Editor's Note: These letters to the editor have been sorted by topic by the Tribune editorial staff in an effort to allow readers to read varied opinions on the issues, candidates, and other circumstances surrounding the 2012 general election. These submissions are the opinions of the author, not the Tribune, and have not been edited for grammar or content.
Sheriff candidate Taylor: Babeu’s negative attention is well-deserved
Recently I was pondering, “why have I decided to run for Sheriff and the qualities I posses that Sheriff Babeu and his administration does not?” Before I begin I want to state, Sheriff Babeu and all of his predecessors have done some good for the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office. However, a Leader’s worth is measured by more than just the palpable.
Human beings inherently make mistakes and I am the first to admit I’ve made my fair share since my birth 54 years ago. Ergo, it is unreasonable to expect perfection from anyone, but someone placed in a role of leadership should at the least attempt perfection.
This is where Sheriff Babeu fails badly. Sheriff Babeu believes in throwing stones, but doesn’t see all the dirt on the floor in his own house. In Sheriff Babeu’s delusional mind, the County Attorney doesn’t prosecute, the HR Director and Board of Supervisors have it in for him, and President Obama is going after him because of his stance on immigration.
If Sheriff Babeu and President Obama were the only two in a room, the President would ask him his name. I can safely say the name Paul Babeu rarely if ever crosses the President’s mind. If Sheriff Babeu looks at the man in the mirror, he will see that all the negative attention he has received was well deserved and that he was the sole contributor that led to the inquiries.
Sheriff Babeu’s flouting of the law, the badge, and his oath to the citizens of Pinal County has made him incapable of being what the citizens deserve, a professional leader.
When all of the negative press surrounding Sheriff Babeu surfaced, I was in disbelief, angry, dismayed, and knew change had to occur. Not just for my own personal satisfaction, but to remove the stench of arrogance, incompetence, unprofessional conduct, hedonism, and uncontrollable spending that hovers over its leader and the good men and women of the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff Babeu reminds me of the unruly kid on the playground. When you question his actions he plays the victim and cries, “They are picking on me.” A true leader would have admitted his failings and asked for forgiveness.
Sheriff Babeu admits only what can be proven and stakes his service and reputation on the fact he wasn’t criminally charged. He forgets that his misdeeds cost the taxpayers thousands of dollars to investigate the claims. If Sheriff Babeu were in better control of his personal and professional lives, there would have been no investigations and his department would not have been scrutinized by county, state, and federal officials. As I stated in my opening, Sheriff Babeu and each of his predecessors have done some good deeds for the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office.
Although he is commendable in some areas, Sheriff Babeu’s overall performance is a failing grade. He has not given the people of Pinal County what they deserve, a professional Sheriff, and he is a not good role model for the youth in our growing community.
If there is anyone in the community that believes that progress starts and stops with Sheriff Babeu, they don’t understand how and why America is the World Leader it is today. Sheriff Babeu believes he invented the wheel. He insists he started the posse program, the only Sheriff to arrests illegal aliens, started the multi-agency narcotic task force, and that Deputies rode horses until he arrived four years ago. His many claims are outlandish and all of these programs have been around for years, and in most instances decades.
Sheriff Babeu is attempting to hoodwink the voters into believing progress stops if he isn’t re-elected. The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office has and always will employ good men and women, and if elected Sheriff I will ensure that the organization remains an agency that is second to none in all areas.
I also promise that my personal life will be above reproach and that I will spend the People’s money responsibly.
To answer the question in the opening paragraph, “why have I decided to run for Sheriff and the qualities I posses that Sheriff Babeu and his administration does not.”
Succinctly stated, I want to be a sheriff for all the people.
Like all Human Beings I will make mistakes along the way, but my character will never come into question, and there will never be deliberate acts of dishonesty, malfeasance, or severe lapses in judgment. I would like to close by saying, the next time you read an article about how great Sheriff Babeu is and how bad his opponents are, remember, it’s just the pot calling the kettle Black.
Thank you, God Bless, and I humbly ask for your vote on November 06, 2012.
Walsh stands up to bully Babeu
Paul Babeu’s lies never quit – they just get more outrageous. His latest target is Pinal County Attorney James Walsh, and why is he going after Mr. Walsh?
Because he can’t control him, that’s why. Attorney Walsh has stood up to Babeu’s bullying and has refused to cave in to his ridiculous demands. Because there’s nothing in Walsh’s record or performance to criticize, Babeu has been flat out making stuff up. He throws out crazy numbers that have already been discredited by the experts about how Walsh never puts anyone in jail. It’s nonsense of course — and frankly, if the sheriff is that worried about criminals in the county, then he should go out and find them, which is his job, rather than spend his time and taxpayer money campaigning for himself and his friends. He’s so busy promoting Voyles, (who is his designated flunky), Cheryl Chase (his hand-picked Supervisor candidate — and employee!) that he doesn’t have a minute to spare to actually do his job. James Walsh is the about the only one in the county who can and will stand up to this bully. He’s also honest, professional and ethical. Please give him your vote!
Let’s not make same mistakes as Maricopa County
I have received robo-calls from the Babeu campaign attacking Jim Walsh, our Pinal County Attorney. Not only are these calls possibly a violation of campaign laws but the very nature of the unfounded accusations and lies shows the gutter level of politics Babeu practices. It’s no wonder he had to leave Massachusetts when his brand of politics got so onerous he had to come to our state where nobody knows him.
County Attorney Walsh has done an excellent job for Pinal County, is well respected throughout the state and has the breath of experience required to run what is the largest law firm in Pinal County. His office has prosecuted more cases even as the actual crime rate is going down. He has done this by working closely with the sheriff’s department to ensure investigations are run correctly and by running an efficient operation. His staff now includes former county attorneys that use to run other county attorney offices in the state because they respect Mr. Walsh and want to work with him.
The County Attorney’s office is a multifaceted operation advocating for victim rights, making sure “deadbeat” parents support their children, dealing with fraud to help protect small business interest and more. The County Attorney’s office is a complex public service and one that deserves experienced leadership and not someone who throws rocks and hasn’t managed anything more complex then his checkbook.
Jim Walsh deserves our vote for Pinal County Attorney. Let’s not repeat the mistakes of Maricopa County.
Scared of the Babeu/Voyles team
Isn’t anyone else scared of what could happen with this so- called “Law and Order” Team? We should all remember what happened in Maricopa County when Andrew Thomas teamed with Joe Arpaio. It was Thomas who not only lost his job and his reputation, but his law license as well. You’d think Voyles would be more cautious. There’s a reason these are two separate offices - Sheriff and County Attorney. Who’ll put the brakes on the Sheriff’s excesses if Voyles is under his thumb? We can already see it in their “dirty” campaigning - making up lies out of thin air. Don’t let them get away with this! Voyles doesn’t have the background or qualifications of James Walsh - the man he’s challenging - but he’s expecting the Sheriff to be able to just “install” him in the office automatically. Our county deserves a highly qualified, independent County Attorney and that is James Walsh.
Maxine Brown will represent the people
I met a lot of great people when I ran for county supervisor in 2008 but one woman stands out as a special Pinal County asset. Her name is Maxine Brown and she’s running for County Supervisor in District 5.
Candidates can say anything on the campaign trail but it’s what they’ll do once elected that is the great unknown. Not so with Maxine Brown. If she says she’ll create jobs in Pinal County, she’ll do just that! Under her guidance as Executive Director of Central Arizona Association of Governments, she received federal grants for the Superior Industrial Park (creating more than 40 full-time jobs), Coolidge and Eloy Sewer Plant expansions, and the Casa Grande Industrial Air Park.
Not only did Maxine Brown create quality jobs for Pinal County residents, she also worked on much-needed highway improvements countywide. One such project resulted in the expansion of US 60 from Florence Junction to the Arboretum. It’s a much safer drive up to Superior these days, thanks to her efforts!
I trust Maxine Brown to represent the people of our district with enthusiasm and integrity because in every position she’s ever held, she’s done exactly that. Some candidates complain about the government, which begs the question, why are they running? But Maxine Brown is one candidate who we can all be proud of for her government service.
Rather than complain about government, she’s uses her position to do exactly what politicians are supposed to do – serve the people!
Queen Valley, AZ
Pinal County needs Orlenda Roberts
Pinal County School Superintendent Orlenda Roberts is a 34-year educator who has literally devoted her life to the children of Pinal County. Parents, children and all of the residents of Pinal County are indebted to her for her work.
Because her job is an elected position anyone can challenge her and run for the position. In this election her opposition is a young, inexperienced kindergarten teacher.
This person cannot come close to the experience, knowledge and educational background of Ms Roberts.
Roberts has used her expertise and knowledge to secure many federal grants bringing millions of federal dollars to Pinal County to enhance our schools to the benefit of our children.
Interestingly her opponent has said she would not secure any federal grants because “she doesn’t believe in it”.
Apparently she is willing to sacrifice our children’s future to satisfy her personal radical political ideology.
Pinal County’s children need Superintendent Orlenda Roberts. They should not be a pawn to further someone’s radical right wing agenda.
Walsh has never prosecuted a case
I never thought that I would write a letter to the editor. But, here it is. I have been following some of the local elections here in Pinal County and I couldn’t stand by idly as I watched one of the most important races, the county attorney race. I’ve watched several of the debates between the incumbent, Jim Walsh, and the challenger, Lando Voyles, and one surprising point that I keep hearing is that the current county attorney has never prosecuted a case in his life. It seems that if we are going to hire an attorney maybe we should get one that knows what the inside of a courtroom looks like. If the most important role of the county attorney is to prosecute criminals, we probably should hire one that has actual experience doing so.
In one of the online debates, Walsh rationalized not having experience prosecuting criminals as being ‘ok’ because his skill set is to manage a budget. Well, here’s my question, “If the most important job as the county attorney is to prosecute, how does being able to manage a budget help you prosecute?”
I am in finance and I know how to manage a budget but you sure as hell don’t want me in the courtroom prosecuting anyone or heading up a team of attorneys whose job it is to do so.
I have heard the challenger, Lando Voyles talk about his experience as a prosecutor for Maricopa County. I have also heard him say that 60 plus percent of the most violent felons are being released in Pinal County. I also see that the current Sherriff, Paul Babeu, is supporting Voyles. Perhaps I am missing something, but how does the current county attorney expect to get the support of the community when he cannot even get the support from law enforcement who he is supposed to be working with?
If we want criminals off the street, we need to have confidence in our elected county attorney that he will do so. How can we have confidence in someone who does not even have one iota of experience in that arena?
It makes more sense to me to vote into office the person with the most experience for the job. In other words, if prosecution is the most important role of the county attorney, then let’s vote in a prosecutor and let that person (the elected county attorney) hire a budget manager, if necessary.
If the most important job as county attorney is to prosecute, then we need a prosecutor, like Voyles, as county attorney not a budget manager.
Pinal County Resident