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The Pulse: Put some jelly on that toast

Put some jelly on that toast

We’ve all heard it: Jan Brewer is toast.

She can’t get along with Republican lawmakers. She hasn’t solved the budget deficit. She’s despised by her own party – and by Democrats, too, her critics charge.

But her adversaries should take note of the fact that the state’s top pollsters are not writing Brewer off.
Those lawmakers? They actually have lower approval ratings than the governor.

Her party? What will conservatives make of the fact that it’s Brewer’s autograph that brought us guns in bars and tighter restrictions on abortion?

No doubt, Brewer has weaknesses: A sour economy, dreadfully low approval ratings and some potential GOP challengers who are salivating at the chance to take her down.

But she also has some advantages on her side, experts say.

“She’s feisty, she knows what she believes and she doesn’t back away from her position,” says pollster Earl de Berge. “Arizona likes rebels, and I would not discount that.”

So, will this primary election be a walk in the park for Brewer? Nope.

Should we start writing her political obituary? Far from it.

Paton’s future
Legislative candidates usually don’t run television ads. And if they do, the quality is often somewhere south of a commercial for a personal injury attorney.

That’s why it’s interesting that state Sen. Jonathan Paton has commissioned a heavily produced TV spot charting his life and political career. The rising-star Republican tells us that the ad, scheduled to go live on his Web site soon, will eventually air in Tucson. For now, you can watch it at: http://www.youtube.com/user/VoteJonathanPaton

What Paton’s consultants have put together looks a lot more like a congressional ad than a pitch for state Senate re-election. The ad calls Paton “a leader who truly fights for us.”

Paton already told us that those rumors that he’s interested in running for mayor of Tucson are flat out false.

“If drafted, I will not run; if nominated, I will not accept; if elected, I will not serve,” Paton said, quoting Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman.

But a bid against congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords might be more likely. On that point, Paton wasn’t so blunt. “At the moment, I’m trying to figure out how to balance the state budget,” he said, dodging the question.

- Daniel Scarpinato is editor of the “Yellow Sheet Report,” a subscription-based daily tip-sheet covering Arizona politics and the Legislature. Contact him at 602-889-7126 or daniel.scarpinato@azcapitoltimes.com. Follow him on Twitter: Scarpinato.

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