Fear and Fundraising in AZ01

Elected law enforcement officials are in the precarious position of approaching their job from either a half-empty or a half-full position. As we’ve seen from many a sheriff, fear is a tremendous motivator when it comes to driving an agenda. Some sheriffs might cast their office as the object to be feared. Other sheriffs cast the outside world as the source of all danger.

The latter is what we witnessed in the public arena from Sheriff Paul Babeu on Tuesday.

Babeu Press Conference

In a press conference (which turned into a political speech), Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu claimed he has “additional intelligence” that Mexican hit men or “sicarios” were heading into Arizona to assassinate rival drug cartel members. Those attacks would likely take place over Memorial Day weekend. He cited several incidents south of Pinal County and advised campers and hikers to be fully armed and prepared to protect themselves. The press conference turned political when Babeu blamed the Obama Administration for not protecting our southern border (a point we agree on).

Sicario

Members of the media immediately picked up on the sheriff’s advisory and ran with stories of impending threats and attacks to American citizens in the Arizona desert. Several media outlets didn’t quite take the bait (KTAR, KPNX)

What was barely mentioned was that hours after the warning, congressional candidate Paul Babeu sent out a fundraising letter mentioning his press conference and advisory. The timing couldn’t be more obvious: Fear is a tremendous motivator for fundraising.

Babeu even appeared on Your World with Neil Cavuto talking up the threat and danger of Mexican assassins running rampant through the Arizona desert.

Babeu Cavuto

Photo courtesy of Paul Babeu’s Twitter feed.

[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]The timing couldn’t be more obvious: Fear is a tremendous motivator for fundraising.[/pullquote]

Some of us aren’t buying Sheriff Babeu’s ploy. Here’s why:

First, any threat of this nature would be announced from the Department of Homeland Security, FBI, Border Patrol and Arizona Department of Public Safety. When a threat is this serious and credible, it is vetted at all levels of government and is passed through multiple chains of command and communications. Governor Doug Ducey would be one of the first to know and to issue warnings through Arizona DPS. The Sheriff claims he was informed about the threat but failed to share it with other law enforcement agencies?

Second, Paul Babeu is a candidate for congress running on a single-issue – immigration and border security. Even though Pinal county does not border Mexico, illegal border crossers still make their way through his jurisdiction – just like they do in every other county in Arizona. We certainly won’t disagree that immigration and border security has become a national security issue we should take seriously, but some politicians have used the issue as a fear-for-votes political strategy. For Paul Babeu, it’s the only issue he knows and he’s using it at every opportunity for pure political gain. Multiple media appearances and fundraising letters from Babeu are evidence of this.

Finally, in law enforcement matters, every serious credible threat demands a serious credible response or action plan. According to reports, during his press conference, Sheriff Babeu made no request for assistance from the Governor’s office, Arizona DPS, Homeland Security, the National Guard, the FBI, etc. Instead, he told private citizens to arm themselves. A review of several Arizona law enforcement agency websites including the Governor’s office, shows no mention of public safety threats by sicarios in the Arizona desert.

We’re not buying it.

The truth is, we have a county sheriff running for Congress who is sensationalizing on the only issue he knows in order to grab media attention and raise money for his political campaign.

In the meantime, private citizens have been told to pack heat in the badlands of Arizona by a sheriff who apparently is finding it difficult to protect his own constituents.

This Memorial Day weekend, we recommend being vigilant of all threats – whether they’re credible or presented for pure political profit.

But most importantly, we ask that you remember and honor those, who against all fear and personal gain, paid the ultimate price through their selfless sacrifice to protect and preserve our freedoms.

Scott Smith sends mixed message on immigration crisis

Scott SmithTuesday, gubernatorial candidate and former Mesa Mayor Scott Smith announced he would race to the border Wednesday in order to meet with Nogales Mayor Arturo Garino. The reason for their meeting? – to hold a joint press conference to discuss the transportation and “dumping” of immigrant children by the Border Patrol in an old refurbished produce warehouse in Nogales.

In his statement, Mayor Scott Smith called the Obama Administration’s policy of dumping immigrants in Arizona a “failure of leadership” and “the absolute height of stupidity.” The former Mesa mayor also called for Washington to fix our broken border and immigration system.

Smith’s “rush to the border” and his subsequent message following the presser, seem to conflict with his longstanding position on immigration issues and even statements made by Nogales Mayor Garino who was supposedly at the same press conference as Smith.

It was Mayor Scott Smith who opposed Arizona’s effort to enforce federal immigration law through the passage of SB1070 in 2010. This is the same mayor who ran into trouble with Sheriff Joe Arpaio when it was discovered that the City of Mesa was contracting with companies who hired illegal immigrants. Apparently, now that Smith is running for higher office, he’s having to finesse his position to attract hard-line anti-immigration voters. A little pandering only goes so far. Well, maybe not so far in Santa Cruz County.

Smith was also in conflict with Mayor Garino’s statements on Monday when Garino said that all the children being held in the temporary warehouse were in good care and he was comfortable with their living conditions. Keep in mind that Mayor Garino’s record on immigration is quite dismal.  During a private meeting with President Obama, Garino told the president, “I have your back” on comprehensive immigration reform. Garino also argued that the border was secure and criticized illegal crossing prosecution. Yesterday, Garino told the Nogales International that federal officials informed him more children would be processed through the Nogales facility throughout the rest of the summer. He noted after a tour of the facility that, “Border Patrol was doing a great job.”

While the Obama Administration handed the State of Arizona another election year issue, Scott Smith is only nine days late to weigh in on the crisis. Since it was revealed that DHS and the US Border Patrol began the operation over two weeks ago, Arizona officials have already called for federal action. In fact, last Monday, Congressman Paul Gosar at the urging of Governor Brewer and State Treasurer, Doug Ducey, called for a congressional investigation with the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee into the shipping and detention of immigrants in Arizona. Congressman Darrell Issa, chairman of the committee, has pledged to look into the situation as quickly as possible.

Where gubernatorial candidate Scott Smith stands on this issue is anyone’s guess. His opposition to enforcement of immigration law as a mayor tells one story. His support for stronger enforcement as a candidate tells another story. It is an election year after all and finding the right message to appeal to voters is foremost in the mind of most candidates. Let’s hope the voters choose based on proven leadership rather than on finessed messaging.

Senator Jeff Flake Amendments to Immigration Bill Adopted in Committee

Washington, D.C. – United States Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ), today offered two amendments during the Senate Committee on the Judiciary markup of S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act. The amendments were adopted en bloc.  

Flake #1: Adds three private land owner representatives (one from the Northern border region and two from the Southern border region) to the Department of Homeland Security Border Oversight Task Force included in the bill. 

Flake #2: Revises the schedule for the Department of Homeland Security’s submittal of the semiannual status report regarding the implementation of the Comprehensive Southern Border Security Strategy to 180 days after submission and every 180 days thereafter. Additionally, it adds the Comptroller of the United States as a recipient of the status report, and adds a requirement for an annual review by the Comptroller of the reports and an assessment of the status and progress of the strategy.

Senator Flake announced the adoption of these amendments on Twitter:

###

Battle at the Arizona State Capitol: A Tale of Two Press Conferences

Here is exclusive video footage of two different press conferences that occurred at the Arizona State Capitol on Monday, January 23, 2012.

First, coverage of Arizona Democrats making their best but feeble effort to repeal Arizona’s SB 1070:

Second, coverage of Arizona Republicans standing firm and united for Arizona’s southern border security and SB 1070.

Beauchamp Endorsed by National Border Patrol Council

BEAUCHAMP ENDORSED BY NATIONAL BORDER PATROL COUNCIL

Bradley Beauchamp, candidate for Congress is Arizona’s First Congressional District, has officially been endorsed by the National Border Patrol Council’s largest sector, Local 2544. Along with their endorsement of Mr. Beauchamp, the Border Patrol Council endorsed Bradley’s plan to secure our border.  This endorsement puts the Border Patrol on a long list of Arizona law enforcement leaders that are supporting Beauchamp, such as Mohave County Sheriff Sheahan and Yavapai County Sheriff Waugh.

On Tuesday, Brandon Judd, President of the National Border Patrol Council’s Local 2544, sent an official letter of endorsement to the Beauchamp for Congress campaign. President Judd wrote, “On behalf of the nearly 3,000 rank and file men and women of the U.S. Border Patrol in the Tucson Sector, it is my pleasure to endorse you in the Republican Primary for Congressional District 1 in the U.S. House of Representatives. Your no-nonsense approach and belief that our nation was founded on checks and balances afforded in our Great Constitution will be a refreshing change in a political climate controlled by special interests and the interests of self-serving politicians.  We hope you will accept our endorsement and our best wishes in your primary campaign.  We are confident you will win the primary and we look forward to working with you in the future.”

Bradley Beauchamp was proud to have the endorsement, saying, “I am honored to be endorsed by the brave men and women who do all they can to protect our borders.  In Congress, I will work tirelessly to make sure these great patriots have all the tools necessary to keep our southern border safe and secure.”

A copy of the letter can be found HERE, and a copy of Beauchamp’s plan to secure our border can be viewed HERE.

Bradley Beauchamp was born and raised in Arizona. He worked his way up from washing dishes in a café and laboring in a turquoise mine to becoming a schoolteacher, successful attorney and most importantly, a defender of the Constitution.

Bradley Beauchamp graduated from Northern Arizona University and began teaching government and civics in Globe, Arizona. After several years in the classroom, and desiring to study the Constitution more in depth, he was accepted into the Thomas Jefferson School of Law. Upon graduating, he returned to Globe to practice law in the small towns and rural communities of Arizona. He is endorsed by many Republican leaders in Arizona’s First Congressional District, including Andy Tobin, Steve Waugh, Charles Christensen, Bobbi Peterson, John Rhodes, Terri Kibler, and Rick Fernau.

For more information, please visit www.bradleybeauchamp.com.