Balls to the wall: Your article ("Dangerous Mind," Paul Rubin, August 26) was very direct, very clear and extremely informative, and I am now a lot more interested in voting.
This [Andy Thomas for County Attorney story] is more horrifying news about Arizona politics, but it had to be told! I wonder if anyone in politics ever considers our real problems -- like poverty and bad neighborhoods. What I mean is, if people had better lives, there might be a reduction in crime. I believe in rehabilitation very strongly, as a lot of criminals are simply conditioned. After some years behind bars, many just wish they'd known better. Where is any concern for humanity in what politicians (like Thomas) say?
I cut and pasted a quote from your article because I got such a kick out of it:
"Democratic candidate Don Harris drew spontaneous applause at a recent candidates' forum at the Los Abogados Hispanic Bar Association when he said of the missing Thomas: ÔI don't think he had the cojónes to show up here today.'"
Lori Star, via the Internet
Worse before it gets better: I'd just like to make a couple of points about County Attorney wanna-be Andrew Thomas:
He's dewy, all right, but he's certainly no "intellectual"! Nothing the man says would actually work. Come on, make the homeless sign a declaration that they will never be homeless again? What kind of moronic idea of his is that?
And why do all his political signs say he's against illegal immigration? Who's not?! This has nothing to do with whether he will make a viable county attorney. How can this cheese-head be the front-runner in the race to succeed Rick Romley? Unless voters wake up, things are going to get much worse around here.
Gunther Jones, Peoria
AMERICA'S MEANEST SHERIFF
Editor's note: Because of Joe Arpaio's reputation for retaliation, New Times isn't divulging the identities of those criticizing the sheriff in letters to this publication.
Republican poster-geezer: It's time to vote Joe Arpaio out of office ("Jailgate Explodes," John Dougherty, August 26)! Let's remember that in order to have a say in this, we must vote in the Republican primary on September 7. That is really the only chance we have of dumping this guy. The only way you can request a ballot in the Republican primary is to be a registered Republican or registered as "no party affiliation," or be a member of a third party that is not conducting a primary election.
The fact is, we cannot count on hard-core Republicans to vote against Joe. He's been their poster-geezer for too long! We must mobilize "independent" voters to vote in this primary. I am issuing a challenge to all moderate Republicans and independents to make your voices heard. As a civilized society, we need a civilized approach to law enforcement. Joe must go!
Joe's most wanted: As a frequent New Times reader, I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your series of Outlaw Joe Arpaio articles. They are by far the highlight of the newspaper. It's great to see all the effort you put in to let people see all the bullshit, corruption and cruel and inhumane treatment Joe Arpaio is getting away with.
The only thing more fun than seeing him lose the upcoming election would be to see him get investigated by County Attorney Rick Romley and thrown out of office. Out of all the fucked-up politicians in the world, Joe ranks right up there with Saddam, Hitler and the leader of North Korea.
By the way, John Dougherty, how do you protect yourself from becoming another victim of Joe? Surely you must be on his most wanted list.
The courage to do what's right: This is a call-to-action letter to County Attorney Rick Romley . . .
Dear Mr. Romley:
The purpose of this letter is to request the prosecution of Joe Arpaio under the Arizona felony animal cruelty statutes. I and many others, including citizens of other countries, are shocked and outraged at the inexcusable behavior exhibited by Arpaio and his team during the raid on Eric Kush's house ("Dog Day Afternoon," John Dougherty, August 5). The tactics used in this debacle were reminiscent of a Gestapo force, not an American SWAT team.
These actions were clearly and unmistakably sadistic in nature. The last thing any citizens of any city need on their police force are sadistic and mentally disturbed officers. The motto of our law enforcement organizations is "To Serve and Protect," not "Torture and Kill." Not only did that team cause a completely unnecessary horrible death to an innocent animal, the methods it employed by starting the house fire endangered the lives of other residents of that neighborhood.
And all this fiasco was about was serving a misdemeanor warrant!
Joe Arpaio needs to be removed immediately and prosecuted under the felony animal cruelty law of Arizona. The other members of that team should be disciplined as well, for willingly participating and not having the courage to refuse to be a part of such a shameful endeavor that tarnishes every law enforcement agency in the country.
