A Politico Magazine feature on the self-described "American Sheriff" in Pinal County, Arizona, Mark Lamb, trashes the bold new policing movement in America that rejects Democrats' lack of enforcement of border policies, federal government overreach of vaccine and mask mandates, and anti-Trump efforts to steer clear of seeking election integrity.
"Charismatic and ambitious, Mark Lamb embodies a new kind of Trump-era lawman," the Politico feature's subheadline reads before it conducted a hit piece on Lamb's politics, support for former President Donald Trump, appearances on Newsmax, and seeking of election integrity in the controversial battleground state of Arizona.
The headline read: "He Calls Himself the 'American Sheriff.' Whose Law Is He Following?"
Lamb's answer in the story is "the Constitution," but the "social justice" activist writer made that seem un-American and inappropriate, calling him a "vigilante resister" and "militant."
"With an action figure-style charisma and a growing media platform, Lamb sees it as his mission to educate the American public about the role of the sheriff, which he described to me as to protect people from 'the bad guys, and I always say the sheriff is also there to protect the people from government overreach,'" wrote Politico's Jessica Pishko, admittedly "very critical of sheriffs."
Pishko is currently writing a book on policing in the age of defund-the-police movements.
"As much as he glorifies law enforcement, though, Lamb is selective about which laws he chooses to enforce. He takes a hardline approach on immigration, for example, but when it comes to the government telling people to get vaccinated — or declaring the 2020 election legitimate — he fashions himself as more of a vigilante resister, with a heavy dose of anti-government, sometimes militant rhetoric."
Pishko also bashes Lamb for appearing on Newsmax to object to the Biden administration's mishandling of immigration.
"Since taking office in 2017, Lamb has become the face of a new online streaming service called the American Sheriff Network and of a nonprofit coalition of sheriffs called Protect America Now; he also founded a charity, the American Sheriff Foundation," she wrote.
"Lamb is a frequent talking head on Fox News and Newsmax, where he derides President Joe Biden's and Vice President Kamala Harris' handling of immigration, and he has spoken at political events like a Turning Point Action summit a few months ago in Phoenix, where he quoted Shakespeare and Thomas Paine ('Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered') and promised, 'The sheriffs are going to hold the line.'"
Pishko also wrote about Lamb supporting "stop the steal" campaigns in Arizona, having sympathy for extended incarceration of Jan. 6 Capitol trespassers, and having called vaccine mandates "garbage."
She also noted, amid Black Live Matter riots, arson, looting, and vandalism last summer, Lamb "formed a local civilian 'posse' to assist his office with law enforcement, even though there were no such protests in Pinal County."
She did not write whether those violent protests were mitigated by the existence of Lamb's "posse" keeping the county safe from crime and criminals — only noting protests did not happen.
"Lamb's advocacy follows in the tradition of 'constitutional sheriffs,' who for decades have propagated the idea — refuted by constitutional experts — that sheriffs are the supreme legal authority in America, above even the president and the Supreme Court, and that they can choose not to enforce any law they consider unconstitutional," she wrote, calling constitutional sheriffs white nationalists and supporters of anti-Semitism.
"Former sheriffs Joe Arpaio and David Clarke, along with an estimated 138 currently serving sheriffs, are self-declared adherents of the philosophy, which evolved out of the white nationalist, anti-Semitic movement known as 'posse comitatus,' meaning the 'power of the county.'"
Lamb, she admits, does not call himself a constitutional sheriff, although he can "appreciate those guys standing up for the rule of law, the Constitution and freedom."
Lamb ran unopposed and won 97% of the vote, but Pishko found detractors.
"Some locals here say he is focused more on playing a sheriff in the national spotlight than serving his constituents," she wrote.
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