The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland Tennessee (TN) and Bradley County Tennessee (Tn).

Of Bradley County Tn.

AUGUST  2006

                            The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland and Bradley County Tn.






Editorial for THE PEOPLE

What do you think?

editorial for The People by Pete Edwards

Who does the US Constitution protect?

On the front page of this issue is a story that hits at the heart of  US sovereignty and exposes this country to social and legal ramifications that could change the way Americans view immigration. Rather than protect immigrants from profiling and unnecessary harassment, it could cause a backlash resulting in a lock-down of US borders and the deportation of anyone who could not prove legal residence or entry.

Since 911, immigration, and especially illegal immigration has become a focal point to the security of the United States and the war on homeland terrorism. Americans in general are demanding tighter border security and the tracking of illegal and undocumented aliens so they can be sent home. It is mainstream America that is demanding this change not some neo-nazi group - ordinary Americans concerned for continued prosperity and safety. The story on page one does nothing to calm people's fears or encourage acceptance of legal immigrant or migrant workers.

H. Nelson Goodson, is Managing Editor of El Conquistador, a newspaper catering to the Hispanic community in Milwaukee. Goodson does in all likelihood sincerely believe he is  being a guardian of fairness and justice for Hispanics everywhere, but his writings and demands for retribution against the Bradley County Sheriff's Department and Officer Shane McKee may not produce the effect he desires.

But before we examine the events of our front page story a little more closely, let me give my spin on the question of people sneaking across our southern border with Mexico.  Almost anyone, regardless of nationality will take a path to escape poverty and improve their lives and the lives of their family if the opportunity presents itself. Like it or not, it presents itself in the USA. Most people will do whatever it takes to taste the good life, and I believe Americans can empathize with this. Most of those crossing the border illegally pose no threat to this country, quite the opposite, they help the economy and work at jobs most American workers reject.  They are good family people who want what's best for their children but unfortunately, because of their poverty and in most cases lack of education, they have no way to enter the US legally. The bureaucratic and financial obstacles immigrants are required to navigate make it all but impossible for them  to make the transition  legally. They are forced by the system to do what the system is trying to prevent. Unless an avenue is opened by which they can come here legally then they will always find a way to reach their dream regardless of regulations.

Pete Edwards

"What do you think" Continued

Having Hispanic people emigrate to the US is no more of a problem than any other ethnic group emigrating here but for security reasons it can not be permitted that unknown millions ferry back and forth unrestricted. Americans demand they all be documented and legal so we can keep out those that would do us harm.

El Conquistador seem to take the position  that it is OK for undocumented migrants to knowingly break US laws but woe betide an official that unknowingly violates procedure. I wonder if the Mexican government would be so understanding if undocumented Americans were roaming Mexico?

Back to our story. Deputy McKee stopped Wenceslao Garcia for tailgating on Interstate 75 and after inspecting his Wisconsin drivers license McKee asked Garcia if he was a US citizen, which Garcia refused to answer. El Conquistador contends McKee had no authority to ask because there was no "probable cause" to believe Garcia was here illegally. Garcia had a valid drivers license and other documentation to prove he was but as it turns out, Garcia's documentation could not have been in order, otherwise he would not have been deported by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) who were called to the scene. El Conquistador did not demand to know how Garcia managed to obtain a genuine Wisconsin drivers license and other documents when he was obviously here illegally.

The question is, what would a reasonable official do under the circumstances and what would a reasonable citizen expect him to do? Deputy McKee called out ICE after Garcia refused to answer questions, which seems to be reasonable and prudent under the circumstances and by doing so identified an undocumented migrant from Mexico. I say, well done Officer McKee, you have my support.

Now to the question of civil rights. The US Constitution protects US citizens, it also protects guests to this country, tourists, foreign nationals here on business, immigrants here legally but not yet citizens - but does it protect someone here illegally? If a person doesn't exist legally then how can they expect the civil rights protection guaranteed by the US Constitution? They may think they have it but how can a person reasonably expect to be protected when they should not be here? It seems that El Conquistador is trying to create yet another special interest group and increase its readership in the process. Gauging the current sentiment of the American people, I don't think it's  going to work this time.

There was one part of this story that may need investigating because of the obvious chance that the power of confiscation could be abused. Why did Garcia's truck go missing and why was its existence undocumented and not entered into county computers? If there had not been a third party lien on the vehicle, its existence would have been totally unknown to auditors and Garcia would not have been able to claim it because he had been deported. How many other vehicles and how much confiscated property especially from illegal aliens, has gone unrecorded? These are valid questions that need to be asked.

That's what I think. What do you think?

If you would like to take part in an online survey that asks the question: "Would you support a change in the law to allow any sworn law enforcement officer to ascertain the legal status  of those stopped for any violation,  traffic or otherwise." go to
. The Yes or No survey can be found on the left-hand side of the Home page. 


There is a general consensus that Bradley County is the most Republican county in Tennessee. This is a conservative county, even the Democrats tend to be conservative leaning - with the exception of the hard core lefties of the Bradley Democratic Party. But it's the Bradley County Republican Party leadership that is the topic of this "what do you think."

I talk with many people and lately the state of the local Republican party has been cropping up with greater frequency than I've noticed in the past. Many staunch Republicans have a rebellious regard for the way the party is being run and want change. They all seem to be unwavering in their republican beliefs but feel the local party excludes them unless it wants their vote or are in need of volunteers.

I am a conservative, an unashamed right wing conservative, a point that I am reminded of frequently, but strangely not a Republican. Why? The truth is that I saw in the local Republican leadership a bunch of self serving good ol' boys that care only for what the party could do for them and what influence it would bring. They would wash Hillary Clinton's feet if they thought they would personally benefit. Who exactly am I talking about? Well, the clique before the Stanberys were the Gilberts, They treated the Bradley Republican Party as a personal social club to cultivate for gain. They soon became unpopular with even the most ardent rank and file. Then the Stanberys, famous local Republicans made a bid to regain power. John Stanbery, supported by his father Cecil Stanbery, the renowned head of Stanbery republicanism, took control of the party. John promised changes and I was excited that maybe the new leadership would make the local party more of a conservative enclave. No such luck. More of the same good ol' boyism, but with even more left wing friends. The Lincoln Day Dinner consisted of a bunch of closet and open Democrats sitting in the best and reserved seating while the party faithful were pushed to the outside. They were Sundquist supporters even though he was a committed Democrat that only run for governor as a Republican because he couldn't win as a Democrat. Sheriff Dan Gilley's left wing  tendencies, if he had had his way, taxes would be tripled in Bradley County and the justice center would be as big as the Pentagon. Mayor Tom Rowland is another closet Democrat eagerly embraced by the so called conservative Stanberys. And who was a honored participant at one of the Stanbery's Lincoln Day Dinners, none other than Mr. Democrat himself, Director of Elections, David Ellis. A sickening spectacle indeed.

It is obvious that the local Republican party leaders are devoid of conservative values, eagerly embracing closet democrats who's sole aim is to grow government and squeeze the taxpayer.

You may believe this opinion is being a little harsh and I will accept the criticism but someone needs to openly say - the king has no clothes. The local Republican party leadership needs a major makeover, and I don't mean Jonathan Cantrell or Hazel Lacy, they are good Republicans being used as a cover by the true power mongers who can see the party disintegrating. It will be difficult, but if Cantrell can distance himself from the old guard and appeal to the rock solid conservative Republican base, then once again Bradley County Republicanism could shine its light all over Tennessee.

That's what I think. What do you think?

"What do you think?" Continued