Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Former Arizona Gov. Brewer Uses Super PAC Donations To Pay Son (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

Jan Brewer's Super PAC paid Facebook $10,000 to support Donald Trump’s Presidential campaign. And, it has shelled out nearly $6,000 to benefit one of her children.

Brewer amassed a $300k+ Super PAC war chest before she left Arizona’s Governor’s office in 2015. At the time, Arizona’s Politics explored the different avenues available to her, and noted that there were few constraints. After 1 ½ years of near inactivity, Brewer has chosen a combination of Options 2 & 3* – paying for political-related travel (to the convention and debates) and hiring her son.

Brewer has not yet responded to Arizona’s Politics’ requests for details on why Michael Brewer – a practicing podiatrist – was hired by Jan PAC in August.  

Brewer received his first check just one week before his mother took to the national airwaves specifically to blast Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton for “corruption” and “pay to play”. (“GLASS HOUSES: Gov. Brewer Hits Clinton On Corruption, Forgets About Questionable Jan PAC Contributions”) Jan PAC was funded with many contributions from businesses making proposals to the state or benefitting from key gubernatorial positions – such as accepting Obamacare funds. Total contributions to Jan PAC have totaled more than $1.4M (since inception in late 2011).

In 2012, the Governor spent a good portion of the Jan PAC funds supporting Republicans running for Congress in Arizona. After mixed success, she re-stocked the fund in her final years in office and kept her powder dry in the 2014 Congressional elections. At the time, there was some speculation that she might consider challenging Sen. John McCain in this year’s primary; she did not.

The $9,896 spent supporting Trump on Facebook is the first time that she has spent money on a candidate since 2012. (If you have a copy of the Facebook ad, please forward to Arizona's Politics.) She has $325,738 cash on hand, as of October 19.

As discussed in our 2014 article, it is not illegal for Gov. Brewer to use the Super PAC donations for her own use (or, for her children). Campaign finance expert - and, the attorney for the now-defunct Super PAC set up by Stephen Colbert - Trevor Potter told Arizona's Politics at the time:  "You are right- few restrictions on SuperPacs still." Nothing has changed since then that would close that loophole.

Brewer's state-level Super PAC equivalent, Arizona's Legacy, just spent down its balance (≈$32,000) supporting Kate Brophy McGee in a pivotal State Senate battle against Eric Meyer (LD28). (Typically,neither the independent expenditure reports for the Trump nor the Brophy McGee disbursements were timely filed.)

*Option (2) Stay active and travel the nation in comfort (the Palin scenario). Option (3) Pocket the money, and fund her retirement (the every old-time politician scenario). See, "Gov. Brewer's Super PACs: Retirement Fund, 2016 Run Against McCain, Or Just "Stay Active" Money?" for further details.
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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