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Sheriff Joe Arpaio to use the All-Star Game to draw attention to himself

Jul 8, 2011, 1:20 PM EDT

Joe Arpaio

For those of you who are unaware, Joe Arpaio is the sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona.  He’s famous for being a shameless self-promoter, having branded himself “America’s Toughest Sheriff,” doing things like putting prisoners in tents, demagoging the illegal immigration issue and all manner of other stuff.

This stuff isn’t mere harmless grandstanding, however, inasmuch as he has been investigated on numerous occasions for violating prisoners’ civil rights, abusing his power and being a general race-baiting jagoff.

Well, he wasn’t investigated for that last one. He is a suspect in that regard, however.

His latest gambit? Putting prisoner chain gangs out at the All-Star Game in Phoenix next week:

A group of inmates from the sheriff’s holding area for undocumented immigrants, all of whom were convicted of DUI, will join American male and female chains of DUI offenders to send a message about the perils of drunken driving when they pick up trash outside Chase Field next week, Arpaio said.

If someone draws another message about the legal pitfalls of undocumented immigration, all the better.

To the extent this is an anti-illegal immigrant thing it’s pretty weak sauce for Sheriff Joe. When he wants to go after illegals, he does it in a way more straightforward way. This is mostly just an attention whore doing what he does best. And he’s done it before, including at the Super Bowl in Glendale a few years ago.

But whatever the motivation is, I’m sure Bud Selig and all of the other dignitaries at the game are glad that the Midsummer Classic is being used in this way.

117 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. drmonkeyarmy - Jul 8, 2011 at 1:24 PM

    I don’t watch much TV, primarily because I work 76 hours a week. People may say, yeah but you post on here constantly, which is true. My work provides me with the ability to sit on my ass most of the day which makes this possible. Anyway, my point is the only things I watch are baseball, soccer, and forensic programs. One of the programs dealt with an alleged hit on the Sheriff’s life. Long story short, it portrayed the Sheriff as a shady, shady, shady, man.

    • yankeesfanlen - Jul 8, 2011 at 1:29 PM

      Do you mean he’s a classless boor who only wants to bask in corrupted glory? My feelings exactly.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 8, 2011 at 1:35 PM

        Google this guy and Steven Segal. A couple months ago there was a story over on “Off The Bench” where these two jokers were filming for Segal’s TV show and they knocked over a fence with get this a large tank to serve a warrant.

      • yankeesfanlen - Jul 8, 2011 at 1:41 PM

        There are countless dedicated, brave, concerned men and women in law enforcement at every level in our country. There a few with cartoonish Napoleanic complexes that act out delusions of grandeur.

  2. bjbroderick - Jul 8, 2011 at 1:29 PM

    I like it. Keep it up, sheriff! Just for the fact that you obviously anger CC!

  3. insaneinthemembraines - Jul 8, 2011 at 1:30 PM

    So a sheriff is getting a group of VOLUNTEERS to clean up outside the All Star Game. Why is this a problem? Heck, with all the DUIs in the MLB this year, this seems like a good idea to highlight the consequences of such behavior. Derek Lowe should be out there with them.

    • The Common Man - Jul 8, 2011 at 1:52 PM

      There is a legitimate question whether prisoners can ever actually be considered “volunteers” for anything, given how easy it is to compel them to “volunteer,” especially in a prison run by a self-aggrandizing psycho like Sheriff Joe. It’s one of the reasons why prisoners typically are not allowed to be used as test subjects for health sciences research, because the concept of informed, willing consent is so important.

    • Steve A - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:03 PM

      Um, Derek Lowe had the DUI charges dropped against him.

      • insaneinthemembraines - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:04 PM

        oh the privilege of being rich and famous….

      • paperlions - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:12 PM

        Oh the value of information. Lowe had the charges dropped because there was no evidence whatsoever that he was drunk or that he was drag racing. If you watch the video of his arrest, the cop is way out of line and it is easy to see why the charges were dropped.

      • The Common Man - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:12 PM

        Go back and look at the tape, dude:

        Lowe does not appear intoxicated, nor is there any evidence that he was. The officer in question was behaving aggressively while Lowe tried very hard to maintain a deferential attitude. The officer was fairly clearly in the wrong.

        While my initial reaction was to say “throw the book at Lowe and everyone who gets popped for DUI,” the fact of the matter here is that many of us were too quick to rush to judge Derek Lowe guilty. He was not. Nor did he appear to use his wealth or position to influence the case. And good for him.

