Quantcast
Connect with us

‘Papers please’ ex-legislator booted from AZ Mexican restaurants in fundraiser flap

Published

on

Arizona state senator Russell Pearce (R-18), the lawmaker who crafted the state’s controversial anti-immigration law, SB 1070, also known as the “Papers, please” law, was thrice denied a venue for a fundraiser scheduled for Thursday afternoon, June 14. According to the Arizona Capital Times, the former legislator asked two Mexican restaurants and a public school library to host the event, only to be told to please campaign somewhere else.

Pearce was carried into office on the tide of Tea Party fervor that dominated the 2010 elections. In January of 2011, he was sworn in and held that office for nearly a full eleven months before he lost a recall election in November of 2011 and was ousted from the Arizona State Senate. That hasn’t stopped him, however, from running again to win back his seat as the representative of Arizona’s District 18. The Mesa area is currently represented by Republican businessman Jerry Lewis, who won against Pearce in the recall.

The fundraising event was originally planned to be held at Macayo’s restaurant in Phoenix, but the plan was scuttled by activist Dee Dee Garcia Blase of Arizona’s Tequila Party, a conservative Latino group formed in reaction to the deportation-happy Tea Party. Garcia Blase organized a protest to be held outside the restaurant during the event and contacted Macayo’s corporate offices, which led the restaurant to cancel the event on Thursday morning.

By midday Thursday, Pearce’s campaign had emailed supporters announcing a second location, Oaxaca Restorante Y Cantina in downtown Phoenix. However, when Garcia Blase contacted Oaxaca’s management, the event was canceled within hours.

Oaxaca manager Joseph Aguayo told the Capital Times that Pearce’s campaign had booked the event under a false name. When Garcia Blase told him who the event was for, Aguayo barred the group from the restaurant. “We don’t need that,” he said, “We want to keep the support of our Latino community.”

Finally, Pearce attempted to gain access to the library of Phoenix’s Central High School, a request that was denied 30 minutes before Pearce’s guests and supporters were due to arrive. Phoenix Union High School District Superintendent Kent Scribner said that the event, with the added concerns of protesters and security, posed a logistical nightmare for school officials.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Given the late notice of this request and the anticipated turnout, we are unable to host it,” Scribner said.

Late Thursday, Pearce issued an angrily worded statement decrying the situation and those people “who would like to stifle my candidacy.”

“Make no mistake,” he wrote, “I am undeterred by a few individuals who are motivated by hatred in lieu of discussing the issues.”

Eyebrows shot up throughout the Arizona political world even as Pearce announced the June 14 fundraising event last month. Not only did the invitation not include the intended location for the party, but, as AZcentral.com blogger Laurie Roberts noted, “invitations of this sort usually include a list of ‘hosts,’ basically community members and lobbyists who can raise money for the candidate’s campaign.” Pearce’s invitation displayed only the names of Pearce-loyal loegislators still working in the state house, which, Roberts said, conveyed a threat to lobbyists and other Arizona politicos.

ADVERTISEMENT

In the words of one lobbyist, “What this list says is that it doesn’t matter if Russell wins or loses, we’re watching you.”

Garcia Blase told the Times that Pearce’s decision to try to hold a fund raiser at a Mexican restaurant was purely cynical, “They’re doing it to make a mockery of Latinos. It’s to make them appear Latino-friendly,” she said, “This would be like Hitler trying to dine at a Jewish restaurant when he’s trying to create this mass exodus or extermination of them.”

Pearce’s campaign spokesperson, lobbyist Gretchen Jacobs, insisted that the campaign had made the decision to move the event from the restaurant to a third venue, not the restaurant’s managers. Pearce chose to move it to a school, she said, because he is such a strong supporter of education and intends to make it a platform of his candidacy this year.

Oaxaca’s Aguayo laughed off the claim. “They can say what they want,” he said, “We’re not in it for the argument. This is so crazy.”

(image via Russell Pearce.com)

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Here’s why Trump and Putin are only frenemies at this point

Published

on

President Trump’s campaign of “maximum pressure” on Iran has hit an obstacle: Russia.

While the United States insists that Iran shot down a U.S. surveillance drone in international airspace last week, Russia rejected the charge on Tuesday and supported Iran’s claim that the Global Hawk drone with a 116-foot wingspan was shot down over Iranian territory.

A top Russian official stated Moscow’s intelligence findings at a meeting with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday, according to Haaretz, the Israeli daily.

Continue Reading

2020 Election

How the GOP is embracing more ruthless power grabs in the face of huge political challenges

Published

on

On Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule on two cases highlighting the collision between partisan power grabs and setting the ground rules for two of the most important elections in America—those for U.S. House and state legislative chambers.

This article was produced by Voting Booth, a project of the Independent Media Institute.

One ruling concerns whether the Trump administration can add a question to the 2020 census that asks if anyone residing in that address is not a U.S. citizen. The other concerns whether hyper-partisanship is unconstitutional when state legislatures run by a single party draw electoral districts to maximize their party’s likelihood of winning elections.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Hope Hicks may have implicated Jared Kushner in a coverup

Published

on

Former White House communications director Hope Hicks frustrated Democrats last week when she refused to answer multiple questions about her time in the White House.

However, Mother Jones' David Corn and Dan Friedman noticed one bit of Hicks's testimony that shines a negative light on Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner.

When asked about her false statement in December 2016 that there had been no contact between members of the Trump campaign and Russian government officials, Hicks said she consulted several top officials who worked for the campaign before making the statement, including Kellyanne Conway, Steve Bannon -- and Jared Kushner.

Continue Reading
 
 

Copyright © 2019 Raw Story Media, Inc. PO Box 21050, Washington, D.C. 20009 | Masthead | Privacy Policy | For corrections or concerns, please email [email protected]

I need your help.

The 2020 election needs you. There are 18 months until the election, and the Supreme Court is on the line. I'm trying to add journalists to do more exclusive reports. Let me get rid of the ads for you, and put your support toward 100% progressive reporting. Want to ensure your voice is heard? Join me and restore the power of hard-hitting progressive journalism.

HELP TAKE BACK AMERICA
close-link