by David Safier
Nice work if you can get it: The Angel was interested to see that Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio made out like a bandit in the 2009 budget skirmish. While the Legislature's budget knife was slicing millions from nearly everyone's bank accounts — kids, families, poor people, college students, for instance – chief Senate budget honcho Russell Pearce made sure Joe actually got $1.6 million in new money for his version of illegal immigration enforcement. Pearce and Arpaio like to bellyache that the money replaces cash taken away by then Guv Janet Napolitano. But the Winged One is here to set that record straight. As the East Valley Tribune reported in it's "Reasonable Doubt" series that analyzed America's self-described Toughest Sheriff's anti-human smuggling activities, Janet only snagged $600,000 back from Joe. Another $600,000 was lost simply because Arpaio's office didn't get the grant paperwork in on time. The Haloed One adds that up to about $1.2 million. Pearce seems to have thrown in another $400,000 just for good measure. One of those who's noticed the favorable treatment is freshman Democrat Rep. Rae Waters, a Kyrene School Board member, who fought — and lost — a battle to keep schools from taking it in the fiscal shorts. Waters wants to know why the state is enhancing the county's budget so substantially and especially only one county. The cash goes exclusively to Arpaio's operation.