Russell Pearce Is On the Ropes, Even if the Horizon Brain Trust Can't See It

Some political theorists have referred to it as "manufacturing consent." I like to call it the propaganda of the status quo.

And then there's another, even more damning label: downright laziness.

Whatever you call it, it's often on full display on KAET Channel 8's Horizon, hosted by the genial and admittedly likable talking head Ted Simons.

Simons chairs the PBS show's weekly "Journalists Roundtable" segment, in which local members of the Fourth Estate don suits and hold forth on current events. Local hacks, news junkies, and politicians frequently tune in for the segment and the show, in general.

Interestingly, Horizon reveals the collective, lemming-like mindset so common to the media "elite" — such as it is — locally.

I'm sure those who regularly appear on Simons' show would proclaim their neutrality, if asked. In reality, they represent the political establishment and have inculcated its dictates so thoroughly that their response to anything outside the veil of their experience is practically Pavlovian.

Like the recall of state Senate President Russell Pearce by the group Citizens for a Better Arizona, which recently submitted more than 18,000 signatures to the Arizona Secretary of State in support of its effort to remove this right-wing ogre from office.

On a recent edition of the roundtable, four white guys in ties pooh-poohed the recall's historic achievement with outright misinformation.

The Arizona Guardian's Dennis Welch seemed to sum up his fellow journos' dismissive views of those citizens who gathered signatures.

"Eighteen-thousand signatures? Big deal," Welch scoffed. "You got paid petition gatherers out there . . . getting signatures. That's a lot different than getting people to go out to the polls and vote against somebody who has held that office for a very long time and who is really well known and popular in that area."

Who knew scoring 18,000 signatures was so dang easy? Wonder why it doesn't happen all the freaking time?

Did the recall group use paid petition gatherers? Yes, CBA contracted with the company Sign Here Petitions, but the majority of those gathering signatures were volunteers.

How do I know? I went out with them and watched as they knocked on doors, which I described in a recent column ("Russell Pearce Is His Own Worse Enemy," April 14).

There also are the declarations of recall organizer Randy Parraz and Sign Here Petition owner Bonita Burks, who estimate that about one-third of the signatures were gathered by SHP employees.

So it's a slur on the committed activists who did most of the hard work going door-to-door and making phone calls to assert that the recall scored just because paid petition gatherers were involved.

"Part of the story is that the majority of the [pro-recall] people are white people over 50 who have been doing the work," Parraz told me. "That's not getting [talked about]."

Parraz chided the nattering knights of Simons' clown table, who insisted the recall effort was fueled by anger over Pearce's breathing-while-brown law, Senate Bill 1070. Parraz correctly pointed out that though he personally was opposed to 1070, the recall effort purposefully did not press the immigration issue.

This is borne out by the text on CBA's website, which does not mention 1070 or immigration. And by the wording of the petition itself, which I reproduce here in case Welch or the other clown-tablers wish to read it:

"We, Citizens for a Better Arizona and residents of District 18, submit this petition to recall State Senator Russell Pearce for his failure to focus on issues and concerns that affect all Arizonans.

"Mesa and Arizona need a leader who will pass laws to create jobs, protect public education, and ensure access to healthcare for our children and those most in need. We deserve a representative who reflects our values, beliefs, and vision for Mesa and all of Arizona.

"By signing this petition, we publicly withdraw our support for Russell Pearce and what he represents."

Welch is correct that Pearce has represented LD18 for many years. What's changed? His ascension to the state Senate presidency, making him the most powerful politician in Arizona.

This — along with his hostility to education and to those reliant on AHCCCS (Arizona's Medicaid system), his dictatorial style, his corruption and ethical lapses, and his self-evident bigotry — makes him the perfect recall target.

Did the residents of LD18 vote for this aggro racist to be King of Sand Land? Um, no. Nor did anyone other than the hoodwinked members of the GOP caucus in the Senate, who believed Pearce's oath that he would be putting the issue of immigration on the legislative backburner.

