Jan 20, 2012

‘Puppet’ Cortes, shadowy campaign helpers unlikely to face punishment

Recall candidate Olivia Cortes’ campaign may have been contrived, phony, aided by illegal means and designed to fool the public, but that doesn’t mean that she or the perpetrators of the backfired plot to help former Senate President Russell Pearce will face any punishment.

Jan 17, 2012

Cortes case, somehow, grows cold

The investigation into the Olivia Cortes candidacy quietly evaporated last week when Gila County Attorney Daisy Flores informed Bennett that she was unable to determine who pulled the strings to collect Cortes’ nominating petition signatures so she could qualify for the recall ballot.

Nov 10, 2011

Lawyer who exposed Cortes strives for ‘purity in the process’

By his own account, attorney Thomas Ryan spent more than 200 hours of his time preparing and litigating a lawsuit to thwart recall candidate Olivia Cortes, whose bogus candidacy was launched with the sole intention of ruining the chances of a challenger who Ryan had never met.

Oct 31, 2011

Lawyer says Cortes OK in campaign filings; SOS says law broken

Republican Olivia Cortes, who could face a civil fine for failing to report contributions to her campaign, insists that the paid effort to gather signatures on her behalf was uncoordinated with her campaign.

Oct 14, 2011

Mesa’s Watergate: Cortes’ campaign conspirators should come clean

The Arizona Constitution, Article 7 section 12, charges the Legislature with the duty to “maintain the purity of elections.” Arizona case law has held that attempting to place a “diversionary candidate” on the ballot is illegal. A “diversionary candidate” is one who is in the race solely to divert votes from a particular candidate so as to give an advantage to another candidate. The re[...]

Oct 14, 2011

The Cortes factor: Politicos debate alleged ‘sham’ candidate’s impact

Olivia Cortes’ controversy-ridden candidacy abruptly ended earlier this month.

But it’s too late to strike her name off the Nov. 8 recall election ballot, and some say she could still peel votes away from fellow Republican Jerry Lewis, thereby helping Senate President Russell Pearce secure a victory.

Oct 7, 2011

Lawyers: Russell Pearce’s brother played key role in Cortes campaign

The lawyers who fought to get alleged sham candidate Olivia Cortes disqualified in the Mesa recall election planned to put Senate President Russell Pearce’s brother on the stand in a now-cancelled trial.

Oct 5, 2011

Supreme Court refuses to stop Cortes’ hearing

The Arizona Supreme Court today refused to stop a lower court from hearing new witnesses in the lawsuit that’s seeking to disqualify recall candidate Olivia Cortes.

Oct 5, 2011

Cortes’ lawyer asks Supreme Court to dismiss lawsuit, stop hearing

Olivia Cortes’ lawyer today asked the Arizona Supreme Court to stop a hearing scheduled for Friday and to declare the case against the beleaguered recall candidate moot.

Ballots have already been printed for the Nov. 8 special election targeting Senate President Russell Pearce, and the lawsuit against Cortes is therefore moot, argued Anthony Tsontakis, who earlier successfully defended [...]

Oct 3, 2011

Why the lawsuit against Olivia Cortes had to be aggressively defended

It’s not because the lawsuit was politically motivated. Everyone knows how unapologetically brutal politics can be. And it’s not because the lawsuit was brought to defame Ms. Cortes, either. Placing your name on a ballot is the functional equivalent of sending the world an open invitation to attack your character.

Oct 3, 2011

Judge: Cortes was recruited by Pearce allies, but she stays on ballot

A judge ruled today that the Mesa woman accused of being a “diversionary” candidate in the recall election targeting Senate President Russell Pearce was clearly recruited by Pearce’s supporters but that he cannot kick her off the ballot.

Sep 28, 2011

Attorney: Cortes lawsuit will continue despite sent ballots

The attorney who is seeking to disqualify Republican Olivia Cortes from the recall election in Mesa is moving ahead with the lawsuit even though ballots have already been printed and some have been sent to a handful of voters.

The lawsuit alleges that Cortes is a part of a “cynical ploy” to divert votes from another candidate in order to help incumbent Senate President Russell Pearc[...]