All this subtext, all this intrigue. And all this political jibber-jabber.
We'll leave the moving parts to able colleagues Ray Stern and Sarah Fenske.
But we were struck yesterday by a soundbite from the mouth of Paul Charlton, the usually circumspect and conservative former United States Attorney for Arizona, who infamously was fired a few years ago (along with six peers in different states) by then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.
Charlton, of course, is representing Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Don Stapley, the latest target (and what a target the chronic political mover-and-shaker is!) of Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the gang.
No doubt, Charlton will provide a sound defense for whatever transpires (who the hell knows what that might be at this point?) over the next days and weeks. But check this out.
Driving down the 51 to work, we heard Charlton tell a local NPR reporter all the right stuff about being outraged, appalled, and so on about Stapley's bizarre Monday-morning arrest by sheriff's deputies in downtown Phoenix.
Then, he added the following (paraphrased because we can't locate the audio bite on the KJZZ Web site):
I remember when Joe Arpaio was a law enforcement officer we all could be proud of.
Charlton added that those halcyon days seem, sadly, to be gone.
My question, Mr. Charlton, is:
Exactly when were those days?
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