By Ray Stern
By Ray Stern
By New Times
By Amy Silverman
By Stephen Lemons
By Stephen Lemons
By Monica Alonzo
By Chris Parker
"We have about 10,000 people in our database [who] are going to vote against Russell Pearce. Whoever the candidate is. We've got 10,000 votes banked."
That's because the recall effort was validating the signatures up until about the 10,000 mark, according to Parraz. Knowing it had more than the 7,756 signatures required under state law to force a recall, the rest was gravy.
Actually, Pearce rarely campaigns on his home turf and takes it for granted each election cycle that LD18 voters will march in lockstep behind him.
In the 2010 general election, 17,552 did just that. But relatively unknown Democratic and Libertarian candidates together pulled 13,471. Do the math. Pearce won by a mere 4,081 votes.
So Pearce can be beaten.
Probably not by a Dem. But a conservative Republican who is not a full-on nutcase could do the job.
I give Sunnucks credit for pointing out that Pearce is vulnerable, even if he thinks the pal of a neo-Nazi ("The Company He Kept," December 16) will prevail ultimately. And he correctly noted that the recall effort has hobbled possible Pearce runs for either the U.S. House of Representatives or Senate.
But none of these bozos seemed to grok that this handicapping of Pearce is, in and of itself, a major accomplishment.
Pearce obviously believes he's at risk in his own district. His recent lies concerning the recall effort offer ample evidence that once the signatures were turned over to the Secretary of State, he knew he had a donnybrook on his hands.
In press releases and appearances on national news shows, Pearce refers to the recall folks as "a group of outsiders" and "extreme leftist anarchists." Neither is true.
Citizens for a Better Arizona chairman Chad Snow is a registered Republican and a Mormon, to boot. (LD18 is heavily Mormon.) He has dwelled in Arizona all his life and attended law school at Arizona State University.
Parraz ran for the U.S. Senate in the 2010 Democratic primary. He's lived in Sand Land on and off, from 2002 to 2004 and then from 2007 to present.
Fox 10 recently ran an excellent segment on a press conference at recall headquarters in Mesa. Individual after individual testified that they were LD18 residents and supported the drive to oust Pearce.
One of these was Liana Clarkson, a Mesa Public Schools teacher and a lifelong Republican who has donated money to GOPers such as U.S. Senator John McCain and Congressman Jeff Flake. Clarkson stated that as the grandmother of 26, "there's no time for leftist anarchy in my life."
What about the thousands of registered LD18 voters who inked the petitions? Are they "anarchists" and "outsiders," as well? Moreover, what sort of "anarchist" worthy of the name works hand-in-hand with government officials at the Secretary of State's Office to make certain that the letter of the law regarding recalls is being followed?
Pearce knows he's in trouble. But instead of doing town halls and trying to shore up his base, he's spending time raising money from out-of-state interests. You know, those "outsiders" he claims are trying to mess things up.
A hastily formed anti-recall committee, Citizens Who Oppose the Pearce Recall, is now active, and Pearce has been pimping its website in the national media and in e-mail blasts.
By contrast, Parraz tells me that almost all the $30,000-plus collected by the recall effort was from inside Arizona. He said 93 percent of online donations and most of the checks received were from locals.
Of the 18,315 signatures Parraz and his cohorts submitted to the Secretary of State's Office, 16,949 were forwarded on the Maricopa County Recorder's Office, which will now verify each John Hancock. Parraz believes some petition sheets were wrongly tossed by the SOS, and he plans to take this up with the state office.
Still, even the clown table doesn't doubt that Parraz has the signatures needed. A recall election now is a foregone conclusion. It wasn't in late January, when the Phoenix media corps barely knew a Pearce recall had begun.
That's why Lisa Hauser, the anti-recall committee's lawyer, has been killing trees writing letters to State Elections Director Amy Bjelland, trying to throw a wrench into the process.
Hauser complained that the recall effort had violated campaign-finance laws by not notifying the SOS when it went over $10,000 in contributions.
Incorrect, Bjelland shot back. The statute Hauser cited does not apply to recalls. Bjelland, by the way, is a Republican.
Bjelland also informed Hauser that recall and anti-recall committees cannot accept donations from unions or corporations.
Hauser wrote back that the anti-recall committee will "urge all potential contributors" that they are free to exercise their "constitutional rights."
What constitutional right would that be? To break the law? Talk about anarchists.
Such shenanigans are to be expected from the Pearce camp.
Local media nudniks have zero excuses for going to bat for Pearce, however. Not that Simons is the only one. Editorials in the Arizona Capitol Times and in the Arizona Republic have been dishing Pearce's balderdash as well.