Russell Pearce Sues in Bid To Rig Redistricting

Pearcepicresized_1290628963_Russell Pearce Award.jpg
Pearce wants to call the shots on the "independent" redistricting panel, and is suing to get his way

Well that didn't take long. As anticipated, state Senate President-elect Russell Pearce and his so-far compliant wingman state House Speaker Kirk Adams, are taking to court their bid to rig Arizona's Independent Redistricting Commission.

After being shot down yesterday by the Commission on Appellate Court Appointments, which showed some backbone and refused to remove three nominees to the IRC as Pearce and Adams had demanded, Pearce and Adams have asked the Arizona Supreme Court to weigh in and force the Commission to do the pair's bidding.

It's a move that has all the subtlety of a South American coup.

The Commission has submitted a list of 25 nominees from which Adams, Pearce and their Democratic counterparts in the state legislature must choose four IRC members. These four will in turn choose a fifth, an Independent, to chair the IRC.

But Republicans Pearce and Adams claim that three nominees are not qualified because they hold "public office," contrary to constitutional dictates.

Two of the GOPers sit on, ahem, irrigation districts. And the third, Independent Paul Bender, the main object of Pearce's ire, is a tribal judge. ("Tribal," as in sovereign Indian lands.)

Bender, you see, has been an outspoken critic of Pearce's legislative babies: SB 1070, and the upcoming effort to gut the 14th Amendment. So for Pearce, it's payback time.

The two Republicans -- cover for the move to oust Bender -- resigned under pressure from Adams and Pearce, but Bender, dean emeritus of ASU's law school, will not bend.

In Wednesday's Commission hearing, the panel, which is currently comprised of a voting majority of eight Republicans, rejected Pearce and Adams' ploy to influence them. They voted to keep all three disputed nominees on the list, declining to accept the resignations of the two Republicans, as they were given under duress.

You can read the entire Pearce-Adams petition, here. But the gist of it is below.

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Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Rebecca White Berch, who chairs the Commission as a non-voting member, has recused herself from the case. Wednesday, she predicted that a legal challenge was "likely."

Indeed, I suspect this lawsuit was ready to go yesterday, and all the Pearce-Adams junta had to do was rewrite a few details.

The state Attorney General's Office is the attorney of record for the Commission, and would defend it against the action. Even if the new Republican AG Tom Horne agrees with Pearce and Adams, his office would still be obliged to represent its client.

All of this should occur very quickly. Adams and Pearce's lawyers have asked for an expedited hearing, and as their picks to the IRC are supposed to be in by January 31, according to the state constitution, they will get it.

The question I have is how long will the public stand for this outright meddling in a process that's meant to exclude such attempts at gerrymandering?

Both Pearce and Adams have plenty of names to choose from. So what if every nominee doesn't meet with their approval? Their selfish, partisan concerns should not be a factor in the makeup of the IRC, which will wield enormous power in establishing the boundaries of Arizona's legislative and congressional districts.

From Pearce, this sort of chicanery is to be expected, but from Adams, it's disappointing. Is the Speaker of the House planning to carry water (or Kool-Aid) for bullyboy Pearce for the next two years? If so, this is merely a prologue to the Andrew Thomas-like chaos that will envelop this state as a result.


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39 comments
Veritas Vincit
Veritas Vincit

Two of the GOPers sit on, ahem, irrigation districts. And the third, Independent Paul Bender, the main object of Pearce's ire, is a tribal judge. ("Tribal," as in sovereign Indian lands.)

Where does it say that irrigation boards and officials of a sovereign nation are excluded from the requirements of holding no public office currently or for the past 3 years? Seems those are public office.

Snicker
Snicker

Why don't you guys do a Feather Bastard series on local police officers who drive drunk and otherwise get arrested for the same crime violations they enforce on citizens? You could start with Ofc. J. Zycowics (sic) who was arrested for Extreme DUI by Scottsdale PD over the holidays. Why not put heat on the Chandler PD Chief to fire this mouthbreather and get a cop with integrity so us tax payers get our monies worth. This monkey in blue will be ridin the pine for at least a year until he can actually perform the duties of a police offficer again--not to mention what lousy decision process this tool has and he is enforcing laws on us....Something wrong here.

