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Two anti-illegal immigration measures are back (access required)

Undeterred by major setbacks last year, a freshman legislator is once again pushing immigration bills that could lead to another showdown over how best to confront the issue.

Sen. Steve Smith, a Maricopa Republican, is proposing laws that would require school districts to count the number of students who are in the country illegally and to require hospitals to report patients who cannot prove their lawful status.

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Push for transparency focuses on campaign spending, gift giving (access required)

In the wake of two of Arizona’s biggest political shake-ups of last year, lawmakers are hoping a little sunshine will help clean up the mess.

Shadowy groups involved in the recall of then-Senate President Russell Pearce brought to light some of the flaws in the current financial disclosure requirements. Meanwhile, the Fiesta Bowl scandal brought to light ethical questions about what should be considered a gift from a lobbyist.

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Continuing support for Russell Pearce

Russell Pearce may have been ousted by the voters in his legislative district in last year’s historic recall election, but proof of his enduring popularity among Republican activists will be on full display later this month, as the former Senate president is set to be elected to second-in-command of the Arizona Republican Party. When voters at the state GOP’s annual meeting on Jan. 28 elect a host of new officers, Pearce’s name will be on the ballot as a candidate for first vice-chairman of the party, and his victory – despite the presence of an opponent – is as assured as is tomorrow’s sunrise.

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