Arizona is a blasted hellscape

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Mongrel
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Re: Arizona is a blasted hellscape

Postby Mongrel » Mon Feb 23, 2015 2:08 pm

Sometimes I've wondered if you could do the whole democratic system like that.
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Re: Arizona is a blasted hellscape

Postby zaratustra » Fri Feb 27, 2015 1:26 pm

Anti-Obamacare sheriff is setting a funding campaign to pay for his medical bills

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/s ... ical-bills

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Re: Arizona is a blasted hellscape

Postby Mongrel » Thu Apr 23, 2015 11:59 am

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Re: Arizona is a blasted hellscape

Postby Thad » Thu Apr 23, 2015 12:35 pm

Looking into the original link, I caught another one from the Republic: Ducey takes stand for all adoptions, including same-sex.

Obviously there's a lot of stuff I don't agree with Ducey on. But I think he's already better than Brewer, pretty much just by default.

First, the governor vetoed a bill backed by Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery and others that would have eliminated the free adoption services available at Arizona's county attorney offices. State law requires county prosecutors to offer the low-cost services in uncontested adoptions, which now would include adoptions by the same sex-couple who are legally married in our state.

Montgomery has refused to provide services for a same-sex couple requesting those services, saying that the court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage does not make such couples eligible for the adoption services.

In vetoing the bill Ducey said, "The north star for me is I want to see more adoptions."


Adoption services are of special interest to me; my wife and I hope to adopt. Free and low-cost adoption services are a good thing, not just potentially for us but for everybody.

And while of course I don't have a personal stake in same-sex adoption, it should go without saying that I support it and find the very idea that gay couples are less fit as parents than straight couples to be backward and barbaric.

When I was in high school, there was a lesbian couple nextdoor who adopted three kids. We need more families like that, not fewer.

They said that Governor Napolitano had helped greatly to make it easier for gay couples to adopt. I've got my issues with her, too, but that's a great thing, and was not as politically a popular a stance then as it is today.


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Re: Arizona is a blasted hellscape

Postby Thad » Sun Apr 26, 2015 8:31 pm

Lemons wrote:In my line of work, it doesn't get much better than a federal judge's handing your column to a public official, and getting the accused pol to confirm the column's facts, one by one, under oath.

This is what happened on day three of Sheriff Joe Arpaio's civil contempt trial, when, at the conclusion of Arpaio's testimony, U.S. District Court Judge G. Murray Snow told Arpaio he wanted to ask him a few questions, based on one of my columns from last year.

The result? Admissions by Arpaio that he had been using a confidential informant in Seattle, Dennis Montgomery, and paying him from RICO and confidential-informant funds to do an investigation of a vaguely defined conspiracy theory involving the U.S. Department of Justice and various judges, including Snow himself.


Plenty more schadenfreude from Lemons over there, as you might expect.

Arpaio's made a career of wriggling out of accusations and getting re-elected, so I'm not going to take anything for granted. But it sure looks like he's finally run out of fall guys and is looking at some kind of personal legal consequences.

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Re: Arizona is a blasted hellscape

Postby Thad » Mon May 25, 2015 8:26 pm

Arpaio lawyer moves to have judge recused, on the grounds that he is not impartial because Arpaio has been investigating him and his wife.

I'd say that's delightfully Machiavellian, but the author who most comes to mind is Heller.

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Re: Arizona is a blasted hellscape

Postby Mothra » Mon May 25, 2015 8:32 pm

Oh my GOD.

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Re: Arizona is a blasted hellscape

Postby Mongrel » Mon May 25, 2015 9:02 pm

Mothra wrote:Oh my GOD.

This, but in allcaps and really large font.
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Re: Arizona is a blasted hellscape

Postby Classic » Mon May 25, 2015 10:43 pm

Like... You wouldn't want the judge to be a victim of the defendant's confessed-to crimes. But...
Does the article cover when the investigation is alleged to have begun?

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Re: Arizona is a blasted hellscape

Postby Thad » Tue May 26, 2015 12:09 am

Well, it was after Snow was assigned to the case; that's the point.

That investigation involved the hiring of a private investigator by Arpaio's then-civil attorney Tim Casey to look into comments allegedly made by Cheri Snow at a Tempe restaurant in 2012.

A woman named Karen Grissom sent Arpaio a private message on Facebook in August 2013, claiming she ran into Snow's wife, who supposedly told her that Snow despised Arpaio and wanted him out of office.

[...]

