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Russell Pearce resigns GOP position after advocating sterilization of Medicaid recipients

Former Sen. Russell Pearce (Photo by Ryan Cook/RJ Cook Photography)

Former Sen. Russell Pearce (Photo by Ryan Cook/RJ Cook Photography)

Former Arizona legislator Russell Pearce, the chief sponsor of Arizona’s hard-line law against illegal immigration, has resigned a top leadership position in the state Republican Party after he was criticized for remarks advocating mandatory contraception or sterilization for people on Medicaid.

The party late Sunday night announced Pearce’s resignation as first vice chairman ai??i?? the state party’s second top leadership post ai??i?? after some Republican candidates denounced the comments that Pearce recently made while hosting a radio program.

Pearce said in a statement released by the party that he was resigning his position because he didn’t want to be a distraction during the campaign leading up to November’s elections.

He was criticized for saying: “You put me in charge of Medicaid, the first thing I’d do is get Norplant, birth-control implants, or tubal ligation.”

But Pearce said in his statement that he had “shared comments written by someone else and failed to attribute them to the author.”

“This was a mistake,” Pearce added in the statement. “This mistake has been taken by the media and the left and used to hurt our Republican candidates.”

Democratic Party Executive Director D.J. Quinlan on Saturday had highlighted Pearce’s comments and pressed Republican candidates to denounce them.

Mark Brnovich, the Republican nominee for attorney general, on Sunday said Pearce’s comments were counter to individual liberties and a free country.

“Comments that demean the plight of the poor, including women in the dual role of mother and economic provider, are not conservative; they’re cruel. And I reject them,” Brnovich said.

Pearce left the Legislature ai??i?? where he was serving as Senate president and championed the tough immigration law known as Senate Bill 1070 ai??i?? after losing a 2011 recall election. 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2 comments

  1. So he doesn’t take personal responsibility for comments he made about the personal responsibility of others. Another laughable pratfall from a “do as I say, not as I do” far-right dumb dumb. Who cares which imbecile on his writing team put that in front of him? He read it, and not for the purposes of discussion or debate, but to make a point. Therefore, who wrote it doesn’t matter an iota because it’s still his opinion as well. And though I wouldn’t agree with his stance, if this guy at least said, “I’m stepping down because it’s good for the party, but I do believe in what I said”, I’d have an ounce of respect for him.

    The only difference between this guy and the people he criticizes is he was born on 3rd base and pats himself on the back for a home run when someone else walked him in.

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