What is the Frontera Fund? Why was it started? To start at the beginning, we have to look at an incident that occurred in 2007. Two officers from the unit of Sheriff Joe Arpaio came and arrested Mike Lacey and Jim Larkin. These were two executives from Village Voice Media. Village Voice Media published the the Phoenix News Times. Sheriff Joe Arpaio was angry that the Phoenix News Times was publishing articles that were critical of him. They didn’t report like the others. The other newspapers were reporting on political issues. Other newspapers were reporting on issues such as illegal immigration. However, the Phoenix News Times was reporting on possible financial crimes in the offices of Sheriff Joe Arpaio. They reported on abuses of power against people who criticized the sheriff. They reported on mismanagement in the Sheriff’s offices.
Sheriff Arpaio had his Country Attorney issue subpoenas for information about the writers and editors of the newspaper. The subpoenas included information about readers of the site, including their browsing history and IP addresses. This was totally illegal and against the first Amendment of the Constitution, which guarantees free speech. Therefore, the people who ran the newspaper decided that they could not comply with the illegal request. Instead, the above mentioned, Lacey and Larkin, published an article protesting the orders. That is why they were arrested.
The sheriff claimed that it was illegal to reveal information about the subpoenas. However, it really was illegal to issue the subpoenas in the first place. What happened next could be expected. There was an outcry from all over the country about the arrests. That is why it is not a surprise that they were released a mere twenty four hours later. In addition, all charges against them were dropped. Eventually, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals made it clear that there was no basis for the arrests, and that they had to pay compensation to the arrested to a tune of millions of dollars. So what did the two reporters do with the money? They decided to donate it to charity. They went ahead and gave it to the Frontera Fund. This is a charitable organization that focuses on helping out the Hispanic community in Arizona. Larkin said that he grew up in Arizona and was taught to give to those who are less fortunate. He said he could not think of a better place to give than to the immigrants.