September 3rd, 2010
09:51 AM ET

Friday's intriguing people

Christine O'Donnell

The Delaware Senate candidate backed by the Tea Party alleges that Republican leadership is behind a plot against her.

In an interview yesterday with the Weekly Standard, O'Donnell said unnamed opponents are following her. "They follow me home at night. I make sure that I come back to the townhouse and then we have our team come out and check all the bushes and check all the cars to make sure that - they follow me," she told the paper.

O'Donnell is challenging moderate GOP congressman Mike Castle in the September 14 primary and has said there is no difference between him and the Democrat in the race, Chris Coons. Her campaign website describes her as "a nationally recognized political commentator and marketing consultant" who previously worked for the Republican National Committee.

After endorsing her earlier this week, the Tea Party announced they will spend up to $250,000 on her campaign ads. "We are launching an aggressive multimedia and multiplatform campaign to help propel Christine O'Donnell to victory, and we've only just begun," said Amy Kremer, chairman of the Tea Party Express, in a statement.

The Weekly Standard: Who is Christine O'Donnell?

CNN Political Ticker: Tea Party group that assisted Miller now helping O'Donnell

O'Donnell's campaign website | Twitter account

Joe Arpaio

The man who calls himself "America's toughest sheriff" is being sued by the US Justice Department.

A lawsuit filed yesterday in a Phoenix federal court claims that the Maricopa County sheriff failed to provide requested documents for an investigation into alleged racial profiling in sweeps to catch illegal immigrants. Arpaio and his lawyers have publicly rejected the charges.

In a press release, the Justice Department indicated this was the first time in 30 years a police agency has refused to cooperate in a civil rights investigation.

On CNN's "John King USA" program last night Arpaio said, "They have thousands and thousands of our documents. And we thought we had this thing resolved but now they sandbag us and they sue me. Why are they doing that when we are cooperating?" Arpaio suggested that the federal government is "ganging up on Arizona" over the illegal immigration issue and called himself "the puppet" in a political battle with Washington.

Arpaio has been Sheriff in Maricopa County for nearly two decades and previously served with the Drug Enforcement Administration. Known for his philosophy of zero tolerance, the sheriff has spoken widely about his programs, which include tent housing for 2,000 convicts, meals that cost less than 15 cents per person, and pink underwear worn by everyone he puts behind bars.

Earlier this week, the Arizona Republic reported that Sheriff Arpaio will receive $1.6 million in state money to fund 15 additional immigration enforcement jobs.

Justice Department lawyers sue Arizona sheriff in civil rights probe

Arizona Republic: Supervisors OK $1.6M to Arpaio for immigration enforcement

CNN Political Ticker: Anchor notes from John King on Sheriff Arpaio

Arpaio on Twitter

Rudina "Rudi" Odeh-Ramadan

The New York resident, clinical pharmacist and first responder in the 9/11 attacks is one of several American Muslims featured in a series of public service announcements released and produced by the Council on American Islamic Affairs this week.

The series, which aims to address what CAIR describes as a "growing Islamophobia" in America, profiles American Muslims who helped in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. In the video, Rudi says she and others like her did anything they could to help the victims, from "morgue duty to creating a makeshift eye wash station." For three days, she set up a triage center near the World Trade Center, administering first aid to fireman and all those who were looking for survivors.

Rudi told CNN she had never spoken about her experiences as a first responder until a few weeks ago, when she appeared before a community board meeting on the Park 51 project. She was surprised by the level of animosity she faced after detailing her experiences administering aid and telling the audience she was a proud Muslim New Yorker.

According to Rudi, her choice to appear in the PSA was because of her son. She didn't want him to be ashamed of who he is or "to have a room full of people tell him that he doesn't add up to all other Americans because he is Muslim." "The constitution protects all Americans and Muslim Americans are Americans. To lump us into the ball of terrorism is wrong and inaccurate," she added.

Rudi was born and raised in Michigan to Palestinian immigrants and currently serves as the Executive Director of Clinical Trials at Columbia University.

YouTube: CAIR '9/11 Happened to Us All' PSA, Medical Responder (30-Second ad)

CAIR: National PSA campaign challenges growing Islamophobia

Daniel Millis

The activist's littering conviction has been overturned by a federal court after he left gallon bottles of water for undocumented border crossers at the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge (BANWR) along the Arizona border.

Millis is a volunteer with No More Deaths, a faith based group that works to assist immigrants. In 2008, Willis and three other volunteers were stopped by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officers who cited him for "dumping of waste" into a protected area. He was later convicted of violating a statute prohibiting garbage dumping in an area designated as a wildlife refuge.

According to a press release from No More Deaths, Millis was cited two days after finding the body of a girl from El Salvador who died trying to cross over. He was the first "humanitarian" to be ticketed for littering near a border.

