Arpaio supporters assail recall effort

Feb. 27, 2013 at 3:19 PM
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PHOENIX, Feb. 27 (UPI) -- Opponents of efforts to recall Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff Joe Arpaio are criticizing the role of out-of-state resources in the campaign.

The sheriff's supporters have taken up themes normally associated with Arpaio's critics, calling on financial transparency by the recall sponsoring group Respect Arizona and decrying outside influences, The (Phoenix) Arizona Republic reported Wednesday.

A recall election is still in doubt. Recall supporters have 90 days, until the May 30 deadline, to amass 335,000 valid signatures and force an election, the newspaper said.

"Everyone I talk with is upset with the sheriff. Everywhere I go, they all know who he is. They say, 'He hates Mexicans.' I think we're going to be able to show that the Latino community is coming together as one community. We're not just Democrats and not just Republicans," Respect Arizona Chairman Jeff Fisher said.

The recall effort is relying on dozens of signature gatherers from out of state, the newspaper noted, adding the issue is reminiscent of the 2012 campaign for sheriff in which Arpaio critics made an issue of his out-of-state support. An analysis by the newspaper at the time showed nearly 80 percent of Arpaio's campaign donors lived outside Arizona.

Arpaio's supporters are using tactics from their opponents' playbook, the newspaper said, in calling for financial disclosure in the recall campaign, a frequent complaint of Arpaio's critics in the last election.

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