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Pearce foe sanitizes anti-SB1070 comments

Bob Worsley (left) and former Senate President Russell Pearce (File photos)

Hours after announcing he was running for a legislative seat that pits him against immigration hawk Russell Pearce, a prominent Mesa businessman deleted his comments from a church website that were critical of Arizona’s controversial anti-illegal immigration laws.

Bob Worsley, a Mesa Republican and founder of the in-flight catalog company SkyMall, declared this morning that he is seeking the Senate seat in newly drawn Legislative District 25.

That sets up a showdown between Worsley and former Senate President Russell Pearce, the architect of major anti-immigration laws in Arizona, including SB1070.

A profile of Worsley on Mormon.org, the official website of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, earlier in the day outlined the Mesa businessman’s pointed criticisms of Arizona’s immigration laws.

Archived version of the Worsley profile (click to enlarge)

Within several hours of his announcement, however, the comments were deleted. A church representative in Salt Lake City told Arizona Capitol Times that the comments were removed by Worsley himself, and not by the church.

The archived webpage shows Worsley, who is the president of a 150-member Hispanic branch of the church in Mesa, expressed displeasure with Arizona’s immigration laws.

Altered version of the Worsley profile (click to enlarge)

Altered version of the Worsley profile (click to enlarge)

“We have suffered with the Arizona law that encouraged those immigrants without proper documents to leave the State. I have fought for the rights of Latinos and to replace those lawmakers who were most extreme in their views,” the earlier webpage reads.

That passage appears to be specifically targeting SB1070, whose provisions are largely on hold by the courts. At the time of its passage in May 2010, the law was the toughest state-level immigration law in the country and it has spawned a slew of similar measures across the country since then.

But the decision to pull the comments signals a tight balancing act for a candidate who’s running in a district with Republican primary voters who presumably strongly support anti-illegal immigration laws.

Pearce, the most prominent champion of laws cracking down on illegal immigration in Arizona, was defeated by now-Sen. Jerry Lewis, a fellow Mormon, in a special recall election in November.

Immigration was a key issue in that race, and the Lewis camp tapped into the close-knit Mormon community to help win the historic recall against Pearce.

Some parallels have already been drawn between Lewis, who has been drawn to a different district, and Worsley.

Both are prominent local Mormon leaders.

Lewis prefers a more collaborative approach to solving the illegal immigration problem. From his now-deleted remarks on his church’s website, it appears that Worsley, who served as a missionary in Uruguay and Paraguay, has misgivings about proposals that seek only illegal immigrants’ expulsion.

Worsley also gave Lewis $424 during last year’s recall campaign.

The incumbent in the new LD25 is Sen. Rich Crandall, a Mesa Republican, who has said in the past that he plans to run for re-election. But Crandall announced via Twitter late this evening that he was endorsing Worsley and throwing his entire campaign infrastructure behind him.

Crandall’s tweet came shortly after Pearce announced he was seeking a comeback to the Senate, and planned to run in LD25. Crandall and Pearce have at times been at odds and Crandall beat back a primary challenge last election by a Pearce-backed candidate.

9 comments

  1. Let me see if I have the facts straight. A total of 11 million people break into our country uninvited, essentially spitting on our law and sovereignty. Then they work here for years by committing identity fraud, flooding the labor market so honest american workers cannot get a decent job at a living wage. And all the democrats seem to have the idea that proper “punishment” for these people is to make them all citizens by a special pathway they is not available to regular immigrants that follow the law. Once these 11 million are legalized they will naturally be eligible to sponsor all their relatives and they in turn will sponsor all their relatives and so on in a chain reaction. Meanwhile all these new voters will exert political pressure to support increasing the legal immigration quota which is already more then one million a year. The end result is that we will lose control of our country and there will be so many blue collar workers looking for so few jobs that wages will drop and we will have permanent underclass of unemployed people totally dependent on the government for welfare handouts and medicaid. Is that what we want for our children? To live like slaves on the socialist plantation with no self sufficiency. Just a bunch of pathetic beggars groveling to Obama and his Harvard coneys for handouts? I say we need to throw these democrats idiots out on their *** while we still can. Fortunately, for once the republicans seem willing to stand up for the working man.

  2. He should run for President. He would put more people back to work than any of the current candidates.

  3. I don’t see how someone from such a small district can make a comeback after being recalled.

    POLL: Will Russell Pearce be able to get elected again?
    Vote: http://www.wepolls.com/p/8558759

  4. NOW ANSWER ME THIS: just how much does it take to piss a real American off? http://bit.ly/hmk8m6

  5. what’s it going to take to piss-off real Americans? http://bit.ly/GFxhUJ

  6. WHAT IS SO INTERESTING IS THAT WHEN RUSSELL PEARCE MAKES THESE GREAT BILLS (there is nothing that profiles at all in SB 1070), IT ENCOURAGES THESE PEOPLE WHO SPIT ON OUR LAWS AND OUR WAY OF LIFE TO GO BACK WHERE THEY CAME FROM. AND GUESS WHAT: THAT OPENS JOBS FOR THE 22-25 MILLION AMERICANS WHO ARE UNEMPLOYED BECAUSE OF THESE 40-60 MILLION ILLEGAL ALIENS (CORRECT IMMIGRATION TERM FOR THOSE WHO ENTER BY BREAKING OUR LAWS) HERE. AS THESE PEOPLE NOT ONLY STEAL OUR JOBS (BY UNDERCUTTING OUR WAGES), THEY ALSO STEAL OUR BENEFITS, OUR HOSPITAL FUNDING, OUR SCHOOL FUNDING MEANT FOR AMERICANS’ CHILDREN (essentially stealing our children’s American Dream that was meant for law-abiding Americans – not for those who sneak, cheat, lie, etc.). WHEN THEY FIND IT SO DIFFICULT HERE THAT THEY GO HOME, THAT IMPROVES OUR ECONOMY WHICH HAS BEEN DESTROYED BY THEM. MANY IF NOT MOST U.S. STATES HAVE A DEFICIT THAT EQUALS WHAT ILLEGAL ALIENS ARE COSTING US AT A TIME WE ARE TRILLIONS IN DEBT (MUCH OF IT BECAUSE OF THEM!!!) SO WHAT PEARCE DOES IS ACTUALLY MAKING JOBS FOR AMERICANS AND IMPROVING OUR ECONOMY!!!

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