By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
Not a gay thing — a lying, threatening thing: [Pinal County Sheriff Paul] Babeu is using whatever he can to do damage control ("Grave Digger," Stephen Lemons, March 1; "Firestorm" and "Investigations Loom Into Paul Babeu's Mexican Lover's Allegations," Monica Alonzo, February 17 and 23. Also see "Paul Babeu's Suspicious Past" on page 10).
Babeu denied he is gay, until it became apparent he was lying. Now, he says he is gay and apparently proud of it. Okay. That doesn't mean any voter has to like that he is a gay man. Nor does it mean that any voter has to like that he is an apparent liar who will say whatever is needed to be said to satisfy the public.
The implied threats toward [Babeu's ex-lover] Jose Orozco seem apparent to me. Shame on Paul Babeu for using his knowledge and position as an elected official to try to keep Jose quiet — and to put him out of "business."
It's far past time for Babeu and his mentor from the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office to leave office ("Joe Arpaio Submits 'Birther' Findings," Matthew Hendley, March 1).
Tommy Collins, Phoenix
In denial: Babeu continues to deny, deny, deny . . .
When he posts pictures of himself online [on a gay hookup site] and then tells people he meets online he has to be discreet because he is a sheriff, how does he still think it's a personal matter?
For those who continue to say this is about outing him, I really [don't think so]. People are more angry about his lack of dignity for himself and for the office of sheriff of Pinal County.
They are angry that he didn't have the balls to be upfront about his sexuality and fight for the rights of gays. He never was proud of that part of himself. He still isn't.
Eleanor Holguin, Tempe
Love the way he lies about saying he would try to get the guy deported. New Times has him and his lawyer nailed with the letters from Jose's lawyer and the texts where Babeu outright threatens the guy.
Babeu will have to resign over this. As for making it to Congress? No way!
Russell Todd, Tempe
Same old stuff from a hypocrite: This hypocrite Babeu's scaring and blackmailing this poor man Jose with deportation if he told the public about his homosexual love affair [with the sheriff] is just another example of these right-wing extremists provoking hate against immigrants!
Same old in-the-closet, homophobic behavior from a self-righteous, right-wing hypocrite who hates people with brown skin — except, of course, when those brown people [are his lovers].
Leonard Clark, Phoenix
Definitely not a gay/straight issue: [This] speaks volumes about the current intolerant state of the Arizona GOP, when one of its poster boys has to be forced to come out.
I find it particularly disturbing that someone who probably has been the victim of intolerance and bigotry in his life [as Babeu reportedly has] would shill for a real opportunist/bigot like [Maricopa County Sheriff] Joe Arpaio.
[This scandal isn't] a gay/straight issue; it's an integrity issue. Babeu has no place making rules for the rest of us to follow.
Chad Snow, Peoria
If the hypocrisy shoe fits . . .: The hypocrisy of Sheriff Paul Babeu should be the issue, not his sexual preference.
All the time he is ranting about illegal immigration, he is shacking up with [someone his lawyer alleges, to his lover's attorney, to be] an illegal immigrant.
Babeu has been on every media outlet that will give him a voice as an expert on illegal immigration. But when it came to his personal pleasure, he overlooked the purported illegal status of his Mexican lover.
Babeu's the [dictionary] meaning of the word hypocrisy: "The pretense of having a virtuous character . . . that one doesn't really possess."
Barbara Espinosa, Scottsdale
There's that word again: Babeu's a complete hypocrite: He's anti-immigration, he had a sexual relationship with an immigrant, and he was working on the [Mitt] Romney campaign?
Milo Whitaker, city unavailable
Too good to let the story fade away: Paul, Paul, Paul . . . Fight this with your every fiber, your every muscle, your every dollar. Draw it out, 'cause I'm loving this story.
I wish there were more right now. I just can't wait for the TV movie in a couple of years. The title should be: He Let His Penis Do the Thinkin'.
Patrick Higgins, city unavailable
The Grand Outed Party: When you run for office as a Republican, it helps to tell the truth about who you are — since the GOP tends to be bigoted against gay people.
Abuse of power is, legally, the serious charge, but being gay in an anti-gay party is — on a human level — more interesting. Why are there so many gay Republicans who are so ashamed of being gay?
There is no Republican majority without [the party's] playing on people's fear of sex, gays, and minorities. This is why this issue is so juicy and so important. Republicans employ the God, guns, and [anti-]gay card, and then . . . play the wounded fawn when one of theirs gets outed.
Walter Hall, city unavailable