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Good people of the Arizona Republican Party meet Nathan Sproul, the campaign consultant who made history by becoming the first in the country to lose a defense of marriage initiative. This ugliness should haunt him for the rest of his miserable life.

If you look carefully, the court document on the back page has a received stamp dated from 28 years ago--February 1980!! I'm certainly no Russell Pearce fan, but this is pathetic.

Sadly, we have sunk to a new low. Say what you want about Mr. Pearce's stances on issues - the guy is a good man.
This is outrageous - Gibbons should not be rewarded for this type of nonsense. And if Nathan Sprouls is behind this also - shame on him as well.

Remember folks, Gibbons is the front man. Congressman Jeff Flake is pulling the strings here, and I will never forget or forgive him for it.

To help Russell Pearce, call Maricopa County Chairman Tom Husband at (602) 300-5651 and he can tell you where to send your contribution. The Maricopa County Republican Committee has endorsed Russell Pearce and is doing what they can to elect him. I'm sure your contributions will be appreciated!

It's more than a little sad that the first five comments criticize the mail piece, yet, no one is disputing the accuracy of its content. Have Republicans become so jaded that we will defend someone who did this because we agree with his politics. Didn't Republicans rightfully cite instances from Bill Clinton's past as examples of his character? Some of those instances were a decade or more old. That didn't stop Republicans from using them as salient examples of a man not fit to lead. In my opinion, once a man demonstrates "a violent temper" toward his wife and actually hits her, that tells me all I need to know about him.

In most cases I would agree with Fred, maybe on this one as well but you have to look further into it.

1. It is an ugly hit piece, I don't like it and don't think it should have been used only because is is very old.

2. We don't know the whole story. I won't accept or condone what he did but what were the actions around these events, has he accepted responsibility and has he changed his behavior.

3. It is a matter of public record and now he has to answer that. If he simply says that it was something he is not proud of and tries to ignore this, then he doesn't deserve to breathe the air around him. He needs to take this on and deal with it until the people are satisfied.

4. When you decide to run for office, you accept the fact that all of your skeletons will come out of the closet. I would hope that he already had developed a plan to deal with this.

That said, I hope he was punished severely if the reports were true, by the courts and by his wife. I also think politicians that use these kinds of things (events that happened more than 10 years ago) as hit pieces are trying to hide something on their own side.

It is good to see that there are some logical thinkers on this post. As a lifelong conservative, I am ashamed that Russel Pearce is a memebr of my party and calls himself a conservative. Event taking his stance on immigration out of the debate, no one can argue that government exploded while he was chair of appropriations. That alone should make him unacceptable to many conservative voters. It is clear that his crusade against immigrants has diverted his attention and done significant harm to the Republican party. We have lost seats in the AZ legislature, the governor has consolidated her power and grown in stature, the state party is a mess, the business community is abandoning their natural allies, etc... This is all over one issue and the ring leader is Pearce. He must go.

This is everything awful about politics. And why we are seeing some very bright and capable young people shy away leaving us with poor pickin's!

Pearce is a creep in my book. Where would be the surprise that he is probably a bully. He is, most importantly, a poor legislator.

Gibbons is wrong to use this information in this way.

Shame on him, shame on Nathan.

But....this type of stuff is not limited to Nathan.

Constantin is doing very similar things with his candidates. The recent hit piece against Blendu (who I also do not like) was horrible. He is running the three stooges for ACC under the guise of conservatives! PHOOEY!

The number of cliché phrases that could fit here is huge!

Goose/Gander
Glass Houses
Reaping and Sowing
Pot/Kettle
Karma is a b****h

And they would apply to all.

I didn't say it was a pretty piece. It certainly isn't. But, that's because of the subject matter. It looks like everything in there is factual. If not, then the cmte will have to answer for that. When does it become irrelevent that a man committed domestic violence against his wife? Few things are more disgusting and it gets to the heart of the matter. Is Russell Pearce the type of person we want serving in the legislature? You may not like the mailer b/c of how it makes you feel. That doesn't change the fact that voters deserve to know who they are voting for.

Tim S, you ask why nobody is disputing the accuracy of its content - I'll try to help there. Both Russell Pearce and his wife, LuAnne, have denied that the event ever happened. The incident is an allegation (which, Fred, makes it a matter of public record) but just that doesn't mean it is at all true. I've had the misfortune to hear of too many divorce cases where an attorney introduces false allegations in order to provoke an emotional response. Luckily, we live in a nation where we're presumed innocent until proven guilty.
We can't allow political campaigns to be influenced by allegations without substance. I've heard nothing that would prove wrongdoing on Pearce's part, so I simply can't condemn Pearce based on this attack.

If I were to follow the train of logic on this thread, DeSimone's wife 'alleged' he struck her and he denied it, so he shouldn't have been condemned solely on her accusation? That's one of the problems with domestic violence...it's often times a matter of he said/she said. It also begs the question "is Pearce's wife denying this now out of fear?"
A lot of abused women will defend the person hurting them. 28 years ago, she may have been young enough and strong enough to try to stand up for herself. But after nearly 30 years of marriage (and abuse?), its entirely possible that she is now too scared to say anything.
To accuse an attorney of falsifying an official document is pretty severe- something he or she could be disbarred for if true. Remember, Pearce's wife signed this document. If we are to believe she didn't read it, well then that was her foolish mistake. But notice her attorney was a Farnsworth...that name should ring a bell with this crowd. Are the Pearce's willing to smear that good name in defense of their own???

Confused - maybe this will clear it up for you:
DeSimone was ARRESTED AND CHARGED for domestic violence.
Pearce: a court document states that he is alleged to have committed this offense.
BIG BIG difference.

confused, you wrote, "But notice her attorney was a Farnsworth...that name should ring a bell with this crowd. Are the Pearce's willing to smear that good name in defense of their own?"

rhetorical question ---- I think we all know the answer to that question....

Benson-
In both instances, we have the wife alleging that the husband struck her, so I still don't see the difference there, EXCEPT that LuAnn Pearce's husband was a law enforcement officer...why should anyone assume that she would have felt comfortable calling on the police or sheriff? Its quite possible that she felt the court system was her only option.
Just because a crime is unreported, that doesn't mean it didn't happen.
Ron- I was more calling into question whether or not this battle will grow into something even uglier. In an election year where we already have R's at each other's throats, I ponder how many more will be sucked into this mess. I just have to wonder how many more people will be hurt by this information coming to light.
Thanks to both of you for responding.

Drudging up stuff from a divorce proceeding is pretty questionable considering that often times these aren't accurate. Not that I don't believe it happened, but I think politicians might want to think twice before going down this road.

Pearce is a bully and demagogue who makes up statistics to backup his racist positions. It's too bad the voters of Mesa don't consider those reasons to throw him out.

What is interesting is how this and the whole issue with Hershberger shows how the AZGOP is just coming apart at the seams. Come November when the GOP face big loses in the state you party members might want to ask why leaders in the party where focusing on attacking other republicans rather than running good campaigns.

Confused - I pray we never become a country or a society where "Just because a crime is unreported, that doesn't mean it didn't happen" is the standard of judgement.
With DeSimone the police responded to a call. Officers documented signs of abuse. Mr. DeSimone will have his day in court to face his accuser.
In Pearce's case - a spouse made allegations in a divorce document. I have seen numerous cases where individuals make claims of horrendous behavior on their spouse - ESPECIALLY when there are children involved - so it bolsters their fight for custody.
All I am saying is that because there has been no "finding of fact" in Pearce's 20+ year old allegation, there has been NO subsequent allegations or reports - I will take the info with a grain of salt and not pass judgement.
Cheers.

I think this is fair game. No question. Anyone that watches him engage a dissenting voice can see that he uses intimidation and bullying tactics to get his point across. This accusation is not a stretch. I think her claim is even more valid given that the date of the incident is Feb. 3 and she filed for divorce on the Feb. 5. Seems like she had had enough and marched herself down to a lawyer....

I think he also needs to explain his "lone no vote" on a bill that would have increased the sentence for those convicted of beating a pregnant woman." His voting record is full of shocking decisions.

I am sure there is some sweating going on about the intended prosecution of the 'johns' who used the Paradise valley call girl service....

Benson, thank you. You've got what I meant to post, and much more eloquently. I'm curious about the other issue on his vote. If anyone can point to which bill that might have been, maybe we could shine some like on that issue too. Until then, I'd like to file that under "unfounded allegations," too.

In the meantime, if anyone would like to get to know the people behind this attack, let's give a shout-out to "Wake Up Arizona!" and other people who contributed to the "Stop Illegal Hiring" committee.

http://sonoranalliance.com/?p=1274

Sonoran Alliance had something a while ago on Wake Up Arizona, and the other committee has a campaign finance report available as of June. I have this weird feeling that their brand of stopping “Illegal Hiring” is to make it perfectly legal to hire undocumented immigrants, and taking Rep. Pearce out is step number one.

The bill that would have increased penalties for domestic violence agianst pregnant women was SB1050 in 2002. The bill would have increased the penalties for DV against a pregnant woman by two years. (http://www.azleg.gov/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/legtext/45leg/2r/bills/sb1050o.asp)

Pearce was one of four Republicans to vote against the bill in committee; he was joined by Farnsworth, Anderson and Johnson. (http://www.azleg.gov/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/legtext/45leg/2r/bills/sb1050.hhs.1.asp)

Mr. T - you should take another look at that bill. It looks to me like there was already something in statute about increased penalties for domestic violance against pregnant women, and the bill was moving the language for clarification.

