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America's Whiniest Ex-Sheriff Announces Senate Run

Still thirsty for attention and with no degrading jails left to run, Joe Arpaio seeks higher office.

Rick D''Elia/ZUMA Press/NewscomRick D''Elia/ZUMA Press/NewscomA bit more than a year after voters booted him out of office, former Maricopa County sheriff Joe Arpaio has announced he's running for the U.S. Senate.

The 85-year-old Arizonan—an unrepentant birther, nativist, and whiny babytold the Washington Examiner that he will run on a platform of supporting the agenda of President Donald Trump, who pardoned Arpaio last year after a federal judge held the ex-sheriff in criminal contempt.

"I have a lot to offer. I'm a big supporter of President Trump," Arpaio told the paper. "I'm going to have to work hard; you don't take anything for granted. But I would not being doing this if I thought that I could not win. I'm not here to get my name in the paper, I get that every day, anyway."

A federal judge found Arpaio, who was notorious for jailing inmates in a sweltering desert tent camp, in contempt of court last July for flouting a 2011 order to stop the unconstitutional racial profiling and detainment of Latino residents.

Arpaio gained national prominence, a rare feat for a local sheriff, for his aggressive immigration sweeps. He styled himself as "America's toughest sheriff" and was politically untouchable for most of his 24-year career in local Arizona politics, despite ongoing scandals, lawsuits, and abuses of power.

The tent-city jail that Arpaio enjoyed showing off to reporters was a magnet for inmate lawsuit. Abuses and corruption festered under Arpaio's management. He used his office to target reporters and political opponents, flouting court orders and stonewalling federal investigators.

In 2016, facing a flood of out-of-state money, a well-organized Latino get-out-the-vote campaign, and the criminal contempt charges, Arpaio lost by a stunning 10 points.

Arpaio had been an ardent Trump supporter, though, and the president returned the favor. Both Arpaio and Trump characterized the charges against the former sheriff as judicial activism. Trump told Fox News prior to the pardon that Arpaio was "a great American patriot and I hate to see what has happened to him."

As I wrote at the time: "In pardoning Arpaio, Trump has given a free pass to an unrepentant and habitual abuser of authority, a man with insufficient regard for the Constitution he swore to uphold or the separation of powers it enshrines."

In 2013, Reason named Arpaio one of its 45 enemies of freedom, where he joined such luminaries as Idi Amin, Michael Bloomberg, and Hillary Clinton:

Maricopa County, Arizona's chief law enforcement officer is famous mostly for publicly degrading inmates: forcing them to live in a tent city, work on chain gangs, wear pink underwear. Meanwhile, his more serious transgressions receive far less attention. Arpaio has created citizen posses to track down and arrest illegal immigrants, overseen a jail staff that has violently abused inmates (resulting in the death of three prisoners and the paralysis of a fourth), and used law enforcement resources to harass and intimidate his political opponents.

Arpaio will join a now three-way race with Rep. Marth McSally and state Sen. Kelli Ward to be the Republican nominee to replace outgoing senator Jeff Flake. If elected, Arpaio would vote to confirm nominees to the federal bench, the same institution that held him in contempt.

Arpaio, not content with his pardon, is still fighting to have the conviction completely erased from his record. A U.S. District Judge denied that request in October, but Arpaio's lawyers have filed an appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Photo Credit: Rick D''Elia/ZUMA Press/Newscom

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  • Texasmotiv||

    Man, we've just gone completely off the rails now, haven't we?

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Indeed. Especially when you consider this:

    "In 2013, Reason named Arpaio one of its 45 enemies of freedom, where he joined such luminaries as Idi Amin, Michael Bloomberg, and Hillary Clinton:"

    Didn't most of the Reason staff vote for Hillary?

  • Tony||

    What other option was there?

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Trumo or Johnson. Maybe a write in for Hitler's rotting corpse? Hillary's ok to vote for if you believe in Marxism and savagery i suppose. Or if you're a stupid piece of shit like you. Real humans shouldn't vote for her, ever.

  • Tony||

    If you think she's a Marxist and the Bernies think she is a neocon, maybe she was the center-leftist we needed.

    I assumed we all understood that the idea of Donald Trump being president is absolutely ridiculous.

  • BambiB||

    That's what I thought before the election.

    Trump has actually turned out to be far more acceptable than I thought possible. Gorsuch on the court. Criminal invasion down and enforcement up. H-1Bs being rolled back. Regulations cut. Obozo-era executive orders slashed. Taxes cut. Major cutting of the "national monuments" (the Federales' way of unconstitutionally locking up huge tracts of land). Booting the El Salvadorans. All wins for America. Of course, the BIGGEST win is Hitlery LOST.

    On the flip side, Trump's style isn't what people expect of a President. Too glib and often inaccurate. I find amusing the fact the press is so sure that everything he says is a lie that the press itself has lied repeatedly. I haven't yet decided whether the non-stop counter-antagonism of the press is a good thing or not. Certainly, I'm sick of all the "fake news". The Russian "Noting Burger" is exhibit #1. After a year of investigation, screaming and rending of garments - no evidence that Trump did anything wrong. Looks like the Russia connection was just a leftist wet dream to keep their base spun up.

