Rantz: Sheriff Fortney takes on partisan Herald smears, defends record

Nov 1, 2023, 7:38 PM | Updated: Nov 2, 2023, 9:33 am

Image: Snohomish County Sheriff Adam Fortney, right, speaks at the KTTH Freedom Series on Oct. 24, ...

Former Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best, left, and Snohomish County Sheriff Adam Fortney, right, speak at the KTTH Freedom Series on Oct. 24, 2023. (Photo: Kristina Mitchell, KTTH Freedom Series)

(Photo: Kristina Mitchell, KTTH Freedom Series)

A reporter with the Everett Herald continued its campaign to oust Snohomish County Sheriff Adam Fortney from office. The latest editorial masquerading as a news report should be reported as a campaign donation to Fortney’s opponent.

In a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, promoting his story, reporter Jordan Hansen called Fortney a “controversial, far-right” sheriff because, in part, he has “constitutional leanings.” He painted Fortney’s opponent, deputy Bothell police chief Susanna Johnson, as a veteran in law enforcement with “three decades of experience.” The post was so transparently one-sided, Hansen deleted it.

When you read the story, it’s just as slanted as the X post.

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‘It hurts a little bit’

Fortney is portrayed as a lunatic who only appeals to a “conservative base.” But Hansen portrays Johnson as “more measured,” which is, of course, not objective. Using a wholly unverified anecdote by Johnson claiming that she talks to people “who don’t feel comfortable calling 911… because they’re not sure who’s going to show up,” Hansen implies Fortney can’t be trusted.

Though Johnson’s platform is almost identical to what Fortney is already doing, Hansen’s coverage makes the readers think the sheriff’s opponent is offering something new.

“It hurts a little bit. It’s painful. I mean, it shouldn’t be at this point. I’ve been in office for four years now,” Fortney told the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH. He says he should know better than to keep talking to the partisan Herald. “This is why regular people don’t get into politics. Jason, I’m living that life right now. It’s unbelievable,” he added.

‘Controversial’ decision that wasn’t controversial

Hansen criticized the sheriff for “controversial decisions” including rehiring a deputy fired by the previous sheriff for use of force. But the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission (WSCJTC) concluded after an investigation that “two significant pieces of evidence — including surveillance footage and an accident reconstruction report — corroborate” the deputy’s testimony.

The investigation also noted that the county’s Prosecuting Attorney found insufficient evidence to prove any legal wrongdoing by the deputy and the WSCJTC’s own use of force experts, including an instructor, said the evidence did not support any policy of legal violations.

The previous sheriff fired the deputy in error. That’s the controversy, but after constant criticism from the Herald, rather than admit they were wrong to turn the rehiring into a controversy, they still present the decision as questionable.

Stop respecting the constitution?

Hansen seems to view a sheriff with “constitutional leanings” as a negative. But most voters chose Fortney in his first election because he respects constitutional rights and aims to tackle crimes at a time Democrats have given the green light to lawlessness.

“Trying to peg me as this far right, I mean, it’s just absolutely absurd… it’s just it’s all politics. That’s the stuff I think people out in the community, real people who maybe don’t live and breathe this stuff everyday, I think, they’re sick and tired of it and I just hope that shows next week,” Fortney said, adding he hopes voters don’t wait until the last minute to mail in their ballots.

I certainly understand why the Radical Left is no fan of Fortney. The sheriff actually looks to enforce the law and put criminal in jail, whereas the Radical Left view the criminals as the real victims of an unjust criminal justice system. But every reform they’ve enacted led to higher crime. Hopefully Snohomish County voters won’t make the mistake of falling for the Herald’s smears.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show on weekday afternoons from 3 – 7 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here. Follow Jason on X, formerly known as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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