While much of the attention and focus when we head out to vote in November will be on the various partisan political races on the ballot, residents of Polk County will have another very important decision to make–who will be guiding the law enforcement efforts that protect us.
Though it may surprise many, the reason this is important is that some very basic laws on the books are being relegated to the back burner by current Sheriff Bill McCarthy–who has instead decided that the crack down we need is on those breaking the speed limit.Â While manyÂ living in the suburbs are unaware, not all places in Polk County are as safe as the neighborhoods most of us live in.Â The emphasis and aggressiveness in enforcing current law is vitalÂ to improving our safety, protecting our rights,Â and stamping out problems before they become out of control and directly threatening.
Opposing Sheriff McCarthy this November is Dan Charleston.Â I would encourage all of you to take a minute and visit his website – Charlestonforsheriff.com – where he goes into detail on the many hot-button issues that are on the table and how he would approach his law enforcement duties in general.
He was kind enough recently to answer some questions forÂ The Conservative Reader: Iowa–mainlyÂ focusing onÂ the impact a new Polk County Sheriff could have if he is elected in November.Â Here is what he had to say:
Should you defeat Bill McCarthy in November, what are the top three things that the citizens of Polk County would notice a change in?
Honoring the Oath of Office and ensuring the protection of individual rights as laid out in the USÂ Constitution and Bill of Rights, will be the first priority when elected Sheriff.Â We will lead together with innovative ideas and solutions to better serve our community.Â This will restore faith, hope, and the belief that there is a better future for our families and our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
The Polk County Sheriffâ€™s annual budget is over sixty million dollars. The 2011-2012 budgets will bring a mandatory cut of more than 2.5million dollars.Â There are many ways to accomplish this:Â retirements, reallocation of top management positions to line staff, inmate food service, fewer take-home cars for positions which do not require one, alternative work schedules, and management to staff ratios brought within the national average.Â This does not require the loss of staff jobs or a consulting firmâ€™s opinion at taxpayersâ€™ expense.
Recently the Sheriff and board of supervisors voted to allow speed cameras placed in vehicles throughout Polk County.Â I believe this is unconstitutional based on the sixth amendment. I would not allow the use of speed/red light cameras in Polk County and would lead the effort in getting them removed throughout the entire county.
What would your top priorities be on day one, and how would you best describe your managerial and law enforcement philosophy?
I believe the top priority at the Polk County Sheriffâ€™s Office is to restore the morale of the staff.Â There is a lack of faith in the leadership which affects the work ethic and overall attitude of the employees.
I believe in maintaining service before self; doing more with less; providing fiscal transparency, common sense solutions, honesty, accountability, trustworthiness, respect, loyalty, and fairness. I also believe in community and an attitude of service shown to the people whom we serve as law enforcement professionals in Polk County.
I believe a law enforcement organization cannot expect to grow and prosper if the skills of its people do not consistently do so. I believe in leading by example through realistic training, innovative ideas, on-going law enforcement education and common sense solutions when issues arise.
I believe that when we promote great leaders, it affects the work ethic, self- worth and pride of our organization, which will then be apparent to the people we serve.Â I believe Integrity is the most important thing a man or organization can possess, and with it, pride and a humble spirit is shown.
How has the campaign been going?Â Was there one event or occurrence that drove you to run for this office? Name one impact that a high quality County Sheriff can have on a community that might surprise some people?
The campaign has been going outstanding.Â The volunteers, radio, TV, webcasts, house parties, public speaking and parades have been very rewarding and informative.
Having been in the military and worked for Los Angeles Sheriffâ€™s Department, I have been a part of first class organizations. Having this experience gives me better vision to see where Polk County needs improvement in its law enforcement practices.Â Through proactive law enforcement, we can reduce gang activity, drug trafficking, illegal immigration, and unconstitutional speed cameras and lead the way for constitutional carry in this great state of Iowa.
In hopes of making a seamless transition in leadership, theÂ odds of using an already scheduled meeting of the State Central Committee to choose a new leader is becoming increasingly likely.
Fellow blogger, and State Central Committee member, David Chung is all over the story.Â Please check out the link below that will take you to his site HawkeyeGOP.com.Â I have been a reader of his for a while now–besides being a reasoned voice from inside the Party, he has shown absolute fairness in dealing with all issues.
