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Jan Brewer Critics Gather Signatures To Force Recall Election

Jan Brewer Recall

First Posted: 03/07/11 11:10 AM ET Updated: 05/25/11 07:35 PM ET

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer may have picked a bad time to go on vacation.

Just after the Republican lawmaker embarked on a trip to Alaska -- which she wrote on Twitter marks her first in two years -- local Fox affiliate KSAZ reported that critics of the governor spent part of Saturday collecting signatures to recall her from office at the state capitol.

According to the Grand Canyon State-based outlet, 432,000 signatures would need to be obtained by the end of May to force a recall election.

While Brewer cruised to a another term in Arizona's midterm election last year after being appointed to succeed ex-governor Janet Napolitano in 2009, it seems her tenure as governor can be characterized as anything, but smooth. From contentious debate over illegal immigration and SB 1070 -- a controversial measure addressing the issue she signed into state law last year -- to questionable health care cuts, Brewer's decisions have left some in her state less than pleased.

KSAZ reported last month on the push to recall Brewer:

Matt Jette, who recently became a registered Democrat, has been named the spokesman for the Committee to Recall Arizona Governor Jan Brewer.

The group is trying to collect thousands of signatures statewide by May 28 to force a recall election.

A Chandler woman, who is a Republican, launched the grassroots effort in January.

The group says the state is headed in the wrong direction and it disagrees with the Governor's cuts to health care and education.

As for the issue of cuts to health care, Bloomberg recently noted:

Nowhere has the national Medicaid crisis come under a harsher glare than in Arizona, where Brewer, 66, drew international condemnation for being the only governor to stop paying for certain organ transplants, including hearts and livers. Cutting Medicaid for about one in five Arizonans now on the rolls, as she proposes, would help save $541.5 million in the coming year.

Reuters reports on what's at stake for some in the state:

A pacemaker and defibrillator fitted to carpenter Douglas Gravagna's failing heart makes even rising from the couch of his Phoenix-valley home a battle.

But it is not congestive heart failure that is killing him, he says. It is a decision by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer to stop funding for some organ transplants as the state struggles to reduce a yawning budget deficit.

"She's signing death warrants -- that's what she's doing. This is death for me," says Gravagna, 44, a heavy-set man who takes 14 medications to stay alive.

Members of the "Committee to Recall Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer" participated in a "Walk for Life" Rally on Saturday to draw attention to patients in Arizona restricted from potentially life-saving transplants as a result of funding cuts.

Brewer contends, "If we are to regain control of state spending, we must reform Medicaid and free Arizona from the fiscal manipulation of the federal government."

To be clear, it would seem that those seeking to recall Brewer face unlikely odds at accomplishing their goal. Many in Arizona have stood behind Brewer and the issues and positions she has undertaken. Supporters of the governor propelled her to victory last November.

KSAZ reported last month that the governor's office was abstaining from commenting on the effort to recall her from office.

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Filed by Elyse Siegel  |