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Pearce recall is about politics – and personality 

Senate President Russell Pearce characterizes the massive recall effort against him as a product of liberal citizens who unpatriotically share zero interest in his politics, which is seemingly limited to the topic of curtailing illegal immigration by any means necessary. 

And he’s probably even right at that. 

Citizens for a Better Arizona last month filed more than 18,000 signatures in hopes of removing him from office. There’s a decent chance that most of the recall signers have no interest in rewriting the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which bestows citizenship on those lucky enough to be born in the United States. They probably don’t want emergency room physicians forced to report sick or injured illegal immigrants to authorities, either. 

In that sense, they could be more like Pearce’s Republican colleagues in the Senate, who this year rejected several illegal immigration proposals — including those mentioned — that make previous Pearce victories like employer sanctions or even SB1070 seem relatively tame.

Still, Pearce hasn’t called his colleagues a “cartel,” or “anarchists” or “left-wingers,” as he has with those attempting to remove him from elected office. But that doesn’t mean he is content to sit idle while his will is opposed. After the bills failed in March, he proclaimed that the Senate would revisit those measures next session — to see if lawmakers will dare oppose him during an election year.  

And late last month, Pearce was delivered a victory from the U.S. Supreme Court, which upheld Arizona’s employer sanctions law — which Pearce sponsored and pushed for years — on grounds that states have the right to seek to prevent the employment of illegal immigrants. 

Pearce’s response was telling. He didn’t give thanks to the court or give a nod to former Arizona Solicitor General Mary O’Grady, who successfully argued the case before his very eyes. Instead, he pledged to introduce legislation to take money from counties that he suspects are hesitant to enforce the law. 

And later this month, the Attorney General’s Office will argue the legality of Arizona’s voter identification requirements before a group of judges of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. That law, which was part of Pearce’s Prop. 200 efforts in 2004, was rejected by a 96th Circuit panel in October in a ruling that upset Pearce. 

He said at the time that one judge who sided with the majority in the 2-1 decision — former U.S. Supreme Court justice and Arizona icon Sandra Day O’Connor — “apparently has no respect for the rule of law” and had never bothered to read the Constitution. And he recommended that O’Connor face ethics charges.

With that in mind, it wasn’t unimaginable that Pearce wouldn’t be hesitant to offer the nation’s highest court the same level of respect. In April, he pledged his duty was to God, country and family, and he swore to pursue illegal immigration solutions similar to SB1070 even if the U.S. Supreme Court ultimately rejected the law.

Pearce has put Arizona on the forefront of illegal immigration with measures related to employment, routine police encounters and voter identification. His tenacity has made him a hero to many, but his win-at-all-costs strategy and personality have left voters with more than just his politics to consider.

— Christian Palmer is the associate editor of the Yellow Sheet Report.


  1. Yes its about Politics,Pearce’s racist politics.And Personality hes not a very nice person !

  2. Many people support this recall for reasons other than the immigration issue. His failure to perform his job for Arizona’s families, attacks and threats on public workers such as teachers, unethical Fiesta Bowl practices, de-funding education, supporting guns in schools and bars, abandoning children in need, and his association with neo-nazi thugs, to name a few. Please do not reduce the motivation of the recall effort to a single incendiary issue. The driving forces behind it are as complex and varied as the people behind it.

  3. Russell Pearce is a man with a mission, and that mission is saving lives and property.
    If we don’t get a handle on this extremely destructive move against our state
    by the thugs and criminals of Mexico, we will, soon find ourselves in the same
    predicament that the good citizens of Mexico are now forced to live with.

    Russell will not be recalled. This state needs him and his protect America

    I am proud to follow the lead and example of a man with high moral
    dictates and the ethics that go with it.

    Good always wins out over evil. This case is no different.

  4. carl toersbijns

    This story is indicative of the recent growing trend we are experiencing as a culture of entitlement has invaded our lives especially in today’s government officials. There has always been the controversies related to giving mankind power by position or authority such as State Senator Pearce holds in our state government. This sense of entitlement is crucial to understanding why people misbehave in high office. This entitlement to power also applies to the entitlement to abuse as it appears to be the way powerful people conduct themselves. abuse as it appears to be happening in our state legislature today, illustrates how powerful people conduct themselves. It is speculation that corruption and hypocrisy are the price that societies pay for being led by alpha type persons. There would seem to be another possibility though. If we selected leaders literally at random from a large pool of qualified people and give them a fixed, non repeatable, term of power, that they were expected to serve as a public duty, then perhaps we would get the best of both worlds

  5. Arizona Senate President/Senator Russell Pearce, “The Cowardly Lion”, isn’t alone in his thoughts about what is “right” for our state. He has Governor Janice K. Brewer, “The Wicked Witch of the West”, Maricopa County’s Sheriff Joe Arpaio, “The Tin Man”, and Attorney General Tom Horne, “The Straw Man”, to help him carry out his racist and discriminatory agenda against the Hispanic population and other minorities in Arizona.

    Why would I want to be racially profiled due to SB1070, my children not be able to learn about their Puerto Rican history in school due to HB2281, be harassed in the polling place due to the Voter I.D. laws, have to prove who I am to the hospital (when I already know that I’m an American citizen and U.S. Air Force verteran) and have to prove who my children are with their birth certificates before I can enroll them in school?

    Arizona is becoming a Police State similar to Nazi Germany. The 287(g) program is being abused by Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Arizona and he’s racially profiling Hispanics with impunity. How can this continue? The systematic violation of our civil rights with the blessings of the Federal Government.

    I’m horrified and disgusted at these politicians who seem to think that they are above the law.

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