Hugh Hallman Statement on Accusations of Sign Tampering

Hugh Hallman

STATEMENT BY HUGH HALLMAN ON JEFF DEWIT’S ACCUSATIONS ABOUT POLITICAL SIGN TAMPERING

Today, Jeff DeWit accused our campaign of blocking the view of his road signs to passers-by by placing our signs in front of his.

We know signs are a lightening rod for mischief. And we know that pictures can tell false stories — and the ones produced by Jeff DeWit’s campaign are no different.

To be clear — our campaign has a strict policy to never purposefully interfere with the signs of any other candidate, and to be fair with the placement of our signs near the signs of any other candidate, including competitors. This is a policy for all campaign staff and has been clearly communicated from Day 1.

Why would we take the risk of embarrassing our campaign to block one or two out of the thousands of road signs currently positioned by all candidates statewide?

Our campaign can also produce photos showing Hallman signs that have been blocked by DeWit signs, taken down and/or tampered with. But we’re not going to accuse a grown man running for office of being behind teenage shenanigans. Candidates running in an important statewide race should have more important things to worry about.

When we find instances where our signs have been tampered with, we fix them and move on. We don’t have a fit about it on Twitter.

Instead, we try to address these issues like adults. We’re not going out and making baseless accusations about anyone. If Jeff DeWit — or any other candidate for that matter — has a problem with the placement of any of our signs, we invite them to call us at 480.423.0515 and let us know.

It would also be helpful to let us know where they are, which DeWit didn’t do. Our staff went out today to make sure there were no instances of these kinds of shenanigans, spending several hours where we believed the “gotcha” photos were taken to make sure we caught any sign placements others may have done that were improper.

With less than two weeks left until Election Day, we can’t help but wonder if Mr. DeWit is looking for a distraction — any distraction — to keep voters from focusing on the concerning record of risky business by his day-trading firm, or the lack of support he has from statewide conservative leaders, or the fact that he has had to almost entirely self-fund his campaign because he can’t raise money from supporters.

But if it’s really signs Jeff is most concerned about, then Jeff, give us a call. We’re happy to discuss it like adults.

The Shocking Link Between Tom Horne and An Alleged Fast & Furious Co-Conspirator

Campaign finance reports occasionally reveal a donation or two that can place a political candidate in the awkward position of having to defend a donor. Oftentimes the candidate is unaware of the controversy until notified by a persistent pesky reporter or the opposing campaigns.

However, it’s also not often that a donor rises to the level of being at the center of what many believe is the biggest scandal of the scandal-plagued Obama administration.

Once such donation is to Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne, who accepted a political contribution of $500 from Patrick Cunningham on February 13, 2014. If Cunningham’s name sounds familiar it’s because he was named as a co-conspirator in the Fast and Furious scandal.

The Chair of the House committee that investigated the Fast and Furious scandal, Congressman Darrell Issa, went as far as to say that “Mr. Cunningham may have engaged in criminal conduct with respect to Fast and Furious…” and that his refusal to testify before congress was a “…major escalation of the department’s culpability.”

Justice Department officials even claimed Cunningham misinformed them about Fast and Furious. The conservative local blog SeeingRed AZ previously covered the scandal here.

The Operation Fast & Furious “gun walking” saga placed hundreds of guns into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. The scandal had a distinct Arizona connection. The firearms were sold and bought in the Phoenix and Tucson metro areas, and ultimately one the guns was used to murder Arizona Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.

Arizona U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke, the former Chief of Staff to former Governor Janet Napolitanoran the Fast and Furious operation. Burke eventually walked away from charges and resigned from his post despite his fingerprints being all over the scandal. Many considered Burke to be the sacrificial lamb for the Obama Administration.

Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa criticized the U.S. Attorney’s office including Cunningham and Burke for their obstruction in the case:

“The U.S. Attorney’s Office advised ATF that agents needed to meet unnecessarily strict evidentiary standards in order to speak with suspects, temporarily detain them, or interdict weapons,” Chairman Issa said. “ATF’s reliance on this advice from the U.S. Attorney’s Office during Fast and Furious resulted in many lost opportunities to interdict weapons.”

Advice and management from people like Dennis Burke and Patrick Cunningham.

Patrick Cunningham worked directly under Burke as the chief of the criminal division. Cunningham was called before Issa’s committee to testify, but ultimately he plead the 5th rather than incriminate himself, Burke, and members of the Obama Administration. Cunningham was allowed to resign his position and eventually he accepted a position working for HighGround Public Affairs in Phoenix. Ironically, HighGround now serves as a campaign consultant to Tom Horne’s re-election bid.

Cunningham provided the inaccurate (or false) information to Senator Grassley and the Justice Department that the ATF (which was overseeing the program with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona) never intentionally allowed the the guns to cross the border or knowingly allowed the sale of weapons to suspicious straw buyers. That was obviously later proven false and the Justice Department later took the unprecedented step of pulling the letter they sent to Congress.

While Tom Horne attacks his Republican opponent, Mark Brnovich, for a $120 donation made to a Democrat back in 2006, Tom Horne is actively soliciting donations from Democrats.

Tom Horne is running on a message of border security and fighting back against Obama this cycle, but how can you truly trust Tom Horne to secure the border and fight the overreach of the federal government when he’s receiving financial support from the very people who were engaged in the Obama Administration’s Fast and Furious cover up?

Editor’s note and correction: This post was in error regarding the political affiliation of Patrick Cunningham. A representative of High Ground clarified Cunningham has been a registered Republican since the early 70′s.

Unethical Bar prosecutor who disbarred Andrew Thomas finally exposed, loses job

A m e r i c a n  P o s t – G a z e t t e

Distributed by C O M M O N S E N S E , in Arizona

Wednesday July 23rd, 2014

Attorneys in Colorado and Oregon calling out John Gleason for political targeting

“Abused his authority to selectively prosecute effective advocates of their license without due process of law”

Finally some justice is being done. John Gleason, the slimy Colorado Bar prosecutor the Arizona State Bar brought in to disbar Andrew Thomas, because they knew of his history of successfully politically targeting conservative attorneys, has lost his job over it – AGAIN. Gleason was forced out of the Colorado State Bar after his targeting of Thomas, and could only find a job with the State Bar in Oregon, leaving his family behind. Now, only a year later, he’s out there too.

Here are some excerpts from the article in Oregon Live:

After a short, stormy run that antagonized some lawyers around the state and divided the Oregon State Bar, John Gleason, the bar’s high-profile new disciplinary counsel, quietly left the job and Oregon late last month.

