Russell Pearce Recall Election Headed for November Ballot

state-senate-president-russell-pearce-is-on-the-ropes-even-if-the-horizon-brain-trust-can-t-see-it.6518999.40.jpg
Dennis Gilman
November promises to be the cruelest month for state Senate President Russell Pearce

I'm cooking up some barbecued black bird for all of my colleagues in the local press who pooh-poohed the recall of state Senate President Russell Pearce. 

First slice goes to lifelong hack Howie Fischer

The rest of the crow flesh is for all of the members of Horizon's clown table, that circle of not-so-eminent journos who pontificate with impunity on the local KAET Channel 8 show hosted by the ever-affable Ted Simons.

What about Linda "Wrong Way" Bentley of the Sonoran News, who has alleged "massive voter registration fraud" in the recall petitions sans evidence? She gets the beak.

See, this morning, Maricopa County Elections completed its review of the recall signatures and handed the whole kit and caboodle back to the Arizona Secretary of State's Office

Final count: 10,365 valid sigs from qualified electors residing in Pearce's Legislative District 18. That's 2,609 more than the 7,756 needed to force a recall.

And because the county has finished its work early, and since the Secretary of State's Office says it will likely be finished with its secondary review either today or Monday, it means Pearce is headed for a November recall election, unless he chooses to save us all the trouble and resign.

(UPDATE: Shortly after posting this item, the Secretary of State's Office confirmed to me that it has finished its review, and that the minimum number of signatures necessary has been exceeded. Pearce can either step down or face the voters. His choice.)

SOS spokesman Matt Roberts told me that it's "safe to assume" the recall election will occur in November, barring any unforeseen legal snafus.

Pearce and his allies will have ten days to challenge the signatures in Superior Court, but County Elections Director Karen Osborne said she is ready to stand behind the work of her office.

"I feel very comfortable with the certification," Osborne explained. "We'll see if the Pearce people take it to court to challenge anything. They certainly have a right to do that, to disagree with what I've found."

But knocking off more than 2,609 signatures will only take place in the delusional gray matter of Pearce's supporters. Sure, they'll challenge. But they will lose.

Osborne told me her people found duplicate signatures, and entries with no signatures, stuff like that. Bentley's ravings notwithstanding, there's no hanky-panky in the petitions.

"I found no evidence of voter registration fraud," Osborne explained, though she pointed out that doing so wasn't her mandate. The county's task was to validate the signatures, and throw out those that did not meet the bar. And this has been done.

Although there was supposed to be a school board election in Mesa in November, that's been withdrawn. So the Pearce recall will stand alone on the ballot.

Ultimately, it will be Governor Jan Brewer who will issue the official order for a recall election, but her actions are outlined by state statute, which doesn't give her any wiggle room.

The election will be nonpartisan. Even Pearce's name will not indicate his party. Challengers will have to score a mere 621 valid signatures to jump on the ballot.

That's a low threshold, and Roberts said he expects people to begin forming campaign committees as soon as the SOS's review is finished. (See update above.)

Randy Parraz, co-founder of the recall committee Citizens for a Better Arizona, was a little more reserved in his predictions.

Though he called today's certification by the county a "political earthquake," he told me that he thought it was still too soon for serious candidates to start collecting sigs, and anticipated that happening within "a couple of weeks," once the challenge process is over.

Parraz suggested that the anti-Pearce forces may try to draft a candidate, and start collecting sigs to put the right name on the ballot, even if that person is undeclared.

Regarding the naysayers who insist that Pearce cannot be beaten in LD18, I would have you keep this in mind: These are the same rocket scientists who scoffed at the effort to force a recall and predicted it would fail.

They were wrong, and can be wrong again.


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160 comments
NotaLiberal
NotaLiberal

We will see who is eating crow after the election.  There are a lot more people who agree with Pearce than not. A few thousand signatures does not decide an election.

