Friday, May 20, 2011

Pearce recall update: state elections director does what Pearce couldn't - delay his recall election

Arizona has long been a "pre-clearance" state, subject to US Department of Justice oversight of the state's elections and processes.  While the latest "incident" probably won't garner specific attention from the DOJ (read: an investigation and an indictment), it does illustrate the reason why Arizona has spent decades as a pre-clearance state -

These people are morally incapable of simply just doing the job right and letting candidates succeed or fail on their own merits.

From the Arizona Republic, written by Jim Walsh -

Arizona's elections director said she inadvertently gave an incorrect timetable to the organizers of a drive to recall controversial Senate President Russell Pearce, forcing a change in strategy in the historic recall effort.

Elections Director Amy Bjelland said she initially told recall organizer Randy Parraz that if he filed his signatures by May 25, there would be enough time to verify them and schedule a November election.

But Bjelland since has notified Parraz that Gov. Jan Brewer has 15 days to officially call an election if the signatures check out, not five. The difference of 10 days in the recall timetable means Citizens for a Better Arizona already has missed the actual deadline, May 10, to turn in the signatures for a November election and can only hope for a March 13, 2012, election.


Parraz said Citizens for a Better Arizona was hoping to force a November election by turning in far more than the required 7,756 signatures by May 25, based upon Bjelland's original timetable.

"We know it was not intentional. We needed more time anyway," he said.
Parraz is far more forgiving, and tactful, than me.

I don't know if Bjelland is taking the blame over this on her own volition or if her boss, Secretary of State Ken Bennett, gave her a little push, but tactics this heavy-handed won't help Republicans in general or Pearce in particular.

Before the "oopsie," the Rs were going to have a year to work with/live down the fallout of the Pearce recall.  In addition, before this, it was all about Pearce and only Pearce.

Now, there will be five more months of stories about Pearce and his depredations, stories that will be prominent during the campaign season (remember, there will be a presidential primary around that time - there's going to all kinds of political coverage going on).

...In other recall news, Pearce is getting a little testy over the recall.  At an anti-recall rally with Joe Arpaio, John Kavanagh and other leading lights of Arizona's nativist subculture, he dropped a really curious quote.

From (Phoenix TV 3), by Stacy Delikat (emphasis mine) -
..."You take everything seriously, people know who these folks are, they've tried it before," said Pearce. "They're simply open-border anarchists who have no respect for the rule of law, we'll deal with it."
Just a quick refresher for those unfamiliar with Pearce's MO of "do as I say, not as I do," particularly when it comes to the "rule of law" -

Just this year, he's...

...proclaimed that sitting legislators are above the laws that govern the rest of us when it comes to carrying weapons in the public buildings of the legislature

...created a "blacklist" of people he arbitrarily barred from the Senate building for the "crime" of daring to disagree with him on immigration issues

...supported Scott Bundgaard, his ally in the Senate, and his use of "legislative immunity" to avoid arrest because of a domestic violence incident along a Valley freeway

...dissembled, denied, and just plain lied about his involvement with the Fiesta Bowl scandal, where a number of Arizona's lawmakers took gifts and laundered campaign contributions from Fiesta Bowl lobbyists, in violation of many state laws..  Most of the lawmakers involved have now quietly repaid the Fiesta Bowl and amended their financial disclosure reports. 

Many words can be used to describe Pearce and his activities.

"Quiet" isn't one of them.  Neither is "repentant."

As for "law-abiding"?

It's only used by him, his cronies, and his followers, and only to describe him.

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