By Amy Silverman
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By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
This just in from the How Stupid Is Andy Thomas Department: Everybody's favorite local race-baiter had a pile of angry motions filed against him the other day from at least four Phoenix defense lawyers, who argued that the Maricopa County Attorney unintentionally disqualified his staff from prosecuting Superior Court cases when he went after Presiding Judge Barbara Rodriguez Mundell.
The brainy barristers are saying that when Ol' Andy sued the presiding Superior Court judge after she refused to abolish a special DUI program for Latinos and Native Americans ("Mexican Busting," The Bird, January 19, 2006), he created a conflict between defense attorneys and judges in every local courtroom.
Duh. Andy fans will recall that he recently filed a civil complaint in U.S. District Court to put the kibosh on what he called "race-based" Spanish-language and Native American DUI courts conducted by county judges. Andy thinks the programs discriminate on the basis of ethnicity and are therefore unconstitutional. The hell with non-English speaking defendants being able to understand fully what's going on, Andy's saying. English is America's language, and if you don't speak it, too damn bad for you, Chico!
Mundell tried to explain that these courts are actually rehab programs for minority defendants who need cultural or linguistic help in understanding how to bust their drug and/or drinking habits. But Andy wasn't listening, and the lawsuit he brought against the Superior Court, according to the defense attorneys who've filed these motions against him, creates a conflict of interest for attorneys who've got to appear before judges they're currently in litigation against. These guys want county prosecutors disqualified from criminal proceedings, which would preclude Thomas and his staff from conducting thousands of felony prosecutions until this whole mess is resolved. And since the primary function of Andy's office is prosecuting felons, that should lead to a lot of thumb-twiddling while Andy grinds his racist ax.
Andy's team is rushing to defend his latest brain-dead, anti-Latino move: Deputy County Attorney David E. Wood filed a court response arguing that disqualification should occur only where an individual prosecutor has an actual conflict with one judge.
Speaking of which, there's something The Bird would like to know. If every judge's objectivity is tainted by Andy's lawsuit against Mundell, who the hell is going to rule on whether these anti-Andy motions should fly?
Maybe the folks at Superior Court could arrange to bring in a special guest judgeto decide whether Andy's going after a judge and some poor DUI slobs who can't speak English is worth all this fuss. But if they do, The Bird would like to suggest they get one whose first language is English.
Otherwise, Andy will probably slap them with another lawsuit.
Okay, Andy doesn't deign to talk to this foul fowl, ever since it crowed that his Latina wife must be very proud of him for all his anti-Mexican actions since taking office. These are too numerous to mention here, but remember how he refused to press charges against that war veteran numb-nuts who drew down on those Mexican immigrants at the rest stop? Even that evil reptile Joe Arpaio was aghast at this callous disregard for human rights.
His refusal to comment on anything to New Times is why The Bird is going to quote Thomas on the DUI courts issue from an opinion page piece he coughed up for the East Valley Tribune. In this hairball, Andy actually tries to make a separate-but-equal argument as if this were the Old South and he were Dr. Martin Luther Thomas Jr.:
"Even throughout our nation's tragic history of segregation and Jim Crow, Southern state governments never established separate courts based on race."
True, Andy. Those good-ol'-boy-run courts with their all-white, all-male juries just railroaded black defendants all the way to the hanging tree, or to a good tar-and-feathering.
Which, in essence, is what you're trying to do to Hispanics who don't speak English around here. Translated: These are in all likelihood illegal immigrants from Mexico (that is, Mes-cans to you Andy) whom you'd rather see starve below the border than get a low-rent job that no American wants, much less justice in Arizona.
Caucasian, please! All you're trying to do here is look like the bad-ass anti-immigrationist that our cracker voting majority around here loves. Everybody knows that you've got your eye on higher office. Dare to dream! You could be the next Ev Mecham. The Bird's got it -- why don't you sue various municipalities in the county for holding Cinco de Mayofestivals? This could do for you what MLK Day did for your mentor.
You claim it's your "constitutional" duty to file a costly federal suit to make sure Spanish isn't spoken in DUI courts, when it's actually the duty of your office to prosecute all those damn cases your no-plea-bargains stance has inflicted on the local court system. Talk about bloody murder -- your prosecutors are screaming it to this winged wordsmith! They'll actually be thankful for the break if your office winds up prohibited from trying all those cases.
The Bird's squawking, Andy, who asked your doughboy ass to get involved in this non-issue?! Stop trying to get on Fox News by playing racial politics and at least try to make your long-suffering Latina wife -- the one you're frequently bringing up as proof that you couldn't possibly be a Mexican-hater -- proud.