Wednesday, June 11, 2008

More Brew Blast

Posted By on Wed, Jun 11, 2008 at 3:04 PM

Over the weekend, I wrote about Arizona Secretary of State Jan Brewer sticking it once again to Pima County regarding election-security issues. Last week, Brewer sent out a press release along with her 11-page letter to Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry admonishing the county for the 133-page report Huckelberry and his staff prepared that's full of security measures and proposals--some they have already put in motion, and others that need approval from the Pima County Board of Supervisors. 

Well, Brew is being Brew, but she is also the Secretary of State and has the final authority on all things elections--and she is steamed. Her own press release describes the letter as terse.

So professional, yes? 

Well, no. From Huckelberry's perspective, the whole thing is a bit self-serving on the Brew's part. When I called to get comment, he said he was left scratching his head a bit and wondering if he and Brew are “living on the same planet.” 

He’s particularly perplexed by the timing, which arrives at the heels of Judge Michael Miller’s final ruling on May 23 that the county release the remainder of election database files going back to 1998. The decision ended a year-long public records lawsuit that oddly put a Democratic-majority-led county government against its own political party. 

Huckelberry says he plans to address Brew's views in a report for the supes' June 17 meeting. There are certain pieces of his original report he feels confident Pima County can continue to move forward with.

The fanfare of the letter sent to media outlets--including that press release--remains troubling to Huck. 

“It all seemed a little self-serving,” he says. “It seems like she is turning this into a political game, but this isn’t a game, this is for real.” 

Pima County election integrity activists Jim March and John Brakey released a 21-page response to Brew’s letter, going through her comments point by point, which you can read here. This time around, for the most part, the activists stand by Pima County, although they agree with her on a few points. 

“If Jan Brewer’s highest priority was security and reliability of elections she wouldn’t have exposed herself to conflict of interest criticism by accepting co-chair position of the Bush reelection campaign in 2004,” March and Brakey write. 

From their perspective, Brew’s letter is flawed and makes exaggerated claims. 

As of this writing, the Democratic Party is also waiting for the release of the database files Miller told the county to turn over. The county came up with a release plan, but those involved in the handover aren't sure if they agree. 

More to come, folks ... more to come. 

UPDATE: Brakey asked us to post this updated document, to take the place of the previously posted Word doc.

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