I take no particular pleasure in the following rant. Anyone who’s followed my rants on Twitter and my Blog knows full well how I feel about Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The term “Sheriff” is not an appropriate title for him.
In Maricopa County, the office of Sheriff is an elected office. So you need to be a politician to take that office. To actually have law enforcement experience is a plus, providing you work as a professional law enforcement person, not a politician. From the day Joe announced his original candidacy for office and the day he took office, it was clear that Joe is more of a politician than a Sheriff. What’s worse, he’s a self-centered narcissistic corrupt and racist politician. Joe catered to the low information, non-critical thinking and racist elements in Maricopa County to become “America’s Toughest Sheriff.”
From the day he took office, Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) buildings and sites had Joe Arpaio’s name placed everywhere, in much larger and bolder lettering than Maricopa County Sheriff. He effectively began a propaganda campaign that he was “tough on crime” because he was tough on criminals. He came up with pink underwear, green bologna sandwiches, and Tent City to treat criminals like slime, something low information and racist voters like to think they all are. He’s been effective in his propaganda, especially since he diverted tax payer dollars to feed his propaganda message across Maricopa County and Arizona, the country and world. Why does he need to advertise outside of Maricopa County if he’s only Sheriff here?
Well, he’s become a millionaire as Sheriff by portraying himself as “Tough on Crime.” In reality, he isn’t tough on crime. He’s tough on low-risk, minor offenders, but that’s about it. His pink underwear business got things started. He made his first million that way. As for Tent City; housing inmates in 115 degree plus weather isn’t what it would appear to be. There has never been a shortage of jail space in Maricopa County. In fact there is a maximum security jail actually sitting vacant of inmates, across the street from his 4th Avenue Jail. He houses stray dogs and cats in the “Madison Street Jail.”
The “criminals” housed in Tent City are almost entirely low-end, low-risk first time offenders for misdemeanor offenses or those serving jail as a term of probation. Any offender classified as a high risk offender (due to history of violence, etc) is held in the air-conditioned 4th Avenue Jail, Towers Jail, Durango Jail, etc. So the worst kind of criminal you are, the better you are treated in Maricopa County thanks to Joe Arpaio.
Joe has been responsible for millions of tax-payer dollars being spent to pay off lawsuits from inmates and families of inmates, who were needless injured or killed while in custody due to: brutal behavior, lack of basic medical care, neglect, and lack of supervision. He’s loses most of the suits filed against him, yet continues to allow cruel and negligent monitoring of inmates to continue.
People in Maricopa County don’t realize that Joe only runs a jail, not a prison. No one can be housed in a County Jail for more than one calendar year for their offense; most are housed for less than 6 months. These people get out much angrier and anti-social than they were going in, more apt to take things out on the community. This is why despite a drop of violent crimes everywhere in the nation; it continues to rise in Maricopa County. It’s human nature to not respond well to needlessly abusive behavior. Sheriff Joe make crime worse here, not better.
What’s more, he wastes money on pointless and ineffective “crime-sweeps” looking only for low-risk, low-end undocumented immigrants. He does these sweeps within city limits of Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, Glendale, Mesa, etc where there are already well-trained and professional police officers around to deal with these offenders. Sheriff Joe’s responsibility is to patrol the unincorporated lands of Maricopa County, not the cities and towns.
He also is sitting on 45,000 open warrants for violent felony offenders while he picks up harmless undocumented immigrants. He ignores investigating Hispanic children being sexually assaulted in El Mirage while he picks up harmless undocumented immigrants. Worse yet, to feed into his political aim of getting support from the most racist elements in Maricopa County, he’s now gone all Birther. He’s wasted tax payer’s money on a total wild goose chase on a matter already proven to be false. He made headlines for a day to two, but that’s about it.
Sheriff Joe isn’t law-enforcement, he represents the worse in low-information, angry, racist politics and as a result, crime isn’t being effectively dealt with in Maricopa County. He needs to go.
This is the difficult part of this rant for me.
Long ago I gave my support to Scottsdale Police Lieutenant Mike Stauffer. Someone brought his name to my attention and I looked him up. He originally planned to run against Joe Arpaio as a Republican in the primary. However, since Joe controls a lot of Republican politics here, he knew he would have problems. He is a professional law enforcement officer with an excellent resume. He understands the theories of law enforcement and how to effectively and economically house inmates. He’s center-right with law enforcement without being fringed right-wing, racist, or counter-productive. I gave him my support as the best alternative to Joe Arpaio, especially in a strong conservative Republican county that we have here.
A while after Mike Stauffer began his run as an independent for Sheriff; Paul Penzone began his run for Sheriff on the Democratic slate. Penzone also has a very impressive law enforcement resume. However, I had already gave my support to Stauffer and wasn’t willing to change my support. Of the two, I honestly felt that Stauffer had the better chance to grab the attentions of the people of Maricopa County and with Joe’s continuing loss of support due to people here finally waking up, had the best chance of beating him.
I was wrong. Polling done in September now shows Joe Arpaio with 44.5% support, Paul Penzone with 39% and Mike Stauffer with only 8% support. This is the closest anyone has come to beating Joe Arpaio. Mike Stauffer disagrees with these poll results. The Phoenix New Times have postulated that Mike is actually an “Arpaio plant” to take support away from his opponent. That I do not believe, but the poll results however, are convincing.
With only a month to go until November 6 and early voting about to begin, the message and answer is clear. The best opportunity we have in Maricopa County to finally rid ourselves of this obnoxious self-absorbed freak is to give full support the Paul Penzone for Sheriff.
Sorry Mike, but removing Joe is the most important thing to do and supporting you for Sheriff only helps Joe keep office. I admire what you have tried to do, but this isn’t your year.
I’m voting for Paul Penzone because he does have an excellent law-enforcement resume, is a real professional, and can beat Joe Arpaio this year.