To the Editor:
Having served as Register of Deeds for Anderson County these last 12 years, I am extremely proud of my record and all that the office has accomplished during that time. I have served the citizens of our county with the utmost of integrity and have worked hard to earn their trust. However, to now have my opponent question my integrity merely for the purpose of winning an election is both disappointing and insulting.
While I welcome constructive criticism and respect those with differing opinions on office policy and management decisions, I absolutely detest negative campaigning and in particular the use by my opponent of mailers and phone calls which mislead and deceive the voter. His use of individuals from other parts of the state calling on his behalf stating the office is short $300,000 is totally false. This would be a violation of state law and would be exposed during our annual state audit by the state comptroller’s office. Additionally, the District Attorney’s office would be notified as well as the county mayor and others. We have always accounted for every penny collected in the Register of Deeds office, and we have never violated state law.
In his mailer, he goes on to state that the office operates in the red and that if elected that he is the one who can magically make the office self-sufficient without the use of tax payers’ money. Not only is the statement about the office being in the red just not true, but also his statement of not operating with taxpayer money is not legally possible. State law governs the recording fees and taxes paid for all documents recorded in the Register of Deeds office. The Register has no legal authority to change these fees and TCA 67-4-409 requires that these fees and taxes be collected for recording and that a report on all revenues and expenditures be filed with the state comptroller. These reports are accessible to the public on the comptroller’s website and available for public inspection providing proof that his accusations are false.
I know my opponent quite well, and I am confused by his choice to campaign in this manner. It is certainly a contrast to his normal personality, and I can only assume he is listening to bad advice. While I serve as my own campaign manager, I know that Bill has hired Alan Beauchamp to manage his. From past campaigns, this appears to be more of Alan’s style as opposed to Bill’s, and I would suggest that Bill reconsider his approach.
Campaigns can and often do disagree on a number of issues and ideology, but negative campaigning, especially those based on lies and deception, only serve to undermine the public’s trust. My promise to the voters of Anderson county is that I will finish this campaign the way that we began back in November of last year. I will continue to run with integrity, refusing to run negative and misleading ads even though it is now obvious my opponent intends to do so. Please take the time to examine the way in which I manage the Register of Deeds office, and in the end, I hope you will agree with me that the office works exceptionally well. As a wise man once said “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.” I humbly ask for you vote as I seek re-election.
Anderson County Register of Deeds