Candidates court controversial Arizona sheriff

AP News

11/8/2011 3:06:02 AM - AP News
PHOENIX (AP) — Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio makes inmates wear pink underwear, live in tents during Arizona's sweltering summers and eat green bologna. The Justice Department is investigating him for potential civil rights violations in his sweeping immigration patrols, his office has been accused of trumping up charges against political rivals.While any sheriff with such a resume might seem like one politicians would avoid, some Republican presidential candidates are courting the man who describes himself as America's toughest sheriff.Arpaio met recently with Republican presidential candidates Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann. And he says he has recently had conversations with Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. During the last election Arapio endorsed Romney, but he says he hasn't decided whom to back this time around.