Not only does he touch on the rules governing the process,Â he gives a brief rundown of the three known candidates to replace Matt Strawn, who recentley stepped down as Chairman of the Party.
Click here for David Chung’s story at HawkeyeGop.com
Thursday morning John Landon put fellow Republicans and House District 37 residents on notice that he plans to run for the newly created seat in the Iowa legislature.
Stay tuned in the coming weeks as The Conservative Reader:Iowa will follow this developing primary and have a sit down interview with Mr. Landon as he embarks on this campaign.
The following is the press release sent out by the Landon camp:
For immediate release
October 5, 2011
ANKENY, Iowa — Pledging to be an aggressive leader for a balanced state budget, economic development, education reform, and agriculture, Ankeny resident John Landon today announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for Iowaâ€™s State House District 37.
A lifelong Iowan with a background in business, Landon (525 NE Stone Valley Drive, Ankeny, IA) is a pro-life, pro-family conservative committed to balancing the state budget; creating jobs in a favorable climate for business and agricultural growth; eliminating costly regulations; and making education more cost effective.Â â€œI will be an aggressive leader for Ankeny and surrounding townships in the state legislature,â€ said Landon.Â â€œJobs are vital, and residents of this district want a leader who shares their vision of Ankeny job base and agricultural growth without raising taxes.â€
Landon is partner at Peoples Company where he is a farm manager and agricultural land Realtor.Â Â Landon is a Viet Nam veteran who served in the Navy Seabees prior to graduating from Iowa State University.Â He is an active leader at Cornerstone Baptist Church and served many years as a Boy Scout leader with Troop 188. He has also been a leader in the Polk County Republicans in recent years.Â Landon, and his wife Marvis, have two children, Eric (married to Rebecca) and Morgan who both graduated from Ankeny High School, having attended Ankeny schools K-12.
Iowa House District 37 is a newly created district that includes the north side of Ankeny (Ankeny Precincts 1-7, 9-10), along with Lincoln and Douglas townships.Â The primary for Iowa House District 37 will be held in June and election in November 2012.
Courtesy of State Central Committee member Gopal Krishna, my wife and I had great 8th row seats for the Iowa GOP/Fox News Presidential Debate.
The debate included: Speaker Gingrich; Governors: Huntsman, Pawlenty and Romney; Senator Santorum, Representatives Bachmann and Paul; and businessman Herman Cain.
Iâ€™m writing this post on Sunday morning, August 14th.Â I intended to write it before the Straw Poll, but I didnâ€™t get it done.Â My observations will include some thoughts about the Straw Poll, although I was not able to attend it in person.Â I donâ€™t believe in titling people as â€œwinnersâ€ or â€œlosersâ€ so I will define my analysis in terms of my personal expectations.
Governor Romney â€“ Mitt Romney spoke powerfully and articulately on every opportunity.Â I was particularly impressed with his handling of the â€œgotchaâ€ question about the Bain Capital investments in businesses that later failed and lost jobs.Â His answers on Romneycare are consistent with what can be expected of a Republican governor in a liberal state.Â I believe the 10th Amendment has meaning, so I respect his answer.Â Â He did not compete in the Straw Poll.
Senator Santorum â€“ Rick Santorum sprinted from anonymity to relevance with his precise, powerful responses on his legislative achievements related to welfare reform and middle east foreign policy.Â For me, his clash with Ron Paul made me consider again the Congressmanâ€™s views on foreign policy.Â His debate performance helped him to 4th place in the Straw Poll.
Speaker Gingrich â€“ Newt Gingrich had a great start when he criticized Chris Wallace for asking â€œgotchaâ€ questions. The crowd was 100% with him.Â Unfortunately, he finished weakly with an oddly placed plea for citizens to contact their representatives now because we canâ€™t wait until 2012â€™s election for leadership.
Representative Bachmann â€“ Michele Bachmann had an overall good night.Â I thought she had the most difficult of the â€œgotchaâ€ questions when she was asked if she would be submissive to her husband as President.Â She showed great control over her emotions.Â She came across as thoughtful and confident in her responses.Â I thought she relied too much on lines from her scripted stump speech.Â She is the Iowa leader coming into the debate and I thought she held her own, as confirmed by her 1st place showing in the Straw Poll.
