PHOENIX - With pollsters finding most Arizona voters back SB 1070, Gov. Jan Brewer is offering those folks a chance to let their wallets speak for them.

The new immigration enforcement law is under siege, facing at least five federal lawsuits. So Brewer has started a legal defense fund to pay a private lawyer, given what her spokesman described as Attorney General Terry Goddard's half-hearted commitment to defend the bill and his refusal to defend Brewer, who is named in the lawsuits, at all.

On Wednesday Brewer issued an executive order establishing a special defense fund to accept private donations to pay the legal costs in fighting challenges to SB 1070.

Gubernatorial press aide Paul Senseman said the idea has been percolating for several weeks, since the state began getting unsolicited checks from individuals who want Arizona to win the legal dispute playing out in federal court.

The tally so far, he said, is about $10,000 from close to 300 individuals from more than 40 states.

There is no single large donor, he said. Although some are $250, "They are averaging fairly small size, some as small as $20, $10."

The timing comes just days after Goddard said that while his office will fight the lawsuits, it will not defend Brewer.

On Tuesday Brewer hired John Bouma, chairman of the Phoenix law firm of Snell & Wilmer, to represent her in federal court, after Goddard declined to represent her, Senseman said.

Goddard - the lone Demo-crat running for governor, with a good chance he will face Republican Brewer in the November general election - acknowledged turning the governor down.

"I am counsel for the state, I am counsel for almost all the state boards and commissions," he said. "But I am not counsel for the governor by law."

Anyway, Goddard pointed out two of the five lawsuits name both Brewer and him as individual defendants.

"In order to avoid any possibility that we might have divergent opinions about how best to enter a defense, it was probably best to start with separate counsel," Goddard said. "So it wasn't a rejection."

Senseman said Brewer is just as happy not to have Goddard representing her.

"Given his various statements that have, at times, favored the legislation and at other times opposed it, the governor's much more confident that she will provide the most vigorous defense available," he said.

The key part of the law requires police to ask those they have stopped for other reasons about their immigration status if they reasonably suspect the person is an illegal immigrant. The lawsuits charge this is an illegal intrusion by the state into federal immigration policy and say the law will result in racial profiling.