UPDATED x2: Sheriff Joe: Arizona’s Own
Oops, That Should Read “Sheriff Joe: Arizona’s Clown”
Yeah, sometimes my keyboard misses letters like that. Sorry for the typo. Anyway, here I go again. A week ago I posted my first politically motivated blog entry, and here I am posting yet another. I SHOULD promise right here and now NOT to get political on here again. I should, but I won’t. Mostly because, if I made that promise, and then if I ever did decide to post another political rant, I would suddenly become about as trustworthy as most politicians. Instead, I’ll just launch into this, and let the poison spill. You’ll either hate me or love me all the more for it.
I belong to very few Facebook groups. Wait… that should read: I WILLINGLY belong to very few Facebook groups. I have FB friends who are all about adding me to some group or another which I want nothing to do with. So… thanks? Anyway, one of the only Facebook groups which I not only willingly became a part of, but follow regularly, is the People Against Sheriff Joe Arpaio. I’ve openly opposed Sheriff Joe and his backwoods brand of “justice” for years. Some of you may not be entirely familiar with this ass clown’s resume. So, here’s a bit of a brief rundown.
How Did This Idiot Become Sheriff in the First Place?
It’s really not that difficult to understand how he first became sheriff. He was elected in 1992. At that time, he was the head of the Arizona division of the United States Drug Enforcement Agency, and he made promises to be, not only a tough sheriff, but “America’s Toughest Sheriff.” With a resume like his, and a promise like that, it’s not hard to see the logic in pulling the lever in his favor on election day. Hell, I myself might have voted him in. This was before I moved to Arizona, though, so I didn’t. I swear.
I was first introduced to Sheriff Joe in 1995 when I moved to Arizona. At the time, the Sheriff had recently completed construction of his new jail facility. You see, soon after he assumed office, the Maricopa County Jail system was over-crowded, and another facility would need to be built. The estimated cost of a new facility was in excess of $50 million. So, good ol’ Sheriff Joe recycled Korean War era military tents and used
slave inmate labor to build a new facility called “Tent City,” at a total cost of $100,000. He was damn proud of the facility. Of course, the temperature within these tents reaches in excess of 140° in the summer time, but whatever*. They’re “inmates”… which is not to be confused with “humans.” (By the way, before you go telling me that murderers and rapists deserve this sort of treatment, realize that due to the low-tech nature of the facility, it only houses the lowest of minimum-security criminals. Thieves, drunk drivers, and the like.)
Soon thereafter, he was running for re-election. In a totally NON-CAMPAIGN RELATED COINCIDENCE (he said, unable to hide the vitriolic sarcasm dripping from his lips), Sheriff Joe began forcing all inmates to wear pink underwear, and he re-instituted the chain gang. The pink underwear thing, frankly, I don’t get. “Oh, you see, it’s to tone down the overly macho prison culture and to demean the prisoners.” Oh really, phych-101-student-who-reads-my-blog-and-talks-to-the-screen-thinking-I-can-hear-them? Maybe that would hold some value if only the most VIOLENT inmates were made to wear pink. But they ALL wear pink. It does NOTHING to tone down anything, if every bastard in the place is wearing pink. Also, you’re in prison. How is the color of your underwear any more demeaning than every other aspect of your daily life? The chain gang thing, though, that takes some serious stones, considering the unbearable desert heat. And by “serious stones”, I mean “total disregard for human rights.”
So, Of Course, Sheriff Joe Was Re-Elected
And re-elected. And re-elected. And so on and so forth. He basically comes out every election year with an unbelievable pile of nonsense which is CLEARLY designed to do nothing more than put his name in the national spotlight. Why? Because the people who keep electing him into office, by and large, DON’T LIVE IN MARICOPA COUNTY, ARIZONA for half the year. Confused? Oh, you should be.
You see, Maricopa County boasts one of the LARGEST snow-bird populations in the United States. In case you don’t know what a snow-bird is, that’s a retiree who lives in a place with a cooler climate during the hot summer months, then, like a bird, migrates south for the winters. In Maricopa County, despite the huge metropolitan population of the greater Phoenix area, a GIGANTIC portion of the population present for those November elections are snow-birds, who simply don’t stick around to see the idiots whom they have voted for in action. And so, if Arpaio wants to be elected again and again (which, clearly, he does), then he needs to make a name for himself once every four years.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
First, the good news: it’s an election year. Which means we have a chance to vote this unbelievable douchenugget out of office. It also means that, what with his greatest supporters currently spending their summer in places like Wisconsin and Michigan, Sheriff Joe must once again do a number of incredibly stupid things to make a name for himself on the national stage. Oh sure, it’s sad, but it’s also a little funny. Here, then, is a brief recap of Sheriff Joe’s 2012 year in review:
- January, 2012 – As a result of a lengthy investigation into the practices of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, the United States Department of Justice had set a deadline for the MCSO to meet with their standards, and put an end to the worst pattern of racial profiling in US history**. Arpaio meets this deadline by making demands of the DOJ, saying they MUST provide the documentation they used to reach the conclusion that the Sheriff’s Office had been guilty of racial profiling. The DOJ, in one of the most “shut the fuck up” moments in history, responded that the Sheriff’s Office already HAD the vast majority of the evidence in their possession, since it was the Sheriff’s Office which had supplied it in the first place.
March, 2012 – Ever on the hunt for new and embarrassing ways to land his fat mug in front of a camera, Sheriff Joe invites the Steven Seagal reality show, Lawman, to come to Arizona and assist in the take-down of a “cockfighting ringleader.” The problem? Said “ringleader” was no such thing. He was, in fact, previously arrested and charged a misdemeanor for attending a cockfight. One of the conditions of his parole was that he was that he was not allowed to own animals. He had a chicken coup. So, Steven Seagal and 30 or so MCSO tactical operations unit officers in full fucking riot gear raided the home while television cameras rolled. The victim… err… ringleader went on to refuse to sign a release to appear on the Steven Seagal reality show, and he filed lawsuits against Sheriff Joe, Steven Seagal, and the MCSO. Nice.
