The FDL family has had a profound positive impact on the federal scene on issues surrounding the rule of law. We are all hurt when justice is politicized. As I pointed out in Deceit In The Desert, the problem with politicization at the state and local level in many places is every bit as bad, and the effects every bit as ruinous.
In Maricopa County Arizona a battle to turn the tide and restore the fair and equal rule of law is in full tilt in the last two weeks leading up to the election. In the video, governor Janet Napolitano, former Arizona Attorney General and United States Attorney for Arizona, describes the critical significance of the office of county attorney, and how Tim Nelson will repair it. Let me tell you about the guy that broke it and who must be ejected from office.
Andrew Thomas has been the theocratic right wing tool in office as the Maricopa County Attorney since 2004. Attorney Gerald Richard, who represented the Phoenix Police Department and law enforcement interests for over 19 years, had this to say about Thomas:
As County Attorney, he has diverted resources away from prosecuting violent criminals to persecuting immigrants charged with “smuggling themselves.” His wiretapping of the Serial Shooter suspects without a court order could jeopardize the expected convictions in the case. Thomas has cut training for his staff attorneys by 90-percent, creating the need to spend 11-million dollars hiring outside law firms (that coincidentally helped pay for his election campaign in 2004). He has spent more than two-million dollars on billboards, booklets and TV ads that primarily promote himself. And he has signed off on the arrest of newspaper publishers and invading the privacy of their readers.
Senior trial lawyers and division leaders in the County Attorney’s Office, many of them there for decades, have been forced out or marginalized. Critical decisions are made on the basis of ideology, theology and public relations value instead of the law. Andrew Thomas has brazenly used his office to attack and persecute personal enemies. When Thomas went after local newspaper publishers that disagreed with him, he not only attacked them, he also subpoenaed and tried to attack their readers by using a grand jury to attach their personal and private internet profiles and usage.
Oh, did I mention the theocratic element of Andrew Thomas? Thomas is an aggressive and dogmatic right to life maniac. His hero is Clarence Thomas, on whom he has authored the most slavishly prosed biography you have ever encountered. Andrew Thomas is an up and coming darling of the NRO and Katherine Jean Lopez. Just how far will Thomas go in proselytizing and forcing his religion on others? Very far, and he will convert public money and resources designated for law enforcement and prosecution to do it.
No, the office financed the [religious] donation with RICO funds — money seized from illegal enterprises and granted to law enforcement for four purposes: racketeering investigations, gang prevention, substance abuse programs, and substance abuse education.
[A review of] RICO fund expenditures by Thomas’ office during his tenure and found $168,000 in earmarks for church-based programs and Christian ministries — many of them blatantly focused on converting people to Christ.
And the donations to Christian churches aren’t the only RICO funds Thomas is using to win votes. He’s also used RICO bucks in an endless campaign to increase his name recognition.
Read the whole article; it is an amazing report on as blatant and objectionable conversion of the justice powers of the state to proselytizing for a pet religion as you will ever encounter.
As related above, Thomas relentlessly attacks anybody who disagrees with him. Even judges. His attacks on the Maricopa County judiciary that try to adhere to the law have become an ongoing scandal in Arizona, resulting in several of them retiring and seeking state bar action against Thomas. Thomas has even sought, in conjunction with the NRO, to break up the Ninth Circuit, a federal court he doesn’t even practice in front of, because they are "too liberal". Thomas is also a favorite of right wing crusader David Horowitz and his FrontPage Magazine. Thomas is an excessively ambitious political climber that is being groomed by national right wing extremists. (Did I mention that one of Thomas’ other life heroes is Dick Cheney?)
As described in Deceit In The Desert, there is a wonderfully viable alternative to Thomas on the ballot, Democrat Tim Nelson. It is a neck and neck race with the critical two weeks until the election to go. If Nelson can defeat Thomas, it will not only make a world of positive difference in the justice system in the fourth largest county in America, it will put a serious dent in the ability of Thomas to grow and become a national problem like he is being groomed to be.
Tim Nelson’s race to defeat Andrew Thomas is so critical, both for the present and the future, that Thomas’ predecessor as Maricopa County Attorney, Republican Rick Romley, as well as former Republican Attorney General Grant Woods, have both endorsed Tim Nelson. So has wrongfully purged former Republican US Attorney Paul Charlton.
With two weeks left, Nelson is in a dead heat with Thomas, but Thomas has the benefit of massive advertising advantage both from his office propaganda efforts described above, and, more importantly, from independent right wing and Republican groups, both in-state and national, supporting him. Barack Obama has shown the power of the many through small donations to a candidate. Your assistance, no matter what the size, can help Tim Nelson be competitive in advertising down the stretch.
The effort is critical even if you don’t live anywhere near Phoenix, Maricopa County or the State of Arizona.