Russell Pearce's Olivia Cortes Fiasco: Complaint Shot Down by SOS, Lawsuit Will Be Filed Soon

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Olivia Cortes: You've got to wonder if she expected this level of scrutiny

The complaint filed by Democratic precinct committeeman and former candidate for state Senate in Legislative District 18 Robert McDonald in the ever-widening Russell Pearce/Olivia Cortes scandal has just been shot down by the Arizona Secretary of State's Office.

In a letter from State Election Director Amy Chan (formerly Amy Bjelland, Chan is her new married name), the SOS dismissed McDonald's claims of election fraud, writing:

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McDonald was disappointed by the response, and said he would be holding a press conference later today.

"It's not surprising that the Secretary of State has decided to play politics," he told me. "Everyone knows there is a connection between Olivia Cortes and Russell Pearce."

To be fair, the SOS has played the entire recall of state Senate President Russell Pearce by the book. And it may indeed lack the "statutory authority" to pull Cortes into court and place her under oath. 

You can read the entire Chan letter, here. Also, Pearce's 2010 general election opponent Andrew Sherwood has produced an interesting flow-chart showing some of the connections between Cortes and Pearce. You can take a gander at it, here.

As I write this, a lawsuit is brewing over the Cortes affair. A well-known Arizona elections lawyer is currently working on a complaint based on a case from the 1950s involving what's known as a "diversionary candidate." 

It's expected that the lawsuit will either be filed late today or Monday. More as I get it.


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21 comments
Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

This is a very interesting filing. Since I'm not a lawyer I'm not sure this suit will go anywhere. I am curious about it and waiting to learn from it.

I find it odd that after this filing became known that a campaign website suddenly seems to have appeared for Cortes.

But, where the heck is Cortes and why isn't she out there garnering votes?

Maybe she doesn't want to take any away from pearce.

Robert Hernandez McDonald Jr.
Robert Hernandez McDonald Jr.

despite my complaint getting tossed it had the desired effect of getting this publicized so the light was shone on these cockroaches.

Robert Hernandez McDonald Jr.

Jason
Jason

If Pearce is indeed using Cortes as a shill candidate, the public has the right to know, and the Secretary of State should have the ability to pull Cortes off of the ballot. I mean, Cortes hasn't even actively campaigned since claiming she wants to run. Pearce's own family even helped her with her supposed "campaign."  

Then again, Cortes may be in bed with the Pearce campaign, as Tommy Collins suggests. If that's true, Cortes is nothing more than an empty shell for Pearce in an attempt to siphon votes away from Lewis.

If people in LD18 vote for anyone other than Lewis, they are enabling corruption and criminality. Pearce has got to go. 

SP
SP

Another alternative:   If a Senator can file ethics charges against another Senator (Bundgaard) for behavior unbecoming a Senator .. we should ask that a member of the AZ Senate file ethics charges against Russell Pearce for this unethical behavior and for manipulating the Electoral system in such a perverse way to create a sham candidate.

SP
SP

The main thing to keep repeating to the public and anyone (In any language) is this:

A VOTE FOR OLIVIA CORTES IS A VOTER FOR RUSSELL PEARCE

Chad Snow
Chad Snow

Amy Bjelland and Ken Bennett have been extremely professional from the beginning.  I don't think they're playing politics and probably called this one correctly.  I think this is backfiring on Pearce by exposing him as the dirty, do anything-say anthing politician that he is.  Do the voters in LD18 want to be represented by someone with so little integrity? 

VIMIIS
VIMIIS

PBS' Horizonte would also be a good source of information for Hispanic voters.  Hopefully they will hop on the bandwagon and get the word out. 

wtf
wtf

Does anyone know how to contact Univision or Telemundo by email? someone needs to send these tv stations a letter they are the primary TV stations that should be covering this and exposing Olivia C. after all Hispanics are most likely the ones that would vote for her if they don't know who she is of course.

Yourproductsucks
Yourproductsucks

A frivolous , campaign smearing lawsuit? I'm sure its intent has been achieved. Looks like both sides ate playing politics on this one. It's curious that Chad snow and company attempt to appear Lilly white in all of this yet Chad condones such antics against a legitimate candidate in Olivia Cortes.

lawyergal
lawyergal

There is no proof that he is involved.  Certainly, it is very likely, since people so close to him are clearly involved, but no proof= no ethics charges

Yourproductsucks
Yourproductsucks

Coming from the guy who bedded down with Randy Parraz? Oh, the irony!

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

Agreed. My personal opinion is there is nothing criminally wrong with Olivia Cortes running for political office, as long as she satisfies all the legal requirements (citizenship, etc).

That said, she seems to be seriously 'in bed' with the pearce campaign for the purpose of pulling votes from Mr. Lewis.

Yes, that may be his and her intent, and it may be legal.

The reality, however, is that this not so carefully orchestrated move is very likely to cost pearce the very election he is trying to subvert by using Cortes as a shill.

Not to mention, of course, that Mr. Lewis is heads and tails the best candidate in the race.

pearce is nothing more than a 'used to was'.

vinceclortho1
vinceclortho1

I agree.  I hate Pearce as much as the next guy, but the SOS cannot take someone off the ballot under these circumstances.

Not surprised
Not surprised

Agreed.  We need to work to properly inform ALL voters in LD18. 

Towards the mid to end of October, we need to call/email the hispanic tv/radio/newspapers to make sure they do their part to put out the truth.

Rick
Rick

i would call the television stations directly.

SP
SP

I know univision has covered it.. but not sure about Telemundo.

Not surprised
Not surprised

Just added that "to-do" to my October calendar!  ;-)

wtf
wtf

@SP they probably did covered it but i'm sure everyone watched it...they need to talk more about this. NT and Channel 12 are the only ones who are really paying attention to all this fiasco

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