Russell Pearce's "Sham" Candidate Olivia Cortes' Date in Court This Thursday (w/Update)

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oliviacortes.com
Will Lisa Hauser end up defending Olivia Cortes as well? I wouldn't be surprised.

UPDATE 7:11PM IN A DISAPPOINTING DEVELOPMENT, TOM RYAN INFORMS ME THAT HE'S RETHINKING WHAT TO DO WITH THE LAWSUIT IN LIGHT OF THE FACT THAT THE BALLOTS HAVE BEEN PRINTED AND SOME HAVE ALREADY GONE OUT, AS IS MENTIONED BELOW. WHETHER OR NOT HE'LL CONTINUE TO PURSUE IT IN ANY FORM SEEMS A QUESTION MARK AT THIS POINT. MORE AS I GET IT.

UPDATE NUMBER TWO 11PM: JUST RECEIVED THE FOLLOWING MESSAGE FROM ATTORNEY TOM RYAN: "I AM NOT DISMISSING THE LAWSUIT AND I AM GOING DOWN ON THURSDAY FOR THE HEARING. I REALLY LIKE KAREN OSBORNE, BUT I ALSO LIKE THE ARIZONA CONSTITUTION." 

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Edward Burke will preside over a hearing this Thursday in a lawsuit brought by elections law attorney Tom Ryan, alleging that Olivia Cortes' candidacy for state Senator in the upcoming Legislative District 18 recall election is "fraudulent and diversionary...within the meaning of Arizona law."

The suit is brought on behalf of LD 18 Republican Mary Lou Boettcher, a supporter of the recall and a critic of state Senate President Russell Pearce. In the complaint Ryan filed this past Friday, Ryan asked that the court enjoin County Elections from distributing ballots with Cortes' name and keep her name off the ballot altogether.

According to County Elections Director Karen Osborne, the ballots have been printed. Military and oversees ballots have already been sent out. Remaining early ballots are set to be mailed out by October 13. 

If Ryan's suit seems like a Hail Mary pass, it has more going for it than you might think. First off, Ryan successfully defended a lawsuit against Citizens for a Better Arizona. That lawsuit, brought on behalf of Pearce supporter (and Cortes-petition-circulator, natch) Franklin B. Ross by attorney Lisa Hauser, was dismissed and the dismissal was upheld by the Arizona Supreme Court.

But aside from Ryan's competence, he alleges that laws have been broken and the state constitution will be violated should the election go forward with Cortes' name on the ballot. 

Cortes' actions will "affect the purity of the November 8, 2011 Recall Election," according to the suit. And Aricle VII, Section 12 of the Arizona Constitution declares that, "There shall be enacted registration and other laws to secure the purity of elections and guard against abuses of the elective franchise."

Moreover, there's possibly a class five felony being committed, specifically A.R.S. 16-1006, which states the following:

Changing vote of elector by corrupt means or inducement; classification

A. It is unlawful for a person knowingly by force, threats, menaces, bribery or any corrupt means, either directly or indirectly:

1. To attempt to influence an elector in casting his vote or to deter him from casting his vote.

2. To attempt to awe, restrain, hinder or disturb an elector in the free exercise of the right of suffrage.

3. To defraud an elector by deceiving and causing him to vote for a different person for an office or for a different measure than he intended or desired to vote for.

B. A person who violates any provision of this section is guilty of a class 5 felony.

And there is court precedent regarding sham candidates. In a 1959 case, the Arizona Supreme Court remanded back to the lower court Griffin vs. Buzard, in which a candidate for the Arizona Corporation Commission had been placed on the ballot with the sole intention of siphoning votes away from another candidate with a similar name.

In that ruling, the Supremes indicated that, "The courts must be alert to preserving the purity of elections and its doors must not be closed to hearing charges of deception and fraud that in any way impede the exercise of a free elective franchise."

That ruling actually came after the election at issue. Nevertheless, the court allowed the case to proceed to trial.

The Arizona Attorney General could investigate this alleged felony, but at this point, it doesn't seem interested in doing so.

When I asked the AG's flack Amy Rezzonico about a possible investigation, she replied, "Appears it is being handled in a civil action."

Though that would not keep it from being investigated by the AG.

