Russell Pearce Wants to Run Again, No Surprise There

The news that former state Senate President Russell Pearce is positioning himself to run again for the state Senate should surprise no one.

To be clear, Pearce hasn't yet announced his intention to seek that office. He's merely filed paperwork with the Arizona Secretary of State's Office that would allow him to do so.

But his recent election to the Arizona Republican Party's First Vice Chair position, his new paid gig as president of the nativist shill organization Ban Amnesty Now, and his comments to reporter Howie Fischer that, "I'm getting pushed by a lot of people to run," all signal that Pearce has finished crying in his oatmeal over his humiliating 12 point recall loss in November.

Literally, the 64 year-old has few other options, never having held a job in the private sector, unless you include the recent BAN appointment and the part-time stint as a Tuesday night talk-radio host that comes with it.

If Republican state Senator Rich Crandall seeks re-election, Pearce would face him in a primary, assuming Pearce runs, of course.

And by all means, I hope Pearce does run. Because I can promise I will be ruthless in reminding people of the mountain of sleaze that has been his career in public life.

Associations with right-wing extremists and a well-known neo-Nazi. Being fired from the Arizona MVD. His Fiesta Bowl freebies and contributions from Fiesta Bowl execs to him, being but three examples of this sleaze.

The campaign he and his functionaries foisted on the public this past fall should be, simply, the most recent reminder of what Pearce stands for.

The Pearce camp and its backers engaged in a long string of dirty tricks: a fake Twitter site, smears of the eventual victor state Senator Jerry Lewis, misleading robocalls seeking to suppress the vote, and, most notoriously, the sham candidacy of Olivia Cortes.

Pearce denied that he knew about the plot to have Cortes "dilute" the vote in the recall election, but his friends, family members, and supporters were all in on it. So his denials have all the credibility of a Televangelist's prayers.

The Cortes affair should have been prosecuted as a violation of state law. But all of the prosecutors involved just happen to be Republicans willing to look the other way.

How convenient for Pearce and his supporters, who worship the marble-mouthed Mesa pol as a demigod.

They don't care that laws were broken, that lies a-plenty were told, including Pearce's whopper that the Mormon church gave its blessing to Senate Bill 1070. For them, the ends justify the means.

The public, however, decided otherwise in November. It's voice was heard in double-digits.

Memories are short, true, but Pearce remains unapologetic and uninterested in redemption for his many transgressions. He never even bothered to call Lewis, as is the custom, to formally concede and congratulate him, for instance.

Pearce's arrogance is the key to his downfall during the recall. And it will be so again. The man prevaricates as if its second nature. He personifies hostility and meanness of spirit.

But Republicans in the East Valley no longer fear him. He lacks the power to back up the threats that inevitably preceded him in the past.

It only remains to oppose him, to rerun for the public the ugliness of his 2011 bid to beat off the recall, and to allow Pearce to show his true face once more, as he most certainly will. 

As long as this is done, he can be pushed back under the cracked slab he slithered from. Only unopposed and unchallenged can Pearce reassert himself and creep back into public life.

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