Letters from the week of September 2, 2004


Balls to the wall: Your article ("Dangerous Mind," Paul Rubin, August 26) was very direct, very clear and extremely informative, and I am now a lot more interested in voting.

This [Andy Thomas for County Attorney story] is more horrifying news about Arizona politics, but it had to be told! I wonder if anyone in politics ever considers our real problems -- like poverty and bad neighborhoods. What I mean is, if people had better lives, there might be a reduction in crime. I believe in rehabilitation very strongly, as a lot of criminals are simply conditioned. After some years behind bars, many just wish they'd known better. Where is any concern for humanity in what politicians (like Thomas) say?

I cut and pasted a quote from your article because I got such a kick out of it:

"Democratic candidate Don Harris drew spontaneous applause at a recent candidates' forum at the Los Abogados Hispanic Bar Association when he said of the missing Thomas: ÔI don't think he had the cojónes to show up here today.'"
Lori Star, via the Internet
Worse before it gets better: I'd just like to make a couple of points about County Attorney wanna-be Andrew Thomas:

He's dewy, all right, but he's certainly no "intellectual"! Nothing the man says would actually work. Come on, make the homeless sign a declaration that they will never be homeless again? What kind of moronic idea of his is that?

And why do all his political signs say he's against illegal immigration? Who's not?! This has nothing to do with whether he will make a viable county attorney. How can this cheese-head be the front-runner in the race to succeed Rick Romley? Unless voters wake up, things are going to get much worse around here.
Gunther Jones, Peoria


Editor's note: Because of Joe Arpaio's reputation for retaliation, New Times isn't divulging the identities of those criticizing the sheriff in letters to this publication.

Republican poster-geezer: It's time to vote Joe Arpaio out of office ("Jailgate Explodes," John Dougherty, August 26)! Let's remember that in order to have a say in this, we must vote in the Republican primary on September 7. That is really the only chance we have of dumping this guy. The only way you can request a ballot in the Republican primary is to be a registered Republican or registered as "no party affiliation," or be a member of a third party that is not conducting a primary election.

The fact is, we cannot count on hard-core Republicans to vote against Joe. He's been their poster-geezer for too long! We must mobilize "independent" voters to vote in this primary. I am issuing a challenge to all moderate Republicans and independents to make your voices heard. As a civilized society, we need a civilized approach to law enforcement. Joe must go!

Joe's most wanted: As a frequent New Times reader, I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your series of Outlaw Joe Arpaio articles. They are by far the highlight of the newspaper. It's great to see all the effort you put in to let people see all the bullshit, corruption and cruel and inhumane treatment Joe Arpaio is getting away with.

The only thing more fun than seeing him lose the upcoming election would be to see him get investigated by County Attorney Rick Romley and thrown out of office. Out of all the fucked-up politicians in the world, Joe ranks right up there with Saddam, Hitler and the leader of North Korea.

By the way, John Dougherty, how do you protect yourself from becoming another victim of Joe? Surely you must be on his most wanted list.

The courage to do what's right: This is a call-to-action letter to County Attorney Rick Romley . . .
Dear Mr. Romley:
The purpose of this letter is to request the prosecution of Joe Arpaio under the Arizona felony animal cruelty statutes. I and many others, including citizens of other countries, are shocked and outraged at the inexcusable behavior exhibited by Arpaio and his team during the raid on Eric Kush's house ("Dog Day Afternoon," John Dougherty, August 5). The tactics used in this debacle were reminiscent of a Gestapo force, not an American SWAT team.

These actions were clearly and unmistakably sadistic in nature. The last thing any citizens of any city need on their police force are sadistic and mentally disturbed officers. The motto of our law enforcement organizations is "To Serve and Protect," not "Torture and Kill." Not only did that team cause a completely unnecessary horrible death to an innocent animal, the methods it employed by starting the house fire endangered the lives of other residents of that neighborhood.

And all this fiasco was about was serving a misdemeanor warrant!

Joe Arpaio needs to be removed immediately and prosecuted under the felony animal cruelty law of Arizona. The other members of that team should be disciplined as well, for willingly participating and not having the courage to refuse to be a part of such a shameful endeavor that tarnishes every law enforcement agency in the country.

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