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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, hero of the anti-immigrant right and endorser of John McCain’s 2010 Senate re-election bid, has been caught on tape mocking a federal investigation into racial profiling and abuse of power at his office.

Referring to initial inquiries into his arrest patterns — he clearly targets Latinos — Arpaio says, “After they went after me, we arrested 500 more just for spite.” The crowd laughs and applauds.

The sheriff goes on to suggest a large budget cut to his department led him to pursue a criminal investigation into Maricopa County Supervisor Don Stapley for revenge.

“We have already indicted one, so I am not their favorite guy,” Arpaio said to the crowd in Houston, drawing more laughs. “The county has cut my budget $35 million just for spite. But I’m still locking them all up. I have ways to get the job done.”

The recording of the speech was given to the Associated Press recently by Joel Robbins, a perennial Arpaio critic. The Justice Department has announced a pending civil rights lawsuit for the racial profiling case, and a grand jury has been convened to look at the abuse of power allegations, though the status of that case is unknown.

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

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