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ALEC’s influence looms large at Capitol (access required)

The American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative organization whose corporate largesse and influence over policy have become a flashpoint for liberal criticism, has a deep reach into the Arizona Legislature.

When the group kicked off its 2011 summer conference in New Orleans on Aug. 3, 29 of Arizona’s 61 Republican lawmakers were in attendance.

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IRC split on cooperating with AG investigation (access required)

The Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission could stumble into another partisan divide, but this time it involves whether members will cooperate with Attorney General Tom Horne’s investigation into whether the commission violated open meeting and procurement laws when it hired a mapping consultant in June.

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Mister nice guy: Pearce foe decries ‘bully politics’ (access required)

When he declared he was challenging Senate President Russell Pearce, Republican Jerry Lewis offered overarching goals that no politician really could argue against — investing in education, attracting companies to Arizona, a fresh start for Mesa.

What he refused to say was how his political positions differ from Pearce’s.

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School boards group shut out of ballot campaigns (access required)

Some of Arizona’s loudest and most influential voices in education will be silenced in future elections due to a law aimed squarely at keeping the Arizona School Boards Association off the campaign trail.

In response to ASBA’s financial largesse during the 2010 cycle on a couple of ballot measures, the Legislature passed HB2002, which prohibits school districts from spending money for membership in any association that attempts to influence the outcome of an election.

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