Arizona Republican Sheriff And Congressional Candidate Paul Babeu Dragged Out Of The Closet
Pinal County Arizona Sheriff Paul Babeu has a reputation as a hard man-- especially hard on immigrants. Some people have claimed he's a sadist who takes delight in splitting up families and gratuitously ruining people's lives. Last week the 43 year old Babeu, now a far right Republican candidate for Congress, was the toast of CPAC. They love hard men there.
Today Mitt Romney's campaign booted Babeu from his position as a Romney for President Arizona co-chairman, reminiscent of the move his 2008 campaign did when Romney for President Idaho co-chair Larry Craig was arrested in a public toilet trying to have sex with a young-looking police undercover agent. Closeted gay Republican flock to Romney for some reason I'll never understand.
Another Romney surrogate dumped as fast as Larry Craig & Michael "Mikey Suits" Grimm
It turns out that Babeu wasn't just another garden variety, run of the mill Republican closet queen. The anti-immigrant fanatic had a long-time lover named Jose. And it gets much worse. The story was broken by a respected Arizona veteran journalist Monica Alonzo. Babeu threatened his Mexican ex-lover with deportation when the man refused to promise never to disclose their years-long relationship.
The latest of the alleged threats were made through Babeu's personal attorney, who's also running the sheriff's campaign for Congress in District 4, the ex-lover says.
He says lawyer Chris DeRose demanded he sign an agreement that he would never breathe a word about the affair. But Jose (New Times is withholding his last name because Babeu and his attorney have challenged his legal status) refused.
The 34-year-old from central Mexico charges that the sheriff's lawyer warned against mentioning the affair with Babeu. DeRose said gossip about Babeu would focus attention on Jose, attention that could result in his deportation, Jose says.
Melissa Weiss-Riner, Jose's attorney, confirms her client's account.
She says she spoke directly to the sheriff's lawyer, DeRose, about the Babeu camp's threats that Jose could be deported if he "revealed the relationship." She says DeRose falsely claimed that Jose's visa had expired.
"Jose came to our firm because he felt he was being intimidated, and he was in fear for his life," Weiss-Riner says. "He wanted his legal rights protected."
Babeu didn't respond to requests for comment by publication time for this article, but his attorney, DeRose, says the dispute between Jose and the sheriff concerned Jose's work on Babeu's websites. He says Jose was a former volunteer who hacked into a campaign website.
DeRose didn't immediately address the other claims against him and the sheriff, except to say, "I never threatened to deport anybody" and that "[Babeu's] not threatening anybody."
... Jose says he met Babeu in October 2006 on gay.com, a dating website. What started with an online invitation from Babeu for the two to get together, he says, turned into not only a personal relationship but a professional one.
Jose says he created and maintained Babeu's campaign websites, his Facebook page, and his Twitter account. Babeu didn't pay him for his online services, he claims.
Jose says Babeu told him that he loved him and was with him exclusively. But Jose suspected Babeu was lying. The relationship soured, and Jose believes that Babeu sent DeRose after him. He says DeRose demanded the passwords to Babeu's websites and social-media accounts. Jose says he complied but that Babeu and his attorney also wanted Jose to sign a document that would bind him legally to keep silent about the relationship.
Jose admits that he lashed out on news websites featuring stories about Babeu. He says he commented anonymously that the sheriff was not who people thought he was. He says he once wrote a comment on Chino Valley eNews that Babeu had an account on adam4adam.com, where gay men arrange sexual liaisons.
Jose shared text messages between him and Babeu with New Times. A September 4, 2011, text from the sheriff reads: "You can never have business after this and you will harm me and many others in the process . . . including yourself & your family."
A couple of minutes later, Babeu followed with: "And you say you have loved me? Papi... this is no good."
Meanwhile, Babeu, a former boarding school headmaster who claims he was repeatedly molested as a child by a Catholic priest, is still deluding himself that he can continue running for Congress against GOP incumbent Paul Gosar. That should be over by Monday. Babeu's press conference a couple hours ago is stunning. He admitted he's gay and tried painting himself as a victim, although he did acknowledge the relationship between himself and Jose.