Channel 12's Brahm Resnik has outed a possible challenger to state Senate President Russell Pearce in the November 8 recall election in Legislative District 18: Jerry Lewis, and, no, not the cheesy dude on the telethons.
Resnik writes in his blog that,
"This would be Lewis' first run for elected office. He is a former senior manager in the tax department at the accounting firm Deloitte & Touche. He is now assistant superintendent at Sequoia Schools, a statewide operator of charter schools, including the former Pappas school for homeless kids."
In addition, Resnik identifies Lewis, 54, as an ex-Bishop and ex-stake president in the Mormon church, and a 30-year resident of Mesa. So far, so good. Lets hope there are no skeletons to dig up, because you know Pearce's people will be hunting for 'em.
I find the emergence of this potential contender rather amusing considering that just a day or so before local scribbler Howie Fischer of the Howie Fischer News Service (aka, "Capitol Media Services") and my esteemed colleague Dennis Welch of the Arizona Guardian website were on Resnik's show, pooh-pooh-ing the possibility that Pearce could be licked.
The race is Pearce's to lose, the pair predicted, before Lewis' name emerged. Keep in mind, this is the same non-dynamic duo who previously ridiculed the recall effort by Citizens for a Better Arizona, with an attitude of "big deal" and "I'll believe it when I see it."
They've since had to eat those words, now that a recall election is a reality. But their brains are so addled by the dusty, moldering air of the state Senate building, where they normally dwell, that they cannot conceive of a reality beyond its walls. And the real chance that Pearce's day's are numbered.
In the pre-Lewis segment, Fischer offered that the ideal candidate to run against Pearce should be a Mormon, a Republican and a woman, someone he referred to as "this mythical person who exists in West Phoenix somewhere."
West Phoenix? Can Fischer even find Mesa on a map? As Bugs Bunny would say, what a ma-roon.
As far as "mythical" goes, Lewis seems to have laid that to rest, though he does not meet Fischer's pompous pronouncement to a T, as he ain't no woman. But there are even women in Mesa who could give Pearce a run for his dolo.
I'm thinking of GOPer Claudia Walters, former vice-Mayor of Mesa, one-time candidate for Mayor and current vice president of the Mesa United Way. Walters is Mormon, and has an impeccable record of dedication to public service.
She would make a fine candidate, and is hardly mythical. The fact that Fischer was unaware of her existence shows what a talent-less dope he is. I have no idea if she'd be interested in running. I offer her name merely to counter Fischer's cluelessness.
For his part, Welch insisted that if there are a bunch of names on the ballot, this will favor Pearce. Yes and no. This election will be a unique event. Only Pearce and his rivals will be on the ballot. There's nothing else to draw folks to the polls.
Also, candidates will not have D's, R's, or L's next to their names. Sure, most people who read the paper know Pearce is a Republican, but here's a news flash: A lot of people in Pearce's district have no idea who the guy is, other than they've heard negative stuff about him.
I know this from going door-to-door with the signature-gatherers. Those who knew who Pearce was, outright loathed him (with very few exceptions). Others signed the petition after being told what a hate bunny he is.
Interestingly, Pearce is despised even in Mesa's politically powerful Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Many fellow LDSers consider Pearce to be an embarrassment, a ham-fisted, uncouth knuckle-dragger.
For numerous Mormons and GOPers, the recall is the chance they've been waiting for to rid themselves of this loathsome goon.
Resnik asked if the stance of the Mormon church on immigration might be a game changer. The LDS church has backed both state legislation that would allow for guest workers, as well as the Utah Compact, which calls for humane immigration reform.
And in June, the LDS church issued a statement calling for a path to legalization for the estimated 12 million undocumented in our midst.
It proclaimed that, "The bedrock moral issue for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is how we treat each other as children of God."
And it made allusions to dark eras in mankind's recent past:
"The history of mass expulsion or mistreatment of individuals or families is cause for concern especially where race, culture, or religion are involved. This should give pause to any policy that contemplates targeting any one group, particularly if that group comes mostly from one heritage. "
Tell me, do you think Pearce looks upon illegal immigrants as "children of God"? Hell, no. But Fischer, ever the fumbler, belittled the church's historic moral stance, characterizing it as "a little more liberal than Russel's."
Are you freaking kidding me? The church's pronouncement is in direct contradiction to Pearce's crass nativism, which is in no way "liberal."
To that point, read this passage from the June LDS statement:
"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is concerned that any state legislation that only contains enforcement provisions is likely to fall short of the high moral standard of treating each other as children of God."
Of course, Mormons are not the only ones who vote in LD18, but the LDS is very influential there, obviously. The church also stated that "as a matter of policy" it discourages its members from "entering any country without legal documentation."
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Phoenix New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Phoenix's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
It also affirmed a commitment to border security and stemming the flow of illegal immigration, but it advocated for a "balanced and civil approach to a challenging problem, fully consistent with its tradition of compassion, its reverence for family, and its commitment to law."
Fischer is an exasperating idiot, whose head is so thick that it could be used as the cornerstone for a government building. It's a testament to the backwards, Hee-Haw-like political scene here in Sand Land that this clueless doofus with his annoying Yankee accent qualifies as a talking head on any subject, much less current events.
As for Welch, I like him, and would rather drink a beer with him than Fischer any day, but he should get off the Capitol grounds once in a blue moon and talk to someone other than the jaded, ill-informed political hacks that populate that tiny enclave.
Otherwise he'll be known for the same moronic pronouncements of his media bunk-mate Fischer.