The Bird tsks at Phoenix Magazine, revisits Guadalupes recalls and takes one more swipe at Russell White Pride Pearce
Right about now, Mesa neo-Nazi J.T. Ready must be feeling like John Edwards' mistress, or Shaq's estranged wife after reading about the Suns' center stepping out with Atlanta-area hip-hop artist Maryjane.
Indeed, before the news broke that state Representative Russell Pearce had finally thrown his political protégé under the train like a hot taco, Ready was still standing by his man in the raging controversy over Pearce's palling around with Ready during a June 2007 anti-immigrant rally on the state Capitol lawn. You know, the one that The Bird and his blogging bro, Feathered Bastard, have been squawking about since it happened, with pics of the two white-priders practically canoodling.
"I have no anger toward anyone," the rotund white supremacist told this tweeter via phone. "I think he's a great statesman that's doing a great job. I voted for him already in my early ballot. He's got my vote."
But that was before Pearce collapsed under the weight of the growing outrage over the Ready-Pearce connection. Though the press and none other than Governor Janet "Do Nothing" Napolitano came to the defense of Pearce in the wake of attack fliers authored by local GOP pit bull Nathan Sproul — fliers detailing Pearce's elbow-bumping with National Socialists and domestic abuse allegations against Pearce from 1980 — the worm turned when three AZ congressmen got in the picture.
U.S. Representatives Jeff Flake, John Shadegg, and Trent Franks recently signed a letter to Maricopa County Republican Party Chairman Tom Husband demanding that he boot Ready from his elected post as a Republican precinct committeeman from Mesa. That sparked a blistering back-and-forth between Flake and Husband, wherein Husband stated he had no proof Ready was a turd-Reicher and Flake offered detailed evidence, including references to the work of this bilious buzzard.
"You acknowledge that Mr. Ready distributed anti-Semitic literature at the January 19th meeting of the Maricopa County Republican Party," Flake wrote Husband in one of the very public poisoned pen letters. "According to the Phoenix New Times, you said, 'we acted immediately to correct it,' because 'we're not going to have hate literature permeating our meetings.'
"What action was taken? If distributing racist literature at an official meeting of the Maricopa County Republican Party does not merit the removal of a precinct committeeman, what does? What message does it send that the Maricopa County Republican Party has found time to censure our party's nominee for president of the United States, but does not have the time or inclination to immediately remove a precinct committeeman with ties to racist organizations?"
When the Bird phoned Husband as the word grenades were being lobbed to and fro, Husband was still claiming ignorance, asserting he had no evidence of Ready's neo-Nazi affiliations, despite Ready's having distributed racist, anti-Semitic tracts at that mandatory county meet Flake describes above, and despite Husband's having discussed the matter with this winged wonder in February.
"The precinct committeeman is an elected office," Husband lectured this lapwing. "If you look at the county bylaws, there is no ability to kick him out of his position or the party. And my friends in the Congress know that, and that's why in their letter, they talk about how uncertain it is."
Way to obfuscate, Chairman. Problem is, Husband apparently knows his own party less than the neo-Nazi in it. He didn't even realize, 'til told by this beaker, that members of the local GOP had asked the Ernst Roehm of the East Valley to step down from his position, a fact confirmed by state Republican executive director Sean McCaffrey.
Suddenly, last week, with the clock ticking toward the September 2 primary, and his name increasingly linked to an erstwhile white-power pal, Pearce caved, doing an end-run around Husband's lame, doddering defenses, conceding the point to his deadly enemy Flake, who just happens to be the brother-in-law of Pearce primary rival and fellow LDSer Kevin Gibbons.
"I fully agree with the letter that Congressmen Franks, Shadegg, and Flake sent to the Maricopa County Republican Party this week," Pearce stated on his campaign Web site. "We have no room for hate speech or hate groups."
Pearce even ended with a parting shot at both Sproul and former paisan Ready.
