What’s Wrong With Arizona?

No family in America is as dysfunctional as the Right Wing politician family of Arizona.

Pinal County, Arizona sheriff candidate, neo-Nazi, and rabid xenophobe JT Ready killed 5 people including himself yesterday, and even in death he tried to blame the incident on immigrants.

The Arizona Republic reported the victims were Ready’s girlfriend, her daughter, the daughter’s boyfriend and the daughter’s 18-month-old baby. Ready still somehow managed to use the event to blame immigrants even after his death. A posting on his Facebook page appeared hours after the massacre took place.

“Reports are unconfirmed that a cartel assassination squad murdered JT Ready and several of his friends and family this afternoon in Gilbert Arizona,” the posting said. “This page’s admin will keep you updated of the situation as soon as possible.” [...]

In an interview with TPM in January, Ready said he was running for sheriff of Pinal County, Ariz., a large patch of desert sandwiched between Tucson and Phoenix. The seat was open after Sheriff Paul Babeu announced he would be running for Congress. Ready saw an opportunity.

In case you forgot, Sheriff Paul Babeu is the congressional candidate and local surrogate for the Romney campaign who was recently outed for having threatened his gay immigrant boyfriend with deportation and for sending nude photos of himself.

As amusing as the connection between JT Ready and Paul Babeu is, it’s topped by Ready’s connection to former Arizona Senate President Russel Pearce, who was recently recalled from office by fellow Republicans.

Ready’s beliefs were extreme even among extremists. In 2007, for example, he wrote that illegal immigration occurs because “negroids screw monkeys and rape babies in afreaka [sic]. Then stupid white man who licks kosher jew rear lets negroids in.” Yet Ready traveled surprisingly close to the center of power in his state. Ready claims he was a protégé to former Arizona state Sen. Russell Pearce (R), the author of Arizona’s harsh immigration law who was recently removed from office in a recall election, and there is ample documentation that the two men knew each other and that Pearce once supported Ready politically.

Pearce and Ready’s relationship stretches back at least to 2004, when Pearce ordained Ready as an elder in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. By 2006, when Ready ran for Mesa City Council — a campaign that sputtered after the public learned that Ready was once court-martialed and kicked out of the Marine Corps — he received Pearce’s endorsement. Ready also claims that he was with Pearce’s son Josh when Josh Pearce got a tattoo of an iron eagle with a swastika on his neck and chest, but that he also talked Josh out of joining a skinhead group.

Russell Pearce was, among other things, instrumental in passing Arizona’s “Papers Please” anti-immigration law SB1070. He also sought to beef up the state’s private prison system wherein individuals arrested under “Papers Please” would undoubtedly be transferred to.

Naturally, Russell Pearce is trying to downplay the connection, however photos like this aren’t helping him.

Rounding out the trifecta is JT Ready’s connection to Maricopa County, whose sheriff is the infamous Joe Arpaio.

By running unopposed in 2006, Ready successfully secured a position as Maricopa County Republican precinct committeeman in a west Mesa district. In 2007, he gave a speech at a neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement (NSM) rally as a “Arizona Republican activist.” Later that year, Ready created a profile on NSM’s neo-Nazi New Saxon website. [...]

After being rejected by the Republican Party, Ready found a home as a leader in the NSM. He participated in several events between 2009 and 2010 to support Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Ready showed up with other NSM members to protest a Latino-organized “March for Respect” in May 2009, where his group “gave Nazi salutes, shouted ‘Sieg Heil’ and yelled derogatory remarks at the crowd while stomping on the Mexican flag,”

I don’t know what’s in the water in Arizona, but something is clearly rotten at the core of the state. Because as far as I can tell, this trail of sociopaths elected to public office begins at the grass-roots level. It’s bottom up, not top down.

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