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Fillmore calls for Crandall’s ouster, despite history of defending disgraced ex-lawmakers (access required)

Rep. John Fillmore has defended a former lawmaker who was accused of domestic violence. And he’s asked the courts to be lenient on another legislator who was convicted of defrauding a children’s charity.

But the Apache Junction Republican says his political challenger, Sen. Rich Crandall, should be subject to an ethics trial, removed from his committee chairmanship and ultimately ousted from office because Crandall threatened to kill future legislation backed by Fillmore’s House colleague.

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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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First lady campaigns in Tucson in Western push

Democrats are hailing first lady Michelle Obama's visit to Tucson as the latest sign that Arizona will be up for grabs in November's presidential election, but Republicans insist that the state will go red just like it has the past three election cycles. Obama is expected to deliver remarks at a fundraiser in the southern Arizona city on Monday evening as part of a four-state campaign push in the West, with other stops in Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico.

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Time to call it a session, hit the campaign trail

Brewer seems to have avoided the ignominy of having a supermajority Legislature of the same party strike a deal with the Democrats to roll her on the budget, as word emerged late yesterday that her office and GOP leaders had arrived at the framework of a budget deal. Today, Republican lawmakers were briefed on the Ninth Floor’s latest proposal, and though details about the entire plan aren’t yet clear, one thing is known: The Legislature won the fight over FY14 and FY15 revenue estimates.

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