On the day that state Senator Russell Pearce's insidious, anti-American, and unconstitutional plot to undermine the birthright citizenship provision of the U.S. Constitution's 14th Amendment was being submitted in the state legislature by his cronies, a group calling itself Arizonans for Better Government filed recall paperwork against Pearce in Legislative District 18.
Chaired by the fierce, indefatigable DeeDee Blase of Somos Republicans, the group's stated grounds for recall refers implicitly to today's 14th Amendment travesty, and reads like a battle-cry against Russell Pearce Republicanism.
"We find Russell Pearce's overt disdain for the United State's Constitution to be indicative of his inability to govern as prescribed by his job description and the oath he took to regain his seat in the state Senate."
Now the clock begins to tick. Blase and her compatriots must submit 7,756 valid signatures of qualified electors to the Arizona Secretary of State's Office by May 27, 2011. If they do so, and the signatures are duly verified, Assistant Secretary of State Jim Drake tells me that Pearce can either resign or face a recall election.
According to Drake, depending on how quickly the signatures are submitted, this could take place in November of this year or Spring of 2012.
Any way you cut it, a recall election would be a thorn in Pearce's side, forcing him to campaign for his own legislative seat at a time when many have been expecting him to explore other possibilities, such as challenging U.S. Senator Jon Kyl in the GOP primary in 2012, or running for Maricopa County sheriff, say, if Joe Arpaio takes a powder.
There has been mumbling about an effort from some Democrats to recall Pearce, but apparently Blase has beaten them to the punch. Still, she maintains that she's willing to work with everyone, even former U.S. Senate candidate Randy Parraz, a Democrat who has been heavily involved in anti-Pearce efforts of late.
She says former Pearce foe and Mesa Democrat Robert MacDonald supports her effort. And her treasurer Halina Reed, is a former Dem, and currently a Libertarian, she bragged.
"We've got a broad coalition of Democrats, Republicans, church leaders and Republicans," Blase told me. "And what's going to help us with the Mormon community is the Utah Compact...We believe there is a change in the Mormon attitude over immigration. We're going to remind Mormons of that as well."
Mesa is heavily Mormon, and the LDS Church continues to be divided over immigration. But last year, the LDS Church came out in support of the Utah Compact, which calls for a humane, common-sense approach to immigration, unlike that adopted by nativist extremists such as Russell Pearce.
Blase said her group chose today because of the anti-14th Amendment efforts were being introduced into the state House and Senate, and because of Pearce's backing of them.
"This guy is evil," Blase said of Pearce, adding,"I was really bummed out because of the 14th Amendment [bills]. Now I'm so excited."
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Indeed, Blase said she hopes to get twice the number of signatures required, and she could possibly pull it off, particularly if the Dems jump on board.
I would encourage them to do just that, and not descend into partisan squabbling. Keep your eye on the prize: taking down, or at the very least causing a lot of consternation to, that ogre of Sand Land politics, Russell Pearce.
PS: Another anti-Pearce effort will materialize soon. I'm waiting to see what transpires. I should point out that the goal should still be to hobble Pearce by getting the signatures. If another organization makes the attempt, let the best one win.