Here's a link to the bill:
http://www.azleg.gov/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/legtext/45leg/2r/bills/sb1050s.htm

And here's a link to the summary, which says as much:
http://www.azleg.gov/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/legtext/45leg/2r/summary/h.sb1050_4-16-02_failed.doc.htm

Chris,

It was good to see that you went right back to the "open borders" card. Is there anything else that you care about? Also, get a clue and argue the facts. People like Mac Magruder and Jason LeVecke do not support open borders and it is getting tiresome that you and your ilk have nothing else to add to the debate. The Republican party gets torn apart by Pearce, you yell open borders. Government spending explodes on Pearce's watch, open borders. The economy goes in the tank, again, open borders. Try a new sound track. Mac did more for Republicans than Pearce could ever dream of, and Jason is a Marine vet who is a staunch conservative. Instead of looking at the issue, you and your small minded crowd immediatley come out from your caves, call them traitors, and then seperate them from the party. Ask Randy why the party is in finacial trouble. My guess is that the individuals that were the backbone of the Republican party have decided that you and ilk are not worth supporting. Get a life!

To be clear, I'm not saying that we should assume Pearce OR DeSimone is guilty. I'm a firm believer that every accused individual should have a day in court.
My original point was that if I were to follow the logic of the thread, then Pearce would be in the same boat as DeSimone, who was crucified immediately upon the incident becoming public, way before he ever had his day in court. In fact, given the agreement reached between the former legislator and the prosecutor's office, it seems as though he won't make it that far. But regardless, he is guilty in the court of public opinion. Pearce so far is not.
Yes, these charges are 28 years old. No, I do not necessarily believe them to be true simply because they are on an official court document.
All I am saying is that I think it warrants some explanation, and that just because Mr. and Mrs. Pearce are denying it now, it's going to take more than that to satisfy some folks.

If, as alleged by the Pearces, Luann's attorney inserted accusations of domestic violence in divorce documents without her knowledge, then he would be guilty of a serious offense. He could be disbarred and prosecuted for it. If not, he should nail the Pearces for defamation of character.

Yeah yeah yeah. Some of you are now defending and forgiving Trish Groe for her plea bargained conviction of drunken driving. It wasn't a first time offense either.

No problem about forgiving and forgetting except that the same is not extended to the majority of people convicted of crimes. We often don't even let them vote.

Strange the support for people who represent us as lawmakers and for those that should be held to a much higher standard.

Chris wrote: "It looks to me like there was already something in statute about increased penalties for domestic violance against pregnant women, and the bill was moving the language for clarification."

Yes, the original law said that the court could take a pregnancy into consideration during sentencing and increase the sentence.

Regardless of what the fact sheet you linked to says, the bill (S1050 in 2002) would have given the court the same discretion for attacks on pregnant women if the crime was a misdemeanor. But it also would have required the court to increase the sentence (by up to two years) if the domestic violence crime was a felony.

It clarified the existing law by expanding it to include mandatory sentence increases for felonies.

Just because it's a "court document" doesn't mean it's true. And it's not an allegation from the wife, it's an allegation from a third party, spoken in the third person, and delivered to the court by someone other than the wife.

What exactly is the backlash going to be?

Greg,

It is unfortunate that you defend Russell Pearce and have criticized the mail piece. While I agree with you on several issues, your inability to see past the damage that Mr. Pearce has caused the Republican brand is unfathomable. Unfortunately, you have clearly bought into the whole immigration is the savior issue for Republican business. I would only ask you to consider is what Mr. Pearce would say if he was asked what should be done with an illegal immigrant that has been working in Arizona for more than 28 years and has done nothing wrong but come across the border for work. My guess is that he would demand that he be arrested and sent back to his home country, no amnesty for illegal aliens. Even if the illegal immigrant had done all that he could to become legal, and was in jeopardy of being permanently separated from his family. Well I believe there should be no amnesty for Pearce on this issue. As a public figure that has unfairly labeled good people as traitors and illegal employers, his past (that is documented in public record) should not be off limits. I hope you consider this in the future before you jump to his defense and make irresponsible comments like you did in your post.

Mr. T - I don't agree. In 2002, the existing statute in Sec. 13, subsection 711 allowed a court to increase misdemenor DV sentences if the victim was pregnant. Another provision in Sec. 13, subsection 3601, specified a two year sentence increase for felony DV sentenced is the victim was pregnant. That bill was really only simplifying and combining the two provisions. If anything it spcified a limitation on duration for misdemenor DV on pregnant women. Also, in no part of this bill is the increased sentence made mandatory - it only allows a court to increase the duration of the sentence.

