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.



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  • James D.

    Wow, I hope you feel good about yourself queerty, way to back your fellow gay. Disgusting.

  • DenverBarbie

    If politicians- gay or straight- choose to play shady games (that “sweetheart deal” and subsequent celebratory drinks and sleepover), they sure as hell can take the resulting heat from the press.

    Good on you, Queerty!

  • John-David

    I agree with DenverBarbie. Plus, the idea of Heinz in a threesome with a sheriff makes my pants feel funny.

    Good job Queerty!

  • DonsterNYC

    What those three men did behind closed doors is none of our business. If every straight politician (especially the right wingers) had to detail everything that went on behind their closed doors, the shock waves would be felt in every corner. When is the media going to get beyond this depraved need of theirs to write porn scripts disguised as news articles? I am especially disappointed in the queer blogosphere for this intrusion into someone’s bedroom. Why do LGBT destroy their own? Doesn’t Fox News do enough of that? I am not suggesting that we ignore blatant hypocrisy like that of Paul Babeu’s actions, but to redirect the attention to Matt Heinz who is openly gay and has done nothing wrong is contemptible.

  • Dean Edwards

    I don’t give people a pass just because they’re gay. I know that the sleepover was productive. They worked on body cavity searches and prostate exams I would assume. Hold Matt Heinz’ feet to the fire. Why would a democratic law maker be buddies with an Obama hater like the big ole bottom sheriff?

  • CBRad

    @DonsterNYC: Hey ! You’re breaking the NYC gayghetto Rules ! You hate Fox News (that’s one of the Rules) but you don’t realize you’re supposed to hate on everybody involved in a case like this.

  • Dallas David

    @Dean Edwards: +1
    Good journalism uses the same principles on every inquiry.
    I’m wondering what’s up with the State Rep wanting the story “squashed?” Such a request is as improper coming from a Democrat as it is from a Republican.
    Congrats, Queerty. You’re doing good. It ain’t pretty, but it’s good . . .

  • James

    @DonsterNYC: The point is did he vote to give this guy money because they were having threesomes?

  • James D.

    No, I find it extreamley homophobic that the media would just ASSUME a 3 some accured, when babae wrote that he was just hanging out and getting icecream with heinz and his bf. So gay men can’t be friends? If I sleep over another mans house, friends or not I MUST be sleeping with him, even if he has a bf. Since we are such huge perverts we can’t possibly just have another gay male friend we must be boning him and his boyfriend. Get real, and the fact that queerty is falling into this disgusting assumption is gross as hell.

  • timncguy

    @James: The additional point is why is the dem Heinz having any kind of friendship with the far-right wacko sheriff? I don’t want my dem pols socializing with far-right-wing-nuts. It makes me question the democratic credentials of Heinz.

  • Dean Edwards

    Did they have ice cream or cream pies? Look at Matt Heinz’ for Congress Face book page. He asks visitors to ask any questions they have and then ignores the questions about his relationship to the sheriff. In a while, the embarrassing questions vanish from the Facebook page.

  • Dean Edwards

    The sleep over happened after Heinz secured $1.7 million for the Mexican hating and Mexican loving sheriff to secure the border. Heinz was fighting for $5 million for the sheriff. Funny position for a Democrat to take. The sheriff’s area is Pinal County. Pinal County is some 70 miles north of the Mexico border.

  • JeffR

    @JamesD, Donster: Heinz helped Babeu, who was actively involved in Romney’s campaign. Neither Romney nor the GOP is an ally to the LGBT community in its fight for equality. In his CNN interview, Babeu parroted the usual Christie BS about gay marriage being a State issue – ironic in light of the immigration status of his ex – completely sidestepping the fact that lgbts individuals, albeit second class citizens in most states and on a federal level, cannot benefit from the rights proferred to their straight counterparts – sponsoring a spouse for permanent resident alien status, etc. Heinz then hosted Babeu as a guest in his home and now refuses to address the issue. Why?!? When one fraternizes with a pig, one often ends up smelling like a pig. Heinz now disgusts me as much as Babeu does. Best, JeffR

  • William

    I’m sorry but I totally am siding with Queerty.

    If anyone here likes it or not there is a difference between gay and straight. We are part of a minority and everything we do is reflective on people in our community because it is so small.

    Heinz not only has a responsibility to his district but to the gay community. If you hold him up to that, or anyone for that matter, is up to you. I, personally, am furious he would conduct himself in such a reckless way.

    Yes, reckless, as in three grown men (one a politician) having a sleepover is reckless.

    This story reeks of debauchery and the get together is even more crude.

    Get it together Heinz, as soon as your opponent wants to bring you down you will answer for this.

  • Neil

    It’s amazing how people so blindly accept Politico’s spin. We have no idea if this scandal has hampered Babeu’s campaign. He may have gone down 18 points in the polls for all we know. There has been no polling at all since the scandal. Plus, the campaigns claim of getting $14K means absolutely nothing. That could have been donated by one rich supporter like Peter Thiel (for whom it is pennies). It’s just amazing how want to paint such a glowing picture of Babeu’s situation without a shred of evidence.

    Plus why is everyone ignoring the fact that Babeu is making much more serious allegations against Jose Orozco than vice versa. On CNN, Babeu claimed that Jose committed felony identity theft. That is a major crime and begs the question why Babeu was covering all this time for a Mexican felon and only brought forth the charges after being outed. Babeu is a major law enforcement leader and yet was protecting and covering for a felon. Hello?

  • Gigi

    Interesting how the MSM isn’t talking about this at all and it’s the gay media that’s insinuating that Babeu had a threeway with Heinz and his boyfriend. Why are we so quick to hang our own out to dry?

  • B

    QUEERTY’s article got it a bit scrambled (as it appeared on Friday, Feb 24 at 4:13 PM PST). Monica Alonzo did not suggest a three-way but rather reported a claim that Babeu spent the night at the home of Heinz and Heinz’s boyfriend, both of whom were present. There was no indication of who slept where.

    The Village Voice (article by Steven Thrasher) quoted Alonzo’s article and added the suggestion of a three-way, which was pure speculation. It seems the Village Voice posted a question on Heinz’s facebook page and got no reply. Some public figures maintain facebook pages for one-way communication reasons and have a staffer maintain it. I don’t know about Heinz, but if I received a telephone call from someone I never heard of who wanted to know if I had a three-way last night, I’d hang up. I wouldn’t be surprised if a staffer looked at the question and ignored it or deleted it, figuring the person who put it there was just some random nut.

  • William

    @B: Simply reading the story implies inappropriate and peculiar behavior.

    No second party is necessary to deduce that.

  • R. D. Mccoy

    Your story misses the point completely. So far as I can tell this whole thing is calculated to humiliate and destroy a good man. The New Times journalisic standards are well known-and that is not a compliment. What Paul Babeu did in Tuscon isn’t the point:I know of no reason to automatically conclude that a gay man can’t keep it in his pants. The point to be learned from this story is that Paul Babeu apparently wasn’t keeping his sexual orientation that close a secret (going to a bar with a known gay politician from the other party). The story simply confirms that his “revelation” was timed to try to destroy the career of a gay man who happens to hold conservative political views. The gay rights community will not be really legitimate until it recognizes that not all gay men or women MUST toe the party line. Why is “diversity” only good if it is leftist?

  • lucifer

    This sheriff must have lied when he enlisted in the Service and that could come back to bite him.

  • CBRad

    @R. D. Mccoy: THAT’S the Gay Rule, guy. Only SOME kinds of diversity are acceptable.

  • PTBoat

    So, we’re now in a world in which an overnight guest is subject to sexual innuendo? This is worse than having the GOP win.

  • timncguy

    People, people, people….. It was the sheriff’s ex-boyfriend that initially implied that the sleepover was of a sexual nature. And, the ex certainly knows the sheriff better than we do. The ex also recounts the story of how he was able to find out that the sheriff was cheating on him by using a profile on Adam4Adam to which the sheriff responded, chatted with and set up a dinner date with. The sheriff told him to bring an “over night bag to the dinner date”. When the sheriff arrived at the restaurant for the date, to his surprise he found his boyfriend, Jose, waiting for him in the parking lot. So, the sheriff is a “player” and I would trust the ex-boyfriend’s opinion on this matter that the sleepover was likely to be sexual in nature.

  • Adam

    You’ve never stayed at a friend’s house after going out? This is gossip rag trash.

  • timncguy

    @Adam: I, being a democrat, am not out socializing with far right wing whack jobs like the sheriff.

  • Oh, ok.

    I’m just shaking my head at the comments defending this fool.

    Wow, you people need to get your priorities in order, and stop fighting in favor of whoever you’re attracted to. So ridiculous.

  • FunMe

    Forget the gay angle for a second … the republiCON openly-gay-after-the-fact sheriff slept over at the Democrat openly gay house AFTER he got him to voted for his $1.7 anti-immigrant hating bill? What’s wrong with this picture?

    Back to the immigrant angle, the sheriff is against immigrants and yet he is dating a latino with an accent and he wants us to believe he didn’t know the guy was not an American? Yeah right! Talk about HYPOCRISY.

    I don’t think babeu will be fine at the end. He will NOT win his election and doesn’t have a future in politics, despite his LIES. Remember, republiCONS hate “the gays” and will never vote for an “openly” gay one.

  • Grems

    The New Times sounds like they are stirring the pot by preying on gay stereotypes. Implying that Babeau traded sexual favors for funding is unethical- unless there’s adequate proof. They completely disregarded the fact that him sleeping at his house might have been practical and even ethical. They were going out to a bar so he was likely drinking; staying the night would eliminate drinking and driving. I fairly certain that the two men live in separate towns, which would make having a place to sleep a necessity when going out in a different area code.

    And you, Queerty, it’s time tone down the scandal and turn up the integrity of your site. Instead of joining the paper in accusing these men of engaging in sex for favors, you should have been questioning the paper and demanding their proof (much more is needed than just a text and speculation). Readers expect you to critically defend our community from attacks, not to mindlessly champion our attackers salacious statements.

    Additionally, as an Arizonan, IMO Heinz seems to be genuine and effective at his job. On the other hand, Babeu just seems like a junior version of Joe Arpiao.

  • AZ Anthony

    @Grems… Thank you for what you say… I live in Arizona too and watch Rep Heinz and know he is one of the good guys… He fights for LGBT rights.

    I don’t agree with him on everything, but he crosses the political line on many occasions because he does what he thinks is right. I find it not surprising that he voted for the money for Babau because he is a strong Border Security Advocate.

    It also bothers me that people keep commenting about Pinal County being miles from the border. @Germs I am not sure what part of AZ you live in, but Pinal County might be Ground Zero in the Border Fight. In fact it is so bad that on the Federal Lands in Pinal County on the Road to San Diego the Federal Government has posted WARNING signs saying the area is Known for Human Smuggling and Drug Trafficking… So not that Babau is a good guy by any means, but he has a big problem in Pinal County that all of the people who like to comment from the East Coast would never understand…

    Finally on the issue of the New Times… They are not a professional paper by any means. If you like Babau or not is your issue, however outing someone with little to no notice is not acceptable. I know if I was in the public spot light and I was not ready to be outed yet, to be outed in that manner is totally ruthless… And the suggestion of Rep Heinz and Babau having a 3 some… Where is the proof… Last I heard people in this country are innocent until proven guilty… So Queerty and Village Voice, stop bashing on of our own until you show us some proof… Show us the proof then Rep Heinz will have some explaining to do.

  • Christopher

    It’s nice to see the sanctimonious,republican, self loathing closet queens get taken down a peg or two. Good times.

  • Mike

    Great job Queerty, I live in Arizona, a state where Paul’s idea of states rights on glbt issues have already passed via the ballot box, no gay marriage or gay adoption, I hate it when people say put rights to the ballot. And, worse with Heinz is that he was the cover boy of the local gay magazine last week or two and they have not asked one question on this. Matt Heinz seemed like a good guy, but, if he is in cahoots with Babeu, makes me think twice about him as well. All he has to to is TELL THE TRUTH, and, I could care less about if they had sex, as none of them are that ‘hot’ to wonder about that.

    I don’t care that the gay sheriff is who he is,that he’s a bottom, or that he sends nude pics while trolling for sex on a county phone and p/c but, to lay up with this man and then stand with Willard Rommney who spews the same hate that sadly too many here do is just too twisted.

    And, he was not ‘outed’ when you send naked pics to starnge men for sex, you are hardly in the closet, and, as some woman said, its the worst kept secret in Pinal County, which, I somehow think will have even more of his tricks speaking out sooner than later.

  • Riker

    @timncguy: And so what does that prove? Nothing, that’s what. Ever hear of a paranoid, vindictive ex who spreads lies after we dump them?

    So what if he knew Babeu better than we do. That still doesn’t mean he’s telling the truth. If he insinuated that the sleepover was sexual and not just avoiding drunk driving, then that’s his own paranoia showing. Notice he hasn’t presented any evidence of that. Plenty of times i’ve crashed at a friend’s house because I was too drunk to drive. In fact, i’m probably doing so tonight. Odds of my having sex with him are very slim.

  • B

    No. 18 · William wrote, “@B: Simply reading the story implies inappropriate and peculiar behavior. No second party is necessary to deduce that.”

    What’s “inappropriate and peculiar” about an out-of-town guest spending the night at someone’s home? Babeu’s text message indicated that they went out for dinner, dessert,
    and then visited a bar before heading back to his friends home. He spent the night rather than drive back starting at 1 AM. Possibly Babeu had a couple of drinks or maybe he was just a bit tired and thought it was unsafe to drive, but whatever the reason, nothing in the original article showed evidence that there was a “three-way”.

    You don’t even know when Babeu arrived – it could have been pretty early in the morning so they could spend the day working on some agreement, after which they went out to dinner, etc., to socialize. After a full day, he could easily have been too tired to drive back home.

    The honest thing to say is that we don’t know what went on and have no reason to assume it was anything inappropriate.

  • Torquemada

    Just days before this scandal broke, Babeu was pushing forward with a pointed critique of Attorney General Holder’s “Fast and Furious” program, which was gathering steam and nat’l press attention. A coincidence, or a well-timed distraction?

  • Torquemada

    um, in what sense was the 1.7 mil appropriation “a sweetheart deal”?

  • adfdsfa

    Stay classy Queerty. Oh wait, I forgot this website is nothing but sensationalistic garbage.

  • Jim

    Did Heinz explode like a ketchup bottle on Babeu’s face while his boyfriend watched? Seems this is what Queerty is implying.

  • toni

    In almost any European country it would be most unappropriate for a police officer to be part of any political race…ecp. if he do that in his uniform!

  • CorruptionNotSex

    If you look at the text message date stamp, Babeu said they had pizza and ice cream and then were going out to a bar, but the date stamp shows he sent the text 1 am. Most bars in the area CLOSE at 1 am and yet he hadn’t left to go to one yet?

    This isn’t about sex, it’s about corruption. This needs to be investigated.

Comments are closed.