Garrison, Bateman Interview – Podcast September 9, 2019

Changes In Yavapai County. Mike Cosentino welcomes Yavapai County Supervisor Randy Garrison and his assistant Brandi Bateman to discuss a few of the issues impacting Yavapai County, Arizona. After first explaining the role of county government and its limitations, they talk about the growing problems of short-term rentals, Verde Connect, and investments in Camp Verde’s new enterprise zone.

Posted in Arizona Politics, Business, Economic Stimulus, Elections, Environmental Issues, Government, Housing, Infrastructure Investment, Interviews, Local Politics, Political Parties, Public Accountability, Public Lands | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Garrison, Bateman Interview – Podcast September 9, 2019

Dixon, Ruby Interviews – Podcast September 2, 2019

A Political Convergence Of Events In Prescott, Arizona. Democratic Perspective host, Mike Cosentino, welcomes Rosemary Dixon, President of Prescott Indivisible, and Jay Ruby, events chair of Yavapai Democrats, to discuss upcoming events for the weekend of September 20-22.

The centerpiece of the weekend is the Neighborhood Summit for Equity which, according to the website, “…intends to catalyze change by increasing awareness of racial and cultural inequities.” The website notes that “We are at our best when we are curious and respectful of our differences.”

Other weekend events include the Climate Strike on September 20, the 2019 Prescott Powwow, the state meeting of the Arizona Democrats, and the Yavapai Democrats’ Truman-Clinton Dinner highlighted by Mark Kelly, candidate for U.S. Senate.

Posted in Arizona Politics, Civil Rights, Civil Society, Climate Change, Community, Compassion, Cultural Change, Cultural Diversity, Global Warming, Interviews, Local Politics, Native American Issues, Political Clubs, Political Polarization, Race and Class, Racial Discrimination, Racism | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Dixon, Ruby Interviews – Podcast September 2, 2019

Podcast August 26, 2019

Who Will Rid The Nation Of Donald Trump? Democratic Perspective co-hosts, Steve Williamson and Mike Cosentino discuss the madness of Trump and the race to unseat him. Mike begins by warning of the disinformation that persists and that will probably get worse during the 2020 campaign. Then they size up the Democratic field of candidates for president. “The whole format [of the debates] atomizes and separates the Democratic candidates according to policies. So in the argument about Medicare for all, you lose the fact that all the Democrat candidates are for expanding healthcare and healthcare for all,” says Steve. “So there is a lot of unity that’s behind all of the small arguments.”

The hosts note that all Democrats agree that Trump is a danger and that we need fundamental change. The only question is: How fast do you want that change? The hosts emphasize that, whoever wins the Democratic nomination, the 2020 election is going to offer a real choice for the future of the nation. It’s important that no one sit this one out and it’s not a time to support a protest candidate or we may end up with another four years of Trump.

Posted in Disinformation, Domestic Policy, Government, Health Care, LIberals and Conservatives, National Politics, Political Candidacy, Political Polarization, Presidential Elections | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Podcast August 26, 2019

Jablow and Segner Interview – Podcast August 12, 2019

Overtourism – Destroying The Places We Love Most. The combination of the younger experiential generation and short-term rentals is placing increasing stress on tourist destinations around the world. Democratic Perspective welcomes City Councilman Scott Jablow and President of the Lodging Council, Steve Segner, to discuss the impact on one of the Southwest’s most beautiful cities – Sedona, Arizona.

Segner describes the issue this way: “In manufacturing, you can always make more of the product. But with tourism you can’t.” As for the issue of short-term rentals, Jablow says, “Removal of local control is causing the problem. We can’t regulate them. Because of the governor’s mandate of hands off, we’re getting commercial building in residential areas.”

To make matters worse, short-term rentals are taking housing away from the 10,000 workers needed to deal with 3 million tourists each year. Other problems range from traffic to keeping hiking trails clean. But the city is working hard to address the issues. “The good news is that we have the money to do it,” says Segner.

Posted in Arizona Economy, Arizona Politics, Community, Democratic Governance, Demographic Trends, Development, Environmental Issues, Government, Interviews, Local Politics, Taxation, Tourism | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Jablow and Segner Interview – Podcast August 12, 2019

Podcast – August 5, 2019

Democratic Presidential Candidates Versus The Party Of Racism. Democratic Perspective co-hosts Steve Williamson and Mike Cosentino welcome long-time contributor Gary LaMaster to discuss the Democratic debates. But the show begins with a discussion of the mass shootings in El Paso, TX and Dayton, OH. Then LaMaster states his view that there is no longer any daylight between white nationalists and the GOP. In the age of Trump, he says, they are one in the same. Eventually, the conversation turns to Democratic debates and a discussion of progressive versus moderate Democrats.

