Will Justice Prevail in Maricopa County, Arizona?

I have been conspicuously silent on the Maricopa County issue. I’ve been glued to Greenfield’s coverage of it. His latest piece is a must – read.

7 Responses to Will Justice Prevail in Maricopa County, Arizona?

  1. DMG says:

    Gut instinct reaction – no, it won’t. But maybe that’s the disillusionment from having to work in this system for the past 7 years talking.

  2. DMG says:

    Okay, maybe I should have watched the news last night before I said that. If this got any significant local coverage besides just the New Times, then maybe.

  3. metasonix says:

    Always amusing to see people who don’t live in Phoenix talk about Arpaio, and read their righteous outrage about corruption there. They don’t know a few things about that town:

    a) Southern-central Arizona is basically an isolated pocket of the Deep South. Arizona had legal racial segregation until 1952. Even neighboring Tucson isn’t as backward.

    b) The Phoenix area has long been a retirement haven for white police officers, bringing their bigotry from wherever in the Northeast or Midwest they came from. The attractions of the Arizona desert included: mild winter weather, very little rain and no snow, and “no black people”. One of those bigoted Northeastern cops who retired to Arizona just happens to be named Joe Arpaio. He ran for sheriff partly because he discovered there were very few blacks, but lots of Latinos — and he felt “the Mexicans have to be controlled”. And he found ripe soil for his demented policies, since there are thousands of retired cops there already, along with hundreds of thousands of elderly white Midwesterners. Groups not noted for their racial tolerance. All those old jokes about the cranky old man who screams “get off my lawn, you kids” aren’t funny in a city where the cranky old men run everything.

    c) Another thing that Phoenix “features”: the Arizona Republic, one of the most disgustingly pro-business, conservative newspapers in the entire US. They have almost no competition in Maricopa County. And they would never, in a million years, say anything bad about Thomas or Arpaio–because the Pulliam family that founded it shares Arpaio’s bigoted, paranoid worldview. Since Phoenix has long been considered a joke by journalists, thanks mainly to the Republic, the local TV and radio outlets have developed a similar outlook–no decent journalist would work for a TV station in that “freak show”, so the journalists who end up with the (few) jobs in local media tend to be incompetent and cowardly.

    d) Local political corruption is legendary–on a par with places like Philadelphia or Chicago. With the added bonus of a weak, spineless media that refuses to document the many dirty tricks by the politicians. This is why nobody outside Maricopa County realizes how corrupt the place is.

    e) Phoenix is a prime example of what happens when real-estate developers have complete free rein. They can build until they run out of desert, and they have considerable control of local politics. This is why, among other things, Phoenix has been having severe water shortages and sewer-system breakdowns in recent years. The old people are rabidly anti-tax, even for needed infrastructure improvements, while the developers just keep building and building.

    • DMG says:

      So even if they’re right to be outraged, they should shut up because they don’t know all the in and outs of local politics here? I don’t quite follow.

      I’m also not aware of any severe water shortages or sewer-system breakdowns in the last few years, even though we’re in a drought, but that might just be my personal experience. It’s not like anyone’s really doing anything about it beyond some light restrictions on water usage during the summer. And even that is really only in Phoenix and Mesa to a large extent, not valleywide.

  4. “All those old jokes about the cranky old man who screams “get off my lawn, you kids” aren’t funny in a city where the cranky old men run everything.”

    It’s especially not funny in a city where the lawns consist of cactus and funny little multicolored rocks. It might even be a little dangerous.

  5. Alan says:

    There’s a simple rule that applies 99% of the time: if you attack a judge, you’re going down.

  6. haha says:

    The situation in Maricopa County has been a hot-button issue for me for a long time (and I actually did live there) – I’m glad to see Greenfield and others are finally sitting up and taking notice, too.

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