Fresno GOP Says The Arpaio Show Must Go On

A growing number of Republican leaders and public officials have a message for the Fresno County GOP ahead of its upcoming event with former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio: Count me out.

Mayor Lee Brand and City Councilman Garry Bredefeld are among those who say they will not attend the “2nd Amendment Barbecue” on September 29.

“I wouldn’t go if I was here,” said Brand, who will be out of town that day. “While he’s popular with some, Arpaio is a villain to others.”

One of those people is retired Fresno Police Cpt. Al Maroney. He penned a blistering letter to the editor of the Fresno Bee calling Arpaio a racist and voicing his opposition to the event.

Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims, who attends the bbq every year, conveniently developed a scheduling conflict herself. Kings County Sheriff David Robinson was going to fill in for her but has since cancelled. Robinson said he wasn’t aware of the extent of the allegations against Arpaio until after the presidential pardon. He began receiving angry phone calls, looked into it, and decided to pull out.

Despite the uproar, Fresno County Republican Party Chairman Fred Vanderhoof is undeterred. In fact, in the trollish atmosphere we live in, heightened opposition to Arpaio just makes some people want to attend more.

“We’ve sold more tickets to this point in time than each of the previous two years’ dinners.”

We’ve all got our priorities.



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