Guest Opinion: Ellsworth to Pearce: ‘Move On’

By Brent Ellsworth

In an article ominously, but I’m sure inaccurately, titled, “Senator Russell Pearce: Final Remarks,” posted November 10 on a local political blog, Senator Pearce provided his explanation of why he was soundly defeated two days earlier by his Republican challenger, Jerry Lewis.

Among other things, the Senator confidently stated: “Pretty much all political observers acknowledge that I would have not lost the race in a normal election. . . In a recall election, there is no primary. . . In a normal election, he [Lewis] would have had no chance [against me] in the primary . . .”

Senator Pearce is still trying to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the recent special election because he is annoyed that every registered voter was eligible to vote. In a closed Republican primary, where all prior Pearce victories have been determined, only Republican voters are allowed to vote.

This is a classic example of “Denial,” the first of several predictable steps grief counselors tell us are common in the grieving process after a severe personal loss.

There are a couple of ways you can tell Russell Pearce is stuck in the Denial phase.

Pearce’s claim regarding a hypothetical primary election is contrary to the hard data. A recent independent poll and the double-digit margin of victory by Jerry Lewis raise doubts that a victory by Senator Pearce in a primary election would be a slam dunk. An ABC15 / Arizona Capitol Times poll taken just prior to the election showed that among Republican voters in LD 18, Jerry Lewis had a slight advantage over Senator Pearce. Combine that with the embarrassingly small amount of money raised by Pearce from within his own district, and it doesn’t take a Carville or a Rove to conclude that Senator Pearce may overestimate his current level of support among Republican voters in LD 18.

The conduct of Senator Pearce since the election has been disappointingly unpatriotic and boorish. Our society rightfully expects a minimum standard of decorum and respect for the political process from those who lose elections. Granted, this is unfamiliar territory for Pearce, who is not experienced in the awkward etiquette of political defeat, including the obligatory phone call to congratulate the victor and the graceful but painful concession speech.

We all watched Senator Pearce give his defiant “non-concession” concession speech on election night after the outcome was certain. The press was so confused by the speech they had to ask Pearce’s media spokesman, former TV meteorologist, Ed Phillips, if Pearce’s remarks were, in fact, a concession. Having placed his wet finger to the wind, the dutiful Phillips covered for his boss, and explained that no matter how the speech sounded, it was intended to be a concession speech, and they should take it as such. In other words, “This is as much of a concession as you’re going to get from the Senator, who is not real happy right now.”

Compare the concession speech of Senator Pearce with that of Al Gore in 2000, who arguably had much more reason to be bitter in defeat than does Senator Pearce.

Here are a few quotes from Mr. Gore, whose comments transcend political party and ideology: “Just moments ago, I spoke with George W. Bush and congratulated him on becoming the 43rd president of the United States. . . Tonight, for the sake of our unity of the people and the strength of our democracy, I offer my concession. . . History gives us many examples of contests as hotly debated, as fiercely fought . . . Each time, both the victor and the vanquished have accepted the result peacefully and in the spirit of reconciliation. So let it be with us. I know that many of my supporters are disappointed. I am too. But our disappointment must be overcome by our love of country. . . While we yet hold and do not yield our opposing beliefs, there is a higher duty than the one we owe to political party. This is America and we put country before party. We will stand together behind our new president.”

Somewhere along his political path, Senator Pearce lost his vision of the “higher duty” described by Mr. Gore. Pearce wasted a golden opportunity on November 8th to recapture that vision and behave like a true statesman by gracefully congratulating Senator Lewis, accepting the clear voice of the voters of his district, and calling on his “Patriots for Pearce” to join him in moving forward in a spirit of reconciliation and healing, rather than one of continuing rancor and division.

Once Senator Pearce gets through this first step of Denial, perhaps he will allow others to help him navigate the remaining four stages of grief, which are: Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and, finally, Acceptance.

Brent Ellsworth, a Mesa attorney, resides in Legislative District 18.


  1. Pearce is a shabby little man, time for him to disappear. Of course there are enough sycophants out there to allow him to live like Col. Kurtz up the river of denial.

