Lawyer Tom Ryan Attempts a Hail Mary Legal Pass to Boot a Fraudulent Candidate Off the Recall Ballot

Politics is an inherently dishonest profession. By contrast, most religions, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints specifically, mandate that adherents be honest in all dealings with their fellow men and women.

So perhaps it's no great revelation that mass schizophrenia has taken hold of the deeply Mormon, deeply conservative city of Mesa, where the recall of state Senate President Russell Pearce has pitted the natural duplicity of politics against the dictates of the LDS faith.

In Legislative District 18, this conflict is embodied by Olivia Cortes, the so-called "sham" recall candidate placed on the November 8 ballot through the efforts of Pearce's friends, family members, and supporters.

The Cortes campaign's sole purpose, in the words of one of her paid petition circulators, is to "dilute" the vote, sucking support away from Pearce's main challenger, Mesa educator and former CPA Jerry Lewis.

Thus, Cortes' candidacy is a dishonest one, which is highly ironic given that, according to my sources, she was recruited to run by a fellow LDS worshipper in the Mesa ward she attends, East Valley Tea Party chairman Greg Western.

(Note: Both Pearce and Lewis also are LDS, as you probably know already.)

Western, a Pearce devotee, has denied that he recruited Cortes to run, yet he admits to assisting her campaign, and he even had the gall to turn in Cortes' nominating petition sheets to the Arizona Secretary of State.

Cortes has confined herself to her small, modest Mesa abode with a rigor that reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes might have admired, particularly since Cortes, a retired semiconductor worker, lives with her sister and an aged, infirm man some have identified as her brother.

By remaining hidden and dodging the press and members of the public who've shown up at her door, she continues to bolster the grand sham that she is a legitimate candidate.

On one of my recent excursions to Casa Cortes, treks that many newshounds have now mimicked (to my great delight), I spoke with some neighbors and acquaintances.

One gentleman, whose son lives next door to Cortes, offered that she is a "quiet" woman who is getting taken advantage of by the Pearce camp. Two women who live nearby described her as "goofy," saying that she has taken to parking a block away from her residence and rarely going out.

But unless she is mentally deranged or has suffered severe brain injury, I'm not giving her a pass. Though by all accounts she's never been politically active, her cynical campaign signs have boasted the activist slogan "Sí, Se Puede," and a website and press releases in her name have made statements at variance with the truth.

The assertion on her website that she's paying for her campaign seems, well, laughable. Did she pay for the signature-gathering company Petition Pros out of her Social Security check? Ditto her campaign signs and the web design of www.oliviacortes.com?

Sorry, but I doubt she's even had a say in the press releases sent out under her name. One, published on the far right-wing Sonoran Alliance blog, bears the imprint of a seasoned dissembler. In the release, Cortes plays the race card, accusing those questioning her campaign of "racism."

This, when she is supported by followers and family members of the most bald-faced anti-Latino bigot in Arizona history. César Chávez must be doing cartwheels in his grave.

"I gathered and submitted more than 1,000 signatures of people who believe in me," Cortes is quoted as saying in the release. "I earned the right to be on the ballot, and I intend to win. Latinos everywhere should be outraged; we deserve to be represented, and I intend to bring the Latino voice to the Arizona Senate."

Latinos everywhere should be outraged, all right — but at Cortes' participation in this ongoing deceit, not at those who have unveiled the illegitimacy of her candidacy.

Cortes did solicit signatures — and scored 20, by my count. That's far fewer than garnered by Pearce's nieces Shilo Sessions and Megan Sirrine, who also pimped petitions for Cortes. Sirrine netted 24. Sessions got 62.

And, as mentioned, Western submitted Cortes' signatures, not Cortes.

But there may be more than mere falsehood and evasion at work in Cortes' campaign. There may be lawbreaking, as well.

As elections law attorney Tom Ryan suggests in his recent lawsuit against Cortes, seeking to have her thrown off the ballot, the shenanigans Cortes and her backers are involved in could constitute a class-five felony.

Ryan cites Arizona Revised Statute 16-1006, which makes it unlawful for a person "knowingly by . . . any corrupt means, either directly or directly . . . to defraud an elector by deceiving and causing him to vote for a different person for an office or for a different measure than he intended or desired to vote for."

