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6/16/2013 6:00:00 AM
Tactics infuriate Mohave County legislators
Kelli Ward
Kelli Ward
Sonny Borrelli
Sonny Borrelli

Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa
Miner Staff Reporter

KINGMAN - Mohave County legislators are furious about Gov. Jan Brewer's tactics to get her budget and the expansion of the state's Medicaid program passed.

"This didn't go the way I hoped," said Sen. Kelli Ward, R-Lake Havasu City, "We weren't allowed to caucus, our questions weren't answered and comments from the public weren't allowed. To me it wasn't democracy, it was tyranny. They hijacked the legislative process."

"I thought it was appalling and disrespectful what the governor did," said Rep. Sonny Borrelli, R-Lake Havasu City. "All the newspapers down there are calling it bipartisan. It wasn't bipartisan. They wanted to manipulate the system. They cheated the system."

Rep. Doris Goodale, R-Kingman, was not available for comment.

Brewer called a special session of the Legislature Tuesday evening to discuss the budget and her plan to expand the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System to cover residents between 100 and 135 percent of the federal poverty level.

"This expansion may be the biggest mistake this state has made in its history," said Ward, who opposed expanding AHCCCS and voted no on all 10 of the budget bills. Borrelli also voted no on all of the bills. Goodale voted yes on all of the bills.

The Arizona House of Representatives voted 33-27 to approve nine of the bills and 32-27 in approval of one of the bills, because Rep. Kate Brophy McGee was excused from voting. The Senate voted 18-11 to approve eight of the bills and 19-10 for one bill and 17-11 for another bill. The discrepancies in the votes in the Senate were because Sen. Rick Murphy did not vote on all of the bills.

The Democrats and the governor accused the Republicans of stonewalling the budget and the expansion of AHCCCS, but that's not what was happening, Borrelli said.

"That's what was spun by the Democrats and their nine traitors," he said, referring to nine Republicans, including Goodale, who voted for the special session and the bills. "We were scheduled to hear the budget bills in committee on Thursday," he said. "We were supposed to take Wednesday off in order to give people time to get their amendments together."

A special session of the Legislature allows the normal floor rules to be suspended and ends all committee meetings unless the speaker of the house or the president of the senate allows them.

Ward and Borrelli said legislators got hard copies of the 10 proposed budget bills moments before they were called to vote on them.

"No one got a chance to go through them," Borrelli said. Some representatives in the House who sponsored the bills wouldn't even answer questions about the bills.

"Those nine weren't even willing to work with their own party. They didn't even have the courage to stand up and defend their own bills," he said.

"It was disheartening," Ward said. "We didn't know what was in them. At least let us have a conversation on what we're voting on the floor so we know what we're voting on."

Both Ward and Borrelli said that any amendments that legislators tried to tack onto the bills were shot down.

"There were a lot of good amendments out there," Borrelli said. "They even voted against the Pat Tillman license plate."

"I saw the true colors of the governor that day. She's not a Republican," he said. "We were used by the Democrats and a socialist governor."

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Reader Comments

Posted: Saturday, June 22, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

Ms Smith“Not only that but, the inept corrupted IRS is hiring another 16,000 inept people to oversee your health care.”

Debunked two years ago and yet the righties continue to spew it. What’s up with that? Bearing false witness?

Posted: Friday, June 21, 2013
Article comment by: Reagan hated Socialist Medicare

For all those that are on government health care, complaining about helping others get better care, I think you need to do what Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater wanted:
Because at age 60, health insurance premiums from the private market is $1,500 per month!
Which includes, $75 COPAYS
Which Includes $1,500 DEDUCTIBLE
Which includes paying 20% of ALL your bills
Which includes $50 copay on generic medicines
Which includes $100 copay on non-generic meds.
THAT is what you would pay right now if Reagan dumped the program that allows GOVERNMENT to help you out.
In other words -- YOU could be just like those low wage workers who have a boss who won't provide them health ins. YOU could be forced to pay $1,500 per month and a HECK of a lot higher copays!
But you don't--- because the GOVERNMENT covers YOU. Compassion. Get some!

Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2013
Article comment by: Amaryllis Smith

Are any of you aware of the number of younger people who are/has been on medcaid due to their life choices? I don't understand why this issue is never addressed! It isn't just elderly or diabled people, and they don't think anything of using others tax dollars to receive the care they get. They should receive a bill that makes them aware of the cost and the bill should state "Paid In Full By Your Fellow Taxpayers". That might seem harsh to most of you but it beats continuos cuddling of them.

As for Gov. Brewer and her decision, it is all tied into the OBCARE boondogle. Not all states have bought into this mess. The state of Washington and another that has, I'm thinking Michigan, have come to find out they only have ONE provider for insurance coverage therefore giving that provider a monopoly in those states. And, the real crusher for Washington is that their provider won't cover all of that state, leaving a portion of population with NO coverage. The medicaid expansion done for the state to buy into the insurance exchange. If there is only provider for any particular state they can raise the rates so no one can afford it.
Not only that but, the inept corrupted IRS is hiring another 16,000 inept people to oversee your health care. WOW, that's really something to look forward to!

Posted: Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Article comment by: Bridget Lewison

Well, call me a socialist traitor, too, because I think Brewer finally had the ovaries to do the right thing. One also has to wonder how many of the Mohave County Republican folks on Facebook throwing tantrums when the rest of us are at work are sitting at home "disabled" collecting federal benefits ...

Posted: Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Article comment by: Amaryllis Smith

Medicaid expansion for Arizona means more money from the the Fed to help cover it but,there is a time period that Arizona will be
receiving those funds. So are you people who are so happy about Brewer's actions going to be ready to pick up this extra load after that?

It is maddening to see all these people get hand outs freebies without them ever even having to acknowlege the cost of their care.
So much of medicaid is spent having taxpayers pick up the responsibility for others' actions.
The out of wed pregnancies is unbelievable.
True, people who fall on hard times and need help should get it. But, I agree with a former post-those who can should do some type community service in payment for UNEARNED
This expansion is part of the socialized OB Care, I'm surprised at Brewer's decision on this
in light of all the D.C. scandals and in particular
the IRS!

Posted: Monday, June 17, 2013
Article comment by: Joe Schmo

@American Patriot:

I’m assuming what you wrote was snark. If so excellent job. The only thing that was left out was Ebenezer Scrooge asking whether there are still prisons and workhouses for the poor and his declaration that if the poor did not want to go to such places they should die and decrease the surplus population.

Yep, “Survival of the Fittest” is what our brave soldiers gave their lives for, because FREEDUM!

Posted: Monday, June 17, 2013
Article comment by: Should Be A Law

Any document, that requires a vote, should have to wait 48 hours from the time it is presented until the time it is voted on. Surprise documents smack of conspiracy.

Posted: Monday, June 17, 2013
Article comment by: anonymous anonymous

Arizona has a small group of legislators who think they are in some mythical electoral majority when only about 34% register with their party! Just today a US Supreme court decision 7 to 2 struck down the law requiring anyone to prove citizenship to vote, history will fall down on the side this era was the fizzle of the racism, bigotry and xenophobia crowd's Alamo! Only difference is there is no one coming to defeat their enemies!

Posted: Monday, June 17, 2013
Article comment by: Frederick Williams

I thought a doctors creed was "To do no harm" I guess that goes by the wayside once the doctor enters politics.

Posted: Monday, June 17, 2013
Article comment by: Michaele Lee

Its about time. New people to this state cannot even apply for Ahcccs unless they have children. If you are an adult on hard times....god forbid you get sick or need a tooth pulled. Im so glad Brewer is finally doing the right thing

Posted: Sunday, June 16, 2013
Article comment by: L J

I see from the posts, we are but a few who actually agrees with Dr. Ward on this issue.
With all the government waste & fraud what assurance do we have that Medicaid will go to the people who really need it and not cloggying up our emergency & hospitals with every little ache and pain because they receive free health care?
Yes, there are people who truly need assistance and we believe they should receive it. However in exchange they should be required to provide some sort of community service in return for there coverage.

My wife & I are going broke paying for our health care coverage & all the co-pays. All levels of government have nickel and dime us to the point it no longer pays to work and do the right thing. Maybe we'll do what other people do
In Mohave County and get on some form of assistance
After all our politicans will seem to support!

Posted: Sunday, June 16, 2013
Article comment by: Moderately Independent

So it looks like the two Freshman legislators from Mohave County got "schooled" in the workings of government and now they're upset because things didn't go their way.

I'm not surprised by Ward's reaction, but I think Borelli needs to do some growing up if he intends to be effective for the folks in Mohave County and the State of Arizona. He also needs to learn the definition of bipartisanship...afterall if our Republican governor can work with the Democrats as well as some Republican legislators for the betterment of the people of this state what could be more bipartisan than that?

Borelli and his ilk need to stop acting like foolish schoolboys on the playground and get to work for the all of the people of Mohave county and Arizona. Calling people names like traitor or socialist is the epitome of immaturity in my opinion...and I doubt if he would have the guts to tell those nine and the governor to their face that they were traitors and socialists. Just grandstanding for the media and a small base.

Posted: Sunday, June 16, 2013
Article comment by: lj johnson

Sure hope nobody gets ill and passes because they don't have their Pat Tillman license plate. Seriously?

Posted: Sunday, June 16, 2013
Article comment by: anonymous anonymous

American Patriot! Wow that ego is huge, one has to find humor in the comment where he quotes "this great country of ours" but excludes anyone but those who agree with his ideology! The GOP nationally account for only 22% of the electorate when did this become the new math of majority! The GOP is a shrinking band of folks with such far out ideology before long they will be insignificant to anybody but small pockets in various states only! Already the tea partiers are threatening to form their own party reducing the GOP even more!

Posted: Sunday, June 16, 2013
Article comment by: Jim Consolato

It is easy to see who is commenting on this article. The liberal minded folks, mostly Democrats have come out in force. I think the point here is in the same fashion that Obamacare was forced into law, so was this Medicaid expansion. Dirty Tricks and Politics and both sides play it, but what a lose for Ariizona. I'll note Goodale was absent for comment, has been absent in thought, action and logic in this session. Ward is very well liked and loved by the conservative core and has set an example for both sides. Borelli has slide under the radar on some very poor self serving legislation but has rallied at the Sine die session at least as a conservative. His luck as an oppotunists is uncanny, because who wants to discuss the small stuff with monsters in the House like Common Core and Medicaid expansion. No wonder he is smiling.

Posted: Sunday, June 16, 2013
Article comment by: Just A. Citizen

How's that for a bitter pill? I suspect plausible deniability going on. "Oh, I'm so shocked", wink, wink.
If she is genuine, now she knows how it is living in Mohave County.

Posted: Sunday, June 16, 2013
Article comment by: Trans Plant

I think Governor Brewer has taken the "right" stance regarding the expansion of Medicaid. The Republicans in opposition of this are obviously out of touch with reality regarding this critical issue. Maybe they should talk to some of the people I've met in this state who are destitute and have no access to medical care. These are folks who have worked all their lives, lost jobs through company closure and have exhausted unemployment benefits. They have serious medical issues and no money to go to the doctor for help. Do these politicians have no clue as to the poverty and misery that exists in their midst? I am talking about the people who have "slipped through the cracks". I am talking about people whose quality of life is now at 3rd world country levels. I am talking about people with little or no food, no cooking facilities, no running water, no electricity and yes no medical care or chance to get any. I am talking about people age 50 or older. I am talking about the neighbors I have fed and clothed, when no government agency would help them. Kudos to the Governor for having a heart. Shame on the rest of you.

