Translation: Arizona's economy still is doing its impersonation of David Hasselhoff's career arc. But, then, you knew that already.

Given the Senate president's contempt for veracity, I find it very difficult to believe his contention on the Lawrence show and elsewhere that he knows nothing of the sham candidacy of Mesa resident Olivia Cortes.

According to paid petition gatherers for Cortes, who were soliciting signatures to put her name on the recall ballot at the main branch of the Mesa Public Library up until the deadline for submission to the secretary of state, the purpose of Cortes' candidacy is to "dilute" the anti-Pearce vote, siphoning it away from Pearce's nice-guy challenger Jerry Lewis, a Mesa Republican and educator.

Cortes, also a Republican, has been hiding out in her small Mesa apartment ever since her name was filed with the SOS as a possible candidate.

Other than an interview she did with me in August, she's effectively dodged the press, even as signs went up around Mesa with her campaign slogan, "Sí, Se Puede," borrowed cynically from the late César Chávez and the United Farm Workers of America.

In that e-mail interview, Cortes denied that she was a pro-Pearce plant, meant to dilute the vote. But that contradicts what paid petition-gatherers were telling me and other reporters, and when it came time for her nominating petitions to be submitted, Cortes didn't show up at the SOS' office.

Instead, it was Greg Western, a Pearce loyalist and chairman of the East Valley Tea Party. Mobbed by the press, Western denied that he had recruited Cortes, but he admitted that they just happened to be members of the same Mesa ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

A review of the petition-gatherers' signatures, and the signatures themselves, revealed numerous folks who are squarely in the Pearce camp, including Franklin B. Ross, the "plaintiff" in Pearce's unsuccessful lawsuit seeking to stop the recall, and Pearce's nephew Logan Pearce, among others.

Two GOP precinct committeemen from nearby LD 19, Dan Grimm and Pat Oldroyd, also circulated petitions for Cortes, though at a recent LD 19 meeting, they and other Pearce supporters spoke on behalf of a resolution condemning the recall and supporting Pearce.

As there was no quorum, the resolution did not go to a vote, but Oldroyd was outed at the meeting by Anson Clarkson, Jerry Lewis' campaign manager, who rose in opposition to the resolution, pointing out that Oldroyd actually had come to his door to solicit signatures for Cortes.

LD 19 chairman Wayne Gardner reacted in horror to the news.

"You did that, Pat?" he asked, interrupting Clarkson.

"I did that, Wayne!" Oldroyd shot back, like a character straight out of Harper Valley PTA.

Oldroyd also was heard to protest that what she'd done was not against the law.

"It's not illegal," Clarkson said after the exchange. "But I would question the ethics of someone [who] stands here and is for Russell Pearce — I'm okay with people being for Russell Pearce — but then attempting to game the political system . . . by trying to recruit a shill candidate."

Earlier in the meeting, Gardner read a statement from Republican LD 18 chair Dan Lovell, announcing that both he and the district Pearce was elected from were remaining neutral.

"If you want to help the Republican Party in LD18," Lovell wrote in an e-mail to Gardner and other GOP district chairs, "stay out of our elections in any official capacity."

Lovell further vowed he would not choose among "three Republicans."

I attended this meeting with Phoenix videographer Dennis Gilman, and some of the video has been posted to my blog. In one video, we confront Grimm about his work for the Cortes candidacy.

But when we tried to do the same with Oldroyd, we were blocked — by none other than the Senate president's brother, Justice of the Peace Lester Pearce.

Have Cortes and Senator Pearce ever met or talked? I have no idea. But it is clear that Cortes is a plant, supported by Pearce's followers and family members. Which makes it difficult to swallow Pearce's claims of ignorance.

Some are speculating that Pearce will at some point come out and ask Cortes to withdraw from the race, thus making himself seem an honorable man.

This, however, would be an empty gesture, as Cortes' name will remain on the ballot, and presumably her "Sí, Se Puede" signs will remain in place.

How can so many people who hold themselves up as righteous stoop so low? Well, as a friend of mine put it to me recently, they apparently believe in something called the "holy lie." If in the telling of such a lie, victory is secured for a cause deemed "right," then that lie is actually a wholesome, heavenly thing.

