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

But the recall -- which was spearheaded by gay activist Ed Buck -- tapped into a huge reservoir of discontent undetected by so-called political experts. The recall was successful; the only reason there wasn't a recall election was that the Arizona Legislature impeached the hapless Mecham.

Once again, all the ingredients are in place for a recall that this time would jettison the 72-year-old Arpaio from his expensive 19th-floor office atop the Wells Fargo tower in downtown Phoenix and send him shuffling back to his pricey home in Fountain Hills, where he could spend his retirement feeding quarters into the slot machines at the nearby Fort McDowell Casino along with other seniors.

Just because Arpaio won reelection doesn't mean he has insurmountable support. He had to campaign hard against Saban in the GOP primary to win 55.9 percent of the vote, the lowest winning margin of his infamous career.

Jennifer Braillard holds a photo of her late mother, 
Deborah, whom Arpaio's guards let collapse into a 
diabetic coma while incarcerated.
Peter Scanlon
Jennifer Braillard holds a photo of her late mother, Deborah, whom Arpaio's guards let collapse into a diabetic coma while incarcerated.
Republican leaders Matt Salmon and Fred Taylor have no respect for Arpaio.
Republican leaders Matt Salmon and Fred Taylor have no respect for Arpaio.

A partisan primary and a recall election are two different creatures.

A recall campaign isn't restricted by party affiliation. Any registered voter can sign a recall petition and vote in a recall election. If Saban's 101,000 Republican supporters join forces with several hundred thousand Democrats and Independents in a countywide recall effort, Arpaio will be toast.

A recall is a relatively easy course of action.

What's needed is a dedicated core of workers, a great Web site and $300,000 to pay workers to collect the 283,300 signatures within 120 days needed to trigger the vote.

Even more enticing is that there are no campaign contribution limits to a recall campaign. Hence, the angry survivors of someone killed inside Arpaio's jail could throw in a large sum of cash to fuel the effort.

A well-run, Web-based operation modeled after Vermont Governor Howard Dean's presidential campaign would be the template for a successful grassroots fund-raising effort. Who even needs the daily newspapers to get the message across? The Web is far cheaper and more effective for communicating important specialized information and for quickly raising large sums of cash.

Those involved in this movement aren't likely to let Arpaio's despicable history of intimidation of political opponents scare them from taking direct action to kick him out of office. Most of them have seen political fights up close before and will consider a Recall Joe movement a hell of a lot of fun.

Let the party begin!


There are many reasons Arpaio should be removed from office, and removed as soon as possible.

Foremost is that this demented cretin is an increasingly dangerous threat to the safety and security of the three million-plus people living in Maricopa County.

Not only has he failed to fulfill his primary duty as sheriff -- which is to safely operate the county jails -- he has undermined the ability of law enforcement agencies in the county to implement anti-terrorism security measures mandated by the federal Department of Homeland Security.

Arpaio's decision to disband the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office's SWAT team last December is sending shock waves through law enforcement circles, and jeopardizing a countywide plan to have eight highly trained and heavily fortified rapid-response teams poised to react to terrorist attacks.

This puts the citizens of the county at unnecessary risk, says Fred Taylor, a Republican party official who served as a special criminal justice assistant to former governor Fife Symington.

Taylor says "Maricopa County's probably the most vulnerable county in the country" to a terrorist attack because of its large geographic size, proximity to a porous international border and potential prime targets like the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, the world's largest commercial nuclear plant.

Arpaio, Taylor says, has alienated other law enforcement agencies with his cowboy mentality, which makes it difficult to develop a coordinated law enforcement effort.

"Nobody works with Joe," Taylor tells me. "You can't find me one chief of police in Maricopa County who will support Joe."

Indeed, every law enforcement group in Arizona backed Saban in the primary.

Arpaio's credibility took another hit when he began dismantling the SWAT team soon after he won reelection in November. Although I made fun of MCSO's SWAT officers for an inept raid on an Ahwatukee home last summer (a house was burned down, a puppy incinerated, and MCSO's armored personnel carrier smashed into a parked car), the squad before that had enjoyed a good national reputation.

Soon after the election, Arpaio launched a massive shakeup within the sheriff's office, and about 300 officers and civilians were reassigned to new duties. Several of the deputies moved off the SWAT team had openly supported Arpaio's Republican primary opponent, Saban. The transfers, including those of two SWAT commanders, were seen inside the department as retaliation.

The turmoil created tremendous stress among the remaining members of the SWAT team as they readied for a December 16 raid on a mobile home in search of a murder suspect.

A shootout ensued, and two sheriff's deputies were seriously wounded. The deputies -- Sean Pearce and Lew Argetsinger -- have since criticized Arpaio's decision to transfer key personnel from the team and reduce training. Both men told the East Valley Tribune after the shootout that they expected retribution from the sheriff's office for speaking out.

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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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