Feathered Bastard

Jan Brewer Shills for Russell Pearce, and More in the Pearce Recall

Governor Jan Brewer is helping raise money for the man many have called the de facto governor of Arizona: state Senate President Russell Pearce.

In an e-mail blast sent out today, Brewer asks recipients to donate to Citizens Who Oppose the Pearce Recall, and links to the organization's Web site, protectanamericanpatriot.com.

Needless to say, there are some errors in the Governor's pro-Pearce propaganda.

For instance, Brewer writes:

"The very same organizations and individuals who organized boycotts of Arizona, who opposed me in my last election, and who have consistently been advocates for unsustainable government spending are at it again. This time they mean to recall from office my friend and colleague State Senate President Russell Pearce."

Huh? There was only one organization involved in gathering the signatures that made the recall a reality, Citizens for a Better Arizona. And neither of the co-founders -- Republican Chad Snow and Democrat Randy Parraz -- organized boycotts of Arizona.

"That's just factually a lie," Parraz said of Brewer's statement. "If she wants to take her shots, she should at least get her facts straight."

Brewer goes on to tout Pearce's anti-immigrant legislation, though CBA never made immigration an issue in its signature drive, on its petition statement, on its Web site, or in any of the statements of its organizers.

But there's one big reason Brewer's beating the anti-immigrant drum: That's what gets the wingnuts out there to write checks.

By contrast, Pearce's answer to the recall statement, which will appear alongside that statement on the ballot, does not mention Senate Bill 1070 or any other anti-immigrant legislation he's backed. 

In fact, Pearce stays away from immigration for the most part, mentioning "secure borders" only in passing.

"I was born in Mesa and I share and promote the values of our great community: freedom, excelling schools, vibrant economic growth, job creation, balanced budgets, strong law enforcement and secure borders," reads the statement, in part.

I wonder where, oh, where this "vibrant economic growth" and "job creation" is? As for "excelling schools," hard for them to excel when their budgets have been cut to the bone.

Pearce's statement will not convince people suffering through this recession that everything's hunky-dory. But at least he realizes that bashing Mexicans will not get him past the recall, much less potential Mormon Republican challenger Jerry Lewis.

Though, it does help him raise money, no doubt about that.

Various sources are indicating to me that the Pearce camp will run one or more stooge candidates in the hopes of splitting the anti-Pearce vote on November 8.

But there will be no vote-splitters from Pearce's erstwhile political opponents, whether Democrat or Libertarian.

As I've already reported, Pearce's 2010 challenger Democrat Andrew Sherwood will not run in the recall. And neither will Democrat Robert McDonald, Jr., who lost a close race to Sherwood in the 2010 Democratic primary for the Legislative District 18 state Senate seat.

Ditto Libertarian Andrea Garcia, who ran in the 2010 general election along with Pearce and Sherwood. 

"Hell, no!" she replied when I called to ask her if she was considering running. 

She wants Pearce to lose, she said, and the best way for this to happen is for challengers other than Lewis to "stay away" and not try to jump on the ballot.

Similarly, McDonald said he wasn't interested and was more focused on his lawsuit against his former employer Corrections Corporation of America and a group he's founded called Private Corrections Network, which means to help former private prisons employees.

"If this Jerry Lewis guy is able to be a lot more moderate than Pearce," he said, "I think it's much better for the district and the state than me throwing my hat in the ring...and Pearce winning again."

Kudos to both Garcia and McDonald for opting out of this one. If everyone's on the same page in this effort, the greater the likelihood Pearce will go down.

Anyone other than Lewis (assuming he formally announces) and Pearce on that ballot will be viewed, rightly, as a pawn of Pearce, and will earn near-universal opprobrium.

Pearce has until 5 p.m. today to file a legal challenge to the signatures, which have already been verified by Maricopa County Elections. There has been zero evidence of voter registration fraud, according to county elections director Karen Osborne. 

Sources are telling me Pearce is expected to file that challenge, a vain effort that will not alter the fact that there will be a recall election in LD18. 

But if Pearce wants to waste money he could be using to survive the recall, who am I to argue with him?

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons