Quantcast
Home / Featured News / Arpaio recall group fails to gather enough signatures

Arpaio recall group fails to gather enough signatures

Simon Lopez, left, and Hiliaro Islas hold signs while trying to collect signatures in an effort to recall Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Wednesday, May 29, 2013 in downtown Phoenix. Organizers of a campaign aimed at ousting Arpaio face a deadline Thursday afternoon for handing signatures to force a recall election against the lawman. Recall organizers, who had trouble raising contributions and had to rely on volunteers rather than paid professionals to sign up supporters, face long odds in turning in more than 335,000 valid voter signatures. Arpaio critics are hoping a court ruling last week that Arpaio's office has racially profiled Latinos would draw out more supporters for their cause. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Simon Lopez, left, and Hiliaro Islas hold signs while trying to collect signatures in an effort to recall Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Wednesday, May 29, 2013 in downtown Phoenix. Organizers of a campaign aimed at ousting Arpaio face a deadline Thursday afternoon for handing signatures to force a recall election against the lawman. Recall organizers, who had trouble raising contributions and had to rely on volunteers rather than paid professionals to sign up supporters, face long odds in turning in more than 335,000 valid voter signatures. Arpaio critics are hoping a court ruling last week that Arpaio's office has racially profiled Latinos would draw out more supporters for their cause. (AP Photo/Matt York)

A campaign to force a recall election against the polarizing sheriff of metropolitan Phoenix has failed.

Recall organizers said Thursday that they couldn’t collect enough voter signatures to bring Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio to the ballot again.

Organizers of the recall effort needed to turn in more than 335,000 valid voter signatures by 5 p.m. Thursday to force a recall election.

“It is a sad day,” recall campaign manager Lilia Alvarez said. “It is a disappointment.”

Recall organizers won’t reveal the number of signatures they gathered. In their last update, given five weeks ago, organizers said they had gathered 200,000 signatures.

“The count at this point doesn’t matter,” Alvarez said in deciding not to reveal the number of signatures gathered.

Arpaio issued a statement suggesting that recall organizers aren’t revealing the number of signatures they gathered because they are embarrassed by the level of their failure. “This effort failed because the good people of Maricopa County, whom I’m honored to serve, rejected the wrong-headed idea of overturning an election,” Arpaio said.

Arpaio supporters say the sheriff won re-election in November fair and square and that recall organizers shouldn’t have been allowed to contest the election simply because they didn’t like the outcome.

The recall effort began just weeks after the 80-year-old Republican sheriff started his sixth term in January. His November re-election race marked the second closest contest in his 20-year political career. He beat the closest candidate by 6 percentage points.

Joshua Spivak, a recall expert and senior fellow at Wagner College in New York, said the Arpaio recall effort suffered from too little fundraising, having to collect an unusually high number of voter signatures for a county race and not having an alternative candidate lined up to run against Arpaio. “They are running against Joe Arpaio,” Spivak said. “But who are they electing?”

Arpaio critics had argued that the sheriff should be booted because his office has failed to adequately investigate more than 400 sex-crimes cases, has cost the county $25 million in legal settlements over treatment in county jails and his office was found by a federal judge to have systematically racially profiled Latinos in his signature immigration patrols. Critics say the sheriff is more focused on getting publicity for himself than protecting the people.

Recall organizers had hoped that last week’s racial profiling ruling would pump new life into their cause. Supporters were camped outside a county building for more than four days in their final push.

“I wish from the bottom of my heart that this ruling would have come out a month earlier. Had this ruling come out a month earlier, who knows how many signatures we would have gotten,” Democratic state Rep. Martin Quezada of Avondale, a supporter of the Arpaio recall effort, said.

In the hours before the recall petitions were due, a trickle of people dropped by three tents set up by recall organizers outside the county building to sign petitions. Clipboard-wielding volunteers hit up people walking on the sidewalk for signatures and wore T-shirts that said, “Petition Posse,” a play on Arpaio’s posses whose volunteer members assist sheriff’s deputies in some of their duties.

