In case you missed it, here's video from Geraldo Rivera's March 29 show on Fox, where he takes on Sheriff Joe for the umpteenth time, and features footage of Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox and state Senator Russell Pearce.
The footage of Wilcox is from the big pro-immigration rally that took place in D.C. on March 21, where Wilcox denounced Arpaio as running our county like a "police state." The video Geraldo shows was apparently borrowed from Dennis Gilman's YouTube video of the event. Too bad the Geraldo people clipped the part where Wilcox demanded Arpaio's indictment.
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Pearce, as always, comes off as a marshmallow-mouthed redneck. I thought politicians were supposed to know how to speak? Pearce always sounds like he's got a ball of cotton inside his mouth the size of his fist. The guy needs remedial courses in how to speak English. Highly ironic, considering his bigotry towards Mexicans.
"I applaud what Joe's doing," Pearce informs the camera, without telling it that he's itching for Joe's job. "You've got other folks who have gone to DC to get the federal government to interfere with a constitutional officer of the state of Arizona that's enforcing the law. If that's not corruption, I don't know what is."
Pearce claimed he was cleared. At the time, Peters cracked, "There's a big difference between being cleared and choosing not to file criminal charges."
Heh, now that's corruption, Russ. What Wilcox was doing in D.C.? That's called petitioning your government, one of the pillars of democracy.
Rivera then had Arpaio on for a few minutes to talk about Pearce's police state bill SB 1070, which Arpaio says he supports.
The newscaster gets a couple of things wrong: It's not Arpaio's bill, obviously; and the "trespassing" provision has been switched out for a provision where everyone in Arizona has to carry I.D. so they can prove they're not illegal.
In other words, the bill's worse than it was before it was amended.
But Rivera's dead on when he points out that the federal government has plenary power over immigration. Even the nativist nudniks at the Center for Immigration Studies realize this, and have stated as much on their Web site.
Arpaio blathers on about cops having the inherent authority to enforce federal code. This is a theory promulgated by right-wing attorneys such as Kris Kobach and others, and it has about as much credibility as the divine right of kings. It's not the law.
Rivera seems to get under Arpaio's skin when the TV journo asks him about the federal grand jury investigating him on abuse of power claims. Arpaio at first tries to deflect the question, and begins talking about the U.S. Department of Justice's civil rights investigation of his office. Rivera presses him, and Arpaio refuses comment.
Maybe Arpaio has so many people investigating his office that he can't keep all of the probes straight. Or maybe the guy's peeved at the thought of himself in the pink undies. Either way, you've got to wonder how much that trademark growl will help him if and when he's indicted.
Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
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