America’s Most Incompetent Sheriff Visits Orange County to do Fundraiser and Rally for Bill Hunt

Once again, Joe Arpaio, the pigheaded Sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, is visiting Orange County tonight and tomorrow to do a fundraiser and rally on behalf of our local wannabe, Bill Hunt. Hunt, who has no problem casually mingling with homegrown bigots like Barbara Coe, apparently considers Arpaio to be his mentor and has hinted he would adopt policies similar to his if he were to become Sheriff.

As I’ve written before in a previous posting, Arpaio has increasingly come under attack by right-wing Republicans in his own home state for engaging in fiscally irresponsible behavior and wasting the resources of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) on high-profile immigration sweeps that have accomplished little except veer the agency away from its overall mission of fighting crime and keeping people safe.

In December 2008, the Goldwater Institute, an influential right-wing think tank based in Phoenix, released a scathing report concluding Arpaio’s diversion of “precious law-enforcement resources on high-profile, extremely expensive, yet low-yielding immigration sweeps … has underminded [the] effectiveness [of the MCSO] in its core mission of protecting the lives and property of people who look to it for protection.”

If Hunt was smart, he’d immediately disassociate himself from a buffoon like Arpaio. But the reality is, Hunt himself isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed. That’s why he’s got to inject overblown fears of “illegal immigration” into this race: he hopes it will get all the wackos, nut jobs, and bigots afraid of Mexicans to rally behind his lackluster candidacy and get him the majority of votes he needs to become the next Sheriff.

Recent polling data suggests, however, that most Orange County residents aren’t being swayed by Hunt’s dog and pony show. Maybe they’re finally beginning to understand what H. L. Mencken said many years ago when he wrote that “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed, and thus clamorous to be led to safety, by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

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