Saturday, November 1, 2008

County Attorney Thomas Blasts Nelson For Hoarding New Cash From Criminal Defense Lawyers, Anti-Death Penalty Advocates

Latest Contribution Report Shows County Attorney Candidate Tim Nelson Continues to Hoard Campaign Cash from Criminal Defense Attorneys & 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 Maricopa County Attorney 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:
Dave Derrickson-$390
Sharad Desai-$200
Mark Dwyer-$140 (also gave previously)
Douglas Erickson-$50
Sarah Greene-$100
Debbie Hill-$390
Mark Hummels-$100
Heather Baker-$20
Shawdy Banihashemi-$25
Dan Lowrance-$50
Daniel Maynard-$50 (also gave previously)
Jeremy Mussman-$100
Alan Baskin-$190 (also gave previously)
Jeffrey Rogers-$390
Garrett Simpson-$50
Michael Souccar-$390
Joseph Traher-$40
William Walker-$100
Cecile Derrickson-$390
Total money received from defense attorneys in the October 23, pre-general election report: $3,165

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 plea bargains 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):
Charles Babbitt-$225
Dale Baich -$390
Alan Baskin-$200
Melanie Beauchamp-$390
James Belanger-$390
Chad Belville-$100
Michael Black-$390
Antonio Bustamante-$390
Michael Buxton-$390
Jean Cabou-$300
Zachary Cain-$100
Colin Campbell-$390
David Cantor-$390
Tony Colon, $100,
Harla Davison-$100
Hector Diaz-$250
Stephen Dichter-$390
Mark Dwyer-$250
Timothy Eckstein-$300
Bruce Feder-$250
Carmen Fischer-$390
Tracy Friddle-$35
Stacey Gottlieb-$390
Benjamin Green-$100
Larry Hammond-$390
Leslie Hatfield-$390
Melissa Ho-$100
William Hostetler-$25
Bret Huggins-$200
David Kephart-$150
Michael Kimerer-$390
Jason Lamm-$390
Martin Lieberman-$390
Jess Lorona-$390
Norma Martens-$390
Daniel Maynard-$200
Craig Mehrens-$390
Jeffrey Mehrens-$390
Alicia Morrison-$100
Alex Navidad-$100
Phil Noland-$390
Ed Novak-$390
Frederick Petti-$390
John Phebus-$390
Lisa Posada-$390
Rebecca Potter-$40
Christopher Rapp-$390
Jon Sands -$390
John Sandweg-$390
Gary Scales-$390
Douglas Schwab-$200
Margarita Silva-$50
Kyrsten Sinema-$200
Lee Stein-$390
E.Sharon Storrs-$200
James Tinker-$200
Peter Wand-$200
Robert Weeks-$200
Tracey Westerhausen-$200
Amy Wilemon-$390
Alan Zimmerman-$100
Their spouses:

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 Robert Comer and convicted child murderer Kevin Roscoe, among many others.

For more information or to arrange interviews with Mr. Thomas please call Jason Rose or Jim Sharpe.

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