Feathered Bastard

Russell Pearce Nabs First Vice Chair, Ron Paul Dominates Straw Poll at State GOP Meeting

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A couple of the candidates for other offices had some intriguing things to say.

Chad Palmer, who made a successful bid for the party's 3rd Vice Chair slot, hit a new low in the annals of Obama-hatred.

"We need both the Girl Scouts and the Boy Scouts to learn about the constitution and our rights and our freedom so that they understand them," he said while talking about his daughters.

"And if the head terrorist gets back into office, that's not going to happen. My kids are going to grow up under a socialist regime which will turn into a communist regime."

I reckon the irony-deficient Palmer forgot about Osama bin Laden being killed during an operation ordered by that, um, "head terrorist."

Later, John Lyon, a far-right candidate for U.S. Senate, lectured the crowd on the perils of free trade and how American money was helping "red China" build up its military.

He also suggested that being present in the country illegally be made a felony with mandatory  jail time on a first offense.

"We are sending a message to illegal immigrants [that] they have [these] great plums, this great reward waiting for them," he contended. "And the consequence if any will be that they may be deported. It's not sufficient. It's got to change."

Someone shouted from the audience that it would be "cheaper" to "shoot" them.

"Yes, it's cheaper," Lyon replied, in a non sequitur. "But unfortunately the long term cost is immense for us." 

I remember Lyon from a 2009 anti-Israel demonstration outside Phoenix Symphony Hall. He was there to urge the release of John Demjanjuk, the former U.S. citizen once accused of being "Ivan the Terrible," an infamous concentration camp guard during the Holocaust.

In 2011, Demjanjuk was convicted by a German court for his role in helping the Nazis slaughter 28,000 at the Sobibor death camp.

Lyon's campaign website includes a page denouncing the United States government's treatment of Demjanjuk. On the same page, he warns ominously of the influence of "the Israel lobby."

After the results of the election for party officers was announced, videographer Dennis Gilman and I followed Pearce to his car, asking how he felt having to trample a Latina to win. 

We also asked why Pearce never called now-state Senator Jerry Lewis to concede after Lewis won the recall election.

Pearce kept walking, though one of his supporters grabbed Gilman's camera in attempt to stop him from filming. 

I went back and buttonholed Morrissey, asking him if there was any truth to the rumor that he planned to resign as chair, leaving Pearce in temporary control until an election could be called. 

He replied that the rumors were not true.

"I am committed to staying till the end of my term," he vowed.

Why did he want Pearce as his First Vice Chair?

"He'll be helping with fundraising and recruiting PCs," Morrissey told me. "And believe it or not our outreach to the Hispanic community, which I'm very focused on. There are a lot of people in the Hispanic community that welcome him."

I searched Morrissey's face for signs of humor, but there were none.

Yes, you heard it here first, Russell Pearce, Sand Land's biggest bigot, is now helping the state GOP with its Hispanic recruitment efforts. 

By cloning Art Olivas, no doubt.

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons