By Jim Small | Source: AZCapitolTimes.com | Published: June 14, 2012
The fundraiser was originally scheduled to be held at Macayo’s Restaurant near Central Avenue and Indian School Road in uptown Phoenix. However, DeeDee Garcia Blase, a critic of Pearce and the co-president of the Tequila Party, organized a protest of the restaurant this afternoon during the event.
She said that the planned protest and her calls to Macayo’s corporate offices led the restaurant to cancel the event. Messages left with Macayo’s were not immediately returned.
Late this morning, Pearce’s campaign sent an email to supporters informing them that the fundraiser would instead be held at Oaxaca Restaurante y Cantina in downtown Phoenix. The email did not say why the location was changed.
Within hours, Oaxaca also cancelled Pearce’s event. Joseph Aguayo, the restaurant’s manager, told Arizona Capitol Times he did so after Garcia Blase contacted him and told him the event, which was registered under a different name, was actually to help Pearce raise money in his bid to return to the Senate after being recalled last year.
“We don’t need that,” Aguayo said. “We want to keep the support of our Latino community.”
Garcia Blase said that Pearce is trying to hold his fundraiser at Mexican restaurants for purely political reasons.
“They’re doing it to make a mockery of Latinos. It’s to make them appear Latino-friendly,” she said.
When pressed how exactly Pearce is making a mockery of the Latino community by holding a fundraiser at a Mexican restaurant, Garcia Blase replied, “This would be like Hitler trying to dine at a Jewish restaurant when he’s trying to create this mass exodus or extermination of them.”
Pearce did not immediately return a call. Constantin Querard, who is running Pearce’s campaign, did not know who was organizing the fundraiser. However, he said that he was surprised to hear that Oaxaca had said Pearce wasn’t welcome and disputed Aguayo’s claim that the restaurant didn’t know the event was for Pearce.
“They were told why the event was being moved there. They went in with eyes wide open,” he said. “Oaxaca’s business is so Capitol-centric, are they going to tell all the lobbyists and everyone else who likes (SB)1070, no, we don’t want your business?”
If Pearce’s campaign finds a new location for the fundraiser, Garcia Blase said her group will contact the business and threaten to boycott and protest them.
“We’re just going to keep playing this Whac-a-Mole game,” she said.
Pearce has been at the forefront of efforts in Arizona to crack down on illegal immigration and drive the undocumented out of the state. As a legislator, he sponsored the state’s employer sanctions law and SB1070, which is currently being considered by the United States Supreme Court.