Feathered Bastard

Russell Pearce's Pals Tom Tancredo and Bay Buchanan Pony Up a Measly $424 to Save Russ

Did they leave out a zero somewhere?

I keep rubbing my eyes and scratching my noggin over this latest campaign finance report filed yesterday by the Committee to Oppose Recall of Russell Pearce, which is run by the Virginia-based Team America PAC, co-chaired by anti-immigration stalwarts Tom Tancredo and Bay Buchanan.

Despite supposedly sending out e-mail fundraising blasts since June of this year on behalf of embattled state Senate President Russell Pearce, the committee reports garnering a paltry $424, all of which was donated to Pearce's campaign organization Patriots for Pearce.

That's pretty pathetic considering that the committee claims it's dedicated to "securing our nation's border," which, in nativist parlance, means , "Round up them Mess-cans and ship 'em out," a raison d'etre the PAC shares with Pearce.

Pearce and former Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo have long been allies. At a recent rally for Pearce at a Mesa ballpark (a rally that drew a mere 200 to 300 souls), Tancredo gave a rousing, stump-thumping speech to the pro-Pearce faithful.

"I'd come across the gates of hell for you, buddy," Tancredo assured his partner in Hispanic-hatin'.

And yet, $424 doesn't sound like enough to ford the river Styx, unless you're doing it in a canoe made of matchsticks. 

Though CORRP filed its organizational paperwork with the Arizona Secretary of State in July, it had supposedly been raising funds via e-mail for at least a month.

One of the Pearce-pimping e-mails stated, incorrectly, that, "Because it is a recall effort corporate funds are welcome and contributions are unlimited!"

But when the SOS weighed in and pointed out that state law bans the use of corporate and union funds to influence Arizona elections, CORRP sheepishly returned a $2,500 donation to an unnamed corporation.

That donation, and its reimbursement, is not reported in CORRP's recent filing. 

"They would have to report it if they cashed the check, then returned it," SOS spokesman Matt Roberts explained to me. "If they received a contribution but then sent it back, it wouldn't have to show up on the report."

Team America PAC is hardly lacking in cash. Its October filing with the Federal Election Commission showed the PAC's 2011 receipts to date have totaled $160,974. 

Most of its disbursements for the month of September were to meet its payroll, including Buchanan's compensation. In August, Tancredo was paid a consulting fee of $2,500.

By contrast, the national school choice group American Federation for Children ponied up $21,140 this month to assist Pearce's re-election. And here in Sand Land, the Home Builders Association of Central Arizona gave $5,520 to this less-than-noble cause.

Pre-election reports are due in by day's end Thursday, October 27. The deadline for post-election reports is December 8.

I put a call into Team America PAC for a comment. If they get back to me, I'll update the post. 

Maybe I'm missing something. That $424 just seems way too low. Or perhaps re-electing Pearce wasn't quite the priority Tancredo and Buchanan claimed.

Meanwhile, here's a clip from the hi-larious 2004 Trey Parker Matt Stone flick Team America: World Police.

Kim Jong-il and Russell Pearce: Both hate furriners and both have a God complex, though Pearce doesn't dress nearly as snazzy

Will this be the tune Pearce is singing on November 9? We can only hope.

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