By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
After ChildHelp, Penzone worked with the anti-drug outfit notMYkid, which he quit at the end of 2011 to devote himself full time to running for sheriff.
Former Phoenix Police Chief Jack Harris, who supports Penzone's campaign to replace Arpaio, said Penzone's role at Silent Witness was good preparation for the battle ahead.
"It was really a position that required a lot of political skills," Harris said, "in dealing with all the folks at Silent Witness and in dealing with folks in the media."
But what about the criticism that Penzone lacks experience heading a large organization like the MCSO, with more than 3,000 employees, about 3,000 posse members, 7,500 to 10,000 inmates a day in the jails it supervises, and a jurisdiction that covers an area larger than Connecticut?
Also, there's the low point that the MCSO has sunk to under Arpaio.
"Any shortcomings he would have for not being at the top of an organization, those are learned skills," Harris said. "Good judgment is what is going to be the most critical quality, and attitude."
Early on in his campaign, Penzone revealed the details of a 2003 domestic dispute with his ex-wife, which resulted in dueling orders of protection during a difficult divorce, orders later dismissed by the judge in the case ("Arpaio Challenger Comes Clean," July 5).
Detractors made hay online over the issue, and Stauffer, a former Scottsdale Police Department lieutenant whose quixotic bid for office increasingly is seen as an attempt to divert votes from Penzone, mischaracterized the incident in a campaign statement.
It's also anticipated that Arpaio may use the altercation in attack mailers or TV ads.
However, Penzone already has neutralized much of the concern over the matter with his forthrightness. I spoke with female supporters who aren't concerned about the incident, after learning from the Glendale police report that it was Penzone who informed law enforcement about it and that it led to no arrests or prosecutions.
"Does it bother me?" asks Julie Erfle, a Penzone supporter and pundit whose blog, Politics Uncuffed, offers a moderate, independent take on local politics. "No, not really. I think all of us have some incidents in our life that we'd rather forget."
Christina Martinez, a public affairs consultant who recently organized a successful fundraiser for Penzone in Scottsdale, took a similar view. She said she read the police report online and believes both Penzone and his ex-wife bear some responsibility.
"There are a lot of emotions surrounding a child," Martinez told me for this story. "Tensions got high. It was just a bad day."
The fact that the judge in the divorce granted Penzone and his ex joint custody of their then-11-year-old son and the fact that no other such incidents have come to light from Penzone's past bolster Martinez's opinion.
"I don't think Paul Penzone is a bad guy," she said. "I don't think he believes in violence or resorts to violence. I don't believe that at all."
From Scottsdale to Sun City, many of the same questions and comments come up when Penzone meets the public.
Although initially hesitant to address Arizona Senate Bill 1070 head on, he's now emphatic in declaring the immigration law to be "poorly written, with bad intent." And he acknowledges that it places cops in a difficult position regarding its enforcement.
"It was a temporary response to a permanent need," Penzone said of the outdoor complex, which began housing detainees in the early '90s.
"But we're stuck with it for now because $100 million of taxpayer money that was designated to go toward enhancing the detention centers and staffing them properly was misspent."
That's a reference to one of the many scandals of Arpaio's administration in which the sheriff ripped off funds dedicated to jail improvements so that he could bankroll anti-immigration sweeps and witch hunts against his political enemies.
There's no dearth of malfeasance and wrongdoing by Arpaio and his minions for Penzone to draw upon.
Consider the absurd investigation of President Obama's birth certificate, the deaths in MCSO jails, the lawsuits, the racial profiling, the demonizing of Hispanics . . .
All of it unacceptable, but none worse than the reality of the 400-plus victims in El Mirage and elsewhere whom the MCSO neglected.
"For me, this is a passion I have, to restore integrity to law enforcement," Penzone told the crowd at SCC. "Where the focus is exactly that, giving everyone the service they are entitled to and knowing that our children and our families are safe.
"Because we can't allow for any community to see women and children victimized by sex offenders and for law enforcement to turn their backs and forget about them like what occurred in El Mirage."
More than once, I've heard those gathered to hear Penzone express the frustration that if more people could see and hear him, minds could be changed.
But because of limited resources, the Penzone camp so far has been able to buy only a smidgen of air time for a couple of commercials, a very effective one attacking Arpaio on the sex-crimes catastrophe and a generic one introducing Penzone to the public.
