Feathered Bastard

Russell Pearce Threatens To Lock Up Union Members, Public Employees

Will I miss having state Senate President Russell Pearce to kick around once he's been recalled, his career ended in disgrace?

Yes and no. Of course, I want to see this menace to humanity flattened (metaphorically) like a Looney Toons character crushed by a cartoon anvil. But, I must admit that his persistent, knuckledragging stupidity does give me plenty to blog about.

The latest addition to the Pearce foot-in-mouth disease compendium is a remark he made at a recent Legislative breakfast given by the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, where Pearce threatens to lock 'em up, should public sector employees and unions representing them ever follow the lead of their brothers and sisters in Wisconsin.

According to the Yellow Sheet, Pearce made this crack about what he and his buddy Sheriff Joe Arpaio would do if workers stood up for their rights and demonstrated:

"I've spoken with the sheriff, and he has some nice buses that hold a lot of people. We've also got some tents with a view."

Pearce should know. Not only because he used to work for Arpaio, and claims credit for the Tent City idea, but because his 30 year-old son Joshua Pearce has been in and out of stir on probation violations. This, regarding Josh's 2007 conviction for extreme DUI.

Joshua turned himself in to the Mesa Police recently, after spending a couple of months in Joe's gray bar hotel on a different probation violation. Obviously, Josh, who was under investigation for child abuse earlier this year (but never charged), is the product of exemplary parenting.

The Chamber's breakfast was attended by numerous politicos, many of them trying to play comedian. But the Yellow Sheet does not report Pearce's unconstitutional threat as a joke, and does not mention any laughter in response.

Rebekah Friend, executive director of the Arizona AFL-CIO sure isn't laughing. The organization issued a press release lambasting Pearce. In it, Friend is quoted, thus:

"I find it deeply chilling that an elected official finds it funny to discuss jailing a group of people expressing their First Amendment rights...Suggesting a police crackdown before a rally has even occurred is just more of the same intimidation, threats and innuendo we've come to expect from Senator Pearce and his crony Arpaio."

Pearce is always for locking up "illegals," people who disagree with him, and now public employees. Too bad he can't lock himself up for taking freebies from Fiesta Bowl execs. Then father and son could together enjoy that fine view he was speaking about.

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

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