Joe Arpaio

Ex-Sheriff and Failed Senate Candidate Joe Arpaio Announces He Will Run for Maricopa County Sheriff Again

Arpaio lost his re-election bid in 2016 and was later convicted of criminal contempt by a federal judge.

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Former Maricopa County Sheriff, failed U.S. Senate candidate, and habitual abuser of power Joe Arpaio announced he will run to regain his old office in 2020.

"Thousands want me to run for Sheriff," Arpaio, 87, announced in a tweet Sunday. "Ready for bruising, bitter campaign. Never back down."

Arpaio was first elected sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, in 1993 and held the office until he was defeated in 2016. He styled himself as "the toughest sheriff in America" and became known for his "tent city" jail, where inmates wearing old-timey striped uniforms were held in tents in the brutal desert heat.

He was also notorious for using large-scale sweeps of Latino neighborhoods and traffic stops of Latino drivers to round up illegal immigrants. The sweeps drained resources from his department and were abhorred by civil liberties advocates and immigration groups, but they brought the publicity-seeking sheriff to national attention.

In a statement accompanying his tweet, Arpaio said he would reopen his tent city jail and resume immigration enforcement.

"I will continue to stand and fight to do the right thing for Arizona and America, and will never surrender," Arpaio said in the statement. "Those who break the law will have to deal with this Sheriff."

In 2011, the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division released a report finding that the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office "engages in racial profiling of Latinos; unlawfully stops, detains, and arrests Latinos; and unlawfully retaliates against individuals who complain about or criticize MCSO's policies or practices." 

For the next five years, Arpaio continued to flout orders by federal judges to improve the conditions inside his jails and cease the unconstitutional racial profiling of Latinos, leading to him being found guilty of both civil and criminal contempt of court in 2017.

Arpaio was also a vocal Trump supporter, and a month after his conviction, Trump returned the favor and pardoned Arpaio. I wrote then:

In pardoning Arpaio, Trump has given a free pass to an unrepentant and habitual abuser of power, a man with insufficient regard for the Constitution he swore to uphold or the separation of powers it enshrines. The move should come as no surprise. The two are kindred spirits.

Arpaio is quite sensitive about his problems with federal judges. Conservative attorney and noted dunce Larry Klayman filed a defamation lawsuit on Arpaio's behalf against CNN and several other news outlets seeking $300 million in damages after the outlets labeled him a "convicted felon." (Arpaio's contempt offense was a misdemeanor, not a felony.) 

A federal court dismissed Arpaio's lawsuit in August, writing that his complaint "comes nowhere close to pleading sufficient facts that plausibly establish 'actual malice.' Indeed, Plaintiff pleads no facts at all."

In addition to unconstitutional immigration sweeps, Arpaio's 24 years as sheriff were marred by numerous cases of brutality and misconduct, abuses of power, retaliation, and cover-ups.

In 2007, Maricopa County's board of supervisors settled a lawsuit filed by the founders of the Phoenix New Times newspaper against Arpaio and the board for $3.5 million. The newspapers' founders sued after they were arrested by MCSO deputies for publishing details of a grand jury subpoena for the paper's notes and sources for its coverage of Arpaio. The charges against the newspaper were quickly dropped.

In 2014, J.D. Tuccille noted in Reason that Arpaio's office "has also been guilty of a litany of shenanigans, including stealing documents from a defense attorney, arresting critical journalists, spying on political opponents—and maintaining such lousy jail conditions that they violate inmates' rights."

In 2016, after years of scandals and millions upon millions of dollars in lawsuit settlements, voters replaced Arpaio with a Democrat candidate buoyed by large infusions of cash from a super PAC connected to liberal megadonor George Soros.

"Tonight, the people have spoken," Arpaio said in a campaign statement following his 2016 defeat. "And while Ava and I are disappointed in the results we respect their decision."

In 2018, Arpaio came in third place in the Republican primary election for Arizona's U.S. Senate seat, behind Rep. Martha McSally (R–Az.) and Kelli Ward. 

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  1. Just what Arizona needs. One more cop incapable of obeying the law.

    1. His lawlessness was a response to the lawlessness of the progtards on illegals. In any event, he’s 87. Way too old.

      1. Do you believe the crap coming out of your keyboard or is it all just a show?

        1. So, you’re saying he’s not 87? Or do you figure that’s not too old?

          LoS is certainly right that, whether or not what Arpaio was doing was legal, it was a response to the illegality of the country being deliberately flooded with illegal aliens.

          Rather hypocritical to complain about the one crime, and not the other.

          1. But it wasn’t solely against immigrants. Do you think “flooding the country with illegal aliens” is justification to deny rights to Americans?

            1. At some point, it would become so, so I would prefer we get the problem under control before it comes to that.

          2. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA. Man, thanks for the laugh. Clearly you don’t know too much about Sheriff Joe or his 20+ years in office.

          3. The illegal immigrants aren’t the ones running for Sheriff, dumbass.

          4. Wasn’t he conducting unconstitutional searches and seizures of Americans based on whether or not they looked Hispanic? If I recall correctly, he was also using his office’s resources to harass and retaliate against people that questioned his use of profiling, called out his unconstitutional searches of citizens and dared to blow the whistle on the poor conditions of his jail.

            I wouldn’t die on any hill defending him, regardless of whether or not he was right on illegal immigration.

            1. As I recall, he certainly was accused of doing so. Dpesn’t change the fact that, whether or not you think it the right thing to do, it was indeed a response to the effort to flood America with illegal aliens by refusing to enforce, or permit to be enforced, our immigration laws.

              So, LoS was dead on in what he wrote.

              1. Your argument is that of a kindergartner! “They made me do it, they made me do it! Pathetic!

            2. “Wasn’t he conducting unconstitutional searches and seizures of Americans based on whether or not they looked Hispanic?”

              I dunno, was he? And were his searches against the Constitution or against hysterically liberal judges’ interpretations thereof. I know the libertarian position is pretty much that enforcing laws is unconstitutional, but there are other views on the matter

          5. How about government officials not to illegal stuff, period?

            1. Sounds great. Hope you’re still principled, when it’s a politician you support, and not Captain Cheeto.

          6. OK, I’m from Arizona – Arpaio’s anti-immigration stuff is the *least* of the lawbreaking this guy has been involved in.

            At least you could – even if you disagreed with it – see how it has a real law enforcement nexus. You could say he overstepped his authority there.

            The raids against newspapers. The deputy stealing from lawyers in court – and Arpaio’s open defiance of the judge demanding that what was taken be returned. The fights against the judges because Arpaio wanted the money that they used to build a new courthouse.

            My god, anti-immigrant actions and pink underwear is all people outside Arizona know the guy for – and it the least of the horrible shit he’s done.

          7. And here’ Brett, another Trumpanzee retard supporting the Last of the Retards.

      2. So, are you implying that “lawlessness” is a legitimate response to “lawlessness?”

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        2. When it’s lawlessness on the part of the government, is there any other response but lawlessness available? This doesn’t necessarily function as a defense of any particular instance of such lawlessness, but you can’t just say, “Lawlessness is never justified!” unless you’re just going to categorically rule out anything but surrender in the face of the government’s own lawlessness.

          1. So, should I assume your philosophy is that it’s perfectly okay for one to break a law with which one doesn’t agree, even when breaking that law includes serious aggression upon other people? Please tell me I am wrong.

            1. I’m saying that it depends on the circumstances, it’s not categorically wrong.

              1. Oh, so it’s a “qualified” yes. That is understandable, at least in the abstract.

                Well, I do hope you don’t run into some degenerate “official” who uses their badge and gun and their political power to enforce their particular interpretation of the law or of the constitution upon your body. I don’t wish that on anybody.

      3. Is there any Trumpanzee you won’t try to suck off, LastoftheShitferbrains?

    2. He got in trouble for enforcing the laws that The Enlightened Among Us did not want enforced.

      1. Like freezing the assets of political opponents and dragging them through lengthy “investigations”? Costing the county taxpayers millions defending him? Inflaming issues to buy himself airtime?

        He wanted to make himself into a one-issue candidate to make it an easy, uninformed choice. The guy’s a dirtbag regardless of your stance on any one issue.

        1. What you cited is why Arpaio should have been fired and prosecuted a long time ago. But it’s not why the feds finally got off their butts and went after him – that was because he was working harder at enforcing immigration laws than the agency that actually had jurisdiction…

    3. He shouldn’t run for sheriff.
      He should instead administer a 1000-acre desert tent prison for criminal invaders caught crossing the border. He can feed and house them the same way he did prisoners as sheriff. Cheese sandwiches 7 days a week (78 cents a day for food?). Cots in tents. No air-conditioning or heat. Pink uniforms.
      One big pen full of invading criminals run by someone who won’t coddle them.
      Nice image.

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  3. His biggest contributor will be Donald Trump.
    His biggest supporter is still David Duke

    1. Hihn, kill yourself.

      1. That’s not very…Oh, it’s Hihn. Carry on.

  4. This man belongs in jail for decades of violating the 4th Amendment. Don’t cops take an oath to uphold the Constitution? Sadly, most see it as in impediment to getting civilians to submit to their authoritah…

    1. “Don’t [politicians] take an oath to uphold the Constitution? Sadly, most see it as in impediment to getting civilians to submit to their authoritah…”

      1. I guess I should be more precise, not “politicians,” but “members of congress.”

  5. Can’t keep a sleaze bag down!
    Just look at Hihn…

  6. Godammit. Apparently he’s missing the ability to legally break the law.

  7. Arpaio is Cartman all grown up. I have no doubt that Arpaio is currently plotting some way to get Paul Penzone to eat his own mother during a chili cooking competition. Trump should have never pardoned this asshole.

  8. I thought he was dead.

  9. Who gives a shit about this loser? Reason does.

  10. I am MOST interested in what the people of Maricopa County think. Isn’t that the ‘proof in the pudding’ — can he get re-elected post-pardon?

  11. Trump’s pardon of this psycho and, well, most of everything else he does and says indicates a severe fascistic obsession with harming Latinos in America and using them as a political scapegoat.

    Libertarians who cheer on this utterly disturbing habit “in the name of law” need to be flogged by their fellow libertarians who are aware of what their beliefs are supposed to be about, if there are any left.

    1. That’s cute, Tony, acting as the hall monitor of libertarianism.

      1. Shitbag acting as if he was a moral agent in any form at all is pathetic; he’s an infantile personality, perpetually the ‘victim’ of his environment.

    2. When liberals break the law, it’s “civil disobedience” or “exercising their conscience”. When conservatives break the law, they are “fascists”, right?

  12. I’d be disappointed that commenters on a nominally libetarian website are defending this antediluvian piece of authoritarian shit, but then I realize half the assholes around here aren’t libertarians. They’re just Trumpanzee Contards spewing drivel and sucking the metaphorical cock of anyone connected to that Orange asshole.

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