        You should know what you’re talking about before you open your mouth.

  4. royalsfaninfargo - Jul 8, 2011 at 1:36 PM

    On a purely crime and punishment comment I have no problem with criminals being made to do manual labor as part of their sentences. But I agree this guy is a blow hard and shameless self promoter.

  5. garlicfriesandbaseball - Jul 8, 2011 at 1:41 PM

    Uh Okay. But get it right. When it’s about Joe, it’s not about Joe. Unless you’ve got an agenda of your own. Political correctness. Don’t you just love it?

    • gammagammahey - Jul 8, 2011 at 1:49 PM


      • Utley's Hair - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:04 PM


    • jjschiller - Jul 8, 2011 at 4:56 PM

      Yep. Sure. However, make no mistake. Applesauce and buttermilk, get it? Raggedy Ann and Andy don’t take kindly to no apparition behavior from the yokels. Tractor-pull ce-ment! A hur hur hur!

  6. The Common Man - Jul 8, 2011 at 1:50 PM

    What offends me more than anything else, given that I’ve long accepted Arpaio as a race-baiting, self-aggrandizing douchekabob who gives his voters exactly the kind of embarrassing stunts they deserve for continuing to vote for him, is how little attention this has received in comparison to the stories about players and fans boycotting the game because of the ill-conceived and unconstitutional anti-Latino laws that Governor Brewer and the state assemblies passed in 2010.

    I remember players being told to “shut up and play the game” and protesters being told to “leave sports alone” in the immigration debate. Here’s Sheriff Joe, doing the same damn thing from the other side of the political spectrum, and I can’t help but wonder where the outrage is from those who agree with Arpaio’s anti-Latino stance over his use of sports as a way to promote himself and his agenda.

    • jerseydevi1 - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:11 PM

      “because of the ill-conceived and unconstitutional anti-Latino laws that Governor Brewer and the state assemblies passed in 2010.”

      Which Constitution was violated, the State or Federal? Please be specific with regard to Article and Section or Amendment.

      That being said, has anyone else noticed that Sheriff Joe and Joe West both are a little over-officious and named Joe?

      • The Common Man - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:22 PM

        I would argue that SB 1070, as it was originally written, violated the Supremacy Clause, which has traditionally given the Federal government jurisdiction over matters related to immigration, and the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause, in that it refused to set a standard for reasonable suspicion that could not be met without basing that suspicion on the suspect’s race or ethnicity. My understanding is that some provisions in the law have been amended, but I am not familiar with those amendments. However, it seems clear to me that the original law was, indeed, unconstitutional, and that a US District judge agreed.

      • jerseydevi1 - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:33 PM

        First – If anyone wants us to can this, let me know. I just love these kinds of debates.

        Common Man – as I understand, SB1070 made it clear that the checking has to be done only during a lawful stop or arrest. It also states that pursuant to § 1373(c) of Title 8 of the United States Code, and prisoner is supposed to be verified first before release.

        Here is the equal protection clause: All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

        As I see it, where the Arizona law clearly states it must be a lawful stop or arrest, there is no violation.

      • The Common Man - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:51 PM

        And as I understand it, during that legal stop or arrest, an officer has a duty to check a suspect’s immigration status if there is a reasonable suspicion that he or she is an illegal immigrant. What no one has ever been able to explain, is how an officer is supposed to determine what constitutes reasonable suspicion of being an illegal immigrant outside of a suspect’s accent, ability to speak English, or color. All of which should be covered under the 14th Amendment (the constitutional question, as you’ve put it, is not that 1070 violates the rights of illegal immigrants, but that it violates the rights of citizens to not be harassed), and none of which (in my mind) constitute reasonable suspicion.

        Which again brings us back to the question that no one (that I’ve seen) has been able to answer: What is a reasonable suspicion?

      • jjschiller - Jul 8, 2011 at 4:58 PM

        Common Man- reasonable suspicion is looking and sounding different from me, man! DUH! /sarcasm

    • azvikefan - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:33 PM

      First of all, any of you posters that are not from AZ, STFU! The only thing you hear about Sheriff Joe is the BS the liberal media, including Calcaterra, dish out.

      • marshmallowsnake - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:44 PM

        You make a good point. The media is not a Joe fan. The overall population is in favor of him down here.

        I do have to say that some of the stuff he does is, “eccentric.” However, he sticks to his guns, which is what I can appreciate. But, to get a real idea of who he is and what he does, I think you need to live in Maricopa County.

