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O'Brien's Response to Skatrud


September 20, 2018

Dear Editor,

Former Sheriff Skatrud’s refusal to condemn a known hate group in Green County, his refusal to answer basic questions about the political values that cause him to be a Democrat, prove he is just a hate-group sympathizing, right-wing Republican in blue Democrat clothing, and raise important questions about the importance of shared values at every level of political office, from dogcatcher to the Presidency.

I think anyone effected by or concerned with hate groups would want to know that the Sheriff will be an active force against the voices, and actors of hate. I have supported Democrats on all issues regarding social justice for thirty years, which was still late. That our one-time, retread Sheriff does not regard such matters as relevant to his constituency, shows he still has not learned the lesson of shared secular values.

Apparently, my plan to focus my criminal enforcement efforts on gangs, which are a plague in Green County, and on eliminating abuse, domestic child and animal, all clearly outlined in my previous letter, does not strike our retired Sheriff as a pertinent matter to this community, but I think it is a logical use of police resources. Perhaps he thinks using traditional police tools is the best way of dealing with addiction, but experience shows that treating use and personal possession of dangerous drugs as anything but a health problem, is doomed to end in tragedy. Use of any police resources to regulate marijuana is a waste of taxpayers resources, except in the case of providing to minors.

His office has done nothing to stop the plague of poaching and animal abuse rampant in our natural areas. I will focus traffic enforcement in natural areas and areas abridging areas of natural resources. Legal hunters and landowners have the right to benefit from the legal bounty of this state, but the Sheriff’s office has not taken a single important anti-poaching action in the eighteen years I have lived here. As for the Sheriff’s claim of excellence in personnel, I see a nest of nepotism, cronyism and corruption, whereas I will advance a minority hiring officer, require an independent investigation of any deaths or claims of police abuse, and see to it that all suspects or persons of interest in police custody are provided an attorney while under police questioning until they are able to retain an attorney.

This plan would make Green County a safer place while reducing costs and incarceration, increasing diversity, eliminating false convictions, and protecting our natural resources and improving quality of life. Those are democratic values that I as a write-in candidate for Sheriff will represent. That retired Sheriff Skatrud does not understand the link between those values and a just police force demonstrates exactly why people need to know what his political values are. That he refuses to condemn a known hate group in our yard, should send a chill down the spine of anyone concerned with equal rights for all.

Patrick O’Brien,

New Glarus


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