The month of November brought local elections to Arizona and none were more contentious than the recall voting of Republican State Senator Russell Pearce. If his name sounds familiar, it should. He is the brainchild behind such legislation as SB 1070 and the birthright amendments (both pieces fiercely anti illegal immigration using racial methods).
Initially in the race there were just two candidates, Mr. Pearce and a Mr. Jerry Lewis, also a Republican, but MUCH more moderate. Suddenly in July a third candidate popped up, Olivia Cortez. She had no political experience, was holding no press conferences and turned down calls for volunteers. What was going on?? It seems, (though this has not been officially confirmed but all evidence points to this), Ms. Cortez was recruited by the local Tea Party (big supporters of Pearce) to run in an effort to dilute votes for the moderate Jerry Lewis. Her nominating petitions were filed by the Phoenix East Valley Tea Party chairman. And when it came time for her to disclose who her financial backers were, she drops out of the race. She was a diversionary candidate, to siphon off votes for Jerry Lewis – that is how things work out here in Arizona; scheming tricks and childish games, instead of challenging on the issues.
This story does have a happy ending, the sham candidate tactic backfired (the Phoenix media picked up on it and ran with it daily) and Jerry Lewis won. Despite the Wild West mentality of this particular election, sensibility somehow prevailed.
Read more about it here –