Where did the leaders go and who are these yahoos in charge?

28 May 2009 10:42 pm
Posted by: Katie

Breaking news from the AZ Guardian this afternoon:

Memo: Brewer plans end run around Legislature, $225,000 media blitz

Gov. Jan Brewer is declaring war on the Legislature over the state budget.

Beginning next week, the governor will go directly to voters in targeted districts with a sweeping $225,000 publicity campaign urging support of her budget proposals, according to a memo obtained by the Guardian.

The detailed three-week strategy, which includes direct mail, email blasts, editorial board meetings and radio ads, indicates that Brewer has given up on working with Republican legislative leaders to bridge a $3 billion budget deficit and solve the state’s fiscal crisis.

According to a May 26 memo from the HighGround consulting firm, the statewide media blitz for “Building a Better Arizona 2012” is aimed at voters in Maricopa and Pima county legislative districts, including House and Senate leaders in both parties.

The memo outlines a “strategy timeline” that begins with a Wednesday press conference featuring Brewer and busines leaders, coordinated with editorial board meetings.

Robo-calls are scheduled to begin June 4, according to the memo, “encouraging voters to learn more about the budget and contact their legislators.”

A website launce is tentatively set for June 5, followed by email blasts and newspaper ads.

The blitz continues for two more weeks, with $75,000 worth of radio ads and $30,000 in newspaper ads and $30,o00 in direct mail.

Week two focuses on education and “Arizona’s ability to stay competitive in the global marketplace.” Live phone calls to voters will offer them the opportunity to be connected directly to their legislators’ offices.

It’s unclear which budget Brewer is urging voters to support, since she has so far only released a rather vague five-point plan that includes a temporary tax increase. Sources say a more detailed spending plan could accompany the publicity campaign.

Budget talks between Brewer and legislative leaders have so far gone nowhere. Budgets passed out of Appropriations Committees in both chambers haven’t had the votes to clear the full House or Senate, much less meet Brewer’s approval, in part because they propose deep cuts to education, health and human services.

Initial reaction from lawmakers on the planned end-run around them to voters was mixed.

“Talking to me is more effective for getting my support than beating me up in my district,” said Tucson GOP Sen. Jonathon Paton.

Phoenix Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, however,  said she thinks the campaign will increase her popularity with voters in her district.

“I’d like to give a special shout out to Chuck Coughlin and HighGround,” said Sinema, the assistant House minority leader.

WTF? Glad to see that resolving our budget crisis has evolved into this game of chicken. What is she hoping to accomplish? Seriously, where are the grown-ups?

3 Comments

  1. Comment by Katie on May 28, 2009 10:53 pm

    Oh, yeah, and where is the $225,000 coming from??

  2. Comment by BruceJ on May 29, 2009 10:55 am

    This is what the what one state senator said in response:

    “This means war,” said Sen. Steve Pierce, R-Prescott, who opposes Brewer’s tax idea. “If she wants to do this political thuggery, that’s fine — we can do the same thing.”

    We’re ruled by friggin neanderthals…

  3. Comment by Simon says: on May 30, 2009 9:17 am

    And I do believe Steve Pierce is very rich and he could bankroll his own similar effort. This could get very interesting.

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