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Corp Comm drama will scramble 2016 field

A railbird familiar with the Corp Comm told our reporter there’s a lot of anger among commissioners after Tuesday’s divide over utility electioneering disclosure. Bitter Smith and Burns had previously said they were planning to run together in 2016, and Gray previously told our reporter he’d be running on a slate with Burns.

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Anti-corruption group: Pick one career

The Public Integrity Alliance (née the Arizona Public Integrity Alliance), which went after Horne in 2013 and 2014, is asking Commissioner Susan Bitter Smith to sever all her ties with outside groups, and cease all lobbying on behalf of any client during her term as a regulator.

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One man does not a special session make

Boyer has been beating the drum for a special session in order to call a special election for Ducey’s land trust proposal, raising the possibility over the weekend on 12 News’ “Sunday Square-Off” and last week during a tele-town hall with the governor. But so far, his enthusiasm hasn’t been shared by leadership.

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Top-two primary advocates eye January launch

Former Phoenix Mayor Paul Johnson is hoping to have final language for his revamped top-two primary measure in November, with plans to launch the campaign and signature-gathering effort in January. “They key to the language, obviously, is keeping it simple enough that the voters will vote for it but still has enough meat on it that it’s enforceable.

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Gowan to members: Let’s talk, shall we?

House leadership is setting up meetings with rank-and-file members in the next couple of days to brief them about the K-12 inflation lawsuit after settlement talks fell apart, and to get input from members about a Biggs-Gowan proposal to allocate $5 billion to K-12 schools over 10 years.

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Better call Saul Tom

Attorney Tom Ryan is officially seeking the removal of Commissioner Bitter Smith from office. Today, the lawyer filed a complaint with Brnovich’s office, alleging that Bitter Smith was not qualified to run for office because of a conflict of interest: She works as a lobbyist for the telecommunications industry, which the commission oversees.

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Brownstein will close by the end of the year

Lobbyist Janna Day, managing partner of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck’s Phoenix office, told our reporter today (Sept. 1) that the firm decided to shutter its operations in the Valley because it was unable to build the kind of legal practice it wanted around some of its core areas, such as natural resources and real estate law.

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Strings definitely attached

Borrelli’s op-ed in today’s Republic (Aug. 31) shows that conservatives aren’t in lock-step on the idea of how best to resolve the K-12 funding lawsuit. Borrelli wrote that it’s time to resolve the lawsuit by “funding for our education system with true education dollars,” and said he will propose legislation to hike funding for schools by a total of $336 million annually.

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