Chevalier, Oliphant Interview – Podcast September 5, 2022

The Yavapai College Curriculum: Addition And Subtraction With An Emphasis On Division. Addition of resources for the Prescott and Prescott Valley campuses. Subtraction of leadership and courses for the Verde Valley campuses. And division between the taxpayers on the east and west sides of the county.

To discuss the situation, Steve Williamson and Karen McClelland welcome Paul Chevalier and Bob Oliphant, current and former members of the Yavapai College Governing Board.

Oliphant begins by explaining, “What we’re really talking about here is a $93 million corporation – a publicly taxpayer supported corporation, number one. Number two, it has a complex budget…a very, very challenging budget. You have this Governing Board that Paul’s on, it is a very weak Governing Board. It’s managed by a president. We pay her around $300,000 a year now. She’s the highest paid employee in the county. All major decisions are based in Prescott.”

As an example of the inequity between the two sides of the county, Chevalier notes that, with no explanation, the college removed a much-needed 10,000 sq. ft. expansion of the Verde campus’ CTE building from the five-year plan and added a $10 million beer brewery. “I said: What’s the need for this? No answer. Second question is: How are you going to spend the $10 million and use the 14,000 sq. ft.? No answer.”

“They don’t want to be transparent,” says Chevalier. “They do not want anybody in the public to know how they’re going to spend this $10 million. The president refused to answer my questions. And the chairman of the Board wrote me and said it’s none of my business.”

Keep in mind that he is an elected member of the Governing Board!

Posted in Community, Continuing Education, Corruption, Education, Education Policy, Ethics, Housing, Interviews, Local Politics, Public Accountability, Tax and Investment Policy | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Chevalier, Oliphant Interview – Podcast September 5, 2022

Levy Interview – Podcast August 29, 2022

Keeping Elections Secure And Transparent. Karen McClelland and Stephen Hanks welcome Emily Levy, founder and director of Scrutineers, a nonpartisan organization dedicated to voting integrity and election transparency.

Levy explains that she first got involved in the aftermath of the 2004 election during which some very suspicious things happened in Ohio. “I did not trust the results of that election,” she says.

She founded Scrutineers in 2020 after noticing gaps in the work being done by other organizations. “And I also really wanted to help connect the folks who are working and have been working for generations, really, on the right to vote making sure that everybody can cast ballots and the folks who are working on making sure those votes got counted accurately. Those two groups of people have not traditionally worked together much, and I really wanted to change that.”

As for the aftermath of the 2020 election, Levy says, “It has been very painful.” She feels that her work, and that of others, has been twisted around and mixed with lies and spit out again in a way that confuses the public. But though she absolutely disagrees that the 2020 presidential election was stolen, she does believe that we should not trust the voting systems that are computerized and use proprietary software that people don’t get to see. “That message has always been hard to get through to people,” she says. “People that don’t want to hear it. And now it’s harder to be believed because so many of the people who are saying it are mixing it with so many lies.”

Posted in Arizona Politics, Conservative Paranoia, Conspiracy Theories, Disinformation, Elections, Interviews, National Politics, Political Lies, Voting | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Levy Interview – Podcast August 29, 2022

Cohn Interview – Podcast August 22, 2022

Christian Dominionism: Another Name For Fascism. Steve Williamson, Karen McClelland, and Stephen Hanks welcome Jennifer Cohn to the show to discuss a rapidly growing worldwide authoritarian threat posing as Christianity.

Cohn is an election security advocate and prolific essayist who recently authored an article in a Pennsylvania newspaper, the Bucks County Beacon, about a rapidly growing worldwide theocratic movement. The movement known as the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR), which was originated by C. Peter Wagner, is determined to take control of all aspects of our society – government, business, and culture – in order for Jesus to return to Earth. Of particular concern, convicted and pardoned felons Michael Flynn and Roger Stone, along with numerous other Trump acolytes such as the My Pillow guy and other MAGA supporters seem to have formed an alliance with the movement.

The merging of such authoritarian advocates with theocrats presents a real threat to the future of our constitutional republic. Especially concerning is the fact that a number of GOP candidates, such as Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano have espoused NAR talking points.

As Cohn points out, the NAR movement has already permeated much of America’s political and cultural life, and the movement is growing at an astonishing rate. In fact, it is now the fastest growing religion and the largest non-Catholic Christian faith. And it’s inextricably tied to Trump.

In her article, Cohn writes, “Leading NAR apostles are blatantly pro-Trump, and claim their view is supported by God, whereas opposition to Trump is satanic.” Indeed, NAR apostle Lance Wallnau claims that “Fighting with Trump is fighting God.”

Posted in Conservatives and Reactionaries, Conspiracy Theories, Constitutional Issues, Corruption, Domestic Extremism, Domestic Terrorism, Elections, Interviews, LGBT Issues, Morality, National Politics, Political Action Committees, Political Polarization, Propaganda, Religion, Slavery, Theocracy, Women's Rights | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Cohn Interview – Podcast August 22, 2022

Singal Interview – Podcast August 15, 2022

Optimism For Democrats In Upcoming Elections. Steve Williamson and Karen McClelland welcome historian Dan Singal back to the show to give his views on the current state of politic affairs. Asked about Democrats’ prospects for the midterms, Singal, who has been remarkably accurate in the past, says he is optimistic.

“I’m looking at the objective indicators and they tell me something very different from what the pundits are seeing,” Singal reports. “This all started about the middle of July…I thought the pundits were completely the wrong. That if you looked at the economic data, the political data, a whole series of other things, in fact, prospects were a lot better for the Democrats going into the Fall election than people were forecasting.” In fact, he believes Democrats could pick up two, maybe three Senate seats. And he says the prospects for Democrats are really good if you look ahead to 2024.

Singal explains his optimism by noting that the price of gasoline is already going down and that the price of oil is plummeting because of China. “That means the price of gasoline is going to continue to go down,” he says. Singal points to other factors, including the robust economy, the Inflation Reduction Act and other recent legislation, as well as the Dobbs v Jackson decision which overturned Roe v Wade, and the fact that Republicans have been nominating such far right extremists.

Posted in Arizona Politics, China, Climate Change, Conservatives and Reactionaries, Constitutional Issues, Democratic Governance, Department of Justice, Domestic Extremism, Economic Policy, Elections, Energy Policy, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Global Warming, Government, Health Care Policy, Infrastructure Investment, Innovation, Interviews, Mass Media, Medicare, Military Policy, Monetary Policy, National Politics, Pharmaceutical Pricing and Procurement, Political Candidacy, Political Polarization, Political Theory, Presidential Elections, Public Health Policy, Supreme Court, Taxation, Women's Issues, Women's Rights | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Singal Interview – Podcast August 15, 2022

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 , , , , | Comments Off on Miller Interview – Podcast August 8, 2022

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 , , , , , | Comments Off on Jordahl, Ploog Interview – Podcast August 1, 2022

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 , , , , , | Comments Off on Mayes Interview – Podcast July 25, 2022

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 , , | Comments Off on Dunn, Thompson Interview – Podcast July 18, 2022

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 , , , , , | Comments Off on Fultz, Furman Interview – Podcast July 11, 2022

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