Recall Joe!

That's what a group led by the well-connected family of one of Arpaio's own injured deputies is working to see happen

Yeah, he won still another term in the November general election, but there's reason for hope that Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's days in office may be numbered. This just in:

A recall committee that includes several prominent defense attorneys and the founders of the political action group Mothers Against Arpaio plans to launch a Recall Joe Arpaio campaign to coincide with a PBS television special critical of the sheriff scheduled to air in early March.

"We are very serious about this," says Linda Saville, co-founder of Mothers Against Arpaio. You may remember that MAA -- whose members' loved ones were killed, maimed or otherwise mistreated in Arpaio's gulags -- protested fiercely last fall against the brain-addled geezer's reelection.

View from outside the Tent City jail near 29th Avenue 
and Durango Street.
Peter Scanlon
View from outside the Tent City jail near 29th Avenue and Durango Street.
Linda Saville vowed to work to get Arpaio removed after deputies framed her brother James and locked him up for four years.
Jackie Mercandetti
Linda Saville vowed to work to get Arpaio removed after deputies framed her brother James and locked him up for four years.

But don't think for a moment that the recall group is composed of just the usual Arpaio naysayers. Its chairman is to be the wife of Maricopa County Deputy Sean Pearce, who was shot last December in a SWAT raid gone bad.

Pearce has been highly critical of Arpaio's handling of the SWAT team, saying the sheriff placed the public and deputies in unnecessary danger by reducing the number of personnel on the team just after his reelection.

The injured deputy's wife, Melissa Pearce, is to be the point person for Recall Joe Arpaio. Melissa isn't afraid of a fight. She angrily brushed off Arpaio and his top aide, Chief Deputy David Hendershott, after they went to the hospital to see Pearce and another deputy who had been wounded in the shootout.

Melissa and Sean Pearce are part of a well-connected family with strong political and religious affiliations.

Sean's father is state Representative Russell K. Pearce, who has long been a powerful political force in the East Valley and is currently chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. Russell Pearce also served as a Maricopa County sheriff's deputy for 23 years, including a stint as chief deputy. He received the Medal of Valor after being shot and critically wounded by a gang member.

Russell Pearce is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Mormon leaders are noted around here for their ability to muster votes. Mormonism also happens to be the religion practiced by former Republican gubernatorial candidate Matt Salmon, who has a major ax to grind with Outlaw Joe.

Now chairman of the state Republican party, Salmon is bitter over fellow Republican Arpaio's endorsement of Democrat Janet Napolitano in the final stages of the 2002 governor's race. The election was a cliffhanger, and many Republicans believe Arpaio's television commercial supporting Napolitano was the difference in the race.

Arpaio could find himself at the center of the perfect storm.

He could be in the middle of a three-way squeeze from disgruntled East Valley Republicans, angry employees (remember also that the union that represents Arpaio's own sheriff's deputies backed his opponent in the September Republican primary) and infuriated relatives of those he's abused in the jails.

I say to these intrepid recall folks: Bring it on!

Arpaio could have trouble surviving a recall election where his dreadful policies and performance aren't obscured by other races on the ballot.

The recall effort couldn't come at a more critical time. To those who were disappointed that Arpaio wasn't unseated by retired Mesa police commander Dan Saban, it seemed that all was lost. That Arpaio would be around for four more years.

Now, there's hope.

Arpaio has repeatedly displayed disregard for basic constitutional protections. His arrogant dismissal of civil rights protections has created a hostile climate inside his jails where death, serious injury, starvation and illness are the norm.

The sheriff's latest intrusion into personal privacy is his new policy of asking traffic violators to "voluntarily" provide fingerprints to be entered into a database and shared with other law enforcement agencies. Upon learning of this notion, defense attorneys and civil rights advocates immediately reminded Arpaio that the policy is illegal.

But Outlaw Joe doesn't care. This is a guy who wanted to set up illegal roadblocks on highways leading into Maricopa County to search vehicles for drugs. That idea was shot down a dozen years ago by former county attorney Rick Romley.

Arpaio is eager to violate the law in his quest to be hailed as "America's Toughest Sheriff."

The public can't wait for gutless members of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors to do anything about the geriatric renegade, such as conducting a thorough financial and performance audit of the sheriff's office.

Nor can the public put faith in state, federal and county prosecutors to conduct probes into a mountain of serious allegations of wrongdoing. None of these officials appears to have the slightest interest in investigating Arpaio's wayward department.

There's only one option: Recall Joe Arpaio.

Nothing would inject more fear into the sheriff than a recall campaign similar to the one that led to the impeachment of former governor Evan Mecham.

The Mecham recall was given little chance of success in its early days by the mainstream media. The two dominant daily newspapers in the Valley at the time, the Arizona Republic and the now-defunct Phoenix Gazette (where I was working at the time as a business writer), dismissed the recall effort as amateurish.

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10 comments
hophead
hophead

What is the old saying? A snowballs chance in hell? Arpaio is saving your sorry asses from criminals and illegals and you want him gone. That positively shows me and millions that you want him gone to further your control of the area government.

