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Lawmakers’ first duty: Show up and vote (access required)

Here’s the simple mathematics of representative government: Arizona taxpayers pay for lawmakers to show up and vote on every bill in the Legislature. Now here’s the flaw in that equation: Lawmakers get paid whether they show up or not. Unfortunately, many Arizona residents were underrepresented at the Capitol during last year’s regular legislative session.

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Long session led to many missed votes

The Arizona House of Representatives held 382 floor votes during the 2009 regular session, which stretched into July as lawmakers struggled with the budget deficit. Rep. Rich Crandall, a Mesa Republican, didn't participate in 254 of them, nearly two-thirds of the total.

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Lobbyist, lawmaker to resume Clean Elections clash (access required)

The Citizens Clean Elections Commission has renewed a $6,500-per-month contract with lobbyist Mike Williams, setting up another battle over the fate of the public campaign-funding system. Todd Lang, director of the Clean Elections Commission, said hiring a lobbyist was necessary to protect a system he credits with increasing political participation of the public and encouraging people to run for office.

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Capitol Quotes 9/11

“Probably. We had a lot of dialogue. We had a lot of input. We learned a lot of people’s priorities. It certainly gave us a hand. It certainly gave me the opportunity to do what I’ve done today in order ...

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Capitol Quotes 7/2 (access required)

“Support was not there for the sales-tax referral. It just became brutally apparent.” – Sen. John Huppenthal, commenting after the failure of Gov. Jan Brewer’s plan to refer a 1-cent sales-tax increase to the ballot. “We are only doing this ...

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