Editorials

Anti-immigrant ex-sheriff Joe Arpaio doesn’t belong at St. Louis County GOP event

Trump defends Arpaio pardon: ‘Sheriff Joe is a patriot’

President Trump defended his controversial pardon of former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Arpaio was found guilty by a federal judge of criminal contempt, for ignoring a court order to stop detaining people based on his belief on whether or not they
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President Trump defended his controversial pardon of former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Arpaio was found guilty by a federal judge of criminal contempt, for ignoring a court order to stop detaining people based on his belief on whether or not they

Republicans in suburban St. Louis County have invited former Sheriff Joe Arpaio to speak at their Lincoln-Reagan Days dinner in March.

It’s a big mistake. We’re pretty confident Arpaio won’t say anything worth hearing.

Maybe his federal conviction for criminal contempt of court will come up. President Donald Trump pardoned him for that, but still.

Arpaio’s disregard for the rights of criminal suspects in his custody was legendary. He was a horrible public official, credibly and repeatedly accused of mismanagement, corruption and abuse of power.

And, of course, “Sheriff Joe” became the national symbol of improper anti-immigration enforcement, which got him in trouble with the law.

All of this is bad enough. But the St. Louis County GOP wants Arpaio to speak at a dinner named for Ronald Reagan and Abraham Lincoln.

President Reagan signed one of the biggest immigration amnesty bills in American history. Lincoln’s civil rights record is pretty clear, too. Arpaio’s appearance besmirches both presidents.

Joe Arpaio is a prefect symbol of what’s wrong and hypocritical about this wing of the modern GOP. Republicans who want to know why they’re losing the suburbs should take a look at St. Louis County.

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