Convicted Con Artist Hired, Promoted by Tom Horne

Oversees Information Technology for Students throughout Arizona
PHOENIX, ARIZONA. AUGUST 12, 2010. A convicted con artist is in charge of information technology at the Arizona Department of Education, Attorney General candidate Andrew Thomas announced today.
Tom Horne hired Donald Houde despite his criminal past.  Houde is a convicted con man who was sentenced to eight years in prison for stealing $1.7 million from his employer, Mile Hi Cablevision in Denver.
An Attorney General is supposed to prosecute criminals, not hire them; but Tom Horne apparently didn’t get the memo.
In 2005 Horne appointed Donald Houde Chief Information Officer for the State Department of Education. In 2007 Horne promoted him, adding Deputy Associate Superintendent to his title.  He earns more than $140,000 a year.
In hiring and promoting Houde, Horne has put a confessed thief in charge of sensitive information involving teachers and students across the state.
As CIO, Houde is responsible for the security of student records, background information on teachers including Social Security numbers, and department financial records.
Horne knows of Houde’s criminal record, yet he insists on keeping him on the payroll despite his shocking past.
Houde has also apparently padded his resume, citing a college degree and a technology patent that don’t exist. To make matters worse, Houde cited these credentials in a 2007 federal grant application for the state of Arizona.  This may cost Arizona taxpayers because grants with false information can be rescinded.
Houde’s six-figure salary apparently isn’t enough for him nor does it seem to take up all of his time.  Houde also owns a consulting company in Scottsdale which published at least one report for the Arizona Department of Education.
Houde isn’t the only high level employee with a questionable past at the Department of Education.  Horne hired Carmen Chenal even though her license to practice law was suspended at the time.
Attending the press conference with Thomas were Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu and leaders of the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association, which have endorsed Thomas for Attorney General.
Thomas stated, “Birds of a feather flock together.  Not only is Tom Horne a confessed con artist, he has hired a convicted felon who embezzled $1.7 million to oversee sensitive information on students and teachers in Arizona.”
A summary of all Houde background information can be found here.
Horne was banned for life by the Securities and Exchange Commission from selling securities after he defrauded his clients.  Horne also illegally and repeatedly failed to disclose his bankruptcy when he filled out paperwork to incorporate his law firm with the Arizona Corporation Commission.
During Thomas’ time in office, crime rates plummeted.  The 19 percent drop is more than twice the national rate of decline, in despite of an 11 percent increase in the county’s population during that time.  The illegal immigrant population has dropped by anywhere from 18 percent (Dept. of Homeland Security estimate) to 30 percent (Center for Immigration Studies estimate). Like the fall in crime rates, this dramatic decline in illegal immigration is far greater than the average in the rest of the nation.
Thomas has a track record of successfully defending illegal immigration crackdowns in our courts, including his successful efforts to prosecute illegal immigrants for conspiring to violate the state’s human-smuggling law and to defend Prop 200’s voter ID requirements and the employer-sanctions law, which he defended along with the Attorney General’s Office.
If elected Attorney General Thomas has pledged to expand that office’s prosecutions of illegal immigrants under the state’s human smuggling laws. The office is not currently pursuing such prosecutions.
Thomas is married with four children.  He is a graduate of Harvard Law School.  Prior to serving as Maricopa County Attorney, Thomas served as an assistant attorney general for Arizona, deputy counsel and criminal justice policy advisor to the Governor, special assistant to the Director of the Arizona Department of Corrections, and a deputy county attorney.
For more information about Andrew Thomas, please go to
Paid for by Thomas for AG


  1. There is a perfectly good explanation for hiring a fellow con man. Haven’t you heard of honor amongst thieves?

  2. This solidifies Tom Horne’s position as a true member of Arizona’s GOP “Establishment”

  3. Mr. Mustachio :{O says:
  4. buster5050 says:

    Thomas proscutes felons
    Horne Hires them…for 140K per year

  5. Slander much?

    Wrong Donald Houde. Wrong age, wrong picture. Three Rolls Royces and a mansion? Don’t think so.

    In fact, other than a blurb in the April 5, 1992 edition of USN&WR (wherein we find the bald faced lie) only right wingnut blogs like this one have been posting this, all of it coming from the Thomas campaign.

    Here’s a quote that I’m sure Thomas will find comfort in:

    “All this was inspired by the principle–which is quite true within itself–that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.”

    Who wrote this? Adolph Hitler in Mein Kampf. Thomas is following this to the letter.

