Susskind Interview – Podcast November 21, 2022

New Obstacles To Peace In The Middle East. Steve Williamson and Karen McClelland welcome Hadar Susskind, President and CEO of Americans for Peace Now, a 42-year-old organization which, according to its website, is committed to persuading Americans to support policies that will lead to a comprehensive and durable Israeli-Palestinian and Israeli-Arab peace based on a two-state solution.

When asked if the peace movement in the U.S. had faded, Susskind responds, “I think you have to make the distinction between the political parties and leadership of what we call broadly the left and the peace movement – the NGO organizations. Certainly, if you look at this most recent Israeli election, which happened just the week before our U.S. election, the rightwing has returned to power and the leftwing political parties really did not do well at all.”

Yet Susskind explains that, if you add up the votes in the parliamentary system, the opposition actually got 30,000 more votes. “That’s my roundabout way of saying there actually are very strong, very vibrant, very important peace movement organizations working in Israel, starting with our colleagues at Peace Now and including many others. But this is most likely going to be the most rightwing government, a government where Netanyahu who, as you mentioned, is under indictment and has an ongoing trial around corruption and bribery – he’s actually going to be the reasonable center in the government,” Susskind says, “It has the possibility, even the likelihood of being incredibly damaging.”

Recognizing that the U.S. plays a very important role in Israel, Susskind notes, “I think it’s important for American political leadership to be very clear about what our policies are and what our priorities are in the region and to stand up for those things.” He adds that one of the major issues to consider is whether or not military hardware provided by the U.S. is used in human rights violations.

Posted in Arizona Politics, Conservatives and Reactionaries, Constitutional Issues, Corruption, Democratic Governance, Elections, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Government, Human Rights, International Relations, Interviews, LIberals and Conservatives, Middle East, Middle East Policy, Palestinian/Israeli Conflict | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kinsella Interview – Podcast November 14, 2022

Repudiating Crazy. Stephen Hanks and Karen McClelland welcome Kathy Kinsella to discuss the results of the midterm elections. They begin with a brief celebration of Democrats’ surprising success. Notably, Mark Kelly was re-elected giving Democrats control of the U.S. Senate, Katie Hobbs was leading the race for Arizona Governor (UPDATE: Hobbs was later projected as winner), Adrian Fontes was elected as AZ Secretary of State, Kris Mayes was leading for Attorney General, and Scott Jablow defeated a very Trumpian candidate for Sedona Mayor.

Even our own Karen McClelland got in on the action by being re-elected to the Sedona-Oak Creek School District Governing Board for a sixth term. She was also elected to the Road Improvement District Board.

The downside was that several Democratic candidates lost their election bids for the U.S. House, including Congressman Tom O’Halleran who was a victim of gerrymandering. In addition, Kathy Hoffman was behind in her re-election bid for Superintendent of Public Instruction. Yet, all in all, the elections were very good for Democrats, and the guest and co-hosts offer their reasoning for the Democrats’ success.

Posted in Arizona Politics, Campaign Finance, Community, Conservatives and Reactionaries, Democratic Governance, Domestic Extremism, Education, Elections, Front Organizations, Government, Initiative and Referendum, Interviews, LIberals and Conservatives, Local Politics, National Politics, Political Clubs, Political Contributions, Political Parties, Political Polarization, Public Education, Public Service, Voter Suppression, Voting, Women's Rights | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Midterms – Podcast November 7, 2022

GOP’s Fear Playbook. On the day before midterm elections, Steve Williamson, Karen McClelland and Stephen Hanks address the lack of substance in the campaigns of most Republican candidates, noting that it’s easier for candidates to point out problems than it is to propose solutions.

The three begin by summarizing the race for mayor of Sedona between a long-serving, experienced candidate and a hateful, Trump-supporting newcomer. Of course, this is emblematic of many of the races across the nation in which the GOP continues to promote angry and inexperienced outsiders against knowledgeable Democrats. Unable to propose substantive policies, the Republican candidates turn to fearmongering by portraying their opponents as weak on crime and in favor of open borders.

Posted in Arizona Politics, Campaign Finance, Civil Society, Community, Conservatives and Reactionaries, Dark Money, Domestic Extremism, Education, Elections, Ethics, Front Organizations, Government, Health Care Policy, Immigration, LIberals and Conservatives, Local Politics, Mass Media, Media Campaigns, National Politics, Political Action Committees, Political Lies, Political Parties, Political Polarization, Public Education, Voting | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Kuby Interview – Podcast October 31, 2022

A Race That Will Impact The Health Of Your Family, The State, And The Planet. Steve and Karen welcome Lauren Kuby, candidate for Arizona Corporation Commission, a powerful branch of state government that is largely overlooked. Yet it has an enormous impact on everything from utility rates to pipeline safety to water conservation and air quality.