“Gleason came here with a goal to radically change Oregon Bar discipline which he disclosed only to (Bar Executive Director) Sylvia Stevens and I’m glad he’s gone,” said Greg Hendrix, a Bend lawyer and former chair of the bar’s State Professional Responsibility Board.
Here are some excerpts from the comment after the article, written by a successful Colorado attorney who Gleason targeted:
Far from being cause for concern, John Gleason’s premature departure from the post of Disciplinary Counsel should be welcomed by anyone devoted to “Equal Justice Under the Law”. Gleason is third-rate lawyer and under- qualified career bureaucrat with little to no meaningful experience in private practice who, even while his Colorado office routinely ignored or countenanced massive ethical lapses by attorneys for the rich and powerful, complaisantly abused his authority to selectively prosecute and unconstitutionally deprive effective advocates for the little guy of their liberty and property interests in their profession and license without due process of law. I am a Stanford Law School graduate with over 25 years of experience in labor and employment counseling and litigation in the private, public, and corporate sector.
In 2006, I won a $1.22 million ADEA jury verdict against the City and County of Denver on behalf of a long-time firefighter whom it had unlawfully terminated on the pretext of fraudulent shoplifting charges after he turned age 50 (and retirement eligible). In Nov. 2006, the presiding judge, Robert Blackburn, entered judgment in the full amount of the verdict, stating that there was more than enough evidence of willful age discrimination to support the jury’s verdict.
In late September, 2007, however, Blackburn fraudulently, unlawfully, and unconstitutionally granted a new trial in the case on the basis of alleged trivial misconduct by me during trial that was never the subject of a motion for mistrial and was therefore waived, as a matter of law, as grounds for a new trial.
As Alan Prendergast of “Westword” reported soon thereafter, and as the new trial order itself impliedly admitted, there were absolutely no grounds for a new trial. As the jurors Prendergast (and, later, Asst. Attorney Regulation Counsel Kim Ikeler) interviewed attested, the judge’s new trial order was completely unfounded, and they had decided the case in full conformity with the evidence and the law, as instructed:
After interviewing the jurors, Asst. Attorney Regulation Counsel Kim Ikeler told me on Jan. 31, 2008 that he found no clear and convincing evidence of misconduct by me during trial, and would therefore recommend dismissal of the complaint against me.
Nonetheless, at the request of the City of Denver, which has numerous Democrat allies on the Colorado Supreme Court, the Supreme Court’s Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel directed Ikeler to defraud the Attorney Regulation Committee by unlawfully and unethically concealing evidence (the juror’s statements) exculpating me in order to gain permission to prosecute me, then subjected me to a retaliatory and completely unfounded witch hunt and show trial for the purpose of: attempting to force me off the case before retrial; providing a fraudulent veneer of credibility to Judge Blackburn’s blatantly unlawful new trial order; retaliating against me for humiliating the City and its lawless officials so very publicly and gleefully; making an example of me to any other maverick, politically unconnected attorney who might be encouraged to do the same, given the massive corruption and stupidity within the City of Denver’s government; punishing me for my searing criticism of Judge Blackburn and the Colorado Supreme Court.
For the serious crime of winning my client’s case, and vindicating his federally protected rights, against the resistance of a massively powerful, corrupt, and dishonest bureaucracy, another massively powerful, dishonest and corrupt bureaucracy, the Colorado Supreme Court, effectively destroyed my reputation, and ability to ever again practice law, by suspending me for a year and a day for the void-for-vagueness offense of “interfering with the administration of justice” by winning my client’s case through very hard work and skillful lawyering. They exploited local mainstream media to defame me from behind the cover of the fair report doctrine by conspiring with them to portray me in the worst possible light, and refrain from reporting the wealth of evidence exculpating me. Only a few isolated bloggers came close to reporting the truth, and then only after they had parroted false reports I encouraged them to retract, for example:|
My very well-founded appeal to the Colorado Supreme Court was, of course, ignored. I was informed by expert counsel that there was no chance the US Supreme Court would take up my case. Because of overbroad abstention and immunity doctrines, I could not sue in federal court for this blatant violation of my right to due process and deprivation of my liberty and property interests in my career and license.
In short, I was judicially lynched by Mr. Gleason and his colleagues in the Colorado Supreme Court as part of a politically-motivated prosecution that had no foundation in the facts or the law. They did the same thing to me for which Gleason was hired (by Andrew Thomas’ political enemies in Arizona) to disbar Andrew Thomas: abusing prosecutorial powers to punish political enemies.
THAT is the sort of bureaucratic weasel the Oregon Bar hired as its Disciplinary Counsel. Maverick Oregon advocates for the little guy should be relieved by his premature departure under pressure.
Here are some excerpts from another article & comments about the complicit judiciary (sound familiar?):
You have experienced what I believe sadly is the norm of the Colorado Judicial Branch. It has become so flagrant and the “players” so comfortable in their roles that there is no possibility of correcting it. Think about it. What can you or anyone possibly do to overcome the corruption that has become so deeply embedded in every facet of our government. Yes, you can try and fight it, but for what purpose? Unless you resign yourself to the role of bending your knee and bowing your head; life will be very difficult for you as an attorney in Colorado.
It is obvious that this is a political prosecution, and that Gleason, a political reptile who has long abused the power of his office to oppress enemies of those who control the State of Colorado, and protect their friends from scrutiny or prosecution for their routine subversion of justice for fun and profit, was called in to provide the result desired by Thomas’ political enemies.
SunnyFebruary 28, 2014 at 7:07 PM
Very good, Mark. Andrew Thomas’s chief political enemy is Conley Wolfswinkel, a Phoenix developer who is partners with S&L crook Charles Keating, who is a “business partner” of Larry Mizel’s, Mizel being a Colorado homebuilder who–like Keating–is also a big S&L crook. He obtained huge loans from Silverado Savings & Loan which he never paid back. It is zillionaire Larry Mizel who picks the public officials in Colorado, via his criminal campaign-contribution shakedowns. (There’s a classic Denver Post picture of Mizel’s “green light” to John Hickenlooper to run for governor over lunch, for example.) The governor then appoints ALL judges in Colorado, and it was one of these, chief justice Mary Mullarkey–herself appointed by Mizel stooge Roy Romer–who selected John Gleason to head the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel. That selection is more than a little curious because Gleason flunked out of college and never practiced law before joining OARC, despite lying about his “prosecutorial” and “extensive private practice” experience on his bios which are online. So we come full circle: my take is Gleason was imported to Arizona because Wolfswinkel wanted to end Thomas’s career, and needed a mob plant with “disciplinary power” to do it. Aside from the fact he is a lawyer impersonator, as mentioned, witchhunts and abuses of power are John Gleason’s trademark.

It bears mentioning that Gleason was advanced early in his career by the sheriff of Arapahoe County, Pat Sullivan, who gave him rave reviews on evaluations. Sullivan was arrested in 2010 for offering to exchange drugs for homosexual sex, an offer he also apparently routinely made to jail inmates in return for letting them bond out, when he was sheriff. Gleason currently runs, on the side, a nonprofit called “Warrior Youth Sports,” which I have been told, by a parent of a child involved in it, is engaging in financial improprieties. I’m wondering if there are worse abuses afoot, a la Jerry Sandusky. Are we concerned yet? 

See “John Gleason–Lawyer Impersonator?” (and follow-up posts) on my blog,therealcolorado.blogspog.com, for documentation supporting what I’ve said about this man. There should be more documents, of course, but Gleason’s personnel file at OARC, including his application, has been unlawfully withheld. This sure looks like they’ve got to hide that application, because it shows the reptile lied to get the job–as well as that he was profoundly unqualified. Complying with the Open Records Law and producing these records would, of course, impair Job #1 at the OARC, which–as Mark and I both know firsthand–is to protect white collar crime.
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Frank Riggs: The California Congressman Who Wants To Be Arizona Governor

Bartles and Jaymes called. They want their congressman back!

Frank RiggsThere’s one candidate in the race for Governor who claims to be an Arizona conservative but his political dossier reveals otherwise.

Frank Riggs may have relocated to Arizona in 2001 but the astute voter can clearly detect the odor of California politics emanating from the former congressman. Perhaps it’s just sour grapes.

Riggs, who tried to run for Arizona Governor in 2006, quit his exploratory bid when he realized he failed to meet Arizona’s residency requirement for the race.

Sound familiar?

Riggs pulled the same quitting maneuver in California – twice! When a Democrat state senator challenged him in his congressional re-election, Riggs quit and decided to run for the U.S. Senate instead. But then he dropped out of that race too, blaming his lack of fund-raising prowess and the long commute between northern California and D.C. (Tony Perry, “Riggs’ Money Woes Kill Longshot Bid for U.S. Senate,” Los Angeles Times, 4/10/1998)

But quitting his political races at the slightest nudge of a challenge is not the only indicator of Riggs’ lack of preparedness and commitment.

