Russell Pearce Files Lame Court Challenge to Recall Petitions (w/Update)

Squawk all you want, bully-boy, your days in office are numbered...right up till November 8

State Senator Russell Pearce's lawyer Lisa Hauser filed one of the lamest legal challenges in this history of civil actions today. This, to the so-far successful recall effort against Pearce, which has resulted in Governor Jan Brewer ordering a recall election in Legislative District 18.

It's not only lame, it's laughable. Because in it Hauser is essentially calling out both the Arizona Secretary of State's Office and the Maricopa County Elections Department as incompetent.

Hauser, whose first two legal challenges regarding the recall effort were shot down by both the SOS and the Arizona Attorney General's Office, claims that the statutory language on the recall petitions is not in line with what the Arizona Constitution requires.

Keep in mind that the format of the recall petitions is devised by the Secretary of State, not the recall effort.

SOS spokesman Matt Roberts told me that state statute guides the entire process, and that the Secretary of State's Office was confident that its work will stand up in court.

"We're the filing officer, and it's our job to make sure that people are following state law, whether or not the state law is clear is something for the court's to decide," he told me.

Pearce's attack schnauzer Hauser even goes so far as to claim that the statement of grounds for the recall filed by Citizens for a Better Arizona is "defective," stating that the language is "misleading" and "created a sufficient degree of fraud" because it did explain that a successful recall would result in an election.

(You can read the complaint for yourself, here.)

Roberts told me that, "The petition can say anything it wants at the top." 

Moreover, "Recall Pearce" appears at the very beginning of the petition forms. There's no doubt what the forms are for, unless you're an ignoramus, or Russell Pearce's attorney.

Randy Parraz pointed out that the Secretary of State's Office vetted the language used in the recall statement. He found Hauser's contention laughable.

"We could have said, `We don't like Russell Pearce, he has a big nose and wears Ronald McDonald shoes,'" he scoffed. "As far as telling people when there will be an election, the Governor tells them that when it happens."

Additionally, Hauser contends that if any of the signatures on a petition form are invalid for any reason, then the entire petition sheet must be tossed.

Wrong. I addressed this claim by the Pearce camp in a previous post. Both Roberts and Osborne confirmed that this is not the case. One signature being invalid does not invalidate the entire sheet.

Hauser contends that some signatures should be tossed because in some instances the handwriting for the address does not match the signature. That sometimes happens if a family member fills out the info for someone else in the same residence.

She also complains about people identifying their addresses as being within LD 18, but who have addresses outside of the district on file. She says 731 recall-signers were guilty of this oversight. Even she notes that this is often because people have moved and just haven't updated their registration.

Finally, she kvetches about two petition circulators by name, asserting everything by them should be disqualified. In one case because a lot of the signatures were "fraudulent," and in another case because the address a circulator gave when he signed the oath on the back of the petition didn't match the one he signed the petition with.

Anyway you slice it, Hauser provides zero evidence of the "massive voter registration fraud" certain delusional pro-Pearce individuals have alleged.

She does note that as of today, county elections amended its final count from 10,365 valid signatures to 10,296. Osborne did not immediately respond to an inquiry from me as to why this was the case. (See update below.)

This is the game: Throw doubt on the signatures and try to whittle away as many possible.

Problem is, even as the numbers stand, they are far in advance of the 7,756 valid signatures required for a recall election, a recall election that has been blessed by two state agencies and one county agency.

And all three of those agencies are headed by elected Republicans: Secretary of state Ken Bennett, Governor Jan Brewer, and Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell, for whom Osborne works.

Finally, the other side can play this game as well. That is, once CBA goes into court to defend itself, it could begin challenging some of those signatures already disqualified by the SOS or the county.

Why is Pearce wasting everyone's time with this political grandstanding? Because he knows that if Mormon Republican Jerry Lewis is his challenger, as people assume will be the case, he'll lose his seat.

All he's got is left for strategy to kick and scream and pout all the way to the polls, where he eventually will go down in defeat.

UPDATE: Osborne replied to my e-mail a couple of hours after this post. Here's what she had to say:

"Review of certification is part of the process. Revised numbers are a routine step in the procedures. There were only 69 that moved from valid to invalid...New total 10,296 valid...We will attend the court hearing and defend our certification."


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64 comments
Jason
Jason

Expect a ruling on the Pearce recall petitions in mid-August, according to azcentral.com...

