If Elected She Would Be In Charge Of Her Own Criminal Record
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Stop us if you've heard this one before.
An anti-gay, Republican, "family values" candidate in Texas has turned out to be a total hypocrite.
Meet Republican Ruth Sisson.
Sisson (photo, top) is challenging Lamar County Clerk Russ Towers in the March 1 GOP primary, in ultraconservative East Texas.
Towers is also a Republican, and happens to be gay.
Sisson is — not surprisingly — running on a platform of "Christian family values," and allegedly conducting a "whisper campaign" targeting Towers' sexual orientation, according to The Texas Observer. But Sisson's criminal history reveals that she's made a habit of ignoring those inconvenient Bible verses that condemn stealing.
Sisson was charged with theft 12 times from 1991 to 2006, when she wrote 44 bad checks totaling $2,544 and was arrested three times. She paid restitution in nine of the cases. There are also eviction cases filed against her for non-payment of rent.
“I hate to assume what [Sisson] means by ‘family values,’ and I hate to feel as though she’s implying that I don’t have any or that being gay is an issue,” Towers told the Observer. “I do feel it’s hypocritical given her record. We are all worthy of forgiveness in the eyes of God. However, that does not change your criminal history. One mistake, maybe two mistakes, maybe five are forgivable, but I think it’s a problem when someone has used the courthouse as their collection agency, basically.”
Sisson's most recent theft charge came a decade ago, and had she responded to the Observer's requests for comment, we're assuming she would have said something along the lines of, "I gave myself to Jesus in 2007, and my sins are forgiven," or however it goes.
"If Sisson becomes county clerk, she would oversee a $500,000 annual budget, and have sole control over trust accounts from contested estates and those with unknown heirs," the Observer notes. "She’d also be in charge of court records that document her own criminal past."
In 2009, Sisson was accused of doing something arguably worse than writing bad checks. Although she never faced charges for it, Sisson was accused of making harassing phone calls to her sister-in-law in which she called her a "n*gger-lover." Then, in 2010, Sisson became so enraged about the fact that her daughter was dating a Black man that she allegedly kicked her out of the house and reported her as a runaway.
At this point, we might suggest that Sisson was also ignoring Bible verses that condemn racism — but it turns out the Good Book has actually been used to defend slavery, so we'll skip that part.
Towers, on the other hand, is something of a gay folk hero. He proudly issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, and he's even apparently introduced the people of East Texas to things like computers and technology.
Towers was appointed to the position last year after the previous clerk retired, and if he wins the primary, he'd become the first openly gay person elected in Texas as a Republican (there are no Democrats running). Nationally, only 16 of 470 openly LGBT elected officials are Republicans, and we seriously doubt any of them won in a place as conservative as Lamar County, Texas.
Image of Ruth Sisson via Facebook
Booking photo courtesy of Lamar County Sheriff’s Department
Image of Russ Towers courtesy of Russ Towers