Today's Date: May 29, 2024
Karmanos Researcher Recruiting LGBTQ+ Cancer Survivors, Caregivers for Focus Groups   •   Gameto Raises $33 Million in Series B Financing to Advance Development and Commercialization of Novel Fertility Treatments   •   Elton John AIDS Foundation Launches "Speak Up Sing Out" Campaign to End LGBTQ+ Discrimination and Stigma with a Chance to Meet E   •   The CONMEBOL Copa América USA 2024™ Announces Gran Centenario as First-Ever Official Tequila Partner   •   Lavazza IncluCity Unveils 2024 Lineup at The Distillery District   •   PAGER HEALTH AND LEAGUE COLLABORATE TO ADDRESS MATERNAL MORTALITY CRISIS AND IMPROVE HEALTH OUTCOMES   •   Black homeownership rate rises, but hasn't returned to 2004 level   •   Norwell Consumer Healthcare introduces new women's health brand in Canada with the launch of Weliva™ Cimidona® for nat   •   Posterity Health Raises $6 million to Fund Expansion and Technology Acceleration:   •   Ameresco Honored with SEAL Environmental Initiatives Award for Kūpono Solar Project in Hawaii   •   Top 20 Life Sciences Companies Named to BioTools Innovator 2024 Cohort   •   Pride Premium: People in LGBTQ+ Friendly Areas Need to Earn $150,000 to Afford the Typical Home—A Premium of Nearly 50%   •   PETER PIPER PIZZA INTRODUCES INFLATION-BUSTING SUMMER FUN FAMILY DEALS   •   Vir Biotechnology Appoints Mark Eisner, M.D., M.P.H. as Chief Medical Officer   •   Detroit Calls for Global Innovators to Promote Clean Freight in Historic Eastern Market as Part of Global $9M Sustainable Cities   •   Brainly's New AI Test Prep Helps Students Boost Test Scores   •   Blink Fitness Partners with The OUT Foundation for Pride 2024   •   Intersolar Europe: How About Some More?   •   Recover™ Honored as a Thought Partner to the United Nations Fashion and Lifestyle Network   •   IEEE EMBS Hosts 46th Annual International Conference and 2nd Women in Biomedical Engineering Forum in Orlando, Fla.
Bookmark and Share

More Than Immigration At Stake In Historic AZ Recall Effort

 PHOENIX, AZ —A bipartisan effort to recall conservative state Senator Russell Pearce, known for his tough stance on illegal immigration, could signal a shift in the political climate in Arizona, even if it doesn’t result in Pearce leaving office, New America Media reports.

Hundreds of people from the group Citizens for a Better Arizona gathered outside the Secretary of State’s office to deliver 18,315 signatures in support of the recall.  

Once the signatures are certifed, Pearce will automatically be recalled and will face a special election to keep his job. That could happen in November.

Only 7,756 signatures are required to force the new election, but the group's cofounder, Randy Parraz, said activists wanted to make a political statement by surpassing the 17,553 votes Pearce received in November 2010. 

If the campaign succeeds, it would be the first time in Arizona history that a politician faced a recall election, according to the Secretary of State. (Republican Governor Evan Mecham was recalled for misusing state funds in 1988 but was impeached and removed from office before the election took place.)

A recall would be even more noteworthy in light of Pearce’s extremely conservative District 18, which covers most of western and central Mesa and small portions of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. 

“It is remarkable, given the district where he comes from is heavily Republican,” said Rodolfo Espino, a political science professor at Arizona State University in Tempe.

Espino said the recall campaign has been successful because it hasn't focused on immigration, but has included Pearce’s overall political performance. 

Pearce, who took over as president of the state Senate this year, has been in office for 10 years. Like many of his constituents, he is a member of the  Mormon church.

He first gained national notoriety as a hardliner against illegal immigration for his support of Prop. 200, a ballot initiative to deny public benefits to undocumented immigrants, which was passed by state voters in 2004. 

