Pearce recall group to Brewer, Arpaio: You’re next
Citizens for a Better Arizona say they can ignore voters 'at their own peril'
Reporter: Claire Doan
PHOENIX (KGUN9-TV) – The group that successfully launched the effort to recall former Senate President and immigration hardliner Russell Pearce has set its sights on two new targets: Governor Jan Brewer and Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Because Arpaio is running for office in 2012, organizers are now focused on efforts to prevent him from getting reelected for the sixth consecutive time. As for Brewer, the group is asking for volunteers to gather signatures for a possible recall. The number of signatures needed to recall an Arizona governor is 432,021.
“People are now aware that voters do have this power and so elected officials that ignore them do so at their own peril,” said Chad Snow, cofounder of Citizens for a Better Arizona, at a press conference in Phoenix Monday afternoon.
Organizers have a message for Governor Jan Brewer.
“Come back from your book tour. Come back to Arizona and focus on things that are important,” said Randy Parraz, president of the group. “We’re not limited to Legislative District 18. This is a countywide effort. We’re talking about engaging people on school boards, at city council, moving resolutions across this county.”
Parraz said Brewer’s priorities should be jobs, education and the economy. They’re also asking the Governor to stop meddling in the redistricting process and to stop using the immigration issue to divide the state.
“We were here on January 6 having a very similar conversation directed at Senator Pearce. We told him to focus on jobs, education and the economy and he ignored that,” Snow said. “I think the same message can go to Joe Arpaio and Jan Brewer.”
Citizens for a Better Arizona is also targeting Sheriff Joe Arpaio, whom they say is abusing power and neglecting his law enforcement duties by focusing too much on illegal immigration.
However, Arpaio’s supporters – protesting at the press conference – disagree.
“The Sheriff is doing his job, what he’s elected to do. We got an illegal Mexican alien invasion here and it has to stop,” said Anthony Malconz. “He’s been exonerated. He’s beaten every effort to get him out of office … He’s doing something right.”
Playing off Arpaio’s volunteer posse, Citizens for a Better Arizona announced the creation of a citizens posse.
“We have heart, we have determination and we have passion. And we’re going to work together during the next few months to hold this Sheriff accountable,” Parraz said.
However, opponents of efforts against Brewer and Arpaio do not believe Citizens for a Better Arizona will be successful.
“They can try to pursue their goals, but they’re not going to have any luck. Mesa was a microcosm,” said Kathryn Kobor, a supporter of the Sheriff who attended the press conference.