Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu raised about $26,000 in the first five months of the year for his political action committee dubbed "Paul Babeu for Arizona."
You might wonder who's donating to the border hawk Republican who derailed his own Congressional campaign by sending half-naked photos of himself and sexually charged text messages to an anonymous man, and posting an online profile on a hook-up site for gay men -- which included his penis size and what sexual positions he prefers?
On his list of donors -- Jim Click, owner of auto dealerships in southern Arizona, donated $1,000; political consultant Jason Rose chipped in $2,500; former Phoenix Suns owner Jerry Colangelo was good for $1,000; and Matt Benson, former Arizona Republic reporter and spokesman for Governor Jan Brewer, kicked in $100.
See also: -Paul Babeu's Mexican Ex-Lover Says Sheriff's Attorney Threatened Him With Deportation -Babeu's Reckless and Threatening Behavior Enmeshed Him in a Career-Ending Scandal -Babeu's "Elite" Staff Overcomes Bad Behavior with Loyalty
The United Mesa Fire Fighters PAC also donated $500 to Babeu.
Babeu's biggest donations -- $5,000 each -- during the January to May reporting period came from Don Skaggs, the owner of Skaggs Company, a Salt Lake City-based shop that sells public safety gear, Patricia Rose, a Paradise Valley homemaker, and Brian Tompsett, an engineer who used to work for Johnson Utility. The PAC report shows he's now self-employed.
The sheriff has been putting out pleas for funds attached to statements about how drug cartels and the Mexican mafia are making death threats against him and rants against the federal government, namely President Obama.
In one, he writes: "While we're dealing with death threats and heavily trained, well-armed Cartel soldiers -- the U.S. government is bickering about immigration reform rather than enforcing the law and protecting our borders. Their inaction speaks volumes about their lack of leadership."
Then, a request to "help us share this troubling message with our fellow patriots by chipping in $25, $50, or any amount you can afford now?"
But Babeu's approach to enforcement first is just meant to fire up his fellow patriots and serve as a scare tactic to those easily persuaded.
The Immigration Policy Center, a liberal think tank that aims to create rational conversation on immigration and immigrant integration, has looked at the cost of an "enforcement first" approach.
Since the last major legalization program for unauthorized immigrants in 1986, the federal government has spent an estimated $186.8 billion on immigration enforcement. Yet during that time, the unauthorized population has tripled in size to 11 million.
This did not occur because $186.6 billion was not enough to get the job done. It occurred because this money was spent trying to enforce immigration laws that have consistently failed to match either the U.S. economy's demand for workers or the natural desire of immigrants to be reunited with their families.
As a result, we keep throwing good money after bad, ignoring the old adage that "insanity" is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. More concretely, the federal government has met nearly every "metric" for border security that appeared in the 2006, 2007, and 2010 immigration-reform bills in the Senate, yet new metrics are continually created to replace the old ones, and the finish line keeps moving further away. The "enforcement first" approach to unauthorized immigration would more accurately be called "enforcement forever," because there is no end in sight.
But Babeu doesn't delve too deeply into such facts. His patriot followers would rather hear about how the sheriff and his men are armed to the teeth, unafraid as they do battle with drug lords along the border, which we should note is about 75 miles from Pinal County.
And despite those reports coming from Babeu's office about almost daily high-speed chases with drug cartel members, Babeu and his office have yet to release police reports of such incidents. New Times requested the information back in May 2012, and we're still waiting.
But we digress.
Babeu's first campaign finance report of 2014 doesn't reflect a groundswell of grassroots support -- which is surprising considering the issue of immigration has once again surged into the national spotlight.
Perhaps, more people are recognizing that, indeed, the Emperor has no clothes.
Got a tip? Send it to: Monica Alonzo.