If I didn't know that his fundraising appeals are written by the usual political hacks, Sheriff Joe Arpaio's latest e-mail blast would make me doubt the man's sanity.
Not that there isn't plenty of reason to doubt it otherwise, but an e-mail blast sent out yesterday signed by Joe rails about a non-existent recall effort against the sheriff and berates (without naming him) challenger and Scottsdale Police Department Lieutenant Mike Stauffer for making "outrageous and criminal allegations" about him.
Neither of these claims is apparently true. I know, shocking that Arpaio would have an issue with truth-telling, eh?
At one point, the letter reads that, "...we have learned that there is a fully organized effort to RECALL me from office! These left-wing agitators are organizing and raising money to fund a petition drive to remove me from office as I write this letter."
Well, first off, I can pretty much guarantee you that Joe did not write this letter. Though, he may have eyeballed it before it was e-mailed.
Second, according to Maricopa County Elections Director Karen Osborne, no group has filed with her office to start collecting signatures and money for an Arpaio recall. That's required under state law.
If there is a recall group out there somewhere, they're doing a pretty good job of remaining invisible. I would have heard about any serious effort. The moment it began it would be big news. So it's safe to call bull on this one.
Then there are the references to Stauffer, who is not mentioned by name. The solicitation seems to be referencing a public, June letter to Arpaio from Stauffer, calling Arpaio out on some of his more recent misdeeds as sheriff.
If by "outrageous and criminal allegations," Joe means that what Stauffer said in the June letter is "criminal," that too is bull. If he means that Stauffer is alleging criminal malfeasance by Arpaio, well, if the pink underwear fits...
The e-mail kvetches about Stauffer saying that Arpaio's office is run "like a third-world dictatorship" and that Arpaio stole $100 million of taxpayer dollars from the jail enhancement fund to use any way he damn well pleased.
Arpaio denounces such claims as "false and slanderous." In reality, as we all know, they are spot on.
The sheriff also whines like a big, gray-haired baby about being called "too old" to do his job. Actually, this seems to be something Stauffer implied in commenting about Arpaio's and the MCSO's lack of technology savvy.
"Arpaio's neglect for even the most basic technology needs of his agency has stagnated the MCSO's ability to work smoothly with the other agencies in the county," Stauffer recently wrote on his Facebook page.
Stauffer later added that,
"It's time for a sheriff who is current on law enforcement technology, knows what is needed to do the job, and is focused on providing the best equipment for the employees and the public."
Fair shot, if you ask me. Arpaio is 79, and will be 80 when he stands for re-election next year. It's one thing to be old, and it's another to be antediluvian when it comes to technology. If you're gonna stay ahead of the bad guys, you should at least be current. And that's Stauffer's all-too valid criticism.
The more I see from Stauffer, the more impressed I am, and the more I think Joe has something to worry about in 2012. Stauffer, a Republican, will have to get out of a GOP primary, though. A tall order in Maricopa County.
Also, Arpaio's campaign is loaded. His finance filers are as massive as doorstops, if printed out. His last filing in November of 2010 showed that he had $2.8 million in cash on hand. He may have twice as much as that now, as far as we know. His next campaign finance report is not due to the county until January 31, 2012.
So why does Arpaio need more moolah? Money is influence. And the more he has, the more power he has.
The hysterical nature of Arpaio's fundraising e-mails is both ludicrous and par for the course. They're meant to draw in as much out-of-state cash as possible. And, sadly, there are a lot of folks gullible enough to fall for Joe's appeals, even when those appeals are little more than a patchwork of paranoid prevarications.