• Episode 38: Trump Immigration Plan, Bus Strike, O’Halleran in CD1 & More

    Pima County Republican Party chair Bill Beard and Pima County Democratic Party chair Cheryl Cage talk about Donald Trump’s immigration plan, Tucson’s bus strike, whether former lawmaker and Republican-turned-Democrat Tom O’Halleran can win the congressional seat that U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick is giving up to challenge Sen. John McCain and more.

    Here’s a transcript of the show:

    Hello, everyone. I’m Tucson Weekly senior writer Jim Nintzel, and we’re talking Zona Politics. Joining me today, the chair of the Pima County Democratic Party, Cheryl Cage, and the chair of the Pima County Republican Party, Bill Beard. Thanks to both of you guys for being here

    So let’s start today, Bill, with Donald Trump released his immigration plan this last week and it is a very, it’s a tough plan. He’s talking about trying to create a self-deportation situation. Is this trouble for the Republican party?

    (Bill Beard) I think Donald Trump is one of those kind of political events that come along from time to time in our history that, regardless of what you may feel about the individual, and particular thing that individual is speaking to, they’re talking to the broader language of where we are in our politics in this country If you look at where we were even just a few years ago the current occupant of the White House came in on hope and change. Well, I think for the average person that was sold on that line, they are coming up asking the question, where’s my hope and where’s my change. Someone like a Donald Trump comes along and just speaks to that average individual, regardless if they are Republican or Democrat or Independent, and he is drawing a resonance in the the American community in a way that few politicians have an opportunity to do, simply because he’s speaking in a language that the average person relates to. Again you don’t have to be a Democrat, you don’t have to be a Republican. He is speaking to the heart and soul of what a lot of people You can argue about the specifics of any detail in his positions he may have but he’s speaking to a broader audience out there, and I think that is something that folks in both political parties that do not pay attention to that will regret it come election day next year.

    (Nintzel) Cheryl, what do you think about the idea that Donald Trump is the “anti-politician” of the campaign and also we’re seeing something Ben Carson is doing really well in the polling, on the Republican side — sort of the weariness with traditional politicians.


  • Episode 37: Outer Space with Chris Impey and Ancient African Lakes with Andrew Cohen

    Airdate: Aug. 16, 2015

    We go into outer space with author Chris Impey and deep beneath ancient African lakes with Dr. Andrew Cohen. Impey, the deputy head of the UA Astronomy Department, stops by talk about his new book Beyond: Our Future in Space, as well as dark matter, the possibility of life on other planets and much more. Then Cohen, a UA professor of geology and ecology and evolutionary biology, discusses his work in ancient African lake beds, which is the basis of a new documentary, A Human Climate. You can learn more about Cohen’s work, including how the samples he’s retrieving are helping scientists understand the world our ancient ancestors lived in, here and you can watch A Human Climate below.

    Here is a transcript of the show:

    Hello, everyone. I’m Tucson Weekly senior writer Jim Nintzel and this is Zona Politics. Today, we’re taking a break from public affairs to learn a litle bit about life in outer space. Joining me is author and astronomy, Dr. Chris Impey. Dr. Impey is the deputy head of the U of a Astronomy Department and the author of several books. The most recent is “Beyond: Our Future in Space.” Dr. Impey, welcome to Zona Politics.

    (Impey) Nice to be with you, Jim.

    (Nintzel) Talk a little bit about what “Beyond” is all about.

    (Impey) Well, I sort of felt that most people saw the space program was in the doldrums. You know, Americans can’t put an astronaut in orbit and it’s 40 years plus since we’ve been to the moon. You know the average person thinks it isn’t really happening. But, meanwhile, the private sector is gearing up and there are some pretty exciting things happening, so I felt it was time to sort of look at the space program and our future in space.

    (Nintzel) How much longer before we see more people going up in space. (more…)

  • Episode 36: Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Gov. Martin O’Malley at Netroots Nation

    Airdate: Sunday, Aug. 2, 2015

    Sen. Elizabeth Warren talks about progressive politics, SB 1070, Wall Street worries and more at the recent Netroots Nation gathering in Phoenix. Then we’ve got a Netroots conversation between Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley and journalist Jose Antonio Vargas.

    Here’s a transcript of the show:

    (Jim Nintzel) Hello, everyone. I’m Tucson Weekly senior writer Jim Nintzel and this is Zona Politics. A few weeks ago, the NetRoots Nation gathering brought Senator Elizabeth Warren to Phoenix. Here are some excerpts from her speech.

    (Senator Elizabeth Warren) I know there was some controversy about being in Arizona, and it is not because it is hot enough out there to melt your flip-flops but I want to start, right off the bat, before we get any further than this, as loud as I can, no if, no ands, no buts — Arizona’s SB 1070 is a stupid law. It is stupid. It is racist, it is unconstitutional, and it should be struck down. (Applause) Yeah. And let’s say it, loud and clear to the Republicans, “If you truly want to do something about immigration, then get out of the way, get on the right side of history and let us pass comprehensive immigration reform. You bet.

    Now, last year I came to NetRoots to talk about what we believe in. Immigration reform was high on that list, along with equal pay for equal work, along with raising the minimum wage Social Security, climate change, marriage equality, Wall Street reform … it was a very long list. But if you weren’t with us in Detroit, but worried, Sarah Palin did a fascinating line-by-line analysis of the whole thing on YouTube. Deep. But look, no matter who wants to make fun, yes, we do talk about our beliefs.

  • Episode 35: Bernie Sanders at Netroots Nation

    Airdate: July 26, 2015

    Journalist Jose Antonio Vargas has a one-on-one conversation with Sen. Bernie Sanders about his presidential campaign during the recent Netroots Nation conference in Phoenix. (Special thanks to Five Steps Forward/Netroots Nation for sharing their footage of the interview.) Then Nintzel sits down with Republican National Committeeman Bruce Ash and attorney Jeff Rogers to talk about Sanders, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, the latest efforts to discredit Planned Parenthood and more.

    For more on Sanders and the Netroots conference, read Nintzel’s feature story in the Tucson Weekly.

    Here’s a transcript of the show:

    (Nintzel) Hello. I’m Tucson Weekly senior writer Jim Nintzel, and this is Zona Politics. We begin today with Senator Bernie Sanders. Last weekend, Senator Sanders visited Phoenix and delivered a speech to the largest crowd he’s drawn yet in his quest for the presidency. But before the speech, Sanders addressed attendees at the NetRoots Nation Conference, a gathering of lefty bloggers, activists, politicians and strategists.

    Sanders had agreed to attend a presidential town hall and have a conversation with journalist Jose Antonia Antonio Vargas, but the interview was disrupted by activists with the Black Lives Matter movement. We are bringing you some highlights from that conversation in front of a sometimes very testy crowd.


  • Episode 34: UA Science Dean Joaquin Ruiz & Author Megan Kimble

    Airdate: June 21, 2015

    UA College of Science Dean Joaquin Ruiz lays down some science about climate change research, space missions, the Biosphere and other cool stuff happening at the UA. Then author and Edible Baja Arizona editor Megan Kimble talks about her new book, Unprocessed: My City-Dwelling Year of Reclaiming Real Food.

    Here’s a transcript of the show:

    Hello, everyone. I’m Tucson Weekly senior writer Jim Nintzel, your host for Zona Politics. We’re veering off into science again, today, with my special guest, Joaquin Ruiz, the dean of the U of A College of Science Dean Ruiz oversees an award-winning team of scientists who are looking at everything from the tiny building blocks of atoms to monstrous black holes that are 13 billion light years away. Joaquin, thanks for joining us here on Zona Politics


    (Ruiz) It’s a pleasure to be here.


    (Nintzel) I’m constantly amazed by the stuff that comes out of the College of Science. Are there days where people come up to you and tell you something that just blows your mind?


    (Ruiz) Every day So the best part of my job is the conversations I have with faculty members about what they’re doing, and then finding ways to connect them with other folks who are doing similar things to make it even better But you’re right, it’s really extraordinary what happens in this college and in this university.


  • Episode 25: Former Congressman Ron Barber (April 12, 2015)

    Democrat Ron Barber, who lost his last congressional race to Republican Martha McSally in November 2014 by just 167 votes, said he would not seek another rematch with McSally in 2016 during an appearance this morning on Zona Politics with Jim Nintzel.
    “It’s been a hard decision,” Barber said. “For the last three-and-a-half months, we’ve been talking about within my family and with friends and with folks around the country. I’ve been urged to run by people here and back in D.C. Everything considered, my decision is we won’t launch another campaign in 2016.”

    Barber cited his family as “the most important reason” he would not run again.

    “I realized when I got back and was no longer in Congress, how much I missed time with my grandkids, my wife, my daughters and their husbands. And the last three-and-a-half months have given me time with them, and it’s very precious time. I don’t want to lose that again.”