Once again, Arizona has moved to the forefront of the news with some more lunacy, this time courtesy of Secretary of State Ken Bennett. Last week, Bennett said that although he doesn’t believe it, ‘several constituents’ wanted proof that President Barack Obama was actually born in Hawaii, even though he officially released his certificate of live birth which has been verified many times by Hawaiian officials. Look at his CNN video about the ‘birther’ conspiracy. But this isn’t good enough for the ‘birthers’. And of course the head ‘birther’ in Arizona is Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Arpaio is known as “America’s toughest sheriff” because of his unorthodox disciplinarian methods used on prisoners such as making them wear pink underwear, live in tents, work on chain gangs and eat green bologna. He’s no stranger to controversy. He’s currently being investigated by the federal government for abuse of power for his enforcement methods of the controversial anti-illegal immigration act SB1070. We remember when this unenforceable, discriminatory law was passed, a journalist famously asked Governor Jan ‘Skeletor’ Brewer, ‘What does an illegal immigrant looks like?’. In true Brewer fashion, she gave a deer in the headlight look, hemmed, hawed, mumbled and finally admitted she didn’t know. Because she knows that to enforce the law, you have to racially profile a certain segment of the population and to the conservative mindset, that means Hispanics.
Yes, Sheriff Arpaio has indeed been a popular figure in Arizona, especially with conservatives. He’s been in office for twenty years. He even had a short tv series on Fox Realty Channel. But we think his ego has gotten out of control. There’s a laundry list of controversies surrounding this man including several concerning abuse of power. His pursuance of the ‘birther’ issue using taxpayers money and the SB 1070 law are just two of the latest more annoying instances of this abuse of power.
So we say this to Sheriff Joe(like he’s going to listen to us): Please retire. Arizona can survive without you as Sheriff. You’re 80 years old. You’ve had a great twenty year run and a lot of great moments. Even we liked the pink underwear and chain gangs. But this latest escapade with the ‘birthers’ and SB1070 shows that it’s time to ride off into the sunset in true Arizona sheriff tradition. Please quit embarrassing our great state and give the reins to someone else.
So remember Arizonans: do ol’ Sheriff Joe and this state a big favor this fall and vote him out of office.