Coz
Coz

My my Pearce.....what lies you tell...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

This video shows State Senator Russell Pearce endorsing JT Ready (AZ's most famous White Supremacist) in 2006 for Mesa City Council. The footage has never been seen by the public until now. It was given to Steve Lemons (Phoenix New Times) by an anonymous source. He gave me a copy.

It also shows Pearce deny knowing Ready in 2007 as well as an exclusive interview with JT Ready telling his side of the story. It's interesting. According to Ready, they use to hang on his porch and tell Mexican jokes. I asked Ready if Pearce ever told him to "cool it" as JT Ready openly supports NSM and other white supremacist ideals. Ready stated that he never did but his wife, Lu Ann had as she was concerned of Russell's career.

Probably the most interesting thing is Ready explaining his relationship and role with Pearce's long-time political crusade against Mexicans. It's also important to note that while JT Ready seems to be telling the truth-I have no way of verifying everything he says. I will give him credit as so far he seems to show more integrity and honesty then Senator Pearce. Ready is not happy with Pearce's recent activities with Lobbyists, his public disapproval of the NSM march on Nov 13, 2010 and his repeated denial of their long time friendship and political alliance on the immigration issue. Mr. Pearce should probably get honest real soon as the skeletons in his closet are messy and plenty and its time to take them out.

I have more info and will be releasing it. If I were him, I'd come clean. The people of Arizona deserve the truth.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

Here is a factual time-line of Pearce's relationship with Ready which can easily be verified by reading Steve Lemons years of compilations and research.

2004: Pearce ordained Ready as an elder in the Mormon church. ( official document in video as well as published in Phx New Times http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.c...

2006: Pearce is warned by the Bill Strauss of the ADLof Ready's connections to white supremacists.

March 2007: Ready's neo-Nazi activities are publicly exposed at an open legislative hearing,reported on by the local media.

June 2007: Pearce and Ready work the crowd together at an anti-immigrant rally at the Arizona State Capitol.

Happy New year,

Dennis Gilman

linaimai
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david saint
david saint

so, the state cant afford to help americans with transplants, but can afford a worthless lawsuit like this??!! The phrase "priorities out of whack" doesn't even do that justice. I say a recall effort on pearce is warranted. Ill come pass out the sheet, anyone else want to sign?

Tina
Tina

There's a good lead editorial in today's (1/03/11) Arizona Republic, "You the Voter Have the Tools to Effect Change," which poses some meaningful questions. For example, "Are we going to let crusading lawmakers hijack the session over citizenship and give Arizona a black eye?"Pearce is going to have to be watched closely.

I don't know the time constraints on recall, which would need to be an organized ambitious effort, but your mention of recall reminds me of an occurrence of a few years ago. The son of Russell Pearce who is/was a MCSO deputy had been transferred by Arpaio to a position for which he wasn't trained and was shot and wounded by a suspect.The son's wife, with much fanfare, announced that she was initiating a recall drive against Arpaio. Hah! Never heard or read another word about it. The announced endeavor was obviously nipped in the bud immediately. We can only speculate....

Rob
Rob

Arizona Constitution

ARTICLE VIII. REMOVAL FROM OFFICE

PART 1. RECALL OF PUBLIC OFFICERS

§ 1. Officers subject to recall; petitionersSection 1. Every public officer in the state of Arizona, holding an elective office, either byelection or appointment, is subject to recall from such office by the qualified electors of theelectoral district from which candidates are elected to such office. Such electoral district may include the whole state. Such number of said electors as shall equal twenty-five per centum of the number of votes cast at the last preceding general election for all of the candidates for the office held by such officer, may by petition, which shall be known as a recall petition, demand his recall.

http://www.azsos.gov/election/...