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

I don't know why everybody is so excited about the Possibility of a successful recall. This will only result in another CON being elected senate president and for the life of me, I can't think of a single Az. republicon who has any semblance of ethics or honesty.

Ferdinand
Ferdinand

I think you give Democrats too much credit. Although your general message is correct, in my opinion.

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

Actually, I don't think the democrats are much better. And no, I'm not a libertarian, I'm an independent who belongs to both the ACLU and the NRA.

mikefrombisbee
mikefrombisbee

And yet another reason to excrete RuSSell Pearce from the body politic: The precarious state of the state park system, which has had its funds raided to the point where volunteers are staffing many of the facilities. State parks - such as Picacho, Catalina, Alamo, Lost Dutchman, Roper, Tombstone, Kartchner, etc. - are a big draw for tourism. People who use those parks and who stay in those that have campgrounds put a lot of money into the state economy and thus, help keep people employed. Our state legislature and governor have slashed the budget of the state park system. The right-wingers have called for privatizing it, as they are now doing with the final parts of the AHCCCS health care network that were administered by government entities. These goobers, led by Pearce, are on an ideological quest and they don't care what or who gets in the way.

ZeD
ZeD

Pearce, Murdoch, GOP overreach. It's just not turning out to be your summer, is it, Conservatives?

rickyboy
rickyboy

What can one say about this criminal piece of shit. Well, I will say that what he has attempted to do is by legal definition, prior to this, is to advocate and pass laws that are treasonous under the Constitution, and that drunk face Brewer has aided and abetted him, not to mention put her Hancock or is it just cock, signature on his bills. The little lady with the alcoholic face and her cuckold boyfriend ought to be charged with treason. Of course that would be predicated on Eric Holder finding his balls. Oops maybe no balls...no baloney and wife had them for lunch. What a truly in decline corrupt fucking country.

Tina
Tina

On the "Sunday Square Off" program (channel 12, 8:00 a.m., Sun. 7/17) the station's Braham Resnik (sp.?) interviewed Russell Pearce's "spokesman" Ed Phillips about the recall. (The station had requested an interview with Pearce himself, but Resnik said Pearce's "campaign committee" sent Phillips instead.)  The program was pre-recorded on 7/15.   The first question Phillips was asked was about the chance of a legal challenge to the recall by Pearce, noting that the deadline was "tomorrow" Mon. 7/18. Phillips opted out of the question, explaining that he was not at all in contact with the lawyer or legal team, that he (Phillips) is not a lawyer and wouldn't venture a guess.Resnik asked Phillips when they were going to be able to speak to Pearce himself, and Phillips said it would be after they knew whether Pearce would file a legal challenge, with the deadline for doing that being Monday 7/18.

STILL we are not hearing anything from Pearce himself, although  Pearce did file that legal challenge (such as it is) late yesterday afternoon.   

Today the news of Pearce's legal challenge has been reported on NPR radio throughout the day.  And this morning, who are we hearing from on NPR to explain Pearce's legal challenge?  Not Russell Pearce, who, according to Phillips would be available today.  Not even his lawyer Lisa Hauser.  Again, we heard from  Ed Phillips, who by now was apparently briefed on what to say, and rattled on something about a particular number of signatures supposedly claimed to be invalid.  

This is crap.  A reporter wanting an interview with Pearce, or just for him to answer a question about a news item concerning the recall, should no longer accept a response or appearance by anyone but Pearce himself.  If he refuses, they can do the news story without him and let the public know of their many unsuccessful attempts to reach the recalled senator in hiding.      

Coz
Coz

As with all chicken shit bullies, when confronted they will turn and run.

Concerned Citizen
Concerned Citizen

The senator in hiding was also not around at the state Capitol when the Citizens for a Better Arizona delivered a letter to Pearce, asking him to resign. Where was he? What's his problem?

Tina
Tina

I remember that.    I am one of his constituents and was there. It was incredible.  I learned of the letter from someone else, and since It expressed my exact sentiments, asking him to resign,  I just wanted to see that he received it when it was hand delivered to him.

He refused to come out of his office to accept the letter after a security guard conveyed to him our reason for being there.  Granted, there was a large crowd of us there in the senate lobby, but certainly nothing threatening. We must have been waiting for about 45 minutes, and finally, when it became evident that we weren't leaving, he "did us the favor" of sending out a page to take the letter to him.  I thought, "Is this an adult world we're living in here?" 

A savvy politician would have simply come out and graciously accepted the letter, maybe even used the opportunity to try and endear himself to a large crowd of well-behaved voters, possibly cracked a joke.  Not Pearce.  

I think Pearce was foolish not to have resigned.  Meanwhile those of us constituents who personally witnessed and experienced his stunning rude behavior that day tell our Mesa friends and neighbors about it...who tell others...who tell others...who tell others.... 

rickyboy
rickyboy

Until States Rights are passed, you know the thing that one thought was decided almost 150 years ago, at the point where you repeatedly challenge the Federal Government and actually make treasonous statements ala Brewer and Pearce and just for shits and giggles have set up a private prison system, at that point if we had a President who believed in a democracy as opposed to tyranny then these to pieces of shit should be incarcerated with Brewers crazy ass fucking son. These people are nothing but sociopaths, don't think different. Brewer should be arrested, charged with treason and locked up with her extremely violent, crazy son. I would like to say however that she is a graduate of GCC and has had medical tech job. Wow and people in this country look down on prostitutes.

Coz
Coz

Not going to happen, lets get on with the voting so we can rid the State of this piece of shit Pearce.

Truth to Power
Truth to Power

Go get e'm Karen!

Karen Osborne is the best elections officer in the state. Period. End of story. Bar none. 

Ross
Ross

"Vote on Tuesday, Count Them By The End of the Month" is her motto.

jpower
jpower

Senate Russell Pearce loves this country and refuses to bend when its all about common sense issues. (illigal immigration, State deficit etc.)  what a waste of time and money to try to recall Senate Pearce (which will never happen)  this man has more back bone and Honor than half the elected officials combined.

concerned
concerned

You seem to be the only one that likes your own statement. Who is this fat JD Hayworth or lard tub himself Russell Pearce? I bet your wife wears a shirt that says I am with stupid pointing right at you..ding Dong!!!!!!

rickyboy
rickyboy

Wow, really...how is it that the state has no money but can afford tax cuts for all of Jan Brewers friends. Here let me make it real simple for you, there will come a day, unless you make at least $250,000 actually $500,000 at least would be better under your delusion where you will be trying to figure out where to build your own personal land fill for your own personal garbage...your kid who think that the earth is six thousand years old won't be able to get into college because they were raised by stupids fucks like you and are now to stupid to be accepted into a decent university will serve me my burgers. And the best part is that you will have volunteered to fuck your entire family in the ass by not knowing a con artist when you see one. But for me your children will serve me my burgers at Mickey D's and they had better be quick about it. Got it!

jpower
jpower

Hey rickyboy, you just summed up your education in 1 paragraph.

Jason
Jason

Then you are a real dumbass if you believe anything that spewing out of Pearce's black hole of a mouth. 

Coz
Coz

Dumbass fit the Pearce supporters to a T.

Jason
Jason

Indeed Coz.

"Dumbass fit the Pearce supporters to a T."

RetiredArmy
RetiredArmy

Hopefully soon to be former Senator Russell Pearce loves Russell Pearce more than this country in my humble opinion. What has he really done about illegal immigration and the state deficit. On the budget he basically gutted every program that actually helped everyday Arizonians while funneling money too fat cat millionaires to basically do what ever they want with. And we can't forget about the for profit prison industry that Russell works for, and who wrote sb1070 for him with the help of ALEC. And oh that sb1070 thing, it has very little to do with immigration and everything with Russell's obsession with circumventing the Constitution and the Bill Of Rights for both citizen and non citizen alike.

As part of Russell Pearce's war on the Constitution he is particularly rancid on the subject of the 14th Amendment. To illustrate his delusional interpretation of the 14th Amendment, he uses derogatory language to describe infant children which I will not use because it so offensive. If you think using infant children as a vehical to further your political career takes back bone and is an Honorable thing to do, then all I can say is, I feel sorry for you.

As far as having more honor than half of the elected officials combined in this state. That, unfortunately isn't a very high bar to set.

jpower
jpower

So what your saying is that your for Open Borders, Amnesty , probably did not even read SB 1070 &  I will bet a million dollars you voted for Obama! Your just saying what every Liberal wants to hear so you can get like minded lefty's to click on (like this) when infact you really don't know what your talking about..and apparently the Army did not teach you a damn thing about keeping this Country Free!!

concerned
concerned

Obviously your moron views show what type of left wing nut you are. Did you read SB1070 or did you just hear about it through tubby's mouth(Pearce). Ignorant people like you make AZ the laughing stock of the country.

