Maricopa County Craziness

Top Eight Reasons Why Nobody Should Vote for Andrew Thomas for Governor in 2014

Andrew Thomas followed up on last year's rumor that he might run for governor with an official announcement today.

Knowing that anything's possible in Arizona, the so-called meth lab of democracy, we thought we'd put out this helpful voting guide.

So, without further ado, we offer you our best eight reasons why you'd have to be nuts to vote for Thomas:

See also: Andrew Thomas, Disbarred and Disgraced Ex-Prosecutor, Is Actually Running for Governor

8. Two words: Cuckoo, cuckoo. When we heard he'd announced, we grew more worried than ever for his mental health. Powerful evidence he's lost it: Thomas said he believes a survey would show he's the most popular candidate among voters for the 2014 election. Since his disbarment, Thomas has been known to bring a piece of lumber to interviews like he thinks he's Buford Pusser.

7. He's a loser. Sure, Thomas won two elections to become county attorney, in 2004 and 2008. But his political career is better defined by his losses. Thomas blew a bid for Arizona attorney general in 2002, failing to win against Democrat Terry Goddard. Seeing that his political career was on shaky ground following his legal abuses from 2008-2010, Thomas resigned from his office in April of 2010 and launched another campaign for state attorney general. It was close, but he lost to Tom Horne. A couple of years later, Thomas lost the biggest the fight of his life -- for his law license. Thomas didn't even bother to appeal the state's decision to disbar him.

6. Thomas is a Harvard-educated moron. You know what we mean -- he's book-smart and very well-educated, but without a lick of common sense. Why did he think launching a dirty attack on a newspaper that criticized him (this one) would be a good idea? Of course he ended up making a public apology for that one. Stoo-pid!

5. Thomas has displayed a severe lack of judgment in picking his allies. He put a great deal of his trust in Dave Hendershott, Sheriff Arpaio's ultra-shady former chief deputy, who told others that Thomas was an "idiot."

4. Maricopa County voters have long though of themselves as "tough on crime." Thomas, an ideologue who once wrote a book on crime that suggested a return to public stockades, took the concept to abusive ends. He failed to make plea deals when appropriate, threw the book at nearly everyone and brought criminal charges when none were warranted. "He horrendously overcharged cases," says Valley lawyer Marc Victor. Back in 2007, Victor represented a woman who's brother loaded a gun without the woman's knowledge, leading to an accident in which the woman grazed her daughter with a bullet. Thomas' office wanted the woman convicted for a designated "dangerous" offense that would have given her mandatory prison time, even though the daughter hadn't wanted to press charges.

3. The bigoted policies he pushed against undocumented immigrants were a failure. Immigrant criminals were not deterred by the possibility that they might not be able to post bail. Immigrant smugglers continued to work the Phoenix metro area; the general decline in immigrants of the past few years is due to the weaker economy and boosted border enforcement, not fear of Thomas or Sheriff Arpaio. A scheme started by Thomas and continued by County Attorney Bill Montgomery that jails and prosecutes low-level immigrants for conspiracy to smuggle themselves into the country has brought only extra suffering to would-be workers, not stemmed the tide of immigrants.

2. Thomas is dishonest. He's a disgrace to the legal profession. He's a liar. He's a perjurer. He's a corrupt politician and grand-stander. He's incompetent. He's vindictive. He's a bad lawyer, in general. And that's just what the legal panel that disbarred him had to say about him. Some folks think he's even worse.

1. His misguided sense of "justice" and inability to play nice with others has cost Maricopa County many millions of dollars. The financial damage he could cause to the state if put in an even more powerful position could run into the billions. Just today, the Board of Supervisors voted to approve a hefty, $1.4 million settlement to more of the victims of Thomas and Arpaio's ill-fated political schemes. As we noted in a blog post about the settlement, Arizona simply could not afford Thomas as governor.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.