Arizona Eagletarian

Arizona Eagletarian

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

How much taxpayer money does Brewer waste on litigation?

Today, Arizona state Rep. Daniel Patterson (D-Tucson) filed a public records request with the governor's spokesman demanding access to records detailing expenditures incurred by the governor for litigating her partisan agenda.


STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX - State Rep. Daniel Patterson, D-Tucson (District 29) filed a public records request today with Governor Jan Brewer's office, asking for an accounting of the taxpayer dollars that have been spent litigating the Governor's various policy positions and actions.
"This state is in an economic crisis. The Governor's attention should be focused on creating jobs and the public's money should be dedicated to schools and kids," Patterson said.
"In every case below, the Governor and her partisan supporters in the Legislature had ample warning of the cost that would ensue from potential lawsuits. But they moved forward with their reckless and extremist agenda and now it is the taxpayer that is paying the bill," Patterson said.
Here's the letter Patterson sent:

November 22, 2011

Matthew Benson
Director of Communications
The Office of Governor Janice K. Brewer
1700 West Washington Street
Phoenix, Arizona 85007

Dear Mr. Benson,

Pursuant to A.R.S. § 39-121 et seq., I am writing to request copies, or the right to examine and make copies, of any and all public records evidencing the costs, including attorneys' fees, of the following litigation:

1.      Arizona Early Childhood Development and Health Board v. Brewer, CV-09-0078-SA (Ariz. Supreme Ct.)
2.      State of Arizona v. United States, cv-01072-SRB (Ariz. Dist. Ct.)
3.      United States v. State of Arizona, cv-01413-NVW (Ariz. Dist. Ct.)
4.      Brewer v. Burns, CV-09-0168-SA (Ariz. Supreme Ct.)
5.      Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission v. Brewer, CV-11-0313-SA (Ariz. Supreme Ct.)
6.      Collins v. Brewer, cv-02402-JWS (Ariz. Dist. Ct.)
7.      Fogliano v. Betlach, CV2011-010965 (Ariz. Superior Ct.)
8.      State of Florida v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 3:10 cv-91 RV/EMT (N.D. Florida)

This request includes, but is not limited to, any and all documents (whether written or electronic, including text messages, emails, phone records, audio, video, CD Rom or any other format) and includes costs for the entire span of the litigation, including appeals (interlocutory or otherwise) and any judgments for damages, including payment of the prevailing party's attorneys' fees, as well as any costs for cases associated or consolidated with the above-named cases.  Summaries of these costs may be provided in lieu of copies of billing statements in order to minimize any dispute over withholding attorney-client confidential information.

These records are not sought for any commercial purpose, and therefore I do not agree to pay for any costs associated with locating these public records.  See A.R.S. § 39-121.03.

Please comply with this request on or before November 28, 2011.  See id. § 121.01(D)(1) & (E) (requiring prompt compliance with public records requests).  If for any reason you refuse to provide any of the requested public records, pursuant to A.R.S. § 39-121.01(D)(2), please provide an index of the items withheld and the reasons for which you are withholding them.

Sincerely,
Representative Daniel Patterson

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Some info on the listed court cases (with links to additional information):

Arizona Early Childhood Development and Health Board v. Brewer, CV-09-0078-SA (Ariz. Supreme Ct.)


Challenge to funds sweep of interest money for First Things First; Supreme Court ordered the state to refund the swept money plus interest; funds were voter-protected



State of Arizona v. United States, cv-01072-SRB (Ariz. Dist. Ct.)


State filed suit in federal court asking for clarification of how the feds would enforce drugs laws in light of Arizona's new medical marijuana laws; Brewer has refused to implement voter-approved medical marijuana initiative because of letter from U.S. Attorney's office regarding federal laws, even though the letter did not say any state employees would be prosecuted for implementing the program.

United States v. State of Arizona, cv-01413-NVW (Ariz. Dist. Ct.)

SB 1070 litigation

Brewer v. Burns, CV-09-0168-SA (Ariz. Supreme Ct.)

Governor's challenge to legislature for not providing her with the budget bills that both chambers passed; Supreme Court ordered the bills to be presented more quickly, but did not require such quick presentation in the case presented to the court

Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission v. Brewer, CV-11-0313-SA (Ariz. Supreme Ct.)

This is the recent special action in which the Supreme Court reinstated Colleen Mathis to the AIRC

Collins v. Brewer, cv-02402-JWS (Ariz. Dist. Ct.)

Challenge to repeal of benefits for state employees' same sex partners and their dependents; both the district court and the court of appeals enjoined the repeal of benefits.

Fogliano v. Betlach, CV2011-010965 (Ariz. Superior Ct.)

Challenge to denial of medical care to certain folks on AHCCCS (also known as the Prop 204 litigation); just argued in state court of appeals last month.

 State of Florida v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 3:10 cv-91 RV/EMT (N.D. Florida)

Challenge to federal Affordable Care Act (so called Obama Care); AZ joined several others states in this litigation

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I will be interested in the information Patterson receives in response to this request.


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