Russell Pearce for Congress, Kyrsten Sinema Hearts Russell

Sinema describes the love that dare not speak its name

Now that Congressman Jeff Flake has announced his intention to run for the seat of retiring Arizona U.S. Senator Jon Kyl, it's safe to assume that state Senate president Russell Pearce will go after Flake's sixth district seat in 2012.

Actually, you don't have to assume it, the DC paper Roll Call has already reported that Pearce was making phone calls seeking endorsements as of Thursday, days before Flake officially announced.

Pearce has long coveted the seat, and he'd love to be a Congressman. Years ago, he formed an exploratory committee, donned a toupee, and began raising money, looking to take on the youthful, handsome Flake in a GOP primary. But it wasn't happening. And Pearce eventually announced he would remain in the Legislature.

As I've said many times, Pearce is incapable of running for a statewide seat of any kind -- governor, senator, you name it. 

Even in Sand Land, Pearce's various scandals, like once befriending neo-Nazi J.T. Ready, sending out anti-semitic e-mails to followers, and allegations of spousal abuse -- will not win him votes. Only within the confines of Legislative District 18 have voters seemed content to look the other way.

But can Pearce win over the electorate in Congressional District Six, a narrower bet than a statewide gig? 

Not if he has viable candidates confronting him in the primary and the general election. And if one of the two recalls underway in LD18 scores enough signatures for a recall election, I'd say he's finished in CD6, though he's likely to win the recall election itself. If you get recalled in your own little LD, it simply doesn't bode well for any higher ambitions you may have.

So in one way, I agree with state Senator Kyrsten Sinema's sentiments in this weekend's Sunday Square Off on Channel 12. She at first stated that she hopes Pearce does run. And I agree. Because in doing so, he'll have to relinquish his power as state Senate president. Also, he may end up losing. Which would be grand. 

But even if he doesn't lose, he'll be far less influential as one of 435 U.S. House members than he is now as president of the state Senate.

Sinema's other statement, to the effect that she hearts Pearce, is daft on numerous levels.

"Actually, I love Russell," she said just in time for Valentine's Day. "We get along very well, not always on policy matters, but on personal matters we do."

Most Dems love to hate Pearce, but Sinema just loves him. It's not the sort of legislative chumminess I'd like to hear from the mouth of the state Senate's most liberal member. I expect she'll be reminded of this declaration over and over by her progressive pals, particularly if she decides to seek higher office.


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17 comments
Julie
Julie

I'm a Republican and a Mormon from district 18 and I'm putting myself on the line to help with the recall effort. I will do everything I possibly can to end Russell Pearce's crazy reign. I appreciate people like you Mr. Lemons who are also putting themselves on the line. So, where is the Democratic party? If we have the courage to put ourselves out there for public scrutiny and ridicule, why don't you have the courage to stand up to Russell Pearce and help with this recall?

XSoldier
XSoldier

At first I thought Sinema and Pearce totally hated each other due to political affiliation. Now Sinema just plain turns my stomach.

ANYONE that can love Senate President Russell Pearce, who is a mentally sick old man, is as mentally sick as he is and deserves to be fitted for a straitjacket and heavy sedation to get those voices out of their heads....

Steve Muratore
Steve Muratore

Oh come on Stephen... at least ASK HER to clarify it for you. She's got to figure out how to get anything accomplished as a Democrat in Russell Pearce's senate. Read her book. She's NOT the first Democrat that's been in the position of underdog in a republican dominated state senate. Do some research on how Joe Eddie Lopez partnered with Tom Patterson, for example. Alienating colleagues doesn't help. I don't have any affection for Pearce... and I didn't like it when I watched how Lopez operated. But I wasn't in his shoes then. It's been a bunch of years since and I realize now that it will NOT help any progressive cause to demonize the hardest working, most articulate advocate for social justice in the state senate.

Mistalee
Mistalee

Ew. Careful what you're kissin, there, Kyrsten. I'm pretty sure there's not enough mouthwash in the world to get the taste of Russellbutt out of your mouth.

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

My interpretation of Sen. Sinema's remark, ""Actually, I love Russell," she said just in time for Valentine's Day. "We get along very well, not always on policy matters, but on personal matters we do.":

"I love to watch that goober, Russell. He is always entertaining with his mush mouth spewing of unintelligible gibberish. He makes the state Democratic party seem somewhat sane. As a politician I see him as a very sick man, yet on a personal level I believe he has the inherent right to breathe in a free America, as long as he isn't of brown skin".

Or something to that effect.

Coz
Coz

More loony toons from Arizona politicians.

guest
guest

Run Russell Run!!

StephenLemons
StephenLemons

I did exchange texts with her about it after I wrote this. She told me she doesn't want to hate anyone. Everyone has their own style and strategies, I'll concede that. But I know from experience, as a fugitive son of the South, the only way to deal with the rednecks is Sherman's March to the Sea. You have to crush them. They perceive kindness as weakness. There is no other way.

Charles Ward
Charles Ward

Life is like a fruitcake: you never know what kinds of nuts you'll run into.

Steve Muratore
Steve Muratore

Can you honestly say that Arizona's Democratic senators are in a position where they can crush the the Republicans who dominate that chamber? This blog post and your reply are both extremely short sighted and demonstrate lack of experience and/or insight in observing and reporting on the Arizona legislature. As does Three Sonorans posts about this situation. Unfortunately, the only antedote I'm aware of for that is insight gained over time. Again, what Sinema is doing is not without historical parallel. I only cited one (Joe Eddie Lopez). Because that was the one that bugged me the most when I was first observing the sausage making that takes place in our state legislature.

fairymagic13
fairymagic13

I notice Muratore here hasn't posted again!  Like the Vicie Governent in France - You're full of merd!

Steve Muratore
Steve Muratore

You seem unwilling to be a student of the history of Arizona lawmakers. yes, Pearce is a monster. But you'd do well to watch/observe how Sinema goes about her job and see what works and what doesn't. It's not necessarily appeasement to figure out how to get something accomplished. But it is easier to criticize what you don't understand than to try to figure it out especially when it will take time to do so.

StephenLemons
StephenLemons

"Can you honestly say that Arizona's Democratic senators are in a position where they can crush the the Republicans who dominate that chamber?"

I can honestly say that Republicans like Pearce regard such overtures as weakness. What is to be gained by working hand-in-hand with Pearce? Yeah, you might get another illegal-bashing bill through committee with your name on it, but that's about it.

Pearce is a monster. Going into battle against him, you can't hold out daisies and try to love him up. Good luck with that.

Rather, you have to hang Pearce around the AZ Republican Party's neck till he achieves pariah status. And that can be done, despite the paucity of the Dems' forces. But it won't happen if people take the stance that, shucks, he's really a good guy under that carapace of hatred.

Because he's not. His personal and political history both attest to this. You have to be on the attack all the time. Where are the Dems on the recall efforts? You hear nary a sound. Think Churchill instead of Chamberlain. Appeasement will deliver defeat to the Dems every time.

Yes, the Dems are in the extreme minority. That means they have nothing to lose, and they should act accordingly.

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