Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio found himself on the losing side of the election in November 2016. Sometimes referred to as Sheriff Joe, this controversial elected official in Arizona lost his 7th term as the county’s top cop.
If it were not for the mega-donors and their Political Action Committees (PAC), this strong-headed and opinionated man might have added another term to his resume. George Soros’ PAC, called Maricopa Strong, officially documented the multimillion dollar contribution to support the ousting of Arpaio. Additional donors named in the campaign finance documents are Laura and John Arnold, who spent $500,000; and Laurene Powell Jobs, who added another $250,000 to the project.
Soros is one of the Democratic Party’s most generous donors. However, his spending to oust Arpaio is thought to be his largest investment toward furthering the liberal agenda. Politico Magazine called the sheriff a “high-profile liberal boogeyman,” with good reason.
Joe Arpaio’s Personal Agenda
Sheriff Joe is outspoken, loud, discriminatory, and an anti-immigrant resident of Maricopa County. His bravado was so large that he proclaimed himself to be the “toughest sheriff in America.” He has served the public since elected in 1993.
Arpaio burst into the limelight when he began posting bumper stickers on the rear bumpers of the Sheriff Department vehicles professing his stance on God. One common statement made about him is, he “speaks in bumper stickers,” according to the Arizona Republic, a USA Today Newspaper.
The image he portrays on larger than life. Some of his most flagrant acts are:
- Housing prisoners in tents in triple-digit heat.
- Forcing inmates to wear pink underwear.
- He encouraged the birther movement by spending tax dollars to investigate President Barack Obama’s place of birth.
- The Sheriff’s cars displayed a bumper-sticker that read, “In God We Trust.”
- He filed a federal lawsuit against Obama’s immigration policies.
- County officials, supervisors, and employees found themselves and sitting judges arrested by the sheriff in 2008-09. Further degradation took place when a county attorney filed suits against them.
- Right outside the Sheriff’s office building is a large tank with his opinion of marijuana emblazoned across its side, “Sheriff Arpaio’s War on Drugs.”
- His deputies arrested journalists who dared to speak against the sheriff.
His tenure cost the taxpayers of Maricopa County $142 millions dollars in legal expenses, settlements and courts awards, filed against him or his office. For some reason the voters continued to re-elect him.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio vs. George Soros
In an effort to discredit Soros, Arpaio’s campaign ran ads that attacked the donor. The pieces called Soros a “far-left globalist.” Sheriff Joe claimed that the Democratic mega-donor was trying to buy the race, and alleged that his PAC failed to disclose the money donated.
Maricopa Strong pounded the airwaves and inundated the county’s mailbox with a massive mailing campaign. The ads supported the Democratic candidate Paul Penzone and relentlessly pummeled Arpaio.
In one ad the narrator says:
Rapes, assualts, even child molestation remained uninvestigated while Arpaio focusues on his personal agenda. Arpaio talks tough, but he doesn’t keep us safe.
Successful Firing of Sheriff Joe
Soros-funded PAC successfully replaced the Republican sheriff with Penzone. After winning his second run against Arpaio, the Democrat’s supporters chanted “there’s a new sheriff in town!”
Arpaio’s colleagues told Penzone that he could not beat Sheriff Joe. In his acceptance speech, he said, “I told them never say never.
The voters essentially fired the 84-year-old sheriff and ended his 24-year reign over the people of Arizona’s most populated county. When AP called the election, 60 percent of the votes tallied. On Nov. 9, the numbers were Penzone with 55.4 percent against Arpaio’s 44.6.
CBS News reports that the new sheriff may encounter some difficulty when he takes office. Being a Democratic sheriff in a border state Penzone will likely face opposition to any new ideas about immigration. This is particularly the case since the Republican-dominated Congress, and Donald Trump’s presidency are adamant about strengthing the immigration laws.
By Cathy Milne
Politico: Soros spends $2 million to defeat Arpaio
Arizona Republic; USA TODAY: Sheriff Joe Arpaio has always done it his way
CBS News: Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio replacement Paul Penzone facing tough and odd choices
Arizona Republic; USA TODAY: Maricopa County voters oust Sheriff Joe Arpaio, elect Paul Penzone
Image Courtesy of Brian McKenna – Used With Permission