Nathan Sproul's anti-Pearce MVD flier; and LD18's Ron Middlebrook and Cecil Ash take money from neo-Nazi J.T. Ready.

I love this side of Sproul's anti-Pearce MVD flier wherein Pearce gets bitch-slapped by Mary Peters.

A tip of the chapeau to the Republican bloggers over at PolitcoMafioso, which bills itself as the "#1 John McCain blog in Arizona." They're the first I've seen to post this Nathan Sproul mailer attacking LD18 state Senate candidate Russell Pearce. This flier deals with the serious political corruption that went down at the Motor Vehicle Division while Pearce was top dog there. The mailer went out to Mesa homes last week.

Pearce was fired in 1999 by then ADOT Director (and fellow Republican) Mary Peters after an investigation revealed that Pearce and two underlings had tampered with a Tucson woman's driving record. Pearce, et al., fudged one of the Tucson lady's two DUI convictions. Peters, who is now the Secretary of Transportation under George W. Bush, properly canned Pearce's ass.

Side one of Sproul's anti-Pearce MVD flier.

Where's the defense of Russ from the Pearce apologists and hard right kooks on this one? Sonoran Alliance? MessaIssues? Anyone? I hear the crickets chirping...

That's because there's no defense for it. It's a case of straight up, old-fashioned crookedness. I love Peters' come-back from the day, when one of Pearce's flunkies suggested that the trio had been cleared. Peters shot back, "There's a big difference between being cleared and choosing not to file criminal charges." Betcha Pearce's (likely tiny) manhood still smarts from that one.

Moving right along, here we have Republicans Cecil Ash and Ron Middlebrook, each vying for election to the state House in LD18. Both Republicans were present at the now-infamous mandatory meeting where neo-Nazi and proud Republican precinct committeeman J.T. Ready distributed racist and anti-Semitic propaganda. Both men took a $5 contribution from Ready two months later -- part of the minimum 220 such contributions state legislative candidates have to raise in order to qualify for state Clean Elections funding.

Props to the A Mesa Voter blogspot for the tip on this one. Though the info is available online, I had fun going down to the Arizona Secretary of State's office to have the actual documents pulled. Take a look at Middlebrook's doc, here; Ash's, here. Each signed as having solicited the donation from Ready, and on the same date. Seems there was a local GOP meeting on March 27 of this year where they interacted with J.T., and that's where they scored their donations.

The uninitiated might think, "Five bucks, big deal." But that $5 donation actually is worth a lot more to the candidate. Once they meet the $5 requirement, they potentially stand to gain some $32K-plus in Clean Elections funds. For a candidate who does not have the name recognition or wherewithal to run as a traditional candidate, those 220 $5 contributions are like golden Willy Wonka tickets. Their key rings to the kingdom of free money. How ironic, all these Republicans sucking off the government tit...

(In case you're wondering, Pearce didn't take any scrilla from J.T. Not that this makes his embrace of the two-ton turd-Reicher any less obscene.)

Each candidate denied knowing Ready had neo-Nazi affiliations, though Ready had been outed as having white supremacist ties by the ADL at least as far back as March of 2007. Ready attended a September 2007 neo-Nazi rally in Omaha, Nebraska, and was photographed with stormtroopers in uniform beneath a banner for the National Socialist Movement, one that bore a Nazi swastika. The photo was widely distributed online.

Ready's also had several run-ins with law enforcement, and this, like the Nazi stuff, has been reported in the local press. Just like the fact that he was twice court-martialed and booted from the Marines.

"I don't read the papers, they're always liberal," kvetched Middlebrook, a Pearce-clone, who misspells the word "border" as "boarder" on his campaign page (wonder if he'll change it now). "I get all my news from radio, and blog sites and the Internet."

"Well, you miss a few things that way, don't ya?" I asked.

"All I miss is a bunch of liberal crap," Middlebrook shot back.

"Well, here's some liberal crap you missed, I've been writing about this guy being a neo-Nazi for going on two years now," I informed him.

"I don't read the New Times," he spat.

"Maybe if you had, you would have known you were taking five dollars from a Nazi," I told him.

Middlebrook went on to tell me that taking dolo from a Nazi was no different from some politico taking a donation from a student group like MEChA. I told him that the last time I checked, MEChA hadn't killed 6 million people with state sponsored genocide. For the record, Middlebrook said he did read some of the racist and anti-Semitic lit Ready handed out at the January mandatory meeting, but that he just scanned it, and didn't read it all the way through. Sounds suspiciously like Pearce's claim that he didn't read an anti-Jewish neo-Nazi e-mail he forwarded to supporters in 2006.

For his part, Cecil Ash sounds a lot more genteel and educated than his nail-swallowing colleague, but I can't let him off the hook entirely. Ash says he knew nothing of Ready's National Socialist associations, but he admitted to attending the same June 2007 anti-immigrant rally where Ready offered his blueprint for American fascism from the podium. Ash was also at the January mandatory meeting where Ready distributed hate lit. Unlike Middlebrook, he read enough of the stuff on his seat to realize what it was about, but he says he didn't know Ready had anything to do with it. Ash also says he thinks it's not a really big deal where a candidate's campaign contributions come from.

"Contributions are a funny thing," said Ash. "I thought the same thing with Kevin Gibbons, with the Democrats paying him money. I don't know that you always have control over who endorses your campaign, who contributes even to it. If Janet Napolitano offered me $5, I'd probably take hers to get qualified."

The Gibbons reference, of course, has to do with the Gibbons camp taking a campaign contribution from Democratic bigwig Jim Pederson. (He ended up donating it to a women's shelter.) That was such a big deal with Maricopa County Republicans that they endorsed Pearce right out of the gate. Apparently in the view of county GOP leadership, a donation from a Dem is far worse than one from a neo-Nazi.

How did the local Republican Party end up swinging so far to the right? Barry Goldwater, Mr. Conservative, would never have allowed a neo-Nazi to take up residence in his party. In fact, he took pains to separate himself from the wacko right John Birch Society, even though JBSers regarded Goldwater as their God. Where are the Goldwaters of today in the Republican Party when we need them? They seem to be practically nonexistent

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