Racists, skinheads, and assorted prejudiced polecats. They make up Pearce's core, his bigoted base.

Will Mesa Republicans want to be counted as a bunch of vicious, neo-Nazi-coddling Pearce-lovers, like the fools in Pearce's camp? Or will they finally pry Pearce loose like some unwanted intestinal parasite, and flush him down the drain?

JEALOUS ONES

Rebecca Jimenez gets loads of letters and e-mails, many of them from vicious haters, people who can't stand the fact that she stood up to Sheriff Joe Arpaio back on April 3, as was detailed in a recent New Times cover story ("Brown Out," May 29).

One recent anonymous mailing received by Jimenez threatened to burn down her house so that she would be forced to live out of her car. In addition, her character has been assaulted by slavish Joe supporters, and every traffic ticket she's ever received has been pored over by Hispanic-hating hacks and brown-bashing bloggers.

Conversely, she's been heralded as a heroine by many in the Latino and civil rights communities. She's received ovations before such groups as the Maricopa Citizens for Safety and Accountability. Respect/Respeto's top activist Lydia Guzman is a fan. And she was recently honored for her role in Sand Land's "Biggest Arizona Moment" by Latino Vibe 95.1 FM's El Break show.

"It was the one thing people kept coming back to when we asked," said El Break's Luis Avila. "It was a moment that made everyone [in the Latino community] proud."

Not everyone, unfortunately. As this woodpecker discussed in a recent column item ("Target Guadalupe," June 12), Mayor Jimenez's enemies in her hometown are equally nasty, though their complaints against the mayor make a lot less sense. That's to say, it's understandable that some Sheriff Joe-supporting redneck would despise Jimenez for taking a stand.

But why would longtime lefty activists such as Socorro and Santino Bernasconi be so determined to whip up rancor against the mayor? Socorro Bernasconi, a gruff troll-like presence, has labeled the mayor a "miniature Arpaio" in wild-woman e-mails to members of the Guadalupe Town Council. Ask her why she loathes the mayor so, and she has no rational explanation. Still, she's been one of the main persons urging on a possible recall of Jimenez. And she's been tireless in her drive to have challenger Joe Sanchez defeat the mayor's ally and cousin Patty Jimenez in a September 2 recall election.

Patty Jimenez is implicated in no scandals. In fact, she's often been the most dogged on the council in asking tough questions regarding the bidding process for contracts. Because of this, certain Mayberry types have labeled her disruptive and tyrannical, when in fact she's been acting as a watchdog for the town's finances.

"Why didn't the recall group wait 'til March of 2009, when I'm up for re-election?" asked the council member. "Why did they want to spend the town's money and create confusion and create some kind of instability in the council?"

Mayor Jimenez believes Socorro and her clique are actually gunning for her, the plan being to replace Patty with their hand-picked representative Sanchez, thus killing the mayor's current 4-3 majority on council. As Guadalupe's mayor is elected from the council, the new, Socorro-endorsed majority would then demote the mayor to mere council member and take any credit from the ongoing maneuvering to replace the MCSO with some other law enforcement service.

True, the Positive Progress Committee, as it now calls itself, wanted both Jimenezes out before Arpaio ran roughshod over the town. But Rebecca Jimenez's act of courage on April 3 galvanized the petty jealousy and hatred by Socorro and her followers.

Why should we give a flip about this backwater skullduggery? Because not only are Jimenez's opponents wrong, they stand to hand Arpaio a victory, of sorts. Vindictive as the sheriff is, he would like nothing more than Rebecca Jimenez's political head on a spike. Though the Bernasconis may be closely affiliated with a local Catholic church (her hubby Santino is the deacon there), they are doing the work of El Diablo when it comes to their vendetta against Mayor Jimenez.

How did Socorro and her allies score the signatures necessary for a recall? That's a piece of cake in a one-square-mile town like Guadalupe. According to town clerk and acting town manager Rosemary Arellano, only 276 people bothered to vote in the town's May '07 election. She says Patricia Jimenez's recall election was secured with a mere 94 signatures.

The Bird called Joe Sanchez for comment, so far to no avail. His campaign literature lists him as a director and member of the band Latin Spirit, and it's stated in his flier that he's a volunteer member of several town committees, including the Guadalupe Mercado Renovation Committee, the Mercado being the town's bright orange open-air mall.

However, according to a November report to the town council detailing expenditures, Joe Sanchez was reimbursed $9,000 (as of October 23, 2007) in "labor" expenses for "painting, repairs, and prep" work on the Mercado.

That's not to imply there's anything at all improper with the expenditure. But can you imagine the complaints against Patty Jimenez if the shoe were on the other candidate?

Mayor Jimenez recently was given a letter signed by members of Guadalupe's, um, power elite, asking her to resign. They complained of the media attention Jimenez has received because she stood up to Arpaio, and they griped that she referred to her mayoral position as a "gig" in the New Times cover story about her.

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2 comments
Nested Eagle
Nested Eagle

It's always interesting/amusing, although at the same time depressing, to see the scrambling of the politicos trying to cover when they've been exposed. There's always the undercurrent sound of scurrying rats in the basement as the innocence-proclaiming statements are produced, followed inevitably (when the detective work has been stellar), by those sounds of back strokes as they try to get back to solid ground. Good work! It would be really great if the voters read and understand.

Felicity Fetching
Felicity Fetching

Much thanks for exposing the award given by Phoenix magazine to Darrell Ankkarlo. He tries to sell himself as a voice of reason, willing to hear both sides of an issue; but in reality he is an archconservative loudmouth, so convinced of his "rightness" and hence convinced of the wrongness of those with whom he disagrees.He and his ilk are a dime a dozen.

 
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