The Bird joins the anti-Arpaio siege at Wells Fargo, postmortems the Pearce- Gibbons race, and knocks Napolitano for defending Sarah Palin

FORTRESS ARPAIO

More like Don Quixote than César Chávez, pro-immigrant activist Salvador Reza is laying siege to Sheriff Joe Arpaio's downtown Phoenix fortress. This plumed pecker means the Wells Fargo building at 100 West Washington Street, where Nickel Bag Joe surveys his kingdom from his upscale digs, high above us all.

See, Reza wants Wells Fargo to toss Maricopa County's power-crazed top cop and his minions from the space reserved for the MCSO in the building — the 18th and 19th floors. Since the beginning of this month, Reza and his merry band of Joe foes have paraded before the edifice, decrying "Arpayaso" (payaso meaning "clown" in Spanish) for his anti-brown sweeps and raids throughout the county.

Salvador Reza in front of the Wells Fargo building, with his "eviction notice" for Sheriff Joe.
Eduardo Barraza
Salvador Reza in front of the Wells Fargo building, with his "eviction notice" for Sheriff Joe.

Weekdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., the protesters descend on the office building carrying banners and signs, saying things like, "Joe Go from Wells Fargo," "No More Celebrity Sheriff," and "Just Another Mussolini." Reza and his troops have even served an eviction notice of sorts, a letter to Wells Fargo President and CEO John Stumpf demanding, politely, that the bank kick Nickel Bag out on his can.

"Wells Fargo Bank benefits from our business as customers," reads the letter from Reza's organization PUENTE, "yet it permits Sheriff Arpaio to utilize its facilities to persecute, harass, and violate human and civil rights of brown people."

As County Attorney Andrew Thomas also has two floors, paid for by the county, in the posh pad and because Candy is an enabler of Joe's Hispanic-hunting patrols, PUENTE wants Wells Fargo to boot the pasty prosecutor, too.

"Specifically, we request you seriously consider terminating your current lease with these two tenants," reads the missive, "and refuse any proposed extension of their lease."

The timing couldn't be worse for our dyspeptic sheriff. This new protest blossoms during Joe's battle for re-election against nemesis Dan Saban. Also, the 10-year lease for the MCSO's two floors is technically up September 30, though according to Maricopa County Real Estate Manager Dennis Lindsey, the Board of Supervisors approved a five-year extension of the lease in February. Ditto for the two floors occupied by Candy's peeps, 'cept that lease is up at the end of November, says Lindsey.

Currently, Maricopa County forks out $50,000 a month, or $600K a year, for the sheriff's two floors. And when rent's adjusted to market value at month's end, as required by the lease, it will rise to $56,250 per month, which comes to $675K a year. That means the next five years of rent for the sheriff's offices will cost taxpayers $3,375,000. And if you add the price tag of Candy's floors, which cost the same in rent according to Lindsey, we're talkin' a cool $6.75 million. That's a lot of green bologna, matey.

Reza ain't suggesting the sheriff put up a tepee next to Tent City. He's just asking, why does law enforcement require a frickin' suite of corporate offices?

But Reza's argument also is an ethical one: By housing the sheriff, Wells Fargo is complicit in Arpaio's dastardly deeds. If Wells Fargo doesn't sever its business connection with the sheriff, Reza's threatening to take his protest to the next level.

"We want a response from Wells Fargo first," Reza told The Bird. "If they choose to keep Sheriff Joe Arpaio there, then the next step is that we're going to ask people not to do business with them."

Before you write off Reza's protest against the ginormous bank, keep in mind that by focusing on the Wells Fargo building, he's giving outraged citizens a place to assemble next time Joe does a sweep of corn vendors or landscapers. Reza's also recruiting activists from outside Arizona to assist with the effort. Groups in Chicago and San Francisco are promising similar protests, and have already written letters to Wells Fargo muckamucks.

Wells Fargo spokeswoman Marjorie Rice responded to this warbler's query for comment with a terse statement explaining that the bank doesn't discuss its relationships with tenants. But there are signs that the sheriff and the bank are concerned.

First, the MCSO issued an angry press release shortly after Reza's press conference announcing the action. (Not long after it was posted, it was jerked down, but not before The Bird's blogging bro, Feathered Bastard, got hold of it.)

"These people did the same thing when they protested against the Pruitt Furniture Company [sic]," Arpaio harrumphed in the statement. "They have no respect for private business and could care less if their political agenda disrupts private citizens or businesses."

The statement asserted that Pruitt's "suffered a near year long disruption by many of these same protestors which badly hurt their business."

It also alleged, "The city of Phoenix took no action against the protestors forcing the owners of the business to turn to the sheriff for help."

Actually, Phoenix cops kept the peace at Pruitt's last year, brokering an agreement by both pro- and anti-Arpaio demonstrators to stay on their respective corners. Arpaio, for his part, showed up at the Pruitt's demos and practically incited the crowd, once walking down one side of Thomas Road to annoy detractors.

Ultimately, Pruitt's owner Roger Sensing acceded to the protesters demands that he not hire off-duty deputies to patrol his property. When the MCSO vamoosed, the protesters halted their demonstrations, and the Pruitt's standoff ended. The sheriff was routed.

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4 comments
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Equity Court Services of Arizo
Equity Court Services of Arizo

Many thanks and much respect to the blogger from Guadalupe, William Robles. We here at "The Global Equity" congratulate him for posting what appears to be a REAL name. Gracias, Memo!

Regarding this Reza moron, he could help the indocumentados much more by filing "employer sponsor" or "immediate relative" immigration petitions to aid them in obtaining visas and ultimate citizenship. Since Reza probably can't read, this is not possible.

Instead, this egomaniac Latino, fattened up by too many greasy empanadas y mucho cerveza, has to damage our retinas by subjecting us to his ugly mug in the photos. He's accomplishing nothing - obviously you don't/can't evict the MCSO by acting stupid on their turf at Wells Fargo. I have no use for the "Filibustering Fat Boy" aka "El Gordo" Reza.

THE ABOVE ARE MY PERSONAL OPINIONS BASED ON KNOWN FACTS.

John "Johnny On The Spot" O'Sullivanfor "The Global Equity"

William Robles
William Robles

I am so pissed off with our new Mayor of Guadalupe Arizona about his Decisionin Phoenix at the Board of Supervisors meeting.he said he wants to keep Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Guadalupeand it sounds like they will.

A Frankie I thought you was with usI have respect for you but not on this one broWHAT A JOKE

ENOUGH OF ARPAIO, THOMAS AND P
ENOUGH OF ARPAIO, THOMAS AND P

Stephen you are doing a great public service and are very courageous in your diligent investigative work on the Maricopa County officials abuse of power and mass waste of taxpayers' money. Keep up the great work. It's time to vote Arpaio, Thomas and Pearce out of office.

Also shining the light on Arpaio and Thomas enablers is helpful to the public. I bank with Wells Fargo -- now I will bank elsewhere until they Arpaio and Thomas get moved out of their offices, which is no place for elected officials paid for by taxpayers. They use the legal system as a weapon to destroy people who are the taxpayers -- paying for their own destruction.

We've had ENOUGH OF ARPAIO, THOMAS AND PEARCE and their abuse.

Coz
Coz

Piss on Arpaio, his Monkey's and Wells Fargo Bank.

 
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