Yesterday in a 2-1 ruling, judges of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals declared that water didn't meet the definition of waste.

Millis said in a statement responding to the ruling, "I continue to be saddened by the ongoing tragedy along the border; but I am pleased and relieved that the Court has finally made clear that humanitarian aid is never a crime."

Los Angeles Times: Border activist's littering conviction is overturned

NoMoreDeaths.org: "Littering" conviction overturned

Ryan Harrison

The 18-year-old tennis player from Bradenton, FL, ranked 220th in the world, beat 15th seeded Ivan Ljubicic on Wednesday in a four set match, earning himself a chance to play in the second round of the US Open.

Harrison is the first American male teen to beat a top 20 player in a Grand Slam event since Andy Roddick beat Alex Corretja at Wimbledon in 2001. Harrison won the match against Ljubicic with 13 aces and 44 winners and will play 36th ranked Sergiy Stakhosvsky of Ukraine today.

"To win on this stage here and to take out a top-20 player in the world is the biggest win of my career," he said Wednesday. "I've always believed in myself. I'm extremely excited and really pleased with what happened."

ESPN.com reports that Harrison is coached by his father, Pat but also practices at Nick Bollettieri's tennis academy. When he was 11 years old, he supposedly played the most pivotal match of his life (against his father) and lost.

ESPN: Promising start for upstart Harrison

Harrison on Twitter

soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. OilNMyGulf

    @AJEsposito – you have a good point, but I'm not sure there's anyone left in America who's old enough to remember when we had a president who "really cared". The fact is that we are being invaded by illegals from south of the border. I feel badly for them, because I know that if I was in thier shoes, I'd do whatever I had to do to make a better life for me and my family. We are a nation of immigrants – that diversity is one of the things that has made America great. It should not be more difficult to emigrate from Central or South America, than it is to emigrate from Europe – and it is much more difficult. However, the illegal immigration problem on our southern borders has got to be brought under control somehow. I personally don't think that building fences or militarizing the border is the answer. If the US wants to REALLY control illegal immigration, then ICE should be targeting the businesses that hire illegals, and I'm not talking about some localyokel roofer who hires a few Mexicans with questionable immigration status. Target the major industries that hire illegals – for instance large agribusinesses, or carpet manufacturers like Mohawk, and other giant corporations that hire illegals. Fine them, jail thier executives, and if necessary shut them down. The economic impact would be bad, but it would get people's attention, and eventually would at least bring the illegal immigration issue to a point where it would be controllable. Making a bit easier and less expensive to emigrate to the US might also be wise – people who just want to come here to make a better life could do so without resorting to hiring human smugglers, or working for the cartels to get here.

    September 3, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  2. usaObama

    Sheriff Apraio is a red neck, cop out of control, as he stands behind his badge breaking the law. He should be arrested for his contempt of the law and his abuse of his badge. The police union is backing him. It's a shame to our flag and Bill of Rights. This cop demonstrates the heart of our police system. A system of petty laws controlled by red necks and racists cops who need to be brought in line with the laws they vowed to live by. Our Bill of Rights guarantee's no cruel and unusual punisment. He is cruel to his prisoners and uses unusual punishment. Not only that he walks on the civil rights of people of color by his illegal arrests and then illoegal treatment. Cruel is he, a real cop.

    September 3, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • anon

      Could you please site the law(s) he is breaking. People who argue your side never seem to be able to do this.

      September 3, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Krow

    Arpaio is a good example of how the Nazis found prison camp guards. Never underestimate the depths people will sink to. Or those who will enable them.

    September 3, 2010 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Drew Williams

    Joe Arpaio is a d!ck who generally holds the laws he is supposed to enforce in contempt. Reminds me of the character Orson Wells played in "A Touch of Evil." For those who support this kind of nonsense, I hope somehow, some day, you get a taste of it firsthand yourselves.

    September 3, 2010 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Fred

    Believe me. Joe Arpaio is not even close to America's toughest sheriff. He might be a ringer for America's most insubordinate sheriff though.

    September 3, 2010 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  6. anon

    @Jen – Please learn the meaning of "illegal" before you post. The only reason this is about the Mexicans is because that's where the illegals in this case are coming from. It's not a racist issue, it's a criminal one. Arpaio is doing nothing more than enforcing the law and if others followed suit, we wouldn't have the problems we do in the border states. And before you start in with the "they do the work no one else wants to do" ask the almost 10% of Americans who are out of work whether they would be interested in those jobs. Now, go get a dictionary like a good girl and educate yourself sweetie.

    September 3, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Matt

    Re: Arpaio – Not all of the people incarcerated in the Maricopa Co. jail are "convicts." County jails, including Maricopa's, house people AWAITING trial as well as those already convicted and serving county jail time.

    September 3, 2010 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
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