Illegal immigration has been a dividing line between two factions of the Republican Party, pitting grassroots conservatives opposite certain business interests. Up to now the two sides had mostly been sizing up each other. The conflict just went thermonuclear. Espresso Pundit has posted a copy of a flyer sent by Mesa Deserves Better that targets Russell Pearce. The hit piece dredges up accusations from a 28 year old divorce filing. In a July 2008 New Times story, LuAnne Pearce denies the alleged abuse and says the incident never occurred. That did not stop Mesa Deserves Better from putting together a flyer based on the accusations from 1980.

The implications go statewide. The chairman of Mesa Deserves Better is listed as Nathan Sproul on the Secretary of State web site. Nathan is also working for CD 8 candidate Tim Bee. So one of Tim Bee’s primary campaign consultants is savagely attacking a fellow Republican member of the legislature. During the CD8 primary in 2006 candidate Randy Graf was also attacked pretty hard but not on the same level as the current mailer on Pearce. During the toughest part of Graf’s campaign one of his closest allies was Russell Pearce. We cannot imagine this type of attack on Pearce will engender warm feelings among Graf supporters toward anyone associated with Sproul.

Aside from his association with Sproul, Tim Bee has run a weak campaign up to this point. He stayed in the legislature when he should have resigned to focus on the campaign. Then he was stuck with the budget mess and worked to pass the governor’s version, a budget with major spending increases financed by accounting gimmicks, raiding accounts, photo radar, and increased lottery tickets. Bee also originally sponsored the marriage amendment and then backed off from it. He was the deciding vote and then issued a thinly veiled attack on the Center for Arizona Policy. The Bee campaign sends out e-mails attacking Giffords but Tim Bee rarely say what policy he does support. One has to wonder does Bee even want to win? The question may be moot. In the current political war within the party Bee is stuck in no man’s land with both sides in attack mode. Bee is sending out flyers touting his 2006 Ally of the Taxpayer rating from Arizona Federation of Taxpayers. Bee fails to mention his 2007 Needs Improvement 55% score, one point above Mark DeSimone. It may be painful to see his 2008 score. I wonder if the Giffords team will be shrewd enough to exploit this gaping hole in Bee’s record?

The Maricopa County Republican Party has already endorsed Russell Pearce. We do not know if the state party will get involved but based on their view of the world it must be difficult for them to side idly by and watch what is happening. When certain party forces attacked Graf in 2006 he was no longer in the legislature. Pearce is still a member of the Arizona House of Representatives. Will forces from the Republican house caucus sit on the sidelines while a stalwart conservative like Pearce is being attacked by Sproul? Stay tuned.


  1. Just Win Baby says

    Unforgettable. Unforgivable. Tell us where to send money to help Russell Pearce?

  2. 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!

  3. Pointing out the Obvious says

    We have a Presidential election in a few months, we lost 2 AZ congressional seats in 2006 and we could lost the AZ legislature.

    And some Republicans decide to destroy other Republicans rather that defeat Democrats.


  4. Did LuAnne Pearce swear under oath that the incident did not occur? According to the document, she swore under oath that Russell Pearce was violent and abusive. This does bring into question his lone vote against increasing sentences for those convicted of beating a pregnant woman. Who was he representing during that vote?

  5. This tactic by the Sproulites is exactly why we have a <1 term Senator named Barack Obama running for President.

  6. You Pearce supports disgust me. This is a man that has ripped apart the party over one issue that you guys can’t seem to get past. Since Pearce and the handful of his supporters adopted illegal immigration as the signature issue of the Republican party, we have seen the governor grow in power, the loss of seat in the Arizona legislature, the economy has gone in the tank (and it is not all the housing mess), the loss of two Congressional seats, and it split long time conservative suporters from the party. In addition, government grew while Pearce was chair of appropriations, and we have seen a massive expansion of government spending. So even on the issues that he used to be good at, we have lost ground. Get over your fear and think rationally. I kn ow many of you are not racists, but we can;t continue on like this. This fight is destroying the Republican party and will likely lead to a permanent minority. Pearce needs to go!

  7. GOP Boomer Gal says

    Nathan Sproul, Steve Huffman, Jim Kolbe. Masters of the Sleaze.

    Honest disagreements are fine, but these people use tactics that have them slogging in deep mud.

    I don’t know how they can look in the mirror.

