Russell Pearce has had quite a career in Arizona. The Republican started as a fairly obscure state senator, before his anti-immigrant SB1070 pushed him into the national spotlight, which Pearce parlayed into a promotion as state Senate President.
His shooting star didn't last -- Pearce record and extremist associations undermined his standing, and in 2011, voters pushed him out of office in a recall election.
State Republicans probably should have allowed Pearce to fade from public view, but instead, GOP officials made Pearce the #2 leader in the state party. As Zach Roth reported, that didn't turn out too well, either.
The far-right former lawmaker who helped create Arizona's "papers please" immigration law has resigned as a top official with the state GOP after making comments about sterilizing poor women. [...]
On Saturday, the state Democratic Party highlighted comments Pearce made recently on his radio show. Discussing the state's public assistance programs, Pearce declared: "You put me in charge of Medicaid, the first thing I'd do is get Norplant, birth-control implants, or tubal ligations.... Then we'll test recipients for drugs and alcohol, and if you want to [reproduce] or use drugs or alcohol, then get a job."
Just so we're clear, by making Norplant a part of public assistance, Pearce was, fairly explicitly, talking about sterilizing low-income women.
By way of a response, the principal author of Arizona's "papers please" law argued in a written statement that he was referencing "comments written by someone else and failed to attribute them to the author."