Arizona Republican Governor Jan Brewer has been found after having been mysteriously missing for a week. Brewer, after spending a fair amount of time on Facebook commending our troops, (appropriately, given Veterans Day was last month,) turned up in Afghanistan, visiting the troops. Brewer also this week made a trip to Walter Reed Military Hospital in Maryland.
While it’s not entirely out of the realm for a sitting state Governor to visit troops in Afghanistan, it’s certainly not typical — and some might say looks a bit like paving her way for 2016.
In 2010, Massachusetts Democratic Governor Deval Patrick joined Governor Jim Douglas (R-VT), Governor Tim Pawlenty (R-MN), Governor Mike Rounds (R-SD) and Governor Jay Nixon (D-MO) on a DoD trip to Afghanistan. Last year, Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy and Delaware Governor Jack Markell did as well, as did Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee.
But a 2016 presidential run is not a huge stretch. Even before news broke today of Brewer’s Afghanistan jaunt, the Huffington Post reported Monday:
Brewer has also been included in a list of Republicans who may be positioning themselves for a presidential run in 2016.Â Politico reported on MondayÂ that she had met with billionaire casino mogul and powerful GOP donor Sheldon Adelson during a recent trip to Las Vegas.
Governor Brewer’s “weeklong absence from Arizona has sparked a new round of controversy,” the Daily Beast notes. “Brewerâ€™s political foes are chastising her for leaving the building just in time to avoid witnessing the official canvass for Arizonaâ€™s controversial election results. The traveling governor left that official duty to an underlingâ€”Secretary of State Ken Bennett, who also certified the results on Monday.”
Brewer faced similar criticism for the timing of her travels in 2011, when sheÂ went on a book tourÂ in the midst of a redistricting flap, leaving underlings to remove the head of the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission. (Colleen Mathis, an Independent, wasÂ later reinstated by judicial order.)
â€œThe concern is thereâ€™s a pattern here,â€ Democratic state Rep. Chad Campbell, the House minority leader, tells The Daily Beast.Â â€œI fully support visiting the military … But why now? The governor wasnâ€™t here on a day when a highly controversial election was certified, and she was in New York last year promoting her book on another huge day.â€
Chad Campbell â€œdoesnâ€™t know what heâ€™s talking about, and the less he knows the more he speaks, which is unfortunate,â€ counters Brewerâ€™s spokesman, Matthew Benson. â€œOrdinarily the governor attends the canvass, but circumstances intervened,â€ he tells The Daily Beast, and any inference that Brewer missed the canvass on purpose is â€œcompletely absurd.â€
In the meantime, officials and stakeholders are trying to sort out Arizonaâ€™s recent andÂ highly controversial election results. Democrats have amassed a database of â€œincident reportsâ€ about voter problems and will be crunching raw election data to see if certain voter groups, such as Latinos, received more headache-causing provisional ballots than other groups.
Whatever Brewer’s motives for traveling to Afghanistan — be it to build up her credentials for a 2016 presidential run, or, perhaps, just maybe, because she actually cares about the troops, she’ll have a rough time getting support from many in her part — much less across the aisle.
The most recent poll we could find on Brewer, from February, by Public Policy Polling notes:
Arizona voters are divided on whether they approve of Governor Jan Brewerâ€™s job performance, a new poll from Public Policy Polling finds. 46% of voters approve of the Governorâ€™s job performance while 47% disapprove. Democrats strongly Â disapprove (15/84), Republicans strongly approve (75/18), and a majority of independent voters disapprove (35/54). Most voters would oppose a recall of Governor Brewer, with just 35% supporting such an idea and 58% opposed.
â€œVoters generally arenâ€™t thrilled with Jan Brewerâ€™s job performance, but they donâ€™t dislike her enough to recall her,â€ said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling.
Even Brewer’s fellow Governors aren’t fans. The Huffington Post in the same report noted:
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) played something of a host this weekend as her colleagues convened for the Western Governors Association’s annual winter meeting in Paradise Valley, Ariz. When it came time for her to deliver her keynote address, however, most of her fellow governors were nowhere to be found.
AsÂ 3TV News reports, only two of the 19 governors gathered at the conference were in attendance as Brewer spoke on Saturday night. The two governors present, Colorado’s John Hickenlooper (D) and Utah’s Gary Herbert (R), serve as vice chairman and chairman of the Western Governors Association.
Brewer 2016? Good luck with that.
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‘Oddest’: Legal Experts Mock Trump’s ‘Nutty’ and ‘Doomed to Fail’ Emergency Supreme Court Motion
It weighs in at 240 pages but legal experts are still mocking Donald Trump’s emergency petition to the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn an 11th Circuit Court ruling and allow the special master to continue to inspect the 103 classified documents retrieved from him Mar-a-Lago home.
“Oddest SCOTUS petition. Very technical and not terribly logical,” observed Andrew Weissmann, an NYU School of Law law professor and former DOJ official who served as the General Counsel for the Federal Bureau of Investigation and as special counsel to then-FBI Director Robert Mueller.
The motion was addressed to Justice Clarence Thomas, who oversees the 11th Circuit courts. His wife, Ginni Thomas, is an avowed supporter of Trump and his “Big Lie” claims he won the 2020 election.
“SCOTUS should send him packing,” tweets former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, now an MSNBC/NBC News legal analyst. “No surprise here, this was why he paid former Florida Solicitor General Chris Kise $3 million to sign on, no one else on his team could handle this.”
