An ally in Joshua: I am a longtime reader and fan of New Times. I read every article about our Nazi sheriff, Joe Arpaio, and sheep of a county attorney, Andrew Thomas, even though each sends nausea rifling through my body.
If the article "The Nooses Must Be Cut Down" doesn't fan the fire against the sheriff and county attorney, I have no clue what will.
What will it take to get these two embarrassments to Maricopa County thrown out or, even better, investigated?
It sickens me to know that even just this letter could incur the wrath of the above-mentioned idiots. I know that the mere hint of a negative word against them will bring a shit-storm of problems to anyone who dares speak out.
I just wanted to take this opportunity to let you know that New Times has my full support as a citizen of Maricopa County. I am signing my name proudly and without fear!
Joshua Friedman, via the Internet
What about the civil/human rights abuses, L.H.?: I have nothing but contempt for MCSO Chief Deputy Dave Hendershott, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, County Attorney Andrew Thomas, et al.
But your attack upon these vindictive cretins misses the mark, because you cling to such a knee-jerk liberal attitude toward illegal immigration (and I am far left of your wildest dreams — gassed in D.C. during the Vietnam protests, aided rebels in El Salvador, learned Spanish to better serve the cause). What part of "illegal" don't you understand?
The body politic, from Sun City to south Tucson, rightly sees the unfair competition [between] the taxpaying, mortgage-bearing, labor class of citizens [and] the black market bodies oozing through the border by the thousands.
These same masses resist integration and cling to language and ridiculous/dangerous cultural pride. They wave Mexican flags and march in proclamation of "La Raza."
Joe Arpaio, et al., have a legitimate role to play in combating illegal (there's that word again) aliens. So refocus your invective and get on the right side of the law when it comes to the immigration flood. You'll find yourself in surprisingly clean and consistent air, and your opposition to [Arpaio and Thomas in other areas] will enjoy wider support.
L.H. Nordin, via the Internet
Here's hoping: Wow, New Times is delusional. You actually believe that Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard, who will be running for governor, is going to go after the most popular politician in Maricopa County?
Raymond Gross, Phoenix
No support for Goddard: Sarah Fenske's phenomenal article "Sheriff Joe Arpaio's Command Staff Is Caught Up in a Serious Criminal Investigation" documented the attorney general's avowals to a Pinal County judge that the investigation of the SCA [Sheriff's Command Association] was wrapping up. A motion filed in August avowed that there were "very few witnesses remaining to be interviewed."
So here we are, over four months later, and what has Terry Goddard done? I am all in favor of preparing a meticulous case against the MCSO — I want to see Arpaio and Hendershott do the perp walk as much as anyone. But given the worsening meltdown in the rule of law in Maricopa County, I don't believe we have the luxury of such a deliberate investigation by AG Goddard.
Goddard, follow the lead of Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk. The time to act is now. If you fail to show leadership in your job as attorney general, how do you expect anyone to support you in a run for governor?
Chad Snow, Peoria
A battle for public opinion: The basic problem is that Joe Arpaio and Andrew Thomas remain popular with the voters. Terry Goddard is probably afraid that action against Arpaio and Thomas would cost him votes.
If Arpaio and Thomas were unpopular, he would have no such concern. So this is very much a battle for public opinion.
Jeff Benton, Phoenix
Another perspective on the Joe McCarthy comparison: Great article and well researched, except for the part comparing Andrew Thomas to [the late U.S. Senator] Joe McCarthy — who actually accused real, live Soviet spies in our State Department — as we now know through the release of Soviet cables known as the Venona Project. Senator McCarthy's reputation is unfairly tarnished by your comparison.
But, otherwise, great work. I appreciate your drawing attention to this important issue. It's a fascinating case, and it's important because the county attorney's position is that [he and the sheriff] should be able to invade the rights of the individual without probable cause or even reasonable suspicion — without any personal repercussion from anyone (which is usually the case).
Let's hope the feds or the AG gets off of their rears and put them in their place.
Mark Andersen, Gilbert