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Arpaio’s millions

I now have a direct quote from Randy Murray, director and executive producer of the new feature documentary, The Joe Show, explaining the cryptic hint I made in my recent article, “’The Joe Show’ reaches the theater.” So here it is:

In the third act of our feature documentary, "The Joe Show," we show a series of events in the lead-up to the 2012 election, including a very entertaining sequence on the Birther issue and its impact on the Sheriff’s reelection efforts.  Without giving away too much, it is clear that the Sheriff’s decision to publicly pursue the legitimacy of President Obama’s birth certificate was designed to generate a major windfall for the campaign.  The Sheriff says, "You’ll get more money than you will know what to do with."  His campaign manager later says, "It has literally meant millions of dollars to his campaign."  While shooting portions of these segments, dollar amounts were casually talked about in my presence, giving me the impression that up to seven million dollars could have been attributed to the fundraising campaign tied to the Birther issue. These scenes add to the powerful "behind the curtain" experience of this film.

Randy Murray, Director, The Joe Show

This estimate is larger than the one from Jake Adams, campaign manager for Arpaio’s opponent in the 2012 election, Paul Penzone. Adams said in a comment here at Obama Conspiracy Theories:

We can beat Joe and his $4 million raised from birthers across the country.

That comment was made in July of 2012 when Arpaio’s reported total fundraising as of May 31 stood at $6.8 million. By the time the general election was over, total receipts by the Arpaio campaign had topped $8.4 million, according to official campaign disclosures.

It would seem to me that for any of these estimates to be possible, there must be some way to tie a particular donation to the birther issue. My question is whether there were any fundraising activities specifically targeting birthers, or promotional material mentioning the birther issue? How would someone go about targeting birthers (beyond advertising on birther web sites)? Are there birther email lists floating around?

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36 Responses to Arpaio’s millions

  1. avatar
    Paul September 6, 2014 at 4:51 pm #

    Joe doesn’t have to “target” them. “Birther Report”, WND and others do that for him.

  2. avatar
    RanTalbott September 6, 2014 at 5:26 pm #

    It’s easy to get a rough measure of motivation: just put different PO box numbers and Paypal IDs on different ads. Not perfect, but I’m sure there’s been research into how often donors answer ad “B” when they were motivated by ad “A”, so they probably know within <10% what's exciting the rubes.

  3. avatar
    bovril September 6, 2014 at 5:44 pm #

    Ahhhhhhhh,

    Various disparate elements suddenly seem to be coming together……

    It is a commercially known fact that WND rents it mailing list to various of the RWNJ entities.

    The WND list, simply by reading their forum commenters, has a VERY high level of birfoons as well as general Obama haters.

    If there is anyone who could convince PornTache to turn over the list de merde to Piehole for partisan reasons for free it would be Jerome the Gnome.

    Corsi was all part of the Klown Kar Posse until as if by magic….

    a) He screwed the pooch with the race code manual debacle
    b) Joey had gotten himself the necessary tool to raise the filthy lucre (supposition)

    Of course this may all be moi making a WAG about the shallow partisanship of the right, WND, Arpaio et-al……..😈

  4. avatar
    Dave September 6, 2014 at 8:09 pm #

    I agree with Paul — the birther media went crazy over this, so Arpaio didn’t have to do anything to get the word around.

    What I find surprising is that there were $7 million to be had. Remember when Taitz was a bit more central to birtherism, and she was trying to raise $20K to cover her sanction? Inferring from things she posted on her blog at the time, it sure seems she never got there. So how is it that Arpaio can get $7M when Taitz couldn’t raise $20K?

  5. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy September 6, 2014 at 8:14 pm #

    I have received some information that the Arpaio campaign did indeed engage in an email blitz, and the topics included stuff about illegal immigration and birtherism.

    One could imagine Arpaio getting right-wing email lists from a number of sources including friendly tea party organizations, rental from WND and others. The Direct Marketing Association has an email list of 183,000 “Republican donors and Conservative givers” that it rents. The approach, as already mentioned, could be to send everything to everybody and see what gets a response (the email response mechanism itself indicating which email it was).

    That all seems very plausible.

    bovril: Various disparate elements suddenly seem to be coming together……

  6. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy September 6, 2014 at 8:25 pm #

    I think most birthers realize that Taitz is a flake. Also Arpaio spent a fortune with professional fundraisers, while Orly just posted on her blog.

