Recently recall papers were filed by Respect Arizona against embattled Arizona Sheriff, Joe Arpaio. In addition to mounting criticism, Arpaio faces a racial profiling lawsuit from the Department of Justice, a class action suit based on his treatment of Latinos, and criticism for mishandling more than 400 sex abuse cases, many of them filed by undocumented immigrants.
In office for 20 years and just sworn in last month after winning the election with 50.7% of the vote, Arpaio has already filed for reelection in 2016. Respect Arizona will need to collect more than 350,000 valid signatures in the next 120 days to force a recall election, according to the petition gatherers.
Respect Arizona hopes that Arpaio will go the way of neo-Nazi supporter and former state Senator Russell Pearce, who was removed from office in November of 2011 through a successful recall.
Just last week the Arizona Republic, the state’s largest newspaper, ran an editorial condemning the recall as a waste of money and an abuse the law. “The recall is as much of an abuse of Arizona law as anything Arpaio has done,” it wrote.
Randy Parraz, president of the bipartisan Citizens for a Better Arizona, commented on the editorial, “Let’s see…worse than not investigating the rape and molestation of women and children? Worse than illegally misspending $100 million of taxpayer money? Worse than using the office of Sheriff to harass, intimidate and arrest opponents of Sheriff Arpaio? Worse than over $70 million in legal payouts because of Arpaio’s failed leadership? Worse than the ineffective and high profile raids that discriminate against Latinos and tear families apart? Are you serious?”
Recalls are a protected part of our democratic process and it seems like the Arizona Republic wants to deny its citizens their constitutional right, just like a certain local Sheriff.