area. Noting that the campaign for 2020 will be difficult, she said, “We have to take a breath then get back to work. Trump doesn’t have a moral compass and his people follow him.”

Posted in Arizona Politics, Community Activism, Elections, Government, Interviews, Local Politics, National Politics, Public Accountability | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Rotellini and Ploog Interviews – Podcast November 5, 2018

Will Negativity, Lying and Name-Calling Win? On election eve, Democratic Perspective co-hosts Mike Cosentino and Steve Williamson pose the question to Felicia Rotellini, Chair of the AZ Democratic Party, and Sedona activist Holly Ploog. Rotellini replies, “I think what you’re talking about is American values. We’re going to elect leaders that will get things done. Public education is one example of that. I believe that the name-calling and the lying is detrimental to our electorate. Democratic candidates are trying to hold them accountable.”

Ploog adds, “The lack of civil discourse is alarming.” No matter the outcome of the midterms she encourages citizens in Northern Arizona to join her at the Sedona Public Library November 17 2-4 pm for a public conversation called “Kindness: Hiding In Plain Sight.”

Posted in Arizona Politics, Elections, Government, Interviews, Local Politics, National Politics, Political Lies, Political Polarization, Public Policy, Taxation | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Abboud and Kinsella Interviews – Podcast October 29, 2018

Good Choices Are All Over The Ballot In Arizona. Democratic Perspective co-hosts Steve Williamson and Mike Cosentino welcome Deedra Abboud and Kathy Kinsella to discuss the candidates and ballot initiatives for the upcoming midterm election. Deedra, you may remember, was an inspiring primary candidate for the US Senate. And Kathy is president of the League of Women Voters of Greater Verde Valley. They offer valuable insights and advice for Arizona voters.

Posted in Arizona Politics, Domestic Policy, Education, Education Funding, Education Policy, Elections, Government, Interviews, Local Politics, Mine Safety, Public Education, Public Policy | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Kazian Interview – Podcast October 22, 2018

Maintaining Fire And Rescue Preparedness In Sedona. Democratic Perspective co-hosts, Mike Cosentino and Steve Williamson, welcome Chief Kris Kazian to discuss the challenges faced by the Sedona Fire District. Not only is the department responsible for fire protection for an area covering 168 sq. miles. It provides Emergency Medical Services for an area of 274 sq. miles (for comparison the City of Philadelphia is only 143 sq. miles). The department responds to nearly 4,500 calls per year ranging from wildfires to structure and vehicle fires to heart attacks to mountain rescues. All of that requires a high level of training and sophistication. Yet a small minority of citizens driven by political ideology believes that the needs can be met by cutting taxes and returning to a volunteer fire department.

As Kazian explains the facts, it becomes clear that significant budget cuts are a dangerous idea.

Posted in Arizona Politics, Fiscal Policy, Government, Interviews, Local Politics, Public Service, Regulatory Agencies, Social Services, Taxation | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

O’Halleran Interview – Podcast October 15, 2018

Problem-Solving In Congress. Democratic Perspective co-hosts, Steve Williamson and Mike Cosentino, welcome Congressman Tom O’Halleran to address the issues he faces as representative for Arizona’s CD-1. A member of the House’s Problem Solvers’ Caucus comprised of 24 Democrats and 24 Republicans, he discusses the difficulties of getting things done in this hyper-partisan political climate. He also explains the challenges of representing one of the nation’s largest and most diverse congressional districts. The wide-ranging conversation covers health care, tax cuts, tariffs, infrastructure needs, and much, much more.

Posted in Agricultural Policy, Arizona Politics, Budget Negotiations, Deficit Reduction, Domestic Policy, Economic Policy, Education, Elections, Environment, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Government, Health Care, Infrastructure Investment, Interviews, Medicaid, Medicare, Military Policy, National Politics, Political Candidacy, Political Polarization, Tax and Investment Policy, Taxation, Taxes and the Deficit, U.S. Armed Forces, U.S. Budget, Veterans' Issues | Comments Off on O’Halleran Interview – Podcast October 15, 2018

Ploog, Ferreira, Kinsella Interview – Podcast October 8, 2018

Women And The Expected Blue Wave. Democratic Perspective co-host Mike Cosentino welcomes Holli Ploog, Ellen Ferreira and Kathy Kinsella to the show to talk about the changes in political climate and the women who are running for office.

