Miller Interview – Podcast August 8, 2022

Assessing The Cult Of Trump And Democratic Chances For The Midterms. Steve Williamson, Karen McClelland and Stephen Hanks welcome Tim Miller, former Republican strategist, and author of the best-selling book Why We Did It: A Travelogue from the Republican Road to Hell in which Miller offers his thoughts and observations on the current state of politics and why normal people became obsessed with Trumpism and its insane conspiracy theories.

About his book, Miller says, “I wanted to make sure it wasn’t homework. I wanted to write a book that was honest and real about how we got to this place politically. But also, that people could enjoy, and it didn’t feel like a punishment to page through it.”

Having long worked for Republican candidates, Miller recalls bailing on Trump in 2016. “When he won…I felt guilty of complicity,” he says. “And then just a feeling of disappointment that compounds over time, And, so, I had this complex emotional reaction that put me into just a really dark, dark place.”

Unlike many, Miller has a moralistic view of politics. “Recognizing the competition, recognizing that you’re trying to beat the other side. But, also, keeping in mind that you do that within the bounds of what’s good for the country, what’s good for the people that you’re serving, whether they’re in your party or the other party. And I feel like that is really getting lost in the culture right now, and I try to expose that culture in the book.”

Posted in Arizona Politics, Civil Society, Conservatives and Reactionaries, Domestic Extremism, Elections, Entitlements, Ethics, Government, Immigration, Interviews, LIberals and Conservatives, Marriage Equality, Medicare, Morality, National Politics, Philosophy, Political Action Committees, Political History, Political Lies, Political Parties, Political Polarization, Political Theory, Presidential Elections, Women's Rights | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Jordahl, Ploog Interview – Podcast August 1, 2022

End Of Roe Chaos. Steve Williamson and Stephen Hanks welcome attorneys Holli Ploog and Mik Jordahl back to the show to discuss the aftermath of the US Supreme Court’s decision to dismantle the protections of Roe v Wade.

Ploog says chaos is the operative word, noting that 13 states had so-called trigger laws on the books prohibiting abortion that may now be enforced. The Arizona version, which bans all abortion and punishes providers, dates to 1901 – before women had the right to vote. To complicate matters, Jordahl explains that the state recently passed a new law that will ban abortion after 15 weeks and it also has a personhood law on the books that grants full legal rights from the moment of fertilization, which theoretically could result in murder charges for anyone performing an abortion.

All of this means that women in Arizona and many other states are now afraid to seek abortions. And clinics in the 20 states which have laws protecting abortion are overwhelmed by women seeking abortions.

Worse yet, according to our guests, the abortion decision may impact other fundamental rights, including the right to privacy. “We have this mythology that the Republican party is the party of freedom. But the reality is they are going the complete opposite direction in terms of controlling the most intimate decisions in our lives,” says Jordahl.

Posted in Arizona Politics, Civil Liberties, Conservatives and Reactionaries, Constitutional Issues, Cultural Change, Democratic Governance, Domestic Extremism, Government, Health Care, Health Care Policy, Human Rights, Initiative and Referendum, Interviews, Judicial System, Jurisprudence, Legal Issues, Misogyny, Morality, National Politics, Public Health Policy, Religion, Supreme Court, U.S. Court System, Women's Issues, Women's Rights | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mayes Interview – Podcast July 25, 2022

A Lawyer For The People. Steve and Karen welcome Kris Mayes, candidate for Arizona Attorney General. A former Republican turned Democrat, she was born and raised in the Prescott area of Yavapai County. Mayes promises to stand up for the rule of law and to serve the public rather than a particular political ideology.

She views her Republican opponents as anti-democracy with a Trump view of the world, noting that all six have said they would not have certified the 2020 election.

Mayes says, “I’m running for AG to protect our democracy, to protect and defend reproductive rights for women in Arizona, and to get back to the core mission of the Attorney General’s office, which is to defend and protect Arizonans, to be a fighter for consumers, for our elderly – to prosecute elder abuse – and to go after and prosecute the terrible fentanyl crisis that is tearing our families apart right now.”

