On Tuesday, Rick Perry will campaign in New Hampshire with Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who has built a national reputation for his anti-immigrant views.

Sheriff Arpaio is a modern-day Bull Connor, minus the fire hoses and german shepherds. He is a disgrace and a national embarrassment. Not familiar with Bull Connor? The video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9kT1yO4MGg) has not lost its ability to shock.

Memo to Perry (and Romney, for that matter): A hard-line, anti-immigrant position is not especially popular in New Hampshire, even among likely Republican primary voters. In 2008, John McCain won the primary with a Gingrich-like position on immigration reform. A June, 2011 UNH / Boston Globe survey asked New Hampshire primary voters, “Would you support or oppose a program giving illegal immigrants now living in the United States the right to live here legally if they pay a fine and meet other requirements?” 42% of likely Republican primary voters supported a path to legal status, as did 54% of undeclared voters and 72% of likely Democratic primary voters. See page 58: http://www.unh.edu/survey-center/news/pdf/primary2012_bg29.pdf

In the new UNH / WMUR poll, Gov. Perry had a net -34 favorable/unfavorable rating among likely Republican primary voters, the worst rating of any of the Republican candidates. (http://www.unh.edu/survey-center/news/pdf/primary2012_primary112311.pdf)

It is unclear why Governor Perry would think campaigning with Sheriff Arpaio would help him.

Arpaio is a Birther:Just one month ago, Arpaio appeared at an event with “birther” Orly Taitz – the same California woman who appeared before the NH Ballot Law Commission 10 days ago to argue that President Obama isn’t eligible to appear on the ballot – and discussed his “cold case posse” investigation of the matter. Huffington Post has video: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/28/joe-arpaio-birther-orly-taitz_n_1064045.html

Arpaio Investigated By Federal Grand Jury for Abuse of Power:From the LA Times: “Arpaio uses his deputies to enforce federal immigration law and is known for sending hundreds of officers into heavily Latino neighborhoods to ask anyone who commits violations as minor as jaywalking about their immigration status.” http://articles.latimes.com/2010/jan/09/nation/la-na-arpaio9-2010jan09The Justice Department had to sue Arpaio for access to records after he stonewalled an investigation (http://articles.cnn.com/2010-09-02/justice/arizona.sheriff.justice.dept_1_arizona-sheriff-justice-department-documents?_s=PM:CRIME), finally forcing Arpaio to back down last June.

Arpaio Misspent nearly $100 Million in County Funds: Arpaio’s financial mismanagement is covered by the Arizona Republic, which reported that Arpaio’s Office “Routinely Used County-Issued Credit Cards To Charge Expensive Meals And Stays At Luxury Hotels.” http://www.azcentral.com/news/election/azelections/articles/2011/04/13/20110413arizona-arpaio-detention-funds-misspent.html ; http://www.azcentral.com/news/election/azelections/articles/2010/09/21/20100921joe-arpaio-sheriffs-office-funds-analysis.html

Arpaio Violated Detainee’s Constitutional Rights:The Wall Street Journal reports that “The 9th Circuit [Federal Court of Appeals] affirmed a ruling that Arpaio, the sheriff of Maricopa County, violated the constitutional rights of pretrial detainees by housing them in overcrowded conditions, at ‘dangerously high temperatures,’ and feeding them ‘overripe, moldy, and generally inedible’ food…” http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2010/10/14/sheriff-joe-told-to-clean-up-his-jails-again/

“Why Would Anyone Want Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Endorsement?”asks Andrew Cohen at The Atlantic this week: “[T]hat the beleaguered Perry would think that Arpaio will help rescue his flailing campaign, is just one of the many mind-bending absurdities of the 2012 race. Arpaio[’s]…made a terrible mess of his own job in Maricopa County, which is littered with litigation over his policies and practices.” http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/11/why-would-anyone-want-sheriff-joe-arpaios-endorsement/249084/

fergus@ferguscullen.com, November 29, 2011