Pearce later was the main force behind a law, upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court on May 27, to sanction businesses that hired undocumented workers. Most recently, he garnered international attention for being the “architect” of SB 1070. The law, which has been partially blocked in the courts, would allow local police to incarcerate suspected undocumented immigrants.

In 2008 and 2010, Pearce was re-elected with close to 56 percent of the vote.

Parraz says Pearce’s support for SB 1070, as well as his attempt to change the 14th Amendment of the Constitution to deny birthright citizenship to the children of undocumented immigrants, is only part of the reason voters have supported the recall campaign. 

Other reasons cited on the Citizens for a Better Arizona website are Pearce’s political performance on such issues as health care (he helped defund the state public health care system) and public education (he supported major cuts).

Parraz said that the group hopes to send the message that Pearce is out of sync with what voters want.

“We don’t talk about the issue of immigration because there’s so much more,” said Brenda Rascón, who lives in Pearce’s district and who has been circulating petitions for his recall since February. “There are people in his own district (who) are hurting economically, and he is pursuing this agenda that is economically disastrous,” she said.

Rascon said that in conversations with voters, some supported his immigration views, but were disappointed with his failure to disclose that he had received numerous free trips to out-of-state college football games from the nonprofit organization Fiesta Bowl. While he has denied any wrongdoing, Pearce was among several legislators who amended their financial disclosure reports to list the trips that had not been reported.

Two weeks ago, Pearce was also the subject of a special news report by the Phoenix-based Fox News affiliate, KTVK-3TV, that questioned his ties to neo-Nazi J.T. Ready (previously reported by the weekly Phoenix News Times). Pearce denied knowing about Ready’s connections to the movement, and claimed that he cut ties with him once he found out.

The senator wasn’t available for an interview with NAM. His spokesperson said he wasn’t “as a general rule” commenting on the recall.

But during a “Fight the Recall" rally that was attended by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, also  known for his tough stance on immigration, Pearce told a Phoenix television station that he takes the recall campaign seriously.

"You take everything seriously. People know who these folks are. They've tried it before," Pearce said. "They're simply open-border anarchists who have no respect for the rule of law. We'll deal with it."

Chad Snow, cofounder of Citizens for a Better Arizona, who is a Republican and Mormon, said the grassroots group has the support of a number of Republicans and members from Pearce’s church. Activists also include people on different sides of SB 1070, he added.

Snow said that the GOP is conflicted over politicians such as Pearce, who are perceived as ideologically extreme and divisive.

That internal division was evident during the last legislative session, when at least five anti-immigrant measures pushed by Pearce, including one to deny birthright citizenship, were defeated with the support of at least 12 Republicans.

If Citizens for a Better Arizona turns in a sufficient number of valid signatures, Republican Governor Jan Brewer will have to call for a special election. Pearce could choose to participate or not. The election could happen this November or next March, depending on how much time the Secretary of State’s office and the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office take to verify the signatures.

"Even if he runs for re-election and wins, he will always have that stigma [of the recall]," Snow said
.


STORY TAGS: Arizona , SB1070 , recall , Hispanic News, Latino News, Mexican News, Minority News, Civil Rights, Discrimination, Racism, Diversity, Latina, Racial Equality, Bias, Equality

Video

White House Live Stream
LIVE VIDEO EVERY SATURDAY
alsharpton Rev. Al Sharpton
9 to 11 am EST
jjackson Rev. Jesse Jackson
10 to noon CST


Video

LIVE BROADCASTS
Sounds Make the News ®
WAOK-Urban
Atlanta - WAOK-Urban
KPFA-Progressive
Berkley / San Francisco - KPFA-Progressive
WVON-Urban
Chicago - WVON-Urban
KJLH - Urban
Los Angeles - KJLH - Urban
WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
New York - WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
WADO-Spanish
New York - WADO-Spanish
WBAI - Progressive
New York - WBAI - Progressive
WOL-Urban
Washington - WOL-Urban

Listen to United Natiosns News