Candidate Tim Nelson Continues to Hoard Campaign Cash from & Anti-Death Penalty Advocates
PHOENIX, ARIZONA. OCTOBER 31, 2008. ACLU lawyer Tim Nelson continues to rake in a record amount of campaign contributions from criminal defense attorneys and anti-death penalty advocates in his race against Andrew Thomas.
A review of the liberal lawyer’s most recent campaign contribution report filed late last week shows Nelson continuing to receive support from the people most unhappy with Thomas’ tough-on-crime policies: those representing Valley criminals.
The latest reports show eighteen criminal defense attorneys writing substantial checks to Nelson. They include:
Anti-death penalty advocates continue to support Nelson with large contributions too. They include:
*Dave Derickson and his spouse maxed out. Derickson is past president of the anti-death penalty group “Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice.”
*Andrew Silverman. Silverman is an extreme anti-death penalty/pro-illegal alien University of Arizona law professor and member of far-left groups like "Coalition of Arizonans to Abolish the Death Penalty" and "Florence Immigrant Rights Project.”
“Attorneys for Valley criminals and anti-death penalty advocates are not supporting Tim Nelson because he will be tougher on criminals than I will. In Nelson, they believe they have found someone far more sympathetic to their soft on crime agenda. And they are right,” Thomas said.
Thomas severely curtailed and what he called sweetheart deals for crimes after taking office in 2005. For example, Thomas required that violent offenders plead guilty to the highest charge and accept the tough prison sentences that come with that or go to trial and risk getting sentenced longer. In the real world, this means a rapist who breaks into a house no longer can plead guilty just to burglary, but must plead guilty to sexual assault and get a severe prison sentence.
As for the death penalty, Nelson represented convicted double murderer Jose Ceja in his attempts to stop the death penalty for his heinous crimes.
A partial list showing the unprecedented criminal defense attorney support for Nelson revealed in previous campaign finance reports is below. There may be other criminal defense attorney contributors not identified by Thomas. Furthermore, numerous criminal defense attorneys have hosted fundraisers or otherwise raised money for Nelson.
It is illegal for Arizona state legislators to accept campaign contributions from lobbyists during the legislative session. To accept so much money from lobbyists for criminals with active interests before the County Attorney’s Office is even more alarming, Thomas said.
“Our policies, combined with those of Sheriff Arpaio and outstanding efforts by local law enforcement have reduced Valley crime over the past four years. Mr. Nelson wants to eviscerate these efforts and return to the days of soft sentences for criminal defense attorneys and their clients,” Thomas said.
Below is a partial list of criminal defense attorneys who contributed to Nelson revealed in previous reports (NOTE: $390 is the maximum contribution allowed by law):
Jon Sands -$390
Joo Cantor $390
Frances Hammond $390
Jennifer Lorona $390
Timothy Martens $200
Heather Novak $390
Grand total of all money raised from the 76 criminal defense attorneys and their spouses who have given to Nelson: $21,790
Attorneys in the above list have represented such people as convicted child murderer-rapist Don Beaty, Sammy “The Bull” Gravano, murderer-rapist and convicted Kevin Roscoe, among many others.
For more information or to arrange interviews with Mr. Thomas please call Jason Rose or Jim Sharpe.