Business-linked GOP groups oppose Russell Pearce; ad calls him "embarrassment" (Tim Hill, Kevin Gibbons)

Back in 2006, the GOP more or less dropped support from Republican congressional candidate Randy Graf of Arizona due to his opposition to illegal immigration; they threw their support behind a "business-friendly" challenger instead. Now, something similar is playing out in the same state involving the reelection campaign of state Senator Russell Pearce.

Two groups (The People of AZ and Protect Arizona's Future) are running an ad campaign featuring this video that calls Pearce an "embarrassment" for things he's apparently said about John McCain, Jeff Flake, and Jon Kyl.
...Tim Hill, president of the Professional Fire Fighters of Arizona and chairman of both independent committees, said the groups believe Pearce is "mean-spirited" when it comes to party members with whom he disagrees, especially on the highly divisive issue of illegal immigration... Hill added that the group would like to see someone elected who looks at issues of public safety "beyond the narrow confines of immigration."... "He needs to talk not about tax cuts but about truly balancing our state budget without hurting communities," Hill said... Hill strongly endorsed [Kevin Gibbons], a Republican immigration lawyer, calling him "well-rounded and level-headed."
The party affiliation of Hill and the PFFA is unclear, but the first and third bolded phrases above are definitely part of the Democratic Party's lexicon. In 2006 the PFFA backed Randy Graf's opponent ( And, according to this, a group called "Protect Arizona's Future" got $15,000 from "Progressive Majority" in 2006; whether both are the same group is unknown.
...Gibbons, who's related to Flake, has the backing of the business industry and key political players including Farrell Quinlan, former vice president of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Quinlan is the spokesman for another independent committee, Judgment Matters, which also is campaigning against Pearce.

Another independent committee, Mesa Deserves Better, while ambiguous about its plans, is led by those opposed to the employer sanctions law, which was sponsored by Pearce. Committee chairman Nathan Sproul, a GOP heavy hitter and former executive director of the Arizona Republican Party, consulted for the anti-sanctions-law group, Wake Up Arizona!

That law is one of the toughest in the nation on employers and, along with other anti-illegal immigration measures he's pushed, is a point of pride for Pearce. He has criticized Gibbons for taking money from those who support cheap labor at the expense of jobs for Americans.
Pearce has a site against Gibbons here. As pointed out here, only about 15% of Gibbons' contributions are from those in the district, with a large percentage coming from growers and over 30% coming from Yuma.



Slavery advocacy in action. Nice. Let's hope Pearce can whether the storm.

Interesting post over on our blog about McCain and immigration: