Letters

Letters from the week of February 24, 2005

Much Ado About Joe

We're the ones who pay: John Dougherty's article ("Recall Joe!" February 10) should form the foundation of a well-deserved recall movement, but I'd like to add two points:

When he first ran for office, Joe Arpaio campaigned on the concept that his tough-on-crime policies would reduce recidivism, but that hasn't been the case. The real reason our popular demagogue continues to use this failed concept is because it is a successful scare technique that gets him reelected by those who are duped by his con artistry.

Secondly, citizens should be repeatedly reminded that they, ironically, are paying big time for Arpaio's abuses.

There is insufficient rehabilitation in the county jails. Programs should be set up in the jails and continued as a condition of probation. They should require inmates to start and finish learning job skills. Inmates should become productive taxpaying citizens. The sheriff, with the advice of the superintendent of public instruction, should become the educator of last resort for dropouts.

Let's recall Joe and elect Dan Saban ASAP!
Rich Rosen, Tempe

Posse galore: As a former Maricopa County Sheriff's Office posse member for 10 years, I can tell you I've never served or been associated with a finer bunch of men and women who are dedicated to making a positive contribution to their communities. There are posses dedicated to crime prevention, search-and-rescue, air patrolling, firearms instruction and many, many other things. These folks freely give of their time, resources and lives to better our community.

Additionally, Joe Arpaio has done a lot of things right, and credit is deserved for those positives. But lest you think this is an endorsement of Arpaio, think again! I am pro-posse, not pro-Arpaio. I've never supported all of the sheriff's actions and programs and couldn't care less if I were labeled a "disgruntled former volunteer." The fact is, I proudly served with distinction, honor and without blemish.

In my opinion, Arpaio has little respect for the posses because he manipulates them for his own purpose -- self-glory.

Make no mistake about it, the handwriting is on the wall for Joe. The tsunami of popularity he rode in on is receding, and our citizens are finally opening their eyes to the devastation and destruction he brought with him.

As a lifelong Republican, I voted for Dan Saban in the last primary and for Arpaio's Democratic opponent in the general election. It was the first time I've ever crossed party lines, but I'll gladly do it again to rid this community of the P.T. Barnum of law enforcement.
Norman Barnett, Phoenix

You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours: As a former MCSO employee, I recall Janet Napolitano, then U.S. Attorney, regularly calling Joe Arpaio throughout the early years of his term as sheriff. After the FBI launched its investigation into Arpaio's corruptions, it was the U.S. Attorney in Phoenix who claimed there was insufficient evidence of wrongdoing.

Arpaio's hearty endorsement of Janet appears to be nothing but a payback for services rendered, and for her continued, behind-the-scenes support of his insane, wasteful political existence. Any decision by Napolitano about Arpaio's corruption and ineptitude will probably be based more on camaraderie than courage.

Governor Janet has proven herself as cynically savvy as her ol' buddy Joe, and she probably still has enough misplaced loyalty left to continue ignoring his evil. My sense is that she'll prefer to do nothing to harm a fellow, former East Coast Democrat who obviously shares her Machiavellian view of the world.
Kelley Waldrip, via the Internet

Give the devil his due: First of all, I want to say that I am a Christian. Some people think Joe Arpaio is Satan himself. I don't think that, but he is a pretty close second.

I have seen firsthand many of the wrongdoings that Joe has done for more than 10 years now. I had a very close friend who was one of his posse members, and he told me about a few rules he was requested to bend for Joe personally.

I have also known several of his deputies who were threatened with the loss of their jobs if they didn't comply with his wishes. I personally have been affected by him, through best friends and family members whose lives have been tormented by his actions.

Joe is too old, too evil and too conceited to be holding such a position of power. Although there are a few things he has done that I think are a step in the right direction, the adverse direction of many, many more of the antics he has pulled over the years overrides any of the good he may have done.

I have never written to a newspaper before, but I believe it is time -- actually, way overdue -- to Recall Joe! He may have some people fooled, but I am not one of them. I will pray that God does something soon to protect the people and their rights in Maricopa County.
Name withheld by request

Saban is more qualified: In Desert Hills, New River, Cave Creek, Carefree and Anthem, we call him "Sheriff Joke" or "Hollywood Joe." Put me on the list for recall. Dan Saban would be his obvious replacement. Saban is the most qualified candidate to have ever run for sheriff in Maricopa County. Ever!
Bob Cain, Desert Hills

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