Senate GOP Calls for Backup: Leadership Using Former Governor Fife Symington to Persuade Budget Holdouts

Arizona state Senate Republicans are pulling out the big guns and taking aim at Senator Carolyn Allen to get the final vote needed to pass the 2010 budget.

Allen is one of three Republicans who is still giving the GOP plan a no-go, but the leadership is confident that she will be the easiest to pursuade.

She, apparently, thinks otherwise.

"I don't know what they're smoking," Allen says. "But if it's marijuana, we ought to be taxing it."

Republican leaders have called in former Governor Fife Symington, who is said to have a constructive working relationship with Allen, to help get the wayward senator back on the GOP track.

"This budget is still a big mess," Symington tells the Arizona Guardian. "If this is the only budget that everyone can coalesce around, then Republicans need to vote for it even if it means holding their noses."

The three pinching their nostrils the tightest would be Allen, Senator Ron Gould, and former-Majority Whip Pamela Gorman, who resigned her leadership post yesterday and the left the capitol in a huff.

No vote is expected until next week when Senate Majority Leader Chuck Gray returns from his posh Caribbean cruise. Apparently we're on his time.