Adding insult to injury, Olivia Cortes, the "sham" recall candidate whose paid petition gatherers admitted she was a pro-Russell Pearce plant meant to "dilute" the vote, is playing the race card in a press release published on the right wing Sonoran Alliance Web site.
Titled, "Olivia Cortes: Racism is Alive and Well in Mesa's Legislative District 18," Cortes, or whoever's writing these things for her, declares that Latinos should be ticked off at those calling her candidacy a fraud, even though she still won't come to her door to talk with reporters.
"I gathered and submitted more than 1000 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."
Hey, who knew the recluse candidate was such a comedian? By my count, she collected about 20 signatures, far less than state Senate President Russell Pearce's nieces Shilo Sessions and Megan Sirrine. Sirrine scored 24. Sessions, 62.
As mentioned, Cortes also employed paid signature-gatherers to help her score the 1,177 turned in to the Arizona Secretary of State.
Cortes did not submit her petitions to the SOS. That job went to Pearce supporter and East Valley Tea Party Chairman Greg Western, who just happens to belong to the same ward of the Mormon church as Western.
Who paid Petition Pros, the service soliciting John Hancocks outside the main branch of the Mesa Public Library? According to her Web site, Cortes is paying for her candidacy out of her own pocket.
That would mean she paid for her "Si, se Puede" signs as well. Sure, she may live in a very modest apartment with her sister and her elderly, nearly infirm brother, but maybe she's got some gold doubloons stashed away somewhere.
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Cortes also accuses those questioning her campaign of attempting to "intimidate" a minority candidate. Nice try, Constantin.
Folks are outraged alright. Latinos, too. But not at those questioning her campaign. You may remember that Robert H. McDonald, Jr., who recently asked the SOS to investigate Cortes' candidacy, is Hispanic. His middle name is "Hernandez."
Racism alive and well in Mesa? I would wholeheartedly agree. But that label would best be applied to those who convinced Cortes to run and who are keeping her under wraps.
Don't be surprised if you soon see a YouTube video of Cortes being fed softball questions on some far right Web site, like Sonoran Alliance or disgraced attorney Rachel Alexander's Arizona Intellectual Conservative. Because when it comes to Cortes' puppetmasters, they quite literally have no shame.