WhiteRiceBlackBeans
WhiteRiceBlackBeans

Bobby,I dont know where you've gotten your information, but, the U.S. does have work visas, immigrants DO go back and have to wait a period of 6 months before coming back, where  the government then gives them a permit to stay, (also know as "alien cards" as the old racists republicans liked to call it), you are not the one paying for their kids education because the permits are government approved and followed, therefore they are also taxpayers with temporary S.S. numbers, they later apply for citizenship and become contributing citizen just like people from, Ireland, Poland, the Ukrane, India, China, NIgeria, the only difference is and it all boils down to, the color of our skin and the language we speak.I also dont know what makes you think that Universities in Mexico are free, actually when you begin HIgh School there, it is not free, education there is an option, you either work or go to school, but there sure isnt a growing number of people relying on a dumb ass program set up by the governement that allows people to live off of it for free. Immigrants Do get the jobs that no one else wants, who wants to work in 110+ degree weather? in fields full of pesticides? cleaning bathrooms? fast food restaurants? If Americans do, then stop receiving your welfare check and food stamps and go get that job, nobody is taking jobs from anyone, jobs are given to the ones who want to work, yes they work for less, but let me see a white guy or black dude, go do construction in the scorching heat for 12 bucks an hour, the job's there, go take it...i didnt think so. As far as Mexico being rich, you bet it is and that is why so many Americans and Europeans retire there, does Mexico deny them buying houses there? starting businesses there? taking jobs from people there? no.But you seemed to have forgotten how many thousands of migrant workers spend their money here and never see a penny back in EIC or Taxes, all those billions of unclaimed dollars from the IRS, yea put it together. You seem like a pretty smart guy just with a  lot of BS information.

Wake up people!!
Wake up people!!

Wake up people! "Ties That Bind: Arizona Politicians and the Private Prison Industry -- In These Times"

http://www.inthesetimes.com/ar...

Tina
Tina

Thanks for providing that Inthesetimes article that covered the corrupt ties that bind in Arizona's private prison "industry."  It was covered also by NPR.

What I distinctly remember was that KPHO Channel 5 also did an investigative news report on the topic, and the wickedness they experienced. Near the conclusion of their report as I recall, they contacted Chuck Coughlin (Highground) for comments about CCA.  Coughlin told them if they dared air their investigative report,  that Channel 5 would receive NO TV advertising from the Brewer for Governor campaign.  Is that gutsy-corrupt, or is that gutsy-corrupt, threatening CBS Ch.5 like that?   

They of course aired their investigation, and Coughlin followed through with the threat.Not only no Brewer ads on Channel 5 (I was just as glad), but Coughlin then became Brewer's chief political consultant or advisor.  Not only a corrupt lobbyist, but also a member of her staff.  Oh yeah, and Pearce had flown to Washington D.C. to meet with ALEC members, who came up with a title for his to-be SB 1070 that he presented to them, etc., etc. etc.  

Bobby
Bobby

Wow!! NPR, that bastion of leftist bullshit covered it. Now I really believe it. You people are an absolute joke. I've read how you accused Pearce of getting outside help, yet that's what you clowns have done with Pearce's recall. It's well known, that leftist, open borders groups across the U.S. have sent dough to get Pearce recalled. You hypocrits.

Dave Francis
Dave Francis

We need oversight of our election process, as illegal aliens are voting--intentional or not, as they have in New York, Texas, Colorado and could alter the course of federal elections. Citizens must insist of the federal government that every person who registers or those on the rolls, be in possession of official ID to prove their right to vote. Voter fraud is REAL.

Bobby
Bobby

Rhode Island Liberals!!!!! just voted in a law, signed by the Gov.,that makes passing an  I.D.check mandatory before you can vote. What the hell took so long?

Tina
Tina

This letter from Citizens for a Better Arizona to Senator Russell Pearce was hand delivered today in the presence of numerous CBA volunteers (I was there), Monday July 11, 2011,  to Russell Pearce's aide in the 2nd floor lobby of the state senate, for her to give to Senator Pearce.  

