Interview 3: Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.) talks legislating, Valley Fever, optimism and ethics violation

Five-term Arizona GOP lawmaker Rep. David Schweikert joined me for a straight-forward discussion on a number of matters …

Episode #3: Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.)

Schweikert, who represents Arizona’s 6th Congressional District, spoke with me in late September – days before the House recessed until Election Day (or sooner should a COVID relief deal come together before that time.)

The self-described “shy” lawmaker opened up about many issues including his greatest accomplishments on behalf of his Scottsdale-based district, the ability to adapt to the new COVID reality for his constituents … hint – it involves a “secret weapon with a golden rolodex,” the bipartisanship achieved in a very partisan Congress and the support he received from fellow lawmakers following a House ethics violation due to a campaign finance matter …

Schweikert also discussed his bill to extend telemedicine visits, technological advances in carbon capture, the upcoming election and Arizona’s experience with mail-in ballots.

One of my favorite quotes …

“I’m inherently really optimistic – I’m 58 (years old) my wife’s 58 (years old) and we have a five-year-old.”

Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.)

This was an informative and enlightening conversation … please take a listen and share your feedback.

Get ready to hear from the purple district lawmakers …

The response to Article One has been fantastic – lawmakers and senators are enthusiastic to talk with me about the job of making laws and investigating those other two branches of government.

I plan to release four podcast episodes this week that feature lawmakers who represent so-called purple districts – swing districts – battlegrounds.

Over the past few weeks, Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.), Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.), Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.) and Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D-N.Y.) sat down to speak with me via zoom. The conversations were wide-ranging and informative.

Each lawmaker is locked in a tight re-election contest. Brindisi is even running against the former lawmaker he unseated in 2018, former GOP Rep. Claudia Tenney (N.Y.)

These races are considered “toss-ups,” or “leans” one way by the non-partisan Cook Political report. Brindisi and Spanberger represent districts that President Trump won in 2016. Bacon and Schweikert’s seats are top targets by the House Democrats’ campaign arm, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC.)

Check out the next post for these lawmakers’ respective answers to the question: will Congress and the White House agree to a fifth package before Election Day?

As soon as the episodes are live, I will add an embedded link on this website and/or you will be able to subscribe wherever you listen to your podcasts.

Welcome to Article One with Molly Hooper …

Let me introduce myself and welcome you to my new blog/podcast. My name is Molly Hooper, and I love Congress. The First Branch of Government – of the people, by the people and for the people.

For many years, I’ve walked the halls of Congress as a reporter with various news outlets. During that time, I have had the chance to get to know members of Congress, the teams of staffers and other legislative support staff.

When you start talking to a lawmaker, it’s clear that behind the title of “Rep,” “Sen,” “Leader,” and “Speaker” is a regular person with unusual aspirations.

The goal of Article One with Molly Hooper is to educate and entertain readers and listeners interested in understanding how Congress works from a practical perspective – a birds-eye view.

  • What does it take to become a member of Congress?
  • How do you hold on to that job once voters decide to send you to Capitol Hill?
  • How do you get things done: bills passed, amendments made, nominations confirmed?
  • How do you get on the right committees? What does the right committee even mean?
  • What is a motion to recommit? Why should I care?

I plan to share with you my one-on-one conversations with lawmakers, senators, challengers and staffers who make Congress work. These lawmakers are real people: they have families, pets, hobbies and friends (outside of politics.)

  • Article One with Molly Hooper is my attempt to tell these stories – share successes and defeats – with an audience interested in what makes members of Congress tick.
  • I plan to release at least one podcast per week (which I will cross-post to this website.) Between those podcasts, I will fill in the news gathered out of those interviews.
  • I have interviews lined up with lawmakers who represent purple districts, challengers to those incumbents, Senators engaged in the Supreme Court nomination fight and bicameral duos fighting for fairness in the military code of justice.

I invite you to engage, send tips (for topics to cover on Congress) and interview suggestions.

2020 feels like a hurricane of news, the eye of which is centered squarely above the Capitol Dome.

Buckle up, this will be an entertaining and educational ride.