Russell Pearce Lies Again About Ties to J.T. Ready
I once asked Sinema whether Pearce could have been unaware of the seminar.
"I find that very hard to believe," she told me in 2008. "The entire Legislature was invited to the event. The whole thing was videotaped, and you can watch it on our archive. And I reported it on the floor [of the state House]."
In April 2007, I wrote about that forum and the fact Ready had been exposed as being a racist and an anti-Semite. During the same month, I reported on a meeting of the nativist group United for a Sovereign America where Ready called the ADL the "Anti-Defecation League." Pearce had spoken to USA before. Indeed, that organization fervently supported his anti-immigrant efforts.
In June 2007. Pearce and Ready worked the crowd together at an anti-immigrant rally on the state House lawn. I witnessed this myself and took photos of them doing so.
|Pearce and state Representative John Kavanaugh (behind him) applauding Ready in 2007|
Ready gave a fiery speech at the rally, where he talked of closing off America's borders with U.S. Marine divisions and threatened to jerk around non-compliant judges by their collars. In video of the speech, Pearce can be seen smiling and applauding Ready's tirade.
Years later, I was able to reveal that the ADL of Arizona's regional director Bill Straus had informed Pearce of Ready's extremist tendencies as far back as 2006, though Pearce, in his many denials over the years, has asserted that he knew nothing of Ready's far-right activities.
This is what I wrote at the time:
Pearce had been warned privately in October 2006 of Ready's nefarious affiliations. This, by Bill Straus, regional director of the Arizona Anti-Defamation League.
Straus gave Pearce a file on neo-Nazis and other racists flocking to Pearce's anti-immigrant cause. It included information on and a photo of Ready, who already was on the ADL's radar.
When, in 2008, three Arizona congressmen lined up to kick Ready out of the Republican Party and his elected post as a precinct committeeman, Pearce was again linked to Ready with a now-infamous photo of the prejudiced pair from the 2007 rally, published in Feathered Bastard.
Of that photo, Pearce told the Republic, "Nobody knew what [Ready] stood for."
After reading that statement, Straus fired off a letter to Pearce reminding him of their October 2006 meeting. Straus says he never received a reply.
"It's hard for me to fathom," Straus told me, "that after a one-on-one meeting with me -- and all the press J.T. got -- that [Pearce] was unaware of what he was and what he stood for."
Pearce finally denounced Ready in August of 2008 during a GOP primary contest for state Senate. But this was our colloquy when I ran into him at a 2007 roast of Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Sun City:
"There was a point where I thought J.T. was a good guy," the bullet-headed legislator confessed. "But I was disappointed by that picture I saw [of J.T. demonstrating with neo-Nazis in Omaha, Nebraska]."
So was Ready the fella who sent Pearce that neo-Nazi National Alliance e-mail that got Pearce in such a pickle last year when he forwarded it to followers?
"I'm not going to get into that," he said, shaking his head. "That's old history. It doesn't matter who sent it. That's my job to be alert when I read."
In journalism, that's what they call a non-denial denial.
"I don't think J.T.'s a bad guy, I think his association with these groups is wrong," insisted Pearce.
Really? So what about the vicious, anti-Semitic screeds J.T. posts on NewSaxon.com, "an online community for whites, by whites"? Is Pearce okay with that? Pearce said no, so The Bird advised the lawmaker not to hang out with J.T. anymore.
"I never did," Pearce shot back.
This tallywhacker told Pearce that's a lie because The Bird was at that June rally, watched Pearce and Ready work the crowd together arm-in-arm, and has the photos to prove it.
"That's not my fault," cried Pearce. "I don't push people away. I was also at the side of Al Rodriguez and J.D. Hayworth. You didn't take those pictures."
That's because neither Rodriguez, an anti-illegal immigrant activist, nor former Congressman Hayworth is a neo-Nazi.