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3 Sinema replacement candidates selected (access required)

Democrats from Phoenix picked two former lawmakers and one other as candidates to replace former Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, who resigned her Legislative District 15 seat Jan. 3 to run for Congress.

A panel from Sinema’s district selected former Rep. David Lujan, who actually served with Sinema while she was in the House, former Rep. Ken Clark, a realtor, and Arizona Democratic Party Secretary Sharon Thomas, as potential replacements.

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McCain: Republican stance on payroll tax a mistake

Sen. John McCain said Thursday that Congress' failure to reach agreement on legislation extending a payroll tax cut for working Americans "hurts the Republican Party." The GOP's 2008 presidential nominee said his party made a mistake in voting down the Senate-passed version of a bill that would have kept the current payroll tax relief intact for at least two more months.

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Montgomery: Lawmakers ‘screwed up’ but no prosecutions (access required)

Bad legal advice and confusing and conflicting lobbying statutes allowed 16 current and former lawmakers who accepted football tickets and other gifts from the Fiesta Bowl to avoid criminal charges.

Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said today that after an eight-month probe he can’t prove whether any of the lawmakers “knowingly” failed to disclose trips they took at Fiesta Bowl expense and game tickets they received.

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Fat stacks of cash

Thanks to a significant uptick in tax collections that began in the last half of FY11, JLBC is now estimating the surplus for FY12 will be $510 million, though it seems likely that number will rise in the coming months.

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