Its sad to know that we are dealing with morons like you. I am proud to say that I voted for Obama and I don't give a fuck what you think retard. Did you serve our country? What did you learn? What army did you train for the Ku KLux Klan?

Why do you judge other people that have fought for our country?. People like you only fight the fight of trailer park trash people like Brewer and Pearce. I bet your education goes as far as your IQ.

You live in an egomaniac world only ruled by what other dumb, rascist, pigs like Jan and Russell live in.

Go fuck yourself!!!!!!

AZGregory
AZGregory

There are two reasons to file a piece of junk challenge like this: 1) He hopes there is some chance it might delay the election past November so he can serve another term as Senate Pres. before an election is called and he can try to pull something to save himself and 2) So he can send out more bogus press releases about fraud blah blah blah because the low-brow bloggers, official Republican websites and hacks like Sonoran News of Cave Creek don't look beyond the press releases and the people who read their publications are gullible dim-witted sheep. It doesn't matter that the suit is baseless, it only matters what they say about it when they send their press releases or stand up on Fox News and whine. Plus, they are raising gobs of money from right-wing nutjobs around the country using scare tactics about communists and dangerous outside open-border agitators challenging a good Patriot who is fighting for the American way of life, so you need more fodder for fundraising and you need to spend that money on something (so why not attorneys' fees for frivolous appeals). There appears to be little need to spend wisely when you have stupid money coming in on a daily basis. Hopefully, they will spend a bunch of money on goofy stuff like this suit and they will have less available for actually fighting the recall. This challenge is so frivolous, I hope the superior court will consider sanctioning Hauser by granting attorneys' fees to whoever has to answer this (Secty. of State or the recall committee).

Tina
Tina

Good post, and good point about attorneys' fees.  

DG
DG

I just Googled Lisa Hauser and found a picture of what she looks like. You know if you put Russell and Lisa's pictures side by side, I really can't tell the difference of who's who. It doesn't really matter since the two of them are such fucking assholes!

Jason
Jason

This is a desperate attempt by a mentally sick old man and his incompetent attack poodle to prevent the inevitable: The booting of Russell Pearce.

So, Russell, where are your good buddies the Flaccid Fool of MCSO, JD Hayworth, JT Ready, Governor Jan "Have Did" Brewer, etc.?

With the Candy Andy disbarment showdown in about 45 days, the Pearce recall in November, and the FF indictments, Arizona is finally ridding itself of these elected criminals.

Concerned Citizen
Concerned Citizen

Jason, Great update... lest we forget!

Jason
Jason

The only way Arizona will ever heal itself and make itself a tourist and business friendly state is to rid ourselves of our elected criminals. By ousting Pearce, Arpaio, and Thomas, we're on our way.

Hiram McGillicuddy Fong
Hiram McGillicuddy Fong

Has anyone ever seen Russell Pearce's birth certificate?  I have not.  I will bet he was born in Mexico, on a grassy knoll, begotten by two rogue CIA agents, (well maybe OSS agents anyway) and probably unable to be a State legislator.  So the recall is null and void, as is all legislation he was ever involved in, because what part of illegal don't you understand. 

Alialibubu
Alialibubu

First thank you caged, provisional, foreclosed, relocated and renewed ballot voters of District 18.  Thank you from the people who can't vote this hitlerien trespasser in his own First Degree out! Winking, Nodding while outside a fence, alley way, while standing outside of Lowes or a Home Depot.  Dreaming of his Camp Pearce at the Gateway.  His $150,000,000 Million Dollar Arpaio SB1070 Hotel, Motel, Holiday "Two for One" CCA Prisons for Profit INN.  TEA and KOCH! Get your TEA and KOCH!  YOU LIE! YOU LIE! T'shirts and some Pink Arpaio underwear.  Just $5,000 per man, woman and $1250.00 per child up-to-three Pearce "attestation" of you unto him, Kavanaugh, Hendershot, Black, Larry and MCSO own "Coyotes" Thank you thank you.  Please send this man two pieces of chicken and two tacos, rice and beans and tell him it is time to just shut YO NECK!

