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Brewer-backed independent expenditure committee rakes in cash

Gov. Jan Brewer (Photo by Ryan Cook/RJ Cook Photography)

Gov. Jan Brewer (Photo by Ryan Cook/RJ Cook Photography)

An independent expenditure committee backed by Gov. Jan Brewer and expected to benefit the Republican legislators who sided with her in last year’s Medicaid expansion fight has raised more than $600,000 so far.

According to the Jan. 31 campaign finance report filed by Arizona’s Legacy, the committee raised $619,000 in 2013. Businesses, including a number of health care companies, provided the bulk of the funds, chipping in about $451,000.

During the fractious Medicaid battle, Brewer pledged electoral support for the Republican lawmakers who stood with her in the face of fierce opposition from grassroots conservative. Fourteen Republican legislators voted in favor of Medicaid expansion, 12 of whom are running in this year’s legislative elections.

Grassroots conservatives vowed to target Republicans who voted for the expansion plan, though campaign committees formed for that purpose have fallen far short of Arizona’s Legacy on the fundraising trail.

The Alliance of Principled Conservatives, a continuation of the failed citizen referendum campaign against Medicaid expansion, has only raised about $4,800. And the Arizona Taxpayers Action Committee, which has singled out several GOP lawmakers, only raised about $13,000.

The Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association and the Arizona Chamber of Commerce-backed Arizona Business Coalition, both major allies of Brewer’s during the Medicaid fight, gave Arizona’s Legacy $50,000 and $35,000, respectively. IASIS Healthcare Corp and Vanguard Health Management each contributed $25,000, while Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona contributed $8,000 and UnitedHealth Group gave $5,000.

Several individuals gave sizeable contributions as well. Mark Veteto, the president of a New Mexico-based oil and gas company, gave $30,000. Foster Friess, a well-known contributor to GOP candidates and causes across the United States, New York businessman Charles Joyce, and Willis Johnson, a Tennessee businessman who has also given $110,000 in the past two years to Jan PAC, Brewer’s federal political action committee, each gave $25,000 to the independent expenditure.

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