Drew's views

Drew's views

November 9th, 2012 in Opinion Free Press

HEADLINE: Dead Republican beats Democratic incumbent in Alabama

THE RECAP: A Republican nominee who died almost a month before Election Day beat the incumbent Democratic candidate for a seat on the Bibb County Commission.

Republican Charles Beasley defeated Democrat Walter Sansing despite having died on Oct. 12. Beasley carried about 52 percent of the votes. The ballots were printed before Beasley's death and couldn't be changed before the vote.

The Bibb County Republican Party will recommend a successor to Gov. Robert Bentley, who will appoint a new commissioner.

DREW'S VIEW: On Election Day, voters in Tennessee's 4th Congressional District re-elected a candidate who deceived voters by claiming to be a social conservative when he was not, apparently strong-armed one of his many mistresses into having an abortion, allegedly appeared as if he was going to shoot his then-wife and himself in separate incidents, may well have his medical license suspended for engaging in sexual relations and illegal drug use with patients, evidently improperly prescribed drugs to a patient he slept with, and then blamed the whole mess on the media.

It should, therefore, be no surprise that voters in Alabama elected a candidate whose only shortcoming was being dead.

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HEADLINE: McMinn County Property Assessor cited for shoplifting

THE RECAP: McMinn County Property Assessor Jerry Anderson was caught shoplifting last month. Officers say the incident happened in neighboring Bradley County. A police report states Anderson was caught stealing a $50 bottle of Kenneth Cole perfume on Oct. 26 at a Kohl's department store in Cleveland.

DREW'S VIEW: Elected officials should be examples for our communities. They should be people we can expect to follow the law and act in a manner that reflects well on their constituents. A property assessor, by the nature of the job, is - and should be - held to even higher standards than most elected officials.

The shoplifting incident, which Anderson admits occurred, compromises his integrity and puts his trustworthiness into question. It is also an embarrassment to McMinn County residents.

Anderson acknowledges a long history of shoplifting, calling it "an addiction."

"I've been dealing with this issue for many years," he told the Daily Post-Athenian. "This was a wake-up call that I have an addiction to [shoplifting]."

Let's hope that Anderson's apologetic tone and apparent willingness to seek help is a heartfelt first step to getting his life in order, rather than just a ploy to keep his cushy, well-paying position.

Sadly, he's already failed to live up to the lofty standards of ethical accountability, trustworthiness and credibility required of someone who, ultimately, can personally determine how much every property owner in McMinn County pays in taxes.

As a result, Anderson should resign immediately.

With any luck, McMinn County residents will end up with a property assessor more deserving of their trust and Anderson can begin to address his demons.

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HEADLINE: Andy Berke picks up papers to qualify for race for mayor of Chattanooga

THE RECAP: Soon-to-be-former state Sen. Andy Berke, D-Chattanooga, picked up official papers on Thursday to qualify for the Chattanooga mayor election. Berke had previously announced his intention to give up his senate seat and run for mayor.

DREW'S VIEW: Unless Berke is "caught in bed with either a dead girl or a live boy," to quote former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards, the campaign - for better or worse - should be a mere formality.

"Drew's views" is a weekly roundup of Free Press opinions about topics that appeared in the Times Free Press over the past week. Follow Drew on Twitter: @Drews_Views.