SEPTEMBER 06, 2017
Some of Fresno’s elected Republicans are staying away from Sheriff Joe Arpaio event
Lee Brand will be out of town when Joe Arpaio comes to town.
But Fresno’s Republican mayor made his feelings about the controversial former Arizona sheriff clear: Missing the Sept. 29 visit has nothing to do with poor timing.
“I wouldn’t go if I was here,” he said Wednesday, citing Arpaio’s divisive presence. “While he’s popular with some, Arpaio is a villain to others.”
Even firebrand Fresno City Councilman Garry Bredefeld is staying away, citing “some of the things he did as a sheriff that I disagree with. … That’s the only reason I’ve decided not to participate.”
MAYBE PEOPLE WANT TO HONOR HIM ESPECIALLY NOW.
Fresno County Republican party chairman Fred Vanderhoof doesn’t care about the uproar.
With three weeks to go until the county GOP’s third annual “2nd Amendement Barbecue,” Vanderhoof says ““we’ve sold more tickets to this point in time than each of the previous two years’ dinners.”
Scheduling is also why Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims said she’s not attending. Mims was originally slated to introduce Arpaio, and her photo was on an early version of a promotional ad for the event and posted to the party’s Facebook page on Aug. 22. “I was going to go to the 2nd Amendment Dinner as I always do,” Mims said. “The date changed and I was unable to go, before the pardon.”
After the date was changed, Mims asked Kings County Sheriff David Robinson a couple of weeks ago if he would serve in her stead to introduce Arpaio. Robinson, registered as a political independent, agreed. But on Wednedsay, he decided to withdraw because of the furor over Arpaio.
While the GOP is forging ahead with its dinner plans, activists at the other end of the political spectrum are planning a protest against Arpaio outside the banquet hall. Fresno Resistance, a self-proclaimed “intersectional, silo-breaking, leftist collective” to “challenge systems of oppression,” is organizing a “Smash White Supremacy” protest outside the banquet hall during the Arpaio event. According to the event’s Facebook page, more than 200 people have indicated they will attend, and almost 600 more have expressed interest in the protest.
An announcement promoting former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio's appearance at a Fresno County Republican Party fund-raising dinner includes a photo of Kings County Sheriff David Robinson, who on Wednesday decided to withdraw from the event. Fresno County Republican Party