Letters from the issue of Thursday, April 17, 2008
Land of the vendetta: Sarah Fenske's article on Cliff Young got me all worked up! The real reason the Arizona Department of Transportation went after Young is that he caused a labor problem within its ranks ("Employee of the Month," April 10).
If he had just kept his mouth shut and hadn't showed his coworkers that they were being discriminated against, he would still have his job, and he certainly wouldn't have faced felony charges.
The very idea of Attorney General Terry Goddard's office prosecuting Young goes to show us how corrupt even state government is. We tend to think that the only corruption involves Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas and Sheriff Joe Arpaio, but it goes higher than that.
Government officials around here, no matter if they're from the county or the state governments, just can't wait to waste taxpayer money on vendettas against anybody who even slightly steps away from the party line, as Cliff Young did.
Prosecuting Young was an outrage, and I'm just glad Judge Edward Burke told ADOT, as you said, "to go jump in the lake." Thank you for continuing to write about the vindictive tactics employed by our governments in Arizona.
E.J. Burnett, Phoenix
We're doing our best to stop him: What a mockery Sheriff Joe Arpaio makes of the Constitution! What he has done over recent weeks with his immigration sweeps is nothing short of racial profiling. Can't someone do something to stop this power-mad maniac?! Guess not, since the feds are now backing him ("ICEman Bloweth," The Bird, Stephen Lemons, April 10).
Really, I was bowled over when I saw that the new head of ICE [Matthew Allen] was backing the sheriff's riot-provoking antics. Could it be that ICE can't do the job it's supposed to do, so it is happy that Joe will go in there and take the heat off it with his unconstitutional activities? Of course that's the reason!
Nobody currently running the federal government gives a damn about constitutional rights. I pray there will be a new president from the Democratic Party soon and that things will change.
Isn't it funny that none of the police departments in any of the cities in this county want Joe meddling in their towns? But there he is: "Nobody tells this sheriff what to do!" He must be legally forced to stop what he's doing before there's an outright race war.
Because, rest assured, the so-called nativists aren't the only ones packing guns at these demonstrations. As many of the police chiefs in the Valley have said, it wouldn't take much for things to get ugly.
T.S. Morales, Phoenix
A dubious honor, indeed: Sure am glad that my crazy ancestors left Africa for Europe, hugged the glacier and turned white.
Because of them, Bull Conner didn't chase me with his dogs, and Sheriff Joe isn't after me with his posse.
It took 45 years to move the national symbol of bigotry from Birmingham to Maricopa County, but we finally claimed the prize.
Bob Unferth, Phoenix
You don't know Joe. He can't shut up: Is the veil really this easily pulled over people's eyes?! God, some people are fucking idiots. How many illegals do these stings net? Thirty? Forty? Fifty, tops?
Don't you see this as an absolute waste of time and money? Shit, aren't there better ways of doing this? Obviously if Arpaio would just shut the fuck up and do stings like these in secret, maybe he'd net more.
The people who don't see this as just another one of Joke's media shows to veil all the RICO and other taxpayer money-wasting are complete idiots.
Drake Northpine, via the Internet
Another anti-Joe convert: I used to support Sheriff Arpaio's arrests of illegal aliens, but he has carried things way too far. His announcing that he will be at a certain location so he can get TV cameras out to chronicle things is jut plain wrong. It has become clear to me that he's doing these raids solely for political purposes.
The sheriff should be concerned about public safety first, not getting his face spread across the tube! By publicizing his activities, he is getting armed people on both sides of the argument out in force. It's only a matter of time until something goes terribly wrong. Lives are at stake!
I just hope that when that happens, Joe gets the full blame. I hope voters see him for what he is: a craven politician out only for his own survival in office. My vote is going to his Democratic challenger, Dan Saban, in the general election. Joe, you need to know that you are losing the votes of law-abiding people like me.
Rose McKenzie, Phoenix
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