I plan to ride around town with a dead crow in my car, so the next time I see local hack Howie Fischer, he of the one-man "Capitol Media Services," I can carve him off a slice for his dinner.
See, Fischer, like many of the rest of Arizona's status quo-lovin' journos have belittled the effort to recall state Senator Russell Pearce from the get-go.
Monday, I witnessed Fischer, a major suck-up to powerful politicos everywhere, insult members of the recall group Citizens for a Better Arizona, who appeared at the state Capitol to present Pearce with his first-ever unemployment "check."
Of the recall, Fischer sneered at one point, "I'll believe it when I see it."
Believe it, chump. Yesterday, Maricopa County Elections Director Karen Osborne confirmed the new count: 8,239 valid signatures, more than the 7,756 needed to force Pearce to either resign or face a recall election.
Of the more than 18,000 signatures CBA turned in to the Arizona Secretary of State's Office, 16,949 were forwarded to the county for validation. So far, 5,344 have been deemed invalid.
That leaves 3,366 left to count, and with the validation rate currently running at close to half, the total number of validated signatures could approach the 10,000 mark.
Keep in mind, that's some 10,000 committed Russell Pearce-haters. People who will make it a point to show up to vote against Pearce in a special, off-year election.
That's the good news. The bad news for Pearce-foes is that during the 2010 election, Pearce's Democratic opponent Andrew Sherwood received 10,663 votes. Libertarian Andrea Garcia got 2,808. And Pearce scored 17,552, or 4,081 votes more than his two competitors combined.
Obviously, if those numbers are replicated, Pearce would still win. The recall election will be open, with anyone legally able to jump on the ballot with as few as 621 legit signatures from LD 18 voters.
However, throw in a possible GOP opponent, one that's a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which dominates political life in Mesa, and some Republicans will peel away from Pearce.
Dems, Libertarians and Indies will vote for the alternative, as long as there are no Libs or Dems in the race. So the Libs and the Dems should steer clear if a viable GOPer emerges with the stones to take on Pearce.
A Republican Mormon foe will also be able to make the argument that church teachings back a moderate approach to immigration, particularly in light of the moderate Utah Compact, which the church supports.
Indeed, the LDS church just released a new statement on immigration, which reads, in part,
"The history of mass expulsion or mistreatment of individuals or families is cause for concern especially where race, culture, or religion are involved. This should give pause to any policy that contemplates targeting any one group, particularly if that group comes mostly from one heritage.
"As those on all sides of the immigration debate in the United States have noted, this issue is one that must ultimately be resolved by the federal government."
So, as I've argued in the past, according to the teachings of his own church, Pearce is a bad Mormon. A really bad Mormon. A point to be hammered home over and over again.
For the resident media "experts" on local news tripe like Horizon, who have been the deserving recipients of my verbal abuse on this issue, I have a question:
Why do you think Pearce is so eager to be able to raise funds from out-of-state corporate and union donors for his pending recall election?
An analysis of all of Pearce's 2010 contributors commissioned by CBA, tells the tale.
Only about three percent of contributors to Pearce were from LD 18. The rest, or 97 percent, were from outside Pearce's district. Of these, around 17 percent came from outside of Arizona.
This means that almost no one in Pearce's own district contributes money to him. The people who know him best won't pony up the dough.
In fact, Pearce is a wholly owned subsidiary of "outside" interests, a charge he projects, wrongly, onto the recall effort.
See, Pearce does the bidding of the DC-based nativist hate group Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), and giant corporate interests such as private prisons behemoth Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), and the corporate shills at ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council.
Ultimately, Pearce will be defeated by an Arizona-based grass-roots movement, the strength of which relies on the voters of LD18.
Maricopa County is counting the recall sigs at a rapid pace, making a November election a possibility. Otherwise, it will take place in March.
What should worry Pearce is that CBA has a committed group of volunteers that will work Legislative District 18 like this the last election on Earth. At least, it could be for Pearce.
Look for the next line of attack on the recall to be the false charge of "voter fraud." Actually, it's already begun by some nitwits on the right.
There is no "voter fraud" associated with the recall because no votes have been cast.
There are just signatures. CBA says it verified up to 10,000 of them, and so far, that seems to be holding true.
Petition gatherers don't have to check I.D. People either sign or don't. And the elections officials either validate or invalidate them. To suggest "voter fraud" because some signatures don't past muster is absurd, and a gross distortion of the truth.
But distortions of the truth are run of the mill for Pearce and his camp. And all too often, they end up being echoed sans criticism by his sycophants in the press.
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