To borrow a line from The Blues Brothers, state Senate President Russell Pearce's got the band back together. But it's a band with more extremists than teeth. So to speak.
Take the case of Elton Hall, onetime stormtrooper for American Nazi Party führer George Lincoln Rockwell. The ancient Hall is well-known for participating in local anti-immigrant pickets and attending meetings of the now mostly defunct nativist group United for a Sovereign America.
According to the campaign finance report for Patriots for Pearce, submitted yesterday to the Arizona Secretary of State, the retired neo-Nazi supports Pearce to the tune of $100. The address given for Hall matches one listed for him by the anti-Nazi One People's Project.
I called Hall at the number listed for him. When he answered, I identified myself and asked him why he contributed to Pearce's re-election campaign. He hung up.
I called back and asked him if he was the same Hall who was a stormtrooper for Rockwell back in the day. Again, he hung up.
(Later, I drove up to the address in Cave Creek given for Hall and witnessed what appeared to be Hall picking up his mail and returning to his house.)
But Hall's not the only extremist to have given to Pearce. Convicted public urinator, devout Mexican-hater, and U.S.A. member Buffalo Rick Galeener contributed $50. Galeener was also present at a recent rally sponsored by Patriots for Pearce held at a Mesa ballpark.
In 2008, Galeener's support for Pearce became so controversial that Pearce was forced to purge Galeener from his online list of "endorsements."
Anna Gaines, a.k.a., the "anti-Hispanic Hispanic," and one of the few token Latino supporters out there of Pearce, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, and various anti-immigrant causes and pieces of legislation, donated $40.
Finally, Linda Bentley, "reporter" for the far-right wing Cave Creek rag Sonoran News, ally of both Pearce and Childress, and the woman who recently smeared American citizen and recall petition signer Benita Lantigua in a flap I've documented at length, chucked a meager $10 into the pro-Pearce plate.
Sure, Bentley's a poor scribe at best, but generally speaking, journalists or those who attempt to ply this trade, should not donate to the politicians they cover. No matter what the amount.
Of course, the chump change Pearce pulled from these extremist loons is a drop in the bucket to the total $230K raised by Pearce in his effort to beat Legislative District 18 recall challenger Jerry Lewis, most of which came from outside Mesa.
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Still, these donations raise the specter of Pearce's connection to neo-Nazi J.T. Ready, the anti-Semitic e-mail he once forwarded to followers, his praise of the Eisenhower-era program "Operation Wetback," the white supremacist tattoo allegedly sported by his ex-con son Joshua Pearce, and so on.
In the past, Pearce's odious white supremacist ties have not made a difference to LD 18 voters. They re-elected him time and again, in spite of the ever-mounting evidence I've offered them over the years
On November 8, they have the opportunity to redeem themselves. Whether or not they take it is the big question.
Addendum: Another noteworthy usual suspect on the list is plus-sized nativist masseuse Brandy Baron (also, a BIG supporter of Sheriff Joe Arpaio), who kicked in $60 cash to the Pearce camp. No tipping required, BTW.