Sonia
Sonia

Sheriff Joe Arpaio is nothing but a CLOWN, YES A CLOWN!!!! All he wants is publicity whether is good or bad FREE publicity is just that Free publicity. He doesn't do his job the way it should be done. DRUGS, GANGS, MURDERS and more crimes are at it's high. WHY? because he's more worried about TV ratings than fighting crime. And all the people that support him are nothing but IGNORANT RACISTS! That cannot difference between a Hispanic US citizen and an Illegal alien. They're soooooo STUPID, that think that ALL people with brown skin and dark hair are illegals. I say put Joe Arpaio to the TEST.!!!!!!

jaded
jaded

Sign me up too...Umm WAIT!... I will stand in the sweltering heat with you. This guy has got to go! Women dying,blind guys beaten,OMG did we move ten thousand years back in time?What a blatant disgrace to the human race... ok some people did drugs,got a dui,came to a country for a better life ...someone order a psychiatric EVAL for HIM!

Linda Bates
Linda Bates

Sign me up. Where can I find a petition to sign. I've been waiting for this for a long time. The man is a egomaniac and dangerous.

Ginger Mattox
Ginger Mattox

I am not fond of volunteering for anything but I will stand on a street corner with clip board in hand for hours to gather signatures for a recall to our infamous sheriff if it would help to get this pompous blow-hard out of our lives. The old geezer should have retired a decade ago instead of considering running for another term. What respectable old western town would ever have had a 79 year old sheriff (which will be his age at the end of another term)? What a joke! He is a disgrace to our commuity.

fran denatale
fran denatale

As a parent & law abiding citizen, who votes, i want to see arpio out, he is nothing more then a blow hart, e-go driven nut case. No one is saying that people who brake the law , should get away with it , but he has no right to treat inmates like animals(no, he treats animals better)there is desease, starvation , ransit food that makes them sick, if inmates don't have family to put money in their accounts, they would starve, arpio sticks it to the family members every time.there is alot of staff infections, not letting them see sunlight weeks at a time, we are talking inmates with dui's or drug problems , i'm not talking violent or murder, treat accordingly . all arpio gets repeat offenders, by their treatment , they are made bitter, not better, how do i know all this , my son has had a drug problem that lasted 1& 1half year at 24 ,didn't have one till we moved here, iv'e lived in many places, this place is the worst, my son 's treatment has been horriable at his jails.He was sentenced to department of corrections & at that time was examined & evaluated to be bi-polar & has since been on medication. he has since been brought back to the county jail to face another charge in which it took the county 45 days to acknowledge & administer the meds the state had already prescribed for him & was in his paper work , he kept asking & 3times in written form.he went from 800 mils. to nothing ,(jail creates the problems) give a small mind a little power , it goes to their heads, that's arpio.i am a hair dresser with a big mouth& i see alot of people , vote for dan saban, a good man , i voted for arpio, before we got involved in the system & saw how he runs things , i am one angry italian mom, i will tell everyone not vote for him.

Red
Red

I would lay odds,(that is if I wasn't a Christian) that these poor mistreated prisoners would not want to trade places with our "honest, law abiding" men and women who have to serve time in a heat far worse that they could ever stand up to. Not only do they have to take the heat, (and the women have to wear covers over their face when out on a stroll)on top of all the battle gear. They also have to dodge bullets and mines. They do this , not because they want to be there, but because they want to defend the greatest country in the world. Even if that means some get to live off the country free,(this also needs to stop) or the drug infested "holly wood" type keep putting them dowm. (What happened to the Jimmy Stewart bred of men), or if some nuckle-headed punk wants to brake the law.

Red
Red

I have not seen all of the info. on the subject, however what I have seen and read, I fully agree with the Sheriff. If we made it "not so nice" maybe they would not want to go to jail in the first place. I know, I know, no one wants to go to jail. Well then, and I quote, "don't do the crime if you don't want to do the time. I may get rid of the "pink" though.

lele woodcook
lele woodcook

WE THINK THAT THE LAW THERE MUST BE A LOT BETTER THAN IT IS HEREYOU NEED TO COME HERE AND TEACH THEM A THING OR TO.WE ALSO THINK YOU NEED TO RUN FOR PRESDENT.IT MAKES ME THINK THAT WHEN THE PRISONS TREAT THERE BAD PEOPLE BETTER THEN OUR PEOPLE IN THE WAR THERE IS A PROBLEM.THE PRISNERS ARE NOT LEARNING ANYTHING EXCEPT THAT ALL THEY WILL GET IS A SLAPON THE WRIST. WE THE TAX PAYERS SHOULDNT BE RESPONSABLE FOR PAYING FOR THERE STAY AT THE BIG HOUSE.THERE NOT THERE TO BABYED THEY ARE THERE TO BE PUNISHED.

Mary
Mary

I have jusr received an e-mail which set out some facts about the tent city, pink gear and other methods of humiliation of prisoners. My reaction was disbelief that not only is the man getting re-elected but that the inhumanity is being allowed in the country which purports to have a modern top-class legal system????

Yeah!

David Hicks!

Inhumanity is alive and well in the US of A

 
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