You can be in complete agreement with Pearce on 1070 and otherwise be disgusted by the following: his support for state Senator Scott Bundgaard, his prevarications concerning his involvement in the Fiesta Bowl scandal, his heavy-handed "banning" of citizens from the state Senate on threat of arrest, his illegal effort to undermine the U.S. Constitution's 14th Amendment.

No wonder the recall has been successful in getting eligible LD18 voters to sign on the line that is dotted.

As for the contention of the clown-tablers and others that the anti-Pearce forces will never get enough voters to the polls to topple Pearce, whether the election happens in November 2011 or March 2012, Parraz has a devastating reply:

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157 comments
Sophia Tesch
Sophia Tesch

The work of the recall team is not done. They are taking it all the way through the recall election by supporting Pearce's challenger. This bit about name calling Pearce that some commenters allege is preposterous. It's not name calling. It's stating what the issues are, there are so many. He is not just representing LD18 he's the Senate President and has time and time again abused that position. He continues to shut the people out of the Democratic process and that is the main issue I have with him. He's bad for Arizona and I would think the GOP would want to see him go because he's bad for the GOP brand.

haughty
haughty

Horizon really needs to get its stuff together. Many times they have guests on with no counterpoint and Ted doesn't do enough grilling for my taste. Outright lies are spread with no one getting called on them; I'd like to put my fist into the TV screen watching this pbs program. Really lazy journalist are on this show way too many times.

FormerRepublican
FormerRepublican

Lazy, indifferent and boring reporters in a major time slot.

Hotrodl
Hotrodl

In the distant past.....People have been brought into Arizona from other states and registered in a particular district to vote. It will be interesting to see if the registered voters increase dramatically in that district before the election. I would say that SOMEONE needs to keep an eye on that, because I believe the CULT will try it, if they can.

Scotto
Scotto

Pretty funny thread, but I do have a serious question: is the RecallPearce.com team even relevant anymore. I mean, they collected the signatures and now there will be an election. Their job is done, right?

I suppose they could endorse a candidate, but other than that, does it matter if their website sucks or if they aren't any good at media stuff?

FWIW, the website isn't the best. I had to search for a site that explained the recall process and came across http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/in.... If it is correct, then the recall team's work is done.

But, this has been a fun read..

kcarson as the bitter old professor.mistalee as the village idiot.Chad Snow as the petulant novice.

Good stuff.

Harry Wisencraker
Harry Wisencraker

Alphonse Capone was sent to prison on Tax Evasion charges even though it was widely know he was a murdering racketeer who had a good portion of Chicago by the balls. Both the Joe Arpiao (aka: Sheriff of "What-a-ham") and Russell Pearce (aka: RustyP/Morman Kahdaffy (yeah I stole that one from the Republic, so sue me!)) both have an Elephant Shit sized pile (yeah a good healthy one too, probably lots of fiber) of evidence against them and it's going to be a simple little detail that will bring them to their knees. I love it, Karma can be a REAL BALL-BUSTER sometimes!

Harry Wisencraker Jr.
Harry Wisencraker Jr.

Just ask Alphonse about that particular Karma, while his balls weren't literally busted, he contracted venereal disease. I believe he was released early because his brains had turned to mush. Breath a sigh of relief, the politicians in question are older and have a substantial head start on the whole brains/mush thing so they shouldn't have to be incarcerated too many years on the public dole. The whole climatic payoff will be, of course, watching the pair (Joe and Rusty) running (hand in hand or in handcuffs, don't matter) thru the gantlet of shame as they are escorted from their respective offices.

Mistalee
Mistalee

A trivial (or perhaps not so trivial) fact about RobbRobb.

Before taking his current position as a "journalist," Robb was a [staunchly Republican, nativist] lobbyist who worked with Chuck Coughlin, Pearce's current lobbyist. The firm in which Robb was a partner, Nelson, Ralston, Robb, successfully campaigned for prop 106, the nativist "English Only" measure.

Robb's journalistic objectivity is absolutely nil, nada, zip. And it's no great surprise that he pulled straight from his right-wing ass a preposterous argument against the recall.

hotrodl
hotrodl

I stopped reading or listening to Robb's insane crap years ago, and I always felt he was nothing more than a whore for the Republican wacko's. Then it dawned on me....He's got to be a mormon. That would answer all the questions.

