Posted by: zhak39 | July 21, 2009

All the qualities of a politician

This from the local paper to the east–Burlington Times News.

Mayoral candidate: arrest record shouldn’t give voters pause
July 20, 2009 – 5:51 PM

The candidate challenging Ronnie Wall for Burlington’s mayoral seat says his criminal record shouldn’t prevent him from holding office or from gaining voters’ trust.

Wade Preston Salmon Jr., 42, who filed for candidacy Friday, has had a number of criminal convictions in Burlington, Alamance County and elsewhere on misdemeanor charges ranging from traffic violations to assault and larceny. According to the court docket, Salmon will appear on charges of simple assault and misdemeanor criminal contempt in district court in Graham on Tuesday. Monday afternoon, Salmon said he will appear in district court Tuesday to appeal a 60-day sentence for careless and reckless driving.

He is also due in court Aug. 20 on charges of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and misdemeanor injury to personal property.

Salmon says voters should judge him on the quality of his ideas for mayor, not his criminal record.

“People should trust me because I’m an average man. I’m not perfect, but I don’t think that should keep people from trusting me. I try to help people and I’m trying to do good things for Burlington,” Salmon said Monday.

Among his ideas are implementing city-wide bus service, installing better stoplight sensors for traffic flow and creating a free educational cable package for families with children under 12. The city should open a detox center to better care for drug addicts and push for new administration at the Allied Churches of Alamance County homeless shelter to give more freedom to the tenants there, he says.

He has plans for computer and bicycle donation centers where high school students would repair and upgrade broken computers and bikes. Burlington residents could then receive free equipment from the city.

Salmon told the Times-News he’s worked in stints as a mortgage broker, a pharmaceutical salesman for B. F. Ascher and Co. Inc. pharmaceuticals and in buying and selling homes. He also ran his own business, Loss Prevention Inc., from 1996 to 1998, during which time he prepared automobiles repossessed by credit unions for auction. He closed the business when it became too much for him to handle on his own, he said.

He received his bachelor’s degree in business at Appalachian State University in 1989.

Salmon currently lives at his parent’s home at 322 Fieldstone Drive and is unemployed.

Since the mid-‘90s, Salmon has been convicted of several counts of larceny, including an April 2007 charge of stealing a Spiderman poster from West End Cinemas and causing $200 in damages to its display case.

In 2006, he was sentenced to probation after a New Hanover court convicted him of obtaining property by false pretense.

Salmon attributes many of the charges and convictions to police harassment, which he says he would work to prevent if he becomes mayor. He claims police have followed him, stopped him and searched him and his vehicle without warrants, and he has openly disputed the charges in court — which led to Judge Brad Allen holding him in contempt of court earlier this summer.

“I’m a good person. I’m not a thief. I’m not a liar. God has a purpose for me,” Salmon said. “I want to help people.”

In February 2006, he reported to police that his father, Wade Preston Salmon Sr., had attacked him with a knife and threatened to kill him. According to a Times-News story at the time, Salmon Jr.’s girlfriend, Kristy Canaday, also accused Salmon Sr. of a sex offense. He and Canaday were living at his parents’ home at the time. The charges against Salmon Sr. were dropped after Canaday and Salmon Jr. signed affidavits saying they made up the accusations.

In an interview with the Times-News at the time, Salmon Sr. discussed a June 2005 dispute that ended with him firing a gun at Salmon Jr. Salmon Sr. said he was just trying to scare his son that night because Salmon Jr. had hit him several times that week and threatened to kill him.

The charges against Salmon Sr. were dismissed.


  1. “I am not a crook”

    – Richard Nixon

    Actually, he seems to have many of the finer qualities needed to be in politics. (and he still lives with his parents, which would clinch the slacker vote!)

    Millions of people have made bigger voting mistakes, in the not so distant past, so it may be refreshing to actually elect someone with a criminal record vs. being “surprised” later.

    What the hell, vote him in.

  2. Dare I say he puts the ‘candid’ in ‘candidate’?

    The last mayoral election a few miles down the other way included a very interesting candidate we refer to as Billy the Blogging Poet.

    Billy is a really interesting guy, he has had real life experience, he has some progressive ideas. I don’t think he would make a great mayor. I think the entrenched politicians would either ignore him or eat him without ketchup. The remarkable thing that he did was to inject some common sense and real world issues into the campaign. The crux of it is here–

    “As for my own qualifications: I am no more or no less qualified than my opponents but I have a basic understanding most of our leaders including Johnson and Kern seem to lack, that being the understanding that as citizens we do not need elected officials to tell us how to live or what our communities need to thrive and prosper. Anyone reading these words is capable of looking around your own neighborhoods and determining what would be good for your neighborhood– all government needs to do is give you the tools your taxes are already paying for and stand back and let you make it happen.”

    Made for an interesting campaign.

  3. Your blog entry was timely. Check this out, regarding people who got voted (or appointed) in first:

  4. As a child were you ever in a study group or perhaps at a family dinner where the discussion ran to ethics using extreme situations to explore rightness and wrongness? An example would be exploring the question ‘if your mother is terminally ill and your neighbor has invented the one medicine to cure her but is charging an amount of money that your family can’t afford to cure her, is it acceptable to break into your neighbor’s house and steal the medicine?’

    What I noticed about the article you sent is that these examples are not rare and extreme. Besides being illegal, hosting a party for underage drinkers is dangerous. Having the means to pay for schooling and cheating to avoid it while taking advantage of the service is unfair on multiple levels. Setting and enforcing policy for public welfare while concurrently enabling or harboring child abusers is paradoxical.

    Is our entire civic system at base a hypocritical endeavor?

    • I don’t know what it means, frankly.

      Perhaps you have to be a bit “off kilter” to run for public office, or “settle” for a government job with great benefits.

      If that’s the case, it’s no wonder the only elected position I’ve ever held was president of the Des Moines Jaycees (an organization dedicated primarily to finding excuses to get together during the week to drink) and have never been able to secure a job with the State.

  5. Then the inmates are running the asylum.

  6. Yes, and some of the inmates have argued that they are made of the same mettle as the founding fathers. Maybe they are correct.

  7. Considering the country was in part founded in order to dodge taxes, they might be right.

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