Diary

FYI for those of you who think Arizona is a "red" state...

Folks always seem to pop up and wonder how John McCain can get reelected in a “red” state like Arizona. Well, maybe because it’s not so “red” after all. Aside from pointing out the makeup of our current House Delegation, there’s the statewide election thingy.

A couple of quick historical facts:
1. Jon Kyl replaced Dennis Deconcini, a Democrat.
2. Our current Governor replaced Janet Napolitano who currently serves in the BO Administration.

And what’s Ms. Brewer all about? Thanks for asking. We’ve had an ongoing battle here over our next budget. We are second to California in percentage of deficit to total budget. Fear not gentle reader, our new Republican Governor had a solution. Raise taxes. And it came within a whisker of getting passed until some Republican freshmen in our State Legislature through a fit and said no. There was a bunch of back and forth I won’t bore you with, but it’s gone on for months. The rubber is now getting ready to meet the road and at about the same time our Governor has to decide whether or not to run for a full term. I’ll let the AZ Repugnant speak for itself on the issue.

“I feel that I need to finish the state’s business for this year. I feel that responsibility very strongly,” Brewer said. “If I can get the state’s business under control, then I can possibly, hopefully, get organized to run.”

She clearly hedged her words.

Friend and political adviser Chuck Coughlin said Brewer “wants to run,” but his counsel on whether she should do so may depend on whether she gets the tax hike she seeks. A majority of Republican legislators in the House and Senate have voted to refer the proposal to a special-election ballot, but not a single Democrat has signed on.

“My belief is that (Brewer’s campaign decision) hinges on whether or not she has the tools to govern,” Coughlin said, referencing the estimated $2.5 billion that would be generated over three years by the tax increase. “If Democrats are unwilling to help her, than maybe she’ll give this job back to them.”

Brewer’s persistent – critics might say obsessive – push for the sales tax has alienated her in some Republican quarters. That, together with her apparent lack of preparation for a statewide race in terms of fundraising and organization of a campaign team, has led many politicos to speculate that she won’t seek election next year.

State Treasurer Dean Martin and Paradise Valley Mayor Vernon Parker are among prominent Republicans who’ve voiced interest in seeking their party’s gubernatorial nomination. On the Democratic side, Attorney General Terry Goddard is the prohibitive favorite.

Arizona’s current Governor is Charlie Crist in drag. Dean Martin would have a pretty good shot at beating her in a primary and if she decides not to run, he will likely be the Republican candidate. Goddard has gotten his head handed to him a couple of times in visible statewide elections, and this election will most likely hinge on the overall national mood in ’10. McCain being on the ballot might give some marginal help to Brewer, if Martin is the candidate I expect McCain to pretty much be silent. FWIW, at this point I like Martin.