Concerned Citizen
Concerned Citizen

M, Thanks for filling in the jigsaw puzzle. It makes sense now. Time to hear some other voices on Horizon and where the same ole, same ole appear over and over ad nauseum.

Kcarson
Kcarson

"If you can't answer a man's arguments, all is not lost; you can still call him vile names.” Elbert Hubbard

You needn't descend into the land of Hayworth and Pearce by resorting to name calling. Nor are your blanket declarations, void of argument or reason, effective in defeating Robb.

Fear not, I am here to help you.

Robb's major premise is persuasive on its face: it is an abuse of the political process to recall an elected official who is acting exactly like the voters who elected him expected. This argument has legs. In America we don't undo elections simply because we don't like the color of shirt a man or woman is wearing. Only a fool argues otherwise.

We use recall in extreme situations, and Pearce is too extreme for LD18.

Where Robb's argument fails is that Pearce is not behaving like the man he campaigned to be.

Pearce did not campaign on being a failed leader.

Pearce did not campaign on pushing unconstitutional legislation.

Pearce did not campaign on being divisive, caustic and generally unable to build consensus.

Pearce did not campaign on his becoming a national laughingstock.

Pearce did not campaign on putting his personal agenda ahead of the very real needs of LD18.

So, let's shelf the name-calling and the great-right-wing conspiracy tinfoil-hat theories.

Robb has his argument. We (you and I) disagree with it, and we can easily prove it wrong. In fact, we like it when he makes the argument, because it's like getting a softball pitch - easy to smack out of the ballpark.

However, as Lemons points out, the recall needs to be represented in the media in order to be heard smacking Robb around. For this reason, the recall needs to build better relations with the media and work diligently on getting its core argument repeated in each and every media report. (Hope that advice doesn't offend the thin-skinned who have whined they are tired of hearing from people who think they know how things should be done. ).

Mistalee
Mistalee

Don't be a douchebag. RobbRobb's history as a lobbyist for Arizona's extreme right wing is not a "conspiracy theory," it's a matter of documented fact. Chuck Coughlin, Pearce's current lobbyist, brags of his association with Robb when Robb was a lobbyist. The Phoenix New Times named Robb as being the lobbyist responsible for getting the onerous "English Only" proposition ramrodded through.

http://www.azhighground.com/?p...

Mistalee
Mistalee

Glad to help out. "Know thine enemy" is still good counsel.

FWIW, I have seen on any number of occasions journalists decide to cash in by jumping the fence and becoming PR men or PIOs. Didn't think much of them. But RobbRobb jumping the fence in the other direction from being a political lobbyist to covering the very people he used to lobby for, that stinks like a gutpile. "Journalistic objectivity?" Not happening here.

Concerned Citizen
Concerned Citizen

M. Thanks for sharing. Newcomers need to know who all these creeps are.

KCarson
KCarson

There's no need to resort to name-calling when the argument is so easily defeated by counter-argument. There's no need to try to discredit the messenger when the message he delivers is a slow-pitch softball that you can easily knock out of the ballpark.

I understand, when all you have is a hammer, the world looks like one big nail, but, seriously, you need to add some more tools to your intellectual arsenal.

Ainja
Ainja

I hope they recall Gallardo they jus tneed two thirds of senate vote, I used to like him , but now now. Those tweets were brutal that he is a cancerous tumor that needs to be removed(from the senate). Well I got a job because of e-verify. I was born in Arizona and do to our big overpopulation problem, it is hard getting a job. I am so happy i complained about a bank, now it is closing:) Nobody ever was in there(customers), while all the homeless were outside on the bus bench with agony in their eyes.

Linda
Linda

all republican lawmakers in arizona need to go down

63mlya
63mlya

Where where are you tonight, why did you leave me here all alone. I searched the world over and thought I found true love. You met another and PFFT you were gone. Lets face it were living in the show of HEE HAW.

Rcgaard
Rcgaard

new times , you are very wrong..this guy has tons of support, and arpiro....you need to get your facts straight.....we all know that new times supports illegals..

