Gov. Jan Brewer is building up her warchest to help elect like-minded Republicans to Congress.
New reports filed with the Federal Election Commission show Brewer was able to get nearly $42,000 in donations in the last half of 2013 to Jan PAC. That brings her annual collections up to more than $272,000.
With the money she has left over even after the 2012 campaign, Brewer now has $344,841 in the bank. And that’s with lots of time left before the 2014 election to do more fundraising, which the governor said she intends to do.
The filing comes as Brewer continues to cement her hard-line position on immigration — and against what she calls “amnesty” — even as Republicans in both the U.S. House and Senate are sketching out their own plans for immigration reform.
On Friday, Brewer was being interviewed by Fox News host Stuart Varney about her opposition to a pathway to citizenship for anyone not here legally before the border is secure.
“Would you throw them out?” he asked.
“Yes,” the governor responded.
Brewer told Capitol Media Services she meant what she said.
“I believe in the rule of law,” the governor said.
“Maybe it is pretty harsh,” Brewer continued, especially as it applies to the “dreamers,” people brought to the country illegally as children. But the governor said she’s not willing to talk about any resolution of their legal status “unless the border’s secured.”
“I don’t think the American people are going to stand for it,” she said.
Brewer emphasized that when she seeks a “secure” border that does not mean it has to be “sealed.” That, she said, can be done with not just more officers along the border but also more technology, like drones.
“And then, when our ranchers and our citizens that are being impacted on a daily basis tell us it has stopped, then we can move forward,” Brewer said.
The governor said, though, that how she doles out the money from her PAC is not based solely on what candidates believe about immigration.
“I’m looking for people that support good government,” she said. But Brewer said she has not yet picked out any candidates in this year’s races to be the beneficiaries of her cash.
“It’s too early to make those kinds of decisions,” the governor said. In fact, Brewer said her emphasis to this point has been to keep raising money.
In the last six months her largest donor is Charles Joyce who kicked in $25,000. He is chairman of Otis Eastern Services, located in New York state, which is involved in the construction and rehabilitation of natural gas pipelines.
“He’s a great guy, a charmer, to be sure,” Brewer said. “He likes good government and he is a supporter of mine,” she said.
Brewer said, he does have an Arizona connection, saying he owns an art studio in Scottsdale and has a home in the state.
The governor also picked up another $5,000 from Copart, a nationwide chain of auto auction houses, including locations in Phoenix and Tucson. That is in addition to $10,000 the company contributed earlier last year — and on top of $120,000 she has been able to get during the past two years from Willis Johnson, the company’s chairman of the board.
“He’s a great guy and he wants nothing in return,” Brewer said. The governor said that Johnson, a Vietnam veterans “just truly believes in my philosophy.”
The latest report also listed $5,000 from the Walgreen Co.
Brewer’s record in using her PAC money in 2012 produced mixed results.
She spent $40,006 on a mailer urging residents of CD 1 to support Republican Jonathan Paton, and another $35,567 in a separate mailer attacking Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick. Paton lost.
The governor had no better luck backing Republican Martha McSally in her bid to take away the CD 2 seat that Ron Barber inherited from Gabrielle Giffords.
Her support of Republican candidates Vernon Parker for Congress was equally fruitless.
She did better, though, with the $125,000 spent on behalf of Republican Jeff Flake to beat Democrat Richard Carmona for the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by the retirement of Jon Kyl.
Brewer also spent nearly $30,000 on “robocalls” urging people to support Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, though her reports do not say whether these were to Arizona residents. She also spent $140,000 just days before the 2012 general election for a get-out-the-vote mailer, though the report does not mention intended recipients.
The governor’s lone effort on behalf of a candidate from outside Arizona involved $5,200 spent for robocalls for Republican Denny Rehberg in his unsuccessful bid for the U.S. senate in Montana.