Posted in Aging, Arizona Law Enforcement, Arizona Politics, Climate Change, Constitutional Issues, Corporations, Corruption, Democratic Governance, Domestic Extremism, Drug Trafficking, Elections, Environment, Environmental Issues, Ethics, Global Warming, Government, Health Care, Immigration, Interviews, Justice System, Law Enforcement, Legal Issues, Opioid Epidemic, Political Candidacy, Public Health Policy, Public Service, Regulation, Social Contract, Voting, Women's Issues, Women's Rights | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dunn, Thompson Interview – Podcast July 18, 2022

A Long-Term Vision For Sedona. Steve and Karen welcome Melissa Dunn and Jon “JT” Thompson (sedonajt.com) who are standing for Sedona City Council.

Dunn is an accomplished high-tech professional who has owned a home in Sedona for 14 years, while Thompson has served on the City Council for more than five years. He had stepped down to focus on sustainability and several non-profits but was asked to serve the remaining term of an open seat. “I’m standing again,” he says. “And I use the term standing for re-election rather running because I’m running a different kind of a campaign.”

Both candidates believe in the importance of having a long-term vision for the future of Sedona, which means they both support home rule. As Dunn explains, “Any time you take a drastic action, you have to think further than the two seconds after the vote is announced. You have to have a broader view – a longer view about the impact.” Thompson adds, “If we had to finish something and we couldn’t spend our cash, we would probably have to borrow money. And how crazy is it to borrow money when you have all that cash sitting in the bank?”

As for individual issues, Dunn responds that you have to understand what your long-term vision is and what your goals are. She says, “One of the things I find missing from our current set of pillars and other documents that are out there is the idea of a smart goal. What is it that we can really do? How can we measure it? What’s the baseline? How are we achieving our goal? How are people responding to what it is we’re doing?”

Thompson shares that point of view, saying, “We need to know what we want to be as a city before we can figure out all the details.”

Posted in Arizona Politics, Campaign Finance, Citizens United, Civic Renewal, Climate Change, Community, Community Activism, Dark Money, Democratic Governance, Economic Policy, Elections, Environment, Ethics, Government, Growth, Housing, Infrastructure, Interviews, Local Politics, Political Candidacy, Political Contributions, Political Polarization, Public Accountability, Small Business, Sustainable Development, Tourism, Wilderness Preservation | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Fultz, Furman Interview – Podcast July 11, 2022

City Council Candidates Address Major Issues Facing Sedona. Steve Williamson and Karen McClelland welcome Sedona City Council candidates, Brian Fultz and Pete Furman, to discuss their plans for the future of the city.

Beginning with the controversy over home rule, Furman says, “I find it useful to go back and talk about what this is all about and what’s the history of it. Cities across Arizona are subject to a state-imposed spending limit. It has nothing to do with the amount of money the city receives.

Fultz adds, “One of the key things that people who oppose home rule like to talk about is this belief that, oh, if we vote down home rule, then each year we can bring an override vote to the community. If we lost home rule, our cap would be around 29 million dollars that we would be able to spend and we have a 110-million-dollar budget that the city council is going to vote on tomorrow.”

The two note that the operating budget – police, sewer, etc. – is about $60 million of that 110. Without home rule, the city would be more than $30 million short of what’s needed to operate with no money for capital projects to make improvements. The city would have to go to the residents for an override every single year. And, since most capital improvements are multi-year projects, Furman explains, “We won’t get contractors to even bid on these multi-year projects because they don’t know whether they will get the money they need the next year for the job.”

The candidates go on to address other issues, such as the threat of losing emergency health care, workforce housing, population decline, climate change, traffic, and quality of life.

