After the news breaks of the scandal around Arizona sheriff and border security hawk Paul Babeu, I think for sure that he will cancel the February 23 posse recruitment meeting in the San Tan Valley near Phoenix.
The national news on Babeu of course is not about his attempt to bolster the Pinal Country Sheriff’s Office posse, rather it comes from the February 16 article published by the Phoenix New Times which says that the hard-line Pinal County sheriff threatened his ex-lover, Mexican Jose Orozco (who also did work for Babeu by managing his campaign websites), with deportation. The next day Babeu admits that he is gay, but denies all other charges against him. The lengthy legal battle could derail the sheriff’s campaign for the 4th congressional district in western Arizona, in which he is campaigning on his national reputation as a staunch immigration-enforcer.
The last thing, I think, that the rising (or formerly rising, according to some analysts) GOP star will want is a community meeting with his grumpy conservative constituency, where he will be exposed to a media that will be quick to jump on the scandalized sheriff. When I call, though, the Pinal County Sheriff’s Department inform me that they haven’t received any notification of a cancellation. So, I begin my three hour drive north to Pinal county which is located right between Tucson’s Pima and Phoenix’s Maricopa counties.