      • The Common Man - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:44 PM

        I’m just over here exercising my right to free speach, vikefan. Feel free to make an actual argument though.

      • garlicfriesandbaseball - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:57 PM

        Marshmallow – “You make a good point. The media is not a Joe fan.”

        It’s the LIBERALmedia that’s not a Joe fan. Remember this is an NBC blog so most subjects with political under/overtones can be taken with a grain of salt.

      • The Common Man - Jul 8, 2011 at 3:02 PM

        Right, because NBC chooses its baseball bloggers based on their political affiliations. Feel free to remove your tin foil hat.

      • marshmallowsnake - Jul 8, 2011 at 3:13 PM

        I love my tinfoil hat! I can shape it any way I like :)

  7. 12strikes - Jul 8, 2011 at 1:58 PM

    “priosners’ civil rights” – Oxymoron

    • 18thstreet - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:14 PM

      Prisoners obviously have civil rights. Amendments four through eight are about those were are suspected of crimes and those who are convicted of them.

      • 12strikes - Jul 8, 2011 at 3:06 PM

        Yes they have rights, by law. But should they? There is not one prison in prison that is not there by their own choosing (absent the ones that are wrongly found guilty). No one put a gun in their hand and pulled the trigger, no one put the drugs in their pockets and told them to go sell, and no one told them to get a load on and get behind the wheel.

        I don’t want to hear this “product of their environment” crap either. You don’t have to be affluent to know right from wrong.

      • jjschiller - Jul 8, 2011 at 5:02 PM

        The obvious answer is that prisoners should have no rights, except the ones who were wrongly convicted, and we don’t know it yet. When we know they were wrongly convicted, we can go back and unabuse them.

        Oh, and also, me, if I should ever, wittingly or unwittingly, do something or be something that the majority decides should be illegal.

    • Utley's Hair - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:17 PM

      Civil rights apply to everybody—not solely those on the outside of penitentiary walls.

      • The Common Man - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:25 PM


      • jjschiller - Jul 8, 2011 at 6:04 PM

        6 people gave this a thumbs down! HAHA

    • gammagammahey - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:33 PM

      If you think this guy’s anything more than a self-aggrandizing publicity whore, check out the crap he pulled when Steven Seagal was in town shooting his reality show with him. He wasted thousands of taxpayer dollars using blatantly excessive force (to the tune of using a police tank to take down a guy accused of cockfighting) just so he and his goon squad would look cool on camera.

      • 18thstreet - Jul 8, 2011 at 4:00 PM

        I think it’s fascinating that 12 strikes assumes that I believe prisoners have rights because they were “victims.” No, 12. I believe prisoners have rights because I believe in the Constitution.

  8. uncommon1 - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:01 PM

    I’m not familiar with all of Arizona’s Laws, but in many states, there is a Program related to “Sentence to Serve.” This is an opportunity for inmates to leave the facility and provide a service for the county or city, Typically its trash removal. They don’t receive money but they earn enough to negate their fines and court fees. In my county in Minnesota, some inmates are used to clean county ditches, work at the recylcing centers and dumps, and help with set-up and cleaning at the County Fair. Many inmates don’t have $1 to their name and can’t afford to pay off their fines. This gives them the opportunity to “pay their debt” to our county. Arpaio is doing just that, but in a highly publicized way

    • The Common Man - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:28 PM

      There’s certainly nothing wrong with giving inmates a chance to work off their debt. I don’t even think that there’s something necessarily wrong with putting workers together on a chain gang. But there are many other parts of Maricopa County that could use cleaning far more than immediately outside the stadium where the best of Phoenix and Arizona should be celebrated. And Arpaio’s sole use of illegal immigrants on this particular gang tips his hand that he’s using these prisoners to make a political statement and to push his agenda. I believe that’s wrong.

    • gammagammahey - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:47 PM

      Arpaio is also known for using these opportunities to humiliate and denigrate inmates. Not necessarily in this case but there have been others in the past. Even if you think the purpose of incarceration is more punishment than rehabilitation, actively heightening animosities between inmates and law enforcement to get your jollies is just stupid.

  9. jerseydevi1 - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:04 PM

    What happened to the agreement about leaving out politics in the above thread? Bad post. I had to sign up just yo point it out. I have read many things on this site since I have found it, but was just wondering how the above article gets posted, then gets followed up bythis political article?

    As to “The Common Man” – Please show where the Arizona laws are unconstitutional.

    And just because – Go Yankees! Hope Jetes gets his hits tonight.

    • jerseydevi1 - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:07 PM

      Damn. Should be I had to sign up just to point it out.
      Think I missed a space between by and this as well.

      Hope that satisfies the English teachers in the group.

      Too fired up. Didn’t proofread…my bad.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:15 PM

        If there was an edit function you wouldn’t have to proofread as carefully. Hear that Craig, edit function. Back on point, you signed up just to say that? Not to comment on baseball or join in the many baseball related debates?

      • jerseydevi1 - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:20 PM

        drmonkeyarmy – baseball debates are #1. Been meaning to sign up, but timing was never right. Not sure what it is, but politics sets me off.

        I look forward to many a debate about the greatest game ever and whatever else comes up.

      • kopy - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:38 PM

        Politics are fairly frequent here, unfortunately. A lot of conservative and teabagger bashing. I just try not to pay attention to it.

        There are legal issues pertaining to baseball right now too, but those are cool and interesting.

      • kopy - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:40 PM

        By my previous post I was referring to comments mostly, not the articles.

      • The Common Man - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:42 PM

        “There are legal issues pertaining to baseball right now too, but those are cool and interesting.”

        Interesting to you (and to me). But politics are interesting to a lot of us too. And why shouldn’t our interests be met as well?

      • kopy - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:47 PM

        Because this isn’t a politics blog. I get headaches when I read the website for my local paper, and every comment on an economics article is each side blaming the other for unemployment, taxes, policy, etc.

      • The Common Man - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:54 PM

        So don’t read the posts that pertain to politics, koty. Nobody forced you to read this one, nor to comment on it. Seems like, if you don’t want the headaches that come with engaging in political debate/thought, don’t engage.

    • Utley's Hair - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:09 PM

      How about you point out where Craig says no politics? I’m sure Luke Scott would like to see the proof, too.

      • jerseydevi1 - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:17 PM

        Utley’s Hair – I may stand corrected. I know that the referenced thread got heated, and I thought I saw in the kumbaya section at the end that there was a general agreement to leave most of this stuff out.

        I will post more in the future so you can get to know me, but know this. When I am proven wrong I will say so. Thank you for the correction.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:27 PM

        Fair enough. Look forward to many a spirited debate.

      • The Common Man - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:31 PM

        After re-reading Craig’s Commenting Manifesto this morning, I see nowhere where he says that politics are not fair game. And this is at the intersection of politics and sports anyway.

      • Utley's Hair - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:36 PM

        I did a search on the thread and only found “politic” in one comment. I also will admit to being wrong—my wife has taught me how to do that (though on here, anyway, and not necessarily at home, mind you, I refuse to admit being wrong when I’m not—yeah, take THAT Mrs. Hair. 😛 )

        Here at HBT, most of the posts and threads are baseball-centric, but they do periodically delve into issues that are merely baseball-related (hence, the Luke Scott reference), and I think politics pops up about once or twice a week on average. Then there’s the whole CAKE vs. (pie) debacle….

      • royalsfaninfargo - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:42 PM

        Mr. Utley’s Hair,
        How dare you bring the Pie! vs. (cake) debate into this. :-) You cake eaters know no bounds!

      • The Common Man - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:55 PM

        I will eat cake on your grave, royalsfan

      • Utley's Hair - Jul 8, 2011 at 3:26 PM

        Ouch, Common Man!! Saying “grave” and “royals” so close together!!!!!!!

    • The Common Man - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:22 PM

      See above.

  10. cameron poe - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:07 PM

    What is wrong with you people? We are paying for these losers to be in jail and sit on their butts everyday. Jail should not be a thing where people say, “Oh I’ll just take the 2 years. It’s nothing.” Jail should be hard. And if they want the tax dollars of this nation and the state of Arizona to pay their way then it’s time they became contributing members of society. And since they have no means of paying taxes then they are going to do it with their blood, sweat, and tears. It’s time for the criminals to be responsible for their criminal actions and start beautifying the place they are trashing because they can’t seem to live in the confines of the law. If you don’t want to do the time then don’t do the crime. Stop babying these criminals and hold them accountable. So what Arpaio has an imagination when it comes to punishing the losers. Maybe a new idea is what we need. Because clearly the old way isn’t working. And before you all start chastising the people of Arizona why don’t you go down there and take a look at what is going on there. In case many of you forgot it is ILLEGAL to be an Illegal Immigrant. That is why the word ILLEGAL is in there. Get your facts straight before you decide to rip a state and a system you clearly don’t understand.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:13 PM

      I don’t recall anybody saying that those who commit crimes shouldn’t be held responsible for their actions. I think the problem people have is the self aggrandizing nature of Arpaio. It is like a dog and pony show and that type of attitude can turn people off. Furthermore, I’m not sure what inmates this guy is using, but many people in jail are there awaiting trial and cannot and should not be considered criminals until the guilty verdict/plea is in the books.

      • 18thstreet - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:15 PM

        I can’t imagine anyone saying jail is easy.

      • cameron poe - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:22 PM

        The general consensus of the author and most responders was that what he was doing was egregious. Saying his actions were over the top. And I can tell you right now those awaiting trial are not the ones being used. They are the minority anyways. It is not a dog and pony show because he is getting results and actually taking action. A dog and pony show would be if it was all talk and no action. Just parading people around and talking about getting tougher on crime without actually doing it. The sheriff is well within his rights to do this.

        And yes many people say jail is easy. Prison is another story.

        Maybe some folks should read some news stories instead of just EDITORIALS on this site. Because nothing is reported in this story other than the authors personal opinions.

        drmonkey please don’t be contrarian just to be. That is petty.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:26 PM

        I am not a troll or a WUM. I am never contrary for the sake of being contrary. I’m not even sure where that comment came from to be honest. Please point out where I was being difficult for the hell of it.

      • cameron poe - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:32 PM

        Read your first comment then re-read the entire article. Especially the first part. And really pay attention.

      • The Common Man - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:35 PM

        To my knowledge, no one is saying that these prisoners should not have to work off some portion of their debt to society. Indeed, I see nothing wrong with that idea, even if that work comes on a chain gang. But, as I said above there are many other parts of Maricopa County that could use cleaning far more than immediately outside the stadium where the All Star Game is being held, and which will likely be fairly glistening in anticipation of the event. And Arpaio’s sole use of illegal immigrants on this particular gang tips his hand that he’s using these prisoners to make a political statement, to push his agenda, and promote himself.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:37 PM

        What I wrote was the truth. Your statement implies that I am being difficult for lack of anything better to do…to essentially wind people up. I wrote what I wrote because it is the truth.

      • Tim's Neighbor - Jul 8, 2011 at 3:55 PM

        If Sheriff Joe is getting results, why do you guys still have all of that awful crime and so many illegal immigrants? Sheriff Joe has been there since 1992. If he was so effective, you’d think things would be better by now… Correct?

    • spudchukar - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:21 PM

      As Richard Rodriguez so poignantly stated, “We didn’t cross the border, the border crossed Us.”

  11. lessthanittakes - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:10 PM

    I’d like to see all participants on said chain gangs wearing “This One Counts” tees.

    • nicosamuelson2 - Jul 8, 2011 at 4:17 PM

      I normally read this blog using the iPhone app, but i had to go login on the computer just so i could “thumbs up” your comment. Well played.

  12. yankeesgameday - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:21 PM

    The sheriff is really letting his xenophobia get the best of him here. You want to use dui offenders to make a point about drunk driving, fine. heck, good even. but the jagoff is trying to make it about immigration. they are two very different crimes and what could have bee a platform against drunk driving just gets lost in his morton downey jr self appointef guardian of white america pet project. Shame.

    • jjschiller - Jul 8, 2011 at 6:09 PM

      He”s using DUI offenders so he can say “What? Racist? Who? EVERYBODY HATES brown DUI OFFENDERS!”

  13. yankeesfanlen - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:26 PM

    Okay, they’re prisoners, fine, they’ve been convicted by a court of law and serving a sentence under the direction of the penal system.
    But they are not there to be flaunted by a political and publicity seeking member of the law enforcement community.

    • cameron poe - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:36 PM

      Why? How is it different from going on the jails website to see who has been arrested. Or buying one of those fliers in a gas station that tells you who’s been arrested? Their arrest is public information. Check out the freedom of information act. And heaven forbid that maybe some other idiot who is thinking about committing a crime just like the other idiots sees these people and realizes it’s not worth it.

      • The Common Man - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:40 PM

        Their arrest record is public information. But Arpaio (and you) are talking about actually putting people on display. Might as well turn jail into a zoo, or Arpaio’s tent city into a game preserve where we can go study and learn from the prisoners.