Mistalee
Mistalee

No big surprise.

I'm sure that Hauser knows her legal filing is fit for toilet paper and not much more. Doesn't matter. It can be complete shit, the goal is to tie the recall up in court and buy Pearce time to raise money and propagandize.

Tina
Tina

And he cares not one damn what his antics are costing.  That absurd 5-pager that he submitted to the Attorney General for a claimed "legal opinion" -- wanting to be told that his campaign funds from corporations were legal, after he'd already been told they were not -- tied up the AG's Solicitor General for A MONTH.  

I think the more he drags out his games, the higher the percentage of LD 18 voters who will be voting against him.  And if the Brewer, J.D.Hayworth, BAN and other fundraising letters pull in anything from foolish donors, looks like the bulk of it will be going to his lawyer Hauser.   ANYTHING to delay the inevitable.....an ELECTION....the law notwithstanding.   

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

This is exactly what we expected, nothing less.

The senator is a dunderhead, on his very best day.

Jason
Jason

Reminds me of his good buddy the MCSO shurf.

"The senator is a dunderhead, on his very best day." 

WhoKnows
WhoKnows

What's really interesting is that just a week or two back Pearce said he wouldn't fight the recall election in court, as he claimed he'd easily win.

I guess Russ had had a brief encounter with reality in the mean time!

Tina
Tina

It's called "the expediency of the moment."   Pearce saying (or promising) one thing, then  doing the opposite,  is a common practice with him.  

Remember how during the recall campaign (which he scoffed at) how he told the mediathat the reason he's been so successful is because he always does what he says he'll do?   Yeah sure, Pearce.  

RetiredArmy
RetiredArmy

You would think that with all of Russell Pearce's good buddies in the corporate world he would have gotten the memo telling him what to put in his ballot statement rather than that barely decipherable mumble jumbo he wrote. That, and you would think they would have a high dollar law firm, maybe from DC to represent him with legal arguments that should have taken days if not weeks to decipher. I think Andy and Joe know a few they could recommend. So I think Russell's usefulness has played itself out and he's become to hot to touch. I can only hope.

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Ross
Ross

The inconvenient truth is that both the Secretary of State's office -- run by a political hack selected by Hack-in-Chief Brewer -- and the County Recorder's office -- one of the least efficient in the country and run by a superannuated political hack who makes Brewer look good -- really are incompetent.  The story here isn't that the government did anything right, but that a judge has to rule that the recall committee did its best under the circumstances.  Actually a lot of judges will have to make that ruling, because Pearce won't give up when he loses in Superior Court.

Yourproductsucks
Yourproductsucks

It's called due process everyone. He has a right to appeal and has chosen to exercise his right. The man doesn't have to quit his job because " hanging" Chad Schmow tells him too. If y'all are so confident the man is going to lose then act like it and Stop acting like ignorant three year old kids.

mikefrombisbee
mikefrombisbee

It's called a desperate attempt to avoid the consequences of his pathological, corrupt behavior. Cowards and bullies have never been willing to face consequences. Maybe he can get the Fiesta Bowl folks to pass him some campaign funds in a dark alley. Or the people whose driving records he altered while he was at the MVD can contribute to his election.

Concerned Citizen
Concerned Citizen

The CCA group is working very hard at saving their ex facto governor.

Jason
Jason

Don't forget his good buddy the FF of MCSO. Remember that at one point Pearce was Joe's 2nd in command and created Tent City.

Jason
Jason

Indeed I was Mike.

mikefrombisbee
mikefrombisbee

Jason, were you referring to the Flaccid Fool, America's self-proclaimed toughest sheriff? RuSSEll Pearce could also be referred to as FF - in this case, the fetid fascist.

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Leonard clark
Leonard clark

Russell Pearce has done more to provoke hate in our beloved state of Arizona than any elected right wing fascist politician has in recent memory, the exception of course being his "poison with a smile" fascist colleague governor Jan Brewer.  They have brought bad karma down on our state and need to be vomited out of office into the political toilet where their brand of racist/fascist behaviour belongs ! Leonard Clark

Mistalee
Mistalee

Pearce and Brewer are the karmic consequence of having so many fascist voters in Arizona. 

Stacy
Stacy

Problem is: they're the majority in AZ and they elect their own.

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