In regards to elected legislators, recalls can be filed 5 days after the start of the first session.

T Walters
T Walters

I sometimes wonder if AZ has so many part-time residents that may not feel invested in AZ's future and therefore don't vote unless there is an issue involving taxes that may effect them. When you look at the City of Phoenix, where the residents tend to be year-round, you have a well run city with a declining crime rate and no significant problem cutting spending but remaining in the service of the community. Look elsewhere, and you see those people who support the Pearce's (Brewers, Arpaios, Thomases) of the state and go ballistic when they hear those words they have been conditioned to react to: immigration, Dream Act, ACCHSS, etc...

Chad Snow
Chad Snow

Good point, T.J. Maybe we should start holding statewide elections in August instead of November...

Tina
Tina

You may have something there, TJ, about part time residents, but more particularly, many voters being conditioned to react to the hate and fear mongering -- and especially the dishonesty -- employed by those whose names you mentioned. I think the biggest problem from them all is the dishonesty and how many people, especially those out of state but here in Arizona also, believe them and their claims.

Tina
Tina

Stephen, "Both HORNE and Adams have plenty of names to choose from." ??? You meant Pearce (not Horne) didn't you?

StephenLemons
StephenLemons

Yes, Tina. Thanks for noticing. Correction made.

Imanoid2
Imanoid2

What do you want from two Mormons? These guys are saying that someone's religion is keeping them off the commission. What religion would this be? I think we already know. The sad part is Pearce doesn't care if he runs his Mormonism into the ground. Saying that 1070 comes in part from his Mormon religious views. There is TOO much interference from Mormons in the legislature. Just my views.

Chad Snow
Chad Snow

Imanoid, your ignorance is equal to Pearce's. Have you read the Utah Compact (written by 80% Mormons) or the press release that the LDS Church issued after it was adopted??? No. Like Russell Pearce you just like to spout off ignorant rants and pass it off as fact. (But like a good Mormon, I forgive you!)

Russell Pearce in no way represents the LDS Church. He is a closed minded, wife beating, ignorant, bigot.

StephenLemons
StephenLemons

I agree with Chad. Pearce is an embarrassment to LDS. Just as pedophile priests are to the Catholic Church. Or the Klan to Christianity in general. The 9/11 hijackers to Islam. And so on.

One is tempted to blame it all on religion. But Communism was (is) religiously atheistic, and yet, look at the millions who have died or suffered under Communist regimes like the Soviet Union, or the Peoples' Republic of China.

Guest
Guest

As Lemons is an embarrassment to real journalists.

helentroy4
helentroy4

HE may say it comes from Mormon religious views but Utah recently weighed in on this and are diametrically opposed to Pearce's stance.

And as far as too much religious interference? The SCOTUS now has six out of nine judges who are Roman Catholic with at least three of them belonging to Opus Dei. Ya think they'll uphold any "choice" rulings if it gets to them? Not likely. And it's not likely they will recuse themselves either.

Pima Mujer
Pima Mujer

"The question I have is how long will the public stand for this outright meddling in a process that's meant to exclude such attempts at gerrymandering?"

How long? Forever or until "Survivor" and DWTS reruns end.

Gerry_C
Gerry_C

As President-Elect, does Pearce yet have standing to file this lawsuit?

Steve Muratore
Steve Muratore

Of course he has standing. His position as President (even though right now it's just "-elect") is in line to name one of the IRC commissioners. If he wasn't yet sworn in as a state senator, that might be different, but he is already a senator and his election to be in charge of the senate has taken place.

Tina
Tina

Oh, ho ho. How CAN he currently have standing? If his attempted involvement is thrown out of court, it won't be the first time. Even before this, I believe Pearce tried his hand at three other unsuccessful litigation attempts just in the last six months. He had no standing, and his attempted involvement was tossed out by the court. Instead of filing an amicus brief in those cases whose both sides already were solidly represented, he thought he'd do it HIS way.

What does he care? It's again only the taxpayers' money he's using to exhibit his meritless power-grab. This one, however, might prove to be more serious against him. Since the 1960's Arizona is one of the states that requires U.S. Department of Justice oversight of its electoral process and its redistricting actions.

Oh yes, and on the impractical side it allows Pearce to divert attention from the serious legislative matter he's supposed to be concentrating on and coming up with solutions -- the state budget shortfall.

Barb W.
Barb W.

He is using the taxpayer's money for these ridiculous suits, not because he really is thinking he'll win, but it is US paying for HIS publicity. Then he can scream that the courts are liberal.........and so it goes.

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

Tina, you've mentioned a state budget shortfall. I have to wonder how this might be since Mrs. Brewer mentioned during her campaign that she had 'balanced' the budget? Could she have been 'exaggerating', I wonder? Could she have been 'misinformed' by her assistants, I wonder?

Wait a minute, could she have been planning on the two tax reassignment bills actually being passed by ignorant citizens, I wonder?

pearce deserves all the agony and criticism thrown at him, but let's not forget Gov. 'I Has Did' as the person MOST responsible for lying to the public about the state budget, simply to be elected.

In the meantime pearce is spending taxpayer monies on issues that he wants to change for HIS good, because he thinks of himself as King of the country, just as the Flaccid Fool of MCSO thinks of himself as King of the State of Arizona.

In a time when budgets are NOT balanced it simply doesn't make sense to waste taxpayer money on this meaningless power grabbing. I wish that just ONE Republican lawmaker in this state would have the intestinal fortitude to come out of the closet of political weaklings and confront these two. Imagine how many votes they might get in the next election process.

As 2011 kicks in I am hoping to hear from Emil Pulsifer, who seems to have taken a self imposed hiatus. We need his feedback...

Gerry_C
Gerry_C

Don't forget folks, Russell Pearce knows he will be shot down in the 9th Circuit when he appeals. But not to worry, he is confident that the U.S. Supreme Court will side with him on every issue.

The babster
The babster

He may be right; they surely demonstrated that when they allowed corporate donations of any amount to be donated without disclosure of who the donator is. The Supreme Court is quickly becoming a rubber stamp for these scary people.

ArizonatheCessPoolofCorruption
ArizonatheCessPoolofCorruption

The cesspool of corruption just never ends in Arizona

TJ Walters
TJ Walters

Ironically, most of this comes from the suburbs/country.

Mistalee
Mistalee

Yeah, it's about all that Arizona produces now that y'all got rid of the citrus orchards. Too bad you can't export it for cash.

Coz
Coz

At a time when Arizona can't afford anymore BS suits or the money it costs, here we have this POS Pearce wasting more of the tax payers money.

What rock did this slimeball crawl out from under ?

Deniseaz
Deniseaz

i am wondering if this is the same as what Tom Delay done in Texas that helped earn him prison time , i know that he was as well involved in the Enron mess , but something tells me that Tom was doing just about the same thing , tampering the distric redrawing .

if so , i would hope that RUST SELL pearce does earn a good long time in the slammer . as well as his son ( the baby abuser )

Truth to Power
Truth to Power

Hmm, let's see, Pearce is telling a sitting Chief Justice of the Arizona Supreme Court that she doesn't know the law or the Constitution and he does...

Uh, yeah. I'm sure that'll work.

Anon
Anon

p.s.- And then there's this gerrymandering -- Prisoners of the Censushttp://www.prisonersofthecensu...

Boosting Immunity
Boosting Immunity

hey we got enough prisons in AZ to claim at least a couple of million people in certain districts... Russ is starting to sound like tom delay....

Anon
Anon

Stephen, Great public service. Adams is a disappointment but then Russell was elected "king" when the people voted in Brewer/CCA/Coughlin.

Todd Stallion
Todd Stallion

Gosh it must be independent if its called Independent.

BroSan
BroSan

Todd Stallion is alive! ALIVE!!!

The Lou Show
The Lou Show

You forgot to mention Gleason as a mole for Jim Kelly.

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