The Gaggle: An Arizona politics podcast

The Gaggle: An Arizona politics podcast

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 reporter Ron Hansen. You can find him on Twitter at @ronaldjhansen.

Episodes

September 28, 2022 21 min
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 st...
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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 we...
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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 ar...
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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 Hous...
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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 w...
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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...
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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 inte...
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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 w...
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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 a...
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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 hel...
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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...
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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 ...
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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 Representa...
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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...
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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...
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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 Washingt...
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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. Th...
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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 primar...
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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.  Th...
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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 Arizon...
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