If you remember Arizona history from 8th grade, you probably know there's this little matter of the state Constitution, which prohibits elected officials from holding office for more than two consecutive terms, and 2014 marks the end of Gov. Brewer's second term. As secretary of state in 2009, she fell into the executive's office when then-Governor Janet Napolitano was tapped by President Obama to run Homeland Security. Arizona has no lieutenant governor, so it's our secretary of state who assumes the position, which has become something of a recent tradition in Arizona politics—in 1988, when bigoted used-car salesman turned bigoted Governor Evan Mecham was impeached, and again in 1997, when corrupt developer turned corrupt Governor Fife Symington was convicted of bank fraud.
Supporters of Jan Brewer's possible bid for another campaign in 2014 argue that her first term doesn't really count, since she was not elected by the people and she did not serve a full four years. Here's the section of the Arizona Constitution that lawyers, judges, politicians, lobbyists, and donors will be slicing and dicing until Gov. Brewer makes up her alleged mind:
No member of the executive department shall hold that office for more than two consecutive terms. This limitation on the number of terms of consecutive service shall apply to terms of office beginning on or after January 1, 1993. No member of the executive department after serving the maximum number of terms, which shall include any part of a term served, may serve in the same office until out of office for no less than one full term. Article 5, Section 1I'm no lawyer, but "any part of a term served" seems to nail it down: any part, whether it's two days or two years, counts toward the two-term limit. But, hey, Brewer has attempted to rewrite or reject other Arizona statutes, such as the medical marijuana bill passed by voters, and she's spent most of her second term in court defending legal challenges, especially to the "papers please" law, so there's no reason to expect she won't take to the courts again in an effort to bend the laws her way.
So let's say Jan does decide to run. I leave you over the jump with the "Top Ten Jan Brewer Moments," which I trust her campaign team will exploit to full advantage. Someone will.
10. Last Jan. 25, on the tarmac of a regional airport in Mesa, a petulant Gov. Brewer wagged her finger in President Obama's face. Classy. Then, taking her cue from crazy "you lie" Joe Wilson, she used the famous photo and the controversy it generated as a fundraising tool. Even classier.
9. When Democrats in the legislature urged Gov. Brewer to call a special session in order to revisit the cuts to the state's health care system that eliminated funding for patients awaiting life-saving organ transplants, Brewer rejected the request, even after the story went national, featuring distraut families on TV begging Brewer to restore the funding. The governor actually said it was just "a couple of incidences [sic] with bone marrow," while people proceeded to die.
8. At the GOP convention in August, Jan Brewer endorsed Barack Obama for president during an MSNBC interview. Seriously, she did that.
7. During her successful (gulp!) campaign for Governor in 2010, after embracing Sen. Russell Pearce's racist SB 1070 measure, she screeched nonstop about headless bodies in the desert—the result, supposedly, of Mexico's drug war infiltrating Arizona. When law officials said not a single decapitated corpse had been discovered, Brewer had to eat crow on live TV after a debate with opponent Terry Goddard. Hey kids, see Jan run from the media!
6. At the signing of SB 1070 in April 2010, a law that mandates that police officers demand citizenship papers from people they suspect are here illegally, the governor admitted that she doesn't know what an "illegal immigrant" looks like, but she "assumes" there are people who do.
5. In another interview during the 2010 race, she said, "Well, we all know that the majority of the people that are coming to Arizona and trespassing are now become drug mules. They're coming across our borders in huge numbers. The drug cartels have taken control of the immigration." No facts, data, or law authorities backed up Brewer's mangled statement, but that didn't stop her from fear-mongering throughout the campaign.
4. In another classy move, Brewer happily signed Arizona's "Official Weapon" bill on April 28, less than four months after the shooting in Tucson that killed 6 people and injured 13 others, including Congresswoman Gabby Giffords. The Colt 45 received the distinguished honor because, wrote the Colt lobbyist who crafted the bill, the revolver played an important role in the state's history—something Arizona's Native people know only too well, as former Navajo Nation president and current legislator Albert Hale told his colleagues during debate on the bill.
3. In 2000, voters passed Proposition 106, which removed redistricting from the legislature and put it in the hands of an independent body. After the commission completed its job this year, which included dozens of public meetings throughout the state, Brewer fired the group's chair, Colleen Mathis, because the new districts weren't GOP-friendly enough. The case ended up before the Arizona Supreme Court, who told Brewer to reinstate Mathis. Sweeeet!
2. In May 2011, Governor Brewer signed SB 1406, Sen. Steve Smith's cockamamie bill to build a border fence with donations from anti-immigrant pinheads nationwide. With their professional website up and running, the GOP predicted they'd rake in $50 million to build another 25 miles of border wall, and, yippee!, as of last count, they have enough to build about 370 feet! Great project there, Jan. Please run on your success.
And the Number 1 Jan Brewer Moment—you knew it was coming ...
Yes, there could have been a lot more on the list: boneheaded and ultimately unsuccessful attacks on LGBT public employee benefits; attempts to close most of the state's Planned Parenthood clinics; union-stripping measures that went beyond anything Scott Walker tried in Wisconsin; creating her own militia; filling her senior staff with former lobbyists from the private prison industry; and of course leading the fight to cut public schools and higher education hundreds of millions of dollars, while giving nearly equivalent tax breaks to corporations. There's surely a lot for Brewer's 2014 team to work with.
Yes, we have did!