Feathered Bastard

Russell Pearce's Falsehoods, Inaccuracies and Inventions on Channel 12's Sunday Square-Off

Watching state Senator Russell Pearce defend his police state bill SB 1070 on Channel 12's Sunday Square-Off with Brahm Resnik, I was reminded of what state Representative Daniel Patterson (D-Tucson) had to say about Pearce recently, after challenging the Mesa bigot-boy on some of his dubious factoids.

Patterson complained to Pearce that, "You just step up to the mic and you make things up." 

He added: "That to me is troubling. We need to make decisions based on facts, not based on what you make up."

Pearce had asserted during a committee hearing that, "We [just] had 69 homicides along the border in one day," implying some had taken place in the U.S. 

Patterson demanded, "None of those have happened in the United States, have they?" 

Pearce replied that Patterson's assertion was "Absolutely not true." 

Actually, all of the murders Pearce was talking about occurred in Mexico. Thirteen of them took place in Mexico City, which is nowhere near the border.

Thing is, Pearce spews spurious "facts" all of the time. At one hearing I happened to be at, he sputtered that "67 percent" of law enforcement officers killed in "the last few years" have been murdered by illegal aliens.

I knew the stat was bogus because I'd done research previously into a similar statement made by state Senator John Huppenthal at a Pearce press conference

Though the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports, which are based on the raw data the agency receives from states and cities, are incredibly detailed, the FBI does not keep records on the immigration status of perps in cop killings. Neither does Arizona DPS.

So I dogged Pearce and asked him where he got the stat. No reply. When I accused him of inventing the "67 percent" line, he eyed me evilly, and spat, "You're going to write your story without the truth."

I told him that if I bought his bogus line, I would be.
The problem is that Pearce rarely gets called on any of this stuff. On Sunday Square-Off, he bulldozed Resnik to the point the TV newsman could hardly get a word in edgewise. You can't bother to be polite with a bully like Pearce. He'll just walk right over you.

The duplicity began with an opening nugget of Pearce at the Capitol, repeating his tired mantra of "enough is enough" and, incredibly, asserting that, "This bill [SB 1070] does not expand police powers, does not expand citizens' rights to sue."

Pearce might as well have been insisting that two plus two equals five. Look at the content of the bill itself. For any "lawful contact," which could be nearly anything, if the cop has a "reasonable suspicion" to believe you're in the country illegally, you can be held. You are then "presumed to be an alien" if you're not carrying a driver's license or some other form of required ID. 

That is clearly an expansion of police powers. If you don't have any ID on you, you are guilty until proven innocent. 

In the interview, Pearce made much of a "civil rights" provision in the bill, which states that a cop cannot "solely consider race, color or national origin" in determining whether or not to stop someone. 

This means a police officer can consider race and color, or race and national origin, or color and national origin. So the provision is designed to lead directly to racial profiling, which is illegal under the U.S. Constitution.

As to the provision regarding a private right of action by a citizen against any agency that is not enforcing immigration statutes to "the full extent permitted by federal law," the language lays the groundwork for frivolous lawsuits, and instructs that the offending entity pay $1,000 to $5,000 per day from the date of filing.

Pearce has stated that citizens have the right to sue anyway. Okay, so why have the provision in the bill? Because he's giving a plaintiff carte blanche, in order to scare law enforcement agencies into acting as immigration agents 24-7, rather than pursuing other concerns, like investigating murders, robberies and rapes.

Some other shibboleths uttered by Pearce on the show:

"9,000 Americans [are] killed every year at the hands of illegal aliens."

This oft-repeated bit of blarney originated with Rep. Steve King of Iowa, who supposedly "extrapolated" the information from a 2005 GAO report. Thing is, that statistic is nowhere in the GAO report itself, which discussed the number of criminal aliens in federal and state custody. The number of "9,000 Americans" murdered every year by criminal aliens is unsubstantiated.

"60 percent of the homicides in Phoenix involved illegal aliens."

As I've stated already, the FBI does not keep stats on a perp's immigration status, and the stats they do have come directly from agencies such as the Phoenix PD. 

In 2008, the Phoenix PD cleared 51.8 percent of murders, the rest were left uncleared. How do you determine the immigration status of those involved in the remainder? By magic? Apparently Pearce has his own brand of hocus pocus.

"10 a day [coming across the U.S.-Mexico border] according to the Atlanta Science Foundation...are sexual predators."

The "Atlanta Science Foundation"? Google it, people. It doesn't come up. Nor does directory assistance have a listing for it. 

He's probably referring to an independent criminal profiler in Atlanta by the name of Deborah Schurman-Kauflin, who has an LLC she calls the Violent Crimes Institute

Among other services, on her Web site, she offers online classes on female serial killers for $1000. For $400, you can talk to the great lady herself for 30 minutes on any subject.

In a 2006 article titled, "The Dark Side of Illegal Immigration," Schurman-Kauflin claimed that sex offenders make up "2 percent of illegals apprehended." She offered no precise source for this, just that, "When examining ICE reports and public records, it is consistent" to find this to be the case.

She concluded that, "This translates to 93 sex offenders and 12 serial sexual offenders coming across U.S. borders illegally per day."

I guess if you buy a self-published, non-peer-reviewed analysis offered up by an "expert" who sells her services through PayPal, you can swallow this bunkum whole.

Otherwise, I think you're beginning to see the problem with dealing with a compulsive bilge peddler like Pearce. Once he throws out some specious factoid, you have to expend a great deal of energy -- first to find out where he found the hogwash, then to show that it has no basis in fact.

The easiest way to deal with this situation is to have Pearce right in front of you, and crucify him on every falsehood. But you can't let him get away with running off at the mouth. Otherwise, he dissembles with impunity, and wins by default.

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