Arizonans look to recall senator behind controversial immigration laws

By Stephen C. Webster
Wednesday, June 1, 2011 15:08 EDT
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A Republican state senator in Arizona who authored controversial immigration laws may face a recall election thanks to a group of activists who said Tuesday they had filed a petition for a new vote.

State law requires 7,756 signatures to trigger a recall election. Calling themselves “Citizens For A Better Arizona,” the group says they’ve collected more than twice that, with 18,315 signatures in favor of recalling state Senate President Russell Pearce (R).

On their newly launched website, the group lays out their case against Pearce in four points:

He …
1. Voted to terminate health care for seniors, struggling families and people with a disability.
2. Opposes the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
3. Voted to require American citizens show a Government ID for emergency care.
4. Opposes access to public education for all Arizona children.

Pearce has proven a controversial figure in Arizona politics, coming under rhetorical fire in March for reading an overtly racist letter on the floor of the state Senate. He’s also made comments that would indicate he believes in the birther conspiracy — that President Barack Obama is secretly a foreigner.

Pearce has also been a strong proponent of legislation he believes would allow Arizona to ignore federal laws.

If enough legitimate petition entries remain after being verified, a recall election could take place as soon as August, according to The Arizona Republic.

[h/t: Talking Points Memo]

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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