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

French Interview – Podcast July 1, 2019

Reporting For Duty In The Arizona Senate. Democratic Perspective welcomes Felicia French, retired Army Colonel, Afghan War veteran, medical evacuation helicopter pilot, registered nurse and, now candidate for AZ State Senate from LD-6. French believes her public service has prepared her for office saying, “Any public service causes you to learn to be a team player and to collaborate. You have to learn to work together for the greater good.”

She believes in personal contact. “Whether you vote for me or not,” she says, “I’m still going to work for you. My favorite thing is going door to door to talk with people. I think people have a sensory overload…so much false information. So they don’t know what to believe. That’s why if you go door to door they can see. They can ask questions. I can’t meet everyone, but I try.”

As for the issues, French says, “It’s time to improve our education system, create more jobs and support small businesses, make quality affordable healthcare available for all, and take care of our veterans and their families.”

Posted in Arizona Politics, Climate Change, Community, Continuing Education, Democratic Governance, Education, Education Funding, Elections, Environmental Issues, Global Warming, Government, Health Care, Health Care Policy, Infrastructure Investment, Interviews, Local Politics, Public Education, Public Health Policy, Public Service, Renewable Energy, Small Business, Underemployment, Veterans' Issues | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on French Interview – Podcast July 1, 2019

McQueen Interview – Podcast June 24, 2019

Who’s Buying Our Politicians? Diane McQueen, the northern Arizona coordinator of Outlaw Dirty Money discusses the nonpartisan effort to place a constitutional amendment on the 2020 ballot in Arizona intended to expose those who are funding our politicians. The bill, if passed by voters, will require full disclosure of all major contributions right down to the original source of the money. The campaign will need to gather nearly 357,000 signatures, but it’s shooting for 400,000 to ensure there will be enough to survive the challenges that will likely come from the Koch brothers-funded group, Americans for Prosperity, and others. For more of the dirt on dirty money, listen to the podcast and visit OutlawDirtyMoney.com

Posted in Arizona Politics, Campaign Finance, Dark Money, Democratic Governance, Elections, Initiative and Referendum, Interviews, Political Action Committees, Public Accountability | Tagged , , | Comments Off on McQueen Interview – Podcast June 24, 2019

Babbott Interview – Podcast June 17, 2019

Can An Independent Win In Arizona? Democratic Perspective co-hosts, Steve Williamson and Mike Cosentino, welcome Art Babbott who is running to represent LD 6 in the Arizona State Legislature. As an independent, he’s aware of the difficult task he’s facing . “I need 3-1/2 times the signatures of Democrats and Republicans to get on the ballot,” he says. “In the history of the state, there has never been an independent elected as state representative. That is not by accident. It’s by intention. There are structural barriers to having a competitive electoral system. We have competition elsewhere, except when it comes to our electoral system.”

Asked what motivates him, he replies, “At its core, why I’m running is how we’re having our conversations. One party does not have the patent and trademark on good ideas.”
One of Babbott’s key issues is fiscal policy. Speaking of the budget, he says, “It’s not just numbers. It’s a reflection of priorities. I want to make sure I’m representing people. Not special interests. People across spectrums want us to recalibrate government. I don’t want to just reach across the aisle. I want to be in the aisle. What we’re doing now is not problem-solving. It’s ideological and grenade-lobbing.”

Posted in Arizona Politics, Community, Constitutional Issues, Democratic Governance, Education, Education Funding, Elections, Fiscal Policy, Government, Interviews, LIberals and Conservatives, Local Politics, Mental Health Programs, Political Candidacy, Political Contributions, Political Parties, Political Polarization, Public Accountability, Tax and Investment Policy | Tagged , | Comments Off on Babbott Interview – Podcast June 17, 2019

Richtman Interview – Podcast June 10, 2019

Debunking The Myths About Social Security. Democratic Perspective welcomes back Max Richtman, President and CEO of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare to talk about fixing Social Security. He begins by talking about the myth that Social Security is broke. He then addresses the current bill designed to improve the program and ensure its viability for the rest of the future – HR860, the Social Security 2100 Act. Sponsored by Representative John Larson of Connecticut, the bill now has at least 206 co-sponsors in the House. It would adjust the income cap on Social Security premiums so that, after the current wage cap is met, the premiums would begin again on income of more than $400,000. It would also adjust the formula for Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA) to more accurately reflect the costs to seniors.

Richtman reminds us how important Social Security is for the economy – that most of the money is spent on necessities so it has a multiplier effect on the economy leading to more jobs and business. Moreover, one third of the beneficiaries of Social Security are non-retired workers, including survivors, spouses, children, and the disabled.

For more information visit the organization’s website and especially check out its new Delay and Gain page.

Posted in Economic Stimulus, Entitlements, Government, Interviews, Medicare, Minimum Wage, National Politics, Pharmaceutical Pricing and Procurement, Social Security | Tagged | Comments Off on Richtman Interview – Podcast June 10, 2019

Putzova Interview – Podcast June 3, 2019

People First. Democratic Perspective welcomes Eva Putzova, a progressive Democrat running for Congress. Originally from Slovakia, and having become a US citizen, she talks about the big issues of the day – everything from health care, climate change, education, immigration, reproductive rights and gun safety to the federal budget and the changes needed to make America more competitive.

