Russell Pearce's Massive Whoppers on Horizon

Sand Land's clown prince of lies, spitting whoppers on Horizon.

Cataloging and debunking state Senate President Russell Pearce's prevarications, untruths, half-truths, and outright whoppers is a full-time gig. Whenever this meretricious Mesan opens his gob, out flows a canard-filled torrent that rivals the Tohoku tsunami.

People ask me, "So what if you're right, and Pearce bites the mat on Tuesday, what'll you write about then?" 

Are you kidding me? In this state? Yes, skewering Pearce has been good for my "brand" (and a helluva lot of fun). But that means other politicians and ne'er-do-wells are eluding some much-deserved verbal punishment meantime. 

So while I still have Pearce to play with, allow me to get a few more licks in. Here's a gift given to me by Ted Simons of Horizon, who had on ol' Russ earlier this week and let this serial dissembler get away with what he does best. 

(I'll cut Simons some slack on that front. Hard to get a word in edgewise with this motormouth.)

Let's focus on three of the bigger falsehoods spouted by Pearce on Horizon, regarding: 1) Senate Bill 1070's supposed impact on crime; 2) the state's budget; and 3) Jerry Lewis' comments in the debate a few weeks back concerning Arizona now and Alabama circa 1964.

Regarding the first, here's Pearce's contention:

"The Phoenix Law Enforcement Association, they just gave me a statement. They have a 30-year low in crime. A 30-year low in crime!...And they attribute it all to 1070."

Senate Bill 1070, Pearce's "breathing-while-brown" legislation, was signed into law on April 23, 2010. It went into effect on July 29, 2010, one day after much of it was enjoined by federal Judge Susan R. Bolton. 

Thing is, crime was trending downward -- in Phoenix, Arizona and nationwide -- long before 1070.

The FBI's Crime in the United States for 2010 reports that "an estimated 1,246,248 violent crimes occurred nationwide, a decrease of 6.0 percent from the 2009 estimate."

It continues: "When considering 5- and 10-year trends, the 2010 estimated violent crime total was 13.2 percent below the 2006 level and 13.4 percent below the 2001 level."

Closer to home, in Phoenix, violent crimes have been declining also. From 2008 to 2009, the city experienced a drop from 10,465 violent crimes in 2008 to 8,730 in 2009, a 16.6 percent decrease.

In 2010, there were 8,002 violent crimes reported in Phoenix, an 8.3 percent drop from 2009. So the city's drop in violent crime was larger in the year before 1070 was passed.

This pattern is reflected in the statewide violent crime numbers. From 2008 to 2009, the overall number of violent crimes in Arizona went down 13.9 percent. (See note below.) From 2009 to 2010, the decline was 3.13 percent, obviously far less than in the previous year.

I've heard of magical thinking. But Pearce may be the first person I know of to employ magical thinking retroactively.

Any criminologist/statistician will tell you that there are numerous factors that affect crime rates, from accurate reporting and sentencing requirements to the economy and community policing. 

There's only one variable Pearce cares about: SB 1070. But when it comes to violent crime, 1070 is a non-factor, no matter what PLEA or Pearce say.

On to the budget, where Pearce takes credit for, "the first time in years, a constitutionally balanced budget...no gimmicks, no borrowing, no bonding." Here, he's full of hooey as well.

No gimmicks, eh? What about the sale/leaseback of state buildings, including the Capitol buildings? That smooth move put the state $1 billion further in the hole. The issuance of lottery revenue bonds added another $425.4 million.

JLBCRESIZED.jpg
from a 9/27/11 JLBC report
Just so you know I ain't making it up...

Currently, the state's debt stands at $8.5 billion. That's according to Arizona's Joint Legislative Budget Committee

Interestingly, State Budget Solutions, a conservative advocacy group, just issued a report estimating Arizona's total outstanding debt at $9.9 billion

SBS claims that when you include all of the pensions and other liabilities into the mix, Sand Land's total debt is actually $59.2 billion.

That's "billion" with a "b," boys and girls.

Concerning budget trickery, SBS' website notes:

"Nearly every state has a so-called `balanced-budget' amendment requiring that their General Fund expenditures not exceed revenues, but that hardly means their budgets are truly balanced. Because these amendments only apply to one particular fund (of the many) managed by the state, legislators have developed a deep bag of tricks to close budget gaps by moving money around."

