Letters From the Issue of Thursday, December 13, 2007
UPRIGHT CITIZENS BRIGADE
Gestapo in our own backyard: It's sad to see what powerful egotistical people do to cover their true ignorance and stupidity ("Power Play," Paul Rubin, December 6; also see ("Enemies List," Sarah Fenske, November 29; see also "Who's Sorry Now?," Stephen Lemons, October 25; and "Breathtaking Abuse of the Constitution," Lacey and Jim Larkin, October 18).
It's good that New Times brings these things to the attention of the public. We need to see what kinds of people are at large in our own backyard.
The unconstitutional intimidation to quiet New Times and others on [Sheriff Joe Arpaio and County Attorney Andrew Thomas'] hit list is a cowardly Gestapo tactic.
Alex Garcia, Yuma
One of the lucky ones?: You know what I find so offensive about all this?
There are no safety measures in place, no checks and balances, no morals or ethics, and no one to protect any of us from tyrants running wild like Joe Arpaio, Dave Hendershott, or Andrew Thomas. We are on our own. Expect help from other elected leaders? Don't hold your breath. They're more worried about protecting their own political asses than coming to anyone's aid or doing the right thing. When it comes to votes and politics, politicians equal nothing but whores.
Yes, people will say you can sue them if they violate your rights. What those people don't realize is what you go through during the violation of your rights — the financial cost of fighting for your innocence, the unwarranted publicity and slander, the toll it takes on yourself and your family.
When it's all said and done, that's when the civil suit comes, and you get to relive the entire ordeal again mentally. Imagine spending eight years of your life living this nightmare. I did, except it wasn't a nightmare. It was reality.
What kind of country is America when we allow tyrants like Arpaio, Hendershott, and Thomas to run over our lives? What kind of country do we live in that the law enforcement and prosecutors we trust to uphold the law are the ones that violate the law the most?
Criminals commit crimes, get caught, and go to prison. Arpaio, Hendershott, Thomas, and many others associated with these clowns do it routinely but get to hide behind badges and titles.
I was a victim of all this — just one of many. At least I didn't lose my life or spend years in jail or prison as so many have. So I guess I'm lucky.
When the law breaks the law and the justice system looks the other way, there is no law, just a fight for survival. It's a sad, sad time when any of us can sit back and allow this to happen in America. Arpaio, his goons, and Thomas need to be sent packing in 2008.
This is not the America I grew up in and spent four years in the U.S. Marine Corps fighting for.
Jim Cozzolino, Phoenix
Thanks for the clarification: Thanks to New Times once again for its probing investigative journalism.
One small but significant nit: In describing Tim LaSota, who is a fine attorney, the "Enemies List" article refers to his membership in the "far right" Federalist Society. The Federalist Society comprises thousands of attorneys and law students who run the gamut from conservative to moderate to Libertarian. It includes the likes of Richard Epstein and Robert Bork, who fundamentally disagree on constitutional interpretation.
The society does not take positions on public-policy issues, but does host hundreds of debates every year, always including moderate and liberal perspectives. Several law school deans have remarked to me that their schools would have no debate whatsoever were it not for the Federalist Society. I have been a card-carrying member of the society for two decades, yet sided unequivocally with New Times in the subpoena dispute with the County Attorney's Office.
The only thing one can infer about an attorney associated with the Federalist Society is that he or she believes strongly in the Constitution — though what that means varies widely among individual members. Neither the Society, nor all or even many of its members, are "far right."
For a newspaper that values intellectual diversity, membership in a truly diverse organization shouldn't count as a strike.
Clint Bolick, Goldwater Institute
We have moxie in spades: Kudos to New Times for having the moxie to stand up for what's right. Call an ass an ass, and shine the spotlight on the evil of what has become politics in the Valley of the Sun.
No Southern good ol' boy network, including the infamous Macon County, has ever eclipsed the shenanigans Arcarupto and his gang have pulled in Maricopa County.
Now, if the residents of Sun City would just get a clue, you might be able to get rid of him and all his flunkies, including his boy-toy Andy Thomas.
John Sherwood, via the Internet
Sounds like you've given up, P.S.: For more then a decade you have offered detail on the sheriff. To what end? If anything, the popularity of Joe Arpaio reveals what a lot [of] worthless indifferent individuals the majority of Phoenicians are. Our leaders reflect more or less the kind of people who elect them.
P.S. Burton, via the Internet
Wake up the peeps: Thanks. Regular citizens like me ignore what's really going on. People, please wake up! It's hurting our state that we can have these people in our public offices.
Erika Page, via the Internet
Power corrupts: It just goes to show that power in the wrong hands corrupts. The next thing you know, they will have us all running around in short pants shouting, "Joe is God!"
Frankly, I think that instead of taking it to the Arizona attorney general, all this should be taken to the U.S. Attorney and the FBI to investigate the multitude of injustices by Andrew Thomas and Sheriff Joe.
They make me not want to vote. As for what Joe did to Dan Saban, all I can say is: From what I have heard of Saban, he is a fine leader who has integrity and loyalty. What was done to him is a shame, and I hope that he runs against Joe again and wins. This is not a police state.
Eliza Angel, via the Internet
Nor will we, Anonymous: This really, absolutely blows me away! How stupid can one county be? I guess maybe it's just the San Francisco liberal in me who's just screaming! The sheriff and Thomas have got to go.
Because (beware!) you have no rights in this county. "Enemies List" paints the entire picture! I've never voted for Joe Arpaio, and I never will.
Name withheld by request
If you don't vote, you're part of the problem: If we are to get rid of corrupt tyrants like Candy and Joke, we can't sit back expecting an investigation by the state or feds to do it for us. If that even happened, it would take well over a year. Next year, we all have the chance to vote this scum out of office.
Don't expect other people to wake up and go out and vote for Dan Saban and whoever runs against Candy. Make sure you are registered, then get off your ass and put your vote where your mouth is. Really, you don't even need to do it on Election Day; you can ask for a mail-in ballot.
If you can't be bothered to vote, then shut up about it, because you aren't helping anything. You can bet your ass and the farm that every hardheaded brainless geezer in Sun City and Sun Lakes will be out there voting for both idiots.
Only you and the rest of us can make a change at the polls. We can be rid of both of them in a year!
Name withheld by request
Get the Weekly Newsletter
Our weekly feature stories, movie reviews, calendar picks and more - minus the newsprint and sent directly to your inbox.