Our Personal Endorsement of Ed Ballard for Calaveras County Sheriff, including some significant input by Ed himself.

From: Harleigh & Sandy W.
Sent on: Tuesday, June 1, 2010 10:03 PM
Hello Cory, fellow Patriots and members of the Calaveras Tea Party:
Cory we appreciate the opportunity you have provided to us all to post our respective endorsements of conservative candidates for local, state and federal offices to your Calaveras Tea Party website www.CalaverasTeaParty.com and related e-mail address above.
As many of you know Sandy and I endorse Ed Ballard and consider him by far to be the best choice for Calaveras Sheriff. We initially made our choice solely on Ed's record as an officer with the Calaveras Sheriff's Office and that Ed as a person of integrity, honesty and of good moral character and principals. However, our choice was further confirmed after reviewing and listening to the debates between Ed and Gary Kuntz as presented by the Pine Tree and Calaveras Enterprise.
I, Harleigh, have only endorsed and contributed financially to a few candidates for public office in the past. Those who know me know full well that I would never endorse anyone, not even a member of my family or a best friend, if I didn't not believe he or she would be the best person for the office. That he or she would be sufficiently qualified and would serve to the best of his or her ability and with the interest of the county, state and/or nation above all else.  
Cory is aware that Ed was going to ask us to submit the following on his behalf and we are both privileged and honored that Ed has asked us to do this for him. So, I will not make this any longer other then to ask that each of you take time to review the non-biased question and answer debates presented by the Pine Tree as well as the two (2) part video debate conducted by Joel Metzger for the Calaveras Enterprise at calaverasenterprise.com (Type in "debate" in the search area and it will come up with a two part debate for Calaveras County Sheriff, or you can scroll down near the bottom of the page on this site and find the debate videos as well.) Our time doing so was well spent and we believe you will find your time will be well spent as well. We believe it our responsibility to learn as much factual information about a candidate for a public office as possible, putting the typical political in fighting and all to often misleading information aside. We feel your personal review will make it very easy for you to choose which one of these candidates will best serve as Calaveras County Sheriff. 
Thank you!
Harleigh and Sandy Winkler
The following is Ed Ballard's rebuttal to Cory Burnell's endorsement of Gary Kuntz. Ed also provides some very pertinent and insightful information concerning his personal background, the operation of the Sheriff's Department, the new jail facility and more. 
To: Calaveras Tea Party
From: Ed Ballard, Candidate for Calaveras County Sheriff
Today I read the endorsement for Gary Kuntz that was written by Mr. Burnell. I had spoken with him when I heard that he had prepared it. He informed me that it was his personnel endorsement based on a long friendship between his wife and Gary. I support an endorsement made on friendship, but feel I should provide some input based on the issues he spoke about in the endorsement. I will keep it short, however if anyone would like to speak with me in person, please contact me at[masked] or [address removed] and we can make arrangements.
It should be noted that Mr. Burnell stated that he had talked to me a couple of times. This is true however we never spoke about the issues of the campaign in any specific detail.
It is my understanding that the Tea Party was not established as an individual forum for endorsement, however I feel the need and right to respond.
I am a native of Calaveras County and have served in the military. I deeply believe in the United States Constitution and will always defend the 2nd amendment, as well the other nine of the original 10. I have in the past and will continue to oppose all bills that infringe on our 2nd amendment right. I will honor all current CCW permits and issue new ones to all legally and policy qualified citizens.
I have attended the Tea Party meetings prior to running for the office of Sheriff.
I have worked for Sheriff Downum for the last 15 years and I made the choice to run for Sheriff based on my own reasons. If you were to talk with Mr. Kuntz, I am sure that he would tell you that I am the only administrator that ever disagreed with Sheriff Downum on issues associated with operations that I felt were not in the best interest of this community, or of the Sheriff's Office. It should be noted that most policy is based on law or best practices and I have a different operational philosophy than that of the Sheriff.
I would agree that Deputy morale is very low at the department, but it has little to do with the current “regime”, Mr. Kuntz was also part of the “regime”. The office has faced severe budget cuts over the last several years. Last year the deputies had to face a 5.6% pay cut and reduction of patrol staffing which caused approximately a 25% higher work load. On top of this, any sense of security in their employment walked out the door when the Deputy Sheriff's Union board voted not to except Mr. Kuntz back into their unit as a Sgt. after 24 years of service.
Mr. Kuntz was part of the planning for the new jail and administration building. At one time, he put the project over budget by several million dollars and added nearly 14,000 additional square feet. It should be important to note that this is a county capitol improvement project not a Sheriff's project; the Sheriff's Office only assisted in obtaining funding and planning. Any reduction to the size of the project would bring it out of scope and end state funding.  The remaining funding would not fix the broken system. No funding for the project will cause the loss of a single job at the county. The project will be staffed at a level the county can afford, but most importantly as the economy recovers the county will be able to grow into the buildings vs. having to again build at a much greater cost. The project will help our local economy and preference will be giving to our contractors, building supply or other local resource providers.
When Mr. Kuntz states that he will build a jail that we can afford, the public should understand that any jail not built as planned is the jail we cannot afford to build and that the Sheriff will not have the authority to stop or change the project. The dynamics associated to a change belongs to the policy decision of the Board of Supervisors.
The current jail is 15,000 square feet, out of compliance with law, and unsafe. Since 2007, 100 years of sentences have gone un-served due to early releases. 54% of those criminals that should have been in jail committed new crimes. I would like to know how you put a price tag on an unnecessary new victim, which could be you or someone you know. What is the cost (tax payers) associated to new criminal proceedings?
None of the programs the county has for rehabilitation are being used or being used effectively because there are not repercussions for failing or not participating in them, yet we continue to spend tax payer money on them.
The project also includes an administration building with a new, up to date 911 dispatch center, Emergency Operations Center, and offices to bring all our employees back under one roof.  
I would be more than willing to show anyone the plans and programming elements of these essential service buildings and explain how they will make the citizens safer. I would also be honored to conduct tours of our jail and offices to show you first hand the deplorable conditions your public safety employees work in.
A resident deputy program is a great philosophy and we have tried it on several occasions, however it never lasted long. To attempt to once again implement the creation of a new program during these economic times would only result in failure. I can explain why it has failed in much greater detail when you contact me. This program if properly thought out could be initiated correctly when the economy rebounds.
I feel it is important that everyone know that I did not ask for the Deputy Sheriff's Union endorsement. I had asked them to remain neutral.
I would encourage all to view the debates between Mr. Kuntz and myself on the Pine Tree and Calaveras Enterprise, also Calaveras Public TV has been playing interviews concerning the issues between Mr. Kuntz and myself. If they are not currently running I have copies that I can provide.
Part of the mission of the Tea Party is to educate on all issues. I humbly request that if I can provide any additional information that you please contact me.
Ed Ballard

Our Sponsors

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy