Will Babeu’s bad boy past block him from Congress? (It would in a just world)


The Republic’s E.J. Montini says Paul ‘Underpants’ Babeu wants you to ignore his past (and elect him to Congress):

I believe that was the message of Babeu’s apparently testy press event at the state Capitol Monday, according to an article by The Arizona Republic’s Ron Hansen.

babeu-desistoBabeu is getting hammered in a campaign ad on TV that harkens to an apparently unpleasant period in Babeu’s past. (He has a couple of periods like that, actually.)

In this case, the ad in question reminds voters that Babeu served as headmaster at DeSisto School in Stockbridge, Mass., from 1999 until 2001. While Babeu was in that position at the boarding school, the state investigated reports of abuse, neglect and concerns about students’ safety. Usually, the person at the top — like, for instance, the headmaster — would say that when it comes to such issues, the buck stops with him.

Not Babeu.

He went to great lengths to point out that the state, in its investigation of the school (which has since closed), did not find him personally responsible for the abusive behavior.

Does that mean Babeu as sheriff takes no responsibility for the behavior of his deputies in Pinal County?

Or, if he were to represent Arizona’s 1st Congressional District, that Rep. Babeu would take no responsibility for anything done by those working for him in government or for those executing policies he might have a hand creating?

In the campaign ad, which is produced by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Babeu is shown in a home movie from 1999 seeming to suggest some DeSisto students were “hopeless.”

But, hey, he wasn’t found personally responsible.

Local TV station ABC15 has aggressively reported this story. [Democrats release Babeu attack ad using ABC15 reports about abusive boarding school: The advertisement is made up entirely of clips from ABC15 investigative reports about Babeu’s time at the DeSisto School in Stockbridge, MA. FULL COVERAGE: ABUSING THE TRUTH]

This other incident wasn’t his fault, either

paul-babeu-underwearBabeu seems determined not to let this reminder of his past undermine his political ambitions, as happened the last time he ran for Congress.

Back then, news reports suggested that a former boyfriend of Babeu alleged that he had threatened to have the man deported if he revealed their relationship. The sheriff was cleared of that, but photos Babeu took of himself in his underpants found their way online and caused him to quit the race. One of his opponents at the time, then-state Sen. Ron Gould, said, “For him to take those kinds of photographs and then to have uploaded them to that kind of site is … very poor judgment from an elected official.”

Babeu blamed the media and others for most of that controversy, too.

Jim Nintzel of the Tucson Weekly’s The Range adds:

[T]he fundamental problem for Babeu in this conversation is a videotape of Babeu himself praising some of the abusive techniques. The tape was made by Babeu’s sister Lucy, who has a strained relationship with her brother. She provided it to ABC-15 Dave Biscobing, who has been covering Babeu’s history at the school for years.

In the video, Babeu describes one of the techniques called “cornering,” which involved forcing kids to sit in chairs facing the corner of a room and not allowing them to them to interact with anyone else at the school. Babeu says in the video that the school’s students “need to feel hopeless and feel depression and complete failure.”

Babeu has said that he was not prosecuted for any wrongdoing and, at other times, said he was unaware of the disciplinary techniques, but the videotape shows that he was aware of at least some of them and defended them. At the press conference yesterday, he said that he no longer supported that kind of disciplinary action.

Beyond his sister’s damning videotape, Babeu has other problems. The DCCC is willing to spend to amplify this story, while the National Republican Campaign Committee has not reserved ad time to defend him. Nor has Babeu put together some kind of TV ad to defend himself. And that means that voters in CD1, which stretches from Oro Valley and Marana all the way to Flagstaff and includes much of rural Eastern Arizona, are getting just one side of the story—and it’s not the side that favors Babeu.

CD1, which is now represented by Democratic Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick, is one of the most competitive in the country. In past cycles, the NRCC has been willing to invest in candidates, so the fact that the committee is not spending this time suggests that polling is not in Babeu’s favor.

For the love of God, people, this guy is second only to Joe Arpaio for the most corrupt politician in Arizona. You cannot in good conscience vote to send this corrupt individual to Congress.


  1. I doubt it will affect his election campaign. Based on this years crop of candidates, we no longer have any standards for judging candidates. Given that our culture has determined that almost any behavior is a matter of personal choice, how can we hold candidates to high standards? There is an old saying: “People get the government they deserve.”

  2. I for one will be glad when Babeu’s political career is over, just so we never have to look at that Studboi selfie ever again.

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