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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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'I don't trust anything the Republican party does': A conversation with Daniel McCarthy

Daniel McCarthy, a successful businessman, made a name for himself in Arizona politics after mounting an unsuccessful U.S. Senate primary run against former Sen. Martha McSally in 2020. While he lost that race, McCarthy established himself as a voice of a faction of Arizona conservatives who see both major political parties as failing them. McCarthy viewed his loss to McSally as an early sign of a rigged election, a baseless claim that has wider support after former President Trump has...


How Arizona politics has taken center stage on national news, comedy shows

Whether you turn on CNN or Comedy Central, the chances of hearing something about Arizona news on television is high. National news and comedy shows alike are covering the ongoing Maricopa County election audit, political moves from Arizona's senators and more. This week on The Gaggle: An Arizona politics podcast, hosts Yvonne Wingett Sanchez and Ronald J. Hansen talk with Arizona Republic media critic Bill Goodykoontz about what this attention means for the state's national image.


Why legal experts and federal judges call for a judiciary expansion in Arizona

The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on Feb. 24 to hear arguments from federal judges across the country about the need to expand the bench including Diane Humetewa, a federal judge in Arizona and the former U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona. She testified about the longstanding, unmet need for more federal judges in her state. Arizona is one of the nation’s fastest-growing states, but the number of judges has been stagnant for most of the past three decades. This has caused...


What Ducey's proposed flat tax could mean for Arizona

A spending plan of over $12 billion for fiscal 2022 was introduced to the Arizona House on Monday. The plan calls for some pay raises, some money for education and calls for a controversial flat tax. Governor Doug Ducey’s proposed state flat tax of 2.5%, phased in over two years, is expected to cut state revenue by an estimated $1.9 billion each year. Taxpayers would start seeing lower tax rates as soon as next year. It’s being sold as “a tax cut for every Arizonan” but not everyone in the...


Sports betting is coming. Key questions answered on the Gaggle podcast.

Arizona is joining 20 other states and Washington, D.C., allowing legal sports betting after Gov. Doug Ducey signed Senate Bill 1797 on April 15, expanding gaming in the state. The law also allows tribes to operate more slot machines, new tables and more casinos in the state. When will you be able to place bets on your favorite sports teams? How will this impact Arizona’s economy? And who benefits from this new law? In this week's episode of The Gaggle: An Arizona politics podcast, hosts...


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....