Kuby is a longtime consumer watchdog and national climate leader. She is a sustainability scientist at Arizona State University who has served as council member and Vice-Mayor of the City of Tempe. If elected as Corporation Commissioner, she has vowed to end corruption and promote sustainable practices. – a perfect background for the commission which regulates all utilities and corporations within the state. If both Kuby and Sandra Kennedy are elected, it would create a majority on the commission focused on sustainability. By contrast, her main political opponent for the office is a former utility lobbyist.

Posted in Arizona Politics, Campaign Finance, Climate Change, Corporations, Elections, Energy Policy, Environmental Issues, Ethics, Global Warming, Government, Industrial Policy, Interviews, Political Candidacy, Public Accountability, Public Health Policy, Public Policy, Public Service, Regulation, Regulatory Agencies, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Development, Water Policy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

LaMaster Interview – Podcast October 24, 2022

GOP Derangement Syndrome. Even though I’ve written three books about Republican lies and disinformation, until the last two years, I could not have imagined that one of our two major political parties would be willing to undermine our democracy through an attempted coup and threats of violence. But that’s where it now stands.

Contrary to the deranged claims of the GOP, the reality is that nobody is grooming your kids to become gay or trans. There is no cabal of sex trafficking cannibals run by Democrats and A-list celebrities. There is no open border. What there is is a political party intent on creating fear and division in order to gain power. A political party that thrives, not by the wisdom of its policies, but by lies, deceit, dirty tricks and threats of violence.

This is not just my opinion. It is an opinion shared by many former Republicans and counterterrorism experts.

Fact is, the GOP is no longer the party of Lincoln. Not even the party of Reagan or Bush. It’s more the party of Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee. It has become indistinguishable from MAGA, QAnon, white nationalists, and faux Christians. It now strives to maintain white privilege, to discriminate against people of color, gays, lesbians and trans, and to tear down the barrier between church and state.

It no longer believes in personal freedom for all, security from all enemies foreign and domestic, limited government or budget restraint. It has departed from all that. It wants to control who votes, to control women’s bodies, to control who or what you worship, even personal thought. And its supporters are willing to use violence to achieve its goals.

It must be repudiated. A vote for a Republican candidate – any Republican candidate – is a vote to destroy our democracy.

Posted in Anti-Federalism, Anti-Gay Discrimination, Bigotry, Civil Liberties, Civil Society, Conservative Paranoia, Conservatives and Reactionaries, Conspiracy Theories, Constitutional Issues, Democratic Governance, Department of Homeland Security, Disinformation, Domestic Extremism, Domestic Terrorism, Domestic Violence, Elections, Founding Fathers, Government, Homeland Security, Human Rights, Immigration, Interviews, LIberals and Conservatives, National Politics, Political History, Political Lies, Political Parties, Political Polarization, Racism, Religion, Scandal Mongering, Voting | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on LaMaster Interview – Podcast October 24, 2022

Jablow – Podcast October 17, 2022

Knowledge And Experience Versus Bluster And Questions. Steve Williamson and Karen McClelland welcome Scott Jablow, Sedona’s vice-mayor and finalist in the city’s mayoral runoff election.

Having worked for Sedona in a number of positions, few know the city’s needs as well as Jablow. Certainly not his Hollywood opponent, a Trump-supporting ideologue financed by extremist groups. It seems all she has to offer are insults and questions.

During the show, Jablow covers his vision for the city’s future, practical solutions for problems, and recent successes. And the hosts address some of the propositions on the ballot.

Posted in Arizona Politics, Civic Renewal, Community, Conservatives and Reactionaries, Elections, Environmental Issues, Fiscal Policy, Global Warming, Government, Health Care, Housing, Infrastructure, Initiative and Referendum, Interviews, Local Politics, Political Candidacy, Political Polarization, Public Accountability, Public Lands, Public Service, Voting | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Jablow – Podcast October 17, 2022

Montgomery Interview – Podcast October 3, 2022

The Politics Of Religion And Hate. Democratic Perspective welcomes Peter Montgomery of Right Wing Watch, a project of People For The American Way, to discuss the growing threat of White Christian Nationalism.

When asked if the difference between Christian nationalism and white supremacy, Montgomery responds that there is a lot of overlap, noting they’re both grounded in the same kind of politics of grievance. He explains that both groups believe that this country was founded by and for white Christians, and that other people are trying to take it away from them or have taken it away from them. “And that’s why all this grievous rhetoric you see from the religious right about secularists and feminists driving prayer out of the schools or, you know, forcing kids, you know, to be in schools where there are affirming policies toward gay kids.”

He continues, “It’s the same issue as white nationalists…that this is a white country and that immigrants and people of color are trying to take it away. That plays into this grim replacement theory we hear from the white nationalists that Jews are trying to import black and brown people into the country to dilute the white majority. You see it in the kind of rhetoric from Donald Trump and the “Stop the Steal” people who say the election was stolen from Trump supporters by illegitimate black and brown voters and corrupt election officials. So that dynamic of the politics of grievance is really central to the MAGA movement. It’s central to Christian nationalism and it’s central to white nationalism.”