    Dave: So how is it that Arpaio can get $7M when Taitz couldn’t raise $20K?

  7. avatar
    Keith September 6, 2014 at 8:30 pm #

    At the time, I speculated that the Arpaio/Birther connection was all about getting access to the $Koch$.

    The brothers and their various dark money surrogates were actively seeking candidates that they could count on to further their slow rolling coup, and were investing heavily in state and local futures options.

    The exercise was (IMHO) simply a case of Joe putting his hand up.

  8. avatar
    Curious George September 6, 2014 at 11:05 pm #

    It’s interesting to see on the first page of the donations report filed by Arpaio’s compaign, only three out of thirty donations came from Arizona. It would be revealing to see how the complete report breaks down in state versus out of state contributions.

  9. avatar
    CarlOrcas September 6, 2014 at 11:06 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: That all seems very plausible.

    Add to that several decades of fund raising and the list that produces, plus endless publicity and the Sheriff has no problem making contact with potential donors.

    Checking out the disclosure form you linked to it appears he has thousands, tens of thousands of donors giving less than $50. Only three are listed as giving more than that and the largest was $350, as I recall.

    The interesting thing to know would be how many are repeat donors and for how long.

  10. avatar
    Bonsall Obot September 7, 2014 at 12:59 am #

    It’s a long read, and may send more curious readers down a rabbit-hole, but Rick Perlstein had a great article in The Baffler a couple years ago about right-wing fundraising mailing lists.

    http://www.thebaffler.com/salvos/the-long-con

    Spoiler alert: right-wing media is much, much more about the grift than about the ideology.

  11. avatar
    ZixiofIx September 7, 2014 at 3:23 am #

    Dave:
    I agree with Paul — the birther media went crazy over this, so Arpaio didn’t have to do anything to get the word around.

    What I find surprising is that there were $7 million to be had. Remember when Taitz was a bit more central to birtherism, and she was trying to raise $20K to cover her sanction? Inferring from things she posted on her blog at the time, it sure seems she never got there. So how is it that Arpaio can get $7M when Taitz couldn’t raise $20K?

    Orly doesn’t manage the birthers herd with the expertise that Arpaio or Zulo does. They hold press conferences in uniform (birthers absolutely adore the appeal to authority. Arpaio calls his “posse” of bumbling bumpkins “investigators” (more authority!). Arpaio & Co., make pronouncements about making pronouncements about “any day now/next month/soon/it’s-a-comin'”. They don’t actually do anything, but they make all sorts of vague promises that make the birther detectives who have OD’ed on one too many Matlock episodes feel as though they’re part of the whole (faux) investigation thing.

    Arpaio does nothing but promises everything, giving the birthers hope.

    Orly, on the other hand, does stuff. She files insane suits and briefs, she gets sanctioned, her cases get thrown out of court. She actually fights her losing battle, racking up one failure after another.

    Arpaio is brilliant. He knows that you can’t fail with birthers if you never do anything. As long as he continues to appeal to the birther’s hatred of the President, he can continue raking in the dough.

  12. avatar
    Curious George September 7, 2014 at 10:09 am #

    The first Joe Arpaio press conference in March of 2012, where it was announced that probable cause had been developed that the Obama birth certificate was a forgery got the attention of Birthers and the press. The campaign fuse for birther dollars had been ignited. The follow up Arpaio press conference in July of 2012, continued to motivate the birther base and the news continued to spread among Birthers and conservative groups. Add to this many years of Arpaio direct marketing expertise and the perfect birther and conservative fund raising storm was created leading to Arpaio’s victory in the November 2012 election. Had there been no Birther controversy for the Arpaio campaign to motivate the conservative base, it’s doubtful Arpaio would have won in November of 2012. The numbers were far too close. Unless the conservative base can be convinced this was nothing but a well planned publicity stunt, Arpaio will run this dog and pony until his 2016 reelection campaign. The good news is the Arpaio “investigation” is losing its public appeal because it really has nowhere to go but Arpaio’s wastebasket. The “Any day ” mantra has lost its allure. It’s time for Arpaio to invent a new publicity gimmick if he wants to win in 2016.

  13. avatar
    Arthur September 7, 2014 at 10:26 am #

    Curious George: The “Any day ” mantra has lost its allure. It’s time for Arpaio to invent a new publicity gimmick if he wants to win in 2016.

    I don’t think so. The “‘Any day’ mantra” has worked for Christianity for nearly 2,000 years. It’s not going anywhere. Whether it’s second comings or fraudulent birth certificates, believers will believe. And donate.

  14. avatar
    Arthur September 7, 2014 at 10:30 am #

    ZixiofIx: Arpaio does nothing but promises everything, giving the birthers hope.

    Orly, on the other hand, does stuff. She files insane suits and briefs, she gets sanctioned, her cases get thrown out of court. She actually fights her losing battle, racking up one failure after another.

    Arpaio is brilliant. He knows that you can’t fail with birthers if you never do anything. As long as he continues to appeal to the birther’s hatred of the President, he can continue raking in the dough.

    Insightful analysis. Another difference between them: Orly actually believes in birtherism, while Arpaio only uses it as a tool.

  15. avatar
    Curious George September 7, 2014 at 10:39 am #

    Arthur
    “Insightful analysis. Another difference between them: Orly actually believes in birtherism, while Arpaio only uses it as a tool.”

    It’s just one of many tools in his tool chest.

  16. avatar
    RanTalbott September 7, 2014 at 9:01 pm #

    Curious George: It’s time for Arpaio to invent a new publicity gimmick if he wants to win in 2016.

    If he wants to “win” in 2016, what he’ll do is retire. And I believe he will.

    It seems nearly impossible that anything will happen in the next 2 years that will reverse his slide in popularity to the point where he could get re-elected. Even something like busting a RWNJ plot to overthrow the state government probably wouldn’t do it, unless the public believed it was big enough to do a lot of harm before it failed. The bad taste of all the successful lawsuits resulting from his actions will fade little, if at all. So it’s likely he’ll be even less popular locally than he is now.

    Retirement would let him turn his substantial campaign fund into one that supported other activities, like a PAC, or subsidizing his appearances on the rubber chicken circuit so he could beat out competing speakers who _need_ the fees and expenses to show up.

    Around the time he’d have to file for re-election, he’ll announce that his doctors have advised him that he needs to give up the day-to-day stress of running the MCSO, but he plans to Continue the Fight™ as a “civilian”.

  17. avatar
    Curious George September 7, 2014 at 9:37 pm #

    RanTalbott

    “If he wants to “win” in 2016, what he’ll do is retire. And I believe he will.”

    I agree that it would be his best move. But, more teases about running for governor and also being under attack by his enemies will be dramatized to raise more “critically” needed funds. If his popularity continues to slide and it becomes generally accepted by the faithful that his birther investigation was simply a publicity gimmick to raise funds and to motivate the vote, his best option would be to retire. He won’t win in 2016.

  18. avatar
    CarlOrcas September 7, 2014 at 9:59 pm #

    RanTalbott: Around the time he’d have to file for re-election, he’ll announce that his doctors have advised him that he needs to give up the day-to-day stress of running the MCSO, but he plans to Continue the Fight™ as a “civilian”.

    Maybe he and Zullo will go together on a gourmet taco truck. They’re very big in Phoenix these days.

  19. avatar
    The Magic M (not logged in) September 8, 2014 at 5:02 am #

    Arthur: The “‘Any day’ mantra” has worked for Christianity for nearly 2,000 years. It’s not going anywhere. Whether it’s second comings

    Slight difference, because neither does Christianity hinge upon the Second Coming alone, nor does it promise it will come any time soon (though it seems the most conservative believers have always thought they were “living in the end times”).

    Birtherism, OTOH, thrives upon giving people hope the scary black guy will be out soon (which has the obvious consequence that birtherism loses more and more appeal the less days in office Obama has left).

    The generic right-wing meme of “Democratic President = Satan incarnate” has already been shifting towards Hillary. In the beginning, birtherism said “if we allow Obama to stay in office, America is doomed”. Then it became “if Obama gets a second term, America is doomed”. Now it’s already “if Hillary wins, America is doomed”. Boy are those ebil libruls incompetent at dooming America quickly!

    Christianity essentially is still based mostly on fear and promise w.r.t. the afterlife (“if you do as we say, you’ll get eternal bliss; if not, eternal damnation”), not with promises tied to the living years, let alone “any day now”.

  20. avatar
    alg September 8, 2014 at 8:37 am #

    The “birther” meme may have worked for Sheriff Joe in 2012 when both he and Obama were running for re-election. But it won’t offer the same magic in 2016 should he choose to run again. For one thing he’s going to have to explain to his base why, after four years, Obama is still in the White House. For another, it will be Obama’s final year in office and birtherism will have become a tired old dog.

    If he does run, he’s going to have to come up with a new schtick.

  21. avatar
    mrheuss September 8, 2014 at 9:59 am #

    If it hadn’t been birtherism, Arapio would’ve done something else to get the conservative base riled up and money flowing in. The fact it was a birther investigation was meaningless, anything that would have generated headlines in the conservative world would have been sufficient. The man is a demagogue.

    The idea that Arapio will have to explain why the investigation didn’t bear fruit doesn’t ring true with me. He just needs to roll out another sensation and money around the nation will continue to roll in.

  22. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy September 8, 2014 at 11:12 am #

    I personally am a little skeptical about the large numbers attributed to birther fundraising because I know that much of what Arpaio did was focuses on immigration rather than birtherism.

    mrheuss: If it hadn’t been birtherism, Arapio would’ve done something else to get the conservative base riled up and money flowing in

  23. avatar
    Andrew Vrba, PmG September 8, 2014 at 11:43 am #

    alg:
    The “birther” meme may have worked for Sheriff Joe in 2012 when both he and Obama were running for re-election.But it won’t offer the same magic in 2016 should he choose to run again.For one thing he’s going to have to explain to his base why, after four years, Obama is still in the White House.For another, it will be Obama’s final year in office and birtherism will have become a tired old dog.

    If he does run, he’s going to have to come up with a new schtick.

    If he lives that long. Joe ain’t a spring chicken. I think that’s what his opposition should play on.

  24. avatar
    Bovril September 8, 2014 at 12:05 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    I personally am a little skeptical about the large numbers attributed to birther fundraising because I know that much of what Arpaio did was focuses on immigration rather than birtherism.

    I feel the real point is that Birfing is the convenient hook for those of the RWNJ, frothing at the mouth tendency to use as opposed to just being open about their arrant hatred of the other colored.

    If you’re a “real” birther you KNOW that Obama is also stupid/cunning/drugged/Machiavellian, a closet homosexual and drug user, married to a transexual, secret molem/communist/fascist who hates and is destroying America by stealing their firearms and promoting on demand mandatory abortion for all conservatives AND is brown to boot and doesn’t know his real place so is going to legalise meeleeons and meeleons of other illegal brown hued folks who will violate the purity of Reel ‘Murica……….

    So using a birther tendency email list and throwing in some of the above read meat as what Oler Joe is agi’n will garner a sh*t load of small sized donations from around the country

  25. avatar
    Benji Franklin September 8, 2014 at 12:45 pm #

    mrheuss: The idea that Arapio will have to explain why the investigation didn’t bear fruit doesn’t ring true with me.

    Share If Our Pie Hole knows that the hapless Birthers could be scammed before AND after the sham investigation had run its failing course, by appealing to the core Birther meme, that the full government and press conspiracy just made individual honest attempts to investigate and prosecute Obama impossible. “Sorry. I tried my best.”

    There will be no explanation from Joe or Zoo Low, beyond that.

    But I believe Karl Gall Oops! and Mike Violin over at Brrrrrrrrrrrrr would react very differently to a private confession from Our Pie Hole and Zoo Low, informing them to back away because the fund-raising was over and there never was a real Cold Case Posse investigation of Obama going on.

    Karl Gall Oops! has an ongoing public image interest in continuing his other role as gatherer of donations from superstitious people in the realm of invented Gods and how such deities can be befriended. He might well throw the CCP boys under the bus and claim he was lied to by them.

    Not so with Mike Violin. He’d be like the Art Collector who has been sold a forgery, told it was a forgery afterwards by the seller, and can’t bring himself to accuse the seller in public because it would make him look so stupid for being fooled by that seller’s scam. After letting Our Pie Hole and Zoo Low bend him over and use him in the most open and trusting way, as their private redundantly rewrapping daily anti-B Obama megaphone, he couldn’t stand admitting that he was a laughingstock to us AND to THEM!

    No, even though Zoo Low and Our Pie Hole are the one’s who bent Mike Violin over to ravage his reputation in public, it’s still Mike Violin who’s ALL IN!

  26. avatar
    roadburner September 8, 2014 at 6:05 pm #

    Andrew Vrba, PmG: If he lives that long. Joe ain’t a spring chicken. I think that’s what his opposition should play on.

    I just hope he lives long enough to end up wearing pink underwear.

  27. avatar
    Andrew Vrba, PmG September 8, 2014 at 7:16 pm #

    roadburner: I just hope he lives long enough to end up wearing pink underwear.

    When old age catches up with him, maybe someone will get the last laugh and bury him with some. Of course Obama will be blamed when the old guy finally kicks the bucket. After all the grim reaper is a liberal, and in cahoots with Obama, don’cha know! 😉

  28. avatar
    Bob September 9, 2014 at 2:33 pm #

    OT:
    Beware: Orly has started publishing the email addresses of commenters who disagree with her:

    http://www.orlytaitzesq.com/breaking-cdc-confirms-possible-ebola-case-at-miami-hospital/#comments

  29. avatar
    roadburner September 9, 2014 at 4:39 pm #

    Bob:
    OT:
    Beware:Orly has started publishing the email addresses of commenters who disagree with her:

    http://www.orlytaitzesq.com/breaking-cdc-confirms-possible-ebola-case-at-miami-hospital/#comments

    oh doesn’t this have sooo many possibilities for mischief!

  30. avatar
    BillTheCat September 9, 2014 at 5:11 pm #

    Bob:
    OT:
    Beware:Orly has started publishing the email addresses of commenters who disagree with her:

    http://www.orlytaitzesq.com/breaking-cdc-confirms-possible-ebola-case-at-miami-hospital/#comments

    People actually leave real email addresses at her site? o.O

  31. avatar
    gorefan September 9, 2014 at 6:12 pm #

    Bob:
    OT:
    Beware:Orly has started publishing the email addresses of commenters who disagree with her:

    http://www.orlytaitzesq.com/breaking-cdc-confirms-possible-ebola-case-at-miami-hospital/#comments

    Would that violate her TOS?

  32. avatar
    CarlOrcas September 9, 2014 at 7:30 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    I personally am a little skeptical about the large numbers attributed to birther fundraising because I know that much of what Arpaio did was focuses on immigration rather than birtherism.

    I think you’re right on this.

  33. avatar
    Curious George September 9, 2014 at 7:46 pm #

    I think WND concentrated on the birth certificate investigation promotion while Arpaio’s campaign focused on immigration. I think it would be difficult to determine exactly what motivated people to donate. However, both campaigns contributed to Arpaio’s victory, IMHO.

  34. avatar
    RanTalbott September 9, 2014 at 8:08 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: I personally am a little skeptical about the large numbers attributed to birther fundraising

    Well, there’s an easy way to get an estimate for the minimum:
    1. Take the amount of money they spent on his 2008 campaign. That’s what “[they]’ll know what to do with”.
    2. Add a dollar.

    (Hey, don’t blame me: he’s the one who came up with it 😉 )

  35. avatar
    The Magic M September 10, 2014 at 5:56 am #

    Benji Franklin: Not so with Mike Violin. He’d be like the Art Collector

    The Collector: “Have you brought me the Infinity Birth Certificate?”
    Zul Lord: “Yes.”
    Racist Raccoon: “Who the heck is this guy?”
    Gamora Corsi: “Let’s head to Kenya!”
    Gallups: “I AM GLOOPS!”

  36. avatar
    bgansel9 September 12, 2014 at 4:05 pm #

    Dave: What I find surprising is that there were $7 million to be had. Remember when Taitz was a bit more central to birtherism, and she was trying to raise $20K to cover her sanction? Inferring from things she posted on her blog at the time, it sure seems she never got there. So how is it that Arpaio can get $7M when Taitz couldn’t raise $20K?

    Because States Rights crazed Birthers were under the impression a county sheriff had the correct credentials to get Obama removed from office with one signature on a piece of paper. Bwahahahahahaha! I find it absolutely delicious that they spent all this money to re-elect a county sheriff in a county many of them will never set foot in and Obama is still in office. That was seven million dollars that they didn’t donate to more important campaigns.