Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Truth Is Alien To Russell Pearce

Even more fun for me than writing about homeowner associations is yet another Pearce-vs.-Coppersmith op-ed smackdown! We get emails, this one from LARJOROH20@aol.com:
Oh, and of course you, Copperhead, always tell the truth and never exaggerate your liberal left wing garbage. It must be wonderful to be so fault free as you evidently think you are.

To which I could respond, in its entirety:

I always try to respond to thoughtful reader comments.

Sam Coppersmith

I love it when I can call something ironic, and it's actually ironic.

My suggested headline was above, which I think worked better than the editor's choice, but he's the editor and I'm not. The Tribune also doesn't like "Chair" and instead insists on "chairman." And so it goes.

East Valley Tribune, Aug. 12, 2007

As far as state Rep. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa and chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, is concerned, the truth might as well be in Spanish. Pearce is less than monolingual; when it comes to facts, he can't understand English, either.

Pearce has a history of repeating things that just aren't true. He famously sent an email to friends and supporters, forwarding a message claiming that Jews were "all-powerful masters of the media" who twisted public opinion against white guys, with a handy link to a neo-Nazi website. He later apologized for "not being more careful" and "not reading the attachment in its entirety" -- thus raising the question of how much of the white supremacy diatribe he read before thinking, "Hey! This sounds great!"

He's also fond of repeating unverifiable statistics, like that 80 percent of violent crimes are caused by illegal immigrants ("Ridiculous," says the Phoenix Police Department) or that 95 percent of all outstanding homicide warrants in Los Angeles target illegals ("I don't know where those [figures] come from," say both the LAPD and county sheriff's office).

The latest victims of Pearce's fact-free style are the city of Phoenix and Mayor Phil Gordon. Last week in the Tribune, Pearce ponderously wondered "what goes through the mind of a man like Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, when he attends the funeral of a police officer killed by an illegal immigrant, then returns to his office and insists that Phoenix police be prohibited from determining a criminal suspect's immigration status."

That sentence sets a record, even for someone with Pearce's spotty relationship with accuracy. As Mary McCarthy said of Lillian Hellman, every word is a lie, including "and" and "the."

Since 2006, Phoenix police have arrested some 3,500 illegal immigrants for felonies and serious misdemeanors. Those arrested were delivered to the county sheriff. The "35 to 45 percent of county jail populations" cited by Pearce as illegal immigrants arrested and jailed for crimes other than illegal entry? They are there because Phoenix arrested them.

Contrary to Pearce's claims, Phoenix also has found, and turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, some 2,000 illegal immigrants in drop houses (with 40 found in one raid just last week). The 5,500 illegals arrested and remanded by Phoenix PD exceed the totals by any other state or local agency by ten-fold -- including the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.

(Note that when I write about Mayor Gordon, my Tribune editorial overlords demand that I disclose that I've contributed to his reelection campaign. Pearce's son is a sheriff's deputy, so when Pearce writes op-ed mash notes to Joe Arpaio, he's buttering up his son's boss -- without any disclosure required.)

Need more? Phoenix is the only city with full-time embedded ICE agents; 10 investigators work out of the Phoenix PD. Even Bill O'Reilly -- Bill O'Reilly! -- doesn't call Phoenix a "sanctuary city."

But the topper is Pearce's claim that Phoenix Police Officer George Cortez, Jr. was "killed by an illegal immigrant." Cortez was shot by Edward James Rose, who has an Arizona birth certificate -- and is just as much an American citizen as Russell Pearce. Rose's girlfriend accomplice and Officer Cortez both have Hispanic names, so Pearce apparently leaped to his usual, comfortable conclusion that any crime must be caused by illegal immigrants.

A Phoenix cop making a traffic stop is supposed to make an instantaneous, correct judgment about immigration status, when Pearce has a week and his resources as a state legislator and gets it wrong? Oh, wait -- it's not like Pearce ever worries about getting facts wrong.

Pearce refuses to check his claims, but we've learned to expect that. But he needs to stop slandering other elected officials serving the public while respecting the truth and the law -- and Pearce especially has no business lying about a policeman's death.

Good ideas don't need lies told about them. Why, then, does Russell Pearce so often not tell the truth?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Odd that he calls you "Copperhead." I wonder if he has any awareness of the historical context of that term.