Joe Arpaio Prayed Over by Latinos, and Michael Nowakowski Doubles-Down (w/Update)
More good press for Joe: Fox 10 covers the Arpaio-Latino summit
"I need to find out more about the recall," Nowakowski told me. "What's their plans? I mean, I was not included in any of the planning, so I'm not sure what the strategy is. And if there is a candidate they're going to run, is it good to run a recall during a low turnout election or is it better to have a high turnout election? Those are the kinds of questions I have."
Nowakowski said he had spoken with organizer Randy Parraz, president of Citizens for a Better Arizona, and one of the primary supporters of the recall. He said that he had told Parraz the same thing he was telling me.
"If we lose this recall," Nowakowski worried, "it just gives the sheriff more power."
I noted that many Democrats were saying the same thing when Parraz spearheaded the successful recall of ex-state Senate President Russell Pearce in 2011.
"The Pearce thing was a godsend," Nowakowski responded. "The stars, the sun, the moon all lined up. If it wasn't for the Mormon community coming in and having a candidate, to be honest with you, we wouldn't have won that election."
This is probably true, but it's also hindsight. When the recall of Pearce started in early 2011, his successful challenger Jerry Lewis was nowhere on the horizon.
Meanwhile, whether they intended to or not, Nowakowski and the pastors handed Arpaio a major publicity coup.
Not only was Arpaio shown in a picture with the pastors and Nowakowski in a front page photo for the current issue of Prensa Hispana, a local, free Spanish-language tabloid, the local Fox News affiliate also covered the meeting, with some interesting quotes from Arpaio and one of the pastors, Joe Garcia.
"They are concerned with my reputation with the Hispanic community and I was concerned about the kids fearing the sheriff," Arpaio said of the religious leaders. "That's not me."
Um, hell, yeah, it is. After all, the MCSO collared 27 in the recent Tempe raid, 23 of whom were suspected of working unlawfully. Because of Arizona's Prop 100, that means there are at least 23 families that now are missing a mother, a father, a son or a daughter.
"My hope is that Sheriff Joe has a change of heart," Garcia told Fox, "that he sees this in a different way, that we Hispanics and spiritual leaders are seeing this."
To which, I would reply, you have to have a heart in order to change it.
Also, the pastor should look for deeds not words from Arpaio. As the reverend's savior once said, "By their fruits, ye shall know them."
UPDATE February 14, 2013:
A V-day card purportedly sent to Nowakowski from victims of Sheriff Joe