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ALEC’s influence looms large at Capitol (access required)

The American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative organization whose corporate largesse and influence over policy have become a flashpoint for liberal criticism, has a deep reach into the Arizona Legislature.

When the group kicked off its 2011 summer conference in New Orleans on Aug. 3, 29 of Arizona’s 61 Republican lawmakers were in attendance.

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Wealth gap widens between whites, minorities

The wealth gaps between whites and minorities have grown to their widest levels in a quarter-century. The recession and uneven recovery have erased decades of minority gains, leaving whites on average with 20 times the net worth of blacks and 18 times that of Hispanics, according to an analysis of new Census data.

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