Posted in Arizona Politics, Climate Change, Community, Conspiracy Theories, Cultural Diversity, Democratic Governance, Elections, Energy Policy, Environmental Issues, Fiscal Policy, Government, Growth, Health Care, Housing, Interviews, Local Politics, Political Candidacy, Public Accountability, Public Policy, Public Service, Renewable Energy, Tax Revenues, Tourism | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hoffman, Constable Interview – Podcast July 4, 2022

A Tribute To Our Professional And Patriotic Election Officials. On Independence Day, we are rebroadcasting a show originally recorded in August of 2021. Kathy Kinsella hosts Yavapai County Recorder, Leslie Hoffman, and Lyn Constable, Yavapai County Elections Director to explain how elections work and the steps taken to make them secure.

Though these two Republican women are highly professional, ethical, and meticulously fair, like many election officials nationwide, they are resigning their positions due to an extraordinary number of threats by supporters of Donald J. Trump who have been convinced the 2020 election was stolen. What makes the threats to these women particularly preposterous is that Trump overwhelmingly won the vote in this highly Republican County.

As we celebrate our nation’s independence in 2022, we should all take pause to recognize the patriotic efforts of those who work so hard to ensure that our elections are fair. We must also consider the fragility of our democracy when they can be threatened and bullied from their offices by a few highly partisan and potentially violent individuals.

Posted in Arizona Politics, Civil Liberties, Civil Society, Conservative Paranoia, Conservatives and Reactionaries, Conspiracy Theories, Constitutional Issues, Democratic Governance, Disinformation, Domestic Extremism, Domestic Terrorism, Elections, Ethics, Government, Interviews, Local Politics, National Politics, Political Lies, Political Polarization, Presidential Elections, Public Service, Voting | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Hoffman, Constable Interview – Podcast July 4, 2022

Moriarity Interview – Podcast June 27, 2022

An Argument For Knowledge, Experience, And Expertise.  Though some believe that governments benefit from electing outsiders, at least one candidate takes issue with that. Sedona Mayor Sandy Moriarity explains her view to co-hosts Steve Williamson and Karen McClelland.

Moriarity has served as mayor for 7 and a half years and is running for re-election again this year. Referring to outsiders, she says, “It doesn’t make any sense to me. I think…when you say you’re going to try to take on a job…in this case the mayor’s job…you really need to know something about what the job is and maybe, more importantly, what it isn’t. And there’s a lot to it and understanding how government works is important.”

Addressing frustrations that the city isn’t doing enough to control ATVs or short-term rentals, Moriarity explains, “One of the things people don’t recognize a lot is that cities are created by the state and so the governor and the legislature can make rules about what cities can and can’t do.  And I know people say they get tired about us saying what we can’t do, but it’s just a fact. We talk about how we need more local control. And it’s interesting, as much as we talk about how we want local control, when it comes to Home Rule, which amounts to local control, all of a sudden, a certain segment of the population seems to be dramatically against it.”

She goes on to address a number of other issues, including traffic, public transportation, affordable housing and more.

Posted in Arizona Politics, Community, Democratic Governance, Disinformation, Elections, Government, Housing, Infrastructure, Innovation, Interviews, Local Politics, Political Candidacy, Public Accountability, Public Service, Tax Revenues, Tourism | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Moriarity Interview – Podcast June 27, 2022

Jablow Interview – Podcast June 20, 2022

Focusing On Civic Engagement. Steve Williamson and Karen McClelland welcome Scott Jablow, candidate for Mayor of Sedona. Jablow moved to Sedona in 2010 after a 31-year law enforcement career in New York. In 2012, he was elected to the Fire District Governing Board then to the Sedona City Council in 2014. He is currently Vice-Mayor of Sedona.

Asked why he wants to run for mayor, Jablow responds, “The mayor should have the proverbial finger on the pulse and know what’s going on throughout the entire city. So, when people email me, I will call them back or have them call me. I want to hear what people say and I truly mean that.”

