Joe Arpaio, self-proclaimed “America’s toughest sheriff”, will speak at a sold-out luncheon in Carmel Valley tomorrow. His visit has inspired a protest.
The luncheon is an annual fundraiser for the grassroots political group Monterey Peninsula Republican Women Federated. The 125-member group is part of a national one. Members support Republican candidates and raise money for community causes like school supplies for children.
Karen Reissman is President of the Monterey Peninsula chapter. She says she looks for speakers who have name recognition and are interesting. She says this year's luncheon has drawn lots of attention. Sheriff Joe Arpaio is one of six conservative speakers lined up for the event.
“He has many admirers and he has a lot to say. I’ve talked to many people that are in Arizona and they said he was the best sheriff, you know, that he kept crime down. So we're really looking forward to seeing him,” Reissman said.
The former sheriff from Arizona was widely criticized for his “Tent City Jail” in the hot Arizona desert. Last year, Arpaio was convicted of criminal contempt for disobeying a judge’s order to stop racial profiling. President Trump pardoned him before he served any time. Arpaio ran for U.S. Senate this year and lost in Arizona's August primary.
Carmel Valley resident and mom Siobhan Wolfe helped organize the “No Arpaio” protest via Facebook.
“Joe Arpaio is a criminal and he's a racist. And Carmel Valley is all about love. He has a right, his First Amendment right to speak, but we also have a right to say, ‘yeah, your message does not resonate with Carmel Valley’,” said Wolfe.
According to the “No Arpaio” Facebook page, more than a hundred people will attend the protest outside the luncheon venue at Carmel Valley’s Palo Corona Regional Park.
The other speakers include Charlie Kirk of Turning Point USA, Adelle Nazarian with Breitbart News, actress Julienne Davis, KSCO’s Georgia Beardsley and Republican candidate for Secretary of State Mark Meuser.
Security is expected to be tight with the presence of Monterey County Sheriff’s deputies, park rangers and private security.