Chris Douglas

On Davis Vs. Anderson for Sheriff

Filed By Chris Douglas | October 21, 2006 2:20 PM | comments

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I have spoken with Steve Davis, candidate for Marion County Sheriff. As his yard sign had been among several delivered to me, I telephoned in order to ascertain his position with regard to nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Citing the nondiscrimination policies of his fellow Republicans, Governor Mitch Daniels, Secretary of State Todd Rokita, and Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi, all of which include sexual orientation and gender identity, I asked Davis what his position is on nondiscrimination.

His immediate answer reflected our new world: "Well, it's the law!" Davis went on to say that he was committed to protecting and providing service to all law-abiding citizens regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. "It doesn't whether or not I like the color of your shirt. This is America! This is all about freedom!"

As a next step, I invited Steve Davis to the next after-hours of the Indianapolis Rainbow Chamber of Commerce. He elected immediately to assign that after-hours a higher priority than another meeting, and expressed his intent to attend. (The Indy Rainbow Chamber of Commerce is a non-partisan organization. I have notified Jon Keep, fellow board member, who has undertaken to extend a parallel invitation to Sheriff Frank Anderson.)

I have very little opinion on this race and the relative merits of the candidates, except to relay my impression that Steve Davis can be supported in good conscience by those for whom justice for the glbt community is a paramount concern. (I have no reason to believe that Sheriff Frank Anderson is anything other than a friend to the community.) With regard to nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, it is my impression that "Davis gets it" in his understanding of the topic, and respects the glbt community as a community that is his to protect as much as any other in the city.

(From the Principles of the First Republicans: FIRST REPUBLICANS BELIEVE in equal rights, equal protection, equal justice, equal opportunity and equal responsibilities for all people, regardless of race, religion, creed, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or national origin.)

(This message is cross-posted with First Republicans Forum.)


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Jeff Newman | October 21, 2006 5:10 PM

Steve Davis approached me at Oktoberfest before our performance last month. We chatted for about 10 minutes; I didn't speak to him about GLBT issues, but overall he seemed pretty down-to-earth and rational.

Two things:

1. When is the next Chamber event, where, etc., and are non-members or prospective members allowed?

2. I've met and heard Steve Davis. He is, by far and away, Frank Anderson's mental inferior. He has elected to affiliate with some sadly far-right folks, who, if they knew of his potentially-GLBT-friendly overtures, would (and will) pull him back into the far-right fold, from whence he comes. Luckily, he has almost no chance.

Insert almost ANY name of a politician you know for "Frank Anderson" above. Even Jack Cottey. Yeah, Jack Cottey.

Bil and I recently invited Scott Keller, Republican City-County councilor for our district, to speak at a local block party. At the party, Scott endorsed Sheriff Frank Anderson. We had a private conversation later as to why he made that endorsement and I am convinced that Frank Anderson is the right candidate.

One thing I feel I can share about Scott's reasoning is that Davis was 100% opposed to the Police-Sherrif merger and remains opposed to it. He feels that the right person to oversee the ongoing merger is someone who believes in it. Sheriff Frank Anderson has been and continues to be supportive of the merger.

That's enough for me. I saw up close the hard work people did to make that merger happen. I wouldn't want to turn over such a huge project to someone who doesn't believe in its success.

Chris Douglas | October 21, 2006 10:44 PM

Thank you, Jerame. The issue of support or opposition to the merger is certainly a legitimate one for consideration. I have tended personally to support the merger,and certainly respect Scott Keller's opinion.

Chris Douglas | October 22, 2006 9:04 AM

The next Chamber event is at Greg's from 5:30 until 7:00 on November 1st. Members, prospective members, and interested parties are welcomed.

(Regarding former Sheriff Jack Cottey, by the way, I have little knowledge or opinion of the man. It surprised me to learn that he was among those who telephoned Lance Langford to support Langford's decision to approve the Human Rights Ordinance.)

I'd heard the story about Cottey and Langsford as well.

And, I've heard from plenty of other folks that, as the previous commenter said, Davis ain't the sharpest tool in the shed. I really don't know the guy, so I'll have to go off of what others have told me.

I've met Frank Anderson though and can say that he's a bright guy with a tough job. All through his professional career he's been meticulous in holding himself to a higher standard and requiring that standard from his fellow officers.

Remember when that church got thrown out of their building on federal charges? And Frank had to enforce it? The nation's media eye turned to Indy, but there was no Ruby Ridge or Waco. Why? Because Frank Anderson took matters into his own hands and dealt with everyone with respect and tolerance.

I'm voting for Frank Anderson for sheriff.

Frank Anderson is a brave man. He enforced the federal death penalty in Terre Haute as U.S. Marshall. I doubt he supports it personally.

He enforced the U.S. District Court's rightful eviction of Greg Dixon's right-wingnut Baptist Temple...even though he is a man of deep faith, and probably personally recoiled at the thought of a court evicting a church. And the death threats and violence potential were large--it was not a cake walk. I believe if you talk to Greg Dixon today, he'd tell you Frank was fair. Greg's dad may be another case--he's a challenged soul.

FA supports the police merger because it's the right thing to do in tough budgetary times. And the way the FOP has been obstructing things, for years, I'm almost automatically in favor of anything they oppose.

Frank is not a career politician. All the evidence we need was his horrible stumble over his recent pay raise. It was awkward and uncomfortable and unnecessary. He rethought it and reversed his decision, which had to be painful to do. It was painful to watch.

All of which makes him very human and very trustworthy.

Steve Davis is rarely for anything. He's against most things. This race won't even be close.

A few dozen malcontents over on IndyUndercover do not speak for rank-and-file police officers. The FOP doesn't either. Believe that.

But even if they did, dozens of officers from both departments are working diligently to effect the transfer, in study committees and transition groups, readily available for view on cable government TV.

They're doing what Frank does every day--working to enforce the laws they were sworn to uphold. Regardless how they feel about it.

Frank is an outstanding example for them, and for us.

In the 2002 election, Frank Anderson attended several Indiana Stonewall Democrat events, and ISD hosted a fundraiser for him. I've never found the Sheriff to be anything other than an outstanding individual. He's professional, open minded, intelligent and always willing to listen.