The former congressman also had a problem keeping his promises. According to the same article, “Riggs spent considerable time in his first term deflecting criticism that he reneged on a promise to turn over his congressional pay increase to charity (he ended up sending half to charity) and another pledge not to take contributions from the oil and timber industries” (read article). Why Riggs held on to the other half of his pay raise, and broke his promise to reject big industry cash, is open to speculation but it may be another indicator that the congressman simply had a problem handling money.

The same Los Angeles Times article stated that Riggs violated federal campaign finance laws and only dodged being penalized because the statute of limitations had run out: “A Federal Elections Commission audit of his 1990 campaign found that he had violated election law by improperly bankrolling his campaign with corporate money and loans from his mother, father and sister that exceeded contribution limits.” When honest people are desperate for cash, they usually buckle down their expenses and find ways to earn extra money – not bend the rules as a means of financial survival.

Frank Riggs House BankingKeep in mind, this is the same Frank Riggs who paraded himself alongside six other freshmen Republicans in 1992 as the “Gang of Seven.” You remember these crusaders. They took on the infamous House banking scandal that embroiled fellow members of Congress who had overdrawn their House checking accounts. There’s only one problem: if you’re going to place yourself on an elite pedestal, you’d better be above reproach yourself. It was later discovered that Riggs also bounced several checks as part of the scandal. Ouch!

But it must be noted that Riggs not only didn’t mind burdening others with his financial problems, he also doesn’t mind burdening small business with increased costs by voting to raise the minimum wage not once, not twice, not even three times. Congressman Frank Riggs voted for legislation to raise the minimum wage four times. That’s four opportunities Riggs missed to stand up for small business and free market economic principles. Today, of course, he claims to be an advocate for small businesses and free enterprise, which directly contradicts previous support for increasing the minimum wage. Can you say flip flop?

But wait, it gets worse! During one term of Congressman Frank Riggs tenure, he managed to sneak $35 Million of pork into bills to benefit his district. That’s right. All told, Congressman Riggs brought home the bacon in the form of university buildings and a harbor dredging project(read article). Doesn’t quite sound like the congressman who only two years earlier, signed on to the Contract with American opining about fiscal prudence and balanced budgets.

But even when Congressman Frank Riggs bothered to show up for work and vote (he missed a higher-than-average number of roll call votes, according to GovTrack), his conservative rating was mediocre at best. According to VoteSmart and the American Conservative Union, Riggs scored a lifetime conservative rating of 76%. To put that in perspective, Riggs’ lifetime conservative score was lower than every one of Arizona’s Republican delegation at the time – including Jim Kolbe.

And when Riggs makes bad votes, they’re not just minor swerves to the left – they’re major over of the cliff calamities. Take the January 12, 1991 vote authorizing President Bush to use force in Iraq in accordance with US Security Council Resolution 678. Congressman Frank Riggs was one of three Republicans in the US House who voted against it. Arizona has already had its handful of unprincipled Republicans. She cannot afford another one – especially in the Governor’s office.

Anyone who performs a political credit check on Frank Riggs will easily discover that he scores far below the caliber Arizonans demand in their next governor. When our neighbors to the west leave California, they usually come here for a good reason – to leave behind the liberal California policies, values and bureaucratic regulations and red tape that strangled their businesses and finances. But, based on his record, Frank Riggs wants to bring those mediocre values to Arizona’s government. Republican voters in Arizona are smart and can sniff out the scent of a faux conservative. They should turn up their noses to candidates like Frank Riggs who cannot reconcile their rhetoric with their record.

Will Kyrsten Sinema break her silence on Lois Lerner’s “lost” emails?

Will Sinema Help Uncover the Truth Behind the IRS Scandal or Will She Help the Administration Cover Up Another Scandal?

Kyrsten Sinema

Kyrsten Sinema

WASHINGTON – Last week, the IRS sent a letter to the House Ways and Means committee explaining that they lost Lois Lerner’s emails from January 2009 to April 2011 due to a “computer crash.” These “missing emails” demonstrate the lengths the Obama Administration and Congressional Democrats will go in order to cover up the IRS’ effort to target tax-exempt conservative groups based on their political beliefs.

Sinema’s silence solidifies the fact that she has become a Washington insider and is out of touch with Arizona taxpayers. Instead of demanding answers and holding the IRS accountable, Sinema is helping the Administration cover up a scandal in hopes of political support for her re-election.

“First Lois Lerner refused to comply with Congressional investigations and now her emails are ‘missing’. That just doesn’t pass the smell test,” said NRCC Communications Director Andrea Bozek. “Kyrsten Sinema has the opportunity to protect Arizona taxpayers from being wrongfully targeted by holding the Administration accountable and condemning the IRS officials responsible for this scandal.”

IRS claims Lois Lerner’s e-mails are lost due to a computer crash.

(Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz, The IRS claims that Lois Lerner’s e-mails were wiped out by a ‘computer crash’, The Washington Post, 6/15/14)

Lawsuit Filed Alleging Forgery By Candidate Toby Farmer

Farmer and the Rotary QuestionsAccording to a lawsuit filed today in the Superior Court of Arizona, the candidate petitions filed with the Secretary of State’s office by Republican candidate for State Senate Toby Farmer, contained a large number of forged signatures.

Candidates are required to obtain signatures from registered voters in their district in order to qualify for the ballot.  In Toby Farmer’s case, the petitions that he swore contained legitimate signatures actually contained large numbers of forged signatures.  Exhibits to the lawsuit include sworn affidavits from the voters purported to have signed the petitions.

The petitions carrying the forged signatures were circulated by Toby Farmer himself.  Farmer signed an affirmation on the back of each page containing forged signatures swearing that each name was signed in his presence.

The backgrounds of those whose identities were stolen ranged from senior citizens to college-aged kids.  It is unclear at this time how or why they were targeted by Farmer’s campaign.

Farmer also forged signatures for voters who no longer lived in Arizona, but who were still on the voter rolls.  In some cases he forged signatures where the homes listed were vacant and lender-owned.

The matter is expected to be heard in a week or so and the entire matter will also be turned over to law enforcement for prosecution.  At least one signer also indicated a desire to press charges themselves.

This is just the latest ethical breach by Farmer in his campaigns for office, although it is admittedly the most serious.  Farmer’s 2012 campaign for the State House of Representatives also ended early after his petition signatures were challenged.  In that case, Farmer dropped out of the race the day he was due in court, thereby short-circuiting the process and ending the case.  Farmer filed to run for the State House again in 2013 and abandoned that bid to run for State Senate instead.  Farmer later claimed that his 2013 House run was his first campaign for office, until court documents from 2012 re-surfaced.

Ironically, Farmer’s campaign website lists his #1 priority as “Leading with Integrity”.

Corrupt Democrat supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox gets her $1 million from taxpayers for stress

A m e r i c a n  P o s t – G a z e t t e
Distributed by C O M M O N S E N S E , in Arizona
Monday June 2nd, 2014
Left wing 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirms $975,000 settlement to corrupt Maricopa County Supervisor

Even the other county supervisors – who are mostly corrupt themselves – voted against her awarding herself money for “stress” over being prosecuted for filing false financial forms and voting on a grant to Chicanos por la Causa which was a conflict of interest considering they’d given her a loan at a great interest rate. 

UNBELIEVABLE……Read the story here. Must be nice to be powerful and connected. The rest of us little people would be in prison.
 
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Arizona Legislators Ask Tom Horne to Bow Out of Attorney General Race

Thursday, nine Arizona legislators sent a letter to Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne to exit the Republican Primary and race for AG. Spearheaded by State Representative Paul Boyer, the letter expressed grave concern over Horne’s ability to lead and serve the public has been severely compromised by a number of legal, ethical and personal problems.

Eight of Boyer’s legislative peers also signed the letter affirming that “integrity matters in our elected officials and our elections.”

Boyer, who also authored the letter wrote:

Dear General Horne:

We write to express our grave concerns over the recent allegations leveled at you, your official staff, and your campaign.

We acknowledge the investigations into wrongdoing are not complete, but that in no way lessens the dark cloud of impropriety that hangs over you and your administration.

We trust that the authorities conducting these investigations will enforce the law to the best of their abilities. We also acknowledge this process will take time and that you have a right to your day in court. Your ability to lead and serve the public, however, has already been severely compromised.

We, the undersigned, have a responsibility to act in the best interest of our state and our party. We are convinced that if you continue in your campaign for re-election, both of these interests will be damaged.

For this reason, we take the difficult step of formally requesting that you withdraw from the race for Attorney General.

Integrity matters in our elected officials and our elections. We expect more from our Attorney General, the individual who is tasked with directing the Department of Law. Arizonans have a right to expect more out of the highest-ranking legal officer of the state.

Please do what is right for Arizona and for the Republican Party.

Sincerely,

Paul Boyer
Rick Gray
Warren Petersen
Nancy Barto
JD Mesnard
Karen Fann
Steve Yarbrough
TJ Shope
Kelli Ward

 

Here is a copy of the letter:

HorneLetter

 

Tom Horne Letter

The letter follows other high profile requests by members of the congressional delegation asking Horne to withdraw from the race. Last week, Congressman Matt Salmon called Horne and personally asked him to exit. The following day Senator Jeff Flake stated publicly that Horne should exit. Senator John McCain also stopped short from saying Horne should get out but did note that the AG should recognize his political situation and.

Over a week ago, this blog asked the Attorney General to drop out of the race.

Sonoran Alliance’s Shane Wikfors on Sunday Square Off Asking Tom Horne to Exit AG Race

ICYMI, here is my recent appearance on TV-12′s Sunday Square Off discussing the Arizona Attorney General’s race and why Tom Horne should exit.

Special thanks to Brahm Resnik for having me on the show to discuss several political news items!

Matt Salmon asks Tom Horne to exit AG race, Will others follow Salmon’s lead?

Matt Salmon

Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne must dread the vision of seeing his caller ID display the phone number of a member of Arizona’s congressional delegation.

One of those calls occurred this afternoon. It was Congressman Matt Salmon.

Salmon was the first in what I would expect to be several calls from high-ranking Republicans and party officials asking the embattled Attorney General to withdrawal from the race. It’s another version of a political landslide – when you lose the vote of confidence of the political establishment.

At this point, we don’t know whether Senator John McCain, Senator Jeff Flake, former Senator Jon Kyl or Congressmen, Gosar, Schweikert or Franks have made that same call.

Like many other Republicans, I would hope those calls happen soon.

Regardless, I applaud my Congressman Matt Salmon for making the first public call.

It’s never an easy thing to talk a candidate out of a race. It’s even harder to convince an incumbent and fellow Republican to withdraw from a high stakes race. Candidates usually have an abundance of money, ego, divine inspiration or an amalgam of all of the above holding them back from making a political humiliating move. The more pressure they feel from their elected peers, the more political reality penetrates their psyche and it becomes an act of sacrifice rather than humility.

A united congressional delegation and the revoked unwritten endorsement by the state party chairman would have that very effect in the case of Tom Horne.

Republicans are supposed to hold to higher ethics because that’s just the inherent nature of a party that respects moral and ethical absolutes. It’s expected of us and its why Republicans suffer tremendous backlash when someone makes a mistake. We’re the party of higher standards and we have an obligation to self-regulate and discipline our ranks.

Then there’s the political reality that Republicans will lose the Attorney General’s seat to a rambunctious and capricious Democrat only to bring her closer to the Governor’s office. Some of us remember all to well the 1998 Primary in which John Kaites and Tom McGovern beat each other up so badly it paved the roadway for Janet Napolitano to take the office of AG and eventually Governor. Let’s be politically smart this time and save the state from another political dark age.

We all owe Congressman Matt Salmon tremendous gratitude for looking into the future and having the courage to make that tough call to Attorney General Horne. Let’s hope others will also see into the future far enough ahead and set us on a path that avoids political disaster.

Thank you Congressman Salmon!

Tom Horne’s Brett Mecum, a.k.a. “Captain America,” His DUI and Other Embarrassments

Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne and his surrogates have been doing their darnedest to drag former AG staffer Sarah Beattie through the mud, in an obvious attempt to deflect attention from the mountain of evidence provided by Beattie, showing that Horne has been running his re-election campaign from the AG’s Office.

But there’s a risk in such ad hominem attacks. First, they do not address the underlying accusation, or the evidence accompanying it. Second, they leave those in your camp open to the same personal scrutiny.

Which is the only reason I’m bothering with a DUI that Horne’s legislative liaison Brett Mecum pulled in September 2013, for which he ultimately did 24 hours in Maricopa County Jail.

brett112.JPG

Phoenix New Times has the full scoop

Another Horne staffer quits citing campaign finance violations, terrified for her career

A m e r i c a n  P o s t – G a z e t t e

Distributed by C O M M O N S E N S E , in Arizona

Sunday May 4th, 2014

AZ Republic: Horne staffer says AG ‘not following campaign laws’

Staffers caught on video dropping off election materials during work hours; also, Horne responds to Brnovich campaign email during work hours

Submitted by a reader
The scandals around embattled liberal Republican (a former Democrat until inconvenient) Attorney General Tom Horne continue to escalate. Staffer Sarah Beattie, who worked as an administrative assistant in the AG’s office, has resigned, and stated in her resignation letter that it was due to campaign violations she observed taking place in the office. The Arizona Republic has the full story here. The Phoenix New Times has an even more condemning story here.

Horne may have slimed his way out of prosecution, by hiring the best attorneys and being connected to judges, but the voters of Arizona know exactly what he did. TWO, not just one, but TWO county attorneys including Bill Montgomery sought to press charges against him for illegally coordinating with an “independent” (haha) expenditure committee run by one of his closest friends and alleged former mistress, to funnel hundreds of thousands of dollars from California to his campaign. No one believes that he wasn’t illegally coordinating when they read the obvious evidence as laid out here.

Horne was caught by the FBI sneaking out of one of his mistress’s apartments during lunch, then hitting a car and leaving the scene without even leaving a note. This is inappropriate behavior for the state’s top law enforcement official! He has been permanently banned from trading by the SEC for unethical behavior.

Everyone knows Horne’s not a conservative, and switched parties to run as a Republican for legislature only because he realized a Democrat could not win where he lived. The only issues he’s ever been conservative on are illegal immigration – and then only in recent years – and bilingual education. Everything else he has a poor record on, including bringing Common Core to Arizona with Governor Brewer – thanks a lot. Any prominent conservative who is supporting him probably has been threatened by him, so take any odd endorsement with a grain of salt…

If you support a guy who cheats on his wife with multiple mistresses, and gets away with a hit and run, then Horne is your guy. Despite Horne’s massive name recognition over Democrat Felecia Rotellini, he is trailing her by 6 points in the latest poll. Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery is supporting Mark Brnovich, the conservative in the race, for Attorney General. That tells principled Republicans everything they need to know.

