Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Tom Horne displays his ignorance of the law at the Attorney General debate with Andrew Thomas

In question 20 of last week's debate between Attorney General Republican candidates Andrew Thomas and Tom Horne, Horne was asked about his statement that businesses won't come to Arizona if Thomas is elected. Horne responded and said, "The first person who criticized Andrew Thomas was Don Stapley." You can hear the crowd boo and hiss. Don Stapley is the County Supervisor currently under indictment for two separate sets of charges. Horne asserts that Stapley was indicted on trumped-up charges that were "all eventually dismissed." This is false. Thomas responds with the truth, which is that Stapley is still being prosecuted for both of the indictments against him. Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk is prosecuting the financial fraud charges, which are currently on appeal with her office, and Gila County Attorney Daisy Flores is prosecuting the case for misusing campaign funds on personal luxuries.** Polk has said that both cases against Stapley are legitimate cases. Thomas has four experts who have said that the judge who ruled against Thomas initially should have recused themselves from the case for ethical conflicts and bias against Thomas.

Horne then says that every 1st year lawyer knows that you can't indict your own client, in reference to Thomas indicting Stapley. Thomas refutes that, referencing the Evan Mecham case, where the Attorney General indicted sitting Governor Mecham. Rather embarrassing that Horne is running for the top law enforcement position in the state and doesn't understand that.

Horne again showed his ignorance of law by saying that he would not challenge illegal immigrants receiving free public education because it was "settled US Supreme Court law" that "could not be challenged." Thomas refuted this, pointing out that many Supreme Court decisions have been challenged and overturned (Dred Scott comes to mind).

**Stapley allegedly spent thousands of dollars raised in a political campaign where he had no opponent this way: $6000 at Bang and Olufson electronics, $1300 for hair implants, $400 for candle holders and $10,000 for furniture for his home. He also spent these funds, solicited as campaign money, to buy tickets to Broadway plays and movie theatres, flowers, grocery store bills, massages, department stores and trips for his family to Sundance, Utah to ski, a trip for his son and friends to Florida and a three-week vacation in Hawaii for his entire family at a beach house costing approximately $11,000.

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