Paul Babeu, Arizona Sheriff, Allegedly Threatened Gay Mexican Ex-Lover With Deportation (VIDEO)
One of Arizona's rising Republican stars is facing allegations he threatened to deport a Mexican resident who claims to have been his gay ex-lover.
The Phoenix New Times is reporting that Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, who has become one of the faces of the anti-illegal immigration fight in Arizona and nationwide, threatened a 34-year-old man identified only as Jose with deportation if he disclosed details of their years-long affair. Jose had previously been asked to sign paperwork that he would never breathe a word about the affair.
According to Jose's immigration attorney, Babeu's lawyer falsely claimed the central Mexico resident's visa paperwork had expired. "He did come in and retain me late last year based on threats and intimidation, and he wanted an attorney to help protect him,'' Melissa Weiss-Riner told the Arizona Republic.
The New Times and local Fox News affiliate KSAZ also published photos which appear to be of a barechested Babeu, which had been uploaded to a profile allegedly belonging to the sheriff on the gay dating website Adam4Adam.com.
Though he acknowledged Jose was a volunteer who helped on his first campaign for sheriff in 2008, Babeu -- who is currently running for Congress in his home state -- declined to respond to questions about whether the pair had a romantic relationship, saying he would not discuss his personal life, according to the Arizona Republic. When pressed for a comment by KSAZ, Babeu's attorney nonetheless slammed the allegations against his client: "He believes he'll be judged by his record as a 20-year veteran of the United States Armed Forces, police officer who has saved two lives in the line of duty and responded to thousands of emergencies, and Iraq war veteran."
Babeu subsequently released a statement, noting, "The allegations referred to an incident that occurred on Sept. 6, 2011, when the campaign’s website, Twitter account, and online financial transaction system were illegally hacked...a cease and desist letter was sent to the suspected perpetrator who promptly returned access to the campaign. We strongly deny the sensationalist headline published by the Phoenix New Times."
UPDATE: Talking Points Memo reports Babeu is now stepping down from his role as Arizona co-chair of the Mitt Romney for President campaign. A Romney spokesperson told TPM, "Sheriff Babeu has stepped down from his volunteer position with the campaign so he can focus on the allegations against him. We support his decision."
Check out some other gay political scandals below:
James Dale Guckert, aka Jeff Gannon, is a conservative reporter who was given access to White House briefings from 2003 to 2005. He was accused of tossing softball questions to President Bush and then accused of involvement with gay pornography and gay prostitution.
Ted Haggard's career as the President of the National Association of Evangelicals came to an end in 2006 when it was discovered that he had a relationship with a male prostitute.
From 1995 until 2006, Foley represented the 16th District of Florida as a member of the Republican Party. He resigned from Congress in 2006 after former and current male pages claimed he had sent them sexually explicit emails and instant messages.
In 2007 Senator Larry Craig (R-ID) was arrested for trying to solicit sex from an undercover police officier in a public bathroom at the Minneapolis airport.
Shortly after Sanchez received the first "Jeane Kirkpatrick Academic Freedom Award" at the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2007, it was revealed he had performed in gay pornography using the names Pierre LaBranche and Rod Majors.
Allen served as a Republican member of the Florida House of Representatives from 2000 to 2007. In 2007 he was arrested for offering $20 for the opportunity to perform fellatio on an undercover policeman in the restroom of a public park. Allen claimed that he only made the offer because he was fearful of the black police officer. He was convicted and resigned from the Florida House of Representatives.
During his service as a California State Senator from 2002 to 2010, Ashburn voted against gay rights legislation on numerous occasions. But in 2010 he was arrested for drunk driving after allegedly leaving a gay bar with an unidentified male passenger. Ashburn subsequently came out.
George Alan Rekers
Rekers was an officer and scientific advisor of the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), a group that provides conversion therapy to gay people looking to become straight. In 2010 he hired a male escort from RentBoy.com to accompany him on vacation because he supposedly had a bad back and the escort was only there to "lift his luggage." The escort claims he gave Rekers "sexual massages" while on the trip and Rekers was forced to resign from NARTH.
Rep Hinkle (R-IN) allegedly solicited a "really good time" from an 18-year-old man on Craigslist. Though many called for his resignation, he refused to step down saying he only made "mistakes of judgement."
Arango served as a member of the Senate of Puerto Rico from January 2005 until August 2011 when he was accused of sharing nude photos of himself on Grindr.
The Religious Right And Gay Sex Scandals
Author Max Blumental discusses the religious right and gay sex scandals.