Why, Shane Gardner.
I knew it was Gardner because he was wearing his vest with a big 'ol "SGT GARDNER" on the front in case anyone didn't know who he was (a vest that came complete with a badge) and his cannon. He was, in my estimation, doing that campaign thing, because he was rather loudly discussing the fact that two-time sheriff's candidate and democrat Tim Shotwell has endorsed him.
He was talking to a woman there. I was roughly (by estimate) 15 feet away, and I clearly heard them.
As a result of what I saw and what I heard, I did a post on this blog and on Facebook, questioning why Gardner would, in effect, campaign while dressed up like he was going on a SWAT raid in a restaurant.
Apparently, I've upset some people with that post. I received, 4 times, the following response, which I have to accept as a matter of faith (Since I really have no way to verify it) that it came from the woman in question.
Here, in its entirety, unedited, is that response:
I would like to respond to this silly and inaccurate blog with some facts that I know to be true. My name is Denise Valtierra, I work at the Sheriff’s Office and Shane is my best friend. Yesterday, Shane met me at Billygan’s to have lunch, as friends sometimes do. During the course of our lunch (that Shane is entitled to by state law), we discussed our families, my new job, church, baseball and yes, campaign events from the past week. I believe, that since Shane was off the clock, any and all of these topics were acceptable, regardless of his attire. I have worked at the Sheriff’s Office for nearly 8 years and have never once seen a deputy remove his badge, vest or gun to eat lunch at a restaurant. If they did so, wouldn’t the public be mad when the responding officer were 6 minutes later to their call because they had to re-dress when being called out during their meal? To say that Shane was “campaigning” is also incorrect. Shane already has my vote so no campaigning or swaying was occurring at our table. I found it interesting that while eavesdropping on our conversation that you neglected to mention the part, in your blog, about where I asked Shane for more campaign items and he told me he couldn’t transport them in his work vehicle, on the county’s clock. He has been very cognizant of not blurring those lines since announcing his candidacy and for you to say otherwise is ignorant. I also find it offensive that you feel you need to tell the readers of your blog who and whom not to vote for based on something you deemed inappropriate. Do you not believe your readers intelligent enough to gather the data, analyze it and then make their own informed decision? Luckily for Shane, there are many savvy, educated voters in Clark County so this blog will not interfere with his goals. Thank you in advance for publishing this as I know that you want the record to be accurate.I admit to some level of confusion: my blog is "silly and inaccurate," so I was, initially, unsure why this person would respond at all. I mean, this IS the blog that nobody reads, but everyone gets upset about... right? And since no one reads my "silly and inaccurate" blog, why does it matter if it's accurate or not?
But here's what I know:
Gardner was standing in the foyer of a local popular restaurant looking like he was going out on a raid, talking about which democrat had endorsed him.
In my time in the military, I, too, wore a vest, a gun, a rifle, a pack, hand grenades, canteens and so forth. If it took me "6 minutes" to strap all that on when it was needed, then where would I or any of the others be?
I have seen many, many police officers who were detectives in restaurants without looking like they were hitting a cartel drug house. This crap is as disingenuous as Gardner's politically motivated, so-called "non-partisan" shtick.
Shane Gardner is many things, but stupid isn't one of them. Claiming "non-partisanship" when you seek partisan support is hypocrisy of the highest order.
Unless Gardner was, at that moment, heading out to serve a warrant, then he shouldn't have looked like an extra on CSI New York... and he should not even mention anything campaign related when he is dressed up like that.
Who people vote for or don't vote for is entirely their business. I state an opinion... which is perfectly within my rights to do... and this major Gardner supporter denigrates me for it.
And that goes to the heart of the matter. You can, I'm told, tell a great deal about a candidate by the support they draw and the people around them: The people Gardner is going after to support him for the most part are not people, with few exceptions, that I respect or admire. That the person who sent this to me chooses to denigrate my effort to express an opinion merely because she disagrees with it (Does anyone believe for one moment if I were a rabid Gardner supporter and had written something like this about, say, Atkins, that this woman would have written me this way, or in this style?) is the thing.
I don't want a sheriff who "thinks" this way. I want a sheriff who locks up the bad guys... not a social worker who filters out the "knuckleheads." And this kind of thing is what kills the deal for me when it comes to Gardner.
I invite disagreement. I provide an open forum for it as long as it isn't based on partisan hatred (C3G2 types come to mind, for example) and anyone who disagrees with me will get the opportunity to state their disagreement, as this opportunity was provided here.