No One is Neutral About “Sheriff Joe”

Jan. 12, 2018
by Bob Adelmann

Following former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s announcement on Wednesday that he was running for Arizona Senator Jeff Flake’s seat (Flake is retiring), President Trump tweeted: “Sheriff Joe is a patriot, Sheriff Joe loves our country, Sheriff Joe protected our borders.” Arpaio owes his freedom to Trump, who pardoned him in August after a Clinton/Obama-era judge convicted him of mistreating Arizona’s uninvited illegal immigrant “guests” as criminals and defying her order to stop. At the time, Arpaio called out the judge’s conviction for what it was: “a political witch hunt by holdovers in the Obama justice department.”

Arpaio’s announcement sent liberals into hyperactive overdrive, beginning with DNC’s ultra-liberal chairman Tom Perez: “Joe Arpaio’s prejudice didn’t deserve a pardon from President Trump, and it certainly doesn’t deserve a U.S. Senate seat. Democrats will fight tooth-and-nail to make sure Joe Arpaio never holds public office again.”

Arizona is perceived by many to be a conservative state, but District 7 defies the perception. This heavily Democrat, Latino-majority district is represented by a hard-left liberal, Ruben Gallego. When Trump pardoned Arpaio, Gallego let fly: “Donald Trump is an absolute coward for pardoning a man who engaged in racist police practices. Arpaio was found guilty, but this shows that the legal system cannot deliver justice.” Gallego not surprisingly graduated from Harvard University, is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and sports a treasonous Freedom Index rating published by the John Birch Society (based on how closely his votes hew to the limitations of the Constitution) of just 16 out of 100.

He also supports repeal of the very law that got Arpaio into trouble with the Obama administration: SB1070. This is Arizona’s attempt to enhance the state’s protection against the flood of illegal immigrants entering the state. The law enhances federal law slightly, which requires all aliens over the age of 14 who remain in the United States for longer than 30 days to register with the U.S. government. It also requires aliens older than 18 to possess proper identification at all times, with violation being a misdemeanor under the law. SB1070 added that an alien in Arizona without the proper documentation also be charged with a misdemeanor. But the teeth of SB1070 consisted of requiring that state law enforcement officers attempt to determine an individual’s immigration status during a “lawful stop, detention, or arrest,” when there is reasonable suspicion that the individual is an illegal immigrant. 

This was enforced by Arpaio, requiring his deputies to determine the immigration status of anyone breaking the law. Simple traffic violations were enough to unleash the enquiries, and the vitriol of U. S. District Judge Susan Bolton. She demanded that Arpaio cease being so aggressive and Arpaio ignored her. In July 2017, she found him guilty in a bench trial (not a jury trial) of defying her order, and a month later President Trump pardoned him.

Bolton, a Clinton-era appointee, is the same judge who ruled back in 2010 on SB 1070 that “requiring police to check the immigration status of those they arrest or whom they stop and suspect are in the country illegally would overwhelm the federal government’s ability to respond, and could mean [that] legal immigrants are wrongly arrested.”

Translation: enforcing the law under SB1070 would be inconvenient for federal immigration authorities and so must be blocked. Added Bolton: “Federal resources will be taxed and diverted from federal enforcement priorities as a result of the increase in requests for immigration status determination that will flow from Arizona.” So much for enforcing the law.

Born in 1932, Arpaio turns 86 in June, which was a source of concern to the New York Times. Responded Arpaio, “I carried a gun and a badge up until not long ago, so age means nothing. I have life experience and common sense, which I intend to use for the people of Arizona.”

It’s that “life experience” that most annoys liberals. He began his law enforcement career as a police officer in Washington in 1954. He later worked for the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) in Latin America before winning his first election as sheriff of Maricopa County in 1991.

During the next 23 years, Arpaio built his reputation as the “World’s Toughest Sheriff” by treating his prisoners as prisoners instead of guests. He opened an outdoor jail known as Tent City, letting his prisoners swelter in Arizona’s summer’s oppressive heat as a way to teach them never to return following their release. He forced them to wear striped jumpsuits and pink underwear, enforcing the lesson: don’t mess with Sheriff Joe, and don’t come back.

Treating criminals as criminals was just too much for bleeding heart liberals, and Arpaio was targeted by the Obama administration for sanctions. In 2011, the Obama administration’s DOJ claimed Arpaio was committing all manner of civil rights “violations” on Arizona’s uninvited guests, and charged him with racial profiling, discrimination, and carrying out immigration searches for illegals. That’s the history behind Bolton’s ruling in 2017 that led to Trump’s pardon. Arpaio repeatedly has bragged that he arrested more than 30,000 illegals between the years 2005 and 2009.

What’s interesting is the polling. A late-comer to the party (the primary election is scheduled for February 27), Arpaio currently is just two points behind the front-runner Martha McSally but four points ahead of Kelli Ward. The primary takes place on February 27 with the winner determined by a plurality.

If Arpaio wins he’ll be a voice of support in the Senate for President Trump, in sharp contrast to the seat’s present occupant, Jeff Flake.


An Ivy League graduate and former investment advisor, Bob is a regular contributor to The New American magazine and blogs frequently at, primarily on economics and politics. He can be reached at


The New York Times: Joe Arpaio, Ex-Sheriff Pardoned by Trump, Announces Senate Run in Arizona

The New York Times: Latinos Express Outrage After Trump Pardons Arpaio Who is Joe Arpaio? A look at the Arizona ex-sheriff

The Wall Street Journal: Joe Arpaio Will Run for Arizona U.S. Senate Seat

Background on Joe Arpaio

Background on Jeff Flake

Background on U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton

Background on Ruben Gallego

FI of 16 for Gallego

What is Arizona’s SB 1070?

Latest poll from RCP on the Arizona primary

Background on Martha McSally

Background on Kelli Ward

Add new comment

Plain text


McAlvany Weekly Commentary provides investors with valuable monetary, economic, geo-political and financial information that cannot be found on Wall Street. Your host David McAlvany presents a solid strategy of wealth preservation for your financial and retirement assets while living in an unstable economy.

Through its client focused, customized approach, MWM is committed to providing independent, well-researched, objective advice, and investment professionalism. At MWM, our client commitment is to preserve capital, manage risk, and grow your assets in an ever-changing global environment.

At International Collectors Associates (ICA), we specialize in the sale of bullion, semi-rare U.S. and European gold coins and secure offshore storage in Switzerland for your precious metals. Our highly trained and experienced advisors strive to help you in customizing solid strategies of wealth preservation for your financial and retirement assets.

McAlvany Financial Group

The McAlvany Financial Group has a contrarian, in-depth approach to its analysis, allowing the company to avoid decisions based on emotion, and thus combine maximum risk mitigation with consistent real growth for its clients’ investments. Integrity, attentiveness, and longevity have characterized the company’s client relationships since 1972.