by T.Calvarese, September 13, 2012 | Scoop Post
Today in 2012 women do remarkable things. They think, speak in public, run for elected positions, and goodness, can you believe it? They also have their own individual names!
These are unfamiliar concepts to Larry Campbell, Florida’s Leon County Sheriff.
When he’s not referring to political opponent Lisa Sprague, a consulting CEO and former Florida State University Deputy Chief, as “that woman,” Campbell just calls her “bitch.”
Maybe it’s time the 69-year-old surrender his badge and retire to an old black-and-white television set where he can more comfortably wax nostalgic as he watches sexist commercials from yesteryear.
Oh, and since he’s running around in uniform threatening/joking/bragging about his ability to shoot and kill Sprague, maybe someone should take his gun too.
In a disturbing and at times incomprehensible audio clip submitted by Leon county resident William Staubs, published by ThinkProgress, Campbell, out of either senility or stark raving disrespect, doesn’t name Sprague, one of the two and the only female candidate running against him.
“I hear some of the ideas that come up. And it sounds good to people who don’t know. It’s like, uh it’s just like the woman said, ‘I want to come in here with a team of auditors and check the books,’” said the Sheriff referring to Sprague.
The audio continues with a charming offer.
“And I had invited the other candidates if they don’t think I can do it, go down and let me shoot at you and see if I can do it any good,” said Sheriff Campbell sounding more like a caricature of a Southern Sheriff than a real life law official.
Now, here’s the thing, in 2012, women don’t sit back and take that kind of nonsense anymore, no sir. Sprague, a 30 year law enforcement veteran told Campbell she wouldn’t take the offer.
“Not unless I can shoot back,” she said.
But it doesn’t have to end in a shootout because men and women and organizations in Florida and across the country won’t stand for Campbell’s sexism.
Local resident Scott Matteo helped address the problem by naming. That’s the first and critical step to overcoming sexism, identifying it for what it is: wrong. Matteo sent Sprague a letter notifying her that at a lunch with Campbell, while he was in his Sheriff’s uniform, he repeatedly referred to her as, “The Bitch.”
I attended a luncheon where Larry Campbell also attended in full uniform and accompanied by an LCSO employee in uniform. During the luncheon he discussed your political campaign. During the course of the conversation he frequently referred to you as “The Bitch” in a demeaning manner. My feeling at the time was that this was a term that he generally used when referring to you or your campaign.
The discussion about his bid to maintain his office, and your bid to unseat him was quite lengthy. You and your campaign were the main topic of conversation throughout the luncheon; however, the discussion generally lacked substance. I do remember one detail: he was concerned that “The Bitch” was raising money.
Please let me know if you have any questions regarding this situation.
The Women’s Campaign Fund, National Organization for Women, Florida Women’s Democratic Club, Florida League of Women Voters, Capital City Women’s Democratic Club, and ElectWomen stand with Lisa Sprague (henceforth underlined to help Campbell et al remember it).
Tabitah Frazier, candidate for Leon Soil & Water Conservation District 3 Supervisor, at a news conference with these organizations, spoke in solidarity with Lisa Sprague.
“I’m another female candidate seeking office here in Leon County. I stand in support of Lisa Sprague,” said Frazier according to Tallahasee.com.
In an article published by ElectWomen founder Kathy Groob describes another sexist fit by the people’s servant. At a candidate’s forum in August, Lisa Sprague tried to shake hands with Sheriff Cambell but he just shouted, “[expletive] you!”
“For the sake of all women, let’s be respectful, let’s stick to the issues, let’s talk about things that are important to the citizens in the community and let the voters decide what they’re going to do,” Lisa Sprague told the Tallahassee Democrat, using much better and well spoken words.
According the National Sheriffs’ Association of the 3,084 sheriffs in the United States, only 42 are women. Come November, hopefully there will be one more.
It’s 2012 after all.