Lesko defends tax vote, explains comments on Trump's wall

Polls show Debbie Lesko and Steve Montenegro, two former state lawmakers, are the front-runners in the 12-person Republican field.

Republican congressional candidate Debbie Lesko defends an 8-year-old tax vote and explains her stance on President Trump's border wall on this weekend's "Sunday Square Off."

Lesko, a former state legislator from Peoria, has come under fire on both questions in the GOP special primary for the West Valley's Eighth Congressional District, set for Feb. 27.

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Polls show Lesko and Steve Montenegro, also a former state lawmaker, are the front-runners in the 12-person Republican field.

Dr. Hiral Tipirneni and Brianna Westbrook are running in the Democratic primary.

The seat was left vacant after longtime GOP Congressman Trent Franks resigned amid a sexual-harassment scandal.

LIST: Who's running in the 8th Congressional District?

Also on the show:

- Remember SB 1070 author Russell Pearce? He's now deputy Maricopa County treasurer, and he and boss Royce Flora think Donald Trump has made them investment geniuses.

Rebekah Sanders, the Arizona Republic's consumer watchdog reporter, explains what Flora and Pearce might be doing with taxpayers' money, and why there are many questions about it. The treasurer's office has refused to answer Sanders' questions for more than a year.

- There were some very awkward moments at a Capitol hearing last week: An all-male panel of nine legislators deciding whether female inmates at state prisons should get more feminine hygiene products.

The Phoenix New Times' Antonia Farzan tells us what went on at that hearing; why a new bill on drug sentencing may conflict with Gov. Doug Ducey's response to the opioid crisis; and why the Equal Rights Amendment is back in the news at the Capitol.

- A charter school shuts down and the owner vanishes. I'll show you the warning signs that were ignored by the state board that oversees charter schools.

Lesko under fire for vote after "no tax" pledge

Former GOP state legislator Debbie Lesko defends an 8-year-old tax vote that's become an issue in her run for Congress in the West Valley's Eighth Congressional District.

9 guys vote on free tampons for female inmates

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There were some awkward moments at the Capitol hearing: An all-male panel of nine legislators deciding whether female prison inmates should get more feminine hygiene products.

What's Russell Pearce doing with your money?

Why do Deputy County Treasurer Russell Pearce and his boss think they're smarter than Wall Street wizard Warren Buffett? They're predicting huge gains on their investment of taxpayer dollars.

Charter watchdog missed warning signs at failed school

A charter school shuts down and the owner vanishes. "Sunday Square Off's" Brahm Resnik verifies the warning signs that were ignored by the state board that oversees charter schools.

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"Sunday Square Off" airs at 8 a.m. Sundays on 12 News, after NBC's "Meet the Press."