Posted in Anti-Federalism, Arizona Politics, Bigotry, Conservative Paranoia, Conservatives and Reactionaries, Conspiracy Theories, Cultural Change, Democratic Governance, Demographic Trends, Disinformation, Domestic Extremism, Domestic Terrorism, Elections, Founding Fathers, Immigration, Interviews, LIberals and Conservatives, Local Politics, Misogyny, National Politics, Paul Gosar, Political Lies, Political Polarization, Presidential Elections, Propaganda, Racism, Religion, Theocracy, Voting, Women's Issues | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Montgomery Interview – Podcast October 3, 2022

O’Halleran Interview – Podcast September 26, 2022

Working To Find Common Ground. Steve Williamson, Karen McClelland and Stephen Hanks welcome U.S. Congressman Tom O’Halleran to discuss the issues and his campaign for re-election in a newly apportioned district in Arizona. The new district stretches from the Tucson area in southern Arizona to the Utah border, even larger than the district he currently represents. Yet despite the enormous territory, O’Halleran says he holds more town halls with constituents than the rest of Arizona’s delegation combined.

“My philosophy is very simple. We, as Americans, are a stronger country when we work together. And I’m the 28th most bipartisan member of Congress because I feel it’s important for us to come back together again as a Congress.” He explains that one of the consequences of divisive politics is that what once to a year for Congress to get something done now takes 10 years or more. As an example, he notes that it took 20 years to get an infrastructure bill passed.

Asked about the impact of the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v Wade, O’Halleran says, “I’m for a woman’s right to choose” noting that the decision has created much confusion involving everything from a woman’s privacy to her healthcare and medication decisions to her freedom to travel.  On the other hand, his Trump-endorsed opponent is against a woman’s right to choose with no exceptions.

Posted in Agricultural Policy, Arizona Politics, Budget Negotiations, Campaign Finance, Civil Liberties, Civil Society, Dark Money, Democratic Governance, Economic Policy, Elections, Fiscal Policy, Government, Health Care, Housing, Infrastructure Investment, Interviews, Law Enforcement, National Politics, Philosophy, Political Candidacy, Political History, Political Parties, Political Polarization, Public Service, Social Security, States' Rights, Supreme Court, Veterans' Issues, Voting, Women's Rights | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on O’Halleran Interview – Podcast September 26, 2022

Quezada Interview – Podcast September 19, 2022

Investing In Arizona. Not Politics. Steve Williamson and Karen McClelland welcome Arizona Senator Martin Quezada, candidate for Arizona State Treasurer. Quezada says that treasurer is a much different role than serving in the Senate. “The role of treasurer, ideally, should be much less political, much less partisan, and much more technical.” He explains, “The treasurer basically serves three main roles in our state government: Number one, you’re the chief banker, number two the chief investment officer, and number three the chief financial officer.”

As chief investment officer, Quezada notes that the Treasurer is in charge of investing a portfolio of more than $23 billion, adding that where the money is invested should reflect the priorities of the people of Arizona. For example, investing in things that address the massive threat of climate change.

Quezada promises to bring new energy and a new commitment to the office, noting that the current and two previous treasurers seemed more concerned with running for higher office. He says that current treasurer Kimberly Yee spent the first two years in office running for governor while checking in to the Treasury office only once every two weeks.

Posted in Arizona Politics, Banking And Finance, Climate Change, Economic Policy, Education, Education Policy, Elections, Environmental Issues, Ethics, Fiscal Policy, Global Warming, Government, Interviews, Monetary Policy, Political Candidacy, Public Accountability, Tax and Investment Policy | Tagged , | Comments Off on Quezada Interview – Podcast September 19, 2022

Bitecofer Interview – Podcast September 12, 2022

Hyper-partisanship, Polarization, And Political Realignment. Karen McClelland and Stephen Hanks welcome Rachel Bitecofer, Political Scientist and Election Analyst, to discuss the upcoming midterms. She begins by noting that the electorate is always in flux driven by changing demographics, geographic allegiances, and ideologies. Bitecofer then goes on to explain how today’s hyper-partisanship and polarization affect individual level voter behavior.

For example, she does not believe you can distinguish between fascist MAGA Republicans and so-called moderate Republicans because almost all Republicans voted against an investigation of the January 6 insurrection and have since gone to great lengths to excuse the attempted coup. She says, “This is a time we must prevent them from gaining political power.”

Bitecofer says that the recent Supreme Court decision on Roe v Wade presents an opportunity for Democrats by increasing voter enthusiasm. She explains that even Republican leaning dads may be concerned about the impact on their daughters.

Posted in Arizona Politics, Civil Liberties, Conservatives and Reactionaries, Democratic Governance, Domestic Extremism, Government, Interviews, LIberals and Conservatives, Misogyny, National Politics, Political History, Political Parties, Political Polarization, Political Theory, Polling, Supreme Court, Women's Rights | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Bitecofer Interview – Podcast September 12, 2022