Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Jan Brewer Following The Money After Stint As Arizona Governor; During Her Tenure, Arizona Paid $3.3M To Law Firm That Now Hires Her (FOLLOWING STATE MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

(Update, 6/4/15, 2:30pm: At our request, Joe Kanefield - Gov. Brewer's former General Counsel and current partner with Ballard Spahr - responded to this article. His reaction is published in full, along with our reply.  We have adjusted the wording of the headline - removing "directed" - and adjusted this article to reflect that the former Governor is a consultant to Ballard Spahr and not employed by them.)

There is a good article in the Arizona Republic today updates readers on former Governor Jan Brewer getting used to being out of the public eye, and getting hired by a national law firm. The article quotes Joe Kanefield - the "attorney and longtime Brewer adviser".* And, the article discusses some of the interesting ethical and lobbying issues presented by Brewer's new career.

What the article does NOT touch on is the Governor's relationship with Ballard Spahr** WHILE she was Arizona's Governor.  Her new client was one of the two law firms that most benefited from her term as Governor, billing the State of Arizona approximately $3.3 million in the last 3 1/2 years of Brewer's governorship.

The relationship began within weeks after Kanefield left his position as the Governor's General Counsel in May 2011, in order to become a partner with Ballard Spahr, when he began representing the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission.  The firm also quickly began representing the Governor's Office and Arizona's Medicaid program ("AHCCCS"),

Within 10 months, Ballard Spahr had billed the State $1,000,000.  The three straight years of nearly $1M billing is about to come to an end this fiscal year, as Governor Brewer left office in January.  During the past four years, only one other law firm has billed Arizona taxpayers more.

In addition to Kanefield leaving the Governor's Office to move to Ballard Spahr, the Republic article also notes that Brewer's Chief of Staff - who presumably had major input into choices of outside legal counsel - now directs Ballard Spahr's Arizona lobbying operations.

Brewer may currently be back to driving her own Cadillac around town; her new client might want to look into providing her with a chauffeured limo.
(image from the archives)

(P.S. The amount that the State paid annually to outside legal counsel increased dramatically throughout Governor Brewer's tenure (to $19.3M in FY2014).  More on that in separate article.)

***Gov. Brewer's Super PACs: Retirement Fund, 2016 Run Against McCain, Or Just "Stay Active" Money?
***Governor Brewer, Personal SuperPAC Benefit From Company Privatizing Arizona Rest Stops 
***WATCH & READ, IN CONTEXT: Gov. Brewer On Senate's Immigration Bill, Yesterday and Today: I Have Not Endorsed That Bill 
  *Interestingly, it is not made clear that Kanefield (a) was the Governor's legal counsel during her 1st two years in office; and (b) went straight from his state job to Ballard Spahr.

**Tempting though it may be, Arizona's Politics will NOT abbreviate this law firm.

We welcome your comments about this post. Or, if you have something unrelated on your mind, please e-mail to info-at-arizonaspolitics-dot-com or call 602-799-7025. Thanks.

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