169 episodes

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.

The Gaggle: An Arizona politics podcast The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com

    • News
    • 4.6, 88 Ratings

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.

    An exclusive interview with Sen. Martha McSally on COVID-19, the campaign and her new book

    An exclusive interview with Sen. Martha McSally on COVID-19, the campaign and her new book

    Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., is expected to face off against retired NASA astronaut Mark Kelly, a Democrat, in November. 
    In the midst of a fraught race, one which will determine who controls the Senate, McSally published a memoir, "Dare to Fly: Simple Lessons in Never Giving Up." The book is an up-close look at the Senator. It sheds light on her childhood, her early years in the Air Force, her military career and her political career. 
    In this week's episode of The Gaggle: An Arizona politics podcast, McSally joins hosts Yvonne Wingett Sanchez and Ronald J. Hansen to discuss her book. She also weighs in on reports of Russia placing bounties on U.S. troops, the COVID-19 pandemic, health care, gun control and her return to the campaign trail. 

    • 43 min
    Could COVID-19 reshape the politics of Lesko's Congressional District 8?

    Could COVID-19 reshape the politics of Lesko's Congressional District 8?

    Earlier this year, "The Gaggle: An Arizona politics podcast," launched a miniseries profiling each congressional district in Arizona. 
    In this week's episode, we're taking a look at the West Valley's Congressional District 8. It's home to popular spots in the state like State Farm Stadium, where the Arizona Cardinals play, as well as the popular concert venue Gila River Arena. 
    It includes Glendale, Peoria, and Surprise. It also has large retirement communities in towns like Sun City and Sun City West. Republican Debbie Lekso represents the district in Congress. She took the seat in a special election in 2018. 
    Lekso joined hosts Yvonne Wingett Sanchez and Ronald J. Hansen to talk about the political issues most important to her community, including social security and veteran benifit.
    You'll also hear from voters directly on which issues are most likely to drive them to the polls.

    • 16 min
    Phoenix funded police oversight. What will that mean? Will it ever 'defund the police'?

    Phoenix funded police oversight. What will that mean? Will it ever 'defund the police'?

    The killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer who knelt on his neck for nearly 9 minutes has brought police practices and accountability to the forefront of American discourse. In cities across the nation, protesters have taken to the streets, demanding justice and change. Phoenix is no different.
    This week The Gaggle: An Arizona politics podcast, is examining two solutions proposed to address police brutality, profiling and other practices being scrutinized as unjust. These include civilian oversight and "defunding the police."
    Related: Every 5 days, an Arizona officer shoots someone, a Republic analysis finds
    In June, the Phoenix City Council approved spending $3 million of its $1.3 billion budget for a new Office of Accountability and Transparency that will focus on police oversight. Hosts Yvonne Wingett Sanchez and Ronald J. Hansen explore the function of the new office with reporters Jessica Boehm and Uriel Garcia. 
    Plus, an explanation on what "defunding the police" means and how likely the proposal is to pass muster among Phoenix constituents and city council members. 
    Read more:

    Phoenix police will stop using strangleholds on people, chief says

    Police officers are rarely prosecuted or convicted in Arizona. Here are some of the hurdles

    Phoenix protesters demand more police oversight from City Council

    Sheriff: Hispanic, black drivers more likely to be held longer in traffic stops than white drivers

    Phoenix approves budget with fully-funded police civilian oversight office

    • 30 min
    Re-air: What you need to know about police shootings across Arizona

    Re-air: What you need to know about police shootings across Arizona

    This week, The Gaggle will discuss the status of police oversight in Phoenix. Reporters Jessica Boehm and Uriel Garcia will talk about the call to “defund the police.” They’ll explain what it all means and the likelihood of these proposals coming to fruition. But before that, you should understand the backstory about police shootings in Phoenix. Last July, the Arizona Republic released an in-depth investigation on this very subject. The findings provide perspective for the current unrest across the nation. So today, The Gaggle is re-airing this old episode.

    • 24 min
    How will the pandemic and protests shape Gov. Doug Ducey's legacy?

    How will the pandemic and protests shape Gov. Doug Ducey's legacy?

    The unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 pandemic has been a pivotal point in Republican Gov. Doug Ducey’s leadership in Arizona. Amid conflicting signals from the White House, governors across the country have played an outsized role in managing the health and economic crises. 
    In addition to the pandemic, many governors are being questioned about their responses to police brutality in wake of the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Ducey is no exception. Some questioned whether his implementation of a statewide curfew was in response to looting at Scottsdale Fashion Square, an upscale shopping center. Ducey also received criticism for issuing the curfew without speaking to Democratic mayors, including Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego.
    It’s been a historic run of problems for the state and the nation. It’s unclear how much these recent moments will define Ducey’s legacy governor.
    How does Ducey’s leadership fare in contrast? And how will his handling of the pandemic shape his legacy as the 23rd governor of Arizona? In this week's episode of The Gaggle: An Arizona politics podcast, hosts Yvonne Wingett Sanchez and Ronald J. Hansen are joined by political reporter Maria Polletta. 

    • 24 min
    Flagstaff, Tucson mayors say Gov. Doug Ducey has made no direct contact during most of the coronavirus pandemic

    Flagstaff, Tucson mayors say Gov. Doug Ducey has made no direct contact during most of the coronavirus pandemic

    Arizona mayors who broke with Republican Gov. Doug Ducey's approach to the coronavirus said the governor has made no direct contact since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Flagstaff and Tucson mayors Coral Evans and Regina Romero told The Gaggle: An Arizona politics podcast they had communication with the Ducey administration early on in the pandemic through morning conference calls with Ben Blink, the governor's policy adviser for local governments. However, the calls have since ceased. 
    Evans and Romero were the first in the state to issue proclamations in mid-March, closing certain businesses and public gathering spaces. Gov. Ducey issued a statewide stay-at-home March 30. 
    In the May 27 interviews, Evans and Romero said their proactive approaches were in response to information from scientists and public health officials. They also spoke about the plight of their residents and what further action will be needed to revive their cities' economies and public health.
    Mayor Evans expressed displeasure with the governor, who has said he wants Arizona to take unified approach in combating COVID-19. 
    "It seems to me that if we want to speak as one voice, then everybody would have the opportunity to be part of the conversation," Evans told national political reporters Yvonne Wingett Sanchez and Ronald J. Hansen. "It makes no sense to me that the mayors that care so passionately about their communities never had a conversation with the governor the entire time this has been going on." 
    In this episode you'll hear Evans and Romero's thoughts on:

    Why they issued proclamations shutting down their cities before Gov. Ducey's stay-at-home order.

    The state response to COVID-19.

    Partisan politics imbued in coronavirus discourse.

    The distribution of federal relief funding and what it will be used for 

    • 40 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
88 Ratings

88 Ratings

Usertoday51 ,

Local reporting at its best

Subscribe to the Arizona Republic too! Locals know the area the best- support them!

Old Fuddy ,

Thoughtful and fair

It’s good to get analysis from knowledgeable reporters about matters that hit closest to home. Local journalism needs our support. Good job, Phoenix Sun

bigpoppakneehouse ,

Great info—Needs More Real-Time Fact Checking

I love the great, in-depth info about AZ. However, it’s frustrating (at times) to hear politicians repeat untrue talking points without the hosts challenging those statements. It’s truly possible to do this in a bi-partisan way. But between that issue, and the fact that some episodes only focus on one party or the other, the podcast can often feel more like competing infomercials than a actual news program. I hope they can improve this because the info really is important

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