Ploog begins by stating that 3,260 women running for office right now. “I do think it matters,” she says. “The influx of women in elective office will make a difference in the policies and the approach.” Ferreira explains the surge this way: “That Trump got elected after the Hollywood Access tape is very telling. It energized women throughout the country. The tape didn’t matter. The Kavanaugh assault didn’t matter. The only chance we have is to show up and vote.” Kinsella adds, “There’s a phrase I have hated since childhood: ‘Boys will be boys.’ It’s an expectation of bad behavior. Women through life endure bad behavior. In politics, in particular, there is pushback against women. Women are empowered and we are galvanized.”

Posted in Arizona Politics, Community Activism, Elections, Interviews, Misogyny, National Politics, Women's Issues, Women's Rights | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Ploog, Ferreira, Kinsella Interview – Podcast October 8, 2018

Harris And Chevalier Interviews – Podcast October 1, 2018

Candidates for Yavapai College District Governing Board. After reminding listeners to register to vote before October 9, Democratic Perspective co-hosts, Mike Cosentino and Steve Williamson, welcome Dr. Connie Harris and Paul Chevalier to talk about creating equitable access and financial parity for residents in the Verde Valley. Though both agree that more of the Verde Valley’s contributions to Yavapai College need to be spent in the Verde Valley, there are significant differences in the candidates’ vision for secondary education and their approach for dealing with the Prescott-area majority.

Posted in Arizona Politics, Community Activism, Education, Education Funding, Education Policy, Elections, Interviews, Local Politics, Taxation | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Harris And Chevalier Interviews – Podcast October 1, 2018

Comello And McCarthy Interview – Podcast September 24, 2018

Sustaining The Mission Of The Sedona Fire District. Democratic Perspective’s co-hosts Steve Williamson and Mike Cosentino welcome two candidates for the Sedona Fire Board. Al Comello and Gene McCarthy are running as a team to continue the leadership and stability of Sedona’s highly-effective fire department. They explain that there is simply no reason to slash and burn the Fire District’s budget when it is well-managed and quite conservative. McCarthy, who is a veteran of the military and the Whittier, California Fire Department, as well as a former FBI contractor, states, “Sedona Fire Department is perhaps one of the finest medium-size departments I’ve ever encountered.” The two acknowledge that their Tea Party-backed opponents are nice people, but misguided.

Posted in Arizona Politics, Elections, Fiscal Policy, Government, Interviews, Local Politics, Privatization, Public Service, Taxation | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Comello And McCarthy Interview – Podcast September 24, 2018

MacLean Interview – Podcast September 17, 2018

The Billionaire-Led Effort to Destroy America As We Know It. Nancy MacLean, author and professor of history and public policy at Duke University returns to Democratic Perspective to discuss her book Democracy In Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America. She tells co-hosts Steve Williamson and Mike Cosentino that the movement was begun by James McGill Buchanan and financed by Charles Koch.

“Buchanan thought the ideal America was 1900 when there were no organized labor unions and when women could not vote,” she says. “They recognized that their ideas are unpopular, so they operate by stealth, moving toward an effort to re-write the Constitution in order to entrench the power of a wealthy minority over the vast majority. The Republican base is not coming to these ideas on their own. They are being jacked up by the right-wing media and donors,” MacLean notes. “Health care bills that allow insurance companies to deny coverage for pre-existing conditions are a great example,” she says. “Nobody believes that, if you have cancer, you shouldn’t be able to get health care. They had three health care bills that had at most 18% approval, but they tried to rush the bills through anyway.”

Posted in Campaign Finance, Capitalism, Class Conflict, Conservatives and Reactionaries, Constitutional Issues, Dark Money, Democratic Governance, Elections, Global Warming, Government, Health Care, Health Care Policy, Income Inequality, Interviews, Investigative Journalism, Movement Conservatism, National Politics, Political History, Political Lies, Political Polarization, Public Policy, Tax Law | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments