Jan Brewer's Sniveling New Memoir Laughably Paints Her as a Tough-as-Nails Governor

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Gavora is a Republican speechwriter who helped Sarah Palin on her second book, America by Heart, published, as was Brewer's, by HarperCollins.

It was Palin who "wrote" the intro to Brewer's book.

Palin is a political sister who also doesn't get credit for brains. But next to Brewer . . .

Sure, Palin's said some wacky stuff. But to my knowledge, she's never publicly experienced the sort of extended brain malfunction that Brewer suffered during her one and only gubernatorial debate on PBS' Horizon in 2010.

Moreover, Brewer speaks in hillbilly-ese, nearly incapable of making subjects and verbs agree, while Palin sounds polished and media-ready.

When I saw them together during a brief 2010 appearance at the Marriott Desert Ridge in North Phoenix, Brewer stumbled over prepared remarks, mispronouncing such toughies as "inflict" and "interpretations."

Certainly, Palin was misinformed. She stated, as Brewer falsely does more than once in Scorpions, that all 1070 does is "mirror federal law," when this is as bogus as Brewer's sexagenarian dye job.

In fact, 1070 created state immigration legislation at loggerheads with federal immigration law, which, according to the U.S. Constitution, is supreme.

Palin simply was regurgitating wingnut soundbites.

Brewer should have known better. Especially since, in Scorpions, she takes credit for the breathing-while-brown statute.

The bill's primary legislative pimp, disgraced former state Senate President Russell Pearce, literally is mentioned twice in the entire book. And then only in passing.

But back to Brewer's appearance with Palin, where I got the chance to shout a couple of questions at her. One of which was to define the stated intent of SB 1070: "attrition through enforcement."

Brewer replied, "Attrition through enforcement would mean that you are going to come through legally."

I told her she was incorrect, that the phrase meant the state intended to drive out illegal immigrants. 

That's always been the definition used by Pearce and his intellectual masters at the nativist Federation for American Immigration Reform ("Palin Joins Brewer in Whitewash," May 15, 2010).

Brewer was flummoxed. When I asked where "attrition through enforcement" appears in federal code, she had no reply.

Of course, it doesn't appear in federal code, because 1070 does not "mirror" federal law.

Interestingly, Brewer comes closer to accurately defining "attrition through enforcement" in her book.

But then, Brewer did not have to write it. When I asked HarperCollins spokeswoman Joanna Pinsker to what degree Brewer was involved in the penning of Scorpions and whether the governor had even read it in full, Pinsker would only say that Brewer "worked with a collaborator."

Nor would Pinsker come clean on the specifics of Brewer's book deal, including the amount of her advance. State law says Brewer must disclose such details in her 2011 financial-disclosure form, which she must file in January.

Pinsker did let something slip on one point: HarperCollins picked up the tab for Brewer's recent book tour, during which she traveled to New York City and to the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California.

Did HarperCollins cover the expenses of any of Brewer's family, flunkies, or her security detail? Neither Brewer's spokesman nor HarperCollins offered details.

Remember, it was while Brewer gallivanted in Gotham and Cali that she illegally ordered the removal of Chairwoman Colleen Coyle Mathis as head of the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission — an act the Supreme Court quickly reversed.

Since Brewer, who was out of state, had to call a special legislative session so the state Senate could rubber-stamp Mathis' removal, Secretary of State Ken Bennett was forced to sign the proclamation in her stead.

I recently bet Brewer's spokesman $50 that Brewer couldn't read five pages of her book in front of me without stumbling or mispronouncing anything.

He didn't take the bet, which speaks to why the governor of Arizona eschews regular press conferences.

Inevitably, she makes an ass of herself. Like the time she attended a press conference at a U.S. Marshals office and read the wrong speech. When reporters pointed it out to her, she blathered incoherently to the point that underlings had to step in to save her.

Or the time the press cornered her about her untruthful statements concerning headless bodies in the Arizona desert. She stomped off rather than respond.

Former Governor Napolitano loved sparring with reporters. She held regular Wednesday press conferences. Any scribbler could attend and ask her anything.

Brewer, by contrast, is a coward who's usually on the run from the media, like a scorpion scurrying away from a more advanced life form.

In her memoir, she recalls two incidents involving New Times, which she identifies only as a "small weekly publication."

The first occurred in 1990, when New Times music writer David Koen impersonated curmudgeonly columnist Doug MacEachern (then with the Mesa Tribune), engaging state Senator Brewer over her proposal to place age limits on those purchasing CDs with naughty language.

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons