Arpaio campaign attacks Dem candidate for sheriff

October 11, 2012

After weeks of commercials painting a softer picture of “America’s Toughest Sheriff,” Joe Arpaio has gone on the offensive. The new ad makes issue of an incident in his opponent’s past. 

The commercial refers to a decade-old dispute involving Arpaio’s Democratic foe Paul Penzone, a former Phoenix Police Sergeant who ran the Silent Witness program. When Penzone and his then-wife were in the process of a divorce, the two got in an argument over custody of their son. Both accused the other of violence and both got a restraining order.

The ad's narrator says of Penzone, "He’s tried to explain it away, but there’s no excuse for hitting a woman. Now, the only ‘silent witness’ is his ex-wife. We deserve better than that.”

While the ad implies Penzone abused his wife, the police report shows it was a 'he said-she said' altercation. The Glendale city prosecutor declined to pursue a case against either party because there was no likelihood of conviction.

Penzone, who has openly discussed the incident for months, said he’s not surprised by the ad, “nor am I concerned. It was an unfortunate circumstance during a divorce."

"I just challenge everyone to look for the full facts and the full report, as opposed to [listening] to the half-story that the sheriff likes to promote in order to protect himself,” Penzone said.

Arpaio’s campaign stands by the ad. It came a day after a poll, commissioned by Penzone’s campaign, showing the Democrat within 4.7 points of Arpaio. Also running for Maricopa County Sheriff as an independent is retired Scottsdale Police Lieutenant Mike Stauffer.



Ad from Joe Arpaio's campaign:


Response ad by Paul Penzone's campaign: