Feathered Bastard

Joe Arpaio: Tom Horne "Favors Amnesty for Illegal Immigrants"

Why is Sheriff Joe Arpaio endorsing Arizona's sleazy Attorney General Tom Horne in the GOP primary?

I'll tell you why: because Arpaio always likes to have a prosecutor or two in his hip pocket.

Should Horne lose the Republican primary to former Arizona gaming director Mark Brnovich, you can bet your bank account that Arpaio will quickly turn around and endorse Brnovich over Democrat Felecia Rotellini in the general election.

Back when Arpaio labeled Horne as an amnesty-lover

Arpaio occasionally has supported a Democrat, most spectacularly in the case of Janet Napolitano, when she was running for governor for the first time in 2002. It was widely seen as payback for her helping Joe out with a federal investigation into his office when she was U.S. Attorney for Arizona.

But when Horne was running in the 2010 GOP primary for AG against Joe's then-fellow Sith Lord Andy Thomas, Arpaio blasted Horne as pro-amnesty in commercials paid for by Joe's re-election committee.

The YouTube video of Arpaio's 2010 TV ad has since been taken down, but an ABC 15 report on the ad is still extant.

"Tom Horne favors amnesty for illegal immigrants, which would cost taxpayers billions," states the ad's narrator, in a clip shown by ABC 15.

Arpaio backs Horne for now, but if Horne loses to Brnovich, Arpaio will do Horne-boy like he did Candy Andy Thomas

The ad also targeted Arpaio's longtime nemesis Rick Romley, who had been appointed to fill the County Attorney position vacated by the then yet-to-be-disbarred Thomas.

Romley was running in the GOP primary against now-CA Bill Montgomery, who had Arpaio's endorsement, natch.

Horne went into court to have the ad stopped, but was unsuccessful.

When Horne eked out a victory over Thomas, Arpaio quickly kicked that loser to the curb and backed Horne against Rotellini.

After Thomas was disbarred in 2012, the ex-county attorney became a political pariah to all but the most-fervent Mexican-bashers.

Thomas, who is running for governor as a fringe-right candidate, still mentions Arpaio's name in his speeches, and he has a photo or two up on his Facebook page with Joe in them, but Arpaio's put his primary money on current front runner Doug Ducey, who is also supported by Montgomery.

Though Monty is backing Brnovich big-time in the AG's primary, unlike Joe.

Horne's current TV ad touts Joe's endorsement, and blasts Brnovich for having made a one-time $120 contribution to Democratic Pinal County Supervisor Pete Rios, whom the ad labels as an advocate of "open borders."

While watching that drivel, it's worth recalling that four years ago, Sheriff Joe had ex-Democrat Horne pegged as a member of the nasty liberal open-borders amnesty-lovin' club.

Which I can attest is no more true of Horne than it is of Brnovich. At least, I've never seen either man at any of our club's monthly meetings.

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