The newest liberal website, Front Page Confidential, is dedicated to exposing injustices and educating the public about the plight of many migrants and immigrants in the United States. Created by Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, this is the latest in the men’s invaluable contribution to the First Amendment and compassion movement for immigrants.
Lacey and Larkin’s activist careers began back in the early 1970’s. They met after both dropped out of college in Arizona and soon formed a passionate team of reporters and journalists. Their first venture was, “The New Phoenix Times,” a subsidiary of the Village Voice Media Group. The group was dedicated to reporting on injustice to minorities and to give balanced reporting to the conservative media. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://james-larkin.com/press/ and http://james-larkin.com/
One primary focus of the Phoenix Times was Sheriff Joe Arpaio in the early 90’s. Arpaio claimed to be the “toughest” sheriff in America but Lacey and Larkin saw him as a bully. Arpaio bragged about his tent city and tough approach to targeting Hispanics. He made women giving birth stay chained to their bed and the countless number of detainees are reported to have died in custody.
Lacey and Larkin reported regularly on these crimes and prejudices. The situation boiled over when on October 18th, 2007 Arpaio had his officers to arrest Lacey and Larkin at their homes. The two men were bonded and placed in jail for obstruction of justice.
The charges stemmed from a news story published that day in the Phoenix Times which exposed Arpaio’s plan of setting up a grand jury to investigate the men, the paper, and its subscribers. The retaliation fell apart, however, when under intense public pressure, the county attorney called a press conference and dropped all charges after 24 hours. Read more: Michael Lacey | Twitter and Jim Larkin | Crunchbase
Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin did not let this injustice pass. They sued Maricopa County for false arrests. After a 5 year battle, the men prevailed and were awarded a $3.75 million dollar settlement. In line with their character, they used the money to create the Frontera Fund. This organization uses funds and education to speak out about the plight of the immigrants and migrants across the United States.
Meanwhile, Arpaio continued his reign of horror until he lost his 7th bid for re-election in 2016. Arpaio also faced the anger of federal judges who had admonished him to stop his practices of treating minorities differently.
Feeling untouchable, Arpaio ignored the directive and was finally charged with contempt of court. Many thought that this would be the end of Arpaio’s career of injustice. He avoided jail time, however, when President Trump pardoned him late last year.
Lacey and Larkin are not discouraged or surprised by the pardon. They are determined to continue their fight with the Frontera Fund and their new website, Front Page Confidential. They sold their media group back in 2012 after reaching over 9 million readers.
The group also won a Pulitzer prize for its contributions to the immigration cause. The men know that it is up to people like them to protect the First Amendment rights of all Americans.