Bill Montgomery Supports Mark Brnovich for Attorney General
Bill Montgomery Supports Mark Brnovich for Attorney General
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Horne compares himself to Jesus during Holy Week, says he was “crucified”

A m e r i c a n  P o s t – G a z e t t e
Distributed by C O M M O N S E N S E , in Arizona
Thursday, April 17th,  2014
Horne silent on key issues like public prayer 
Cannot win; 6 points behind little known Democrat Rotellini in poll 

Submitted by a reader

I was flabbergasted to receive a campaign email from Tom Horne declaring that he had been “crucified” in the press: “It’s clear that they were more interested in crucifying me than reporting the facts.” Really, Tom? It’s Holy Week, the week before Easter, and you are comparing yourself to Jesus? Jesus was without sin. You refused to speak out on the recent case involving public prayer, Greece v. Galloway, yet you dare to call yourself a martyr?

You may have slimed your way out of prosecution, by hiring the best attorneys and being connected to judges, but the voters of Arizona know exactly what you did. TWO, not just one, but TWO county attorneys including Bill Montgomery sought to press charges against you for illegally coordinating with an “independent” (haha) expenditure committee run by one of your closest friends, to funnel hundreds of thousands of dollars to your campaign. No one believes that you weren’t coordinating, when they read the obvious evidence as laid out here.

You were caught by the FBI sneaking out of one of your mistress’s apartments during lunch, then hitting a car and leaving the scene without even leaving a note. This is inappropriate behavior for the state’s top law enforcement official! You have been permanently banned from trading by the SEC for unethical behavior.

Everyone knows you’re not a conservative, and switched parties to run as a Republican for legislature only because you realized a Democrat could not win where you lived. The only issues you’ve ever been conservative on are illegal immigration – and then only in recent years – and bilingual education. Everything else you have a poor record on, including bringing Common Core to Arizona with Governor Brewer – thanks a lot.

Despite Horne’s massive name recognition over Democrat Felecia Rotellini, he is trailing her by 6 points in the latest poll. Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery is supporting Mark Brnovich, the conservative in the race, for Attorney General. That tells principled Republicans everything they need to know.

Bill Montgomery Supports Mark Brnovich for Attorney General
Bill Montgomery Supports Mark Brnovich for Attorney General
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Front page AZ Republic: AZ Bar disciplinary judge mired in corruption

A m e r i c a n  P o s t – G a z e t t e
Distributed by C O M M O N S E N S E , in Arizona
Wednesday, April 16th,  2014

 

Liberal Arizona Republic finally exposes corruption of AZ Bar disciplinary judge who disbarred Andrew Thomas  
Reporter uncovers cronyism and coverup goes all the way to the top – the AZ Supreme Court! 

Divorce case stirs ethics allegations about judge

Dennis Wagner, The Republic | azcentral.com
http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/2014/04/16/divorce-case-stirs-ethics-allegations-judge/7765749/

