There is a report circulating right now, which -- if true -- confirms what many Arizona residents have been dreading for years: Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio will run for governor of the state of Arizona.
According to "several high-ranking sources within the Sheriff's Department," all the necessary paperwork "has been filled out and is ready to file."
Unfortunately, he may well win. There are two things an outsider needs to know about people in Arizona
- They have an insane, irrational fear of Mexican immigrants, who they see as disproportionately made up of gang lords who make Tony Soprano look like a pansy. Of course, no one seems to have any actual personal experience with such violence or to be an actual victim, but they heard that the lady who put her cat in the microwave was threatened.
- They believe that only Joe Arpaio has been standing between them and total annihilation at the hands of the brown-skinned hordes.
Yes, Arpaio is not only liked here, he is freaking beloved by a near majority of the population. He is the single most potent Republican name in the state -- one only has to look at the number of candidates seeking his endorsement. For example, we have people running for the US Congress in this state who tout Arpaio's endorsement on their every poster. Think of that -- US Congressmen running around seeking a sheriff's endorsement.
Bill Montgomery, the candidate for Maricopa County Attorney backed by Sheriff Joe Arpaio, strongly questions Sheriff Joe Arpaio's mental fitness and leadership ability in a secret tape made by county officials....
To Stapley [one of the county officials at the taped meeting], the Republican candidate made himself out to be a real Arpaio critic.
But, as we learned, Montgomery later teamed up with Arpaio in hopes of giving a boost to his campaign. Montgomery mailed a letter from Arpaio to the sheriff's supporters a couple of weeks ago, in which Arpaio praises the candidate and pledges to help him get elected.
We sort of feel bad for Montgomery in this situation -- no one likes to have a private conversation recorded without their knowledge. Yet getting beyond the ethics (and politics) of why the tape was made, Montgomery does come off looking fairly two-faced.
He's willing to take every cent Arpaio can raise for him, yet described the sheriff to Stapley as kind of a dottering old fool.
He also said he's not thrilled with Thomas' monolithic focus on illegal immigration. Yet that focus, of course, is shared by Arpaio.
Fellow Arpaio-haters will love this:
Montgomery related how he'd been talking about serious issues during a meeting with Arpaio when the conversation suddenly turned to "stories about his family, past Valentine's Days, that sort of thing."
An aide popped in to prompt the sheriff out of his daydreaming, and "it was a little bit like -- I don't want to disparage him -- but a little bit like someone coming into a nursing home and saying visiting hours are over now."