Pyscho Babble

Is Sheriff Joe Arpaio the Ted Bundy of Arizona politics?

Psych Ward

Governing principles: I read your column about Joe Arpaio ("Serious Business," Robert Nelson, March 7). Excellent. I wish and hope you're successful in getting the word out, but don't count on it. I agree completely regarding Arpaio, and wrote in a name hoping he wouldn't be reelected; however, I have come to the conclusion that Arizonans are bumpkins when it comes to choosing elected officials, and that's why Arpaio remains sheriff. Arizona is consistently naive regarding politicians, and the record speaks for itself. Evan Mecham fooled them, and later Fife Symington. I am astounded why these people are elected in the first place. Imagine the budget crisis after a few more years of a genuine "psychopath" in office.

Kaye Leach
Phoenix

Serial head case: I read with keen interest Robert Nelson's outstanding piece on Joe Arpaio. Having been involved in a 10-year battle to expose Joe Arpaio as the dangerous mental case that he is, I was gratified to see that I wasn't alone in that assessment. I was particularly impressed by Nelson's diagnosis of Arpaio as a psychopath, a characterization that Arpaio is undoubtedly flattered by.

Over the years I have learned one thing about Arpaio: Anything that produces publicity for himself is good, regardless of the source, and regardless of the cost. Unfortunately, Nelson's lumping Arpaio into the internationally infamous ranks of the John Wayne Gacys and Charles Mansons of this world does nothing but further inflate the ego of a man who cares naught about his responsibilities as an elected public servant, or even as a civilized member of the human race. As I have often said, Joe Arpaio would be as happy being seen as a bleeding-heart liberal as he is a renowned "tough" guy, right-wing icon, provided that he receives similar media exposure. He is a man without principle, ethics, humanity or empathy. Arpaio is Arizona's political Ted Bundy.

Maybe, with the help of excellent reporting of the caliber of Robert Nelson's, Arizona's voters will finally begin to see Joe Arpaio as the self-serving, wasteful head case that he really is. Now, if we can just get the state's largest newspaper to follow suit; but I'm not holding my breath.

Lieutenant Kelley Waldrip, retired
Maricopa County Sheriff's Office
Los Angeles

Street Fightin' Man

Doc in the box: I was a pretrial detainee at the Madison Street Jail. There was only one "clear" glass window that looked out of the jail pod. I would sit in front of the window and watch people buy food from the hot dog vendor ("Steamed," Paul Rubin, March 7). I and the other pretrial detainees would dream out loud about getting a "dog" and a cup of coffee from the vendor as soon as we were released from custody. If the county bureaucrats shut down the hot dog vendors with their inane rules, they will only add to the emotional darkness of Sheriff Joe's inmates as well as destroy the livelihood of the vendors.

Brian Finkel
Phoenix

Local Heroes

Inspiration on wheels: I am writing in regard to "Murderball" by Susy Buchanan (February 28). It was an amazing and entertaining story. This is the exact kind of story that keeps me picking up New Timesweek after week. The story was riveting and inspiring, and Buchanan told it in such a way that I really felt like I got to know these guys. I had no idea that quad rugby was even a sport, much less that Arizona was so well represented, and, like good journalism should, it made me want to learn more by telling me a story in a professional yet lively fashion.

I especially liked how Buchanan detailed the players' good-natured ribbing, and also learning all of the "in the know" terms like "settlement boys." The world of these athletes is one I think that too many able bodies just ignore. We tend to lump all disabled people into one group and have pity for them, thinking that what they do is "good for a handicapped person." But these guys could kick my ass, as well as the asses of every other able-bodied athlete I know!

Buchanan also let us see and consider things that we never thought of -- such as how difficult spontaneity would be when you are in a wheelchair. What a wonderful job Buchanan did of truly giving us a glimpse of a life we hadn't even thought to imagine. And what a great job these players are doing of showing us our pity is not only unnecessary, but completely clueless.

Ellie Kensington
Tempe

Council Carousel

Over the edge: You can take Kristi Dempsey out of Scottsdale, but apparently you can't take Scottsdale out of Kristi Dempsey. At least not the good-ol'-boy Scottsdale that Dempsey faithfully served for so many years.

Her flight of paranoia ("On Thin Ice," February 28) is a throwback to her days on the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce Tribune when she saw a COPP behind every attempt to arrest the established "wink and nod" way of maximizing profits for the good ol' boys' real estate and development business. When Dempsey writes about imagined signals being sent by COPP operatives to city council members who refuse to conform to Chamber views, one can only wonder if her good ol' coaches are still sending signals to Dempsey.

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