Casey looked into the statements himself, speaking with Karen Grissom by phone. He ultimately concluded that the "the information from Ms. Grissom lacked substance or merit."

But Sheridan and Arpaio demanded that more be done with the lead. So Casey hired private dick Don Vogel to interview Grissom and her family.

In a now un-redacted portion of the letter, Casey explains the following:

"I, therefore, respectfully recommend and strongly advise against any use of the Grissom information. Additionally, the Grissom information is so fundamentally flawed in its substance that it likely cannot be used in a Rule 60 motion, appeal, or otherwise, without the lawyer who does so violating the federal court's rule of civil procedure and the Arizona Rules of Professional Conduct."

You can draw two conclusions from this statement: one, the purpose of looking into Grissom's claim was to find material to use against Snow; and two, Casey realized that what they got from Grissom was too flimsy to use in court.


This is what Arpaio does. He launches "corruption investigations" against anyone who tries to investigate him. Snow is not the first judge he's harassed; more than ten county officials, including some judges, sued him for frivolous investigations conducted in '08 and '09, and we the taxpayers have spent millions on settlements.

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Re: Arizona is a blasted hellscape

Postby Mongrel » Tue May 26, 2015 4:21 pm

By the way, Paco or someone... What is the actual non-insane, non-hopelessly-corrupt legal response to the recusal request?

I am really hoping that it is to tell Joe and his lawyer to effectively go fuck themselves, but maybe legally they are obligated to get a change of Judge? But then that would be an amazingly easy way to fuck up any trial, so no, there must be something else?
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Re: Arizona is a blasted hellscape

Postby Brentai » Tue May 26, 2015 5:20 pm

Any criminal in the country could get a recuse by threatening the judge if this is how that works.

If I were that judge, though, I'd just go right along with it, and let Arpaio enjoy being the center of the ensuing shitstorm. It's a better punitive measure than any other public-funded wrist slap he'd be able to mete out.

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Re: Arizona is a blasted hellscape

Postby Thad » Tue May 26, 2015 6:22 pm

But I think he's already gotten one judge dismissed from this same case.

"Shitstorm" is relative. Lemons is right; this isn't just stalling (though it's definitely that), it's also PR. Arpaio's supporters are all just going to scream that this judge is corrupt and has it in for him, and they're going to say that about ANY judge or anybody else who tries to hold him accountable. And the people who already don't like Arpaio already don't like Arpaio.

I'm not sure what middle-ground there is left to erode; it seems like the polarization is complete. Then again, I've seen him win by a little less every four years for awhile now, so who knows, maybe the constant scandals ARE peeling away even some of his most ardent supporters.

He's up for reelection next year. And if he's still around in 2020, he'll be 88. I'd really like for him not to be able to stall through another election.

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Re: Arizona is a blasted hellscape

Postby Classic » Tue May 26, 2015 6:59 pm

I dunno how it works in AZ, but in IL you (the defense and prosecution each,) are basically allowed one judge swap- no questions asked. But each petition is ostensibly approved by the judge being recused, and inconveniences other judges who can see the history of the case.

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Re: Arizona is a blasted hellscape

Postby Mongrel » Tue May 26, 2015 10:42 pm

Here's a conversation with a friend I've known for years and who practices law in MO/KY (mostly St. Louis now). He's a good guy:

RawMeat wrote:
Mongrel wrote:
RawMeat wrote:That article is impossible to read. Like, literally I have re-read the first two paragraphs 4 or 5 times and decided "fuck it" and went on and I'm about half way through and I have no idea what it is talking about. I throws around names to describe how other people are acting, like I'm supposed to know who every conlaw dipshit in arizona and california is?

I honsestly don't know what the rule is for recusals, but in general, if somebody is trying to force a judge to recuse himself a couple months into a case, it's usually just some silly move to try and delay. Sometimes it's granted and sometimes it's not. Usually the judge will deny it and just grant another continuance, since that's what the side seeking the recusal really wants.

Yeah, it just seemed weird to me, because then you have to ask "Couldn't a guy get any judge recused simply by threatening to kill them?", which maybe seems like a losing proposition, but not if you're up for anything stronger than uttering threats and/or contempt of court.

Obviously that's farcical and doesn't actually happen in real life, so I was trying to understand how the rules are structured to prevent this.


