Arizona politicians cry foul over mailer from Sheriff Paul Babeu to voters

Feb 11, 2016, 2:08 PM
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)...
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

PHOENIX — A spokesman for the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office has denied that a mailer sent to some voters that highlights the achievements of Paul Babeu was politically motivated.

The Casa Grande Dispatch reported that politicians on both sides of the aisle have complained that the flyers served as propaganda for the two-term sheriff, who is running for a seat in U.S. Congress.

Tim Gaffney with the Sheriff’s Office told the paper that the addresses for the 8,000-plus of the mailers came from voter registration files. Gaffney referred to the mailer as a pamphlet, which included photos of Babeu appearing before Congress and with GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson.

But that’s not the way some in the county see it.

David Coward, chair of the Pinal County Democrats said many in his party didn’t get the mailer and that if the pamphlet wasn’t political everyone in the county should have gotten it.

Coward also questioned the legalities of how the flyer was paid for. A line at the bottom read the material was paid for by money seized from criminal activities.

Money seized from criminal activity — RICO money — has to be used for anti-drug or anti-gang efforts.

Republican Steve Miller, a Pinal County supervisor, got one of the mailers and called it a political ploy.

County Attorney Lando Voyles said there was nothing criminal about the use of the funds.

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Arizona politicians cry foul over mailer from Sheriff Paul Babeu to voters