Ex-Arizona governor to address GOP

Article author: 
Edward Russo
Article publisher: 
The Register Guard
Article date: 
Thursday, April 2, 2015
Article category: 
Oregon Issues
Article Body: 

Former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican known for clashing with the Obama administration on illegal immigration, will speak at a GOP political fundraiser in Eugene next week.

Brewer will be the keynote speaker at the Lane County Republican Party’s annual Lincoln Day Dinner on April 9.

“She is a strong, politically courageous leader and inspiring speaker,” said Cindy Land, Lane County Republican Party chairwoman. “We are excited to hear her uplifting message, as we stand up against one-party rule for better jobs, better educational opportunities and better individual freedom for Oregonians.”

Brewer was Arizona’s governor from 2009 until this January, when the Arizona Constitution’s term limits ended her run.

She became famous four years ago for signing a bill to crack down on illegal immigration in Arizona. The Obama administration opposed the bill.

A year later, Brewer again made headlines after a photo was taken of her pointing a finger at President Obama when she greeted him at the Phoenix airport.

In 2013, the left-leaning Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, D.C., rated Brewer as one of the worst governors in America, while the conservative Newsmax magazine that same year named Brewer among the 25 most influential women in the GOP.

In an interview, Brewer said she will talk to Lane County Republicans about education, illegal immigration and other issues.

“I’m going to talk about how the federal government has disappointed us on illegal immigration,” she said. “And I’ll talk about what is right with our country, what is wrong with our country, and how we can make it better.”

The Lincoln Day Dinner is the local GOP’s main way to raise money so it can support Republican candidates.

In recent years, the local party has paid Sarah Palin, John Bolton and other well-known Republicans to speak at the event, which typically takes place after February.

But last year the county GOP failed to organize the event after disputes among Republicans led the party’s top three leaders to resign.

Instead, Community Action Network, the political action committee of the conservative-leaning Eugene group Healthy Communities Initiative, brought former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee to town as the keynote speaker for its own political fundraiser.

Land, who ran unopposed for the top post in the county GOP party, was elected by GOP central committee members in November.

“Last year, we had some very passionate individuals who had some very strong opinions that caused some confusion in the party,” she said.

“It took a while for it to work its way through the system, and for leadership to listen and be inclusive of everyone in the party. We are a much stronger organization today than we were a year ago.”

Dennis Morgan, executive director of Community Action Network, said he’s glad the local Republican Party will resume hosting the event.

“It’s great they got it organized and they could put it on,” he said.

For Brewer’s speech, Republicans hope to sell 300 tickets, most for $100 apiece.

Land said the agreement with Brewer’s speaking engagement firm prevents her from disclosing Brewer’s speaking fee.