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Commerce quandary: Sharp differences over picking winners and losers with state money (access required)

The man who was hand-picked by Gov. Jan Brewer to oversee a new agency charged with re-igniting Arizona’s struggling economy is set to collect a whopper of a paycheck. But Don Cardon’s idea of how to guide the Arizona Commerce Authority may run contrary to the governor’s own philosophical leanings about how the quasi-public group should go about luring new business to the state.

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Cost-benefit study of prisons late, but state going ahead with 5,000 more private beds  (access required)

The Department of Corrections has long been out of compliance with a law requiring the director to complete a cost-benefit analysis comparing private and state-run prisons every two years. 

DOC Director Charles Ryan, who took over the job in January 2009, said he started working on his analysis a few months ago. 

But House Minority Leader Chad Campbell insists that’s not good enough. 

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GOP gun raffle in Giffords’ district still on; Dems outraged (access required)

After a day of outrage from Arizona Democrats over a Pima County Republican Party raffle for a Glock handgun – the brand used in the assassination attempt of Tucson Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords – House Minority Leader Chad Campbell said he will ask every member of the Legislature and Gov. Jan Brewer to sign a letter asking the party to cancel the fundraiser.

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Mum on Immigration

In the extraordinary battle to keep his legislative seat, Arizona’s most hawkish proponent of strict enforcement of illegal immigration laws is, incredibly, mostly muted on the subject.

Since a recall election against him was certified last month, Senate President Russell Pearce has passed on the opportunity to weigh in on major developments in the immigration front.

And for a man who is often quick to label his enemies as part of the “open border” and “cheap labor” crowd, Pearce has yet to tar his most serious challenger, Mesa Republican Jerry Lewis.

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