Posted in Arizona Politics, Class Conflict, Climate Change, Democratic Governance, Department of Homeland Security, Domestic Policy, Economic Policy, Education, Elections, Environment, Firearms Legislation, Global Warming, Government, Gun Control, Health Care, Health Care Policy, Health Insurance, Immigration, Infrastructure Investment, Interviews, Jobs and Employment, Medicare, Military Policy, National Politics, Political Candidacy, Political Contributions, Race and Class, Racial Discrimination, U.S. Budget | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Putzova Interview – Podcast June 3, 2019

McClelland, Deardon Interview – Podcast May 27, 2019

Providing Quality Education In A Challenging Environment. Democratic Perspective welcomes Karen McClelland, the longest-serving member of the Sedona-Oak Creek Unified School Board, and Dennis Deardon, the school district’s new superintendent. Along with co-hosts Mike Cosentino and Steve Williamson, they discuss the challenges of providing a world-class education in a rural area faced with declining enrollment, reduced funding and retiring teachers. Despite these difficult issues, the educators remain optimistic that, by doubling up on administration duties and innovating, they can help students succeed.

Posted in Community, Education, Education Funding, Education Policy, Innovation, Interviews, Public Accountability, Public Education, Social Contract | Tagged , , | Comments Off on McClelland, Deardon Interview – Podcast May 27, 2019

Lenze Interview – Podcast May 20, 2019

The Syrian Civil War And Its Impact On Europe. Democratic Perspective again welcomes Dr. Paul Lenze, Jr., political science professor at NAU and Middle East expert to discuss his new book: Syrian Forced Migration and Public Health in the European Union.
He points to 2015 as the key date in the Syrian civil war when Russia got involved. That’s when millions of Syrians and others from the region began migrating to Europe. The so-called Old (western) Europe welcomed the refugees. The New (eastern) Europe didn’t. Nevertheless, he says the assimilation process has gone relatively well. But it depends on situations on the ground. Western European countries have helped them assimilate while Eastern European countries have kept them in camps.

Asked how to get to something positive going forward, Lenze says there needs to be a negotiated settlement. Assad has won. We need to bring all parties to the table for talks. We need to stop support of the Saudis in the Yemen civil war. We need to stop the bellicose reactions to Iran. And we need to bring in UN.

Posted in European Union, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Human Rights, Immigration, International Relations, Interviews, Iran, Islamic Republic, Mass Migration, Middle East, Middle East Policy | Tagged , | Comments Off on Lenze Interview – Podcast May 20, 2019

The Mueller Report – Podcast May 13, 2019

Does The Mueller Report Really Exonerate Trump? If you read the report – even just the executive summaries – the answer is emphatically “NO!” The Democratic Perspective crew digs into the report to explain why, even though the president was not charged with crimes, he was not exonerated. In fact, the section on conspiracy describes the difficulty in making further charges faced with numerous lies, the use of encrypted messages, the destruction of messages and records, and the fact that numerous witnesses and subjects live abroad. That’s why the summary states, “The Office cannot rule out the possibility that the unavailable information would shed additional light on (or cast in a new light) the events described in the report.”

As for obstruction, the Special Counsel’s Office notes that it accepts the OLC ruling that a sitting president cannot be indicted. But it’s telling that the summary states, “while this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”

And the investigation is far from over. 11 cases have been transferred to US attorneys and 14 additional cases have been referred to US attorneys, the FBI, the DOJ or the National Security Division. 14 of these cases appear to involve unknown individuals or companies.

Posted in Congressional Oversight, Constitutional Issues, Corruption, Democratic Governance, Elections, Government, Justice System, National Politics, National Security, Political Lies, Political Polarization, Presidential Elections, Public Accountability, Special Counsel Investigation | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on The Mueller Report – Podcast May 13, 2019

Bordewich Interview – Podcast May 6, 2019

What Were The Founders Thinking? Democratic Perspective welcomes constitutional scholar and author Fergus Bordewich. To understand how we got to where we are, he says it’s important to understand the historical context of the constitutional convention and the First Congress. Bordewich says, at the time, the Articles of Confederation had completely broken down. The Constitution was designed by Federalists like James Madison who wanted a strong central government. But he says, “The Constitution is just a piece of paper. That’s all it is. It isn’t a government. It’s a set of ideas for a government. All of the machinery for government was created by Congress.”

Bordewich notes that context is particularly important to understand what the Founders intended with the 2nd Amendment. “They were debating 10 different kinds of issues all at the same time. And they were debating a militia bill,” he says. “They didn’t want a standing army. So the United States were going to be defended by militia, minutemen so to speak, who could be trained and called up – essentially forerunners of the National Guard. That meant that you needed a system. Who was going to be eligible? How were they going to be trained? How were they going to be called up? There was far more time given to discussing that than to the 2nd Amendment. There was no discussion whatsoever of this as a fundamental human right at all.”

Posted in Anti-Federalism, Civil Liberties, Constitutional Issues, Democratic Governance, Firearms and Explosives, Founding Fathers, Government, Gun Control, Human Rights, Interviews, Military, National Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments