I have been receiving a lot of visitors who have found my site via a link on a new website called Joes Got To Go. Apparantly the Democratic Party in Maricopa County has decided to link to a blog post I had back in May where I spoke about Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County Arizona decision to endorse Aubrey Dunn in his 2cd Congressional District primary race against Ed Tinsley. The web site mistakenly says the congressional race was in Santa Fe County and even though I am in Santa Fe County the 2cd Congressional District is in South Eastern New Mexico.
Apparently Joe's endorsement did not work as Republican Aubrey Dunn lost to Ed Tinsley in the June Primary. The controversial Republican Sheriff is facing democrat Dan Saban in the November election for the office of Sheriff in Maricopa County. Dan Saban was a republican when he ran against Joe Arpaio in 2004. Now after switching parties he returns to try and unseat the Sheriff who despite controversy after controversy continues to win re-election every 4 years. In the latest poll numbers on August 6, 2008 the Sheriff was still ahead even though his popularity has slipped in the last year. He remains ahead of his opponent with a 54% to 38% lead in polling numbers. The Sheriff enjoyed a 64% lead in March of 2007. The Sheriff has faced major opposition from Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon and Gov. Janet Napolitano, who has withdrawn state funding from the Sheriff's office after the Sheriff started conducting controversial immigration sweeps.
The battle between the Mayor, Governor and Sheriff Arpaio is based on his controversial program of "Crime suppression sweeps". In the sweeps he and a posse of volunteer deputies show up in predominantly Hispanic neighborhoods, stop residents for minor traffic violations and then question them about their immigration status. A recent “sweep” rounded up 27 Hispanics who the Sheriff believes may be in the country illegally. The sweeps have resulted in law suits, rallys both pro and con and sometimes heated demonstrations.
According to a five part investigative series by the East Valley Tribune in Phoenix the result of the massive effort has been slower response times on emergency calls, a slumping arrest rate and, for a time, excessive overtime costs. All while the Sheriff and his deputies wage war on immigrants.
I have always been surprised by the extent of controversy in this Sheriff's career as well as his ability to push the envelope and cross over lines and still remain an elected official. I have never visited Maricopa County but perhaps when New Mexico's Space Port is open I can visit, I imagine it is somewhere in the twilight zone.
P.S. ever wonder what happens to a candidate web site when they lose the election? In the case of Aubrey Dunn he took his campaign web site www.aubreydunn.com and redirected it to a real estate and cattle sale web site. I have been wondering what to do with solano4sheriff.com !