Friday, September 26, 2014

Bear(up) With Me

Tom's Dirty Laundry (Maricopa Monitor)
Like many of you, I know very little about Tom Bearup, Mike Navarre's opponent in the upcoming Kenai Borough's mayoral race.  A quick little search on the internet was revealing.

The most interesting thing was that Tom served as the right-hand man of Sheriff  Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona.  Yes, THAT Joe Arpaio, the sheriff of posse fame that targets brownskin individuals, that has been investigated for corruption, that has had prisoners die in his custody and etc. Tom was instrumental in building up the reputation of Arpaio, but then there was a falling out between the two men, Bearup apparently couldn't take the various abuses that Arpaio had alledgedly committed. Tom ran for Sheriff  against Arpaio and was spanked by Joe. Curiously, Tom was endorsed by the Arizona Tea Party, but to no avail.  You can read more about the dealing between Bearup and Arpaio  here, here, and here. There's an interview with Tom about some of Arpaio's shenanigans here.

A little more digging reveals that Bearup was previously fired from a supervisor's position at the federal department of Housing and Urban Development. Apparently Tom was on default on his own HUD home loan, but had not reported this conflict to his superiors. To be fair, Tom says he was fired because he was a whistle-blower on some department improprieties, but I couldn't find anything to back up that claim. You can read about that here - but be sure to scroll down to begin the info about Bearup.

Bearup filed for bankruptcy in 2011, but the court rejected his plea. Apparently, the judge felt that Bearup and his wife did not try to settle their debts honorably, but rather used the guise of a ministry to keep from paying the debts they owed. You can see the court document here. Without a doubt, Tom had some health issues that contributed to his financial woes, but the judge pointed out that Tom and his wife came into a bit of money and rather pay down the debt, spent the money on travel and their ministry.

Tom ran for Sheriff of Pinal County Arizona in 2012, but he lost the election. In a bit of a publicity stunt, Tom 'aired his dirty laundry' by actually hanging underwear on a clothes line; each piece representing some alleged scandal from his past. You can read about that here.

To his credit, Tom has a solid history of helping those in need. Remember when local businesses were taking advantage of international student visas and hiring foreign students, but charging them outrageous rents and housing many in small apartments? Tom and his wife stepped up and took these students in. Read about that here.

Tom has spent most of the last few years in Arizona, only recently moving back to the Kenai, but he was the mayor of Soldotna many years ago and did work for the Soldotna police. He does seem to have trouble dealing with finances and seems to be keen on getting elected to some position, either in Arizona or Alaska.

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