by David Safier
Linda Valdez has a fascinating and insightful column in today's Republic. Her thesis: Goddard should run against Pearce, not Brewer.
Goddard has to sell himself to voters as the governor who will check the radical excesses of Pearce, who hopes to be state Senate president next session and can be expected to implement an agenda so far out of the mainstream that he won't even get his feet wet.
Goddard is the guy who can keep Pearce from running the state.
Brewer won't stop Pearce. She owes her sudden popularity to him. Signing Pearce's immigration bill, the controversial and damaging Senate Bill 1070, gave her poll numbers with Republican primary voters that challenger Buz Mills' millions won't move and state Treasurer Dean Martin can only dream about.
Brewer isn't likely to cross Pearce if she wins in November.
Goddard's goal should be to remind voters of that early and often.
It's a terrific point. Goddard can spend all his time trying to point out how Brewer is the problem, but it's a hard case to make politically. For all her conservative faults, she can portray herself as moderating some of the Republican legislature's excesses. She, after all, pushed the one cent sales tax and fought against the corporate tax cuts.
The fact is, Pearce, not Brewer, is the 800 pound gorilla. He's the one who is throwing his weight around, courting the most extreme factions of the extreme right wing and putting the screws to any Rs who dare challenge his agenda. If anyone is running Arizona right now, it's Big Russell.
Goddard can energize his base and convince some of the persuadable middle if he says he, not Brewer, can put Pearce in his place. As Valdez wrote,
Brewer's pen is out of ink.
Goddard should promise, among other things, to wield his veto pen to fight against the excesses of Pearce and his cronies. The biggest problem with Brewer is that she enables Pearce, Inc., allowing the right wing crazies to run the state.