Tom Horne Says Maricopa County Was "Oppressive Environment" Under Andrew Thomas' Reign as County Attorney

Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne is wasting no time in attacking his GOP primary opponent for attorney general, Maricopa County's former brown-bashing County Attorney Andrew Thomas.

Thomas quit his gig as county attorney last week to run for state attorney general -- a job Horne has been eying for the better part of a year.

Horne went on KTAR's the Jay Lawrence Show last night and said what New Times has been saying about Thomas for years.

If Thomas were elected attorney general, Horne says, "The environment for the state would be what it's been in Maricopa County, which is an oppressive environment -- the sort of thing you would expect in a Latin American dictatorship or in the Soviet Union, but not in the United States of America."

Those are some bold words coming from a fellow Republican, but Horne tells New Times that he stands by every one of them.  

"He seeks to intimidate and indict everyone who opposes him," Horne says. "You should know that better than anyone -- [New Times is] our main source."

Horne points to the indictments of Thomas political opponents, such as Don Stapley, as the most oppressive of Thomas' Soviet-style leadership.

Aside from the unethical, personal vendettas, Horne says the sort of political oppression Thomas has engaged in as county attorney could hurt the state's business interests, if Thomas were elected attorney general.

"The other aspect to this is that if you get an out of control prosecutor like this as attorney general, then no business will want to come to Arizona," Horne says. "We will have no economic future. We'll have no ability to develop jobs."

We'd argue that's not entirely true -- with Thomas handing out indictments like they're communion wafers, the prison guard industry would most likely boomif he were to become AG, right? Oh, wait -- he'd have to actually get convictions for that to happen. 

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