It's official: Joe Arpaio's endorsement is worth squat beyond the confines of Sand Land, particularly when we're talking about California.
All of the politicians Arpaio plugged, campaigned for, raised money for, or just had a kind word for went down in flames in California primary and local elections yesterday.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Steve Poizner had won Arpaio's nod for his anti-immigrant grandstanding. But Poizner was crushed like an earthworm beneath the heel of former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, who bested Poizner by a more than 2-to-1 margin in the GOP primary.
Arpaio's boy in Orange County, sheriff's candidate Bill Hunt, faced an equally humiliating defeat, failing to force incumbent Sheriff Sandra Hutchens into a runoff out of a three-way field. Hutchens received almost 52 percent of the vote. Hunt garnered 28 percent. The other guy scored 20 percent.
You can consider this a huge slap in the face to Arpaio, who traveled to Orange County several times to raise funds for Hunt, once going so far as to pose with Hunt and California bigot Barbara Coe.
(Coe, who recently spoke at the pro-SB 1070 Phoenix Rising rally at the Arizona state Capitol, has referred to Mexicans in the past as "barbarians" and "savages," according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.)
Hunt ran a pro-gun, anti-immigrant campaign, but it still didn't take, even with Arpaio flying over to visit. Seems ultra-conservative OC -- the birthplace of Richard Nixon, no less -- is far more enlightened politically than Sand Land.
Finally, Jay LaSuer, a Joe Arpaio-wannabe, who'd been running for sheriff of San Diego County was blown out of the water by incumbent Sheriff Bill Gore. Gore pulled nearly 57 percent, versus LaSuer's 22 percent and third-placer Jim Duffy's almost 21 percent.
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Sheriff Joe had helped LaSuer raise cash, and LaSuer returned the favor in true lickspittle fashion, by suggested that San Diego County needed a Tent City of its very own. San Diego County voters nixed that idea Tuesday.
My colleague Gustavo Arellano over at New Times' sister paper the OC Weekly (he of the famous "Ask a Mexican" column) reveled in the bad day for the nativists on a blog post, mocking their inability to gain traction in normally right-wing OC.
"Hey, Know Nothings," he asked, "care to explain why your boys got beat like a piñata?"
Good question. One I'll be happy to pass on to Sheriff Joe next time I run into him...probably when I'm covering some anti-immigrant hillbilly hoedown here in Cactus Country.