"Nathan Sproul is a target of a federal voter fraud investigation," Pearce concluded. "And has demonstrated [sic] to be as credible on politics as Mr. Ready has been on race."
Not only had Pearce backstabbed J.T., he also quietly removed the name of nativist embarrassment and alleged public urinator Buffalo Rick Galeener from his list of endorsements. As regular Birders know, Galeener's second-in-command to former Kia peddler and Pearce backer Rusty Childress, leader of United for a Sovereign America, the most virulent anti-immigrant hate group in the Valley.
Nice try, Pearce, but it's all too little, too late. Pearce is inextricably linked to other notorious nativists and nutcases listed as supporters on his site, such as Minuteman founder Chris "The Little Prince" Simcox, 9/11-denier Karen Johnson, and wing-nutty Hobbit lady Anna Gaines. Pearce has solicited donations on bigot/Minuteman Glenn Spencer's Web site, and Pearce won loads of support from skinheads and the like back in 2006 when he called for the return of "Operation Wetback" and forwarded a disgusting, anti-Semitic e-mail from the neo-Nazis at the National Alliance to his supporters.
Racists, skinheads, and assorted prejudiced polecats. They make up Pearce's core, his bigoted base.
Will Mesa Republicans want to be counted as a bunch of vicious, neo-Nazi-coddling Pearce-lovers, like the fools in Pearce's camp? Or will they finally pry Pearce loose like some unwanted intestinal parasite, and flush him down the drain?
Rebecca Jimenez gets loads of letters and e-mails, many of them from vicious haters, people who can't stand the fact that she stood up to Sheriff Joe Arpaio back on April 3, as was detailed in a recent New Times cover story ("Brown Out," May 29).
One recent anonymous mailing received by Jimenez threatened to burn down her house so that she would be forced to live out of her car. In addition, her character has been assaulted by slavish Joe supporters, and every traffic ticket she's ever received has been pored over by Hispanic-hating hacks and brown-bashing bloggers.
Conversely, she's been heralded as a heroine by many in the Latino and civil rights communities. She's received ovations before such groups as the Maricopa Citizens for Safety and Accountability. Respect/Respeto's top activist Lydia Guzman is a fan. And she was recently honored for her role in Sand Land's "Biggest Arizona Moment" by Latino Vibe 95.1 FM's El Break show.
"It was the one thing people kept coming back to when we asked," said El Break's Luis Avila. "It was a moment that made everyone [in the Latino community] proud."
Not everyone, unfortunately. As this woodpecker discussed in a recent column item ("Target Guadalupe," June 12), Mayor Jimenez's enemies in her hometown are equally nasty, though their complaints against the mayor make a lot less sense. That's to say, it's understandable that some Sheriff Joe-supporting redneck would despise Jimenez for taking a stand.
But why would longtime lefty activists such as Socorro and Santino Bernasconi be so determined to whip up rancor against the mayor? Socorro Bernasconi, a gruff troll-like presence, has labeled the mayor a "miniature Arpaio" in wild-woman e-mails to members of the Guadalupe Town Council. Ask her why she loathes the mayor so, and she has no rational explanation. Still, she's been one of the main persons urging on a possible recall of Jimenez. And she's been tireless in her drive to have challenger Joe Sanchez defeat the mayor's ally and cousin Patty Jimenez in a September 2 recall election.
Patty Jimenez is implicated in no scandals. In fact, she's often been the most dogged on the council in asking tough questions regarding the bidding process for contracts. Because of this, certain Mayberry types have labeled her disruptive and tyrannical, when in fact she's been acting as a watchdog for the town's finances.
"Why didn't the recall group wait 'til March of 2009, when I'm up for re-election?" asked the council member. "Why did they want to spend the town's money and create confusion and create some kind of instability in the council?"
Mayor Jimenez believes Socorro and her clique are actually gunning for her, the plan being to replace Patty with their hand-picked representative Sanchez, thus killing the mayor's current 4-3 majority on council. As Guadalupe's mayor is elected from the council, the new, Socorro-endorsed majority would then demote the mayor to mere council member and take any credit from the ongoing maneuvering to replace the MCSO with some other law enforcement service.
True, the Positive Progress Committee, as it now calls itself, wanted both Jimenezes out before Arpaio ran roughshod over the town. But Rebecca Jimenez's act of courage on April 3 galvanized the petty jealousy and hatred by Socorro and her followers.
Why should we give a flip about this backwater skullduggery? Because not only are Jimenez's opponents wrong, they stand to hand Arpaio a victory, of sorts. Vindictive as the sheriff is, he would like nothing more than Rebecca Jimenez's political head on a spike. Though the Bernasconis may be closely affiliated with a local Catholic church (her hubby Santino is the deacon there), they are doing the work of El Diablo when it comes to their vendetta against Mayor Jimenez.
How did Socorro and her allies score the signatures necessary for a recall? That's a piece of cake in a one-square-mile town like Guadalupe. According to town clerk and acting town manager Rosemary Arellano, only 276 people bothered to vote in the town's May '07 election. She says Patricia Jimenez's recall election was secured with a mere 94 signatures.
The Bird called Joe Sanchez for comment, so far to no avail. His campaign literature lists him as a director and member of the band Latin Spirit, and it's stated in his flier that he's a volunteer member of several town committees, including the Guadalupe Mercado Renovation Committee, the Mercado being the town's bright orange open-air mall.
However, according to a November report to the town council detailing expenditures, Joe Sanchez was reimbursed $9,000 (as of October 23, 2007) in "labor" expenses for "painting, repairs, and prep" work on the Mercado.
That's not to imply there's anything at all improper with the expenditure. But can you imagine the complaints against Patty Jimenez if the shoe were on the other candidate?
Mayor Jimenez recently was given a letter signed by members of Guadalupe's, um, power elite, asking her to resign. They complained of the media attention Jimenez has received because she stood up to Arpaio, and they griped that she referred to her mayoral position as a "gig" in the New Times cover story about her.
Look for more such pettiness unless Patty Jimenez beats back her challenger at the polls. When the aforementioned letter was read at a recent council meeting, the mayor vowed to continue fighting for Guadalupe. Let's hope she gets the chance to do so.
Anyone get a copy of the latest issue of Phoenix Magazine, the rag's "Best of the Valley" issue? If not, when you see it in the supermarket aisle, peep page 121. That's where the pub declares none other than KTAR 92.3-FM's Darrell Ankarlo "Best Radio Talk Show Host."
That's right, the same Ankarlo who persistently whips up anti-Mexican animus on his drive-time program, which Arbitron has listed at number seven in the Valley in that time slot. With a bullet! Ankarlo's also the same ethically challenged lip-flapper who defended his station taking $11,500 in RICO funds from Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas to plug the local book tour for Ankarlo's bigoted tome, Another Man's Sombrero.
That's the book in which Ankarlo has a chapter titled "Anchor Babies Help to Sink America." The term "anchor baby" refers to U.S. citizens born on American soil to undocumented parents. Screw the Constitution or their legal status, a-hole Ankarlo reckons they're illegal, too.
But that's not the crux of the problem with Phoenix Magazine giving Ankarlo an award. The crux is that he scribbles a regular column for the mag. That's a conflict of interest about the size of Ankarlo's Herman Munster-size noggin.
Journalistic ethics? Hey, it's only Phoenix Magazine, the same glossy piece of fluff that rid itself of longtime food critic Nikki Buchanan recently because she was "uncomfortable about having to go to meetings with advertising clients," as Republic foodie Howard Seftel wrote of the incident in April. So much for the wall between advertising and editorial.
Thus, the "award" means nada, Ankarlo. And everyone knows it. Maybe you can fool the next doofuses who hire you in another market that this was some great honor. But in fact, it's just another sign that you're a big phony whose rank self-promotion only pays off with waiting-room throwaways like Phoenix Magazine.
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