And if you buy this and reside in LD 18, maybe you'll vote to keep Pearce as your state senator. On the other hand, your conscience might have a salubrious effect, and you may decide that the "holy lie" still is a lie after all.

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35 comments
Dumoudan
Dumoudan

Here is the Holy Truth. A developers son in Scttosdale was killed by a vehicle that fled the scene. Guess where the driver of that vehicle came from and what his legal status in th US is?

Concerned Citizen
Concerned Citizen

“When fascism comes to America, it’ll be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross” — Sinclair Lewis

Jason
Jason

Pearce sure looks scared in that photo.

He's holding a microphone like a drunken sailor spewing his incoherent and useless babble. Too bad that with most people, what Pearce says goes in one ear and out the other.

Pearce's agenda is to try to rid us of the criminal illegals. While I sympathize with their situation, their solution does not help them. It makes their problem worse. Pearce's actions (the 5 BS immigration bills shot down earlier this year, 1070, etc.) do not mirror his words.

As for jobs, Pearce knows for fact that tax cuts for the corporations do not grow jobs. Taxes are low and yet national unemployment remains at 9.1% and Arizona's unemployment rate is 9.5%. Keep in mind that this is the same Pearce that refused to help the long-term unemployed by providing them with an extension of unemployment benefits. ("We think it's stupid", Senate Minority Whip Steve Montenegro says) ("I want to see immediate relief for businesses. We need jobs now." says Pearce.)

In terms of healthcare, Pearce and his Republican cronies slashed about $500 million from healthcare, and kicked about 200,000 needy people from AHCCCS. Given that more and more people are in desperate need of healthcare in this state, Pearce sure doesn't care about the citizens of Arizona.

In terms of education, Pearce claims to fight for education excellence, but when he's cutting $237 million from the education budget, you will get second-rate schools. Teachers workloads are much higher because of Pearce and his Republican buddies.

DES/CPS is so underfunded that Arizonans are calling for the termination of Director Clarence Carter. So far, about 6 or 8 kids have died or been seriously injured or maimed. Pearce and his Republican miscreants need to restore full funding back to DES/CPS, plus increase its funding so that CPS workers can actually do their jobs without children getting hurt or killed.

Pearce took $40,000 worth of trips from the Fiesta Bowl, and knew full well he had to disclose them. It was only when he was named in the Fiesta Bowl's report (remember Pearce saying he wanted to find those cancelled checks?) that Pearce came clean about it, and he again denied doing anything wrong. And he amended 10 years worth fo financial disclosure papers with the state.

Pearce has been fired from virtually every job he has ever held in public service. I wonder why? Pearce will be booted from the Senate, without a doubt.

Jason
Jason

I forgot to mention that Pearce is too mentally sick and corrupt to actually run an ethical campaign, so he has a sham candidate, whom he's presumably paying to siphon votes away from Lewis, to campaign for him.

Jason
Jason

Oh yeah, Pearce has loosened gun restrictions so much that any idiot with a valid drivers' license can get one. While I respect the 2nd Amendment, I also think some people should NOT have access to a weapon. Remember Jared Loughner, the Virginia Tech shooting, Columbine?

Follower_of_the_ONE
Follower_of_the_ONE

Evidently the ATF accepts the Mexican Cartel ID's, but only for fully automatic weapons. Anything with a photo.

bobunf
bobunf

Actually, I don't think the drivers' license has to be valid.

Kcarson
Kcarson

No surprise that Lester Pearce doesn't understand free speech and the importance of a independant press. The ignorant bastard couldn't even finish has associate's degree, yet he gets to play judge due to Arizona's backwater political process. Go sit in his court for a day, you'll quickly see he's out of his depth -- and just doesn't care.

teknik1200
teknik1200

I'll bet you he's an impartial judge, especially with folks whom he decides are "liberals".

Jewel in the desert
Jewel in the desert

Those of us who know Pearce well know how to tell when Pearce is lying.....his mouth is moving!.

What really concerns me is how otherwise decent people are crossing that line of lying and dishonesty to "save" their poor "Patriot" Pearce from what they perceive as evil, no good, leftist liberals. Many of them have been so indoctrinated that they truly believe the whole country is going to go to hell if Pearce loses. That's where the "holy lie" mentality comes to play. Pearce knows this and milks this for all it's worth.

