A group trying to recall state Senate President Russell Pearce is pressing election officials to verify petition signatures quickly so an election can be held in November rather than March.

The recall group is trying to gather far more signatures than needed to trigger an election, but that approach makes it more likely the election would fall in 2012. Rather than turning in signatures early, they're asking election officials to do their work in less time than the law sets aside to complete the verification process.

Organizers gathered in Secretary of State Ken Bennett's office Wednesday to seek assurance election officials won't drag their feet and delay the election until March.

"We just want to make sure that politics doesn't enter into this at all," said Chad Snow, chairman of Citizens for a Better Arizona.

The group plans to submit paperwork Tuesday, the deadline for the 120-day window to gather signatures.

Bennett addressed the recall organizers and said all of his elections workers would turn to signature verification if the group submits the paperwork. They'd work as quickly as possible while ensuring their work is accurate, he said.

"We'll do everything as fast as we can," Bennett said.

The recall campaign said they initially believed a November election was likely if they used the full 120 days to gather signatures. Bennett acknowledged his office mistakenly told the group that a November election was possible if the group filed by May 25. The office later realized May 10 is the correct date if every step of the process takes the maximum time required by law. His office notified the group when the error was identified last week, Bennett said.

If signatures are submitted, Bennett's office reviews them first. They then go to the Maricopa County Recorders office and are returned to Bennett for further action. If everything checks out, Gov. Jan Brewer would then have 15 days to call an election.

Bennett and Brewer, like Pearce, are Republicans. Bennett said he won't let politics interfere with the process.

"I don't think the governor is going to play politics in this either," Bennett said.

A recall would require 7,756 valid signatures from residents of the heavily Republican legislative District 18, which covers west Mesa. Backers said they plan to submit 17,553 signatures, which is one more than the number of votes Pearce got in 2010.

If Pearce were recalled in a November election, he'd be out of office before the next legislative session starts in January. A March election would come in the middle of the session - and at about the time lawmakers would start their campaign for November's legislative elections.

Also Wednesday, the group announced it's retained the law firm of Perkins & Coie, whose specialties include election law.

Pearce opponents began gathering signatures in January, targeting the lawmaker in large part for creating SB 1070 last year and additional immigration bills this year. Backers also cite Pearce's role in hundreds of millions in budget cuts that affect education, health care, organ transplants and more. Organizers said some Pearce supporters turned on him when the Fiesta Bowl investigation revealed he was one of many elected officials told to repay the bowl for taking free trips to various games.

Pearce supporter Sean McCaffrey cast doubt on whether the recall effort will get enough valid signatures. McCaffrey founded Ban Amnesty Now, an anti-illegal immigration group that Pearce is national chairman of.

"I'm a skeptic and think that if they do, they've been very lucky to get signatures only from people that don't support what I call Arizona values to begin with," McCaffrey said.

Pearce will find support from voters ranging from Reagan Democrats to tea party activists for his immigration views and otherwise conservative voting record, McCaffrey said. Recall activists often cite non-immigration issues in arguing for the recall, but McCaffrey said immigration is the real motive.

"I think that part, they're lying to you," McCaffrey said. "I think they're trying to be less transparent than they really are."

Wednesday's gathering in Bennett's office included several lifelong Republicans and members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, of which Pearce is a member.

Carolyn Cooper clutched a folder with pictures of relatives in military uniforms and became upset that Pearce opponents have been called anarchists. Cooper noted Pearce once was close with J.T. Ready, an anti-immigration activist who has been photographed wearing swastikas. Pearce has since cut those ties, but Cooper said that didn't matter.

"And he has the gall to call us too extreme," Cooper said.

Julie Jorgensen is a Republican and fifth-generation Mormon who has opposed Pearce for cutting adult education funds. She teaches adult education and dismissed the assertion that only liberals or open-border activists oppose Pearce.

"I want people to know that all Mormons and all Republicans are not as extreme as Russell Pearce," Jorgensen said.

(17) comments

AmericanPatriot

http://www.morganquitno.com/edrank.htm Shows California students ranked 47th but Arizona students are ranked last at 50th. I wonder how much more California has to spend to get to 47th place.

