Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Madame Governor vs Sheriff Joe

A flight -- perhaps rivalling the historic showdown at O.K. Corral -- seems to be brewing between Democratic Governor Janet Napolitano of Arizona and Republican Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County over funding his campaign to keep the streets of Phoenic clean of undocumented. By executive order the governor cut state funding that has been used by Sheriff Joe for his "crime suppression" -- read immigration sweeps. This action would cut nearly all the money available for personnel Arpaio had trained to staff the program. It is a none too subtle message that the governor has lost patience with the sheriff. The money was meant originally to cut gang-related crime and go after fugitive felons. Sheriff Joe rather diverted it to the sweeps that have been widely criticized as racial profiling. Meanwhile the fugitive warrants in Maricopa County have built up to 60,000 outstanding. The governor's action should now focus Sheriff Joe's attention to doing his job. Not likely! So far all it has achieved is more grand-standing by "the country's toughest sheriff" before the press. (See Arizona Republic article.)

No comments: