Evans & Rutherford Interviews – Podcast October 19, 2020

Voting Down The Ballot (And On The Back Of The Ballot). In each election, some of the most important races are down ballot. Often these candidates and issues can affect lives more directly than those at the very top of the ballot. A great example is Coral Evans, candidate for Arizona State Representative, and Cathy Rutherford, president of Democrats of the Red Rocks.

Evans, who is currently Mayor of Flagstaff, is hoping to end the extreme partisanship in the state legislature. She says, “Too many legislators have not served at the local level. When someone calls me about a pothole, I don’t ask if they’re Republican, Democrat, Independent or Green. I ask for the address.” She continues, “The partisan world we’re living in does us all a disservice. It’s important that we pass policies that work for us all and move things forward.” Her priority issues are local control, education, small business, healthcare, rural broadband and more.

Rutherford notes that there are two important propositions on the back of the Arizona ballot, which would provide more funding for public education and legalize possession of small amounts of marijuana. She calls for everyone to make a plan to vote. “It needs to be a landslide for Biden,” she says. “We need to show everyone that we will not tolerate what has happened with this administration.”

Posted in Arizona Politics, Education, Education Funding, Elections, Entrepreneurship, Environmental Issues, Government, Health Care Policy, Infrastructure Investment, Interviews, LIberals and Conservatives, Local Politics, Pharmaceutical Pricing and Procurement, Political Candidacy, Political Clubs, Public Education, Public Service, Small Business, Taxation, Veterans' Issues | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Mundell, Stanfield, Tovar Interview – Podcast October 12, 2020

Arizona’s Fourth Branch Of Government. Originally broadcast in March, Democratic Perspective revisits an interview with the three Democratic candidates for Arizona’s Corporation Commission. We replay the interview because we feel it important to remind listeners of the importance of looking beyond the presidential, senatorial and congressional races to vote “down ballot” for members of the Commission who have a direct impact on such important issues as utility rates and renewable energy.

Please listen as Anna Tovar, Shea Stanfield and Bill Mundell explain the importance of the offices they seek. And, if you live in Arizona, be sure to vote for all three!

Posted in Arizona Politics, Elections, Environment, Government, Industrial Policy, Interviews, Political Candidacy, Public Accountability, Public Policy, Regulatory Agencies, Renewable Energy | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Kelly and Michaels Interviews – Podcast October 5, 2020

Turning Arizona Blue. Democratic Perspective welcomes former astronaut and US Senate candidate for Arizona, Mark Kelly. Kelly answers questions on a diverse range of topics, such as federal management of public lands, mining, climate science, solar energy, as well as the high cost of healthcare and pharmaceuticals. For example, he proposes giving older Americans, 50 and older, an opportunity to buy into Medicare at a premium, which he believes could also bring down private insurance costs.

Later, the show continues with Donna Michaels who is running to represent Arizona’s Verde Valley on the County Board of Supervisors. Michaels lives in the Verde Valley where she has served on many community organizations and boards. She responds to questions about the proposed Verde Connect highway and the proposed new jail in Prescott.  “Growth is inevitable,” she says. “It’s how we manage it. How do we collaborate across the Verde Valley on land management? Every community has a right to its own sense of space. And it’s our job as supervisors to protect them.”

Posted in Arizona Politics, Climate Change, Community, Community Activism, Development, Elections, Energy Policy, Environment, Environmental Issues, Federal Lands, Global Warming, Government, Health Care, Health Care Policy, Health Insurance, Interviews, Local Politics, Medicare, National Politics, Pharmaceutical Pricing and Procurement, Political Candidacy, Public Accountability, Public Health Policy, Public Lands, Public Service, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Development | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

O’Halleran Interview – Podcast September 28, 2020

Demanding More Of Congress. Democratic Perspective welcomes Congressman Tom O’Halleran in a conversation that covers a wide range of issues, including the upcoming election, the pandemic, healthcare, broadband, public lands, climate change, and the needs of rural America. He begins by addressing the postal crisis and foreign election interference, saying, “Our state has not been hurt as hard by the postal crisis as East Coast state. But this never should have occurred. We, as individuals, must be sure that we get our votes in. And we should check in with the Secretary of State to make sure they receive those ballots.”

Noting the complexities of the many issues we face, he says we must demand more from Congress. “We can’t sit back and take all of August and part of September off and tell people we didn’t have time to get the budget done. We have to be involved on a day-to-day basis. We can’t be in session just 111 days a year.” To learn more O’Halleran’s vision for America and his positions on issues, visit https://www.tomohalleran.com/

Posted in Arizona Politics, Economic Policy, Economic Stimulus, Education, Elections, Energy Policy, Environment, Federal Lands, Global Warming, Government, Health Care, Interviews, Mine Safety, National Politics, Pandemic, Political Candidacy, Public Accountability, Public Education, Renewable Energy, Water Policy | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Richtman Interview – Podcast September 21, 2020

Saving Social Security From Donald Trump And The GOP. Democratic Perspective welcomes back Max Richtman, President and CEO of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare. He begins by noting that, for the first time in its history, the board of his organization voted to endorse a candidate for president – Joe Biden. The reason, he explains, is because of the danger Donald Trump poses to Social Security. He has already proposed nearly a trillion dollars in cuts to Social Security and Medicare. And Richtman notes, Trump has promised to permanently eliminate the payroll tax and fund the program out of the general budget. That would almost certainly cause Social Security to run out of money in a couple of years. “He either doesn’t understand how Social Security is funded” says Richtman. “Or he doesn’t care. Or it’s both.”

Richtman goes on to say that a lot of people don’t understand that the payroll tax funds the Social Security program. “I think a better way to explain it,” he says, “is that the payroll tax really is an insurance payment.” He points out that FICA stands for Federal Insurance Contribution Act. As a result, he emphasizes, “Social Security is not an entitlement. It’s an earned benefit.”

Posted in Arizona Politics, Community Activism, Elections, Government, Interviews, Local Politics, Medicaid, Medicare, National Politics, Pandemic, Political Clubs, Presidential Elections, Privatization, Public Policy, Social Insurance, Social Security, Taxation | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Richtman Interview – Podcast September 21, 2020

French Interview – Podcast September 14, 2020

Focus On Accountability. Democratic Perspective welcomes Felicia French, LD6 candidate for the Arizona State Senate. French is a veteran of the Army and the Arizona National Guard serving as a nurse and reaching the rank of full colonel. During her 32-year career, she served as a commander for seven years and earned the Legion of Merit, a Bronze Star, two Humanitarian Service Medals, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, and the Expert Field Medical Badge.

Even after her retirement, French has continued to serve the public as a volunteer with the Civil Air Patrol, Tonto Rim Search and Rescue, Community Emergency Response Team, and Sierra Club. As a nurse, she has also volunteered with hospice military veterans, disaster relief efforts in the Bahamas, and most recently with the Navajo Nation.

It is in that same spirit of public service, French is running for public office. Her top issue is accountability, especially fiscal accountability. Other issues French considers priorities are making affordable quality healthcare available to all Arizonans, improving public education, protecting scarce water resources, and expanding the availability of broadband.

On the latter issue, she notes, “Twenty-two percent of Arizona does not have broadband.” She explains that expanding broadband could have a huge impact on education in the age of Covid-19, as well as making telemedicine more available, in addition to helping small businesses. “Expanding access throughout the state is a win, win, win,” she says.

Posted in Arizona Politics, Education, Education Funding, Elections, Environmental Issues, Government, Health Care, Health Care Delivery, Health Care Policy, Interviews, Jobs and Employment, Military, Native American Issues, Pandemic, Political Candidacy, Public Accountability, Public Education, Public Health Policy, Public Service, Renewable Energy, Tax and Investment Policy, Water Policy | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on French Interview – Podcast September 14, 2020

2020 Election – Podcast September 7, 2020

Previewing The Presidential Election. Three of the Democratic Perspective contributors analyze the upcoming election. Steve Williamson discusses the possibilities of Arizona turning blue in November. Klaus von Stutterheim discusses the various scenarios of what could happen if the election is close or the outcome is unclear, as well as what could happen if Trump narrowly loses but refuses to leave. And Gary LaMaster discusses the situation in Minnesota which has been targeted as a key swing state by the Trump campaign after losing the state by only 2 percentage points to Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Posted in Arizona Politics, Conspiracy Theories, Constitutional Issues, Disinformation, Elections, Government, National Politics, Political Candidacy, Polling, Presidential Elections | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on 2020 Election – Podcast September 7, 2020

Schaitberger Interview – Podcast August 31, 2020

One Nation Indivisible Against Trump. Democratic Perspective welcomes Sharli Schaitberger, a member of the steering committee for Indivisible Arizona in Phoenix. She recalls that Indivisible was begun by a couple of former congressional staffers who wrote a guide to help counter Trump. It took off after the 2016 election. By early 2017, before Trump was even inaugurated, there were thousands of volunteers for Indivisible nationwide.

