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

"If Governor Napolitano said we need to look at Tent City, I guarantee you there would be a couple of fire marshals out there looking at Tent City," Pell says.

The Governor's Office, however, also did not respond to my request for comment.

It's clear that Arpaio has no intention of ever closing down Tent City, despite the construction of new jails. No matter how much it costs taxpayers from settlements of numerous lawsuits filed by inmates. He keeps the tents open purely for public relations purposes.

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.

Napolitano has the power to put an end to Arpaio's tent jails by ordering acting fire marshal Barger to deny the sheriff's request for a variance. If she can't muster the courage to cut Arpaio off at the pass, she could at least give him notice that this is the last variance that will be issued, and he has six months to get the new jails up and running.

I doubt Napolitano has the nerve to get into a face-off with Arpaio. After all, it was Arpaio who came to her rescue during that razor-close 2002 gubernatorial race with the television commercial.

Many Maricopa County Republicans remain livid over Arpaio's defection to Napolitano's camp in 2002, blaming him for Republican candidate Matt Salmon's narrow loss. The Maricopa County Republican Executive Guidance Committee -- which includes the top party bosses -- last year refused to endorse incumbent Arpaio and instead backed Saban.

This severely damaged Arpaio's campaign. He went from a 71 percent approval rating among Republican voters in the winter of 2004 to the narrow 55.9 percent victory over Saban in the primary.

Ominous for Arpaio is that Salmon was elected last month to be the new head of the Arizona Republican party. Salmon now has the clout to rally the troops and generate campaign funds to back the planned recall of the sheriff.

In an interview last summer, Salmon made it very clear how he feels about Arpaio.

"I don't respect him," Salmon said. "I don't think he's playing with a full deck."


I'm confident there will be a groundswell of support for a Recall Joe Arpaio campaign from a throng of outraged citizens, police and fire unions and, most important, key Republican party officials.

"I don't think we would have a problem getting the county executive guidance committee to vote to support a recall," says Bill Norton, Republican District 22 chairman.

It was Norton who started the Republican rebellion against Arpaio last year when District 22 voted overwhelmingly against endorsing the incumbent. Norton says he's more than ready to keep the revolution alive.

Arpaio, who declined to be interviewed for this article, has in the past repeatedly said he's only accountable to the people who elect him.

"I don't report to any bureaucrat, any politician or any governor," Arpaio said at a recent Republican women's luncheon that I attended in Scottsdale. "I report to the people."

Arpaio has used a series of clever public relations ploys to keep his name in front of the public. Such gimmicks as pink underwear, the mounted posse, chain gangs, and now the voluntary fingerprints at traffic stops are meant to project the image that he's keeping everyone safe and aggressively fighting crime.

"When he came into office, he implemented some ideas that were unusual and strange to the Valley, but that seemed to be effective, and people were responsive," says the Arizona Police Association's Brian Livingston.

But over time, Livingston says, Arpaio has "lost sight that he's here to serve the people, and not that the people are here to serve him."

The recall would be the ultimate test of Arpaio's political strength. If it is successful, he would have a choice of either resigning or standing for another election sometime late this year or early next year.

Waiting in the wings of a successful recall campaign is Dan Saban.

Saban, 48, says that while he's staying out of the recall campaign so as not to be accused of sour grapes, he's ready to challenge the elderly Arpaio at the ballot box.

Saban could hardly contain his excitement at the prospect of a recall and the opportunity to run against Joe sooner than the 2008 election.

"If they are successful with a recall effort," Saban says, "you bet I'd run against him again!"

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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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