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  1. #1
    Senior Member FedUpinFarmersBranch's Avatar
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    Az-Arpaio book signing draws a crowd

    Arpaio book signing draws a crowd
    Fans and non-fans flock to Sheriff Joe event here
    By Dan Sorenson
    Arizona Daily Star
    Tucson, Arizona | Published: 07.11.2008
    Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio came to Tucson on Thursday evening, but the wildly polarized greeting he got at a Midtown book signing probably made him feel right at home.
    America's toughest sheriff was the hottest draw at the Barnes & Noble bookstore since the last Harry Potter book came out.
    Outside the store's front door, a sign read "Tonight! Joe Arpaio, America's Toughest Sheriff" over a solemn-looking shot of Sheriff Joe from his new book, "Joe's Law."
    Arpaio fans started lining up at noon to get tickets for the 60-some seats at the back of the store, between the shelves of Christian inspiration and graphic novels, for his appearance at a live radio talk show.
    And they outnumbered protesters until well after his radio appearance started at 6 p.m.
    Before the broadcast, Arpaio did a brief stand-up for TV crews and a circle of adoring fans outside the store. The lovefest didn't last long as protester Pancho Medina, a bearded middle-aged man in a black flat-brimmed hat and wearing a "No More Deaths" button, repeatedly shouted, "You're not welcome in Tucson, Arizona."
    Arpaio continued speaking, laughing and steadily raising his voice to be heard over Medina, but smiling as he did so. He'd clearly done this before.
    Despite the insistent smile, Medina's shouting and his supporters' presence apparently got under his skin and Arpaio said, "You don't know how stupid these people are."
    Protester Merle McPheeters, a soft-spoken teacher and a 28-year military veteran, quietly defended Medina's right to speak when some of the sheriff's fans tried to shout down Medina. McPheeters made it tough to yell at him by speaking in little more than a whisper.
    After Arpaio went inside, the protesters milled around. There wasn't much fire left without the sheriff, and the protesters talked to each other, reporters and the occasional surprised bookstore customer who wasn't there to see Arpaio.
    "We're saddened to see Barnes & Noble offer a platform for hatred in our community," said Sol Kelley-Jones, who said she was with Coalición de Derechos Humanos, an immigrant-rights advocacy group
    Her friend, Crystal Terriquez, wearing a white tank top that read "Deport Joe Arpaio," seemed to think Kelley-Jones didn't make the point strongly enough. "We don't want Arpaio in our community," said Terriquez, punching every word for emphasis.
    Inside, the 60-some seats were taken long before the radio show started, and at least another 60 people — nearly all apparently Arpaio fans — jammed in as close as they could to the table where Arpaio sat with a KNST radio host.
    Arpaio talked mainly about his reasons for using his department to enforce immigration laws, and about his conflicts with other politicians and activists over his aggressive anti-illegal-immigration comments and activities.
    His fans were overwhelmingly in their 60s or older, white, including many couples. They cheered Arpaio's statements and laughed at his wisecracks.
    Outside waited the growing crowd of protesters, a mix of whites and Hispanics, from teenagers to elderly, more women than men.
    Some carried pro-immigration signs. One had a piñata of Sheriff Joe in uniform, with pink handcuffs and pink underwear peeking up in the back above his belt.
    At 6:30 p.m., halfway through the broadcast, protesters smashed the piñata, but it was mostly for their own amusement, as Joe's fans were inside hanging on his every word.
    Arpaio finished the show and began autographing his books.
    Outside, the protesters began marching around the parking lot, chanting, "Hey hey, ho ho, Joe Arpaio's got to go!" — which seemed to confuse some of the customers going in and out of the nearby Macaroni Grill.
    About 90 minutes after the show ended, some 70 or so people still waited in line to have Arpaio sign their books.
    "No, I'm not surprised," Arpaio supporter Rebecca White said of the crowd. "Everybody knows about Joe."
    White said she'd like to see Arpaio's methods adopted in Pima County. A couple of men standing in line heard her proposal and raised it: "Make him state sheriff. Yeah," they said.
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  2. #2
    Administrator ALIPAC's Avatar
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    Arpaio said, "You don't know how stupid these people are."
    Amen to that. Joe is so cool.

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  3. #3
    Administrator ALIPAC's Avatar
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    Smashing up a piñata of Joe is so immature. These opposition forces are very good at doing themselves in politically.

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