    • The Common Man - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:38 PM

      Right, they’re not in jail so that Arpaio can trot them out to score political points. They’re in jail as punishment and to (hopefully) be rehabilitated into society. If they exist simply as a means to deter other people from entering the country illegally (somehow, I don’t think this will be a deterrent, but whatever) or from driving drunk, they might as well get put behind glass in a zoo with a cautionary tale plaque next to their cage.

      • kopy - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:44 PM

        I would gather, though, that the people who volunteer for this trash duty are doing it for good behavior points and other privileges. They can’t make somebody do this who doesn’t want to. They might be doing some backroom threats of reduced privileges if prisoners don’t do this, but that would obviously be illegal.

      • The Common Man - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:58 PM

        As I said above, there are legitimate questions, given the level of control that prison officials exert over prisoners’ lives and the real or imagined repercussions of refusing to “volunteer,” whether inmates can legitimately “volunteer” for anything. It’s why health sciences researchers almost never use actual prisoners in their studies, since informed consent is so important.

  14. hystoracle - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:29 PM

    An Authority figure trying to bring attention to himself while upholding the law of the land. Sounds like this Sheriff would make a damn good MLB Umpire. He’d fit right in.

  15. cameron poe - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:47 PM


    • spudchukar - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:52 PM

      Your Caps Lock button is stuck.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:58 PM

      No reason to message board yell. I don’t believe in the exploitation of anybody for political gain and that includes prisoners. Many jurisdictions have programs that allow inmates to work in some capacity outside the jail walls. However, in most jurisdictions those in charge of said programs do not flaunt their actions to the national press to score political points. That is the central issue here. It is not whether prisoners should be allowed to do this and that. It is the pompous behavior of one shady political figure.

      • The Common Man - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:59 PM

        Yeah, what drmonkey said.

  16. cameron poe - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:49 PM

    Also working in and seeing the satisfaction in a full days work helps in the rehabilitation process. It teaches these people that they are only entitled to 3 things in America. Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Everything else you must earn through hard work!

    • The Common Man - Jul 8, 2011 at 3:00 PM

      Given that they aren’t actually free when they’re performing these labors, I’d argue that these programs in no way inform prisoners that they are entitled to liberty. 😉

    • IdahoMariner - Jul 8, 2011 at 3:31 PM

      I would argue that being put on display so that they can feel humiliated about being illegal immigrants (as opposed to having affirmatively committed a crime like DUI) teaches them (unfortunately, rather accurately) that America is often a place where not-bright white people will try to humiliate you for their own satisfaction and aggrandizement.

      As a person in law enforcement, and an American citizen, that seems kind of counter-productive. On the one hand, yeah, if you want to keep out illegal immigrants, publicly humiliating them might deter them a bit. But probably not all that much. And most non-Americans are already quite familiar with our treatment of non-white people in general, so this would hardly be unexpected treatment to many of them. More likely, such treatment just reinforces antipathy and even hostility toward America and Americans.

      Because it is the law, the illegal immigrant laws should be enforced. But it would do us all a bit of good to remember that a fair number of illegal immigrants come simply to find a way to provide a better life for their families (and that means, cameron, a lot more hard work than most of us citizens are willing to undertake). As a person in law enforcement, it seems pretty apparent to me that illegal immigrants engage in other crimes to about the same extent as American citizens.

      Simply humiliating them for sport just seems…dumb. And a waste of resources. As The Common Man says, there are plenty of places in Maricopa County that could use a good litter pick-up rather than the likely spotless/shined within an inch of its life area around the All-Star Game.

    • jimbo1949 - Jul 8, 2011 at 3:41 PM

      “A group of inmates from the sheriff’s holding area for undocumented immigrants, all of whom were convicted of DUI, will join American male and female chains of DUI offenders to send a message about the perils of drunken driving when they pick up trash outside Chase Field next week, Arpaio said.”

      So you and Joe are saying that if these undocumented immigrants do as they’re told they will be released and made citizens?
      If that’s true then I apologize…………….

    • 18thstreet - Jul 8, 2011 at 4:04 PM

      Actually, we’re entitled much more than those three things. They wrote this thing called the Constitution, and it’s a list of many, many things to which we are entitled. The Declaration of Independence does not enumerate those rights, but is a list of the violations of rights committed by the King of England. “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” are not, in any way, guaranteed to anyone — certainly not prisoners, certainly not illegal immigrants, and certainly not you.

