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Bill to block casino could increase water rates

If U.S. Congressman Trent Franks’ H.R. 2938 (Gila Bend Indian Reservation Lands Replacement Clarification Act) passes, Arizonans’ water bills may increase again. But his bill isn’t actually about water at all. The bill was submitted to prevent construction of a casino on a strip of land between Peoria and Glendale. The 25-year-old government treaty with the Tohono O’odham Nation allows the tribe to acquire land to replace the part of its reservation that was flooded due to construction of the Painted Rock Dam on the Gila River. In the deal, the tribe also surrendered its rights to 32,000 acre-feet of water each year.

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‘Capitol Times’ downplays financial and political impact of HURF fund sweeps

As chairman of the Committee on Transportation for the Arizona House of Representatives, I would like to point out areas of concern regarding the Arizona Capitol Times Nov. 25 article “Contractors say fund sweeps cost 42,000 highway jobs, want HURF reimbursed”. The truth is that in its reporting the publication seriously underrepresented the length and scope of the HURF raids and the negative impact these actions have had on eroding the trust of Arizona voters in their state government.

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Newt’s turn on the Republican political roller coaster

The Six Flags Great Adventure theme park in New Jersey is home to the Kingda Ka roller coaster.

According to the park’s website, the coaster ranks as tallest in the world, and fastest in North America, with riders rocketing 456 feet high — that’s 45 stories — and then plunging “vertically into a 270-degree spiral.”

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States damaging their own case with insurance-exchange moves

On Nov. 14, the U.S. Supreme Court granted review of the 26-state lawsuit against the president’s health care law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The court granted five and half hours for oral argument, including two hours of argument on the individual mandate and one and a half hours on severability, which addresses whether, in the event the mandate is found unconstitutional, the entire act must be stricken as well.

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Broaden the health care conversation to include alternatives

One of the challenges to having good choices is how inclusive those choices are with respect to the methods of care that Arizona citizens find effective and economic. To the extent those effective methods are not part of the conversation the care offered through the exchange may be inadequate or discriminatory.

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Court teaches school district a lesson — do what you promised

Imagine hiring a builder to add a kitchen on to your house. You agree to a price, sign a contract, and take out a loan. But without consulting you, the builder decides instead to build a garage. You would sue him for violating the contract and you would win.

This is exactly what Cave Creek School District did when it broke its contract with the voters.

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Pearce recall shows voters want leaders, not rulers

After the unprecedented recall and defeat of Senate President Russell Pearce, political pundits have had a heyday analyzing the causes of his decisive upset. Immigration policy? Abrasive personality? Campaign blunders? These and many other factors contributed to the Pearce defeat.

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Cardon uses polished message in claiming ‘outsider’ status

Mesa businessman Wil Cardon branded himself as the anti-politician, an outsider who lacks a “politician’s polish,” as he put it, during a Nov. 15 speech at his new campaign headquarters near Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

But the U.S. Senate candidate who is challenging Congressman Jeff Flake for the Republican nomination appears anything but politically naïve. In fact, he sounded very much like a politician.

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