Elections

Babeu Bailout: Congressman Paul Gosar Taking Full Advantage of Budget Woes Faced by His Congressional Opponent, Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu


Congressman Paul Gosar is spreading the word among voters in Arizona's Fourth Congressional District that there is no way that his opponent, Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, is the face of fiscal conservatism.

Not with a $1.6 million budget shortfall in Babeu's office, and especially not with Babeu asking the Pinal County Board of Supervisors for a "bailout" to cover a portion of his budget gap, Gosar points out.

Gosar now represents Arizona's First Congressional District, but with new boundaries that emerged from Arizona's redistricting process, Gosar, Babeu, and others, are running for a seat in the newly created Fourth Congressional District.

Camp Gosar says of Babeu:

After attempting to kick-start his congressional campaign claiming to be a fiscal conservative, Babeu continues to show the voters of Congressional District 4 his true colors - demonstrating the same wreckless [sic] disregard for fiscal sanity and proper accounting as the prior Congress's who put our nation on its current path towards bankruptcy.

The phrase "continues to show the voters ... his true colors" is no doubt a not-so-subtle reference to the controversy that has engulfed Babeu since New Times first reported that Jose Orozco, his Mexican ex-lover, alleged that the border hawk sheriff and his attorney threatened him, including with deportation, if he made public their relationship.

Undaunted, Babeu is charging limping forward in his Congressional campaign and has vowed to finish out his term as sheriff.

Interestingly, Babeu's press release paints a far different financial picture of his office -- in fact, a completely opposite financial picture.

In a March 16 press release, "Presenting a Balanced Budget," Babeu says that he is "proud to announce that the budget is fully balanced and, in fact, will have a surplus of monies available."

The fact is, even after slashing department expenses -- mostly overtime pay -- Babeu remains $1.6 million short of a balanced budget. He's planning to cover almost $1 million of that shortfall with money earmarked for jail operations, and has asked the county to cover the rest -- about $650,000.

(Check out the Republic's AZ Fact Check on Babeu's budget claims, which they deem complete bullshit "misleading.")

From Babeu's campaign website:

I feel it's important for you to know how high of a priority it is for me to balance my department's budget because it's a message that needs to be carried to Washington, DC. We have a 15 trillion dollar national debt, with budgets in the red as far as the eye can see. This Congress approved the largest debt ceiling increase in American history. It is this culture of uncontrolled spending and entitlement that I plan to fight, if elected to Congress.

And Gosar says that "Washington doesn't need another politician who spending frivolously (like on collectable badges and coins or expensive trips), refuses make hard choices, and then looks to blame someone else."

The latter is a reference to the sheriff shouting at members of the board of supervisors, blaming them for budget gap.

Watch the video from ABC15.

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Monica Alonzo
Contact: Monica Alonzo