Letters From the Issue of Thursday, November 1, 2007
Disgruntled deputy?: The most interesting part of Sarah Fenske's article on that [sex offender's] downtown rave scene was that the Maricopa County Sheriff's Department let it go on right under its nose ("The Party's Over," October 25).
I'm ashamed to say that I work for Joe Arpaio (but not at the Fourth Avenue Jail, across the street from where this took place), and I can tell you that the majority of people who do work for the MCSO aren't supporters of Nickel Bag. In fact, we are embarrassed by what he and the top brass do routinely.
Isn't it funny that Joe has the resources to hunt down a couple of middle-aged newspaper publishers in the middle of the night but doesn't go after a rave scene involving underage kids within spitting distance?
Name withheld by request
Lay off the E, dude: Seriously, find a new career. Your article was not only way off base but extremely slanderous. I have, on occasion, been able to have full conversation with [Boo's Warehouse rave host Michael "Boo" Booher] and he is nothing but a caring individual in my book, unlike the [woman] who owns the Icehouse.
His aim isn't for profit but for keeping our scene alive. If you knew anything about our scene, you would know that it has a lot more to do with acceptance and giving a place for everyone to fit in based around the music that we all love. By degrading the scene in the way you did just shows how ignorant you are of any other outlook of life than your own.
Eric Thomas, Tempe
THE JOE AND ANDY SHOW
Get the U.S. back on track: This is what happens when we let massive abuses of the Constitution in Washington pass without any significant protest. Little pinheads take it as a cue that they, too, can just forget about the Constitution ("Who's Sorry Now?," Stephen Lemons, October 25, and "Breathtaking Abuse of the Constitution," Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, October 18).
People need to wake up to what's happening in this country. We're on the edge of not standing for anything anymore.
Tell Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the County Attorney's Office that I've visited the New Times site and to come and get my ass. They're a bunch of pathetic crooks ripping off the people. Let's get this country back on track.
Sean Bailey, New York City
Go back to Hazzard County: I know who's sorry, or at least should be sorry: us! We should be sorry that we have allowed this circus to perform waaaay past its expiration date. Why? Usually, the first thing I think in situations like these is that anyone who supports these clowns has a buy-in somewhere! Only someone with something to lose would participate in such foolishness.
This is a good example of what happens when someone (who shouldn't be in office) holds office too long. This whole flaming bag of doo-doo has left me in a semi-permanent state of shock. I was glued to the TV listening to that moron [County Attorney Andrew Thomas] run his mouth simply because he has one.
Maybe Enos, Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane, and Boss Hogg should return to Bug Tussle, or whatever backwoods, one-horse town that gave birth to them. This is America. How dare you!? How fucking dare you!? Tell me where to bring my sign. I'll wear comfy shoes and bring the doughnuts.
Chevas Samuels, Phoenix
Typical Joe/Andy lover: I took a look at your front page this morning. It is crude crud. Let me ask a question about New Times management and direction: Why are you so agitated about elected officials who are doing a good job?
I think I know, but I would like you to tell me in your own words. If you aren't honest and give some platitude that justifies your foolish agenda or deeds, I will discount anything you say. Why not, man to man? Be honest.
Is it bad upbringing or poor choices with your past that would allow this silly and unfounded criticism of officials who have been elected by a majority? You don't like that? What is wrong here? Could you be psycho, or have they done something wrong?
It is too late. You probably have crossed many lines of decency years ago. I am just an American spelled with a capital "A." Why don't you move to France. Or maybe Russia or Iraq? How about Germany? Or Amsterdam? I understand that Amsterdam is an island of love with many possibilities for Pee-wee Herman types or Clintonites.
Poor New Times folks. I'm so sad that you have been soooooooooo mistreated (moan, moan). Now, if possible, grow up and step into reality. Your influence now deals only with "stories" and deception. View the film Chicken Little (1940s version only) and see the outcome of your "superior intelligence."
Finally, eat my shorts!
Bruce Clack, Glendale
Maricopa County Taliban: I was just packing up the truck for a drive down there from Salt Lake City to volunteer some investigative time on this sheriff when I saw the case against you guys was dropped. As a longtime journalist who has worked the alternative side of the tracks at the Salt Lake City Weekly and the mainstream side in wire service, radio, television, and newspapers, I have followed from afar the fantastic job New Times has done over the years exposing the "toughest sheriff in America" and the truth behind his administration.
I imagine you would have had a considerable number of other journalists showing up down there, or otherwise lending a hand to help you deal with this crazy situation. Now, find out why [the authorities] backed off. Is it because the arrest has been picked up and is now being carried worldwide? Probably so. This does not paint much of a pretty picture here in George W. Bush's America, does it?
While the U.S. attacks countries like Afghanistan in order to "install democratic governments," thanks to the Internet, people all over the world can read about this situation and see we have a "Taliban problem" down in Maricopa County. Whatever you do, never, never, never give up!
John Harrington, Salt Lake City
Closer to removing the worms: Congratulations, New Times! The idea of a free press (the first amendment to the Constitution), in my opinion, is part of a system of checks and balances designed to keep our government honest.
By exposing the abuse of powers by the Sheriff's Office and the County Attorney's Office, I hope we are a little closer to removing these worms from office. New Times has done its part and I hope you continue, without mercy, to bring to light all the wrongs committed by Nickel Bag Joe.
The rest is up to the consumers of all media outlets to take notice and change their votes at the next election. I would rather see Sheriff Joe become a guest in his own jail, languish there during a long, painful, exposing criminal trial and then shipped off to a maximum-security prison.
As for County Attorney Thomas, either he sanctioned Dennis Wilenchik's conduct in this grand jury investigation, or he is clueless as to what tactics his deputies are using to get a win in court. Either way, both men are incompetent to hold office and should be removed and possibly disbarred. Keep up the good work!
Robert Rodriguez, via the Internet
We like it, too: I like having freedom. What sick pigs for thinking they could do this to Americans.
Mike Provost, via the Internet
This is just the beginning: This was never about revealing grand jury information or any other crock the disgraceful county attorney and sheriff concocted. This was an attempt at intimidation. Thank God New Times stood up to it forcefully and fearlessly. You made an important stand on behalf of all of us.
However, it's not over. At his press conference, Andrew Thomas said of his office's illegal assault on the New Times: "I do not condone it. I do not defend it, and so it ends today." Like hell it ends today! It's just beginning.
We can't allow public officials to pry into the reading habits of tens of thousands of people without vigorous, sustained challenges on multiple fronts.
I intend to file a complaint about Thomas's outrageous conduct with the State Bar Association. I'm also writing to Attorney General Terry Goddard to seek an independent prosecutor and/or an investigation to determine if any laws were broken in this witch hunt. If he determines no laws were broken, I'd like his recommendations for a state law that would protect citizens from such reckless, dangerous, anti-American intrusions.
I also think we citizens need to begin a drum beat demanding that the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors audit the County Attorney's Office, especially in the area of spending on and use of outside attorneys, and the Sheriff's Department because it apparently hasn't been audited in years.
You guys are my First Amendment heroes for 2007.
Bill Gates, Sun Lakes
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