Katie Pavlich
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Arizona Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu was already unpopular among liberals for enforcing immigration law and fighting drug cartels in the Grand Canyon State, but now that he's running for Congress, the Left hand-in-hand with local media, is launching a full-on attack on Babeu, who is running as a Republican to represent Arizona Congressional District 4. His campaign plans to focus on job creation, border security and illegal immigration issues. Babeu was named 2011 Sheriff of the Year by the National Sheriff's Association, obviously, the man is doing his job and doing it well.

First, AZ Central is questioning whether cartels actually have 75 to 100 spotting posts and cells in Babeu's county, essentially implying Babeu is making up the numbers. After all, it's not like Babeu and his deputies are on the ground dealing with the problem everyday or anything. Apparently, AZ Central is more convinced by numbers compiled by government bureaucrats than hearing about first hand experiences on the ground.

A spokesman said Babeu based his claim partly on investigations conducted by the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office over the last three years into cells of Mexican drug cartels.

Pinal County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Elias Johnson said some information came from drug cartel cell members who have agreed to cooperate after they’ve been arrested. He said information also came from intelligence briefings with federal law-enforcement agencies that have partnered with PCSO.

Despite several requests, Johnson did not release any specific data or statistics that supported Babeu’s comment.

Bottom line: Babeu may have information to support his claim. But he didn’t release it. And no other agency -- state or local -- had statistics to back him up.

Next, the Tucson Citizen is pushing a story about open-border radicals calling for Immigration and Customs Enforcement to pull out of the Pinal County Jail. Currently, Pinal County Sheriff Deputies work with Homeland Security by arresting illegal aliens and then taking them to a wing of the the Pinal County Jail I.C.E. rents from the county. Deputies play a crucial role in keeping the relationship between local and federal law enforcement efficient.

Local and national immigrants’ rights organizations will call on Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to end its immigration detention contract with the Pinal County Jail (PCJ) located in Florence at a press conference at noon on Friday, January 20th at the ICE Phoenix Field Office at 2035 N. Central Ave., Phoenix.

Representatives from the ACLU of Arizona, Puente Movement and Detention Watch Network will speak at the press conference.

As part of a campaign that will include public education events and various actions, the groups will unveil a letter calling on ICE to end the contract with Pinal County Jail.

Despite statements by the Department of Homeland Security over two years ago indicating initiatives to reform the immigration detention system, including discontinuing the use of jail-like facilities, major failures persist at PCJ.

A report issued by the ACLU of Arizona in 2011 offers first-hand accounts of individuals detained in inhumane and unsafe conditions. Advocates continue to document various abuses including no contact visits with family, no outdoor recreation, excessive use of force and verbal abuse and failure to accommodate religious needs, among others.

First of all, I've been to the Pinal County Jail and seen the conditions first hand for background on a story I wrote about the dangers of drug cartels operating in Arizona. Inmates have outdoor recreation, aren't roughed up or thrown around unless necessary due to bad behavior by the inmates, religious needs are absolutely accommodated and respected, visits with family members aren't prevented and the jail is anything but "inhumane and unsafe." Regardless, what do these open-border groups and the ACLU, Puente Movement, Black Alliance for Just Immigration, Families for Freedom, Detention Watch Network, Immigrant Defense Project, National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild and other groups think jail is supposed to be like? A five star resort?

And last, AZ Central is reporting unfair attacks on Babeu for exceeding his budget by more than $3.2 million, while failing to mention unions and failure by the federal government to stop the flow of illegal immigration as a cause for the sucking up of local resources. The article also fails to mention gas prices spiking by 100% under President Obama as a cause for depleted resources.

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu is on track to exceed his budget by more than $3.2 million by the end of the fiscal year if current spending levels continue, county officials say.

The overage, which equals about seven percent of the sheriff's total budget, is the combined result of overtime pay for deputies and detention staff, patrol fuel costs, wages and employee-related expenses, according to Leo Lew, county budget office director.

Sheriff's administrators say the additional spending is inevitable: fuel costs more now that it did in 2009, yet the annual fuel budget of $800,000 has remained the same for the last three years; and a mid-year agreement between supervisors and the county's law-enforcement union on overtime and on-call pay has increased personnel costs.

But supervisors blame the budget overrun on poor money management by Babeu, a Republican who is seeking his party's nomination for Congress later this year.

Conclusion: Sheriff Paul Babeu has enforced the law, including immigration laws, during his time with the Pinal County Sheriff's office, automatically putting him at odds with Leftists and open-border radicals who feel there should be no laws surrounding how and when people enter the United States. Now that he's running for Congress, which would give him even more impact on a national level if he wins, he's being attacked because he's a threat to the status quo of ignoring the illegal immigration problem not only in his county, but all over America.

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Katie Pavlich

Katie Pavlich is the News Editor at Townhall.com. Follow her on Twitter @katiepavlich. She is also the author of Fast and Furious: Barack Obama's Bloodiest Scandal and the Shameless Cover-Up.

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Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography