Feathered Bastard

Russell Pearce's Ban Amnesty Now Announces Boycott of New Times

It's pretty easy for a scribbler in this town to know when you've drawn blood from local hypocrites: Those skewered squeal like hogs being boiled alive in Karo syrup.

Recalled ex-state Senate President Russell Pearce is no exception, despite his tough-guy pose. Make that double for his mini-me enabler Sean McCaffrey, one-time executive director of the Arizona Republican Party. 

Seems this Mexican-bashin' duo is so peeved at my recent journalistic endeavors that on Monday they announced a campaign to boycott New Times' advertisers.

McCaffrey is the founder of Ban Amnesty Now, which has a one-hour radio show it pays for on KFNX 1100 AM. Recently, McCaffrey turned the radio show over to Pearce, who now serves as BAN's president. 

McCaffrey told me in January that Pearce would have to relinquish both the BAN presidency and the AM hour once Pearce announced his campaign for state Senator of the newly formed Legislative District 25. This, because BAN is a 501(c)4 non-profit, which is not supposed to spend the majority of its time sponsoring candidates for public office.

But Pearce being Pearce, he's staying on as head of BAN and will still host the radio show,  rules be damned. 

I recently blogged about the legal and ethical issues involved in allowing Pearce to do this. And in an odd acknowledgement of that blog entry, Pearce announced at the start of Monday's show that he could not campaign on air and preferred not to take calls about his lame comeback attempt.

Nevertheless, one caller commented on the flap, supporting Pearce's use of the BAN show as a "platform" for his run for office. That call is a perfect example of why Pearce, in his current role, will not be able to maintain a wall between his candidacy and McCaffrey's 501(c)4.

Later in the show, McCaffrey lambasted New Times as being, among other things, "anti-law enforcement, anti-jobs, pro-amnesty, pro-illegal immigration, anti-Sheriff Arpaio, anti-you," the "you" being Pearce, natch.

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