Thursday, September 13, 2012
Nicholas Riccardi writes for the Associated Press
Arizona lawman Joe Arpaio is gearing up for what he expects will be the toughest of his five re-election campaigns.
He is facing a determined effort from immigration rights activists to push him out. A ruling may come any day in a lawsuit that alleges his department violated the civil rights of Hispanics. A second lawsuit filed by the Justice Department is making its way through the courts.
And in TV ads, he doesn't mention the signature issue that helped bring him to national prominence — a sign, people in both parties say, that undocumented immigration is losing its potency. . .
Two allies — tough-talking former lawman Russell Pearce, who authored many of the state's strict immigration laws, and Andrew Thomas, a telegenic Harvard law graduate and once the county's top prosecutor — are out.
Thomas was stripped of his law license by a state court panel. Pearce was recalled, then lost a bid to return to the statehouse last month. "There were three prime movers behind the immigration crackdown" in Arizona, Thomas said. "Two of them have been sidelined, and they're gunning for the third."
Arpaio, who usually wins re-election by double-digit margins, allowed he may have a tighter race ahead of him. "It might be a little bigger challenge because I have people coming after me — the Justice Department," he said, adding that he believed the federal probes were politically motivated. Read more...
Sheriff Joe has got to go!