Russell Pearce, Crybaby Loser, Can't Yet "Forgive" Jerry Lewis For Whuppin' Him

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Pearce: Still not man enough to call Lewis and formally concede after a 12 point loss

In a grotesque mix of Freudian projection, denial, all-out hubris and crass hypocrisy, ex-state Senate President Russell Pearce has told the Arizona Capitol Times that he's trying to "forgive" Jerry Lewis, the man who spanked him hard by 12 points in the Legislative District 18 recall election for the "dishonesty" that took place during the campaign.

"I'm not a hateful guy," Pearce claimed to the CapTimes. "It's difficult with the dishonesty that took place in that campaign. It's disappointing, a lot of things that happened in the campaign. I tend to get over things, so we'll work on that. I should forgive him, so we'll work on that."

Well, if you know anything about Pearce, you know he was easily the most hateful politician in Arizona. I use the past tense here because his political career is now kaput, in large part because he's such a hateful dude.

Pearce is the guy who banned people from the state Senate, remember? People whose political beliefs he did not approve of, such as Phoenix human rights activist Sal Reza.

Not to mention that he blamed illegal immigrants for all of America's woes, worked to rob birthright citizenship from the American citizen kids of undocumented aliens, hung-out with extremists such as neo-Nazi J.T. Ready (and then denied the association later), did nothing to extend federal unemployment benefits rightfully due out-of-work Arizonans, mercilessly cut education and then buffaloed anyone who would listen to make himself seem like a friend to education, and on and on. 

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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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Russell Pearce's Fall Argues Arizona Compact's Time Is Now

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Anno Domini, Edwin Long
The Flight into Egypt: Christ as Illegal Immigrant

Former state Senate President Russell Pearce is history. Tomorrow, Jerry Lewis, his victorious challenger in the Legislative District 18 recall race is scheduled to be sworn in as LD 18's new state Senator.

Today, Citizens for a Better Arizona, the group that forced the recall in LD 18 will announce its goals in regards to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer and Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, two politicians who have shamelessly exploited the nativist agenda to advance their own political careers.

Unlike Pearce, they are not true believers. Arpaio and Brewer are opportunists, their fingers to the proverbial wind. And even their desiccated digits must feel some inkling that the breeze is beginning to blow in a different direction. This, though their political actions have yet to change in regards to immigration, or anything else, for that matter.

Then, there's the recent poll done by ASU's Morrisson Institute indicating that 78 percent of Arizonans would support a pathway to citizenship for longtime residents whose presence is undocumented. 

All of these factors argue for an immediate and vigorous non-partisan campaign in favor of an Arizona version of the now famous Utah Compact, a statement of principles arguing for humane immigration reform.

I know there are individuals and groups working on such an effort now behind the scenes. Earlier this year, attempts at getting such a compact approved by the Mesa City Council dissipated despite the best efforts of those involved.

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Russell Pearce's Sycophants Try to Score Him Some Free Money from the Taxpayers

Welfare for Russ? Only if Harper and Howie get their way...

Uncle Russ needs him some free gub'mint cheese. He ain't got a job no more because of them dang liberals, and that cheese will only cost y'all taxpayers $230,000. Plus, the Constitution promises it to him.

Such are the pathetic trial balloons being floated by ex-state Senate President Russell Pearce's sycophants in the media and in the state Legislature. 

Such local hacks as Howard Fischer and Republican Legislators like Jack Harper are entertaining the notion that Pearce -- having just suffered a humiliating 12-point loss in the Legislative District 18 recall race -- is now entitled to recoup personal expenses from his failed campaign.

Um, even though Pearce has incurred no personal expenses: No tabs not picked up by his slavish supporters.

See, Fischer, Harper and other fawning Pearce-worshippers would have us believe that the following passage from the Arizona Constitution translates into Pearce scoring a giganto unearned severance check from the taxpayers:

"The general election laws shall apply to recall elections in so far as applicable. Laws necessary to facilitate the operation of the provisions of this article shall be enacted, including provision for payment by the public treasury of the reasonable special election campaign expenses of such officer."

What does this language actually mean? Though the stewards of our elections have so far been clueless when asked, the pro-Democrat Blog for Arizona applies this Occam's razor:

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Russell Pearce Whupped by Nearly 12 Percent So Far

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Wonder if his diaper is the same color?

Just-defeated state Senate President Russell Pearce doesn't know when to keep his redneck trap shut. 

First he's soundly defeated by challenger Jerry Lewis in the Legislative District 18 recall, then he's removed as Senate President by the Republican caucus, and now Pearce's margin of loss has widened to nearly 12 percent, and still, this vile, geriatric toad is on TV and any other medium that'll take him, blathering incoherently about Lewis, Citizens for a Better Arizona, the Fourth Estate, or what have you.

Sorry, old man, it's over. You're through. Your hatred and bully-boy tactics have been forced from Sand Land politics, and Arizona will never be the same. Read the latest count and weep: 43.61 percent for Pearce to a staggering 55.2 percent for Lewis.

