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The Gaggle: Journalists Talk Arizona Politics

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Newsroom conversations about Arizona politics you can’t find in print. New episodes every Wednesday with host Yvonne Wingett-Sanchez, national politics reporter for The Arizona Republic/

Newsroom conversations about Arizona politics you can’t find in print. New episodes every Wednesday with host Yvonne Wingett-Sanchez, national politics reporter for The Arizona Republic/
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Newsroom conversations about Arizona politics you can’t find in print. New episodes every Wednesday with host Yvonne Wingett-Sanchez, national politics reporter for The Arizona Republic/






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All about your new Arizona Supreme Court justice Bill Montgomery

Bill Montgomery is the newest Arizona Supreme Court justice appointed by Gov. Doug Ducey. The Arizona Supreme Court decides thousands of cases that affect your everyday lives, from education funding to abortion policies. (To hear more about it, listen to The Gaggle podcast's May 15 episode about the Arizona Supreme Court and Ducey’s previous appointments.) This week, The Gaggle podcast will break down what you need to know about Montgomery's controversial prosecutorial record, his...


You may get to vote on legalizing marijuana in Arizona. Hear the details

The legalization of marijuana in Arizona could be up for a vote once again in 2020. A group backing the movement released the language for a ballot measure in August for the first time. After a failed 2016 effort at legalization, Arizonans have been expecting the state's licensed medical-marijuana dispensaries to propose another measure. In a previous episode of The Gaggle, the hosts looked at why Arizona is likely to legalize recreational marijuana and which political figures are changing...


Joe Arpaio tells us why he's running for Maricopa County sheriff again

Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said he has few regrets and wants to serve the public as Sheriff again in an interview with The Gaggle podcast hosts Yvonne Wingett Sanchez and Ron Hansen. Arpaio, who is 87, served as Maricopa County sheriff from 1993 to 2016. He lost his 2016 race to Democratic challenger Paul Penzone. His tenure was marked by controversy, filled with investigations into his policing and jailing practices that brought many costly lawsuits. Referring to his 2020...


Teachers accused of sex misconduct: How Arizona falls short in protecting kids

Arizona has about 55,000 certified, working teachers. Every year, about 40 teachers are disciplined by the Arizona State Board of Education or surrender their teaching certificate after allegations of sexual misconduct. The Arizona Republic and KJZZ 91.5 FM, the Phoenix public radio station, together reviewed more than 180 allegations of teacher sexual misconduct from the past four years investigated by the Arizona Department of Education. The cases encompassed a range of offenses, raising...


One year after John McCain's death exploring the senator's legacy

It's been a year since Arizona Sen. John McCain died of glioblastoma. The six-term Republican senator is seen as one of the greats by his supporters, who mourn the loss of his bipartisan leadership. In today's increasingly divided political climate, his calls for unity continue to resonate. And his legacy dominates political conversation. Now his supporters want to preserve and grow McCain's bipartisan legacy. One way they're doing that is through the McCain Institute, an organization at...


What the Hacienda HealthCare scandal tells us about AZ care facilities

Hacienda HealthCare has been under international scrutiny since the January after an incapacitated patient was raped and gave birth. Another patient was found with maggots near a surgical wound. It sparked outrage over conditions at Hacienda, as well as fear over what might be happening at other care facilities across Arizona. Many of us are still wondering about the fallout. Arizona officials and Hacienda claim they have taken appropriate action and things are better. Parents of patients...


Senate candidate Mark Kelly discusses Arizona issues

Mark Kelly is running for the U.S. Senate and is expected to the Democratic nominee to challenge Republican Sen. Martha McSally. Kelly is a retired astronaut, former combat pilot and the husband of former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. She represented the Tucson area in Congress for five years. The nation came to know Kelly in 2011, after a shooting in Tucson that left 6 dead and 13 injured, including his wife. Kelly launched his U.S. Senate race in February and has garnered national...


How the national Democratic party plans to turn Arizona blue

Arizona will play a key role in the 2020 election, and Democrats across the country are hoping to turn the state blue. But how are they going to accomplish that in a historically red state? Tom Perez, the Democratic National Committee chairman, recently visited Phoenix. Gaggle hosts Yvonne Wingett Sanchez and Ron Hansen talked with him about the party's plans and priorities. Spoiler alert: it's all about health care.


What to know: Phoenix's August election could end light rail expansion

Props 105 and 106 could greatly limit services and transportation in Phoenix, but so far, they've gotten little attention. Phoenix voters will see the two propositions on their ballots in August. What are they? Prop 105 would halt all light-rail expansions in Phoenix. Prop 106 would cap Phoenix government spending until the city pays down its pension debt — potentially limiting city services. The Gaggle's hosts Yvonne Wingett-Sanchez and Ronald Hansen talk with The Arizona Republic's...


What is Arizona doing about migrant housing facilities?

Gaggle podcast hosts Yvonne Wingett Sanchez and Ronald J. Hansen interview former Phoenix Mayor and now Democratic Congressional Rep. Greg Stanton about what he learned touring the Customs and Border Patrol facility in Clint, Texas, and how he'd apply those lessons to a potential Phoenix facility. Plus, hear from one of the reporters following migrant facilities in Arizona, Jeanette Hinkle, about the first-of-its-kind, non-governmental housing facility for migrants opening in a shuttered...


How have Arizona wildfires changed over the years?

Arizona's 10 largest wildfires have all happened in the last 17 years. Most recently the Woodbury Fire, which started June 8 in the Superstition Wilderness, became the state's fifth largest fire. It has burned nearly 124,000 acres and by Tuesday it was 90 percent contained. But that's part of a newer firefighting strategy. Firefighters have let it continue to burn because they are using it to their advantage. To find out why listen to this week's episode. The Gaggle host Yvonne...


What you need to know about police shootings across Arizona

In 2018, police shootings hit record levels in Phoenix. Reporters with The Arizona Republic investigated the state's police shootings for 19 months and found that the deadly trend extends across Arizona. There were 117 police shootings statewide — a 75% increase from the previous year. After compiling data from all 15 counties in Arizona, reporters Uriel J. Garcia and Bree Burkitt identified some key factors: guns, aggressive behavior, mental illness, training, and police culture. This...


Why Arizona will probably legalize recreational marijuana in 2020

First, Arizona legalized medical marijuana in 2010. Then came a failed attempt to legalize recreational marijuana in 2016. So why are those in the marijuana industry giddy at the thought of the future? Political insiders don't think Gov. Doug Ducey will fundraise or campaign against recreational marijuana legalization in 2020 like he did in 2016. Plus, he recently signed a bill cutting the cost of a medical-marijuana card in half, greatly benefitting medical marijuana users. The political...


Should your local lawmakers be allowed to block you on social media?

First Amendment rights for constituents and lawmakers alike can get fuzzy in the evolving age of social media. Is online communication the new town hall? When can and can't lawmakers block constituents on social media? The Gaggle podcast hosts Yvonne Wingett Sanchez and Ron Hansen break it down with a constituent who was blocked by his representative and says he knows many people who have been blocked by multiple Arizona lawmakers. They also talk with a First Amendment lawyer, who says...


How two surprising new Phoenix City Council members could change our city

Phoenix City Council's two newest members, Betty Guardado and Carlos Garcia, were sworn in June 6. The two represent districts 5 and 8 respectively, some of the lowest-income neighborhoods in parts of west, south and downtown Phoenix. Guardado and Garcia come from nontraditional backgrounds; Guardado has a background in union organizing, and Garcia led an immigrants rights activist group called Puente Arizona. Both also defeated their more traditional, experienced opponents. What does this...


How the new Arizona state budget will affect you, your children and more

Here's how the 2019 state budget affects Arizona teachers, drivers, taxpayers, teachers and more. Yvonne Wingett Sanchez and Ron Hansen host. Related reading: How Arizona lawmakers did — and didn't — use your tax dollars in the new state budget


7 questions with presidential candidate Julian Castro about Arizona

As the former secretary of Housing and Urban Development under former President Barack Obama, Julian Castro is a rising star in the Democratic party. And he's one of 23 serious Democratic candidates running for President in 2020. But are his policies on health care and the economy too liberal for Arizona? What would he do about immigration and the U.S.-Mexico border? This week on The Gaggle podcast, hosts Yvonne Wingett-Sanchez and Ron Hansen talk face-to-face with presidential candidate...


Could a California billionaire lower your APS rates?

California billionaire Tom Steyer will spend big money in Arizona to advertise against utility company APS's rate hike. What does it mean for you, and what's in it for him? The Gaggle podcast discusses. Follow host Yvonne Wingett Sanchez on Twitter @yvonnewingett and Ron Hansen @ronaldjhansen. Today's guest is business and energy reporter Ryan Randazzo, who's on Twitter @utilityreporter.


How Gov. Ducey's Arizona Supreme Court choices will affect your life

Gov. Doug Ducey will soon have appointed five of the seven Arizona Supreme Court justices. Here's how Gov. Ducey's choices could affect you. For more reading: - Ducey appoints Judge James Beene to Arizona Supreme Court, cementing handpicked majority - A majority of the Arizona Supreme Court will soon be selected by Gov. Doug Ducey To find the hosts and guest on Twitter, follow @yvonnewingett, @ronaldjhansen, or @mpolletta.


Why debate over your health care will take center stage in 2020

There is a very real possibility that the Affordable Care Act could be repealed before the next presidential election. And what is Medicare for All? The Arizona Republic’s national political reporters break it down with health care reporter Stephanie Innes.