Former Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio has thrown his hat into the ring for United States Senate, specifically the seat being vacated by Senator Jeff Flake (AZ-R). The 85-year old is a staunch supporter of President Trump’s America First agenda and promises to be stalwart in his support of the president.
Arpaio made his plans crystal clear in his desire to go to Washington on behalf of Arizonans and help the president Make America Great Again. As he explained to the Washington Examiner:
“I have a lot to offer. I’m a big supporter of President Trump. I’m going to have to work hard; you don’t take anything for granted. But I would not be 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.”
America’s Toughest Sheriff
Since he burst onto the Arizona political scene in 1993, Arpaio has earned his place as beloved or reviled for a myriad of reasons. A controversial political figure (and then again, if they are known, who isn’t?), Arpaio served 24-years as Sheriff before losing to Paul Penzone, a Democrat, after defying a federal court order and was convicted of criminal contempt. President Trump, thumbing his nose at Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake, wiped the slate clean with a pardon soon after, and Arpaio is back in the saddle, so it seems.
But during his years as sheriff covering Arizona’s largest county both in geography and population, Arpaio made his bones by cracking down on criminals and especially illegal immigration. Yeah, you know, all those hand dirtying deeds that people elect a sheriff to actually, do.
He promptly cut the cable taking away TV time. He took away inmate pornography use, made them wear pink boxer shorts, cut out coffee and served Bologna sandwiches. He stated emphatically that prisoners should have it no better than the law-abiding low-income citizens, and once responded to those who complained, “This isn’t the Ritz/Carlton. If you don’t like it, don’t come back.” And then came Tent City; a decision that the electorate of Maricopa cheered; and a few ultra-liberals found downright nauseating. Granted, Tent City was no Ritz Carlton in the sweltering summer months.
Arpaio also led the state in efforts to end animal abuse. He was instrumental in the opening of the Maricopa Animal Safe Hospice (MASH), a no-kill animal shelter operated by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) in what was formerly Phoenix’s First Avenue Jail.
The MASH is a facility dedicated to caring for rescued animals that have been abused or neglected (as well as temporarily caring for the pets of owners who have checked into domestic violence shelters). The toughest sheriff has a soft spot for the vulnerable—whether two or four-legged. He also recognized the impact that animals had on his inmates, “I believed from the start that working with animals softens hardened criminal types.”
And Then There’s That
Has Joe done a few stupid stunts over the years? Well, yes. And this one was a doozy, involving the actor, Steven Seagal, and a tank:
“Arpaio used armored vehicles and a “tank” to execute a search warrant against Jesus Llovera, who was suspected of running a cockfighting ring.
“When the tank came in and pushed the wall over and you see what’s in there, and all it is, is a bunch of chickens.”
Did I mention he is an animal advocate?
And so is Seagal, whose account is much more, shall we say, compelling, as he told a local news station: “Animal cruelty is one of my pet peeves, I came in on the 150 and we broke down the gate,” Seagal said of riding an MCSO tank onto Sanchez’s property. “I deployed out on the side of the house, and guarded one side of the house, to see if anyone would run out.” You can watch the video of that right here.
Arpaio, as he says, doesn’t need the fame or infamy of running for Senate. Perhaps he wants to help his pal, President Trump, carry out the will of the people who sent the backyard billionaire to the White House. He must have his stomach in knots over our federal government’s inability to set our broken immigration policy straight whether by building a wall or revamping and adhering to law and policy.
One thing is certain; if he succeeds and heads to The Swamp, the toadies had best run for cover as Joe will have access to bigger tanks and bolts of pink cotton material in search of a seamstress. A Betsy Ross descendant could prove quite poetic. I’m just saying.