Categorized | News

Paul Babeu, conservative Arizona sheriff, now openly gay

wtaq.com

This is one of those bombshell stories with multiple facets that branch off into all manner of areas; gay rights, immigration and border control, potential abuse of power, sexual assault by a priest, and a mediagenic sheriff of national stature about to run for Congress.

Late last week Phoenix New Times broke a major story saying that Pinal County AZ Sheriff Paul Babeu had a gay sex affair with a Mexican (known only as Jose, for privacy.)  They broke up and Jose now claims that Babeu threatened him with deportation.

Babeu quickly held a press conference strongly denying the allegations but also said “I am gay.”Students of crisis management and damage control take note. Babeu did it this part right. Regardless of how the serious charges of abuse of power turn out, Babeu did not dodge, evade, or obfuscate about his sexuality. By stating pointblank he is gay he saved himself weeks of pointless denials and defused at least that part of the crisis. For a public figure to do that is commendable. For a sharply conservative, immigration border hawk sheriff in Arizona to do so is rather extraordinary.

It should be noted that Babeu is not a hypocrite when it comes to his sexuality as he appears to have never made any anti-gay statements publicly.

Babeu and his boyfriend, known only as Jose for privacy, met in 2006 on gay.com, a dating website. Jose says Babeu claimed he loved him and wasn’t seeing anyone else. But Jose soon suspected him of cheating. So he set up an account on another gay dating website under the assumed name of Matt and contacted Babeu, who was also on the site. He showed Phoenix New Times photos Babeu sent to him as Matt, some o f which showed Babeu naked from the waist down.

Jose also has texts from Babeu to him as Matt where Babeu identifies himself as a sheriff who had appeared in a TV ad about border security with John McCain. Let that sink in. Babeu told an anonymous man on a gay sex site precisely who he was.  Look, I like adrenaline rushes too, But Babeu’s behavior was so risky that it borders on irrational. Then again, perhaps Babeu suffers from the delusion that Rep. Anthony Weiner apparently had too, that what you do on the Internet and with texting is somehow private. It’s not. A better idea is to act as if anything you do on the Net and text could be public. Did you know that President George W. Bush never used email because he didn’t want anything that could be subpoenaed?

Whether Babeu or his personal lawyer threatened Jose or hinted he would be deported if he didn’t stay quiet about their relationship will no doubt be the subject of multiple investigations. While there may be more texts, the perhaps most damning one mentioned in the New Times article was from Babeu to Jose in September and said “You can never have business after this and you will harm me and many others in the process . . . including yourself & your family.”

Babeu is running for Congress in a highly conservative Arizona district. He began politics in North Adams, Massachusetts. It’s a rust-belt mill town. Babeu controlled the city council for a bit against an entrenched boss then lost the race for mayor in a “bare-knuckle” race. It was during this period that Babeu said he had been molested as a youth by a local priest, something which along with his deeply conservative views, turned most people off to him. He then left for Arizona in 2002 and was sheriff of Pinal County 7 years later. Clearly, he has serious political skills. But in the wake of the revelations, long-time ally Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County is distancing himself from Babeu. The next few weeks will probably show whether Babeu can remain as sheriff or has a chance of being elected to Congress.

(crossposted from IVN)

  • woody

    Sorry, but this guy is scum. I’m a gay man, and have no issues with that. This guy hid his sexuality to further his political agenda. And had he been able to step up his campaign by denying gay people rights, I’m sure he’d have taken in, despite his tone now. Sorry, but considering the people he’s backed (including Romney and others before that in his career) that have been anti-gay, I don’t see him having moral qualms with it. To the point that he’s threatening an ex with deportation if he says anything. And before you say that’s yet to be proven, check out the story as broken by the New Times. It’s got links, photos, and clear proof that he did so, both personally and via his attorney.

    • http://homelessonthehighdesert.wordpress.com Ten Bears

      It’s bigger than that, Woody. This… vermin used his position of authority to DOMINATE other people, to satisfy his adrenaline kick in beating down someone who had no means of fighting back. Typical Republican. No different than a god-damned priest. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if he didn’t rape that kid.

      I’d like to meet the faggot bastard face-to-face, find out if he’s got what it takes without a badge and a gun.

    • http://polizeros.com Bob Morris

      Oh, I hear you. Loud and clear. He probably did use his power to intimidate hie ex-lover.

      I read the New Times article carefully and didn’t see any smoking guns by him or his lawyer directly threatening Jose with deportation. So far, it was mostly lawyers arguing. I’m not defending him, just that I didn’t see it in the article. Let me know what you saw, if I missed something. The closest damning text I saw I quoted in the article and it could be interpreted several ways by smart lawyers. So it may be hard to prove. I think it’s clear it was an abuse of power.

      The TPM article I linked to was written by someone who knew of him in Mass. politics and said Babeu wasn’t closeted, everyone that knew him knew he was gay. He also strongly supported gays in military and gay marriage at his press conference. But yeah, he could and should have done this long ago.

      I wrote the article for IVN so the tone had to be different than if I wrote it just for here.

NSA surveillance



Read our continuing coverage on the NSA

Contact

Bob Morris bob@polizeros.com

310.600.5237

Morris Consulting

  • Legacy PC database migration to Windows
  • WordPress design and support
  • Data conversion

Contact Morris Consulting at bomoco.com.

Categories

Archives