Cronkite Header

Russell Pearce’s resignation isn’t enough for protestors

Email this story
Print this story
Friday, Sept. 19, 2014

By Bethany Reed


BETHANY REED/CRONKITE NEWS: More than two dozen people marched up to the Maricopa County Treasurer’s Office, calling for the removal of Republican Russell Pearce.

BENJAMIN MARIN/PROTESTOR: We’re going to keep on coming back, we’re going to keep on doing actions. We’ll even have to take over this county building if we need to, to make sure that Russell Pearce is not in this position.

BETHANY REED/CRONKITE NEWS: Pearce told a radio audience Sept. 6 if he were put in charge of Medicaid he would require women who receive government assistance to be on birth control. He also said people receiving aid should be forced to survive on beans and rice – statements that have some protestors making extreme comparisons.

BENJAMIN MARIN/PROTESTOR: He’s not going to dictate what our families eat, just because they need assistance.

BETHANY REED/CRONKITE NEWS: This isn’t the first time Pearce has put the Republican Party in a controversial spotlight here in Arizona. He was the driving force behind the state’s immigration legislation in 2010.

BOB WORSLEY/REPUBLICAN SENATOR: There were some things here with SB 1070 where there were some fairly extreme things that came through his emails to his group of people that follow him, his constituents, and I think what happened this last week is another example of the same thing happening.

BETHANY REED/CRONKITE NEWS: Pearce has since resigned from his position in the Republican Party, but still works for taxpayers as an employee of Maricopa County treasurer Charles Hoskins. Political analysts think the party may still feel the pressure from the comment come election time.

STAN BARNES/POLITICAL ANALYST: These kinds of things move votes and push voters to one position or another. Republicans are afraid that they’re going to come off looking anti-woman or very backward in their thinking.

BETHANY REED/CRONKITE NEWS: The county Treasurer’s Office has not yet commented on its plans for Pearce, so the protestors say they plan to keep showing up until they see the results they want.