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Stories by Laurie Liles

Nothing is simple in world of ‘dark money’ politics

Critics say it's hard to peek into so-called 'dark money' groups, which sit at the crossroads of tax law, campaign-finance rules, nonprofit governance and questions of what constitutes 'social good.' But defenders say that anonymity is important to protect truly free political speech.... Read more»0

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Public has dark opinion of dark money in elections

Dark money spending reached record levels this fall, with little sign of abating, even as polls showed overwhelming numbers of Americans troubled by the practice. In one poll, 80 percent of voters said they were worried that donors were "abusing" the system for their own gain.... Read more»0

Arizona cited as ‘special place’ for dark-money operations

Dark money in politics is an issue nationwide but in the words of one expert, Arizona “really is a special place for dark money.” The state, because of its laws or its culture, has become ground zero for a growing number of politically active tax-exempt organizations.... Read more»0

Advocates blast lawsuit by Az, other states over Obama immigration plan

Legal experts on Friday dismissed as groundless a lawsuit that 18 states, including Arizona, brought this week against President Obama’s executive actions on immigration. The suit claims that deferred deportation of illegal immigrants and other initiatives“ amount to a unilateral suspension of the nation’s immigration laws.” But a top immigration lawyer derided the suit as “a factually challenged press release." ... Read more»2

Gila River teen joins hundreds at White House tribal conference

Darius Jackson wants to make a difference for the people of the Gila River Indian Community – and meeting with the vice president of the United States on Wednesday wasn’t a bad place to start.... Read more»0

Homeland Security sec. vows Az visit ‘early next year’

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said he will return to Southern Arizona early next year to meet with residents and talk about steps his agency is taking to secure the border and further reduce illegal immigration.... Read more»1

High court denies Arizona appeal in death row case

The Supreme Court let stand a lower court’s ruling that Arizona death-row inmate Richard Dean Hurles should get a new hearing in the 1992 stabbing death of a Buckeye librarian. The court considered Hurles' case for more than a year before deciding against hearing it. ... Read more»0

Az lawmakers await details of Obama’s immigration plan

Arizona lawmakers were holding their fire after President Obama said he would unveil plans for executive action on immigration reform - but previous statements leave little doubt where they stand, with Democrats criticizing delays and the GOP chiding his "overreach." ... Read more»0

High court urged not to intervene on bail for immigrant felony suspects

The ACLU said Maricopa County had not shown harm if a lower court ruling, overturning the state's ban on bail for felony suspects who are here illegally, was allowed to take effect. But county officials argued that the ruling could release "potentially dangerous criminals." ... Read more»1

Thank goodness that’s over: Campaign ads, cash left voters with ‘election fatigue’

Buffeted by torrents of negative advertising, flummoxed by the lack of transparency about funding for those ads and generally angry with politicians themselves, that “election fatigue” among voters this year was palpable. Just over a third of registered Arizona voters cast ballots this fall.... Read more»0

Even before swearing-in, Gallego takes long view of career in Congress

When the primaries ended in August, most candidates turned their attention to this week’s general election, but Ruben Gallego was looking farther down the road. Much farther. At a September fundraising event, Gallego told donors that he plans to spend the next 25 to 30 years in the House, all but ruling out a future run for the Senate.... Read more»0

Advocates tell Obama it’s time to keep promises on immigration reform

Immigration advocacy groups from across the country urged President Barack Obama on Thursday to act swiftly to “end the deportation enforcement machine” that is separating parents from their children.... Read more»1

Poll: Latino voters had immigration, jobs on their minds

Latino voters went to the polls Tuesday focused on immigration reform and jobs, according to a pre-Election Day poll of Latino voters across the nation and in 10 key states – including Arizona.... Read more»0

Sinema, Kirkpatrick still standing after Democratic ‘bloodbath’ at polls

Amid a wave of Republican victories across the country and state this week, Arizona Reps. Ann Kirkpatrick and Kyrsten Sinema stood out as rare bright spots for Democrats. Both were seen as highly vulnerable incumbents, but both won handily Tuesday.... Read more»1

After 23 years in Congress, Pastor savors victories large and small

Observers say Rep. Ed Pastor's legacy can be measured in projects he brought to the state, like light rail, as well as people he helped. That's just how Pastor, retiring this year, hopes to be remembered. ... Read more»0

Couples rush to wed after Az’s same-sex marriage ban overturned

Gay couples rushed to Arizona courthouses to get married Friday, just hours after a federal judge struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage as a violation of the right to equal protection.... Read more»3

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