Posted: Sunday, June 16, 2013
Article comment by: American Patriot

That dang Gov. Brewer is a traitor. Ronald Reagan would be rolling over in his grave right now. She is not a true Republican. How dare she even think of working with those communists’ democrats. Expanding health care for the poor. Please. They need to learn how to get health care on their own and stop asking the government for help. It’s called get a job and get your own health care. We need to just do away with all welfare and if people can’t make it without the help from the government, then too bad. It’s called survival of the fittest and until those liberals learn that, this great country of ours is in trouble. Those brave soldiers who gave their live for freedom and the stars and stripes will be all for nothing. Because the communists democrats want to replace the stars and stripes with a hammer and sickle.
God Bless the USA or what’s left of it.

Posted: Sunday, June 16, 2013
Article comment by: GOP is dead

Whine whine cry me a river. So you didn’t get your way oh boo hoo. I think Ward and Borrelli showed their true colors. Borrelli calling Brewer a socialist governor, Please. I guess that’s the typical GOP, anybody who even dares works with the other party is called a socialist.
Face it your side lost. A majority won and that’s how democracy works at times. It’s a majority rule. A majority of the people voted for Obama and he won. Get over it. You lost and continued tantrums by the GOP will continue to destroy the party. The GOP is nothing more than a spoiled 2 year old, who should be spanked and thrown in the corner for a timeout. Heck it’s pretty bad when your party elders like Bob Dole say the party should just be blown up and start over or even say that Ronald Reagan wouldn’t even get the party’s nomination today. Oh wait I forgot Dole and Reagan are socialist because they God forbid actually worked with democrats.

Posted: Sunday, June 16, 2013
Article comment by: Frances Perkins

From Day 1 in January this was a priority of the Governor. Prior to Day 1, Ward was against it. She had ever shifting reasons for being against it, and no alternative. The Senate passed it, and the House Speaker delayed and delayed and delayed a vote, trying to kill it. Ward and Sonny, you had five months to look at it and you were against it for 5 months. You have 977, 447 Medicare recipients of all types in Arizona already, elderly, disabled and children. The voters approved this twice. The hospitals are for it, the business community including the State Chamber of Commerce is for it. Every major state newspaper praised the courage of the Governor and the majority. Heck, over 20% of Mohave County is on Medicare. Democracy is great, if you agree with it. The opponents manipulated the process, until they were out-manipulated, and majority did the right thing. WARD AND SONNY WERE DEAD WRONG.

Posted: Sunday, June 16, 2013
Article comment by: concerned citizen

Arizona wanted a republican governor and they got one! Except she doesn't seem to always behave the way the old boys want her to. She's starting to do things for some of the less fortunate in AZ, and that's not right!

Or Is it?

Posted: Sunday, June 16, 2013
Article comment by: Lost In America on the right wing

Awwwwwwwwww .... Lil Tea Party didn't get it's way ..... Waaaaaaaaa!

Posted: Sunday, June 16, 2013
Article comment by: The Fox hound

Nice to see that sensible Republicans are getting called traitors right along with the democrats. Gov. Brewer did what was best for the state and somehow that makes her a socialist. These teaparty radicals are the ones that are traitors. They vote the way their lobbyist tell them to vote and then they call everybody else who disagrees with them names. Vote them out

Posted: Sunday, June 16, 2013
Article comment by: Trained Observer

Tyranny or just sour grapes? This person does not represent me and she certainly doesn't care what hardships the average person suffers. Its "Let them eat cake Ward!"

Posted: Sunday, June 16, 2013
Article comment by: Rick O'Shea

Sounds to me like they learned something from the Obama administration, not any different to me than Obama taking the Demo's to a meeting behind closed doors without the Repub's. You just know the usual liberal suspects will admonish the Repub's for this but defend the Demo's as usual.

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