We’ve all had our “walking tall” stories of local corruption. We’ve all seen various petty local officials caught with their hands in the till, their zippers down, their kingdom-building fiefdoms exposed. Some of these have been sent to prison.
One well-known case is the former city manager and other officials of Bell, California, who bilked this tiny city of millions. Robert Rizzo got 12 years, and nobody pardoned him. I’ve seen some local scumbags avoid prison, and even frame up others who got sent away. Politics is a blood sport and a lot of vampires play the game.
In what would have been just another high-profile petty political scumbag getting his comeuppance, former Sheriff Joe Arpaio was awaiting sentencing for contempt of court charges in a politically charged case on how Arpaio defied DOJ orders on immigration enforcement. If that was all “Sheriff Joe” had done, I’d have been happy to see the octogenarian walk free.
But I was uninformed, like most people. I follow politics as part of my living, and I missed the back story here. Imagine how ignorant people outside of Maricopa County are about Arpaio’s corruption and scumbagginess.
Jon Gabriel, editor of Ricochet, whose pieces frequently get shared here at The New Americana, penned a scathing takedown of Arpaio in USA Today. Imagine if the local Boss Hogg in your community teamed up with President Trump, glommed on to the Trump Train in various public and sycophantic ways, and just when some scintilla of justice was about to dump on the local version of McNairy County Sheriff Al Thurman. the President of the United States pardoned him.
That would be an outrage.
We should be outraged that a man like Arpaio received a pardon. It doesn’t matter how political Obama’s immigration non-enforcement was. It doesn’t matter that Bill Clinton pardoned a tax-evading scumbag because the guy’s wife shoveled money at the Clintons. There’s no whataboutism that justifies an abrogation of justice.
Gabriel’s subheading reads:
Convicting Arpaio of contempt of court was like busting Al Capone on tax evasion. It was the tip of an iceberg of misdeeds I saw my longtime sheriff commit.
Arpaio was so badly regarded by locals that in the 2016 election in which Donald Trump won Maricopa County by 3 points, the sheriff was defeated by a Democrat who kicked him to the curb by a 10 point margin. The locals know best.
The locals knew that Arpaio was an ineffective sheriff who didn’t serve his county residents. The conservative Goldwater Institute–in 2008–detailed his years of waste and abuse.
The locals knew that Arpaio personally cost the county $1,102,528.50 in taxpayer money to pay off a man who was completely falsely accused–framed–for a 1999 murder plot against the then-sheriff.
We all know that scumbag politicians like Arpaio frequently stay in office for many years past their crimes, because people fear them, and because they’ve made many friends in exchange for various favors. I’ve seen it myself, and you’ve probably seen it in your own community.
The federal government is already too big, too powerful, and too corrupt. President Trump promised to “drain the swamp” in Washington D.C. But in Maricopa County, Trump dumped a metric ton of swamp water and sewage on voters’–his own voters’–heads. This is the thanks they get for supporting him.
Next, it might very well happen in your town, to your own personal version of scumbag Joe Arpaio.