  6. Mr. Mustachio :{O says:

    “Horne hired Carmen Chenal even though her license to practice law was suspended at the time.”
    Thomas is under investigation by lots of people, with a likely outcome of disbarment. Not only those he employed, but Thomas himself.

    “The office is not currently pursuing such prosecutions.”
    Well, Thomas likes to pursue ANY prosecution, regardless of evidence.

    Yeah, that’s right: Thomas was pushing for the DEATH PENALTY on FALSE EVIDENCE. Next time, it could be you.

    “During Thomas’ time in office, crime rates plummeted.”

    “Thomas claims crime is dropping but you talk to people in the field and they point out that it’s harder to report crimes and actually have them classified as crime – a problem especially prevalent with auto theft, where the police are now rejecting reports because “there’s not enough to prosecute”.”
    -Steve Calabrese

    There’s no doubting Thomas is NOT conservative, but power hungry.

  7. Mr. Mustachio :{O says:

    “Horne also illegally and repeatedly failed to disclose his bankruptcy when he filled out paperwork to incorporate his law firm with the Arizona Corporation Commission.”
    His bankruptcy of…30 years ago?

    If that is relevant, then so is Thomas’ book, published 20 years ago with it’s statement of possible traits that “distinguish blacks as especially susceptible to criminality.”

  8. buster5050 says:

    dead wrong ld 17..Houde is a felon and Horne’s CIO

    Horne already admitted as much.

  9. Bobby Baby says:

    Andrew Thomas couldn’t sink lower if he tried. He is a real embarrassment to our state. Not sure I can ever believe another word he says.

  10. Mr. Mustachio :{O says:

    about Houde…has anyone here heard of DEF CON?

    oversimplified, it’s a “hacking”/cracking conference. From the FAQ:
    “Do criminals go to DEF CON?
    Yes. They also go to high school, college, work in your workplace, and the government. There are also lawyers, law enforcement agents, civil libertarians, cryptographers, and hackers in attendance. Ssshhh. Don’t tell anyone.”

    What Thomas is saying IS disturbing, but it is Thomas saying it, so there’s likely more to the story. He isn’t exactly known for full-disclosure in press releases. :P

  11. If you don’t want to be prosecuted, be careful about saying anything negative about Thomas.

  12. ARizona’s education academic achievement dropped under Horne’s “leadership.”

    “Piss poor” to “abysmal.” Shame. That’s hundreds of thousands of students who didn’t get the skills they need, that OTHER states manage to provide to their students at the same or LESS money.

  13. Mark Roberts says:

    So Mr. Mustachio, You quote “Phoenix High Times”, do you also take some ‘tokes’ with ‘em occasionally?

    To be an enemy of Mary Rose Wilcox and Don Stapley, DEFINITELY MAKES you a friend of the honest, decent and hardworking people in Arizona.

    And just because I say you love bestiality no more makes it true than for YOU to say that he’ll likely be disbarred!!

    You’ve been over at Phx New Times office too much!!

  14. Mr. Mustachio :{O says:

    You assume too much. The stories the Phoenix New Times do on Thomas are the only good content they have.

    In fact, the only way I got over there was through a Google “News” search (do they really have any news? ha ha)

    Also, my disbarment comment(s) is/are completely separate from anything Phoenix New Times have said. The groups investigating Thomas has grown from just the State Bar Association to include the Courts, and now the FBI. There’s a lot going on here, and Thomas doesn’t want to to see it.

  15. Mr. Mustachio :{O says:

    Thomas doesn’t want *you* to see it.


    and what the heck are ‘tokes’?

    “To be an enemy of Mary Rose Wilcox and Don Stapley, DEFINITELY MAKES you a friend of the honest, decent and hardworking people in Arizona.”
    You don’t know how many lives of decent, hardworking Arizonans have been destroyed by Thomas, do you? I sincerely hope you never become a member of that group.

  16. Calling Horne a criminal, while at the same time supporting Thomas, who will shortly have charges brought against him and will eventually be disbarring (oops, no license, no AG)proves that the Thomas campaign runs on lies, bullying and just plain crackhead logic. As to Houde, you’ll need to provide me written proof from a reputable source that Houde admitted to this.

  17. Your silence speaks volumes.

    McCain + Win = This blog folds.
    Romley + Win = This blog folds.
    Horne + Win = This blog folds.

    See a pattern? None of the knuckledraggers this blog supports will win.

  18. Stephen Kohut says:


    You must be joining the folks at New Times in a few too many tokes.

  19. Hey L.D.

    When are you going to create your RINO blog?

    I’m sure “Molly” and “Ann” will support you?

  20. Why does Horne hire people we are trying to get out of the system?

Speak Your Mind