Podcast January, 2019

Who Should Be The Democratic Candidate In 2020? Democratic Perspective co-hosts, Steve Williamson and Mike Cosentino, discuss what Democrats need to do to get ready for the 2020 presidential election. Sen. Elizabeth Warren has already announced an exploratory committee. Who will be next? Should Democrats nominate a progressive candidate? A charismatic candidate? Do we need to pay particular attention to candidates that will activate young people? Whoever wins the nomination, one thing won’t change – the need for a large Democratic turnout.

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Podcast December 31, 2018

2018 In Review. The Democratic Perspective crew looks back at 2018, addressing some of the biggest stories of the year. Mike Cosentino explains Trump’s threat to democracy. Klaus von Stutterheim covers the consequences of our military withdrawal from Syria. Gary LaMaster presents statistics of our continuing crisis of gun violence as documented by Gun Violence Archive. Both Gary and Dick Searle address climate change and the Green New Deal. Finally, Steve Williamson looks ahead at the 2020 election, asking the group which candidates have the best chance to defeat Trump and his allies.

Posted in Climate Change, Constitutional Issues, Democratic Governance, Elections, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Government, Gun Control, Immigration, International Terrorism, Mass Shootings, Middle East, Middle East Policy, Military, Military Policy, National Politics, Political Candidacy, Presidential Elections, U.S. Armed Forces | Tagged , | Comments Off on Podcast December 31, 2018

Fontes Interview – Podcast December 24, 2018

Counting All The Votes. Mike Cosentino and Klaus von Stutterheim welcome Adrian Fontes to Democratic Perspective to discuss voter suppression. Fontes is a former Marine, a former criminal defense attorney, and a former prosecutor. After seeing unbelievably long voting lines in 2016, he decided to run for the office of Maricopa County Recorder – a county about the size of New Jersey with a population the size of Kentucky. He begins by saying that voter fraud is “more rare than being struck by lightning – it doesn’t exist on a widespread level. But voter suppression does exist.” Noting that each county has different voting standards and procedures, he says, “There are more than 3,000 counties in US, so you have more than 3,000 ways to suppress votes.” Though the GOP sued him during the past election after watching their Senate candidate’s lead slip away as he made the effort to count every vote, he is unapologetic. He explains, “Administering an election is a sacred duty.”

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Garrison Interview – Podcast December 17, 2018

Reconciling Development With Preservation. Democratic Perspective welcomes Randy Garrison, District 3 representative of the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors. After a rough start due to technical issues, we dive into the controversy surrounding the proposed El Rojo Grande Ranch development project of 600 manufactured homes planned for an environmentally sensitive area near Sedona, Arizona. Planned by ELS, one of the largest developers of these types of projects, El Rojo Grande has generated opposition from the Sedona City Council and numerous local groups.

Posted in Arizona Politics, Community Activism, Development, Environment, Environmental Issues, Government, Growth, Housing, Interviews, Local Politics, Public Lands | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Garrison Interview – Podcast December 17, 2018

Richtman Interview – Podcast December 10, 2018

Preserving Social Security and Medicare More Important Than Ever. Democratic Perspective co-hosts Steve Williamson and Mike Cosentino welcome Max Richtman back to the show. Richtman is 16-year veteran of capitol hill who is currently President and CEO of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare. He begins by reminding listeners that Social Security is not an entitlement. “It is an earned benefit,” Richtman says. “People are buying insurance with every deduction from their paychecks. It is something we have earned.” He also points out that the program has 80-85 percent support from people of all political persuasions and that it’s more important than ever. “FDR used to say Social Security is part of a three-legged stool. The other two were savings and pensions. But those have largely disappeared in the last few decades. So the leg of Social Security needs to be strengthened as much as possible.”

Richtman goes on to explain how Social Security and Medicare can be strengthened for the future.

Posted in Economic Policy, Entitlements, Fiscal Policy, Government, Health Care, Health Insurance, Interviews, Medicaid, Medicare, National Politics, Privatization, Social Contract, Social Security, Taxes and the Deficit | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Richtman Interview – Podcast December 10, 2018

Taylor and Kenney Interviews – Podcast December 3, 2018

A Thought Leadership Group For Sedona’s Next Generation. Co-host Mike Cosentino and Democratic Perspective regular, Klaus von Stutterheim, welcome Marci Taylor and Omar Kenney to the show. Taylor and Kenney are co-founders of Sedona XYZ, a non-partisan think tank for generations X, Y and Z. According to Taylor and Kenney, the group is dedicated to making Sedona, Arizona a better place to live through economic and cultural diversity, sustainability, innovation and community.

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Alice Rothchild Interview – Podcast November 26, 2018

Zionism, the Two-State Solution and Boycotts. Co-hosts Steve Williamson and Mike Cosentino welcome Alice Rothchild, physician, activist, filmmaker and author of Condition Critical: Life and death in Israel/Palestine.

They begin by discussing the current state of Gaza, which is home to two million Palestinians, 70 percent of them refugees. According to Rothchild, “Gaza is kind of an invisible humanitarian catastrophe that has been getting worse and worse and worse. It’s continually under siege and it’s virtually impossible to get in and out. The infrastructure was bombed, particularly the water infrastructure, so there are some major issues that affect health as well as human rights,” she continues. “The UN is estimating that 98 percent of the water is no longer drinkable. There are also issues around sanitation, around inadequacies of food. So people are living on the edge of their ability to cope all the time.”

Regarding the two-state solution, Rothchild says, “It has been undermined repeatedly by the actions of the Israeli government. In reality, what we have right now is a one-state solution. It’s an apartheid state. One of the best things we can do is to support the Boycott, Divestment movement… It has been labeled anti-Semitic, which is totally erroneous. Attacking policies of a state is not, by definition, anti-Semitic. I think we have to work for a just solution for everyone who’s living there and a concern for Palestinian rights as well as rights for Israel.”

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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.

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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