Maricopa hullabaloo: Can the Dems beat Arpaio?


by Pamela Powers Hannley

Maricopa County Democrats smell blood in the water. The notorious Sheriff Joe Arpaio is facing multiple legal battles– finally— and the Dems think that maybe… just maybe… they can oust him from the office he has held for decades.

There are two Democrats running in the primary: John Rowan and Paul Penzone. There is a lot of verbal wrangling amongst Maricopa Dems regarding who is the best candidate. (Hey, it's politics.) Rowan, who has come out strongly as anti-SB1070 and pro-reform– is seen as the more progressive choice. Labeled a "party darling" by activists, Penzone is much better funded than Rowan– but not anywhere near as well-funded as Arpaio, who has millions on hand to trounce a challenger. 

Is Maricopa County ready to clean up the sheriff's office? 

Watch videos of both candidates after the jump.




  1. Joe Arpaio is — to borrow David Wojnarowicz’s description of John O’Connor, “a fat cannibal from the house of walking swastikas.”

    It is precisely that which gives Arpaio the support of the majority of Maricopa County voters.

    We will have to wait until he dies. He is 80 years old and can’t live forever, but I don’t think the demographic changes in the electorate will catch up to defeat him before he dies.

    I would like to be wrong.


    If a woman alleges she is raped she is automatically viewed by most as the victim. There was not necessarily a trial to substantiate her claim, but most would automatically label her the victim. An investigation would be opened immediately, and an arrest would be made. Under the law a “victim” is anyone who alleges a tort by another party. In this case there is an allegation of wrong doing by MCSO.

    Second, people go out of their way to prove Joe racially profiles and abuses inmates to make him look bad, yet here we see these same people defending the MCSO and alleging without evidence might I add there is no merit to Mr. Clark’s claim. Now all of a sudden the same people who refuse to rust the MCSO and are cynical of everything they say are the first ones to take what a spokesperson from the MCSO says at face value.

    Rather Ms. Erfle likes it or not she does NOT know ALL the facts, and is basing her swift judgement on one individual’s version of the events. You would think Ms. Erfle of all people would not be so hasty to brush off an allegation against the MCSO considering part of her claim to fame is victim advocacy and bashing the MCSO every chance she gets. Does she feel she is judge, executioner, and jury in this case?

    She is a Penzone supporter 1,500%. I think had Rowan not been the name behind this case she would be screaming for justice. She would RIGHTFULLY be calling Mr. Clark a victim. Until the MCSO is able to prove in a court of law they did NOT commit the alleged acrs Mr. Clark has EVERY right to call himself a victim.

  3. When it comes to the election of Maricopa county Sheriff the only issue I bother bringing up is the fact that somebody in the care of Joe Arpaio’s office has died through actions or inaction of his staff at the rate of once every 18 months or so and that every single time his office has settled with the family of the deceased. There is no room for argument when it comes to the deaths or the settlements.

    Trying to persuade any Arizona voter that Arpaio is unworthy of their vote because Barack Obama’s DOJ has sued the county is fruitless. When HASN’T the Maricopa county Sheriff been the target of the feds?

  4. Murders are down by more than 50% in Maricopa County, DUI fatalities are down by more than 50%, automobile thefts are down by more than 50%. Arpaio will be reelected.

  5. I like what Steven Yockey wrote to Julie Erfle:

    Allegations of inmate abuse in MCSO’s jails, up to and including the deaths of inmates, are so common, this has become a regrettable part of modern culture in Maricopa County.
    Regarding Kolton Clark:
    FACT: A family friend, who was also present at the time of Kolton’s arrest, visited Kolton at the jail, and reported to Koltn’s mother, Kolton sustained several injuries since his arrest. Kolton told the family friend, these injuries resulted from a beating he received at the hands of MCSO Deputies after requesting medical attention. This witness further reported that Kolton feared for his life, because deputies tried to antagonize other inmates to attack him. Koltpn’s family feared that he may not survive another night in jail.
    FACT: Kolton’s arrest information appeared online, sans photo.
    FACT: Kolton’s bail was extremely low, implying that he was neither violent, nor a hardened criminal. Kolton had no history of violence or crimes, other than the current misdemeanor arrest.
    FACT: JJ Hensley is the author of the luke-warm article in the Arizona Republic. JJ Hensley’s boss, Phil Boas, is Joe Arpaio’s son-in-law. Hensley wrote the story without ever interviewing the defendant, his family, or the witness who visited Kolton.
    FACT: Had Kolton received such a severe beating at the scene of his arrest, as Hensley implies, especially with associated memory loss, Phoenix Police, and Glendale Police officers would have taken Kolton directly to an emergency room for evaluation. This is their policy. They didn’t. Therefore, Kolton’s injuries occurred post incarceration.
    Any questions?

  6. Thanks for the link, Julie. That reporter from AZ Central contacted me about my video. I told him that Rowan spoke twice in Payson and mentioned bailing out this guy in both speeches. (I recorded both.)

  7. If I could vote in the Democratic primary, I’d vote for Rowan. Penzone comes across as another media whore (see Nancy Grace).

    If Penzone wins the primary, I’ll vote for Stauffer.

    If Rowan wins the primary, I’ll have to do some more research on their platforms before I decide if I’ll vote for Rowan or Stauffer.

    Either way, I never have and I never will vote for Arpaio.

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