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Politics is Everything Podcast

Ep. 6: 2024 Senate: Democrats Have a Lot of Defending to Do

The Crystal Ball released its 2024 Senate Ratings this week. With 34 Senate contests, Democrats are defending 23 of these seats, while Republicans are defending just 11. That Democratic tally includes the 3 states with independents who caucus with the Democrats. In this episode, Kyle Kondik, Managing Editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball, provides an overview of the initial ratings and why Democrats will be playing defense.

Links in this episode:

Initial Senate Ratings: Democrats Have a Lot of Defending to Do 
Michigan’s Open Senate Seat: Democrats’ Swing State Retirement Drought Ends 

Ep. 5: A First Look at 2023 & 2024 Gubernatorial Contests Ft. J. Miles Coleman

Miles Coleman, Associate Editor of Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball, discusses the 2023 gubernatorial elections in Kentucky, Louisiana and Mississippi. Kentucky has a popular Democratic governor, and Republicans will likely retain control of the executive branch in Louisiana. In Mississippi, Democrats have not won a gubernatorial contest this century, but a credible Democratic candidate joined the contest last week. Miles also shares an early forecast of 2024 gubernatorial contests and predicts that North Carolina will be the most contested election.

Links in this Episode:

2024 Governors Races: A First Look
The 2023 Governor Races

Ep. 4: How the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attacks Impacted Politics ft. Luke Broadwater

The biggest impact of the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attacks was on public understanding to realize that the attacks weren’t just a single day, says Luke Broadwater, a Congressional reporter in the Washington bureau of The New York Times.  Broadwater has written hundreds of articles covering the causes and consequences of the January 6, 2021 attacks on the U.S. Capitol and the House Select Committee’s investigation.  

Prior to joining The Times, Luke worked for nearly a decade at The Baltimore Sun, where he covered the Maryland State House and Baltimore City Hall. He broke a story last year about a self-dealing scandal at the state’s largest hospital system that resulted in the resignation of Baltimore’s mayor and top hospital officials and the passage of sweeping reform legislation. That series of investigative articles won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for local reporting and a George Polk Award for political reporting.

Links in this Episode:

Jan. 6 Transcripts Detail Failures in Surveillance and National Guard Response
January 6 committee wraps up, withdraws Trump subpoena
Jan. 6 Transcripts Reveal Disagreements That Divided Trump Camp
Jan. 6 Committee Withdraws Its Subpoena of Trump
Jan. 6 transcripts shed new light on how Trump considered blanket pardons
With Detailed Evidence and a Call for Accountability, Jan. 6 Panel Seeks a Legacy
Inside the Jan. 6 Committee 
Jan. 6 panel’s final report blames riot on ‘one man:’ Trump
The Capitol Police and the Scars of Jan. 6
How the Jan. 6 committee used TV tactics and dark humor in its case against Trump
House Select Committee Archive (links to Final Report, Witness Testimonies and Hearings)  

Ep. 3: ‘Our democracy is really at risk’ ft. Sandra Garza

For the second anniversary of the violent attacks on the U.S. Capitol, we spoke with Sandra Garza, a clinical social worker, veteran, and partner of Private First Class Brian Sicknick, a U.S. Capitol Police officer who died of injuries sustained during the insurrection on January 6th, 2021.

Ms. Garza shares her experiences attending the House Select Committee hearings and what more needs to be done to achieve justice and accountability. She says everybody has a responsibility to ensure this never happens again. Ms. Garza is the plaintiff on a lawsuit filed on January 5, 2023 in the United States District Court in the District of Columbia against Donald J. Trump, Julian Khater and George Tanios for the wrongful death of Pfc Brian Sicknick. The lawsuit includes claims for relief for 1) wrongful death; 2) conspiracy to violate civil rights; 3) common law assault against Khater and Tanios, 4) Negligence Per Se against all defendants; 5) Aiding and Abetting Common-Law Assault (against Trump).

On January 6, 2023, PFC Sicknick was awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal for having made “exemplary contributions to our democracy” and shown “courage and selflessness” around the events of January 6, 2021. The medal is one of the country’s highest civilian honors, given to American citizens deemed to have “performed exemplary deeds of service for their country or their fellow citizens.”

PFC Brian D. Sicknick served with the United States Capitol Police from July 2008 until his passing in the line of duty on January 7, 2021 due to injuries sustained during the attack on the United States Capitol. PFC Sicknick spent the majority of his career with the department’s First Responder Unit, where he served as a mountain bike officer as well as a member of the Civil Disturbance Unit.

Links in this episode:

Trump Is Sued in Death of Capitol Police Officer After Jan. 6 
06/09/2022 Select Committee Hearing 
H.R.6943 – Public Safety Officer Support Act of 2022 
I can’t forgive the people who won’t admit my partner, Brian Sicknick, was a hero  
The adverse childhood experiences questionnaire: Two decades of research on childhood trauma as a primary cause of adult mental illness, addiction, and medical diseases  
Cult membership: What factors contribute to joining or leaving? 
President Biden Marks January 6 Anniversary

Ep. 2: The Case for Justice ft. Mark Zaid

On the second anniversary of the January 6, 2021 attacks on the U.S. Capitol, we talk with Mark S. Zaid, an attorney with a practice focused on national security law, freedom speech, constitutional claims and government accountability. Mr. Zaid represents Sandra Garza, the partner of fallen Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, in a new lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court on January 5, 2023 against Donald J. Trump and two rioters. The lawsuit includes claims for relief for 1) wrongful death; 2) conspiracy to violate civil rights; 3) common law assault against Khater and Tanios, 4) Negligence Per Se against all defendants; 5) Aiding and Abetting Common-Law Assault (against Trump). Mr. Zaid also represents U.S. Capitol Police Pfc. Harry Dunn and Sergeant Aquilino Gonell, and represented Julie Farnam, the Acting USCP Director for Intelligence who warned in the intelligence assessment before the insurrection, dated January 3, 2021 that warned, “Bottom line. Protestors … plan to be armed.”

Mr. Zaid discusses the lawsuit, representing law enforcement, the politics of investigating the January 6, 2021 attacks on the Capitol, and the ongoing consequences of the attacks. 

Links in this episode:

Mark Zaid on Twitter
Whistleblower Aid 
Capitol Police intelligence official says she sounded alarm about potential violence days before January 6 riot
Inside the Capitol Cops’ Jan. 6 Blame Game
Democrats’ pick for the top staffer on the January 6 Capitol attack investigation sends an ugly message to potential witnesses 
Whistle-blower advocates call for a top aide on the Jan. 6 panel to be removed. 
Aide to Capitol Riot Inquiry Is Accused of Whistle-Blower Retaliation

Ep. 1: McCarthy’s Headaches & What Rebels Want

There has not been multiple ballots in a speaker election in 100 years, as Kyle Kondik wrote for the Crystal Ball earlier this week. On Thursday, January 5, Representative Kevin McCarthy of California offered new concessions to a group of conservative Republicans that have prevented him from winning the majority of votes needed to secure Speaker of the House. Mr. McCarthy has not yet been able to lock in the 218 votes he needs to win the Speakership. In the seventh, eighth, and ninth rounds of voting, held on Thursday, 20 Republicans voted for other candidates, and one voted “present.”  

In this episode, we discuss what the House election for Speaker and McCarthy’s detractors tells us about the Republican governing coalition and what might be in store for the 118th Congress.

Links in this Episode:

The Political Profile of McCarthy’s Detractors
McCarthy, Santos, and a Tenuous GOP Majority 

Season 1

Ep. 31: What Were the Best and Worst Political Moment of 2022?

From the authentic to the hyperconstrued, from taking serious public issues and concerns to the utterly nonsensical and absurd, Kyle Kondik, Miles Coleman and Carah Ong Whaley share what they think are the best and worst of campaign ads, campaign moments and candidate moments of the 2022 midterm elections. What made your best and worst political moments of 2022? Share them with us by email [email protected] or Tweet at us at @Center4Politics.

Ep. 30: A New Era of Competitive Presidential Elections & Shifting Voting Pattern

In this episode, Kyle Kondik and Miles Coleman discuss the two eras in the Republican-Democrat two-party system that really stand out for competitiveness because of how close consecutive presidential elections were: the 6 elections between 1876-1896 and the elections in the 2000-2020 time period. They also discuss shifts in voting patterns In the 2000-2020 time period and the patterns that emerge regionally. “The most competitive states in 2020 may be the most competitive in 2024: Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin in the Great Lakes region and Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, and North Carolina in the Sun Belt,” Kyle asserts.

Links in this Episode:

The Electoral College in the 21st Century

Ep. 29: Is Free Speech Under Threat on Campuses?

In this episode, we talk with Bradford Vivian, Professor of Communication Arts and Sciences at Penn State University and author of Campus Misinformation (Oxford University Press), about how the idea that free speech is under threat on college campuses became a core political appeal and how it has been manufactured through misinformation, distortion, and political ideology.

Ep. 28: A Fighting Chance for 2024

Kyle Kondik and Miles Coleman react to the Georgia Senate election, discuss House crossover districts, split ticket voting in 2022 and the Democratic Party’s 2024 primary plan. Regarding the Republican candidate quality problem, Kyle suggests that the “Senate Leadership Fund needs to take a more active role in primaries going forward if Republicans want to do well in 2024.”