Turning to the issue of home rule, Jablow says, “Some people have the misnomer that, if we don’t have home rule, the public can vote on everything we do. It doesn’t make sense. Nothing would get done. For people of my demographic, the term austerity budget comes to mind. Everything would be reduced, except for some police, our wastewater treatment, and a few staff. Everybody in the city would suffer. Nothing would be able to be done anymore. And our taxes would not drop at all.”

Jablow goes on to address ATVs, short-term rentals, and more, noting that the city’s powers to control the issues are often limited by state laws.

Posted in Arizona Politics, Community, Democratic Governance, Education Funding, Elections, Environmental Issues, Funding, Government, Housing, Interviews, Local Politics, Monetary Policy, Political Candidacy, Public Lands, Public Policy, Public Service, Regulation, Tax Revenues, Taxation, Wilderness Preservation | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Jablow Interview – Podcast June 20, 2022

Ploog, Jordahl Interview – Podcast June 13, 2022

The Origins Of Roe v. Wade And How Overturning It Could Change America. Steve Williamson welcomes two attorneys to the show, Holli Ploog and Mik Jordahl, to discuss what led to Roe v. Wade and the implications of Justice Alito’s leaked draft opinion.

“Alito went out on the edge to condemn Roe,” says Jordahl. “Other cases have expanded rights. This is the first one that is contracting rights. In terms of overruling precedent, we’re now seeing contraction. The draft opinion here says there’s no fundamental right to get an abortion. It’s just an irrational basis. So, they turn constitutional law and precedent on its head. You could easily see same sex marriage overturned.”

Ploog notes that polls show a vast majority of Americans believe in the right to abortion, but the leaked opinion ignores that. “What they’re saying is that the life of the fetus takes precedent over the life of the mother. When you ban abortions straight out with no exceptions for the life of the mother or for rape or incest or anything like that, you’re saying the fetus has greater rights than the mother does.”

Referring to the circumstances of women before Roe v. Wade, when women had few rights and even contraceptives were illegal, Ploog states, “What particularly irks me is that the younger justices who are in their forties and fifties have no experience with this whatsoever. Like Coney-Barrett. She has a large family with several adopted children. She’s a working mother. But that wasn’t the case back then.”

Jordahl explains, “In the draft opinion, Alito says there are protections now against discrimination against women. There’s childcare. There are all these things that are available now. So, it’s not so bad if abortion is made illegal.” But, as Williamson notes, “Not so bad as it once was doesn’t seem to me to be a good legal argument. What I’m looking at is the amount of intrusion necessary to ban an abortion. The amount of intrusion is extraordinary compared to a lot of other things government does.”

Posted in Civil Liberties, Civil Society, Constitutional Issues, Cultural Change, Domestic Policy, Government, Health Care, Health Care Policy, Human Rights, Interviews, Judicial System, Jurisprudence, Justice System, Legal Issues, Marriage Equality, National Politics, Political History, Public Health Policy, Women's Issues, Women's Rights | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Ploog, Jordahl Interview – Podcast June 13, 2022

Hanks, LaMaster Interview – Podcast June 6, 2022

America’s Growing Gun Violence Crisis. Steve Williamson and Karen McClelland welcome Stephen Hanks and Gary LaMaster to the show. After Hanks provides details for the July 9th golf fundraiser for Democrats of the Red Rocks (DORR), they address the most recent rash of mass shootings, including 12 that happened over the first weekend of June.

LaMaster offers the horrifying statistics from Gun Violence Archive and describes possible causes and solutions as explained by The Violence Project. What follows is a robust discussion of the issues, which include easy access to weapons of war, untraceable ghost guns, societal issues, mental illness, and the GOP’s steadfast refusal to agree to change.

Posted in Campaign Finance, Domestic Terrorism, Domestic Violence, Elections, Firearms and Explosives, Firearms Legislation, Gun Control, Interviews, Mass Shootings, National Politics, Political Clubs, Political Polarization, Propaganda, Public Policy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Hanks, LaMaster Interview – Podcast June 6, 2022