Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu likes to talk tough.
He desperately wants to be in Congress.
But when a TV reporter showed up recently at a Babeu press conference to ask the sheriff a few tough questions the sheriff dispatched a few of his guys to block the journalist’s access.
The excuse used by Babeu’s director of administration Tim Gaffney was that ABC15 investigative reporter Dave Biscobing harbors “hatred” for Babeu.
Or is the problem that Babeu harbors “hatred” for news coverage.
Specifically, his station aired a home video showing Babeu in 1999 praising the discipline methods at a Massachusetts school that Babeu directed.
The school eventually was shut down.
U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Mass., an attorney who investigated the school, said Babeu knew of the abuse and helped to stonewall the case. Babeu says he was not a principal in the investigation and didn’t oversee discipline.
Okay. If that’s so, answer the reporter’s questions.
Biscobing went to the press conference to ask Babeu about that.
He was denied access.
Normally, Babeu LOVES television cameras.
This is particularly true since he decided to run for Congress for a second time. And since he figured out which Congressional district he wants to represent. (The sheriff originally filed paperwork for the 4th District before realizing he actually was running in the 1st District.)
A while back Babeu attended a town hall on gun violence featuring President Obama. The president did not use Secret Service agents to bar Babeu from the room, and he even allowed Babeu to take the microphone and ask what Babeu thought was a tough question.
Likewise, no one has stopped Babeu from seeking out any TV news crew in the vicinity to publicly criticize border security and immigration policies, which he’s hoping to use to get into Congress.
Babeu loves the cameras.
The ABC 15 crew arrived with a camera. Babeu’s bullies at the front door said the cameraman could go into the press conference … but not the reporter. Not the guy who asks questions.
The sheriff likes pictures but not questions, apparently.
I can understand that.
During his first try for Congress Babeu’s love of cameras got him into trouble.
He took photos of himself in his underpants that wound up on the Internet following the messy end of a relationship.
Babue had to drop out of the race after being asked all kinds of questions about that.
I guess he’s not taking any chances this time.
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