There’s a new 527 political organization on the scene this week with a very specific purpose — defending Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Arpaio — who describes himself as “America’s Toughest Sheriff” — was sued last week by the Justice Department for not cooperating with a civil rights investigation into whether his office discriminated his enforcement of immigration laws.
The sheriff told a New Hampshire group that he wasn’t closing the door to a presidential run in 2012, with a political adviser acknowledging that “People just don’t go to New Hampshire if they are not interested in these things.”
The 527 group, called “Defend Sheriff Joe,” said in their filing that the group’s purpose is to “defend Sheriff Joe’s reputation against the Obama administration’s effort to stop enforcement of our immigration laws and to challenge elected officials so that more representatives are elected who are willing to enforce our laws and support the police on the front lines.”
The director of “Defend Sheriff Joe” is Gary Bae, the owner of the Phoenix-based Compass Public Affairs Group, Inc.
Vernon Parker, who until recently was a was running for the Republican nomination for the House seat in Arizona’s third congressional district, serves as chairman. Kelly Lawler, a professional treasurer who was previously on the staff of the National Republican Congressional Committee, serves as treasurer.