Babeu’s media circus: the clowns showed up, but the refugee children did not

So this happened on Tuesday . . .

paul-babeu-underwearStudboi1, part-time underwear model and somehow Sheriff of Pinal County, Paul Babeu, shared with a campaign contributor and supporter, Paul Revere Robert Skiba, information he allegedly received from “whistle blowers” within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that they planned to transfer between 40 and 60 unaccompanied illegal minors to the “Sycamore Canyon Boys Ranch” in Oracle.

Skiba then started organizing a protest on the wingnut war-drums network, and local TV news station KVOA gave him some airtime on Friday to promote it (nice job KVOA).

On Monday, Babeu posted a political statement on the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page:

We don’t need unaccompanied juveniles from Central America being flown into Arizona – compliments of President Obama. Local residents have every right to be upset and to protest. Our federal government has failed to enforce any immigration laws. These children should be returned to their home country – not to Oracle, Arizona paid for by American taxpayers.”

“We understand there will be protesters who support and oppose ICE bringing the foreign juveniles to Oracle. The Sheriff’s Office will work to ensure the peace is maintained at these lawful assemblies.”

A couple of things here. First, there does not appear to have been any communication between DHS or ICE with the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office regarding coordination of security for transportation of migrants, or even a courtesy heads-up to that office. Sharing such confidential secure information with the public would have been a violation of law, and potentially placed children at risk of harm.

Which is why Babeu claims the information came from “whistle blowers” within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.  Babeu is using “whistle blower” to suggest that these alleged DHS employees were disclosing “a violation of a law, rule or regulation; gross mismanagement; gross waste of funds; an abuse of authority; or a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety” under the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989.

But the transportation of migrant children is being done lawfully and in accordance with long-standing U.S. immigration law. So any disclosure by alleged DHS employees — whom Babeu has not identified — would not be a protected activity against “retaliation” under the Act. It would, however, represent a serious security breach for which these alleged DHS employees should be terminated. Babeu has an obligation to disclose who they are, if they actually exist, so that these alleged employees cannot put children at risk of harm in the future.

I do not believe there were any alleged “whistle blowers.” Sheriff Babeu instigated this media circus protest. He should be made to answer for his motivations, and for his misuse of taxpayer money to provide sheriff’s department security at a political stunt he staged.

The only individual beside Babeu who has claimed any contact with DHS was Carl Shipman, program director for the Sycamore Canyon Academy, who issued a press release: “Sycamore Canyon Academy, at the urgent request of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Refugee Resettlement, will provide safe and temporary care to a small number of the unaccompanied youth from Central and South America.”

Really? Has any reporter contacted the DHS Office of Refugee Resettlement to confirm this request, and to determine whether such a request was ever made, and who made it? Has any reporter asked Carl Shipman to confirm the request and to produce a copy of the request? If I was investigating this case, this is the place I would start.

Sheriff Babeu got the media circus he desired from a television media obsessed with controversy and confrontation (“if it bleeds, it leads”). All of the local TV stations camped out in Oracle, no doubt hoping for a confrontation. All of the national TV media picked up Babeu’s media circus as well.

This media circus was tailor-made as a campaign event for the candidates that Studboi1 and his Paul Babeu for Arizona PAC have endorsed in the GOP primary election: House Speaker Andy Tobin in CD 1, and GoDaddy Girl Christine Jones for governor. GoDaddy Girl is running on Jan Brewer’s 2010 playbook of propagating fear and the demonization of immigrants to win the GOP primary. The language she uses in her ads was reflected in the protest signs carried by the haters yesterday. I thought for sure this event was manufactured for GoDaddy Girl to show up alongside her endorser, Sheriff Babeu, but alas, she failed to show.

The only candidate who did show up at the protest was the not-endorsed-by-Babeu candidate, Teabagger Rep. Adam Kwasman, running for Congress in CD 1, demonstrating his complete lack of good sense. Things did not go well for this clown. Tucson Weekly reports,  AZ Rep. Adam Kwasman Mistakes YMCA Campers for Migrants:

Republican congressional candidate Adam Kwasman was caught describing the concern he witnessed on the faces of the migrant children on the bus that drove by the assembly. He tweeted “Bus Coming. This is not compassion. This is the abrogation of the rule of law. #AZ01” with a picture of the yellow school bus driving away. But he didn’t realize it was a bus full of local YMCA children going to camp.


He later deleted his tweet, but Politwoops caught it:


The Republic reporter asked Kwasman “Did you know that was a bus full of YMCA kids?” Kwasman responded, “They were sad, too.”

Sorry to break it to you, Kwasman:

12 News reporter Will Pitts, who is at the protest scene, says he saw the children laughing and taking pictures of the media.

I had to break it to Kwasman that those weren’t migrant children. Kwasman later deleted the tweet. He did back flips trying to take back the story he told me.

And while the “Y” kids showed up, the bus that Kwasman and other protesters were waiting for — packed with migrant children — won’t be going to the shelter today, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Here is a link to the News 12 video: Kwasman confuses campers with migrant kids.

I imagine the kids going to YMCA Camp laughing at damn fools like Adam Kwasman was something like this (not from the protest).

Screenshot from 2014-07-16 13:40:50#KwasmanSad

Google “GOP candidate mistakes YMCA campers for migrant children” and you will find that Kwasman’s face plant has been picked up by the national media. Way to go, loser.

1 thought on “Babeu’s media circus: the clowns showed up, but the refugee children did not”

  1. He’s so unprofessional and obviously a jerk and Faux media hound. What kind of people elect this clown as sheriff???

Comments are closed.