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Mon, Jan. 20

House speaker at odds with governor over budget

PHOENIX -- The top House Republican wants Gov. Jan Brewer to kill plans by business allies to build pressure on lawmakers to support the governor's budget plan and tax hike.

House Speaker Kirk Adams, R-Mesa, said Monday the plan sketched out in a memo prepared for business leaders will be perceived by GOP lawmakers as an attack on them, if not by the governor than at least by her surrogates. Adams said that kind of tactic is "not productive' in reaching a deal on the budget.

"I do believe that, in the efforts of a productive budget process, the governor should repudiate any efforts to campaign against Republican legislators,' he said.

And Sen. Ron Gould, R-Lake Havasu, described the proposal as " 'hit' pieces into legislators' districts to soften them up to get their support on a tax increases.'

"This is an attack by Republicans by a Republican governor,' he said.

Brewer, however, shows no interest in calling off her allies.

Paul Senseman, her press aide, said the governor "welcomes positive support of her balanced budget plan.'

Senseman also rejected the idea of what the business groups are planning being called an "attack' on state lawmakers, preferring to refer to it as a campaign to "illuminate' voters of the details of the governor's budget.

Jack Lunsford, president of Westmarc, an organization of businesses in western Maricopa County, one of the members of the coalition, said Monday that members were studying the governor's new budget plan and no final decision had been made whether to proceed with the media campaign.

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