Pearce vs. Ready: The Dennis Gilman video
Note: Please see update below with response from Senator Pearce.
Who's more credible: Arizona's best-known neo-Nazi J.T. Ready, or state Senate President-elect Russell Pearce?
Watch Dennis Gilman's latest, and you be the judge. In it is some never-before-seen footage of Pearce endorsing Ready for Ready's 2006 Mesa city council run. I obtained the footage from a confidential source. It was part of some pro-Ready campaign material handed out to folks back in 2006.
I've already exposed Pearce's presence at Ready's baptism into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and the fact that Pearce ordained Ready as an elder in the Mormon Church. This, despite Pearce's denials concerning his past involvement with Ready.
This is how Pearce responded to my request for comment concerning the LDS material, also obtained from a confidential source:
"Just the facts Ma'am. Steve the truth for a change would be nice. I had nothing to do with Mr. Ready's baptism, I was invited to attend and I did. I can guarantee if they knew later he would be involved with hate groups that baptism would have never taken place. No one could have known or guessed he would later become involved with radical hate groups."
You can read the full e-mail thread, here.
Ready makes some new allegations regarding Pearce. The most intriguing is Ready's claim that he played the part of a stalking horse for Pearce at one time.
"I could be the voicebox," said Ready during an interview he gave to Gilman and me. "I can also be a bell weather to tell how much resistance we're going to get from the ADL, how much resistance are we going to get from the mainstream media, how much resistance can we get from the people...how can we push the bar a little bit further, keep him in the safe zone, and inch up forward and I take all of the brunt of the hit and so forth."
Ready also claims that he and Pearce shared bigoted comments with each other in the past. I've e-mailed Pearce for a response, and will post it here if I receive a reply. (PLEASE SEE UPDATE BELOW.)
You have to wonder if Ready has video, audio or e-mails that back up these latest claims. Or if someone else out there has the info to back them up. If anyone does, I hope they share it. Particularly with me.
I helped out with interviewing Ready, but the finished product belongs to Dennis, who shot and edited it, obviously. Considering that everything Pearce-related is news these days, I would expect it to go viral.
UPDATE: Senator Pearce responded to J.T. Ready's allegations on swapping bigoted or racist comments/views with Ready back when they were still interacting. Here's what he had to say:
"That is a complete LIE. No such swapping of jokes and I never knew about any of his dealing until you exposed them. I do not understand his motives for such statements."
I thanked Senator Pearce for his reply, and took the opportunity to ask him a few more questions via e-mail. If he replies, I will post both the questions and the answers.
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.