Jon Gabriel on the Trump Pardon of Arpaio

Fellow Conservatarian friend and blogger extraordinaire, Jon Gabriel, gets a shout out for his great work on Ricochet, Sunday Square Off and his recent op-ed in USA Today. Be sure to sign up for a subscription to his blog for ongoing great content.

Here’s his recent media appearance on Sunday Square Off.

Also, check out Jon’s recent op-ed in USA Today:

Sheriff Joe Arpaio is no conservative and no hero, no matter what President Trump says

President Trump asked the crowd last week at his Phoenix rally, “Was Sheriff Joe convicted for doing his job?” Had the hall been filled with an accurate cross section of Arpaio’s former constituents, the answer would have been a resounding “no.”

Jon Gabriel

Jon Gabriel

Nevertheless, Trump pardoned the ex-sheriff on Friday, though he had not been sentenced and had shown zero remorse for his crime. America’s self-proclaimed “toughest sheriff” was convicted of criminal contempt of court last month after refusing to obey court orders. This most recent legal battle involved numerous federal attempts to get Arpaio to stop racially profiling residents of Maricopa County.

Not only did Arpaio refuse, he bragged about it: “Nobody is higher than me. I am the elected sheriff by the people. I don’t serve any governor or the president.”

Many conservatives outside of Arizona celebrated his headline-grabbing antics, but they don’t know the real story. I’m a conservative Maricopa County resident who has lived under Arpaio throughout his decades-long reign. Arpaio was never a conservative; he just played one on TV.

I saw his love of racial profiling firsthand, especially on my daily commutes through the tiny Hispanic community of Guadalupe, Ariz. When conducting these “sweeps,” helicopters buzzed houses, an 18-wheeler marked “Mobile Command Center” was planted in the center of town, and countless sheriff’s deputies stood on the roadsides, peering into the cars rolling by. Being Caucasian, I was always waved through. The drivers ahead and behind me weren’t so lucky.

Washington’s laxity in border enforcement led many right-of-center Americans to appreciate more robust enforcement, even when it regularly included authoritarian scenes such as the one in Guadalupe. But even if you turn a blind eye to the human cost of such race-based enforcement, Arpaio’s other misdeeds are legion.

During one three-year period, his Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office didn’t properly investigate more than 400 alleged sex crimes, many of them involving child molestation.

In all, the department improperly cleared as many as 75% of cases without arrest or investigation, a fact outlined in a scathing report by the conservative Goldwater Institute.

When local journalists delved into Arpaio’s dealings, he had them arrested, a move that ultimately cost taxpayers $3.75 million. We paid $3.5 million more after the sheriff wrongfully arrested a county supervisor who had been critical of him.

About the same time, Arpaio sought charges against another supervisor, a county board member, the school superintendent, four Superior Court Judges and several county employees. All of these were cleared by the courts and also resulted in hefty taxpayer-funded settlements for his targets.

As a U.S. District Court judge presided over a civil contempt hearing, Arpaio’s attorney hired a private detective to investigate the judge’s wife.

On the pretext of going after an alleged cache of illegal weapons, a Maricopa SWAT team burned down an upscale suburban Phoenix home and killed the occupants’ 10-month-old dog. There were no illegal arms, so they arrested the resident on traffic citations.

Arpaio’s staff concocted an imaginary assassination attempt on the sheriff, presumably for news coverage. Taxpayers had to pay the framed defendant $1.1 million after he was found not guilty.

The sheriff’s department misspent $100 million on the sheriff’s pet projects, and wasted up to $200 million in taxpayer money on lawsuits. Yet he still found money to send a deputy to Hawaii to look for President Obama’s birth certificate.

All these antics, and many more, finally persuaded Maricopa County voters to oust the sheriff by a whopping 10-point margin. They selected his Democratic opponent, despite choosing Trump by 3 points in the same election.

Convicting Arpaio of contempt of court is similar to busting Al Capone on tax evasion. It was merely the tip of the iceberg considering his numerous violations of the public trust.

The sheriff bragged in a TV interview that he would “never give in to control by the federal government.” Unsurprisingly, Arpaio ran to the federal government for help when he found himself in legal trouble. And he got it, from a president who is just as committed to truth, justice, the rule of law, conservative principles and his oath of office. That is, not very committed at all.

Jon Gabriel is editor in chief of Ricochet.com and a contributor to The Arizona Republic. Follow him on Twitter at @exjon.

 

 

 

State Rep Kelly Townsend: Sen Andy Biggs’ Leadership Style Punitive

Yesterday, State Representative Kelly Townsend revealed a dark side of Senate President Andy Biggs. During a guest opinion on Sunday Square Off, the two-term legislator from Arizona Legislative District 16 disclosed that Biggs’ leadership style was to punish lawmakers who refused to get in line with his political agenda and leadership.

Townsend tied the comments to her 2015 House vote in which the legislature voted to limit Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) – a vote she regrets. Townsend herself, is a widow with children representing a district adjacent to the district represented by Biggs.

In her comments, she stated, “I think it’s important to remember whose bill this was. This was our senate president’s bill. Part of that decision is the fact that [Biggs] has very well trained us. He’s punitive in his nature, and if we didn’t follow along, we would suffer the consequences.”

The interview, which is posted on the 12 News website, also posted the following comments:

When pressed further about her disagreements with Biggs, Townsend accused the 14-year state legislator and current congressional candidate of fostering a culture at the state capitol she described as “a heavy-handed, top down, ramming things through in the middle of the night approach.”

“It is a culture many of us are trying to change,” Townsend said.

The article continues:

Townsend also accused Biggs of refusing to communicate with her and preventing bills she sponsored from progressing through the legislature for two years. Townsend said she believed Biggs’ actions were payback because she gave a radio interview in support of a bill Biggs opposed in 2013.

“[In 2013] He would refuse to meet with me. He didn’t answer any of my calls or texts. He killed all my bills. Finally I cornered him and asked for a conversation, and he said I should have never called into the radio station in the first place to talk about that bill,” Townsend said. “When it comes to leadership, Biggs, I don’t know he knew how to be a leader. Anyone can be punitive and act like that. But in terms of being a leader, it takes more than just being a jerk.”

This revelation draws into question Biggs’ temperament and leadership style as the potential nominee for Arizona’s 5th Congressional District.

Biggs’ spokesman, Adam Deguire, the former Chief of Staff to Congressman Matt Salmon who is now part of the political hand-off arrangement between Salmon and Biggs, acknowledged Biggs’ unpopularity with the mainstream media on issues such as TANF.

Senator Andy Biggs has not made an appearance on Sunday Square Off since February 27, 2011 and failed to show up last week for a debate on KAET’s Horizon.

Here is the video clip from Sunday Square Off:

Why Is Andy Biggs Dodging Sunday Square Off?

Everyone knows that if you’re running for a major political office in Arizona you make the time to appear on local political shows like Horizon, Politics Unplugged and Sunday Square Off. It’s part of the process of getting in front of voters who pay attention to politics.

Brahm Resnik’s Sunday Square Off is one of those shows that candidates and elected officials don’t turn down. Brahm is the type of political reporter who asks tough questions and hones in on political motivations. He can be a feisty interviewer and every Republican should experience a sit-down with him if offered.

This last Sunday, Brahm interviewed two of the four Republican candidates seeking the GOP nomination in Arizona’s Fifth Congressional District. Former County Supervisor Don Stapley and conservative business leader Christine Jones each had their interviews with Brahm. The prior week, three-term State Representative Justin Olson also made his pitch.

During Brahm’s intro to the Stapley interview, he said that all four Republican CD-5 candidates had been invited to come on Sunday Square Off but as Brahm noted, “Andy Biggs though, had never responded to my invitation.”

Any professional political consultant worth their weight in gold knows that earned media is the best media, even if it means a tough interview. Consultants advise their candidates to embrace these local political show opportunities whenever they arise and take advantage of the chance to toughen and improve their debate and public relations skills.

The CD-5 race will be one of the toughest Republican primary races in 2016. Andy Biggs knows this and that’s why he hired one of Arizona’s most prominent consulting firms to get him across the finish line. So why would Andy Biggs dodge the opportunity to appear on Sunday Square Off?

Andy Biggs Confronted

photo courtesy TV-12 News

No one seems to remember the last time Andy Biggs appeared on Sunday Square Off let alone appeared on any other weekly political show. Our best research indicates that Biggs made an appearance on the show in late February, 2011 to discuss abolishing Medicaid.

Senator Biggs may be camera shy or perhaps uncomfortable with Brahm Resnik or maybe he would rather not discuss tough issues like the recent KidsCare legislation, but that doesn’t explain why he also skipped a recent East Valley candidate forum in CD-5.

Our guess is that the Biggs campaign is maintaining a low profile in an effort to avoid causing more controversy for itself. Dodge the media, avoid answering hard questions, avoid saying anything controversial and hope for an easy win.

When you’ve never had any tough electoral challenges in the 14 years you’ve been a politician, it doesn’t make you prepared or even qualified for a promotion to higher office and that’s where the work gets even harder. It’s time to answer the hard questions.

Sunday Square Off Appearance Brought Maricopa County GOP Fight To Head

What brought last week’s Maricopa County Republican Executive Guidance Committee intra-party fight to a head was the negative public relations generated when Chairman Tyler Bowyer made an appearance on Sunday Square Off three weeks ago. During that interview with Brahm Resnik, things got heated – more heated than normal between Resnik and his typical guests.

This led to the largest response by viewers of any Sunday Square Off show this year. During the following week’s show, a response by Aaron Borders, 2nd Vice Chairman for the Maricopa County GOP, took direct aim at Chairman Bowyer.

That public joust most likely led to last week’s fight during the monthly EGC meeting when Borders offered a resolution for a “no confidence vote” by the committee. (Sonoran Alliance will publish that resolution in another post.)

Here are the video clips from each Sunday Square Off show:

http://www.12news.com/videos/news/politics/sunday-square-off/2015/10/25/74595374/

http://www.12news.com/videos/news/politics/sunday-square-off/2015/11/06/reaction-heated-to-bowyer-interview/75306384/

 

 

Another Attack on Charitable Giving by Local NBC Affiliate

In case you missed it, friend and conservative champion Sean Noble went head-to-head with Brahm Resnik in a Sunday Square Off exclusive.

Brahm continued to push the issue of “dark money” and Sean pushed back defending charitable donations as anonymous free speech protected by the First Amendment.

I would further the argument by noting that the media doesn’t go after the NAACP over donations made to that organization.

The bottom line is that there are patriots who want to engage in issue advocacy by donating to organizations who can message on an economy of scale basis while having that form of speech protected.

Here’s the interview:

Sonoran Alliance’s Shane Wikfors on Sunday Square Off Asking Tom Horne to Exit AG Race

ICYMI, here is my recent appearance on TV-12’s Sunday Square Off discussing the Arizona Attorney General’s race and why Tom Horne should exit.

Special thanks to Brahm Resnik for having me on the show to discuss several political news items!

Rep. John Kavanagh: Medicaid Expansion is a Massive Takeover of Health Care in Arizona

State Representative John Kavanagh appeared on Sunday Square Off with Brahm Resnik this morning standing firm against expanding Medicaid dependency in Arizona. Thank you Representative Kavanagh for standing for health care freedom, doctor-patient relationships and protecting Arizona taxpayers!