Russell Pearce's Constantin Querard Makes Bank from IE Committee (w/Update)

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Robert Haasch
Constantin Querard: Whether or not Pearce goes down November 8, CQ's pockets will be full of loot

So what do you call an independent expenditure committee where the chairman scores around 72 percent of all the committee's expenditures?

You call that a nice payday for Constantin Querard. 

In February of this year, the slippery GOP consultant, alleged by some to be the ultimate shot-caller behind the sham candidacy of ex-Legislative District 18 state Senate hopeful Olivia Cortes, formed Arizona Deserves the Best. This, to help out his pal, embattled Senate President Russell Pearce.

Friday, the group submitted its first campaign finance report with the Arizona Secretary of State's Office. Total cash receipts equal $25,010, so far. Disbursements, $18,938, out of which, Querard and his campaign products company High Noon scored a sweet $13,597. 

As with Querard's various other political cash cows, ADB is headquartered out of CQ's home in Laveen. 

I rang the number on the finance report, and got the devil himself, so to speak. 

I asked to see Querard's invoices for the services he apparently rendered to, um, himself. Of course, he declined. 

"Given the quality of your coverage, you gather I'm not answering your questions," he smarmed.

Well, why not?

"Because I don't like the way you write," he told me. "It's garbage, it's hateful, it's ugly...I'll save my answers for actual journalists."

I'll concede CQ's expertise in garbage. But if the rule for "actual" journalists is kiss up to a snake like him, I'll take a pass.

Querard hung up when I asked if any of the money he received went to pay for Cortes' illegal "Si, Se Puede" signs.

CQ isn't the only sign-maker listed as the beneficiary of ADB's bounty. The other is Sign King of Arizona, owned by Jim Torgeson of Gilbert. Torgeson's known for his fight to save the endangered sign twirlers, many of which he employed in a company called Jet Media.

Torgeson once campaigned as a Democrat in a 2008 LD 20 primary before a certain legal beagle by the name of Tom Ryan, working on behalf of GOPer-turned-Dem Slade Meade, chased Torgeson off the ballot with a legal challenge.

Interestingly, Torgeson also did yard signs for Pearce-foe Jerry Lewis, so at least we know cash is king in this sign sultan's book.

The phone number I have for Torgeson was in permanent busy mode today, so I didn't get to ask him if his company did any work for Olivia Cortes. 

Secretary of State spokesman Matt Roberts told me that the SOS tried to get up with Sign King today, too, but no luck. He said that the SOS has been calling different sign companies asking them if they'll own to manufacturing Cortes' placards.

He further stated that the SOS will be wrapping up its Cortes-sign investigation "very soon." He noted that the SOS does not have subpoena power, and would have to get the Arizona Attorney General's office involved, if the SOS desired to go that route.

There are more issues concerning Cortes' candidacy, of course, such as who paid Diane Burns' company Petition Pros to solicit signatures on Cortes' behalf. Roberts told me previously that the SOS is waiting to see who files what this week in regards to campaign finance reports, before deciding whether or not to expand its investigation.

Campaign finance reports for candidates and IEs are due in by day's end October 27, you see. Which should give the local press corps plenty to do this week.

As far as who gave to Querard's pro-Pearce IE, contributors include the Maricopa County GOP's pro-Pearce IE ($7,500), Courtland Homes ($2,500), businessman Earl Johnson and his company Johnson Stewart ($10,000, total), as well as a mysterious Phoenix resident by the name of J.B. Rush ($4,500). 

I have my suspicions about Rush, but I'll have to suss that out a bit more before I publish anything.

I nearly forgot, the Rose Law Group (Jordan Rich Rose, proprietress and wife of pseudo-political guru Jason Rose) hedged its bets with a paltry $500.

Funny, if any of the money donated by these fine, upstanding individuals and entities found its way into the effort to assist Cortes, they will have -- inadvertently, no doubt -- helped Cortes' backers commit a fraud on the electorate.

One that may yet work, should Cortes' name, still on the ballot despite her official withdrawal, pull enough votes to save Pearce's political career.

UPDATE October 25, 4:43 PM: I spoke with Torgeson today, and he told me that he had nothing to do with the Cortes signs. The money he received from Querard's IE, he explained, was for signs that read MeetRussellPearce.com.



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55 comments
joebingham013
joebingham013

Maybe we could recycle this guy. I'm not picking a political side in this because I honestly know nothing about this, but in the next 20 years there may be a "humane" method out there that fixes or "corrects" "lost souls" if you will. Why not with where the world appears to be heading right now? Anything is possible right? So when the time comes, we throw this carcass in with the other garbage, into some kind of  <a href="http://www.generalrecycling.com">auto recyclers</a> and recreate these people...LOL

JasonTodd Ready
JasonTodd Ready

There are some juicy rumors floating around republican circles about Constantin Queer-ard's extracurricular nocturnal activities involving an insatiable desire for testosterone laden meatsicles. Maybe he should run Shurff Baboon's bid for Congress. They may have quite a few things in common with one another other than politics.

Follower_of_the_ONE
Follower_of_the_ONE

I wonder if the Republicans/GOP/Teapartiers that run this asylum are fully aware of what they are in the process of losing.  They are going to start falling like dominoes in this state: Pearce, Thomas and sidekicks, Arpiao (he is up to his ass in problems), Hendershott, the rest of the corrupt elements in Maricopa county under investigation and right up to the Governor's office.  The govenor and the circle of jerks that surround her... cutting everything to fund [their] private prison extravaganza.  This is going to be such a delicious victory for ARIZONA, the demise of the "Comically Evil ScaryZona Empire [cluster-fuck]"

Tina
Tina

Stephen, more about those few horizontal MeetRussellPearce.com signs that Torgeson said he made for Querard, supposedly justifying an expense of over $4,000.  I just saw one of those signs, which looks new, not there in the past, just west of Country Club on the south side of Brown Rd, hanging on the chain link fence there and facing Brown.

Now, in large enough print that I could read as I drove by, are also the words "Paid by Arizona Deserves the Best" which is Querard's pro-Pearce IE.  I'll try MeetRussellPearce.com, see if it now is operational, which it wasn't in the past.   

Tina
Tina

Unreal!  I just accessed the MeetRussellPearce.com site, the heading of which is "Arizona Deserves the Best" (CQ's IE campaign committee registered with the SOS.)

It consists of individual photos of about a dozen different unidentified people, then by clicking on each photo, one is treated to a different pre-scripted testimonial for Russell Pearce, that is read by each of these people.  Most of their scripted messages are inflated claims by Pearce that we've already read or heard from him, others are downright dishonest, but mainly the idea is to have the viewer/listener believe that Russell Pearce invented the wheel, climbed the highest mountain, and can be equated to the sun, the moon and the stars.....a political and intellectual genius.

THEN....after listening to all these testimonials, out of nowhere and suddenly superimposed on the top of the site, is a thorough Channel 15 investigative report that aired a few days after the scandalous Olivia Cortes sham candidacy unraveled in the court.It reveals how Constantin Querard had called for other people to run against Pearce, how he owns a sign company, reported that the Sectetary of State is still investigating as to who provided the Olivia Cortes signs which the city of Mesa ultimately confiscated after Cortes testified that she did not pay for them and didn't know where they came from, and that Querard is and has been a consultant for Russell Pearce.  

At any rate, that Channel 15 investigative report portrays Querard as a slime, the idea man along with Pearce as the one who concocted the fraudulent candidacy scheme of Olivia Cortes to deceive voters and enhance Pearce's chances of winning the election.

And there that Ch. 15 report is superimposed right on CQ's own promotional website for Pearce, which pops up after all the individual testimonials for Pearce are viewed.Amazing!!  

Mistalee
Mistalee

So regardless of who is elected, the winner is Constantin Querard.

Tina
Tina

That's the way he'd like it....but I'd like to think his "success" will be short-lived.  

Nordine Crub
Nordine Crub

That Constantine Querard is a total dirt-bag.

A word of advice to a closeted elected official who is thinking of running for higher office next year- if I were you, you probably should hire this CQ guy today. Otherwise, be prepared for all kinds of kinky mailings and phone calls to go out against you. CQ loves going after the gays. (He cost David Burnell Smith his job the first time he was in office)

Tina
Tina

Corruption thrives when self-serving unscrupulous politicians and their beneficiaries have trained themselves to hit hot-button emotional biases among their constituents.  But never would I add to the problem by recommending  hiring someone like CQ.

An excellent op-ed column by Mesa resident Scott Phelps -- "Don't wait a year to fix how far Pearce has strayed" -- appears in Wednesday's Oct. 26 Mesa Republic (insert to the Arizona Republic.)  Phelps, a long time observor of Arizona government and politics,  served as spokesman for five Phoenix mayors.   

