By Ray Stern
By New Times
By Amy Silverman
By Stephen Lemons
By Stephen Lemons
By Monica Alonzo
By Chris Parker
By New Times
As Cave Creek's a world away from Guadalupe, Bentley didn't bother to get off her ass and traipse to the Hispanic locale. When asked if she'd actually physically done any research in the town, which's practically across the street from Tempe's Arizona Mills, Bentley whimpered: "No . . . Why would I?"
Good point, Linda. If you're already down on the brown and plan to bash anyone who defends Arizona's Hispanic population, then there's no reason to venture past your desk. Bentley's done similar hit pieces on Salvador Reza, operator of the Macehualli Work Center, and composed crazy screeds for her rag on immigrant-rights firebrand Isabel Garcia in Tucson and Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon.
Once upon a time, the Sonoran News did critical pieces on Arpaio. But now that Joe's taken up the cudgel against the undocumented, the weekly's gone all kissy-face with the county's corrupt top constable. These days, the Sonoran News delivers only stories about injured Gila monsters, dust ordinances, and why Hispanics are to be loathed and feared.
Opposition to Mayor Jimenez from the Sonoran News is to be expected, but Jimenez is also getting pummeled by Guadalupe's loony left in the person of longtime community activist Socorro Bernasconi, whose husband, Santino Bernasconi, is the deacon of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church. Both Bernasconis want Arpaio out of their community, but their dislike of Jimenez seems even greater, though they've never proffered a rational explanation behind it.
In persistent, sometimes hysterical e-mails to members of the Guadalupe Town Council, Socorro Bernasconi has compared Jimenez to a "miniature Arpaio" with near-dictatorial powers. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. Jimenez currently leads a small 4-to-3 majority on the council. Her fellow council members are free to make remarks criticizing her during the council sessions and can call council meetings with three signatures. Citizens speaking for or against anything the mayor does can speak at public meetings. And all measures of the council must be voted on.
Still, Socorro Bernasconi's helping gather signatures for a recall of Jimenez. That's not a difficult thing to accomplish in a town where not enough people vote regularly. Bernasconi has already been successful in getting the sigs to recall council member Patricia Jimenez, the mayor's cousin, mostly over personality issues. The vote's set for this September, even though Patricia Jimenez's term is up early next year.
If Patricia Jimenez is successfully recalled, her cousin will quickly face a vote of no confidence and may be stripped of her mayor-ship, as the mayor's elected from and by the seven-member council.
Asked why she was working so diligently to topple the mayor — one of the few elected officials to defy Sheriff Arpaio — Socorro Bernasconi would reply only via e-mail with the following non sequitur.
"My only comment is that New Times (like Arpaio) is only using Guadalupe — to get back at Arpaio!"
Huh? Arpaio's using Guadalupe to get back at himself? As for the part about New Times "using" Guadalupe, Arpaio made Guadalupe ground zero in the immigration debate, not New Times.
Do we care about the abuses perpetuated on Guadalupe citizens by Arpaio? Absolutely. Which's why New Times has extensively reported on Arpaio's April sweep there and why it will continue to do so.
If Socorro Bernasconi cares about her town as much as she says she does, and if she wants Arpaio vamoosed, then she should focus her energies on building coalitions instead of tearing them down. Otherwise, Socorro Bernasconi might as well be an adviser to the sheriff or a regular contributor to the Sonoran News.