The Gaggle: An Arizona politics podcast

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Helping you keep up with what matters in Arizona's political news. Each week we interview politicians, public figures or journalists to break down one local issue and how it affects your life in Arizona. Coming to you every Wednesday morning, The Gaggle is hosted by The Arizona Republic's national political reporters Yvonne Wingett Sanchez and Ron Hansen. You can find them on Twitter at @yvonnewingett and @ronaldjhansen.

The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com


    • Nov 23, 2022 LATEST EPISODE
    • weekdays NEW EPISODES
    • 24m AVG DURATION
    • 318 EPISODES

    4.4 from 142 ratings Listeners of The Gaggle: An Arizona politics podcast that love the show mention: gaggle, local news, reporters, great team, policy, round, journalism, matters, national, context, state, coverage, political, fair, happening, expect, informed, source, depth, important.



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    Latest episodes from The Gaggle: An Arizona politics podcast

    Happy Thanksgiving from The Gaggle

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 23, 2022 1:40


    The Gaggle team is taking the week off to celebrate Thanksgiving with friends and family. We'll be back next week with a brand new full episode. As always, thank you for listening and subscribing. We all wish you a very happy Thanksgiving! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    How will a Democratic governor and GOP-majority Legislature work together?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 16, 2022 22:29


    A week after the 2022 midterm elections, Arizonans mostly know who won and who did not. Some of the surprise outcomes that will make the next few years more interesting politically in America's premier purple state. The biggest news of the cycle is that Democrat Katie Hobbs won the Arizona governor's race against Republican Kari Lake on Monday evening. Hobbs will be Arizona's first Democratic governor since Janet Napolitano left office in 2009 to join the Obama administration. Hobbs likely will be working with a Republican-controlled Legislature. So what will that mean for the state? And what still isn't decided after a week of counting? This week on The Gaggle, a podcast by The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com, host Ron Hansen is joined by reporters Stacey Barchenger and Ray Stern. Together they discuss where the election is now and what might be in Arizona's future. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    So far, it's more of a red ripple. The Gaggle analyzes the 2022 midterms.

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 11, 2022 29:29


    Three days after Election Day, Arizona is still counting votes with lots of key races still hanging in the balance, including the governor's race and a Senate race that will help determine control of the chamber in Washington. In this bonus edition of the Gaggle, we'll update you on Arizona's biggest unsettled races and we'll go over one of the more pressing subplots to the election so far: Did glitches overshadow the results? As a disclaimer for our listeners, this episode was recorded November 11 in the morning.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Not yet the red wave we expected: the 2022 midterms

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 9, 2022 35:31


    After months of talking about election denialism, abortion, inflation and other contentious topics, candidates have put their futures in the hands of Arizonans.  And the future on this day after the midterm election remains unclear. Election tabulation problems drew attention in Maricopa County and Democrats made a strong showing with early voting. But the outcome of the state's top races is unknown because the Republican-leaning Election Day vote totals are still trickling in, and ballots dropped off at vote centers haven't been counted at all. Eyes are still on some of the most contentious races: governor, secretary of state and Senate, where Trump-supported candidates weren't yet a part of a Red Wave. This week on The Gaggle, a podcast by The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com, host Ron Hansen gives an inside look into the Republic newsroom on election night. He is joined by reporters Stacey Barchenger, Mary Jo Pitzl, Tara Kavaler, Yana Kunichoff and Ray Stern as they analyze the early results and discuss what the races' outcomes could mean for the state's future. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    BONUS: Q&A with CD6 candidate Kirsten Engel

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 4, 2022 13:38


    Early voting is underway in Arizona for the midterm election. And every race matters, from the governor to the U.S. Senate, the state Legislature and school boards.  The Gaggle and The Arizona Republic's political team are connecting with candidates so that you can hear them make their case to voters in their words.  This is part of a series of special bonus episodes of The Gaggle appearing throughout the voting period.  In this bonus episode you'll hear from Democratic candidate Kirsten Engel who is running for the 6th Congressional District. This district covers parts of Tucson, Pima County and sections of others. This is Arizona's only U.S. House race without an incumbent running. Representative Ann Kirkpatrick is stepping down.  We reached out to the Republican candidate for this race, Juan Ciscomani, but he didn't respond to our request to participate.  You will hear Tara Kavaler, a politics reporter for the Arizona Republic, ask the questions. This interview was recorded on speaker phone, so please be aware of the lower sound quality. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    BONUS: Q&A with Arizona Republic reporters on school board races

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 3, 2022 11:15


    Election day is creeping ever closer for Arizona's midterms. And if you're still filling out your ballot or plan to vote on November 8, you're probably still researching who you want to cast your ballot for.  The Gaggle and The Arizona Republic's political team are connecting with candidates so you can hear them make their case to voters in their words.  This is a continuation of our series of special bonus episodes of The Gaggle throughout the voting period. In this bonus Gaggle episode, we are taking a slight detour and speaking with our education reporters about school board elections including the candidates, their responsibilities, and why their role is so important to Arizona's education system.  You will hear our K-12 reporter, Yana Kunichoff speaking with our Arizona schools reporter, Renata Cló.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    BONUS: Q&A with CD2 candidate Tom O'Halleran

