Russell Pearce Challenger Jerry Lewis Takes on the Critics, Swears Off All Freebies

lewis123.jpg
Lewis promises not to take freebies

As I discuss at length in my column this week, state Senate President Russell Pearce wrestles almost daily with the truth, and so, too, do many of his supporters. 

So, not surprisingly, Pearce's main challenger in the Legislative District 18 recall election, Mesa educator and Republican Jerry Lewis, has become the target of a smear campaign by Pearce and his supporters. And how do GOPers smear GOPers? By calling them secret lefties, natch.

But as pro-Lewis Republican Tyler Montague explains in the introduction to this e-mail from Lewis to LD 18 voters, he and his father, Republican attorney Dea Montague, recruited Lewis to run. And as Lewis points out, he was initially not eager to do so.

The Montagues are conservative Republicans with deep roots in Mesa. And it just so happens that, like Lewis, they are not far right lunatics. This makes them suspect in the eyes of the tinfoil hat-wearers. On the other hand, it should be reassuring to normal folks who happen to vote Republican.

Interestingly, in his e-mail, Lewis promises not to accept a government pension, to uphold conservative values, and to "NOT take gifts, event tickets, meals or trips from anyone."

You know, unlike football-ticket-taker and Fiesta Bowl-junketeer Russell Pearce.

I like the part about eschewing the gravy train. All politicians, on both the left and the right, Dems and Rs, should take "the Lewis pledge": No freebies while in office.

That'll be a tough one for members of both parties to adhere to, as both Ds and Rs are guilty of taking free trips, free tickets and free meals from lobbyists and other groups.

Sorry, this stuff is not for "educational" purposes, as some legislators have claimed. They're soft bribes, at best. And the people want them gone from public life. Kudos to Lewis for abstaining. Let's see if any other politicians are shamed into doing likewise.

Dear friends, forgive me if you already got this (and forgive me if you don't care)...but here is a letter from Jerry Lewis, so you can keep up with his candidacy. Likewise, send this to your friends.

There have been a lot of silly emails going around with crazy accusations about Barack Obama, Saul Alinsky, and Randy Parraz all conspiring to control Jerry, and I think he wanted to both set things straight, and tell you what else is on his mind.  It's sort of funny to me to watch the conspiracy tales be spun, since my dad and I recruited Jerry to run, and before making his final decision he spoke with many of the people I respect most in Mesa, who also encouraged him to run.  I wholeheartedly endorse Jerry Lewis as a man of principle, character, intellect, and energy.  He will bring a fresh new voice.  We can thank Russell Pearce for all he's done, and then enjoy what Jerry will add.  You will be proud of him.  I'm looking forward to his service.

Thank you,

Tyler Montague


From: Jerald Lewis

Sent: Thursday, September 22, 2011

To: Jerry Lewis

Subject: Stand up to bullies!

 

Mesa Residents and Friends,

 

I want to tell you clearly why I joined the race for LD 18 Senate and why I hope you will let others know about who I am.

 

For the last several years many of my neighbors and I have been concerned about the actions of some of our state political leaders. While we know that we have representatives from Mesa who are working hard to build a better Mesa, we haven't felt that the tone and priorities of our senator have accurately reflected who we are. When it became clear that a recall election was going to be held in November, many residents who have wanted a fresh and more representative voice approached me about running. I initially said "NO WAY!" I have never had ANY ambition to run for political office. Those of you who know me know that this is true. I have spent the last 29 years in Mesa raising my family, filing your taxes, teaching you or your children, starting and running businesses, serving the schools, youth sports leagues, various addiction recovery organizations and the Boy Scouts, and more recently training to run marathons. Aspiring to political office has never been and is not currently on my bucket list! 