Mistalee
Mistalee

You know, just seeing the unending parade of inbred trailer trash with their undies in a wad over the Mexican "invasion" makes me long for the day when you sandbilly motherfuckers look around and realize you are a tiny minority and everyone else around you is black,brown, yellow or red.

The day will come soon.

Your time is over.

Kcarson
Kcarson

I'm sorry, is this supposed to be a race to see who can be the biggest racist?

Both you and Pearce disgust me.

Go troll elsewhere. Hateful, mean-spirited people like you only serve to drive a wedge between the undecided likely voters and the recall movement.

The goal is to win over the hearts and minds of those who have voted for Pearce in the past, not to mock them, thereby causing a re-entrenchment of his support.

Go troll elsewhere

Mistalee
Mistalee

Yeah, you're not a hater, you're all sunshine and little pink flowers.

Go fuck yourself.

Everyone knows you're a joke.

And you emphasize that fact when you post crap like this. Those who are hysterical haters of Hispanics will never cease supporting Pearce and people like him. Attempting to reason with and persuade them is a fool's errand. If you can't graciously ignore them, then publicly deride them, because their racist crap needs to be held up to ridicule.

Of course, you are a closet Pearce supporter, so we know you won't do that.

Kcarson
Kcarson

You think you can counter hate with more hate?

I have no problem fighting against Pearce and his racist kin while also fighting back the bigots on the other side of the retard-spectrum.

Go troll elsewhere, you're bad for the recall, bad for Arizona and bad for society in general.

Kcarson
Kcarson

You think you can counter hate with more hate?

I have no problem fighting against Pearce and his racist kin while also fighting back the bigots on the other side of the retard-spectrum.

Go troll elsewhere, you're bad for the recall, bad for Arizona and bad for society in general.

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

Amen, I'd rather live in a state full of immigrants than the peckerwoods who vote for Pearce and his cabal. On the whole, the immigrants are a better class of people.

Anon
Anon

Right on! Couldn't agree more. That was part of Arizona's charm which they've lost turning into the "hatred" state.

Bobby
Bobby

Dream on babe, the future of the uneniding parade of illegal aliens is ending. Right now, in state after state, the sandbillys(translation: legal American citizens) are taking care of the Mexican and indeed, illegal invasion of anyone that comes here without premission. How about that? Your dreams of conquest will soon be over. We like things American, we don't want a replay of Narco-State, your beloved ideal.

Mistalee
Mistalee

"Interestingly, Horizon reveals the collective, lemming-like mindset so common to the media "elite" — such as it is — locally."

Interestingly? Sounds deadly boring to me. Like so much of PBS and NPR. They were once at least a lukewarm alternative to the mainstream media, but they are so shit-scared that the Republicans will cut their funding that they are more like a washed out and passionless parody of the mainstream.

Bobby
Bobby

P.S. I mean, even the leftists on PBS and NPR need money to keep their racist anti-white scams going.

Bobby
Bobby

Your'e right their afraid, and with good reason. The tide is turning. The "money", for all your leftist goodies is dried up, I'm afraid. You'll have to look elsewhere to fund your bogus "programs,".Stealing the taxes from sandbillys and other hardworking people is over.

Mistalee
Mistalee

Oh, it's not over for those sandbillies. We're imposing a tax on methlabs and wifebeater tee shirts.

