Feathered Bastard

Russell Pearce's Pal Franklin Bruce Ross, Logan Pearce, and Others Sign for Wannabe Pearce Foe Olivia Cortes

Franklin Bruce Ross, the man who is listed as the plaintiff in the lawsuit challenging the recall petitions submitted by Citizens for a Better Arizona, a man his attorney Lisa Hauser has described as a longtime pal of state Senate President Russell Pearce, solicited signatures to put the name of wannabe Pearce challenger Olivia Cortes on the November 8 recall ballot.

I scored copies of the Cortes petition from the Arizona Secretary of State's Office and am still reviewing it.

Ross signed the back of one petition sheet, declaring the signatures he obtained to be valid. One of the few signatures he got was his own. 

Ironically, that oath he signed uses wording that would not be sufficient under Hauser's interpretation of the Arizona Constitution. 

She argues in her brief to the Arizona Supreme Court that the circulators must swear that each signature is "genuine." Instead, the oath on the reverse of the Cortes petition sheets states that "each of the names on the petition was signed in my presence."

Meaning that these petition sheets would be invalid under Hauser's assessment of the law.

I called Hauser about this latest bit of recall weirdness. If she responds, I'll update this post.

Going through the petition sheets that East Valley Tea Party chairman Greg Western filed Friday with the Arizona Secretary of State, there are some other notable signers of Cortes' petition, including a Logan Pearce and an Andrea Pearce, who live at the same address.

A "Logan Pearce" endorsed Russell Pearce for state Senate in 2008.

I'm told by sources in Mesa that Logan Pearce is Russell's nephew, but I have not been able to confirm this with Logan himself. I left a message with him on his voice mail, but have yet to receive a return call.

Western signed the petition, of course. So did hardcore Pearce supporter Ron Middlebrook, who ran unsuccessfully in 2008 for the state House. Middlebrook endorsed Pearce in 2008 as well.

Numerous other known Pearce supporters either signed or circulated the Cortes petitions. Too many for me to detail at length here. Interestingly, Cortes circulated some petition sheets as well. And she signed one of them. So at least we know she exists.

Why do all of these Pearce enthusiasts want Cortes' name on the ballot? Could it be that they've had a change of heart, and now want Pearce to lose in the recall election?

Or do they hope that Cortes' candidacy will "dilute" the vote, as one circulator told me at the Mesa library last week?

The answers to these questions are tellingly obvious.

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