KVOA: Those wishing to oust Sheriff Clarence Dupnik are taking action this afternoon. The Pima County Tea Party Patriots have organized a “Dump Dupnik Rally” at the Sheriff’s Office, claiming Dupnik is no longer fit to be sheriff after controversial statements he made surrounding the Tucson shootings.
Meanwhile, Dupnik supporters have also planned a rally at the Sheriff’s Office today. “People tend to poo poo this business about all the vitriol that we hear inflaming the American public by people who make a living off of doing that. That may be free speech, but it’s not without consequences,” Dupnik said during a news conference hours after the shootings at a Tucson Safeway on January 8th.
Tucson resident Mary Cuevas agrees with the Sheriff’s words. “I feel that he was coming straight from the heart and that it needed to be heard and that it was the perfect time actually for him to start this debate,” Cuevas said.
Cuevas says she is planning to come support Sheriff Dupnik peacefully and silently. “When I heard that the Tea Partiers were going to protest against Dupnik, and try to have him resign, I’m just against it,” Cuevas said.
Washington Monthly: RIGHT FOCUSES ON DUPNIK…. On Saturday night in Tucson, Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik lamented societal factors — most notably, the toxicity of our political discourse — that he fears may have contributed to the day’s violence.
….It appears many conservatives believed the sheriff was referring to them, and began responding in kind.
…Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) said he didn’t think the sheriff’s words “had any part in a law enforcement briefing.” Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) said he was “disappointed” in the sheriff. Conservative talk show host Neal Boortz said Dupnik was looking for political gain, and Fox News anchor — in an interview with the sheriff — wondered aloud why he would “inject political speculation” into the story.
And that’s really just the start. Dupnik has also drawn fire from Malkin, Red State, one of the Breitbart outlets, and National Review, among others.
It’s not entirely surprising the right wouldn’t care for the sheriff’s concerns, but (a) they hardly seemed excessive, under the circumstances and they weren’t partisan in the slightest; and (b) if conservatives are really concerned about intemperate rhetoric from Arizona sheriffs, Dupnik is hardly Exhibit A.
As John Cole noted, “Oddly enough, I’ve never seen wingnuts react this way to any of Joe Arpaio’s briefings.”
What’s more, as Media Matters noted, conservative outlets have “repeatedly praised a different Arizona sheriff, Paul Babeu, who regularly engages in vitriolic attacks against President Obama and Democrats.”
People For The American Way: Pima County Sheriff Clarence W. Dupnik, the most visible law enforcement official handling the incident thus far, has come under attack from the Right for speaking the truth. He has acknowledged that the Tucson gunman, Jared Loughner, appears to be a deeply disturbed individual. But the sheriff has rightly noted that the increased inflammatory and violent rhetoric over the last several years in our national political debate has created a dangerous climate that could contribute to senseless acts of violence like this one, which claimed the lives of six innocent people and injured 12 more.
Voices on the Right are now accusing him of politicizing the tragedy. How long until Sheriff Dupnik is featured on Glenn Beck’s chalkboard?
It’s important that when someone gets smeared and attacked for telling the truth, we stand up to defend them. If you would like to show your support for Sheriff Dupnik, please take a moment to sign a letter solidarity with him against the increasing smears he is facing from the Right.
Dear Sheriff Dupnik,
Thank you for your forthrightness in your public discussion of the recent tragedy in Tucson. It’s painfully clear that angry, hateful and, yes, violent rhetoric has made toxic our national political discourse. The overheated debate which crosses the boundaries of civility is an important reality to acknowledge in assessing the nature of Saturday’s massacre and potential for future acts of violence.
For telling the hard truths, you risk attack from some powerful people and interests. Please know that I stand in solidarity with you, and reject the wholly undeserved smears and attempts at character assassination which are already starting to bubble up in certain spheres of our political debate.
Sheriff Clarence Dupnik: “The kind of rhetoric that flows from people like Rush Limbaugh, in my judgment he is irresponsible, uses partial information, sometimes wrong information. He attacks people, angers them against government, angers them against elected officials and that kind of behavior in my opinion is not without consequences.”
“I don’t have a problem with heated arguments. As a matter of fact you are kind of getting a little heat out of me now, and it is because I am very angry at what has transpired. Not because it’s Tucson, Arizona, but because of two beautiful people – one almost dead and one assassinated – that were personal friends of mine (Gabrielle Giffords and U.S. District Judge John Roll) and outstanding individuals and public servants.”