Adrian Cruz
Adrian Cruz

I heard the show, Chad. I'm amazed that Lawrence was able to formulate a question while puffing Pearce's wrinkled wang the whole time. He looks and sounds like a washed up old nutsac with bad 1970's hair. No wonder his show is on late Sunday night.

Chad Snow
Chad Snow

Also, I was the first caller into the show that night. I asked Pearce why he can't just run on his record and has to fabricate complete lies about the organizers of the recall. After Lawrence hung up on me, Pearce went on to lie about Citizens for a Better Arizona as well. He has not one shred of evidence to back up anything about this being a left-wing plot of the DNC or MoveOn.org, but he'll keep spinning it that way to the idiots who support him. He lied the entire show about everything he was asked about.

Interestingly, I had an e-mail correspondence with Jay Lawrence and asked to go on his show to give opposing viewpoints, and he responded "I will be doing other shows with the Senator. You will be free to call in any time Russell is on the air with me." Nice journalism, Jay.

Chad Snow
Chad Snow

Active members of the LDS Church are charged to be "honest in our dealings with our fellow man". Pearce clearly falls short of this threshold, as do many of his supporters, including but not limited to: Ken Western, Olivia Cortes, Franklin Bruce Ross, Pat Oldroyd, etc. (not sure if that Grimm guy is LDS, but he falls very short of it too).

Someone on another post invented a new name for these dishonest folks: MINO's - Mormons in Name Only. They are frankly an embarrassment to my people, which is why many of the leaders of the recall as well as the Lewis campaign are LDS.

Yourproductsucks
Yourproductsucks

Actually, I am quite surprised and disappointed in this post of yours Chad. Judge not lest ye be judged? You still have yet to be honest to the public regarding your motivation to recall Pearce. You have aligned yourself with organizations and individuals ignoring their lack of integrity. You stand to gain monetarily because of your less than forthright attacks against Pearce and SB1070 ( which is at the root of what you are trying to erode.).

Politicians lie and are deceitful. This applies to all of them, not just Pearce. Unfortunately, it seems to apply to even those who share your faith. Stapley, Brock, even Harry Reid, all of them have been caught in lies. Your agenda against Pearce is self serving and hypocritical. Your ties to LaRaza, Galindo, Parraz and the bloggers of the New Times is very telling of your character. You are an attorney who supports those who fraudulently suck from the system.

You are the embarrassment. You are Lorenzo's Steve Benson.

bobunf
bobunf

If the cause of Pearce and his supporters is just, why do they have to lie to convince people?

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

Any untruthfulness is good for pearce. It doesn't have to be 'Holy'. ANY lie will do for pearce. He's finds it so much easier spewing manure than being truthful and factual. That would take effort.

Jewel in the desert
Jewel in the desert

I totally buy into your Holy Lie idea. I was very disheartened to find out that two of the tea-partiers who signed Cortes' petition were leaders in my ward when I was a teenager. I have always thought of them with high regards and respect. To see them take part in something that lacks any integrity or honesty is very disappointing. I doubt they normally treat honesty and integrity so lightly but somehow the end justified the means because they think they are fighting "evil". All I can do is hope one day "good" people will stop drinking the Kool-aid.

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

Jewel, they need to be held accountable. Your note shows that YOU care and employ ethics, honesty and integrity.

Name them. They signed the damn petition. They must be VERY proud to be a part of such scurrilous activity.

teknik1200
teknik1200

fake morality pretending to be self righteous.

they only care about winning and pushing their way, which is basically holding anyone that is not like themselves down.

VIMIIS
VIMIIS

Pearce and Jerry Lewis are going to have a debate in October. Cortes was invited to participate. Still no response from her. She must feel trapped. If she doesn't participate it won't look good for her being MIA and if she does participate what in the world is she going to say. I mean really, she isn't running to win. That's obvious.

Tina
Tina

"She isn't running to win."

The fact is, "she" isn't running at all. Her name is "running" which she gave or sold to scurrilous people in order to defraud as many of LD 18's 68,000 registered voters as can be lured into their unconscionable and dishonorable scheme -- to hoodwink as many voters as possible.

Coz
Coz

Pearce has long lost any the ability to tell the truth about anything.

He lies so much he actually believes he's telling the truth. I believe they call that a pathological liar.

Sick, sick man Pearce is.

Hock
Hock

The real problem is these tactics work.

Conservative American
Conservative American

Pearce is a sack of slime. His enablers are worse, they have no problem supporting a racist, nazi rallying, wife beating, bribe..er gift accepting dirty politician. Why? Because they hate them messicans!

Krromwildcat
Krromwildcat

Sorry, Stephen; I'll have to brush up on my Nietzsche. The only times I've heard the term "Holy Lie" were in conjunction with the term "bleeding the beast," a philosophy in which Jeffs' group (and others) are well-schooled. In Colorado City, they learned not only how to game the welfare system, but also the school-financing system. Thus, the track I went down.

Keep up the good work on Pearce and his psuedo-Hispanic alt, Cortes. After all, Pearce's actions in this recall (and those of his family and friends) will never be investigated by any state agency. When the recall election is finally over, we might see a small article in the Republic, but I doubt it. About all we have to forward to are your exposes (Sorry, can't get the accent in).

StephenLemons
StephenLemons

Thanks, Krromwildcat. Much appreciated. I wouldn't want anyone to think I'm anti-Mormon, or anti-any religion, actually. I'm not religious myself. But for others, like John Lennon said, "whatever gets you through the night..."

Krromwildcat
Krromwildcat

"Holy Lie"?? Who is the "they" Stephen? Sounds like something Krakauer made up in his book. Even you should know better than to try to cross-pollinate mainstream LDS folk with the goofy crap that Jeffs and his ilk have pulled off since the 1920s. You do the Jerry Lewis supporters a disservice with such a large brush of tar. There are enough anti-mormon folk out there already who can do that for you--they live for that shit.

Pearce sucks and most LDS people not living in LD18 don't support him. Pearce is a bitter old man with Napoleon complex stuck in 1959. Throw in Joke Arpaio, Jabba the Hendy (and the rest of the ironically named MCSO Command Staff), Horne, and Brewer and you have a giant vortex of suck created by idiot voters. It is ruining my state (and has been ruining it) for far too long. Since the feds aren't going to do anything about the Flaccid Fool, (and no state agency will investigate Pearce's shill candidate, Cortes), the ballot can't get here quick enough. I just wish I could vote in LD18.

StephenLemons
StephenLemons

The "they" refers to Pearce supporters who collect signatures for Cortes and put her forth as a legitimate candidate. I was not referring to anyone's religion. That term "holy lie" was actually first used by Nietzsche in condemning the hypocrisy of mainstream Christianity. In this case, the righteous cause these folks believe in is Russell Pearce. Pearce happens to be LDS, but so are many of those currently fighting against him, including his main rival Jerry Lewis.

Finally, I never mentioned or made any reference to Warren Jeffs, so I don't quite follow you here. I agree with you that the FLDS does not reflect or have anything to do with the LDS church. But this is, of course, way off topic.

yourproductsucks
yourproductsucks

I get the anger and frustration with Cortes. Were you equally as frustrated and angered when the Dem's planted a shill Republican Candidate for the same purpose of diluting the vote? Were you Ste(ph)en?

Guest23
Guest23

I wasn't aware of this and don't recall reading about it in the news. Do you have any sources or is this more empty rhetoric I am coming to know you by lately? And please if you do grace us with actual sources please include one that isn't fox news or some other propagandist rightwing rag.

Yourproductsucks
Yourproductsucks

The evidence is out there and I am under no obligation to provide your lazy ass a link to it. Ignore it if it serves your purposes.

JesusHChrist
JesusHChrist

I'm Yourproductsuxdonkey, and I'm allowed to make unsubstantiated claims, and when challenged, tell you to go fuck yourself instead of offering evidence of my dumbass assertions.

Why? Because I have no evidence. I'm just pulling it all out of my shitty Tea Party ass.

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

Aren't all republicon candidates shills? They shill for the corporations, for the racists, for the war-mongers, for the phoney Christians, and most of all, for anybody they can sell their vote to.

 
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