    Mesa moved on, Pearce and his cronies didn’t which is why he is out of power.

  2. Conservative American says

    ROFL! It’s very humorous that a shabby little man like you, Lampoon, would call Russel Pearce a shabby little man!

    This article is surely intended to be humor. It would be simply too pathetic if it were anything else!

    The attempt at “pop psych”, with the stages of loss and grief, seeks to avoid the real issues. What a waste of time, LOL! Let’s get down to brass tacks!

    Chad Snow is fond of telling us how many “Republicans” voted in the recall election. That is a poor attempt to cover up the actual voting population which was Mormons! Snow doesn’t want that to come out lest there be backlash against the plethora of Mormon candidates seeking election to public office in the coming year.

    First, let’s examine excerpts from the NEW immigration statement by the LDS Church:

    “Immigration: Church Issues New Statement”

    “10 June 2011 — Salt Lake City”

    “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is concerned that any state legislation that only contains enforcement provisions is likely to fall short of the high moral standard of treating each other as children of God.”

    “The Church supports an approach where undocumented immigrants are allowed to square themselves with the law and continue to work without this necessarily leading to citizenship.”

    Take note of the date of this statement. It was just five months before the election. The LDS Chruch wanted to make it clear to “obedient and loyal” Mormons precisely which candidate it was supporting.

    To remove any doubt that the Church was opposing Russell Pearce, it specifiically referred to “…state legislation that only contains enforcement provisions…”, stating that such legislation “…is likely to fall short of the high moral standard…”.

    Also note that the LDS Church uses the liberal Democrat term “undocumented immigrants” rather than the conservative Republican term “illegal aliens”. This is an attempt to avoid stating that those who have entered our country improperly have broken the law.

    On his campaign website, Jerry Lewis spoke of offering to “help” illegal aliens to “get square with the law”. Rather an unusual turn of phrase. The LDS Church statement says “…undocumented immigrants are allowed to square themselves with the law…”. How odd that both Jerry Lewis and the LDS Church would use exactly the same rather uncommon turn of phrase!

    Why are people like Chad Snow so persistent in promoting their propaganda regarding who voted and what the election issues were?

    Mitt Romney – Mormon
    John Huntsman – Mormon
    Jeff Flake – Mormon
    Wil Cardon – Mormon

    If the NEW statement of the LDS Chruch on immigration were to become widely known and if the role played by Mormons and the LDS Church in unseating a sitting state Republican senator over immigration laws were to become widely known, all of the above listed candidates, and any other Mormon candidates running for office, would be in trouble. Most of the above listed candidates are already in trouble!

    Romney authored “Romneycare”, the prototype for “Obamacare”.

    Huntsman accepted an appointment by “progressive” Democrat B. Hussein Obama as ambassador to China.

    Jeff Flake co-authored the STRIVE Act which contained not one but rather three amnesty programs. It was defeated by conservative Republicans. The other co-author was U. S. “progressive” Democrat Congressman Luis Gutierrez of Chicago. One of the co-sponsors of the STRIVE Act was then U. S. Congressman Rahm Emanual who went on to become Obama’s White House Chief of Staff.

    So Mormons feel that they MUST see to it that the election of Jerry Lewis is viewed in the “proper” light lest any Mormon candidate be extensively questioned and scrutinized regarding his position on illegal immigration and illegal aliens AND his “obedience and loyalty” to the LDS Church position on the subject be probed.

    • Polls just before the election showed Pearce with a slight advantage among Mormons. The whole “Mormon conspiracy” thing doesn’t ring very true.

      • Conservative American says

        Is this the same Zach Henry who called me a coward and then declined to meet me and say that to my face? Is this the same Zach Henry who has been banned from posting at OTHER conservative blogs?

    • Hey, Conservative American, your crazy anti-Mormonism aside, I think you are partially right. Good Mormons will follow the leadership of their Church. Eddie Farnsworth and Andy Biggs should take note. Difference is that you think it is a bad thing, and I think it is a good thing.

      It is time for Republicans to dismount from the anti-immigrant horse so many have rode into office on, and get smart on immigration. Hispanics are going to choose leaders in this country for a long time, starting in the not-too-distant future. The socially conservative, hard-working, Latinos should be Republicans. But, thanks to the rhetoric of short-sighted geniuses like Russell Pearce and his ilk, Latinos think Republicans hate them. Yeah, yeah, I know, some are Republicans, and some support harsh anti-immigrant measures. Look no further than Olivia Cortes. But guess what, folks? 1 out of 5 won’t win the elections of the future. Wise up.

      • Conservative American says

        ROFL! Oh, here we go with the anti-Mormon label. How pathetic, LOL!

        If the LDS Church wants to actively engage in political activity, as it has, then it’s fair game to attack their politics. I have not attacked Mormonism pre se and you know that quite well.

        PJ wrote: “It is time for Republicans to dismount from the anti-immigrant horse…”

        That’s a lie, plain and simple. Republicans oppose ILLEGAL immigration and the manner in which “progressive” Democrats want to give ILLEGAL ALIENS a free pass. They do NOT oppose immigration per se and you know that.

        PJ wrote: “But, thanks to the rhetoric of short-sighted geniuses like Russell Pearce and his ilk, Latinos think Republicans hate them.”

        Oh really? Please quote for us this “rhetoric” of Russell Pearce. Let’s see what Russell Pearce has said that would cause Latinos to think that Republicans hate them. You must have specific quotes or you surely would not have made your statement. Let’s hear what Pearce said!

  3. “The attempt at “pop psych”, with the stages of loss and grief, seeks to avoid the real issues.”

    Uh, you’re calling Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’ work “pop psych”?

    • Conservative American says

      Don’t even TRY to pull off that disingenuous liberal garbage with me, Klute.

      Elizabeth Kubler-Ross did NOT write the above article, in case you didn’t notice, and she never applied her model to politics.

      If you’re going to say something, say something logical. And try positng while sober.

      • True Conservative says

        What Klute is mocking, and what you seem to not understand, is your misuse of the term pop-psych.

        Pop psych does not apply to the use of conventional psychology principles; rather, it is concerned with the use of fake or unresearched or non-peer reviewed efforts at psychology.

        “The term popular psychology (frequently called pop psychology or pop psych) refers to concepts and theories about human mental life and behavior that are purportedly based on psychology and that attain popularity among the general population. The concept is closely related to the human potential movement of the 1950s and ’60s.”

        In this article the author uses the well-established Five Stages of Grief psychology model. As its use is in direct contravention of the very definition of pop-psych, your accusation is baseless – and to be candid – ignorant.

        Words and phrases have meaning. The reference section of the library (or the Internet for that matter) should not be feared.

        • Conservative American says

          It IS pop psych when someone attempts to apply the loss and grief model of Kubler-Ross to a political situation for which it was never intended to be used.

          TC wrote: “…rather, it is concerned with the use of fake or unresearched or non-peer reviewed efforts at psychology.”

          Oh really, young Skywalker? Then where is the peer reviewed research that demonstates that it is valid to apply the Kubler-Ross model to a political situation AND that it is valid to apply it to a subject without the analysis having been validated by the subject himself? Show me that peer reviewed research. You can’t because it doesn’t exist. Ergo, pop psych.

          Ignorant? Really? Then how is it that I have been employed as a licensed, clinical mental health professional by the federal government, the state government, the county government and by private hospice organizations and that my academic diplomas have “Summa Cum Laude” printed on them? They do print that on your diploma if you’ve earned it, you know.

          So now you’re in way over your head and if you want to continue down this road of feigning knowledge of mental health, research, death and dying and the work of Kubler-Ross, you’re going to get your clock cleaned worse than ever, LOL!

          Have a nice day, TC! 🙂

          Oh, and why do you prentend to be a lawyer when you’re actually a paralegal? Why is that? Couldn’t make the cut to get admitted to law school?

      • Wow “Conservative American”, I can see the foam in your teeth from here! A little advice: take a dip in a hot tub for about 15 minutes. Then head over to the best massage therapy facility you can find. You seem a little stressed.

        Seriously, I’ve debated with several Pearce supporters in my day, but few have rivaled your condescending, insulting tone. You accomplish nothing. I mean, I realize its got to be frustrating to look at your own arguments only to see Swiss cheese, but do you really expect to win people over by insulting them?

        Maybe you’re not here to debate? If you’re not trying to convince us that your position is credible, then why are you commenting? Is it to vent? If so, there are better ways.

        • Conservative American says

          Goodness, you really do have an overactive imagination, don’t you, LOL!

          So tell us, Jared, how long have you been seeing people with foam in their teeth? Is this symptom new or have you been experiencing this for a long time now?

          So reading things in blogs on the internet triggers these hallucinations of people with foam in their teeth. A lttle advice: stop reading internet blogs for a while, as that seems to be a trigger for you, and perhaps the hallucinations will subside.

          Obviously, Jared, you are confusing me with somone who gives a rat’s patootie what your opinion is of me, ROFL! Go find someone who thinks highly of you and who values your opinion and maybe you’ll have the impact you desire.

          Better ways to vent, eh? Sounds like you have already undergone psychiatric treatment. My guess would be that you were inpatient as an adolescent and your counsellor had you write a vent letter and an appropriate letter to one or both of your parents. How did that work for you? Were you able to resolve things or are you carrying your adolescent issues over into adulthood?

      • What True Conservative said.

        • Conservative American says

          Now THERE’s an enlighteneing gem of independent thinking!

          Why don’t you put down the bottle of booze and sober up enough to think for yourself again.

  4. Pearce lost because Arizona wants someone who will focus on the real issues facing us right now: namely unemployment and economic growth. Because Pearce could not switch issues and focus on what mattered most he was voted out of office. Move on, Mr. Pearce, move on!

    • AZ Native, that is so far from the truth and you know it.

      Pearce was recalled because and ONLY because of SB1070. Stop trying to spin it like it was about something else. We aren’t buying it.

      “Randy Parraz, a labor organizer who ran in the Democratic Senatorial primary to choose a McCain opponent last year, told me shortly after last November’s election that he was convinced we needed to go directly at Russell Pearce, the author of SB1070.”

      • Wow. That was really, really lame. Tell me you’re not offering that quote up as evidence that Pearce’s recall was all about 1070?

        If you are, remedial reading classes are in due order. Either that or you’re capable of some might big leaps…hmmm…what blog is this? Ok, strike that.

        1070 was the least of my concerns when it came to Pearce.
        And there’s plenty more who felt the same as I.
        Unfortunately for you and Mr Pearce, there’s quite a few people who care about more than one issue.

        You guys really need to make up your minds on this. We’ve got half the Pearce people telling everyone his thumping had nothing to do with 1070. Then the other half cries that his pasting was entirely due to 1070.

  5. Bottom line … we will know in the next election whether he (Pearce) is right or wrong.

    To blow this all up into a major discussion is just pissing into the wind, it accomplishes very little other than getting yourself all lathered up.

  6. Are you referring to Gore’s concession on election night (which he retracted) or his final concession speech after he was blocked from stealing the election in Florida by the US Supreme Court after the Florida Supreme Court violated election laws to give Gore every possible chance to steal the election?

    Yeah, that Al Gore is such a good sport! When he couldn’t manage to steal the election, he had plenty of time to write a gracious concession speech after almost putting the US into a constitutional crisis. He’s smart, too! Just read his third rate college term paper disguised as a book, “Earth in the Balance.”

  7. Brent E.: You and the Pearce-haters are just irredeemable. You, Parraz, Snow and the rest of you pitiful little people won this battle; stop your complaining–and watch your back. 2012 can’t come too soon. Lewis should enjoy his 413 days in the sun, because that’s all he’s going to get.

  8. Just trying to be optimistic. 🙂 Actually, during the last two election cycles (that’s NORMAL election cycles), I did quite well; including predicting a super majority in both the House and Senate and Steve Smith’s win over Rebecca Rios. I correctly picked all 8 Congressional races, but missed the David Schapira win over Wendy Rogers in LD 17. 2012 will be a big Republican year, and regardless of the makeup of the district Jerry Lewis ends up in, he will not be re-elected, if he even makes it out of the primary.

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