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Jerry Lewis won’t stoop too low, but snarky OK

by John D’Anna, columnist - Sept. 30, 2011 01:18 PM
The Arizona Republic

Jerry Lewis, who’s challenging Senate President Russell Pearce in the Mesa District 18 recall election, is pledging to forgo all freebies if he’s elected and says he won’t engage in the kind of name-calling that has characterized the race so far.

But he didn’t promise not to be snarky.

His campaign issued a statement this week welcoming controversial fellow challenger Olivia Cortes with open arms.

“We wish her well, and formally extend our apologies to Ms. Cortes for not having provided the same generous level of assistance to her campaign given by Senator Pearce’s family and supporters.” Pearce’s nieces and several ardent supporters helped circulate Cortes’ nominating petitions, fueling the view that she’s running to split the vote in Pearce’s favor.

As for Cortes, she has apparently quit taking campaign advice from J.D. Salinger and will participate in next week’s Chamber of Commerce candidate forum. Word has it that if she sees her shadow, it means six more weeks of insisting she’s not a sham candidate.

She’s got a lot of convincing to do.

Channel 12 News colleague Brahm Resnik reports that longtime Republican operative and Pearce supporter Constantin Querard sent out an e-mail last spring seeking “patriots” who were “team players” to run in the recall, ostensibly to siphon votes from a Pearce opponent.

Brahm also notes that Cortes and her campaign manager, longtime Pearce loyalist Greg Western, each say they were approached by the other about running. It’ll be interesting to see what Cortes says about all that at the forum. It’ll also be interesting if moderator Otto Shill asks to see the canceled checks she used to pay for her “Si Se Puede” signs.

And while he’s at it, maybe he’ll ask if Pearce ever found those canceled checks from when he says he reimbursed the Fiesta Bowl for all those trips.

At last report, he was still looking.

Speaking of signs, Channel 5 news reports dozens of Lewis signs have been mysteriously disappearing from yards around Lehi and other District 18 areas. They even showed security footage of one being purloined by someone in a high-rise pickup.

Credit default swap . . . Mesa economic development folks are raising Cain over Pearce’s boast that he helped lure Able Engineering to our fair city.

Pearce apparently made the claim in a recent District 18 Republican meeting.

City officials say Pearce didn’t have anything to do with the deal, which brought 250 high-paying jobs to Mesa’s Gateway corridor.

Able officials said at the time that they were attracted by the proximity to the ASU Poly campus and by Mesa’s free trade zone, which was established by the City Council 14 years ago, well before Pearce was in the Legislature.

Jazz in AZ . . . The Mesa Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee is trying to expand its role beyond some of its traditional events like the annual breakfast, parade and basketball classic and create more of a focus on education The committee’s first foray into that realm will be a fundraising dinner featuring entertainment by Valley favorite Margo Reed. It’s at 6 p.m. Oct. 14 in the courtyard of the Mesa Arts Center, and will lead into the Miles Davis Experience show later that evening.

The cost for both events is $100. Tickets are available at or by calling 480-644-6500.

Remember the titans . . . If you’ve ever wanted to hear 25 yoga masters expound on “What is Yoga?” – and who hasn’t? – now’s your chance.

East Valley Yoga and the DSR Clinic are sponsoring a showing of the movie “The Titans of Yoga” at 7 tonight at My First Piano Recital Space, 1818 E. Southern Ave. in Mesa. The suggested donation is $10, and proceeds aid The Wellness community, a cancer support group.

There will also be “a brief accessible yoga experience” as well as Q&A sessions by certified Viniyoga trainer Annette Jones and Matthew Taylor, who leads a yoga-based physical therapy practice. Their news release didn’t say whether they’d be serving pretzels.

There will be chairs, but if you prefer the floor bring your own mat or cushion.

Space is limited.

RSVP to or 602-541-7331. Info:

John D’Anna is the Mesa Republic editor. To submit an item, write it on a Post-it Note and roll it up in his yoga mat. Or just e-mail john.d’

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These are the archived website pages from 2010 and 2011. Visit to keep up with what's happening now.