Feathered Bastard

Gerald Richard Says Arpaio-Henchman David Hendershott Offered Up Damaging Info on Dan Saban (w/Update).

Gerald Richard, exposing MCSO honcho David Hendershott's role in the sliming of Saban.

Fee-fie-foe-fum, I smell the weasel-y paw of Joe Arpaio's two-ton henchman, Chief Deputy David Hendershott, master of the MCSO's dirty tricks department. Dan Saban operatives called a press conference at Wesley Bolin Plaza this afternoon to release a doorstop doc refuting the sleaze the Republican Party has thrown at Saban in the now-infamous attack ad alleging sexual improprieties on Saban's part. (The charges are old and scurrilous, dating back some 30 years, and were used to slime Saban in 2004.)

On hand was Saban supporter and ex-candidate for County Attorney Gerald Richard, who had a bombshell of his own: Hendershott tried to pass off the sleaze to Richard in July of this year, in attempt to sway Richard from the Saban camp.

Richard questioned Arpaio's statement that he had nothing to do with the dirty commercial, which is still running on some local channels.*** Arpaio's said it's the product of an independent expenditure group, not him, though the group is in reality a barely-veiled arm of the Arizona Republican Party, which has claimed credit for it.

"I for one question the sheriff's office as far as making that statement," said Richard, adding, "A couple of months ago, I was asked if I wanted that information in order that it would sway my support for Dan Saban."

Richard said Hendershott made the offer during a July law enforcement powwow in Flagstaff. Hendershott told Richard that if he filed a public records request, Hendy would fork over the goods.

"Hendershott asked me why I was supporting Dan," recalled Richard. "I told him I've known him for 20 years. He said, `You won't [be supporting him] when you see what we've got on him.'"

In a weird way, I think Arpaio's sleaze has galvanized the Saban camp, energizing them in the fight against Arpaio. Also, the ad has given Saban the chance to call Joe a liar and a coward, and point out that Arpaio's dodging a debate. Surely, Arpaio and the Republican Party were hoping this would be their October Surprise. It seems to have backfired on them, with calls flooding state GOP offices, and GOP chairman Randy Pullen issuing a press release today stating that the ads are being curtailed, and defending the content.

Sorry for the quick post. I barely had time to attend the press conference and put this up, so please forgive any typos.

***UPDATE: KTAR, the mouthpiece of the Arizona Republican Party, reports that AZ GOP chairman Randy Pullen told them the ad has been pulled. However, this afternoon, Sean McCaffrey, the Executive Director of the Arizona Republican Party, e-mailed me a press release, which quotes Pullen saying,

"The ad was originally intended to run seven days, but will run fewer days with the same number of spots. A new ad will be trafficked in next week."

So did they pull it or not? I e-mailed McCaffrey for a clarification. Will let you know when/if I hear something.

FINAL UPDATE: KTAR, the propaganda machine of the AZ GOP, was correct on the ads being pulled, the GOP's poorly-worded press release aside.

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