Do You Dance with the One Who Brung You?

Mesa Police Chief George Gascon spent Thursday testifying before a congressional committee purportedly investigating the 287(g) program, but seen by many as conducting a show hearing on Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Now it’s no secret that Gascon is no big fan of Arpaio.  Prior to the hearings and today’s article in the East Valley Tribune, I was willing to accept Gascon’s dislike of Arpaio at face value.  Perhaps he did have real objections with Arpaio’s decision to conduct raids in Mesa without what Gascon felt was proper notification.  I may not have agreed with it, but it was a fair contention.

However, today’s article should be cause for concern for any Mesa resident – of which I am not – who is concerned about the illegal immigration that has gripped many parts of their city.

In the article, Gascon is asked by Congressman Ted Poe who paid for Gascon’s trip to DC.  Now for those of you unfamiliar with Poe, he was a no nonsense judge in Harris County Texas prior to being elected to Congress.  He had a reputation for not suffering fools lightly.  And he lived up to that reputation with Gascon.

Who paid your way to get here today?” Poe asked. Gascón replied by repeating the question.

“You heard me,” Poe said. “Who paid your way?”

“A group of nonprofit organizations that are seeking immigration reform,” Gascón answered.

“Would you agree with the statement that we dance with the one who brung us?” Poe said, suggesting that Gascón was essentially paid for his testimony.

The police chief bristled at Poe’s comment, reciting his military service and long law enforcement career.

“I don’t dance with anyone,” Gascón replied.

Really George?  Now maybe your motives are pure.  But letting a bunch of immigration reform groups pay your way out here to participate in a show hearing attacking the Sheriff of the County you live in strikes me as perhaps not the smartest thing to do.  Should a municipal employee charged with enforcing the law really be seen as being in the bag with groups that have made it clear they aren’t real high on the idea of enforcing certain laws?

Now George’s motive may in fact be pure.  But why bring them into question when you are the Chief of Police of a city that has suffered more from the problems of illegal immigration than probably almost any other city in the Valley?

Heaven help the citizens of Mesa if Gascon really is more of an apologist for illegal immigration than a Chief of Police committed to enforcing immigration laws.  I believe the jury is out on that right now, if only because of Gascon’s inexplicable decision to apparently dance with the ones who brought him.


  1. Gascon took an oath to uphold our laws & Constitution. He seems to be violating just about everything he is sworn to. By not disclosing who paid for his trip & his staff this is very suspicious – this needs to be researched & reported on & if need be action must be taken. In Phoenix (& probably Mesa) it is AGAINST policy to accept ANY type of gratuity. In Phoenix (& again probably Mesa too) if you are representing the Department you must adhear to the Depts.’ goals & beliefs – you must NOT put forth your own personal agenda. It appears Gascon is out for his own agenda – because he is sworn to do the opposite of what he is voicing.

  2. Veritas Vincit says

    George Gascon is quite happy collecting his FAT salary and operating his own goon squad for hire.

    (oh, Kathy? That ‘oath’ means nothing to these guys because very few courtrooms in this country today will allow Constitutional arguments to be used)

    Now consider this: Arpaio comes in doing his job, and doing what the people (legal citizens) of Mesa want done and it makes Gascon look bad because the city council members catch the heat.

    People start asking ‘What’s Gascon doing?’ and before you know it the residents of Mesa are beginning to notice how law enforcement in Mesa is really being tended to – and as we all know, that’s not a pretty picture. Pretty soon, voters begin looking for change and, for the council members that’s worse.

    All because Sheriff Joe is doing his job.

    Besides, Gascon is a bureaucrat’s bureaucrat (collecting that federal money and militarizing his feudal Mesa fiefdom).

  3. Veritas Vincit says

    Whoa Nelly! As a public official, Gascon represents his employer (City of Mesa). And, as such, his testimony was not as a private citizen, but as the Chief of Police (that public official again).

    This means that his travel records are public records and as such should be made available publicly for the asking.

    Someone call the media and see if any buck reporters want to really make a name for themselves. Print the sponsors of Gascon’s trip to testify again Sheriff Joe.

  4. The names of the organizations were listed in the Tribune. It was the first story and was in the last paragraph of the story.

  5. Veritas Vincit says

    There’s a lawsuit on the horizon because the Police Chief works for and therefore represents the City of Mesa. Per ARS there may be a serious conflict of interest case should someone wish to file one.

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