Negative Campaign Shows Gwen Tidwell Is Best - And Response

Monday, July 28, 2014

I have managed numerous state and federal campaigns and have learned that negative campaigns are the tools of candidates who have nothing positive to offer.  

The best candidates are those who run on their records.  One such candidate is Hamilton County Criminal Court Clerk Gwen Tidwell.  She is running for re-election on a record which speaks volumes about her professionalism, her leadership skills and her commitment to serve the public honestly and fairly.  We should re-elect Gwen Tidwell based on her outstanding record.

Gwen oversees a staff of over 60, maintaining the records of Hamilton County’s three criminal courts and five criminal general sessions courts while following strict financial and legal regulations established by the State. Although not required by law, Gwen has made these records open and easily accessible to the public.  

Gwen runs her office efficiently. This is the 15th straight year in which she has not submitted a budget request to the County Commission to fund the salaries of her staff. The Criminal Court clerk office's salaries are fully funded by the fees and fines it collects.

 Being unfamiliar with the detailed mechanics of the criminal court clerk’s office, Gwen Tidwell's opponent Vince Dean has resorted to a negative campaign based on distortions and half-truths. If his purpose is to run a negative campaign, Gwen's opponent is succeeding. If it is to educate the voters on how he will improve the complex operations of the office he is seeking, he is failing.  In fact, Gwen's opponent offers no reason to replace a qualified public servant like Gwen Tidwell other than his own desire to return home from Nashville.  While I can understand why he may want to distance himself from Tennessee’s 108th General Assembly, Gwen's opponent appears woefully unfamiliar with the mechanics of the office which he is now seeking. 

Gwen Tidwell is a professional who has demonstrated outstanding leadership skills as our Criminal Court clerk.  I will cast my vote for Gwen Tidwell and encourage you to do so as well.

Jim Hall

Signal Mountain

* * *

I feel it pertinent to correct a statement by Mr. Jim Hall in his opinion supporting current Criminal Court Clerk Tidwell.  “Although not required by law, Gwen has made these records open and easily accessible to the public.” 
Actually, Mr. Hall, it is required by law:
TCA 10-7-503.  Records open to public inspection
(2)  (A) All state, county and municipal records shall, at all times during business hours, which for public hospitals shall be during the business hours of their administrative offices, be open for personal inspection by any citizen of this state, and those in charge of the records shall not refuse such right of inspection to any citizen, unless otherwise provided by state law. 
To verify that this includes records of the courts I refer to a portion of an opinion posted on the official website for the Tennessee Office of Open Records.  You can read it in its entirety under Opinions 9-10
“The Tennessee Supreme Court in State v. Cawood, 134 S.W. 3d 159(Tenn. 2004) and the Tennessee Court of Appeals in Kersey v. Bratcher, 253 S.W. 3d 625(Tenn. Ct. App. 2007) opined as to the applicability of the Tennessee Public Records Act to the court records.  In both cases, the courts found the court files and exhibits are public records, unless placed under seal or protective order and court clerks, as the custodians of those records have a duty to provide public access to the records pursuant to the TPRA. Cawood, 134 S.W. 3d at 165; Bratcher, 253 S.W. 3d at 629.”
Vince Dean in his role as a member of the Tennessee House of Representatives helped pass laws giving citizens easy access to all public records.  Understanding and executing the laws of the county and the state is critical in all elected positions and certainly in the Criminal Court Clerk Office. 
With that in mind, I urge you to cast your vote for a candidate that knows the laws, helped craft the laws, and enforced the laws in his service as a police officer.  Join me in electing Vince Dean to the office of Hamilton County Criminal Court Clerk.

Frances Pope

* * *

One of the basics of the Southern way of life is "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Gwen Tidwell is running a very efficient and helpful Circuit Court Clerk's Office. There is NO REASON to replace her. Her office, "Ain't Broke!"

John L. Odom


Rep. John Deffenbaugh: Week 11 House Of Representatives Report

The Georgia General Assembly reconvened under the Gold Dome on Monday, March 20 for day 36 of the 2017 legislative session. Sine die is less than a week away, and the House had another busy week of reviewing legislation in committee hearings, voting on bills and resolutions on the House floor and giving final passage to several bills that will now be considered by Governor Deal. ... (click for more)

Stop Insulting City Residents - And Response (2)

Recently the members of the Hamilton County School Board, Hamilton County commissioners, school administrators and the county mayor met to discuss school funding. According to media reports, one elected official told the group that the cities do not help fund schools. It’s difficult to understand why that comment was made. Cities are made of citizens who pay property taxes twice. ... (click for more)

1 Person Killed In 3-Car Accident In Dalton On Saturday

There was a fatal three-vehicle crash on the South Bypass in Dalton just south of Sawgrass Drive  on Saturday  at approximately  4:30 pm . The crash happened when the driver of a black Ford Mustang traveling southbound on the bypass for some reason left its lane of travel and crossed over the center line and hit a 2004 Chevy Silverado truck head on. ... (click for more)

Car Crashes Into Motel 6 In Dalton; Driver, 17, Admits To Texting While Driving

The Dalton Police Department and Dalton Fire Department responded Saturday morning to a crash at the Motel 6 at Highway 41 and Tibbs Road. The driver of the 2005 Pontiac Grand Prix involved left the roadway and crashed into the Motel 6 building causing severe damage to one of the rooms. There were no major injuries. Investigators believe texting while driving was a contributing ... (click for more)

South Pittsburg Wins Lookout Valley Invitational

The South Pittsburg Lady Pirates are playing pretty good softball these days and they rewarded themselves by winning the Lookout Valley Invitational Saturday afternoon at Lookout Valley Elementary’s O’Mary-Conard Field. The Lady Pirates won their pool with wins over Grundy County and CSAS on Thursday and Friday before beating Covenant Christian in the second semifinal Saturday ... (click for more)

Columbia Academy Stymies Soddy-Daisy 4-2

Soddy-Daisy won two games in the Ooltewah Invitational on Friday and hoped to carry that momentum over to Saturday’s contest against Columbia Academy at Tom Higgins Field. But the Trojans ran into junior left-hander Baylee Dees. Dees, who transferred to Columbia Academy from Page prior to the current school year, limited the Trojans to two hits and a run over six innings. ... (click for more)