We do not know that Russell Pearce was directly involved in this, but we do know that paid petition circulators told people that helping candidate Olivia Cortes get on the ballot would help Pearce survive the recall in November.
The Arizona Republic and the Phoenix New Times both carried stories on this situation on Thursday evening. A friend sent me an MP3 file of a recording between a circulator and a potential petition signer. As soon as I figure out how to post it to this blog, I will do so (sometime today/Friday).
Download the audio recording here. If you have an MP3 player (like Windows Media Player) on your computer, you can then listen to it.