Monday, October 31, 2011

Jerry Lewis, Randy Parraz’s Puppet, in over his head

cross-posted from Sonoran Alliance

An Open Letter to All LD-18 Voters:
I thought I would let those on my email list and another list that was shared with me, receive my report of what happened at the Republican LD18 Meeting [Oct. 25th] when the only speaker was Jerry Lewis.
I came away from the meeting feeling sorry for Jerry Lewis. He seemed to be a male version of Olivia Cortes, over his head and caught in the middle of a struggle hard core left wingers are waging against a powerful state senator. Someone got Olivia to run. Another someone got Jerry Lewis to run.
Jerry Lewis started out the meeting telling everyone that, yes, he was fired from two jobs since leaving his accounting firm and that he was fired at gunpoint from one of those jobs. He acknowledged that his school was involved in a (nearly two million dollar) fraud lawsuit and that he had been implicated by a disgruntled former employee in giving out items contributed to his school to use in a yard sale. Allegedly one person netted a thousand dollars from those yard sale items. No one asked him about these things, he volunteered the information and you could see that he would rather have that information never brought up in the first place.
He emphasized that he had done nothing wrong and Rae Beth believes him. However, when you have to address things like this, you lose. Rae Beth told me that she bet Jerry Lewis wishes he never would have run because he will not be known for his good works to many people in Mesa. For many, he will be known for just the opposite.
Jerry Lewis did have supporters there but in questions from the floor you could see that many in the audience were seething with rage at his candidacy. Galen Updike, the former President of the Arizona Senate prior to Russell Pearce winning that honor from his Senate colleagues, pointed out in the first question from the floor that Jerry Lewis could never be elected again in LD 18 if he took out Russell.
In that regard, Jerry Lewis was asked if he would run again and he was very uncomfortable with that question saying he would make a decision when it came time to run.
It was clear that whoever signed Jerry Lewis up for this task wasn’t thinking about Jerry Lewis. His good name was being sacrificed and his name will go down in the minds of many who will associate him with nothing but contempt. Jerry Lewis knows that and he wants to be respected. He pointed out that he WAS a good man, having served a mission and learning Chinese. He asked someone for a glass of water and told the audience the water was being delivered by his home teacher. He told us he had served in a “high church calling” and he was Seminary and Institute teacher. He acknowledged he had no teaching credentials but he loved to teach religion more than any thing else. Jerry Lewis said these things to recover his respect.
Everyone wants respect and my heart went out to Jerry Lewis. He could very well get elected one time only, but he will be powerless for the limited time he serves and our district will have little representation. If he wins his good character will NOT be vindicated. Contempt for him will only increase. What a terrible position to be in. Many people may want to help him but if he loses he will be pitied. If he wins he will be despised.
Why did Jerry Lewis get into this situation? He said he entered the race for something like changing the dialog to a “civil tone” and blinked when we received a question noting 30 states had copied laws authored by Russell. A well dressed young man asked why we had to change the dialog when we finally had someone able to address issues of concern important to the vast number of people there. I don’t recall Jerry Lewis’  response.
A former State Senator who was present told me that there would be three caucuses in the Arizona Senate. The Republican Caucus, the Democrat Caucus and the Jerry Lewis Caucus. Jerry Lewis is the chosen candidate of the Democrats and the Occupy Phoenix people and some others who knew him before he agreed to take on Russell Pearce when no one else would do so.
Jerry Lewis claimed he did not know who had prepared the smear publications against Russell and mailed them from a post office box in Tempe. He mentioned that election officials in Arizona had contacted him about this shadowy group and he asked the audience if anyone knew who was behind these smears to tell them that they needed to comply with election laws, which apparently they have not. He said it costs $10,000.00 a mailing so they had spent $ 30,000.00 in support of his candidacy but he did not know where their money came from. Olivia Cortes didn’t know who her supporters were. Neither does Jerry Lewis know who his supporters are.
Henry Haws stood and told Jerry Lewis that Jerry had spoken at Rotary and he (Henry) had asked him a question which Jerry had not answered so he wanted a response at this time, and Henry asked the question again. Jerry Lewis talked for a while but he did not answer the question. The
audience started shouting to him to respond but he said that time was up. He left. A woman jumped up and shouted, “So much for this job interview!”, and it looked like she chased after him.
Members of the audience asked the LD Chairman who decided he would leave at 8:00 when in a previous meeting Russell Pearce answered questions until 8:30 and he said, “The Candidate decided that”.
After the meeting, I voted my absentee ballot. I voted for Russell Pearce.
An interesting fact is that all but four Arizona Republican Senators have assigned on as supporters of Russell. One who did not, is Rich Crandall. It turns out that both Rich and Russell could end up in the same district due to redistricting so a win for Jerry Lewis would take out the biggest challenge to Rich Crandall. According to the Arizona Republic, financial support to Jerry Lewis has come from the Crandall Family.
Politics abounds in Mesa.
Dave Young
Mesa, Arizona

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