The judge plays defense for Pearce loyalist Pat Oldroyd at a recent LD 19 meeting
Lester Pearce, brother to state Senate President Russell Pearce and longtime Justice of the Peace for the North MesaJustice Court, allegedly has been campaigning on behalf of his embattled sibling, despite a prohibition on such activities bytheArizona Code of Judicial Conduct.Several individuals in Mesa have told me that Judge Pearce has been haranguing supporters of Pearce-challenger,Republican Jerry Lewis
. Some who have Lewis signs in their yards have been approached by Lester Pearce,with the JP trying to convince them to replace a Lewis sign with a Pearce one.One person who experienced Judge Pearce's wrath explained in detail how Pearce tried to convince the individual to dothe switcheroo with the lawn signs. This person, who wished to remain nameless for fear of retribution from the powerfulPearce clan, refused.Another individual, who also wished to remain anonymous for the same reasons, said several folks in Judge Pearce'sneighborhood similarly had been approached.Channel 12's Brahm Resnikrecently reported that the JP's daughter circulated petitions on behalf of Olivia Cortes, the"sham" Republican candidate running in the recall.As I've previously reported at length, Cortes' campaignhas been assisted mightily by Tea Party members and supportersof the Senate President
where a resolution in favor of his brother was presentedby Pat Oldroyd, another Cortes petition circulator with strong ties to the Senate President.As you can see in the video above, when videographer Dennis Gilman and I attempted to interview Oldroyd on camera,the JP intervened and blocked us from talking with her.Anson Clarkson, Lewis' campaign manager, was at the same LD 19 meeting, where he disclosed that Oldroyd had cometo his home,soliciting signatures for Cortes' nominating petition
.Clarkson called the support for Cortes "hypocritical" in an address to those present. Afterward, he had an interestingexchange with Judge Pearce, who told him that both sides in the Lewis-Pearce tug-of-war were being hypocritical."By that time, I was a little bit hot," Clarkson explained. "I said, `Lester, that's not true in any way, and until you proveotherwise, you're going to have to take that back...the ends of this do not justify the means.'""He said, `Yes they do,'" remembered Clarkson.The Lewis campaign manager replied to Pearce, "Then you're as unethical as Pat Oldroyd."Clarkson related that a Lewis supporter recently told him Lester Pearce visited his house on three occasions. The first two,to ask him why he didn't have a Pearce sign in his yard.That annoyed the man so much he put a Lewis sign in his yard, which prompted another visit by the JP, who lectured himon his brother's positive attributes.Additionally, Clarkson told me of a Tea Party meeting he went to, where both Russell and Lester were present, as wasPearce campaign adviser Chad Willems and East Valley Tea Party President Greg Western, the man whoinfamouslydropped off Cortes' petitions just under deadline at the Arizona Secretary of State's Office
.Though Clarkson believed it was a Tea Party event, he was told to leave because it was actually a campaign meeting for Russell Pearce.So what's the problem with Lester Pearce volunteering for his brother's effort to beat back the recall?Well, theArizona Code of Judicial Conductcontains a blanket prohibition on any campaigning by judges, other than for their own runs for office.