“Just watch SCOTUS turn Trump down 9-0. (Or 8-1 if Thomas dissents . . . ),” writes retired Harvard professor of law Laurence Tribe. “Will The Donald start calling ‘his’ three justices traitors? Will he say they have a ‘death wish’ as he did with McConnell?”
Weissmann took another hit at Trump’s Lawsuit, declaring it “nutty.”
“Trump argument to SCOTUS: 11th circuit had power to stay Cannon decision BUT it [could] not take the classified docs away from SM Dearie review. Nutty and if he won Dearie wd just say he won’t review the docs bc they are not Trump’s.”
University of Texas School of Law professor of law Steve Vladeck says that while the lawsuit is “not *entirely* laughable,” but he thinks “it’s both (1) doomed to fail; and (2) unlikely to accomplish much even if it succeeds.”
Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti says, “I would not be surprised if the Supreme Court decides not to hear it.”
Trump Asks Supreme Court to Intervene for Him in Classified Documents Case
Donald Trump on Tuesday petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene in his classified documents case, and reverse a ruling from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals that allowed the U.S. Dept. of Justice access to the more than 100 classified and top secret documents federal agents recovered from his Mar-a-Lago residence and resort.
Trump is asking the nation’s highest court to order a special master to continue to inspect the 103 classified documents, despite the special master emphatically stating the government, not Trump, gets to decide what is classified and what is not, especially when Trump refused to provide a list of what he considered declassified.
The lawsuit, which is a massive 240 pages, mostly made up of other documents including the now infamous FBI photo of the classified documents on the Mar-a-Lago rug, is addressed to “The Honorable Clarence Thomas, Circuit Justice for the Eleventh Circuit,” and refers to the former president as “President Trump.”
The lawsuit also mentions the contents that federal agents took, including “89 empty envelopes,” while not noting they were classified document envelopes.
“As part of the 11th Circuit’s decision, the panel allowed the criminal investigation to use the seized documents, something [Judge] Cannon had previously barred,” The Washington Post notes. “Trump’s filing seeks only to reverse the appeals court’s ruling on the special master’s access to the documents, not the part of the decision concerning the investigation.”
This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change.
Biden Will Include DeSantis in His Visit to Support Florida Hurricane Victims
President Joe Biden will travel to Florida Wednesday to support families devastated by Hurricane Ian, and will include the state’s GOP governor, Ron DeSantis, in his trip, the White House announced Tuesday.
Last week, asked if he would meet with DeSantis, a top detractor of the president, Biden told a reporter who asked, “I’ll meet with everybody who’s around. The answer is yes, if he wants to meet.”
President Biden on whether he plans to meet with Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) when he goes to Florida:
“I’ll meet with everybody who’s around. The answer is yes, if he wants to meet.” pic.twitter.com/nJvW9kKH7T
— The Recount (@therecount) September 29, 2022
“This is not about anything having to do with our disagreements politically, this is about saving people’s lives, homes and businesses,” Biden also said last week.
President Biden says he’s had good conversations with Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) about Hurricane Ian aid:
“He complimented me, he thanked me for the immediate response we had, he told me how much he appreciated it … This is not about … our disagreements politically.” pic.twitter.com/SymBlqG75X
— The Recount (@therecount) September 29, 2022
DeSantis asked President Biden for financial assistance for his state, battered by what experts say is one of the worst hurricanes in U.S. history. DeSantis voted against relief aid for victims of Hurricane Sandy when he served in Congress.
President Biden and the First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden, will travel via Air Force One to Fort Myers, one of the hardest-hit areas of Florida by Hurricane Ian.
But Fort Myers is also part of Lee County, where officials delayed evacuation orders.
“Lee County, which includes the hard-hit seaside community of Fort Myers Beach, as well as the towns of Fort Myers, Sanibel and Cape Coral, did not issue a mandatory evacuation order for the areas likely to be hardest hit until Tuesday morning, a day after several neighboring counties had ordered their most vulnerable residents to flee,” The New York Times reported. “By then, some residents recalled that they had little time to evacuate.”
“Lee County, which includes the hard-hit seaside community of Fort Myers Beach, as well as the towns of Fort Myers, Sanibel and Cape Coral, did not issue a mandatory evacuation order for the areas likely to be hardest hit until Tuesday morning, a day after several neighboring counties had ordered their most vulnerable residents to flee,” the Times added. “By then, some residents recalled that they had little time to evacuate.”
The St. Louis Post Dispatch blasted the Florida GOP governor, calling his “flip-flop on hurricane relief” a “study in right-wing hypocrisy.”
“DeSantis’ willingness to shelve his usual attacks on the Biden administration to politely request emergency federal aid in the wake of Hurricane Ian is an inspiring example of constructive bipartisanship — as is Biden’s announcement that the government will bear a big part of the expense,” the Dispatch Editorial Board stated. “It’s interesting, though, that DeSantis took exactly the opposite stance a decade ago when he joined other hard-right members of Congress who argued against generous federal recovery aid when Hurricane Sandy ravaged the Northeast.”
Over the weekend DeSantis was blasted by volunteer relief aid workers who were delayed for hours in distributing “food, water, medicine, diapers, and anything else people needed” so Gov. DeSantis could get a photo-op.
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