Russell Pearce: Ten of the Dumbest Things He's Ever Said
10) "9,000 Americans [are] killed every year at the hands of illegal aliens."
Just one of the many bogus statistics Pearce has used over the years in an effort to demonize Latinos and justify legislation targeting them, such as Senate Bill 1070. The figure is false, and has been debunked many times. The FBI doesn't keep stats on how many crimes reported to them are committed by undocumented aliens.
9) "67 percent" of law enforcement officers killed in "the last few years" have been murdered by illegal aliens.
Another bogus stat from Pearce. I first heard Pearce use this one when he was testifying before a state House committee. I followed him outside and challenged him to give me the source for the stat. He couldn't. Know why? Because he pulled it out of his tuchis.
8) "They're simply open-border anarchists who have no respect for the rule of law, we'll deal with it."
Pearce smeared members of Citizens for a Better Arizona with this one, CBA being the group that successfully forced a recall election on Pearce in 2011.
Far from being anarchists, they operated within the letter of state law and the Arizona Constitution, and they won.
7) "It's an old story. It's fiction. [New Times] made it up."
Pearce said this to an activist in 2008 about a photo of him and white nationalist J.T. Ready, who would go on to embrace the swastika openly and murder four people including a baby girl in 2012, shortly before committing suicide.
Pearce and Ready were tight. Pearce even ordained Ready into the priesthood that all Mormon men are a part of. There was nothing fictitious about their relationship.
6) "I don't think J.T.'s a bad guy, I think his association with these groups is wrong,"
Pearce told me this after I confronted him about Ready's participation in a neo-Nazi event in Nebraska. Pearce seems to have a blind spot when it comes to racist a-holes. Either that, or he protects his own.
5) "I never took a penny from the Fiesta Bowl."
Another ostrich-sized canard. As we all know, Pearce was at the center of the Fiesta Bowl scandal, and was caught accepting nearly $40,000 in free tickets and trips for himself and his family.
As far as actual money, he received campaign contributions from ex-Fiesta Bowl CEO John Junker, Junker's wife, Susan, as well as from Fiesta Bowl execs Anthony Aguilar, Jay Fields, and others.