Podcast: Updates from Taxes to Reproductive Rights & COVID … What’s the Latest?

Rep. PPH's podcast

One of my pet peeves is reading a cliff-hanger news story, only to be left hanging when there is no follow up. Several stories reported in my previous podcasts have had newsworthy developments since those episodes aired.

To catch you up on the details, Episode 8 is a compilation of updates.

Many of my podcasts referred to petition drives and court cases that were trying to stop bad Republican bills from being enacted. These issues were decided last week. Why last week? Because September 29, 2021 is the 91st day after June 30, 2021, which was the end of the Legislative session. Unless passed with an emergency clause or stopped by the courts or the voters, bills passed by the Legislature and signed by the governor are enacted 90 days after the end of session.

Three previous guests return to discuss the status of the contested laws – particularly the flat tax, the alternative tax to get around Prop 208, the voter suppression bills, the bills attacking the power of the Secretary of State and the power of the governor, Arizona’s latest radical anti-choice bill SB1457, and mandated COVID public health protections.

The good news is that progressives had some wins in the courts. We also had some disappointments. Needless to say, the struggle to beat back oppressive legislation continues. Of course, Governor Doug Ducey and Attorney General Mark Brnovich are appealing cases that the state lost. Brnovich is even appealing the court’s ruling that Republican Legislators acted unconstitutionally when they stuff dozens of unrelated failed bills into the budget. Who is paying for these unnecessary lawsuits generated by unconstitutional or burdensome laws enacted by Republicans? You are. The taxpayer.

Every year, Democrats and the Legislature’s nonpartisan staff lawyers warn Republicans that the state will be over multiple bills. Every year, Republicans cavalierly pass those questionable bills with the purpose being sued just to make a political point. Creating and fighting ideological court cases all the way to the Supreme Court is a badge of honor for red state legislatures nationwide and an enormous misuse of taxpayer funds – particularly when the states are defending suppression of voting rights, reproductive rights, civil rights and public health precautions. Besides the unnecessary court cases, does Arizona really need more than 300 new laws every year? I don’t think so, but that’s how many the Republicans pass each year. Thanks to Ducey, “small government” Republicans, and special interest groups including the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the Goldwater Institute, Americans for Prosperity, the Institute for Justice, the Arizona Tax Research Association (ATRA) and the Center for Arizona Policy (Cathi Herrod), hundreds of new laws were in the queue to go into effect last week. Which ones were the people able to stop? Not enough.

Interviews

For Episode 8, three previous podcast guests joined me to provide updates on the lawsuits and petition drives that Arizona voters used in an attempt to stop bad Republican bills from becoming law. Children’s Action Alliance President and CEO David Lujan talks about the three Invest in Arizona referenda. Civil rights lawyer Dianne Post discusses Arizona’s new anti-abortion law. Arizona Public Health Association Executive Director Will Humble reports back on COVID19 in Arizona. There’s also news about sports betting, the filibuster and what’s going on with labor. [Spoiler alert: Arizona was #4 nationwide in online sports gambling during the first weekend of the NFL season.]

My podcast is available in podcast format through several services like Spotify, Stitcher Radio, I Heart Radio and others. You can also subscribe to my YouTube channel and get the podcast, along with my other updates.

Fight for $15 in a Right-to-Work State A View from the Left Side

"Ya know Arizona is a right-to-work state. Don't'cha? The right to work for less," my Dad warned me, 40 years ago when I moved to Tucson in the fall of 1981. Back in 1981, I knew what right to work meant, but I didn't realize how anti-union, right-to-work laws suppress wages for everyone. I also had no idea how moving from a highly unionized state to a right-to-work state would impact my career, my future wages and my children's opportunities to make a living wage.  Thank goodness that voters in low-wage states like Arizona can take matters into their own hands through Citizens Initiative when the state Legislature fails to act OR when the Legislature passes laws that outwardly attack workers and local jurisdictions that attempt reforms.In this Episode of A View from the Left Side, you will learn about efforts in Tucson and Flagstaff to raise the local minimum wage to $15 per hour and efforts by Republican Legislators to stop local voters from improving the local economy by raising the wage..My guest is C.J. Boyd who is campaign manager for Tucson Fight for $15, which is on the Nov. 2, 2021 ballot. If you are on the Permanent Early Voting List (PVEL), you should have received your ballot in the mail.In this episode, Boyd explains the Tucson citizen's initiative to raise the wage to $15 by 2025 and the worker protections that are also included in this ballot proposition.Time Stamp"PPH Commentary 0:19 ""Interview with C.J. Boyd 6:11 ""Tucson Fight for $15 Explained 6:42 ""Worker Protections 7:48 ""Worker Schedules 9:00 ""Wage Theft Is Biggest Type of Theft in US 9:58 ""Chamber of Commerce Fighting Labor Standards and Enforcement 10:57 ""More Wage Theft 12:40 ""Local Small Businesses 15:12 "Flagstaff $15 Minimum Wage & State Retaliation 17:35"State Law Says Cities & Counties Can Raise Local Minimum Wage 20:27 ""What about Pima County? 23:11 "Who Will Be Helped by Prop 206? 25:20Tip Workers 26:08
  1. Fight for $15 in a Right-to-Work State
  2. Updates: From Taxes to Reproductive Rights & COVID … What's the Latest?
  3. The Filibuster: It's Time to Remove a Relic of Racism
  4. COVID19 in Arizona: Where Are We Now? 18 Months Later …
  5. Fighting Back Against Repressive Anti-Choice Laws in Arizona & Texas

Time Stamp for YouTube

PPH Commentary 1:00

Update on ‘Fraudit’ (E1) 4:47

Update on Referenda (E2) 5:39

Update on Online Gaming (E3) 11:41

Update on United Campus Workers (E4) 13:50

Update on Anti-Choice Laws (E5) 15:12

Update on COVID19 (E6) 20:20

Update on Filibuster (E7) 27:49

Podcast: The Filibuster, It’s Time to Remove a Relic of Racism (video)

Rep. PPH podcast

Since President Joe Biden took office in January 2021, he and other Democratic leaders have proposed sweeping legislation to tackle deep-seated societal problems.

Many popular progressive bills – like the For the People Act, the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act; the Richard L. Trumka Protect the Right to Organize Act, the Dream and Promise Act, and the Women’s Health Protection Act – have been passed by the US House of Representatives. Unfortunately, these bills and many more are blocked in the Senate by the filibuster’s 60-vote threshold.

Parts of Biden’s ambitious Build Back Better Plan are also in jeopardy due to opposition from so-called “moderates” in Congress. Build Back Better would rebuild and modernize our nation’s neglected infrastructure, address climate change, create jobs, and lower taxes and costs for the middle class. Who pays for Build Back Better? Biden’s plan calls for a “fairer tax code.” Rather than taking on more debt, corporations and the wealthiest Americans would pay more in taxes to fund this sweeping recovery plan. These are the people who have enjoyed decades of tax cuts under the guise of trickledown economics. These are the people who made billions during the pandemic while working families scraped by. These are the people who build private space ships to glorify their egos while they starve their workers and bust unions. These are the people who enjoyed the biggest tax cut ever under President Trump. Unfortunately, these are also the people who have the money to buy politicians and lobbyists. That is why Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 was passed by Republicans on a party line with a simple majority without debate just days before Christmas, but Biden’s plan, which would tax the rich to the benefit of the rest of the country, needs a super majority to overcome a filibuster.

Continue reading Podcast: The Filibuster, It’s Time to Remove a Relic of Racism (video)

Podcast: COVID19 in Arizona: Where Are We Now? 18 Months Later (video)

Rep. PPH's Podcast

Eighteen months ago the Arizona Legislature shut down due to the COVID19 pandemic and the governor’s shelter in place order. Arizonans have traveled a rocky road since then.

Throughout most of the pandemic, Arizona’s government has been willing to sacrifice lives in order to hew faithfully to the right’s anti-science ideology, which dovetails neatly with the “open for business” mantra. Pressure from the Chamber of Commerce, COVID deniers, and the Trump administration caused Arizona Governor Doug Ducey to jump the gun more than once and open the state up for business too soon. In the summer of 2020, Arizona was worst in the world for COVID19.

My guests today are Will Humble, executive director of the Arizona Public Health Association and former director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, and Rep. Melody Hernandez, who is paramedic. Humble provides a brief overview of where Arizona has been and where we are now with the pandemic. He breaks down the history, the science, the policies, the politics, and the personalities. In contrast, as a frontline healthcare worker throughout the pandemic, Hernandez tells stories of tragedy, death and perseverance.

Continue reading Podcast: COVID19 in Arizona: Where Are We Now? 18 Months Later (video)

Podcast: Fighting Back Against Repressive Anti-Choice Laws in Arizona & Texas (video)

Rep. PPH's podcast

In 2016, Senate Republicans stopped President Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court to replace Justice Antonin Scalia. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said it was too close to the election and that the new president should choose the new supreme court judge. Despite nationwide outcry against this, the Supreme Court functioned for months with only eight justices. After President Donald Trump took office, he nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch in January 2017,  Judge Brett Kavanaugh in July 2018, and Justice Amy Coney Barrett on September 2020, just months before the 2020 election. (I guess according to Mitch McConnell rules are meant to be broken.)

The US is currently suffering the aftermath of these three conservative appointments. Multiple Republican-controlled state legislatures have passed restrictive anti-abortion bills during the past decade. Since the Supreme Court has taken a decided hard turn to the right with the Trump era appointments, states like Texas and Arizona are in the forefront with anti-choice legislation designed to challenge Roe v Wade.

Continue reading Podcast: Fighting Back Against Repressive Anti-Choice Laws in Arizona & Texas (video)

Podcast: Labor Day, How Unions Are Organizing Arizona

Rep. PPH's podcast

Work has changed dramatically in the past 40 years.

In the 1980s, President Reagan busted the air traffic controllers’ union, corporations began closing factories and offshoring American jobs to countries with cheap labor, and trickledown economics dictated tax cuts for the rich and the dregs for the rest of us.

It the 1990s, banking deregulation paved the way for the Wall Street crash of 2008 by eliminating financial protections enacted after the Great Depression.

During the Great Recession, which dragged on for years, almost 9 million Americans lost their jobs. Unemployment hit its peak at 10% in 2009. Although, many governors tout robust recoveries from the 2008 Wall Street crash, the jobs Americans have today are dramatically different from jobs in the 1970s – before union busting, offshoring, and tax cuts for the rich became commonplace. Before politicians cared more about fundraising and getting elected, than about the people they claim to serve.

Continue reading Podcast: Labor Day, How Unions Are Organizing Arizona

Podcast: Arizona Bowl: Using Sex to Sell Football & Gaming (video)

Rep. PPH's Podcast

In early August, a friend of mine invited me to like the Facebook group entitled “Stand Against Barstool Sports Rape Culture.”

It didn’t take much digging to figure out why my friend Kat Stratford had created this group. Barstool Sports founder David Portnoy has quite Internet rap sheet when it comes to sexist behavior and raunchy, misogynist comments about women. With boobs, butts, beers, and blackout parties, Portnoy built the “bro culture” and Barstool Sports. What started as a Boston fantasy sports and gambling newsletter and blog has become a multimillion-dollar, multimedia sports, pop-culture and gaming conglomerate.

On July 27, 2021, Portnoy announced on Twitter that the University of Arizona had offered him a “unicorn deal” by choosing Barstool Sports as the new naming sponsor of the heretofore lackluster Arizona Bowl, which is played at Arizona Stadium on New Year’s Eve. They will not only get multi-year naming privileges and notoriety through the Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl, the deal with the University also gives Barstool exclusive broadcast rights to the game. Bye, bye, CBS TV.

Exactly one month later on August 27, 2021 the Arizona Department of Gaming announced 18 of the state’s sports betting licenses and their corporate sportsbook partners. Phoenix Raceway was awarded an online sports betting license, and Barstool Sports is their partner. This contract allows Barstool Sports to run bets on the Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl during the game.

Continue reading Podcast: Arizona Bowl: Using Sex to Sell Football & Gaming (video)