Saturday, December 12, 2009

Eliot Ness in Maricopa?

One hestitates to say that things are coming to a head in Maricopa. Actually, one doubts it.

But Stephen Lemons, the Feathered Bastard blogger of New Times is holding out some hope. He finds hints in comments from the new U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico, Dennis Burke, that the Feds are getting set to start investigating Sheriff Joe and his toady, County Attorney Thomas.
"Of course there's a problem," he conceded. "You're not going to solve it with my quote."
Well, that's something. Of course, Burke also told Lemons that he doesn't want "to litigate it" in Maricopa. Can't hardly blame him for that. Heck, if he tries to litigate it at all, anywhere, he can maybe expect to be charged with felony harassment or something.

But if it isn't going to be the Justice Department (and it sure hasn't been so far), then who? That's the real question.

Sheriff Joe and his boys have been investigating Terry Goddard, Arizona's Attorney General for a couple of years. Goddard's running for governor as a Democrat. The only Republican leading him in the polls: Sheriff Joe.

So Justice it is. But who? When? Where?

Matt Brown is looking for a solution and recognizes what Scott Greenfield acknowledged in a couple of posts. Blogging isn't enough. We don't have power. For all the carrying on in the blogosphere - and by folks with much larger audiences than I have, the mainstream media remains silent. Does it not know? Does it think that Maricopa is too small? Too distant? Too trivial? Does it just not understand that there's an actual constitutional crisis there? That's what Mark Draughn wondered.
Somehow all of this is escaping the attention of the national media. Do they not realize that Maricopa County is having a constitutional crisis? Do they not understand? Are they too busy covering Tiger Woods' personal life? It boggles the mind that all this is going on and it's not front page news.
But it's not.

Mark Bennett, I think rightly, says we need to keep hammering away at it anyhow. Shining a light. Regardless of how little force we actually have, how weak our voices really are.

Certainly, the evidence (summarized nicely by Matt) would seem to indicate that the Phoenicians just don't mind. As long as Sheriff Joe keeps going after the immigrant and bringing investigations and criminal charges against anyone who speaks up, they're either happy or cowed. Enough of them are, anyway.

Yeah, there are hints from the courts. The Arizona Republic reported that Joe got slammed the other day when the court of appeals told him he couldn't serve a search warrant on either the home or chambers of Superior Court Judge Barbara Mundell. But it's at most a temporary setback (and only a temporary order).

What happens next is the question? How many more shoes are there to drop in Maricopa?

In his Feathered Bastard post, Lemons compared Joe to Al Capone and wondered if Dennis Burke had the stones to be Eliot Ness. Someone needs to step up.

Until then, all we can do is keep writing.

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