- April, 2012 – Maricopa County Deputies find an abandoned pickup truck full of marijuana. Joe announces that this is an indication that the time has come for another “illegal alien crime suppression operation.” Because, you know, if a pickup full of marijuana is abandoned, clearly it was left there by Mexicans.
- April 2012 – Despite opposition from both Democrats AND Republicans, Sheriff Joe demands that the Selective Service System turn over President Obama’s registration card, so he and his office can determine if the registration had been forged (also, he made it public that his demands must be answered within 30 days, OR ELSE! …which happens to be the predetermined length of time in which the Selective Service must respond to any document requests… way to take a hard line stand, Joe). Within 30 days, Selective Service did in fact respond. Their response: NO. No, because there was no “credible evidence” of forgery. Also, no, because if there WERE credible evidence, this would fall in the jurisdiction of the FBI, not some dumbass county sheriff.
- May, 2012 – A book is released bashing Sheriff Joe’s investigation into Obama’s birth certificate, claiming the investigation was baseless and mishandled. Sheriff Joe lashed out against the book, saying it got the facts of the case “all wrong.” Some time later, he admitted he never actually READ any of the book. But, you know, it didn’t agree with his viewpoint. Or so he was told. It must be wrong. Probably.
- July, 2012 – Joe hits the podium to announce the findings of his President Obama birth certificate investigation. The results: he could find NO CREDIBLE EVIDENCE to prove that Obama did NOT forge his birth certificate. Since, as you all know, a person is guilty until proven innocent, and since all efforts to uncover evidence to the contrary were answered by a well-founded “you’re a county sheriff? You don’t have the authority for ANY of this!” Then, clearly, the birth certificate is a forgery. That’s some damn fine police work, Sheriff Joe.
- July, 2012 – Sheriff Joe takes the stand in a civil suit claiming racial profiling by the MCSO. In response to the quote that he called illegal immigrants “dirty,” he responds that, since most illegal immigrants cross the desert, they are in fact quite dirty when they get here. Yep, that’s what he meant all right. Now… as for the time he said it was “an honor” to be compared to the Klu Klux Klan… that he just plain regrets saying. I mean, it’s not like calling immigrants “dirty.” The man has standards, you know.
- August, 2012 – *UPDATED* Phoenix New Times (a valley alternative newspaper) had long been a vocal critic of the Sheriff and his disregard for the law and human rights. In an attempt to silence the newspaper, the MCSO issued a subpoena demanding the paper reveal its sources and turn over all reporters’ and editors’ notebooks, memoranda, and documents. When the paper refused, it’s owners, Michael Lacey and Jim Larson, were arrested in the middle of the night without an arrest warrant. The two filed a law suit against Sheriff Joe and his Offices. Though the suit was originally dismissed in 2008, the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decided on August 30th to allow the suit to be heard in court. Imagine that… all they had to do to stand a chance for justice was take their case outside of Maricopa County. Source
Next, the bad news: He’ll probably be re-elected. Yep. I mean, look at all that twatwaffelry above. THAT ALL TOOK PLACE THIS YEAR ALONE! And, that’s the point. All the snow-birds in other corners of the country are seeing all these appearances on television, and they are reminded of his name. And then they’ll come down here to Arizona, and along with the hard-line conservatives who enjoy his brand of human rights abuses and racist practices, they’ll vote him back into office for another four years. Besides, I live in the wrong Arizona county to vote against him, myself… we’ve got our own skinhead sheriff to deal with. And so it continues.
Finally, the ugly truth: The man will remain in office until he is either arrested for his continuous human rights abuses, or until he decides to retire, or until he eats one too many Big Macs and strokes out. Sorry. I didn’t mean to be anti-McDonalds there. I’m just saying, the guy is angry, old, and fat. That’s not a good combination.
*When confronted by inmate claims that living in a tent which is over 140° is “inhumane,” Sheriff Joe responded “It’s 120 degrees in Iraq and the soldiers are living in tents and they didn’t commit any crimes, so shut your mouths.” Source.
**The claim that the MCSO is guilty of the “worst racial profiling in U.S. history” comes from the Department of Justice report, as outlined by Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Perez in December of 2011. Source.
Want to help get this guy out of office? His opponent’s webpage is here.
UPDATE: It’s been just over a month since I posted this blog. I’ve had a lot of feedback since then, mostly from people who can’t believe this idiot manages to remain in office. Now, the opportunity has presented itself to actively work to inform the voters here in Arizona of just what Sheriff Arpaio really stands for. The group I mentioned earlier in this blog, the People Against Sheriff Joe Arpaio, has launched a web page to raise money to air a political ad. To donate to this cause, click here.
As for the subject of the ad, it will be dealing with yet another Department of Justice charge against the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. The current investigation has showed that reports of sexual abuse, including rape, went without any sort of investigation by the MCSO if the victims of these crimes were illegal aliens. Even if the victims were children. This is the latest in a long history of human rights abuses by the Sheriff’s Office, led by Sheriff Joe.
This isn’t a political blog, I know. Yes, my most recent blog talks about Stompeez and Pillow Pets… not exactly the type of blog where you’d expect to hear about human rights abuses and a sheriff drunk with power. But the time has come to make a change in Arizona, and if I can do anything to be a part of that change, I will. For more information about the context of the commercial, or to donate money to the cause, feel free to click here.