Governor Brewer Could be Investigated by Goddard's Office

Three unidentified sources "from different parts of the political spectrum" hint that a state investigation of Governor Janice Brewer may be coming down the pike, says the Phoenix Business Journal.

A September 5 article by Mike Sunnucks says that questions have arisen about the way Brewer uses her power and how, when she was Arizona Secretary of State, she handled $57 million in federal funds designed to help states modernize voting equipment. County election officials may be "pushing for the inquiry," Sunnucks writes.

The investigation would come from the office of state AG Terry Goddard, who has announced that he intends to run for governor in the 2010 race -- possibly against Brewer, who so far is only "leaning" toward running for the office. Goddard's office would neither confirm nor deny the investigation, which is pretty much what the office says anytime you ask it whether it's investigating someone.

Brewer's spokesman, Paul Senseman, told Sunnucks he'd be "outraged" if anyone was leaking false rumors of an investigation, and said he's unaware of any such inquiry.

As secretary of state, Brewer was proud of her accomplishments regarding the federal voting assistance program, the Help America Voting Act of 2002. She ranked her efforts with the program first on her MySpace page, touting that Arizona was the second state to file a plan based on the act. The program was developed in the aftermath of alleged voting irregularities in the 2000 election.

Shenanigans with the federal money doled out for the program resulted in an indictment for the former secretary of state of New Mexico. Our gut feeling: This ain't New Mexico.

Still, these rumors of investigations could be the start of a particularly ugly election season in 2010.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.