The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

By Cathleen Decker and Cindy Carcamo, Los Angeles Times

TUCSON, Ariz. — Arizona Governor Jan Brewer announced Wednesday she would not seek a third term, forgoing a campaign that would have required her to challenge the state’s term limits measure.

The Republican had left open the option of running this year, despite the overwhelming weight of legal opinion against it. She became governor in 2009 when Democrat Janet Napolitano left office to join President Barack Obama’s Cabinet, and won re-election the following year. The state limits governors to two terms and legal experts said her first partial term counted toward the limit.

Brewer’s announcement came during an appearance at Park Meadows Elementary School in Glendale; it served as a bit of political symmetry, because the school’s PTA propelled her elective career.
Afterward, the governor explained her decision via Twitter.

“Our work continues and our comeback story is still being written. I look forward to seeing that story continue to unfold for years to come,” she wrote. “However, there does come a time to pass the torch of leadership. So, after completing this term in office, I will be doing just that.”

Brewer’s words glided over the difficult path she faced had she decided to run. The state’s term limits measure specifically describes “any part of a term served” as counting as a full term.
That left Brewer with the tortuous legal argument that the measure did not mean what it clearly stated — and it would have left Republicans fighting a court battle while trying to fend of Democratic candidates.

By any measure, Brewer’s tenure as governor was tumultuous, as she presided over a state controlled by conservative lawmakers at a time when its population, like other Western states, grew more diverse and centrist.

She signed into law some of the nation’s most restrictive immigration laws, including one that allowed police to check the legal papers of anyone stopped for any reason, and she later engaged in a finger-wagging dispute with Obama that drew national attention.

But Brewer was never a knee-jerk conservative.

She angered many in her party by proposing an expansion of Medicare under the president’s health care program — a move made by few Republican governors but driven, in Brewer’s case, by a desire to restore cuts to medical and mental health programs in the state.

In late February, in a decision hailed by gay rights activists, Brewer vetoed a controversial measure that would have bolstered a business owner’s right to refuse service to gays and others.
She said in a brief veto announcement she worried the bill had “the potential to create more problems than it purports to solve.”

By the time she announced the veto, the measure had drawn substantial opposition by Republicans, including that of the state’s senior senator, John McCain.

“I thank my dear friend Gov. Jan Brewer for her years of outstanding service to the state of Arizona,” McCain said in a statement Wednesday. “First entering public service as a mother concerned about the workings of her local school board, Gov. Brewer has served with distinction at every level of state and local government over the last three decades. Throughout her career, Governor Brewer has always been a great champion for our state, and I wish her all the best in her future endeavors.”

At the school that McCain alluded to, Brewer on Wednesday announced her decision amid several hundred supporters, schoolchildren and former staff members.

Matthew Benson, a former spokesman and adviser to Brewer who was among those attending, said the announcement did not come as a surprise.

“She’s been weighing this decision for a number of months but I think she feels confident that the state is on the right path,” he said. “And that’s why she is comfortable stepping away.”

Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

President Joe Biden

The price of gasoline is not Joe Biden's fault, nor did it break records. Adjusted for inflation, it was higher in 2008 when Republican George W. Bush was president. And that wasn't Bush's fault, either.

We don't have to like today's inflation, but that problem, too, is not Biden's doing. Republicans are nonetheless hot to pin the rap on him. Rising prices, mostly tied to oil, have numerous causes. There would be greater supply of oil and gas, they say, if Biden were more open to approving pipelines and more drilling on public land.

Keep reading... Show less
Youtube Screenshot

Heat deaths in the U.S. peak in July and August, and as that period kicks off, a new report from Public Citizen highlights heat as a major workplace safety issue. With basically every year breaking heat records thanks to climate change, this is only going to get worse without significant action to protect workers from injury and death.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration admits that government data on heat-related injury, illness, and death on the job are “likely vast underestimates.” Those vast underestimates are “about 3,400 workplace heat-related injuries and illnesses requiring days away from work per year from 2011 to 2020” and an average of 40 fatalities a year. Looking deeper, Public Citizen found, “An analysis of more than 11 million workers’ compensation injury reports in California from 2001 through 2018 found that working on days with hotter temperatures likely caused about 20,000 injuries and illnesses per year in that state, alone—an extraordinary 300 times the annual number injuries and illnesses that California OSHA (Cal/OSHA) attributes to heat.”

Keep reading... Show less
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}