There is a lot of interest in the Polk County Sheriff’s race this year.  It is the only county-wide election this year, the incumbent, Sheriff Bill McCarthy (D-Des Moines), has a challenger, Polk County Sheriff’s Deputy, Sgt. Dan Charleston (R-Runnells), who has been campaigning hard for months now and has driven the narrative that this is a constitutional sheriff’s race.

On Monday the Des Moines Neighborhoods Association hosted a public forum at North High School.  Sheriff McCarthy in his opening remarks Dan has had a “pretty open forum for the last one-and-a-half years.  He claims that with the exception of some Democrat circles he said, “I’ve kept my mouth shut.”

Why would he need to open his mouth when he has Rekha Basu at The Des Moines Register doing it for him?

Here’s the a video of Sheriff Bill McCarthy speaking at the Polk County Democrats Dinner on May 23, 2012 – one of the “few” times he has opened his mouth.


After accusing Charleston of only wanting to feed inmates at the Polk County Jail bologna and cheese he echoed the emcee had said about Dan Charleston being “dangerous.”  Sheriff McCarthy brings up the *radical* group, Oath Keepers, and how Charleston and others tried to get him to sign their promise.

McCarthy said, “I had him and others come in my office and demand that I sign an Oath Keepers promise which is a sign that you support the Constitution.  That would be the last thing I’d ever do is sign a Constitution for people like that.”

“I took an oath when I joined the Marine Corps,” McCarthy said. “I took an oath that caused me to do two terms in Vietnam.  I took an oath in 69 when I joined the Sheriff’s office, and again in 70 with the Police Department, and then again when I was elected Sheriff.  I’m not taking an oath for people who define ‘We the People’ who look exactly like them and thing exactly like them.”

I thank Sheriff McCarthy for his service to our country as a Marine and his years in law enforcement.  It seems to me that he is missing the point.  Yes he took an oath.  This group reminds law enforcement officers and members of the military that they took an oath and exhorts them to keep it.  For instance, it has a list  of orders that those who sign promise not to obey:

  1. We will NOT obey orders to disarm the American people.
  2. We will NOT obey orders to conduct warrantless searches of the American people
  3. We will NOT obey orders to detain American citizens as “unlawful enemy combatants” or to subject them to military tribunal.
  4. We will NOT obey orders to impose martial law or a “state of emergency” on a state.
  5. We will NOT obey orders to invade and subjugate any state that asserts its sovereignty.
  6. We will NOT obey any order to blockade American cities, thus turning them into giant concentration camps.
  7. We will NOT obey any order to force American citizens into any form of detention camps under any pretext.
  8. We will NOT obey orders to assist or support the use of any foreign troops on U.S. soil against the American people to “keep the peace” or to “maintain control.”
  9. We will NOT obey any orders to confiscate the property of the American people, including food and other essential supplies.
  10. We will NOT obey any orders which infringe on the right of the people to free speech, to peaceably assemble, and to petition their government for a redress of grievances.

Obviously not every applies to a Sheriff’s office as they won’t invade a state – that is directed at the military.  This is a statement saying we’ll respect the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and personal liberty.

McCarthy has a problem with this?

McCarthy brought up this group again during his closing remarks on Monday.  He said that they advocate stocking up on guns and food for troubled times again (oh yes… preparedness that’s RADICAL, wow!).  He also said that the Southern Poverty Law Center has pegged Oath Keepers as a radical patriot group on their watch list.  SPLC is a joke.  He is citing them as though they’re not biased, but there isn’t a single liberal group on their watch list.  They had Family Research Council on their watch list as well – yes those evangelicals – they’re DANGEROUS haters who hate.  *Sigh*

It is pretty sad when Sheriff McCarthy has to resort to a smear campaign.  Charleston discussed issues and management problems – legitimate topics of discussion within a Sheriff’s race.

Here’s video of the forum that you can watch below:


  1. “When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser.” – Socrates.
    When someone has nothing but slanderous comments, name calling, and childish behavior you can tell they have nothing left to offer.

  2. Thanks for the video feeds. I wasn’t aware of this forum and this blog has increased my interest in this race.

  3. Bill McCarthy is a liar. They claim that their process for selecting ten of the best individuals for promotion is based on looking into each individuals work ethic, background information, experience, and their personnel files. They do none of the above. They create a list and then they pick and choose who they want. In the jail alone three supervisors who have been recently promoted have lesser seniority, lesser experience, and a massive lack of work ethic. One has a well known history of calling in sick, and has no experience whatsoever working in any kind of specialized positions within the jail. Another is dating a supervisors daughter, and is well known amongst staff for his laziness, sloppiness, carelessness, and inability to pay attention to detail. He also happens to be awfully friendly with certain higher ups in the Teamsters union.

    None of those promoted recently either to the best of my knowledge have a college education or any kind of on going education in the criminal justice field. This process is highly biased, and it is wrong. Those of us who put in the extra effort, and go above and beyond the call of duty are the ones on the outside looking in at people who barely deserve to even work at the Sheriff’s Office.

    McCarthy’s demeanor later in this debate is disgusting, childish, and unprofessional. At times he looks like a whipped little boy that didn’t get his way, so he lashes out at Deputy Charleston on a personal level with insults and crude remarks insulting Deputy Charleston’s intelligence.

    I for one am ready for change. Out with the old and in with the new. Dan Charleston is the man that Polk County needs to get back on track. Bill McCarthy is a liar, and a hypocrite. He’s completely out of touch with reality.

  4. Being that I work for the Sheriff’s Office I would like to say that Bill McCarthy doesn’t care about his employees. Story County gets excited when they book in 60 people in an entire weekend. There were nights that we booking in 50+ people at the polk county jail. There is no appreciation shown for the work that we do. Administration and the Sheriff tell lower supervisors to pass it on that they appreciate our work rather than showing their faces in person, and getting to know the people who put their asses on the line on a daily, or nightly basis. I hope that Charleston wins this election. He seems to have the best interests of all Sheriff’s Office employees at heart rather than his own. McCarthy was a city cop before and was groomed for the position of Sheriff by former Sheriff Dennis Anderson. Neither of which were half the Sheriff Bob Rice was.

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