Watchdog: Pearce’s Special Interest Corruption Doomed His Recall Election

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Washington, D.C.—Public Campaign Action Fund’s Campaign Money Watch project, the largest independent expenditure campaign in the recall election of Russell Pearce, released the following statement this evening on the Arizona Senate President’s loss.

“Voters in Mesa sent a strong signal to lawmakers at the state capitol today: Arizonans want politicians working for them, not for special interests,” said David Donnelly, director of Public Campaign Action Fund’s Campaign Money Watch project. “Pearce’s anti-immigrant positions may have made him into a controversial figure, but it was his love of campaign cash, special interest perks, and opposition to Clean Elections that led voters to kick him out of the Senate.”

PCAF’s Campaign Money Watch project spent over $47,000 on a direct mail campaign that delivered 80,000 pieces of mail to nearly 16,500 people who were likely to cast a vote today, the largest independent expenditure in the campaign. The pieces focused on Pearce’s corruption, ties to lobbyists, and opposition to Clean Elections.

Pearce’s opponent, Jerry Lewis, and other outside groups criticized Pearce’s Fiesta Bowl scandal and ties to special interests as well.

“Russell Pearce’s loss should serve as a warning to elected officials throughout Arizona,” said Donnelly. “Opposition to Clean Elections and being in bed with special interest lobbyists could earn you an early retirement.”


Public Campaign Action Fund and its Campaign Money Watch project work to hold politicians who are against comprehensive campaign finance reform accountable for where they get their political donations.