Feathered Bastard

Tom Horne's Nemesis Mark Brnovich Files Nearly Twice the Number of AG's Signatures

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Told of Heredia's slight, Brnovich's campaign manager Ryan Anderson fired back.

"It's telling that Felecia's team is now taking shots at Brnovich." Anderson told me. "They finally recognize who the real competition is this November."

He conceded that Brnovich had some paid help, hardly a first in politics.

"Yes, we did incentivize some of our collectors," Anderson said, when I asked him about it. "But the truth is that the far majority of these people are real hardworking folks who worked their asses off, in far less time than Felecia had."

At the SOS's office, I asked Brnovich what he thought of the Dems' claim that he's just another Tea Party shill.

I mean, listening to some of them, you'd think Brnovich had his bags packed and was headed for the Bundy Ranch.

Brnovich played up the law enforcement aspect of his career, having worked both at the AG's office and at the Maricopa County Attorney's Office, hardly anti-gub'mint gigs.

"If you look at my background," he said, "I've spent most of my career...working with law enforcement, police agencies on the federal and state level to keep our communities safe. That's what I'm going to do as Attorney General...I'm going to do everything I can to bring [law enforcement] resources together to protect the most vulnerable people in our society."

Then he veered into Republican red meat territory.

"At the same time," he added, "I think there are some serious issues with the overreach of the Obama administration. Whether it's the EPA's war on coal, whether it's radicals in the [EPA] that want to kill jobs in Indian country and hurt the Native American communities in Northern Arizona...whether it's an attempt to basically socialize medicine...I think we need to be fully engaged in this state in pushing back against the overreach of the Obama administration."

Does that mean he's opposed to the state's Medicaid expansion, as signed into law by the lady who used to be his boss, Governor Jan Brewer?

"At the end of the day," he replied, "when you're the attorney general, you don't get to pick winners and losers in the marketplace, and you don't get to pick and choose which laws you want to enforce or not. That's up to the legislature and the governor."

He stated that the AG has "an obligation to defend state statutes," and that "disagreeing with the law" doesn't count as a conflict requiring outside counsel.

As for whether he opposed the Medicaid expansion before it became law, he dodged that one.

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