  8. GOP Boomer Gal says

    John Doe: Fine, that’s a valid argument. But why the sleaze?

  9. To replay my post from EP:

    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 also, and more 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!

    Glass Houses
    Reaping and Sowing
    Karma is a b****h

    And they would apply to both sides.

  10. Gal,

    I appreciate your response. I am not a fan of sleaze, but the mail peice quotes the facts. I remeber when many of us hated Clinton for his past actions and felt that they were fair game. I believe we have the same example here. On another note, I know that Pearce and his supporters have used nasty tactics in the past. Often they have called individuals that disagreed with their position on immigration Traitors and unamerican. People like Jason LeVecke and Mac Magruder who often criticized have done more for the country and Arizona than Pearce will ever do. Mac has been a long time supproter of the Republican party in Arizona and nationally. He was called all sorts of names and his stores were protested. Jason served five years as a Marine and has done lots of charitable work for vetran’s causes. In my opinion, it is much more sleazy to call someone names and make false accusations, than print a mailer with ten year old* (wrong) facts.

    *The accusations are from 28 years ago, not 10.

  11. If the comment posted yesterday by “JT Ready” here:


    is indeed from JT Ready, then I think whatever “guilt by association” standard set in trashing Obama via Jeremiah Wright applies to Russell Pearce and JT Ready.

    I do not believe that Russell Pearce was unaware of JT Ready’s beliefs before the New Times exposed them – this kind of vitriol doesn’t just pop up one day: “Hey, whoa! I didn’t know you believed that Jews were involved in a Zionist conspiracy to destroy America and that pogroms were justified!”. Is pushing Pearce some sort of “conservatism at any cost?” campaign?

  12. If the comment posted yesterday by “JT Ready” here:


    is indeed from JT Ready, then I think whatever “guilt by association” standard set in trashing Obama via Jeremiah Wright applies to Russell Pearce and JT Ready.

    I do not believe that Russell Pearce was unaware of JT Ready’s beliefs before the New Times exposed them – this kind of vitriol doesn’t just pop up one day: “Hey, whoa! I didn’t know you believed that Jews were involved in a Zionist conspiracy to destroy America and that pogroms were justified!”. Is pushing Pearce some sort of “conservatism at any cost” campaign?

  13. People!!! This was 28 years ago!!! A lot has happened in almost three decades and the Pearce Family has resolved their problems.

    What Nathan – “Mesa Deserves Better” – has done is unforgiveable and will cause civil war in the party. It’s one thing for Nathan and his company to act as a consultant and do what his client wants to tear down a candidate. It’s another horrendous thing when Nathan sits as the Chairman on the committee that is resorting to this type of civil-war nuclear tactics!

  14. Howie,

    Get real! Pearce and people like you started to tear the party apart the moment you started calling people like Mac Magruder and Jon Kyl traitors. In addtion, you continue to support a party chairman that held up a picture of a middle finger to express his displeasure with Arizona’s Republican Senators. Stop trying to make Nathan the bad guy, you and your ilk started this “war” a long time ago.

  15. You can also call the State Party and ask them to get involved at 602-957-7770. Matt Toman is Chairman of 18 and can be reached at 602-616-3749 and he can also tell you where to send money.

  16. just curious says


    If a man beat his wife 3 days ago, is that bad? What about 3 years ago? What about 10 years ago? When does the moral outrage against domestic violence no longer exist? If it is based in fact, do voters have a right to know that commited domestic violence against his wife? Of course they do.

    To me, domestic violence against a woman is an unforgivable act. If Pearce were a Democrat, many writers and readers of this blog would condemn him and say he isn’t fit, even if it was 28 years ago. However, b/c it is Pearce, you direct moral outrage at everyone but the person who struck his wife. Republicans need to clean up their own house and Russell Pearce is a prime example of someone who doesn’t represnt my values.

  17. You mean to tell me that there hasn’t beeen a civil war raging within the party for the past few years?

    The Big Tent has been steadily shrinking, and soon the GOP will be viewed as the Small Umbrella party. This is an attempt by those lifelong mainstream Republicans who have been pushed out by the immigration-centric extreme to regain control of the party and its message.

    Calling it “dirty” or “sleazy” is purely subjective, and I wouldn’t dare argue over an opinion. Adjectives aside, though, are the allegations in the notarized court document true? No one here seems to be interested in disputing the actual content of the mailer. I find that peculiar, and very troubling.

  18. Mesa,

    I would be careful placing messages on who to call to find out where to give money. Beacue of the campaign finace laws (which suck), you may be doing more harm than good. Pearce is running “clean,” so if the party is telling people to send money to his campaign that may be a violation. If the party is telling people where to donate for independent expenditures I am appauled. So Mesa, where are they telling people to send money?

  19. GlendaleGOP says

    Wow Ann, I’ve only gotten one hit piece on Blendu and it showed a time clock. That’s it, a picture of a time clock. Since the piece was about Blendu skipping the vote on the budget to go home and sleep, a time clock doesn’t seem inappropriate. How is a piece that deals with a legislator not voting the same as that garbage on Pearce and his wife?

    Trying to make something sound okay by pretending everyone does it is pretty weak. But equating someone beating their wife with not showing up for work is preposterous.

  20. GlendaleGOP,

    The piece on Blendu is certainly not in the same league, point taken. The concept I was trying to make is that the tear down to build up behavior is not a new thing nor is it limited to clients of Sproul. I have no doubt that Pearce would do the same thing if he had the opportunity.

    I am not a Blendu fan, I appreciate the work Jerry Weiers has done, and I think Montenegro is a good guy (young and naive, but nice). I didn’t get it and was surprised when I heard of it, I really thought better of both men.

    A message can be delivered in a variety of ways and get the same result. The piece was below them even if it wasn’t as low as the Pearce hit.

  21. The committee is headed by Nathan Sproul? THE Nathan Sproul? The one whose firm is still facing allegations of intentionally destroying and discarding Dem. and Independant voter registrations in the 2004 presidential election while posing as another organization?

    Sproul’s firm is the subject of ongoing investigations regarding their subversion of the democratic process in Nevada, Oregon, Florida, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and Michigan. He allegedly borrowed the name “America Votes,” which actually belongs to another group – one that doesn’t commit voter registration fraud.

    Here’s the 2004 release from the REAL America Votes organization: http://www2.gwu.edu/~action/2004/interestg/amvotes101304pr.html

    Sproul doesn’t care about debate, doesn’t care about issues, and undermines the democratic process. We can’t allow this kind of person to shape Arizona politics.

  22. John Doe

    It’s OK for Gibbons and his supporter to coordinate mailing (same mail house)but it is not OK for me to tell people who to contact to help a candidate.

    Who is thinking of Russell’s wife and kids with this piece. It certainly isn’t Mike Haller & Nathan Sproul.

  23. Mesa,

    You sure seem to know a lot about the different campaigns. Are you working for Mr. Peacre? If so, could you tell him that he brought this on himself by becoming a one-issue politician that allowed government spending to explode while he was chair of appropriations. If you are working for the party, could you tell them that they also brought this “war” on themselves when they refused to take on the the bad elements that were gaining control of the machine?


  24. Mr. Doe, Arizona’s explosion in spending has been the product of the RINOs who voted for Napolitano’s budget. Neither appropriations chair voted for it – you can try to pin that one on Pearce, but it just won’t stick.

  25. Mr. Doe

    I not work for either the state party or the Pearce camp. I just pay close attention to what comes to me in the mail and I’ve got two ears to listen with. Look on the mail pieces, same mail permit number is on everything. This isn’t rocket scince or inside information.

  26. Mesa,

    I would argue that Pearce’s focus on one issue has directly led to the explosion of government and the rise of the Governor’s power. If he was actually concerned about the approriations process instead of SOLE or LAW, my guess is that there would have that the legislature would have put out an alternative budget much faster than they did. So, I am pinning the ridiculous budget on Pearce. Had he done his job, we likely would have had a much better budget. At least there would have been a much better process. Sadly, Pearce and his small group of supporters decided that immigration was much more important than crafting an alternative budget in a timely fasion.

  27. Mesa,

    I am glad that you have the time to pay attention to where each candidates mail pieces are coming from. I wish that every voter was as informed as you. I mean that seriously. We may disagree on this issue and our candidates, but it is unfortunate that much of our electorate is uneducated.

  28. Mr. Doe

    Maybe next time around the House and Senate leadership will deal with the budget first before dealing with any bills. Budget first, bills later should be the moto.

  29. Mesa,

    On that issue, I am in 100% agreement with you. I would argue that the legislature would be done much faster if the first bill out was the budget.

  30. Spin Watching says

    I find it quite amusing that Russell Pearce who has a history and a record as a perpetrator is now being painted as a victim by some of these replies.

    As to bashing the people that are trying to unseat him- they have been hored to do a job.

    This is not the first time nor will it be the last this happens in politics.

    It is all about winning and losing. In this case, obviously the people who are paying to support this effort think Pearce needs to find something else to do.

    It is clear that this blog intends to attack Hershberger every chance they get as they do not feel he represents their views and ideals.

    That is the way it is done.

    The title of this story is appropriate, “WAR” the subtext should be

    All Is Fair In Love And WAR

  31. Whether or not Russell Pearce or Pete Hershberger wins or loses, many of us will make sure that Nathan Sproul and the Wake Up Arizona crowd find it very difficult to do business here in Arizona.

  32. Guys-

    I think that this points out the obvious- what Russell Pearce has done is horrendous. There are two parellels to draw: I don’t care if it was last month (a la Mark DiSimone) or last year or 28 years ago. If you are an abuser, you are an abuser. Yes- its hard hitting, but voters need to know the truth.

    There are two parellels to draw: and both lead back to the same two men who have been tearing the Republican Party a part for years: Russell Pearce and Rob Haney.

    Russell Pearce has been at the helm of helping tear our party apart. He and people like Rob Haney, who have leadership positions within the party have been too busy tearing down Republicans (like McCain and whomever else they don’t support) instead of trying to defeat Democrats (there is a reason that LD 11 lost a Republican seat to a Democrat (DiSimone).

    Neither Nathan Sproul nor Constantin Querard serve in an elected position. If they were elected you could choose to vote for them or vote them out of office. But, Pearce and Haney both serve in elected positions and have effectively weild their power and their pulpit to tear others down and consequently lose seats.

  33. Forget about the 28-year old stuff. What about when *

    *Please provide ducumentation or a link for this charge.

  34. Ken Jacobs says

    Republicans are shocked by the tactics of Nathan Sproul?

  35. For standing up against Republicans fighting Republicans, you sure did a great job of trying to smear the Tim Bee campaign. As a previous poster mentioned, hypocracy runs rampant on SA…

  36. When the economy is REALLY in trouble and the state is shutting down programs because a bunch of Republicans went along with the Governor’s budget, how will you feel about those Republicans who put the economy in the toilet? And what about those who said “Hell No!” to the Governor?

  37. James,

    My point is that Pearce’s singular focus prevented the House from getting out an alternative budget in a timely manner. I am happy that so many republicans voted against the Governor’s budget. In all honesty, it makes me sick that it is being called a bipartisan budget. However, this gets back to my earlier point that when Pearce was given the reigns of the appropriations committee, in coincided with the Governor’s growth in power and the loss of republican seats in the legislature. These things could also have been caused by lots of things, Bee’s lack of a spine, Weiers poor leadership, etc…, but I also believe that the inability of Pearce and his supports to focus on anything but immigration has caused a huge problem for conservatives and the republican party.

  38. Isn’t Sproul the same guy who was the Executive Director of the Christian Coalition and worked under Tom Grabinski who is now serving time in prison for defrauding thousands of investors in the Baptist Foundation?

  39. Linda,

    So it is okay to smear Natha Sproul, but heaven forbid a mailer pointing out a fact is published in a court record? The hypocrosy is amazing.

  40. Forget about the rightous crap John Doe and all the rest of you. Congressman Jeff Flake and his minions knew what they were starting when they went down this road. Its gonna be ugly and its gonna last a very long time. By the time its all done, no one will be innocent and everyone will be guilty of something. The post is right, its “WAR!” and I’m beyond caring about what the price will be. Scumbags like Flake and his crowd will pay the price, sooner or later. Life is long.

  41. Anonymous says

    Russell Pearce is Shameful!!!!

  42. This “war” only has one obvious outcome. Republicans lose. Democrats win.

  43. Well, the mean and angry conservatives have not been the ones making mean, vicious personal attacks on their opponents. It has been those moderates who want a kinder and gentler community – right after they nuke anyone who disgrees with them. LuAnne says that someone else filed that affidavit and that it always was and still is false. So she is a liar too in order to get someone.

