Tom Horne

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Tom Horne
Tom Horne by Gage Skidmore.jpg
25th Arizona Attorney General
In office
January 3, 2011 – January 5, 2015
Governor Jan Brewer
Preceded by Terry Goddard
Succeeded by Mark Brnovich
19th Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction
In office
January 1, 2003 – January 1, 2011
Preceded by Jaime Molera
Succeeded by John Huppenthal
Personal details
Born (1945-03-28) March 28, 1945 (age 71)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Marty[1]
Children Susan, Mary, David, and Mark[1]
Residence Arizona

Thomas Charles "Tom" Horne (born March 28, 1945)[1] is an Arizona attorney, politician, and Republican Party activist who served as Attorney General of Arizona from 2011 to 2015. He previously served as the Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction from 2003 to 2011.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Horne is a graduate of Harvard College (1967) magna cum laude and Harvard Law School (1970) with honors.[2][3]

During his 30 years of law practice, Horne served as Special Assistant Attorney General and a Judge Pro Tem in Maricopa County Superior Court and Arizona Court of Appeals.[4] Horne served as a teacher of Legal Writing at Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law and is the author a legal text on construction law published by the State Bar of Arizona.[5]

Arizona House of Representatives[edit]

Horne served in the Arizona House of Representatives from 1997 until 2001.[6] He chaired the Academic Accountability Committee and served as vice-chair of the Education Committee.[7]

State Superintendent of Public Instruction[edit]

Horne served as the elected Superintendent of Public Instruction from 2003 to 2011.[8]

Among his earliest acts in office was to push for a strengthening of Arizona’s social studies standards so that instruction on topics such as the United States Constitution, Declaration of Independence, and the Greco-Roman basis of western civilization would be emphasized not only in elementary grades, but reiterated at later grade levels.[9]

Horne also made a priority of enforcement of Arizona’s voter-approved law mandating that English be the language of classroom instruction (with the exception of foreign language classes).

He also pushed for nutritional standards that removed junk food from schools in the elementary grades and created incentives for secondary schools to do so on a voluntary basis.[10][11]

Testing protocols were also significantly changed during Horne’s administration. He oversaw the development of a dual-purpose assessment that was unique in combining assessments on both state and nationally defined standards. This cut standardized testing time in half, restoring that time to classroom instruction.

Controversy arose when Horne sought to address curriculum matters as they related to racially based studies. Horne was alerted to a race-based program in the Tucson Unified School District and, based on a review of the curriculum, championed a law to address the problems these materials presented.[12] A state law was passed that prohibited curricula that either: 1) Promote the overthrow of the United States government. 2) Promote resentment toward a race or class of people. 3) Are designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group. 4) Advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals.[13] Despite the fact that an independent audit found that the program in Tucson did not violate any aspects of that law, it was ruled out of compliance.

In his final act as Superintendent Horne found the Tucson district’s Ethnic Studies program, specifically the Mexican American (Raza) Studies component, to be out of compliance with this law, thereby removing a program that was keeping students in school and had dramatically increased graduation rates.[14]

Horne also implemented the Arizona Instrument to Measure Success (AIMS) test, which was approved by the legislature in the 1990s, but did not go into effect until 2006.[15] Despite some controversy over the requirement that students pass the test before graduating high school, the test eventually became an accepted part of the state education system, until it was replaced in 2014, as all such tests eventually are because no such tests measure what they are purported to, and tend to simply make money for testing companies and make life difficult for teachers and students alike.[16] Horne created an incentive program whereby students who exceeded standards on the AIMS test and met other criteria received tuition scholarships to Arizona’s public universities.[17]

Attorney General[edit]

On November 2, 2010, Horne defeated Felecia Rotellini in the race for Arizona Attorney General in the 2010 elections.

Within a few weeks of becoming A.G., his office had filed an appearance in Arizona v. United States, defending the Governor and the state against the Obama administration’s federal court challenge to S.B. 1070. "My job as attorney general is to defend the state of Arizona,” Horne said.[18] The previous A.G., Terry Goddard, had withdrawn from the case, acceding to the demands of Governor Jan Brewer.[19]

Shortly after winning the 2010 election, Horne announced that he wanted the office "to do more in the way of consumer protection, even when the cases are small."[20] This led to a string of sting operations against auto repair businesses,[21][22] prompting an offer from an industry group to assist the A.G. in cleaning up the repair business .[23] Horne was involved with other A.G's in several consumer suits. On February 19, 2012 Horne announced Arizona had reached agreement to join a $25 billion agreement with the nation's five largest mortgage servicers over abuse and fraud allegations. Arizona's share was $1.6 billion, with $1.3 billion for underwater (negative equity) homeowners. The settlement was the result of an initiative that included 49 A.G.'s.[24][25] A similar suit against SunTrust netted $40 million for damaged Arizona homeowners.[26] There was also a separate, Arizona only, settlement with the Bank of America over mortgage practices, which included costs incurred by the A.G.'s office in the lawsuit.[27] A.G.'s in 44 states, including Arizona, and D.C. had sued Sirius XM, alleging that it had engaged in misleading, unfair and deceptive practices.[28] On December 4, 2014 Horne, announced that $230,000 of the $3.8 million settlement would go to affected Arizona consumers.[29] Horne and other A.G.'s reached an agreement with Pfizer Inc. in 2014, after accusing it of unlawfully promoting Rapamune, an immunosuppressive drug. $721,169 went to Arizona, deposited into the Consumer Fraud Revolving Fund.[30]

In a 2012 United States Supreme Court case, Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc., Horne argued that Arizona's voter registration requirements were not preempted by the National Voter Registration Act of 1993. The case was decided against Horne and Arizona, by a 7-2 vote. The Court also held that Arizona may petition to have more requirements added to the federal standard.[31] In a second 2012 Supreme Court case, Ryan v. Gonzales, Horne argued that a death row inmate does not have the right to suspend federal habeas corpus proceedings when found incompetent to assist counsel. In a 9-0 decision Horne won.[32]

In 2013 Horne wrote an opinion that defended the state preemption of regulation of firearms; he found that Tucson's city gun laws were unenforceable.[33] In 2012 Horne proposed that a principal or a designee be trained and armed in each school.[34] In 2013, he proposed that legislation that would allow teachers to carry guns in public schools.[35]

Horne threatened to sue the city of Bisbee, Arizona, over a 2013 ordinance recognizing same-sex couples. He withdrew the threat several days later when Bisbee agreed to rewrite the ordinance, removing rights reserved for married couples under Arizona law.[36] In October, 2014, a federal judge ruled that Arizona's law banning gay marriage was unconstitutional, and Horne did not appeal. He felt the chance of it being overturned was "zero," and, added, "I think it is over."[37]

Horne filed a 2013 lawsuit that compelled the Maricopa County Community College District to end its policy of in-state tuition for "dreamers" (undocumented immigrants with federal work permits, who came to the U.S. as children). When accused of being anti-immigrant, Horne responded that he was one himself, being born in Canada. Horne met with students and explained that he was "obligated to enforce the law."[38] Activists held protests and many were arrested.[39] On May 5, 2015, a Maricopa Superior Court judge ruled that "dreamers" could pay in-state tuition rates, ending the two-year lawsuit then A.G. Horne had filed.[40]

Horne criticized the 2014 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) practice of sending illegal immigrants from Texas to Arizona. "These aliens are not being transported for the purposes of detaining them in a federal facility located in Arizona," Horne wrote, in a letter to the Department of Homeland Security. "Rather, DHS is inexplicably moving them some 1200 miles and simply releasing them here (outdoors in temperatures exceeding 100 degrees) rather than in Texas." [41][42]

In 2014 a federal jury awarded a couple living in Colorado City, Arizona, $5.2 million, for religious discrimination. The A.G.'s of both Utah and Arizona intervened in the case. The mostly polygamist towns of Hildale, Utah and Colorado City, Arizona, and utilities had violated federal and state housing discrimination laws "by discriminating against the Cookes in the provision of services or facilities because of religion."[43] Horne was a long-time critic of the Colorado City police force, known as "the marshal's office." He felt that the marshals were an arm of the FLDS church instead of the law. In 2012 Horne allocated $420,000 to the Mohave County Sheriff's Office to patrol Colorado City.[44] In 2014 he asked for a federal judge to disband the office, after legislation he supported to do so failed to pass.[45][46] The motion was denied, but, the judge instructed the office to avoid discrimination.[47]

