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Judge leery of Clean Elections referendum (access required)

A pending ballot referendum that would allow voters to decide the fate of publicly funded political campaigns in Arizona could be deemed illegal by a county judge, but a former lawmaker who has set his sights on Arizona’s Clean Elections system promises voters will have the last word.

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Surplus? What surplus?

Arizona’s fiscal 2011, which ended June 30, was expected to end with a $332 million shortfall. As it happens, the shortfall was instead around $30 million, mainly due to a big uptick in corporate income tax collections.

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Commerce quandary: Sharp differences over picking winners and losers with state money (access required)

The man who was hand-picked by Gov. Jan Brewer to oversee a new agency charged with re-igniting Arizona’s struggling economy is set to collect a whopper of a paycheck. But Don Cardon’s idea of how to guide the Arizona Commerce Authority may run contrary to the governor’s own philosophical leanings about how the quasi-public group should go about luring new business to the state.

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Lawyers say Parraz has uphill climb to prove defamation

Lawyers familiar with First Amendment issues and campaign laws said Randy Parraz, one of the organizers of the recall drive targeting Senate President Russell Pearce, would have a tough time proving he was defamed by signs that say he supported the boycott against Arizona and he pines for open borders.

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