Guest23
Guest23

Heh, I see part of the problem is people like you that write things off by putting labels on them rather looking at realities that ae uncomfortable. I am from loer middle class roots, worked for my clothes and fun since I was in grade school, nothing ever handed to, found college stifling and explored and researched and sought out experts in fields of interest to me traveled north america and europe and found mark twains quote "Travel is fatal to prejudice , bigotry and narrow mindedness." To be quite true. Illegal imigrants are not the source of our problems with americans not having jobs, insurance rates and health care costs skyrocketing or violent crime.. it is a convenient scapegoat for those that don't want to accept reality and makes for buzzwords and catch phrases that inflame the masses. A secure border is not financially feasable or logically possible, issues that increase the disparity of wealth between the poor and wealthy are a major source of the problems we are experiencing, free enterprise does not solve the problems that govt programs have created due to greed, immigrant labor is necessary and no sound immigration policy has been implemented, selfishness is ia apart of the problem, laizess faire politics in some form maybe necessary but is not the complete answer. The govt needs to think a bit more creatively and not operate with kneejerk reactionary politics. Do I have all the answers.. no but it is obvious that the current two party system and political thinking is not working, religion and politics should be absolutely seperate and labeling people liberals or conservatives isn't accurate since the majority of americans are moderate and think liberally in some situations and conservatiive in others often depending on their exxperiences in the world and I think influenced by being a have or a have nots. We need to look at our past and see what has worked and what has not and quit repeating the same mistakes and swtching back and forth between democrat and republican ideals every two to four years is obviously not working. What combination of the party that holds the presidency, the ones that control congress and the senate has worked best or worse. If we look at the deficit we had a few million dollar surplas at the end of the clinton era and a trillion dollar deficit shortly thereafter, what caused it and how do we get back to that. Putting off decisions that need to have been implemented a decade or more ago when the baby boomer bubble was realized never took place and is now starting to cause problems and making future problems more obvious. New thinking is neceesary, continuing to bog ourselves down with political rivalries isn't working.. sacrifice is needed and the rich have to eventually realize that their financial sacrifices hurt less than those the poor and middle suffer.. I know this because I have alternately made a ton of money and lived quite well and also have lost a ton of money due to crime and a healthcare system that is broken and it is simply easier for a rich man to give up one vacation a year or a 3rd or 4th car or boat or plane than it is for a poor or middleclass citizen to choose between their health and paying the rent. Hard decisions and major change needs to take place but certain realities need to be considered and the way the people are manipulated by politics, big business and apathy with little common sense needs to stop. I am not sure how this will take place but the polarized political atmoshpere is not helping.

Mistalee
Mistalee

You know, I think a big part of the problem is people who don't get the concept of paragraphs.

Guest23
Guest23

I will point out once again, excuse the typos caused by my phones small keyboard and my big fingers and this blogging software not having a preview feature. Ideally I would write my response, spell check them. And cut and paste them but the android phones make it close to impossible to cut and paste between programs like my blackberry was able to.

azteach
azteach

I cannot believe how "slanted" this paper is....all a bunch of lib-tards who remind me too much of the hippies of the 60's....spoiled mid-class kids whose parents did everything for them, then they go to college and become these "progressives" and want the US to take care of EVERYONE...no war, but more welfare mentality.

Bobby
Bobby

Well your'e only lukewarm. The leftists of the 60's were really mild compared to these vile and dangerous bloodsuckers today. They mean to take it all. It ain't gonna happen, relax.

koffie
koffie

We must open our borders to all asians, africans, east europeans and anyone else who wants to enter the US. Otherwise they will file a descriminatio lawsuit against the US. They also just want to better their lives. Say 100,000,000 to 175,000,000 more people.

Ruby
Ruby

you keep coming here and you will sink the country that is your "golden egg". make your own country better and stop infiltrating the usa - we can't save the world. if you ruin our country, then where will you invade?

Usgovfail
Usgovfail

Keep up the good fight senator Pearce! We must protect our borders from invaders who seek to infiltrate the USA and exploit our welfare system and government. As for the cut little clock of how long have the Feds been investigating arpaio.....FUCK the worthless Feds, every single last one of them can lick my balls. Illegal is not a race, it is a crime. Come to the USA legally, or do not come at all.

James
James

Wow, you may enjoy the 3 way as the feds are licking your balls and you are taking one up the ass from your hero Pearce. Your other hero Arporkhole is going to be toast very soon. You are a fucking clown.

Sdlkjf
Sdlkjf

come to the US legally.......You mean like the white man did a few hundred years ago and invaded the US and slaughtered the Indians?

Mistalee
Mistalee

Or like we came to Iraq illegally and then Afghanistan illegally and then Libya.

Fitz
Fitz

WOW!! It would appear that any media outlet that doesn't agree with your position on the matter are a bunch of ignorant puppets......sounds like Fox News talking about the "liberal" media. Did the senator step on someones little toes??

Ruby
Ruby

only toes stepped on are "ILLEGAL TOES'.

 
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