Pundits, Observers and Professional Politicians Astounded
In Arizona the State Senate President led the successful fight to enact an extremely harsh anti-immigration law, one that is being challenged in the courts. The State Senate President, a gentleman by the name of Russell Pearce then faced a recall election.
Pearce critics gathered more than 10,000 signatures to force the recall, which was seen as a referendum on whether Pearce's get-tough posture on immigration issues still resonated with the 71,000 registered voters in west Mesa's District 18.
The largely conservative blue-collar district includes downtown
Mesa and Arizona's first Mormon temple, but it also has 's poorest neighborhoods and lowest performing schools. Mesa
The immigration issue was joined by an issue of the personal style of Mr. Pearce. He personified the arrogant, bullying politician who feels that his high office means that the government and the voters are answerable to him, rather than the other way around and that he is entitled to all sort of benefits.
critics skewered Pearce for accepting nearly $40,000 in free trips, hotel stays, meals and college football game tickets from the Fiesta Bowl.
Mr. Pearce’s opponent, the aptly named Jerry Lewis was identical to Mr. Pearce on the issues, but drew a sharp contrast with respect to attitude.
During his campaign, Lewis, a charter school executive and former accountant, pledged to take the high road, a pledge he largely managed to keep despite what he called campaign dirty tricks employed by Pearce
Those dirty tricks involved violating sign ordinances and putting up a phony candidate to split the anti-Pearce vote. Mr. Pearce also heavily outspent Mr. Lewis and had the support of the
establishment Republicans. Arizona
None of this apparently worked (the official results are not in yet and the count is close) but it appears civility and decency has won out over what Mr. Pearce stood for, and this is a good thing.