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 2, 2022 10:59


    Early voting is underway for the midterm elections. And every race matters, from the governor to the U.S. Senate, the Legislature and on down to school boards.  The Gaggle and The Arizona Republic's political team are connecting with candidates so you can hear them make their case to voters in their words.  This is part of a series of special bonus episodes of The Gaggle throughout the voting period.  In this bonus episode you'll hear from Democratic candidate Tom O'Halleran who is running for the 2nd Congressional District. This district covers more rural Arizona in Apache, Pima and Coconino County, among others.  It is a retiree-heavy and traditionally Republican leaning district. The Arizona Republic reached out to Republican candidate for this race, Eli Crane, but he didn't respond to our request to participate.  You will hear Tara Kavaler, a politics reporter for the Arizona Republic, ask the questions. This interview was recorded on speaker phone so please be aware of the lower sound quality. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Hand counts, pen debates, voter intimidation: How midterm voting is shaping up

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 2, 2022 20:54


    Arizona voters will play an outsized role in determining the nation's political direction in next week's midterm election. The national focus on Arizona inevitably revives interest in the baseless election denialism that has defined many Republican candidates across the country and in this state.  After last year's state Senate Republicans ordered a partisan review of ballots in Maricopa County, and after nearly two full years of former President Donald Trump falsely claiming widespread fraud in Arizona, the state's election officials will face a big test. This week on The Gaggle, a podcast by The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com, host Ron Hansen is joined by Arizona Republic reporters Sasha Hupka and Mary Jo Pitzl. They talk us through how voting is shaping up as of now and what complications are already evident. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    BONUS: Q&A with Arizona attorney general candidate Kris Mayes

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 2, 2022 13:51


    Arizona's midterms are in full swing.  The Gaggle and The Arizona Republic's political team are connecting with candidates so you can hear them make their case to voters in their words.  This question and answer with attorney general candidates is part of a series of special bonus episodes of The Gaggle throughout the voting period.  The candidates are Republican Abe Hamadeh and Democrat Kris Mayes. One of them will be replacing Republican Attorney General Mark Brnovich, who has served the maximum two terms.  Hamadeh did not respond to requests to participate in this interview.  In this Q&A, you will hear our politics reporter Tara Kavaler asking the questions to Kris Mayes.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    BONUS: Q&A with Senate candidate Mark Kelly

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 1, 2022 11:54


    Early voting is underway for the midterm elections. And every race matters, from the governor to the U.S. Senate, the Legislature and on down to school boards.  The Gaggle and The Arizona Republic's political team are connecting with candidates so you can hear them make their case to voters in their words.  This is part of a series of special bonus episodes of The Gaggle throughout the voting period.  In this bonus episode, you'll hear from Incumbent Democrat Mark Kelly who is running for U.S. Senate. We reached out to the Republican candidate for this race, Blake Masters, but he didn't respond to our request to participate. Libertarian candidate Marc Victor did participate, but has since dropped out of the race. You will hear Ron Hansen, a politics reporter for the Arizona Republic, ask the questions. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    BONUS: Q&A with CD4 candidate Greg Stanton

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 28, 2022 16:00


    Early voting is underway for the midterm elections. And every race matters, from the governor to the U.S. Senate, the Legislature and on down to school boards.  The Gaggle and The Arizona Republic's political team are connecting with candidates so you can hear them make their case to voters in their words.  This is part of a series of special bonus episodes of The Gaggle throughout the voting period.  I'm Amanda Luberto, one of the producers for The Gaggle. In this bonus episode we'll hear from Democratic candidate Greg Stanton who is running for the 4th Congressional District. This district covers Tempe, parts of Mesa, Phoenix and Chandler.  It's been referred to as the “big purple corridor” because of its independent-leaning nature. The Arizona Republic reached out to Republican candidate for this race, Kelly Cooper, but he didn't respond to our request to participate.  You will hear Tara Kavaler, a politics reporter for the Arizona Republic, ask the questions. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Independent voters have their own take on the midterms. This is what they told us

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 26, 2022 65:10


    Votes are pouring in across the state and the candidates are making their closing arguments for every race, from governor to Congress to the state Legislature.  The ads on your screens, the flyers in your mailbox, the signs on seemingly every open corner are targeting the most coveted bloc of voters in Arizona: those who refuse to be beholden to either camp. Independents. In today's episode of The Gaggle, we hand over the mic to them. We hear how some plan to vote, why they choose to be independent, and their concerns for our state and nation.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    BONUS: Q&A with CD1 candidates David Schweikert and Jevin Hodge

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 26, 2022 21:11


    Early voting is underway for the midterm elections. And every race matters, from the governor to the U.S. Senate, the Legislature and on down to school boards.  The Gaggle and The Arizona Republic's political team are connecting with candidates so you can hear them make their case to voters in their words.  This is part of a series of special bonus episodes of The Gaggle throughout the voting period.  In this bonus episode we'll hear from the two candidates running for the 1st Congressional District, which spans the northeast valley and reaches into parts of north-central Phoenix. It is a newly created district, which was mostly the 6th Congressional District before. Incumbent Republican David Schweikert is facing Democrat Jevin Hodge to represent one of Arizona's wealthiest districts. You will hear Tara Kavaler, a politics reporter for the Arizona Republic, ask the questions to each of the candidates. First you will hear from David Schewikert, followed by Jevin Hodge. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Families still fighting for justice a decade after teen killed through border fence