This right here is the height of dirty, negative, disreputable politics. Those of you who are justifying doing this to Pearce and his family it by complaining that Pearce acts unfairly to illegal immigrants and are forgetting that that's his JOB. Love it or hate it, he's representing Mesa better than anyone else. You know you're representing your district well when all your opponent's funding comes from special interests half a state away.

But what I really think is reprehensible is that they bring his wife into this, then deny her a voice. Do you know what she has to say?

"The stuff you’re talking about, I never said that. Maybe that was just the attorney’s way -- I have no idea. All I’m saying is that he’s never struck me. He has never grabbed me by the throat and thrown me down."

I'd take her word for it.

I'd like to add to Tom's comment. For those of you who claim it is Pearce who destroyed the Republican Party because of his immigration stance I offer the following:
1. Every Pearce initiative that was put on the ballot passed overwhelmingly by the voters. So are they the bad guys?
2. Unlike every other "leader" here, he does not use the blatant excuse "We need 'comprehensive' immigration reform". This is just an excuse to continue business as usual and do nothing.
As I said before, there are things I totally disagree with his stance on - but as far as imigration: a majority of Arizona is with him. There can be no disputing that.
The pro illegal immigration movement made it perfectly clear they were going to stop at nothing to silence him. This piece of garbage they sent out is clear evidence of that.
They are a pitiful bunch.

As I said earlier, I think this is slimy and I am pretty amazed that Republicans are doing this to each other (what happened to Reagan's 11th commandment?) but it simply does not seem reasonable that this charges were inserted without her knowledge. This document is signed by Mrs. Pearce and notarized.

Ditto what todd said re: Reagan's 11th Commandment.

Regardless of what happened 30 years ago, I know that the Pearces are trying to do what's best for their family. I really find myself disgusted by those who are dragging his family through the dirt by insisting that the 28-year-old allegations hold continued relevence.

I think the facts of the matter speak for themselves. Russell and LuAnne have remained married through everything, and both deny the claims made in the repeated attacks. Though some may want to sensationalize this story in the service of some other goal, in the tradition of recent scandals from Spitzer through Berman, there are some very important differences: It's thirty years old; both LuAnne and Russell deny it; and it's very obviously in the service of another issue.

For those who recognize the Sproul hit piece as beneath contempt, I thank you. Whatever your opinions about Pearce, the piece is indefensible.

For those (endlessly) arguing its merits (or protesting that we might smear the good name Farnsworth), you are what's wrong with the political process.

As long as you keep buying this garbage, lowlife peddlers of garbage like Sproul will keep selling it.

Gosh, what can I say? It's more than just the kettle calling the pot black. The kettle is getting morally outraged about the color black. And some of us can only laugh.
What you're seeing here is the lone enduring achievement of the Gingrich Republican Revolution: the complete transformation of American politics into a ruthless, vicious winner-take-all blood sport. Newt, Karl Rove, and their ilk figured out how to win elections by playing the game this way. It works great. It works great as long as winning is the only thing that matters. And now you're upset when Nathan Sproul uses these tactics against a fellow Republican?
I have yet to see a single word of moral outrage and indignation on this blog about the horrible racist Willie Horton smear employed by George Herbert Walker Bush in 1988. Are the Russell Pearce apologists here demanding that Mr. Bush apologize for it? Lee Atwater apologized. When will George H.W. the First?
You're bothered by 28 year old allegations? The Swift Boaters brought up events that took place over 30 years ago. They didn't call John Kerry a wife beater based on a notarized court document bearing his wife's signature. They charged that he shot a naked unarmed teenage boy in the back as he fled the scene of a battle. This makes Kerry a liar, a murderer, and a war criminal, a few notches below a run of the mill wife beater. The Swifties false allegations about the events of that day are very throughly contradicted by the eyewitness account of the other surviving officer. See "What I Saw That Day" by William Rood, at http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-0408220342aug22,0,7550103.story.
I have yet to see one single word of moral outrage and indignation on this blog about outright lies calling John Kerry a murderer. What I have seen are Republicans wearing purple heart bandaids at their convention that summer and a thank you note to the Swifties signed by Jeb Bush. Will the Pearce apologists here be demanding that Rove and W. apologize to Kerry?
If you can win an election playing by the "full contact cage fighting" rules, then do it. That's what the Republican revolution accomplished. Along with a quagmire in Iraq, 4000 American soldiers dead in an immoral and fruitless war, the biggest budget deficit in the history of our country, four dollar a gallon gasoline, and 200 years of American Democracy grievously stained by torture, secret prisons, signing statements, spying on our own citizens. And a two-term Republican president staggering out of office with a 20-something percent approval rating.
Proud of your accomplishment?

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