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 , , , , | Comments Off on Year-End Review – Podcast December 26, 2022

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

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 , , | Comments Off on Kinsella Interview – Podcast November 14, 2022

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 , , , , | Comments Off on The Midterms – Podcast November 7, 2022

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 , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Kuby Interview – Podcast October 31, 2022