Posted in Congressional Oversight, Conservative Paranoia, Conservatives and Reactionaries, Domestic Extremism, Domestic Terrorism, Domestic Violence, Elections, National Politics, Political Polarization, Presidential Elections, Racism | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Podcast – August 5, 2019

Podcast – July 29, 2019

How Best To Remove A Rogue President? Democratic Perspective co-hosts Steve Williamson and Mike Cosentino discuss the congressional hearings and debate next steps following the testimony of Robert Mueller III. Does the Democratic House majority impeach Donald Trump? Or do Democrats wait to remove him through the ballot box? And, if they wait, how much more damage will be done to our institutions? Will they actually succeed? After all, everyone was convinced that Hillary Clinton would assume office in 2017. But Russians and the Electoral College said otherwise.

Posted in Congressional Oversight, Constitutional Issues, Elections, Legal Issues, National Politics, National Security, Presidential Elections, Special Counsel Investigation | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Podcast – July 29, 2019

Pierce, Pearce, Pearce and Stuckey Interview – Podcast July 22, 2019

A New Threat To Arizona Water. Mike Cosentino welcomes Bill Pierce, Wayne and Martha Pearce and John Stuckey of Protect Our Water Arizona to discuss the push to extract helium from northern Arizona and the risks it poses. The big problem is that it involves hydraulic fracturing (aka fracking) which requires tens of thousands, if not millions, of gallons of water for each well. The technology involves using chemical-laced water under high pressure to fracture underground rock formations to release the helium. Says Wayne Pearce, “It’s not a matter of if there will be an accident. It’s when. A contaminated aquifer could stretch throughout the state and beyond affecting the water for 40 million people.”

Bill Pierce, candidate for Arizona Mine Inspector, notes an additional threat to our water supply. “One of biggest problems we have with water is that much of it is already contaminated with uranium,” he says. “The biggest radiation spill in the US was in Church Rock, New Mexico. That aquifer runs under New Mexico and part of Arizona.” Pierce adds that there are 592 abandoned uranium mines in the region that aren’t sealed, which could lead to further water contamination. And, if that isn’t worrisome enough, he says the threat to aquifers will be difficult to stop as the mining industry in Arizona is guaranteed unlimited water supply by statute.

Posted in Bureau of Land Management, Department of the Interior, Environment, Environmental Issues, Federal Lands, Interviews, Mine Safety, Native American Issues, Nuclear Weapons, Public Accountability, Regulatory Agencies, Water Policy | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Pierce, Pearce, Pearce and Stuckey Interview – Podcast July 22, 2019

Dunton, Segner, Strauch Interview – Podcast July 15, 2019

Paradise Lost. Sedona has long been considered one of America’s most beautiful places. But it is now endangered by short-term rentals, the Arizona legislature and the so-called sharing economy. It’s a phenomenon that is affecting other vacation destinations. But the threat to Sedona is uniquely troubling given AZ SB-1350, a short-sighted law that takes control away from local communities.

To discuss the problem, Democratic Perspective welcomes community activists Ernie Strauch, Sabina Dunton and hotelier Steve Segner. Dunton explains that a an 8 bedroom, 10 bath “single family home” with an additional bunkroom is being built in her neighborhood that will bring unwanted noise and traffic. And others are being planned. She warns, “Any vacant land in residential areas in Sedona, could be used for the same thing. The city cannot stop them.”

Of Sedona’s more than 700 short-term rentals, Segner states. “They haven’t affected hotels business-wise.” But he notes that they affect hotels and the city in other ways. “We have lost housing for employees,” he says.  “We have already lost 500-700 people from city as a result of short-term rentals. It’s death by Internet.”

Posted in Arizona Politics, Community, Community Activism, De-regulation, Development, Government, Housing, Interviews, Local Politics | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Dunton, Segner, Strauch Interview – Podcast July 15, 2019

Moriarty Interview – Podcast July 8, 2019

The Impact Of Short-Term Vacation Rentals. Democratic Perspective welcomes Sedona Mayor Sandy Moriarty to discuss the impact of vacation rentals on her city. Almost every destination city is having problems with the trend, which has evolved from the small scale short-term rental of individual homes to a huge industry via Airbnb and HomeAway and VRBO (both owned by Expedia).

“People are struggling worldwide to deal with it,” says Moriarity, noting that the rules in Arizona have centered on residential properties because the governor wanted to accommodate the sharing economy. Unfortunately, the industry has changed. Out of approximately 6,600 homes in Sedona, short-term rentals number about 600. And the number is growing.

“We do have to deal with the sharing economy,” she says. “The problem in AZ is that we have to treat all rentals the same – short-term or long-term. What we have seen here in Sedona is that investors come in and buy up single family homes and rent them to make money. It has driven up the price of homes. It also has driven up the price of rent.”

Posted in Community, Development, Government, Housing, Interviews, Local Politics, Public Policy, Sharing Economy, Taxation | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Moriarty Interview – Podcast July 8, 2019