Saturday, October 24, 2009

Is this a Brewer momentum shift?

Jan Brewer's first term as governor was going to be short no matter what. After taking over after Janet Napolitano saw greener pastures, the longest Brewer's tenure could be was just a little under two years. Watching college football today, it came to me that Brewer is the replacement quarterback who had to take the reins after the first quarter, replacing the superstar starting QB who had 5 turnovers in the first quarter. After a bumpy 2nd quarter, it appears Brewer might be coming out of halftime with some fresh legs, a new running back and a solid attack plan.

Two great reads from this week sum up what I may be sensing. Robert Robb from the Republic details how this might be the Governors new start. A new Chief of Staff to help run the offense, and an even worse budget picture, making it clear some give and take will be necessary on both sides.

Speaking of both sides, Greg Patterson from Espresso Pundit points out the interesting timing of the Democrats. It seems like they are figuring out that the posturing from the last session isn't going to win very many points or prove they are actually doing anything. I'm sure Brewer wishes they were "on board" when she really needed them, or when new revenue could have helped this year.

Quote of the day goes to Patterson-
"Democrats may still get a tax increase, but the iron has grown cold. Cold, hard, stiff, unyielding iron is what they will likely face now. Remember that when the janitor brings that 40th desk into you kid's classroom."
How's that for visual?

The crowd is waiting in anticipation and the second half has started. Now it's Jan Brewer's time to show she's ready to take over and be our star QB.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Happenings on the 9th floor...including the budget

It was a busy week on the 9th floor. We are still processing the news and reactions to the departure of Chief of Staff Kevin Tyne. Most of the comments are positive towards Tyne but don't hide the fact that this will definitely make the next round of budget negotiations a much smoother process.

Some whisper this is a sign she will run for reelection. Either way, her schedule is much busier then it has been. She will even be the grand marshal for the ASU homecoming parade.

Speaking of budget negotiations, the outlook keeps getting worse. The estimated shortfall has risen to $2 Billion which is up about $500 Million from the last estimates. For those with 40 kids in your math class growing up, that makes the total shortfall for this year and next $5.3 Billion.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

We're #4! We're #4!

We have to admit that usually we love the bluster and bravado of the stream of press releases we receive from PR Guru, Jason Rose. However, we have to admit that his latest attempt at spin left us confused:



OCT. 22, 2009. In a public opinion survey released yesterday by the real estate group NAIOP, Paradise Valley Mayor Vernon Parker polled ahead of Secretary of State Ken Bennett and Tucson lawyer John Munger, and was only 9 points behind Jan Brewer.

Survey results for the 2010 Republican Primary showed Brewer at 16 percent, State Treasurer Dean Martin at 14 percent, Valley businessman Robert Graham at 9 percent, Parker at 7 percent, Ken Bennett with 6 percent of the vote and Munger at 3 percent.

“Republicans will not beat a career politician like Terry Goddard with another one from the GOP,” said Parker. “We need a fresh voice, new message and someone who can fight on Terry’s turf rather than he on ours.”


Is it just us or is Vernon Parker bragging about coming in 4th place behind Brewer, Martin, and Graham?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Eileen Klein to replace Kevin Tyne as Gov COS

Word just in that Kevin Tyne will be stepping down as Gov. Jan Brewer's Chief of Staff and will be replaced by Eileen Klein. This announcement is both surprising yet not. As Brewer moves forward, it had become clear something needed to move so that budget negotiations with the legislature did not start off right where they ended. With a new voice as the go between for the Brewer and leadership, it provides a second opportunity to have much better relations.

In addition, Brewer is also coming closer the time period where a decision on whether she will run next year must be made. While she has a few months to do so, trying to launch a campaign while mired in an expected 2011 budget crisis (and still fixing 2010) would be very tough.

UPDATE: Here is the press release from the Governor's office. It looks like Tyne has landed at the Republican Governors Association.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Cutting Government by 15%

From the Governor's office:

On September 18th the Governor's Deputy Chief of Staff of Finance and Director of OSPB, Eileen Klein, made the attached request to state agencies. The memo requests data from each state agency describing the ramifications and impacts of 15% reductions should the Legislature look predominately at cuts to close Arizona's state budget deficit. Please note that this is a data collection tool, and should not be construed as a proposed budget solution.

In an effort to provide this data to all concerned citizens, the information received by OSPB has been posted for review at Updates to the online links will be made as OSPB receives additional submissions.

You can click here to see the list of all of the reports as they become available online. The Arizona Republic is focusing on Corrections, Healthcare, Public Safety and Education in their first review of the proposed cuts.

