Sheriff Richard Watson Talks About The Job

Sheriff Richard Watson Talks About The Job, Eagle Forum's guest speaker Otero County Sheriff John Blansett spoke about keeping his oath of office, Sheriff Richard Mack and the eroding away of the office of sheriff.
Blansett said he keeps the oath of the office of sheriff in his wallet.
"It states," he said, "to protect and preserve the Constitution of the United States of America. It also says to protect the laws and Constitution of the State of New Mexico. That's what I do."Blansett told the audience he is their sheriff.
"I am your elected sheriff," he said. "I am your oath keeper."
Blansett was first elected to the office of sheriff in 1988. He served two terms, then retired from the office until being elected sheriff again in 2002.
An article printed in the Feb. 22, 2008, edition of the Daily News reported Blansett at that time had said he would retire in December 2008 because his eyesight is deteriorating. He was last re-elected in 2006.
He said he is trying to finish up his last term as sheriff.
"It's been a battle because of this issue with my eyes," Blansett said. "After that I quit."
Blansett wants to spend more time with his grandchildren, he said.
He brought a video of former Graham County Ariz. Sheriff Richard Mack who is known nationally for successfully challenging the constitutionality of the Brady Bill with six other sheriffs from across the country.
The Brady Bill requires a five-day waiting period before handgun purchases by an individual. The law also requires a background check on potential handgun buyers to determine whether they have a criminal record.
During Sheriff Mack's tenure, federal officers informed the sheriffs of the State of Arizona that they would be required to enforce the so-called "Brady Bill" and run background checks at their expense under the law, according to Sheriff Mack's Web site.
According to the Web site, in 1994, Mack and six other sheriffs from across the country, challenged the constitutionality of the bill and ultimately fought it all the way to the United States Supreme Court. Three years later, in a landmark 5-4 split decision based on the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, Mack won his case, according to his web site
Blansett said the highest elected official in the county is the sheriff.
"In some of the eastern states, the office of sheriff has become nonexistent," he said. "In many of the New England states, the sheriff runs the jail. He has no law enforcement power whatsoever at all."
Blansett said he believes it's incumbent on everyone to reinforce elected officials, not to encroach on the office of sheriff.
"Not only on the sheriff but any county elected official," he said. "Don't be stomping on the Constitution's toes. It's not going to happen."
Blansett addressed the new drug law in Mexico which eliminates jail time for small amounts of marijuana, cocaine and even heroin, LSD and methamphetamine.
He said the drugs coming across the border are not for personal use.
"They're brought over here for distribution," Blansett said. "The change in possession laws in Mexico, I don't really see it having an effect on us."

Contact Duane Barbati at
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