State Capitol News
11:53 am
Mon July 11, 2011

Brewer Lashes out at Obama Administration Over No Invite to Border Visit by Napolitano

Phoenix, AZ – The governor's comments came Thursday after she learned that Napolitano was coming to the border to update her agency's counternarcotics strategy, an event Brewer said she was not invited to or even told about.

(Every time I find out anything about our border, I read about it in the paper or I hear about it on television or I hear about it on the radio. I wish they would notify me to let us know what exactly they're about to do.)

Well, it turns out that Robert Guerrero, who heads the border health office of the state Department of Health Services not only was told but actually participated in the event. Homeland Security spokesman Matt Chandler said his agency also invited other state officials, including the director of the Department of Public Safety and Brewer's own homeland security advisor. And not only was an invite sent to Brian McNeil, the governor's deputy chief of staff, but he actually got a phone call. By Friday, Brewer press aide Matthew Benson was conceding the problem was at this end.

(U.S. Department of Homeland Security did notify select executive state agencies and senior gubernatorial staff. Ordinarily, that would have been sufficient for the message to have reached the governor. In this instance, for whatever reason, that didn't occur. And certainly that's something that we at the governor's staff regret and take responsibility for.)

But Benson sidestepped the question of whether the governor was apologizing to Napolitano, responding only that staff members -- quote -- take responsibility for the internal notification problem in this matter. For Arizona Public Radio this is Howard Fischer.