Russell Pearce's Supporters in LD 19 Outed as Olivia Cortes Petition Gatherers, while LD 18 Stays Neutral (w/Update)

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Dennis Gilman
Former LD 19 chair Pat Oldroyd, Cortes petition-gatherer and supporter of Russell Pearce

On Thursday, while state Senate President Russell Pearce was in one part of Mesa, denying that he knows or has ever met Olivia Cortes, the candidate meant to "dilute" the vote in the upcoming Legislative District 18 recall election, I was in another area of Mesa, at a Republican meeting for LD 19, watching a bizarre cross between Harper Valley PTA and the floor action at the 1968 Democratic Convention.

With me was Phoenix videographer Dennis Gilman, who is working on a video of the proceedings, which involved an effort by pro-Pearce partisans to get a resolution passed supporting Pearce and blasting such bugbears as the Democratic National Committee and MoveOn.org as being behind an alleged conspiracy to remove Pearce from office.

Of course, neither of these entities had anything to do with the successful recall drive led by Citizens for a Better Arizona. Heck, even the local Democratic Party has stayed away from any official endorsement of the recall. Nor is there a Dem on the November 8 ballot. Rather there are three Republicans: Pearce, Cortes, and Mesa educator and ex-CPA Jerry Lewis.

Though the meeting lacked a quorum to actually vote on the resolution, there was nonetheless a contentious debate on it, and the resolution may come up again at an LD 19 meeting in October.

My purpose in being there was to confront two movers behind the pro-Pearce resolution: Mesa Republican Dan Grimm, and former LD 19 chair Pat Oldroyd, both of whom circulated petitions to qualify Cortes for the election.

Oldroyd was the first person who greeted me when I entered the room at a local events center, and after I told her who I was, I asked if she was the same Oldroyd who had circulated for Cortes. She admitted as much, though she was also clearly campaigning for the Pearce resolution by handing out Pearce literature at the meeting.

I wondered why she had circulated for Cortes. 

"Because I wanted to help her get on the ballot," was her reply.

Oldroyd, an odd, spry little lady, then ran off and began informing others of the presence of New Times. There were soon cries for us to leave, to which I shouted back something to the effect that, "I didn't know Republicans held secret meetings."

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Dennis Gilman
Lester Pearce, Justice of the Peace and brother of Russell, blocking our access to Oldroyd

LD18 chair Wayne Gardner interrupted featured speaker Shane Krauser, a local Tea Party guy, and also asked us to leave. However, to his credit, Gardner refused to have us removed, and soon Krauser was continuing his lecture, ironically on freedoms protected by the U.S. Constitution, such as freedom of speech.

After this, the fireworks soon began, as Gardner read an e-mail from LD 18 chair Dan Lovell, asking other districts to butt-out of LD 18 politics.

"I will not get in between three Republican candidates," Lovell was quoted as stating. "I am neutral."

Gardner continued reading from the Lovell e-mail:

"If you want to help the Republican party in LD18 stay out of our elections in any official capacity. It divides and confuses things. The Dems are already laughing at us. Having other districts come out in opposition to the stance that LD18 is taking (neutrality) only adds to the fire. If you want to help Russell go help Russell. Use the appropriate tools though, not the weight of the district. Don't come here with a jack hammer to hang a picture on my wall."

Gardner expressed his personal frustration with the recall, and said he wanted to see a change to the Arizona Constitution to amend or get rid of recall provisions. He had Oldroyd read the pro-Pearce resolution, which you can peruse at the LD 19 Web site. Then he opened up the mic to debate, five minutes for the resolution, five against.

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Dennis Gilman
Pearce-supporter/Cortes signature-gatherer Dan Grimm

Grimm, Oldroyd and others rose to speak in favor of the resolution. One unidentified lady made the delusional statement that Arizona under Pearce is "stronger than it's ever been and we have a wonderful reputation."

I doubt those out of work, in foreclosure, or denied AHCCCS feel the same way.

Then Anson Clarkson, Lewis' campaign manager, rose in opposition. Several of the LD 19ers objected to Clarkson speaking, as he is not a member of LD 19.  But Gardner told the crowd it was an open forum, and allowed Clarkson to address them.

Clarkson quickly got to the point.

"I believe it was last Friday, because it was the last day they could turn in petitions," Clarkson said. "Pat Oldroyd knocked on my door and tried to get me to sign a petition for Olivia Cortes."

