Ariz. Gov. Jan Brewer (R) wants to try, try again
Jan Brewer, as expected, is already back at it again:
Gov. Jan Brewer late Monday asked the state Supreme Court to reconsider its decision overturning her removal of the chairwoman of the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission and to reverse Colleen Mathis' reinstatement until such time.
The action comes four days after the court rebuffed Brewer's attempt to block the commission's work on drawing new political boundaries, citing "gross misconduct" and "serious neglect of duty" by Mathis in her leadership of the independent panel.
The court's original order (PDF) was very terse, so Brewer and her Republican cronies are complaining that it doesn't give them enough guidance. Guidance to do what? To re-impeach Colleen Mathis! And yes, they have every intention of plowing full steam ahead with that move:
Senate President-elect Steve Pierce, R-Prescott, last week said he believes a more specific removal letter from the governor to Mathis could allay the court's concerns. He said he could muster the two-thirds vote in the Senate needed to ratify any removal.
The court promised a detailed ruling, but when you're a bunch of thugs scrambling to blast through a second lawless impeachment, that's not soon enough:
The court last week said it will issue that opinion in "due course." But [Brewer attorney Lisa] Hauser said "due course" could be up to two months away, suggesting that is too long to wait.
But Brewer's opponents aren't just fighting back in court. Talk is now heating up about a serious recall effort:
The group that successfully forced a recall against Russell Pearce is now turning its sights on Gov. Jan Brewer.
Randy Parraz, president of Citizens for a Better Arizona, began taking names Monday from those who are willing to do some of the hard work he said it will take to force the governor to defend her office.
Parraz specifically wants commitments from 5,000 people who each promise to get at least 100 signatures on recall petitions. He said that's the bare minimum of what it will take to put Brewer's tenure before voters.
Make no mistake, though: A Brewer recall would be a massive amount of work. Some 432,000 signatures are legally necessary, but Parraz says that his experience with the Pearce recall indicates that organizers would need at least 700,000 to survive inevitable challenges—and they'd only have four months to gather them. And, as in Wisconsin, a candidate would then have to emerge willing to take on Brewer in a recall election.
There is a good reason to believe it's possible, though, to force Brewer into a recall. In 1998, Republican Gov. Evan Mecham was successfully placed on the ballot for a recall election, but he was impeached by the legislature before the election could be held. With Brewer's allies firmly in charge of the state Senate, there's no hope of the latter. But the Mecham story should give us some hope that the former could indeed happen.