 

So, why would I subject myself to a public process of a campaign? A process where people who have never met me, and some who have, are willing to say whatever it takes to discredit me? Well, after I said "no" to those who initially asked me to run, I was approached again four months later. The idea that Mesa needed a new style of leadership and a different set of priorities weighed heavily on my mind and heart. I spoke to my wife about it. Again, we made it a matter of serious thought and prayer. We considered all of our concerns and discussed how we might effectively manage each one. We also considered the many people who have spoken to us about their concerns for our city and state and the need for a civil and fresh voice who could represent Mesa with a focus on all of the important issues in a manner that they could be proud of. As we contemplated these and many other issues the thought came to me over and over again, "If not me, then who?"

 

Two months ago, I decided to enter the arena of public service because I feel that we can do better in Mesa. We can work with our wonderful city leaders to bring sustained economic growth to Mesa. We can work with our school administrators to improve the quality of our education and we can work with all people to solve problems without constantly bickering, name calling, and law suits.

 

What have I learned since running for office? I have been surprised by some of the things said about this election and about me that are inaccurate. As you know, I am NOT part of some carefully orchestrated left-wing plot! I have been recruited and supported by many conservative Republicans whom you probably know. The election in LD 18 was called by the voters of the district. Nearly 11,000 verified voters were unsatisfied enough that THEY signed a petition to have this election.

 

I am running for Senate to represent YOU. I don't play political games. I will tell you what I really think! I also want to hear from you! I don't plan to make a career of politics. In fact, I WON'T take a pension for my service. I can also promise to you that I won't play favorites and I won't seek special privileges that you and your family don't have access to. I will NOT take gifts, event tickets, meals or trips from anyone. I will pay for myself! And if I incur expenses in the performance of my duties as an elected official I will be frugal in how and what those sacred tax dollars are used for and report them in a timely manner. Most of all, I will work each day to do what I think is right regardless of the consequences and if I make a mistake I will readily acknowledge it.

 

My priorities will be to help our Mesa neighborhoods be safe and welcoming and to help your family have opportunities for work. I will share what I have learned from my experience as an educator to help improve the quality of our education. I will listen to the ideas that best serve Mesa and this state and I won't care who gets the credit! 

 

If you support me and my candidacy please do not be silenced or bullied by more strident voices, rumors, or by people who simply disagree. An election has been called by the Governor and the Secretary of State. The will of the people will be known on November 8th. We will all accept, support, and pray for whoever it is that the voters decide to elect. I just ask that if you support me, that you make a choice to not be silenced because people with louder or stronger opinions are making noise. I ask you to think about what constantly has run through my mind, "If not me, then who?" 

 

All that is necessary for us to remain in a polarized community is for good people to say nothing. We can speak up, but we can do it respectfully and kindly. None of us has all the answers, but we ALL should be part of the conversation. 

 

If you feel as I do, please forward this to your friends and family. Also, consider putting a yard sign up and donating your time or dollars to our campaign.

 

 

Thanks again for being a friend of me and my family whether you vote for me or not. Thanks also for being great neighbors.

 

Sincerely, 

 

Jerry Lewis, Mesa Resident


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32 comments
Whatsup
Whatsup

Just wondering why Jerry Lewis didn't run against Pearce for the Repub primary in 2010 Also, what's the connection with Parraz guy who started this whole recall election? There's a youtube of him saying he was going to find a nice morman person to run against Pearce. What's up with that?

Preston Smith
Preston Smith

Pearce is exactly what was wrong with the general republican party in 2008... Bush was arrogant, uncommunicative and basically didn't care what his people thought, Pearce is the same way, he doesn't care about the people in his district, he has done some questionable things while in power and now their are rumors of threats among fellow republicans by Pearce that if they don't "get in line" they will have consequences to pay.

The problem with the Bush complete is that we didn't just loose the white house because of Bush, we LITERALLY lost the white house, senate and congress. If we allow people like Pearce to remain in office it will destroy the base of the republican party to the point that NO republican will be able to win an office. We are on the verge of this happening in Arizona if we aren't careful. Brewer and Pearce will literally kill any chances for republicans to lead the state.

cannondax
cannondax

Interesting thing happened in my Mesa neighborhood last night. 25 Jerry Lewis signs were stolen from the front yards of many of us. I hope the thieves, yes that's plural are ready to be exposed. G gess what you imbeciles, do you remember the person walking the dog at about 12:30? He saw you, yes a woman with blond hair and a man driving a dark, possibly black truck. Guess what else? The video footage is being reviewed. Good chance we got you on a security camera. There are two or three possibilities being looked at. Why don't you come on into the light of day instead of skulking thru the area under the cover of darkness? If the Pearce campaign is so faultless I'd love to hear from them on this. If the video is clear enough we won't need the Pearce camp to get involved, we'll just let the Mesa Police take care of it. Russell, Greg Western, Barbra Parker and Olivia Cortez for that matter, all of you have been taught better, you know better, "are you really honest in your dealings with your fellow man". A guestion I would like answered. What have you people turned in to? All of you are supposed to be above this kind of garbage.

Voting Female
Voting Female

Stephen Lemons - "how do GOPers smear GOPers? By calling them secret lefties, natch." followed by GOPer smearing as "far right lunatics" & "tinfoil hat-wearers."

Ahhh... so that is the "approved" way GOPers should be smearing fellow GOPers. got it. ;)

What, pray tell, defines "far right lunatic tin-hat wearers?" Not agreeing with one's point of view? ;-)

Preston Smith
Preston Smith

I am a republican and have been unhappy with Pearce's politics for some time... I didn't vote for him in the last round and I will not this time. I am sick of the ultraconservatives in this state trying to bully republicans into voting a specific way. 

ninelives.cassiecharityheart
ninelives.cassiecharityheart

 Sadly, despite oodles of evidence to the contrary, there are still plenty of people living within LD 18 who are still drinking the Kool-aid and can't see the truth right in front of there faces.  There is still a lot of work to be done to beat Pearce Nov 8th.

Hock
Hock

And yet some people will still vote for Pearce.   Unreal.

Real Patriot
Real Patriot

These comments are all great and true.  I’m a life-long republican and I recently attended a meet and great for Jerry Lewis and can say first hand that he is a true American that wants to do what is right for Mesa and Arizona.  Pearce is a racist and needs to think about the recent press release his own church put out before he continues his assault on civil liberties against anyone that might look Hispanic:“As those on all sides of the immigration debate in the United States have noted, this issue is one that must ultimately be resolved by the federal government.The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is concerned that any state legislation that only contains enforcement provisions is likely to fall short of the high moral standard of treating each other as children of God. The Church supports an approach where undocumented immigrants are allowed to square themselves with the law and continue to work without this necessarily leading to citizenship. In furtherance of needed immigration reform in the United States, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints supports a balanced and civil approach to a challenging problem, fully consistent with its tradition of compassion, its reverence for family, and its commitment to law.”

Here is the link:  http://newsroom.lds.org/articl... Now go and support Jerry Lewis by giving a few dollars to his campaign:  http://jerrylewisforsenate.com... I’m committed to give the max $424 to make sure we get someone that will represent my district and not the radicals from either end of the political spectrum that represent 10% of the country and have the majority of the influence.

BAFP
BAFP

I'm pretty sure Lewis won't "retire" at age 44 and draw a $47K pension for life starting at that age, then get back into public employment as an elected official and keep drawing "retirement", unlike his opponent Pearce.

Honestly, the more you look at this, the more you realize that Pearce has been talking a big anti-establishment game for a long time, but totally gaming the system on the sly and feeding at the gov't trough and at the lobbyists hand ...

It really is time for some new blood.

All you progressives out there are going to be a little disappointed when you see how Conservative Lewis actually is, but you will LOVE the tone and how civil and respectful Lewis is ... just the kind of "face" AZ needs ... not an angry, bellowing bull of a man who demonize those who have alternative viewpoints.

Calling Lewis "liberal" is the height of paranoid delusion.

Coz
Coz

Wow, kudo's to Lewis, nice breath of fresh air to actually see an honest politician for a change.

Something never seen in Arizona until now.

BAFP
BAFP

Republican Party is freaking out about Lewis and telling Republican voters to get in line and vote for Pearce.  However, on what grounds can they do so?  Many Rs voted against Pearce in the last primary and only pulled the lever for him in the general because they couldn't vote for the D on the other side.  Now they finally have an R in the general they can get behind and the Party Leadership is freaking out about these Republicans who won't "get in line".  Karma's a B.

Jason
Jason

Go Lewis!! Kick Pearce's sorry, corrupt ass across the Sonoran Desert and back!!!

BTW, my friends and family in Boston are rooting for you too, Mr. Lewis.

wtf
wtf

This is true leadership, and a reasonable letter to the public unlike the letters sent by Pearce where all he does is rant about illegal immigration and how you should be mad in general just for no reason and the left and the open border crowds and sb1070 and Obama... etc etc etc instead of saying what he can do to help the state.

Abby
Abby

Wow, a true gentleman.  What a contrast to the derranged and vicious oaf he'll soon be replacing.  It's so refreshing to see someone running for office because he cares about his state and its people - not his own political gain.  Lewis is clearly a true leader - something we desperately need here in Arizona.   

Scottphelps
Scottphelps

Jerry Lewis is a good man.  I heard him speak in Mesa on Wednesday.  He's the real deal...he will represent Arizona well.   PLUS, he doesn't need $40,000 worth of education when it comes to college football.  He already knows a touchdown is worth 6 points, same as last year.

Voting Female
Voting Female

I will also say I have no horse in this race... just pointing out the hypocrisy of approved and disapproved methods of smearing between fellow GOPers.

Also... who does the Communist Daily KOS endorse in this race?

Google "Russell Pearce's slanderous supporters: inconceivable!" and find out.

...interesting ...For all anyone knows, a Daily KOS kid created that parody Jerry Lewis twitter account to incite GOPer on GOPer anger. This is the 2011 approach to Obama's Defeat thus it is not a far fetch to question who has a vested interest in attacking SB1070 promoting Pearce with tin-hattery.

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

In the Maricopa County Republican network any person who has the ability to think outside of party dictates is a 'liberal, anarchist, and trouble maker who needs to be dealt with'....

I am sure many folks in the Republican party are upset that Mr. Lewis is apparently not a concubine to the senator currently representing LD-18.

Gerry_C
Gerry_C

One has to ask why the republican party has such a love affair with Pearce. 

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

["At a "Fight the Recalls" rally in Paradise Valley with Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Representative John Kavanaugh and others, Pearce told 3TV he takes the recall seriously."]

The above quote was from a May 19th article about the Goober Rally in Paradise Valley.

http://www.azfamily.com/news/S...

At that very same rally Rep. Kavanaugh issued a thinly veiled threat to the sitting Republican legislators who had voted against the five immigration laws being pushed by pearce. He also said that those who don't toe the party line will be voted OUT of office by the party in the next election.

Kavanaugh, obviously a transplant from an eastern region of the United States, is pretty much as potentially dangerous as pearce and the Flaccid Fool, both of whom he seems to idolize.

Guest23
Guest23

Pearce supports are breaking the law by bring in a shill candidate olivia cortes. A lawsuit just file will prove this once and for all.

Yourproductsucks
Yourproductsucks

Calm down. Nothing illegal has occurred. Stop trying to criminalize that which is legal.

yourproductsucks
yourproductsucks

Circle the wagons!!! Someone has said something disparaging to one of our own!!!

Jason spouting off continually about having family in Boston is irritating to all of you, but it's not as irritating as someone with an opposing point of view coming in traipsing around on your sacred blogspot.  

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

Yep, I care too. I may need a place to stay when I go there again... but then I'm not a deputy sheriff pigeon holed in Arizona without any place to go and no money to get me there.

Jason
Jason

Thank you. That criminal Pearce made the news the entire time I was there last May because of 1070.

Now that we have a chance to rid ourselves of a criminal via recall, it has made national news. People there can't stand Pearce or the Tea Party.

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