Friday, May 31, 2013
Old Joe Gets a Reprieve
by Pa Rock
America’s most expensive sheriff, octogenarian Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona, learned yesterday that he will not have to face a recall election. Joe needed some good news – just last week a judge ruled that he and his department have been racial profiling and discriminating against our Latino residents.
Respect Arizona, a group composed largely of volunteers, had been passing petitions trying to get Arpaio recalled. The deadline for that effort was yesterday afternoon. Spokesmen for Respect Arizona stated that they failed to collect the 335,000 signatures necessary to mandate a recall vote. The citizens running the effort declined to turn their petitions in to county officials – a maneuver that gives them a ready database of somewhere north of 200,000 names and addresses in the event another attempt is made to remove Arpaio from office. That move also denies the names to Arpaio.
And so Old Joe remains in office and the lawsuits against the county go on. State and county officials whine incessantly about how Arizona doesn’t have enough money for its schools, foster care system, infrastructure, Medicaid, and a dozen other necessary public services, but Joe remains golden.
The tens of millions of dollars that Arpaio he has already cost Maricopa County – and the millions in judgments that will result from cases currently being litigated because of the actions and excesses of his department – could certainly be put to better use.
I have voted against Joe Arpaio twice, signed the recall petition, worked at a petition drive, and even donated money to the effort. My conscience is clean, but my soul is saddened.