Desperate Tactics In Criminal Court Clerk's Race - And Response

Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Two months remain before the Hamilton County general election and already Vince Dean's effort to replace our Criminal Court Clerk Gwen Tidwell is showing signs of desperation.
 
His speech last week to the Pachyderm Club shows he is willing to use any "red meat" political tactic, including personal attacks and innuendo, as campaign tactics. It's  "strategy" intended to divert the public's attention away from Dean's lack of knowledge about the operations of the office he is seeking.
 
As evidence of his unfamiliarity with those operations, he implies that Gwen Tidwell is for gay marriage. This is a ridiculous and outrageous non-issue because the Criminal Court clerk has absolutely nothing to do with marriage or marriage laws or marriage records.  I neither know nor care whether she is or isn't, Just as I don't know or care whether she is for or against any of the other hot button issues that have nothing to do with the Criminal Court clerk's office.
 
Dean questioned whether Tidwell has modernized the office. He noted that in the last weeks she had asked the County Commission for "approval to accept credit cards in the office," and added that the "other larger cities in Tennessee have been accepting credit cards for years."  He is either unaware that Criminal Court Clerk Gwen Tidwell's office has been accepting credit card payments for years, or he deliberately misrepresented the facts.
 
Dean underscored his lack of knowledge with the office's day-to-day functions by claiming he wanted to improve how the office staff interacts with the public. This implies that he considers the staff rude and inefficient. And, in case anyone missed the insult, he explained the staff could (and should) be taught to treat customers like teen-aged fast food workers are taught.
 
I am an attorney who does business with Ms. Tidwell and her office, and I have done so for well over 30 years, both as a previous assistant district attorney and as an attorney in private practice.  Therefore, I am familiar with the Criminal Court clerk's office prior to Ms. Tidwell and after she was elected. I know she has improved the office and continues to do so. I know that she runs her offices in a very professional manner.  I know that her employees are all well trained, able and willing to assist everyone politely and efficiently. Over the years I've worked with clerk's offices across the state and Ms. Tidwell's office should be used as a model to which others should aspire.
 
Stan Lanzo

Attorney-at-law

* * *

I was at the lunch presentation of Vince Dean, candidate for Criminal Court clerk.  There was no such "desperation" as claimed by Mr. Lanzo.  Unfortunately, he has apparently relied solely on the media for his information.

The facts are simple from Vince Dean's comments:  1) The news media in Chattanooga reported just three weeks ago that the 20-year incumbent is just now having staff enter the 21st century to allow credit/debit cards be used to pay fines in the court office while more than $50 million in uncollected fees have accumulated.  2) In response to the Democratic incumbent's claim to be "conservative," Mr. Dean read an article quoting verbatim the incumbent's personal remarks on social issues that she volunteered.  At no time did he state she supported gay marriage.  3) In listening to the speech Mr. Dean gave, it was obvious to everyone in the room, he was very familiar with the office and its functions.

The failed record of a 20-year incumbent is demonstrating the opportunity and need for new leadership.  It's that simple.

Brad Tucker


The President Isn't In Charge Of America's Future

Protesters -  Donald is not, and Hillary would not have been, in charge of America's future.  Why worry when the God of the universe is in control.   We Americans need to read and heed 2 Chronicles 7:14.  I'll be first in line.  Judy Morgan Tyner/East Brainerd (click for more)

Roy Exum: Washington’s Favorite

By the time darkness fell over Washington, D.C., on Sunday, it had clearly been a monumental weekend. On Friday Donald Trump had ben inaugurated as the 45 th President of the United States. On Saturday a fierce crowd of a half-million women who each are entitled to have the identical rights as men in the same United States, marched on The Mall. And then, the Washington Post printed ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Police To Add 14 Officers After Violent Weekend; New System To Allow Local Testing Of Shell Casings

In the wake of a weekend in which five people were shot with two dying, the Chattanooga Police Department is adding 14 more officers, Mayor Andy Berke and Chief Fred Fletcher said Monday. The department is also utilizing a new system that will allow local testing of shell casings and avoid a long wait time after sending them off to Nashville. Chief Fletcher also said there ... (click for more)

Cleveland Mother And Father Indicted After 2-Month Old Tests Positive For Meth; Has Multiple Injuries

The father and mother of a two-month-old in Cleveland have been indicted for child abuse after the baby tested positive for meth and had multiple injuries. Cleveland Police said on Jan. 4 the Department of Children Services and the Cleveland Police Department’s Special Investigations Unit began a joint investigation on an aggravated child neglect/abuse case.  DCS and ... (click for more)

Big McClendon Curtis Leads Central Past Hixson

Central coach Rick Rogers knew this would be a long season for his Purple Pounder basketball team after his top seven players graduated last year. He’s exactly right, but things are headed in the right direction for Rogers as his team improved to 5-10 overall and 3-6 in District 6-AA with a heart-stopping one-point win at Hixson Monday night. That’s two wins in a row and the ... (click for more)

Cleveland, Bradley Central No. 1 And No. 2 In State Wrestling Poll

Now in its 25th year, The Poll is primarily a measure of  dual meet strength  with some consideration to individual tournament strength.   Votes are cast by a state-wide panel of high school wrestling coaches and are based on a maximum Power Ranking of 100%.   STATE POLL:   RANK ... (click for more)