Cash speaks without a translator
Arizona Republic
Mar. 23, 2005

 The language of journalism can be inexact. Sometimes people read their quotes in the paper and dispute themselves, or they feel a reporter misunderstood their quote. Such appears to be the case with Rep. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, who says he didn't mean to demean all businesses that use Spanish, particularly the car dealership run by his fellow anti-illegal immigration crusader, Rusty Childress.

In Sunday's Republic, Pearce said businesses that cater to Spanish speakers are engaged in "corporate corruption" and are "after money."

The comments seemed to disparage Childress, who joined with Pearce to promote the Protect Arizona Now ballot initiative that was supposed to cut undocumented immigrants off the state's welfare rolls. 

Childress offers Spanish information on his Web site, and even at the height of the Protect Arizona Now campaign, had a big banner outside his dealership on West Camelback Road that read, "Se habla Espaņol." 

While not saying he was misquoted, Pearce wrote in an e-mail this week that he wasn't referring to businesses that speak Spanish. Instead, he was talking about those who hire employees illegally. He didn't respond when asked specifically for his personal feelings about businesses that use Spanish.

Childress didn't respond to messages by deadline Monday. But it's clear that Childress, despite his feelings about illegal immigration, knows that Spanish is needed to do business.

Somehow, money never gets lost in translation.

Reach Ruelas at (602) 444-8473 or