The Backstage Closure and The Dramatic Arrest of Newspapermen Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey

There can be a lot of human rights issues that immigrants are facing today. Whether it’s their First Amendment rights being trampled upon by the government or that their civil rights have not been addressed, it’s the activist and heroic actions of their advocates and champions that can help them. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://james-larkin.com/ and http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/lacey-larkin-speak-out-on-trump-pardon-of-arpaio-9879938

Without the help of such activists, no reform protecting immigrants and other marginalized citizens would be enacted in the constitution. Today, two of these activists and protectors of civil and human rights are the two veteran journalists behind Front Page Confidential and Backpage.com, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin.

The Challenge of Backpage

One of the more prominent and latest challenges that Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin are facing is the seizure of their Backpage.com news portal by the Federal Government.

It was seen as an act of direct government censorship, and it was something that should worry every citizen in the United States because it undermines the First Amendment rights of its people. Read more:  Jim Larkin | Crunchbase and Michael Lacey | Twitter

The arrest of Backpage.com’s former owners, Lacey and Larkin, happened last 6 April 2018. Some other execs were included in the arrest, and there was already an initial appearance from Larkin, Lacey and other defendants regarding the case.

The counts accused for them include money laundering, conspiracy and the act of engaging with prostitution online. It should also be added here that the Fed also went to the home of Larkin in Paradise Valley as well as the home Lacey owns that’s located in Sedona.

The Background

People already know that Lacey and Larkin are the active founders of Front Page Confidential and were used to be rulers of a large network of news dailies with alternative news as its main line of content. They’re also part of the growth of the Phoenix New Times in 1970.

The Frontera Fund

Among the many other projects that Larkin and Lacey have invested most of their time in, the Frontera Fund stands out because of the kind of buzz it has attracted all these years. The buzz has started when Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio had wrongfully arrested Larkin and Lacey because of accusations that they were interfering with a jury court trial.

Larkin and Lacey were detained technically for weeks, and that attracted such a backlash from the media and from the people. To make the long story short, Lacey and Larkin won a settlement money of about $3.5 million and used it to create the Frontera Fund, which is now a social advocacy group protecting human rights of immigrant communities.

It was also seen that Arpaio’s arrest of the Larkin and Lacey that resulted to such settlement money was because of anger. Arpaio was angry for the supposedly scathing bashing of the two veteran newspapermen aganst him in their coverage in the Phoenix New Times.

Lacey and Larkin Fix Many Evils

Sheriff Joe Arpaio of the Maricopa County in the state of Arizona is a vile and cruel man who deserves to be placed behind bars for all the wicked things that he has done. Luckily, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin are looking to do that exact thing to the former Sheriff of Maricopa County and current nominee for the Arizona State Senate.

Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin are the two presidents of the Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund. It is their mission to put Joseph Arpaio behind bars where he belongs. They also exist to right the wrongs that he has inflicted upon the lives of the Hispanic people in the state of Arizona.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio is responsible for creating a Police Department in the Maricopa County that specializes in racially profiling the Latino community. Lacey and Larkin were able to show sufficient evidence from human resource memos to internal emails.

This resulted in a federal judge convicting Joseph Arpaio with crimes against his fellow man. Unfortunately, President Donald Trump would pardon him. The Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund help Hispanics who have been detained by the Maricopa County by providing them legal support.

Sheriff Joseph Arpaio is also responsible for a Hispanic family’s home catching fire. Sheriff Arpaio received a tip that the home was being used as a safe-house for a local drug cartel. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey:  http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/potmsearch/detail/submission/6427818/Michael_Lacey and http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/about-lacey-larkin-frontera-fund/michael-lacey/

Had he done his homework and investigated the source the tip he would have discovered that it came from a local neighborhood boy who was angry at the family for kicking him off the lawn.

After Joseph Arpaio ordered the house to be ransacked he ordered the SWAT team on location to shoot the fuse box to cause a fire in the walls. Lacey and Larkin were able to right that wrong by building the family a new home.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio is also responsible for the premature death of an unborn child. His thug police force picked up a woman who was dropping her husband off at work. After she was detained, she complained of abdominal pain and told the security guards that she was pregnant.

They laughed it off as if she was only trying to get out of the cell. It turns out her uterus was hemorrhaging, and she lost the child as a result. Luckily, the Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund were able to give the baby a funeral.

Read more: Phoenix New Times | Wikipedia

Frontera Fund and DACA

What is DACA? DACA stands for Deferred Action for childhood arrivals, whose goal it is to provide undocumented youth meeting certain prerequisites a break from deportation, a social security number, and the opportunity to work in the U.S. for two years. This program also allows for earning a driver’s license and paying in-state tuition fees for educational programs. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxon released a letter to the Trump administration asking them to end the DACA program by September 5th, with a threat of legal action if their demands are not met. 9 attorney generals and one governor of a red state signed the document.

95% of DACA beneficiaries work or study and perhaps do both. They improve their earnings and pay higher taxes. They contribute funds to colleges and universities throughout the United States. DACA beneficiaries also buy homes and cars, and start businesses. The requirements for DACA are the following: under 31 years old as of June 15th, 2012, you lived in the U.S. before your 16th birthday, you have lived in the U.S. since June 15th, 2007 until the present, and you were physically in the U.S. on June 15th, 2012. Also, requirements include the fact you came to the United States without documents before June 15th, 2012, or legal status expired June 15th, 2012.

Also, other requirements to be DACA feature the fact that the individual must be studying and graduating from high school or earning a certificate of completion from high school or a GED, or honorable discharge from the Coast Guard or military. It is recommended that individuals who are qualified for DACA apply with an attorney. Required documents include: G-28 – Notice of Entry of Appearance As Attorney (Optional), G-1145 – E-Notification (Optional), Form I-821D – Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals; Form I-765 – Application for a Work Permit; and Form I-765WS – Worksheet with explication on why a DACA recipient needs to work. Other requirements include a need to submit the application, background check and fingerprints. Final steps involve receiving a letter asking for additional information called a request for evidence or a final decision.

How Lacey and Larkin Founded the Frontera Fund

On October 18, 2007, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio sent a group of armed deputies dubbed “Selective Enforcement Unit” to handcuff and arrest Mike Lacey and Jim Larkin. The two journalists who served as Village Voice Media executives were removed from their homes in Phoenix and matched into unmarked tinted SUVs, which had Mexican license plates. The two journalists were later booked into separate jails.

 

The arrests had been conceived and executed by Joe Arpaio, the sheriff who had dubbed himself the America’s Toughest Sheriff. Phoenix New Times exposed the sheriff for creating anti-Mexican fear-mongering and political pomposity in Arizona. As other mainstream newspapers dismissed Joe as just a regular offbeat character in Arizona, Phoenix New Times reported his financial irregularities and mismanagement of his office. The newspaper accused Arpaio of mistreatment leading to deaths of inmates, unconstitutional detention of Latinos, and racial profiling.

 

Larkin and Lacey were arrested for writing a story exposing Joe’s collusion with Maricopa county attorney’s office to assault the Constitution by seeking subpoenas to detail the list of writers, editors, and readers of the newspaper. Contrary to majority expectations, Lace and Larkin wrote about the subpoena. The two journalists were released from jail within 24 hours of their arrest, and their charges dropped following a national outcry.

 

This illegal detention led to a prolonged court battle as Larkin and Lacey sued the county of First Amendment Violation and abuse of power. In 2012, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal concluded that the actions of Joe Arpaio were against the Constitution as he had assaulted the First Amendment. The Ninth Circuit further noted that the subpoenas served to Larkin and Lacey were illegal. The court made it clear that the two journalists were arrested without enough reasons. As a result, the court allowed the $3.7 million in settlement to be paid to Larkin and Lacey by the Maricopa County.

 

When they received the amount, the directed it towards the establishment of Frontera Fund, a foundation that benefits Hispanic groups that are victims of civil rights abuses and racial abuses in Arizona. Larkin stated that he was born and brought in Arizona knowing that he must help those unfortunate in life. He decided to support Mexican Immigrants after seeing the hardships they face crossing the desert to work in Arizona.

 

Since its birth, Frontera Fund has been fighting for the rights of Latinos. In 2014, the organization fought against politicians who were tried to imitate Arpaio. The group donated Frontera Fund dollars to all nonprofit organizations advocating for Hispanic civil rights.

 

Lacey and Larkin’s Newest Business Venture – Front Page Confidential

Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin are the co-owners of Front Page Confidential and the previous co-owners of The Phoenix New Times. The duo met in their college years when they teamed up to create a liberal publication to argue against their school’s conservative views towards antiwar protests. Their success in school led to them dropping out to create a legitimate newspaper.

 

Their newspaper caught the attention of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and were arrested for their efforts. When The New Times published an investigative piece on assets being hidden by Joe Arpaio, the Sheriff had them arrested.

 

The first amendment of the U.S. Constitution is not only about the freedom of speech for an individual but also guarantees a free press. Arpaio’s actions are those of a dictator not of a democratic leader.

 

When it was made public that Joe Arpaio was using racial profiling as a way to determine who was a criminal or not, he was ordered by a judge to stay away from issues relating to federal immigration. Arpaio decided to take the law in his own hands and ignore the judge’s orders. He was charged with criminal contempt of court. In 2017, Joe Arpaio was finally convicted, only to be pardoned by President Trump without spending a day in jail.

 

Front Page Confidential isn’t the only new outlet Lacey and Larkin have created to combat the immoral behavior of Joe Arpaio and other corrupt politicians. In order to assist the Hispanic community in Arizona, Lacey and Larkin created The Frontera Fund. The organization assists other charities with the funds and resources needed to put action behind their movements. Lacey and Larkin, with the settlement received from their illegal arrest, intend to assist the same community that Joe Arpaio oppressed.