Meanwhile, Arpaio's media guru, Chad Willems of Summit Consulting, is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars a throw on a series of slickly produced ads.
The problem is that the people who hate Arpaio so much are generally too stoned or in jail to actually vote in the election. It is the same story year-in-and-year-out. Can't you guys report on something else for once?
Yeah! The Penzone campaigners stopped by our home, gave us hand-outs for our large upscale neighborhood and also planted a yard sign! Way to go! That's more then we ever got from a sheriff who lives in his "ivory tower" in the penthouse suite of offices in the luxury Wells Fargo Bank building.
get used to it, tumphrey-dump. Arpaio's gonna lose. and you'll have to get used to readin bout the new sheriff...
Good Lord, you've been running this propaganda piece for days. You comsoclibprogs are on the side of the criminals. Sheriff Joe is against criminals. So am I. So stuff it!
Bravo Mr. Lemons! Hadn't heard of Penzone before but my first impression of the guy is- wow. He doesn't sound like the typical candidate running for office and he doesn't sound like a cop either- both are good. Will check into this guy further and post this article on facebook. It's hardly a campaign with one candidate being a household name and the others just a name printed on the ballot. A race should at the very least, be interesting. Win or lose this his bid for Sheriff, I hope to hear more from him in the future and from any like-minded family members or friends he may have as well. Sensing a change in the wind here.
This article is so old. Take it out today along with several other that have been there for a long time.
If you want to help turn up the heat, VOLUNTEER WITH THE MARICOPA COUNTY DEMOCRATS! You can be part of a huge historic win, or you can wish you had.
Had enough of a County Sheriff being the anointed defacto-Governor of Arizona.
Time for term limits for County Sheriffs and DA's/County Attorneys! Folks, contact your legislators and the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and demand revised laws. We are hearing people are at risk for arrest attending the MCBOS meetings. Tyranny?
Where's the debate between Sheriff Arpaio and his opponent Paul Penzone? The public has questions that demand answers. The arpaio ads are deceptive and outright lies.
is there any recent (as in the last two weeks) polling data on this race? and if not, why not? also, is there going to be any kind of public debate between candidates? other than signs on corners (and not many of those), I don't see anyone in this race doing much to try to actually win.
As a retired law enforcement professional I would encourage all voters of Maricopa County to place their votes this year for PAUL PENZONE.
Paul is the person who will be the voice of reason and will be able direct the MCSO staff to create and carry out solutions to the problems existing within the agency, most of which have developed due to a lack of professional leadership from the current sheriff.
Paul knows the task will be daunting, yet he is eager to start working on it, knowing it will take every bit of the first four year term to transition MCSO into a professional law enforcement agency.
We, the voters and taxpayers, deserve such an agency.
Paul Penzone, the New Sheriff.
I have read lots of comments on AOL, and Yahoo, on different subjects, but a lot of these comments that are posted here uses some of the filthiest language. Can't you comment without using filthy language to get your point across? The ones using this language should be ashamed of yourselves, grow up.
Yes of course, this makes complete strategic sense. Let's vote someone in who is younger than Arpaio and has the same policies therefore ensuring they live on for decades to come. Lemons, I get it, you are totally desperate, the last thing to do while desperate is make bad decisions.
Yes, Mr. Stephen Lemons, I am a member of the "divisive hateful" Tea Party. Don't tell me the Democrats are not divisive. And you write as though you are as hateful as I am. The difference between you and me is that I am anti-criminal and you are pro-criminal, as are all of you comsoclibprogs. So, my vote goes to Sheriff Joe!
Pinhead Penzone dont have a chance to soft on illegals ....................... Joe needs to finish his job and fry Obama
Yeah, because the snowbird dodos who vote for him are all residents of AZ and registered voters. Based on your response, you probably also think Obama's really working hard............
to improve things like his golf handicap.
If any voter would just look at what you useless turds did to your own states before you decided you couldn't live in the shitholes you created and move here, they would vote Sheriff Joe for life. As nursemomski1 so eloquently stated, Go back to where you came from and take the illegals and homos with you.
Arpaio | Wells Fargo = turning Arizona into a prison state. The mass incarceration of Arizona's people is shameful. Time for the legislators to be held accountable with their relationship to a County Sheriff!
