Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Choice Continues To Be Layton Over Fishburn

The Marion County Sheriff’s race continues to be under the radar, and it’s for good reason. It’s not a race at all. Right now, it looks like Democrat John Layton is about to go a lap ahead of Republican Dennis Fishburn.

Layton’s excellent bio ad is back up and running on television. It lays out the Colonel’s 36 years in the Sheriff’s Department and provides an excellent resumé ad for those that do not know him. Plus…I’ll just say it…it has cool music and shows the candidate in a variety of dangerous situations. Layton has held just about every rank you can hold in the department.

While it's easy to fall for Layton's bio in itself as a voter, he has gotten some results as well. One thing that gets glossed over is the progress that Layton and his boss, Sheriff Frank Anderson, have made at the Marion County Jail. Years of mismanagement made the Marion County Jail an awful place. It was overcrowded and under federal court order to bring things under control. Republicans like Jack Cottey had kicked the can further down the road for the next administration and thumbed their noses at the courts.

Frank Anderson always has said that when he put his hand up and took the oath of office that the Sheriff’s Department’s problems became his problems. He and Layton went to work and, with the help of a great team, have reduced the overcrowding problem, have complied with the court order, and have become the only Indiana municipally-owned jail to win accreditation from the American Correctional Association. This after the jail was once compared to a jail in Tijuana shortly after Anderson took the reins of the Sheriff’s Department. Layton was there every step of the way.

Fishburn continues to struggle to gain traction. The Republicans tossed aside the more well-financed Bart McAtee in the May Primary. The Marion County GOP refused to back him. Tim Motsinger, another credible GOP candidate, was taken down by the Durham scandal. To his credit, Motsinger returned every dime of the money Tim Durham donated to his campaign and shut the doors on his run early.

Now come scattered reports that the Fishburn campaign might be running with, what some might consider, dirty tactics. According to an e-mail I received, they are trying gotcha games on working Sheriff’s Deputies in the field by trying to goad them into openly campaigning for Layton while on official business or while they are working in an official capacity. That is, in a word, low!

Fishburn’s website does little to establish his credentials or his vision for the department. He has a link to a series of YouTube videos. In one, he summarizes his platform in 13 seconds.

Really in depth there, Sergeant.

To be fair, Fishburn has a series of these short 10-60 second answers on his YouTube account. Some of his ideas contradict themselves and many just don't add up.

The message here is that John Layton is the better choice for Sheriff, and, thanks to Dennis Fishburn's YouTube site, I can even make him agree.

Sorry Sgt. Fishburn. You're a nice guy, but you're not Sheriff material.


Indy Student said...

While Fishburn might only have 15 second answers, I don't think Layton has any.

This is what I get when I go to his web site. It has no positions, no information, not much more than a photo, a quote of something or another, and the Youtube video. Oh, and an annoying Go Daddy banner informing you that the site is hosted FREE.

I could've sworn that Layton had a more extensive site up, but maybe I was wrong. Not a very smart move to have a site lacking in information this late in the campaign.

Paul K. Ogden said...

If Layton can make the privatized jails run as well as Jail #1 (with the exception of the privatized medical at Jail #1) is now, I'll be extremely happy. Sheriff Anderson's biggest fault is he hs let the private correctional companies do whatever they want with no oversight or consequences. I hope Layton doesn't take that approach.

I would love to see the Marion County Sheriff's Office take over the running of Jail #2. People have no idea how poorly Jail #2 is run. While people claim cost savings, you take a close look at the numbers, and you'll find the privatization of Jail #2 hasn't save taxpayers money. I'd much rather have professional deputy Sheriffs statffing the place rather than correctional officers getting paid virtually the same wages McDonalds pays.

Jon E. Easter said...

Indy Student,
I don't mean to give Layton cover, but that website has changed from when I wrote the piece. The old website, I believe, did have more information. It was nowhere near complete, but it was more than just a front page.

Looks like they are maybe making some changes to the site and that might be a temporary front page. Don't know though. You're right...the timing is bad.

PhonySpotter said...

Cool music, great reason to vote for a candidate.

Jon E. Easter said...

36 years in nearly every position in the Department is a great reason to vote for him, too.

Can you tell me what Sgt. Fishburn does on a daily basis? What kind of executive positions has he held? Be careful because I know the answer.