    My biggest objections to Trump are: 1) He's not carrying out his agenda fast enough. 2) He's pushing increases in military spending. 3) He hasn't made any serious effort to cut spending.

    Obozo earned an "F". I give Trump a C+ overall at this point. And I didn't even vote for him.

  • Tony||

    All the policy stuff you claim you support you do so because you're an ideologue, not because it has any proven efficacy.

  • Agammamon||

    Trrrrrrruuuuuuummmmppp?

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Didn't most of the Reason staff vote for Hillary?

    I'm pretty sure that's a proven fact.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    Some of them voted for her twice.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Posers. I voted for her way more than that.

  • Jordan||

    Didn't most of the Reason staff vote for Hillary?

    Derp.

  • This Machine Chips Fascists||

    This Machine urges Mr. Arpaio to get in my hopper. Feet first.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Christ, what a sack of malformed assholes.

  • A Cynic's Guide to Zen||

    The DNC resembles and resents that remark.

  • Tony||

    Nobody is talking about Democrats, bud.

  • A Cynic's Guide to Zen||

    Normandy isst ducking around Trendycrats, slug.

  • Hugh Akston||

    He's running as a Democrat?

  • A Cynic's Guide to Zen||

    You've won a free trip to Fantasy Island! I'll just need to you post your social and your credit card information please.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    These are some lc1789-level non sequiturs, Cynic. May i buy drugs from you?

  • Hugh Akston||

    Don't do it CX, you'll poop your mouth.

  • A Cynic's Guide to Zen||

    I get so bored with the same Team Blue shilling. I don't delude myself with thinking I am 50-50 with my attacks.

    I figure Hugh and Tony's comments make about as much of an impact upon me as I intend my comments to make upon them.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    I'm not sure how acknowledging the established fact that Joe Arpaio is a human-shaped sack of mutated, putrescent anuses has anything to do with Democrats, though, so it's weird you brought them up.

  • A Cynic's Guide to Zen||

    No disagreement on the Arpaio bit.

    I'll keep my Team Blue misgivings in my Wrongfeels box from now on.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    my Wrongfeels box

    Lena Dunham's nickname in college.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Or maybe just bring them out when they're actually relevant at all to the conversation.

  • Trigger Warning||

    Never apologize for insulting leftards.

  • chemjeff||

    Ha. Of course. I knew he was going to run the moment that Flake said he was retiring.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I'm curious how well he would do. He lost in Maricopa as Sheriff. And down in Pima area which runs more blue he is disliked more than in Maricopa. The rest of the state is varied in their regard and I don't believe he is super popular out in the rural parts as much. So I wonder how well he would even do.

    Also, Maricopa is like 4-5 million people. Pima is another million. The whole state is about 7 I think. So I could see him not doing well. Still, I fear for our next Senators. Flake has issue, and I really dislike McCain, but I fear what will replace them.

  • Leader Desslok||

    Way down south in Cochise county, which is quite red, he will do very well.

  • Mcgoo95||

    Way up north in Coconino County he has not a snowballs chance in Phoenix...

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    And, off the top of my head, both of those have about 100,000 people each. I don't know what people think out in Yuma as no one has heard from anyone in Yuma in over 30 years. We fear the worst.

  • Wearenotperfect||

    Any stats on Kevin McCormick?

  • Arizona_Guy||

    Exactly. He got fired by the voters of Maricopa county, which has about 2/3 the state's population. He'll lose a general statewide election.

    Even some Team Red partisans view him as damaged goods. I'm not sure he'd even win the primary.

  • ohdelilah||

    Yeah, people were pretty sure Trump couldn't possibly win, too, and look how THAT turned out. It would be nice to think that Arizonans in general have enough sense to leave him in his dotage, but I wouldn't want to stake the future of the country on it.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    an unrepentant birther, nativist, and whiny baby

    I hate that on the national scale people are focusing more on this than his incredible abuse of powers. I'm no nativist, but that was not my central complaint with Arpaio.

  • Calidissident||

    I get your point, but his abuse of powers weren't entirely separate from his birtherism or nativism. He wasted taxpayer money sending people to Hawaii to investigate Obama's birth certificate, and many of his rights-abuses involved his anti-immigration activity.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Yes, but they are a part of a overarching abuse of power, and petty cruelty towards humans. This gives credit to those who are for more closed borders by making it seem like that is his only issue. Thus, it becomes pure political disagreement.

    Instead, we should focus on the more general abuses of authority, use whichever examples of it you want for a specific crowd, but let's not accidentally make it seem like my issues are that he whines a lot and disagrees with me on immigration policy.

  • Calidissident||

    That's true, I'm all for added clarity to make it clear that the issue isn't that Arpaio has a different opinion on an issue, but his misconduct in office - people can draw the conclusion that about his motivations clear enough when the facts are laid out.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Nothing bothers Reason writers more than those who dissent against open borders no matter what. When that happens you see these kinds of shrill, childish statements.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    dissent against open borders

    What a wonderful euphemism.

  • esteve7||

    "whiny baby"... is he a poopy head too?

  • Elias Fakaname||

    More compelling phrasing from Reason.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Yes.

  • ohdelilah||

    A whiny crybaby poopy head.

  • Microaggressor||

    You know who else put people in uncomfortable camps?

  • A Cynic's Guide to Zen||

    Scout Master Jenkins at Rainbow Salmon Cove?

  • Citizen X - #6||

    The parents of various fat children?

  • Jerryskids||

    Mistress Lucretia?

    Oh, camps. I thought you said clamps. Nevermind.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Jerryskids is wearing a ball gag right now, and not where you'd expect.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    If it has a tail attached to it then it's not called a ball gag anymore.

  • CE||

    KOA?

  • Rhywun||

    What's Arizonan for chutzpah?

  • A Cynic's Guide to Zen||

    Cojones.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    "Guts"

  • Tony||

    Concentration campers and kid fuckers and dotards, oh my!

  • Old Mexican's Speedos||

    Bannon (and Trump) sure know how to pick'em!

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Tony, you just described your last weekend getaway.

  • colorblindkid||

    Nobody in Arizona likes the guy. No way in hell he even comes in 2nd place.

  • Leader Desslok||

    Sorry but Joe is quite popular in Cochise County.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Doesn't Benson have some Judge who tries to be Arpaio lite?

  • Leader Desslok||

    Yes you are correct. And as for the rest of Cochise County, I don't think the citizens of Bisbee care enough to even bother voting.

  • Old Mexican's Speedos||

    Sure. His electoral base is wide, if you consider every truck stop along I-10...

  • Brandybuck||

    Looks like we'll have a Democrat senator from Arizona come January 2021...

  • Elias Fakaname||

    No, AZ will likely have Kelli Ward.

  • Hugh Akston||

    He still has to make it through the primary, doesn't he?

  • DajjaI||

    So if your jail gets disaccreditated, should you still keep it on your resume? Asking for a friend.

  • JoeGoins||

    No. The whiniest ex-sheriff is David Clarke.

  • My Dog Bites Better Than Yours||

    So far, the 2020 POTUS election consists of Sheriff Joe and Oprah. We do live in interesting times.

  • Agammamon||

    But I would not being doing this if I thought that I could not win.

    So . . . he's running for a Senate seat in a state other than AZ?

    Because I don't think there are enough old white people from Michigan in Green Valley to counter the rest of the state.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Also, if he ran now and won in November, he would be 92 at the end of his term.

    Let's get a little newer blood if we could.

  • ArLyne Diamond, Ph.D.||

    He spoke at the Conservative Forum a few years ago and turned my stomach. He bragged about how he took prisoners out of the jail which was air-conditioned and into hot tents where the Arizona weather could reach 125 degrees in the tent. He is a sadist and torturer in my opinion.

    What frightened me even more than hearing him brag about this - was that many in the audience actually applauded.

    Where oh where is our humanity?

  • billdeserthills||

    Arpaio is also chiefly responsible for changing the diet in the jails from 3 meals a day, to 2 & now they serve 'meatless' food. I'd really like to know how it could have been legal for Arpaio to receive money from the State to house prisoners while also charging each prisoner a separate fee to stay in his jail?--Always seemed like he was charging twice for the same thing?

  • Tony||

    Reserved for white people?

  • Sevo is my bitch||

    reason.com called him 'whiniest' what more do you want?

  • billdeserthills||

    I still plan to vote for Kelli Ward, I hope Arpaio won't screw up Our chance to get a Republican in that position

  • Sevo is my bitch||

    Whiniest?

    Boy, reason.com is being a little too harsh on that racist fuck, isn't ot?

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Is the whiniest ex-sheriff Joe Arpaio or David Clarke?

  • Arizona_Guy||

    Looking forward to some hot "bipartisan" action from Senator Sinema. IfyouknowwhatImean

  • cravinbob||

    I have started a small campaign and asked people I know to listen and pass it along. Call it a New Years Resolution if you want but many want a better life and a better world but they feel helpless. This country has a religious element to its Founding and most societies and cultures have religions of which the basis is The Golden Rule. Treat others as you want to be treated. I add to that: those that do not abide should be shunned. This can change the world.
    Our elected officials, make no mistake by calling them "leaders" either, are an abysmal bunch of sociopaths, narcissists and bullies. This can be proven.
    Some years ago to make extra cash I sold pepper spray and stun devices, women were the main customers. I told anyone of them to try the stun "guns" out on me. I wanted them to know how to use it but none took me up on it. Then another time in my life I had a great dog (I always do and love them) but he barked too much when I was away so bought a bark shock collar. I tried it on myself first.
    My point is I would like to see Joe stay in one of his miserable tents and eat fucking garbage like he fed HUMAN BEINGS for a month or two and this is a challenge to him. He won't do it, he is a sociopath and is responsible for negligent homicides and human torture. He is a coward, maybe a closet molester and a cruel racist.
    Join me or go with the flow... Thanks!

  • Davidden||

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