"July 11, 2011

Arizona State Senate1700 West Washington Street, Room 205Phoenix, Arizona  85007

Dear Senator Pearce:

Because you have been legally and officially recalled by over 10,300 voters in LD 18m we are asking you, pursuant to A.RS. 19-208, to resign within the next 5 days.  We share your concern about wasteful spending of tax dollars and although we do not feel that the costs associated with a recall election would be wasteful, we believe that it would be consistent with your core beliefs.

This petition was circulated because of your failure to focus on issues and concerns tha affect all Arizonans.  As we stated in our petition, "Mesa and Arizona need a leader who will pass laws to create jobs, protect public education and ensure access to health care for our children and those most in need."  Mesa voters have withdrawn their support for you as their elected Senator.

Thank you for considering our request to resign.

In Pursuit of a Better Arizona,

Chad Snow                Randy ParrazChairman                   Co-Founder  "

Oddly in the last couple of weeks, Mr. Pearce has not returned phone calls from the press, nor was he available today to personally accept the CBA's letter of request, with no explanation or reason given as to the reason for his unavailability.  Perhaps he is ill?  If so, why the silence about his condition? 

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

I'm fairly sure he has been in conference planning a strategy of twists, turns, and falsehoods to try to spin this all back to all of us who find him to be a despicable and vile human.

Tina
Tina

Tommy, well here we go.  Pearce is still refusing to meet directly with the press and is suddenly camera shy for the TV news media.  However, despite his abominable record for the welfare of all Arizonans  check out this press release he issued on Tuesday for its twists, turns, spin and falsehoods.   

 "In the weeks and months ahead, I will campaign actively to promote and defend my long record of promoting economic recovery, job creation, balanced budgets, law enforcement and secure borders.  These are the issues that my constituents believe in and why they have voted 16 times to send me to the legislature."

THEN, if you can believe,

"I will fight these OUTSIDE forces that support lax law enforcement, amnesty and open borders."  (The self-proclaimed "patriot" typically throws out these now stale red herrings when the hounds get too close to the stench of the corruption.)   

As we know, Pearce has knocked himself out trying unsuccessfully to get approval from the attorney general to get OUTSIDE corporate campaign contributions to finance  his recall campaign,  evidenced, for example, by the campaign fund raising letter for Pearce from Tom Tancredo of Colorado.

At any rate, these are the formally stated grounds for the Pearce recall, a sheet which was attached to each of the petitions, and which at least 10,365 of us LD 18 voters signed to remove our extremist state senator, Russell Pearce, from public office: 

 We,Citizens for a Better Arizona and residents of District 18, submit this petition to recall State Senator Russell Pearce for his failure to focus on issues and concerns that affect all Arizonans.  Mesa and Arizona need a leader who will pass laws to create jobs,  protect public education and ensure access to health care for our children and those most in need.  We deserve a representative that reflects our values, beliefs and vision for Mesa and all of Arizona.  By signing this petition we publicly withdraw our support of Russell Pearce and what he represents.

Tina
Tina

Oh I don't doubt that, Tommy.  And you said it so well....exactly what Russell Pearce is all about.  Maybe I'm giving him too much credit, that after he does all his twisting and turning and plotting and scheming as to how he can spin falsehoods, how he can deny this, that and the other thing, he would conclude that it would be better for him to quit while he's "ahead."  He's lost credibility on so many fronts already.  

 Right now he's got a statewide reputation that smells to hell.  And any Arizona politician that subscribes to Pearce's dishonesty and damage he's done to this state will be tainted along with him.  We'll just have to wait and see what happens.

I wonder if what I've heard rumored is true, that he's been gagged by the republican party or his lobbyist "friends."  If so, if he's continually unavailable for comment to the news media, and he does not resign, they'll probably just do some news re-runs of Pearce at his "finest" -- both in his vicious attack mode and in his feel-sorry-for-me-I'm-your-hero mode.   What an embarrassment he is to the state of Arizona.      

Coz
Coz

He's probably hiding out at the nearest KKK meeting.

Bobby
Bobby

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ,,,,,,,,zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz..............ZZZZZZZZZZ.......zzzzzzzz

FormerRepublican
FormerRepublican

If Senator Pearce cares about saving Arizona taxpayers money, he would resign. As others see it, he's too entrenched with his special interests to leave. After all HE runs and controls the State of Arizona!

Jason
Jason

"If Senator Pearce cares about saving Arizona taxpayers money, he would resign."

Ditto the FF of MCSO.

Tina
Tina

Former Republican,  I agree that Pearce, to save his own neck if nothing else, would be doing himself a favor to resign, but not just because doing so would be consistent with his core beliefs to save taxpayer money.  It would also send a message to his constituents that he has taken the high road. 

  If instead he does  choose to do otherwise (a Nov. 8 election against one or more others)  he will not come out unscathed.  It will be messy to be sure. 

So much has already come to light about his cozy trade-offs with pay-to-play lobbyists and some campaign financing history, his legally required and seriously deficient financial disclosure statements, affiliations with white supremacist organizations and their history,  his MVD actions, some unbecoming personal history, to name a few that he would just be prolonging the agony for himself.  Then there's the pending matter of the Fiesta Bowl bribes valued at $39,000, more than his annual legislative salary. 

I think he'd be foolish not to resign sometime within these 5 allotted days, foolish not to quit while he's ahead.  

Bobby
Bobby

You leftists, are dreaming. You think you can recall people that care about border security at will. You might do it to one or two people, maybe, but by seeing your fanatical open borders, proMexico, anti-American stance, your'e just waking up more and more Americans, to where the danger in this country really comes from. Good luck.

Coz
Coz

here's a little clue for you Booby, it's not about immigration, it's about corruption.

Bobby
Bobby

Yeahhhhhhhhhhh, Coz, then what's going on with immigration is sure part of it.

Wake up Arizona!!
Wake up Arizona!!

Stephen, Great reporting. Your honesty is courageous. 

Senator Pearce-RESIGN!
Senator Pearce-RESIGN!

Thanks for keeping the public informed. Because of your information, we attended the delivery of the letter today to Senator Pearce. No one in his office was available and for someone who loves having his face in the media, he was no where to be found for all the TV cameras that were there. Senator Pearce did not want to answer to his constituents who attended. Answers needed about his involvement with the Fiesta Bowl, CCA and the private prisons - 5,000 more being added in Arizona while others states are cutting back and reforming sentencing laws which the taxpayers cannot afford. Education slashed while the mass incarceration of Arizona's people continues. Very disturbing issues. Nothing accomplished about new jobs this past session -- wasted on his personal agenda and birther bills! 

Tina
Tina

I too  found Mr. Pearce's "unavailability"  for the TV news cameras and "unavailability" for  his LD 18 constituents, such as myself, inconsistent and appalling.  for someone who has been so desirous of expressing his views on CNN, Fox News, etc.  The facilitators of the recall, on the other hand, had no problem and were most forthright in responding to questions by the news media.  Why was Pearce unwilling to  do the same?  

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

Tina, there was apparently no television feed available from his location in Honduras, or I'm sure pearce would have had plenty of falsehoods to spew for us. Does anyone have a current location on HenderBlimp since HIS termination of employment? Does it seem ironic that both HenderBlimp and pearce have both been FIRED within just months of one another?

Venonacables
Venonacables

Courageous?  Sucking up to keep his job is courageous?  It took about as much courage as it takes to bash GWB on the Bill Maher show.

Bobby
Bobby

Hahahah........that's good. Maher is truly a legend in HIS OWN MIND.

Coz
Coz

as you are in yours

Ross
Ross

Let’s crunch some numbers to figure out who votes in LD18. All my friends there are Mexican. Most of them are legal. Yes, the area used to be predominantly Mormon. But many of the Mormons have moved to Gilbert.

Pearce was elected to the legislature in 2000. In 2002, LD18 had been redistricted. Lines are drawn according to population, not number of registered voters. Even back then, voter registration in LD18 was anemic. There were 58,000 voters, compared to 83,000 in neighboring LD17 and 85,000 in LD19. (All numbers have been rounded to closest thousand.) Why so few voters, as a percentage of population, in LD18? It’s not because Mormons don’t vote. It’s because many Hispanics can’t.

