Over the past several days reports have come in regarding a lone protester carrying a sign that says “Vote No on Alan Norman for Sheriff. Vote FOR Clyde Ledbetter!”
One siting was at the corner of Dekalb Street and US 74 in Shelby , near the Burger King. Another siting was on US 74 near the construction of the new Ford place. Both sites of maximum visibility, kind of like a moving billboard. Kinda like a moving target too, so to speak. A way to make your protest visible, then make a getaway soon enough to avoid any organized political retaliation.
A motorist with a camera phone has successfully taken a picture and is sending it to me. A technical difficulty in sending a phone picture to my computer has prevented me from including the picture with this article. When the technical glitch is resolved, I will include it too.
I have no idea who this lone protester actually is. And, if I find out, I might not report it as the Sheriff’s Office is hottest item in Cleveland County politics and some supporters of political candidates are fanatical in their support. Well founded or not. Like some Eddie Holbrook sycophants.
And, especially like some supporters of previous Sheriffs of Cleveland County (Haywood Allen, Dale Costner, Buddy McKinney, Dan Crawford and Raymond Hamrick) too.
Editor’s Note: Sheriff Dale Costner fired Deputy Buddy McKinney for running against him. When McKinney won he fired Costner. Sheriff Dan Crawford ran off Deputy Raymond Hamrick for planning to run against him. When Raymond Hamrick won, Dan Crawford was fired. Sheriff Raymond Hamrick fired Deputy Alan Norman for running against him. When Alan Norman won, Raymond Hamrick was fired.
This kind of stuff goes so far back it has to be called a “tradition” that even the present Sheriff, Alan Norman, may not have totally eradicated from his ranks of supporters. If he ever wanted to. Making some opposition supporters afraid to come out under the First Amendment and exercise their rights. You can bet right now that there are many political operatives running the roads of Cleveland County checking whose political campaign yard sign are in whose yards. Hey, I do that myself, for different reasons. But, I certainly don’t pull up or deface anybody’s signs like some are doing right now in Cleveland County. In probably all contested races.
But our “Lone Protester” is not afraid. and the pics that just came in show he is NOT Clyde Ledbetter. Of course Clyde Ledbetter is not afraid either. If you want proof of that, look at Ledbetter’s September 26, 2018 Full Page Add in the Shelby Star. I have been able to obtain the Text of that Advertisement for all to see. Especially because of the list of questions Clyde Ledbetter has ask Sheriff Alan Norman as well as we would like a response from Sheriff Norman regarding the allegations about him in that Advertisement.
Consider this as the first volley in our On-Line Forum and Debate that we still are in the process of formatting. But will be coming soon.
Please note the questions at the end of this ad as well as the underlined portions of the main text. Sheriff Norman’s response will be printed in full.
POLITICS (By Unafffiliated Candidate for Sheriff-Clyde Ledbetter)
I started in politics about 50 years ago. I didn’t realize it at first but after a few years it became obvious. My first permanent job was with the North Carolina Department of Transportation. I qualified for that job shortly after acquiring a bachelor- of- science degree in civil engineering from North Carolina State University in 1972. Most all of my career (after that) was at the mercy of politics. When I first went to work with DOT I was led to believe advances and promotions would depend upon hard work and dedication. I found out that those who worked hardest did get the fastest career advancement. The problem was that the work some of them excelled at was not in their job description. They would be the first to bring the boss man a newspaper or a cup of coffee. They would work tirelessly to get on a select committee or into a position of notoriety. They would spend hours each day checking out everybody’s performance and be the first to report to the boss that one of their cohorts had done something wrong. They would go out of their way to promote themselves to the proper authorities in such a way that no one else would know what they were doing. A good percentage of the time the ones who worked the hardest to tear down their competition would get the promotion. I came to understand politics early on.
I learned enough about politics to become a district superintendent after about 12 years of training. Politics is a cutthroat business. My throat has been cut serval times, but truth seems to show up in time to keep me alive. I have learned that truth is the only defense against political assassination. The current Sheriff’s race has brought back some memories. My competition in the Sheriff’s race has already taken out the knife. Rumor and innuendo have surfaced that I am trying to destroy the Cleveland County justice system. Untruth has been released that my competition knows me intimately and that my motive is revenge and hate. One Democrat made a statement recently that his mother is my first cousin. He stated that he knows what I am doing and it is wrong, and that my campaign has morphed into something awful. That democrat’s mother is not my first cousin. My campaign has not morphed at all. What I am doing may be the most unselfish and sincere thing that I have ever done. I am genuinely concerned that parts of our law enforcement system are being used for personal gain in a political arena. My competition has already made arrangements for at least one of my billboards and some of my small campaign signs to be removed from private property. I don’t know what someone told the property owners from whom I obtained permission to place the signs, but I am sure it was not pretty.
I have personal knowledge of campaign donations being followed by job opportunities. I have personal knowledge of illegal activities being swept under the rug for what appears to be political reasons. I have personal knowledge of law enforcement officials exhibiting an attitude of arrogance and disrespect towards me and my campaign crew. An active deputy told me that because of my entry into the sheriff’s race he had to go to work putting up Alan Norman campaign signs. I know of families who are afraid their family members (who are employed by the Sheriff) will lose their jobs if they have anything to do with me. No deputy (or deputy’s family member) felt free to sign my petition form to run for sheriff; they were all afraid there would be repercussions if the wrong person discovered their name on the (public information) petition form. The incumbent sheriff of Cleveland County (or any other county) has a great deal of power in the political arena. He/she has direct control over the livelihood of hundreds of families throughout the county. Using that power for political advantage should not be tolerated.
I have a few questions for my opponent in the Sheriff’s race.
1. Are you a Democrat and do you support the Democrat party platform? Please tell everyone what the Democrat agenda is.
2. Are you supportive of protecting gun rights for all sane law-abiding citizens of Cleveland County? Have you ever taken a gun from a citizen of Cleveland County without just cause?
3. Do you always visit the crime scene and/or collect available forensic evidence in a felony citizen’s arrest or domestic violence case?
4. If you discover that an unknown crime has been committed while you are investigating a different crime, would you go to the trouble of seeking a remedy for the unknown crime?
5. Have you ever used active deputies to help with your political campaign?
6. 6. Have you ever (knowingly or unknowingly) hired or promoted a deputy without going through a vetting process?
7. Do you ever promote or encourage the mixing of religion and politics?
8. Have you ever hired or promoted a deputy because of a political contribution?
9. Do you agree with a majority of legal experts that citizen’s arrest laws are the most abused laws in the nation?
When I am elected Sheriff I hope to start working on a more user-friendly law enforcement environment. I will be unaffiliated with partisan politics. I will not be unaffiliated with the citizens of Cleveland County. I will represent every citizen based on his/her merit; not on his/her politics. I plan to have a deputy force which is anxious to get to meet and to know the people they serve. It is time for political hate and division to stop. It is time to treat a neighbor as you want a neighbor to treat you whether the neighbor is Democrat, Republican or unaffiliated!!!