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Volunteer strike force on border gets Senate OK (access required)

A senator who believes Middle-Eastern terrorist groups are active in Mexico and Central America persuaded her colleagues to advance a proposal that would create an armed volunteer force to help apprehend criminals who illegally enter the United States.

The Senate passed the measure today by a vote of 20-10.

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Unions planning big rally at state Capitol (access required)

Unions from across Arizona are planning to bring hundreds of workers to the state Capitol on Thursday, two days after the Senate advanced a second bill that targets public unions.

They also want to send a clear message that they’re opposing Gov. Jan Brewer’s proposal to overhaul the state personnel system and make it easier to hire and fire workers.

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Patterson lashes out against fellow Dems (access required)

Rep. Daniel Patterson lashed out against his colleagues today, saying that he was the victim of a “lynch mob mentality” and that some members were going to “look very foolish” when the truth came out.

The Tucson Democrat said that he would not be “bullied” into stepping down or reconsidering his bid for re-election this fall, despite being dogged by accusations of domestic violence.

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Democrats call on one of their own to resign (access required)

Democrats in the House and Senate are calling for one of their own to step down amid allegations of domestic violence.

Rep. Daniel Patterson’s former live-in girlfriend and campaign manager was granted an order of protection against him on Friday, liberal blog Three Sonorans reported yesterday.

Perhaps in an attempt to avoid another drawn-out saga like the one after former Sen. Scott Bundgaard was faced with similar allegations, House Democrats acted swiftly, calling on their colleague to resign.

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Line in the sand (access required)

Republican governor and GOP Legislature are digging in for long budget fight

It may have been the opening shot to an all-out war.

While Arizonans were celebrating President’s Day on Feb. 20, legislative leaders unveiled a budget that ditched her major spending initiatives.

The Governor’s Office responded in kind, describing the legislative budget as “shortsighted” and “reckless.”

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