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.
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.
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.
Two completely unrelated events
The Attorney General’s office announced in a press release today that people who wrongfully lost their homes to a foreclosure and filed claims with the AG would begin receiving restitution checks today.
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.”
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.
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.
Franks backs Brewer
Franks defended Brewer’s decision to fight for expansion in a short statement today. For the congressman, the choices for the governor and her allies are untenable.
LaFaro to Tobin: At least you tried
Maricopa County GOP chairman AJ LaFaro told our reporter today he’s disappointed that Tobin has given up the fight on Medicaid expansion. He said there’s still some time to press on, since neither the budget package nor Medicaid expansion has reached the House floor. “I am disappointed in the speaker that he didn’t give a [...]
Budget bills are on the move
The end of the expansion debate at the Capitol – and therefore of the 2013 session – might have finally arrived. Multiple sources told our reporter today that Tobin has given up on his efforts to amend the Medicaid expansion language by inserting transparency and accountability provisions and instead, will let it go to the floor and vote no. “He told the governor: ‘You win’,” a source said, adding that the speaker is “not happy about it.”
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