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Paychecks are already protected in Arizona

As a Phoenix firefighter for 26 years and the president of the Professional Fire Fighters of Arizona (PFFA), an organization that represents more than 6,700 firefighters statewide, I know quite a bit about “protection.” In fact, protecting others has been the basis of my career.

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Union foes prepare to take fight to ballot (access required)


Unable to get any traction at the state Capitol, union foes are preparing to bring the fight to the 2014 ballot and let Arizonans decide whether automatic paycheck deductions should be banned.

A group called Protect Employee Paychecks recently filed an initiative with the Secretary of State. Unlike the proposals that are stuck in the Legislature, the initiative would affect both public and private unions.

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Tobin, Fann hold off challenge from Klein

In what may have been Arizona’s most bizarre primary race, House Speaker Andy Tobin has defeated an opponent backed by out-of-state money and friends who include Herman Cain, Joe the Plumber and the creator of the notorious Willie Horton attack ads.

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Herman Cain gives money to oust Speaker Tobin

Former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain and two wealthy contributors to conservative causes are funding an independent expenditure campaign aimed at ousting House Speaker Andy Tobin and replacing him with a first-term Republican lawmaker who made waves in 2011 for pointing a loaded gun at a reporter during an interview.

According to a campaign finance report filed Monday, Arizonans for an Honest Government raised $40,000 through the middle of August. Cain gave the committee $5,000 on Aug. 2.

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Judge halts pay for police officers doing union work (access required)

In its fight to curb the influence of public unions, the Goldwater Institute has persuaded a judge to temporarily block Phoenix’s practice of paying police officers to perform union work.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Katherine Cooper ruled today that the practice known as “release time” likely violates the Arizona Constitution’s “gift clause,” which prohibits government from donating to private entities.

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Anti-union bills being parceled out to gain success (access required)

Backers of anti-union bills are planning to parcel out the provisions of a measure that is advancing in the Senate, an apparent move to give each idea the best chance of passing. The Senate Appropriations Committee on Tuesday approved an amendment to prohibit pay to public employees who do union activities, a practice called “release time.”

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Law enforcement not the place for political ideology

Most people would agree that the world of law enforcement is not the place for strident political agendas. So when an ideological organization whose lobbying activities are being challenged by the secretary of state starts pushing for changes that affect front line police officers, the law enforcement community stands up and takes notice.

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