AmericanPatriot

Ya know people who keep talking about education funding don't really have a clue where that money goes. California spends a lot more money per student on education and you want to know where it goes, it goes into teachers and administrators pockets. Californians pay high taxes so that teachers can live high on the hog. It's results that count. Anybody know how California students rank academically to Arizona students? I'll be no one who spouts off about education cuts here knows a thing about rankings.

firstclassmail

I myself back Pearce even if he had todo some cuts on the education and other areas, this is all about sb1070 folks do not please do not let this misguided fools from the so called Citizens for a better what??? these fools do not even come out and say how they can fix something supposively if it is broke all they want to do is cry wolf and want they own way... Being an ex-police officer for over 35 years I can tell you their motives are way off track it is all about sb1070 folks so if you want open borders and more crime and more illegals in the state of Arizona then by al means sign the petition to get rid of Pearce however the sb1070 is still law and he had the balls to write it, by the way other states are adopting his language so he must be right.

NothingButTheTruth

I guess dancita was a one time drive by liar.

NothingButTheTruth

dancita, how exactly has Pearce's policies related to education and and health care affected you? I mean, he has personal policies regarding these areas, but it is the entire senate that voted for these cuts. That is to say, the republican members of the senate. Why are you just going after the senate leader? Why not go after all of the republican senators and for that matter all of the republican congress? You see why we think this has to do with SB1070 is because Senator Pearce has been such an active proponent of that bill, and has taken a lot of heat over it from the usual suspects. Personally, I think the governor and congress have shown a great deal of courage in how they managed to balance the budget. Times are tough, and the illegals are siphoning off a great deal of resources, and we all need to tighten our belts a bit. Didn't Obama say something about that belt tightening not too long ago?

dancita

With all due respect, I attended this press conference and have gathered recall petition signatures. We did not begin the recall campaign "in large part because of SB1070." While some of us may personally disagree with that legislation we realize many Arizonans are in favor of the law. The recall is about Russell Pearce being too extreme in his policies particularly related to education and health care. I live in Mesa, and own a business in Russell Pearce's district. I have been personally affected by the drastic cuts in health care and education. I don't believe Mr Pearce truly represents his district constituents and frankly, I don't think he feels he has to represent them. He seems to believe he is a king not an elected official.

NothingButTheTruth

Yes Cactuscrusader, I can tell what's on your mind. Cactus flavored cookies.

Brittanicus


A VICTORY FOR THE 15 MILLION JOBLESS AMERICANS

The American people finally have their interests recognized, by the Supreme Court of the land, asserting that Arizona's federal mandatory E-Verify was upheld. Today it’s a major accomplishments for the American workers and a killing stroke to the US Chamber of Commerce and an attempt by the Department of Justice to protect illegal aliens in the workplace. This will strengthen ATTRITION BY ENFORCEMENT in every business and control penalties with businesses that don't comply. It gives all states the right to implement and mandate the E-Verify program and open the door to hefty fines, loss of business licenses, assets and the risk of prison.


Other states will now follow the example of Arizona and those who don't, will be in the forefront of mass evacuations from these hard policing states to states as the Sanctuary State of California, Nevada and Utah. In a 5-3 victory the justices, repudiated the pro-illegal politicians, Governors, Mayors and lower ranks of leftist and Rino Republicans. Of course the Liberal judges didn't go along with this decision, which is to be expected? If Mississippi can identify foreign national with drivers Licenses, why cannot this be a permanent law in federal books. Further why hasn't the US government made it a felony to enter America without being processed.


Most developed nations have this law, including Mexico and the majority of countries in South America? The adjoining State of Louisiana is also should rethink its illegal immigrant enforcement, as more policing laws come into effect and they are not protected? Louisiana will also succumb as open state borders with no policing laws, will find unceasing households of economic desperate foreigners moving across the country. As usual the ACLU, which has a more ominous name by bloggers as THE AMERICAN COMMUNIST PARTY, in association of mixed clowns in the Church are either suing states or insisting that the American people must financially provide, when we don't provide for our own inhabitants. Perhaps the leader in this religion, the Catholic church should sell the Popes fleet of armored cars, Vatican assets instead of placing the burden on US taxpayers. Indiana has now in the spotlight of ACLU wrath, trying to make state back down on tough immigration laws.