In November 2002, party breakdown was Republican 48%; Democrat 28%; Independent 23%. Fast forward nine years.

Today there are 69,000 voters in LD18, an anemic growth of 19%. Compare that to LD19, now with 113,000 voters, an increase of 34%.

And what is the party breakdown? Republicans have 39%, a drop of nine percentage points. Democrats have 27%, about the same as in 2002. The real growth has come among Independents, who now outnumber Democrats, with 34%.

Pearce can’t win with the minority Republican vote, unless they turn out in greater numbers than Democrats and Independents, and they all vote for him. He needs at least half of the Independent vote. Can he do that? Someone needs to pay for a poll to find out.

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

Ross. good information. I will assume this is why pearce so badly wanted funding from unions and corporations outside LD18. It's clear he likely has very little, if any, funding support from within the very district he is supposed to represent.

Venonacables
Venonacables

You people do not realize it, but you are pouring water on Russell Pierce's wheel.  Russell Pierce and Sheriff Joe are preventing Arizona from becoming another California.  A lot of voters in Arizona are refugees from California, so they know this.  I don't know why illegals are trying to turn Arizona into another province of Mexico.  Didn't they come here to escape from Mexico in the first place?

Icepackjudi
Icepackjudi

yes sheriff joe and pearce are the best, im from calif and its sad to see what has happened to that beautiful state. without these men we are in big trouble. i believe our goverment in washinton has alot to do with this, these men are in the way of obamas agenda. another thing do they require a birth cetificate to get a drivers liscense. because thats all you seem to need in order to vote, also spanish should be removed from voting ballots. vote to keep russell pearce in office. obama doesnt care about the safety of americans. we are on our own in az. ranchers have been  killed border agents. obama wont even come to look at the borders or talk with the ranchers.

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

Judi, you need to have someone write for you. It's clear to us readers that you are not capable of penning your thoughts in a meaningful manner.

Bobby
Bobby

She may have been somewhat exicited and wrote a jittery post, sentence wise, but what she said is true. Obama doesn't care about the American ranchers, as much as he does the "plight" of illegal aliens.

Bobunf
Bobunf

Ven, maybe you should learn to spell Pearce's name before defending him.

The recall is not about illegals.  That is a smoke screen that Pearce and his ilk will continuously raise to deflect attention from the real issues:

Anybody in education (K through graduate school) is stunned by the abyss Arizona education faces - 49th in per capita funding, below the national average in every measured category, and falling - with another one half Billion dollar cut.  Businesses says they wouldn't consider coming to Arizona because of the educational system.

Anybody in the health care profession is (and everybody else should be) alarmed by the current law removing hundreds of thousands of people from AHCCCS, and by the numerous other cuts in health care.  The effect of all of this will be vastly increased burial expenses now, increased medical expenses now and in the future, and a damaged health care system.  All saving the state approximately zero because there is a 2 for 1 federal match which we are kissing goodbye.  A significant part of that match would have ended up in state revenue greatly reducing the cost of our portion.  Penny wise and pound foolish.

Anybody in their right mind is astonished at the state's refusal to accept $100 million in federal money for unemployment benefits.  A gift that would have helped many of our citizens, benefited the state economy, and enhanced state revenue.  

Etc., Etc

And there's the Fiesta Bowl nonsense on top of everything else.  Pearce, the champion, taking a fourth of the gifts (bribes) for the $250,000 subsidy to the Fiesta Bowl.  I thought Republicans were against government subsidies.  Apparently not when nobody's looking and the bride is big enough.

The recall is because Pearce is damaging Arizona.  

Coz
Coz

Don't be too hard on him, his obvious lack of education is what Pearce is hoping for.

Coz
Coz

hardly

Venonacables
Venonacables

"No matter what their credentials, every liberal tries to claim ' I'm smarter than you are.' "  -- Ann Coulter

Coz
Coz

Bullshit.

