Many of you have been reading about the latest row between Jan Brewer and Terry Goddard. Those of us that have been watching Arizona politics for a while have seen this show before (Evan Mecham versus Bob Corbin, Fife Symington versus Grant Woods) and have also seen how often governors seem to come out on the losing side of these arguments. Governors want attorneys general that will do their bidding, even though the attorney general is seperately elected. This independence is better in the long run, since it enables an attorney general the freedom to give what is often the best kind of legal advice: saying no.
A slightly different but related drama is going on with Dean Martin. Because of his unhappiness, his allies are running a bill through the legislature to allow Martin and other agency heads to hire their own counsel and not be represented by the attorney general’s office. The trouble is, as some observers point out, this could lead to a situation where different teams of lawyers from different parts of state government would be suing each other. This might be some part of a bailout for law firms in Phoenix. Hey, if the legislature can pay Ken Starr all that money…
Here is the most irksome thing: this is still over…wait for it…the Flores case. This case has gone on so long that plaintiff Miriam Flores, who was an elementary school student in Nogales when it was filed, is an undergrad at the University of Arizona. Maybe Tom Horne, Brewer and the legislature want to drag this out long enough to give her a chance to go to law school and try it herself.
NB – One of the other families in the Flores case are Rosa Rzeslawski and her son, Mario…that’s right…Polish-Mexicans.