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Secretary of State: Lobbying statutes don’t apply to IRC, but they should (access required)

The Secretary of State’s office on Wednesday dismissed a complaint alleging that the state’s redistricting commission was being illegally lobbied by a group with ties to Republican politicians.

The state’s elections officials threw the complaint out because they said Arizona’s lobbying laws don’t apply to the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission. But in their dismissal letter, those same elections officials said they believe the laws should be changed so they do apply.

And that could happen as early as next year, said Amy Bjelland, the Secretary of State’s election director.

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Is the sky really falling on Arizona Republicans? (access required)

Republicans have railed against the Independent Redistricting Commission, saying it intends to draw political lines that turn the state over to Democrats.

But the combination of constitutional requirements, federal regulations and voter registration numbers make for a reality that is far different from any tea partier’s nightmare scenario.

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Goldwater Institute ‘lobbies’ against registering more lobbyists (access required)

The Goldwater Institute is among the most powerful public-policy groups in Arizona.

The organization’s employees draft legislation, regularly meet with lawmakers and testify before committee hearings at the state Capitol. The group even advocated for the call of a 2010 special session in which lawmakers sought to give workers the right to a secret ballot in union elections.

But the institute’s officials bristle at the suggestion that the organization has more than one lobbyist on its staff.

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Next for Bundgaard: Ethics hearing (access required)

The chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee said today he expects a complaint to be filed against the embattled Sen. Scott Bundgaard involving his domestic-violence incident.

But if one isn’t, Sen. Ron Gould said he’ll file it himself.

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Bundgaard wants to avoid criminal trial (access required)

State Sen. Scott Bundgaard and his lawyer are trying to strike a deal with Phoenix prosecutors that would allow the lawmaker to avoid a criminal trial.

Bundgaard, who faces misdemeanor assault and reckless endangerment charges following a fight with his ex-girlfriend alongside a Valley freeway, had his lawyer today ask for more time before the case goes to trial.

Municipal Court Judge Louis Frank Dominguez granted the request and gave the two sides until Wednesday to work out a deal.

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