The early returns are in, and right now it would seem Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has the early edge in replacing Jon Kyl.

According to Roll Call, Arpaio led a field of potential Republican candidates by 21 percent in a poll of likely GOP primary voters.

Though this makes us feel better, a little

Maricopa County's self-proclaimed "toughest sheriff in America," Joe Arpaio, says he's considering running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Senator Jon Kyl.

That said, New Times guaran-damn-tees he won't actually run.

"The issue is whether I want to leave this office and go to Washington and try to make a difference there, which I would do if I run and win," the 78-year-old Arpaio tells The Hill. "I think I could do that job."

Sorry, Joe, we've heard it all before.

As you may recall, Arpaio pulled a similar stunt last year when he claimed to be considering running for governor. And he did the same thing four years earlier, when he also claimed he was mulling over a run for the governorship.

In neither case did Arpaio actually run.

You see, Arpaio seems to get off on seeing his name in the headlines, and what better way to make that happen than to continually fuel speculation about potentially running for office -- and a poll showing he's the front-runner certainly doesn't help things.

Update: This was an interesting post about how TV has become far more accepting of police and proprietorial abuse in its heroes, comparing quasi-terrorist Steve McGarrett from the current incarnation of Hawaii 5-0 with the respectful and conscientious Jack Lord version.  Next up, the new show Arpaio 4-8?


  1. Artemis Fowl:

    Who's your preferred opponent? I'd be happy to make a donation to help keep this menace out of national office.

  2. Dr. T:

    Arpaio has significant support throughout Arizona. This shows that many Arizonans approve of someone who will do *whatever it takes* to reduce the influx of Mexicans (and not just the illegal immigrants). Scary, isn't it? It reminds me of the David Duke phenomenon in Louisiana. He got to elected to the state senate *because of* his blatant racism and antisemitism.

    I disagree that the TV shows of today favor law-breaking, head-breaking "good-guys" more than in the past. Back in the 1960s, there were plenty of westerns where the sheriffs, marshals, or rangers did whatever it took to bring in (or take out) the bad guys. We had superhero crime fighters in the 1950s and 1960s (Superman and Batman) who made "citizens arrests" illegally. Private detective shows of the 1960s and 1970s routinely showed the PIs skirting laws to get the perps. We had the "Dirty Harry" series of movies that condoned stalking and torture of a suspect by a detective. Vigilante themes were popular in westerns and in urban environs (the "Death Wish" movies).

    Hollywood movie and show creators go with whatever's selling. Today, probably because of the tremendous media news distortion of crime rates and terrorist incidents, catching criminals or terrorists with no regard for civil liberties and civil rights is a popular theme. Arpaio is riding that wave of popular "thought."

  3. KipEsquire:

    I never watched the show religiously, but I did recently catch a clip of Dragnet where Joe Friday was a Grade-A "shame on you for daring to question the police [... ma'am ...]" d-bag.

  4. TomG:

    Warren, how do you feel about Jeff Flake ? I don't know too much about him, but he did come in second (and first when Arpaio was not on the list of choices). I have heard his name come up in discussions of people younger than, but similar to, Ron Paul.

  5. TomG:

    by "people" I meant "Congressmen who share some of the core principles of"

  6. MJ:

    H.L. Mencken had it right. "Democracy is the belief that the American people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."

  7. stuhlmann:

    I should think that you'd be dancing for joy at the prospect of getting him out of his current job, out of the state (mostly), and off to Washington where he would be just one more bad actor on a stage crowded with bad actors. Maricopa County's loss would be the nation's gain.

  8. caseyboy:

    Warren, I saw that on the news this morning and knew it would blow your mind. Knuckle dragging law and order guy movin on up.

  9. mahtso:

    Even a stopped clock is right twice a day or the boy who cried wolf.

    The Newtimes has it right; even if he is really considering a run, he has cried wolf too often. I assume the media (which include this blog in my opinion) “fall for it” only because they know it boosts ratings/traffic.

  10. mahtso:

    “[Sheriff] Arpaio has significant support throughout Arizona. This shows that many Arizonans approve of someone who will do *whatever it takes* to reduce the influx of Mexicans (and not just the illegal immigrants). Scary, isn’t it?”

    Of course there is an alternate explanation: many Arizonans do not believe the allegations in the news accounts and blogs. (See the boy who cried wolf.) For years the Feds have been investigating the Sheriff and yet no charges have been filed. And, for years, civil rights groups have monitored his activities.

