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Sr. Reporter: Babeu's news machine cranks on (updated)

  • Updated

(Updated with mention of Babeu's announcement of hostilities against Pinal County Attorney James Walsh, at bottom)

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu continued his run as a hot news subject over the weekend, after the dust-up over his media appearances with "pro-White" and conspiracy-mongering interview shows.

On Saturday, Babeu was Item A on The Political Cesspool, the "pro-White" radio show that landed him and  spokesman Tim Gaffney in trouble last week. Co-host Eddie Miller gave more details (audio link) of his interactions with Gaffney and Babeu leading up to the July 10 interview (audio link). Key details:

• Miller said that on Monday, July 19 — the same day that Media Matters publicized the appearance — Miller set-up a conference call with Gaffney and Babeu for the next morning to discuss how to deal with media coverage of his appearance on the show. Gaffney later called off the meeting.

• Miller said he told both Gaffney and Babeu individually what website to check for more information on the show —, not radio station WLRM's website.

• Miller and Babeu spoke individually for at least 35 minutes, Miller said, on the night of July 3. During the conversation, Babeu invited Miller to come down for a ride-along."I was so excited I could hardly sleep," Miller said.

In the fallout of the news of the Political Cesspool interview, some writers became more interested in Babeu's interview with Alex Jones. I didn't have time or space to put anything but a small reference to that interview in my story last week.

Some have pointed out that Babeu seemed to agree with Alex Jones' contention that President Obama has committed treason in his handling of SB 1070 and immigration. Here's exactly how it went.

Alex Jones: If that isn't high treason, I don't know what is. Sir, is this not treason?

Paul Babeu: It borderlines that. I’m not going to outright call it that. I’m still an officer in the Army.

Another comment Babeu made right after that, which didn't receive  much notice, was this about Obama: "He's very diabolical in planning and plotting. He makes very careful statements to undermine police officers, a pillar of justice in our society. He’s done it in Cambridge when the sergeant arrested his black friend professor and said the Cambridge police acted stupidly."

You can see it all here beginning about the 45-second mark on this Alex Jones Show video:

On Friday and Sunday, news of a notice of intent to sue, filed by a Pinal County lieutenant who has been on paid leave for more than a year, was published. Here's the story from KGUN Channel 9 here in Tucson. And here's the story from my colleague at the Star Brady McCombs.

On Sunday morning, KPNX's interview with Babeu appeared on the station's "Sunday Square Off" interview show. This was the first confrontational interview with Babeu that I've seen on TV, and it's definitely worth a peek.

What struck me is Babeu's references to the Alex Jones show as a "Clear Channel" show. How is that significant? It's a "national channel," Babeu said.

Here's the whole, 12-minute interview:



Update: How could I forget this? A PR firm representing put out this press release in which Sheriff Babeu takes County Attorney James Walsh to task for not letting Babeu take outside counsel in defense of SB 1070. Here's the full text:

July 23, 2010          

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                             

CONTACT: Jameson Cunningham

Shirley & Banister Public Affairs




Biased CA Refuses to Step Aside in Lawsuit over Arizona Immigration Law

Pinal County, AZ – Attempts by Sheriff Paul Babeu to replace County Attorney Jim Walsh with the legal counsel being funded to defend Sheriffs by the Legacy Foundation in a lawsuit over the new Arizona immigration law, SB1070, were again rebuffed this week by the County Attorney’s office.

On June 12 Sheriff Babeu submitted a request to the Pinal County Attorney’s office to substitute the counsel of the Legacy Foundation for that of Mr. Walsh following public comments revealing Walsh had “serious doubts” about the constitutionality of Arizona’s new immigration law SB1070—a law Sheriff Babeu will be required for enforce in six days.  Mr. Walsh responded with a list of requirements the new counsel for Sheriff Babeu’s office needed to meet before he would agree to the substitution but, following Sheriff Babeu’s fulfillment of those requirements, has determined he will not even allow the proposed substitution to be approved or go to the Board of Supervisors for approval.  

Walsh has indicated he will only allow the Sheriff to employ the County Attorney (which costs taxpayers money), or in the alternative, the Governor’s legal counsel.  Sheriff Babeu wants to hire a Law firm that will compliment the Governor’s legal defense, but that will also provide a unique law enforcement perspective on the defense.  Under no circumstance does Sheriff Babeu want to be represented by the current County Attorney who has publicly bashed the case in support of SB 1070.

“Pinal County Sheriff’s deputies and the people of Arizona are under attack by the ACLU and the federal government for simply enforcing our laws and defending our borders,” said Paul Babeu, Sheriff of Pinal County.  “The Legacy Foundation has agreed to defend our right to defend ourselves, and it is only fair and just for my office to have legal counsel from those who will stand with us.  Mr. Walsh’s statements to the media questioning the law’s constitutionality eliminate any chance of a strong legal defense from his office.”

“This latest rejection by County Attorney Jim Walsh only confirms that he is unfit to represent me and the Office of the Sheriff as we enforce the Arizona immigration law, SB1070.  Our repeated attempts to substitute proper representation in place of Mr. Walsh’s clear bias against our law enforcement efforts have been met with outright opposition.  We overcame the several hurdles Mr. Walsh outlined but it is clear he never intended to approve our request from the beginning.”

“We ask again that the County Attorney honor our request to step aside so we are defended by those who agree with us, will fight for us, and will illuminate the unique law enforcement perspective in the courtroom.” is a project of the Legacy Foundation to financially support the legal defense of SB1070 on behalf of Pinal County Sheriff Babeu and Cochise County Sheriff Dever following lawsuits brought by the ACLU and the US Department of Justice against them and the state of Arizona.  The Foundation is 501(c)(3) organization based in Des Moines, Iowa focused on state level policy matters, including constitutional and civil rights.


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