This election year is much more important than you think it is.
There’s the governor’s seat, which is important because of the bills that can be signed or vetoed, such as SB1070 and HB2281. There is also a seat for US Senate, and voters will determine is the best person to send to Washington to work on many issues, one of which is comprehensive immigration reform.
Tom Horne has also taught us that the election for state superintendent for public instruction is another office that we need to take more seriously, since from that office he was able to advocate for the banning of ethnic studies in TUSD, and also get rid of any teachers with Spanish accents from teaching English courses.
This article will briefly explore why another statewide-office is super-crucial this year. That is the office of Attorney General.
The two Republican candidates are about as representative of the negative direction Arizona is headed in as you can get, with both candidates intimately involved with either HB2281 or SB1070. The first candidate is Tom Horne, mentioned above as the current state superintendent who bans his teachers from teaching the truth, and the other is Andrew Thomas.
Thomas is the former Maricopa County Attorney. In this role his true colors were made public for all to see because of the way the county Attorney interacted with the county Sheriff, a man by the name of Joe Arpaio.
Let us just explore the question that was in the title of this article. How do you call the cops on the Sheriff when he does something wrong?
Lawsuits against Arpaio number in the thousands and so far the county has spend tens of millions of dollars defending him. But then something happened. Andrew Thomas was no longer the county Attorney anymore.
Why does this matter?
What if I told you that just by you reading this article, that Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall would start tracking you and your internet viewing patterns. And what if I told you she tried to get the TucsonCitizen.com to turn over those records?
Just to be clear, Barbara LaWall is NOT doing this, but if she was you would be outraged right? Or at least you should be. This is a clear abuse of power exercised by a government official.
And yet, this is exactly what happened in Maricopa county when Andrew Thomas was the county Attorney. Since Thomas was friends with Arpaio, he started going after the reader’s of the popular Phoenix New Times.
With Andrew Thomas in charge of the county’s Attorney seat, Arpaio had the power to increase his inhumane and unjust practices targeted at those in the community who are “reasonably suspicious” which is nothing less than a nicer way to refer to dark-skinned people. But now that Thomas is no longer in that office, the Maricopa Board of Supervisors has subpoenaed the Sheriff’s office for an accounting of all their actions, to hold them accountable. They are our elected officials after all, right? They should all be held accountable.
Arpaio is arguing in court that this subpoena is unconstitutional, but let’s think this through for a moment. The County Board of Supervisors has the job of supervising the county, including the County Sheriff. It is the Board of Supervisors that sets the budget for all the departments, including Sheriff’s department. So what Arpaio is arguing is that the Board of Supervisors should just give the Sheriff money, and keep giving him money, but heaven-forbid they ask for a receipt to see how that money is being spent?
But more to the point, what does Arpaio have to hide? He’s a big advocate of all of us having to show our documentations, then he should be the first to step up to lead by example by sharing his documentation with his supervisors!
Some of the lawsuits against Arpaio are for wrongful death and violations of basic human and civil rights. But I know what some are thinking; if you are in prison (even if wrongfully convicted or with lack of financial resources to hire a lawyer) then you should be treated as harshly as possibly, and this includes living in tent cities in the 110+ degree Phoenix summer, while wearing pink uniforms, and subsisting off a diet that includes green moldy bologna. People like Fox News viewers simply love to see this, and have nicknamed Arpaio “America’s toughest Sheriff.”
But some of the lawsuits are from judges. And the lawsuits are not just against the County Sheriff, but also include the County Attorney, Andrew Thomas.
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Attorneys have filed $46 million in notices of claims on behalf of nine county judges, supervisors, employees and one citizen against Maricopa County stemming from investigations by Sheriff Joe Arpaio and former County Attorney Andrew Thomas.
Andrew Thomas is trying to claim that these lawsuits are just an attack on his campaign, but the state bar doesn’t agree.
Officials involved in the investigation by the State Bar of Arizona dismissed Thomas’ allegations as baseless.
In March, the chief justice of Arizona ordered an inquiry into Thomas’ behavior after a Superior Court judge ruled he acted unethically in his prosecution of Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox.
Since then, several other complaints have been lodged against Thomas with the state Bar, including one by an association of defense attorneys.
It is clear, however, that Andrew Thomas was trying to aide his ally Joe Arpaio in hiding something from his supervisors.
The dispute over e-mail control began in part because sheriff’s officials didn’t know that county administrators, in August 2008, secretly began archiving the office’s e-mails until it came to light in a court proceeding this year.
That news prompted the Sheriff’s Office to transfer some email addresses to a secure server in the County Attorney’s Office. When then-County Attorney Andrew Thomas, Arpaio’s ally, resigned to run for state attorney general this year and was replaced by an Arpaio foe, Rick Romley, the Sheriff’s Office was left in the lurch over how to keep those e-mails from county administrators’ eyes.
It was revealed last week that the Sheriff’s Office simply created a new, unique server outside county control. That news prompted the board to take Wednesday’s action.
The cost to taxpayers for the new e-mail server isn’t known – the Sheriff’s Office wouldn’t detail any cost in setting it up – but sheriff’s administrators say the move was necessary.
This is an example of how elected officials trying to undermine our democracy. This is a government of the people, and you are accountable to the people. If Sheriff Joe has done nothing wrong, then why is he trying to cover up his trail, and why is Andrew Thomas aiding him?
Don’t the supporters of SB1070, such as Sheriff Joe, say that if you have nothing to hide, then just show your paperwork and be on your way. If nothing else, Joe Arpaio and Andrew Thomas are being hypocritical, practicing a “do as I say, not as I do” approach to law enforcement of all things.
Are Joe Arpaio and Andrew Thomas above the law. No way!
But now consider the following. If this is what Thomas was able to do as County Attorney, and if his replacement is now uncovering his trail, how could you stop this process to protect your own, and Sheriff Joe’s confidentiality?
You could run for State Attorney General… and this is exactly what Andrew Thomas is doing.
In the Republican race for Attorney General between Tom Horne and Andrew Thomas, vote Democrat![tnivideo caption=”Tucson’s reaction to SB1070 and HB2281″ credit=”David Morales”]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEs3mab4a5E