It is distressing that those team members lacked the courage to do what is right. How about you, Mr. Romley? Do you have the courage to do what you know to be right? Will you stand by your convictions and the duties of your office to see proper justice served?
The real news: It is articles like "Dog Day Afternoon" that make me proud to know that there is still a shred of investigative work in the media today. Every time I turn on national or local news, I see the strained-peas version of the news.
Your article got to the heart of the situation, explained from the point of view of the neighbors and those directly affected. You have brought hope to my reading of the paper again. I will keep reading New Times and disdain the other so called newspapers.
This old crook: Praise goes to John Dougherty for having the guts to publicly stand up to America's Meanest Sheriff. Joe Arpaio would make the Sheriff of Nottingham cringe.
What's wrong with the people of Maricopa County? I have watched Joe thumb his nose at human decency for more than a decade, and each time he is reelected. I am shocked and disheartened -- and I consider myself a conservative!
I have been further outraged to see influential crime-fighter John Walsh make a public endorsement of this old crook. Maybe Walsh is not the valiant soul I thought him to be. Maybe someone should send him copies of your articles.
It has become obvious that to Joe, money talks and bullshit reigns, and if you don't have money and influence, you'll end up in the Tent City dungeon when you make a mistake, instead of the Mesa Hilton for Rich Kids and Drunken Celebrities ("Special Treatment," August 19, and "Jailgate Explodes").
Joe's Place: I was turned on to Phoenix New Times by my son who spent some time in Joe's Place. I spent many weekends visiting. I applaud your investigating and writing ability to get out what needs to be said about Joe.
I have been receiving the Arizona Republic for years so I could keep up with things in Arizona and am amazed at how much more nonbiased information I'm reading in New Times.
My son and I could tell you many stories about Joe's hellhole jails. Years ago, I tried to get help and an article printed in the Republic regarding situations that were happening with your jail system, and now, since I have learned about the Republic's bias toward Joe (his son-in-law works there as an editorial writer), I understand better why nothing came of it.
I hope your campaign pays off. My dad lives in north Phoenix, my sister in Sun City and my nephews in Mesa. I spend a lot of time in your area. Also, I may be retiring there in the next three to five years, and I don't want Sheriff Joe Arpaio anywhere near me.
THE MAN UPSTAIRS
Jesus and Trent Franks love you: Obviously, Mr. Michael Lacey knows Jesus as little as he knows Trent Franks ("Jesus Wouldn't Do That," August 12). His lying column is a dodge to make his candidate look good.
Are you aware that Mr. Rick Murphy dropped a half a million dollars into his media ads? No wonder he doesn't need donations; he is trying to buy the seat with his own money. He and John Kerry should get along fine. Perhaps they can celebrate together in the losers' circle where the rich liars reside.
May the Jesus you obviously do not know forgive you for being such an underhanded jerk.
Name withheld by request
Give someone else a chance: Trent Franks is one of those Arizona congressional idiots who needs to go. Congratulations to Michael Lacey for having the guts to say so. I'm not certain that Rick Murphy is the best possible choice, but as I would say about Sheriff Joke Arpaio, anybody but. . . . It's time to give somebody else a chance. Let's just hope we won't be saying the same things about Murphy in four years. Please use my name, because I'm not afraid of political goons like Ancient Joe Schmo.
Ronald Murphy (no relation), Glendale
A couple of blowhards: Trent Franks blows, Rick Murphy blows. Why can't this congressional district produce a viable GOP candidate? I'm switching to the Democratic party.
Dave Hill, Glendale Proofreader/Copy editor
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!
Phoenix New Times needs a part-time proofreader/copy editor. Responsibilities include proofreading our Web site each week and filling in for the regular copy editor. Candidate must be able to work 4 to 6 hours each week on Tuesday evenings/Wednesday mornings and have a flexible schedule in order to fill in for the regular, full-time copy editor. Must be grammar/spelling/punctuation whiz (the most promising candidates will be tested), with solid research and computer skills. Copy-editing/proofreading experience preferred. Competitive hourly rate. Send résum&eacte; and letter to:
Phoenix New Times
P.O. Box 2510
Phoenix, AZ 85002
No calls or e-mails, please.