Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Fighting Sheriff Joe -- Not Directly

Some community leaders have long had issues with Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, AZ, even before his immigration sweeps. But the self-proclaimed "toughest lawman/sheriff in the country" has beaten off previous critics and is inclined to punished them for second-guessing him. Note the way he treated Guadelupe, AZ. (See posting for Oct. 14, 2008.) Now a new group -- an alliance of community organization, labor unions and church groups known as Maricopa Citizens for Safety and Accountability-- is giving up frontal assaults against Sheriff Joe. Since his operations are funded by Maricopa County's Board of Supervisors, MCSA is going after the board that has been docile to the sheriff's harsh treatment of prisoners and immigrants. They pack meetings of the board and raise issues of neglected areas of law enforcement. Whether the strategy is not likely to work, at least before the election. (Sheriff Joe is on the November ballot.) But organizers for MCSA intend to be around as a thorn in Sheriff Joe's side. fo a long haul (See Arizona Republic article.)

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