Nativist Arizona Sen. Russell Pearce’s Supporters Launch Deceptive Robocall To Thwart Recall


Arizona Rep. Russell Pearce (R)

Tomorrow, Arizona voters will decide whether to oust their exceptionally right-wing state Senate president, Rep. Russell Pearce (R). The author of Arizona’s anti-immigrant law SB1070 who threatened to lock up protesters in “desert tent cities” is facing backlash for his extremism and now must run against fellow Republican Jerry Lewis in a recall election. To ensure his reelection, Pearce’s Tea Party supporters first recruited sham candidate Olivia Cortez to split the Hispanic vote, and now they’ve launched a deceptive robocall to Hispanic voters with the purpose of discouraging votes for his opponent, Lewis:

[L]atino families living in Mesa’s 18th legislative district tell ABC15 prerecorded audio messages are calling their phones. A man with a Spanish accent says:

“Voters beware. If you plan to vote this Tuesday, you should know that both candidates for State Senator, Russell Pearce and Jerry Lewis, are Republicans. The only other candidate, Olivia Cortez was forced to withdraw last month. You can protest this one-sided election by writing in your own candidate.”

Critics say the message is targeting Latino voters to convince them not to vote for Jerry Lewis, since most would not vote for Pearce anyway.

Watch ABC15’s report:

Pearce’s Tea Party supporter Ron Ludders, who commissioned the message, insists that “this is an educational situation, totally” and that “there’s nothing sinister about this.” Local Latinos like Gloria Chavez, however, say the call is “purposefully trying to mislead voters, and that should be illegal.” Though the Pearce campaign says it did not approve the message, Arizona’s Secretary of State will look into allegations of deceptions and “will take quick actions” if there’s enough evidence to support the charge.