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Dem dark money group avoids contempt hearing (access required)

Dem dark money group avoids contempt hearing <span class="dmcss_key_icon"><img alt="(access required)" src="/files/2013/12/lock1.png" border=0/></span>

A five-year saga over the identity of the contributors who funded a Democratic campaign group’s ads against Tom Horne in the 2010 attorney general’s race ended on Monday after the group disclosed its contributors to the Secretary of State’s Office.

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Another blow for Democrats: State Sen. Carlyle Begay switches parties (access required)

Another blow for Democrats: State Sen. Carlyle Begay switches parties <span class="dmcss_key_icon"><img alt="(access required)" src="/files/2013/12/lock1.png" border=0/></span>

Democratic Sen. Carlyle Begay is now a Republican. The Ganado lawmaker announced Monday morning his switch to the Republican Party, a move he said is an extension of his independent streak at the Arizona Capitol. But Democrats categorized the move as no surprise for a lawmaker who often bucked his party to vote in favor of Republican-led bills.

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Despite concerns, firings haven’t increased since 2012 personnel reform (access required)

Despite concerns, firings haven’t increased since 2012 personnel reform <span class="dmcss_key_icon"><img alt="(access required)" src="/files/2013/12/lock1.png" border=0/></span>

A massive personnel reform package pushed through the Legislature by Brewer in 2012 dramatically shifted the balance of power between the state and its employees. The law made most new employees at-large, or “uncovered,” and required covered employees to give up their merit protection in order to receive promotions or raises. Covered employees were offered bonuses to entice them to switch to uncovered status.

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Stonewalled: Legislature redacts, delays and denies access to messages

Stonewalled: Legislature redacts, delays and denies access to messages

Four months ago, the Arizona Capitol Times set out to learn how much of the state’s business is being conducted on smartphones, via newer technologies like text messages, social media chats and third-party messenger applications. But getting access to those messages, which most experts and public officials agree are covered under the state public records laws, can be extremely difficult.

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