Russell Pearce's Nemesis Jerry Lewis Sworn In as Arizona State Senator

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Chief Justice Berch (left) and Lewis, just following the swearing-in

Christmas came early this year, I thought to myself, as Jerry Lewis, the man who played David to ex-state Senate President Russell Pearce's Goliath in the Legislative District 18 recall, was sworn in this afternoon on the Senate floor by Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Rebecca White Berch.

Yep, Christmas. And Hanukkah, and New Years, and Thanksgiving, and Kwanzaa. All wrapped into one, with a big shiny bow on top.

This gift wasn't gratis, of course. It came only after several months of a political slugfest between Lewis and Pearce. And before that, there was the marathon effort to make the recall election itself a reality.

But then, nothing worth doing is easy.

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Senator Lewis fields questions from the press...

The ceremony itself was over in seconds. Lewis was then shown to his new desk by Senator Steve Yarbrough and incoming Senate President Steve Pierce.

The desk sits in the far back, near the open doors of an antechamber where a portrait of Russell Pearce still hangs in a place of honor, oblivious to its master's absence.

You'd think the weight of irony alone would cause that pic to come crashing down. But, hey, Pearce's mug also remains for the moment on the state Senate website. I guess it takes a minute before housekeeping catches up with history.

Smiling and ever-affable, Lewis played the part of modest rock-star, the focus of dozens of cameras, journos and fellow politicos. Well-wishers, supporters and the curious watched from the public seating looking down into the chamber.

He took a moment to introduce various members of his family, including his wife Janet, before the press descended on him.

I enjoyed listening as Spanish-language reporters peppered Lewis with questions en Espanol, with Lewis answering in kind. I checked the Pearce portrait to see if it was self-immolating in protest.

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A thing of beauty...

Nope, Pearce was still there, two-dimensional, insensate.  

Once the pack gave way, I congratulated Lewis, asking him if Arizona was finally ready for an Arizona Compact, like the renowned Utah Compact, which advocates a balanced, humane approach to immigration reform.

He agreed such a statement of principles was needed, but said that the first job of the Legislature should be improving the state's economy. 

I'd read that Governor Jan Brewer had called to congratulate him recently, and stated as much. Lewis noted that she had actually called last week, leaving a gracious message on his voice mail, before he called her back.

What about Pearce? Had Pearce contacted him since Lewis' 12-point victory on November 8?

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Lewis and his wife Janet outside the Senate building

Lewis told me that Pearce had not, with a shrug and a boyish grin. 

Though there have been press accounts of nastiness from Lewis' fellow GOPers, everyone was on their best behavior today. Even erstwhile Pearce toadies such as Andy Biggs seemed eager to please.

Afterward, folks meandered outside into a mild, sunshine-y November Tuesday, the kind that makes you forget Arizonans live in an open-air oven during the summer months, and then some.

Lewis and his wife posed for shots just beneath the gold letters that say, "State Senate," on the outside of the building. As he began to walk back to his car with his wife and others, he stopped a moment before me.

"It's a beautiful day, Senator," I said, looking around and up at a Carolina-blue sky.

"In more ways than one," he observed before heading off.


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36 comments
Thad Boyd
Thad Boyd

Wow, all this and his wife has proven she has what it takes to be Governor of Arizona: a name starting with "Jan".

Reggie VV
Reggie VV

I'm surprised the puppet dictator, the Janster, did not try and keep Lewis out of the Senate.  Maybe she should have declared the election biased and illegal with concurrence of 2/3 of the Senate.  After all she appears to be striving for Assad/Gadhafi/Hugo Chavez type of rule of law.

Jason
Jason

A fine day for Arizona indeed.

With Pearce gone and hopefully out of politics forever, Lewis has a chance to do good for the people of LD18 and Arizona. Pearce was too toxic for the people of LD18 to handle anymore. They needed a HAZMAT team to oust him. 

While I'm here in Boston visiting my family, I am working on ousting the MCSO shurf from his position in the penthouse suite at the Wells Fargo building in Phoenix.  Apparently, even here in the Bay State, the Old Fool and the Bald Bunion of Pinal County are not well-liked...

Chem Trail Karen
Chem Trail Karen

I guess Lewiss first order of bussiness will be to legalize stealing from homeless kids. Then I guess he'll open the boarder so all the rapists can come in. 

