Breitbart.com, founded by the late Andrew Breitbart, made an unsurprising move this morning by publishing an article about the recall effort against Sheriff Joe Arpaio, effectively soliciting donations for the pro-Joe forces.
What is surprising, however, is writer Warner Todd Huston's revisionist explanation of Arpaio's sex-crimes debacle. Actually, it's more gross than it is surprising.
Here's what Huston wrote about the sex crimes:
"Take, for instance, the left's claims that Arpaio's offices have failed to investigate sex crimes in El Mirage, a town in the Sheriff's county. Some years ago, the town lost funding for its own police department and Arpaio took over policing the area. When Arpaio's office got there, they found that some 400 cases of sexual assaults had gone un-investigated. A few years after Arpaio took over, the Maricopa Board of Supervisors announced that only 7 cases had still been un-investigated. Regardless of this fact, the left has continued to claim that 400 sex crimes have gone un-investigated in El Mirage and they blame Arpaio.
For starters, it ain't "the left" that's saying hundreds of sex crimes weren't properly investigated. MCSO officials have admitted this. Gee, there's a whole internal-affairs report dedicated to the debacle. It wasn't orchestrated by "the left."
Another big piece of misinformation from Breitbart is this: "When Arpaio's office got there they found that some 400 cases of sexual assaults had gone un-investigated." In fact, El Mirage contracted the Sheriff's Office between 2005 and October 2007, and the 432 reopened sex-crime cases were reported to the MCSO during this time. You can read about some of those cases in Ray Stern's 2012 story on the subject.
Perhaps the worst from Breitbart is: "A few years after Arpaio took over, the Maricopa Board of Supervisors announced that only 7 cases had still been un-investigated."
Huston is implying that Arpaio's office investigated 400 sex crimes that El Mirage police ignored, which is grossly false.
Arpaio's chief deputy Jerry Sheridan stressed last year that 15 cases went completely uninvestigated.
The rest weren't un-investigated, they just weren't, um, investigated. Numerous shortcomings in the sex-crime investigations that make up the other 400 or so mean they were bungled, botched, or not completed, not totally uninvestigated.
Breitbart's version of events is totally perverted.
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There are numerous other liberties taken with the truth, not related to sex crimes, but then again, it's essentially a campaign ad for Arpaio, presented as news.
Of course, when the Breitbart article talks about how much money a recall election would "coast" the taxpayers, there's no mention of taxpayer coin paid out thanks to Arpaio's doing.
It claims the recall effort has "millions," and is paying people to circulate petitions, although the recall campaign semi-recently announced that it was running low on funds and wasn't paying a firm anymore to circulate petitions.
The article has a big link to SaveSheriffJoe.org, where you can give money to Arpaio- and Russell Pearce-apologist Ron Ludders, so that should clear up any further questions on the intent.