Critics will likely dismiss this as a scare tactic, but the question remains, what would they cut if these proposed cuts are just meant to "scare" people? These scenarios are not considered to be proposals, but one would guess that they will be the starting point for the next round of budget discussions.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Brewers Public Schedule

Here is the Gov's public schedule. Good to see she has a busy week ahead.

Public Schedule For Governor Jan Brewer
Week of October 12, 2009

Monday, October 12, 2009

· 11:00 a.m. – Governor to Speak at 13th Annual Sandra Day O’Connor
Awards Luncheon
Arizona Biltmore, Frank Lloyd Wright Ballroom
2400 East Missouri Avenue

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

· 10:00 a.m. – Governor to Hold Press Conference Regarding Future of
Luke Air Force Base
State Capitol, Executive Tower, 2nd Floor Conference Room
1700 West Washington

· 12:00 p.m. – Governor to Speak at Foundations of Leadership in Healthcare
Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort, Conference Center Ballrooms
7677 North 16th Street

· 4:00 p.m. - Governor to Deliver Keynote Address at Saddlebrooke Republican Club Meeting
Desert View Performing Arts Theater
39900 South Clubhouse Drive, Saddlebrooke, AZ 85739

Friday, October 16, 2009

· 11:30 a.m. – Governor to Speak at SRP’s Women’s Interest Network Luncheon
Pera Club Pavilion
1 East Continental Drive, Tempe

For additional information, please contact:

Paul Senseman
Director of Communications
Office of Governor Janice K. Brewer
1700 W. Washington St.
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Phone: 602.542.1342

Thursday, October 8, 2009

2010 Watch

We're combing through the rumor mills, news stories, and blogs to give you the latest on the Governor's race in 2010.

Two Republican would-be challengers have decided against running and instead have thrown their support behind two of the already announced challengers.

Looks like Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman's slick website won't get quite as much use. Instead of throwing his hat into the ring as some expected, he has opted to be the chairman of Vernon Parker's bid.

Former Governor Fife Symington won't be eyeing Symington/Goddard II after all. Instead, he has decided to throw his support behind John Munger.

Are these the first in a series of competing announcements from the two candidates? How does this impact Brewer's considerations? We'll keep you up to date with the latest as it develops.

If you have any juicy gossip or more information, please let us know at

Where's Kevin Tyne?

Thanks to everyone who sent in images of Kevin Tyne. So far, Arizona's version of Where's Waldo has been quite successful. Here are some of the subissions sent our way so far:

Keep on sending in your cell phone shots, video clips, whatever you have to

Brewer takes a stand against Medicaid expansion

Governor Brewer raised a warning flag today that health-care reforms being pushed in Congress by Senator Baucus-(D MT) right now could create a "devastating" situation for Arizona. Brewer state that these reforms would create an unfudned mandate that could push our already struggling state into bankruptcy.

To make her point, Brewer pointed to the fact that Arizona is already struggling to meet its obligations. "We can't afford the AHCCCS program we have currently," she said.

Even Democratic Rep Kysten Sinema, who is on Obama's health-care reform task force admitted the latest Baucus plan simply wouldn't work in Arizona.

Brewer joins a group of other Republican governors speaking out against the plan. This is one of her first foray's into the national scene. It would be expected though that this will not be the last since 39 governor seats (20 Dem incumbents-19 Rep's) are up for reelection next year.

Governor's letter to Baucus Here.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Brewer's light public schedule raises questions

Remember when Governor Napolitano's meager public schedule made everyone believe that she had one foot already in Washington D.C.? Similar questions are starting to surface regarding Governor Brewer's seemingly light public schedule.

In fact, Brewer's schedule from this week only features 2 public events. Her schedule last week only contained 1 public event. We tried to compare these weeks back to previous years, but it appears that all of the previous administration's releases are now gone off the Governor's website.

So, the question is, is this the schedule of a Governor who is planning to run for re-election? One would think that public appearances would be one of the greatest perks for an incumbent, appearing across the state reinforcing your office and keeping your name in people's minds. It would seem to be a wise idea, especially when other rival Republicans are announcing their candidacies.

Is this an idication of the Governor's intentions or is it just a lack of finding things to do?

Where's Kevin Tyne?

Speaking of the Governor and public appearances, our post on the Governor's Chief of Staff, Kevin Tyne, has received quite a bit of attention including a mention in the Guardian Angel. From the emails and feedback that we have received, the "Tyne Factor" is as prevalent as we found in the quick image search we shared.