Over at the Maricopa County Attorney's Office, spokesman Jerry Cobb told me that, "MCAO has not received a complaint on this matter nor are we investigating the allegations you reference."

Horne's inaction is particularly telling. Keep in mind that he initiated an investigation of the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission for possible Open Meetings Law violations, for the most part, on the basis of what he'd read in the Arizona Capitol Times' Yellow Sheet and in right-wing blogs.

By now, nearly every news outlet in town has reported on Cortes' dubious candidacy, and the fact that she continues to hide from reporters and the public in spite of a campaign Web site put up in her name, and a recent hoax, announcing a campaign event for this past Saturday that never materialized.

In fact, videographer Dennis Gilman and I went to Cortes' home yet again this past Saturday morning, but there was no activity. Along with a news crew from Channel 15, we knocked on Cortes' front and back doors. No one answered.

Were roles reversed, and Cortes was a sham candidate promulgated by the Democratic Party, how long do you think it would take for the AG to initiate an investigation?

I'm guessing in the bat of an eye.

Note: I'm not clear on whether the MCAO could initiate a probe into this matter, though it seems clear that the AG could, if it wanted, based on the statute. I've corrected the text above to reflect this. Sorry for any confusion.

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29 comments
Jason
Jason

If Judge Burke doesn't remove Cortes' name from the ballots, he is enabling a sham candidate in a sham election to help a corrupt and mentally sick old man known as Russell Pearce stay in power.

That said, Judge Burke could remove one odious cretin from the ballot to get rid of a second odious cretin whose corruption is now well-known.

Let's hope that Judge Burke makes the right decision and removes Cortes from the ballot so that we can remove said odious cretin Pearce from office. 

Oblivious Cortex
Oblivious Cortex

Is the glass half empty, or half full? 

Have 10% of the ballots been printed, so another 90% must include the same fraudulent candidate?

There are probably ten voters in the world who can't be reached in time with a second, clean ballot.  The Diamondbacks win games after the sixth inning.  Ryan shouldn't concede defeat after the first inning.

Susan Rastella
Susan Rastella

An open message to "Candidate: Cortes:

Olivia Cortes why are you allowing yourself to be used in such an insulting way?  Why will you not give the voters some information about yourself?  Your "candidacy" is a sham.  Your have a 1 page commentary as yourself campaign platform.  Your page offers us to follow you on a Facebook page that doesn't exist.  Who are you Olivia Cortes?  Why the hell should anyone vote for you?  Can't your buddy Russell make it through this without using you?  Are you ever going to speak up about your plans and ideas for making Mesa and Arizona a better place to live and work.  Like you say, "Truth, Justice and the American Way" is your ideals.  Let me tell you dear, you are NOT Superman(woman).  Get out of the race gracefully and stope being used.  I am ashamed of you as a woman and as a resident of Arizona.  Shame on you Olivia.

Rob
Rob

Godspeed Tom Ryan and Mary Lou Boettcher.

Guest23
Guest23

Hard to believe this lawsuit could be dropped and the corrupts acts of pearce supporters is allowed to go forward.

If Lewis loses by the amount of votes cortes receives will there be any way to contest the election? As I sure as hell hope so, otherwise the whole state of Arizona should hang its head in shame at the embarrassment that was allowed.

I was shocked when this whole situation came to light and everyone thought it was not technically illegal and then had my hopes built up do to reading about this lawsuit this morning and now I will be shocked again if it is dropped and the recall election goes on as is. Sure a sh*tty way to end the day.

Oblivious Cortex
Oblivious Cortex

It's too bad we have a full economy and no unemployed college graduates (journalism majors or otherwise) to be hired for a day or two to call Hispanic voters in LD18 and ask them if they plan on voting and whether they know anything about the stealth candidate. 

It could even be a push poll -- "Have you heard that she has a lot of support from Russell Pearce's friends?"

Tina
Tina

Wouldn't it be weird if Olivia Cortes'  lawyer does turn out to be Lisa Hauser?Pearce's proxy-plaintiff in Lisa Hauser's  unsuccessful lawsuit to try and get the recall election thrown out was Franklin Bruce Ross.  Franklin Bruce Ross also signed (as a voter) and circulated a nominating petition for Olivia Cortes.  