ONE MUST ASK THE INEVITABLE QUESTION--IS YOUR STATE NEXT??

ONE QUESTION THAT MUST BE ASKED, CAN ILLEGAL WORKERS USE A ITIN NUMBER INSTEAD OF A SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER WITH OTHER DOCUMENTS? WILL THE ITIN NUMBER BE ACCEPTABLE AS E-VERIFY IDENTIFICATION, AS THE US GOVERNMENT KNOWS ILLEGAL ALIENS CAN USE THIS NUMBER AS THE IRS SUPPLIES IT?


This is not about the Hispanic legal population being the whipping boy for Americans ills, but about illegal vs legal immigration. As even the responsible honest races are subject to higher taxes, to pay for every foreigner who crosses the line from South of the border, from Canada, Europe or any other nation?


Nothing will do more, including the fence, to reverse future illegal immigration occupation and accelerate the departure of the current 20 million illegal populations than taking away the job attraction. This is a significant win as other States following Arizona's lead, could have been crushed if the verdict had gone the alternative route. The American workers now have the impetus, to push the Congress and with the help of the monolithic Tea Party to mandate E-Verify nationwide. This will mean the propagation of E-Verify, with audits on all manner of business, including contractors and sub-contractors in every occupation. American labor must unite to uncover unscrupulous companies from large to small, who are using discount services. More and more patriotic Citizens and residents are joining other "Whistle Blowers" in contacting ICE and local police, of illegal aliens working in construction, manufacturing and thousands of other industries.


Another issue that many states see as a major peril to our sovereignty rights is illegal aliens using the absentee ballot system to vote in elections. New York, Colorado, New Jersey, Texas are being investigated by state Attorney General commissions. Acorn is still a major player and although dissolved on paper, is still involved in the registration racket. There are occurrences in California and Nevada of manipulation of voter rolls.

Can any American citizen or green card holder imagine what this country was like thirty years ago, before the illegal immigrant invasion? How many hundreds of billions of dollars, perhaps even a Trillion in three decades? Fewer illegal aliens meant fewer taxes to support the huge support mechanism that we have today? An example would be California, was a less congested place, where there was room to breathe? Just think were those taxes to subsidize illegal immigrants today could be highly beneficial, if it was spent on our own population. Education, for instance is forced on us, by a federal court that we must pay the schooling for every child of illegal immigrants. Then we have health care that the courts say, that anybody who breaks the law to come here is entitled to treatment. Remember in1912 the Titanic sunk, but not because of the iceberg above the Atlantic Ocean, but what was ominously concealed beneath the surface?


This is the same story with illegal immigration and the failure to place, 5000 "boots on ground. “of the each border States Nation Guardsman permanently? I was astounded to read a "Wikileaks" secret document, that the border is intentionally left open for the clandestine arrangement to merge Canada, Mexico and the United States. You have a chance to read these reports at Wikileaks website, under the headline, "Viewing cable 05OTTAWA268, PLACING A NEW NORTH AMERICAN INITIATIVE." This is a serious situation concocted by the Canadian Paul CELLUCCI and American Ambassador, which seems to never have been observed by Congress.

From both parties are hundreds of thousands, tens of millions finding that the TEA PARTY, doesn't discriminate against race or religion. That these people are delusion by the Liberals, democrats and Republicans, that are not doing enough to stop the in-sourcing of illegal immigrants or outsourcing of jobs to foreign countries. Cafta and Nafta was a massive mistake as the whole “FREE TRADE AGREEMENTS” have been detrimental to our society. We are importing everything from a nail file to steel, at far below the cost of doing business here? Once a lender of billions of dollars, we must now go cap in hand to Communist China, that owns our debts. We are the greatest market in the world, but our commerce is undercut by artificially engineering their currencies. The only winners in this commercial game are the importers of inferior products, who are profiting.


