Photo Credit Sheriff Arpaio's Twitter Account: Arpaio invites Hillary to visit after Bernie Sanders' wife tours with him.
Those of us living in Arizona are all too familiar with Sheriff Joe Arpaio's political media stunts in our State, and it appears he is back in the news again -- this time with Bernie Sanders' wife, Jane Sanders, on the eve of the Arizona Presidential Preference Election set for March 22, 2016.
Arpaio is in the middle of federal court proceedings civil-contempt hearings, as well as its underlying racial-profiling suit. Arpaio has costed us taxpayers in Arizona millions and millions of dollars with regard to the multiple lawsuits against him. Several years ago, I attended a meeting where Arpaio was the keynote speaker, and I heard him make jokes about the mysterious Mexican deaths in his jail.
Lisa Allen was a longtime spokesperson for Sheriff Joe Arpaio, and according to the Phoenix New Times:
Lisa Allen, a former TV reporter, has been instrumental in Arpaio's obtaining celebrity status by orchestrating media stunts, garnering media from across the globe, mitigating negative stories, and blocking journalists who have not toed the MCSO's party line.
... "[Sheriff Arpaio] is referred to as a media hog," she said. "He is referred to as a media whore. But there has always been a reason for it."
... In a meeting captured by Murray for the documentary, Allen mocks Arpaio's birther obsession, even as Arpaio crows about how much money the investigation will bring in donations from wingnuts around the country.
In a recent op-ed Len Sherman, a former aide and Arpaio biographer stated:
I recently and reluctantly resigned because voices unwilling to toe the party line are no longer welcome.
A bunker mentality rules as the walls close in, information hemorrhages to the press from numerous anonymous inside sources, and paranoia and threats from the top continue.
To understand what has happened, start by understanding that illegal immigration and the "birther" business have one fascinating thing in common: Both began as crass ploys to appeal to voters, with Arpaio’s tone hardening as he somehow, over time, convinced himself that what he was peddling was actually so.
And it worked. Millions of dollars needed for his increasingly difficult re-election campaigns rolled in, along with the media attention he so desperately craves.
I have a bone to pick with Jane Sanders, and it ain't nice. The last thing we need right now is for Jane and the Bernie Sanders campaign to contribute to orchestrated media stunts Sheriff Joe Arpaio enjoys and benefits from. It doesn't help Arizona Chicano and Latino voters feel any better about the Sanders campaign, particularly when the Boston Globe wrote:
A review of the vote in question shows that Sanders, as a U.S. representative in 2006, did indeed vote in support of 2006 legislation supporting civilian border patrols under the Minuteman Project banner. The amendment, authored by then-Representative Jack Kingston, a Republican, aimed to prevent U.S. border officials from telling Mexican officials about the whereabouts of the Minutemen patrols.
Three years later, a little girl by the name of Brisenia Flores died by the hands of the Minuteman Militia. Sanders may want to downplay the significance of his militia vote, but those of us who vote using immigration as a litmus test will never forget.
Photo Credit: Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro Twitter Account
I urge Secretary Hillary Clinton to not accept Arpaio's invitation.
Arpaio thrives off of media attention, and I would remind Hillary, that mysterious deaths indeed have occurred in Arpaio's jail. Instead of participating in media stunts, it would be better for Hillary to wait the outcome of Judge Murray Snow's ruling regarding Arpaio's civil-contempt case. If Judge Snow defers the case for contempt to the criminal courts, I implore Hillary to convince U.S. Attorney John S. Leonardo (who was appointed by President Obama) to file charges against Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his "anti immigrant posse, " instead of participating in publicity stunts.
Lydia Hernandez, a former Arizona House of Representative, now currently running for Arizona Senate says:
Votes are up for grabs, and it appears Jane Sanders is trying to capitalize on Arpaio’s lightning rod publicity before Presidential primary election. I encourage Chicanos and Latinos who are planning on voting for Bernie Sanders to reconsider. Bernie Sanders voted against comprehensive immigration reform in 2007, when President Obama voted for it.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio has blood on his hands and has been running amuck for far too long. It's high time we see him in striped uniforms wearing pink underwear underneath.