  17. jamaicanjasta - Jul 8, 2011 at 3:01 PM

    Hi all! First time poster, but I’ve been lurking for a while, so I think that counts O.o, right?

    Anyway, I created an account just for this topic, because it seems there’s a bit of conflation going on between punishment of criminals and what Sheriff Arpaio is doing. Let’s be honest, he could have done it at any OTHER point in time (and place within this county frankly) but instead is doing this in a manner that comes across as transparently self-serving.

  18. spudchukar - Jul 8, 2011 at 3:37 PM

    And remember C POE, we are all illegal immigrants, just ask the Hopi.

  19. Chris Fiorentino - Jul 8, 2011 at 3:37 PM

    And I guess it was a coincidence that the Phoenix Suns wore “Los Suns” during PLAYOFF games right? Or that Steve Nash and the other idiots in the NBA, as well as the idiots in MLB who were on the news all over the place talking about boycotting the All Star game…yeah, I guess that was all just a big coincidence right?

    It’s funny how this guy, who is on the OTHER SIDE of the issue with Craig and many of the posters, is a self aggrandizing guy who is only drawing attention to himself…but when Adrien Gonzalez, Steve Nash, and the rest of the nitwits say the law is wrong…oh, they are OK because, well, because they are on MY SIDE. LOL. Nice consistency.

    • The Common Man - Jul 8, 2011 at 3:49 PM

      Nash, the Suns, and the MLBers in question aren’t using other human beings as living billboards to make their point, Chris. If Arpaio wants to make a statement on illegal immigration in keeping with the level of discourse previously set up, he can wear a T-shirt decrying illegal immigration to the game, or perhaps boycott its attendance. Hell, he can even organize a protest. He’s scoring political points and promoting himself on the backs of his inmates. That’s disgusting.

      • buttersmcgee - Jul 8, 2011 at 5:55 PM

        Also, there’s a difference between a private entity deciding to entice a new demographic to consume its product and the actions of the government. One has a mandate to serve only itself and its own (fundamentally commercial) interests, while the other is charged with upholding the law of the land, with the all-important caveat that whatever actions it takes towards that aim be narrowly and reasonably tailored.

    • jamaicanjasta - Jul 8, 2011 at 3:53 PM

      I think you’re missing the point. What those players did, was something they did personally. Yes I’ll concede that in the position they’re in, they may appear to speak for the team/league they represent, but again they’re making a personal decision to make a stance.

      What the Sheriff is doing is using prisoners as a tool to make a point. As alluded to by several posters before me, there are a plethora of places that these people could be doing cleanup but instead he wants to make a point at this event. Which is pretty shameless.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Jul 8, 2011 at 4:20 PM

      I was really replying directly to what Craig wrote and not all the commenters. I guess if you want to say that a chain gang is wrong, that’s your choice. To me, chain gangs aren’t a big deal. And if he wants to choose to have his chain gang during the all star game, then it is no different than Steve Nash and the REST OF THE SUNS wearing Los Suns shirts DURING A GAME. This wasn’t a player or players…it was the organization making a statement. Just like the Sheriff.

      You want to disagree with him, that’s cool. This is America. But I was hoping for a little more “down-the-middle” reporting from Craig and I guess that’s where I made my mistake.

      • jamaicanjasta - Jul 8, 2011 at 4:30 PM

        My problem is with this line (which I’m guessing is a quote from the Sheriff’s office):

        “If someone draws another message about the legal pitfalls of undocumented immigration, all the better.”

        The timing and location are obviously to make a point and the use of prisoners for a political purpose is a bit weak. Again, this isn’t about (at least for me) his right to have an opinion that I don’t agree with; it’s about him using his position to espouse or advance said beliefs. Again, the only reason that he’s doing this is to get attention. If you feel that Nash was incorrect to do have an opinion publicly that’s fine, but it doesn’t make what is going on here correct.

      • The Common Man - Jul 8, 2011 at 4:34 PM

        Not at all the same. So so so different. And if you can’t see that Chris, you’re blind. Or you’re deliberately ignoring the difference because of your political beliefs.

        The Suns chose, as a team, to make that statement. Arpaio chose for his team, and it’s not clear how much of a choice they had in the matter. Arpaio is not speaking for the prisoners. He’s speaking for himself and using his prisoners to do it.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jul 8, 2011 at 4:54 PM

        Common Man, again, I am not debating whether it is OK for the Sheriff to use his chain gang to make his point. That’s is also not Craig’s complaint in his story. Craig writes

        “This is mostly just an attention whore doing what he does best. And he’s done it before, including at the Super Bowl in Glendale a few years ago.

