Russell Pearce-Worship, and Corrupt Proxy Voting at the County GOP

Why are non-loony Republicans always on the outs in the county and state GOP, with the insaniac Mexican-haters firmly in control?

In her blog on Sunday, moderate Republican Paula Pennypacker described one of the main tactics of GOP county chairman Rob Haney's nativist cult: The gaming of the proxy system, which allows GOP PCs to hand over their votes to others for casting.

She states that she attended a mandatory MCRC meeting on Saturday, and knew from jump that a slate endorsed by disgraced ex-state Senate President Russell Pearce and his cohort, our as-yet-unindicted Sheriff Joe Arpaio, would win on the first ballot.

She writes,

"I knew that because I witnessed multiple people, stuffing mufti-paper [sic] proxy ballots into boxes arranged around the auditorium. It brought images of Afghanistan, and ink dipped fingers to mind, a vain attempt to ensure one person, one vote elections, until they figured out that the ink could be easily removed."

Pennypacker reports that Haney & Co. recruit neophyte PCs aplenty at Tea Party functions, then use the new stooges to ill-ends.

"Most tea partiers didn't even know what a PC was," she notes of the effort. "But after being recruited by rabid partisans, they were told to just get 5 signatures, get elected, hand me your proxy -- and leave the rest up to us."

And "overseeing the whole scam"? None other than Constantine Querard, whom Pennypacker correctly pegs as, "the slimy political operative who assisted Pearce in his historic recall loss."

Though Querard has denied it, he's also widely believed to have been behind Pearce's fraudulent Olivia Cortes fiasco. 

The threat that Querard would be dragged into court and placed under oath caused Cortes to cave, you'll remember, and withdraw her name from the recall race in Legislative District 18.

Apparently, one of those on the winning slate to become at-large members of the county's executive governing committee was Dan Grimm, a major player in the Cortes scandal -- a Pearce supporter who circulated petitions to get Cortes' name on the ballot.

Cortes's candidacy was intended to dilute the vote in the LD 18 race. It was only through the pro-bono legal efforts of attorneys Tom Ryan and H. Micheal Wright that she was forced to bow out.

(Her name stayed on the ballot, however, pulling a grand total of 277 votes.)

Under oath at a superior court hearing on the matter, Grimm claimed that he had worked to put Cortes on the ballot so he would have an option other then Pearce-foe Jerry Lewis to vote for, should Pearce lose.

I know, it makes zero sense. 

But later, when he was not under oath, he told an Arizona Capitol Times reporter that, 

"Just as the main objective of the recall movement is to knock out Russell Pearce, the main objective of mine was to knock out Jerry Lewis using Olivia Cortes."

Did Grimm tell a tall tale to the judge? Sure, it's last year's news, but Grimm's re-election to his member-at-large position shows that for county Rs, his shenanigans in the recall were nothing to be ashamed of.

Similarly, county GOPers' slavish worship of Pearce shows you where their heads are at. 

I'm told Pearce was at the MCRC meeting, endorsing the chosen slate and no doubt politickin' for the state GOP First Vice Chair position he apparently wants so much.

In running for First Vice Chair, Pearce opposes Diane Ortiz-Parsons, that rarity known as the conservative GOP Latina. 

The symbolism of Sand Land's biggest bigot looking to crush such an individual should be apparent to all.

Why does Pearce want the un-paid position, many have asked? Well, it keeps his name in circulation, for one. Evidently, he's been telling folks that he'll be on the ballot in some capacity in 2012.

Also, there's this line in the state GOP's bylaws, should Arizona Republican Chair Tom Morrissey chose to jump his tres-leaky ship:

"In the case of a vacancy in the office of the state chairman, unless a statutory or mandatory meeting is scheduled within 90 days, the first vice chairman shall call a meeting of the state committee within 45 days to elect a new state chairman."

Maybe Pearce wants Morrissey's job. And maybe Morrissey wants to open the door for Pearce taking it.

BTW, state Democrats allow proxy voting, though for Maricopa County Dems, the bylaws emphatically state, "No proxy voting shall be permitted."

Pennypacker wants to end the practice in her party, where it's used to maintain a wingnut lock on power. 

Quixotic? Perhaps. But unless Rs such as Pennypacker rise up and take back their party, it will remain firmly in control of the Rob Haney Kool-Aid drinkers. And that's not good for anyone.

Well, except for those dispensing Kool Aid.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >