A Tennessee businessman with a penchant for collecting cars is helping Jan Brewer elect Republicans to Congress, here and elsewhere.
New reports made public Tuesday show that Jan PAC, the governor's federal political action committee, collected close to $351,000 in the last three months. But $100,000 of that comes from Willis Johnson, the founder and chairman of Copart, a nationwide chain of auto auction yards. And, in reality, the figure is $110,000 when you add in the 10 grand that came from the company itself. Brewer said she met Johnson last summer while she was off helping Tennessee Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn raise money. The governor acknowledged Johnson is no stranger to Arizona. Or at least, his company is not. It has operations in both Phoenix and Tucson.
"And we're grateful for that presence. He creates jobs," the Governor said.
But the governor said Johnson is not expecting any special favors from her in exchange for his largesse.
"He has never asked me for a thing," she said. "And he hasn't asked me for a thing since he donated. He's a great American, a true American that cares about his country. He believes that we need a change. And he donated to the PAC and his money will be well spent."
Brewer defended her decision to spend more than $23,000 of her PAC funds last week to mail out a piece attacking Democratic congressional candidate Kyrsten Sinema, a former state legislator. But the governor said it's not personal.
"I do not hate Kyrsten, but she's wrong for America," Governor Brewer said. "She's wrong for Arizona. She had an opportunity to be a helper when I was in there the first year. And she was the most partisan person we met. She didn't want to come to agreement on anything."
With the latest quarterly income, Brewer has now collected nearly $587,000 this year, with most of it still unspent. But asked if she intends to launch similar mail attacks against other Democratic congressional contenders, like Ann Kirkpatrick, the governor just smiled, got back into her car and was driven off.