Ross
Ross

For an allegedly historic election, we haven't had much analysis of the results.  The County Recorder's website has a precinct-by-precinct vote count (as of election night; I can't find one that is updated with the final count).  Does anyone have a precinct map?  Pearce won four precincts:  4, 5, 7 and 11.  His best margins were in 7, with 55%, and 4, with 54%.  Lewis won the other 12 precincts.  His best margins were in 10, with 65%, and 12, with 63%.

Cortes did best in Precinct 5 (maybe she lives there, or maybe no one there knows her) with 2.1% of the vote.

It would be interesting to compare party voter registration records with these results.  My guess is that there are more Democrats in precincts 10 and 12, than elsewhere in the district. 

ExpertShot
ExpertShot

If the republicants come out of the gate this session with yet another anti-abortion bill, I'm going to scream - JOBS JOBS JOBS!!!  There are over 300 infrastructure projects in Arizona which need attention immediately - people are needed to perform these jobs.  Our unemployed who are out there looking for work need an extension on their unemployment benefits - the failure to extend these benefits cost this State a lot of revenue from the federal government.  Revenue the taxpayers of Arizona paid and want to come back to this State.  That was a mean-spirited move by the republicants last special session.

Marcy
Marcy

It's nice to see a well dressed, well groomed, smiling, pleasant person representing LD18.  Have you ever seen a picture of Russell Pearce where he didn't look like he was constipated and full of hate?

1redman
1redman

Wonderful day Lewis in Pearce out!  They don't get much better than this!

Linda Gallie
Linda Gallie

Every time I see a picture of Jerry Lewis or hear his name I can do nothing but smile from ear to ear ;-)  It sure is a wonderful day today in Arizona.  I am filled with hope for a better future for every single one of my fellow Arizonans whether they realize how blessed we are to have replaced the 'Punk of Prejudice" with a Responsible Republican who actually cares about more than just himself- what a concept!!

Anon
Anon

Today is a beautiful day and a new day for Arizona. Thank you Stephen for doggedly covering the recall Pearce campaign. You wrapped the whole thing up into one ball and tossed them into the dumpster. You made our Thanksgiving one very special day!

Wanumba
Wanumba

Pearce, classless as always.  A dying ember of old racist Mesa.  Thankfully, he has no power, no future and no sane followers. 

Bravo to Jerry Lewis!

Another Mesa Voter
Another Mesa Voter

Wish I could have been there, seeing it through your eyes was the next best thing though.

Dave Francis
Dave Francis

 The gap is so wide between people who came herethrough approved channels legally, and the illegal aliens for the purpose oftaking jobs from low income Americans--intentionally or not, and will be in mybook and the majority of the American population--ILLEGAL ALIENS? Then the termis lawfully enhanced and better known as a fugitive from justice, as when theyentered this sovereign nation they lost all their rights as being from anothercountry. Whether that individual or family is a border jumper, is in name aillegal migrant. There is a slight difference between the two--a migrant entersthe sovereignty of America through the poorly enforced border region andtramples our laws.

 

The students, tourist etc, who ignore his/her expired visaand intentionally fails to leave as required--is an illegal immigrant. But bothare in violation of the law, and have to commit a second offense by procuring acitizens or legal residents ID to work. This alters the original violation froma misdemeanor to a felony. Although under the current Justice Department rulingif they have not committed a felony crime, the new discretionary order from thedesk of President Obama, releases them back on the streets. So the DOJ is infact aiding and abetting a foreign national that is deemed a federal offense byCongress, and undermines their own policies, which is ridiculous.

 

I wonder what ever happened to the “rule of Law” of whichthe Obama’s court has now turned a myopic eye to, with the judiciary procedureof the 1986 Immigration Control and Reform Act completely dropped. Our countryhas been so crippled by the interests of thousands of special interestlobbyists, given favors to the policymakers; that they even resent the Americanpeople reaction to the corruption spawned in Washington.  We have seen it first hand from the ‘insidertrading’ by both parties, to name just one secret advantage that the SecuritiesExchange Commission would throw the common man in prison.   Thereis a paralysis currently in Congress, from trying to shrink the 15 Trilliondollar federal deficit, with over a hundred billion dollars going in support ofthe illegal invaders.

 

The DOJ is also trying to stop the passage of policing lawsin the other 45 states through suing them in the courts. Yet five states mainlyon the East coast have enacted passage of their own laws, to survive the hordesof economic illegal aliens feeding from the public assistance of a excess ofwelfare benefits. Just in the past few months the State of Alabama althoughhammered by the open border activists, the DOJ have factual evidence that theirpolicing laws are working. It was the great state of Arizona confronted by thehundreds of thousands of desperate people who settled illegally in this borderstate, then with limited funds was forced by the courts to subsidize their families.Now we have Jerry Lewis that in my own opinion gleaned the votes to recallRussell Pierce. It would have been almost effortless to compromise the antiquatedvoting rules for none citizens to vote.  

 

September was the first full month thatthe policing reform was enforced, and the unemployment rate fell from 9.8percent in September to 9.3 percent in October, according to a Nov. 18 (GOA) GeneralAccounting Office report from the state government. You cannot changethe inevitable that as illegal aliens leave; jobs are beginning tomaterialize for US workers?

Aid that normally belongs to thedisenfranchised poor of this nation, has been whisked away to supplementforeign nationals, who are stealing the country blind. The racket of having ababy here, to get instant citizenship and thereby a toehold in legality, is oneof the biggest financial disasters, the courts have imposed; unfunded mandatesthat the 50 states cannot decline. Health care for economic immigrants andfamilies has been badly mauling medical care daily, as well as the publicschool system that we inherited from Plyler v. Doe. Illegal alien’s parents areacutely aware that taxpayers must carry the burden in all 50 states to educatetheir children.  It is mainly unlikelythat we can undo these unfunded mandates for free health, schooling for illegalaliens and their children, but E-Verify has the power to send the joblessparents home and most will not leave without their children. In a Rasmussen poll recently published, shows that 65% more voters--more than ever, are opposed to granting automatic U.S.citizenship to a child born to an illegal immigrant in this country

Our country needs professional people withscience, math and technology backgrounds, not people who become a taxpayer’snightmare.

 

Unless the People, namely the TEA PARTY canrescind or amend the misinterpreted 14th Amendment clause, anyillegal alien family can get a free public education and health care. The bestchance we have is the national ’THE LEGAL WORKFORCE ACT’ a deterrent calledE-Verify to stop the hiring of illegal workers. Send a free fax by using NumbersUSA,a complimentary buffet of immigration notices to the lawmakers. If you want tostop being victimized by the Democratic and Liberal side of Washington, thenspeak up for your rights. YOUR VOTES ARE POWERFUL LEVERAGE! The Tea Partyleaders will intrude in any effort to pass a new mass amnesty and will takeaway federal funding for any ordinance to promote a Sanctuary City or reviseupwards CHAIN MIGRATION, which is another form of Amnesty. The IRS will be investigatedfor inept procedures giving $4.2 billion dollars, when they never paid anytaxes, including fraudulent illegal immigrant child tax credits.  Further they will reduce the federalgovernment and return Departments to state level control. A new tax code willbe introduced with none of the ‘Quid pro Quo’ of special privileges ofsubsidies to the giant agricultural corporations, the General Electric’s ofthis world.

 

The TEA PARTY will call for the double layerfence enhanced with nasty razor wire on its 15 to 20 foot height as designatedin the ignored 2006 Secure Fence Act. Complete with a double track between thefences for the US Border Patrol to travel at speed to where needed. The TEAPARTY will also enforce the fence as with a permanent Military presence alongthe perimeter.

 

 Itcould possibly be the last chance to alter this unfettered epidemic that thelegislators in Congress refuse to acknowledge which is causing financial ruin.If Lamar Smith’s E-Verify becomes the law of the land, subsequently uncountablenumbers will begin to  self-depart as thebusiness world are held accountable The businesses causing the encouragement ofbring cheap labor here will begin to ebb, as the owners will be facing stifferfines, loss of company assets and incarceration. The leftist party will use anymeans possible to negate a Mandatory law passing, which also includes theheavyweights in the Republican hierarchy.

 

Those not working and want a job should getinto action and phone 202-224-3121. This is the Washington phone exchange,which can direct you to all House Representatives responsible for movingChairman Lamar Smith's ‘Legal Workforce Act’ (bill H.R.2885) to the housefloor.

Gerry_C
Gerry_C

It is a beautiful day indeed! 