    Last month the Feds had investigators in town working on the matter at the same time the Sheriff ran one of his crime suppression sweeps. I did not see any news accounts showing that the Feds found that the activity was a violation of anyone’s rights or the law.

    Of course, it may well be that the Sheriff has violated people’s rights and that charges will be forthcoming. But until then, many right-minded people are hearing “wolf” when the same allegations are trotted out over and over again.

    Finally, as to the charge of, what for lack of a better term, I’ll call racism: do you have any substantial evidence showing that the Sheriff is trying to reduce the "influx" of Mexicans who are entering or in the country legally?

  11. Dr. T:

    Arpaio and his deputies routinely harass people for driving while being Hispanic or working while being Hispanic. These actions have been well-publicized by Arpaio himself. He hasn't been prosecuted because he has the support of all his employees, the District Attorney's office, multiple local judges, multiple local politicians, and many Maricopa County residents. You might just as well ask why almost none of the many corrupt Chicago politicians have been prosecuted.

  12. John Moore:

    I think it's just one more Sheriff Joe publicity stunt. He loves the spotlight.

    He's rather old to be a junior senator, and although he has a lot of support, there are a lot of people who would not vote for him.

    BTW, SJ has done a lot of good things. His posses do a heck of a lot of good work. His chain gangs, etc, while being nice publicity stunts, are also good for the community. Heck, I even like the pink underwear thing.

    I just think his view that the cop is always right shows that he isn't too fond of civil liberties. As a cop, he know that most people who are in pre-trial detention are guilty. But as an official bound by the Constitution, he should put them in tent city, which is clearly a place for punishment. Punishment is for the convicted only!

  13. mahtso:

    Now that Dr. T brings up Chicago, it is clear: it’s all Kevin Bacon’s fault. How so? He was in a movie with Queen Latifah. She was in “Chicago.” Pres. Obama is from Chicago. He is Sec. Janet Napolitano’s boss. She was the Governor of Arizona and it was well accepted that she did not call out the National Guard to rein-in Sheriff Arpaio because he had the “goods” on her. The current U.S. Atty for Az is Dennis Burke, who was one of Gov. Napolitano’s key advisors. QED.

    Seriously folks, maybe Sheriff Arpaio has committed the crimes and abuses alleged (I don’t know). But Dr. T’s “proof” if fairly typical of what is offered: conspiracy theories in which other public officials are also committing criminal acts or nonfeasance, or misstatements/misrepresentations of fact. As to the latter, the Sheriff (to my knowledge) has never admitted “routinely harass[ing] people for driving while being Hispanic or working while being Hispanic.” To the contrary, he denies it, and that is the subject of one of DOJ’s on-going investigations. [At last, a fallacy for which I know the name: begging the question.]

  14. MJ:

    Of course there is an alternate explanation: many Arizonans do not believe the allegations in the news accounts and blogs. (See the boy who cried wolf.)

    Michael Jackson wasn't convicted of abusing young children either. But I'm not convinced that he didn't do it.

  15. Mesa Econoguy:

    Saw the outtakes from a recent interview on local Fox 10. They asked Joe about Pinal Sherriff Paul Babeu's high profile, and his potential overshadowing Joe.

    Joe said "I'm the Godfather, he's the son" or words to that effect.

    If they stopped giving him airtime, his head would be considerably smaller.....

  16. mahtso:


    I assume you think the Sheriff is guilty/culpable. That fine, but not the issue I was addressing. I was addressing the abuse heaped on those who are not so convinced.

    What I read Dr. T to say is: Dr. T’s opinion is that the Sheriff has committed crimes or civil rights abuses, therefore people who support the Sheriff support criminal behavior and the violation of civil rights. (Using your example: Quincy does not believe Michael Jackson was a child abuser, therefore Quincy is in favor of abusing children.)

    I don’t consider myself to be a supporter of the Sheriff, so Dr. T’s remarks don’t apply directly. But on this blog and others, people of Arizona have been held up as Neanderthals and racists for failing to accept that the Sheriff is guilty/culpable. (Again, maybe he is, I don’t know.) On one blog, we were told that there was something wrong with us for not rising in an armed insurrection, and that there was something wrong with people for not fleeing the county. And in other places there were questions about why the Gov. did not call out the National Guard.

    As I’ve written before, I would not be shocked if the DOJ eventually charges the Sheriff with wrong-doing. But I think it is wrong to hurl invective at those who don’t want to condemn the man based on what the Newtimes (or the Az Republic) write.