In politics, we call that a landslide, ladies and gents.

And who did Senate GOPers choose as their first post-Pearce President? 

Not ideologue Andy Biggs, who has been described as "Pearce with a brain." Rather, they chose Republican state Senator Steve Pierce, a conservative in a state party that has two camps, the crazies (wingnuts) and the sane Rs (non-wingnuts). 

The Prescott Republican seems to fall into the latter camp (though just barely at times), his vote for Carl Seel's failed "birther" bill notwithstanding. 

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Russell Pearce's Bile Gone from Public Life for Good

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Russell Pearce, dressed for his next job assignment: high school janitor

Folks have been asking why I haven't blogged yet on state Senate President Russell Pearce's removal from the body politic last night when he was defeated in the Legislative District 18 recall race, 53-45 percent. A massive win for challenger Jerry Lewis, Citizens for a Better Arizona and for anyone who longs for moderation here in Sand Land.

See, while Arizona was being freed from Pearce's poisonous influence on public life, I was being freed of a gall bladder filled with stones. The attack came on suddenly, and was quite painful. As surgeons at a local hospital were putting me under for my cholecystectomy, Pearce was still Senate President.

By the time I came to, he was gone, as was the source of my own physical anguish. 

The percentages could wiggle around a tad after the county counts the remaining early and provisional ballots, but not enough to change things for Pearce.

Also, there's the fact that he's conceded, in the lamest terms possible. Class act, he is not.

The county likely will have the LD18 provisional ballots (933) and the remaining early ballots in the district (2,310) tabulated by week's end. 

The earlies broke along the same lines as the total vote, percentage-wise. So Pearce knows there are no miracles coming, which is one reason he "conceded."

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Russell Pearce Robocalls Reported on by ABC15, Channel 5 Reports on Olivia Cortes Confusion

Hat tip to ABC 15 for picking up on the story I filed Saturday about deceptive robocalls targeting Democratic and Latino voters in Legislative District 18 from the right-wing Safeguard Arizona's Workers PAC, chaired by local Tea Partier Ron Ludders.

Ludders, who is pro-Pearce, claims the robocalls are "educational." Actually, they are mis-informational. The calls, some of which feature a Ricardo Montalban-sounding kinda guy, encourage people to write-in a candidate as a protest vote.

But, as Maricopa County Elections Director Karen Osborne pointed out to me on Saturday, and as Arizona Secretary of State spokesman Matt Roberts confirmed to me today, no one has registered in LD18 as a write-in candidate.

"Since no write-in's filed, [no write-in votes] will be tabulated," Roberts explained.

Translation: you can write-in a name, but it will count for nothing. In doing so, an elector would be throwing away his or her vote. 

Which I'm sure is exactly what Ludders and his pal state Senate President Russell Pearce want folks to do, if they are inclined to vote for Pearce-foe Jerry Lewis.

Roberts says the SOS' office has not yet determined whether or not an investigation of the robocalls is merited.

I've got a call into the U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Arizona, to see if they're going to look into the robocalls, or anything to do with the sham candidacy of Olivia Cortes, for that matter. Will update if I receive a reply.

FYI: You can find the USAO's citizen complaint form, here

To be fair, I do not know if federal laws would be triggered by these robocalls, which are deceptive, but may not violate any statutes, state or federal. Also, I don't really trust the feds to look into anything. 

(Evidence the federal probe into Sheriff Joe Arpaio, which is at 1,057 days and counting with zero action.)

Plus, if you outlawed deception in political advertising, there'd be no political advertising, practically.

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Russell Pearce Supporter Ron Ludders' Lame Robocall Targeting Democrats and Latinos (w/Update)

What we'll be serenading the Pearce folks with this Tuesday evening...

In what smells like a classic attempt at voter suppression, the conservative Safeguard Arizona's Future PAC, which previously backed wackjob loser JD Hayworth in the 2010 Republican U.S. Senate primary, is doing robocalls to Democrats in Legislative District 18, encouraging them to cast a "protest" vote by writing in a candidate on the ballot.

Thing is, by doing so, an elector would be throwing away his or her vote. According to state law, a write-in candidate must register with the Arizona Secretary of State, otherwise a write-in vote is meaningless.

Maricopa County Elections Director Karen Osborne confirmed to me today that no one registered with the SOS' office as a write-in candidate in the LD18 recall, so there are none on the ballot.

The robocall, as received by LD18 Democrat Kerry Torres, states the following, read by a man with a Latino-accent:

LD 18 Recall Election Robocall by fanarchy

"Voters beware: If you plan to vote this Tuesday, you should know that both candidates for state Senator, Russell Pearce and Jerry Lewis, are Republicans. The only other candidate, Olivia Cortes, was forced to withdraw last month. 

"You can protest this one-sided election by writing in your own candidate. This message is paid for by the Safeguard Arizona's Future PAC, because we believe a well-informed voter is the best voter."

Riiight. Maybe that's why the robocall fails to "inform" voters that Olivia Cortes was herself a Republican, as well as a sham candidate placed on the ballot by Tea Party members in order to assist their wingnutty God, Russell Pearce.

