Robocalls target Pearce recall election voters

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MESA, AZ (CBS5) -

The recall election of State Senate President Russell Pearce has taken another strange twist.

This time, some Mesa voters are being encouraged to throw away their vote.

Pearce is facing a tough challenge from Valley businessman Jerry Lewis.

Thousands of Mesa voters have received phone calls with a recorded message.

It states, "Voters beware. If you plan to vote this Tuesday, you should know that both candidates for state senator, Russell Pearce and Jerry Lewis, are Republicans. The only other candidate, Olivia Cortes, was forced to withdraw last month.

"You can protest this one-sided election by writing in your own candidate. This message is paid for by the Safeguard Arizona's Future PAC, because we believe a well informed voter is the best voter."

The man who heads up Safeguard Arizona's Future PAC is Ron Ludders, the current chairperson for AZ 2012 Tea Party.

"We are not advocates of any candidate," Ludders said. I wanted to do something to educate the electorate. I was amazed at how little people knew about this election."

Ludders said that there is no hidden agenda behind the recorded phone messages.

However, not everyone in the community is convinced.

"That's our politics today, who can play the better game," said voter Lea Goyn. "It's not about the truth. It's not what we want or need, and not about listening to people. It's about who's got more money, or can play game better."

Election officials said that no other candidate has registered for the LD18 recall election, which means any other name a voter writes down would be invalid.

Lewis said that he believes the calls were created by Pearce supporters to take votes away from Lewis.

"This is another attempt to deceive the voters from their sacred responsibility and right to vote," Lewis said. "I don't think voters in Mesa appreciate it. To me, it shows why we need a fresh voice for Mesa."

A spokesperson for Pearce said that the senator was unaware of the robocalls and the group that sponsored them.


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