Paula Pennypacker
Paula Pennypacker

Thank you Stephen Lemons for opening all of our eyes to the corruption down under the Capitol Dome by this supposedly good Christian -- friend of the family crowd.  LOL!!!!

Paula Pennypacker
Paula Pennypacker

Thank you Stephen Lemons for opening all of our eyes to the corruption down under the Capitol Dome by so-called good Christian, friends-of-the-family crowd.  LOL!!!!

Mikey1969
Mikey1969

""It's garbage, it's hateful, it's ugly..."

What's that? The Pearce campaign? I agree.

Tina
Tina

Stephen's update, what Sign King of Arizona owner Torgeson told him, is strange.

The reported outlay to Sign King by Constantin Querard was for $4,340.64 in mid-September.Those few horizontal, black on white signs advertising MeetRussellPearce.com didn't go up until the weekend of October 2.  I remember seeing three of them hanging on the chain link fence that cordons off the closed Bennigans at the NW corner of Southern & Alma School on Sun. Oct. 2.  When I inquired about those signs a couple days later, the city's sign enforcement guy said they were ordered to be taken down -- I assumed it was because they didn't meet the 15 ft. setback requirements -- and he offered that they were placed in the same location(s) where the unlawful Olivia Cortes signs had been, also affixed to chain link fences,  which the city confiscated.  At any rate, there were just a few of those short-lived MeetRussellPearce.com signs, certainly nothing visible that would appear to justify a cost of $4,300.  The city's Steve Hether, 480-644-2039, would be able to provide dates and details of those signs. 

Susurro Perforado
Susurro Perforado

That's a great point, Tina.  Those "meetrussellpearce.com" arrow signs would not have cost more than about $10-$15 each.  And I know...I've ordered signs from Torgeson before (nice guy, by the way).  That would mean that they printed 300-400 of those things, and there's NO WAY there are that many of those signs out there.

That leaves various possibilities:  That exorbitant fee was used to hide some sort of payment or kickback.  It could have gone to Constantin's pockets, or to pay off someone else for some reason.  It easily could have been used to cover the expenses for Olivia Cortes's signs.  Constantin has no inhibitions whatsoever, in my opinion, and I'm sure something shady just happened.

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

Tina, I will guess that the invoice was titled for the meetrussellpearce signs, but other signs were printed under that same invoice, such as the Cortes signs. It's very likely that someone was willing to testify to this at the hearing to remove Cortes. I will also bet that life has been much quieter the last couple weeks for Olivia. I wonder if the pearce campaign paid for a vacation for her and her family until after November 8.

Susurro Perforado
Susurro Perforado

I hope they did.  The poor lady deserves it after all the garbage the Pearces put her through.  Greg Western had also better file her financials for her, and do whatever else it takes to wrap up her campaign.  If they don't wrap this up properly, and leave her hanging, they deserve to have the law go after them.

Eleanor
Eleanor

she did that very willingly.....although she might now have known exactly what was going on she did it willingly

Anon
Anon

Stephen, You have done an outstanding job of exposing the cockroaches in Arizona. If it weren't for you, PNT, Dennis Gilman and Paul Rubin, the public would never know. It has been stunning to hear the prosecutors testimony, how they filed charges, didn't investigate and when they needed information they found their discovery and/or evidence in the New Times! 

Anon
Anon

Stephen, You have done an outstanding job of exposed the cockroaches in Arizona. If it weren't for you, PNT, Dennis Gilman and Paul Rubin, the public would never know. It has been stunning to hear the prosecutors testimony, how they filed charges, didn't investigate and when they needed information they found their discovery or evidence in the New Times!

Lala
Lala

Off topic, but I learned today that John Huppenthal, embarrassingly, the AZ Supt of Public Instruction, endorsed Russell Pearce. That's all you need to know about the head of the Dept of Ed in AZ.

Tina
Tina

Huppenthal's photo & testimonial for Pearce was one of about 6 or 7 Republican state officials endorsing Pearce on the first of many colorful ads on card stock which I received in the mail about 7 weeks ago.  His promotional buzz words are "school choice."

More alarming to me are the THREE costly ads for Pearce that I got in the mail from an outfit named "American Federation for Children" out of Washington, DC which is on a nationwide mission to privatize all public education.  It's funded by the billionaire couple who are heirs to the Amway fortune and are endorsing candidates across the country. Check it out on Google.

Lala
Lala

That group also gave $63,000 dollars towards Huppenthal's run for Supt.They seem to be pretty cozy with AZ Republicans. No surprise.  They share the same goal....killing off public schools

Tina
Tina

Oh geez, I didn't realize that.  The claims that Washington DC's  AFC makes to push the election of Pearce would blow your mind. For example, "Russell Pearce believes every child deserves the chance to go to a great school.  Let's keep Russell working to make Arizona a national leader in improving education."  And on and on and on.....on THREE of these costly mailers.   Similar to the private prisons, private profit at public expense, Pearce is advocating the same now for education.   He has GOT to go.  

Tina
Tina

At about 12:30 pm today (Tuesday, 10/25) I received a recorded phone call, unidentified male voice, with an odd message, sayig that both candidates in the recall election, Russell Pearce and Jerry Lewis, are Republicans, that both of them are pro-life and support measures to support life, etc.  The end of the caller's message was, "Arizona (something) Best has paid for this call."

I believe the call must have come from Constantin Querard's independent expenditures campaign committee, "Arizona Deserves the Best."   In my view, the only purposes for the call would be to discourage pro-choice voters, if that's a big issue with them,  and Democrats from going to the polls or voting at all.  The caller did NOT provide the Nov. 8 date of the election.   

Theoldman
Theoldman

Perhaps if Querard does not consider you a real journalist, you should be gracious and pass your info along to some other journalist and ask them to contact Querard.    Might be interesting to see what he says to someone he considers a real journalist and what his reaction would be when faced with the same questions.

Tina
Tina

Querard was just blowing smoke because he knows Stephen Lemons has unearthed so much of the corruption and sleaze that involve Querard.   

Jason
Jason

Did you see that Mr. Lemons was featured in the Mesa Republic on Saturday?

I think John D'Anna mentioned how Lemons found 3 dozen people who either are dead or support Lewis were on a support list for mentally sick Pearce.

I think I have the article somewhere. I may have to scan it and send it to Mr. Lemons...

Tina
Tina

Yes, Jason, John D'Anna brought out more names on Pearce's "friends" list who don't support him or are deceased and credited Lemons for finding "36 people listed as Pearce supporters who've actually endorsed Lewis."   D'Anna's column last Saturday --  "You don't even have to be alive to endorse Pearce" --  was another example of Pearce's slip-shod practices when it comes to truth telling.   Also how little respect he has for the people whose names he uses.  

Mesa Remembers
Mesa Remembers

JB Rush is really "Janet A Rush" - owner of fraud-ridden Cactus Towing (now All-City Towing), ACT Towing, Rush Auto Recyclers,  Pick-a-Part LLC, Rush Investments, JSL Management, etc.  Her husband is Daniel Rush.  Pearce has a long history of quid pro quo w/ the Rush family & securing their domination of government towing contracts.

La Xica
La Xica

Two plus two = four. No wonder Russell Pearce pushed for that law that confiscates and/or impounds the vehicle of any undocumented person that is arrested. But of course, that makes perfect sense. Theres lots of money to be made!   

Tina
Tina

Same thing went through my mind when I saw that J.B. Rush -- no occupation, no employer name provided -- and remembering when Dan & Janet Rush bought Cactus Towing, but with the stipulation that Lee Watkins' former son-in-law, Todd DeMasseo, would remain as general manager of the company.  Also remembering how Pearce was tangled up with Cactus Towing. (One of his sons worked there, maybe still does.)$ 4,500 is no small hunk of change to contribute to get a politician elected.  

Jason
Jason

That dude with the MCSO shurf oily hair is Constantin Querard? This is the slimeball helping a corrupt, mentally sick, failure politician like Pearce retain his Senate seat?

Lewis needs to take complete advantage of the Pearce fodder.

--Pearce's associations with neo-Nazi JT Ready. --Pearce's attempts to void the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.--Pearce's elections-law violations in putting sham candidate Olivia Cortes on the ballot. --Pearce's job record. Pearce has been fired from every job he has ever held in public service. --Pearce's education record. Pearce sliced $237 million from K-12 this FY. --Pearce's associations with the MCSO shurf. --Pearce's immigration record. SB1070 got us sued and it is a complete failure. --Pearce's taking $40,000 in free tickets and kickbacks from the Fiesta Bowl.

