by Pa RockThe Stars and Stripes has had articles dealing with the on-going hate-fest in Arizona for the past several days. In fact, Jan Brewer and Joe Arpaio seem to be soaking up more newsprint here than they do in the daily pages of The Arizona Republic.
Yesterday I saw a picture of Governor Brewer standing in front of a saintly looking John McCain. The article said that she might call a special session of the legislature to come up with changes in Senate Bill 1070 in an effort to make it more palatable to Federal Judge Susan Bolton. That almost sounds as if the governor is backing down. Unfortunately in politics, Molly Ivins was right: you have to dance with them what brung you. If the Sand Hag backs down, the rabid morons who form her political base will eat her and leave her bones to bleach in the Sonora. Welcome to Arizona Politics 101, Jan!
State Senator Russell Pearce, the author of the bigoted SB 1070 remains a hate purist. He said he will only support changes if they make the law tougher (read: more racist). Pearce was fired from a high profile state job with cause. What a shame he can't be fired from the state legislature for promoting racial profiling and stupidity.
There were protests in the Phoenix area Saturday with over seventy arrests being made by local law enforcement. Joe Arpaio's uniformed goons got their rocks off by arresting immigrant rights leader Salvador Reza. I understand Sal was freed on bail a few hours later, but an arrest is an arrest, and a false arrest of someone of Reza's stature is going to get expensive.
Arpaio has cost Maricopa County and its insurers millions of dollars in court awards over wrongful arrests (misuse of his power), maltreatment of prisoners, and even the senseless and wrongful deaths of prisoners. Sal Reza will undoubtedly sue the county and add to that rapidly-expanding pile of money that has been paid out due to Joe's incompetence and bloated ego.
The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office is so out of control and so blatant in its routine denial of constitutional rights to individuals that the courts need to start holding Arpaio and his chief deputies personally accountable and allow the public to sue them directly. When they have to start paying with their own money, things will likely change - for the better! It's time that Joe Arpaio's personal welfare system comes to an end!
Ah, Arizona, how do I miss thee? Let me count the ways...