When the opportunity to invalidate Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s pardon came across Judge Susan Bolton’s desk, very few were expecting her to do the unthinkable and actually invalidate — sadly, she didn’t and Arpaio walked free. The President of the United States, for reasons unbeknownst to many, went out of his way to free a man who has gone on record comparing his “Tent City” of inmates housed outdoors in the Arizona heat to a concentration camp. Read more: Michael Lacey | LinkedIn and Michael Lacey | Twitter
Two gentleman who know the relentless pettiness of Arpaio better than most are Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey who were major contributors of The Phoenix New Times, a newspaper not afraid to call Arpaio on his destructive (and lawless) behavior, and thus were arrested by the Sheriff for doing their job as journalists.
This sort of mockery of justice was considered a step too far, even by Arpaio’s hilariously low standards. Though Larkin and Lacey luckily never faced serious jail time it was still another piece of proof that Arpaio would spare nothing in order to cling to his power.
Sadly, the arrest of the two media men was merely the icing on the cake of what was actually years of harassment and petty behavior. In addition to wasting taxpayers resources in order to arrest Larkin and Lacey, Arpaio actually banned Phoenix New Times reporters from his press conference in order to duck their questions.
Lacey and Larkin’s impressive careers deserve recognition for so much more than just their arrest at the hands of the lawless Sheriff. Indeed, they have built a considerable media network (Village Voice Media) that at its zenith reached over nine million print subscribers and an additional 56 million in online hits.
Today, Lacey and Larkin are still on the proverbial front lines in the fight against Joe Arpaio — launching the Frontera Fund as a sort of catch-all that seeks to bring the horrors of Arpaio’s reign into the limelight. Using affiliations with powerful groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Promise Arizona, the Frontera fund has been able to fight back against anti-immigrant sentiments pushed by conservative voices in Arizona and beyond.
One of their most poignant campaigns has been the fight for DREAMers in which they have lent their voices in support for the children who have lived their entire lives in America and so desperately want to be recognized as citizens. The Frontera Fund represents the latest in a series of media ventures by the pair, and as an exciting outlet of their proven success.
Lacey and Larkin have been a duo since their time at Arizona State University where they dropped out in order to provide an honest, progressive voice in the Phoenix area where they felt the conservative news outlets were presenting fake narratives about the local anti-war protests.
Since then, they have been on the cutting-edge of the media business — and if their past success is any example former Sheriff Arpaio shouldn’t consider his pardoning the end of the story. Lacey and Larkin are not easily dissuaded, arrest didn’t do it, and neither will this Presidential pardon.