Friday, July 13, 2012

Lester Pearce the subject of an ethics investigation

Lester Pearce, a former Justice of the Peace in North Mesa and current candidate for the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, is best-known as the older brother of ethically-challenged nativist blatherer Russell Pearce.

Like his brother, he tends to hold some rather extreme political views.

Like his brother, he is quite willing to use his position of public trust to promulgate those views.

Now, like his brother, he is facing an ethics investigation.

Perhaps it's only fitting that (alleged) ethical transgressions are related to his brother.

During his brother's recall election last fall, Lester Pearce allegedly campaigned for Russell Pearce, including helping to put a sham Latina candidate on the ballot in order to split the anti-Pearce vote, and publicly endorsed his brother.

Things that judges are specifically barred from doing (actually, the whole sham candidate thing goes beyond a violation of standards of judicial conduct; that sort of behavior is frowned upon for all of us).

From Canon 4 of the Arizona Code of Judicial Conduct -

RULE 4.1. Political and Campaign Activities of Judges and Judicial Candidates in General
(A) A judge or a judicial candidate shall not do any of the following:

(2) make speeches on behalf of a political organization or another candidate for public office;
(3) publicly endorse or oppose another candidate for any public office;


(5) actively take part in any political campaign other than his or her own campaign for election, reelection or retention in office;

Stephen Lemons of the Phoenix New Times has an article here regarding Lester's apparent violations of all of the above.

Now, the Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct is investigating a complaint against Pearce.  They won't post the complaint on their website until the matter is resolved.

The ethics investigation may not be the worst thing facing Lester and the Pearce clan -

I wonder if the ethics investigation will be a topic of conversation at the Pearce family fundraiser scheduled for Saturday, July 21 in Fountain Hills?

It will be that, or talk about how desperately poor the Pearces have been at fundraising this year.

During the five months between January 1 and May 31, Russell raised ~$2800 in his race for the LD25 Senate seat.

During the same period, big brother Lester raised $100,223.87.

Sounds good, even great...until you notice that $100,000 came from a loan from the candidate himself.  Meaning he actually raised $223.87.

Many words will probably be written about the fundraiser, both before and after the event (it's possible my post-event write-up will include the words "klavern meeting".  Just sayin' :) ).

I'm just guessing here, but the Pearces won't care what anyone writes about the event so long as one of the words used after the event is "lucrative".

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