  44. EastValGal says

    What this really is about is two LDS clans fighting for political power and using non-Mormons so they won’t have to get their hands dirty.

  45. History Buff says

    I have two words for Russell: Eliot Spitzer.

  46. David John says

    I don’t understand how some allies of Pearce can condone this accusation, made under oath by Russell’s wife so easily just because they agree with him politically. Unbelievable!!

    And then to try to tie in Jeff Flake is ridiculous. This is an independent expenditure made by a group of people who are obviously tired of Russell Pearce. Flake had nothing to do with it. Stop the conspiracy theories.

    Gibbons had nothing to do with it either! It is an independent expenditure. Gibbons would have no knowledge or say in what was done. But even though Gibbons has no control over its content, Pearce still gets matching funds from the citizens of Arizona. That seems fair!!!! Clean Elections is a joke. I still can’t believe Pearce is taking public money for his campaign!!!!!

  47. You’re likely not a fool David John, so that suggests that you’re dishonest. We’re seeing the results of Flake’s opposition research that was done in anticipation of Pearce’s challenge. Gibbons is his brother-in-law, yet you would have us imagine that Flake has nothing to do with the race? They are all related politically over there, even using the same mailhouses. Yes, it IS Flake and his cronies and we’re not the least bit fooled by your post.

    You should also remember that back when it was first leaked to the press, Pearce’s wife denied it publicly. Sproul ignored the wife’s denial and approved the piece anyway, knowing not only that is was ugly and despicable, but most likely a lie. What a scumbag that guy is.

  48. David John says


    All I said is Flake has nothing to do with this mailer. I am sure he is helping Gibbons in some ways, but I really doubt they are have nightly conference calls.

    As for the veracity of Mrs. Pearce present statements, everyone must weigh them for themselves. In my profession, I have worked with a lot of victims of domestic and a good number of them recant their claims.

    We all should weigh the evidence for ourselves. I do it like this: This was a sworn statement, signed in front of a notary, on a legal document being filed in a court of law. In the affidavit, Mrs. Pearce claims that Russell Pearce choked her and threw her to the ground TWO DAYS EARLIER and gave a specific date. The fact she was filing for divorce two days after this incident could indicate that this event did happen and was the CAUSE of her filing for divorce.

    Arguments on why she would now recant: They did not get divorced. Her husband’s election depends on her now saying it is not true. There are financial incentives too, if she wants to continue on the State Health insurance and further boost Russell’s pension, etc. Also, she does not want to cause Russell’s loss. Then maybe he would divorce her, just like DeSimone is now divorcing his wife.

    Come on everyone, of course she now denies it!

    I think her credibility was greater the day she signed the sworn affidavit. Denials today mean little.

    If she were to sign a sworn affidavit admitting her perjury and stating that she intentionally lied in an affidavit to hurt her husband, that would be one thing. But just saying Russell never hit her doesn’t fly with me.

  49. I’m sorry John – but your arguments are no more credible than anyone else’s here. It really looks like you’re stretching for reasons to believe Sproul’s explanation of the allegations.

    You say that her filing two days after the alleged incident “could indicate” that it was the cause of her filing. Why? There are some very plausible alternatives. What if her divorce attorney recognized that inventing a recent incident “could indicate” the same thing, and make her more likely to receive concessions in potential divorce proceedings.

    On why Russell and LuAnne remain married, you assuming the worst of both and cast that as the most credible explanation. She’s scared of Russell divorcing her like DeSimone? She’s the one who originally filed for divorce – I doubt she could be threatened by it. She’s in it for the money? Aside from being a terrible slander – I’ve never heard anything to suggest she sought money – Russell’s salary as a legislator is $24,000 annually. There are people who make more than that begging for pocket change.

    You “think her credibility was greater” in the 28 year old divorce filing than in her more recent denials. Why? There doesn’t seem to be a penalty for making false statements in divorce proceedings, and I think it’s a very bad practice to assume that even lawyers who face penalties for encouraging/making false statements, won’t make false statements. We need to be realistic and realize that allegations are very frequently exaggerated in these sort of cases.

  50. Its clear that the AZ political scene is crumbling and has turned into a complete joke.
    When we are facing a very serious election within 85 days & the republican party, candidates and consultants cant get their stuff together, its no wonder AZ is going purple…or even blue.

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