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Pearce mailer paints foe as a liberal

Russell Pearce (Photo by Ryan Cook/RJ Cook Photography)

Russell Pearce’s campaign is painting businessman Bob Worsley, his primary foe, as a liberal who donated to a prominent Democratic politician.

The mailer also sought to lump Worsley with top officials of the Obama administration, including the president.

But perhaps more interestingly, it prominently displayed a photo of Gov. Jan Brewer as it sharply contrasted the positions of Arizona officials on SB1070 against those of the Obama administration.

Pearce and Worsley are vying for their party’s nomination in the race for state Senate. The two come from a heavily Republican district in the East Valley, which means the winner of the primary likely will cruise through in the general election in November.

The mailer described Brewer, Pearce and Sheriff Joe Arpaio as “defending Arizona” while accusing Obama, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of “attacking” the state.

More specifically, it panned the Democrats for opposing SB1070 and for “prohibiting Arizona from enforcing the law.”

The latter probably referred to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s decision to sever 287(g) agreements with local Arizona agencies, a move that angered local politicians.

The use of Brewer’s photo raised the eyebrows of the manager of Worsley’s campaign.

“Thought you might find it interesting in light of the Brewer article that ran today in Cap Times,” said Ryan Anderson, referring to Brewer’s comment this morning that she’s “not inclined” to endorse Pearce in the primary.

The other side of the flyer dug up Worsley’s decision to delete his comments on his church’s website that were critical of Arizona’s anti-illegal immigration laws.

He had written — and then scrubbed — the critical remarks, which seemed to specifically target SB1070, on his profile on Mormon.org.

“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 webpage had read.

In his mailer, Pearce said Worsley bragged about campaigning against conservative Republicans who voted for SB1070.

“Worsley’s liberal record doesn’t end there,” the mailer said. “Believe it or not, FEC records show that Worsley even gave money to Democrat Senate Majority Harry Reid.”

Worsley’s campaign first scoffed at Pearce’s prominent use of Brewer’s photo and then said, “Russell Pearce would like voters to believe he is not a ‘one note’ candidate, but I would offer that his latest mail piece proves otherwise.  He’s still beating the SB1070 drum.”

Worsley’s campaign acknowledged he contributed to Reid but downplayed it. Anderson said Worsley gave $500 to the Democrat in 2006 “as a favor to a friend who solicited a donation.”

But since then, Worsley has contributed thousands of dollars to “nothing but conservative candidates and conservative causes,” his campaign manager said.

“It’s a little bit of a stretch to state that a founding member of Mitt Romney’s AZ Finance Team is ‘not conservative’,” he added.

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