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Open those wallets, folks

Hell week might be getting a lot more hellish. And perhaps the biggest losers in Arizona’s new campaign finance limits, signed into law yesterday, are lobbyists. “I burned a candle in sadness at the limits that protected my bank account that are now gone. We’re going to have to create a new term. Hell week is going to have to have a new amped-up label,” joked lobbyist Stan Barnes, a prolific contributor to candidate campaigns.

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Portrait of a spokeswoman

Roll Call yesterday featured Kirkpatrick spokeswoman Jennifer Johnson in its “Hill Climber” series on Capitol Hill staffers, describing her as being born and raised in Arizona and in the political world.

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A more promising outlook for Medicaid

A poll conducted by HighGround on behalf of St. Luke’s Initiatives concurred with one of the two surveys featured in yesterday’s report that voters support expanding AHCCCS. The poll was conducted Feb. 4-5, has a +/- 3.5 percent margin of error and surveyed 500 voters who had voted in at least the last two elections.

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Mental health is next Medicaid talking point

Brewer’s Thursday press conference on Medicaid will emphasize the impact that the governor’s plan will have on mental health services, according to gubernatorial spokesman Matthew Benson. The presser will be the third that Brewer will hold on the House lawn in a little more than a month, and will feature mental health professionals, advocates and patients, Benson said.

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Let’s go to the videotape

Politicos had mixed opinions on the Ninth Floor’s handling of the Terri Proud-Joey Strickland situation at the Department of Veterans Services. One lobbyist believed Strickland genuinely didn’t believe he was disobeying an order and said the governor shouldn’t have fired him, noting that if he were still a state employee, he wouldn’t have spoken to the media about the situation and much of the ado over Proud’s hiring and controversial statements wouldn’t have occurred, or at least would’ve died down more quickly.

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Local governments vs. local parties

Battle lines are calcifying between grassroots Republican activists who oppose the governor’s expansion plan and several local governments that are backing it, pointing to the increasing cost of providing mental health services and arguing that the expansion would result in safer communities.

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Two can play that game

The Arizona chapter of Americans for Prosperity has responded in kind to the Arizona Business Coalition’s mailer supporting Carter. AFP this week sent out a mailer criticizing Carter for her support of Brewer’s Medicaid plan. The front of the mailer is nearly identical to the coalition’s mailer, but instead of thanking Carter for “standing up for Arizona families,” it thanks her for “standing up for Obamacare.”

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Scottsdale Healthcare ‘reserving judgement’

While the Mayo Clinic is officially on board with Brewer’s Medicaid plan, Scottsdale Heathcare has serious concerns over the proposed provider tax and is still weighing its options. Scottsdale Healthcare lobbyist Michelle Pabis told our reporter that the hospital system is still not a supporter of the expansion plan, specifically because of the provider tax.

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