Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) has created a federal political action committee seeking to support Republican congressional candidates in the 2012 election.
The East Valley Tribune reported that Brewer created Jan PAC with an eye to supporting candidates running for federal office next year. The move comes as Brewer has positioned herself as one of the nation's most outspoken governors on issues like immigration and redistricting.
"I think it's important that we change the flavor in Washington, D.C.," she said. "I think that I could be a big participant in having that happen. If we don't do it here, who's going to do it?"
It also is a direct result of Brewer's jet-setting across the country to speak to Republican groups as well as promote her book, which deals with the same issues.
"People have asked me if I had a PAC and they would want to contribute," she said. "I thought about it for awhile and I thought, why not?"
Brewer announced the super PAC's creation on her Facebook page Monday night as she prepared to attend an event at the Reagan Library in California to promote her new book, "Scorpions for Breakfast."
"Speaking about the choices voters had before the 1984 election, President Ronald Reagan said, 'The choices this year ARE NOT just between two different personalities, or between two political parties. They are between two different visions of the future. Two fundamentally different ways of governing -- THEIR government of pessimism, fear and limit ... or OURS of hope, confidence and growth,'" Brewer wrote on Facebook. "It seems to me, there are STILL two very different visions of the future. This is why a new political action committee, Jan PAC (www.janpac.com), was formed."
According to Jan PAC's website, Brewer has centered the PAC around four goals: border security and illegal immigration, fighting the federal health care law, job creation and reducing the size of government. Under the terms of Brewer's filing with the Federal Election Commission, Jan PAC qualifies as a super PAC, which will allow the committee to raise unlimited contributions. The site promises a free autographed copy of Brewer's book to anyone who donates at least $100 by November 22.
The Arizona Republic reported that that Jan PAC is being chaired by former Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters, a long-time Arizona Republican stalwart who chaired Brewer's 2010 gubernatorial campaign.
The creation of the super PAC comes as Brewer is entrenched in court battles to keep the controversial Arizona immigration law she signed in place, and to uphold her firing of the chairwoman of the state's independent redistricting commission. The Arizona Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments next week on Brewer's decision to oust Colleen Coyle Mathis as the redistricting commission chairwoman.
Brewer and the Republican-controlled Senate ousted Mathis last week, claiming that the draft congressional maps that the commission created violated the state constitution by not creating compact districts or keeping together "communities of interest." Brewer also charged that the commission held too many secret meetings in drafting the plan. The draft map created four Republican-leaning districts, two Democratic-leaning districts and three toss-up districts. Brewer's decision came after she talked with the state's Republican congressional delegation, who also lobbied members of the state Senate on the move.
Brewer has come under fire from Arizona Democrats in recent days for considerable out-of-state travel devoted to promoting her book and working on national Republican causes. In recent weeks, Brewer's trips have taken her to New York and California as part of the book tour and to Alabama to discuss immigration. She also traveled to Las Vegas to attend a Republican presidential debate.
Brewer spokesman Matthew Benson told The Huffington Post last week that Brewer is a "national figure" who regularly receives speaking requests from groups across the country.
Federal PACs have previously been a way for governors to expand their influence over federal elections and to fund out-of-state political travel. Earlier this year, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (R) created a federal PAC to cover the costs of his campaign trips for President Obama's reelection. A top advisor to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) said Christie was considering opening a federal PAC earlier this year.