Garrado Interview – Podcast January 23, 2023

Helping The Arizona Democratic Party Take The Next Step. Steve Williamson and Karen McClelland welcome Steve Garrado to the show. Garrado is currently one of two candidates for Chair of the Arizona Democratic Party. His experience includes 14 years as a county election employee in addition to terms on two school boards. He also served in both the Arizona House and Senate. And he is currently a Maricopa County Supervisor. In 2020, he also had the honor to deliver one of the state’s 11 electoral votes for President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris.

Garrado has been endorsed for the position of Chair by Governor Katie Hobbs and other Democratic officials. Yet he acknowledges that his opponent has more endorsements, probably because he got a late start. But he says it’s not about the endorsements for each candidate. It’s about a vision. “Who has the expertise, the knowledge, the vision, the experience to run and deliver wins for the Democratic Party?” He notes that Arizona Democrats have had success in the past two elections, but says, “Who has the knowledge and experience to be able to take our Party to that next step? To be able to win the legislature? I’ve run for election 20 times. I know how to win.”

Unlike the past executive team, Garrado promises to support Democrats in every county. “The state Party is only as strong as the 15 counties. Every county is important.”

(DUE TO TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES, THE PODCAST WILL BE ADDED LATER)

Posted in Arizona Politics, Community Activism, Conservatives and Reactionaries, Democratic Governance, Education, Elections, Environment, Government, Interviews, LIberals and Conservatives, Local Politics, Political Candidacy, Political Clubs, Political Parties, Political Polarization, Public Accountability, Voting | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Bejarano Interview – Podcast January 16, 2023

Building The Future Of The Arizona Democratic Party. On Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Steve and Karen welcome Yolanda Bejarano, one of two candidates for chair of the Arizona Democratic Party. She is the current Vice-Chair of the Party. In addition to her work in politics, Bejarano has a long history as a steward, organizer, and as National Field Director for the Communication Workers of America labor union.

She says the transition to working for the Democratic Party was a natural progression of her interests in promoting workers’ rights and human rights. Looking at the job as Chair, Bejarano says she would focus on listening to the counties and legislative districts to determine what we do well and what we can do better. She believes there are major opportunities for the Party to improve in a lot of areas. For example, as a Latina, she notes, “We are not communicating with Latinos in a strong way.”

Bejarano has gathered a long list of endorsements from Party leaders.

Posted in Arizona Politics, Civil Rights, Community Activism, Elections, Human Rights, Interviews, Labor Movement, Labor Unions, Political Candidacy, Political Clubs, Political Parties, Voting | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Podcast January 9, 2023

Holding Our Government Hostage. Host Steve Williamson reviews the midterm elections and tries to predict what will happen with the slim Republican majority in the US House of Representatives. He compares the situation to the brinksmanship faced by President Obama led by the same type of extremists that held hostage the vote for House speaker.

Such extremism could lead to financial disaster by GOP refusal to expand the debt ceiling causing the US to default on its debts. It could also threaten to hamstring the IRS. Other institutions and programs that will be threatened include Social Security, Medicare, and access to healthcare under the Affordable Care Act. In addition, the GOP is likely to tie up Congress with a series of Benghazi-style investigations of President Biden and his son Hunter Biden. Worse, the GOP extremists promise to open investigations into the Department of Justice and its criminal cases involving those who participated in the attempted coup on January 6, 2021.

Posted in Affordable Care Act, Anti-Federalism, Arizona Politics, Banking And Finance, Budget Negotiations, Civil Society, Congressional Oversight, Conservative Paranoia, Conservatives and Reactionaries, Conspiracy Theories, Constitutional Issues, Corruption, Department of Justice, Domestic Extremism, Domestic Terrorism, Economic Policy, Elections, Ethics, Financial Crisis, Fiscal Policy, Government, Health Care Policy, Health Insurance, Immigration, International Relations, Justice System, Legal Issues, LIberals and Conservatives, Medicaid, Medicare, Monetary Policy, National Debt Ceiling, National Politics, Political Lies, Political Parties, Political Polarization, Scandal Mongering, Social Security, Taxation, U.S. Budget | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Show History – Podcast January 2, 2023

History Of Verde Valley Independent Democrats. The two remaining members of the eight-person group who helped found Democratic Perspective recount the beginnings of our show, its purpose, and who has been involved during its twelve-year history. They also pay homage to some of the early guests and some of the contributors who make this weekly show possible.

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Year-End Review – Podcast December 26, 2022

Looking At 2022 In The Rearview Mirror. Co-hosts Steve Williamson and Karen McClelland are joined by contributors Stephen Hanks and Gary LaMaster to discuss what they consider some of the biggest stories of 2022. Topics range from the ethically and morally bankrupt Republican Party to attacks on public education to media bias and disinformation.

Posted in Arizona Politics, Civil Society, Conservatives and Reactionaries, Conspiracy Theories, Disinformation, Domestic Extremism, Domestic Terrorism, Education, Education Funding, Education Policy, Elections, Government, Local Politics, National Politics, Political Lies, Political Parties, Political Polarization, Public Education | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Taylor Interview – Podcast December 19, 2022

Going Forward. Steve Williamson, Karen McClelland and Stephen Hanks welcome Myles Taylor, former Chief of Staff of the Department of Homeland Security. In May of 2022, he left the Republican Party over its espousal of the Great Replacement Theory, the far-right white nationalist belief that there is a plot by so-called elites to replace white people with people of color through mass migration and demographic growth.

