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Russell Pearce condemns Jan Brewer's Medicaid expansion plan

Fmr State Sen. Russell Pearce says Gov. Jan Brewer's Medicaid expansion plan would increase dependence on government and turn Arizona into a blue state.

PHOENIX -- Arizona Republican Gov. Jan Brewer is taking some heat over her Medicaid plan from a member of her own party.

Former State Senate President Russell Pearce said Brewer's Medicaid expansion plan is bad for Arizona.

"It will grow socialism in Arizona at a level that it has never been grown before," said Pearce. "When you do that, every state that has 30 percent or more of its people on government programs, obviously, goes blue," indicating that the Democrats would become the dominant political party in Arizona.

"You're going to have everybody in the world that relies on government, so you're going to vote for more government. It's the nature of the beast," Pearce said. "That's what a democracy does. When you can vote yourself for your neighbor's stuff, you vote yourself for your neighbor's stuff. That's the risk of a democracy. That's why we live in a republic, where we reject the democratic form of government."

Pearce also said the federal government cannot afford the Medicaid program.

"They're out of money. They're trillions of dollars in debt, so there is no money," he said. "This game has got to stop."

Pearce said if he were still in the legislature, he would do everything he could to stop the governor's plan from passing.

About the Author


Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.

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