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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

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

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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Anti-union bills expose lack of worker solidarity

While the slew of measures targeting public unions appeared to have re-energized organized labor in Arizona, it also exposed their inability to fully unite amid a sustained attack from foes. The discord over tactics was palpable on March 1, when hundreds of union members and their supporters protested at the state Capitol, but many public unions stayed away.

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Unions planning big rally at state Capitol

Unions from across Arizona are planning to bring hundreds of workers to the state Capitol on Thursday, two days after the Senate advanced a second bill that targets public unions.

They also want to send a clear message that they’re opposing Gov. Jan Brewer’s proposal to overhaul the state personnel system and make it easier to hire and fire workers.

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