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Round 1 goes to Jerry Lewis

Mesa Republican Jerry Lewis remains the underdog in the recall election targeting Senate President Russell Pearce, but he improved his standing a bit last week when a fellow candidate dropped out of the race and instead endorsed him.

Hobbled by what he said were fundraising difficulties and the inability to attract meaningful endorsements, independent candidate Tommy Cattey decided to end his short-lived candidacy for the Senate seat currently held by Pearce, one of the most powerful politicians in Arizona. In a hastily organized press conference Friday morning, Cattey said he doesn’t want to risk “splitting” the vote against Pearce.

There was more good news for Lewis on Friday, as Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Hugh Hegyi rejected efforts by Pearce’s allies to halt the Nov. 8 special election. Pearce’s supporters had asserted that the recall petitions submitted by Citizens for a Better Arizona were defective because they didn’t strictly comply with constitutional requirements.

In short, Round 1 went to Lewis, a charter school executive who is considered to be the frontrunner among those who are challenging Pearce in the special election.

But no one should regard these events as anything more than momentary triumphs for Lewis.

Cattey, who is little known in the distict, didn’t have the backing of any major political organization so his endorsement means far less than his decision not to put his name on the ballot, where it could have fragmented the anti-Pearce vote.

Meanwhile, Lisa Hauser, the attorney who is challenging the recall petitions on behalf of a Pearce supporter, already made clear that she will appeal last Friday’s court ruling to the Arizona Supreme Court.

That said, observers shouldn’t be entirely dismissive of Lewis’s gains either. Like any political derby, the candidate who does a better job of shaping the narrative of the race will have a significant advantage. His early campaign strategy is a staple of politics: Don’t let your opponent define you. And Cattey’s endorsement, while it doesn’t carry with it a groundswell of support, at least helps to bolster Lewis’s narrative that he is a serious and credible foe to Pearce.

One comment

  1. THE FACTS:
    1) Lewis at the debate stated that “Arizona is seen as something akin to 1964 Alabama” revealing the extent to which Lewis has been manipulated by leftist propaganda. (American Thinker). Lewis equating of AZ today with the lynching, and civil rights bigotry of the Democrats (read your history, Laurie)of pre-1964 is insulting and uninformed.

    2) The assistant principal at the charter school that Lewis manages filed a lawsuit charging Lewis with theft from the Homeless Donations. The legal documents for the unbelieving can be downloaded on the link on Sonoran Alliance.

    3) Lewis and his “attack dog” lawyer, Ryan, violated Cortes First Amendment Rights and forced her to cancel her campaign in order to protect others from Lewis’ vicious attacks.

    Take it from AZ Capital Times and a University of Phoenix professor that Lewis’ “slash and burn” tactics were brutual and unconstitutional, as follows: “These lawsuits would mean that the government would regularly have to evaluate the political associations and beliefs of its citizens in court.

    “The legal costs of political activism would rise to intolerably high levels. All people would have real legal reasons to fear who they associated with because they might be asked to justify those associations on the stand.” “In a word, it would be the beginning of the end of democracy in Arizona.

    “So let’s hope no one ever brings a lawsuit like this again. Our free press is well-equipped to expose sham candidacies, and the people can judge politicians’ motivational purity for themselves.”

    “After establishing just how far, exactly, to the political Right these people can be found on the spectrum, Ryan executed what was probably the most constitutionally repugnant part of his litigation strategy — he required each of them to list every single political ally by name; that is, to identify each person they associate with politically. Then he asked them to describe the political beliefs and goals of their friends, one by one — are they conservative activists? Tea Party members? ”

    “At its bloody roots, the First Amendment means one thing — and one thing only: The government has no right to pass judgment on the associations of its citizens — political, religious, ideological, or otherwise. Yet Mr. Ryan asked a Judge to invent a law whereby such associations can give rise to legal and criminal liability.” Biogtry and viciousness by Lewis.

    4. Lewis associations with Randy Parraz, union organizers, and La Raza’s Grijalva and Pastor, and Mormon hater Sinema and all the MoveOn.or, SEIU, revised ACORN, AFL-CIO and other mob-controlled unions.

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