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Time has come for sentencing reform

In 1990, a 31-year old man went into a Fry's grocery store. When no one was looking, he picked up a carton of cigarettes and walked quickly to the exit. All of this was captured on the store video, and he was apprehended in the parking lot with the carton of cigarettes and no receipt. This offense could have been prosecuted as a misdemeanor, given the value of the cigarettes ($16.95). A misdemeanor may carry up to six months in jail. However, the prosecutor at the time elected to charge it as a felony

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Fiscal conservatism and the future of the Republican Party

It doesn't take a DC insider to know that conservatives are in a battle for the soul for the Republican Party. It is a battle for the future of fiscal responsibility in America. It's a battle between the George W. Bush wing of the Republican Party and the Reagan/Goldwater conservatism that made our nation the strongest, most prosperous and freest in the world.

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Clean Elections opens the door for you (access required)

In 1998 Arizona voters decided that they should hold the power in the political process and enacted Clean Elections. The success of the Clean Elections program has been undeniable, with 70 percent of today's legislative and statewide officeholders participating in the Clean Elections system at least once.

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Redistricting involves competitive districts and Voting Rights Act

Arizona's legislative districts map received its final OK from the Arizona Supreme Court in May 2009 - eight years after the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission started the mapping process. The Supreme Court decided primarily in the commission's favor, citing some procedural errors, but declining to order a new map. Recent news articles, including an analysis in the Arizona Capitol Times, have speculated about the ruling's effect on the work of the next redistricting commission.

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No surprise that poll shows McCain out of touch

It comes as no surprise to me that a Rasmussen poll just released shows that 61 percent of Arizona Republicans think John McCain is out of touch with the Republican Party. As I campaign across Arizona, I'm finding a lot of discontent with McCain among the party base.

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Budgeting in the public interest

The old adage: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," certainly isn't applicable to Arizona's budget. The state's budget and budget process is broken and needs some serious fixing. While elected officials and political pundits will no doubt continue to debate and disagree on whether to cut expenses and/or raise revenues, a more transparent budget and budget process is in the public's interest and should be embraced by all decision makers.

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County has obligated all stimulus funds for road projects

There are some recent news stories about Maricopa County and stimulus funds that are misleading and need to be clarified. Recent reports state "officials in Maricopa County have failed to obligate nearly all of its $105 million in stimulus money for road projects." The $105 million is the total provided for all 29 local governments in the Valley.

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