Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Washington County Sheriff -- Sorry George

I love it, we are in a midterm election countdown, there appear no major disputes specifically affecting Washington County, and then there it is – on the BDN State page for Oct 7-8. George Bunker, a candidate for Sheriff, and fellow I happen to know from my days as Democratic County Chairman, opens his mouth.

Seems George is charging his opponents with a violation of Title 30-A. George is yelling the sitting Sheriff isn’t allowed to voice support for a possible successor.

Sorry George! The law is clear, “while off duty and not in uniform a sheriff or deputy” can engage in political activity. (Sec 3)

There is a prohibition is against someone employed by the Sheriff’s Department holding an elected office; but they can run for elected office while employed.

Sorry George, as it is clear you cannot read a statute or understand what it says. Clearly, therefore, you are unqualified to be Sheriff – an office which requires an ability to interpret applicability of laws.

I looked at what George held out to be the offending picture – it is on Smith’s website. The text reveals the 2004 purchase of Ginger, a K-9 officer, who appears with Smith in all the photos on the site.

The text tells us Smith founded “Kids, Cops and K-9s.” In context the photo is appropriate. However, Ginger does wear the same fur in all the pictures. Sorry George; if you want claim a violation, you had better name Ginger – who seems campaigning in uniform.

Common George, do the nonsense right – complain about the dog!
Check the ad, is a dog’s fur considered a uniform? Or is it just an issue of removing a badge from the officer’s clothes? In this case, from Ginger’s collar.

The photo which defines the site, and Smith’s campaign, is the one we see in Smith’s ads. And yes, there is Ginger. Well George, you going to charge the dog or not?

Smith is a polite, intelligent and diligent officer – one qualified to head the department. I don’t know the third candidate, Merritt; but I have seen those huge signs – too big, too expensive, they scream indebted to a party. Exercising a voter’s considered choice argues favoring, voting for, an independent Sheriff – like Donnie Smith.

Speaking of voting. Seems there is more TABOR related news. It has been confirmed, TABOR opponents are funded by out-of-state special interests. Somebody is buying their way into your wallet.

It has also been confirmed (page 1, BDN, 10 Oct) that, in only five years, Maine will have the lowest percentage of school age children in the nation. We will also tie Florida for the highest percentage of people over 65. Let’s put that into a local debate context.

Talk of school closings or budget changes – SAD 37 dissolution, etc – or related TABOR opponent hysteria is pure stupidity. Reality check time: if there are no students, are we going to pay teachers to sit in empty classrooms? Or maintain buildings that are effectively empty?

We need a new Educational Paradigm, one consistent with realities of demographic changes in state, nation and world population. We also need to look to the nature of healthcare. Our aging population and the large numbers of disabled from the Iraq adventure places a serious burden on multi-payer healthcare structures. Think! Vote!

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