A group supporting metropolitan Phoenix's sheriff demanded Wednesday that organizers of an effort to recall the lawman immediately end their campaign, and vowed to go to court to stop them. Arizona RepublicOoooo! They demand! These are the lumpheads I wrote about last week, who called a meeting to form a "shadow army" that will patrol recall stations and intimidate people trying to sign the petitions, which are being circulated by the group Respect Arizona. According to Stephen Lemons at New Times, who could not get into the shadow army enlistment meeting but apparently had a plant, only 30 or so "warriors" showed up. And they are worried.
Follow me below the fold to find out what they're so worried about.
"A lot of people don't think this recall is for real," [Arpaio campaign strategist Chad] Willems told 30 or so pro-Joe senior citizens. "They think it's a joke. They think it's a political ploy ... Even the media has largely ignored it, because they don't believe it."They should be worried, which is why they're pulling out the legal mumbo-jumbo to squelch the recall effort. First they argue that it's unconstitutional to recall Sheriff Arpaio because he hasn't done anything wrong. There are "no valid reasons," they say.
Then, Willems lowered the boom:
"This is deadly serious," he said. "If our opposition ... get the money that they need for these signatures, they're going to have a candidate on that ballot, and Joe Arpaio goes away." New Times
I'll let that sink in for a minute.
No, nothing wrong. Only crime, cronyism and political vendettas. Only inmates tortured or murdered in his gulag. Only hundreds of sex crimes ignored. Only $100 million misused for his tanks and other toys. Only tens of millions of taxpayer dollars in lawsuits shelled out for Arpaio's unconstitutional and unethical activities. And those are just the ugly headlines.
They're worried in part because Sheriff Arpaio blew most of his $8 million war chest on last year's election, which was very competitive. Arpaio only got 50.7 percent of the vote, and no doubt he would've receive far less if he hadn't benefitted from GOP coattails during a tight presidential and Arizona senate race that energized Republicans. Arpaio's supporters know damn well he's vulnerable both financially and politically.
Another thing they should be afraid of: Last November Arpaio refused to debate his opponent Democrat Paul Penzone—too busy investigating the president's birth certificate, I guess. However, in a one-on-one election, absent the larger presidential overtones, where this is the only race in the news, he can't hide. He'll be shoved into the open, onto the debate stage, where Arpaio's blustering won't play well. Neither will his "dangerous immigrant" straw man, since immigration is essentially at net-zero, maybe less. He'll be forced to address his record, which makes a shit pie seem tasty.
Knowing this, the Arpaiobot whambulance drivers complain that there was just a November election that the sheriff won, so we can't recall him now! Their legal eagles even threaten a lawsuit based on a clause in the Arizona Constitution that says elected officials cannot be recalled until they've served at least six months. However, ASU law professor David Gartner says that section applies only to newly elected officials, not someone like Arpaio who's been in office more than 20 years. We don't need three more months to know he's corrupt and incompetent.
Arpaio's butt-kissers are also banking on a bill sponsored by king Arpaio butt-kisser Sen. Steven Smith, which adds a primary to recall drives. The measure probably would've prevented the 2011 recall of Smith's pal Sen. Russell Pierce—and what's about to happen to Sheriff Joe Arpaio. However, that POS is stuck in committee and probably won't help Arpaio even if it passes, since it's likely to be tied up in the courts immediately.
But why now? Arpaio's supporters moan. What's changed since November, after all? Well ... The 10,000-page report about the sex crimes tragedy, where Arpaio did not investigate or prosecute more than 400 reported assaults, was released last week. Investigators concluded that the sheriff's office is one disorganized and unprofessional mess. And Joe Arpaio is the head honcho.
Also, new video came to light this month from a 2012 termination appeal for Arpaio's former captain Joel Fox, where the sheriff seems to confirm what others have argued—that he was aware of, if not complicit in, the crimes that brought down two of his key aides.
He's also been running around the county with his school posse reality show stunt, starring his BFF Steven Seagal, who last week taught posse members how to take down bad men with guns. These 3,000 volunteers have no certified training, and some have criminal records, but who better to guard our children than untrained sex offenders with guns? News that Mission Impossible strongman Peter Lupus and Hulk dude Lou Ferrigno have also joined Arpaio's posse drew this response from Democratic Representative Chad Campbell:
... "ludicrous ... why don't we also have Clint Eastwood and Chuck Norris and Bruce Willis come out and train them too while we're at it?"Ludicrous indeed. That's why we should recall Sheriff Arpaio. He's a joke—a dangerous joke, a divisive joke, an expensive joke, and an ineffectual joke.