Tom Horne's Redistricting Investigation Blasted by ex-AG Terry Goddard

I missed ex-Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard's recent appearance on Horizon, wherein he criticized current AG Tom Horne's investigation of the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, particularly Horne's grandstanding statements to the media about the probe. 

Oddly, I caught it as I was checking out the far right Sonoran Alliance Web site, where Webmaestro Shane Wikfors told his fellow conservatives that Goddard's comments would make their "blood boil." 

Why Goddard's even-tempered and gentlemanly remarks would make anyone's blood boil is a puzzle. Indeed, if anything, the appearance makes you wish that Goddard had prevailed over Governor Jan Brewer in 2010. 

Though I was critical of Goddard as a gubernatorial candidate and as AG, I can't help but think that Goddard is a throwback to a somewhat more civil era that the extremist one we dwell in now. It's too bad that Sand Land's scabrous, wingnutty political climate shuts out the sort of reason and high-mindedness that Goddard exemplifies.

One thing that Goddard and host Ted Simons did not cover is the fact that Horne's office has a serious conflict of interest in its investigation of allegations of Open Meetings Law violations by the AIRC. 

As I've pointed out in a previous blog and in this week's column, the Arizona State Bar's ethics rules preclude Horne from investigating a former client, which the AIRC was for several months until the AIRC hired its own lawyers, former Solicitor General Mary O'Grady and current State Bar President Joe Kanefield.

"If [the AG's office] ever gave them advice about open meetings issues, there are certainly questions about whether they should be making this big of a deal about whether or not there was a violation," Goddard told me, when I asked him about the issue recently.

"An even more profound question," he added, "is why is Tom Horne trying so desperately to try the case in public?"

To intimidate the commission and placate the extreme right, which as Goddard indicates in his Horizon appearance, wants no maps drawn at all. Any change in the political boundaries could threaten the Republican supermajority in the state Legislature. Though in reality, I don't see anything threatening the GOP's overall hold on this state.

Not only is Horne conflicted, we now know, as I reported in the column this week, that he and AIRC commissioner Rick Stertz had at least one ex parte communication via text message prior to the probe's beginning. That's despite the fact that Stertz, who was appointed to his post by state Senate President Russell Pearce, has denied any such communications.

At present the Arizona GOP is at war with the AIRC, and will do anything to obstruct its goal: to rewrite Sand Land's political map as necessitated by the 2010 census figures and to gain pre-approval of that map from the U.S. Department of Justice.

The AIRC could do its job much better without all of these Republican monkeyshines. But the GOP will not relent, and if Horne can somehow criminalize the AIRC's actions, he will score major kudos from the ultra-conservatives, whom he must placate to continue his political career.

My Voice Nation Help
12 comments
efg3
efg3

This state isnt as red as you think it is Steph.,though good  read.

Mistalee
Mistalee

The reason Horne is trying this in the court of public opinion is that it's all about nada. Unless he can prove not only a technical violation of the open meetings act but also that a public official knowingly and deliberately violated that act with the intent of deceiving or withholding information from the public, the max that can happen is a $500 fine per offense.

That's a great thing to piss away thousands of taxpayer dollars on, isn't it?

YodaBama
YodaBama

It's all about the publicity I would say.  Horne wants to meet Andy and the girls at the State Bar, enjoy a few stiff ones and swap stories about whose the biggest asshole.  So far they're neck and neck but I'm betting the spread that Tom will out distance Andy by miles.  I'm also waiting for NATO (Help, we're being held hostage by mindless gun toting Nazis) to come in and start bombing 1700 W. Washington st. and the Wellsfargo Building in Phx. Arizona  isn't that what they do to rogue regimes?

Mistalee
Mistalee

"Oddly, I caught it as I was checking out the far right Sonoran Alliance Web site, where Webmaestro Shane Wikfors told his fellow conservatives that Goddard's comments would make their "blood boil.""

If only.

As I recall from "Scanners," that's what happens right before their heads explode.

Rob
Rob

Putting Goddard's interview in context with the one done of Tom Horne a few days prior...if the "Rule of Law" people want boiling blood, they'd get it from Horne's.

Jason
Jason

Goddard's right.

Tom Horne is a corrupt and incompetent attorney who is unfit for the office he holds. Then again, virtually all elected Arizona politicians are corrupt are incompetent.

All this does is further the belief that Horne needs to face the same music as Pearce...

Bnbk
Bnbk

Horny Toad Tom will ultimately meet the same fate as his predecessor.What is it about conflict of interest that Horny doesn't understand ? Recalling RuSSell is a good start,but it is only a start towards ridding AZ of the corruption that infects politics in this state.

Bnbk
Bnbk

Oops,make that former opponent not predecessor.

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...