Two of the siblings of Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu believe their brother is unfit to be a member of the United States Congress and have endorsed one of his rivals for the GOP primary in the First Congressional District of the Arizona, which will be decided on August 30.
In separate statements released recently by Republican Hope Wendy roger, Lucy Babeu and Veronica Keating, supported Rogers, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, rather than their brother in the GOP battle for CD1.
A longtime critic of her brother, Lucy, 54, has been cited in a press release of July 7 of Camp Rogers as stating that the sheriff did not live up to the principles of “God, country and family,” adding: “The decisions my brother Paul has made throughout his life are not the work of of someone who represents the values of our congressional district, state or country. “
The press release carried the cheeky headline, “Babeu Endorses Rogers in Arizona CD1”.
A few days later, Keating joined the fray. Rogers’ campaign quotes Keating, who at 49 is two years older than Paul, saying the following:
“I admire my sister Lucy for coming out against our brother – to finally stand up to him. Paul only thinks about himself and his political career to the detriment of others. He doesn’t care about the people he lacks. ‘The elect are called. to serve. As brothers and sisters, Lucy and I know firsthand how unfit he is to serve. The people of Arizona should know that too. “
Both sisters hailed Rogers as the right choice for CD1, a sprawling district that encompasses most of northern and northeastern Arizona and extends south enough to include a tiny portion of Pima County.
Lucy called Rogers “a person of immense character who has served our country honorably,” while Keating reportedly said she was “very proud” to join her sister in endorsing Rogers.
Babeu spokesman Barrett Marson, who also defends the pro-pot initiative which is expected to be on the ballot in November, told the Casa Grande Dispatch that Rogers’ press release announcing Lucy Babeu’s endorsement smacks of “desperation,” and she called Lucy a “the sheriff’s troubled sister.” New times asked for a response from Marson on Keating’s approval but has so far received no response.
Reached by phone, Keating said New times that an important factor in her decision to support Rogers was the candidate’s willingness to publicly appeal to her brother on his record as principal and executive director of DeSisto School for Distressed Adolescents from 1999 to 2001.
The Massachusetts boarding school closed in 2004 after a state investigation uncovered a host of abusive practices, including strip searches, forced labor and disciplinary action that included a practice called “cornering,” in which the students were forced to sit in a corner for months at a time.
Babeu has tried to distance himself from school abuse in the past, but in January, ABC 15 released a video of the Babeu family from 1999, in which Babeu describes in detail DeSisto’s abusive practices, arguing that they were necessary for student reform.
“[The students] need to feel desperate, ”Babeu says in the footage ABC 15 got from Lucy. “[They need to feel] depression and complete failure. … They have to hit rock bottom and then be able to get out of it. “
Citing the broadcast of the video, Rogers lambasted Babeu at a candidates’ forum in February for his recklessness towards DeSisto students.
“I’m a mother,” Rogers says in a forum video obtained by New times. “It could have been my kid in this school. I think we need to know, if we send someone to Congress, what the accountability and integrity issues are here.”
Keating said she was delighted with Rogers’ willingness to criticize her brother, whom she considers a charlatan.
“Oh yeah, I saw it,” Keating said New times of Rogers’ attack on Babeu. “And I loved it.”
Keating last spoke with New times earlier this year, when the Pinal County resident discussed her brother’s current life relationship with Israel Chabarria, a young man 25 years her younger than Babeu apparently started dating about a year after Chabarria had graduated from high school.
Then as now, Keating says Camp Babeu’s attacks on her sister as being mentally ill are a way to deflect Lucy’s claims.
“They’re just scared of Lucy because she knows too much,” Keating said. New times in this interview. “That’s why they say she’s crazy.”
In conversations with New times, Lucy admitted that she was suffering from seizures, which she said resulted from the physical abuse she suffered in her parents’ home. But that doesn’t mean her claims aren’t accurate, she insists. She points to the video she gave to ABC 15 as boosting her credibility.
“I paid the price for telling the truth about Paul,” she said New times. “Calling me by names isn’t going to silence me.”
Lucy has long been a thorn in her brother’s side. In 2012, she alleged the sheriff had an inappropriate relationship with a DeSisto student, claiming that she overheard the two together at Paul’s house in North Adams, Massachusetts, in 2001.
Babeu has denied his sister’s accusation and provided the media with an undated and un-notarized statement from the former DeSisto student in question, Joshua Geyer, saying that no inappropriate relationship had taken place.
Former New times Journalist Monica Alonzo examined these allegations in 2012, in addition to her explosive story revealing that the sheriff and his lawyer allegedly threatened Babeu’s ex-boyfriend, a Mexican national, with deportation if the boyfriend did not keep the silence on their relationship and that of Sheriff Babeu then – closed sexuality.
Babeu and his lawyer both deny threatening Babeu’s ex.
The scandal shattered Babeu’s congressional ambitions at the time, forcing him to step down from the GOP primary in the Fourth Congressional District and run for re-election as Pinal County sheriff. Babeu was successful in this re-election effort and tried to put the case behind him, with mixed results.
For example, many still remember Babeu’s half-naked selfies that New times made public at that point, the one that appeared on Babeu’s profile on the X rated gay pickup site Adam4Adam.com, the other a smiling photo of Babeu in his underwear to which he sent a potential hookup.
As the primary nears the start of advance mail voting on August 3, these photos and other embarrassing details of the scandal are expected to be used against Babeu by an independent spending or “black money” group, if not directly by one of the other campaigns.
Babeu, Keating and Lucy are part of a brood of 11 children, the offspring of Ray and Helen Babeu, from North Adams, who are now deceased. Not all siblings share Lucy’s and Veronica’s hostility towards their sheriff brother.
According to Babeu’s latest campaign fundraising records with the Federal Election Commission, five Babeu siblings contributed to his congressional campaign, including his younger brother Shaun, a Pinal County justice of the peace and close confidant of the sheriff.
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