Americans United for Separation of Church and State

Greater Phoenix Chapter

Old Home Home Contact Us Upcoming
Church State Issues Report Church State Violations Join
Email List
Email List
Membership Donations Request
Facebook Meetup Links Send Letter to Editor


Church State Issues

Jan Brewer is working with Cathi Herrod to turn Arizona into a Christian theocracy????

Mar 11, 2014

Arizona Republic

Cathi Herrod, president of the Center for Arizona Policy or Cathi Harrod as I have been calling her Jan Brewer is working with Cathi Herrod to turn Arizona into a Christian theocracy????

From this article it sounds like Arizona Governor Jan Brewer actually worked with Cathi Herrod and her Center for Arizona Policy to write the racist, homophobic, Christian SB 1062 law.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer later vetoed SB 1062 because of public outrage because the bill is racist, homophobic and forces the Christian religion on the people of Arizona.

For the record Jan Brewer is also responsible for attempt to flush down Arizona's Medical Marijuana Act by filing frivolous lawsuits in Federal Court.

Jan Brewer was also one of the members of the Maricopa County Supervisors that voted to take our money and build Jerry Colangelo a billion dollar baseball stadium against the wishes of the people of Maricopa County.

Brewer staff helped work on SB 1062

By Yvonne Wingett Sanchez and Mary Jo Pitzl The Republic | Tue Mar 11, 2014 12:43 AM

When Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed Senate Bill 1062 last month, she criticized the right-to-refuse-service legislation as divisive and aimed at a problem that didn’t exist. What the Republican governor didn’t say is that her staff had worked with supporters for six weeks to shape the legislation, documents show.

Brewer’s top aides — including her attorney, policy adviser and legislative liaison — began in January to negotiate bill language with the Center for Arizona Policy, the powerful non- profit that advocates for conservative causes and helped write the bill, documents show.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer In response to a request by The Arizona Republic, Brewer’s staff produced dozens of pages of e-mails, memos and other records that detail efforts by her office to improve the legislation by altering language that aides suggested could prevent it from moving forward, as well as raising questions about how the bill would mesh with free-exercise-of-religion laws. Nothing in the e-mails and memos indicates Brewer had any direct involvement in the negotiations over the bill.

The records show a number of changes were made to the bill before it won final legislative approval 21/2 weeks ago.

There is, however, no indication the governor or her staff anticipated the outrage or economic threats the bill’s passage would provoke until the eve of its final vote.

The documentation shows that the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry attempted to inform Brewer’s office in a Feb. 16 e-mail of the storm similar legislation was stirring in other states. As the Senate was preparing to give the bill formal approval on Feb. 19, supporters sent Brewer’s office talking points to rebut its critics.

SB 1062 would have offered a legal defense for individuals and businesses facing discrimination lawsuits if they proved they had acted on a “sincerely held religious belief.” Opponents argued that it would have legalized discrimination, in particular, allowing businesses to refuse to serve the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

Brewer vetoed the bill Feb. 26, saying it did not address “a specific and present concern related to religious liberty in Arizona.”

The bill’s ultimate demise is a lesson in the perils of reading too much into negotiations with Brewer’s staff, say lawmakers and longtime lobbyists at the state Capitol. It is typical for governors to want a say on legislation before the finished product hits their desks. And even then, meetings and revisions don’t guarantee a bill will be signed.

“There was always a caveat that even though they worked with us, there are no guarantees,” lobbyist Rory Hayes said of dealings with governors past and present over numerous legislative sessions.

Center for Arizona Policy President Cathi Herrod said that despite the back-and-forth with the Governor’s Office, there were no promises Brewer would sign SB 1062.

“As always with the governor and her team, there are never any guarantees given — no promises were made ahead of time,” she said. “The intention of the meetings was to thoroughly vet the language with the governor’s team to hear their concerns about any of the drafting, to respond to questions and to make any changes that they suggested to the bill’s language.”

Herrod said she thought the center adequately addressed staff concerns because changes were made based on their suggestions. Ultimately, Herrod said, Brewer’s veto occurred because of political pressure and misinformation about SB 1062 — not because “it was insufficiently vetted.”

But even when a bill is thoroughly vetted, that doesn’t guarantee it will be signed into law, many at the Capitol say.

Rep. J.D. Mesnard, R-Chandler, said the Governor’s Office’s willingness to work on bill language simply signals an interest in working on a bill. Others say it can be a courtesy to the lawmaker sponsoring the bill or interest groups pushing it.

With Brewer in particular, people close to her said there are rare instances when her office won’t entertain a discussion: If the legislation is diametrically opposed to the governor’s agenda, if the bill sponsor has been ostracized by the Ninth Floor, or if it’s a proposal that doesn’t need additional vetting.

Mesnard said that three years ago, he sponsored an amendment to remove certain language from a bill at Brewer’s request. It would be easy to conclude that after doing that, the amended bill would be signed into law — but Brewer vetoed it.

“Getting her feedback and answering her concerns is not a guarantee of signing,” he said.

Andrew Wilder, Brewer’s spokesman, reiterated that the negotiations were typical and said that at no time did staff “promise … support for the final bill.

“Proponents were given an opportunity to explain the need for this bill and they couldn’t,” Wilder wrote in a statement. “From the very first dialogue, the governor’s staff raised concerns about the legislation, and Gov. Brewer herself had questions about the very need for a bill at all.”

Records show the Center for Arizona Policy started communicating with gubernatorial staff on Dec. 12, 2013 — a month before the legislative session began. Herrod e-mailed Brewer’s lawyer, Joe Sciarrotta, and her policy director, Michael Hunter, saying she wanted to talk about “legislative strategy.”

“In particular, we would like to discuss life and religious liberty legislation,” Herrod wrote.

A meeting was scheduled for Jan. 6.

Hours later, documents show, Herrod, along with the center’s legal counsel, Josh Kredit, began to revise the bill’s language after Brewer’s staff raised concerns. Kredit told Sciarrotta and Hunter that the center removed two phrases “per the concerns raised today.”

On Jan. 22, Kredit wrote to Hunter, “We have developed several proposed changes to the current bill and responses to many of your questions.”

In an e-mail to Herrod later that day, Hunter referenced qualms with the bill.

Two pages of “SB 1062 Questions and Responses,” compiled by Herrod and Kredit based on questions by Brewer’s staff, detail other issues with the legislation. Staff, for example, asked what the difference was between “practice and observance” of religion, writing, “Isn’t that already included in exercise of religion?”

Questions also centered on whether individuals could “claim a religious belief on anything?” and “Why redefine state action to include private action if there is no state law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression?”

Brewer’s staff asked if bill proponents would consider adding a three-part test that was established in a 2009 state Supreme Court court ruling. That ruling requires that a refusal to act is motivated by a religious belief, that the religious belief is “sincerely held,” and that any state action against a person refusing service would substantially burden that person’s religious beliefs.

While proponents were opposed to the suggestion, Herrod told The Republic the changes were later included through a floor amendment with “language pursuant to their concerns and suggestions.”

On Feb. 26, the day she vetoed SB 1062, Brewer held meetings about the bill starting at 12:30 p.m., including with Sen. Steve Yarbrough, R-Chandler, the bill’s sponsor; legislators; business groups; pastors, Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted, bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix. Her final meeting, records say, was with Herrod at 4 p.m.

Brewer announced her veto two hours later.