DeeDee Blase, founder of Somos Republicans and the driving force behind the Tequila Party, takes political flak from both the right and the left. Democrats suspect her, and extremist Republicans loathe her for her calling out the GOP on the immigration issue.
Whatever you may think of her, she's essentially a force for good here in Sand Land. Witness her tireless opposition to state Senate President Russell Pearce and the Tea Party, her support for Jerry Lewis, Pearce's only legitimate rival in the upcoming Legislative District 18 recall election, and her outreach to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, looking for common ground on immigration.
On this last point, earlier this year she put together an LDS-style "fireside" on immigration featuring devoted Mormon and pro-immigrant attorney Daryl Williams. And she continues to be involved, mostly behind the scenes, in the effort to remove Pearce from office.
Recently she penned an intriguing online editorial, observing that Pearce's politics are in direct contradiction with LDS teachings. It's worth reading, and it makes an interesting analogy between Pearce's anti-immigrant legislation, such as Senate Bill 1070, and the infamous 1838 "Extermination Order" issued by then Missouri Governor Lilburn Boggs.
That document read, in part, that,
"The Mormons must be treated as enemies, and must be exterminated or driven from the State if necessary, for the public peace-their outrages are beyond all description."
Although the Pearce-authored SB 1070 does not call for the "extermination" of illegal immigrants, it made "attrition through enforcement" Arizona's official immigration policy. The point of the legislation was (and still is, for that part of it not enjoined) to drive Hispanic immigrants from the state.
Considering the fact that both ethnic violence and a rise in hate crimes have followed in the wake of 1070's passage, the analogy is a solid one.
Blase also quotes Mormon scripture to describe Pearce's reign as Senate President, specifically this passage:
"We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion." §121:39
"Unrighteous dominion" sounds like as good a label as any to affix to Pearce's tenure as Senate President. Hopefully, that dominion will see its last day on November 8 of this year.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.