Feathered Bastard

Russell Pearce Scores Paying Gig as "President" of Ban Amnesty Now

I've been staying up late nights worrying about disgraced former state Senate President Russell Pearce.

I mean, what's a washed-up nativist hatemonger to do for cash? Sure, he's been busy running for First Vice Chair of the Arizona Republican Party, but that won't put fatback on the griddle, being that it's an unpaid gig.

Well, now I can rest easy knowing that ol' Russ won't have to stoop to Food Stamps or supplementing his various government pensions with the occasional can of Alpo. 

That's 'cause Pearce is now the President of Ban Amnesty Now, the nativist shill group created by Sean McCaffrey, erstwhile executive director of the state GOP.

Pearce had been an honorary chairman of the organization, but that basically meant that BAN used Pearce's name to raise ducats.

But now, as Pearce will be front man for the org, he'll be compensated for services rendered, including his hosting of the BAN radio show Tuesday nights at 7 p.m.on KFNX 1100AM

"Starting off, he'll be the full time paid BAN employee, and we'll work to build a relationship around him," said McCaffrey. "We'll give him free reign of BAN and let him take it to new heights."

McCaffrey said he'll focus his efforts on being the chairman and CEO of the Conservative Leadership Coalition, of which BAN is a subsidiary. McCaffrey will also remain on the radio show as a co-host.

As McCaffrey once had me on the program as a guest, I suggested that Pearce have me on again, so I could verbally pummel the Mesa muttonhead, like when he was a Legislator.

McCaffrey promised that he'd run the idea by Pearce, but he confided to me that Pearce was "not a fan" of my work. So I shouldn't get my hopes up, he warned.

BAN and Pearce have an "at-will" contract, based on a handshake deal brokered over a breakfast at a local Cracker Barrel, McCaffrey explained.

Cracker Barrel? Insert your own joke here.

If Pearce decides to run for a "public elective office," he would have to step down from the BAN gig, as the organization is a non-profit, and cannot back candidates, McCaffrey said.

He told me Pearce gave him no definite commitment for his tenure as BAN prez. Which means Pearce could still make a bid for some office on the 2012 ballot.

No doubt, Pearce will pull a regular audience of Mexican-haters, xenophobes and assorted trailer-park hooligans to the AM dial. 

But I'll be tuning in as well, if only to catalog all of the prevarications Pearce can't help from spitting. 

And if he can't have me on as a guest, perhaps he could have on his sham-wow candidate Olivia Cortes, and they could dissect how they failed to "dilute" the vote in the historic recall election that booted him from office.

Hey, just a suggestion.

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