File this one under "Who do they think they are kidding?"...
A man wearing a Citizens for a Better Arizona t-shirt brazenly stuffed a ballot box with hundreds of ballots
in that state, in full view of a video camera. Although Citizens for a Better Arizona identifies itself as non-partisan, their website
encourages actions against anti-gay laws, and they spearheaded an effort to recall the outlandish Sheriff Joe Arpaio. (As we shall see, America's most (in)famous sheriff plays an important role in this story.)
(a right-wing site) identifies the ballot-stuffer as a "Democrat." I feel quite certain that he was no such thing.
The ballot stuffer engaged in a memorable bit of dialogue with one A.J. LaFaro, the Maricopa County Republican Party Chairman (and Arpaio crony), who just happened
to be in that particular precinct at that very moment.
Guy: “Stop watching me. You’re annoying me.”
"One of your ballots isn't sealed"...!
LaFaro: “One of your ballots isn’t sealed.”
Guy: “It’s none of your business. What’s your name?”
LaFaro: “I’m the chairman of the Maricopa County Republican Party. What’s yours?”
Guy: “Go f*** yourself. I don’t have to tell you who I am.”
As if someone committing a crime would wear an identifying t-shirt!
Are we really supposed to believe that a ballot stuffer would bring in a box
of ballots, and do his dirty work openly? Are we supposed to believe that he did all of this under the gaze of a
party chairman, who identified himself as such, yet did nothing to stop
Even a small child should be able to see that this incident was nothing more than an unconvincing exercise in theater.
If you have any talent at all for reading between the lines, you can figure out what really happened from scanning the coverage in the ultra-conservative Arizona Daily Independent
A.J. LaFaro, Chairman of the Maricopa County Republican Committee testified at the 2013 hearings before the Arizona State Legislature regarding election reforms that eventually became HB-2305. At the time of its passage, opponents claimed the law would suppress the vote and disenfranchise the mostly Hispanic community.
In February 2014, the Arizona legislature, caving to pressure from special interest groups, repealed the law.
Fast forward to August of 2014, and it appears as if the fears of those who initially supported the legislation were real, not the delusions of right-wing kooks.
Tell me, dear reader: Does Mr. LaFaro suddenly seem very
suspicious to you? Have you formulated a hypothesis as to who might have masterminded this patently obvious frame-up job?
(By the way, the Arizona Daily Independent website is quite unusual. Even though I called it up on four different browsers, I was not able to select and copy text. A temporary technical problem, perhaps? The quotation above had to be typed in by hand, just as we used to do in the pre-internet days.)
Quite the character, our A.J. is. A little research reveals that Mr. LaFaro is a Tea party sympathizer known for his outrageous antics. In a story published last year, The New Times pegs "wild man" LaFaro
as a close associate of the nationally notorious Sheriff Joe Arpaio (who is, among many other things, America's most prominent birther).
In it, LaFaro does his best to fire up the Teabagger faithful by telling all and sundry that our aged autocrat Sheriff Joe Arpaio is under siege and requires the assistance of a toothless brigade of Yosemite Sam-lookalikes: You know, to dog the "domestic terrorists," now out pounding pavement in hopes of scoring the needed signatures to recall his sorry ass.
If you have the sheriff on your side, all sorts of opportunities become available to you. You need not fear arrest.
I hope that Sheriff Joe announces that he will move heaven and earth to identify the ballot box stuffer. The hunt for this miscreant will no doubt be as fruitful as O.J.'s search for "the real killer."
So the pro-Joe goobers are holding a meetin' come Saturday to figure out how to organize a "`shadow army' of `shadow warriors'" willing to "stand toe-to-toe" with the "paid progressive socialists...collecting petition signatures."
And you know what this means: Ornery, white geriatrics, Glocks strapped to their pear-shaped hips, ready to do battle with unarmed signature gatherers.
"Paid progressive socialists" was LaFaro-speak for -- you guessed it! -- Citizens for a Better Arizona. They are the people who headed the recall effort against Arpaio
. LaFaro despises that group. Yet we are supposed to believe that LaFaro did nothing
as he watched a guy wearing a Citizens for a Better Arizona t-shirt commit a crime.
Ironically, LaFaro came to state-wide prominence when he launched a petition drive against the openly gay mayor of Tempe.
Here's a tongue-in-cheek New Times "endorsement"
of LaFaro and his political associates:
He calls the slate "Team LaFaro." Wags call it the "Crazy Town" ticket.
That's because LaFaro has an impressive record of moon-howlin' antics and reactionary statements stretching back more than a decade.
Hell, I could write oodles about the guy. He has the potential to be a great villain.
You should read the rest of the article; it's a lot of fun. But if you prefer to read an assessment from a more "old school" publication, consider this story
published in the venerable Arizona Republic:
He called Gov. Jan Brewer a “Judas” for betraying Republican principles.
He likened GOP senators’ support of Medicaid expansion to Pearl Harbor’s “day of infamy.”
He said state GOP leaders were lucky there weren’t gallows in the town square.
All the barbs came from A.J. LaFaro, the improbable head of the Maricopa County Republican Party. All the barbs were about fellow Republicans, though LaFaro would insist the targets of his ire had abandoned the true principles of their party.
LaFaro allies himself with right-wing conspiracy buffs
. As you know, plot-spotters of that sort are forever caterwauling about "false flag" attacks. Is it possible that, after hearing so much "false flag" talk, a lightbulb went off over LaFaro's head?
The planners of this frame should have known better than to include that t-shirt. Way
too obvious. Even James O'Keefe (who was never Mr. Subtlety) would have known better. As Matt Murdoch said of another frame-up in a famous issue of Daredevil
: "It was a nice piece of work, Kingpin. You shouldn't have signed it."