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Constitutionality of recall election changes questioned (access required)

Following the historic recall of former Senate President Russell Pearce, the ousted immigration hawk’s legislative allies are striving to change the state’s recall process to make it more difficult to remove elected officials. But the effort to add a primary election to the process has run into some obstacles.

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Smith vows to push more immigration bills, despite limited success

Sen. Steve Smith said he doesn’t care how Arizona lawmakers try to stop illegal immigration, and that he supports any action taken to stop it. “Any attention to securing our borders and fighting illegal immigration is good,” Smith said. “I’ve introduced bills to do both. I will continue to introduce bills that do both... I’m going to continue on both fronts as long as I’m here.”

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Border Bound: Immigration hawks take battle south — push for fence, militia

During the past several years, the Republican-led Legislature has passed some of the county’s toughest laws aimed at driving illegal immigrants from the state and deterring them from entering it. For the most part, those laws have focused on enforcement within the state’s boundaries.

Now the strategy has shifted, and immigration hawks in the Legislature are taking their fight directly to the border.

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Report: Number of illegal immigrants in AZ dropped

A new report by the federal government estimates that the number of illegal immigrants living in Arizona has fallen by 200,000 since 2008. Experts say the primary factor behind the exodus was a lack of jobs during the recession, but also noted that tighter border enforcement and tough immigration laws were contributing factors.

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Senate OKs recall elections overhaul (access required)

The Senate today approved legislation that could make it more difficult for voters to remove lawmakers from office. The measure stems from the defeat of then-Sen. Russell Pearce, the architect of SB1070 and major anti-illegal immigration laws in Arizona, following a successful recall effort last year.

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Year in Review: ‘Say what?’ moments: Outrageous, engaging and head-scratching comments from 2011 (access required)

Politicians sometimes say the ‘darndest’ things, and 2011 didn’t disappoint. Whether deliberate or inadvertent, some comments by Arizona’s lawmakers outraged, inflamed or simply stoked people’s imaginations. Here are some comments and moments that left many scratching their heads, hopping mad or laughing out loud. If they proved anything, it’s this: The state Capitol can be a merry little box of chocolates. You just don’t know what you’re going to get.

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