Russell Pearce "Opponent" Olivia Cortes' Campaign Signs: State Law Violation?

One of two Olivia Cortes signs McDonald says he's seen in Mesa
One of two Olivia Cortes signs McDonald says he's seen in Mesa

Olivia Cortes, who has filed to run as a candidate in the Legislative District 18 recall election apparently has campaign signs up in Mesa, possibly in violation of state law.

This report comes in via Robert McDonald, Jr., a former contender for the LD 18 Senate seat, now held by state Senate President Russell Pearce.

McDonald sent me the above photo of an Olivia Cortes sign he tells me he spotted in Mesa on Alma School Road, one block north of Broadway Road. McDonald said he spotted another sign in Mesa as well.

The photo shows a Cortes sign with the Spanish greeting, "Si, se puede," made famous by Cesar Chavez.

The signs do not indicate who paid for them, nor do they have contact information, as would normally be required under state statute. 

Specifically, ARS 16-1019 dictates that such signs should contain "the name and telephone number of the candidate or campaign committee contact person."

Moreover, the first day political signs can be posted for the recall election would be September 9, 60 days prior to the November 8 recall.

Putting up illegal signs has already become a hot issue in the race, with the city of Mesa ordering Matt Tolman, chairman of Citizens Who Oppose the Pearce Recall, to remove anti-recall signs posted all over Mesa by this Monday.

CWOPR has told Mesa city officials that it will defy the order. As a result the signs may be confiscated.

Randy Parraz, co-founder of the recall committee Citizens for a Better Arizona, has threatened possible legal action concerning false statements made about him in the Tolman signs.

Parraz and CBA chair Chad Snow have also raised questions about Cortes' candidacy, suggesting the possibility of "fraudulent activities" in relation to it.

Indeed, Cortes has been unusually media-shy, fueling speculation that she may be a plant, intended to dilute the vote in favor of Pearce.

Cortes denied this allegation in an e-mail Q&A I did with her recently.

Another oddity: Cortes initially filed paperwork with the Arizona Secretary of State's Office indicating her intention to run as a Clean Elections candidate.

But CE director Todd Lang recently informed me that no LD18 recall candidates had made the August 11 deadline to submit the required $5 contribution slips.

Which begs the question, who is paying for these Cortes signs?

I called Cortes' home number and left a message for her with her sister. I've also e-mailed her for a comment. I will update this post if I hear back from her.


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