America’s Most Corrupt Sheriff?

Unless you’re an intelligent, non-Teapublican living in Arizona, you probably know Joe Arpaio as “America’s Toughest Sheriff.”

You’ve likely heard of the way he treats prisoners at his “Tent City” in the desert by forcing them to wear pink underwear and eat baloney sandwiches for every meal. You may have heard of his regular “sweeps” for illegal immigrants. You may have heard of his celebrity “posses.” And you may have heard of his political connections to the Teapublican elite, such as Senator John McCain, half-governor Sarah Palin, Governor Jan Brewer, AZ State Senator-under-recall Russell Pearce, and Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann.

But you probably haven’t heard that he’s under federal investigation for civil rights violations. You probably don’t know that he misspent $100 million of Maricopa County funds. You probably haven’t heard of the county’s investigation resulting in the firing of his top henchmen.

Unless you live in Arizona, you probably haven’t heard allegations that he and his buddy, former County Attorney Andrew Thomas, trumped up investigations and charges against Arpaio’s political enemies. And you probably haven’t heard that he and his “deputy” Steven Seagal are being sued for shooting an innocent family’s dog during a botched raid looking for suspected illegal immigrants.

For any other elected official, even one of these issues would result in dismissal from office, if not a trip to “Tent City.” But given the massive numbers of wingnut voters in Arizona, Arpaio seems untouchable. Indeed, he’s actually considering a run for the US Senate.

Now he’s even opened an investigation with his “Cold Case” Posse to check the legitimacy of President Obama’s birth certificate! And the Teapublican presidential wannabes are trekking to Phoenix to kiss Arpaio’s…er..ring.

With thugs like Sheriff Joe in their camp, how can anyone take the Teapublicans seriously?