Feathered Bastard

Russell Pearce's Recall, His Blacklist, and the SPLC's "Dirty Dozen"

So here's a little round-up of news related to everyone's favorite neo-Nazi hugger, state Senate President Russell Pearce.

First, regarding the dueling recalls of Pearce underway in Legislative District 18: DeeDee Blase of the Libertarian/Somos Republicans effort Arizonans for a Better Government recently issued a statement regarding the rival recall group Citizens for a Better Arizona, essentially sending volunteers the CBA's way.

Blase graciously writes,

"We're all fighting for the same goals, the center of which is recalling Pearce, and Arizonans For Better Government understands the principles Free Market Economics. There's no need for competitiveness and redundancy in efforts, and so at this time we encourage volunteer circulators to accept the generous offer by Citizens for a Better Arizona to earn compensation for their work and thus strengthen a single recall effort."

Via e-mail, I pressed Blase on whether this meant ABG, which filed its recall paperwork days before CBA, was throwing in the towel. She assured me that wasn't the case, but that ABG would target Mesa's LDS community.

"We will solicit signatures concentrated from within the Mormon community because we believe the change has to come from within," Blase explained. "We don't pay our circulators, and encourage those who want to be paid to go to Randy Parraz."

By Parraz, Blase means CBA, as Parraz is one of the principal organizers of that campaign. Its chairman is Chad Snow, who is LDS, BTW.

I commend Blase for the generosity of spirit expressed in her statement. Also, Blase's group is promoting a "fireside" on immigration with a local LDS leader. A fireside, from what I've read, is a religious educational event, usually held at someone's home. You can find out more about the event, here. Hopefully, they'll admit lapsed Methodists like yours truly.

In other Pearce news, the Arizona Capitol Times is reporting that Pearce's bans on individuals from the state Senate building will last two weeks, or through the end of the session, or 60 days, if the Legislature is not in session.

I assume this farce is Pearce's attempt to ameliorate all of the bad press he's gotten after the "ban" and arrest of civil rights activist Sal Reza. But in effect, Pearce still maintains that he has the power to blacklist anyone he damn well wants.

In other words, nothing to see here, move along...

KTAR has reported that Pearce has been given permission to "speak" before the court on the issue of whether or not the Legislature can "intervene" in the case of Senate Bill 1070. This, because the Legislature has passed a law allowing its counsel to meddle in the lawsuit brought by the federal government.

District Judge Susan R. Bolton has issued an order scheduling oral arguments on the matter for April 1. She's the judge who enjoined most of the law last year. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has yet to issue a decision based on a challenge to her enjoinment.

Normally, the parties' respective counsel would make oral arguments. And Bolton's order says nothing about Pearce speaking before her.

Also, Pearce is not a lawyer, and I'll let you in on a secret, he ain't book smart. So him bloviating before Bolton isn't likely to happen. Though I wish it could. After all, it will be April Fools' Day.

Finally, Pearce and fellow Republinut wackjob, state Representative Judy "Birther" Burges made the Southern Poverty Law Center's "Dirty Dozen" -- 12 members of the State Legislators for Legal Immigration, the organization pushing anti-birthright citizenship bills around the country.

Of Pearce, the SPLC states, "If there were a Hall of Fame for immigrant-hating legislators, Russell Pearce, the new president of the Arizona State Senate, would be unanimously voted in."

Talk about an understatement. He'd be unanimously voted in as the "Pope of Prejudice" or the "Archbishop of Bigotry" to such an august entity. Nonetheless, kudos to the SPLC for the article. Pearce and the rest of the nativist idgits on that list deserve the spanking.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons