Russell Pearce and the AZ GOP's Jerry Springer-Style Family Feud

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What would I do without Republicans in this state? Their Jerry Springer-esque antics are a hoot, and would make for an excellent reality show, which I propose calling, with a hat tip to Snoop Dogg, "Deez Nutz."

Thursday night, the Maricopa County Republicans' Executive Guidance Committee -- under the leadership of Chief Grand Inquisitor and outgoing county party chair A.J. LaFaro -- met to vote on a censure of eight Republican precinct committee persons, because they allegedly supported Democrats in one way or another during the general election.

Initially, LaFaro and other conservative crazies wanted these duly-elected PCs stripped of their voting rights, but threats of lawsuits made the wingnuts think twice, and go for a simple censure instead.

After meeting and adjourning without action last month, the EGC approved a censure statement at its Thursday meeting, which has zero impact, save for letting maniacs like LaFaro save face.

That is, unless you consider this some sort of punishment: i.e., declaring that censure-ees "shall have no access to Republican Party data or other Republican Party resources throughout the remainder of their term of office."

Back away slowly from that stapler, buddy. That's for real Republicans. Not RiNOs!

In response, ferocious GOP blogger Barbara Espinosa, one of the targeted tuskers, cracked wise on her blog, American Freedom by Barbara:

"We won't have access to Republican Party resources. Doesn't bother me, I have better resources than MCRC has."

That same blog item offers some inside dope about what transpired from a source of hers who was present.

Naturally, as befits a Republican from Texas, she remains defiant.

"I will continue to Vote Person Not Party," Espinosa writes. "The party needs to vet their candidates and support better candidates, instead of using dark money to get them elected. A Nation of Sheep Breeds a Government of Wolves!"

According to the MCRC news briefs, edited by the incomparable Frosty Taylor, LaFaro will be running for First Vice Chair of the state Republican Party on a slate headed by teabagger-lady Lori Urban.

Urban has a past history that sounds like something straight out of an episode of Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo.

The Capitol Times' Yellow Sheet identified the wannabe state chairwoman as the onetime wife of GOP state legislator Wes Marsh, and linked to a 2004 Arizona Republic article about the pair's bad breakup, which is flippin' hilarious.

In it, Marsh claims he was physically abused by Urban (who was using the last name Davies at the time), though Urban denied the allegations.

Here's an excerpt:

Their eight-year marriage officially ended in January, but they had been separated since 1999. According to Marsh, Davies was physically abusive, behavior that stemmed from her own abusive childhood and former forced marriage to her stepfather.

Marsh claims he was a battered husband and that Davies gave him tinnitus, a ringing in the ears, and cracked his front tooth when she pushed him to their tile floor.

"Usually she sat on me," Marsh said. "She's almost 300 pounds."

Court records lists Davies as 5-foot-8, 290 pounds. Marsh is 6-feet, 170 pounds.

Marsh said he called Scottsdale police on 28 occasions. Scottsdale Police spokesman Sam Bailey said he could find 15 reports filed by Marsh, but confirms that Marsh had visited Scottsdale police on several occasions in an attempt to get the department involved in his problems with Davies.

"I'm scared to death of her," Marsh said. "I should have gone to the police earlier but I was embarrassed."

The Yellow Sheet reports that Urban confirmed her previous marriage, but didn't want to discuss the rest of the white-trash soap opera, calling it "old news."

Just like recalled anti-Mexican bigot Russell Pearce, right?


You'll recall that Pearce resigned as First Vice Chair of the state party in September, after making the following statement on his weekly radio show, and earning near-universal condemnation for it:

"You put me in charge of Medicaid, the first thing I'd do is get [female recipients] Norplant, birth-control implants, or tubal ligations. Then, we'll test recipients for drugs and alcohol, and if you want to [reproduce] or use drugs or alcohol, then get a job."

You'd think this sort of talk would make Pearce persona non grata in GOP circles, but for the teabagger types, he can do no wrong. And the teabaggers remain a force to be reckoned with in the state party.

Which explains why current AZ GOP chair Robert Graham might want Pearce's endorsement for his re-election effort.

The vote will be at the party's reorganization meeting in January, and so far, Graham's shored-up his right flank with endorsements by Sheriff Joe Arpaio, and Common Core foe and State Superintendent-elect Diane Douglas, among others.

Still, Pearce's endorsement of Graham was a little surprising, seeing that some right-wingers have blamed Graham for Pearce's fall.

I caught up with Graham recently, and asked him how he earned Pearce's nod, since Graham was critical of Pearce's remarks on forced sterilization at the time (as were almost all Republicans with a lick of sense).

"We've been friends for a very long time," he told me. "We were friends before I was chairman of the state. In a lot of ways we share political ideology. And he'd be the first to tell you, in some things we don't. But we respect each other for our work ethic and what we do. It demonstrates that I've maintained my conservative credentials as well in the state."

As far as those who point the finger at him over Pearce's resignation, he claims they are sorely mistaken.

"One of the things about Russell is, he's committed to the party," Graham explained. "When he resigned, it wasn't me requesting it or encouraging it. We had lots of conversations, but he's the guy that said, `Hey, I don't want my party being beaten up, I don't want my candidates being beaten up as a result of something I said.' That's why he ultimately resigned. I welcome his endorsement."

I asked Graham about a recent fundraising message from the Arizona Democratic Party, which bashed Graham for accepting Pearce's blessing.

"The Democrats can focus on something like this," he said. "But they had a resounding loss in this election. And they can keep worrying about things that aren't as significant as the outcome that people want."

Graham is anticipated to best Urban, but will LaFaro rise to the position his pal Pearce once held?

Well, like I'm wont to say after eatin' store-bought pecan pie, sometimes it's hard to keep a bad nut down.

Got a tip for The Bastard? Send it to: Stephen Lemons.

Follow Valley Fever on Twitter at @ValleyFeverPHX. Follow Stephen Lemons on Twitter at @StephenLemons.

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