Will Governor Jan Brewer's Decision on Discrimination Bill Affect Possible Third Term?

Categories: Election 2014

Governor Jan Brewer
Governor Jan Brewer has just been handed a gem of an opportunity:

The ability to look good in the eyes of liberals by rejecting a bill widely seen as blatantly discriminatory, while retaining her conservative base.

Or in the alternative, the chance to win wider support from conservatives.

Either way, this could affect her decision -- and yours -- about whether she should run for an apparently illegal third term in office.

See also:
-Arizona's Anti-LGBT "Religious Freedom" Bill Trolled by a Pair of Democratic Senators
-Arizona's "Religious Freedom" Bill in the Hands of Governor Brewer

A prominent veto with wide appeal could be just what she's looking for to gain political support from independents and left-leaners.

On the other hand, it was the infamous, anti-illegal-immigrant Senate Bill 1070 that made her a national conservative icon. Perhaps she's hoping for a repeat of that success, which'll give her a three-peat as governor.

Brewer has yet to rule out the idea of pursuing the third term. In an election year, that means her actions can still be perceived as campaign-minded.

Brewer believes it's possible that the term-limit law means two full terms to which she was elected. Brewer never got to serve a full first term, having finished out the time in office that remained following Janet Napolitano's abandonment of the state in 2009 to become Homeland Security Secretary -- the job that resulted in Napolitano, a Democrat, now receiving jeers on liberal college campuses.

A third term for Brewer would require challenging the Arizona Constitution. In 1992, voters approved term limits that amended the constitution with the following language:

No member of the executive department after serving the maximum number of terms, which shall include any part of a term served, may serve in the same office until out of office for no less than one full term.

Secretary of State Ken Bennett, who oversees state elections, said in December that Brewer can't run again the way he reads the law. He would say that, though -- he's running for governor himself.

From an Arizona Republic article in November:

Joe Kanefield, former general counsel to Brewer who is now in private practice, said the legal question centers on the definition of "term." He has said drafters were referring to a governor who was elected to a term and not to a governor who inherited the office by succession.

"I haven't ruled it out, and I've been encouraged by people -- legal scholars and other people -- that it's probably something that I ought to pursue," Brewer told The Arizona Republic.

Brewer has five days to either sign the discrimination bill, veto it, or let it become law by inaction.

According to the liberal Wonkette blog, "In 2013, Jan Brewer stopped being crazy." Writer Rebecca Schoenkopf gives Brewer credit for expanding Medicaid in Arizona, disagreeing with conservatives who claimed Santa Claus must be "white," and taking other moderate actions. Vetoing this "Duck Dynasty" bill might be part of Brewer's perceived sanity break.

And maybe that will help her find public support for a third term.

If it comes down to a court, an Arizona judge might shy from standing in the way of voters being allowed to select the governor they want -- especially after she vetoes a bill that seems to allow Jim Crow-style discrimination.

What do you think is the best course of action for Brewer with this bill, if she's really going to try and run again? Take our poll:

Got a tip? Send it to: Ray Stern.

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ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

How to kill Arizona's business and future, and leave a shameful legacy.

Arizona’s Perversion of Religious Libertyby Mike Appleton

By Mike Appleton, Weekend Contributor

"This bill is not about allowing discrimination. This bill is about preventing discrimination against people who are clearly living out their faith."

-Arizona State Sen. Steve Yarbrough (R), on SB 1062.

"Assaults on the civil rights of homosexuals and the acceptance of gay marriage have been the focus of a number of state legislatures. The most recent lunacy is a bill in Arizona that now awaits action by Gov. Brewer. The bill amends sections of the Arizona Revised Statutes by incorporating provisions that effectively insulate many forms of grossly discriminatory conduct from legal consequence if done under the cloak of religion. This is accomplished in three steps. First, the bill defines "exercise of religion" to include "the ability to act or refusal to act in a manner substantially motivated by a religious belief, whether or not the exercise is compulsory or central to a larger system of religious belief." Second, the bill expands the definition of "person" to include "any individual, association, partnership, corporation, church, religious assembly or institution, estate, trust, foundation or other legal entity." I refer to this as the "Hobby Lobby" amendment. Finally, the bill prohibits, with a strict scrutiny exception, any "state action" that substantially burdens the free exercise of religion even if that state action is a law of general application.

I anticipate that the governor will veto this atrocity, not as a matter of constitutional principle, but out of concern that enactment of the law would further harm Arizona's reputation and economic interests. But it is nonetheless disturbing that legislators would willingly employ a fundamental freedom as a weapon against a disfavored group of citizens. Read more of this post "


Brewer sure can't wait and let this happen. Signs all over the place. NO GAYS, NO JEWS, NO BLACKS, NO DOGS.. Just like the good old days of the 1950's.The GOP/TEA dream world. Don't these zealot Catholics remember when they were victims and considered vermin just 60 or 70 years ago? Boycotts are not good. The business community is fearful of this bill.


Does anyone know how I can make $2500 a week working from home?

66rock topcommenter

Yikes, don't even print such a ghastly thing!  I doubt if this would sway any Dem to support her. And I don't think the local GOP wants this anyway, they are ready for their prophet in the gov's chair.


Of course she will veto it. The sad part is it made it to her desk. This state is just weird.


Actually I DO WANT Brewer to sign this... Not because I agree with this law but because this is the nail in the coffin for the GOP in Az!  I'm sure this will infuriate a huge part of the state's moderate republicans, independents as well as business, and many in the legislation will be voted out as a result of this unlike SB1070. and let's not worry too much this law won't hold a candle in a court and by then the damage will be done to the GOP.

SIGN IT, SIGN IT, SIGN IT you Witch!!!! Bring it on...

The Republican party needs to keep being the dumb party! the more stupid things they do the less votes they get..

WhoKnows topcommenter

The poll at the azcentral website now has 83% saying this bill is a pile of crap and Brewer should veto it.

danzigsdaddy topcommenter

for once i am actually rooting for Jan to make the right move............shoot this bill down. 

WhoKnows topcommenter

Brewski now says she read the "internet" and decide what to do in a few days.  Let's hope that one of those days she's sober enough to get out her veto pen.

Didn't the SoS Bennett just set up a website for people to comment on legislation?  I wonder if they've shut it down yet....


Here in Washington State there is a movement afoot for the Mariners to hold their summer camp someplace else. This is not going to go well for Arizona.

valleynative topcommenter

If she doesn't veto this bill, I have no doubt that the next Governor will be a Democrat, and I'd like to believe that Brewer's handlers understand that, too.

eric.nelson745 topcommenter

Gin Jan probably knows that she CAN'T run again. The language of the law is clear to just about everyone except for her and her mouthpiece. Therefore, for what it's worth, I predict that she'll sign the bill to enhance her standing with the moon howlers. She probably also knows that the bill, if enacted, has no chance of surviving a court challenge. Of course now, that won't come until a GLBT person or couple claims discrimination. It could be awhile before something like that happens. Meanwhile, Arizona will become even more famous for its batshit-crazy Republican legislators and thoroughly corrupt office holders, beginning with none other than Tom Horney.

ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

“Dear Arizona,

Congratulations. You are now the first state actually to pass a bill permitting businesses–even those open to the public–to refuse to provide service to LGBT people based on an individual’s “sincerely held religious belief.” This “turn away the gay” bill enshrines discrimination into the law. Your taxi drivers can refuse to carry us. Your hotels can refuse to house us. And your restaurants can refuse to serve us.

Kansas tried to pass a similar law, but had the good sense to not let it come up for a vote. The quashing came only after the Kansas Chamber of Commerce and other traditional conservative groups came out strongly against the bill.

But not you, Arizona. You’re willing to ostracize and marginalize LGBT people to score political points with the extreme right of the Republican Party. You say this bill protects “religious freedom,” but no one is fooled. When I was younger, people used “God’s Will” as a reason to keep the races separate, too. Make no mistake, this is the new segregation, yours is a Jim Crow law, and you are about to make yourself ground zero.

This bill also saddens me deeply. Brad and I have strong ties to Arizona. Brad was born in Phoenix, and we vacation in Show Low. We have close friends and relatives in the state and spend weeks there annually. We even attended the Fourth of July Parade in Show Low in 2012, looking like a pair of Arizona ranchers.

The law is breathtaking in its scope. It gives bigotry against us gays and lesbians a powerful and unprecedented weapon. But your mean-spirited representatives and senators know this. They also know that it is going to be struck down eventually by the courts. But they passed it anyway, just to make their hateful opinion of us crystal clear.

So let me make mine just as clear. If your Governor Jan Brewer signs this repugnant bill into law, make no mistake. We will not come. We will not spend. And we will urge everyone we know–from large corporations to small families on vacation–to boycott. Because you don’t deserve our dollars. Not one red cent.

And maybe you just never learn. In 1989, you voted down recognition of the Martin Luther King holiday, and as a result, conventions and tourists boycotted the state, and the NFL moved the Superbowl to Pasadena. That was a $500 million mistake.

So if our appeals to equality, fairness, and our basic right to live in a civil society without doors being slammed in our face for being who we are don’t move you, I’ll bet a big hit to your pocketbook and state coffers will."

George Takei

valleynative topcommenter


Neither the GOP nor any Tea Party group has endorsed this bill.  It's purely on the CAP and other members of the religious right.

danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@Comanche_Moon  sure do!! and in no time at all someone should be putting that info up on here!! if not, i know damn near every article on ABC15..com has that info. (whats funny is that the ABC15 investigators articles will always have one or two on them)

danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@jimmalone13  what is causing the doubts? is it just one thing or multiple things? (god knows we have a list of reasons for you to not want to)

danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@valleynative  somehow i doubt it. god only knows how they couldnt understand it...............but i still doubt it

david_saint01 topcommenter

@eric.nelson745  good point. It seems they just push these UnConstitutional laws through to appease the fringe loonies, and know it will turn into a lawsuit. 

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