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


Send Your Opinions To Chattanoogan.com

We welcome your opinions at Chattanoogan.com. Email to news@chattanoogan.com . We require your real first and last name and contact information. There is no word limit, but if your article is too long you may lose your reader. Please focus more on issues than personal attacks. (click for more)

Let's Honor Luther

I would like to challenge the city.  There are two ways we could honor Luther.  Build a new facility for the Humane Society and name it after Luther.  Then we should create an academy for young people in the city to teach them how to be like Luther, learn to be of service to your fellow man. What about it Chattanooga?  Karen Dale Hixson (click for more)

Man Shot At Apartments On Tunnel Boulevard Wednesday Afternoon, Then 2 Juveniles Shot At Rec Center On Oakwood Drive With Suspects In Custody

Chattanooga police officers responded to the apartment buildings at 404 Tunnel Blvd. Wednesday at 1:21 p.m., where residents say they heard multiple shots fired.  Witnesses said they saw multiple suspects fleeing the scene on foot behind the complex.  The male victim was taken to a local hospital for life threatening gunshot wounds.  Later Wednesday, ... (click for more)

Several Arrested Outside Erlanger Hospital When Crowd Gathers After Woodlawn Shooting

Several people were arrested Monday night outside Erlanger Hospital after a crowd gathered and clashed with police. The crowd included family and friends of 20-year-old Apprentice Berry, who was shot multiple times and killed earlier Monday night at the Woodlawn Apartments on Wilson Street. Erlanger officials said the group gathered at the emergency room, but were later moved ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Advances In State Volleyball

SMYRNA, Tenn. – It’s a good thing that Signal Mountain volleyball coach Jennifer Redman is a young lady because her heart might not be able to stand the pressure if she wasn’t. Redman’s Lady Eagles were thisclose to being sent to the loser’s bracket in the opening round of the State Volleyball Tournament here at Stewarts Creek High School Wednesday afternoon. Had it been ... (click for more)

Boyd-Buchanan Sweeps Loretto To Open Class A State Volleyball

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Playing what coach Alfie Dodd called a sub-par match, Boyd-Buchanan’s Lady Bucs were still good enough to sweep Loretto, 3-0, Wednesday morning in the opening match of the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association’s Class A state volleyball tournament at Blackman High School. Set scores were 25-19, 25-14, 25-20. “We advance and we know we can ... (click for more)