Brewer banks $344K to support GOP candidates, push political causes

2014-02-03T00:00:00Z 2014-02-10T20:17:29Z Brewer banks $344K to support GOP candidates, push political causesBy Howard Fischer Capitol Media Services Arizona Daily Star
February 03, 2014 12:00 am  • 

PHOENIX — Gov. Jan Brewer is building up her war chest to help elect like-minded Republicans to Congress.

Brewer was able to get nearly $42,000 in donations in the last half of 2013 to Jan PAC, new reports filed with the Federal Election Commission show. That brings her annual collections up to more than $272,000.

With the money she has left over even after the 2012 campaign, Brewer now has $344,841 in the bank. There’s still lots of time left before the 2014 election to do more fundraising, which the governor said she intends to do.

The filing comes as Brewer continues to cement her hard-line position on immigration — and against what she calls “amnesty” — even as Republicans in both the U.S. House and Senate are sketching out plans for immigration reform.

On Friday, Brewer was being interviewed by Fox News host Stuart Varney about her opposition to a pathway to citizenship for anyone here illegally before the border is secure.

“Would you throw them out?” Varney asked.

“Yes,” the governor responded.

Brewer told Capitol Media Services she meant what she said.

“I believe in the rule of law,” the governor said.

“Maybe it is pretty harsh,” Brewer continued, especially as it applies to the people brought to the country as children, called “dreamers.” But the governor said she’s not willing to talk about any resolution of their legal status “unless the border’s secured.”

“I don’t think the American people are going to stand for it,” she said.

Brewer emphasized that when she seeks a “secure” border, that does not mean it has to be “sealed.” She said that can be done with not just more officers along the border, but also more technology, like drones.

“And then, when our ranchers and our citizens that are being impacted on a daily basis tell us it has stopped, then we can move forward.”

However, she said that how she doles out money from her PAC is not based solely on candidates’ immigration stances.

“I’m looking for people that support good government,” she said. But Brewer said she has not yet picked out any candidates in this year’s races to be the beneficiaries of her cash.

“It’s too early to make those kinds of decisions,” Brewer said. In fact, Brewer said her emphasis to this point has been to keep raising money.

In the last six months, her largest donor is Charles Joyce, who kicked in $25,000. He is chairman of Otis Eastern Services, located in New York state, which is involved in the construction and rehabilitation of natural-gas pipelines.

“He’s a great guy, a charmer, to be sure,” Brewer said. “He likes good government, and he is a supporter of mine.”

Brewer said Joyce has an Arizona connection, saying he owns an art studio in Scottsdale and has a home in the state.

The governor also picked up another $5,000 from Copart, a nationwide chain of auto auction houses, which has locations in Phoenix and Tucson. That is in addition to $10,000 the company contributed earlier last year — and on top of the $120,000 she has gotten during the past two years from Willis Johnson, the company’s chairman of the board.

“He’s a great guy, and he wants nothing in return,” Brewer said. The governor said the Vietnam veteran “just truly believes in my philosophy.”

The latest report also listed $5,000 from the Walgreen Company.

Brewer’s record in using her PAC money in 2012 produced mixed results.

She spent $40,006 on a mailer urging residents of CD 1 to support Republican Jonathan Paton, and another $35,567 in a separate mailer attacking Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick. Paton lost and Kirkpatrick won.

The governor had no better luck backing Republican Martha McSally in her bid to take away the CD 2 seat that Democrat Ron Barber eventually won, taking over from Gabrielle Giffords.

Her support of Republican candidates Vernon Parker for Congress was equally fruitless.

Brewer did better with the $125,000 spent on behalf of Republican Jeff Flake to beat Democrat Richard Carmona for the U.S. Senate seat left vacated by Jon Kyl.

Brewer also spent nearly $30,000 on “robocalls” urging people to support Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, though her reports do not say whether these were to Arizona residents. She also spent $140,000 just days before the 2012 general election for a get-out-the-vote mailer, though the report does not mention intended recipients.

The governor’s lone effort on behalf of a candidate from outside Arizona involved $5,200 spent for robocalls for Republican Denny Rehberg in his unsuccessful bid for the U.S. senate in Montana.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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