LTE: Sheriff candidate’s extreme talk won’t stand in Iowa

The Polk County Sheriff’s race is heating up

The stakes were raised at a controversial candidate forum between Sheriff Bill McCarthy and candidate Dan Charleston  Oct. 1, and much needed attention was brought on the race by columnist Rekha Basu’s analysis of the forum in the Des Moines Register the next day.

>>If  you’ve not yet read Basu’s take on the Oct. 3 Polk County sheriff’s debate – do so here:We don’t need Sheriff with Political Agenda”.

In today’s Des Moines Register, Iowa CCI Action Fund member Nataly Espinoza responded with a letter of her own: “We don’t need a sheriff salivating over the chance to incarcerate our community.”  (Read her full letter below.)

In August, Nataly was one of three members who led a hard-hitting interview on a local Spanish radio station with candidate Dan Charleston. It was clear then that Charleston’s priorities are in trying to enforce federal immigration laws at the state level (he suggests for revenue alluding that the federal government will pay the county for immigrants in jail beds), and supporting “Stand Your Ground” laws.

At stake in this race is if Polk County will remain a fairly welcoming community or one that targets and divides certain group sin our community. Please read and spread the word.


Sheriff candidate’s extreme talk won’t stand in Iowa

Rehka Basu’s analysis of the Polk County sheriff candidate forum was right on (“We Don’t Need Sheriff With Political Agenda,” Oct. 3).


This race has been cast with a cloud of extremism by candidate Dan Charleston’s absurd talk about gang violence and drug cartels fueled by illegal immigrants in our community. He says it is easier to come to this country by crossing the border without documents. Every year, hard-working people risk their live in such journeys, simply to have a chance at the American Dream. Easy? Charleston is mistaken.


As for “standing in line,” Charleston has no idea how broken the current immigration system is. There actually is no “line” for people in dire poverty, a consequence of bad policies like NAFTA. Once we do make it to this land of immigrants, due to mean-spirited rhetoric like Charleston’s, we may see our dreams trampled by bigotry and exploitation. We don’t need a sheriff salivating over the chance to incarcerate our community by thinking he’s entitled to enforce federal law.


We will conquer this ugliness. I trust my community will stand for the American values of tolerance and democracy in Polk County and in our United States.


I am a proud immigrant and working mother of three.


— Nataly Espinoza, Des Moines










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