Regarding Pearce's alleged "balanced budget," the FY 2011 budget anticipated a $332 million shortfall (according to the JLBC), which would have rolled over into FY 2012.

But the state lucked out, and revenue was higher than anticipated. What was the reason for the unexpected uptick in revenue?

"Given the lack of job and wage growth," the JLBC noted in its July update, "this spurt may have been caused by higher capital gains and the loss of mortgage interest deductions." (Italics added.)

So the housing market's in a slump, people are losing their homes left and right, or just not purchasing homes, and that's a good thing? 

Only in Pearce's twisted world.

"We're in the black," Pearce stated during his forum with Lewis in Mesa. "And we're moving further into the black."

In reality, what wiggle room the legislature has comes crashing to a halt in 2014, when the temporary one-cent sales tax (which Pearce opposed, BTW) is no more. The JLBC projects a shortfall in 2014 of anywhere from $600 million to $1.2 billion.

Before Pearce became Senate President, he was chair of the House Appropriations Committee (while a state representative), and later chair of Senate Appropriations.

Governor Janet Napolitano (in office from January 2003 to January 2009) had a veto, but the Republicans -- Pearce chief among them -- controlled the state's purse strings. His pronouncements aside, he oversaw the building of that massive debt and bears a great deal of responsibility for it.

Finally, we come to the easiest piece of Pearce-bunk to debunk: The one where he claims his opponent Jerry Lewis compared present-day Arizona to 1964 Alabama.

Personally, I'd have no problem with that comparison. True, it's an inexact analogy. The plight of blacks in the Jim Crow South was worse than the plight of the undocumented is in present-day Arizona. Though I know some in the activist community would disagree with me.

Still, the Sand Land of 2011 often does feel like a throwback to those bad old days. (I say this as a son of the South, raised in Dixie.) And Pearce has encouraged this atmosphere, one in which hate crimes against minorities thrives.

But during the debate in Mesa, Lewis did not make that comparison. Rather, he observed that many outside Arizona perceive the state in that light.

For the record, this is what Lewis said:

"Well, first off, we have to change the image that we have in Mesa and in Arizona...We are seen as a very unfriendly business state. We are seen as something akin to maybe 1964 Alabama...Business owners do not want to move their businesses here in the current environment. We're having a hard time getting our great message out about this great state that we are. We're being misportrayed."

To watch Lewis say this, check out the video of the debate by the conservative site Western Free Press. Lewis' comment begins around 8:14 in

But Arizona's clown-prince of lies twists Lewis' very correct statement out of context.

"He said it," Pearce tells Simons. "I was there. Go get the tapes. He said he's embarrassed for Arizona and Mesa on the image. And he compared it to 1964 Alabama. How embarrassing can that be?"

Both Mesa and Arizona should be deeply embarrassed all right, embarrassed to have this shameful bigot and liar in public office. But the day of redemption is at hand, for Mesa, at least. Mark it on your calendar: Tuesday, November 8, 2011.

NOTE: The original table issued with the FBI's 2008 report, states a total of 29,059 violent crimes for Arizona. However, the data tool available on the FBI's website indicates total violent crimes for Arizona of 31,274 for 2008

This does not affect the point I make: i.e., there was a larger drop from 2008-2009 than 2009-2010. But the drop is even more substantial if you use the number from the data tool, which I suspect is more accurate.

I suspect it's more accurate for the reason stated by the FBI, here:

"The data contained in data reports and the Program's master files may include updates and/or late submissions from participating agencies that are not reflected in the Program's various published reports; therefore, the figures in the two may not match. A discrepancy between published data and data contained in the master files does not necessarily indicate an error."

Sorry if this is a little confusing, but I offer it in the interests of full disclosure. 


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149 comments
BantheScan
BantheScan

How many "scholarships" has he and Kirk Adams taken from ALEC?

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

BTW lolz. lies lies lies and more lies.

I haven't had insurance for 10 years. Maybe I should get Acces or however it's spelled.

? the budget isn't balanced. We are billions in debt!

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

34 states are trying to get laws on the books that will be declared unscontitional due to the fact that the Constitution COVERS the role of the Federal government and STATE government.

Gerry_C
Gerry_C

I guess telling massive whoppers is almost as good as having a massive whopper.

