Rumors, innuendo and hyperbole are some of the oldest, and dirtiest tricks in politics. This 1964 television ad ran by Lyndon B. Johnson in the presidential election, implied strongly that Barry Goldwater was a threat to our national security.
The same politician, Lyndon B. Johnson, is replete with stories of dirty politics throughout his career. Most notably, Johnson repeatedly told one about a County Commission candidate in East Texas who was falling behind in the polls, and his campaign manager who advised him to accuse his opponent of making intimacies with a pig. According to the story, which has now become urban legend, the candidate protested profusely, saying “But he doesn’t, does he?” At which point the campaign adviser quickly retorted, “No, but can you picture him denying it?” It has been rumored that the County Commission candidate was LBJ himself.
Sadly, that’s what modern politics has become, who can tell the more shocking, disgusting lies to scare people away from making a change – especially when its necessary.
And this election is proving to be no different. But before the rumors, innuendos and hyperbole get too far out of hand, I want to get a couple of the rumors out of the way by making some simple promises.
Existing Deputies to stay on. I will create real opportunities for advancement.
This one is in response to one of the most common fear mongering tactics by incumbents, or their loyal supporters, which goes something like “if we elect [the challenger], instead of [the incumbent], all of the [insert subordinate positions] will [quit or be fired.]” This one has been said by almost every incumbent in an administrative role, in every race probably since the dawn of time.
But the opposite is true here. I know the folks that join law enforcement are some of the hardest working, most moral people you can meet, and this is especially true at the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office. I’ll be proud to lead, mentor, coach, advocate, and allow them all to succeed.
I will work to create a positive work environment.
Another common lie told by incumbents, or their supporters, to their subordinates, implies that if they don’t get fired, as some subordinates will know that isn’t true, they will just hate working for the challenger and want to quit [insert more explanation] which leads to why the subordinate should re-elect the incumbent.
Just like the last one, the opposite is true. Often people have heard me say that “I’m only the smartest person in the room, when everyone else has left the room.” That’s to say, I will encourage my deputies and employees to talk to me if they disagree with something, and help me find better working solutions. I may not always make the decision they ask, but they can to voice their concerns, without fear of retribution, branding, and/or retaliation. They will see that I’ll listen and explain to them why I’m making the decisions I am.
I’m running to provide a safer place for our families and businesses to live in Pennington County, and make it an unwelcome place for those that would break the law and do others harm.
When the first two rumors and lies don’t work, it’s not at all unusual that incumbents, or others in their corner, will come out with the really extreme stuff, following the formula – if you don’t elect the incumbent, [insert horrible event]. For example, if you don’t elect the incumbent, the nation will die in a nuclear holocaust (See the 1964 LBJ Daisy ad).
So as a candidate, let me be clear, I’m not going to get into the mud with rumors, innuendo or hyperbole, I will tell you the facts as they stand and I’ll provide you the sources and data on where I got it from.
As your next Sheriff, I will work alongside Pennington County’s finest to create a diverse, healthy, efficient work environment in the Sheriff’s Office, just as I’ve done before with several hundred employees spread over far distances nationally. I’ll make a work environment where ideas and critical thinking are rewarded, not admonished or told to get into line.
I’m asking for your support and your vote this election – because I will be the Sheriff you can trust and rely on, all the time.
People, not politics!