Podcast – November 18, 2019

The Case For Ranked Choice Voting. New York recently adopted a system to replace the traditional plurality-based system. In the plurality system, the candidate with the most votes wins even if the winning candidate has received less than half the vote. And that happens in every election cycle. Too often, voters cast votes for the top federal and state offices. But leave the ballot for lower offices blank. This often results in the winning candidate having received only 40 percent or less of the overall vote. And it’s even more true in the party primaries.

The alternative is ranked choice voting which ensures that the winner receives a majority (50 percent or more) of the vote.

The system is already being used in Maine for general elections and it is being tried in a number of other states for the party primaries. Here’s how it works: Voters rank candidates as their #1 choice, #2 choice and so on. When the votes are totaled, if no candidate has received a majority of the vote, the candidate(s) with the fewest votes are eliminated. But the ballots for those who voted for them still count. Their vote is assigned to their second choice and the votes are again counted. The process continues until one candidate receives a majority.

The hope is that, especially in the primaries, the process will eliminate the most extreme candidates. There is also hope that it will improve the chances of third party candidates.

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DiSanto Interview – Podcast November 11, 2019

Unseating One Of The Most Dishonest Members Of Congress. On Veteran’s Day, Mike Cosentino welcomes Delina DiSanto, candidate for AZ-CD4, to Democratic Perspective. DiSanto narrowly lost Democratic primary in 2018 and she’s running again to unseat Congressman Paul Gosar.

DiSanto’s background is as a home builder, financial director of hospitals, registered nurse, and former assistant to Ben Nighthorse in Colorado. She says, “I know what people have gone through with their health care. I know how to negotiate. I’ve seen people who have lost homes, given up their cancer treatment, people who have died because of Gosar’s decisions.” She continues, “The district is in bottom 2 percent of household incomes and Gosar is doing nothing to bring jobs to the district.”

Posted in Arizona Economy, Arizona Politics, Campaign Finance, Education, Elections, Government, Health Care, Infrastructure Investment, Interviews, Paul Gosar, Political Lies, Poverty | Comments Off on DiSanto Interview – Podcast November 11, 2019

Lefebvre Interview – November 14, 2019

Is It Now A Crime To Save Lives? Steve Williamson and Mike Cosentino welcome Sue Lefebvre, author of No More Deaths: Humanitarian Aid Is Never A Crime, Saving Lives Of Migrants, to discuss issues at the border, as well as the trial and retrial of Dr. Scott Warren.

Lefebvre and Warren are both members of the humanitarian group No More Deaths, a group that provides water and food to save the lives of migrants who have crossed the border in the desert near Ajo, Arizona, an area so deadly it has become known as The Devils Highway. Warren’s first trial for harboring, trespassing and conspiring with people in Mexico ended with a hung jury. If he had been convicted, he would have faced 20 years in prison. In his retrial for harboring, he will potentially face a sentence of 10 years for trying to prevent unnecessary deaths.

For more on the subject, please listen to the program and visit the following websites:
Bodies in the Borderlands, and SueLefebvre.com

Posted in Compassion, Department of Homeland Security, Government, Homeland Security, Human Rights, Immigration, Interviews, Justice System, Legal Issues, Morality, National Politics, Social Services, Social Work | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Lefebvre Interview – November 14, 2019

Jordahl, Ledbetter, Strohm Interview – Podcast October 28, 2019

The Impeachment Of Donald J. Trump. Democratic Perspective welcomes attorneys Mikkel “Mik” Jordahl, Jim Ledbetter and Richard “Rick” Strohm to discuss the constitutional underpinnings of impeachment and the charges that could potentially lead to Trump’s removal from office.

In this fascinating 45-minute program, the three lawyers cut through the spin and the political theater to explain the process of impeaching a president. They detail the history of impeachment, what impeachment actually means, and what kinds of offenses actually constitute “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Posted in Congressional Oversight, Constitutional Issues, Corruption, Democratic Governance, Elections, Ethics, Foreign Affairs, Founding Fathers, Government, International Relations, Interviews, Justice System, National Politics, Political Polarization | Tagged , | Comments Off on Jordahl, Ledbetter, Strohm Interview – Podcast October 28, 2019

Podcast – October 21, 2019

Voting, Presidential Politics And Impeachment: A Conversation. Democratic Perspective co-hosts Steve Williamson and Mike Cosentino, along with regular contributors Klaus von Stutterheim and Gary LaMaster, discuss Democratic presidential candidates and the issues of the day.

Posted in Congressional Oversight, Constitutional Issues, Domestic Policy, Elections, Government, International Relations, National Politics, Political Candidacy, Political Parties, Political Theory, Presidential Elections, Social Democracy | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Podcast – October 21, 2019

Klymenko, Upp Interview – Podcast October 14, 2019

Exploring One Of The Nation’s Great Centers For Art. Democratic Perspective welcomes Kelli Klymenko and Mike Upp to discuss the abundance of art-related activities in Sedona, Arizona. Upp talks about the latest edition of Sedona Open Studios which is scheduled for October 25-27, 2019. It’s a weekend when well-known artists in the area, including Upp and our co-host Steve Williamson, will open their studios to visitors. It’s a chance to meet the artists, to make a connection and to see the artists at work.

Klymenko, who serves as marketing director of the Sedona Arts Center, addresses some of the many other area events such as the Sedona Plein Air Festival. For more information visit the following websites: SedonaArtsCenter.org, SedonaArtistsCoalition.org.

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Podcast – October 7, 2019

Impeachment – The Democratic Perspective crew discusses the Trump Ukraine scandal and the case for impeachment. Will Republicans continue their unwavering support of the president? Or will they recognize the growing danger of his abuse of power and the threat to national security?

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Haddow Interview – Podcast September 30, 2019

Defending Local Democracy. Democratic Perspective co-hosts, Steve Williamson and Mike Cosentino welcome Kim Haddow, director of the non-partisan Local Solutions Support Center. She recently spoke to AZ League of Cities and Towns about pre-emption – the act of state legislatures passing laws to overrule city governments. Haddow explains that pre-emption can be good in some instances, such as preventing discrimination. But that it’s bad when it comes to preventing cities from raising the minimum wage, from banning the use of plastic bags or from regulating short-term rentals.

Though studies show that Americans are most likely to trust local government, Haddow says many legislatures have undertaken a deliberate effort to consolidate power at the state level following two events in 2010: The Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision that pumped dark money into legislative races and widespread Republican electoral wins in 2010.

Haddow further explains that state interference has been enabled by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a corporate-sponsored group that writes “model” legislation for corporate benefit and delivers it to Republican legislators to enact as law. Haddow notes these corporations are following the long-standing strategy of the tobacco and gun industries to negate any attempts by local governments to control their products or services.

Posted in Arizona Politics, Citizens United, Community, Dark Money, Democratic Governance, Environmental Issues, Government, Interviews, Local Politics, Minimum Wage, National Politics | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Haddow Interview – Podcast September 30, 2019

Segner Interview – Podcast September 23, 2019

Political Issues From A Business Viewpoint. Co-hosts Steve Williamson and Mike Cosentino welcome businessman, hotelier, activist and Democratic Perspective contributor Steve Segner to discuss a variety of questions and issues ranging from international trade to housing in Sedona.

Why has the US assumed the role as policeman of the world? Why are we sending troops to Saudi Arabia when we sell them so many weapons? How can the City of Sedona best address the lack of affordable housing? Why are teachers so poorly paid? How can we address our growing tribalism? Segner and the co-hosts try to answer these questions and more.

Posted in Arizona Politics, Business, Capitalism, Community, Community Activism, Education, Education Policy, Foreign Affairs, Housing, Income Inequality, Infrastructure Investment, Interviews, Local Politics, Military Policy, National Politics, Political Polarization, Tourism | Tagged | Comments Off on Segner Interview – Podcast September 23, 2019

Biggers Interview – Podcast September 16, 2019

Resistance: The Quintessential American Value. Mike Cosentino welcomes author Jeff Biggers back to the show to discuss his new book: Resistance, Reclaiming an American Tradition. Biggers notes that the greatest American value is dissent, adding that the people who abuse their power today are no different than King George. “The greatest American act, the most patriotic thing we can ever do, is to fight against over-reach. It’s what has pushed us forward for more than 200 years,” he says.

Biggers not only talks about resistance in reaction to the corruption of the Trump administration. He goes on to discuss the youthful resistance to inaction on the climate crisis led by Greta Thunberg and the inevitable consequences of the failure of governments to act.

Posted in Capitalism, Civil Liberties, Climate Change, Corruption, Cultural Change, Democratic Governance, Environmental Issues, Global Warming, Government, Interviews, National Politics, Political History, Resistance, Slavery | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Biggers Interview – Podcast September 16, 2019