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May 15, 2011

UpClose with David Schapira: Found some success at blocking legislation with ‘watchdog’ approach

The Senate minority announced an audacious goal this year — to put the spotlight on Republicans and their legislation. That task fell to a young father to articulate his party’s positions in a year when Republicans, who are control both chambers, don’t even need a single Democratic vote to pass emergency legislation.

The immediate challenge for Senate Minority Leader David Schapir[...]

May 15, 2011

UpClose with Russell Pearce: Recognizes he’s not ‘a party of one,’ can’t do whatever he wants

If you’re looking for proof of how much more conservative the Senate emerged after last year’s election, look no further than the selection of Sen. Russell Pearce, a Republican from Mesa, as the chamber’s leader.

Pearce is often perceived as unmovable, uncompromising, even single-minded — traits that may be good or bad, depending on which side of the aisle you’re sitting. Many[...]

May 15, 2011

UpClose with Chad Campbell: House Dems strive for transparency, cite ‘broken’ budget process

With a mere third of the House of Representatives being Democrats, Minority Leader Chad Campbell knew it was going to be an uphill battle trying to put a dent in the Republicans’ agenda this past session.

Predictably, the Democrats couldn’t get their proposals for tax reforms into the budget, nor could they stop a torrent of conservative legislation. But Campbell said that they did [...]

May 15, 2011

UpClose with Kirk Adams: Session was ‘culmination’ of legislative career

House Speaker Kirk Adams had quite the final year in the Legislature, authoring a major overhaul of the state’s public pension system and finally accomplishing last year’s goal of passing a bill aimed at making Arizona more business-friendly.

May 15, 2011

UpClose with Gov. Jan Brewer: Touts openness, says vetoes represent decision not to ‘blow a hole’ in budget

After two chaotic legislative sessions, things settled down a bit for Gov. Jan Brewer in 2011.

Having won an overwhelming voter mandate in November, Brewer no longer was the governor who simply inherited the job. And with her hard-fought battle for a sales tax increase won, she was no longer the Republican governor who spent most of her time feuding with her own party.

Feb 11, 2011

UpClose with Jerry Colangelo: Sports mogul aiming to turn Arizona economy into a winner

To most Arizonans, Jerry Colangelo is the man who brought professional basketball and baseball to Arizona. But in the years since he parted ways with the Phoenix Suns and Arizona Diamondbacks, Colangelo has set his sights higher.

Jan 9, 2011

Up Close with Ken Bennett

With more votes than almost any candidate in the state, Election Day was a mandate for Ken Bennett. As he prepares for a full term as secretary of state, the position Gov. Jan Brewer appointed him to when she ascended to the Ninth Floor, Bennett is planning on changes aimed at making voting easier and making government more accessible to Arizonans. But secretary of state may not be his last gig[...]

Dec 17, 2010

UpClose with Andrew Morrill: Teachers union chief says he’s not a liberal, takes balanced approach

Andrew Morrill took over as president of the Arizona Education Association, the state’s biggest teachers union, early this year. It’s a job no one would envy.

Dec 13, 2010

UpClose with Dale Baich: Public defender talks death penalty, sodium thiopental and Jeffrey Landrigan

Dale Baich knows about life on death row – for the past 15 years, he has been defending Arizona’s death-row inmates in federal court.

Dec 3, 2010

UpClose with Todd Sanders: Phoenix Chamber CEO says business community unified like never before

Arizona’s business community isn’t the monolithic entity that some people make it out to be, but Todd Sanders sees more unity now than ever.

Nov 29, 2010

UpClose with Norris Nordvold: Former Phoenix official monitors elections in struggling democracies

Nordvold, a registered lobbyist and former city of Phoenix governmental affairs director, sat down with the Arizona Capitol Times to discuss his Election Day, Super Sunday in Azerbaijan, and other monitoring tales involving armored escorts and sleeping with ballots in his hotel room. He also recalls the first time he met Terry Goddard while riding on a bike path.

Nov 19, 2010

Post-election interviews with Democratic and Republican party heads

The Arizona Capitol Times sat down with Republican party chairman Randy Pullen and Democratic party chairman Don Bivens to talk about the election results, their parties' fortunes and their professional futures.