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  1. #1
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    May 2006

    Arpaio hauls in $450K, blows away competition

    by Dennis Welch
    Posted on September 26, 2012 at 6:55 PM

    PHOENIX -- Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio announced Wednesday that he's added hundreds of thousands of dollars to his already unprecedented war chest.

    Between Aug. 9 and Sept. 17, the county lawman raked in about $450,000, meaning Arpaio has raised more than $8 million for his re-election campaign.

    Of that, the sheriff has spent more than half the money, leaving him with roughly $3.8 million to battle his two opponents.

    Simply put, Arpaio's fundraising totals dwarf his political rivals, Democratic Paul Penzone and Independent Mike Stauffer.

    Stauffer's numbers were unavailable. But officials with the Penzone campaign say they raised about $138,000 during the five week period in August and September.

    That brought the amount Penzone has raised to $358,000 for the entire campaign. Stacey Pearson, a spokeswoman for Penzone, said the Democrat still has $114,000 left in his campaign coffers.

    This year's race marks the 20 year anniversary of Arpaio first coming to power. It is also happening at a time when the iconic lawman is, perhaps, at his most vulnerable.

    Rocked over the past several years with bad press and a string of lawsuits and investigations of wrongdoing, polls show Arpaio at his weakest point since taking office in 1992.

    Chad Willems, the sheriff's political handler, said this is why Arpaio has raised so much money.

    "The sheriff doesn't take anything for granted," Willems said during a telephone interview.

    Willems then ticked off some of the political problems facing Arpaio this year. Arpaio is up against two challengers as well as several political groups who have vowed to spend big money to topple the Republican sheriff.

    And then there's the local media, which Willems said opposes the sheriff.

    "In politics, you hope for the best and prepare for the worst," he said.

    Over the past month the sheriff has unleashed a torrent of new television ads.

    Some highlight the sheriff's record of arresting deadbeat dads, while another shows Arpaio's softer side.

    At the same time, Penzone launched what was believed to be the first television attack ad against Arpaio.

    That commercial focused on more than 400 botched sex crimes that occurred under Arpaio's watch.

    While Arpaio has enjoyed popular support and the advantages that come along with being a Republican in a heavily Republican country, Penzone's campaign released a poll last week show that the race was close.

    So far, Arpaio's campaign hasn't released any of their polling data and has shied away from the media.

    Although Stauffer's numbers were unavailable, he's been running a low-key campaign with very little money to pay for it. As of the middle of August, he had raised a total of $51,000 and had about $800 cash on hand.

    Arpaio hauls in $450K, blows away competition | Phoenix
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  2. #2
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    May 2006

    8 million reasons why Arpaio isn't worried

    by E. J. Montini, columnist - Sept. 27, 2012 12:00 AM
    The Republic |

    Sheriff Joe Arpaio has plenty of reasons to be worried -- and 8 million reasons not to be.

    Arpaio's re-election campaign issued a news release Wednesday saying the campaign has raised more than $8 million, adding, "over $1 million in the last three months alone."

    Arpaio has two opponents in the November election. His fifth term in office, during which Arpaio turned 80, has been his most controversial. And with Arpaio, that's saying something.

    He's taken justifiable heat for being the anti-immigration enforcer for now-disbarred former County Attorney Andrew Thomas, a man with whom Arpaio also staged a series of vindictive investigations of political enemies.

    The sheriff had to fire top deputies over alleged unethical activities. Arpaio was under investigation for years by the U.S. Department of Justice, which only recently decided not to indict him. He wasted time and energy on a ridiculous "tea party"-instigated volunteer posse investigation into President Barack Obama's birth certificate. And there is the tragic and terrible matter of the hundreds of sexual-abuse cases involving children that were not properly investigated by his department.

    The ongoing attempt by prosecutors to resolve those sex crimes is the subject of a current series of investigative articles by The Republic's JJ Hensley, something that angers Arpaio's campaign manager, Chad Willems.

    "In the last four years our politics in general, not just locally, we have become more polarized and the volume has been turned up," Willems said. "In this race he (Arpaio) has two opponents and five independent-expenditure groups gunning for him. And in our opinion, there are media outlets out there that are not fair to him. What your paper is going to do is clearly a political hit job. To be doing a five-year-old story the week before early ballots come out, I think, is frankly despicable."

    Then again, there is Arpaio's $8 million, part of which has been used to produce a series of warm and fuzzy campaign ads: One on his long career, one on Tent City, one dealing with his department's periodic roundups of deadbeat parents and one dealing with enforcing laws against animal abuse. The campaign isn't finished.

    "It's incredible the kind of money he (Arpaio) is raising every day," Willems said. "Our phone rings off the hook with people here locally asking what they can do to help. We're getting contributions from all over. It just continues to come in. We reached another record with the $8 million and it will probably be a lot more."

    Still, the grass-roots opposition to Arpaio is large and persistent.

    Willems believes the media is a part of it.

    "We shouldn't be spending our campaign resources to fight the media," he said. "Let's go toe to toe with our opponents but we are not running against The Arizona Republic, or Channel 12 or ... go pick one."

    Then he added, "We've gotten some pointed questions asking if we are trying to soften the sheriff's image. The first spot was about his background and that's because a lot of people don't know about it. You have to remind people that he's been in the DEA; that he's been in law enforcement for 50 years. You have to educate people who haven't been around here for the 20 years that he has been in office."

    Over the next few weeks, Willems said he expects outside campaign- expenditure groups to ramp up the attacks on Arpaio.

    I asked him how the sheriff is handling the campaign.

    "There was an ASU student who did an interview with him on camera and the student said to me, 'Gosh, he's 80, isn't this hard on him?' " Willems said, "I told him I'm literally half the sheriff's age and my phone is ringing at 5 a.m. and it's ringing at midnight. He's a machine."

    But is Arpaio worried?

    "No," Willems said.

    The last time I spoke to the sheriff, I asked him if he could handle such a high-stress job for four more years.

    "What makes you think I only want to do it for four more years?" he told me.
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