In the past, the sheriff has apologized for the bungled sex-crimes investigations and said his office has moved to clear up the cases and taken steps to prevent a repeat of the problem. He also has vigorously denied allegations that his deputies racially profiled people in traffic patrols targeting immigrants who aren’t authorized to be in the country.

Recall organizers were trying to build on the success of a 2011 recall effort that ousted then-Arizona Senate President Russell Pearce, an Arpaio ally who was the driving force behind the state’s contentious 2010 immigration law. But the scale of the Arpaio recall was more daunting.

Only 7,700 valid signatures were needed to trigger the Pearce recall election.

6 comments

  1. Its a win for the racists in Maricopa County who support cruelty, inhumanity, injustice and the wasting of hundreds of millions of taxpayers’ $$$’s. This confirms the state we live it. Truly shameful.

  2. this is a win for those who respect the law and truly believe in public safety–

  3. Who can support a sheriff who fails to do his job over and over, with over 430 un-investigated sex crimes cases against children for starters?

    Judge Snow’s Decision Damns Not Just Arpaio, but All of Maricopa County – Page 1 – News – Phoenix – Phoenix New Times

    http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/2013-05-30/news/judge-snow-s-decision-damns-not-just-arpaio-but-all-of-maricopa-county/

    excerpt: “Arpaio was behind the curve. The Minuteman Project was ongoing at the border, already drawing extremists and opportunists such as neo-Nazi and eventual baby-killer J.T. Ready and minutewoman and future murderess Shawna Forde, among others.
    Up ’til that point, Arpaio’s shtick had been cruelty toward the incarcerated. Even though more than 70 percent of those in his jails were pre-trial detainees, the idea of punishment before trial was popular with the electorate, even when it involved guards choking people to death in restraint chairs or denying a diabetic her medication until she slipped into a coma and died.

    Keeping his vast incarceration complex a harsh and occasionally fatal one guaranteed Arpaio a high approval rating. On the Haab incident, however, he faced backlash from angry whites, while a relative newcomer, Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas (later to be disbarred and disgraced), earned cheers for refusing to charge Haab.

    A cunning and adept politician, Arpaio took note and began to act accordingly. The MCSO created a Human Smuggling Unit in 2006 and began to take advantage of Thomas’ interpretation of a new state anti-human-smuggling statute, in which Thomas asserted that the average migrant could be prosecuted for helping to smuggle himself or herself into the country.”

  4. “Judge Snow’s Decision Damns Not Just Arpaio, but ALL of Maricopa County – Page 1 – News – Phoenix – Phoenix New Times

    http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/2013-05-30/news/judge-snow-s-decision-damns-not-just-arpaio-but-all-of-maricopa-county/

  5. “Sheriff Joe Arpaio “IF THERE WERE ANY VICTIMS..?” NBC – YouTube

  6. Folks, Take the time, that we as concerned citizens, taxpayers and voters took to listen to the daily, months long disciplinary hearings of disbarred, ex-Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas and his chief “charging” prosecutor ex-DCA Lisa Aubuchon, also disbarred — to see how your justice system and law enforcement has failed the people and the taxpayers. Until this is fixed, there is NO fair justice system in Arizona. Arpaio is the state’s “icon” for cruelty, inhumanity and injustice, as can be seen and heard here.

    These officials who remain in the system are shameful representatives of Arizona, which many call simply corrupt. Those who remain silent are complicit. And you wonder why there are recall efforts? The legislators have failed the people of Arizona if they do not set TERM LIMITS FOR COUNTY ATTORNEYS AND COUNTY SHERIFFS! Now! It’s time to end the tyranny people have been living under.

    FILED 12/19/11 -
    IBC Closing Arguments (PDF)
    IBC Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law (PDF)

    WATCH THE PROCEEDINGS
    Archived video of the proceedings may be viewed here: http://azcourts.gov/pdj/VideoPage.aspx

    Office of the Presiding Disciplinary Judge
    PDJ-2011-9002
    Re. Andrew Thomas, Lisa Aubuchon, Rachel Alexander

    Formal Complaint by Independent Investigator

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

 

Scroll To Top