This is not a story about a dog or a divorce, but that’s where it begins.
After Mark Dixon and his ex-wife, Carol Johnson, terminated their marriage in late 2009, they got into a custody dispute over Shiloh, an Australian shepherd.
On Dec. 2 of that year, Dixon was pulled over by three plainclothes Pinal County sheriff’s deputies with semiautomatic weapons, according to the incident report and court records.
Dixon alleges he was ordered to surrender the dog or face immediate arrest, so he acquiesced. A civil complaint he filed in federal court against a group of Pinal County deputies and Dixon’s ex-wife says he argued that the disagreement with his wife was a civil matter and that deputies “did knowingly and willingly criminally extort property” by threatening arrest if he did not give up the dog. His lawsuit accused Pinal County officials of conspiracy.
In a court motion, Dixon asserted that his ex-wife, who then worked for a credit union, had assisted Pinal County Superior Court Judge William J. “Bill” O’Neil in obtaining a $300,000 loan prior to the canine-custody dispute.
Dixon, who represented himself during most of the case, speculated that O’Neil, who was not named as a defendant, returned the favor by influencing deputies to seize the dog.
Deputies denied any conspiracy, court records show, and O’Neil also denied any impropriety in an interview with The Arizona Republic. Defense attorneys successfully argued that the lawsuit, which sought $5 million in damages, was legally flawed and failed to show proof.
Thus began a four-year saga of intrigue involving O’Neil, who presides over discipline in the Arizona court system, and Dixon, a 49-year-old construction contractor who acknowledges a 1997 federal fraud conviction.
Dixon and at least two lawyers subjected to discipline by the State Bar of Arizona question the integrity of O’Neil, a key figure responsible for maintaining ethical standards within Arizona’s justice system.
In a court motion filed last month, suspended Phoenix attorney Jane O. Ross asked that O’Neil be removed from Bar disciplinary proceedings against her because of “a pattern of corruption, failure to uphold the due-process rights of disciplinary respondents, failure to acknowledge conflicts of interest, abuses of discretion and power, dereliction of judicial duties and knowingly making false statements.”
The motion to remove O’Neil contains allegations of criminal and unethical behavior. It relies heavily on information gathered by Dixon and includes an affidavit from him sworn under penalty of perjury.
A motion is made
“O’Neil is accused of illegal conduct in his personal affairs and ethical misconduct from the bench,” Ross wrote. “It is patently unfair for a judge, so accused, to continue to sit in judgment of others similarly accused until such accusations are either confirmed or dispelled.”
O’Neil did not respond to a Republic request for comment on Ross’ motion, though he previously spoke to the newspaper and rejected challenges to his integrity. He has not withdrawn from the case, but he did assign another judge to conduct an April 17 hearing on Ross’ motion.
Heather Murphy, director of communications for the Arizona Supreme Court, said she does not know what actions or investigations into the allegations the Supreme Court might launch, if any.
Dixon and O’Neil, both Casa Grande residents, have known one another since Dixon’s daughter began boarding and riding her horse at O’Neil’s stables years ago. In a sworn affidavit and formal complaints, Dixon said a friendship evolved. O’Neil characterizes Dixon as an acquaintance.
Either way, the two men agree that Dixon worked on O’Neil’s property occasionally and that they talked often. The judge presided over Dixon’s wedding. Dixon says they often discussed legal matters; O’Neil says that Dixon sometimes asked for legal advice but that he tried to brush off the queries.
After the dog incident, however, Dixon filed complaints or claims against O’Neil with the Arizona Supreme Court, the Commission on Judicial Conduct, the Attorney General’s Office and the State Bar of Arizona.
Dixon shared copies with The Arizona Republic. The Commission on Judicial Conduct usually posts complaints online after its investigation, but it opted not to publish the complaint against O’Neil, a spokesman said.
Investigations and litigation proceeded at the same time the Supreme Court was setting up a new ethics system to deal with attorney misconduct – and appointing O’Neil as the state’s first and only “presiding disciplinary judge.”
For the past three years, O’Neil has overseen proceedings against scores of lawyers, including the disbarment of former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas, while fending off Dixon’s accusations of unethical conduct. He is now considering approval of a proposed Bar reprimand against former U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke for ethics violations during a national political scandal involving the Operation Fast and Furious firearms investigation.
In an August 2012 complaint to the Commission on Judicial Conduct, Dixon told the story of Shiloh.
According to a copy of the complaint provided to The Republic, Dixon also asserted that O’Neil was his “ghost writer” in a Pinal County Superior Court motion and secretly authored an ethics complaint Dixon lodged against another judge.
Finally, he wrote that O’Neil acted improperly – or created an appearance of conflict – in transactions involving a residence owned by the judge’s mother-in-law.
According to public records, Sarah Holmes, O’Neil’s mother-in-law, executed a short sale of her Casa Grande house to a family friend. The friend subsequently sold a half-interest in the dwelling to O’Neil. Holmes continued to reside at the house – as a renter, according to O’Neil.
In an interviewlate last year, O’Neil told The Republic that he did not author legal papers for Dixon, did not enlist deputies in a scheme against him and did not engage in a fraudulent real-estate scheme. “I categorically deny the allegations,” he said.
Former Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Stanley Feldman, who represents O’Neil, said the judge has been smeared by a felon who bears a grudge. “There’s really nothing to it. … This is just a plain vendetta,” Feldman said.
The Commission on Judicial Conduct dismissed Dixon’s complaints after an initial review. A federal judge threw out the conspiracy lawsuit. No other government entity has sustained allegations by Dixon, who says each setback reaffirms his belief that Arizona’s justice system is corrupt.
The chain of events
Documents in the Pinal County Recorder’s Office show the chain of events: In August 2006, Sarah Holmes, O’Neil’s mother-in-law, secured a $204,000 loan on her house. Within months, Holmes borrowed an additional $203,950 using her home as collateral.
Three years elapsed. In January 2010, records show, Holmes executed a short sale of her property for $72,000 cash to a man named BrienBrenfleck. O’Neil confirmed that Brenfleck is a longtime family friend who once lived at O’Neil’s residence.
Short sales usually occur when a property’s mortgage debt exceeds its market value. In order to avoid foreclosure, lenders in some cases allow a homeowner to sell the residence and eliminate debt in excess of the proceeds.
Such transactions typically must be approved by mortgage holders, and the indebted seller generally cannot have close ties with the buyer.
Within days of the short sale, according to records on file with the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office, Brenfleck and “Bill O’Neal” (sic) were registered as owners of a new Arizona trade name, BOBB Investments, initials from the principles’ names.
Ten months later, Brenfleck transferred half-ownership of the Holmes property to Judge O’Neil and his wife, Tammy. O’Neil signed an affidavit listing his purchase price at $25,000.
O’Neil told The Republic he had “nothing to do with the refinancing” of his mother-in-law’s home or her decision to do a short sale. O’Neil said it was sheer coincidence that Brenfleck was looking to invest in a house and happened to see a real-estate ad about the short sale.
“We did not give him a check (to purchase the residence as a straw buyer),” O’Neil said. “We did not set a bag of money on the doorstep. We were not involved.”
About the same time as the home was advertised, O’Neil said, he and Brenfleck contemplated a business buying depressed real estate and reselling it. He said that BOBB Investments was created for that purpose but that they were unable to borrow funds to get the enterprise started.
O’Neil said Brenfleck called him months later saying that he had lost his job and that the house he had purchased from Holmes needed major repairs. Brenfleck asked if the judge would acquire a half-interest in the residence, then share refurbishment costs. O’Neil said he agreed to do so.
Brenfleck could not be reached for comment.
Short sale detailed
Ross’ recent motion to remove O’Neil describes the short sale and alleges that evidence implicates Arizona’s presiding disciplinary judge in “illegal conduct.”
The motion says an attorney who played a key role as trustee in the transactions, Christopher Perry, later was convicted of negligent homicide and fleeing the scene of a 2011 drunken-driving accident.
Records show that Perry was sentenced to 18 months of incarceration but that he did not get disbarred until March 2013, a month before his release, although the disbarment was retroactive. Ross’ motion alleges Perry received favorable treatment from O’Neil in disciplinary proceedings because the suspension of his license was stayed. She alleges that the entire matter creates a “shocking appearance of impropriety.”
Records show that Perry litigated a number of cases before O’Neil when the judge worked in Pinal County Superior Court. Most were perfunctory evictions where the Phoenix attorney appeared by telephone.
O’Neil told The Republic he has no acquaintanceship with Perry: “Never talked to him. Maybe he was in my court at some time. … But I don’t know Christopher Perry.”
Perry could not be reached to discuss the matter.
Ross is a prominent attorney in Arizona’s gay and lesbian community. Her law license was suspended in March 2013 for four years after a hearing before O’Neil. In that case, she was accused of pressuring a client to pay an additional $10,500 shortly before trial, then withdrawing as counsel when the client refused. She also was charged with signing a false document, making misleading statements and publicly accusing a judge of prejudice because he “just doesn’t like lesbians.”
The current case against Ross is based on Bar allegations that, while her license was inactive, she continued to practice law and failed to notify a client of her suspension.
In a court filing, Ross answered that she had not acted as a lawyer, but utilized a power of attorney available to anyone. She asserted she was unable to locate her client to advise him that she’d been suspended.
In seeking O’Neil’s removal, Ross also alleges that the late Robert Gallo of Casa Grande repeatedly served as an independent “public” member on attorney-discipline panels with O’Neil. Ross contends the judge unethically failed to notify defendants that Gallo was his close friend, neighbor and business associate.
O’Neil previously confirmed to The Republic that he and Gallo were friends. He said that he does not believe the friendship constituted a conflict, but understands that others might disagree.
Ross’ motion also says O’Neil repeatedly violated her legal rights in disciplinary proceedings and discriminated against her based on his religious beliefs regarding homosexuality.
Ross concluded that O’Neil should not merely be disqualified from her case, but should no longer serve as Arizona’s presiding disciplinary judge.
Code requirements
The Arizona Code of Judicial Conduct requires jurists to “avoid both impropriety and the appearance of impropriety” that occurs when a reasonable person believes a judge’s conduct is unethical.
O’Neil obtained half-ownership of a house for $25,000. The judge conceded that the residence was purchased from his mother-in-law by a family friend. The mother-in-law remained in the home. The friend and the judge contemplated becoming partners in real-estate ventures.
Asked if that scenario was inappropriate, O’Neil responded, “I don’t believe so, no. I ran it by an attorney during the commission (inquiry) … and he said there was no fraud.”
What about the appearance of impropriety? “In hindsight, would I have done this?” O’Neil said. “The answer is ‘No.’ “
Upon learning of O’Neil’s remark, former Justice Feldman said, “I hate to contradict the good judge, but … there isn’t any appearance of impropriety.”
Brenfleck and Holmes, who declined to be interviewed, wrote letters to Feldman declaringthat the transactions were proper. An affidavit of “arm’s length transaction,” signed by Brenfleck, says that no family member or business associate participated in the short sale and that there were “no hidden terms or special understandings.”
Arizona judicial canons say a jurist must conduct private affairs “so as to minimize the risk of conflict. … A judge shall not abuse the prestige of judicial office to advance the personal or economic interests of the judge or others. … Public confidence in the judiciary is eroded by improper conduct and conduct that creates the appearance of impropriety.”
Dixon provided The Republic a copy of his judicial-conduct complaint against O’Neil. It alleged that the judge “did in fact commit mortgage fraud in using Brien Brenfleck as a straw buyer.”
George Riemer, executive director of the Commission on Judicial Conduct, recused himself from the case because he serves on lawyer-discipline panels with O’Neil.
The Dixon complaint was referred for screening to Michael O. Miller, a commission member and then-Pima County Superior Court judge.
Miller recommended dismissal of the complaint. On Nov. 12, 2012, the full commission ruled there was “no evidence of ethical misconduct.”
Complaints surface
Dixon’s complaints against O’Neil surfaced in the disbarment proceedings against County Attorney Andrew Thomas and his deputy, Lisa Aubuchon, accused of unethically filing criminal charges against political foes.
Before he became presiding disciplinary judge, O’Neil had been assigned briefly to a key case in the scandal, in which he ruled against the prosecutors. When Bar complaints were lodged against Thomas and Aubuchon, O’Neil was placed in charge of the disciplinary hearings. Aubuchon asked that he withdraw due to a conflict of interest. O’Neil declined.
Thomas and Aubuchon were stripped of their law licenses in April 2012, and O’Neil authored the 232-page decision.
Two weeks later, Mark Dixon signed an affidavit alleging that O’Neil had privately discussed the Maricopa County attorney controversy with him in spring 2009 and had expressed bias against Thomas and Aubuchon. Aubuchon included his statement in an appeal of her disbarment to the Arizona Supreme Court.
O’Neil denied such a conversation occurred and said he had no conflict in overseeing the disbarment case.
The Supreme Court rejected all of Aubuchon’s appellate arguments, including claims of bias by O’Neil, which the court said “lacked merit.” In its September decision, justices saidshe failed to “prove bias or prejudice by a preponderance of the evidence” and “did not demonstrate that Judge O’Neil’s impartiality might reasonably be questioned or that he was biased or prejudiced as a result of his limited roles in the related criminal matters.”
Even if Dixon’s allegations were true, the court said, his affidavit “does not overcome the presumption that Judge O’Neil acted without bias or prejudice.”
O’Neil said Dixon’s unceasing accusations had created safety concerns. He noted that Dixon’s judicial complaint described an incident in which a horse at the judge’s stable was euthanized with a gun while the O’Neils were at church. O’Neil said he had not even been aware that a horse was shot on his property until he read Dixon’s account.
“It terrified us, absolutely terrified us,” he said. “I’m horribly concerned. I lock my doors at night. … We keep our dogs in the house.”
Dixon said the suffering animal was put down by an off-duty police officer, who corroborated that account to The Republic. Dixon said he mentioned the incident in his complaint because he was told of an alleged plan to discredit him by charging him with a weapons violation as a result of the mercy killing.
Dixon, meanwhile, says he is in hiding outside Arizona, fearful of being framed by officials in the justice system as he continues to investigate.
“I just want this (expletive) straightened out,” he said. “I mean, this is so far beyond a man and his dog that it’s not even funny.”
Reach the reporter at dennis.wagner@arizonarepublic.com.