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 19, 2022 23:37


    Ten years ago, Mexican teenager José Antonio Elena Rodríguez was shot through the border fence by a U.S. Border Patrol agent. The agent believed the teen, standing in Nogales, Sonora, was throwing rocks at him and that he was in danger. The death launched a historic cross-border investigation that ultimately changed how the Border Patrol functions. But José Antonio isn't the only person to have been killed across the border between Mexico and the United States. His story became an example of those families who are still fighting for justice. This week on The Gaggle, a podcast by The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com, host Ron Hansen is joined by Arizona Republic reporters Rafael Carranza and Maritza Dominguez. Alongside producer Amanda Luberto, they told José Antonio's story in season three of the Republic's investigation podcast, Rediscovering.  After visiting Ambos Nogales for the 10-year memorial celebration, Rafael and Maritza share how José Antonio's case is still impacting the family and our legal system. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    BONUS: Q&A with superintendent candidates Kathy Hoffman and Tom Horne

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 18, 2022 17:19


    Early voting is underway for the midterm elections. And every race matters, from the governor to the U.S. Senate, the Legislature and on down to school boards.  The Gaggle and The Arizona Republic's political team are connecting with candidates so you can hear them make their case to voters in their words.  This is part of a series of special bonus episodes of The Gaggle throughout the voting period.  In this bonus episode we'll hear from the two candidates running for the Superintendent of Public Instruction, the state's top education boss. Incumbent Democrat Kathy Hoffman is facing Tom Horne, the Republican former attorney general and former superintendent from 2003 -2011, where he served two terms. You will also hear from Yana Kunichoff, our K-12 reporter, who spoke with each candidate. You will hear Yana ask the questions first, with incumbent Kathy Hoffman answering first followed by Tom Horne.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    What to know about Arizona propositions before filling out your ballot

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 12, 2022 19:18


    The midterm election is less than a month away. And while many voters may have decided which candidates they are supporting, there is much more on the ballot this year.  Ballot measures play a big role in deciding how Arizonans want their state run, but it can be confusing to sort through what each really stands for and if you want to vote yes or no. This week on The Gaggle, a podcast by The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com, host Ron Hansen is joined by Arizona Republic reporters Mary Jo Pitzl and Ryan Randazzo, who have written about the different measures now before voters. They discuss the key initiatives, how they got to be on the ballot, who supports them, and who opposes them. Follow The Gaggle and all azcentral.com podcasts on Twitter here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Statistics say young people don't vote. But these young voters plan to show up to the polls.

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 5, 2022 30:23


    The midterm elections are about a month away and both political parties are furiously trying to make their cases to the electorate.  In a year marked by historic inflation and a seismic Supreme Court ruling on abortion, many political experts are expecting unusually heavy turnout. If that happens, America's young adults could play a big role. But what do they want, or care about? Are they Democrats? Republicans? Or independents? In this episode of The Gaggle, we're talking to some young adults to find out what's on their minds.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    How Arizona's abortion ban could affect the 2022 midterm election

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 28, 2022 21:22


    Late on September 23rd, a Pima County Superior Court judge effectively allowed Arizona's 19th Century ban on nearly all abortions to go back into effect. That is at odds with a 2022 law that bans most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Just this week, Maricopa County's top prosecutor reversed herself and said she wouldn't prosecute women for getting an abortion.  Facing a charged political environment, Arizona officials have struggled to clarify what is legal and what is now forbidden after the U.S. Supreme Court in June erased federal abortion rights. The Pima County ruling sparked another round of anger and anguish from Democrats. Most Republicans preferred to let the latest development pass quietly. In this episode of The Gaggle, Brookings senior fellow and founding director Center for Effective Public ManagementElaine Kamarck (@EKamarck) joins our host, Ron Hansen to discuss how abortion restrictions may impact midterm elections. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    How the ballot recount at the Coliseum will affect the 2022 elections

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 21, 2022 23:36


    On election night in 2020, Fox News made the first formal projection suggesting that Joe Biden could win the presidency by saying Biden had won Arizona. Almost immediately, that projection set off a firestorm in the White House, capped by then-President Donald Trump suggesting that the election was stolen. The backlash in Arizona came swiftly. Protesters gathered at the state Capitol, claiming a stolen election even as the votes were still being counted. Maricopa County became the national epicenter of the so-called “big lie” that widespread fraud allowed Biden to claim victory. By the end of 2020, the Arizona Republican Party assembled “alternate electors” to justify setting aside election results in Washington, D.C.  About the same time, Arizona state Senate President Karen Fann, a Republican, set her chamber on a fateful path as well. She launched an unprecedented review of Maricopa County's ballots in search of the fraud so many had claimed in Arizona. This week on The Gaggle, a podcast by The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com, host Ron Hansen is joined by Arizona Republic reporters Mary Jo Pitzl and Robert Anglen, who helped cover the ballot review and the fallout since then. They discuss the year since the ballot review concluded, what it accomplished, and how it will affect the 2022 elections come November. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    How will the midterms define the Arizona legislature?

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 14, 2022 21:25


    Few things are a safe bet when the Arizona Legislature reconvenes in January, including who will be sitting in the seats. What can be expected is that there will be a representative for the whole spectrum of opinions: from election deniers to abortion rights supporters. This is the expected outgrowth of a newly drawn political map where most races are not competitive in general elections. But what about the 11 state house races around Arizona where there is a little suspense over who will sit in the state Legislature for the next two years? This week on The Gaggle, a podcast by The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com, host Ron Hansen is joined by state politics and issues reporter Ray Stern to make sense of the many Legislative races that will be on your ballot come November. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    National pundit weighs in on Arizona's congressional races

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 7, 2022 22:16


    While it's September and still in the triple digits here in Arizona, the change in the calendar means summer recess is over. The kids are back to school. Members of Congress are back in Washington. The midterm elections are looming, and control of both chambers of Congress is in question.  Currently, Democrats lead with 220 members in the 435-person House of Representatives, which has lit a fire under Republicans to regain the House.  But a Republican takeover might not be as easy as predicted. For answers, some are looking right here in Arizona. This week on The Gaggle, a podcast by The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com, host Ron Hansen is joined by Kyle Kondik. He is the managing editor of Sabato's Crystal Ball, a non-partisan newsletter from the University of Virginia on campaigns and elections. Together they discuss the status of Arizona's federal races, the Senate and the House races, which could offer clues to how the country might be voting as well.

    It would take years of 'biblical' precipitation to restore the Colorado River's source

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 31, 2022 42:58


    At the beginning of August, the U.S. Interior Department has announced a water shortage that will trigger cuts in the water supply in Arizona and other parts of the Southwest. A United Nations environmental program said Lake Powell and Lake Mead have reached “dangerously low levels.” The federal Bureau of Reclamation, which oversees the nation's water projects, gave the seven states and 30 tribes that use the Colorado River eight weeks to come up with a plan to conserve more water.  The goal was to conserve an extra 2 to 4 million acre-feet of water, thereby stabilizing the rapidly dwindling reservoirs.  However, no plan was reached and the clock keeps ticking. In this episode, we're talking about an issue many of you have sent our way: Arizona's water crisis. How bad is it? And what are government and policy leaders doing about it?

    What does school voucher expansion mean for Arizona's future

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 24, 2022 28:16


    As his two terms as governor wind down, Doug Ducey crossed off one of the goals he's had on his list for nearly eight years. He signed into law House Bill 2853, expanding school vouchers to allow all parents to use them for private school tuition or other educational costs. It's being lauded as the biggest school-choice victory in the nation. Supporters say it will increase opportunities for Arizona students and families to choose the education they want without being limited by financial situations, but critics argue it casts a blind eye to the already struggling public school system in the state. This week on The Gaggle, a podcast by The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com, host Ron Hansen is joined by K-12 education reporter Yana Kunichoff to break down what the law really means for the future of the state and what it means for Ducey's legacy as governor.  Later in the show, Darleen Opfer, vice president and director of RAND Education and Labor, discusses potential obstacles Arizona parents could still face and where the expanded voucher program places the state in the national conversation.

    Arizona is ready to become the Silicon Desert

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 17, 2022 30:44


    President Joe Biden on Aug. 9 signed into law the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act.. The historic legislation provides up to $52 billion dollars from the U.S. government to help spur production of semiconductor factories, advanced technologies and research facilities across the country.  The Biden administration hopes it will open doors to new commercial breakthroughs in emerging fields such as quantum computing and artificial intelligence.  With the passage of the CHIPS Act, the U.S. is ready to once more become a world leader in semiconductor production and challenge China's domination in that industry. One of the states that could stand to benefit from the law is Arizona, which has long been a desirable location for tech companies from Motorola to Intel.  In today's episode, The Gaggle investigates what the new federal initiative could mean in a state trying to expand its high-tech footprint.  The president of Arizona State University Michael Crow and Mesa Mayor John Giles join our host Ron Hansen in the conversation. 

    How the Trump ticket and Dems will square off in November

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 10, 2022 32:38


    After distinguishing themselves from the pack, Trump-endorsed candidates won big at Arizona's primaries.  Kari Lake clinched the Republican nomination for governor and will go head-to-head with Democrat Katie Hobbs.  Republican Blake Masters will face off with incumbent Democratic Mark Kelly for a seat in the U.S. Senate. In the Secretary of State race, Republican, and notorious conspiracy theorist, Mark Finchem will face off with Adrian Fontes, the Democratic former Maricopa County Recorder.  So what does this say about Arizona's electorate as we head into November? Are Trump-style Republicans primed to take hold in our state? Or will the majority of Arizonans turn to Democrats in the fall? In this episode of The Gaggle, we're setting the table for the midterm elections. We'll talk about how voter choices in the primaries will help determine what happens in November.

    'What the heck kind of planning is this?' A bonus Gaggle looks at snafus at the polls and the gubernatorial race

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 5, 2022 26:20


    Election day is over. As of Thursday evening, gubernatorial candidate, Kari Lake, clinched the GOP nomination. Adrian Fontes beat Reginald Bolding for the Democratic nomination for secretary of state.  But there are still ballots to count, and it hasn't been smooth sailing. From pens smudging ballots in Maricopa County to Pinal County running out of ballots, the August primaries gave those suspicious of elections more to complain about.  In this special bonus episode of The Gaggle, we're taking a closer look at issues that have handicapped the election process and what the response has been. We'll also take a look at the gubernatorial race. 

    'A rock 'em, sock 'em kind of contest': the 2022 primary election

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 3, 2022 30:05


    Votes are still being counted, but an early look at Arizona's 2022 primary race shows in what direction it's heading. Maybe the most important thing to know is that former President Donald Trump's preferred candidates are doing well. In the U.S. Senate race, Blake Masters beat out his four rivals on the Republican ticket.  And in the state Senate, House Speaker Rusty Bowers, who famously rejected Trump's requests to help sidestep voters in the 2020 election, is losing to Trump-endorsed David Farnsworth.  Eyes are still on one of the most contentious races. The Republican gubernatorial contest between Trump-backed Kari Lake and Mike Pence-backed Karrin Taylor Robson is in a virtual tie. The winner will face Democrat Katie Hobbs. This week on The Gaggle, a podcast by the Arizona Republic and azcentral.com, host Ron Hansen gives an inside look into the Republic newsroom on election night. He is joined by reporters Stacey Barchenger, Mary Jo Pitzl, Tara Kavaler and Ray Stern as they analyze the early results and what they could mean for voters in the November general election.

    What does a Trump endorsement do for Arizona's primaries?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 27, 2022 25:58


    The battle for the soul of the Republican party took center stage in Arizona. Last week, our state saw visits on the same day from former President Donald Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence. They talked about some of the same priorities, from border security to economic growth. But their differences now really define them.  With thousands on hand, Trump took aim at the Biden administration and Republicans who haven't joined his false claims of a stolen election. Those include Pence and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey. Meanwhile in Peoria, Pence and Ducey held a more intimate gathering of hundreds of supporters in hand for gubernatorial candidate Karrin Taylor Robson, a GOP rival of Lake's.  Both sides are battling for the future of the GOP. Trump commanded a much larger crowd. Does that mean he's winning? In this week's Gaggle, host Ron Hansen is joined by Republic reporter Stacey Barchenger to unpack what a Trump and Pence endorsement can do for Arizona's primary candidates. 

    What we know so far about Arizonans' involvement in Jan. 6 riot

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 20, 2022 28:00


    The House committee investigating the riot at the U.S. Capitol has been meeting publicly for over a month now. So far, its investigation into the uprising has uncovered new information making it clear former President Donald Trump and his political team were involved in inciting the mob. Arizona, the state with the closest contest in the 2020 election and some of the staunchest Trump allies on Capitol Hill, is a recurring topic in the hearings. Because Arizona's state Legislature was controlled by Republicans, Trump and his allies made the state one of the key targets of their pressure campaign to sidestep voters. This week on The Gaggle, a podcast by the Arizona Republic and azcentral.com, host Ron Hansen is joined by Republic reporter Richard Ruelas. Ruelas has covered the extremist groups involved at the insurrection. Together, they recap how Arizonans were linked to the Jan. 6 uprising and the hearings that followed. 

    Police accountability will look different under these new laws

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 13, 2022 13:50


    Just a year after being implemented, the independent office that investigates police misconduct is under threat of being a little less independent.  House Bill 2721 ensures that all Arizona entities investigating police departments have police officers on the investigation team from the same agency being investigated. And those officers must make up at least two-thirds of the investigating body.  The bill is sponsored by Representative John Kavanagh, a Republican from Fountain Hills – who is currently running for the Arizona Senate.  On its heels is another bill that would criminalize recording video of police within eight feet or less. Both bills were recently signed into law by Gov. Doug Ducey.  The Phoenix Police department has been under intense scrutiny after allegations of abuse, excessive force and discrimination by the department's officers came to light. The Department of Justice opened a far-reaching investigation into these claims last year.  In this episode of The Gaggle, we take a closer look at how these new laws will affect policing and police accountability in our state. 

    How could the state's new budget affect you?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 6, 2022 15:27


    With the start of a new fiscal year looming, Republicans and Democrats came to a deal that resulted in a state budget of nearly $18 billion for 2022-23. More money for infrastructure, education and water issues and raises to state employees are included in the spending package. This week on The Gaggle, a podcast by the Arizona Republic and azcentral.com, guest host Amanda Luberto talks with Arizona Republic state politics reporters Mary Jo Pitzl and Stacey Barchenger to break down how the legislation will affect you, and the whole state, moving forward.  

    Roe v. Wade has been overturned. What's next for Arizona?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 29, 2022 30:28


    On June 24th, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the longstanding constitutional right to abortion. It came months after a leaked document suggested the Court's decision to strike down Roe V. Wade. The 5-4 ruling now leaves it to the states to set their own abortion laws.  In some states, abortion rights are protected no matter the national ruling. In others, abortion became immediately illegal.  Arizona is in a gray zone. This week on The Gaggle, a podcast by the Arizona Republic and azcentral.com, host Ron Hansen in joined by two Arizona Republic reporters to help give a better understanding on where Arizona stands in a post-Roe world. The show is first joined by health reporter Stephanie Innes and later on, state politics reporter Ray Stern. 

    Who's running for Congress in Arizona?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 22, 2022 34:54


    Drive down any street these days and you're likely to see campaign signs sprouting up like strange mushrooms all along the corners of intersections and roadsides. It can only mean one thing: elections are around the corner.  We are picking through the notable races and candidates you should pay attention to ahead of the primaries on Aug. 2. In this episode, we take a closer look at who's running for a congressional seat in Washington D.C. Lorna Romero of Elevate Strategies and a Republican, and Eric Chalmers of Strategies 360, a Democrat, walk us through who's running, who stands out, and who has the likeliest chance of winning a seat in Congress.

    Keeping an eye on the governor and secretary of state races in Arizona

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 15, 2022 34:26


    Gov. Doug Ducey heads the Republican Governors Association, offering him national relevance in the final year of his tenure in Arizona.  Here in Arizona, the race to replace him is in full swing. with no one really offering what he has. As the Aug. 2 primary approaches, The Gaggle is covering the state's most competitive races, including who is running and how they stack up. Last week, the focus was on the state Legislature. This week on The Gaggle, a politics podcast by The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com, host Ron Hansen is first joined by Republic reporter Stacey Barchenger to discuss the Republicans and Democrats squaring off in the governor's race. Later, Republic reporter Mary Jo Pitzl joins to inform about the secretary of state's race, a contest getting attention for the first time in a long time.

    What races to watch in the Arizona Legislative primaries

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 8, 2022 16:51


    Early voting in the Arizona primaries is rapidly approaching. With that in mind, The Gaggle is focusing on the notable contests. While, many eyes are focused on the governor's race and whether or not Senator Mark Kelly will keep his seat in Congress, we can't forget that the state legislature can really move Arizona's political needle. In this episode, our own state politics reporter, Ray Stern will help us make sense of the primaries to watch in the state House and Senate.

    How will state lawmakers react after tragic school shooting in Texas?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 1, 2022 26:05


    On May 24, America experienced another horrible mass shooting. An 18-year-old gunman in Uvalde, Texas, massacred 19 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary School. Salvador Ramos opened fire with an AR-15-style assault rifle in a fourth-grade classroom before an officer killed him to end the rampage. It is the deadliest school shooting since the one at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in December 2012.  The violence in Texas still shocks, but it doesn't feel new. The political response seemed more combative, more quickly, in another sign of America's all-too-familiar political stalemate over gun violence. Polling shows large majorities of Americans favor at least some greater restrictions on access to firearms, yet the issue is scarcely discussed on Capitol Hill. At the state level, it's a different story. In this week's episode of The Gaggle, a politics podcast by The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com, host Ron Hansen is joined by Republic reporter Rafael Carranza, who reported from Uvalde. UCLA professor Christopher Poliquin also joined the show to discuss how lawmakers react to these tragedies. 

    Wendy Rogers is a 'disgrace' to the Legislature, but not because of her politics

    Play Episode Listen Later May 25, 2022 27:33


    Freshman state Sen. Wendy Rogers, R-Flagstaff, has been among the most prominent voices lying about the 2020 presidential election. But her bombast goes well past political puffery. After the recent massacre in Buffalo that police believe was at the hands of a white racist, Rogers crossed a line in a vague social media post that fueled a conspiracy that the slayings were part of a federal false-flag operation. Nearly all her Arizona Senate colleagues voted for an ethics investigation, but they limited their scrutiny to a seven-word post after the slayings in which she noted that “Fed boy summer has started in Buffalo.” They rejected a Democratic measure to immediately expel her. The Senate Ethics Committee is scheduled to meet Wednesday on the investigation into Rogers and her tweet. In this episode, Brian Levin, a national expert on hate and extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, joins The Gaggle. He explains how Rogers and the rise of extremists in Arizona compares to what is happening more widely across the country.

    'You can't un-ring the bell': Election security expert reflects on effects of sowing doubt

    Play Episode Listen Later May 18, 2022 29:24


    With the nation's elections under siege from other nations and their integrity in question from many Americans, Ken Matta, Arizona's longtime elections security director, has stepped down. Matta worked under Republicans and Democrats and oversaw 32 elections. He ran nearly 203,000 test ballots to verify the accuracy of the state's election machines. Now, Matta is moving into the private sector as the state prepares for elections that will again test public confidence. In this episode of The Gaggle, we speak to Matta about his tenure as an elections security officer, what he saw during his years of service and why he trusts our elections process.

    How inflation may influence the 2022 election

    Play Episode Listen Later May 11, 2022 15:32


    The rate of inflation has been on many people's minds lately, from the gas pump to the housing market to the grocery store. The main driver of inflation has been consumer demand and supply chain issues that have lingered as the COVID-19 pandemic slows down.  It is currently affecting Americans day to day, and more than half of the country says it's now impacting their long-term financial goals. In a speech Tuesday, President Joe Biden addressed the rising inflation issues but spoke more about putting the blame on Republicans rather than a plan to combat it. Voters have a chance to show their frustration at the polls this election year. In this week's episode of The Gaggle, a politics podcast by The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com, hosts Yvonne Wingett Sanchez and Ron Hansen are joined by pollster Paul Bentz. He's senior vice president at High Ground Public Affairs Consultants and joins The Gaggle to discuss how inflation going to impact voters' decisions in the upcoming election. 

