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Tobin/Brewer tiff expected to heal (access required)

In his first real test in his new role, House Speaker Andy Tobin found himself battling Gov. Jan Brewer.

Six weeks after being chosen by his caucus, Tobin and Brewer squared off over an extension of unemployment insurance: Brewer wanted to extend the benefits by 20 weeks and make some limited reforms, while Tobin publicly challenged her to expand the special session to include corporate tax cuts and incentives aimed at stimulating job creation.

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Keep to the right: Does tea party politics mean yesterday’s conservative is today’s moderate — or a statesman? (access required)

Months after the red wave from last November, with the tea party gaining steam both in the streets and at the Capitol, some veteran conservative legislators are doing a double-take at where they now stand in their caucuses.

And for some, having a party morph around them, and seeing perceptions shift from “staunch conservative” to “moderate statesman” isn’t necessarily a welcome change.

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Few see increase in civility following Giffords’ shooting (access required)

The January shooting in Tucson, which occurred just two days before the 2011 legislative session began, inspired soul searching among rattled and emotional lawmakers, who pledged a new era of civility across the partisan divide. Others vowed drastic changes to Arizona’s laws on guns and mental health in response to a mass shooting carried out by a man with documented-but-untreated mental health problems.

But while some lawmakers say the lessons of Jan. 8 stayed with them through sine die, most have seen few changes.

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