Lisa Aubuchon speaks out – the other side the Bar and media don’t want you to know

A m e r i c a n  P o s t – G a z e t t e

Distributed by C O M M O N S E N S E , in Arizona

Sunday, March 30th,  2014

 

Disbarred Deputy Attorney under Andrew Thomas exposes corruption of AZ State Bar

Names names, reveals former Bar president Ed Novak’s unethical role in targeting political enemies

We’ve been following this scandal closely here at American Post-Gazette, since some of us are married to or related to attorneys or judges, and are concerned that this could happen to any of them. Activist Laine Lawless, who has a long history of speaking up for and defending those who are wrongly attacked, interviews politically targeted attorney Lisa Aubuchon in a 7-part series (45 minutes long). Lawless is not a conservative, but she was so disgusted by how the State Bar targeted Aubuchon that she had to speak up. The interview is excellent and we recommend you try to watch the whole thing, Aubuchon gets to the bottom of why the State Bar targeted her, Andrew Thomas and Rachel Alexander. We’ve summarized some of the worst aspects of her testimony below. It will shock you. As we’ve said before, Cook County is no longer the most corrupt county in the nation, Maricopa County is. At least in Cook County, Jesse Jackson, Jr., received 2.5 years in federal prison for doing the exact same thing that Maricopa County Supervisor Don Stapley did. What happened to Stapley? He awarded himself $3.5 million from us taxpayers for “stress” over being prosecuted, and got the prosecutors disbarred.
AZ Bar Association v. Lisa Aubuchon Part 1
AZ Bar Association v. Lisa Aubuchon Part 1
This is the first video; the next 6 can be found on Lawless’s YouTube channel here.
Aubuchon begins explaining how this all started; county judges were letting illegal immigrants accused of felonies out on bail, where they were at risk of committing more crimes. That set off the judiciary against Andrew Thomas, whose prosecutors did not want them released. The judges were also upset with Thomas because they could no longer pick up the phone and call him to arrange for lighter sentences for cronies, like they had done with liberal Republican Rick Romley in the past. Thomas insisted that everyone be treated equally under the law, no special treatment for judges or politicians.
Lisa then explains how she was told that Maricopa County Supervisor Don Stapley might be involved in some shady land swaps, and she started investigating and determined that it sure looked like it.
The presiding judge of the Maricopa County Superior Court at the time, Barbara Mundell, told Sheriff Arpaio’s Chief Deputy Dave Hendershott that Don Stapley had told her if the judges want the $340 million dollar Taj Mahal court tower built in the midst of the recession, they must hire his lawyer buddy and yes-man Tom Irvine, as a “space planner” (yeah that’s right, what is a space planner?). His firm was given over $1 million for their role as a space planner, and all he appeared to do was show up at some meetings and take notes.
Ed Novak, the guy behind all the corruption
Smelling corruption, Thomas decided to investigate Irvine’s role. There was a grand jury investigation to determine if there was probable cause to prosecute Irvine. It was handled by the criminal presiding judge Gary Donahoe. Insanely, the supervisors turned around and hired Irvine and his law partner Ed Novak, a former president of the State Bar who is still on the Bar’s board of governors, to be the attorneys objecting to their own investigation! Talk about a conflict of interest. They asked for a stay on the grand jury’s investigation from the AZ Supreme Court, which was denied. So instead, they went to the AZ Bar disciplinary judge, William O’Neil, who granted the stay. Talk about unethical abuse of the legal system! Us ordinary people wouldn’t get that kind of treatment going around the rules. It was later discovered that Novak was behind many of the frivolous bar complaints against Thomas that were all dismissed in the mid-to-late 2000s.
Novak got O’Neil to halt the grand jury just in time, because the grand jury was about to ask for draft indictment papers on him. At that time, liberal Republican Rick Romley had been appointed interim county attorney by the supervisors (who he rewarded by being their yes-man) and had a press conference announcing that the grand jury did not indict Novak. This was dishonest, because the grand jury was going to indict them if it hadn’t been stopped by O’Neil.
As a result of this, the Bar brought charges against Aubuchon, Thomas and Alexander. The county attorney has never not paid for the costs of prosecuting deputy county attorneys, but in the case of Aubuchon, they refused to provide her an attorney for the trial. A Montana attorney was so outraged by the corruption, that he represented her throughout the entire trial pro bono.
During the show trial that went on against Thomas, Aubuchon and Alexander, Judge O’Neil never pronounced her name correctly – right up until three months later when the trial ended and he pronounced her disbarred. One way he frequently mispronounced her name was to refer to her as “Ambush-on,” clearly implying she was corrupt – an obvious ethical violation by a judge.
When Aubuchon discovered that O’Neil had been involved quashing the Judge Donahoe grand jury investigation, she brought it to the attention of the court. O’Neil lied and said he had never been involved in it!  But Aubuchon found the pleadings later with his name on it. A former close friend and neighbor of O’Neil, Mark Dixon, has bravely come forward with affidavits, speaking up about how O’Neil told him when Thomas and Aubuchon were attempting to indict Donahoe, that it was terrible what they were trying to do to Donahoe, a personal friend of his. Consequently, it was a MAJOR ethical conflict for O’Neil to ever be the disciplinary judge of Aubuchon and Thomas, when not only was Donahoe a personal friend of his, but he’d signed the paperwork stopping the grand jury indictment of him, and previously stated that he thought the indictment was terrible.
Several witnesses perjured themselves on the stand during the trial of Aubuchon, Thomas and Alexander, and when caught later in civil trials, recanted their statements! Judge Mundell testified that one of the jail overflow facilities had been condemned, as supposed justification to build the $340 million Taj Majal court tower. The sheriff’s office contradicted her testimony on the stand, testifying that it hadn’t been condemned, in fact they had continued to use it all along.
Aubuchon was told by a a senior attorney from a top, well-connected law firm during a settlement conference that she better take the settlement of a few years suspension and run, because a decision had already been made by O’Neil in collusion withe Bar to disbar her – before the trial had even started! Anyone who watched the trial could tell it was a kangaroo court the entire way, O’Neil frequently laughed and joked with the counsel representing the trio, as he was about to destroy their careers, completely inappropriate and something most judges would find themselves reprimanded for.
After O’Neil disbarred her, Aubuchon appealed to the Arizona Supreme Court. They took 14-15 months to decide her appeal, and she was not allowed to practice law most of that time, which is unprecedented. Arizona Bar rules state that disbarment actions take precedent over ALL other civil cases. Yet the Supreme Court didn’t bother to follow their own rules – something that ironically, Aubuchon would have been disciplined for had she done the same thing – and sat on her case for over a year. Even REGULAR civil cases are usually decided three months after the final briefs are in!!!!
The Arizona Bar’s own rules state that while on appeal, attorneys still get to practice law. Their reason for not allowing Aubuchon to continue practicing while on appeal? She’s a “danger to the community.” This is astonishing when you consider an Arizona attorney who was drinking and driving and killed someone, but was still allowed to practice law.
Scott Rhodes, who the Bar wanted to represent Aubuchon, since he would do their bidding, admitted to Aubuchon it was rare for
her have only to had one bar complaint against her in her 20+ years of practicing law as a senior prosecutor. She has received multiple awards from law enforcement agencies and victims services. Her division awarded her trial attorney of the year.
Aubuchon’s life has been turned upside down as a result of the political targeting. She was 7 years away from retirement, with 2 daughters in college. She was forced to cash out her retirement, which was taxed at 50%. To this day, she is still behind on her home payments and has an IRS lien on her home. She has credit card debt and judgments hanging over her head from people she prosecuted. She and her attorneys were sanctioned $200,000 by Ed Novak. The judge awarded it to Novak simply for filing a motion to dismiss. Even though there’s a legal rule that says you can’t get attorneys fees for yourself!
Aubuchon recommends the mandatory bar association be disbanded to stop these abuses. Half the states do not have a mandatory bar association. The Arizona bar association is run by an incestuous group of people that protects bad attorneys and harasses good attorneys. Please contact your state legislators and urge them to pass legislation disbanding this corrupt cabal. Any attorney in Arizona is in danger until this happens.