    What to expect in Arizona when border restriction is lifted

    Play Episode Listen Later May 4, 2022 24:39


    Many regulations and limitations that went into effect around the beginning of COVID-19 are gone. You're allowed back inside restaurants, you can buy as many rolls of toilet paper at once as you'd like, and you don't have to wear a mask while doing either. And now added to the list of regulations that will be lifted is Title 42.  Title 42 is a public health code that was established in 1944 as a part of the Public Health Services Act. It gives the United States the ability to deny entry of non-citizens in the case of disease that could be seen as a serious danger to the U.S. It was rarely used but was put into effect in March 2020 when the spread of COVID-19 became more serious. Since then, it has been used more than 1.7 million times by Customs and Border Protection.  President Joe Biden's administration announced it will rescind the current policy later in May after more than two years, but not everyone agrees that it's the right move. In this week's episode of The Gaggle, a politics podcast by The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com, hosts Yvonne Wingett Sanchez and Ron Hansen are joined by Arizona Republic reporters Rafael Carranza and Clara Migoya to parse through Title 42, how it is affecting Arizona's border, and what the future holds.

    What's next for the Maricopa County Attorney's Office?

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 27, 2022 16:28


    Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel ended her three-year tenure as the county's top prosecutor in a hospital amid concerns that she was losing her battle with alcohol abuse and after her top section chiefs noted they didn't think she was up to the job.  Adel's resignation sparked a dash to qualify for the election to replace her and a lightning round of interviews for an interim boss. The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors has appointed Republican Rachel Mitchell as the interim county attorney to finish out Adel's term, which ends this fall. Candidates to run for the office in the 2022 election had just two weeks to file paperwork and gather signatures to qualify for the August primaries in their bid to take over one of the largest prosecutorial teams in the country. All this begs the question: What's next for the Maricopa County Attorney's Office?

    Why are Ukrainian refugees lining up at the U.S.-Mexico border?

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 20, 2022 23:48


    Thousands of refugees are waiting at the U.S.-Mexico border. This might sound like old-news, but these asylum-seekers are getting through the border. What makes them different from the previous waves of migrants is that these people are from Ukraine.  More than 2,000 Ukrainian refugees have crossed the border at Tijuana into San Diego. President Biden has ordered border agents to process any Ukrainians seeking sanctuary in the U.S. He says the United States will accept up to 100,000 refugees from Ukraine.  But why exactly are Ukrainians coming to the U.S. through Mexico from Europe amid the war in their homeland?

    The Republic had marijuana tested to see if it was safe. Here's what we found

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 18, 2022 19:45


    In 2020, Arizonans voted to legalize recreational marijuana, and it opened the door for both local and national marijuana companies to flood the market. But cannabis is not as highly regulated in Arizona as one might expect. We are in the wild west of marijuana production and that means some corners are cut and standards aren't always consistent. Some cannabis companies have failed to keep their products free of contaminants.  Arizona, like most states with legal marijuana and testing rules, requires growers to submit the products to state-licensed labs before marijuana is sold on dispensary shelves. But in unlike other states, regulators here don't do their own testing to ensure the weed is safe. In this bonus episode of The Gaggle, an azcentral.com podcast,  Arizona Republic business reporter, Ryan Randazzo talks about how he got a lab to test products he bought, and how results came back showing some of that cannabis was contaminated with a pesticide.

    Cathi Herrod supported abortion restriction. What causes are next?

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 13, 2022 21:49


    Recently, Gov. Doug Ducey signed a bill into law that would ban women from getting abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. He also signed a bill targeting transgender youth. The law bans gender affirming surgeries for people under 18 and bans transgender girls from participating on women's athletic teams at public or private schools that compete against public schools, including at the collegiate level. Supporters say the abortion restriction protects women from the emotional and physical trauma of undergoing abortions and saves lives. Supporters of the bill impacting transgender youth say it protects children and women's sports. One of those proud supporters is Cathi Herrod. Herrod is the president of the Center for Arizona Policy, a socially conservative non-profit advocacy organization. Those who have followed state politics since the center's start in 1995 probably have heard of her. The center has have been instrumental in helping pass numerous socially conservative laws in its 27 years. The center promotes what it refers to as the foundational principles of life, religious freedoms and family values. Herrod has served as president since 2006. In this week's episode of The Gaggle, an Arizona politics podcast, host Yvonne Wingett Sanchez sat down with Herrod to discuss her recent successes and the center's future legislation.

    The fallout of Arizona's new restrictive abortion law

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 6, 2022 17:44


    Governor Doug Ducey has signed a controversial abortion bill into law. The new law, which won't take effect until the fall, outlaws abortions after 15 weeks – with no exceptions for rape or incest. Those who oppose abortion rights Pro-life advocates are hailing the new law as a huge success in the fight to protect the unborn. But those who support abortion rights describe it as heavy-handed government intrusion into personal medical decisions … as well as deepening racial disparities in health care access. By enacting one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the nation, Arizona joins other Republican-led states chipping away at Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion rights, that is currently expected to be reined in by the high court this term. This week on The Gaggle, hosts Yvonne Wingett Sanchez and Ron Hansen are joined by Arizona Republic politics reporter Stacey Barchenger. Together they break down what Arizona's upcoming abortion law does and what it does not do, how this plays into the agenda for Ducey and Republicans nationally.

    Where does Arizona stand as it emerges from COVID?

