Shananigans, shenanigans, and yet more shenanigans. Sham recall candidate Olivia Cortes and state Senate President's knuckle-draggin' supporters are the gifts that keeps on giving.
Gone are the days, alas, when I had them all to myself. Now it seems every journalist in the Valley, and many beyond, are swarming around their ever-growing pile of dirty tricks, like a mass of hornets buzzing about a rotting pile of offal.
Which, of course, is a good thing, I know, as a far wider audience is being exposed to the Pearce camp's monkeyshines, like KPHO's recent report about the scores of signs touting the name of Pearce's main rival Jerry Lewis stolen off Mesa lawns. There's even security cam footage of the thief in action. Hi-larious.
Channel 12's Brahm Resnik has been all over Pearce and Cortes of late, and for his efforts got kicked out of a meeting of Legislative District 18 Republicans last night, where Pearce spoke and took questions.
To be precise, all TV cameras got kicked out, at Pearce's request. Resnik and others were allowed to remain and observe. Quite silly, as several people were filming with hand-held devices. I got to the hootenanny just as it was about to begin, and will file a report later.
My colleague videographer Dennis Gilman was able to enter the packed hall after the event, when Fourth Estaters, including myself, pummeled Pearce with questions.
Today, Arizona Republic columnist Laurie Roberts picked up on something first brought to my attention by Robert Haasch, a member of the PearceWatch Facebook page.Seems that some of Olivia Cortes' press releases are being authored by someone who goes by the handle "Paul Revere."
Well, either that, or Cortes really digs that old ditty about the midnight ride. If you check the "properties" of Cortes' release on her campaign Web site, the "author" is listed as "Paul Revere."
There is a Paul Revere who comments at the right wing Sonoran Alliance blog, but you know how it goes with computer monikers.
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More interestingly, there is a Paul Revere who has been previously associated with the East Valley Tea Party, for which Cortes aide and Pearce enthusiast Greg Western is chairman. As you can see, there's a phone number under Revere's name. That phone number belongs to Mesa resident Doug Ardt.
I called Ardt last night. He denied ever being affiliated with the East Valley Tea Party, or having written Olivia Cortes' press releases. Ardt has a c.v. online where he claims to have been a "campaign coordinator" for "David Schweikert for Congress."
I'll have to take Mr. Ardt at his word. The phone number could have been mistakenly posted, and, heck, anyone can use the handle "Paul Revere," even Olivia Cortes, if she were so inclined.