AZ Gov. Jan Brewer’s Staff Helped Write The Anti-Gay Bill She Later Vetoed

Jan_BrewerSo who was behind the noxious “religious liberty” bill that Arizona’s Gov. Jan Brewer ended up vetoing? As it turns out, her staff, in collaboration with a far-right group.

According to a report from Capitol Media Services, two of Brewer’s top aides met with representatives from the Center for Arizona Policy (CAP), the conservative outfit that pushed the bill in the legislature, to provide their input on the measure. The report says that the aides, gubernatorial counsel Joe Sciarrotta and adviser Michael Hunter, provided wording changes to the measure and added “provisions designed to narrow who could legally deny services to someone based on a claim of religious freedom.”

Because it’s perfectly okay to discriminate if you keep those provisions narrow.

The governor’s office is trying to pass this revelation off as standard practice for pending legislation. However, the president of CAP, Cathi Herrod, is saying that the changes were clearly offered to make the bill palatable to Brewer. “The intent of the meetings, the purpose of the meetings, was to thoroughly vet the language, address their concerns, and make changes in the language pursuant to their concerns,” Herrod said,

Moreover, Herrod said that CAP staffers met several times with Brewer staffers to accommodate specific change to the legislation. If the governor had problems with the bill, it wasn’t with the language, she insists. “Opponents made the bill about something it was not,” Herrod said. Which is to say, it was accurately characterized as homophobic.

What the latest revelation shows is that Brewer’s office probably thought that the bill would never generate the amount of controversy it did. It also shows that Brewer would have probably been perfectly happy to sign the bill under other circumstances. It’s a testament to the pressure that was brought to bear on her that she finally did kill the measure, but principle had nothing to do with her veto.


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  • Will L

    Of course principle had nothing to do with her veto.

    I know I’m using a broad brush here, but between Jan Brewer and Mary Fallin, it gives one a good argument that women should not be governors. You would think that the other female governors would be running these old hags our of town.

  • jckfmsincty

    If the Super Bowl weren’t scheduled to be in Phoenix next year, she never would have signed the veto. I’ll be bypassing Arizona in my future travels.

  • robirob

    Jan Brewer struggled with her bigotry and her ambitious greed. As a governor she could have signed the bill anyway and ignore all the people who were against the bill (including the businesses and companies it was supposed to ‘protect’). I believe Jan expects a reward from the movers and shakers from the political, business, and media world for going against her bigot believes / agenda and being called a coward by Tea Party conservatives. I think she is expecting to become a senator.

    Nobody believes for a second that Jan Brewer did what she did out of the goodness of her heart or what the general public considers the right thing to do.

  • manxxxx

    It doesn’t matter who created the bill, or vetted the language, or voted for the bill, or vetoed the bill. The citizens of the State of Arizona still have the right to discriminate against gay men and gay women. There are no laws that have made it illegal to do otherwise. My husband and I are both retired and live in Las Vegas. Sedona used to be a frequent destination. No longer. Not one cent of our gay discretionary income is going to be spent in a state which neither protects nor welcomes the LGBTQ community. There are too many placed to go that are welcoming.

  • Joetx

    @Will L: Former Washington Governor, Christine Gregoire, who signed the bill to legalize same-sex marriage, says “hello.”

    Furthermore, considering that anti-gay legislation is overwhelmingly signed by male governors, your argument doesn’t hold water.

    OTOH, if you had stated that RepubliCONS shouldn’t be governors, considering they’re behind anti-gay laws, I’d wholeheartedly agree.

  • greenmusic23f

    @Will L: A very broad brush. The kind of brush you would be offended to have applied to you. Don’t use those broad brushes.

  • ChrisDC

    @Will L: Christine Gregoire, Ann Richards, Kathleen Blanco, Jeanne Shaheen, Ruth Ann Minner, Jennifer Granholm, Janet Napolitano, Kathleen Sebelius, Maggie Hassan, and Sharon Pratt-Kelly.

    But, whoops!

    It seems that two women governors are jerks, so we should just ignore all the others who aren’t jerks just so you don’t have to wrap your brain around the idea that women are people. You’re going to agree with some of them, and you’re going to disagree with some of them.

    I know understanding this is complicated, so I’ll suggest that you get back to the kiddy table. The grownups have work to do.

  • MikeE

    @ChrisDC: Well every man knows women aren’t really “people”! Why, the next thing you know, they’ll be asking for the right to vote!

  • Goforit

    @Will L: Nice try Will. WE are all in this fight together. Your “softer and gentler” approach is not going to divide us. Back to troll school for you.

  • blondeboyz

    And we all know Gov. Chris Christie knew NOTHING about the bridge closings as well. So what’s your point? Politicians will always have staff members that they can point the finger of blame on. That’s how they back pedal out of a bad situation and look blameless to the voters.

  • balehead

    I always said feminism was just more White Authority Syndrome….

  • mz.sam

    Not to mention major corporations threatened to pull out nor will do business if there is no veto.

  • Matt G

    as far as I’m concerned, this is a non-issue. Everyone with a lick of sense knows Jan Brewer is behind the spirit of this law 100% and the only thing she was demonstrating by both drafting and vetoing the same piece of legislation is that she has a little bit of political savvy, enough to at least confuse absolute idiots who get all their info thirdhand from their coworkers.

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