Eddie Basha supports Sheriff Joe. Wonder how the Valley's Hispanics like them frijoles?
The unions are gonna love this one. Financial statements are out for the 2008 Maricopa County Sheriff's race, and guess who lent a smidgen of his largesse to the over $300,000 Sheriff Joe Arpaio's raised so far in his reelection effort? None other than big-time Dem Eddie Basha, who gave $250 to Nickel Bag Joe, joined by his spouse Nadine, who also gave $250 to the aged lawman. Both donations are dated March 5, 2007.
Last year, the campaign contribution limit was $370 (this year, it's $390), so arguably, Basha could have given more. But what makes Basha's back-stab of his own party significant is the fact that the UFCW (United Food and Commercial Workers Local 99) has been campaigning against the Bashas' grocery chain, trying to prove that Bashas' is somehow anti-immigrant or anti-Hispanic. The effort was recently detailed in my colleague Ray Stern's New Times cover story "Dirty Tricks."
Some in the Latino community have complained because Bashas' advertises on conservative radio stations KTAR and KFYI, whose hosts often espouse anti-immigrant views. The union has alleged various claims against Food City stores (part of the Bashas' empire), insisting they are substandard. Bashas' is now suing the union for defamation with the assistance of local tort titan Michael Manning. So Eddie Basha's personal contributions to Arpaio, who has made terrorizing illegal immigrants a priority of his department, are somewhat eyebrow-raising. Though, for a man of Basha's wealth, $250 is a pittance, it's unlikely the money he and his wife have donated to Arpaio will endear him to the Hispanic population of the Valley.
Basha's is not the only donation of note to Arpaio's reelection effort. County Supervisor Andrew Kunasek gave $100 to Arpaio, even though as a member of the powerful Board of Supes, Kunasek is responsible for overseeing the sheriff’s department's budget. Hey, no conflict of interest there, eh?
Former U.S. Attorney Paul Charlton also ponied up $100. (Why, Paul, why?)
Jerry Simms, owner of Turf Paradise coughed up $370. Recently, there have been stories in the local media about how the new employer sanctions law will hurt Simms' racetrack, as many of the grooms and exercisers are Mexican nationals. Certainly, a donation to the Sheriff empowered to enforce that law couldn't hurt, now could it? Other execs at Turf Paradise are listed as donors as well.
Additional Arpaio suck-ups include: Arizona State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne, who donated $100. PHX attorney Michelle Iafrate, whose office acts as a go-between between New Times and the MCSO regarding public records requests, gave the max, $390. Dominic Iafrate, who lives at the same address as Michelle, also forked over $390. Heh, they know which side their bread is buttered on. Interestingly, Iafrate is still involved in a complaint against my colleague Ray Stern because he argued a legal point with her one day in her offices. The MCSO later issued him a citation for disorderly conduct, which Stern's fighting.
Former Suns owner Jerry Colangelo ponied up $390. Barry Goldwater, Jr., of all people, made an offering of $100. Slavish Joe-worshipper Jason Rose of Rose & Allyn PR and his wife Jordan gave $390 each. County Attorney Andrew Thomas, a.k.a., "Lil' Joe" contributed $390. Wonder if he'll get it back when his reelection campaign kicks off officially? Not that Candy needs it. He's already got plenty of free advertising from billboards and slick anti-crime brochures paid for by the taxpayers.
Joe gave himself $390. His wife Ava did likewise. As did Joe's son Rocco Arpaio, who works at the family biz, Star World Travel.
MCSO flack Paul "Chicken Little" Chagolla only gave $300 to the old man. What a cheapskate! Chagolla earns over $90,000 a year in his job as Joe's PIO. Like he couldn't afford to go the max. Sheesh. A Cynthia and Eugene Chagolla dropped $150 each into Joe's coffers. Don't know their relation to Paul, if any.
Where are Arpaio lackeys Lisa Allen MacPherson, Jack MacIntyre and David "Jabba the Hutt" Hendershott? Their names are nowhere to be found. Hmmm, maybe they'll be giving during the next cycle.
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It definitely pays to be the Sheriff. Buckeye police chief, not so much. So far Dan Saban, Arpaio's rival, has garnered a mere $23,508. That's about how much Arpaio rolled over from his previous campaign into this current war chest. Saban need not be discouraged. Arpaio's been raising money since at least early last year, to judge from the date of the contributions. And a lot has happened since then to sour the public on Arpaio, and sweeten them towards Saban's cause.
Arpaio's paying thousands to Summit Consulting Group to raise the moolah for him. To date Arpaio's raised $307,977, and has about 260,643 on hand. That's a lotta loot. No one ever said the guy would go quietly. But keep the faith, people. All tyrants fall eventually, no matter how much money and power they have.
Wanna look up the records yourself? Just go to http://recorder.maricopa.gov/recdocdata/. Click on "Elections" to the left. Then click on "Candidate/Campaign Information." Enter the last name of the candidate and the year you're interested in, and you too can check out who gave what to whom.