Vancouver resident Ann Donnelly responds to Clark County Sheriff candidate Rey Reynolds
Editor’s note: Opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the author alone and do not reflect the editorial position of ClarkCountyToday.com
Sheriff candidate Rey Reynolds, in his Sept. 16 response to my Sept. 4 opinion column stated that he could “rebut just about every sentence in her editorial.” Yet, here are just two of many that he could not rebut:
“Each has decades of experience in law enforcement here. Each is a personable and persuasive advocate addressing the public safety crisis.”
But more substantively, Reynolds states I have ‘smeared his name’ and “defiled his stance” by contending that he is “leaning toward a Constitutional sheriff movement.” I deny that any smearing or defiling could be identified in my column, or in any column I have ever published. To disagree is not to defile or smear.
I am secure in contending that Reynolds is by his own words affiliating with the constitutional sheriff movement. I have been in audiences on several occasions – the Aug. 9 meeting of Republican PCOs, for example – in which Reynolds, passionately addressing a cheering crowd, as “your constitutional sheriff,” “the only candidate who will be a ‘constitutional sheriff’.”
On his website, he clarifies what that means: “We have seen them (state authorities) force masks many of us against our will, we’ve seen them attempt to issue what is essentially a passport regarding vaccines. If I’m elected and we face similar circumstances during my term, I vow to not enforce any unconstitutional law” (https://reyreynolds.com/issues/).
He quotes Martin Luther King’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail, in which King states that we have a duty to disobey unjust laws. “I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws,” King wrote. “Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” But King was a private citizen leading a movement of private citizens, not a county sheriff sworn to uphold the Constitution and laws of his state as well as the U.S. Constitution.
Reynolds introduces the case of Homer Plessy in Plessy vs Ferguson, a quietly heroic champion of civil rights in New Orleans who was not exonerated for 122 years, as an instance in which an unconstitutional law should not be enforced. This same case was raised eloquently by Loren Culp, a leader in the constitutional sheriff movement, several years ago when I attended a Lincoln Day Dinner prior to Culp’s run for governor. This case came close to convincing me, as I told Culp after the event, but did not ultimately succeed in doing so.
So when Rey Reynolds disavows belonging to this movement, I contend that the evidence of his own website and speeches argue that Reynolds is closely aligned with the movement. I contend that Reynolds’ supporters believe he is part of the movement and many support him because of it. They have every right to do so, as do those of us who disagree have the right to express our viewpoint courteously and factually.
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