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So it is a paperwork violation to raise campaign funds for a post you are already President-Elect of and then spend it on personal trips, hair plugs, expensive electronics. It is income tax evasion among other crimes and is beyond unethical. MAry Rose can get hundreds of thousands in loans during a time of very tight credit and then vote to give the same people who give her loans millions in county grants. Your hatred of Thomas has made you blind to the facts.

Your friendship with RINOs has colored your ethical opinion, it is sad to see what has become of your blog. You used to have a pretty good conservative-leaning blog. Now, you spew hate against the few conservatives left who stand up against corruption, Arpaio and Thomas. You would rather support Betsy Bayless and her $375k/yr salary of mismanagement of the special healthcare district than stand up for what is right. No wonder no one in my conservative circles says they read your blog anymore. Why haven't your predictions come true, that Thomas and Arpaio will be indicted by March? Because you have become bought and sold by the political controlling interests. They may sway you for now, but the people will eventually talk at the ballot box as slimy supervisors are swept out of office.

Here here!

To Craig-spin all you want you are wrong. Stapley was arrested for campaign finance violations, not for being flaky for raising money for an appointed board and spending it on other things.

It is your undying love of Thomas and Arpaio that have you blind. You are the same one who will go to a Tea Party Rally and decry government waste while applauding it here. Luckily, this county is starting to run out of room for you folks. It will be nice when you're gone...or at least much more quiet.

Gee, how admirable of you to go along with the powerful Supervisors and attack Sheriff Arpaio and County Attorney Thomas. The Supervisors control the purse strings of everything in the county, they control the judges due to their control over the $340 million Taj Majal new court tower of travertine, marble and porcelain, so how commendable as you as an employee of the Maricopa County Healthcare District to side with them and attack Arpaio and Thomas. What guts that took. Unlike actually being a real attorney like you now are and researching the real legal problems behind this conflict, the corruption that Arpaio and Thomas were trying to root out from Supervisors Stapley and Wilcox. Now THAT would have been too easy for you to do, to actually stand up to those you report to, and report that, eh? Thomas and Arpaio took on Stapley, a FELLOW REPUBLICAN, who controls their purse strings. How does THAT help them out politically?

How do you defend what Stapley did? He raised money for a campaign where HE HAD NO OPPONENT, then spent that money on: $6000 at Bang and Olufson electronics, along with $1300 for hair implants, $400 for candle holders and $10,000 for furniture for his home. He also spent these funds, solicited as campaign money, to buy tickets to Broadway plays and movie theatres, flowers, grocery store bills, massages, department stores and trips for his family to Sundance, Utah to ski, a trip for his son and friends to Florida and a three-week vacation in Hawaii for his entire family at a beach house costing approximately $11,000.

How do you defend that?

Gee, how admirable of you to go along with the powerful Supervisors and attack Sheriff Arpaio and County Attorney Thomas. The Supervisors control the purse strings of everything in the county, they control the judges due to their control over the $340 million Taj Majal new court tower of travertine, marble and porcelain, so how commendable as you as an employee of the Maricopa County Healthcare District to side with them and attack Arpaio and Thomas. What guts that took. Unlike actually being a real attorney like you now are and researching the real legal problems behind this conflict, the corruption that Arpaio and Thomas were trying to root out from Supervisors Stapley and Wilcox. Now THAT would have been too easy for you to do, to actually stand up to those you report to, and report that, eh? Thomas and Arpaio took on Stapley, a FELLOW REPUBLICAN, who controls their purse strings. How does THAT help them out politically?

How do you defend what Stapley did? He raised money for a campaign where HE HAD NO OPPONENT, then spent that money on: $6000 at Bang and Olufson electronics, along with $1300 for hair implants, $400 for candle holders and $10,000 for furniture for his home. He also spent these funds, solicited as campaign money, to buy tickets to Broadway plays and movie theatres, flowers, grocery store bills, massages, department stores and trips for his family to Sundance, Utah to ski, a trip for his son and friends to Florida and a three-week vacation in Hawaii for his entire family at a beach house costing approximately $11,000.

How do you defend that?

Jenny - feel free to respond to my comment as well.

I have never been to a Tea party event but Greg is just wrong here. It would have been much easier for Thomas to not go after Stapley. Stapley is a well connected East Valley mormon and the east valley is important to winning Republican races. Thomas saw Stapley had broken the law and went after him. Stapley's powerful friends then went after Thomas while ignoring Stapley's shady real estate business and campaign finance violations.

It's not about government waste, paperwork problems, predictions, or politics or intimidation or personal gain. Not about reputations, supporters, parties, friendships, deals, tactics or unintended consequences.

Prosecuting crime is about the law. And from where I sit Thomas is on the side of the law.

Pincipled, as I said, tacky yes. An illegal campaign finance violation? No. Big difference. Tell me, did it warrant an arrest without a grand jury? Did it warrant the grandstanding that took place? I'll give you a hint, no county attorney, including Thomas obliged to pick up the case. You might have your answer there.

Winnie and Craig, unfortunately you have scores of judges and prosecutors that disagree with you. Usually when you continue to lose case after case you give up. In the duos minds, you just go after those judges and prosecutors.

Sorry guys, until Joe is prosecuted for the same violations he committed that Stapley did, or that Thomas investigates the SCA debacle, they will never have a shred of credibility.

Soon it won't matter because Thomas will be disbarred and join the ranks of Nifong and others.

making up for your disastrous Avatar prediction?! NOT HARDLY

you told us that both Arpaio and Thomas would be indicted by mid-February. didn't happen. you've been confidently predicting janet Napolitano's demise for years. hasn't happened.

you have nothing to show for your january post other than a few complaints from the usual gang of detractors of Joe and Andy.

the thing is most of your stuff is good but when you come to hate someone you become unglued and start making all sorts of wildly erroneous predictions

You are a bigger fool than we ever imagined. It was bad enough when you threw your conservative principles out the window to get in bed with all the RINO's, but now you support criminals!

Even the cowardly climber, Polk says the Stapley case has merit. Greg, pull you head out!

Greg,

I don't have a dog in the fight(s) up in Maricopa. But, as an outsider looking in, the conduct of Thomas and Arpiao has always looked to be over the top. The duo, with great help from the board of supervisors has made Maricopa County the laughing stock of the state. It has been obvious to outsiders that the number one way to get "investigated" by Sherrif Joe was to stand up to him, or run against him. Thomas has blown any credibility he has had with the public and likely destroyed his future political plans. He forgot that the county attorney, although an elected position, still works with and reports to the board of supervisors. I wonder how well Arpaio and Thomas campaign paperwork and funding reports would hold up to minute scrutiny. I am sure a creative prosecutor could find multiple violations. How about their staffs?

Susan Bitter Smith's actions were not a profile in courage as you claim. Sheriff Joe and her are buddies. Sheriff Joe endorsed her run for Congress in 2008. The Sheriff is not going to investigate someone he has endorse (and might again this year). Thus, your thesis lacks credibility.

I totslly agree with Greg. How Avatar became the #1 movie in history is beyond me.

The fact that Susan Bitter Smith was endorsed by Sheriff Joe less than two years ago makes her actions all the more remarkable not less.

I'm no fan (nor enemy) of Stapley, and it does look like he did some things wrong -- dunno if criminal, but apparently wrong. Wilcox, of course I would vote against, but did she get favorable treatment on loans? It's pretty clear to me she did not.

As for Arpaio and Thomas? Both have abused their powers, and not just regarding Stapley and Wilcox. While I, along with other conservatives, supported both initially, they very quickly abandoned principled conservatism and went all populist, using the power of big government to attract populist support. Arpaio (the endorser of Napolitano) and Thomas are the real RINOs, unless Republicans now believe in big government exercising big power.

Whether Greg made accurate predictions is irrelevant to whether Bayless et al were courageous (and yes they were/are) in standing with a politician being run over by a couple of political thugs.

Susan Bitter Smith's actions were not a profile in courage as you claim. Sheriff Joe and her are buddies.
1. Not really Matt. Joe's an opportunist and latched on to Susan's last campaign because shew was predicted to win the primary, thus benefiting him.

Sheriff Joe endorsed her run for Congress in 2008. The Sheriff is not going to investigate someone he has endorse (and might again this year). Thus, your thesis lacks credibility.

Matt, I'm going to avoid being a spell check Nazi on this. Joe will not endorse Susan this year...or probably ever again. He bruises easily and carries grudges...real or imagined...for a lifetime.

In the words of some of my contemporaries, "Dude! Duuuuuuuuude!! You're like...'ya know...reaaaallly lame on this"

Check facts, then post.

Geez Greg.
That 'Rino' glue is tough to remove once it sets, and it's deadly. I'm wondering if you should have subjected yourself to becoming a, you know, Lawyer and all.

Just sayin.

Greg,
Standing up to bullies is never easy, especially in this political atmosphere. You get bonus points for recognizing those who dare to do so. Another axiom your column reinforces: No good deed goes unpunished. You applaud those who stand up to Arpaio's ridiculous ego and absurb pomposity and are thus rewarded by being called a "RINO" (is that like being called a commmie?). In the end, as you point out, truth will triumph.

'RINO' is just about the most tiresome term I can think of. I ignore any post/comment that contains it, since I assume anyone unoriginal enough to use it has nothing worthwhile to say.

It is something to see how groupthink sets in with political movements. Certainly has happened on both left and right, but now we are seeing its affects among conservatives who take a principle stand on something.
http://capitalgainsandgames.com/blog/bruce-bartlett/1601/groupthink-right-would-make-stalin-proud

BobH hit the nail on the head. I am so tired of hearing about how everyone is a RINO. To me it just says that the poster is ignorant and has no better way to express themselves.

To "Principled Conservative": You and I probably share many of the same principles but we do not share the same facts. The County Courthouse is not the Taj Mahal. I was ignorant to the facts on this until the County Supervisors came to our District Meeting and gave an amazing presentation with facts to back it up. Plus they have been working with the County Attorneys office and the Sheriff's office in the design. They are also paying CASH for the building and despite what you stated it is not lined with luxuries. Your facts are wrong on this and on the Stapley case.

My main point is that I am so tired of hearing people regurgitate incorrect facts when no research has been done beyond reading a few articles and blogs. All I hear is "Amnesty", "RINO" and 8 second sound bites when most have no clue what they are talking about. I don't know much but the little that I do know has really woke me up to the fact that a majority of people who post are extremely misinformed.

The courthouse may not be the Taj Mahal but it is being designed in a silly way in which the Judges chambers will not be near the courtrooms. This is because Judge Mundell has insisted on changing criminal practice by instituting a failed master calendar system. Now Judges will be isolated on the top of the building and will have an additional chamber near the courtroom. Master calendar is failing and now we a building badly designed for a failed system. Neither the County Attorney or sheriff signed of on congenial chambers.

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