If Pearce was still around, speaking Spanish could have gotten someone ejected from the Senate building.  Lots of changes.  Lewis is right to focus on the economy.

Jason
Jason

Lewis' first order of business is to undo all the damage your mentally sick and corrupt hero Pearce did to Arizona's budget, primarily education and healthcare...

His second order of business is to lock you away in a mental institution far away...

Ross
Ross

He's on the Education Committee.  He's going to sponsor a bill that requires Remedial Spelling classes for social misfits.

Jason
Jason

It'll be MUCH better when Stauffer ousts the MCSO shurf.... 

Keith
Keith

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.  One thing we all can give thanks for is that people like "Brittanicus," "Bobby," Russell Pearce, Jan Brewer, Tom Horne and Sheruff Pie Hole are in the minority even in a facist backwater like Mesa, AZ, as the recent election clearly bore out. 

Bobunf
Bobunf

Ugh, Not this shit again.

BsMom
BsMom

Hi, I'm Brittanicus' mom. I want to apologize for my son who is deeply disturbed and lives in my basement. He hates Mexicans because they don't mind working for a living while he's too lazy to break a sweat. He also never bathes, is almost 50 and has never had a woman. He's filled with hate because he's a loser and never did anything with his life. That's why he spends all of his time cutting and pasting lies about immigration. I'd kick him out of the house but he's my blood, though I'm not proud of it.

Jewel in the desert
Jewel in the desert

 Sorry Pearce, but you lost so go write your garbage in the Sonoran Alliance and let us enjoy our well earned victory.  While your at it go fetch your portrait off the Senate wall.  I hear the Senate bathroom has an empty space all ready for it's permanent relocation.

Susurro Perforado
Susurro Perforado

"Brittanicus," you Tea Party nuts with your pretentious pen names and wordy, manifesto-ish droning, racist postings need to go back to your militia bunkers and shoot your AKs and play Dungeons & Dragons or whatever you geeks do, and watch "Red Dawn" and fantasize that it's real, and that you're the ones protecting America, and leave the rest of us alone.

Ross
Ross

Herbert Hoover was right to focus on the economy also, but that doesn't mean he and his fellow Republican fools accomplished anything. 

Did anyone watch the goons debate last night?  Somehow a discussion of foreign policy turned into a recitation of the GOP mantra that raising taxes will increase the deficit.  Our foreign policy is to control the IMF, which sends our money to countries in economic distress that promise to raise their taxes.  Think about it.

Eleanor
Eleanor

You could chop off his fingers........

Marcy
Marcy

It's too big to fit in a urinal.  How about some urinal cakes with Pearce's mug?  

VIMIIS
VIMIIS

I'm confused. I thought I saw a picture of two people  removing that potrait.  At any rate, it should have been removed before Lewis' swearing in ceremony.  Considering Pearce was disgraced and beaten in a recall election, why would it still be up?  You are right Jewel.  The Senate bathroom is a perfect place for it.  Either that or the dumpster behind the State House.................

Ross
Ross

Pretentious pen name?  Where do you get that?  Spaniels come from Brittany, don't they?  This guy is obviously someone's lap dog.  Or maybe he just has had a thing for teen-age girls, since Britney Spears became famous.

Anyway, Brittany is one of the best parts of France.  So is universal health care.  Don't knock anyone who is promoting Brittany.  Or technically, Lesser Brittany.  Their French neighbors the Normans whupped some Anglo-Saxon ass in 1066, taking over an island now known as Great Britain.

Gerry_C
Gerry_C

I am thinking about it Ross.  I don't believe your economic concerns as stated are on the plate of a freshman state senator.  We have an apples and oranges situation in what we are considering.

Ross
Ross

Yes, the more I think about it, I realize that when the economy is good, the Republicans in the legislature take credit, but when it's bad, the Democrats in Washington are at fault.  Lewis will march in lockstep with his Republican colleagues, and the global Depression will take its course.  If he is responsible for scaring away fewer rational business leaders from Arizona, then we can assume that no one pays any attention to our Governor.

They assigned him to the Education committee, which makes me wonder:  Has he quit his day job?  Isn't it a conflict of interest if he is helping make laws about public schools, while working for one that keeps its payroll records secret?  How much does he make from the charter industry, anyway?  They have this complicated way of hiding profits from a nonprofit by laundering them through a subcontractor. 

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