"You did that, Pat?" Gardner interrupted in horror, looking at Oldroyd, who was nearby.

Oldroyd shot back, "I did that, Wayne!"

"It's not illegal," Clarkson continued after this exchange. "But I would question the ethics of someone that stands here and is for Russell Pearce -- I'm OK with people being for Russell Pearce -- but then attempting to game the political system...by trying to recruit a shill candidate."

David Johnson, chief-of-staff for Maricopa County Supervisor Don Stapley (who was also in attendance and announced his intention to run for re-election in 2012) was next. 

He agreed with Clarkson, calling the actions of Oldroyd and others "despicable" and a "sham." Pro-Pearce folks tried to shout him down, and at one point Oldroyd tried to take the mic away from him. But he stood his ground, disagreeing with a previous statement that everything was hunky-dory in Sand Land.

"The numbers don't agree with that," he said. "We have higher unemployment than when Russell Pearce took office. [Pearce] served as chairman of the [state House] appropriations committee from 2003 to 2008. During that period of time we had a 68 percent increase in general fund spending...$4 billion in the general fund, from $6.4 [billion] to $10.4 [billion]."

He added, "You either have to question [Pearce's] leadership or his political ability....10,000 people-plus in LD 18 have spoken. We need to allow democracy to do its job."

Following Johnson, Gardner admitted that the issue "has divided our district." He announced the next LD 19 meeting for October 20, and adjourned.

Dennis and I hung out for a while afterward. First we tried to corner Oldroyd on camera, but we were blocked by none other than Justice of the Peace Lester Pearce, Russell's brother. At the time, I didn't know Lester Pearce on sight. Otherwise I would have peppered him with questions.

We did, however, confront Dan Grimm with the fact that he had circulated petitions for Cortes, and I even pulled out one of the petitions he circulated to make the point. He was unapologetic, as Dennis will reveal in the video he's working on.

We also spoke with Clarkson a bit, who described in detail how Oldroyd had tried to solicit his signature before she knew who he was. He said Oldroyd described Cortes as a "lawyer," at one point.

It's significant that LD 18 is remaining neutral in the race, and it's also significant that so many people who know and support Pearce -- even some members of his own family -- have been involved in this Cortes fiasco. You've got to wonder, how could Pearce not know what's going on?

UPDATE 9/18/11: Part one of Gilman's video report is up and can be viewed, here. Part two is on the way and will have some even juicier clips.


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83 comments
jon49417
jon49417

anyone who stops your forward progression is guilty of assault.  swear out the warrant,  send this old bitch to hell

frjm
frjm

I wonder if this Phoenix New Times is related to the New Times back in the 70-80's.  I remember that press was manned by a bunch of drugged out hippies.  

Those who agreed with the Pearce recall are, in reality, anti-Arizona sovereignty proponents.  Nothing good can come from the bleeding heart acceptance of illegal aliens in my state.  The next thing you bleeding heart liberals will sanction is the rights for illegal aliens to vote. 

I also wonder how many bleeding hearts liberals temporarily changed their party to vote Pearce out? 

Lastly, I bled for my country too, but unlike some,  I have read the Constitution of the United States and live the oath I swore to.  

Bozo
Bozo

Too bad Gilman's videos are barely getting watched.

LA714
LA714

Excellent hachet job. Even better job of shilling for Lewis. the ONLY reason the New Times is even covering this is because Randy Parraz (Union organizer, comunity Organizer, and oh yea ex dem candidate) is running the show with the help of LD 18 mobot leadership who are profiting mightily from the use illegal immigrants in their businesses. Oh yea and lets not forget adding to their celestial numbers by baptising these souls. The question the New Times SHOULD be asking is "Why now?" why not wait til the legitimate election cycle? Who brought Snow and company from GLENDALE to Mesa? Not exactly neighbors..But of course this will never be addressed, too much fun to stir the pot with half truths and innuendo.   BTW, did you not realize that Mr. Gardner and company will grace LD 18 when redistricting takes place.

Dp4012
Dp4012

I just commented here on LD 19 Resolution of Support for Senator Pearcehttp://www.ld19gop.org/2011/09...

Considering everything, aren't you embarassed that you helped create a deceitful election against the voters in LD18?You can say that it was to support Russell Pearce.  The plan was put forth to deceive voters and by placing a hispanic candidate to especially deceive hispanic voters. If you have so little respect for citizens of Mesa, AZ, why should we have any respect for you?LD19 Voter

--------------As a LD 19 voter I'm going to remember these actions by my district.

Kcarson
Kcarson

You want a good story - lay naked the scam that is the Justice of the Peace system in Arizona.  I've appeared in Lester N. Pearce's court more than a few times and found the experience distasteful.  The local ambulance chasers flock around him like he's god and when a real attorney comes in, knowledgeable of the law and the facts, doofus Pearce is completely lost.  He doesn't know how to process the information, but knows he doesn't want to rule against his cronies. It's a sham system.

DNichols
DNichols

Russel Pearces Anti Immigrant Laws have not only Crashed Mesa, however his handiwork has Crashed our Nation.

January 2008 = The start of the E-verify Law, and the I.C.E. Deportation/Incarceration Programs.

January 2008 Also = The start of the "Worst Recession in U.S. History."

This is No Co incidence.

All States that have deported massive numbers of their Hardest and most Devoted Immigrant Workers, are now in total Economic Disaster!

The Immigrants now vacated dwellings caused the "Forclosure Crisis".

These vacated dwellings have made entire States like Arizona Over built, completely halting Construction/Growth.This has cost millions of Americans their jobs, and left these States with massive and matching Excesses of Government Services.

Therefor yes Russell Pearce is largely responsible for this Recession.

This is our I.C.E.'d Economy.

Two and a half years after the E-verify Home value Plummet, Arizona home values had finally stabilized, then came Pearce's SB1070, home values once again fell off the planet, and are still dropping!

"America is great because it is good, when it ceases to be good, it ceases to be great."Alex DeTocqueville

To: Good.

May we get rid of Pearce, and his Hatred, and once again do Good.

Adrian Cruz
Adrian Cruz

I'm pretty sure Pat Oldroyd was the inspiration for the ghost in the Scooby Doo cartoons.  And I never thought I'd hear myself say the phrase, "looks like Russell got the looks in that family."  A bunch of bitter, hate filled old white people - very reminiscient of Mississippi, circa 1963. 

Royalphoenix2
Royalphoenix2

Great job of reporting Mr. Lemons. When someone is taking my picture, i usually smile. peace

Robert Hernandez McDonald Jr.
Robert Hernandez McDonald Jr.

i will be sending a letter today to the Arizona SOS today requesting an investigation into possible election fraud by Olivia Cortes and her Tea Party associates such as Matt Tolman and those mentioned in this article. Enough is enough and its time to take a stand. Enough of a stand for me to severely consider running for the AZ house open seat to hold hearings if elected in LD18.

Robert Hernandez McDonald Jr. (D-MESA)031 Mesa PC

BleenGloob
BleenGloob

Lester Pearce, Justice of the Peace and brother of Russell, blocking our access to Oldroyd

This headline under the picture should read:Molester Pearce, Justice of the Pee and brother of Rusty Zipper, blocking our access to a Hemroyd

Truth to Power
Truth to Power

So let me get this straight. The woman who is reading the motion to support Pearce is the same person who collected signatures for Cortez? What is she, schizophrenic? How pathetic can these people be?

And these are the people who are choosing the leaders of our state? Let's hope the non-crazy voters of LD18 are watching this and taking note of the people actually involved in the Pearce campaign at attempting to scam them. 

If this isn't political corruption, I don't know what is.

Dumoudan
Dumoudan

Is this law Racist? Are the people who agree with this law racist?Are those who want this law enforced racist?Under Title 8 Section 1325 of the U.S. Code, "Improper Entry by Alien," any citizen of any country other than the United States who:Enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers; or Eludes examination or inspection by immigration officers; or Attempts to enter or obtains entry to the United States by a willfully false or misleading representation or the willful concealment of a material fact; has committed a federal crime.Violations are punishable by criminal fines and imprisonment for up to six months. Repeat offenses can bring up to two years in prison. Additional civil fines may be imposed at the discretion of immigration judges, but civil fines do not negate the criminal sanctions or nature of the offense.

Dumoudan
Dumoudan

Is this law Racist? Are the people who agree with this law racist?Are those who want this law enforced racist?Under Title 8 Section 1325 of the U.S. Code, "Improper Entry by Alien," any citizen of any country other than the United States who:Enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers; or Eludes examination or inspection by immigration officers; or Attempts to enter or obtains entry to the United States by a willfully false or misleading representation or the willful concealment of a material fact; has committed a federal crime.Violations are punishable by criminal fines and imprisonment for up to six months. Repeat offenses can bring up to two years in prison. Additional civil fines may be imposed at the discretion of immigration judges, but civil fines do not negate the criminal sanctions or nature of the offense.

yodabama
yodabama

I'm loving the New Times' new game.... "Whack a Mormon".  Each time one of these rodents pops their heads up they get whacked!  It's freaking hilarious! 

Pecee69
Pecee69

I always find it interesting when those who supposedly stand for old fashioned conservative principles and morals are so devious, malicious, deceptive and immoral.

wherewasi
wherewasi

As always, Mr. Lemons, you have shed more light into dark corners.  It is truly disturbing that this is what politics in Arizona has become.  I must also commend you on the fact that you managed to snap photos that always reflect a "deer in the headlights" look on the faces of those you confront with camera in hand.

The anit-Paraz signs are reminicient of the Arpaio for Sheriff 2012 signs and ads and brochures that the Flacid Fool unleashed on Romley last summer.  I hope the Pearce camp pays dearly for them.

I think November is going to be a wonderful month.  If things continue on their present course, we will be watching Russell Pearce and Andrew Thomas both go down in flames within days of each other.  Mr. Haney will likely burst a vein... at least we can hope...

Temoc
Temoc

30 pieces of silver for olivia cortes! Maybe she'll spend it on a competent psychiatrist!

Phil
Phil

What flavor koolaid were they handing out yesterday? You speak of such actions by NT but yet you have no proof while on the other hand there is ample proof of the wrong doing in the Pierce camp. There is nothing but FULL TRUTHS here and SUBSTANTIAL "EVIDENCE" of what is happening in LD18 and if "TRUE" AMERICANS your ilk were then you should be APPALED!

I bled for the FLAG, now tell me i'm UNAMERICAN!

Joe Must Go
Joe Must Go

The allegations raised here involving Justice of the Peace Lester Pearce, if true, violate the canons of judicial ethics and conduct. New Times needs to follow up on this aspect of this whole situation.

wherewasi
wherewasi

Yes, you are right on all counts.  Pearce is a desperate man in desperate times and is seeking desperate measures to try to stay in power.

Power to the People.  LD18 - exercise your right to say "we have had enough".

loushow
loushow

You're an idiot.  This is NOT "Whack a Mormon".  Did you know that Lewis is Mormon?

There's a new game in town . . . it's called "Whack a Yodabama".

bobunf
bobunf

I have worked hard for eight months to get Pearce recalled and removed from office. I am not a Mormon. But I absolutely hate Mormon bashing. That is as bad as Pearce.Mormons are like any other group of human beings: some great, some terrible, most in the middle.Lay off the Mormons. You sound like Pearce.

doug
doug

whack a jack Mormon but back a Mack (daddy) Mormon

JesusHChrist
JesusHChrist

Lemons never mentions LDS in this piece. Also Jerry Lewis, the good guy runnin agin Pearce is a Mormon. Can the bigotry, bub. Jay-sus don't approve.

Mistalee
Mistalee

Right. Now, where is that syphilitic chancre who names himself "YourProductSucks?" He likes to claim that libs believe "the end justifies the means." But it's pretty obvious who is actually embracing Macchiavelli in local politics, and it ain't the liberals, not by a long shot.

wherewasi
wherewasi

They are very hypocritical.  I was posting on Sonoran Alliance a few weeks ago - I don't remember whether it was about Pearce or Thomas, but one of the "regulars" over there posted to me that if I was "clever", I would use different user names instead of just one so that it seemed that more people were agreeing with me, and I would have more "credibility".

I responded that I was not surprised that a tea-bagger would think that being deceptive and dishonest to fake credibility was "clever."

bobunf
bobunf

Actually, I think she's being blackmailed.  It's hard to believe anyone would voluntarily sell out in such a public way.

Zonimon
Zonimon

Lester Pearce has clearly violated the provisions of Canon 5, Code of Judicial Conduct, for his perceived clear-cut political activity in appearing and participating (by acting as a "body guard", lending judicial "weight" to the legislative recall election process) in his political activity not related to his own retention as alleged in this article.

yourproductsucks
yourproductsucks

You appear to be right that Pearce is playing dirty politics.  I hated this move when it benefited McCain against Romney and Huckabee refused to back out of the race. Although he was obviously out of the running, he remained and split the vote allowing McCain to win one particular State with a meager 33% of the vote and give him the momentum needed to win the GOP Primary.  It was wrong then and it is wrong now.  

The difference between you and I is simple.  I recognize faults on my side of the fence and don't attempt to justify, rationalize or ignore them.  You, on the other hand, do.  Hence the reason I continually point out your propensity to win at any cost.

How do you like them apples Mr Lee?

yodabama
yodabama

That is a persistent problem on the AzCentral treads as well.  They are easy to identify, they are the "blame it all on Obama crowd" and people are starting to point them out and corner them more and more.  They have been accused of being PAID shills for the right.  It is my greatest pleasure to go online and taunt them mericlessly.   

yourproductsucks
yourproductsucks

She has a right to run. She has completed the statutory requirements to have her name on the ballot.  Her reasons for running are pointing to her splitting the Anti Pearce vote, which obviously helps Pearce in maintaining his seat.  

My point in the previous article is that her campaign, even if it is for the purpose of assisting Pearce, is NOT illegal.  It is, in fact, a political maneuver that is used on both sides of the aisle.  

Members of the Pearce clan assisting in getting signatures for Cortes is no different in my eyes than Parraz and his clan coming into LD18 and petitioning for a recall.  Its political gamesmanship on both sides.  

To answer your question.. I accept Cortes' campaign for what it is; an attempt at splitting the anti Pearce vote.   Tommy is right on with this issue.  I too think that this maneuver will backfire on Pearce and be the very thing that he loses his seat over.

The ploy of screaming this tactic is illegal is no more ethical than Cortes' attempt to split the vote.

Phil
Phil

Then your previous post on another article about fair, the rule of law and give her an honest chance she has a right to run was a mistatement? Have you now seen that what is happening here is wrong and disshonest? I just want to make sure that you are stateing you either accept Cortes as legit or you DO NOT accept Cortez; Can you clairify please PRODUCT?

Mistalee
Mistalee

"Takes the fight right out of your old gay Anglo hating ass."

Oh, please, I don't hate ALL old gay anglos, just the ones like you and your soul sister, the old 'roid.

Yourproductsucks
Yourproductsucks

I am not attempting to see equally on both sides of the fence. The gamesmanship was irritating then, just as it is irritating now. I disagree with just about everything you stand for. I also disagree with the tactics Pearce and his followers are attempting with Olivia Cortes.

Yourproductsucks
Yourproductsucks

My opinion of Romney being the best candidate had little to do with his religion.

It bothers you that I am not beating the Pearce drum on this issue, doesn't it? Takes the fight right out of your old gay Anglo hating ass.

Mistalee
Mistalee

That's all you've got? You were disappointed because Huckabee spoiled the chances for a Mormon Republican to be president? And you think that demonstrates your ability to see equally on "both sides of the fence?"

LOL, you are a boring, right-wing tool. I don't care for your "apples," on close inspection they turn out to be road apples.

Hock
Hock

Posse members...what else do the have going on?

Tina
Tina

I sure do.

bobunf
bobunf

I believe a lot of the nutty activity on AZCentral is Arpaio minions working on County time with County equipment in County offices - all paid by the taxpayers.  They usually don't even deny it.  

Pearce has almost unlimited money.  Look at the signs - I counted 8 on one corner - for Pearce, for Cortes and against Parraz.  I think he's probably paying Joe to have the Sheriff's well experienced people post "illegals" every time Pearce's corruption is mentioned.  Remember "You can get the Sheriff's endorsement if you give Constantine $2,000?"

wherewasi
wherewasi

Tina, if you frequent azcentral, you know what I'm talking about!

Tina
Tina

I love it.  STD Brigade and AIDS.  Right on.

wherewasi
wherewasi

Absolutely.  They are referred to as the STD Brigade (Silent Thumbs Down Brigade who just go around clicking thumbs and never saying anything) and the AIDS (Arpaio Internet Disinformation Squad who blah blah blah incessantly and usually have nothing relevant to say).

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