"If what [Babeu's attorney] says is correct [about Jose's being illegal], either the sheriff had a long relationship with someone he knew was undocumented, while all the time being Mr. Bluster about the border and using it for political gain," or he threatened to deport someone he just broke up with, Merritt says. [Phoenix News-Times' interview with Nancy-Jo Merritt, Phoenix immigration attorney]
Republican Congressional candidate Paul Babeu, currently serving as a sheriff in Arizona, stepped down on Saturday from his position as the co-chair for the Mitt Romney presidential campaign in the state, after an explosive allegation from a Mexican man, who claims to be his ex-boyfriend, that Babeu threatened him with deportation to Mexico.
In late 2010, Babeu was asked by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio to investigate allegations of wrongdoing in his own department. This 6 month long detailed search led to the termination of Arpaio's top two deputies. (wikipedia)
OK, Now The Sex Stuff
In an era of facebook, twitter and internet hook-ups, sexual exposure has become common. When we got the goods on Rep.Anthony Weiner and "Bishop" Eddie Long, we realized that, in a sense, supermarket tabloids had jumped onto our homepages. And we embraced them with a renewed vigor for the salacious. Why? Because reading about hypocrisy is fun while being infuriated: laughing at the high-minded while telling ourselves that we're not THAT bad is a sinful pleasure. We feel somehow mitigated in our realization that people on the "A-List" can become sleazeballs on the "A-Hole List".
Now guess which list Babeu is on.
According to Babeu's ex-lover, Jose (last name withheld because of the ongoing litigation), they met in 2009. Jose then worked on Babeu's campaign websites, facebook and twitter accounts while in a supposedly monogamous relationship. Later, in 2011, Jose discovered a profile of Babeu's on Adam4Adam a gay hook-up site. He confronted Babeu about it and was told that it was an old profile.
But after the request to have Babeu remove the profile, it was still up and active. Jose then decided to do some undercover work on his boyfriend and posed anonymously on the same site.
"I will suck you off as much as needed."Jose showed up for a meeting, and the pair broke up, whereupon an eerie kind of harassment ensued: Jose changed his address several times, with Babeu giving hints that he knew where he was all along (e.g. a Christmas card). Jose then posted comments in sites and editorials intimating that Babeu was not what he seemed. Babeu answered back: "And you say you have loved me? Papi . . . this is no good."
"Dude, I can't send naked pics over e-mail . . . just can't for my job . . . you can have me in person and what ever else you want." Babeu made a point about his work as sheriff.
The phone text messages produced by Jose number in the hundreds. The pics on Babeu's Adam4Adam profile have since been erased, some including a full erection.
For the record, Jose states that he is legal and not undocumented, hence the threats of deportation by Babeu's lawyer ring hollow.
Within hours of Jose's incriminating evidence coming to light, Babeu "came out" but stated that his candidacy for Congress remained in tact, while his personal life was just that: personal ...and private.
In Summation To The Jury
Political aspirations. Right wing political cronies and media coverage. Illegal immigration. Threats of deportation. Gay sex. Gay hook-up sites. Infidelity. Pornographic internet photos. The court of public opinion will be at this scandal from all sides: the Right (esp. the Christian Right) will focus on Babeu' s sexual orientation and use of hook-up sites; the Left will focus on Babeu being a Republican and his anti-immigration stance; the LGBT community will focus on Babeu's hypocrisy and his closeted machinations. Stand-up comedians will joke about border sheriffs. Pundits and bloggers like me will keep tabs, looking for developments and nuances to highlight Babeu's hypocrisy.
There have been parallels to this scandal: Rep. Mark Foley and Congressional pages, NJ Governor James McGreevey and his infidelity. However, they were but slight blips compared to this earthquake on the Richter scale. Why? Simply because the hypocrisy is so blatantly wrong and so compellingly raw.
In fact, there may be only one entity to be truly sorry for in this story: The National Inquirer. It didn't break the story.