From CROOKS AND LIARS:
There are some things about state Sen. Russell Pearce, the author of Arizona’s new police-state immigration law, that Greta Van Susteren and all the other Fox anchors who’ve had him on this past week aren’t telling you.
Well, we mentioned previously that Pearce has a colorful background involving the white-supremacist far right, including dalliances — like his close pal Sheriff Joe Arpaio — with neo-Nazis.
Byron York has proclaimed it “a very carefully crafted law” — and he is quite correct about that. Crafted to what end, however, is quite another story.
Y’see, back in 2006, Pearce caught a lot of people’s attention by forwarding to a bunch of his friends and associates an article on immigration from a neo-Nazi news source — namely, the National Alliance, the folks who brought you The Turner Diaries. The article was about Jewish control of the media and how it supposedly creates a bias against whites and favors minorities and Israel. Pearce apologized, but never could explain why he was reading material from the National Alliance in the first place.
But then he was seen working arm in arm with [J.T. Ready, who also happens to be one of Arizona’s leading neo-Nazis].
Pearce’s political career has been built on an obsessive effort to demonize, scapegoat, and attack Latino immigrants. One of his more noteworthy previous efforts was an effort to eliminate Hispanic outreach programs in Arizona schools, predicated on the phony “MEChA [Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan] is racist” meme. He’s also proclaimed that illegal immigrants have no rights under the Constitution.
Just as noteworthy, perhaps, is this bit from his Wikipedia bio:
In 1995, Pearce became the Director of the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division. Pearce was fired from that position in 1999 by then Arizona Department of Transportation Director Mary Peters after an investigation revealed that Pearce and two underlings had tampered with a Tucson woman’s driving record.
This is someone who obviously has no problem with handing police officers totalitarian powers — and no problem with a little procedural abuse along the way.
And now his vision of law enforcement is Arizona law. Lovely.
(Video at CROOKS AND LIARS link)
From Stephen Lemons at the PHOENIX New Times:
Kudos to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow for doing the above segment on the ideological underpinnings and supremacist associations of state Senator Russell Pearce, “author” of Arizona’s new law codifying racial profiling. I use that word “author” in quotes, because if you’ve ever talked with Pearce, you know the guy can barely speak English properly himself, much write in complete sentences.
He needed help — lots of it. And he got it from nativist-extremist attorney Kris Kobach, you know, the guy Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s been paying $300 per hour of taxpayers’ money to train MCSO [Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office] goons in immigration law. Kobach works for the legal arm of FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a nativist hate group, which is similarly claiming credit for taking the crayons away from Pearce and writing the law for him.
Maddow also discovers the neo-Nazi e-mail Pearce sent out in 2006, and regales viewers with a pic of Russell Pearce and East Valley neo-Nazi J.T. Ready practically snuggling at a 2007 anti-immigrant rally, and Ready at a National Socialist Movement event in Omaha, Nebraska.
Asked Monday night during an interview on CNN’s “Larry King Live” what percentage of non-Hispanics have been detained out of all the arrests his office has made, [Maricopa County Sheriff Joe] Arpaio responded: “Well, very few.”
While the state does suffer from an illegal immigration as well as violence stemming from the drug trade along the border, Arpaio effectively conceded that Hispanics already represent a disproportionate amount of arrests made in the state.
According to census data, 59.6 percent of the state’s residents are white while 29 percent are Hispanic.
Arpaio disputed that his office is guilty of racial profiling, pointing to the ongoing federal investigation against him that has yet to produce an indictment.
From Stephen Lemons at the PHOENIX New Times (May 4, 2009):
As mentioned in a previous blog post, at Saturday’s Walk for Respect to Joe Arpaio’s Tent City, I spoke with neo-Nazis J.T. Ready and “Vito Lombardi,” both of whom were throwing up the sieg heil sign as they verbally attacked the marchers passing by on Durango Street. They told me that Joe had stopped by earlier and spoken with each of them. Ready said Arpaio called him by his initials “J.T.,” and Lombardi bragged of getting a photo with the sheriff. But I held off on reporting this until I got some sort of confirmation.
Well, confirmation came today, as spotted by activist Carlos Garcia of the civil rights group Puente. Seems United for a Sovereign America member Lynne Stevens, aka, “Jackie 40d,” has what appears to be footage of Arpaio stopping by the neo-Nazis, exchaging pleasantries with them, and allowing them to take pictures. (J.T. was actually further down with a gaggle of nativists when this particular scene transpired, so I can’t verify if Joe called him by name.) National Socialist Movement member Lombardi scores a personal photograph with the sheriff after telling him, “We’ve got your back.”
[T]oday, Lombardi threw up his pic with “America’s Toughest Sheriff” on Stormfront.org, the online, white supremacist message board. Though Arpaio is in the dark, you can make out his face.
“About an hour before the reds and the Mexicans marched by us,” recounts Lombardi in the Stormfront post, “our Sheriff came by to thank and say hello to his supporters. He stopped first by where the NSM members and JT Ready were standing. I, Vito Lombardi even got a full uniform shot with the Sheriff.”
If our eyes are to be believed, why is a top law enforcement official giving the time of day to a bunch of neo-Nazis, much less photo ops and info on protesters? Not that Joe hasn’t hobnobbed with goosesteppers before. Back in 2008, Sheriff Joe spoke before a crowd of United for a Sovereign America members. U.S.A. has allowed neo-Nazis to join its group, and on the evening Joe spoke, old-time Arizona neo-Nazi Elton Hall was present, cheering him on.
When I challenged Joe on meeting with U.S.A. back in 2008, he blustered that he talks to “everybody.”
(Video and photos at the PHOENIX New Times)