This statute is intended to "secure the purity of elections and guard against abuses of the elective franchise," states Article VII, Section 12 of the Arizona Constitution.

There is case law to back up Ryan's complaint. In 1959, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled in Griffin vs. Buzard that a case involving a sham primary candidate for the Arizona Corporation Commission could proceed to trial, even though both the primary and general election had taken place.

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48 comments
Darwin3988
Darwin3988

There is no morality left with these scumbags. Voters aren't too smart in this state (an understatement).

Guest714
Guest714

I GUESS THE COMMIE LEFTIES DO NOT LIKE Arizona’s illegal immigration bill SB 1070

Sweettime398
Sweettime398

Arizona Redumblican Ghouls, the best day for us will be when we have this Shithole (Arizona) in our rear view mirrors for the last time ...

Johndo398
Johndo398

To the edge of the cliff the Redumblican ghouls take us ...

LiberalSmasher
LiberalSmasher

Some extremists are targeting my favorite Arizona legislator, Senate President Russell Pearce, because he sponsored Arizona’s illegal immigration bill SB 1070. Deep pockets on the left are funding a recall effort against him. A more liberal candidate, Jerry Lewis, has been found to run against Pearce in the recall election. A third candidate, Olivia Cortes, has also turned in enough signatures to qualify for the ballot. The recall effort is not really surprising, considering Pearce has become one of the leading mainstream figures in the country opposing illegal immigration. The left sees him as a real threat because he is also personable and well-liked. Even some of his colleagues on the far left like him, such as Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, who is so liberal she once received the Vladimir I. Lenin award from the Arizona Federation of Taxpayers. The recall signatures were collected by a shadowy organization calling itself “Citizens for a Better Arizona.” Its website “About Us” page does not include a single real name, only a vague description. The recall organizer is Randy Parraz, a labor organizer who ran the Arizona AFL-CIO a few years ago and who also worked for the national AFL-CIO for eight years. According to the Huffington Post, “In the fall of 2007, Randy returned to Arizona and began work in the housing industry as a political organizer for the Laborers’ International Union of North America.” Parraz has also worked as a community organizer with Dallas Area Interfaith, an affiliate of the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF) founded by none other than Saul Alinsky. Parraz started the Student Institute for Social Change, a left wing organization. He ran as a Democrat against Senator John McCain in 2010 and finished last in the race. He co-founded the innocuous sounding “Maricopa Citizens for Safety and Accountability,” which appears to exist solely to bash Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Parraz was arrested in 2008 for disorderly conduct and criminal trespassing due to his conduct protesting Sheriff Arpaio. Afterwards, he turned around and sued the county for $500,000. He cites the Marxist book “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” as one of his favorite books. Since Pearce is Mormon and represents a heavily Mormon populated district, the left purposely sought out a Mormon candidate to run against him. Parraz brazenly admitted to the Arizona Republic that he wanted to find a Mormon who was a Republican to challenge Pearce. Parraz admits the recall isn’t motivated by Latinos angry about SB 1070, stating that most of his volunteers are “white people over the age of 50,” and that most of the people who signed the recall petitions were over age 50. This reveals what most conservatives have suspected all along; the opposition is mostly coming from white, aging hippies. The main candidate being set up to run against Pearce, Jerry Lewis, is careful not to sound too liberal and claims that he is a Republican. But if what he writes on his website is examined closely, it is clear he is no conservative. On the Issues page of his website, he reveals his big government side, “Certainly hard economic times demand that we all tighten our belts and eliminate non-essential spending in an informed manner. However we must not be hostile to local governments in doing so.” Lewis does not take a conservative position on illegal immigration, and uses the language that many open borders proponents use. He writes on his website, “While the federal government fulfills its responsibility to secure the border, I support a rational and fair solution for dealing with immigrants who have committed no crime other than being here without proper documentation. Reasonable, enforceable and sustainable immigration reform must be guided by principles of maintaining national security, respecting all humanity, preserving families, enforcing the rule of law, and weighing economic impact.” He goes on to say that it is the federal government’s responsibility and that we need to move beyond “polarizing, contentious and fear-based rhetoric.” The problem with saying it is the federal government’s responsibility is that the federal government has abdicated its duties in this area. States like Arizona which have the highest rates of illegal immigration in the country have been forced to step up and fill in the void with laws like SB 1070. The left is using classic Saul Alinsky tactics to demonize and smear Pearce. This is no coincidence considering Parraz’s association