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Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Dog the Bounty Hunter Lend a Hand to Tancredo

5 years ago
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DENVER -- A controversial anti-illegal immigration Arizona sheriff, a bounty hunter who stars in his own TV show and a candidate for governor singing a song about falling in love with a Mexican girl in a country bar on a Sunday afternoon.

This is Colorado, and candidate Tom Tancredo's idea of a fundraising good time.

Several hundred red-white-and-blue-clad supporters paid $35 and up Sunday as Tancredo hosted Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Dog the Bounty Hunter (aka Duane Chapman) and others at Denver's Grizzly Rose, despite competition from home games for the Colorado Rockies and the Denver Broncos.

Tancredo is running a distant second in Colorado's three-way race for governor, behind Democratic candidate John Hickenlooper, who is the mayor of Denver, but ahead of Republican Dan Maes. A former GOP congressman and presidential candidate, Tancredo jumped into the race in July, running on the American Constitution Party ticket out of dissatisfaction with the two GOP primary candidates.

Immigration is Tancredo's issue, it's Arpaio's issue, and it was the rousing issue for Sunday's crowd of mostly white, conservative voters. The economy barely rated mention, despite a Denver Post poll indicating it's the top concern for 58 percent of Coloradans, followed by the federal deficit for 13 percent and immigration for 10 percent.

"Forget the party labels, just look at the person, vote for the person," Arpaio told the cheering crowd. Later, he added, "Sometimes politicians have to worry about the Hispanic vote. I don't worry about it. Or you have to worry about the big employers because they can't get cheap labor. I don't worry about it."

Arizona is known for a tough new law on illegal immigrants that's being challenged by the federal government. Colorado, meanwhile, enacted what were then considered the nation's toughest state laws on immigration in 2006, restricting welfare benefits and requiring employers to confirm workers' immigration status. A 2009 audit of the Colorado law found increased reporting of arrests of illegal immigrants to federal immigration enforcement, but didn't necessarily lead to increased deportation proceedings.

A Syracuse University analysis indicates that deportation of illegal immigrants has risen considerably under President Barack Obama when compared to the George W. Bush administration's record.

Still, Arpaio regaled the crowd with tales of his tent cities for county jail inmates, the pink underwear he makes them wear and his all-women chain gangs. He also proudly noted his clashes with the federal government over enforcement of illegal immigration laws.

"I'm the poster boy, I'm pretty proud of being that, for the White House and the Justice Department," Arpaio said before urging the crowd, "Make sure you support Tom. Vote for him! Vote, vote, vote, vote!"

While this wasn't Arpaio's first trip outside Arizona to campaign for another candidate, Chapman said Tancredo was the first candidate he had agreed to support.

"Law enforcement loves him," Chapman said. "Tom Tancredo has a plan to make money on crime as crime makes money on us."

Chapman's biker leathers had to be appreciated by many in the crowd who showed up on Harley Davidsons, including some bearing "Riders Against Illegal Aliens" logos on their vests.

Tancredo took off his leather biker vest to reveal a Dog the Bounty Hunter T-shirt. And he noted that he managed to get out of the house without wearing a helmet, just a week after an accident that left him with minor scrapes and bruises.

"We have a tough road ahead of us, there's no two ways about it, but I believe in all my heart that it's the right thing we're doing," the candidate told the crowd, later calling Arpaio "my hero, my mentor."

And the candidate praised another Arizona law banning ethnic studies in schools.

"No more of this pushing multicultural garbage on our kids," he said.

Tancredo has raised more than $318,000 in his brief two months in the race -- more than Maes' $255,000, but considerably less than Hickenlooper's almost $3 million. The crunch for cash was plenty evident Sunday, from an auction of wine with Tancredo labels to "money-bomb" boxes for donations. Hickenlooper, however, went unmentioned, although Arpaio once referred to the "mayor of Colorado" (he also asked what the capital of the state was, then mentioned Carson City, the capital of Nevada).

Toward the end of the rally, Tancredo turned on a recording, brought his friends on stage and sang along to "El Paso," a cowboy classic in which the protagonist falls in love with a Mexican woman, shoots and kills the Mexican man who tries to woo her, then dies in her arms after being shot by the law.

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MoodyJudy luvyou

The Sheriff is NOT "controversial" to me. Some writers cannot help but put their spin on a straight-forward story. Pete Reeves Altoona, PA

September 27 2010 at 11:08 AM
Brian H.

I can see having Joe Arpaio helping you out but WHY Dog the Bounty Hunter? Doesn't Tom know that if Dog could make money signing bail bonds for illegal immigrants he would be putting illegals back on the streets instead of having them locked up until they are deported? Tom must not watch much TV or he would not get his name tangled up with a scum bag like dog who makes a living freeing criminals from jail until their court trial. Bail Bondsmen are bad news.

September 27 2010 at 11:08 AM

What Phil said!!!!!! He is so right! I used to do the same thing until I grew up and had a family and realized, damn, those republicans or democrats could care less about me. These partys will point fingers at each other and get nothing done until hell freezes over. They will do anything, and I mean ANYTHING, to stay be the party in control. Big business has always run this country and always will, no matter which party is in control. Wake up, and start looking at a third party, or, if you think folks like myself are nuts, go ahead, stand up for your damn party at all costs, and watch your country continue to head down the tubes!

September 27 2010 at 11:04 AM +1

the dog and the sheriff are two of my least favorite people to campaign for anyone or anything. they both should be run out of the country in my opinion. along with anybody they help get elected.

September 27 2010 at 11:00 AM -2

At one time illegal immigrants came here on a path to citizenship. They learned English, they worked hard, they didn't expect us to pay for their education, free medical and public assistance. Now we must have English as a second language, pay for their medical, education, public assistance and all on our tax dollars. Many of them enter our Country hauling drugs and conducting human trafficing. They are financially ruining our Country. I am sick of pressing one for English and having our Government ignore this terrible problem and pushing for amnesty. They are doing all and approving the above mentioned for the all mighty vote.

September 27 2010 at 10:57 AM

This is soooo sad! Total "Leaping the Shark" for Tancredo! A loser politician, with an ego maniac Sheriff with alot of blood on his hands from 18 dead inmates that were in his care, and a red-faced, bleach blond, middle aged trailor trash bounty hunter. Geez, is this another Cohen Brothers movie or what?

September 27 2010 at 10:56 AM

Ah yes Dog the bounty hunter a convicted felon, drug user. Is this the best that the conservative's can do? Happy for him that he turned his life around but he is not the one that should be preaching about right and wrong. A little less false humility and some real humility Dog.

September 27 2010 at 10:53 AM -2

He's not an anti-immigration Sheriff..... He's "Anti-ILLEGAL-Immigration !!! Another misleading AOL Headline!

September 27 2010 at 10:51 AM +11

Tancredo is no more than the class clown, a DUNCE who is constantly uttering unintelligible, radical, comedy lines. Now, if this charade isn't regrettable enough on it's own, he adds a couple of other idiots to the mix...Arpaio is bad enough...but, of what possible benefit (to any campaign or forum) are the political philosophies of "Dog the Bounty Hunter"??? It's disgraceful enough that this individual stoops to the level he does to make a buck...much less, offer his thoughts on ANYTHING. I wonder of he lives in a house with no mirrors??....Once again, this trio of distasteful comic personalities are proof positive that PT Barnum was right...

September 27 2010 at 10:50 AM -5

I beleive the correct term would be (anti illegal immigration), not anti-immigrantion. Your bias is showing

September 27 2010 at 10:49 AM +17

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