Recalled ex-Senate President Russell Pearce still has his taxpayer-funded $85,000-a-year job with the Maricopa County Treasurer's Office, and the protesters have not gone away.
Activists with Citizens for a Better Arizona, plus elected officials and representatives of other groups showed up to Treasurer "Hos" Hoskins' office yesterday to continue demanding Pearce be fired for putting down the poor on his radio show, and insulting immigrants in his county e-mails.
Earlier, Citizens for a Better Arizona organizer Ramiro Luna got a meeting with Hoskins, who doesn't seem eager to get rid of Pearce.
"The conversation was not very constructive," Luna says. "All he did was stick up for Pearce."
Hoskins hasn't been too eager to explain why he's keeping Pearce employed at the taxpayer's expense, but 12 News' Brahm Resnik published an e-mail exchange between Hoskins and a City of Phoenix employee discussing Pearce's employment. In the e-mail, Hoskins somehow manages to blame New Times' Stephen Lemons for his Pearce problem:
"It is mystifying why reasonably intelligent people give so much creditability to a blog written by a reporter that, with some degree of pride, refers to himself as the Feathered Bastard. What is even more disturbing is that the main stream media that we depend upon for factual information was so quick to act on something that has a creditability level equivalent to a political attack ad or a checkout counter tabloid."
This is comin' from a guy who calls himself "Hos," right?
In addition to his apparently ardent support for Pearce, Hoskins and company seem to be fed up with the protesters. As demonstrators got ready to head inside the office to demand Pearce's firing, employees of the treasurer's office locked the doors (at 4:15 p.m. on a weekday) to keep them out.
They still continued to shout for Pearce's firing in the lobby of the county administration building, including calls for his firing from representatives of the Phoenix Restoration Project, NARAL Pro-Choice Arizona, and Democratic Representative Martin Quezada.
"What you guys are doing here is right -- demanding justice, and demanding that the County Treasurer do the right thing," Quezada said. "You should expect for him to do the right thing, and not make excuses."
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