So, we're asking for proof. We've been keeping our "Eye on the 9th Floor," but apparently that's not where to look to find Tyne. So, send us any pictures you have with Kevin Tyne out and about with the Governor, by her side, or in the background. Cell phone shots, video clips, whatever you have. It will be Arizona's version of Where's Waldo.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Gov's Chief of Staff Kevin Tyne on the hot seat

Have we found the reason why some of Governor Brewer's top advisers have decided to seek other opportunities? A reader sent us over a very interesting article regarding Governor Brewer's Chief of Staff Kevin Tyne.

The Arizona Guardian (subscription required) gives in-depth look at the apparent conflict between Tyne and many administrative and legislative officials. According to the story, Tyne holds a tight grip over the office, making even the smallest decisions, leaving the entire 9th floor dependent on his actions. The result is a slow moving administration that has rubbed many the wrong way.

When faced with these allegations, both Governor Brewer and Tyne claim that there is no problem, and any one who says otherwise is being "petty." However, one does have to ask, how many people have to point out a problem before it comes real?

In some ways, the conflict boils down to loyalty vs. effective leadership. Tyne has been loyal to Brewer and has become her most trusted confidant. The article goes on to talk about the fact that he is most often by the Governor's side, sitting next to her, giving her notes and advice. This behavior can be confirmed fairly easily. When you do a quick image search of Brewer, you can find Tyne often standing nearby or in the background:

If Tyne is travelling with Brewer, attending events, press conferences and sports games, but all decisions must be run through him, how much is getting done while he is gone? If things really are working fine, it's up to Brewer and Tyne to prove it.

Press Release: Mayor Parker Challenges Brewer, Other Candidates to Cut Guv's Office Budget

Governors Need to Lead by Example
Mayor Vernon Parker Says He Would Cut Governor’s Office Budget On Day One; Says Any Serious Gubernatorial Candidates Should Pledge the Same

OCTOBER 5, 2009. With the possibility of an 18 percent state-wide sales tax increase looming, one potential gubernatorial candidate not only thinks that is a bad idea, he is calling for cuts in the budget of the Governor’s Office itself.

"It is only fair to do what you are asking others to do…cut," Paradise Valley Mayor Vernon Parker said. Parker believes Arizona should instead be talking about phasing out corporate taxes, a remedy for growing the economy. Parker recently formed an exploratory committee to pursue the Governor’s Office in 2010. * (JLBC spending levels for Arizona Governor’s Office referenced below.)

"Many Arizonans are suffering. Many state agencies are cutting. The Governor’s Office should do the same. I will," Parker said. "Should I be fortunate enough to be elected Governor I would make these necessary cuts on Day One."

Parker has presided over budget cuts as Mayor of Paradise Valley. Spending has been reduced by 25 percent while the budget for Mayor and Council has been reduced by 54 percent. Parker also fought off a major effort to increase the bed and sales tax in Paradise Valley.

"Republicans willing to raise taxes will not beat a career politician like Terry Goddard. We need a fresh voice, new message and someone who can fight on Terry’s turf rather than he on ours. One career politician will not beat another," said Parker.

Parker, 49, is the current mayor of Paradise Valley, Arizona. He has previously served as a Special Assistant to the first President Bush in The White House, and has served George W. Bush as an Assistant Secretary for the $90 billion United States Department of Agriculture. He is a lawyer and a small businessman.

Parker has the most compelling life story of any candidate emerging for governor. He has overcome many odds, and has pledged to help Arizona overcome some of its most difficult economic times since the Great Depression. "I truly believe it’s going to take someone who has defied the odds to help Arizona overcome the odds now facing it. And we can start with a Governor’s Office that believes in shared sacrifice," Parker said.

For more information contact Jason Rose or go to

*NOTE: Spending levels for the Office of the Governor for fiscal year 2010 obtained from the Joint Legislative Budget Committee "Summary of Appropriate Funds," which can be found at

Thursday, October 1, 2009

2010 Watch

We're combing through the rumor mills, news stories, and blogs to give you the latest on the Governor's race in 2010.

Former GOP chairman and current man behind "Imagine Arizona"
has left his spot as a pundit on Arizona Illustrated's "Face Off" and states that will be making a "major announcement" soon. Munger has been considering a bid for months and has been using his Imagine Arizona effort to help boost his name ID. His announcement may have been accelerated due to Mayor Vernon Parker's recent announcement.

Speaking of Parker, Paradise Valley Mayor Vernon Parker formally announced his bid for Mayor last week, launching his new website and his official twitter Parker is busy positioning himself as the only Republican candidate capable of beating Terry Goddard, who has been leading the Republican field in recent polls.

Expect the field of candidates to solidify more between now and the end of the year. However, two major questions loom over the landscape - Will Brewer run in 2010? Will any Democrat give Goddard a challenge in the Primary?

If you have any juicy gossip or more information, please let us know at