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No Budget, No Sales Tax on the Ballot in November, and Pam Gorman is Missing in Action; Should We Have Expected Anything Less?

In a less than shocking turn of events, the Arizona Senate was unable to reach an agreement and meet the deadline that would have put a 1-cent sales tax increase on the November ballot.

Republican leaders in the Senate thought they would be able to reach a deal with one of three GOP holdouts to the proposal, but were unable to physically "reach" some, and the deal went sour.

Senator Pamela Gorman, who last week abdicated her throne as senate majority whip because of her objection to the sales tax hike, tempestuously scampered off on a Midwestern vacation, and has not been heard from since (at least she's not totally spitting in the faces of her constituents like Senate Majority Leader Chuck Gray, who whisked himself away to the Caribbean last week as the rest of the Senate was trying to get Arizona a budget).

"We don't know where she is," says Senate Majority Whip Steve Pierce.

Gorman is one of the three Republican holdouts that could have put an end to what is now more than a month of intra-party bickering and political shenanigans.

The Arizona Guardian reports that Senate President Bob Burns says Gorman was about to change her no vote, but he couldn't reach her on her cell phone. (She must not have Verizon, and "the network.")

Democratic leaders are just as fed up as the rest of us.

House Democratic Leader David Lujan says the infighting is unacceptable.

"Just like all Arizonans, Democrats are just as frustrated with the total lack of leadership on the state budget," he says. "It is ludicrous that the legislature has had seven months to pass a budget and still can't get the job done. This kind of behavior is unacceptable."

Look on the bright side. Who cares that the state is currently $3.4 billion in the hole with no solution in sight? With all the money we'll be saving without the 1-cent tax increase, we can finally buy that Ferarri we've always dreamed of!

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James King
Contact: James King