You can also listen to the sound clip, here.

(Posted with the assistance of my own personal "Q," New Times clubs editor Benjamin Leatherman, aka "fanarchy.")

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Russell Pearce Supporter Matt Tolman Sued for Back Pay by Undocumented Worker

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The lavanderia where Estrada said she worked for Matt Tolman for several years

Matt Tolman, chairman of the pro-Russell Pearce, anti-recall group Citizens Who Oppose the Pearce Recall, is infamous for putting out placards in Mesa alleging that pro-recall organizer Randy Parraz "opposes the rule of law," but a lawsuit by one of Tolman's former employees alleges that Tolman may have his own issues with the law.

The complaint filed in Maricopa County Downtown Justice court by 46 year-old Martha Elena Estrada, claims that Tolman owes the undocumented immigrant close to $8,000 in back pay for her work as a laundress at coin laundry owned by Tolman and his wife.

Estrada, a small woman with large brown eyes and a chirrupy voice, sat down with me Friday at New Times' offices with her lawyer Salvador Ongaro, who acted as translator. She said she worked at the small lavanderia on the northeast corner of 3rd Avenue and Buckeye Road for several years from 2004 to late 2010, cleaning clothes, as well as towels, drapes and tablecloths from local hotels. 

"Tolman was my boss," she said in Spanish after identifying Tolman from a photo on his Facebook page. "He paid me and told me what to do."

Her lawsuit includes several checks she received from 3rd Avenue Laundry, LLC, the corporate entity formed by Tolman and his spouse. She said no pay stubs accompanied them, and there was no withholding, as far as she knew.

Problem is, Estrada says her checks did not include payment for the overtime she did for Tolman. She stated that she worked for minimum wage, sometimes 10 or 12 hours a day, often six or seven days a week, without vacations or holidays.

When she left Tolman's employ, she estimates that he owed her as much as $12,000. Estrada says she confronted Tolman about the money he owed her early this year. Tolman asked her how much she wanted.

"I said, `I'll make this easy and simple,'" she recalled of the conversation at Tolman's business. "Pay me $7,000, and it'll be done."

She said Tolman initially accepted, but then reneged seconds later.

"He said he wasn't going to pay me, that I had no right to anything," Estrada stated.

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Russell Pearce: Will CapTimes Throw Him a Bone? (Update: No Bone for Russ, Lewis Leads)

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Will the CapTimes lend Russ a hand ce soir?

See update below. CT just bit its master's paw.

The news that the Arizona Capitol Times, the semi-official mouthpiece of the Arizona Legislature, has a poll on the LD 18 recall race it's releasing tonight at 6 p.m. on ABC 15, should have the camps of both challenger Jerry Lewis and incumbent state Senator Russell Pearce on tenterhooks.

Given CapTimes' serious investment in the status quo, I have to wonder if it'll throw ol' Russ a bone. A poll at this point showing the embattled state Senate president ahead would help suppress the vote in LD18, and assist Pearce in beating the recall.

According to county elections Director Karen Osborne, as of last count,13,540 early ballots have been returned to the county from LD18. That's out of an estimated 28,000 that were mailed to LD18 voters. My calculator (and hopefully yours) crunches that as a 48 percent return rate.

Osborne said the county begins tabulation sometime Friday, but it is forbidden to announce any results until 8 p.m. November 8. There are 70,000 registered voters in LD18. So about 40 percent of folks vote by e.b.

Those with ballots have until 7 p.m. on Tuesday to drop them off at any of the recorder's locations or any polling place on election day.  

No matter what the CapTimes/ABC 15 drops tonight, keep in mind, this battle will be won or lost by the GOTV (Get Out the Vote) effort. The so-called "experts" have been wrong several times through this recall process. Be wary of trusting them again.

UPDATE 6:06PM: Fun-ny. Even the state Capitol's official broadsheet is abandoning its master. The CapTimes' poll shows Lewis with a small, 46-43 percent lead, which is within the poll's margin of error.

As I reported in this week's commentary, Pearce's long political career of hate and slime is nearing an end

But now is not the time for Pearce-foes to take a breather. The margin is too close. Sham candidate Olivia Cortes is still pulling 2.5 percent. And the poll shows 8.5 percent undecided. 

Fortunately, Citizens for a Better Arizona and its small GOTV army know this. And they will not rest.

Oh, and grok this weird analysis from the CapTimers: that one of the "few surprises" of the poll is there's a Republican split in LD18.

Well, that would be a surprise if you hadn't read my column this week. Or any weeks previous.

The real surprise to me is the following quote, pointed out by a journo colleague of mine: "Pearce lags behind when it came to Democratic voters, who heavily favored Lewis, 51 percent to 36.4 percent."

Huh? 36.4 percent of Mesa Ds for Russ? Hell, if they can find a dozen actual Ds in all of Mesa who "favor" Pearce, I'll eat my gas tank slathered in HP sauce. And that's only after I check these so-called Ds for lobotomy scars.

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