Schaitberger notes it was a grassroots organization that grew from the bottom up, saying, “At first it was just friends who gathered in their living rooms. The began by showing up at representative’s town halls and asking questions. The group now numbers more than a million members nationwide and about 400 in Phoenix of which about 40 are very active.

Given the increasing number of lies from Trump, Schaitberger reports that Indivisible has formed a truth brigade. “We use every way possible to put out the truth,” she says. “We’re continuing to send letters and make phone calls. She also says, “We send postcards to voters,” noting that most of the postcards are to get people to sign up to vote.

To learn more about Indivisible and to find a chapter near you, visit Indivisible.org. You can also check out the new book, We Are Indivisible: A Blueprint For Democracy After Trump.

Posted in Arizona Politics, Community Activism, Democratic Governance, Elections, Interviews, Local Politics, National Politics, Political Clubs, Political Lies, Presidential Elections, Public Accountability, Resistance | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Schaitberger Interview – Podcast August 31, 2020

Whitmer Interview – Podcast August 24, 2020

Future Of The Verde River. There’s a saying in the American West that whiskey is for drinking. Water is for fighting. The issue is especially acute in the Arizona desert. To discuss the current and long-term availability of our most important resource, Democratic Perspective welcomes Tom Whitmer who, as Cottonwood Utilities Director, manages the city’s Water Resources division.

Whitmer is a fourth-generation Arizonan who has worked in the water industry for more than 30 years for companies such as the Salt River Project, Santa Cruz Valley Water District, Imperial Irrigation District, International Environmental Solutions, Troy Biosciences, and the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR). In his current position, he is responsible for ensuring the sustainability of water supplies for the City of Cottonwood while preserving baseflow in the Verde River. Given that Arizona is facing new development, a mega drought, and climate change, he offers a surprisingly optimistic and positive outlook.

Posted in Arizona Politics, Climate Change, Development, Environment, Environmental Issues, Global Warming, Interviews, Local Politics, Regulatory Agencies, Sustainable Development, Water Policy | Tagged , | Comments Off on Whitmer Interview – Podcast August 24, 2020

Baker Interview – Podcast August 17, 2020

Assessing The Economic Impact Of The Pandemic. Democratic Perspective welcomes Dean Baker, co-founder of the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) in Washington, D.C. to discuss the short-term and long-term effects of the pandemic. He begins by noting that we’re really not out of the woods yet. Baker says that the current infection rate poses many problems for the immediate future saying, “It would be great to open the schools, but we’re really not prepared to do that, at least in many parts of the country because we did not take the steps necessary.”

Nevertheless, Baker is optimistic for the long-term. “I think we’re seeing some very, very interesting… stories play out here. We’re going to see permanent changes in behavior. A lot more people are not going to be commuting into offices so employers are not going to need as much office space. All of those people tasked with taking care of those offices won’t be needed. Restaurants, gyms – things that people do before and after work…purchases of business clothes. There’ll be a lot less demand in a wide range of areas. But we should really think of this as an increase in productivity. That’s a good thing. It frees up resources for a lot of other things. The list of needs is a long one.”

For example, Baker states that the capital can be used to respond to climate change. “There’s a whole range of things we need to do to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” he says. “We also need more childcare. That’s become very clear in the pandemic. Parents who want to work need a place for their kids during the day.”

Posted in Business, Business Cultural Change, Climate Change, Cultural Change, Domestic Policy, Economic Policy, Economic Stimulus, Environmental Issues, Financial Crisis, Fiscal Policy, Food Insecurity, Foreclosures, Global Warming, Government, Health Care Delivery, Infrastructure Investment, Innovation, Interviews, Jobs and Employment, Monetary Policy, National Politics, Pandemic, Public Education, Public Lands, Public Policy, Technology, Unemployment | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Baker Interview – Podcast August 17, 2020