Bill Clinton To Rally for Rich Carmona in Tempe

Don't stop thinkin' about tomorrow...

A political superstar and one in the making are on the bill this Wednesday, 8 p.m., at ASU's Sun Devil Performance Lawn. That's when former President Bill Clinton will be in Tempe to stump for fellow Democrat and U.S. Senate candidate Rich Carmona.

See also:
-Paul Penzone Can Beat Arpaio, If He Turns Up the Heat
-Joe Arpaio's Teen Foes in Adios Arpaio Rally at State Capitol
-Richard Carmona Raised a Large Sum of American Dollars Last Week
-Richard Carmona Promises AZ Dems a U.S. Senate Seat

Remember the '90s under Clinton? Eight years of peace and prosperity. And all the Rs had to kvetch about was Monica Lewinsky.

Bubba's still a rockstar. His speech at the Democratic National Convention in September being exhibit numero uno. If he could run again, you know he'd win a third term. And the tuskers would just have to go pound sand.

Like they're going to do when Mittens loses, BTW.

Thing is, GOPers here in the Grand Canyon State may have a lot more to worry about come November 6. Nah, Obama ain't gonna turn the state blue. (Unless a landslide's on tap.) But Rs may lose a Senate seat, as one recent poll shows Carmona ahead of Republican golden boy Jeff Flake by 2 points.

Flake finally caved and agreed to three one-hour debates with Carmona. The first will be broadcast live on Channel 8 at 5 p.m. , the same day as the Clinton rally.

If Carmona trounces Flake on Election Day, it will signal a historic shift in Arizona politics, one where Latinos exercise their growing political muscle on behalf of the Ds.

Yes, Carmona is of Puerto Rican descent, and not Mexican-American. But close enough. More importantly, he supports comprehensive immigration reform and the DREAM Act.

Arizona GOPers, on the other hand, have embraced nativism to their doom. The simple fact that two-time loser and former state Senate President Russell Pearce is the first vice chair of the state Republican Party is emblematic of where the Arizona GOP stands, despite many in the ranks who do not go along with such bigotry and xenophobia.

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Joe Arpaio Begs for Votes, and Devin Fleenor's Anti-Arpaio Ad Hits TV

Joe practically begs viewers to let him keep his job in this new ad

Sheriff Joe looks like a worried old man in his new TV commercial, the latest in a series of pricey ads that his re-election campaign has been inundating county boob tubes with.

"Despite all the criticism," he says, gesticulating, a little over-eagerly. "I've always been tough on criminals. I will not stop doing the job you elected me to do."

See also:
-Paul Penzone Can Beat Arpaio, If He Turns Up the Heat
-Sheriff Arpaio Distorts Truth in Ad About Sex-Crimes Investigations
-Victims Wonder Why Arpaio Let Sex-Abuse Cases Languish
-Joe Arpaio's Sex Crimes Debacle Eviscerated in New Video by Devin Fleenor

Except when it came to the 400-plus sex crimes in El Mirage and elsewhere that were botched under his regime. Which is the scandal Arpaio obviously is attempting to address in this ad.

Thing is, he's doing it poorly. Look at his body language, listen to his voice. This is not "America's toughest sheriff." This is an exercise in desperation.
CBS 5 - KPHO's report on the Fleenor ad making it to TV

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Joe Arpaio's Doom: "Adios Arpaio" Claims 20,000 Anti-Joe Voters Added to the Rolls (w/Update)

It appears Adios Arpaio has Joe's number...

Sheriff Joe Arpaio has been frittering away his remaining days on this planet by glomming onto the birther idiocy for publicity and chasing dishwashers and gardeners while dangerous sex offenders roam free.

Meanwhile, a small army of high-school kids (mostly), funded by union bucks and led by veteran organizers has been quietly, doggedly engineering his downfall.

See also:
-Joe Arpaio-Foe Paul Penzone Blasts Sheriff's Hypocritical New Ad
-Arpaio Snuggles Up to an Ex-Inmate in His Cynical Bid for a Sixth Term
-Will the $100 Million Hole Joe Arpaio Dug Kill Him in the 2012 Election?
-Victims Wonder Why Arpaio Let Sex-Abuse Cases Languish
-Ex-Police Chief's Book Details Arpaio's Negligence in El Mirage Cases
-Inhumanity Has a Price
-Joe Arpaio on the Run from Paul Penzone
-Joe Arpaio-Stooge Mike Stauffer Is "Olivia Cortes on Steroids," Says Randy Parraz

That group calls itself Adios Arpaio and yesterday it announced that it had registered more than 20,000 new voters: 21,571, to be exact.

(Note: I have asked county elections to confirm this count, and should have an answer by Monday. I will update this blog at that time.)

