Jan Brewer Recall? Group Explores Removing Arizona Governor

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) could become the second governor to face a recall attempt in 2012.

Citizens for a Better Arizona, the group that led the successful recall of former state Senate President Russell Pearce (R) this month, said Monday that they are seeking citizen input on whether they should attempt to recall Brewer in the 2012 election, the Arizona Republic reported.

But they encouraged disgruntled voters to volunteer online at www.citizensforabetteraz.com if they supported a Brewer recall, which would require more than 432,000 valid signatures. If at least 5,000 voters sign up, Parraz said, his group would back a recall effort.

"It's not what we're going to do. What are they going to do?" Parraz said of voters. "You can't just recall a governor because you don't like her."

The announcement came the same day that Brewer signed the documents officially certifying Pearce's recall from the Senate.

The move to possibly recall Brewer follows a contentious period in Arizona politics, where the state Supreme Court has rebuffed Brewer's decision to oust Colleen Coyle Mathis, the chairwoman of the state's Independent Redistricting Commission. Brewer had sought to remove Mathis saying that the commission had too many secret meetings and did not follow constitutional guidelines in drafting a map of congressional districts. The court said Brewer did not follow the proper constitutional standards to remove Mathis from office.

Brewer's decision to remove Mathis came after Republican members of the state's congressional delegation discussed the draft map with the governor. The proposal included four Republican-leaning districts, two Democrat-leaning districts and three toss-up districts, and placed Reps. Ben Quayle (R) and David Schweikert (R) in the same district.

Plans are underway to stage a recall against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) next year, with petitions currently circulating around the state. Petitions in the Walker recall are due back to state officials in January. North Dakota's Lynn Frazier and California's Gray Davis are the only two governors to ever have been recalled from office.

Brewer would be the second Arizona governor to face a recall. Former Gov. Evan Mecham (R) had a recall election scheduled against him in 1988. The Mecham recall was canceled after he was impeached by the state legislature.

Back at the helm of the commission, Mathis is moving quickly to reassert control with the knowledge that Brewer could again seek to oust her. Mathis has announced that she is calling a commission meeting next week. An exact date has not been indicated yet.

"I look forward to working again with my fellow commissioners," Mathis said in a statement released by the commission. "I am hopeful that we can complete our mission before Christmas so that there is sufficient opportunity for the Department of Justice to approve the maps in time for state and county election officials to complete their duties before the 2012 primary and general elections."

Brewer has not indicated if she would seek to remove Mathis again.

The commission's spokesman, Stu Robinson, said that an exact date would be picked soon, noting that it is a matter of coordinating the schedules of five commissioners, particularly given the complications of the Thanksgiving holiday this week.

Robinson said that the commission will start weighing the public input from over 30 hearings held around the state regarding the draft maps. He said this would help guide the final decision on the maps.

Robinson said that Mathis and the commission is keeping the possibility of Brewer acting again in mind.

"They're aware of that possibility," he said. "That has not been a factor in the planning process so far. They would like to move forward as expeditiously as possible.