Failed to Meet Expectations:
Representative Paul â€“ Ron Paul should be in my wheelhouse.Â I have strong Libertarian leanings in my political ideology.Â I thought he made a mistake engaging in the cat fight with Senator Santorum.Â He came across as a little shrill in his efforts to defend Iran and criticize past U.S. foreign policy.Â Â I imagine President Obama was nodding in agreement.Â Most of all, I donâ€™t understand why he does not ask his ardent supporters to show respect and refrain from aggravating the many people who attended the debate to hear candidates, not activists.Â Of course, he nearly won the Staw Poll, but Iâ€™m skeptical that his national polling numbers will improve based on the debate.
Herman Cain â€“ Herman Cain should also be in my wheelhouse.Â I believe strongly in capitalism as the engine of prosperity for America and the world.Â Hermanâ€™s strength is his ability to provide short understandable answers to complex questions.Â He has not moved quickly enough from process to solutions. I thought he performed at about the same level as the South Carolina debate, but that is not good enough at this point.
Governor Pawlenty â€“ Tim Pawlenty looked petty in the way he engaged Representative Bachmann.Â I realize that some of this was driven by the questions, but he would have been well served to remember Reaganâ€™s 11th Commandment.Â Â Given the time and effort he has put into his Iowa effort, his % of the vote in the Straw Poll confirms that he did not meet expectations in this debate. He had the organization, but he did not have the committed voters like Bachmann and Paul.Â Â I understand now why McCain did not pick him as his VP in 2008.
Editorial Note: My comments were finished before Governor Pawlenty dropped out.
Governor Huntsman – Jon Huntsman is a Republican.Â I donâ€™t understand why Dick Morris keeps saying he should run in the Democrat Party.Â Â I appreciate his willingness to stick with positions that he knows are unpopular with a meaningful segment of the Republican base.Â That takes character and integrity.Â I think he has those qualities. I thought his demeanor lacked sparkle and emotion.Â His responses were not crisp.Â He has not spent much time in Iowa so the Staw Poll doesnâ€™t mean much for his candidacy.
In closing, I would like to emphasize that I would be willing to work hard and support any of these candidates, Rick Perry or Sarah Palin should they win the Republican nomination for President.Â Each of them would be a far better President than Barack Obama, who has turned out to be the most partisan, divisive President of my lifetime.
This Friday, Pat Bertroche, whom we have mentioned here before as a Republican candidate for 3rd District US House from Iowa, will make his formal announcement of candidacy.
Pat will make his announcement at the corner of East 14th Street and Euclid in Des Moines where Younkers once had a store.
I had the opportunity to speak with Pat in August while Leonard Boswell was running a farce of a town meeting in Sigourney. As with Dave Funk, Pat seems to share many of the same conservative passions that many of us do for both addressing our fiscal mess by reducing the size of government, and some of the key social issues that have been problematic, abortion being one of them.
Pat also hosts a show called “The Reasonable Republican” on the same Des Moines Local Live internet radio station that The Conservative Reader Report can be heard on. Pat’s show is on Friday’s from 2 to 4.
Here’s Pat’s press release:
Dr. Patrick Bertroche will formally announce his campaign for Iowaâ€™s 3rd Congressional District on Friday, December 18th, 2009, at 12pm. He has sent his FEC papers by Fed/Ex Tuesday, and the next logical step is to move forward and announce his intention to run for the 3rd District House seat.
He will announce his candidacy at E. 14th & Euclid Ave., near where the old Younkers store used to be, to illustrate the need for better infrastructure and job growth that Iowa needs for a better economy.
Dr. Pat is passionate about Iowa, and will bring a depth of knowledge and vast experience on all issues that affect Iowans, especially Medicare reimbursement and job creation for the 3rd District of Iowa. Dr. Pat plans to work closely with local and state officials to boost small business growth and job creation.
Dr. Pat LISTENS to Iowans.
For more information, you can check out his website, www.bertroche4congress.com, you can call the campaign headquarters at 515-556-0526, or his Campaign Chairman at 515-710-0798. Email: [email protected]
You can also follow him on Twitter at PatBertroche, and on Facebook, Pat Bertroche.