Candy Thomas

Great Knights of Columbus, this carping canary can barely believe the scuttlebutt whispered in its ear-hole by a well-placed source in the offices of the Maricopa County Attorney, somebody The Bird will hereafter call Deep Beak! According to Deep Beak, our tough-talkin' County Attorney Andy Thomas should be renamed Candy Thomas for showing his true colors (shades of yellow, perhaps) back on April 10 during the massive, 100,000-strong pro-immigrant rally downtown.

Deep Beak asserts that, during the march, the MCAO offices at 301 West Jefferson Street were armed to the teeth with Kevlar-wearin', shotgun-bearin' gendarmes lest Hispanic protesters storm the building and tear Candy's pasty, cracker frame limb from limb.

Was this overkill on Andy's part to order such fortification? Unless you're a pussy, damn right! You may remember that what was undoubtedly one of the largest political demonstrations in Phoenix history was also as peaceful as a Girl Scout bakeoff.

This wize-crackin' whippoorwill had to wonder: Could Candy be so frightened of Latinos that he spent that day cowering beneath his desk while activists mimicked Martin Luther King Jr. — that is, marched nonviolently through the streets of the PHX?

The way Deep Beak tells it, Candy's new title should be Coward of the County. That clandestine catbird claimed that the MCAO's security preparations for the April 10 march "verged on paranoia," with all but a couple of the County Attorney's about 40 investigators reassigned to security detail.

"Investigators were taken off regular duties and reassigned inside the building on every floor in case the masses broke through three rings of already established police security," detailed Deep Beak. "All investigators were issued an additional 50 rounds of ammo for God knows what, and a final defense team in body armor and shotguns was assigned to protect [Candy] and his people on the eighth floor."

Two- to three-man teams roamed each floor in case throngs of peace-lovin' Hispanics turned bloodthirsty. And Deep Beak says Candy was lying low for the entire day, presumably hiding in his office with the shades drawn, sucking his thumb and holding onto his favorite baby blanket as protesters all but sang "We Shall Overcome" nearby.

This inquisitive ink-slinger had to know if Deep Beak's tawdry tale was true, so it phoned MCAO flack Bill FitzGerald and related DB's narrative of Candy's terrified actions. FitzGerald replied via e-mail with a classic non-denial denial:

"We don't under any circumstances or in any detail discuss or comment on the security in any of the buildings that house the staff of the Maricopa County Attorney's Office."

The Bird then pressed FitzGerald on the MCAO's preparations for the big march. But all Fitz the Cat would say is that The Bird's "version of events" was false. False how? Deep Beak's as reliable as a Rolex, someone who's in a position to know what went down. The Bird then asked FitzGerald again and again what actually happened, if what it was relating weren't the gospel. No comment.

The Bird shared this info with one of the main organizers of the April 10 demonstration, Elias Bermudez, executive director of Immigrants Without Borders, who as recently as last Friday went down on his knees along with other activists in front of Sheriff Joe Arpaio to beg that Joe and Candy end their pogrom against Mexicans. Instead of focusing on real criminals, Thomas has turned his office into a hayseed version of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, coming up with all sorts of lame ideas for tormenting hardworking Mexicans.

Bermudez seemed genuinely perplexed by Candy's scaredy-cat ways.

"I guess he feels guilty," commented Bermudez. "And fearful, because he has committed aggression against us. But we have shown tremendous respect for authority. We asked the Phoenix Police Department to help with the crowd, and have abided by its instructions. So there is no indication and no incidence to make anyone believe we want violence. If he fears us, he's barking up the wrong tree.

"He does have a phobia," continued Bermudez, about Thomas. "He's stereotyping all Latinos as being criminals, and that's totally untrue. He has no reason to have this fear."

The Bird then pointed out to Bermudez that Candy's Hispani-phobia must not be 100 percent, as Candy's wife Ann Estrada Thomas is herself Hispanic.

"All I can tell you is that we know he is an Anglo who sleeps with a Mexican every day, but that's about it," Bermudez said. "He doesn't understand us or our heritage."

Twisted Sister

This cantankerous crow had to cackle over the aforementioned Candy Thomas' losing his first two cases using Arizona's new anti-coyote statute against run-of-the-mill illegal immigrants (whose only crime was crossing the border for jobs so they could feed their families back in Mexico).

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons