August 30, 2004
NEW YORK — Arizona Democrats managed to make their presence felt at the Republican National Convention Monday. If nothing else, they provided animated breakfast-table conversation for the state's GOP delegation.
Democrats slipped a fax under Secretary of State Jan Brewer's door at the Roosevelt Hotel in midtown Manhattan — where the Arizona GOP delegation is staying — calling on Brewer to either resign as the state's chief election officer or as co-chair of the Arizona delegation. They also want her to stop her activities on behalf of Republican President George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney's re-election effort.
Not coincidentally, copies of the same fax were also shoved under the doors of the Arizona media traveling with the state's delegates. In the fax, Jim Pederson, chairman of the Arizona Democratic Party, raised the specter of the 2000 ballot-counting debacle in Florida, where Katherine Harris, at the time the Florida secretary of state, was also a vocal Bush supporter.
“Secretary Brewer has a choice to make — serve Bush-Cheney or serve the people of Arizona as a fair and impartial secretary of state,” Pederson said in the statement. Needless to say, Brewer vehemently rejected the Democrats' demands during a rousing breakfast meeting with Arizona delegates Monday.
“People elected me because they know I have a lot of integrity,” Brewer said after the meeting. “I know how to count besides. Jan Brewer is not resigning. Jan Brewer was duly elected and Jan Brewer will stay elected.”
Brewer is an honorary co-chair of the Bush-Cheney campaign in Arizona, co-chair of the state's convention delegation, and was part of the Republicans' “truth squad” from Arizona during the Democratic convention.
“The votes will be counted fair and square,” Brewer said, adding Arizona is one of the few states that has managed to comply with an election reform law passed by Congress in 2002 to avoid spectacles like the ballot recount in Florida.
Brewer said that since she took office, all of the state's 15 counties have switched to optical-scan ballots.
“We will not have the upside-down problems that Florida had,” she said.