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For those not familiar with Arizona politics, one of the most infamous figures here is the sheriff of Maricopa County, Joe Arpaio.  He has made himself famous nationally in his two-decade tenure by declaring himself to be "America's Toughest Sheriff."  Locally, he is known for his tendency to cost the taxpayers of Maricopa County millions upon millions of dollars spent defending lawsuits against him and his office for harassment, racial profiling, and prisoner abuse, among other things.  Most recently, he has been sued by the federal government related to his office's blatant racial profiling.  

I want to make it clear that I do not believe that there is anything funny about what Arpaio does, what his thugs do, his Tent City jail-cum-concentration camp, or the abuse suffered by countless detainees in his custody.  

But Arpaio himself?  He's ridiculous; yet, he's also oddly inspirational.  That is, if one is prone to attempting satire :-)


PHOENIX, AZ: In a stunning reversal this morning, legendary kook Sheriff Joseph M. Apraio has announced that he is countersuing the United States Department of Justice.

His suit alleges that, among other things, the Attorney General has engaged in profiling by bringing his suit against the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office. "I read the memo with my own eyes. They sat down and held a meeting two years ago and decided to harass bigoted and narrow-minded yokels in positions of great power. HEL-LO! Conspiracy calling!"

Addressing one of the specific concerns raised in the Justice Department's suit against the MCSO, Sheriff Joe mentioned an allegation of racial profiling and abuse by a deputy who followed a pregnant Latina woman, an American citizen, into her driveway.

According to the suit, "When she refused, the officer grabbed her arms, pulled them behind her back, and slammed her, stomach first into the vehicle three times. He then dragged her to the patrol car and shoved her into the backseat."

MCSO attorney John Masterson has been quoted as saying that he needed to know more about the situation, including whether the woman pulled a weapon or tried to fight with the officer.

The world's most famous sheriff added: "You see, she was brown. That was the first indication somethin' was up. And the deputy could see that she had managed to shove another Latino all the way up THERE, right? So, it wasn't a stretch that she could have been packing."

We will keep you updated as events unfold.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The real question about sheriff Joe (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    julimyers, mslat27, Olympia

    is why does he keep being reelected?

    If the Republicans ever find out that Barack Obama favors respiration, we'll be a one-party system inside two minutes. - Alan Lewis

    by MadRuth on Sat Jun 02, 2012 at 05:52:44 AM PDT

    •  Sheriff Joe (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Temmoku, Sue B, MadRuth, Olympia

      There are a few reasons this clown keeps getting re-elected, but I think the predominant reason is that Arizona has become a haven for Tea Party-type wingnuts and racists who find nothing wrong with what he is doing.  He has also been rather successful at smearing anyone who tries to challenge him.  There are a lot of affluent white retirees who live here, too, and they vote religiously while those who are affected the most by Joe's racism either can't or don't vote.  

      •  Maricopa County is one of the largest in the US (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        julimyers, Olympia

        Most highly populated counties are more liberal than their outlying areas. I cannot see how such a highly populated place can work with such reactionary attitudes.

        It would be poetic justice if Joe were in a pink jumpsuit sleeping in the desert, but our federal laws are not as evil as he is.

        The GOP is the party of mammon. They mock what Jesus taught.

        by freelunch on Sat Jun 02, 2012 at 06:44:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Maricopa County (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MadRuth, Olympia

          There are many ways in which this county defies logic, and that is one of them.  Tucson is rather liberal, but the greater metro Phoenix area votes red, heavily red.  There is a liberal feeling here, but for many reasons (incompetence at the county and state level on the behalf of the Democratic party being one of the biggies), there either aren't enough liberals to win majorities or they just don't vote.  Remember, this is the state that elected Goldwater, and they have subverted his philosophy (to a point he'd be sickened by, I think) into "extremism in the defense of racial purity is no vice."

    •  Option (5+ / 0-)

      This year, Arizona voters (like me) have an option, and it's a good one. Paul Penzone is a 21-year veteran of the Phoenix PD, and was named Task Force Agent of the Year by the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, as well as Supervisor of the Year of the Phoenix PD, among many awards and commendations.

      He is a serious, experienced, proven professional, and would help to undo the damage done by Sheriff Joe and his cronies.

      Arizona likes tough. But we also like competent. When voters realize how Sheriff Joe hasn't done his job (~400 child molesters ignored so he could arrest dishwashers) and how much he's cost taxpayers (6,300 lawsuits), they'll look for an option.

      This year they have one.

  •  Is this snark? I can't tell. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    "The world's most famous sheriff added: "You see, she was brown. That was the first indication somethin' was up. And the deputy could see that she had managed to shove another Latino all the way up THERE, right? So, it wasn't a stretch that she could have been packing."

    We will keep you updated as events unfold."

    I really can't tell what's going on here. Is this the newspaper quoting the Sheriff? If so, heaven help us all.

    "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

    by rubyr on Sat Jun 02, 2012 at 01:37:53 PM PDT

  •  Arpaio is... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    julimyers, PSzymeczek

    ...pushing 80 years old.  Well past the age when most retire.  The thought that he will someday die, safe and warm in his own bed, and surrounded by those, for some odd reason, actually care about him, kinda eats my lunch.  If there were any justice, he would die in a cold jail cell, surrounded by armed, disinterested bureaucrats.

    I don't have many friends that age, but I don't talk politics with any of them (save one). The last time I made that mistake, we were discussing the extension of unemployment benefits.  His assumption that those who suffered misfortune had no one but themselves to blame was not only mean-spirited and illogical.  It was wrong.  That's the conservative mindset.  Anyone of lower socio-economic status is viewed with suspicion and disdain.

    My wife hasn't set foot in Maricopa County in years, and won't to this day.  The last time she was in Phoenix, she ended up handcuffed on the side of the road for two hours while Arpaio's goons desperately tried to find something to charge her with.  When they failed, they uncuffed her, got in their cars and left.  Without a word.

    She isn't Latina, she's Mescalero Apache, but I doubt they made any distinctions.  To them, brown is brown.

    When elephants fight, it's the grass that suffers. -- African Proverb

    by LouisWu on Sat Jun 02, 2012 at 10:09:34 PM PDT

    •  Joe is scared of going to jail... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ...I would guarantee it.  A few weeks ago, there was a story in the news here about a woman who had been charged a few times with animal cruelty.  She is 81 now, and Arpaio has been quoted as saying that she is too old for jail.  He's not just thinking of her.

      It is a dizzying temptation to try and proselytize with facts, reason, and empathy to those who would think conservatively, and some would say it's not even worth it.  I alternate between believing that and railing against it.  Part of me thinks that it will just take one more explanation, one more metaphor, one more example of how the application of liberal thought to any problem could make it better.  Then I remember my family and think that about what a gargantuan task it really is and usually end up in a corner, weeping.

      The story about your wife is truly awful.  I hope you and she have told it elsewhere, and loudly.  

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