Russell Pearce, Jerry
Lewis To Wrangle Oct. 6
The Two Conservative Candidates Will Spar In Mesa As The Recall Battle Enters The Final Month
Jerry Lewis in his campaign photo.
By Staff Report
Modern Times Magazine
Sept. 27, 2011 — As the recall battle against Arizona Senate President Russell Pearce enters the final stretch, the two candidates have agreed to meet Oct. 6 at 5 p.m. for a debate sponsored by the Mesa Chamber of Commerce at the East Valley Institute of Technology, 1601 W. Main St., Mesa.
The “media partners” for the event are Gannett’s Arizona Republic and KPNX Channel 12. Otto S. Shill, chair of the public policy council of the Mesa Chamber of Commerce, will be the moderator and questions will be asked by Melissa Blasius of Channel 12 and Joanna Allhands of the Arizona Republic. In a memo to chamber members, Shill did ask for questions.
According to the memo, the debate will feature questions from the following topics: education, immigration, economic development, government relations and regulation, and government funding.
The chamber has not endorsed a candidate so far and did not endorse Pearce when he won re-election in 2010.
Olivia Cortes, a candidate who filed with the Secretary of State’s office but has not spoken to any news outlets or party leaders about her candidacy will reportedly be invited by mail.
The debate will not be the only event for the Mesa Chamber of Commerce Oct. 6. From 2 to 6 p.m., they are also hosting the East Valley Business Expo at the nearby Mesa Convention Center, 201 N. Center St., Mesa.
The debate will most likely be the one and only time the public will be able to see Russell Pearce and Jerry Lewis debate the issues before the residents of district 18.
Recall organizers cited Pearce’s polarizing policies — most famously with regard to illegal immigration — as the reason they initiated the process. In his campaign to unseat him, challenger Jerry Lewis has also seized on it.
Pearce and Lewis, both members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, are most clearly defined by their stances on illegal immigration. Lewis has claimed to be more in line with official church doctrine, which states, “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.”
That would seemingly eliminate Pearce from support.
Pearce, meanwhile, was the guest of honor Sept. 26 at a Arizona Republican Party “protest of the recall” with a keynote speech from David Horowitz, founder and current president of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, and editor of FrontPage Magazine. The event was held in downtown Phoenix.
Horowitz was raised a communist by his parents, who were school teachers. After being active in the “new left,” Horowitz came out as a conservative in the early 1980s.
The Pearce campaign has been trying to paint those trying to recall him as being influenced by a left-wing conspiracy. Promotional material about the Horowitz appearance reads, “Arizona is under assault by a 900-pound gorilla, better known as ‘outside liberal groups.’”
Lewis has denied such claims as baseless.
In a video message released last week, Lewis said, “Immigration reform is an important issue to me. We need a secure border and the rule of law. The federal government is fully to blame for not doing their job protecting the border. Where I differ with Sen. Pearce’s approach is what to do with the remaining undocumented immigrants who are here.”
Location of Pearce/Lewis Debate Oct. 6
View Location of Pearce/Lewis Debate Oct. 6 in a larger map
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