"Toughest Sheriff” Arpaio to speak at rally in Salem

Article author: 
Gordon Friedman
Article publisher: 
Statesman Journal
Article date: 
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Article category: 
Oregon Issues
Article Body: 

Arizona’s Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a no-frills lawman known nationally for his conservative stance on immigration and hard-line policing, will be the lead speaker at an Oregon Republican Party rally scheduled for the Capitol steps at 3 p.m. Saturday.

“I’ll be talking about the thousands of people we turn over to ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) in my jails, and how 36 percent come back,” Arpaio said. “Most politicians go to the border for a photo-op, but I’ve worked there. I have background.”

Arpaio, known as “America’s Toughest Sheriff,” will also speak in support of “2nd Amendment Rights, limited government, less taxes, getting tough on crime, Official English and E-Verify,” an Oregon Republican Party press release said.

Under Arpaio, Maricopa County maintains controversial programs like chain gangs, two daily meals in jails instead of three, and a “Tent City” where inmates reside in military surplus tents. After white underwear was being stolen from the jail, Arpaio got creative. “During release you check inmates out under the belt, but they had on two or three pairs, so I decided to die them pink since nobody wore pink in those days.”

Now, Arpaio likes pink underwear for a different reason. “My volunteers have sold millions of pairs, which goes to our youth assistance foundation which helps the kids,” he said.

Though controversial, Arpaio is lauded by some conservatives for reducing illegal immigration, a hot button issue in Oregon. “Some people that don’t like me call me racist, this and that. But as soon as I leave Oregon, I’m coming back to make sure everything is OK at the black churches,” he said. Arpaio has increased police presence at black churches in Maricopa County following last week’s shooting at a black church in Charleston that killed nine.

“The goal of the rally is to let activists know there are things we can do as citizens to overcome what happened in the legislature,” said President of Oregonians for Immigration Reform Cynthia Kendoll. “The legislature has decided they can pass bad legislation and their responsibility ends there.”

Attendees are invited to bring children and American flags or patriotic signs. There will be a raffle to support the cost of the event. Tickets are $5 and first prize is a private dinner with Arpaio and Representative Greg Barreto (R-Cove) and his wife Chris.

Kendoll wants someone from the general public to win the dinner, though she has other plans. “Maybe I’ll join the raffle to win the signed pink underwear.”

For more information, contact the Oregon Republican Party at 503-595-8881

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who led the way for police across the country to take up immigration enforcement, is speaking at an Oregon Republican Party rally at the Capitol steps Saturday.(Photo: ROSS D. FRANKLIN / Associated Press)

Story Highlights

- “America’s Toughest Sheriff” Joe Arpaio will speak at an Oregon Republican Party rally

- The rally is at 3 p.m. on the steps of the Capitol this Saturday

- A raffle will be held with tickets costing $5. First prize is dinner with Arpaio

- People are encouraged to bring families, American flags, and patriotic signs