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Recovery aside, Giffords’ vote was brilliant politics

If we are to take her staff’s word for it, U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords will retain — at least — her Democratic seat in Congress in 2012.

In the best-case scenario, she would be the heavy front-runner in a U.S. Senate race with Republican Congressman Jeff Flake, whose early entry into the contest has thus far scared off all other GOP contenders.

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Bipartisanship endangered, not extinct

It was announced this week that the National Institute on Civil Discourse awarded its first grants to several UofA departments: one to watch how politicians handle confrontational questions from constituents and another to read comments left by readers of the ...

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It’s high time for school finance redesign

Funding Arizona’s K-12 public schools is on the mind of every educator, most policymakers, and business leaders — those who count on a ready workforce. The Arizona Business & Education Coalition (ABEC) presents a set of proposals to redesign the school finance system entirely, to support increasingly higher levels of learning in all public schools.

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How to buy the benefit of the doubt, for nothing

Several years ago I attended a government commission meeting where an appointed chairman openly rejected an assistant attorney general’s recommendation to convene an executive session.

“No, I don’t think we need an executive session to talk about this,” the chairman said, to the best of my recollection.

It’s not that every — or even most — public bodies are eager to shut their doors to the public. It’s that confidence is inspired in government when the doors remain open when the real decision-making process begins.

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Setting the record straight on sentencing

I am writing to correct a number of inaccuracies in the May 20 “special report” printed in your newspaper (“A push from the right: More conservatives joining fight to change sentencing guidelines”).  I am sure the reporter’s intention was to present a thorough examination of this important topic, but her final product was extremely one-sided and lacking in several important facts.  As the chief prosecutor for the 4 million residents of Maricopa County, I feel it is my duty to set the record straight.

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