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Flipping over the race card

Gallardo yesterday led the Latino charge against the two recent FAIR Trust lawsuits against the IRC’s maps. With an eye directed primarily at the legislative map, he, Lopez and Quezada teamed up with Mary Rose Wilcox and attorney Danny Ortega to denounce the lawsuits as a dishonest and racist Republican attempt to maintain control of the Legislature.

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Things looking up for Gould’s race on the river

Gould yesterday picked up the endorsement of the fiscally conservative Club for Growth, whose endorsement could provide an influx of needed cash into his race against Gosar and Babeu. Chris Chocola, the group’s president today gave Gould the ringing endorsement of “taxpayer superhero,” and Chocola didn’t mince words about Gould’s incumbent opponent: “Ron has stood up to the big spenders in Arizona time and time again and we believe he will do the same in Congress.

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…Every decision of any consequence

In their latest legal episode, the IRC will be defending itself from allegations that its legislative district plan is the result of a careful and deliberate conspiracy to fix the game for Democrats. On Friday, FAIR Trust attorney Michael Liburdi filed a federal lawsuit charging that the commission went through great lengths to pack GOP legislative districts to maximize Dem chances.

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It’s on: IRC faces two-front war over districts

The IRC is now facing two lawsuits aimed at obliterating the commission’s legislative and congressional lines. FAIR Trust attorney Mike Liburdi and Lisa Hauser were expected to file lawsuits in state and federal court today challenging the commission’s procedures, its results and raising the possibility of open meeting law violations.

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Time to call it a session, hit the campaign trail

Brewer seems to have avoided the ignominy of having a supermajority Legislature of the same party strike a deal with the Democrats to roll her on the budget, as word emerged late yesterday that her office and GOP leaders had arrived at the framework of a budget deal. Today, Republican lawmakers were briefed on the Ninth Floor’s latest proposal, and though details about the entire plan aren’t yet clear, one thing is known: The Legislature won the fight over FY14 and FY15 revenue estimates.

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Johnny Paycheck has nothing on Duane Belcher

After 20 years of work with the Board of Executive Clemency, Executive Director Duane Belcher was fired and shown the door on Monday – and not without the help of Capitol Police. Belcher was kicked out of the Ninth Floor after engaging in a heated conversation with Brewer deputy chief of staff and DOA Director Scott Smith. “I called him an a**hole,” Belcher told our reporter, adding that police were summoned because he wasn’t vacating the premises fast enough for Smith’s liking.

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RNC helps dig AZ GOP out of debt

The Republican National Committee rode to the Arizona Republican Party’s rescue, writing it a $50,000 check in early March that was then used to pay down the state party’s crushing debt load. According to the latest FEC campaign finance report, the party paid off roughly 70 percent of the $88,841 debt it reported last month, and is now reporting $24,730 owed.

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Scant letter doomed Mathis removal

During the removal process of Mathis, much debate was focused on what behavior would constitute the misconduct needed to remove a sitting member of the IRC. Brewer and the Senate claimed that the answer to that question was theirs to decide, but the Supreme Court found otherwise, declaring that the “Constitution provides clear comprehensible standards.”

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Brewer facing budget mutiny?

Brewer may be facing a budget mutiny, as Senate Republicans are said to be exploring a deal with Democrats. One Republican source told our reporter that Biggs reportedly met with Schapira and Landrum Taylor yesterday for about two hours to discuss the possibility of a deal to override a potential Brewer budget veto.

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Kelly scored knockout punches in first round

It was pretty clear that Kelly buttoned up yesterday’s primary as soon as the first results were made public, but the breakdown of the vote tells a more nuanced story. Early ballots have become a key for successful campaigns, and yesterday’s numbers show just how difficult it can be to mount a come-from-behind victory in the era of early voting.

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