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 30, 2022 35:18


    Two years ago in Arizona, and in most of the world, conditions were starting to feel apocalyptic.  After sweeping across China and Europe, the new coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, made its way to America. The nation was suddenly locked in quarantine. Grocery store shelves were barren of essentials. Workers were laid off by the millions. Life as we knew it was upended and no one how bad it would get or how long it would last. Around this time, Gov. Doug Ducey took some of his first executive actions on COVID-19. All elective surgeries were halted to make room in hospitals for coronavirus patients. Restaurants were closing but were allowed to start serving alcohol to go. Two very strange years later, it seems that the worst of the pandemic is behind us. In this week's episode of The Gaggle, an Arizona politics podcast, host Yvonne Wingett Sanchez is joined by two Arizona Republic reporters to help take stock of it all.  Stephanie Innes covers health and walks through the timeline from March 2020 to March 2022. Russ Wiles is a business reporter and he shares how Arizona is surviving financially and economically compared with the rest of the country.

    Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel resigns. What's next?

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 23, 2022 9:37


    On Monday, Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel announced she will resign from her position on Friday, March 25. This comes after months of dismay regarding how she is leading one of the nation's largest prosecutorial teams. Her time as County Attorney comes to an end amidst scrutiny that she is not fit for office after her staff raised concern regarding her battle with alcohol abuse.  Arizona Republic investigative reporter Robert Anglen recently noted that 180 cases fell apart because of her procedural failures.  Her impending departure means there will be a special election to replace her, and not a lot of time to qualify to run. As of yesterday, Julie Gunnigle, who ran against Adel in 2020, collected enough signatures to run. In this week's episode of The Gaggle, an Arizona politics podcast, host Ron Hansen talk with Robert Anglen about Adel's resignation and what will happen next to replace her.

    The Arizona Republican base is angry after the Legislature changes election rule, putting lawmakers in a pickle

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 16, 2022 17:55


    Republican state lawmakers are scrambling to undo parts of a law they fast-tracked to change the way party activists become party officials.  Precinct committee members, or PCs, are not people the casual voters will know, but they play a key role in shaping party politics and who runs for political office. Republicans quickly pushed through election changes that reflect the state's new political boundaries after last year's redistricting process. The governor signed the bill the same day. To the surprise of the grassroots and lawmakers themselves, the law also eliminated elections for PCs.  Changing the law it requires a legislative super-majority, and the Democrats aren't eager to help Republicans fix their mistake. Sparks are flying on both sides of the aisle.   In this episode of The Gaggle, The Republic's state government reporter, Mary Jo Pitzl, joins hosts Ron Hansen and Yvonne Wingett Sanchez to discuss the unexpected drama.

    Why the rise of extremism defines today's Arizona GOP

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 9, 2022 38:58


    Republican Utah Sen. Mitt Romney labeled U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar a moron over the Arizona Republican's association with a political conference organized by a white nationalist. Another participant, Republican state Sen. Wendy Rogers of Flagstaff, was censured by the Arizona state Senate for threatening comments she made to her colleagues.  It was the first time in three decades a senator was publicly censured by her own party. It was a move applauded by Gov. Doug Ducey, who had been slow to condemn her remarks. The rise of extremism in the Arizona GOP has grown over the past few years, with concerns also raised over the actions of Kelli Ward, chair of the Republican Party of Arizona. Recently, the U.S. House Committee that is investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol issued subpoenas to her. In this week's episode of The Gaggle, an Arizona politics podcast, hosts Yvonne Wingett Sanchez and Ron Hansen talk with political historian Matthew Dallek. They discuss how these fringe views became more mainstream and what it means for the future of politics.

    The Gaggle analyzes CPAC 2022 and the Arizona conservatives present there

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 2, 2022 26:36


    Conservatives from Arizona and elsewhere took aim at President Joe Biden while outlining their preferred policy agenda during annual gatherings in Orlando last week. Among those on hand were several notable Arizonans, including U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., and gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, a former Fox 10 anchor. Also last weekend, far-right extremists heard from U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., and state Sen. Wendy Rogers, R-Flagstaff. The Conservative Political Action Conference and America First Political Action Conference drummed up grievances against Biden and promoted former President Donald Trump. In today's episode, The Republic's Stacey Barchenger joins Gaggle hosts Ron Hansen and Yvonne Wingett Sanchez to dissect the what happened and what it means in Arizona.

    Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers speaks on audit, AZ GOP future and more

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 23, 2022 50:49


    In the early weeks after the 2020 election, Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers, R-Mesa, resisted direct appeals by President Donald Trump and key allies to participate in a scheme to set aside the certified election results in Arizona. He's still getting lobbied by some in that orbit, and Bowers is still pushing back. His support was recently sought He recently received a recent effort to get his support on a bill to decertify the 2020 presidential election results. That effort was previously unknown.  At the outset of this year's legislative session, Bowers emphatically killed one bill that would have banned voting machines and mail voting, among other things. Bowers assigned the bill to 12 House committees, effectively ensuring its demise. He also came out against another bill that would set aside the 2020 presidential results. Bowers called the legislation “profoundly unwise.” That bill was introduced by Rep. Mark Finchem, R-Oro Valley, a loyalist to former President Donald Trump. In this week's episode of The Gaggle, an Arizona politics podcast, hosts Yvonne Wingett Sanchez and Ron Hansen wanted to hear directly from the speaker. He is an artist by trade who is charting a decidedly different path than many in his party these days.  The Gaggle met with Bowers in his office to discuss his relationship with Republican Party, previously unseen documents related to the 2020 presidential election results, and his future.

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