Constantin, do us and yourself a favor. Stop helping a sleazy politician like Pearce. He will lose his recall election in two weeks and Lewis will be welcomed as LD18's new senator.  

Coz
Coz

He should be answering those questions in Superior Court when he's on trial soon with the rest of the slimeballs, I hope.

>>"Because I don't like the way you write," he told me. "It's garbage, it's hateful, it's ugly...I'll save my answers for actual journalists.

Tina
Tina

Excellent article, Stephen.  I especially appreciate the fact that you got hold of Constantin Querard, as well as the SOS spokesman and asked the right questions.  Many of us are still VERY curious as to who made and paid for the deceitful Olivia Cortes signs ("Si, se puede")   Same goes for Diane Burns'  paid petitioners.  Hope you can get hold of Sign King of Arizona's Jim Torgeson.  Funny coincidence about the SOS' Matt Roberts also trying to reach Torgeson today.   Keep up the good work.  

The first time I saw the name "Constantin Querard" was in a NT article that showed a photo of CQ, on Pearce's behalf,  going through the signatures on the recall petitions that were submitted to the SOS office.  He came up with ZERO, so with the help of an unethical writer who HE would consider an "actual" journalist (Bentley), a vicious lie was created and disseminated in her throwaway Cave Creek publication: "Massive voter registration fraud," she wrote.    

Maybe CQ is trying to justify that $3,000 he paid to himself (besides the profits from his sign company) was for his exercise in futility of scouring the recall petitions for Pearce.  

Dennis Gilman
Dennis Gilman

 The republican party better clean house or they may see themselves losing lots of elections real soon. 

Susurro Perforado
Susurro Perforado

We're trying to.  Lewis would be a great first step.  Even if Pearce wins, it will have been a Pyrrhic victory...Pearce having alienated so many Mormons with his dirty tactics and sleezy attacks on Lewis.  Constantin is a slimeball.  He is commonly known among Republican professionals as the dirtiest campaigner in the state--a man willing to say or do anything further his cause.

Fed Up In LD18
Fed Up In LD18

"Because I don't like the way you write," he told me. "It's garbage, it's hateful, it's ugly...I'll save my answers for actual journalists."Like who? "Actual" journalists like Rachel Alexander, Linda Bentley, and Greg Patterson?

BillRichardsonMesa
BillRichardsonMesa

Mr. Lemmons,

Thank you for your tireless effort to try to unbundle the evil triumvirate of Pearce, Querrard and the Tea Party. I do not use the term "evil" lightly or unintentionally.  These folks have lost any sense of moral decency in their "ends justify the means" attitude toward trying to maintain political control of Arizona politics.  Continued exposure of their unsavory actions is the only and. perhaps, the best defense. It has been mildly amusing to see the cockroaches scatter as the light has shone upon these miscreants and their unholy acolytes. Keep it up!

Anon
Anon

Well said!  We have followed Stephen Lemons for years as he has peeled back the rotten onion of Arizona's corruption. It's truly frightening to see what it looks like today. 

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

You would think that "Continued exposure" would have some positive effect wouldn't you?

BUT NOT IN ARIZONA!!!!!!!

Since I moved here in 1986, I've felt that way through Mecham, Symington, Hull, Grosscost, Rpiehole, Bungaard, Brewer, Pearce, BUt........ instead of the voters electing more ethical leadership, they have reached even farther down into the slime-pit which produces the type leadership we have today.

So again, forgive me if I don't hold my breath waiting for any kind of positive change to happen anytime soon.

Anon
Anon

Positive change may not come when the leadership lacks a conscience or soul but their legacy will live on and it is shameful. Their children and grandchildren will be proud of them??

Wah-numba is a pussy
Wah-numba is a pussy

Prison is not good enough for this twit and the Pearce gang of fools.  And where is Tom Horne on this?  Covering up for his friends?

Follower_of_the_ONE
Follower_of_the_ONE

These folks are all cast for the same mold as it where... the mold that grows on rotten vegetables.

seeking the truth
seeking the truth

A Federal prosecutor is what's needed to clean house in Arizona, like a Fitzgerald. This is bigger then any of them might be able to handle.

Jason
Jason

The same place Monty is. Nowhere because no investigation has or will be launched into the Pearce shenanigans.

Coz
Coz

You bet he is...!

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