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Tag Archives: Commentary

Clean Elections opens the door for you (access required)

In 1998 Arizona voters decided that they should hold the power in the political process and enacted Clean Elections. The success of the Clean Elections program has been undeniable, with 70 percent of today's legislative and statewide officeholders participating in the Clean Elections system at least once.

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Redistricting involves competitive districts and Voting Rights Act

Arizona's legislative districts map received its final OK from the Arizona Supreme Court in May 2009 - eight years after the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission started the mapping process. The Supreme Court decided primarily in the commission's favor, citing some procedural errors, but declining to order a new map. Recent news articles, including an analysis in the Arizona Capitol Times, have speculated about the ruling's effect on the work of the next redistricting commission.

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Budgeting in the public interest

The old adage: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," certainly isn't applicable to Arizona's budget. The state's budget and budget process is broken and needs some serious fixing. While elected officials and political pundits will no doubt continue to debate and disagree on whether to cut expenses and/or raise revenues, a more transparent budget and budget process is in the public's interest and should be embraced by all decision makers.

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County has obligated all stimulus funds for road projects

There are some recent news stories about Maricopa County and stimulus funds that are misleading and need to be clarified. Recent reports state "officials in Maricopa County have failed to obligate nearly all of its $105 million in stimulus money for road projects." The $105 million is the total provided for all 29 local governments in the Valley.

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Arizona needs a more diversified economy to avoid future plunges

The worst economic recession since the Great Depression has hit a three-state area known for its population growth - Arizona, Nevada and southern California - harder than the rest of the country. This region - the "Economic Bermuda Triangle" of Maricopa County; Las Vegas, Nevada; and Riverside, California - led the nation in the pace of job losses and housing foreclosures, the two measures by which consumers view the health of the economy.

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The way out of Arizona’s economic mess

Improving Arizona's job-creating climate is the best long-term strategy for dealing with the state's fiscal woes. There is ferocious competition among states to attract new jobs. One timely story illustrates this point: At a U.S./China economic cooperation event the Arizona Chamber sponsored last week, we heard from other states about the attractiveness of their economic climate.

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The madness of ‘Captain Brewhab’

In Herman Melville's "Moby Dick," Captain Ahab's mad and unrelenting pursuit of the white whale brought on the destruction of the whaler Pequod and its crew. Here on the S.S. Arizona, Gov. Jan Brewer's pursuit of a sales tax increase is turning her into the fiscal-policy equivalent of the tragic Ahab.

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