In pretty much every federal criminal case (definitely every federal criminal case where the defense attorney is appointed) the defendant at some point during the trial threatens to kill his defense attorney (usually off the record during a meeting but sometimes on the record), so the defendant can argue that his attorney is not giving him effective assistance of counsel, because the defendant threatened to kill him (thereby trying to get a new trial -- but they think it means a mistrial will be declared and they will get to walk). It's almost always not permitted (the mistrial), but it definitely makes it fun for appointed counsel. But hey! at least you're (maybe) getting paid $122/hour to have your life threatened

RawMeat wrote:Basically in those cases, the judge just denies it and says that he believes that the defense attorney is a great attorney and he's seen him many times before in court and knows that he can continue to provide effective assistance of counsel. Nonsensical motions to recuse (that I've seen) generally are handled the same way (i.e., the judge says "nah, I'm still able to be impartial, so we'll keep going")

So, my guess is that the judge is prrrrobably going to tell Joe and his attorney ha ha ha go fuck yourselves. Please please please.
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Re: Arizona is a blasted hellscape

Postby Thad » Wed May 27, 2015 12:45 am

That article is impossible to read. Like, literally I have re-read the first two paragraphs 4 or 5 times and decided "fuck it" and went on and I'm about half way through and I have no idea what it is talking about. I throws around names to describe how other people are acting, like I'm supposed to know who every conlaw dipshit in arizona and california is?


Well, it's not just the Phoenix New Times, it's a piece by Stephen Lemons, who's been covering Arpaio several times a week for the past decade. So yeah, it's intended for a specific audience.

(It kinda reminds me of that time Fox News linked to an article on ComicsAlliance and the comments section filled up with people saying "Terrible article; it doesn't even explain who Jack Kirby IS.")

I mean, I know I'm the guy who posted it to a place where people from out-of-state (and even out of the country) would read it. But I really don't know of any national source that's covering this story in any kind of detail. The local sources are really the only place to get this stuff, and they, by their nature, assume their audiences know some of the details going in.

And you can compound that when you compare the New Times to more mainstream local news sources. The Arizona Republic and AZ Family have articles that are more accessible to people who haven't been following the story for years -- but they simply don't follow Arpaio with the detail and tenacity that the New Times does. (In fact, a quick search at AZ Family indicates that they haven't had an article on Arpaio in over a month. WTF?)

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Re: Arizona is a blasted hellscape

Postby Mongrel » Fri May 29, 2015 2:02 pm

NYT: Stealin' Apache land like it's 1875

Fucking fuckity fuck dicknose McCain and everyone else in on this.
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Re: Arizona is a blasted hellscape

Postby Thad » Wed Aug 26, 2015 2:04 pm

Lemons: Sheriff Joe Arpaio's Enemies Are Closer Than Ever to Taking Him Down

Now, it bears noting that Lemons is an advocate as much as a reporter, and his articles are often intended to rally the troops more than to report on what's actually happening. (He was writing articles insisting Arpaio was going to lose the 2012 election right up to election day, even when the polls showed that was pretty fucking unlikely.) But he hits on something I've said before: while the criminal investigations of Arpaio's office have, sadly, never really gone anywhere, the civil suits are starting to really set things in motion here.

Oh, and apparently Saban's challenging Arpaio in the Republican primary next year instead of running as a Democrat. So yeah I will definitely be voting in the Republican primary.

I'm not entirely sure how wise that is on Saban's part; if memory serves, if he loses in the primary he can't run as a Democrat or Independent in the general. (This came up in 2010; incumbent Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley lost a primary to Bill Montgomery, and while there would have been some support for Romley running as a Democrat or Independent, you're not allowed to switch parties and run in the general after losing a primary in Arizona.) And I think he'd have a better shot in the general than in a Republican primary.

While it's likely that Arpaio will be looking at a criminal contempt trial between now and the primary, I'm not sure how much difference that's going to make to Republican primary voters. It could hurt him enough to cost him the general (especially if there's a conviction by them), but the primary's a much dicier proposition.

People who've been voting for Arpaio for the past 20 years don't really see "contempt against a federal judge investigating anti-Latino discrimination" as a negative. And while you'd think that conservatives would balk at the tens of millions of taxpayer dollars Arpaio's defense has cost us, he's already cost us tens of millions in settlements in the past and it hasn't prevented him from getting reelected.

On the other hand, there appears to be some grassroots support for a US Marshall named David Gonzales to run. I could see running Saban in the primary and, if he doesn't beat Arpaio, running Gonzales in the general as a viable strategy.

Lemons seems to think that Arpaio's likelier to be defeated in a primary than in the general. I'm not inclined to agree.

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Re: Arizona is a blasted hellscape

Postby Mothra » Wed Aug 26, 2015 2:35 pm

The saga continues

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