Friday, October 12, 2012
(PNI) What does Citizens for Professional Law Enforcement hope to accomplish?We want to bring sanity and integrity back to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office by defeating Sheriff Joe Arpaio. We will do that by educating and informing voters about Sheriff Arpaio's extensive deficiencies as a leader, which we have laid out at www.CFPLE.org.What gives you confidence that Arpaio can be defeated?The public is waking up to Sheriff Arpaio's incompetent, fiscally irresponsible and self-serving management, and that makes him beatable. He is polling below 50percent with 100percent name identification and millions of dollars spent already. Our polling, as well as outside polling, show Arpaio's favorables continue to decrease as Paul Penzone's increase. We believe fiscal conservatives in the Republican Party will vote against Arpaio if they know that he misspent nearly $100million of their money. Your group was formed in late August. Isn't that a little late to counteract Arpaio's massive funding advantage?Work didn't just begin in September. Our allies have been registering voters and educating voters since the Russell Pearce recall. Our allies include Republicans who defeated Russell Pearce twice.Who is contributing to the group?Republicans, Democrats and independents tired of the corruption and misdeeds of Joe Arpaio. The founders behind the group were also the same people who targeted Wes Gullett in the Phoenix mayoral race. Does that signal this is Democrat money?The mayor's race was nonpartisan, and so is the effort to defeat Joe Arpaio. Our coalition has broadened significantly and we receive money from across the political spectrum. Carlos Sierra, our co-chair, is a Republican and was a staunch supporter of Wes Gullett.How has the fundraising gone so far?We are working with respected national professional fundraisers and, although we are just getting started, we are well on our way to reaching our goal. We have fundraisers set for Phoenix, Los Angeles, Dallas, Denver, El Paso, Las Vegas and San Antonio.Did the Justice Department's decision to end its probe of the sheriff set back efforts to unseat him?We were obviously disappointed in the Justice Department's decision, but it actually fired people up. Many of us came to the realization it was up to us to unseat Joe Arpaio, so it motivated us to take action.You plan to target financial issues in Arpaio's office. Where do you think he's vulnerable?Our polling indicates that once people find out about the $100million in misspent taxpayer money, they are less likely to support Sheriff Joe. Will Joe Arpaio still be sheriff in January?Our committee originally decided to be strictly an anti-Arpaio campaign because there were three candidates in the race.Polling is telling us that Mike Stauffer has no chance whatsoever of winning but Paul Penzone does. With high Latino, Democratic and independent turnout, along with Republican antipathy toward Arpaio, he will be defeated.Copyright 2012 The Arizona Republic|azcentral.com. All rights reserved.For more information about reprints & permissions, visit our FAQ's. To report corrections and clarifications, contact Standards Editor Brent Jones. For publication consideration in the newspaper, send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include name, phone number, city and state for verification. To view our corrections, go to corrections.usatoday.com.