For decades, people’s efforts and attention in the battle for America have been directed toward the federal government and its many offices. Untold amounts of time, money and individual effort have been expended in support of the next great congressman, senator and president. And after decades of all the commendable activity, the record is clear – it is a complete and utter failure. Our nation is $15 trillion dollars in debt, we’ve had universal healthcare crammed down our throats, more than 20,000 unconstitutional gun control laws threatening our very existence, forced equality through the redistribution of wealth, uncontrolled borders, the removal of religious beliefs and expressions from our public schools, and the list goes on and on. America is at the threshold of what appears to be utter despotism. People across our state, and from around the country, are begging to be left alone but the federal government is out of control and seemingly unaware of any of the limitations set forth in the U.S. Constitution.
Like most, I cannot wait until January 20, 2013, as we all bid Barack Obama farewell. But, if you think electing another Republican as president is going to accomplish anything relative to freedom, then you're still asleep. We have to start right here at home; right here in our own county! The state senate districts have been redrawn, and while some may not like it, it is our reality and we need to support good conservative candidates to ensure we have an opportunity to take our state back. But even if every conservative state candidate is successful, and we send them to Topeka to fight for us, they will be subjected to the same intoxicating blandishments as those that have gone before. They will have legislative bill and after bill crammed down their throats and be divided by party bosses so their control can be minimized. So, if the long efforts to elect state and federal legislators cannot guarantee our freedom, is there not one governmental giant who can stand in the gap, who can truly lead the battle for America and restore the Constitution as the compass that guides our country? Fortunately, there is. Prepare for the return of the County Sheriff!
The County Sheriff is elected by, for and of the people and is answerable to them alone. He does not need the county commission’s approval, the county manager’s approval, the state house and senate’s approval, or the federal government’s approval to uphold his oath of office. Unfortunately, we currently have a County Sheriff who is seemingly unaware of his responsibility to the community he serves. A statue of a naked lady inside the arboretum has recently given rise to a community up in arms. The mayor of Overland Park turned his back on the community’s cry for help, so the people are now petitioning the grand jury for an inquisition. This will cost the taxpayers of Johnson County thousands of dollars, but it is a fight worth fighting. As your Sheriff, I would put an immediate end to the problem by forcing them to remove the statue or simply recover and secure it for safekeeping. The reality is, however, that despite having both the authority and duty to remove it, the current Sheriff chose to be politically correct and turn his back on the people he serves by doing nothing.
There are a number of other issues with the current Sheriff’s failed policies and leadership that have driven me to step forward for the greater good and run for Sheriff of Johnson County. Back in 2008, the Sheriff told voters he needed to build a new jail to house the growing inmate population. He said he outsourced 300 inmates per day at a cost of $85 each, per day. With a new jail he could house inmates internally for $55 per day and save taxpayers thousands. Unfortunately, he was only interested in empire building and successfully sold voters on lies. The true cost, as published on the county’s website, is $103 per day. It takes five pages to explain that figure, so I would argue that it’s actually 20-25% higher. All while it actually costs $47 per day, to include transportation and ancillary expenses, to outsource inmates. How would you like to sit in a climate-controlled room, watch cable television, play video games and have three meals per day catered to you all at taxpayer expense? No problem, just get yourself arrested and put in the county jail. This is preposterous! The jail must be a punitive environment so inmates have no desire to return. They should be forced to cook, clean and fend for themselves so we can drive the daily housing rate down to the national average of $60 per day. The recidivism rate is also out of control at 67%. Half violate probation and the other half commit a new crime to find themselves back at the retreat inside of six months. Fiscal responsibility and fighting crime are not mutually exclusive ideas and I will ensure both priorities when I take office.
I will not lie to you and tell you that fighting crime is inexpensive. But, when the Sheriff’s budget has gone from $56 to $77 million in eight years, and he receives an additional $34 million annually from two sales tax initiatives that he proposed, the fiscal insanity has to stop. If he had any idea on how to control crime, then we may look at each other and think it’s all worthwhile. However, prior to serving as the Sheriff, he was Roeland Park’s Police Chief for a number of years. While there, his policies yielded rising crime rates double that of any other jurisdiction. His first four years as the Sheriff yielded a 500% spike in violent crime. I undeniably respect the fact that he has served Johnson County for more than three decades, but what worked thirty years ago when Johnson County was mostly rural farmland no longer works today. Furthermore, he has assured the community that Johnson County does not have an issue with illegal immigrants. Just take a look at the Sheriff’s most wanted list and draw your own conclusion. As your Sheriff, I will enforce immigration laws and see to it that the profound impact they’re having on our economy comes to an end. I will support legislation that further discourages illegal immigration, to include repealing any such magnet such as instate tuition.
There are a number of Sheriffs nationwide who have already taken the stand against federal intrusiveness and chose to become liberty’s giant. While local and state legislators continue to argue whether they truly have sovereignty over the federal government, those Sheriffs have simply declared it. As the rightful stewards of their counties, they have implemented a system of checks and balances that requires all federal agents check with their office prior to confiscating firearms, homes, money, etc. so they can ensure probable cause exists, as required by the Constitution. So when I hear people talk about the County Sheriff’s race as a distraction to the state senate races, I begrudgingly tell myself that they are simply misinformed. I wholeheartedly support Mary Pilcher-Cook as well as Greg Smith with whom I attended the Kansas City, Missouri Police Academy and consider a personal friend. I also support Jim Denning’s efforts against Tim Owens, who is probably one of the most liberal politicians our state has ever seen. And the list goes on and on. However, when not any one of these individuals can guarantee liberty, but a Constitutionally-conservative County Sheriff can, I ask you which is more important? I have been told by a number of candidates that they cannot help distribute my campaign literature for fear of offending Jim Denning, and on a personal note I do understand. However, freedom is the sure possession of only those who have the courage to defend it. I will not allow anyone to violate the principles of liberty that our country was founded upon. I will protect, defend and obey the U.S. Constitution. My name is Ken Smith, and I pledge to you to become the Sheriff of the people. Visit my website and follow us on Facebook at http://www.kensmithforsheriff.com.
Thank you, Kade! I knew I couldn't be the only conservative individual who found the current Sheriff's policies to be flawed. And I have every intention of cleaning up this county!
The largest expenditure that I can remember , other than the new jail, is the new crime lab. As I recall Denning said that people see quick results on TV crime shows and they expect the same thing from their agencies. To me, that is a very poor argument for investing perhaps millions of dollars into a new crime lab. Wasn't there a big stink a while back about expensive artwork in the building? No one but the employees would ever see it but it would make them happy.
Can the sheriff really remove a sculpture from a city park? I guess it could be enjoyed at the crime lab, especially if it was declared pornographic.
Where do you stand on concealed carry licenses vs. constitutional carry such as AZ and WY?
Will some of your positions, if elected, cause friction w/ OLEA?
You're absolutely right, the crime lab was a significant amount of taxpayer money, but not nearly as much as the jail. I will say that the old crime lab was outdated and insufficient, but we did not need to be a masterpiece to accomplish the mission. The crime lab sits next door to the new communications center as well and they are both a work of art, although I have no idea why the Sheriff felt that it was necessary to build works of art. The list goes on and on, but I couldn't possibly cover every individual dollar he has managed to squander.
As far as the Sheriff having the authority to remove a pornographic statue, absolutely. The Sheriff is the Chief law enforcement officer in the county and sets the tone. Do you believe for one second that Sheriff Joe would allow that statue to remain? I know I wouldn't tolerate it. I don't necessarily have an issue with the statue in the right setting, but putting it in a family park is ridiculous, and the Mayor of Overland Park should find himself in the unemployment line for turning his back on the community.
As far as concealed carry goes, I believe the Constitution itself reaffirms the idea that citizens have the God-given right to defend themselves, and in today's society that includes carrying a weapon. As the Chif law enforcement officer in this county I will ensure that zero gun control laws are enforced. I have no time for limp-wristed politicians and their inability to live within the parameters set forth by the Constitution. I'm sure my positions will cause some friction, but frankly I don't care. I will again swear an oath before Gold to uphold and defend the Constitution against all enemies. Leadership is a contact sport!