Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne Should Resign

Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne is having a very bad month. Early last week, a former employee resigned from his office and complained that Horne and his senior staff were using staff and state resources to promote his reelection. The story gained some traction amid reports that one of Horne’s top advisers would resign, and that “Some staffers are seeking or plan to seek advice from private attorneys in the wake of [the] allegations.”

Then, just as that news was capturing headlines, Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk announced that she will move forward with a case concerning potential violations of campaign-finance law during Horne’s 2010 campaign.  To hammer the theme home, the Arizona Public Integrity Alliance, a conservative group, is now running a TV ad (below) calling on Horne to resign, focusing on what a columnist for the Arizona Republic described as “Horne’s hit-and-run fender bender in 2012, while on a not-so-secret lunchtime rendezvous with the suspected girlfriend whom he hired to a six-figure state salary.”  As the same columnist put it:  ”On of a scale of one being a disaster and ten being a flat-out catastrophe, last week had to weigh in at about an eleven for Attorney General Tom Horne.”

I don’t know whether these allegations are true. Horne needs to come clean as soon as possible. But the old phrase “where there is smoke, there is fire” seems inadequate to the moment, since right now Horne looks like he is the only person willing to stay in the building while it burns down.  As my colleagues and I have explained before, no set of public officials have demonstrated more willingness and capacity to challenge the Obama administration’s overreach than the states’ attorneys general.  Tom Horne may sympathize with that mission, but his problems are escalating at an alarming pace, compromising his ability to meaningfully engage in the fight for limited constitutional government.  He should resign.

Jonathan Keim — Jonathan Keim is Counsel for the Judicial Crisis Network. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center and Princeton University, an experienced litigator, and ...

Most Popular

Culture

Courage: The Greatest of Virtues

Dear Reader (Or Listener), As the reporter assigned the job of writing the article about all of Sidney Blumenthal’s friends and supporters told his editor, I’m going to have to keep this short. I’ve spent most of every day this week in a studio recording the audiobook version of my dead-tree/pixel ... Read More
Immigration

My American Dream

This morning, at 8 a.m., I did something I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember: I became an American. I first applied for a visa in early 2011, and since then I have slowly worked my way through the system — first as a visa-holder, then as a permanent resident (green card), and, finally, as a ... Read More
U.S.

The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More
Religion

Billy Graham: Neither Prophet nor Theologian

Asked in 1972 if he believed in miracles, Billy Graham answered: Yes, Jesus performed some and there are many "miracles around us today, including television and airplanes." Graham was no theologian. Neither was he a prophet. Jesus said "a prophet hath no honor in his own country." Prophets take adversarial ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More