Since then, Taylor has helped create the Forward Party with the intent of bringing independents, moderate conservatives, and moderate Democrats together. “It’s an experiment,” says Taylor. “Fifty percent of Americans now say they are political independents – the largest that number has ever been since modern polling started. And two-thirds of Americans for the first time ever say they want more choices in the political system.”

Explaining that he believes the GOP is the biggest threat to democracy right now, Taylor says what he hopes to do with Forward is to bring independents and the pro-democracy side together to defeat extremists. “Our whole existence is about trying to make the democratic process more competitive again because when there’s more competition, the extremes tend to do pretty poorly. And sensible, common-sense candidates win.”

“What’s different about what we’re doing with Forward. We’re not just going to support Forward candidates,” he says. “We’re going to support common-sense Democrats. And, hopefully, that handful of common-sense Republicans becomes more than a handful.”

Posted in Conservative Paranoia, Conservatives and Reactionaries, Conspiracy Theories, Constitutional Issues, Democratic Governance, Department of Homeland Security, Disinformation, Domestic Extremism, Domestic Terrorism, Domestic Violence, Elections, Government, Homeland Security, Interviews, LIberals and Conservatives, National Politics, Political Parties, Political Polarization, Polling, Voting | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Taylor Interview – Podcast December 19, 2022

Singal Interview – Podcast December 12, 2022

Analyzing The 2022 Elections And Predicting 2024. Steve Williamson, Karen McClelland and Stephen Hanks welcome our favorite political prognosticator, Dan Singal, back to the show to discuss the midterm elections. As it turned out, his predictions were proven amazingly accurate. He was one of the few political scientists who rejected the idea of a red wave. Indeed, Singal predicted that Democrats would maintain control of the US Senate.

Singal says that independent voters carried the day. He also notes that the Supreme Court decision (Dobbs v Jackson) was extremely important and that things began to shift for Democrats with the improving economy. On the other hand, Singal explains that Republicans’ success in taking control of the House was aided by a massive anti-crime campaign in his home state of New York which saturated the airwaves. And he predicts that we may see more of that strategy going forward as a play for the independent suburban vote.

Looking ahead to 2024, Singal suspects you will see a resurgence of Democrats in congressional races. And he thinks Democrats will take back the House and either hold or pick up some seats in the Senate. “First of all, the economy is going to be much better then. Inflation will be tamed…And the second thing is that I think Joe Biden is going to be pretty popular at that point. You could make a case that Biden is going to go down in history as our best president since FDR.”

Posted in Arizona Politics, Democratic Governance, Domestic Policy, Elections, Foreign Affairs, Government, Health Care, Immigration, Infrastructure Investment, Interviews, Jobs and Employment, Media Campaigns, Medicare, National Politics, Political Candidacy, Political History, Political Parties, Presidential Elections, Racism, Supreme Court, Voting | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Singal Interview – Podcast December 12, 2022

Habern, Fogel Interview – Podcast December 5, 2022

Building Momentum In Yavapai County. Karen McClelland and Steve Williamson welcome Mike Fogel, the new Chair of the Yavapai Democratic Party, along with newly elected board member, Llama Habern, to provide their perspective on the recent midterm elections in which Democrats won the U.S. Senate race and the offices of Governor, Secretary of State, and Arizona Attorney General.

Habern begins by noting that Yavapai County had a seventy-five percent turnout – the highest voter turnout in the state. (The statewide turnout was about sixty-three percent.) She says, “Even though we didn’t win some of the local races…the Yavapai County Democratic votes were part of what pushed the statewide candidates over that threshold.”

As for the future, Fogel plans to develop a very broad communications network within the county, build relationships within communities, and work to register and engage people in Democratic activities. He says, “The big challenge is reaching people across the spectrum.” He goes on to state that one of the most important next steps is to work on changing the state legislature.

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Ross, Adelman Interview – Podcast November 28, 2022

Examining Social Issues Through Art. Steve Williamson and Stephen Hanks welcome Camilla Ross and Ashley Adelman to discuss the Arts Academy of Sedona, the Emerson Theater Collaborative and their upcoming performance, The Great Gatsby, A Radio Play.

Ross explains the motivation for this particular performance is that, after the pandemic, she wanted to involve all local artists in the production. She says people forget how much local artists contribute to the community.

Adelman notes the strength of local productions is that they allow people from all different backgrounds to come together, saying, “It doesn’t matter if you’re a professional or your first time doing it. Once you’re in the space, you’re an artist.” Even audience members will be part of the experience because, as Adelman says, “Who wouldn’t want to go back to the 1920s? To be able to go back to the roaring times. And also, to the time of artists coming together to celebrate. Underlying The Great Gatsby, at the core of it it’s about artists and people getting together to just talk.”

Asked about the choice of a production based on a radio play of The Great Gatsby, Ross explains, “It seems to be relevant for the time in which we’re living. I feel like, with Gatsby, there are so many layers and so many things that resonate with us now. That we continue to still deal with the same issues generation after generation. And we don’t seem to be getting any closer to solving those issues.” Many of those issues stem from income inequality which leads to extravagance as well as hunger and homelessness.

Adelman adds, “I would say history doesn’t repeat. People repeat history.”

Posted in Art, Community, Education, Income Inequality, Innovation, Interviews, Morality, National Politics, Political History, Regulation, Social Contract, Taxation | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Ross, Adelman Interview – Podcast November 28, 2022

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 , , , , , | Comments Off on Susskind Interview – Podcast November 21, 2022