Feathered Bastard

Arizona's Top Ten News Stories of 2012

Page 3 of 3

8) Neo-Nazi J.T. Ready kills himself and four others.

It's too bad Ready, erstwhile pal of disgraced, recalled state Senate President Russell Pearce, didn't use the first bullet on himself. But being the deranged, swastika-licking scum that he was, he murdered two women, one man, and a 15 month-old child before giving himself an extra hole in his head on May 2. Federal law enforcement could have done something about Ready, who liked to roam the desert with other neo-Nazis, armed with long guns, taking illegal immigrants prisoner. But they were more keen on taking custody of the migrants. Which shows you where their priorities lie.

7) U.S. Supreme Court Rules on Senate Bill 1070.

In a 5-3 ruling handed down on June 25, the Supremes declared that three sections of Arizona's racist immigration statute SB 1070 were pre-empted by federal law. While re-affirming the federal government's "broad, undoubted power" over immigration, it allowed the so-called "papers, please" portion of the 1070, section 2(b), to stand. However, the court left open the door to future challenges to that section, and the ACLU has vowed to keep battling 1070 in court. Meanwhile, the public generally seems to have moved on, weary of this never-ending donnybrook.

6) Sheriff Joe's racial-profiling trial in Melendres v. Arpaio.

Since the U.S. Attorney's Office wimped out on bringing federal corruption and abuse of power charges against Arpaio, and since 50.7 percent of the electorate still worships the ground this pompous dipshit struts on, those in this county who want a little justice served to the octogenarian autocrat have to hope that District Court Judge G. Murray Snow has kept his pimp hand strong when it comes to Arpaio's racial-profiling ways.

The U.S. Department of Justice has filed a civil rights lawsuit against Joe as well, but it took more than four years for the ACLU's Melendres v. Arpaio to finally go to trial this past July 19. Feel like waiting another four? The sheriff and the MCSO are guilty as sin when it comes to a pattern and practice of discrimination against Latinos. If Snow doesn't order Arpaio to heel, that pattern and practice will continue.

5) The release of the FBI's case file on Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne.

Corruption, arrogance, lawbreaking, abuse of power. Hey, that's par for the course for public servants here in Cactus Country. But Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne one-upped his crooked colleagues by hiring his alleged mistress Carmen Chenal to a six-figure salary on the state payroll. In a Nixonian effort to keep the affair hush-hush, he ordered an internal investigation to determine who was leaking info on his girlfriend to a certain reporter in town. (Three guesses who that is.)

This backfired big time when his investigator uncovered evidence that the AG had illegally coordinated with an independent expenditure committee during the 2010 campaign, turning it over to the FBI. When the FBI's probe was made public in October, Horne became a laughingstock and the image of the state's top law enforcement officer swapping cars, donning baseball hats, and engaging in a hit-and-run while meeting up with Chenal was forever cemented in the public consciousness, thus ending any planned bid Horne had for higher office.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons