Former Senate President Russell Pearce's racist e-mails, recently made public by the ACLU, were slammed today by politicians and activists at the Arizona State Capitol.
Around 20 members of Citizens for a Better Arizona, the group that made the 2011 recall of Pearce a reality, held a press conference outside the state Senate to bash Pearce and demand that the Mesa Republican remove himself from the Arizona GOP primary in Legislative District 25.
"Some of this type of language...is so far over the top," said Randy Parraz, co-founder of CBA. "These type of comments are not befitting of someone running for office of the State Legislature."
Also present was state Senate Minority Leader David Schapira, currently a candidate in the Democrats' Ninth Congressional District primary.
"We hope that Russell Pearce takes the appropriate action in this case," said Schapira,"and decides to not seek a seat in the state senate in this coming election."
Following the presser, the group, which included state Representative Martin Quezada and state Senate candidate Raquel Teran, delivered a letter to the office of current state Senate President Steve Pierce, calling on the Prescott Republican to denounce Pearce's racist statements.
The e-mails are a part of a motion by the ACLU asking federal Judge Susan R. Bolton to re-enjoin the papers-please portion of Arizona's Senate Bill 1070, after the U.S. Supreme Court lifted the original injunction against it last month.
In the ACLU's SB 1070 lawsuit, the Valle del Sol v. Whiting case, the civil rights organization is trying to prove that section 2(b), the portion kept in place by SCOTUS, violates the 4th and 14th Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, because the immigration law is racially motivated.
The e-mails were obtained through a public records request, and have since outraged many in Arizona and beyond.
"I was offended not only as an elected official but as an individual at the hatred in those e-mails," Quezada said of the e-mails. "Arizona deserves better."
Sure does. That's why Parraz and the other members of CBA are working in Mesa to ensure Pearce's defeat in the GOP primary there.
And Parraz says they need all the help they can get. This Saturday, for instance, CBA volunteers will be pounding the pavement and making phone calls to block Pearce's attempted comeback.
Pearce himself has a fundraiser tomorrow at a Holiday Inn Fountain Hills that's managed by a supporter. The once-powerful legislator has been having a tough time raising cash for his campaign, and this controversy over his e-mails is sure to make that task even tougher.