Folks have been asking why I haven't blogged yet on state Senate President Russell Pearce's removal from the body politic last night when he was defeated in the Legislative District 18 recall race, 53-45 percent. A massive win for challenger Jerry Lewis, Citizens for a Better Arizona and for anyone who longs for moderation here in Sand Land.
See, while Arizona was being freed from Pearce's poisonous influence on public life, I was being freed of a gall bladder filled with stones. The attack came on suddenly, and was quite painful. As surgeons at a local hospital were putting me under for my cholecystectomy, Pearce was still Senate President.
By the time I came to, he was gone, as was the source of my own physical anguish.
The percentages could wiggle around a tad after the county counts the remaining early and provisional ballots, but not enough to change things for Pearce.
Also, there's the fact that he's conceded, in the lamest terms possible. Class act, he is not.
The county likely will have the LD18 provisional ballots (933) and the remaining early ballots in the district (2,310) tabulated by week's end.
The earlies broke along the same lines as the total vote, percentage-wise. So Pearce knows there are no miracles coming, which is one reason he "conceded."
As the final canvass is unlikely to change anything, the only question remaining is, when will Pearce have to pack up and git?
Arizona Secretary of State spokesman Matt Roberts says the SOS' office has "tentatively scheduled the completion of the canvass on November 21."
He said the county expects it will have its final numbers ready by November 16, for presentation to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors.
Then, on November 21 the SOS will "host the largely ceremonial act of issuing the certificate of election and notifying the Senate of the election results."
Roberts adds, "The Senate will then swear [Lewis in] and that'll be it. When that occurs is up to them."
Now, this is a little troubling, as this is the same state Senate that just removed Independent Redistricting Chair Colleen Mathis based on rumor, innuendo, and half-truths.
(Note: Fox News reports that the Republican Senate Caucus is meeting tomorrow to pick a new Senate President. Sheesh, these guys don't wait till the body is lukewarm, much less cold.)
Thus, the law is not held in very high esteem by many Senate members. Would it shock you if the wingnuts in the Senate did something to hijack the process of Lewis being sworn in?
This would backfire on Senate Republicans, of course, but so has the redistricting coup. If you're shameless and you hold power, there's a lot that you can get away with. In the short term.
Still, I see this as an unlikely scenario. The redistricting mess requires a little 'splainin'. Obfuscation is easier there. Nullifying an outright win in a recall election? That's a harder sell.
As to the whys and wherefores of last night's win by Lewis, check out my column last week, where I was the first to predict a Lewis victory. I did believe it would be closer, but I'm heartened by the fact Lewis pulled a substantial 8 point win, percentage-wise. Ballot-wise, we're talking about a 1,628 spread at last count.
So when they say every vote counts, chickadees, they ain't kiddin'.
Finally, as to all the talk that Pearce will one day run again, for something, anything, well, he may. But I don't see him being successful.
His recall made history. His own people are sick to death of him, so much so they threw him out on his ear. And he fomented a lot of bad blood with the dirty tricks of his followers and their sham candidate Olivia Cortes.
If they elected school janitors in Mesa, I'm sure he'd make a fine one. Other than that, his political career is kaput.
As for my colleague Nick Martin's Tweet wondering when I will lambaste the bootlickers of the Capitol press corps for getting it wrong so often on this recall campaign -- a recall they dismissed only until recently -- be patient, my friend. I'm preparing their punishment, which is not unlike a perfumed ice pick to the kidneys. Albeit verbal.
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