To celebrate, a delegation of those young men and women delivered empty boxes to Arpaio's pricey 19th floor offices in the Wells Fargo Building downtown.

Why? To help him move, of course, when he loses his bid for a sixth unprecedented term on November 6.

Adios Arpaio spokeswoman Daria Ovide told me the voter registration campaign -- made up of 400 volunteers and about 20 paid staff -- has been focusing on signing up Latinos.

The volunteer canvassers haven't been tracking the party affiliations of registrants, but she's certain that most of these new voters are likely to cast a ballot against Arpaio.

"We're pretty clear about what our goal is," she explained. "[We tell people], `If you want to get involved in defeating Arpaio in November, the first step is to register to vote.'

"One thing we know is that everyone we've registered is most-likely an anti-Arpaio voter...The majority of the people we've been registering are Latinos. Beyond that we're not tracking."

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Russell Pearce Stomped in His Own Precinct, and Bob Worsley Footage from Election Night (w/Update)

Worsley, with his wife Christi, on primary night

See also: Russell Pearce Skunked by Bob Worsley in LD 25 Republican Primary
See also: Russell Pearce's Ruin Caused in Part by Citizens for a Better Arizona
See also: Russell Pearce Nabs First Vice Chair, Ron Paul Dominates Straw Poll at State GOP Meeting

If you want to get a snapshot of how devastating recalled, ex-state Senate President Russell Pearce's loss was in his comeback state Senate bid for Legislative District 25, take a look at the precinct-by-precinct vote counts from Tuesday, available on the Maricopa County Recorder's website.

As has been noted already by some supporters of state Senator-elect Bob Worsley, Tuesday's victor in the LD 25 GOP primary, Pearce lost his own precinct, the Candlelight precinct, to Worsley, who scored 663 votes to Pearce's 582.

The same was true for all of the precincts surrounding Pearce's, save for the Lehi precinct, where Pearce eked out a 227 to 218 win.

Further afield, in the Leisure World precinct, Mesa's version of Jurassic Park, Worsley bested Pearce 310 to 305.

Even the fossils said no to the dinosaur.

Worsley talks DREAMers, Stan Turley, and his goals for the Legislature

If you're wondering, Worsley handily took his own Groves precinct, 390 to 172.

Despite the kvetching of right-wing hack Constantin Querard and others associated with the Pearce team that it was all the media's fault for the ton of negative coverage Pearce garnered (most of it due to cretinous moves pulled by Querard and Pearce), these precinct results indicate that the people who know Pearce best, his own neighbors, soundly rejected him.

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Joe Arpaio Joins Lawyer Dennis Wilenchik on the Hook for 2007 Arrests of VVM Executive Editor and CEO

In 2007, Lacey talks to fellow reporters after emerging from Arpaio's Fourth Avenue Jail

See also: Breathtaking Abuse of the Constitution
See also: Who's Sorry Now? Andy Thomas eats crow to save his political career
See also: New Times Will Appeal Ninth Circuit Court Decision
See also: Lawsuit Against Joe Arpaio Et Al to Be Heard by Full Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
See also: Joe Arpaio's Lawyer Grilled by Ninth Circuit About Why Sheriff Should Remain Exempt from New Times' False-Arrest Lawsuit

Nighttime arrests of journalists. One-man grand juries. Secret, illegal subpoenas seeking confidential info on all online readers of a muckraking newspaper. Retaliation for criticism of those in high places.

If that sounds like some sub-tropical authoritarian regime, it's not. Rather, it was Arizona in 2007, when Village Voice Media Executive Editor Michael Lacey and VVM CEO Jim Larkin were hustled, handcuffed, into unmarked cars with Mexican plates, all for the "crime" of exposing the extra-constitutional misdeeds of a special prosecutor working on behalf of the Maricopa County Attorney's Office.

In June of last year, a three-judge panel of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that Phoenix attorney Dennis Wilenchik, the special prosecutor in question, could be sued for those false arrests of Phoenix New Times co-founders Lacey and Larkin and for violations of their First, Fourth and 14th Amendment rights under the U.S. Constitution.

Wilenchik's bosses, the men who empowered him to go after New Times, now-disbarred, disgraced ex-County Attorney Andrew Thomas and his political ally, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, were granted immunity. The former, total immunity. The latter, partial.

New Times appealed and won an en banc review by a larger panel of judges. That panel's decision, issued today, handed New Times a huge, if not total, win: Arpaio does not have qualified immunity in this case and can be sued for his actions against Lacey, Larkin, and this newspaper.

Lacey hailed that part of the Ninth Circuit's 72-page ruling.

"Only in Sheriff Joe Arpaio's jurisdiction do journalists get arrested in the middle of the night for what they write," he told me. "Only in Sheriff Joe's jurisdiction do poor Mexicans get swept up like cattle. But Joe Arpaio can not deport Larkin and Lacey. The Ninth Circuit said so."

(Read the opinion for yourself, here.)

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Russell Pearce Skunked by Bob Worsley in LD 25 Republican Primary

Bob Worsley (left) who pummeled Pearce in yesterday's primary, and Jerry Lewis, who ousted Pearce in last year's historic recall election

See also: Russell Pearce's Ruin Caused in Part by Citizens for a Better Arizona
See also: Russell Pearce at RockinRRanch and Lester Pearce Insults All of Maricopa County
See also: Russell Pearce Can't Shake His Ties to Neo-Nazi J.T. Ready
See also: Russell Pearce's Bile Gone from Public Life for Good
See also: Russell Pearce's "Arizona Teacher's [sic] Association": Olivia Cortes Part 2? (w/Updates)
See also: Russell Pearce Blames Victims for Dark Knight Massacre (w/Update)
See also: Russell Pearce Scores David Schweikert's Endorsement, at Long Last

For recalled, disgraced two-time loser, former state Senate President Russell Pearce, there are no more excuses.

Bested in yesterday's Republican primary by Mesa entrepreneur Bob Worsley, a deeply conservative fellow Mormon, Pearce cannot blame his failure on the unique circumstances of last year's recall election, which was open to all eligible voters.

Nope, only GOPers and Independents so inclined could cast ballots for Worsley or Pearce on Tuesday. And at midnight, with 37 out of 37 precincts reporting, the unofficial results of the primary were stunningly similar to the recall's numbers.

Political newcomer Worsley clobbered Pearce by nearly 12 percentage points to become his party's nominee for state Senate in heavily Republican Legislative District 25, where a general election promises to be a mere formality.

Last night, Worsley garnered 12,789 votes to Pearce's 10,087.

In November, Pearce's recall challenger, Jerry Lewis, also topped Pearce by 12 percent, earning 12,812 votes to Pearce's 10,121.

I've heard of deja vu all over again, but this is ridiculous.

Last year's contest in what was then Legislative District 18, featured sham candidate Olivia Cortes, pimped by Russ' friends and family, plus the promulgation of a pack of vicious lies by the Pearce camp about Lewis. Not to mention a physical attack on Lewis, in the form of a padlock to the groin, thrown from a moving car.

This year's LD 25 primary also had its share of weirdness and high jinks, with Pearce's receiving support from the mysterious "Arizona Teacher's [sic] Association," Pearce's claiming a congressman's endorsement before asking for it, and Pearce's self-destructive blame-the-victim comments about the movie theater massacre in Aurora, Colorado.

Oh, and I almost forgot, the May killing spree and suicide of erstwhile Pearce pal, neo-Nazi baby-killer J.T. Ready, which Pearce responded to by whining about the press hounding him for a comment.

As was the case in 2011, at least by the time I left Worsley's stately Mesa home a little before 11 p.m., Pearce had not called his triumphant competitor to concede.

Lewis, who was present to watch to the returns with Worsley and his supporters joked at one point that Pearce should call to congratulate him first, and Worsley second, as Lewis was still owed a call.

Same old Pearce: no class 'til the last. Worsley was far more magnanimous.

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Russell Pearce's Rival Bob Worsley Endorsed by Mesa Mayor Scott Smith

Scott Smith hearts Bob Worsley: Take that, Russ!

The campaign of Legislative District 25 state Senate hopeful Bob Worsley today announced a major endorsement, that of Mesa Mayor Scott Smith, a GOPer many consider a future contender for Governor of Sand Land.

"I have known Bob Worsley for over 30 years," Smith states in the press release, which you can read in full below. "I have worked with him and been his partner in business. Because of this, I know Bob is the right person to represent Mesa in the Arizona Senate. Rarely do you find a candidate like Bob who has extensive real world business experience and leadership skills."

Worsley, of course, is running against 12-point-loser, ex-state Senate President Russell Pearce, who represents the wackjob wing of the Arizona Republican Party, as exemplified by the Red Mountain Tea Party, where human Kool-Aid-dispenser Randy Hatch holds sway.

Hatch presides over regular, cult-like Pearce-worshippin' soirees at a charter school's auditorium in Legislative District 16. You know, outside of Pearce's district. Pearce was there Monday night to ask for help in soliciting signatures to place his name on the ballot.

During Hatch's slavish intro to Pearce that evening, Hatch dished out standard pro-Pearce propaganda, blaming everything on the godless lefties and hailing Pearce as the Iron Man of the far right. (Though, now that I think of it, "The Thing," aka, Ben Grimm, might be more a more appropriate comic-book comparison.)

But that's among Hatch's fellow crazies. Smith, however, is representative of the non-crazy, pro-business wing of the state GOP, and is generally liked by all, moderates and uber-conservatives alike. His endorsement is huge, and signals the beginning of the end for any hopes Pearce had of making a comeback.

Randy Hatch is remaining in the bunker with Herr Pearce

As I noted in my previous blog about Worsley's latest video, Pearce would have been better off gettin' out while the gettin' was good. At least he could have saved some face. Now he's peeking down the barrel of yet another double-digit loss to a fellow tusker.

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Joe Arpaio's Nemesis Sal Reza and His Bad News Bears Soccer Team

Esperanza's soccer team with its coach, Phoenix civil rights leader Sal Reza

There's not much that would get me out on a hot Arizona afternoon to watch a high-school soccer match, but Sal Reza as "coach" is one of them.

Reza, the bane of Sheriff Joe Arpaio and former state Senate President Russell Pearce, the guy who's led thousands in marches protesting both Senate Bill 1070 and Arpaio's anti-immigrant enforcement measures, coaches a co-ed soccer team for Esperanza High School, a small charter school in North Phoenix that caters mostly to the children of working-class Hispanic families.

Think of a Latino Bad News Bears playing futbol, and that's Esperanza, which means "hope" in Spanish. Reza told me it's the first year Esperanza has had a soccer team, and he was practically drafted into coaching, as the school could not afford a professional coach. 

"I know nothing about soccer," Reza shrugged. "But nobody else would do it."

Despite the civil rights leader's inexperience, despite the impoverished backgrounds of many of the kids, and despite a run-in by one of their star players with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement last week, Esperanza came within one point of taking their division's championship on Monday, losing to rival Phoenix College Prep, 3-2.

That made for tough loss, especially since Esperanza had come back from a 2-0 hole to tie the game at 2-2, only to have PCP score a crucial goal and clinch the win.

Still, Esperanza wasn't even supposed to be on that field at Phoenix's Desert West Park where the championship game took place. The team started its season with a loss, one that depressed the players, until they were given a sign of sorts.

A hawk circled above the team following the defeat, and one of the kids asked Reza what it meant.

"It means you can either fly like an eagle, or crawl like a snake," he told the teens.

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Russell Pearce Freaks Out in the Bunker in Downfall Spoof

Think Pearce will laugh? Yeah, probably not

My good friend Dennis Gilman was kind enough to upload this delicious new parody for me of the much-spoofed "raving fuhrer" scene from the 2004 German film Downfall, starring Bruno Ganz as Adolf Hitler.

Long have I dreamed of having one of these Downfall spoofs made with recalled state Senate President Russell Pearce in the starring role. And now my dream is reality. Thank you, Yahweh! 

It will be a pity if ol' Russ chickens out and decides not to meet fellow Republican Bob Worsley on the field of battle (aka, Legislative District 25). Think of all the fun we could've had doing parodies like this through August, ending with Pearce being crushed yet again by a political neophyte.

The rumor is Pearce falls on his sword Monday sometime. (Pearce has denied all to several in the media.) Apparently, Pearce's former pals at Highgound provided the sword. 

J.T. Ready poses with Russell Pearce

However, if Pearce's pet anaconda Constantin Querard gets his way, maybe these reports of Pearce's political demise will prove premature.

The best thing about it is, either way, I win. If Pearce drops out of the GOP primary for state Senate, then I helped drive him from power in the first place by mercilessly berating Pearce in print long before doing so was cool. (Even the Republic's on that bandwagon these days.)

But if Pearce stubbornly stays in a race he's destined to lose, I get to slap him around verbally for a few more months. As Jackie Gleason was wont to say, "Mmmmm-hmmm-hmmm, how sweet it is."

Joe Arpaio on Blast by Tom Perez, Courtesy of Dennis Gilman (w/Update, Part 2)

Tom Perez blasts Sheriff Joe in Phoenix yesterday

Hey, did you hear that the U.S. Department of Justice is suing Sheriff Joe Arpaio?

Well, in case you were hibernating beneath a saguaro on Thursday, Assistant U.S. Attorney General Tom Perez was in town to blast everyone's least-favorite sheriff for his racial-profiling, Latino-hatin', constitution-trashin' ways, and to explain the reasons for the DOJ's lawsuit. 

Independent journalist and videographer Dennis Gilman was on the scene and caught Perez's entire press conference. 

This is part one of that historic presser. Gilman will soon post Perez's Q & A session with reporters. Gilman got in a significant query about whether or not the DOJ will join the ACLU's racial profiling lawsuit against Arpaio, which goes to trial July 19. So stay tuned for part two.

A transcript of Perez's remarks is below. Sure, we'd rather see Arpaio marched through the streets of Phoenix in stripes and shackles, like he did to many of his Hispanic prisoners a couple of years ago. But here in Sand Land, we'll take what we can get, justice-wise.

Update: See Part 2 of this presser after the jump.

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