with Alinsky’s IAF. Those defending Pearce have been viciously attacked online. The left brings up red herrings in order to discredit Pearce, such as diverting attention to whether his campaign signs were improper and threatening lawsuits over it. Pearce is not the only conservative politician in Arizona being attacked for combating illegal immigration with Alinsky tactics. Sheriff Joe Arpaio is constantly under attacks taking the form of investigations and lawsuits, which are trumpeted in the media nonstop, even though most of them never go anywhere. The Arizona State Bar is trying to disbar former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas, known for his aggressive efforts fighting crime-related illegal immigration. The Maricopa County Republican Party Executive Guidance Committee issued a resolution this month denouncing the Bar’s prosecution, calling it a political witchhunt. The left’s Alinsky strategy to ruin the reputation of conservative politicians against whom they have no real case is to use innuendos. The left-leaning media assists them by making groundless lawsuits front page news and relegating their dismissals to the obituary pages. The left then sues Arizona government claiming abuse from these politicians, demanding millions of dollars from taxpayers, which gets spun in the media as the conservative politicians’ fault for wasting money. Only 7,756 signatures were required to force a recall election, something that was easily accomplished by the paid signature-gathering company. Pearce’s supporters allege that some of the signatures were fraudulent and filed a lawsuit to stop the recall election. The Arizona Supreme Court will consider the challenge this week on September 13. The election is November 8, although early ballots go out October 15 and voters in a race with candidates this starkly different tend to vote right after receiving their ballots. Even if Arizona voters are not thrilled with Pearce for whatever reason, they are not going to turn instead to someone considerably more liberal who was helped into office by the radical left. Pearce is not an “extremist” on the right as the left is trying to portray him. For example, Pearce does not advocate for laws requiring the rounding up and deporting of all illegal immigrants, something that might be considered a more radical position on the right. Despite their deep pockets and Alinsky tactics, it will be tough for the left to defeat Pearce. He easily won election in 2010, and has won elections in his district 16 times. He beat off a challenge recently by Rep. Jeff Flake’s brother-in-law with a 2-to-1 margin. Pearce’s district, located primarily in Mesa, is safely Republican, with 26,000 Republicans, 21,000 Independents and only 18,500 Democrats. No Arizona legislator has ever been successfully recalled. The presence of a third candidate on the ballot will take votes away from Lewis. Pearce has powerful supporters including former Congressman Tom Tancredo and Bay Buchanan, who served as U.S. Treasurer under President Reagan. They haveformed a Committee to Oppose the Recall of Russell Pearce. A Mesa school bond vote that was scheduled to be on the November ballot with Pearce was shelved, reportedly over fear the election would bring out more conservatives to vote for Pearce who would not normally show up to vote against the bonds. Nationwide, 60% of voters support SB 1070. That number is even higher even Arizona, where 70% of voters support SB 1070. One of the principles Pearce always emphasizes is the rule of law. Arizona voters in his district know that selectively not enforcing the law against certain preferred groups of people leads to chaos.

ExpertShot
ExpertShot

I hope Jerry Lewis reads this. It is my humble opinion that at this point in the game, prior to the general recall ballots being printed, that Mr. Lewis should remove his name from consideration and allow Ms. Cortes the honor of defeating Senator Pearce. I haven't got any information about the makeup of LD18 but I'm guessing that the majority of LIKELY republican voters will be conservative, white mormons. While a slim majority may be pissed off at Pearce enough to vote for another candidate, they probably won't be interested in voting for a Latino, republican mormon or whatever. However, the LIKELY democratic voters in that LD18 may be VERY likely to vote for a latino woman - irregardless of party. I would like to see an analysis of the registrered voters in that district. It might just be the time to energize the democratic voters in LD18 to take a stand. Regardless of whether Lewis, Pearce or Cortes gets elected, a republican, a CONSERVATIVE republican will be representing that district. On the other hand, I don't think Cortes is politically savvy enough to actually know what she is, conservative or liberal. I do know however, that she is an independent republican. Now the strategy here is simple, the Judge has allowed Cortes to remain on the ballot because she did not appear to him to be "faking" it. She may have been roped into this for odd reasons but they were other people's reasons, not her reasons. I think she is sincere. HOWEVER, if she were to withdraw her name after Lewis does, I believe that the Judge who granted her to stay on the ballot would quickly decide (after a motion to revisit his decision was filed) that she in fact WAS intending only to support Pearce by splitting the vote, that the election was therefore contaminated by Pearce and cancel the special recall election. I'm guessing the Judge would reschedule the recall election and all Lewis to be reinstated as a candidate.

