Tom Horne's Zombieland Amusement Park Dive-Bombed by the Irish Wolfhound
Tom Tingle/Arizona Republic/Pool Photo Head zombie in charge: Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne
Describing Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne's scandal-a-second administration, Horne's Republican primary foe, former Arizona Department of Gaming director Mark Brnovich recently referenced the '60s bard born Robert Zimmerman.
"If you've ever listened to the song 'Desolation Row' by Bob Dylan, every day 'the circus is in town' when Tom Horne is attorney general," he cracked as we discussed some of the latest allegations of impropriety in the AG's Office.
He ain't kiddin'.
From Horne's hiring of his mistress, Carmen Chenal, at a six-figure salary as an assistant attorney general to his attempt to plug a leak about the affair with an internal investigation to AG investigator Meg Hinchey's discovery of evidence of campaign-finance impropriety to Horne's attempt to cover up that discovery to his retaliation against Hinchey for doing her duty and turning that info over to the FBI to Horne's vehicular hit-and-run during a rendezvous with Chenal to allegations by two Republican prosecutors that he broke state laws, the AG's black satire of a carnival never seems to end.
Actually, it's a circus of the undead, an amusement park filled with zombies, one presided over by a walking political cadaver.
Even as we wait for the decision of Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk, a fellow GOPer, on whether she will accept the decision of a state administrative law judge not to ding Horne and zombie lieutenant Kathleen Winn $400,000 or more for alleged illegal coordination during the 2010 general election, there are more allegations, seemingly every day, of Horne and his soulless minions using his state office for his re-election effort.
This may come as a surprise to Arizonans used to desert corruption as plentiful as creosote, but these two things -- a political campaign and a state office -- are supposed to be kept separate.
In fact, there are state and federal laws to this effect. The federal Hatch Act became law in 1939, and it set into stone certain restrictions on political activity for those in government. It can even apply to employees of local and state agencies that accept federal funds. You know, like the AG's Office.
There also is Arizona's version, called a "little Hatch Act," which applies similar restrictions to state employees. And Horne's office is well aware of both the federal and state statutes.
In fact, a seven-page memo sent out to all AG employees last year in advance of the 2014 political season reminds AG staffers of the various dos and don'ts in regard to the Hatch Act and the little Hatch Act.
Some AG employees who report directly to Horne or to other high-ranking members of his staff are exempt from some of the more onerous restrictions.