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Shades of 1976 (access required)

It has been 36 years since two of Arizona’s incumbent members of Congress squared off against each other, but the ultimate outcome of a similar match-up in 2012, regardless of how nasty it gets, is not likely to cost Republicans as dearly as it did in 1976.

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Gray dismisses ethics complaint against Crandall (access required)

Newly appointed Senate Ethics Committee Chairwoman Linda Gray dismissed a fellow lawmaker’s complaint against Sen. Rich Crandall, saying the Mesa Republican hadn’t violated any laws or ethical rules.

Gray said Crandall’s threat to kill Rep. Brenda Barton’s legislation in the Senate Education Committee was fully in line with a Senate rule stating that chairmen have the authority to determine which bills are heard in their committees.

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Crandall apologizes for angry voicemail (access required)

Facing an ethics complaint that calls for his removal from the Arizona Senate for allegations that he behaved unprofessionally, Sen. Rich Crandall has apologized for threatening to kill the bills of a fellow Republican who he believed harassed his daughter.

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Crandall threatens lawmaker’s bills in sign feud (access required)

In a voicemail message left on the cell phone of a legislator he says harassed his daughter last week, Sen. Rich Crandall suggested that he would work to kill her bills next year.

“I’m furious at you right now,” Crandall said in the July 12 message for Rep. Brenda Barton, R-Payson. “You better not try to run any education legislation next year.”

(Plus, listen to the voicemail)

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Arizona Legislative campaign finance round-up (access required)

Mesa businessman Bob Worsley has far outraised his primary opponent, former Senate President Russell Pearce, taking in about $67,000 in contributions during the first five months of the year. Pearce, meanwhile, collected a mere $2,800 during the same period, according to the latest campaign finance reports. The deadline to file the reports was July 2, and they reflect campaign finances through May 31.

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1-cent sales tax backers go to court to put measure on ballot (access required)

Rebuffed by the Secretary of State, the group that is spearheading the initiative to raise sales taxes by one cent went to court today in the hopes of compelling election officials to put the measure on the November ballot. The Quality Education and Jobs Committee also asked the Maricopa Superior Court to expedite its hearing of the case. The group had turned in nearly 291,000 signatures on June 25.

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