We were enjoying the Strawberry Days parade from our Grand Avenue business when we spotted Lou Vallario. We invited him over to our shop and asked him to tell us why he was running for sheriff. He told us his reasons for seeking office. We thanked him and told him that even though he appeared to be a nice enough guy, we were Democrats and very happy with Sheriff Tom Dalessandri’s job performance. His reply was, “Oh, I’m not really a Republican. That was just the easiest way for me to get on the ballot.”
Not `really’ a Republican. Oh, such a level of honest commitment. Does he really want to be the real sheriff? How many real, honest voters will be voting on party lines? Some tourists in our shop jokingly asked, “What is a not-really Republican?” This happened relatively early in the campaign and I didn’t feel the significance of his statement until now.
For all the times I have felt confident or positive about this sheriff’s department over the last few years, I only recently found out Tom Dalessandri’s party affiliation. It never mattered to me that the sheriff be a Democrat or Republican. It mattered that he be a good sheriff.
Now, it suddenly matters that Sheriff Dalessandri never said, “I’m not really a Democrat.” It matters with this, at times, nasty campaign that one man is not telling the truth about his motives.
Mr. Vallario is using the Republican Party for his personal goal. The Republican Party is supporting and using Mr. Vallario for their goal. Something is broken here, and it is not the current sheriff. Something feels underhanded and sniping and vindictive, and it is not the current sheriff.
Mr. Vallario fibbed, big time, either to get on the ballot or to me about getting on the ballot. Either way it stinks. And this sort of “fibbing” always stinks worse after an office is attained.
Mr. Vallario claims to be a cop’s cop. Mr. Dalessandri is a people’s sheriff. This is not just a cop’s election. This is a people’s election. Mr. Vallario should continue to be a cop’s cop. Mr. Dalessandri should continue to be the great sheriff that he is.
At Wednesday’s open and “unbiased” democratic forum for citizens to hear from their candidates, I submitted a question for Lou Vallario. Although it was the first question received from the audience, Carl Ciani, the moderator, refused to read it to Lou. Now, irresponsible questions need not be addressed by the forum, but, you decide if the following is appropriate:
“Mr. Vallario – as a high-ranking officer in the Glenwood Police Department did you participate in the purchase of a large number of fully automatic military M-16 rifles? How many? Why, and for what use? If elected sheriff would you convert the sheriff’s department into a Glenwood-style para-military squad?”
There are many issues ricocheting around in this nasty event. Vallario has accused Dalessandri of being preoccupied with 9-11 and spending too much time on terrorism. Who’s buying machine guns? The county is in fact prepared following state and federal guidelines and this does not involve secret rogue tactics.
Then, there is the matter of Carl Ciani. As the moderator of what used to be a clean evening of questions and answers, Carl at the very best acted rashly. (The videotape of the event clearly depicts Carl reading my question and putting it aside.) It’s a new low for all citizens. Vallario and his supporters are slinging mud. Ciani blows a trusted role in his support of Vallario, and right here in River City we have weapons of mass destruction capable of killing hundreds of people in less than a few minutes. Stay tuned for the cover-up. In the meantime consider the honest and reliable record of Tom Dalessandri while asking yourself if you really want a heavily armed para-military sheriff’s department.
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