        But whatever the motivation is, I’m sure Bud Selig and all of the other dignitaries at the game are glad that the Midsummer Classic is being used in this way.”

        Yet Steve Nash and the Suns weren’t “attention whores” when they, as a team, chose to wear Los Suns jerseys. Or baseball players threatening to boycott the All Star game because of a law they did not like…they weren’t “Attention whores” or “grandstanders”. They were fighting for what is RIGHT, right? LOL.

        Again, you are getting off the jist of what and why Craig wrote what he wrote…I am not debating whether it is OK for the Sheriff to use the chain gang…that’s not my beef. My beef is specifically that Craig will write this entry denegrating the Sheriff for his beliefs, but would never write a column denegrating the beliefs of those who are against the AZ law.

        Just looking for some consistency from the fearless leader of this site is all I am asking.

      • The Common Man - Jul 8, 2011 at 4:58 PM

        I suppose I could see that point, except that you’re picking the wrong horse to back. Arpaio has a long and clearly delineated history of attention-seeking and self-aggrandizing behavior, designed to help him sell books, and stay on TV.

      • jamaicanjasta - Jul 8, 2011 at 6:05 PM

        In addition, (I’m not certain of this as I’ve only been lurking here for a few months) but the Nash situation would probably fall outside of HBT’s realm of discussion. Right?

  20. genericcommenter - Jul 8, 2011 at 3:48 PM

    This guy’s policies and actions have directly caused deaths of human beings and destruction to the property of Americans. He is a scumbag that no American who believes in basic American values should support.

    He is a reality show attention whore who is reckless ( see his cockfighting thing with Steven Segal, among other things) with the use of force and insists on putting regular people in danger and brags about it.

    I could be wrong, but I don’t think Steve Nash or any of those guys are given millions of dollars in tax money and trusted by the public with law enforcement responsibilities while burning people’s houses down and rolling tanks around town crashing into cars, harassing racial minorities, profiling U.S. citizens for immigration enforcement, killing low level ( or innocent) prisoners and covering it up,etc. Steve Nash could go shoot a bunch of puppies and he would not come close to the type of violence ( I don’t think I have mentioned all the dogs Arpaio’s men have shot or the one they shot back into the burning house that the set on fire and forced to burn alive) and crime that this anti-American thug Joe Arpaio has caused. All the people who celebrating his actions are anti-liberty enemies of America.

    • The Common Man - Jul 8, 2011 at 3:51 PM

      Or misinformed. Let’s not back the hyperbole truck up here just yet.

    • Tim's Neighbor - Jul 8, 2011 at 4:04 PM

      Let’s not forget about his money laundering scheme.

  21. nicosamuelson2 - Jul 8, 2011 at 4:25 PM

    Sheriff Joe sounds like a real haboob!

    • The Common Man - Jul 8, 2011 at 4:29 PM

      Rimshot! (nicely done)

  22. buttersmcgee - Jul 8, 2011 at 5:41 PM

    The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons. ~Fyodor Dostoevsky

    • jjschiller - Jul 8, 2011 at 6:16 PM


      How do you treat those who have wronged you?

      That’s the man you are.
      That’s the nation you are.

  23. jjschiller - Jul 8, 2011 at 6:19 PM

    Patrolman (Checking driver’s license) :”Joe Ar- Ar– Arpaio? Is that right, sir, Arpaio?
    Sheriff Joe: “Yes sir, that’s correct.”
    Patrolman: “Arpaio, huh? Sir, do you have any proof that you’re in this country legally?”
    Sheriff Joe: “Now why in the hell would I carry that around with me?”

  24. metalhead65 - Jul 8, 2011 at 7:18 PM

    self promoter or not he is showing that illegals are here and committing crimes. tree huggers like Craig may think it is ok for people to come here illegally and live off the gov. but most hardworking Americans do not. you want to come here and live? fine but do it the legal way!because you make it to this country does not give you the rights of a U.S. citizen.why is ok for people to cross the border illegally into the U.S. but if you point out that if a U.S. citizen did the same thing and crossed over to mexico like that they would be subject to severe penalties you are considered a far right wing nut job red neck racist.

  25. spudchukar - Jul 8, 2011 at 8:04 PM

    And Historically Ignorant.

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