On August 26, 2014, Horne was defeated in his reelection campaign in the Republican primary by Mark Brnovich. Brnovich defeated Horne by a margin of 54% to 46%.[48]


Securities law violations[edit]

Horne was the president of T.C. Horne & Co., an investment firm he founded in the late 1960s. After the firm went bankrupt in 1970, Horne received a lifetime trading ban from the Securities and Exchange Commission.[49] The 1973 SEC report alleged that as president of T.C. Horne & Co, Horne "among other things, violated the record-keeping, anti-fraud, and broker-dealer net capital provisions of the federal securities laws and filed false financial reports with the commission." Horne stipulated to an SEC finding that he and his firm "willfully aided and abetted" in violations of securities laws.[49]

Office affair and whistleblower investigation[edit]

In July 2011, the Phoenix New Times broke a story about a woman who had been hired by Horne to a senior position at the Arizona Attorney General's office, despite her not having a license to practice law, and alleging that Horne and the woman were carrying on an affair.[50] When the New Times reporter filed a Freedom of Information Act request for public records regarding the woman's hiring, Horne launched a confidential internal investigation to find the whistleblower who had leaked information regarding the woman to the media.[51]

As part of that investigation, Horne assigned members of his staff to spend months looking into the matter, and spoke about having his employees' phone conversations eavesdropped upon—something which, records show, he knew was illegal. During the investigation, the staff member in charge found evidence of illegal campaign activity by Horne and other members of the Attorney General's office, and forwarded that information to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).[52]

In October 2012, other local media outlets in Phoenix published articles citing public records, sources in the Attorney General's office, and FBI records supporting the allegations of an affair made by the Phoenix New Times over a year earlier.[52][53][54]

Campaign finance law violations[edit]

In October 2012, after an FBI investigation, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery concluded that Horne deliberately broke campaign finance laws during his 2010 election campaign by coordinating with an independent expenditure committee run by Kathleen Winn.[55] In April 2014, an Administrative Law Judge concluded that the prosecution in the case "failed to establish by a preponderance of the evidence" that Horne illegally coordinated with the independent expenditure committee during the 2010 general election campaign for attorney general[56] In May 2014, Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk, to whom that matter has been referred, rejected the administrative judge's recommendation, and issued a final administrative decision ordering Horne and Winn to reimburse campaign donors $400,000. This ruling is currently under appeal.[57][58]

Allegations of campaign law violations[edit]

On May 5, 2014, an attorney representing a former AG staff member and ex-Horne campaign volunteer, filed a litigation hold letter with the Arizona Attorney General's office, alleging that much of Horne's executive office staff is involved in "substantial campaigning" for his 2014 re-election, "while on state time and utilizing State resources," which, if proven true, could "represent a substantial violation of State and Federal laws which prohibit such conduct"[59]

The allegations first arose in the AG staffer's letter of resignation, which claimed that the office is "not following campaign laws or finance laws," imperiling her "legal well-being." Horne has denied the allegations, calling them a "complete fabrication."[60][61]

On July 7, 2014, the Arizona Secretary of State's Office released a memo, finding probable cause that Horne violated several campaign-finance laws related to allegations that Horne had employees doing his campaign work on state time, at the AG's office.[62][63]

Traffic violations[edit]

In October 2007, while State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Horne was cited for criminal speeding in Scottsdale, Arizona. During a subsequent year-and-a-half period, Horne was cited for speeding six additional times, including once in a school zone.[64][65][66] The criminal speeding charge was settled as a traffic offense.[67]

