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Redistricting applicants raise questions of qualifications, independence (access required)

It's unclear what will happen with a batch of applicants who wanted to replace the ousted - then reinstated - chairwoman of Arizona’s Independent Redistricting Commission Colleen Mathis.

But the scramble over the search for a replacement for Mathis passed a key milestone this week nonetheless, as 19 Arizonans formally stepped forward to fill what is perhaps the most scrutinized and thankless job in the state right now.

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A turning point in the immigration debate?

Republicans who oppose Senate President Russell Pearce’s strict enforcement to confronting illegal immigration are quick to paint Jerry Lewis’s victory last Tuesday as a turning point in the debate in favor of a more nuanced solution to this complex problem. Eager to seize the momentum, they are creating a narrative for the whole nation. While they acknowledged that Pearce’s defeat to Lewis won’t necessarily roll back laws like Arizona’s SB1070, they believe it sends a signal to other Republicans that they can offer more pragmatic solutions without fearing a backlash.

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The morning after

Senate pages began boxing up items from Pearce’s office yesterday, leaving one Senate GOP source with mixed emotions on the recall, the rough treatment of Lewis and the departed Pearce.

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Pearce recall vote energizes Democrats

Last week's recall election defeat of the Republican legislator who wrote Arizona's tough anti-immigration law and the seating of Democratic mayors in Phoenix and Tucson have given Democrats renewed hope for picking up the state in next year's Senate and presidential elections.

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