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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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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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