O’Brien, Kinsella Interview – February 17, 2020

Supporting Equality. Steve, Mike and Klaus welcome Kathy Kinsella and J.J. O’Brien of PFLAG (Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians And Gays), a group that supports LGBTQ rights. The organization was founded in 1973 by the mother of a young gay man who was beaten as police watched. The Sedona Verde Valley chapter began in 2011. According to O’Brien, PFLAG meets on the second Tuesday of every month at 6:30 pm at the Sedona Public Library. 

Kinsella reminds listeners that, despite marriage equality, there is no federal non-discrimination law. Only about half of the states have non-discrimination laws. Unfortunately, Arizona is not one of them.

Posted in Anti-Gay Discrimination, Arizona Politics, Bigotry, Civil Rights, Civil Society, Cultural Change, Education, Human Rights, Interviews, LGBT Community, LGBT Issues, Local Politics, National Politics | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Munro Interview – Podcast February 10, 2020

Class Action Lawsuits – A Necessary Remedy.  Steve, Mike and Klaus welcome Greg Munro, retired law professor and interim dean of the University of Montana Law School to discuss class action lawsuits. Munro begins by stating, “Class action is one of the only ways to hold corporations accountable.”

Asked about the impact of tort reform on class actions, Munro explains that tort reformers have succeeded in instituting all sorts of caps by claiming that the reforms clear the courts of unnecessary lawsuits. Yet the corporations pushing for tort reform, use the courts more than anyone else. “Tort reform takes away peoples’ rights,” he says. “The result is more power for corporations.” Munro goes on to state, “The greatest tort reform ever would be to enact universal healthcare because most of the lawsuits are the result of medical expenses.”

Posted in Civil Rights, Class Conflict, Corruption, Health Care, Income Inequality, Interviews, Jurisprudence, Justice System, Labor Unions, Legal Issues | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Burdick Interview – Podcast February 3, 2020

Turning State Legislatures Blue. Democratic Perspective co-hosts Steve Williamson and Klaus von Stutterheim welcome Natalie Burdick co-chair for the Sister District Project in San Francisco. She begins by explaining that Sister District was started by five women, mostly as a therapy session after the 2016 election results. According to Burdick, “They began by asking themselves why, if Democrats are the majority in the nation, they don’t have the majority of representation? Democrats didn’t have the White House, the Senate, the House or even the majority of state legislatures.  So they set out to correct that.”

From that humble beginning, Sister District became a national organization within 3 years. A website was put up, they emailed all of their friends and, as a result, the organization now numbers more than 45,000 volunteers. “Our model is all about focusing on down-ballot offices such as state legislatures. We realized most problems started at the state legislative level,” says Burdick.

She points to Virginia as an example of the group’s efforts, which Democrats were able to turn blue in 2019.

Posted in Arizona Politics, Campaign Finance, Community Activism, Elections, Government, Interviews, National Politics, Political Clubs, Political Contributions | Tagged | Leave a comment

Babbott Interview – Podcast January 27, 2020

Are Ideas More Important Than Ideologies? That’s the question posed by Art Babbott who is campaigning to represent LD-6 in the Arizona Legislature with the support of Steve Segner, owner of Sedona’s El Portal Hotel. They and the show’s hosts discuss the challenges of running for office as an independent. Babbott says he is an independent candidate by choice claiming that, too often, we choose ideas based on the party of origination rather than the quality of the idea.

Babbott has 15 years of experience in county and local government, having served as a member of Coconino County Board of Supervisors, co-chair of Four Forest Restoration Initiative, the Flagstaff City Council and a large number of other councils, boards and commissions. He is also a small business owner.

Posted in Arizona Politics, Elections, Government, Health Care, Interviews, Local Politics, Political Candidacy, Political Parties, Political Polarization | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Singal Interview – Podcast January 20, 2020

Analyzing The Democratic Presidential Race. After a few words about the importance of Martin Luther King Day, Democratic Perspective welcomes author and history professor Daniel J. Singal back to the show. Singal begins by reminding listeners of his earlier predictions for the Democratic presidential race, notably that Mayor Pete Buttigieg would be a major factor in the Democratic race. Despite The New York Times endorsement of Senators Klobuchar and Warren, he now predicts that Michael Bloomberg will be a major player and possible nominee in addition to former Vice-President Joe Biden who has shown recent gains in the polls. Singal also predicts Biden will choose Stacey Abrams as his running mate.

Worryingly, Singal warns that Trump will be difficult to beat. He notes that the latest Gallup poll shows Trump’s approval rating has grown to 44 percent, largely due to the economy. He acknowledges the unpopularity of that opinion by stating, “I’m terrified about the situation in the country.”

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Evans Interview – Podcast January 13, 2020

“I’m not trying to be a politician. I’m trying to be a statesman.” Democratic Perspective welcomes Coral Evans, Flagstaff mayor and LD6 candidate for the Arizona House. When asked why she’s running for the legislature, she responds, “I believe that everybody should be represented and everybody should have an opportunity to be part of the political process. Many at the state level have never been elected at the local level. That leads to more partisanship. That’s why local control, water and education funding are issues.”

Specifically regarding education, she says, “We need to look at the entire system. We also need to look at the prison system. What are we doing to help people when they get out and re-enter into society? If we don’t help them get a job, we wasted the money to incarcerate them. We need to look at the totality of where our money is spent.”

You can learn more about Evans and her positions at coralevansaz.com or by searching for coral4az on any social media platform.

Posted in Arizona Politics, Climate Change, Community, Continuing Education, Criminal Justice Reform, Democratic Governance, Education, Education Funding, Education Policy, Environmental Issues, Government, Interviews, Local Politics, Political Candidacy, Public Accountability, Public Education, Public Service, Water Policy | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Evans Interview – Podcast January 13, 2020

Navidad Interview – Podcast January 8, 2020

Protecting Civil Liberties In Arizona And The US . Klaus von Stutterheim, Mik Jordahl and Kat Ginzel discuss civil rights issues with Alesandra Navidad of the Arizona ACLU. Though the show was recorded in December, we were unable to broadcast it as part of our regular weekly show. But it’s definitely worth your time to listen.

Navidad is a former journalist, civil rights worker, and current executive director of ACLU of Arizona. Navidad has overseen the growth of the organization in Arizona from a three-person office in 2008-09 with a membership of 5,000 to a staff of 22 and 22,000 members today. She explains the variety of issues that require the ACLU’s attention and the many accomplishments that have occurred under her leadership.

Posted in Civil Liberties, Civil Rights, Constitutional Issues, Criminal Justice Reform, Education, Human Rights, Immigration, Interviews, Legal Issues, LGBT Issues, Private Prisons | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Navidad Interview – Podcast January 8, 2020

Podcast – January 6, 2020

Looking At 2019 In The Rearview Mirror. Many of the Democratic Perspective crew recap their view of the past year’s events. Kat Ginzel begins by explaining her efforts to Outlaw Dirty Money (aka Dark Money).  Gary LaMaster outlines the consequences of actions not taken in 2019 – addressing the climate crisis, inaction on 400 House-passed bills, etc. Klaus von Stutterheim discusses the destruction caused by the inconsistent and vanity-based foreign policy of the Trump administration. Mike Cosentino address the idiocracy of the Trump administration and recent events in Sedona. And Steve Williamson talks about events in the Middle East that led up to the assassination of General Soleimani.

Finally, the whole crew opines on the upcoming 2020 election.

Posted in Arizona Politics, Campaign Finance, Climate Change, Congressional Oversight, Constitutional Issues, Dark Money, Deficit Reduction, Elections, Environment, Foreign Policy, Government, Iran, Local Politics, Mass Extinction, Middle East Policy, National Politics, Presidential Elections, Taxes and the Deficit | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Podcast – January 6, 2020

Schudson Interview – Podcast December 30, 2019

The Politicization Of Our Judiciary. Democratic Perspective hosts, Mike Cosentino and Klaus von Stutterheim welcome Charles B. Schudson, former Judge of the Wisconsin Court of Appeals and author of Independence Corrupted: How America’s Judges Make Their Decisions.

Schudson begins by explaining that, contrary to popular belief, the US does not have a single legal system. It has as many systems as there are states. He goes on to explain the consequences of the little-known Republican Party of Minnesota v. White, a 5-4 Supreme Court decision that ended a more than 200-year code of ethics prohibiting judges from announcing their position in advance of a case. The result was to politicize the selection of judges.

Posted in Constitutional Issues, Corruption, Elections, Ethics, Founding Fathers, Interviews, Judicial System, Jurisprudence, Justice System, Supreme Court, U.S. Court System | Tagged , | Comments Off on Schudson Interview – Podcast December 30, 2019

Rimel Interview – Podcast December 23, 2019

The 4th Industrial Revolution. Mike and Klaus welcome LeAnn Rimel, a technology evangelist, to discuss the consequences of automation and  the wide range of ways that technology will affect our lives – both positively and negatively.

The greatest challenge, according to Rimel, is creating new jobs to replace those eliminated by automation and getting more people prepared to work in sectors that are growing. Not only are jobs disappearing faster than they can be replaced. There is a cascading effect. For example, she notes that in the coming years, 2-3 million truck drivers will lose their jobs to self-driving vehicles. That will also impact the small-town truck stops, hotels, and cafes that cater to truckers. And it’s not just laborers who will be affected. Rimel states that many other industries, even medicine, will be impacted by automation.  In fact, some studies predict that as many as 30-40 percent of existing jobs will disappear. 

Despite the job losses, Rimel claims that automation can have really positive implications as long as we make appropriate changes to public policy.

Posted in Automation, Automation, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Rural Economy,, Business, Economic Policy, Industrial Policy, Interviews, Medical Science and Technology, Technology, Underemployment, Unemployment | Comments Off on Rimel Interview – Podcast December 23, 2019