Americans for Prosperity – Arizona: Legislative Action for Week of February 3

Americans for Prosperity-Arizona

The week of February 3, three of AFP-Arizona’s key bills will be in committee. Please use the information and links below to take action TODAY.

HB 2260 — The Small Business Bill of Rights

HB 2260, sponsored by Rep. Tom Forese, will be heard by the House Commerce Committee on Wednesday, February 5 at 10:00 am. It would create a list of protections for all business owners and require regulatory enforcement agencies to publicize them.  (Thanks to NFIB-Arizona for pushing for this important bill!)  We need to protect Arizona job creators from government regulatory assault, so please take the following two actions today:

1) Use THIS LINK to call or email the members of the House Commerce Committee,
and ask them to support HB 2260, the Small Business Bill of Rights.

2) Use THIS LINK to email the legislators in your district, and ask them to support HB 2260, the Small Business Bill of Rights, when it comes to a floor vote.

HB 2508 — Criminal Background Checks for ObamaCare Navigators

HB 2508, sponsored by Rep. Phil Lovas, will be heard by the House Insurance and Retirement Committee on Tuesday, February 4 at 2:00 pm. It would regulate ObamaCare insurance exchange Navigators, by requiring them to undergo criminal background checks and by instituting other privacy protections. These Navigators will have access to very sensitive personal health and financial information of citizens — and many citizens are essentially being forced by ObamaCare to go into the exchanges. Please take the following two actions today:

1) Use THIS LINK to call or email the members of the House Insurance and Retirement Committee, and ask them to support HB 2508 to protect citizens’ personal health and financial information from fraudsters acting as Navigators.

2) Use THIS LINK to email the legislators in your district, and ask them to support HB 2508 when it comes to a floor vote.

HCR 2005 — The “Terminal Patients Compassionate Care Act”

HCR 2005, sponsored by Rep. Phil Lovas, will be heard by the House Reform and Human Services Committee on Thursday, February 6 at 9:00 am. The bill would put a “Terminal Patients Compassionate Care Act” on the 2014 election ballot. If approved by the voters, the reform would allow drug manufacturers to provide investigational drugs, products, or devices to terminally ill patients. No individual should be denied the right to save their own life — and, with this legislation, Arizona would recognize that dying patients have a “Right to Try” treatments that have been deemed safe by the FDA but which have not been granted full FDA approval.  (Thanks to our friends at the Goldwater Institute for coming up with this great idea!)  Please take the following two actions today to support this important health care freedom reform:

1) Use THIS LINK to call or email the members of the House Reform and Human Services Committee, and ask them to support HCR 2005 to protect the rights of terminally ill patients.

2) Use THIS LINK to email the legislators in your district, and ask them to support HCR 2005 when it comes to a floor vote.

And here are even more ways to take action:

1) Register in support of the bills. If you do not already have an account with the ALIS system, you will need to come down to the Capitol to set up an account at one of the several kiosks (after you sign up, you will be able to voice your opinion on bills from the comfort of your home). For help getting set up with an ALIS account, contact Bill Fathauer at bfathauer@afphq.org. A member of our legislative team will also be there in advance of the hearing to help anyone who needs to sign in.

2) Attend the committee hearings and testify in support of the bills. If you or someone you know has been personally affected by an issue being raised in committee, you can attend the hearing in person and tell your story. Requesting to speak also requires setting up an ALIS account in person if you do not already have one (see #1 above), but after that it is very easy to request to speak at any time from your home computer or a mobile device.

3) Forward this email to family members. After you’re done lobbying your legislators yourselves, please forward this email onto your friends and family — or anyone else you know — and show them how they can be a part of the process. Every new voice helps!

Thank you for all you do to help win free-market victories for the people of Arizona. I hope you’ll continue to stand with us going forward!

County Supervisors: Some of us “victims” get settlements, others don’t!

A m e r i c a n  P o s t – G a z e t t e

Distributed by C O M M O N S E N S E , in Arizona

Wednesday, January 9, 2014

Why do County Supervisors award $3.5 million to Don Stapley for “stress” but 0 to Mary Rose Wilcox for “stress?” 
Evidence mounting that million dollar payoffs county supervisors gave themselves and their cronies were NOT because they were actually victimized by Arpaio/Thomas 

On of Don Stapley’s two arrest photos.
The Maricopa County Supervisors continue to hand out settlements to themselves and their cronies over “stress” from being prosecuted by Sheriff Arpaio and former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas. But something funny is occurring. Mary Rose Wilcox, who was prosecuted more than anyone except Stapley on the list of “victims” who received generous million dollar settlements from the taxpayers, is being prohibited from receiving a settlement by the other supervisors. The Phoenix New Times reports that the supervisors have spent $375,442 of our tax dollars in legal proceedings to prohibit her from getting the $975,000 she is asking for.
We ask, if Arpaio and Thomas wrongfully prosecuted Stapley and Wilcox, doesn’t that mean both supervisors are entitled to cash payouts, not just one of them? SOMETHING REEKS TO HIGH HEAVEN. We’ve said it here all along, both supervisors are corrupt and were able to dodge prosecution because they control the judges’ purse strings. Even the Phoenix New Times admits that Stapley is corrupt. Read here to refresh your memory why. 
Arpaio and Thomas were cleared of all wrongdoing by Obama’s Justice Department, despite the crooked Arizona Bar disbarring Thomas. WHEN ARE THE ADULTS GOING TO STEP IN AND STOP THE PAYOLA? The county’s insurance isn’t paying for the crony settlements; there is a $5 million deductible per case. How many more million dollar payouts do the crooked supervisors get to pick and choose to award to their cronies? The one that really rankles us is $500,000 to Don Stapley’s secretary for “stress.” Are you kidding?