Sunday, February 23, 2014

Wiser releases official candidate announcement for register of deeds

Donald Wiser is running as an independent against Knox County Register of Deeds Sherry Witt. He initially picked up a nominating petition to run for the sheriff's post as well. What follows is his official announcement that he is seeking Witt's post.

In it, I think he believes that there's some kind of conspiracy against him to run for sheriff. I'm not sure as the news release makes little sense (at least to me). However, as I've stated before, send me your election stuff and I'll post it.

The general election is set for August. Neither has an opponent in the May primary.

On a side note, Wiser talks about Sheriff Jimmy "J.J." Jones and Witt seeking a third term in office, and says the law doesn't allow this.

No, not true. The voters recently amended the charter to define what a "term" is, and it doesn't include prior appointments. (JJ and Sherry each served roughly two years - as did Clerk Foster Arnett Jr - before winning their respective political races back in 2010.)

So, anyhoo, here ya go:
On 20 February 2014, I was forced to make a decision as to what course I was to travel in an endeavor to bring the honest and efficient government that the citizens of Knox County rightly deserve and to which they are entitled under the Constitutions of the United States, the State of Tennessee and the Knox County Charter.

But the road to the office of Knox County Sheriff is blocked with unconstitutional barriers that cry out for justice as surely as did the poll tax in times gone by.

A small county Peace Officer Standards and Training certified jailor with three years’ service and a GED qualifies as a candidate for sheriff.

The law requiring candidates for sheriff to be POST certifiedfor three of the last 10 years is an unconstitutional, incumbent-protection measure written to exclude qualified opponents. It denies my constitutional right to run for sheriff even though I am a career police officer, had 24 years of POST certification, and served as a POST commissioner.

I am an honorably discharged veteran of the United States Navy and hold a BS in criminal justice from East Tennessee State University and an M.S. plus 40 hours in Health and Safety Education from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. I have also completed 2 years of law school at Nashville School of Law.

I have been a Criminal Justice instructor at Walters State Community College, an administrator at a treatment program at Mountain View Youth Development Center in Dandridge, have taken a course in FBI Instructor Development and attended the Tennessee Correctional Academy along with numerous related police schools and training for Drug and Alcohol Counseling.

But under this unconstitutional and downright unconscionable law, I am not qualified to be a candidate for sheriff.

In addition to my educational background, I have 6 years as a field auditor with the Trustee's Office and private sector experience in land management.

Unlike the incumbent sheriff and register of deeds, who hand out promotions based on the good ol’ boy system, I understand company needs and people needs and the need for accountability and transparency in government.

The Hutchison-Moore Machine conceived both Jimmy “JJ” Jones and Sherry Witt on Black Wednesday. They were appointed, then unappointed by the court, elected for a term, re-elected for a second term and are now running for the third time.

If my math serves me right this will be three terms, not the two that the law allows.

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