Sunday, October 5, 2008
The Arizona Republic "Strongly Supports" Dan Saban
Today the Arizona Republic announced their endorsement of Dan Saban in the Sheriff's Race. Among the reasons listed, the Republic said in part; "Dan Saban has proved his worth as a cop on the job. Now, Maricopa County voters have the opportunity to elect a lawman, not a showman."
Here's the rest:
'Republic' supports Dan Saban for sheriff
Oct. 5, 2008 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic
Considering the built-in cruelty that so often is a part of politics, declaring any campaign the "worst ever" is dicey territory. There are lots of candidates for the title. That said, the effort to destroy - not simply beat, mind you, but utterly destroy - the Democratic candidate for Maricopa County sheriff this election will stand among the most demeaning political efforts we have witnessed.
For their salacious attacks on Dan Saban, Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the character assassins dwelling at Arizona Republican headquarters should be ashamed of themselves, if it were possible. The Arizona Republic firmly believes that, if elected, Dan Saban would make an effective and professional county sheriff.
Retaining the self-serving, Grand Guignol circus surrounding "America's Toughest Sheriff," on the other hand, would gain the county neither competence nor professionalism.
It would gain voters a continuation of the parade of pratfalling sycophants surrounding Sheriff Joe Arpaio, to say nothing of the tens of millions of dollars lost in lawsuits, and the completely unnecessary alienation of entire communities of Arizonans.
Let us repeat: The unnecessary alienation of thousands of perfectly legal Arizona citizens.
By retaining Arpaio, voters will likewise retain his retinue of double-dipping lieutenants whose sole justification for their bloated salaries appears to be their ability to dig up dirt on their boss' political foes. They'll get to keep the venal, petty "media spokesmen," who take exquisite delight in denying press releases to small newspapers that dare to displease them.
They'll get another four years of headline-grasping assaults on American liberty, such as Arpaio's infamous 2006 SWAT team invasion of the home of Maricopa County Schools Superintendent Sandra Dowling - an attack that ultimately netted a misdemeanor charge against Dowling for hiring her own daughter to a minimum-wage job. Oh, and a $1.75 million Dowling lawsuit against Arpaio and the county. Another lawsuit to throw on the pile.
In a perfect world, Arizona voters would come to see the costly trade-off of electing their law enforcers and would choose to hold their county board of supervisors accountable for selecting a true pro. Is the mystique of this perpetually angry and intolerant man really that important to the prosecution of crime? Other communities find and hire sheriffs and police chiefs whose primary duty is law enforcement, not self promotion.
Regardless, voters have before them an opportunity to "hire" a tough law enforcer who has no interest in rolling like a tank over his political opponents and other citizens. Voters can hire Dan Saban on Election Day.
The former police chief of Buckeye, Saban has more than three decades of law-enforcement experience in Arizona, most of it with the Mesa Police Department, which he departed as a commander, functionally in charge of hundreds of department personnel.
Saban last ran against Arpaio in 2004 - a Republican primary despoiled by many of the same rancid and twisted personal accusations recently resurrected by Arpaio's functionaries in the Republican Party. The strength of character it takes to march, yet again, through that gauntlet of personal vilification says volumes about Saban. He's standing up to the sheriff's toadies.
Despite his foibles, Joe Arpaio enjoys great popularity. He has money and notoriety. In many respects, he is bigger than life.
All that given, it takes a remarkable smallness of character to allow the county's Republican Party to attack Saban the way Arpaio let GOP Chairman Randy Pullen, et al, attack the sheriff's opponent last week. And make no mistake about it: Arpaio could have, and should have, condemned their slime and forced them to stop. He did not.
Dan Saban has proved his worth as a cop on the job. Now, Maricopa County voters have the opportunity to elect a lawman, not a showman. They should use it. The Republic strongly supports Dan Saban for Maricopa County Sheriff.