Border Boletín: Who is Paul Babeu?

2010-05-23T05:00:00Z Border Boletín: Who is Paul Babeu?Brady McCombs Arizona Daily Star
May 23, 2010 5:00 am  • 

If you haven't read it yet, you can read our story on Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu here: Babeu is new face of Arizona sheriffs

My colleague who I worked with on the story with, Tim Steller, has posted more on his blog about "Babeu's near foreclosures, and other border-sheriff notes".

If you still want to know more, here’s some more information about Babeu, including some things that didn’t fit in the printed story:

• His personal website: SheriffPaul.com

• His Facebook page

• The political advertisement he appears in with Sen. John McCain: “Complete the danged fence”

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Here are links to some of his numerous TV appearances:

Arizona PBS, May 18, 2010

Fox News America Live, May 14, 2010

CBS Evening News, April 30, 2010

Fox News On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, April 27, 2010

MSNBC April 21, 2010

Fox News America's Newsroom, April 27, 2010, debate over Arizona immigration law

CBS 5 Phoenix, April 23, 2010

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Some more of what he had to say about border-related issues:

About the questions about the whether what he said happened on April 30 when a Pinal County deputy was shot, allegedly by drug smugglers:

“All these cooky ideas of deputy (Louie) Puroll going out and somehow he shot himself or staged this whole incident. People have been as wild as to suggest that I concocted this idea. I mean, you’ve got to be kidding me,” Babeu said. “There is more than enough stuff that’s going on here, and the threat is real. . . The fact is that we do have, many times and possibly every night, paramilitary groups. ”

On the threat facing Pinal County and other border law enforcement from the Mexican drug cartels:

"The Sinaloa drug cartel that operates out of Rocky Point has just established themselves in the plaza in Nogales, south of the border. you know how far that is from Rocky Point to . . . that is now the territory. They are now called a super or mega cartel in Mexico. What is worrisome, you know who operates in this corridor? They do. So, there‘s other information now that leads us to believe that things aren’t getting better, they’re getting worse." 

On how he and Sen. John McCain became such close allies:

Babeu said he first met the Senator, who he calls his hero, five years ago when he introduced him at an event in Casa Grande. There he met McCain and his staff. He said he and Sen. McCain “immediately connected.”

“The senator knew that I was an officer in the military as a citizen soldier. He has a great respect and value for anybody that serves in the military at any level.”

Babeu said he worked to develop that friendship and that trust, including supporting McCain in his presidential campaign in 2008. This year, joined with seven other Arizona sheriffs to support McCain in his senate re-election bid. When McCain asked for his support, he said, “I said absolutely, I didn’t think twice. I knew it was going to be a very difficult, contested re-election for him.”

When I asked him during an interview last week at his office why Sen. McCain chose him for the political advertisement, there was a pause.

Then Lt. Tamatha Villar, whom Babeu chose as the department’s spokesman, said: “Look at him,” laughing.

Babeu laughed, too, and then shrugged it off, saying: “Probably because he looks better than me, even though I’m far younger.”

Then, he continued more seriously: “Even though he’s friend with most of the sheriffs, I have a very good relationship with the senator and I believe I can say that he trusts my opinion when it comes to this issue.”

• On what he means when he says, “Senator, you’re one of us” in the ad:

“There is a number of things, actually. The fact that senator, you are one of us that truly wants to secure our border and to keep Arizona safe. . . They are a lot of people who are very sarcastically looking at this issue that believe our border can’t be secured. I’m not one of them. He’s one of us that believes that it can be done. He’s believes it is the most important public safety and security of Arizona.”

• About critiques that the the advertisement is misleading because it’s not in his county (it was filmed near Nogales in Santa Cruz County) and he’s not a border sheriff:

“All roads lead to Pinal County. All of these illegals, all of these drug smugglers, they may go through Nogales, they may go through Douglas, they may go through Tohono O’odham Indian Reservation, they come through PInal County.”

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And finally, a timeline of his career:

• 1987: Becomes youngest North Adams, Mass., city councilor ever.

• 1988: Loses in attempt to win spot on Berkshire County (Mass.) commission in write-in campaign.

 • 1989: Loses re-election to North Adams city council.

• 1990: Joins Massachusetts National Guard.

• 1992: Wins Republican seat on Berkshire County commission.

• 1993: Becomes commissioned officer, 2nd Lt., in Massachusetts Army National Guard

• 1993-1997: Elected to Berkshire County commission, serves one term

• 1996: Loses in campaign for Massachusetts state senate.

• 1997: Loses North Adams mayoral election

• 1998-2001: Serves as headmaster, executive director of Desisto School, a controversial boarding school for troubled teens in Stockbridge, Mass.

• 2001: Loses North Adams mayoral election.

• June 2002: Reveals he was priest abuse victim in press conference.

• December 2002: Sues the Springfield diocese over abuse.

• 2002: Moves to Arizona, applies to Chandler police.

• Dec. 30, 2002: Enters police academy.

• February 2003: Transfers to Arizona Army National Guard as a captain from Massachusetts Army National Guard.

• April 4 - Nov. 8, 2005: Serves 7-month tour in Iraq with Arizona Army National Guard.

• 2006: Elected president of the Chandler Law Enforcement Association.

• June 9, 2006 - Nov. 28, 2007: Seves as Commander of Task Force Yuma (over 700 Soldiers) for more than 17 months with the Arizona National Guard during the Operation Jump Start border mission.

• July 1, 2008 — Takes unpaid leave of absence from Chandler Police to run for Pinal County Sheriff.

• Nov. 4, 2008: Defeats incumbent sheriff Chris Vasquez with 54 percent to 46 percent of the votes to become the first Republican Pinal County Sheriff ever.

• 2009: Takes office as Pinal County Sheriff, and asks for the resignations of seven of Vasquez's chief deputies and jail commanders; following through on a campaign promise to eliminate the cronysism that had plagued the sheriff's during the previous administration.

• July 2009: Sends Pinal officers to help with Maricopa County crime sweep.

• January 2010: Elected president of the Arizona Sheriff’s Association.

• April-May 2010: His national image skyrockets as he comes out in support of state immigration enforcement bill, appears on numerous TV programs and stars in Sen. John McCain's political advertisement.

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