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Russell Pearce, the reckless cowboy

Sep 16, 2014

Arizona Republic

Note Russell Pearce is also a former police officer or cop. I wonder how he treated the woman and Mexicans he stopped when he was a cop. Based solely on the comments he makes in the media, I suspect that he treated them like sh*t.

Russell Pearce also seems to be a big time hypocrite. He is a Tea Party type always rallying against taxes and government welfare. But recently Russell Pearce accepted a job with Maricopa County where he is to encourage people to accept government welfare. I think he is being paid around $80,000 a year for that job.

Russell Pearce, the reckless cowboy

Citizens for a Better Arizona protest at the county treasurer's office calling for the ouster of Russell Pearce.

Editorial board, The Republic | 7:26 a.m. MST September 16, 2014

Our View: Operation Wetback should have been Russell Pearce's last rodeo. But he lived on to give us Operation Sterilization.

Russell Pearce fashions himself a cowboy.

And not just any cowboy. The cowboy of all cowboys, John Wayne.

When he served in the Legislature, Pearce graced his office walls with not one, but two portraits of "The Duke." And in his new guise as right-wing radio host, he describes himself as the "John Wayne of the airways, the Chuck Norris of the talk-radio circuit."

You get it. Tough guy.

Recently, tough guy told his listeners if he ran Medicaid, he'd throw his lasso around the reproductive tubes of women on welfare just to make dang sure they don't pop out any welfare babies.

Lady, you live off the system, we tie your tubes.

It was classic cowboy justice, plainly spoken, roughly dealt. But one problem. The Republican Pearce had handed his opponents a gun — to shoot all Republican candidates.

Russell Pearce's career:

On Saturday, DJ Quinlan, Arizona Democratic Party executive director, pointed Pearce's bombast at the Republican candidate for governor. "How can we expect Doug Ducey to lead this state if he can't even stand up to the most extreme elements of his party?"

Republican candidates saw where this was leading. The war on women. The flight of female voters.

Soon top Republicans were falling over each other to denounce Pearce:

"Russell Pearce's ignorant, hateful comments are insulting to women everywhere," wrote Martha McSally, candidate for Congress in District 2.

"The obnoxious comments made by Russell Pearce were both disgusting and offensive. Let it be known, he is NOT the voice of my GOP. #Resign!" tweeted Michele Reagan, GOP candidate for Secretary of State.

And then there was Ducey. "I couldn't disagree more with Russell Pearce's deplorable comments," he tweeted.

What's deplorable is that Arizona Republicans allowed the fringe right long ago to seize their party, drive out mainstream voices, demean respected GOP members of Congress and build a welcoming hearth for Pearce.

Eight years ago, Republicans might have stopped him when he proposed a deranged idea to bring back the Eisenhower-era program "Operation Wetback" to deport all undocumented migrants.

Immigration activist Roberto Reveles noted at the time that the GOP was mute. "All we hear is silence from leaders of the Republican Party. All we can conclude is that they abide by the same type of bigotry."

Republicans bit their tongues. Pearce went on to craft SB 1070 and to become Senate president. Voters recalled him, but he later returned to serve as first vice chair of the state Republican Party.

Operation Wetback should have been Russell Pearce's last rodeo. He lived on to bring us Operation Sterilization.

Does anyone doubt he'll be back?


Is anybody really surprised by Russell Pearce's rant?

Laurie Roberts, columnist | 7:41 a.m. MST September 16, 2014

Leading lights in the Arizona Republican Party have pronounced themselves shocked by the comments of one of the GOP's rock stars.

Russell Pearce's recent comments, we are told, are "disgusting and offensive." They are "cruel", "revolting" and "unrepresentative of the Republican Party." They are "ignorant, hateful comments …. insulting to women everywhere. "

They are, frankly, not all that surprising.

Pearce has been spewing poison for years.

In 2006, then-Rep. Pearce was extolling the virtues of "Operation Wetback," a 1950s program that encouraged mass roundups and deportations of Mexican immigrants here illegally.

That same year, he e-mailed his Tea Party pals an article from a White-supremacist group that attacked the media for presenting a "single view of the world, a world in which every voice proclaims the equality of the races, the inerrant nature of the Jewish 'Holocaust' tale, the wickedness of attempting to halt the flood of non-White aliens pouring across our borders." Pearce later apologized, saying he hadn't read the article before sending it out.

Since then, he's forwarded along missives that include wildly inaccurate claims about the impact of illegal immigration and compared the migration across the border to "importing leper colonies."

In 2007, Pearce appeared at a rally with local neo-Nazi/border vigilante J.T. Ready to rail against illegal immigration. Pearce would later say that he had no idea that Ready was a neo-Nazi, never mind that it was in all the papers. (In 2012, Ready went on a rampage, killing his girlfriend and three others before killing himself.)

Despite Pearce's ravings, he persuaded the Republican-dominated Legislature to pass Senate Bill 1070, rose to become Senate president and was heralded in some GOP quarters as an American patriot.

In recent years, Pearce has been recalled and rebuffed by voters yet lauded by Republican Party officials, who in 2012 elected him to be the state party's first vice chair.

And most recently, he was hired to a top job working for Maricopa County Treasurer's Office.

Now the pride of the GOP has weighed in on women, saying on his weekly radio show that they should be forced to use contraceptives or be sterilized if they dare to apply for government aid.

"You put me in charge of Medicaid, the first thing I'd do is get women Norplant, birth-control implants, or tubal ligations."

No word on whether he'd castrate the males.

Pearce's comments, first reported last week by the New Times' Stephen Lemons, were largely ignored until Saturday when the state Democratic Party noted the "silence" in Republican ranks.

"How can we expect Doug Ducey to lead this state if he can't even stand up to the most extreme elements of his party?" D.J. Quinlan, executive director of the Arizona Democratic Party said in a prepared release.

Commence the stampede. You'd think Russell Pearce had the Ebola virus, Republicans were running away from the guy so fast.

Ducey, the Republican nominee for governor, deemed Pearce's comments "deplorable." Attorney general candidate Mark Brnovich called them "unrepresentative of the Republican Party I know" and called for Pearce to resign. (He resigned on Sunday evening.)

Congressional candidate Martha McSally said Pearce's "ignorant, hateful comments are insulting to women everywhere" while congressional candidate Andy Tobin said his comments are "deplorable, offensive and could not be further from my values or those of Arizona and America."

Secretary of state candidate Michele Reagan said, "the obnoxious comments made by Russell Pearce were both disgusting and offensive. Let it be known, he is NOT the voice of my GOP."

Since Sunday anyway.