Sophie Tesch
Sophie Tesch

Yes, I understand what you're saying, and understood that part of the article. I'm just saying that in addition to that, it would be harder to know what the crime situation actually is, if populations of people are scared to talk to the police. 

Car_del99
Car_del99

Telling Russell P. to tell the truth... is like telling the devil to go to church every sunday morning

Gerry_C
Gerry_C

OK...I know this is off topic, but since Pearce often seem to be Brewer's brain.  Newsweek published this snip from Brewer's "self serving" book.  First a question:  Are you a Brewer Critic?

______________In her book, out by Harper-Collins this week, Brewer details the flack stemming from her 2010 signing of S.B. 1070, Arizona’s controversial immigration law, and likens it to “waterboarding.”

She took heart, she writes, when her adviser, Chuck Coughlin, characterized her critics this way: “They’re losers. They don’t have a life! They’re sitting there with no shoes on, bare-chested, drinking beer and smoking a cigarette. They hate the world.”_______________________

Royalphoenix2
Royalphoenix2

Did not relize how big R. Pearce is...dude is huge. Hope the tax payers in this state are not responsible for his health care. peace

Kit Carson
Kit Carson

Nice reportage! A good rebuttal of some bad lies.

Sophie Tesch
Sophie Tesch

A point that is difficult to decipher as well is did crime go down or did crime reporting go down?  With the passing of SB1070 many people may have felt that they didn't want to get involved with law enforcement and therefore reporting of crimes would go down. An unreported crime would not show up in this report. So it may look like crime went down, but the information would be false. It's hard to tell at this point. 

Reggie VV
Reggie VV

The big question is what last minute crimes will Pearce and his minions pull in the last days up to the election.  Expect some dirty tricks that Horne will let go in the last minutes. Robocalls, lies, child molestation accusations, who knows what this bunch is capable of ?

Jason
Jason

Typical Pearce crap. Running around scared trying to save himself from his sinking ship.

Pearce's idea of leasing and buying back state building was an absolute disaster and only added to the debt, not paid the debt off.

Pearce has absolutely no idea what he's babbling about. His dementia is on par with the MCSO shurf.  

Only four more days left of Pearce!! I've got the cold bottle of Captain Morgan and the little dance ready for Lewis' victory.

Jenna
Jenna

Pearce can't complete sentences or enunciate. He is extremely unimpressive. He is a story of how an ignorant man rises to power - intimidation, threats, crime, abuse, manipulation.

Gerry_C
Gerry_C

The telling thing is Pearce never supports his stories with any factual or credible information.  Are we still waiting to see the cancelled checks?

Tina
Tina

Here's another Pearce "whopper" from the Horizon interview, something that's been part of the Pearce spiel before supportive audiences and the news media for about 4 months.

SIMONS: Do you think Mesa wants a change in tone from their representative?

PEARCE:  No.  They've elected me sixteen times counting primaries and generals.

************FACT:  There have only been TWELVE (not sixteen) primary and general elections since Pearce first ran for the legislature in the 2000 primary election.  He did "win" all twelve, but only seven of those twelve were contested. He had no competition in the remaining five election -- the primary elections of 2002, 2006 and 2010, and the general elections of 2000 and 2002.   

"I'm 16 and 0,"  "I'm 16 and 0," "I'm 16 and 0."

Will somebody buy Pearce an abacus?

Gerry_C
Gerry_C

Well, maybe the flag stomping did not happen, but what about the wearing of swastikas?  Russell alerted us to that as well.

Gerry_C
Gerry_C

Pearce could be a very credible State Senator if he never opened his mouth.  His distorted view of reality rivals that of Lisa Aubuchon.

Crow
Crow

I don't know of anyone coming down to the Capitol and stumping on an American flag and Pearce actually claims Randy did such a thing? Wow. Thats so far from the truth and he has no evidence. I may as well say Pearce and Lori Kline are having dirty sex after doing extasy in the Senate Chambers. I have as much eveidence as Pearce does on any of his claims. 

Jesus T Ready
Jesus T Ready

I just heard from a Russell Pearce flunkie that Maxparraz is Russell Pearce himself.  My god, he is desperate!

Gerry_C
Gerry_C

Apparently, he had a heart attack some years back. 

Jason
Jason

Sounds like the entire Arizona GOP fits the description of Pearce perfectly.

"He is a story of how an ignorant man rises to power--intimidation, threats, crime, abuse, manipulation."

Jason
Jason

Yeah we're still waiting to see the cancelled checks.

Every time Pearce opens his yap-trap, he lies. And it always proves disastrous for him. Always.

teknik1200
teknik1200

unfortunately to his followers it does matter if he tells the truth or lies.  they like lies if they push their agenda.

mikefrombisbee
mikefrombisbee

He should be able to do the math without one, Tina. After all, he can count to 22 after he takes off his shoes.

Gerry_C
Gerry_C

You don't supposed he was counting election as Senate President, House Appropriations Chair, Student Council, and Boy Scout Platoon leader, do you?

Tina
Tina

Yep, Pearce sure did say that (that Randy was stomping on the American flag). Another of his big fat lies.  He also was accusing Jerry Lewis of calling people racists, or some such tommy-rot.  Jerry Lewis never even used the word  racist or racists at all at the debate.I was as appalled as Stephen -- and Ted Simons -- when Pearce kept insisting Lewis (at the debate)  said Arizona was like 1964 Alabama.  I was glad to see Simons stop him right there to correct him.  What did Pearce do?  He then embellished the lie and self-assuredly told Simons to go to the tape of the debate.    Incredible!! I attended the debate and knew what Lewis said, and the context of his statement referencing 1964 Alabama, that it was how we are perceived by others.  Good for Stephen for doing a verbatim of exactly what Lewis said.  Pearce simply will not accept truth when it conflicts with one of his prevarications.  

Rob
Rob

Eh...not to get OT but I'd say Jan Brewer did a pretty good job of stomping on the American flag - all the way from New York - a couple days ago.

US War Veteran
US War Veteran

OH!  I do hope you are right, I have insulted this idiot so much that if I was actually telling it to Rus-SELL in disguise that would be 1000 times better.

Tina
Tina

At this point, it wouldn't surprise me.

Wanumbaisapussy
Wanumbaisapussy

I'm surprised Russell can still type, I heard his wife hurt his hands pretty badly by repeatedly slamming her face into them.

US War Veteran
US War Veteran

Damn those Medical Professionals that helped him recover, damn them to hell, here is one example where one life is not worth saving for the good of humanity.

Reggie VV
Reggie VV

Can you imagine the foaming at the mouth the right wing spin machine would do, if Democrats pulled all the crap the Republicreeps have pulled in this State in the last four years?

Gerry_C
Gerry_C

Not always Jason.  Some people around here love the taste of his vomit.  The line up to get more.  Sort of follows the intellectual spirit coming from the Gov's office.

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

Gerry, I don't think he was actually the Boy Scout Platoon leader. Rumor has it he 'serviced' the platoon leader. Whatever that might mean....

teknik1200
teknik1200

truth does not matter, only public perception does.  and if you have a gullible public their perception is easily influenced by lies.

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

YPS, I did the easy search on youtube and I did the harder, more detailed search on youtube and google and found absolutely nothing about Randy Parraz having ever stomped an American flag. Conversely, you're talking about a guy whose father died in the line of duty while serving as a police officer. Yes, Randy is a lawyer and he's from California, but I would have trouble believing that Randy would ever disparage our flag. Now, amigo, put up, or shut up. Show us this video you talk about or you're no better than pearce or the MCSO shurf. Just another mouth.

I've said it before and I will say it again, I consider both Chad Snow and Randy Parraz as friends and I admire their efforts in all they do. I have also found both of them to be nothing less than gentlemen in all they do.

Sophie Tesch
Sophie Tesch

Really? Why don't you post the link here then?

Adrian Cruz
Adrian Cruz

Her affidavit said he repeatedly struck her, but it was with a closed fist, which wouldn't hurt the hands as bad.  I heard he hurt them giving Arpaio reach arounds. 

Jason
Jason

Yup. And it would not be pretty.

Yourproductsucks
Yourproductsucks

I responded to crow's statement that he is not aware of anyone stomping on the flag in front of the Capital.  I never stated it was Parraz who was doing it.

US War Veteran
US War Veteran

ROFL, yeah, that's how he lost a finger, apparently he didn't know he wasn't supposed to put his fingers where things shoot out. ROFL.

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