Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas’ Self-Promotion and Unethical Electioneering

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Andrew Thomas, who is up for re-election this November, is again doing what he seems to be best at (other than blatantly harassing the media should they criticize him): pushing the ethical envelope to serve his political ambitions and ideological viewpoint.

He distributed a crime prevention booklet to Maricopa residents (Download the booklet) through the distribution networks of local newspapers (at an as-yet undisclosed cost to taxpayers) without any notice to, or specific funding from the Maricopa Board of Supervisors.

Deanne Poulos, the communications director for the board of
supervisors, said the members were not told about the project and only
found out after the booklets were distributed Friday morning. “At this
time we’re still searching for a funding source,” she said. [E.V. Tribune]

Nor is this the first time that Thomas has blatantly used taxpayer money to get his name prominently before the voters of Maricopa. "Recently, Thomas has been criticized for spending $2.5 million in
public money since he took office in 2005 to pay for public service
advertisements that promote his name." [E.V. Tribune]

Most recently, Thomas kicked off an anti-DUI billboard campaign where
his name is splashed in a broad red strip with large lettering across
the bottom. The letters used for Thomas’ name are nearly as large as
the letters in the board’s message.[E.V. Tribune]

Let me make perfectly clear that I think the idea of a County Attorney issuing a crime prevention guide is laudable and forward-thinking. To the extent that the purpose and effect of this publication is to reduce crime, I applaud and credit CA Thomas for publishing it.

But the devil lies in the details, as always…

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