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You must be joking

One GOP consultant said he was completely baffled by Thomas’ decision to run for governor. “Has this guy gone completely insane?” the source asked. While Thomas believes he was wronged and unfairly targeted for disbarment for politically motivated reasons, the source said he’s got no chance of convincing other people of that.

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Sifert: It’s natural

Arizona Republican Party spokesman Tim Sifert today downplayed the party’s March fundraising, saying that the low numbers are just “part of the natural fundraising cycle.” He said the party made a big fundraising push in January, which also increased February revenues, before trailing off in March.

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You’re running for what?

The instant analysis from GOP politicos is that Melvin has little or no chance of winning. One Republican consultant said Melvin won’t have the money to build up his name ID much, noting that the fundraising disparity will probably be especially high if the state’s new contribution limits hold up in court.

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There’re still a few things to take care of

Brewer aide Lorna Romero gave the Arizona Commerce Authority board a quick legislative update at today’s quarterly meeting, telling the board members that the Ninth Floor is pushing for resolutions on the three major outstanding issues of the session – TPT reform, Medicaid expansion and the budget.

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Lawsuit? We’re not worried

Supporters of H2593 (campaign finance; contribution limit) are confident they will prevail in any potential lawsuit alleging that the increase in campaign contribution limits runs afoul of Prop 105 and the Clean Elections Act. Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, a leading advocate of the bill, said he doesn’t buy the argument that ARS 16-941, the provision in the Clean Elections Act that cuts contributions by 20 percent, precludes the Legislature from raising the limits.

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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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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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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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