Feathered Bastard

Arpaio's Cowardly No-Show at the Horizon Debate, and Parts 2 and 3 of FSRN's Series on Sheriff Joe.

Ted Simons hosts the "debate," with cowardly Joe as a no-show.

Dan Saban is such a class act in so many respects, especially when compared to our clownish county constable Joe Arpaio. Take the KAET Horizon "debate" this Tuesday, which Arpaio blew off because his ego can't handle going head to head with any opponent, much less Saban. Saban came off as professional, tough and extremely courteous, despite the fact that he had to share the forum with this Libertarian air-head Chris Will, who looked (and sounded) like she should be selling granola at a Whole Foods store.

This woman was such a lightweight she couldn't remember that the "r" in PR stands for "relations." Her whole impetus for running, she told host Ted Simons, came from people shaking her hand and telling her she should run for sheriff, even though she has zip for law enforcement experience. Where did she find these people to blow smoke up her ass? In a post-op ward for lobotomy patients?

Hell, Will makes perennial Libertarian candidate Ernie Hancock look like freakin' Bill Clinton. (And that's saying something.) Simons painfully tried to include in her in the discussion, though she bumbled her way through each of her comments, clueless till the end. If Libertarians ever want to be viewed as more than a bunch of geeks who've read too much Ayn Rand, they need to come up with better prospects for public office.

I'm also including two links to Free Speech Radio News' series on Maricopa County, by reporter Aura Bogado. Yesterday, I introduced part one, which had to do with Sheriff Joe and the siege of the Wells Fargo building, where Arpayaso plots his anti-Hispanic raids and sweeps. Part two, deals more specifically with the claims of racial profiling against the sheriff's office. Bogado interviews a corn vendor who was rousted as part of a Joe mini-raid in Maryvale a few months ago, and contrasts his account of being illegally detained with Joe's insouciant comments. Bogado also touches on letters written by Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon seeking an FBI investigation into Arpaio's dastardly dragnets.

In the final installment, Bogado takes on the Guadalupe story, and Arpaio's sweep of the square mile town back in April. Bogado does nail the essential theme of what went down in the sleepy, half-Hispanic, half-Yaqui town, but I wish she'd gotten a chance to interview ex-Mayor Rebecca Jimenez, who was the heroine of Arpaio's two-day invasion. Instead, she interviews Frank Lopez, a member of Guadalupe's Public Safety Committee, which was instrumental in pushing out Jimenez as mayor and replacing her with pro-Joe Mayor Frankie Montiel. What Lopez has to say isn't necessarily bad, but using him as a primary source gives the misguided impression that the Public Safety Committee has been a positive force, when the contrary is actually the truth. PSC's backstabbing, along with Montiel's, have soured many in the Phoenix immigrant rights community.

Still, Bogado gets the big picture, with observations such as these:

"...pretty much everyone in the town is brown – and local residents say that is the problem: the crime is not entering the country illegally; the crime is having brown skin, regardless of your immigration status."

That may be all that's necessary for an audience unfamiliar with events in Guadalupe. For those wanting to peer a bit more through the microscope, check out Dennis Gilman's 9-minute YouTube masterpiece Guadalupe vs. Arpaio, here.

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons