How a Controversial Comedian Became Entangled in Political Controversy in Southern AZ Bisbee is known as a liberal oasis in an otherwise conservative county. But is there a Bisbee mafia?

Southern Arizona is a true melting pot. Border wall sections, drones, and blimp radars have long existed down here. Minutemen militia came from all over the country to “defend our borders” decades before Trump assumed power. Fort Huachuca has a strong military presence in the region. Sierra Vista functions as the biggest city, with Huachuca City, Whetstone, Palominas, and Hereford (along with the fort) surrounding it as the “suburbs.”

Then you have iconic historic towns, ranging from Tombstone and Willcox to Bisbee, along with border towns, like Douglas and Naco. The area has a wide range of ideas and ideals, with both sides of the fence well represented. If you grew up here, you likely know both coyotes and the border patrol and police chasing them.

Bisbee serves as a liberal oasis in the middle of a conservative county, where artists, thieves, smugglers, and all sorts of crazy characters are revered as heroes. It’s the first city in Arizona to recognize gay marriage, and the rivalry between Sierra Vista and Bisbee runs deep, due to different values held by the populace of each town.

This is Southern Arizona, and comedian Doug Stanhope has lived here among us since 2005.

Stanhope is a comedic legend and somebody whose work I always admired. In fact, I even listed him several times on this blog, including on my list of best comedians ever. but unfortunately we’re on different political sides. It’s a problem that led to me binging Stanhope’s podcast to gather a few clips after he posted this video in support of a local Superior Court judicial candidate in Cochise County named Jason Lindstrom.

In the video above (posted by Lindstrom to his campaign’s Facebook page and featuring Stanhope), Stanhope says he would rather be judged by Lindstrom than God on his death bed. With Stanhope’s long history of addiction, drug/alcohol abuse, and rehab, it’s no surprise. In fact, Stanhope doubled down on his podcast on October 6, 2020.

Arizona’s early voting polls opened the same week, with mail-in ballots being received across the state. With everyone rushing to vote early, the timing of Stanhope’s podcast couldn’t be more interesting. In episode #413 of his podcast, titled You Probably Think This Podcast Is About You, I found out the podcast actually is about me. Stanhope spends the first 35 minutes ranting about different people he’s angry at, culminating in this 11-minute clip.

Here’s the tweet I sent him (…) about Lindstrom. This 11-minute clip includes the entirety of Stanhope’s conversation in which he appears to be discussing committing insurance fraud with Lindstrom for Bingo, taking illicit drugs with Lindstrom, and then can’t decide if he should vote for Lindstrom or Anne Carl. 

All Stanhope is sure about is he won’t vote for Sandy Russell because he thinks she’s Chris Russell, the local attorney who represented Amber Heard in a defamation lawsuit against Stanhope during her divorce from Johnny Depp.…

Because of his grudge against Chris Russell, Stanhope is actively campaigning against Sandy Russell, and all of Bisbee’s dirty politics come apart. Stanhope discusses how Lindstrom “gave him his keys” when he needed a Sierra Vista address for Bingo to see a specialist that she wouldn’t have qualified for living in Bisbee. He also casually mentions he’s been in other realms with Lindstrom, a clear indication that the two have done drugs together.

And Lindstrom is familiar with drugs because of his mother Betty Lindstrom, known around Bisbee and Cochise County as Cocaine Betty. If you’re not familiar, both Lindstrom and his mother Nurse Betty are frequent guests on the Doug Stanhope Podcast. I recommend downloading those episodes before they mysteriously dissappear in the coming weeks. 

Here’s part 2 of the discussion where Betty leads off by explaining she was a drug dealer in prison (you’ll need to listen to part 1 to learn why she was in prison in the first place, although it rhymes with muggling 60 pound of marijuana). She clearly describes her life of debauchery that led to her having two sons (Jason and Gabe) and hiding with them in Bisbee.

Check it out for yourself.

These damning admissions are already getting people’s attention around the county in various Facebook groups, such as Chit Chat Sierra Vista, Bisbee Community, and Cochise County Jail, Courts, and Politics groups. It’s far from Stanhope’s first foray into local politics – he’s been a mainstay in every local issue for the past 15 years he lived here.

He even ran two of his podcast sidekicks as mayoral candidates in Bisbee. Cocaine Betty also has a history of running (and failing) for Bisbee mayor. It’s no surprise that he’s trying to get more of his crazy friends elected. Don’t get me wrong – I’m all for changing the system, but I also have heard too much about Lindstrom being a dirty lawyer.

Throughout Facebook, Lindstrom started taking heat to the point that it made it into the Sierra Vista Herald/Bisbee Review, published by Wick Communications. A large portion of the community has an issue with the way Lindstrom and Stanhope appear to be trying to steal power for personal gain. Besides the admissions of what sound like inferences to insurance fraud and the usage of illegal controlled substances, Lindstrom is running as a Republican, even though he’s not actually conservative in any way.

It’s unclear how this could affect the election, but Lindstrom’s record has now been called into question the same way he questioned his opponents. It appears all three have had some type of questionable history, and there’s no telling what could happen in the November 2020 election.

What’s clear is Lindstrom isn’t the Republican he’s claiming to be, and he doesn’t support the voter base he’s pandering to. Stanhope has a history of failing to make any serious impact on local politics, despite his every attempt. He’s still one of my favorite comedians, but it’s sad that I have to expose Stanhope as a dry snitch who’s in bed with a corrupt district attorney and prosecutor who is trying to be a judge in my home county.

While my family served in the military, the Lindstroms smuggled cocaine and other illegal drugs across the border into the Phoenix area by the ton. In fact, Nurse Betty is a recurring character on Stanhope’s podcast, because her antics landing her in both prison and an insane asylum make her the perfect zany character for Stanhope’s po-man Howard Stern Show.

Doug Stanhope is a great comedian, and I’m sure Jason and Gabe Lindstrom are great guys. Growing up in Southern Arizona, there’s a good chance I experimented with Lindstrom drugs when I was a teenager. But I don’t see how any of this landed a criminal in the running for becoming a Superior Court judge in my county.

Lindstrom hates people, and Stanhope wants a dictator. Neither cares about the opinions of the public. Neither supports truth, justice, nor transparency. That Lindstrom has even a chance at becoming a judge is a gross injustice.

I fear for our republic.


Dr. Brian Penny is a former Business Analyst and Operations Manager at Bank of America turned whistleblower, troll, and freelance writer. You can find his work in Cracked, High Times, HuffPost, Lifewire, Forbes, Fast Company, and dozens of other places, although much of it is no longer under his name. Dr. Penny loves annoying fake media.

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