Mistalee
Mistalee

"What about Linda "Wrong Way" Bentley of the Sonoran News, who has alleged "massive voter registration fraud" in the recall petitions sans evidence? She gets the beak."

The beak? Oh, hell no, Stephen, give her the BRAIN!

She is a birdbrain now, giving her a second bird brain would likely double her intellectual prowess.

Ronb54
Ronb54

leticia olalia morales of 15501 pasadenaave #8 tustin ca 92780 submitted fake documentsand paid 5000 dollars to obtain a US tourist visa. she also submittedfake employment records to obtain a work visa. she is now applying forcitizenship. her contact at the embassy was man named sandman.

wherewasi
wherewasi

I ask you AGAIN - why are you posting this on a message board about a corrupt Arizona politician?

Montezuma's Diarrhea Revenge
Montezuma's Diarrhea Revenge

Congrats on getting 10,365 valid signatures in a city of 439,000 people. Amazing work. Immigration enforcement is going to happen and this recall will fail miserably alongside the MLB 2011 All Star Game boycott.

mikefrombisbee
mikefrombisbee

The city of Mesa is not the legislative district. Nice try at spinning the bad news for RuSSell. Just as much B.S. as Ms. Bentley's article. Immigration enforcement is already being done. Get off your ass and spend some time on the border.

Bobby
Bobby

No it isn't being done, Mr. Expert on misinformation Mexican nationalist open borders shill.But what do you care how many cops, and citiznes get killed.

Bobby
Bobby

It's a dog and pony show. The same thing happened with Bush, and Clinton, and Bush sr. etc. There is no intention of this government to actually stop illegal immigration. The elite want a North American Union, with Mexico and Canada. It's open knowledge they don't even try to hide it. Obama, just renewed the Mexican trucking into the U.S. program, that Clinton stuck us with 15 years ago. I'm not spewing rhetoric. Think Tommy. if there had been real immigration enforcement for the last thirty years, how can there by 30 million plus illegal aliens in the U.S. Now, just for asking that question, Mr. Mike would label me a racist. He's made it clear what he thinks about illegal immigration. He doesn't care. But he does care to call those that do care, RACISTS. It's pointless to debate this with him. All he does is diss people and call them racists. He never admits to Mexican/Hispanic racism. And speaking of spewing rhetoric, Mr. Mikes prettty good at it himself.

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

Bobby, if immigration enforcement isn't happening, why are all the holding/deportation facilities overflowing? It can't be due to the MCSO 'flood' of three here, four there, once every couple of weeks. I suggest you make arrangements with Mike and visit Bisbee for a week and have a close look at it, and then come back and tell us you true and accurate thoughts about it, complete with video/photo support. Otherwise, you're simply spewing rhetoric...

Tina
Tina

Boycott?  MLB baseball fans ATTENDING the All Star game wearing white ribbons while enjoying the game is not a "boycott".  Get out your dictionary.

However, Sheriff Joe Arpaio has promised the nation that a select segment of his jail inmates will be outside the stadium on game day "demonstrating" for visiting fans..... chain gangs he has rigged up consisting solely of illegal immigrant jail inmates clad in black and white stripes to show off for America's TV cameras as they "do their duty" of picking up trash outside the stadium.

You wonder why the rest of the country views Arizona as the craziest, most sadistic state in the union?      

Bobunf
Bobunf

District 18 has 69,000 registered voters.  Over 18,000 signatures were collected.  Thousand were disallowed because of illegible hand writing, problems with the notarization and problems with dates.  

The actual number of signatures collected from registered voters in the district was nearly a fourth of the electorate.  That is quite an accomplishment for a group that didn't exist six months ago, never had much money, and relied mostly on volunteers.

Monte, you know perfectly well that 439,000 is an irrelevant number.  You are deliberately attempting to deceive the un-attentive.  If your cause is just, why the necessity to lie? 

Tina
Tina

Thank you, Bobunf, for setting the record straight, and calling a spade a spade with Montezuma so quickly.  

Coz
Coz

No, just anti bullshit, which you are full of.

Bobby
Bobby

Anti-whitey.

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