In March 2012, while tailing Horne as part of an investigation into campaign finance law violations, FBI agents observed Horne leaving the scene of an accident. An FBI agent took a picture of a black mark on the parked car, which was shown on the front page of the newspaper. The FBI report stated Montano [owner of car] advised that he was unaware vehicle had been hit by another vehicle until SA Grehoski called him to arrange for the interview. Montano advised that the black mark on the front passenger side of the bumper came from when his son was parking the vehicle in the garage. Realizing that it was questionable whether Horne did any damage, the City Attorney agreed to a settlement in which Horne paid a $300 fine.[68]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Candidate Q & A: Tom Horne (REP) - Attorney General Candidate". Arizona Republic. 2010. Retrieved 2011-01-12. 
  2. ^ a b "Meet the Attorney General". Arizona Attorney General. Retrieved 2011-01-12. 
  3. ^ "Attorney General Tom Horne Biography - Project Vote Smart". 1945-03-28. Retrieved 2013-04-30. 
  4. ^ "Tom Horne". NAAG. Retrieved 2013-04-30. 
  5. ^ "Arizona Construction Law: Thomas C. Horne: 9780887260032: Books". Retrieved 2013-04-30. 
  6. ^ "Tom Horne touts his legal background, success as superintendent". Arizona Republic. 2010-07-11. Retrieved 2011-01-12. 
  7. ^ "Phoenix School of Law: News & Events". Retrieved 2013-04-30. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ Arizona Legislature; Arizona Revised Statue 15-112
  14. ^ AZ Capitol Times Horne: Tucson District Violates Ethnic Studies Ban 3 January 2011.
  15. ^ Arizona's Instrument to Measure Standards
  16. ^
  17. ^ East Valley Tribune; More students hit mark for AIMS High Honors Tuition Scholarships 22 January 2009.
  18. ^ Horne defends state in S.B. 1070 suit
  19. ^ Goddard withdraws form S.B. 1070 lawsuit
  20. ^ Horne announces consumer protection initiative, November 18, 2010, Retrieved June 27, 2015
  21. ^ Phoenix auto body shop closed after sting
  22. ^ Regional auto repair chain to pay
  23. ^ NARPRO offers help
  24. ^ $25 billion settlemant with banks
  25. ^ Settlement of mortgage lawsuit.
  26. ^ Homeowners could get damage awards
  27. ^ Horne announces settlement with banks
  28. ^ $38 million to settle Sirius suit
  29. ^ Sirius XM fined
  30. ^ Pfizer settlement
  31. ^ Horne argues Arizona v. Inter Tribal
  32. ^ Horne argues Ryan v. Gonzales at the Supreme Court
  33. ^ City gun laws unenforable
  34. ^ Arizona armed principals
  35. ^ Arizona teacher guns
  36. ^ Bisbee civil union Horne agreement
  37. ^ Arizona gay marriage ruling
  38. ^ Horne no in-state tuition to dreamers
  39. ^ dreamers lawsuit protestors arrested
  40. ^ Arizona dreamers will continue to pay in-state tuition
  41. ^ Republicans threaten action over immigration
  42. ^ Ariona A.G. threatens lawsuit
  43. ^ Couple awarded $5.2million in Colorado City discrmination case Courthouse News, Retrieved July 4, 2015
  44. ^ Colorado City now has cops
  45. ^ Horne attempting to disband police force
  46. ^ Horne to renew effort to abolish Colorado City police
  47. ^ Chief marshall fired
  48. ^ Wingett Sanchez, Yvonne (2014-08-27). "Horne concedes attorney general race to Brnovich". Arizona Republic. Retrieved 27 August 2014. 
  49. ^ a b "Attorney-general candidate Tom Horne denied 1970 bankruptcy". 2010-06-20. Retrieved 2010-06-20. 
  50. ^ Stephen Lemons (2011-07-14). "Attorney General Horne Hired Carmen Chenal to a Highly Paid Top Post - 'Cause She's His Goomba - Page 1 - News - Phoenix". Phoenix New Times. Retrieved 2013-04-30. 
  51. ^ "Investigation of Tom Horne detailed in hundreds of pages of documents". 2010-08-23. Retrieved 2013-04-30. 
  52. ^ a b Dave Biscobing, Mark LaMet, and Lauren Gilger. "Documents: Attorney General Tom Horne launched investigation to keep relationship quiet". Oct. 8, 2012.
  53. ^
  54. ^ Laurie Roberts, columnist - Oct. 23, 2012 . Horne's office fit for a soap opera.
  55. ^ Yvonne Wingett Sanchez and Craig Harris - Oct. 1, 2012. County Attorney: AG Tom Horne broke law.
  56. ^
  57. ^
  58. ^
  59. ^
  60. ^
  61. ^
  62. ^
  63. ^
  64. ^ Horne has gotten 6 speeding tickets in past 1 1/2 years The Arizona Republic 21 August 2009.
  65. ^ "Tom Horne Court Records". 2012-10-24. Retrieved 2013-04-30. 
  66. ^ Who said it: Felecia Rotellini. "AZ Fact Check". Retrieved 2013-04-30. 
  67. ^
  68. ^

Further reading[edit]