Oh what a tangled web we weave....

Kwaayesnama
Kwaayesnama

My question is did anyone see her birth certificate andnaturalization certificate? Since Arizona is spending tax payer’s money tocontinue the investigation of President Obama’s birth Certificate I would liketo know if the same attention is being paid to make sure that this candidate thatrefuses to speak to the media is in this country legally. I keep wondering whatthis candidate has to hide if she refuses to be interviewed by the media. If sheis afraid of the main street media she should clear up the voter’s questionsabout her candidacy by agreeing to an interview by Fox News.

Crow
Crow

Cortes' sister came out today yelling at Brahm Resnik with a 'NO TRESPASSING" sign in her hand.  It was pretty funny. check the Azcentral links for video.

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Arizona women wake-up!
Arizona women wake-up!

Women letting the good ole boys use them once again. When will women get smart and realize they are nothing but pawns for the men who "use" them. 

Conservative American
Conservative American

Get out the word, Olivia is a SHAM.  And Russell is scared!  God only knows the dirty tricks his goons will pull next!  She must account for herself, grow a spine and come clean Olivia, if you come clean now, you will just look stupid, not stupid and criminal and sleazy and dishonest and unethical.

Anon
Anon

There is no help in AZ, a one-party state. They all eat out of the same trough.  Contact the DOJ fraud division and the FBI. Hopefully, they'll do their jobs and do the right thing. 

Gerry_C
Gerry_C

But, if Horne does anything against Russell Pearce, Russell will make sure that Horne can never be Governor.  How can you expect Horne to do something on this issue?

Jason
Jason

Horne will simply conflict it out to Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, yet another corrupt Republican, but far less sleazy.

Or Pearce will simply ask his good buddy the MCSO shurf to help out by staking out Horne's house, planting listening devices in Horne's office, etc.

Car_del99
Car_del99

 " 3. To defraud an elector by deceiving and causing him to vote for a different person for an office or for a different measure than he intended or desired to vote for "In this case   wouldn't  R.P be the guilty one  of  commiting fraud ? He put her up to this

ArizonaEagletarian
ArizonaEagletarian

Edward Burke is a corrupt judge.

Phil
Phil

Ummm the only evidence of corruption or at the least ethical violations from a judge is from a JP called Peirce. Keep drinking, what flavor is it today?

Anon
Anon

ArizonaEagletarian, The pot calling the kettle black. Arizona's long history of corruption led by a one-party state has gone on for too long. Unfortunately, you provide no solutions. Getting Pearce removed from office will begin the house cleaning in Arizona and hopefully the beginning of much needed reform. 

Preston Smith
Preston Smith

I am a republican and I agree with this... 

You will probably not like my reasoning but not matter for now we are on the same team.

Pearce and Brewer are in a similar situation that Bush and the republican party were in back in 2008. Corruption, over spending and an over disconnection to everyone but a finite demographic of republicans. The result of that was a disastrous shift of power in the presidency, senate and congress... because people were sick and tired of the politics, NOT JUST DEMOCRATS, republicans too.

Pearce has got himself in the same situation by ostracizing a large majority of his district and much of Arizona. If republicans don't step up and send a message to the kind of corruption that Pearce and his people are demonstrating, there will be a wide power shift from republican to democrat, similar to the 2008 general election.

This goes with out saying that Pearce is a corrupt politician that has been bullying people for years. His legislation does not represent the people of his district, in fact his has done little to represent his district at all!

I will be voting for Jerry Lewis... I hope everyone will spread the word! 

Triple-6 Gun Mane
Triple-6 Gun Mane

Well said. It's imperative that everyone regardless of political affiliation, work together as one. Because we're all loathing the same common foe---ru$$ell pearce.

Jerry Lewis too, will get my vote.

Steve Muratore
Steve Muratore

Do you have ANY idea what you're talking about?  Pot calling the kettle black? That would suggest I'm as corrupt as Ed Burke.  That's just stupid. I'd like to see Pearce successfully recalled. That has nothing to do with Ed Burke's history.

Leonardclark385
Leonardclark385

These "Fascists" will do anything to stay in power !Leonard Clark

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