AZ DOES IT

Paul Babeu Weathering Scandal Just Fine. But How Is His Sleepover Pal Matt Heinz Doing?

Far from seeing his career ruined or his fund-raising efforts hampered, Republican sheriff Paul Babeu seems to be weathering his immigrant-boyfriend scandal pretty well, Politico reports.

Since coming out last week—and denying allegations he threatened to get Juan Orozco deported, the hardline Republican has still netted $14,000 in online donations.

Babeu, who was forced to step down as the co-chair of Mitt Romney’s Arizona campaign, has also received 2,200 new “likes” on Facebook in just the past week.

But the Babeu scandal has swept up other AZ politicos, including openly gay state Rep. Matt Heinz (D-Tuscon).

Heinz, who brokered a sweetheart deal that got Babeu $1.7 million to “combat border violence,” has refused to address why the sheriff (and now congressional candidate) slept over at his house a few weeks after the border allocations were finalized.

The sleepover came to light after Orozco made public a text message from Babeu saying, “I’m at Mat [sic] Heinz and his boyfriend for dinner & ice cream…we are going out to bar and…to their house. [Am] staying over.”

Though Babeu’s coming out made headlines, the mainstream media has largely ignored the Heinz connection. The Grand Canyon State alt-weekly Phoenix New Times broke the story, though, and it has appeared in The Village Voice and all over the queer blogosphere.
New Times writer Monica Alonzo went after Heinz pretty hard—going so far as to hint that Babeau might have had a threeway with Heinz and Heinz’s boyfriend during their slumber party.

Rep. Heinz refused to speak to Queerty on the record and his campaign team has failed to respond to multiple requests for comment. We can only assume they’re playing the “not-dignifying-this-with-a-response” card.

Heinz did personally request that we take down our coverage of the story, which we declined to do.