Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Arpaio Files: Meet Joe Blow

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

Vice President Joe Biden was in Phoenix yesterday meeting with area Democrats. He also took time out to personally recognize some of the local people who have benefited from the Federal stimulus package. Then, to add the frosting to that cake of a day, the Vice President took a meeting with Joe Arpaio, the legendary (in his own mind) sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona.

Or did he?

Well, according to Sheriff Joe, he did. The self-styled "toughest sheriff in America" tweeted the following: "Just got done meeting with the Vice President of the United States." The sheriff even revealed the nature of their talks. He apparently told the Veep of his need for more deputies.

The local press, which should be used to our sheriff's outlandish propensity for shameless self-promotion and exaggeration, bought into his tweet and helped to generate more local buzz about the meeting between the Vice President and Sheriff Joe.

Only one problem - if a meeting occurred, it was somewhere in cobwebs of Arpaio's aging head.

Today the White House issued a statement noting that the Republican Arpaio had not been invited to the Biden event - he just showed up. Apparently pushy old Joe managed to grab a handshake with the Vice President as he was exiting the building, but it lacked the element of conversation that most people regard as necessary for a "meeting."

Undoubtedly the Vice President is aware of our illustrious sheriff. Janet Napolitano probably regales the cabinet with stories of Sheriff Joe routinely rounding up political opponents and charging them with bogus offenses. And Joe's tent city is truly legendary, adding to that tough cop image that he likes to brandish.

I suspect that Biden has a working knowledge of Arpaio - and that if the sheriff had the opportunity to make a pitch for more deputies, the Vice President would have probably laughed in his face. True, more deputies could help to serve the 40,000 misdemeanor and felony warrants that are backlogged and waiting to be delivered to deserving recipients in Maricopa County, but the sheriff already commands a force that would give any third world dictator a permanent boner. If Sheriff Joe would take some of the deputies off of his publicity-oriented immigration sweeps and other stunts, the county's law enforcement work might start getting done.

But those are just my thoughts.

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