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Maybe we’ll have two 2013 laws on the 2014 ballot!

Gallardo and a prominent Dem activist who represents several voter advocacy groups met with a petition gathering firm this morning as they explore the possibility of challenging Laws 2013, Chapter 209 (H2305). Gallardo wouldn’t disclose the company and said no contract has been signed, but he said the firm was confident it could meet the requirements to put the law on the 2014 ballot.

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Let the referendum games begin

Antenori and Gould’s United Republican Alliance of Principled Conservatives filed its citizen referendum against Medicaid expansion this morning (June 19). The referendum, which needs 86,405 valid signatures by Sept. 11, would refer the hospital tax and the expansion of eligibility to 133 percent of the federal poverty level to the November 2014 ballot.

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Libertarians, Greens up in arms

A group of Democrats, Greens and Libertarians gathered in the Senate Democrats’ caucus room today (June 18) to denounce the new signature requirements in H2305 (election revisions; violations), which the Greens and Libertarians say will make it nearly impossible for them to get on the ballot.

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Bizarro world

The Dems, in their turn, acknowledged the pressure that their Republican colleagues faced. Landrum Taylor thanked the Republicans for supporting expansion, despite the “extraordinary pressures” that members of their own party exerted, as well as her Democratic colleagues who reached across the aisle, and the governor for her leadership. “Her leadership in crafting and passing this historic legislation was certainly challenged.

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A coup was on the table

Brewer also candidly admitted that she and her allies explored the option of ousting legislative leaders in order to pass her Medicaid expansion plan. At the impromptu media briefing, Brewer confirmed she and her allies in the Legislature crafted a plan to remove Biggs and Tobin as leaders.

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Medicaid backlash

Goodale last week hinted to our reporter that she would vote for the governor’s Medicaid expansion plan, and yesterday she posted on her Facebook page that she has been receiving threats because of her support for the proposal that, she wrote, “provide[s] health care [for] people who cannot afford health care as they earn under $14,000 a year and save[s] our hospitals [and] medical staffs.”

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What, me lobby?

Horne spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham disputed Republic columnist Laurie Roberts’ assertion that the AG’s lobbyists swung into action to lobby against H2305 (initiatives; filings; circulators) over its retroactivity clause, which would allow the secretary of state’s office to send Horne’s campaign finance case directly to the Maricopa County attorney.

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Anti-referendum tactics

One political consultant aligned with the Medicaid expansion effort said there may be a way for expansion proponents to throw up some roadblocks to the referendum effort by marginalizing the groups that organize signature-gathering efforts. There are only a handful of firms in Arizona that specialize in gathering signatures, and the source said it is theoretically possible to sideline them on the referendum if expansion proponents bring them on to the payroll.

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