President Donald Trump’s first official pardon of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, is shaping up to be just as controversial as everything else he’s done so far.
The former Sheriff is nationally known for his stance on illegal immigration and the questionable tactics he used to enforce it. None to popular with the left side of the house, as well as the Latino community in Arizona, President Trump definitely did not get any brownie points with his pardon. Read more: Michael Lacey | Crunchbase and Jim Larkin | Crunchbase
But that pardon, coupled with Arpaio’s Senate run and the 2018 launch of Front Page Confidential by veteran newsman Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, are setting the stage for an interesting little show. The newsmen and Arpaio are famously known for a long-standing feud, one that cost Arpaio his legacy and the landed the newsmen in jail. So will the feud now continue that Arpaio is free and aiming for the Senate?
Michael Lacey began his career in alternative news back in 1970. He launched Phoenix New Times, a independent news weekly advocating for free speech and the first amendment. Within a year Jim Larkin had joined and used his business savvy to establish New Times as a self-sustaining business.
The two would go on to find much success, eventually ending up as executive editor and CEO of Village Voice Media, the multi-million dollar conglomerate they started in the mid-80’s. Containing seventeen weeklies the conglomerate stretched from sea to shining sea, granting them perfect national coverage of Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s controversial turn on immigration.
At first there was not much of a feud. The newsmen building their business, and Arpaio was establishing himself as, “America’s Toughest Sheriff”. It was only until his treatment of the Latino community over immigration grabbed media attention that Lacey and Larkin would put Arpaio in their sites.
Seeing Arpaio’s tactics as against the constitution Lacey and Larkin started a smear campaign against Arpaio. They became his won private Woodward and Bernstein and their coverage gained national attention. Arpaio became angry and began investigating the Phoenix New Times. After the duo printed a confidential subpoena Arpaio had them arrested.
Since then Lacey and Larkin gained a $3.75 million dollar payout from their wrongful arrest case. They uses the money to finance the Frontera Fund which allocates money from the payout to help migrant rights groups in AZ.
It fights back against Apraio’s rhetoric and stands up for human rights. Their new website Frontera Fund has a whole section devoted to Arpaio. So the answer to the aforementioned question is resoundingly yes.