Russell Pearce and Sonoran News Slammed by Recall Group

benitaresize.JPG
Lantigua, with her U.S. passport...

In his June 22 editorial on the effort to recall state Senate President Russell Pearce, Don Sorchych, publisher and editor of the right-wing Cave Creek pub Sonoran News, erroneously referred to Mesa resident and petition-signer Benita Lantigua as "a Mexican woman," who is "likely an illegal."

Today, Lantigua showed up to a press conference sponsored by the recall group Citizens for a Better Arizona. In her hand was her U.S. passport. 

Her lawyer Sean Larkin told reporters that Lantigua, who was on her lunch break from her job at Wells Fargo, has been a U.S. citizen since 1996.

Lantigua did not answer questions about Sorchych's editorial, or the shabbily reported June 15 article by Sorchych's top hack Linda Bentley, on which the opinion piece was based. The Bentley item offered Lantigua's registration as an example of the "massive voter registration fraud" that she alleged was present in the recall petitions. 

But on Lantigua's behalf, Larkin and CBA organizer Randy Parraz blasted Pearce, the Sonoran News, and other outlets that have disseminated the same inaccurate information, such as the nativist non-profit Ban Amnesty Now, as well Websites for both the Arizona Republican Party and the Maricopa County GOP.

"It seems [Sonoran News] willfully published false information and accusations that would ultimately be accusing [Lantigua] of committing both federal and state crimes," Larkin said.

Parraz called Bentley's allegations of fraud "false, misleading and baseless." He noted the irony that out of more than 18,000 names CBA turned in to the Arizona Secretary of State's Office, Pearce's supporters ended up spotlighting someone who was, unbeknownst to them, an American citizen.

"Out of 18,000 names to pick from and you can't even get it right?" Parraz asked incredulously of Bentley and the Sonoran News. "You end up picking someone who is registered to vote, who lives in the district, and you [label this ]`massive voter fraud' and use her as the poster child of this? 

"That goes beyond the line. We believe it is illegal activity. That's why we are here today...Russell Pearce should be ashamed that he has people supporting him that [use] these kinds of tactics."

Bentley originally reported that Lantigua was registered under three different names with Maricopa County elections, citing this as evidence of "rampant voter registration fraud." 

She also suggested that Lantigua might have committed bigamy.

County elections director Karen Osborne later told me that Lantigua had done nothing wrong. Osborne said Lantigua has never voted dually, and signed the recall petition only once.

Indeed, Lantigua, who has lived in the U.S. for more than two decades, simply changed her name over the years when she divorced and remarried. The county failed to consolidate the registrations as one.

Additionally, Osborne stated that the claim of "massive voter registration fraud" was "inaccurate" based on what she's seen of the petitions.

So far the county has validated 10,374 signatures from Pearce's Legislative District 18, or 2,618 more than the 7,756 required to force a recall election, assuming Pearce doesn't choose to resign instead.

Parraz noted that all Bentley had to do was ask Osborne about Lantigua's registration, and she would have been told that Lantigua had voted appropriately. He believes Lantigua was targeted because she is Latina.

"If her name was Smith or Jones, we would not be having this press conference," said Parraz.

Parraz also laid blame directly at Pearce's feet, pointing out that Pearce is an honorary national co-chair of Ban Amnesty Now, which repeated Bentley's allegations in a fundraising e-mail.

Later in the day, CBA chairman Chad Snow fired off a demand to Sorchych for "a full retraction of your libelous statements recently made against U.S. Citizen Benita Lantigua."

I called both Bentley and Sorchych for comment, but neither have had the courage to call me back.

Thus proving that it's far easier to slime an innocent woman, than defend your own indefensible actions.

(For more on this outrage by the pro-Pearce forces, check out my column in this week's paper.)

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52 comments
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Jason
Jason

An important update:

I e-mailed Rep. Justin Olson, one of my representatives for LD19 in the state House, about the unemployment benefits. I told him I had an even better proposal than the one I e-mailed to House Speaker Tobin. He wants to schedule a meeting with me but said that Governor Jan "Have Did" Brewer is unlikely to call another special session to fix the issue.

Now the really fun part of my efforts: Trying to get Governor Jan Brewer to go along with my legislative proposal to get those unemployment benefits.  

Jason
Jason

I just e-mailed Jan. Let's hope for a response.

Tina
Tina

Jason,

Can't understand why that last link to the indignant Chad Willems (MCSO) letter doesn't work.  Will try again.  (If it still doesn't work, the letter can be accessed on the second NT article provided in my previous post.  

http://media.phoenixnewtimes.c...

Tina
Tina

Jason,

Here's the background to Arpaio severing all ties with Pearce's B.A.N. late last October.

http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.c...

http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.c...

http://media.phoenixnewtimes.c... long before then, the Republic's E.J. Montini got a letter from B.A.N., all about B.A.N.'s need for money to defend SB 1070. Since the governor was already collecting legal defense funds from private donors, Montini wanted to know what his money would be going for, and wrote about the experience.  He couldn't reach Sean McCaffrey (B.A.N.'s sole full-time employee) or Russell Pearce, so called Arpaio, who could only say that he lent his name to them and wasn't really involved. (Montini wrote a column about it.)Then in May we read that screaming fund-raising letter by J.D.Hayworth urging potential Pearce supporters to send donations to B.A.N. to be used by Pearce for his campaign financing to fight the recall.  At this point it looks like B.A.N. is Russell Pearce's own private slush fund, which also pays the salary of its sole employee,  McCaffrey.P.S. Good luck with getting a response from Gov. Brewer.  Let us know if you do. 

Jason
Jason

Isn't Pearce's buddy the MCSO shurf an honorary chair member of BAN?

Pearce would do us some good to resign his position. What with him denying the unemployment benefits and the $40,000 he took from the Fiesta Bowl, he should resign.

Lantigua sounds like an Italian name. As does Benita. Wonder when she's going to file suit against Sonoran News?

Pearce & Co have become delusional over this recall. First calling Chad and Randy and all those people "open-border activists" and then accusing them of "massive voter registration fraud."

Again, see you at the unemployment office Russell. You're gonna need it. You are now 1 of about 600,000 unemployed Arizonans.

@wherewasi: What color is that Kool-Aid? I need to know so that I don't buy it at the grocery store.

Tina
Tina

Jason, as I recall, Arpaio disassociated himself entirely from Pearce's "B.A.N."  Pearce had sent out some B.A.N. mass-email as being from Arpaio, without Arpaio's knowledge or approval.  Arpaio then wrote Pearce telling him he is severing all ties with B.A.N., will no longer be affiliated with it.  He was most unhappy with Pearce's slight (or gall.)I think that was last fall, not sure. It would have to be researched.

If the schism between Arpaio and Pearce still exists, Arpaio would be the second close "friend" and former ally of Pearce whom Pearce has alienated.  J.T. Ready was the first.  Pearce's dishonesty was too abhorrent for Ready, and Ready didn't mince any words telling about it and letting it all hang out.  

Jason
Jason

Thanks Tina. I thought that the Stupid Shurf (SS) was still part of Pearce's BAN club because of the MCSO shurf's undying support of Pearce (remember the feet to the fire rally? The MCSO shurf called on the audience to support Pearce). I had no idea that Arpaio had developed a brain hemisphere and actually disassociated himself with BAN and Pearce.

Pearce is finding himself more and more alone with each associate he alienates. With his alienation of friends, he turns delusional. Does anyone out there support Russell Pearce anymore?

Also, we can't forget Bundgaard. Pearce came to his aid real quick in February and woman-beater Scott hasn't said a word to Pearce in return, almost 5 months after the fact. I wonder why that is? Hmm...

   

Mistalee
Mistalee

This just in -

There may be a boycott forming against  businesses advertising in the Sonoran News. Some businesses have apparently already received letters alluding to this, and Linda Bentley is aready awash in conspiracy theories about who may be behind it-

http://www.sonorannews.com/arc...

I don't know who is organizing the boycott, but their letter, according to Bentley, cites the  Sonoran News as being a “negative, divisive and controversial publication” filled with “negativity and divisive rhetoric.” It also states that “You are probably already learning that citizens in our community are turning away from the negativity and divisive rhetoric that comes from this ‘publication’”

It may well be that Sorchych and Bentley have gone so far over the top, or maybe off the wall, that they are alienating even their base.

If anybody has information about the boycott, and how to support it, feel free to post it!

*****

UPDATE

Stephen Lemons is correct about the Sonoran News print edition coming out every other week. Sorchych had to do that a little over a year ago to stay afloat due to declining ad sales, which some commenters said was due to the Sonoran News being a hateful, unprofessional, vendetta-driven rag that wouldn't pass muster as a high school student paper.

http://www.azcentral.com/commu...

So the Sonoran News is on the ropes. Time to deal it the knockout punch.

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Adrian Cruz
Adrian Cruz

What the hell do you people expect?  We tried calling the recall people "open borders anarchists", "mafia thugs" and "cartel members" til they turned out to be a bunch of white, Republican women in their 50's and 60's.  Then we tried the "massive voter fraud" line til the one name we found suspicious turned out to be a U.S. Citizen.  Constantine Querrard's running out of ideas over here.  Help!!!

Sincerely,

Russell Pearce

Tina
Tina

Not to forget a couple more juicy descriptions that Pearce and company have tried:

"socialist thugs who carry swastikas"  and

 "the ultra-liberal, pro-amnesty, open borders mafia"

Those colorful designations are directly out of the hysterical mass-mailed letter by J.D. Hayworth to prospective Pearce supporters in late May.  Throughout the letter, Hayworth desperately begs -- in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS -- that election campaign contributions be sent to Pearce to fight the recall,  with the ending directive to "send your check (payable to B.A.N.)" to the provided Tempe address.  

However, since I've been a voter and resident in legislative district 18 for more decades than I care to remember, my favorite of the Pearce accusations is "Outsider."

 There are now at least 10,374 of us "outsiders" who vote and live in Pearce's district.    

So who are Russell Pearce's  "insiders"?  They must be the out-of-state corporations for whom Pearce now avidly seeks AG approval, enabling them to be financial contributors to his recall election campaign.  It must be payback time to go against the grain of state law.   

Meanwhile, it's strongly advisable that the publisher of Sonoran News print a retraction to its defamatory, untrue story, "Pearce recall petitions indicate massive voter registration fraud" as well as his own defamatory, untrue editorial. 

  

Chad Snow
Chad Snow

True, Tina.  Pearce and his camp haven't given any substantive answers to the concerns we've raised.  All they've done is call us names and sent out lots of fund raising letters with ALL CAPS appeals for money while playing on their supporters' racial fears. 

Mistalee
Mistalee

"while playing on their supporters' racial fears."

The sad thing is how well it works. If these yokels have any gray matter, it pretty obviously shuts down when "illegals" are mentioned. When I read the comments on the New Times site by some of these people, it is clear that they are quite willing to believe any absurdity in order to justify and further inflame their irrational hatred of Mexicans. And as Voltaire said, "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities."

Chem Trail Karen
Chem Trail Karen

This women is illegal and so is the recall. This women is just the type Russell is cleaning up and getting rid of. She is filled with sin and should not be allowed to vote. No one profiled her when they called her illegal either.Just look at her! She wants your white husband. God Bless Russell Pearceand God Damn Stephen Lemons, a traitor to his nation.  

This fucking recall shit needs to stop. The tea party loves Russell and hates Demotards. Support Russell Pearce against the illegals! 

hipbilly
hipbilly

Are you high? Sniffin' jet fumes? No, just trolling.

crazybaldhead
crazybaldhead

and I especially like how you reference sin and your god, then throw in some profanity and talk of who you hate. what would jesus do karen? you really know how to put the "moron" in oxymoron. wait, you're an oxycontinmoron....nice chem trail

crazybaldhead
crazybaldhead

Lets get this straight chem trail karen--WHAT PART OF LEGAL DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND?

Jason
Jason

Why did you escape from the mental institution? Were they forcing you to take your meds?

mikefrombisbee
mikefrombisbee

Have you ever considered signalling your planet and asking them for a ride home? it worked for ET...

Gaian
Gaian

Huffing chem trails is bad, mmmkay...

Mistalee
Mistalee

The woman is a legal citizen.

You, otoh, are living proof of why nobody should use solvents with the windows shut.

Tina
Tina

Mistalee,  as you can see, Chem Trail Karen fits the mold of the type of people Russell Pearce attracts. 

Chem Trail Karen
Chem Trail Karen

Married 3 times? She's a whore! 

Bobby
Bobby

Oh, come on. Sometimes a girls just very unlucky.

Mistalee
Mistalee

You'd be a whore if anyone would pay you.

I hear you were giving blowjobs in the parking lot for a quarter - but you had to quit when you ran out of quarters. 

Adrian Cruz
Adrian Cruz

She's not even half way to Karen Johnson's record.  But she's one ahead of Pearce - he'd be twice divorced also but beat the shit out of his current wife so she wouldn't leave him. 

el_extranjero
el_extranjero

Am tired of looking at Pearce's face posted all over this site.  Remember that picture of him with a fly in his forehead?  How about New Times replaces Pearce's face with a picture of a pile of shit with a fly sitting on top of it?  That way we'll know who the article is about, and picture will of course depict a very appropriate description Pearce. 

Truth to Power
Truth to Power

They no publicity is bad publicity--unless you're lying through your teeth.  These types of stories need to get wider circulation because they highlight how low these people will go to justify their actions. Thank God we have alternative press like the New Times and Lemons to call bullshit on these people.

If only the rest of the media had the gonads to take this crap on.

Adrian Cruz
Adrian Cruz

In the case of Pearce supporters, that would be "lying through your tooth". 

Mistalee
Mistalee

"Her lawyer Sean Larkin told reporters that Lantigua, who was on herlunch break from her job at Wells Fargo, has been a U.S. citizen since1996."

Yeehaw, Lantigua's got a lawyer!

I bet Storchych filled his depends when he heard that.

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

Please remember that in order for her to sue she has to be able to show she's been victimized (injured) by the information that was printed about her. If everyone believes as we do, that it's all crap and not true, then she may not have grounds to WIN a suit. That said, she can certainly file a notice of claim and work on a settlement that might make her feel better about who she is....

Mistalee
Mistalee

Oh, she can prove that plenty of people believed it, simply by pointing to the way the story was picked up by all the nutter nativist websites. I do believe she has The Sonoran News by the short and curlies. 

concerned
concerned

The time is now to take all this lying politicians out of office..Sad thing about all this is that as soon as they read the lies people right away thought it was true.. I am glad that they were called out on it because now with this bad publicity it will create more chaos for Pearce's followers.

The message to them is that, WE WILL NOT TAKE IT ANYMORE, WE ARE ALL CREATED EQUAL IN THE EYES OF THE CONSTITUTION AND WE ALL HAVE THE SAME RIGHTS AS AMERICANS!!!!!!!

Russell probably thought that all this lies would not be confronted with the truth, boy was he wrong. Truth always prevails dumbnut!!

We have 2 great heroes in this recall organization to thank for.  Their dedication and their protection for our rights has been outstanding my salutes go out to RAndy Parraz and Chad Snow..

Thank you guys for giving the normal people here in AZ a voice.

We are tired of all this BS and we want to take our state back I think we are headed in the right direction.

TO ALL ARIZONANS LETS CONTINUE THE FIGHT FOR OUR RIGHTS AFTER ALL WE ARE THE TAXPAYERS THAT SUPPORT THIS CORRUPTED POLITICIANS AND WE CAN TAKE AWAY THEIR SALARIES AS WELL..

Just as  we vote them in we can vote them out..It really is all up to us the PEOPLE..

GOD BLESS AMERICA it is the land that I LOVE!!!!!!!

nana234
nana234

Just more and more proof that the Republicans are trying to swing elections by inventing "massive voter fraud". Everybody make sure you vote, its the only answer to them. Check out https://registertovote.org if you need help or want to register online. Just make sure you get registered and get to the polls.

Tina
Tina

What absolute scum!  These people are bottom feeders.  The extent to which they have gone to knowingly disseminate libelous false information is beyond belief.  They've taken their big lie and run with it.  Embroidered it, embellished it, burnished it and are flying with it. 

If it weren't so sick, it would be funny.   Russell Pearce loyalists were shocked to learn that over ten thousand of his constituents in his own legislative district want him gone, recalled. Gee, that's not what the loyalists were told.  Panic.

What to do.  Oh, what to do.  That's it!  Concoct a fictitious story. Title it "Pearce recall petitions indicate massive voter registration fraud" and then make it sound believable. Checking it out for facts with the proper election officials would of course debunk it.  So spread the lies as far as they'll go.   Now we read that websites for both the Maricopa County GOP and the Arizona Republican Party have reprinted the fictitious story as fact in its entirety.Linda Bentley, looks like you might be in a bit of legal trouble. 

Ross
Ross

Stop picking on elderly Don Sorchych.  He's 80 years old, and his ilk is dying off anyway.  Some of them sooner rather than later, if they keep running stop signs or failing to yield.  (See recent cases from Scottsdale and Cave Creek municipal courts.)

Mistalee
Mistalee

Yeah, I suspect that they found this old gizzard on a park bench ranting about socialism and flourides,spittle and remnants of yesterday's nursing home fare flecking his untidy shirt. So they cleaned him, up, said, "No, gramps, not  flourides, ILLEGALS are a commie plot,and that nigra Obama is really a Kenyan," swapped his tinfoil hat for a cowboy hat and plopped him in front of a keyboard.

Thus, the Sonoran News was born.

Chad Snow
Chad Snow

Mistalee, you truly have a gift!  I hope to meet you in person someday. 

Mistalee
Mistalee

It would be my pleasure, Chad. Perhaps next time I am in Phoenix. 

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