Does Sheriff Joe Arpaio want people to see Phoenix filmmaker Randy Murray's critically-acclaimed film The Joe Show, which begins a week-long run today at Harkins Valley Art in Tempe and Harkins Arrowhead in Peoria?
Certainly, Arpaio helped pimp the flick in Hollywood when it played there earlier this year, clowning around with Wonder Woman and the Cookie Monster on Hollywood Boulevard for the cameras.
But as the film lands in his backyard, the octogenarian autocrat seems conflicted.
Blogger Mitch Martinson of Arizona's Politics caught Arpaio Tweeting that the doc was "a movie only my critics will love," while at the same time offering, "Hope supporters attend too."
Why, Joe, so they can learn what a big, corrupt media-hog you are?
Martinson reports that Arpaio deleted that initial sentiment, replacing it with a dismissal of the film as "garbage."
Today, the sheriff wished Murray luck with the local screenings.
Gee, pick a lane, Joe.
No doubt Arpaio is deeply confused. I mean, he's on a big screen for more than an hour and a-half, but that's not a good thing, because anyone with half a brain will come away from Murray's film aghast at the monster both the voters and the press have created.
See also: -Joe Arpaio's Bread and Circuses on Blast in Randy Murray's The Joe Show -Joe Arpaio, "Media Whore," Pimps The Joe Show in Hollywood -Joe Arpaio's Investigating Federal Judge G. Murray Snow, DOJ, Sources Say, and Using a Seattle Scammer To Do It
"It's amazing what I say, and what I do and what I get away with," Arpaio tells the camera at one point in the film.
Indeed, it is. And the sheriff continues to get away with it.
For instance, the court-appointed monitor in Melendres v. Arpaio recently issued a report stating that the MCSO is still dragging its heels on compliance with federal Judge G. Murray Snow's order in the racial-profiling case.
Another federal judge just found that Arpaio's jails still are not in full compliance with the court's orders in the long-running Graves v. Arpaio suit, and so must remain under supervision.
And this week, local tort titan Mike Manning filed the umpteenth wrongful death lawsuit against Arpaio for an MCSO detainee who was denied proper medical care and as a result, expired.
The more things change, the more things remain the same. While Arpaio is in office, that is.Arpaio lies his butt off about raising cash from his Birther investigation
Another axiom of Arpaio's rule is that suckers exist to be taken advantage of.
Joe's legion of chumps includes members of the Tea Party and the sheriff's posse, loyal ditto-heads for Arpaio's reign of inanity, which includes his ongoing investigation of President Obama's birth certificate.
If you thought all right-wing conspiracy theorists had long ago moved on to Benghazi, Ebola, ISIS and the Secret Service, you're wrong.
This was evidenced by Arpaio's recent visit to a Tea Party event in Kaufman County, Texas, where he was asked about the delay in bringing the case to a grand jury and getting some charges going.
Sensing criticism in the question, which included a reference to money raised for the Birther cause, Arpaio got his back up, answering, thus:
"First of all, let me say one thing. I have never raised one penny for my election using the birth certificate. My campaign manager would kill me if I ever mentioned the birth certificate. All that is garbage that you hear from a couple of lawyers. Total garbage. Not one penny did I ever raise for my election. None. and I got the proof. You can check everybody that gave me the money Get that clear."
Arpaio concluded with the promise that the investigation, ridiculous as it might seem to those of us not sporting tinfoil caps, continues apace.
"You're very aggressive, as you should be, because you want justice," Arpaio told the impudent Birther. "But remember, there's always restrictions when you try to do a case. I can't tell you everything we know that we found out later. I'm not, I can't do it. It's sensitive and you just have to bear with me. And see how I can take this. But we're still working, every day."
This second part of Arpaio's answer is correct, though the Birther investigation has since diverted into an even wilder snipe hunt with Mike Zullo of Cold Case Posse fame and an MCSO deputy involved in a probe of Judge Snow and the U.S. Department of Justice, regarding a supposed plot to "get" Arpaio.
As I detailed in a June column, this phony plot, according to sources, was dreamed up by a Seattle con artist, who is being paid large sums of money with MCSO's confidential informant funds, at Arpaio's direction.
Neither Arpaio nor Zullo deny the story, and since the column first ran, I've had other sources come forward (off the record, natch) to confirm its veracity.
But putting this ongoing waste of public funds aside, what about Arpaio's contention that he hasn't raised dime one from the Birther boondoggle?
That statement is belied by Arpaio's admissions on camera in The Joe Show, specifically in a clip from 2012, which shows a meeting in a local restaurant, including Arpaio, Arpaio's top flack Lisa Allen, MCSO Chief Deputy Jerry Sheridan and Arpaio's campaign guru Chad Willems.
Arpaio's 2012 re-election effort was underway at the time, and the topic of the Birther investigation pops up.
Both Willems and Allen express doubt over the investigation, telling Arpaio it makes him look like a nut.
"There ain't gonna be no damage control," responds Arpaio. "You'll get more money [in campaign contributions] than you'll know what to do with."
Willems later reinforces this notion of Arpaio using Quixotic crusades against the Obama administration to raise beaucoup bucks from Obama haters nationwide.
"Now, with Arpaio going to battle with Barack Obama," Willems explains at one point in the film, "it's meant literally millions of dollars for his campaign."
Indeed, the Birther investigation remains a money-making theme for Joe, along with hatin' on illegal immigrants and general, rhetorical defiance of the Obama administration.
For instance, for his upcoming 2016 re-election effort, the 82 year-old has pulled in more than $5 million so far, and has nearly $2 million on hand. Much of it is from out-of-state donors, raised by means of mass fundraising e-mails.
Many of Arpaio's donors are retired and give small amounts. Would they think twice of donating to this shyster if they saw The Joe Show?
Perhaps. Brian Reilly, one of the original members of the Cold Case Posse headed up by Zullo, has since become a critic of Arpaio and of the investigation into the birth certificate.
He's seen The Joe Show, and has been encouraging others to go see it. I asked him about that part in the film where Joe makes his comment to Willems about the Birther charade.
"Quite honestly, it was a real eye-opener for me, and it was a real let down for me," he explained to me recently. "Because it appeared to me at that point that the motivation was not to find the truth. The motivation, in my opinion, became publicity and money."
Reilly is no longer affiliated with the Tea Party, but he has a message for those who still are.
"Every Tea Party member in Maricopa County needs to see this film," he said. "It's an eye-opening experience. Basically, the public persona of Sheriff Arpaio has largely been created by publicity and the media...this is exactly what the film is about."
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
The Joe Show runs October 3 through October 9 at Harkins Valley Art in Tempe and Harkins Arrowhead in Peoria. Tonight's screenings at Valley Art will feature a Q & A with filmmaker Randy Murray following the show.
Got a tip for The Bastard? Send it to: Stephen Lemons.