In any case, whether Cortes is a sham or not, the decision by the Judge to allow Cortes to remain on the ballot has made that issue moot. Cortes is a candidate and will split the democratic vote for Pearce. The more people in the republican party try to villify her in the frantic desire to support Lewis, the more the democrats who will vote will consider voting for her. Right now, she's gotten more media coverage than any other candidate and her name recognition is through the roof.

It's the only way we can get rid of Pearce as Senate President folks. Sorry, but put aside your emotions for a short while and look at this situation factually. Pearce is likely to win if the democratic and republican (remember this is an open election to both parties) vote is split.

As for democrats, the silver lining is that this could be a chance for them to energize the democratic voters in that district LD18 and get ready to elect a democrat at the next general election. Especially after redistricting makes all the districts in the State competitive among the parties.

Dumoudan
Dumoudan

Ask a Mexican when he / she plans to return to Mexico to legally apply for a work visa to legally enter the US?Where in Mexico is Nicky Diaz Santillan? She was deported right?

Concerned Citizen
Concerned Citizen

Message to Pearce and Cortez, if you truly care about Arizona instead of yourselves, please resign. The taxpayers and citizens have had enough of your tyranny wrapped in an American flag deceiving the public.

Kpegjer94
Kpegjer94

MY GOD whats wrong in Arizona ?????A senate president that thinks he can rig an election by using aids and supporters so he can say ....." not me I wasn`t involved " and a corrupt sheriff that gets on television and thinks he is able to go toe to toe with the President of The United States .. ARPAIO IS NOTHING BUT EX DEA AGENT THAT WAS POLITICALLY PLACED IN HIS PRESENT JOB ..........HE IS NOT A SHERIFF.............

Jason
Jason

Pearce is still too mentally sick and corrupt to actually run an ethical campaign, because he knows he's shit outta luck and will be booted come November 8th, so he announces a plant, Cortes.

Cortes has also been drinking the Pearce family Kool-Aid, as she has hidden from the general public for weeks. The only reason her sorry ass was in court Thursday to try to convince Judge Burke to keep her on the ballot, which I highly suspect Burke will not do.

As a result of Pearce's corruption and malfeasance in office, the people of LD18 want Jerry Lewis elected LD18 Senator. Lewis brings a breeze of fresh air to politics, especially Republican politics.

As I've said previously, at this point in the recall election, it would behoove Cortes and Pearce to simply concede to Lewis. Cortes is a sham, and we all know it, and Pearce is again too mentally sick and corrupt to actually run an ethical campaign, and we all know it.

Guest
Guest

I have no idea what "the law" has to do with anything in Arizona anymore. From Arpaio to Thomas to blah blah blah, it's pretty clear that whoever gets the most votes out in Sun City can do whatever he/she wants to do, "law" be damned. Want to beat up/kill prisoners? G'head - Maricopa County will just pay the bill later, if/when somebody sues. Want to arrest reporters and editors for nothing at all? G'head. On your worst day, a panel of Bush appointees in the 9th Circuit's got your back, if things get that far. Feel like running a sham candidate? Go for it. What the hell -- it'll probably work (remember the MLK holiday's second sham "yes" option?), and nobody's going to jail, no matter what happens. Let's say you're Fife Symington, for another example. Feel the need to defraud your bank's directors and cadge up a few dollars for your bullshit idiotic sure-to-go-bankrupt development? Let 'er rip -- you'll keep the money (as if you needed it with a sugar momma anyway), and even if you're convicted, somebody'll pardon you down the line someplace, and in the meantime, you can start up a shadowy shell corporation to get some publicly-funded "consulting" work, and your Ratpublican bros will take care of you.

Paaaa-thetic.

Tina
Tina

I assume everybody has heard the latest, the announcement made late Wednesday by Olivia Cortes' handlers, just hours before Thursday's 9:30 a.m. Superior Court hearing/proceedings concerning her sham candidacy.

So what's the announcement? That the recluse Cortes will make her public debut and participate in the candidates' forum next Thursday, Oct. 6.....although the deadline for responding to the invitation was a week ago. Talk about insult to injury. Just keep jacking the voters around, changing the O.C. story daily. The timing for this latest charade is so obvious: to try and hoodwink the judge at the last minute into disbelieving that the only purpose for her candidacy from the scheme's inception is to siphon anti-Pearce votes from Lewis so Pearce will win.

What's the story going to be tomorrow?

teobuneo
teobuneo

Wow, looks like the Horne dog is setting himself up for a recall or impeachment on charges of malfeasance. The man is unfit for and should be ineligible to hold any public office after his SEC conviction for fraud. Why is he being allowed to pretend to be Arizona's Attorney General?

Coz
Coz

Nope, Horn is worthless.

>>Will Horne's office look into the Cortes affair?

Coz
Coz

Pearce must have missed that sermon.

>> most religions, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints specifically, mandate that adherents be honest in all dealings with their fellow men and women.

Veritas Vincit
Veritas Vincit

Anyone who can't see through this sham candidate is delusional. But Pearce's cadre is made up of delusional folk, they have no problem with this, they have no problem with J.T. Ready and the nazis, they have no problem with the allegations of wife beating, they have no problem with Lester Pearce threatening people with Lewis signs.

Time for Russell Pearce to be voted out and shamed!

Elaine Downie
Elaine Downie

pollities is not for the faint of heart. You have to learn to lie with a smile on your face. Nothing will upset you, because you will answer no questions. Sounds like not again. O ! another election on false words. Do you have mirrors ? Do you sleep at night? Do you want the Grands to take after your example??

r

Adrian Cruz
Adrian Cruz

Note that neither Greg Western, Olivia Cortes, or Russell Pearce has ever been entrusted with a position of leadership in the LDS Church, which has a completely lay clergy (drawn from the membership). Jerry Lewis, on the other hand, was a stake president (leader of a collection of several congregations) for 10 years and served a 2 year mission for the Church. The former do not represent the values of the Church, the latter does.

Oblivious Cortex
Oblivious Cortex

So, let me make sure I understand the Law According to Tom Horne. Michael Jackson's family has filed a civil suit against Dr. Conrad Murray. Therefore, there is really no need for the criminal trial, now underway, in which Dr. Murray is charged with involuntary manslaughter. "Appears it is being handled in a civil action," is what Tom Horne would say.

Dumoudan
Dumoudan

All Illegal aliens should be allowed to apply for work permits but only while they are outside the United States in their home countries. This type of program (guest workers) has worked very well for many years in economically successful places such as Switzerland, Singapore to name a few. Once their work visa expires they must immediately leave the country. If the females become prgnant, they are immediately returned to their home country. commit any violation of ANY law (even "J" walking) and they are deported. If they attempt to re-enter the US illegaly, they are automatically placed on a list of permanently banned from entry into the US. Are you with us?Just enforce the Immigration Laws and treat all people who want to enter the US fairly. Don't show preference to those that entered illegally. Justice for all?

Phonse65
Phonse65

How can anyone who caught Pearce's news snippets, conclude that he is other than a disgrace to both the State and its' Senate? When his own family and supporters pushed petitions for the sham candidate, how can he grin and claim that he has no idea about what is going on? He either believes that District 18 voters are ignorant; or he has convinced himself that they are!

Dogbiter
Dogbiter

Lemons, thanks for being all over this travesty. If it weren't for New Times, we'd never find out the truth about the likes of Russell Pearce. What a scumbag!

Mel
Mel

Keep up the great work NT!! I am very proud of you

Rick
Rick

The Republican political cabal will always take care of their own, irregardless of how many laws are broken or religious teachings are violated. The pursuit of power has a greater influence over the affairs of Arizona than the teachings of Jesus.

out with the fat ass
out with the fat ass

Bottom line is pearce is nothing more than a corn laced turd. Rotten to the core like every other self serving politician. What a disgrace to the human race.

Dogbiter
Dogbiter

You are a complete dumbass! Sad that people like you are allowed to cast votes. You poor, pathetic nitwit.

Tom in LD18
Tom in LD18

Sounds like the Pearce camp has already pulled the wool firmly over your eyes! Lewis is actively campaigning and courting all types of voters. Cortes will get 500 or so votes from uninformed voters or people stupid enough to fall for the sham.

Shocked
Shocked

next? Tome Horne strangles 7 year old black boy for not calling him Sir.

Phil
Phil

This entire episode reminds me of the mafioso type of organization; scary that from all of the details that are coming out, some people in his, RP', camp are willing to do jail time to keep him in office and push an agenda. This is truely a frighting prospect. AZ politics has become a blaytent corrupt and bias system. I want to thank you Tina for insightful posts on this subject by the way, your hard work has not gone unnoticed. As an American and Arizonan I salute you!

Kpegjer94
Kpegjer94

now come on .......you already know the answer ................CORRUPT ARIZONA POLITICITS AT ITS BEST

Shocked
Shocked

AG office investigating fraud? In this state? Horne is too busy creating new Jim Crow Laws to keep Latinos from voting, banning ethnic studies and controlling the redistricting meeting. We elected a man who was convict of fraud and disbarred from holding office for life by and for the SEC. Do we expect this man to uphold the laws?

Jason
Jason

Horne simply cries conflict of interest when he doesn't want to get off his lazy ass and actually investigate matters that he has legal and ethical obligations to investigate.

Tina
Tina

Horne himself would have to declare a conflict of interest since he was one of nine Republican politicians featured on the first anti-recall ad we got from the Pearce campaign committee a few months ago. It includes Horne's photo and a quote by Horne endorsing Pearce.

Jason
Jason

Pearce was too busy attending the "throw shit at the wall and see what sticks" seminar at the JFK School of Government at Harvard with Candy Andy and Horne. THAT'S why he missed that sermon...

Conservative American
Conservative American

They also mandate that you wear silly secret underwear...for what that is worth...

Yourproductsucks
Yourproductsucks

Position within the Church does not measure one's stature. Do not make the mistake of creating new lies to bolster an already formidable candidate. Jerry Lewis does not need the negativity your comment creates Adrian Cruz. Chad Snow tried pilfering the same line of crap. It is false and it is misrepresentative of Church Doctrine. Thou shalt not commit Blasphemy.

Mistalee
Mistalee

You've cut and pasted this exact same retarded rant onto at least a half-dozen other stories in the New Times this week. You're an asshole. If you want to rant about racist shit, go post on Stormfront where it's expected and condoned. This is an article about dishonesty in a local election. Stay on topic or fuck off.

Anon
Anon

Dogbiter, You hit it out of the ball park!

LiberalsNeedtoBeRoundUp
LiberalsNeedtoBeRoundUp

Maybe you are right, but we all should be outraged by these manipulative outsider liberals coming here and trying to shove their agenda in our collective faces. Let's round them up, tar and feather them, and leave them at the state line. Are you with me?

Phil
Phil

While jokes are not uncommon, at this time this is inappropriate at the least. The issues need to be the focus here please.

teobuneo
teobuneo

So underwear is more important than truth to you conservative American?

Yourproductsucks
Yourproductsucks

I was unaware of your assignment as thread monitor. Your mom must be proud!

PartyTown
PartyTown

Ok I'm kidding about the tar and feathers, but maybe we could refuse to shake their hands or wave goodbye when they leave. Oh, and I don't have any money to drive them to the state line, so maybe we could wait until they just leave of their own accord...

Mistalee
Mistalee

How nice that you have become my groupie!

Is your mom proud that her son has renamed himself "yourproductsucks?"

Really, your moniker says tons about you. This gives even more humor to your fruitless efforts to take the moral high ground.

 
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