As Billionaire Donald Trump we should place a 25 % import tax on everything coming to our country, and begin to rebuild our manufacturing industries again. An intentional failure of every administration to secure our borders or enact laws that would obstruct foreign national at the border, or a tracking system to deport visa overstays. E-Verify will eradicate this problem of the issuance of a Secure Communities law, to enforce that every police department fingerprint and send those scans to ICE. If you want less government, a fair Tax system, individual responsibility and the return of federal excessive power to the states, join the Tea Party in your local area. Tell your Federal, State or local lawmaker, unless they join the TEA PARTY, they will be out of office in 2012.

Contact them at Senate—202-224–3121/ House—202-225–3121.

Cactuscrusader

That is an amazing talent many of you have! To be able to magically read the mind's of people you have never met and know better than they do themselves what they are thinking and what their motivation to recall Pearce is.

Hey can you guess what I'm thinking right now? [rolleyes]

AmericanPatriot

yoggish, it's all politics and you know it. He's done nothing to be recalled and this recall will amount to nothing. SB1070 is the ONLY reason this recall is being sought, and we like SB1070.

NothingButTheTruth

Ya why put off wasting taxpayers time and money when you can waste it all sooner.

yoggish

Immigration is not the issue for this group. It's from being 49th state in the country on education funding per student (49th meaning less than 48 others) and now another drastic next fiscal year; it's defying the will of the voters of AZ to fund medicaid as approved in a referendum, which is likely illegal; it's for saying "I don't have to prove anything to anybody" in regards to trips on Fiesta Bowl money; it's for removing all benches in the capital to keep protesters away, which is their first amendment right. And much more. He's too extreme, he doesn't care what the majority of Arizonans want and just doesn't care.

Mesa Resident

Russell actions haven't risen to the level of a recall. He has don't nothing morally or ethical wrong. I don't care if he is Mormon or not religious beliefs should not be used to try to remove somebody and those Mormons using religion should be ashamed of themselves. No you not believe in your own articles of faith?

And those who don't like him because of SB1070, would you rather have a state or country run by drug lords and have people fleeing their homes. I believe there is a story of just that here on the evtrib.

Come on people use your heads don't let one issue blind you to the good that this man has done.

catskinner

This is ridiculous. They are all concerned about "playing politics." The whole thing is about politics. Arizona and the entire country need Russell Pearce to stay right where he is.

Tigere

I would hope that the people of district 8 and all of Arizona would consider very carefully what this recall is really about. There are no perfect politicians and those who would "recall" Pearce are hardly a group by which to gauge honest politics. Their motives are suspect regardless of the high sounding name. This is about 1070.

As a law officer Mr. Pearce has proven his courage and ability in the face of danger as a law officer and as a legislator has not shied away from the difficult issues facing Arizona and the nation. To say that his position is "unpopular" is to speak a half truth - the opponents are very vocal - that does not mean their position is right just loud or his position is unpopular as suggested in the press. And we do not get to observe these people in the excruciating task of government decision making.

As side walk superintendents they share no risk. We should nick name this the “mother in law movement” – until they find a perfect husband/wife they’ll destroy the marriage again and again until they are at last happy. (And in this case it would be Amnesty)Every one has had such a relative – I know what I told mine … and you probably did too – and in this case we should tell them the same thing. You know exactly what I mean.

It is clear there is a concerted effort to vilify and denigrate a good public servant and the recently elected Governor. Surely any thinking individual realizes that as a voter you are included in this category - though not so named - that your support and vote is the target of the opponents - you do not escape that vilification- you are included by association. Do you really believe that? Are you a “racist” and hate Obama because he is black? Do you really “hate” brown skinned people? How many people do you know that do? I don’t know any and I doubt you do either.

Don't stand passively by and be accussed of something you are not.These people are an insult to your intelligence and integrity. Repudiate these people and this recall effort. . Do you really want four more years of Obama, Holder andf Janet Napolito? You were right the first time and still are. You have always done the right thing and will again

God bless you all.

Slabside

This is just wishful thinking by a bunch of open borders advocates. Morons.

samkat

Although I may not support Pearce, I will donate to his campaign to help thwart a bunch of pro illegal supporters.

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