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Lawmakers’ first duty: Show up and vote (access required)

Here’s the simple mathematics of representative government: Arizona taxpayers pay for lawmakers to show up and vote on every bill in the Legislature. Now here’s the flaw in that equation: Lawmakers get paid whether they show up or not. Unfortunately, many Arizona residents were underrepresented at the Capitol during last year’s regular legislative session.

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Capitol Quotes 12/25 (access required)

"It appears to be a flagrant abuse of power." - Felecia Rotellini, Democrat candidate for attorney general, on Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas' decision to file a federal lawsuit that alleges several county judges have conspired to thwart his investigations.

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Sale of state prisons running into wall of opposition (access required)

When lawmakers chose April Fool’s Day as the deadline to submit a plan to privatize the state’s prison system, they unwittingly telegraphed just how dubious the plan was. First, the whole idea of putting state prisons under private control was a difficult sell to the public. Then there was a question about how many of the state’s 10 prisons to auction off.

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Brewer may use immigration in move to the right (access required)

At a time when Gov. Jan Brewer needs all the Republican support she can muster, some see her recent statements about illegal immigration as a way to court the conservative base. But what role the contentious issue will play in the 2010 Republican primary is far from certain.

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Capitol Quotes 11/20

"This state is in crisis and it is very disappointing and frankly embarrassing that one member of our caucus did not have the decency to show up. I left the floor open to give him every opportunity to do the right thing." - Senate President Bob Burns, noting in a media release that he is disappointed that Sen. Thayer Verschoor was absent from the floor during the final Senate vote on budget bills.

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