The fundraising email sent out today by his former campaign manager Chad Willems over Arpaio's signature (published below) repeats his invective that President Obama's Justice Department - combined with the millions spent by George Soros - was responsible for his re-election loss last fall. He says he is forming the JAAF to "build an organization that promotes a conservative agenda, helps conservative ideas become law and help those conservatives win office." The IRS defines "social welfare" as "promoting in some way the common good and general welfare of the people of the community".
The former Sheriff - who is staring at an impending trial in his criminal contempt case - is not on the Board of Directors of his new social welfare organization. That honor falls to Chris Hegstrom (his last Communications Director when he was the Sheriff), Charles Edwards and Tempe mortgage broker Dan Wickner.
Today's fundraising plea comes two weeks after one from Arpaio - for his equally opaque legal defense fund - admitting that he can no longer afford to pay his high-priced attorneys in his criminal contempt proceedings. Sheriff Joe put out the February 28 emergency plea to his many thousands of contributors in an email.
"Today is the last day of February and my legal bills for the month are due. Thanks to the help of caring and patriotic Americans like you I have been able to pay of (sic) much of my debt, but I am still $2,500 short."This IS, in fact, "urgent" as Arpaio is facing an April 25th trial in the criminal contempt case brought against him by the (Obama) Department of Justice, and there has not yet been any sign that new Attorney General Jeff Sessions is backing away from the case.
Of course, Arpaio has nearly $600,000 left in his campaign account ($587,271.60 as of December 31, 2016). However, by state law, that money cannot be converted to personal use.
Arizona's Politics has asked Arpaio's Chad Willems for more information on both the new 501(c)(4) and the legal defense fund, and will update as merited.
You were such a tremendous supporter of mine through the years while I was Sheriff of Maricopa County. I cannot tell you how much your support meant to me and my wife Ava through so many difficult times.
Unfortunately, last November I lost my battle for re-election. It wasn't because I lacked the support of so many great patriots like you.
Rather, I was the victim of a perfect storm comprised of a national and local media that was hell-bent on distorting my record, maligning me personally and not telling the whole truth.
On top of that, none other than the far-left George Soros spent nearly $4 million in attack ads against me that were nasty, vicious, and deceptive.
And on top of that the Obama Justice Department, in a pure political move, announced they were filing criminal contempt of court charges against me the day before critical early voting started here in Arizona. Finally, with two weeks to go before the election, they formally filed charges against me.
The actions by the Obama Justice Department were completely politically motivated. Their rush to file a misdemeanor charge against me so close to the election was politically calculated in order to cause my campaign for re-election the most harm.
This was the same Justice Department that let so many of their own off the hook.
Think about this: Hillary Clinton "allegedly" jeopardized national security and destroyed evidence; Lois Lerner as head of the IRS violated the civil rights of thousands of citizens; Eric Holder was held in contempt of Congress; and none of them faced any consequences.
Thus, I was defeated at the ballot box - all because of my unwavering support for enforcing illegal immigration laws - and being so outspoken about the federal government's failure to do their job.
But, as I have said to you time and time again, I never back down from a fight and I never surrender. And I'm not about to now. While I may no longer be the Sheriff, I still believe in order for our Republic to stand, we must enforce the Rule of Law.
So I'm going to continue to fight for the shared conservative values we hold so dear. After serving 55 years in law enforcement as a top director of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, including 24 years as an elected Sheriff, I'll be fighting for our values as a private citizen.
Recently, I formed the "Sheriff Joe Arpaio Action Fund" which I will use to counter the likes of George Soros who use their billions to influence public policy and elections. I learned a lot of lessons during my last campaign, but chief among them is that we can never idly sit by and get comfortable. Our cause must be vigilant, ever-ready to counter the progressive left's lies and deceit.
Obviously, I am not a billionaire who can write a personal check to buy elections across this country (like Soros!). But what I can do is reach out to loyal supporters like you and ask for your help. Together we can build an organization that promotes a conservative agenda, helps conservative ideas become law and help those conservatives win office.
So many of you have reached out to me since the election with heart-felt words of encouragement and support and asked what else they could do to help.
I'm asking for your support now. I know that if we work together we can build an organization that will strike fear into the heart of the progressive left movement and serve as a vehicle to move a conservative agenda forward.
Please don't skip over this email. Please make a contribution today to the Sheriff Joe Arpaio Action Fund. We can and will do great things together, but I need you on board today to get this organization rolling. The mid-term elections will be here before we know it. The radical left in this country is more energized than ever before to defeat President Trump's agenda. We simply cannot go to sleep on this. It's critical we all stay engaged and continue pushing for what we know is right.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. I'm excited about this new chapter in my life and I'll never stop doing what I know is right.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio
Maricopa County, Arizona (retired)
P.S. Please don't delete this email. Your support for the Sheriff Joe Arpaio Action Fund today is critical if we are going to counter the progressive left's efforts to demonize President Trump and conservatism as a whole. If we don't stand up and fight, who else will?
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