The Gaggle: An Arizona politics podcast-logo

The Gaggle: An Arizona politics podcast

News & Politics Podcasts

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.

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.


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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.






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National elections expert tells The Gaggle podcast what Arizona's ballot audit means for U.S.

It has been nearly three weeks since Maricopa County started the ballot audit on April 23, 2021. Nearly 2.1 million ballots are being hand-counted more than six months after the election in 2020. The unprecedented political spectacle is drawing attention from national media, from CNN to Comedy Central. Trevor Noah, Seth Meyers, and John Oliver commented on the audit on their shows and national news organizations such as the Guardian and the Washington Post have touched down in Phoenix to...


The filibuster, the border, and minimum wage: A conversation with Sen. Kyrsten Sinema on The Gaggle

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., is a central figure in a 50-50 split Senate. Democrats hold control but only with Vice President Kamala Harris acting as a tiebreaker. Sinema, a centrist Democrat, holds outsize political power and has the ability to make or break President Joe Biden's legislative agenda. She ran in 2018 on the promise to work in a bipartisan manner. How is she doing that? What do we know about her long-term legislative goals? In this week's episode of The Gaggle: An Arizona...


“On the fly”: An Arizona Republic reporter’s inside account of the GOP-led 2020 election audit

The Arizona Senate's audit began nearly six months after the 2020 election at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Friday April 26. Cyber Ninjas, a Florida-based company, was contracted by the state Senate to conduct the audit. Journalists had little to no access to observe the audit apart from the right-wing news outlet One America News Network. In order to observe the audit, journalists had to sign up for a six-hour volunteer shift. Arizona Republic reporter Jen Fifield was there Friday...


Did donors punish AZ's GOP delegation for the Jan. 6 insurrection?

The first Federal Election Campaign finance reports of the year came out last week. These documents can show how candidates raise and spend money in federal elections and provide insight on who might be running for what offices in the 2022 and 2024 elections. With time on the clock still, the first quarter report shows how the fundraising efforts of key players in the next two elections, including Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., Sen. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., and Rep. Greg Stanton, D-Ariz. are starting...


Is there a crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border?

Now that Congress has passed the American Rescue Plan of 2021, which will help sustain people and cities financially, Congress is turning its priorities elsewhere, including to issues at the border. In February, U.S. Customs and Border Protection processed 28,328 migrants. That number more than doubled to over 68,000 in March, most of them families and children. The surge of migrants who are processed and the insufficient space to hold them in Arizona led CBP to release migrants into small...


Will Arizona follow Georgia on voting restrictions?

Georgia became one of the first states to pass a voting restriction law after the 2020 election on March 25. The bill includes new changes like shortening the window to request an absentee ballot, requiring more than a signature on mail-in ballots and making it illegal to hand out water to voters in line. Arizona is considered one of the next states to possibly follow and implement similar laws. Senate Bill 1485 proposes getting rid of the permanent early voting list which is used by most...


The government exposed them to nuclear radiation. Now, Congress could help these Arizonans

From 1945 to 1962, the United States conducted nuclear mining in Northern Arizona and nuclear testing in Southern Nevada. Yet the government failed to warn people in the area of the radiation risks posed by that work and the health hazards associated with it, including various forms of cancer. Then in 1990, Congress passed the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act. It established a lump sum compensation for individuals who contracted illnesses in the aftermath of the testing. The program was...


Jan. 6 wounded Arizona's congressional delegation. Here's why you should care

The divide between Arizona's congressional Democrats and its House Republicans is wider than ever in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 Capitol attack. Arizona Democrats said the fallout from the insurrection is testing their will to work together. “If I’m going to advocate to the federal government, to the (President Joe) Biden people, I’m not going to jump on with people that just tried to invalidate his election,” said Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz. Republicans, such as Rep. David Schweikert, also...


Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick announces this will be her final term

Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick has been representing Arizonans since 2005 and announced Friday that she will not be running for re-election at the end of her term. In her career, Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz, has used her history in rural Arizona to bring more representation to smaller cities and has been a key member of the House Appropriations Committee. In January of 2020, she took some time off to treat alcoholism after a fall and returned in late February of that year. In this week's episode of The...


The Arizona Senate won its legal battle to the 2.1 million ballots. Here's what to expect moving forward.

Four months have passed since Arizona certified its election results. In the subsequent months, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and the Arizona Senate have been in an ongoing legal battle over an audit of 2020 election ballots. The Arizona Senate subpoenaed the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors for access to the paper ballots and voting machines to conduct their own audit of the 2020 election results. The county argued that they legally could not handover the ballots. On Feb. 26,...


Gov. Doug Ducey talks COVID-19, election security, school choice and more

After a year of taking heat from the political left and right, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey is answering his critics. Democrats such as Sen. Kyrsten Sinema criticized Ducey for being slow to protect Arizonans during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Republicans criticized him for certifying President Joe Biden's narrow victory in Arizona during the 2020 election. On Monday, Ducey sat down with national political reporters Yvonne Wingett Sanchez and Ronald J. Hansen for this week's episode of...


How Republicans are leveraging the debate over school reopenings to expand school vouchers

Two years ago, Arizona voters rejected a GOP law to expand the state’s school voucher-style program. Despite that rejection, and against the backdrop of at-home learning in the era of the pandemic, Arizona’s Republicans are once again trying to dramatically expand the program. This year, the Arizona Senate voted not just to expand the voucher system. In fact, SB 1452 is even larger than the expansion that was repealed by voters. Under the proposed legislation, two thirds of Arizona’s 1.1...


After his final two years as governor, what will come next for Doug Ducey?

Arizona has been in the national political spotlight recently. It was labeled a swing state heading into the 2020 elections and barely turned blue, handing Joe Biden his narrowest victory in November. While this was happening, the state's elected leaders were gathering national attention too. Republican Governor Doug Ducey has entered the final two years of his term. His future afterward is uncertain, but could include a return to private life, a run for Congress or even a White House bid in...


How Arizona's elected officials are reacting to Trump's second impeachment trial

Former President Donald Trump is the only president to face impeachment twice, after the House of Representatives signed a single article of impeachment on Jan. 25. The Senate began its formal trial on Tuesday, although there isn't a clear consensus on whether Trump should be held accountable for the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and what that accountability would look like. Arizona's House representatives already split along party lines when voting to impeach, prompting questions...


Arizona Republicans want to change how votes are cast. Here’s what this means for you

The 2020 election marked the first time in modern Arizona history that Democrats had a lead in early ballots a week before election day. Republicans closed that gap, putting the percentage of ballots returned within 1% of each other. Still, it was a shock to the system for some Republicans. Now, Republican lawmakers are looking to change how Arizonans vote, as well as how their votes are counted and audited. Everything is on the table, from mail-in voting to the permanent early voting list....


Progressive Raquel Terán is the new chair of Arizona’s Democratic Party. What does that mean for voters?

The Arizona Democratic and Republican parties held elections on Jan. 23 to elect their party chair. During an in-person meeting that was largely closed to the media, the Arizona GOP narrowly re-elected the fractious Kelli Ward as its leader. Democrats opted to vote for a new chair in a virtual meeting, electing Raquel Terán overwhelmingly with 75% of the vote. Terán is the state representative for Legislative District 30 in the metro Phoenix area. And she's a self-identified progressive with...


How the Biden administration could impact Arizonans

Today is the inauguration day for President-elect Joe Biden. He becomes the 46th President of the United States of America. After the two Democratic Senate victories in Georgia, Biden has a clearer path towards setting are more liberal agenda. Biden has already released plans for his first 100 days in office, including plans for a national COVID-19 response and changes to various immigration policies. In this week's episode of The Gaggle: An Arizona politics podcast, hosts Yvonne Wingett...


How can the Arizona GOP save itself from extremist?

Arizona Republican leaders such as Gov. Doug Ducey and Chair Kelli Ward had opposing reactions to the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Ducey initially condemned the riots on Twitter and then again addressed it in Monday's State of the State address. "In the United States of America, violence and vandalism have no place in the people’s house. Perpetrators should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Let us condemn it and resolve that it never happens again," said Ducey. On the day of...


Bonus episode: Firsthand accounts of rampage at U.S. Capitol

On Wednesday, during a joint session of Congress, a pro-President Donald Trump mob invaded the Capitol. The riot spilled into the Capitol as the debate over Arizona’s votes began. Republican Rep. Paul Gosar was on the microphone when debate was halted. As events developed, national political reporters Yvonne Wingett Sanchez and Ronald J. Hansen reached out to members of Arizona’s congressional delegation. They wanted to know where our elected officials were when the insurrection began, what...


What can we expect from the state Legislature in 2021?

Following a year of turmoil, the next legislative sessions kicks off on Monday, Jan. 11. Republican Gov. Doug Ducey has faced criticism of his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic from Republicans and Democrats alike. Although Republicans held onto their majorities in the Arizona House of Representatives and Senate, there’s disunity among both parties’ caucuses. What issues will the legislature attempt to address? And how successful will leaders from both sides be in drawing support for their...