@tomphrey1 I hope you realize that Arpaio isn't as tough on crime as he claims to be. There are currently 40,000 outstanding felony warrants in Maricopa county as well as those 430+ uninvestigated sex crimes. Penzone deserves a chance he will spend money on prosecuting crime and not his own political gains.
Mr. Humphrey, you have the choice to not open the New Times site so you don't have to see this "propaganda piece". But you choose not to. Because I personally see the need for a new sheriff and I post my opinion here you say that I am on the side of criminals. Yet I am a decorated military veteran and a retired police officer. You seem to be suffering mental myopia.
@jhafford I might be getting old but haven’t lost my sanity yet!
@jhafford I'm volunteering!
Arpaio, debate someone? ROFL!!!!
Pass whatever it is your smokin there truth :)
We will VOTE FOR PAUL PENZONE for Maricopa County Sheriff 2012 and if anyone cares about a better Arizona, they need to vote for PAUL PENZONE!
@karmavsdogma_42The old man will NOT debate. He doesn't get involved in two way conversations. He only talks TO people.
Paul Penzone meets daily with groups throughout the county, including 'debates' where the three candidates are all invited, but only two might show up.
@Tommy_Collins As a retired law enforcement professional, and registered Republican, I second your motion! There is no need to allow the Shurff to continue costing the taxpayers millions of dollars because he is an egotist, not a law enforcement manager.
@cliff fuck off, you sniveling little cunt.
@tomphrey1 From 2002 to 2011 the number of violent crimes in areas served by the Maricopa County Sher-iff’s Office increased by an incredible 41%, from 628 to 884 violent crimes. That’s 256 MORE murders, rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults than 9 years ago.
For the parts of Maricopa not served by the Sheriff, there was a 19% drop in violent crime for the same period. That’s 3,428 FEWER murders, rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults than 9 years ago.
If the whole County had been run the way Sheriff Arpaio runs his part, there would have been nearly 8,000 more dead, raped, robed or assaulted Maricopans. What words are there for that dismal performance on the part of Sheriff Arpaio?
Utter dangerous incompetence.
@novastarz47 focus on Arizona, your own backyard where there is enough corruption from top to the bottom for you to attack. Those who are part of the corruption and created the mess in Arizona are the ones who mention Obama -- to deflect the peoples' attention. Sick transparent game you all play.
@novastarz47 If there really is a God, both Arpaio and Obama will both be gone in November...end of problem!
@novastarz47Seriously? A local county sheriff in Arizona (one of fifteen) is going to 'fry' Obama? Explain, please, how that might happen.
@goGayGreenHornet And how are your top leaders / law makers and enforcers doing in Arizona? What a hell-hole you all live in.
ElephantintheRoom The only thing I see here that's useless is your ranting and raving about how you are so fucking good and everyone else that disagrees with you is shit !Hey fuck head You are the one that needs to leave (if you even live here) and go somewhere else and find your WHITE utopea . Arizona is my home and has been for over 63 years .....I can tell you Jo the JOKE sucks buttermilk and so does anyone that is sheepishly blind and follows him !
@ElephantintheRoom go back to where you came from? like Arpaio? he's not from here. nor are the snowbird dodos who vote for him
@nursemomski1 If you're voting for neo-republicans then yes you have. A bunch of right wing extremists trying to knock back all the progress we've made in the last 100 years.
@Flyer9753 sorry, I'm a non-smoker.
@Tommy_Collins @karmavsdogma_42 Any polling data? I've got a local news filter set up on Google news, but I don't see any mention of Penzone (unless it's from the New Times) or Stauffer (unless it's from DeeDee and the Tucson Citizen) or Joe (ever). I think the majority of people who live in Maricopa county year-round are pretty fed up with Joe's shenanigans, but I don't see much happening from the other candidates to encourage voters to vote FOR them. They seem to be relying on the "anyone but Joe" vote, and that may not be enough, especially when Penzone and Stauffer (or, at least, their supporters) seem to spend more time fighting against each other than Joe.
@GreenHornet GH, the MCSO shurf is from Springfield, MA. According to my confidential sources, he is not well-liked or well received.
@karmavsdogma_42 @Tommy_CollinsKarma, the Penzone campaign ran a full page ad yesterday (Sunday) in the Az Republic http://www.penzone2012.com/images/uploads/PenzoneRepublicAd.pdf
I don't know about polling data at this point, however. It's very important that we use all resources to help get the word out.