Hard to believe that we are nearing the primary elections in August. I wanted to take a minute to alert you to be aware of one local race in particular. Local politics often gets forgotten or ignored, I fear this year will feature more of the same in the wake of the chaos created by the Obama administration and his legislative zombies.

In August, Missouri will have the ability to vote on the Health Care Freedom Act. This election will feature more Republican voters turning out than has in years past. Which unfortunately means that some of these voters may not have a good handle on the ins and outs of the local races. Clay County Auditor is one such race I believe you should be aware of in the Republican Primary when you go to vote.

The Clay County Auditor Republican ballot features two candidates. A younger guy by the name of William James Norris and an older gentleman by the name of Jay Jones. It’s a well known fact that one of the more coveted positions on the primary ballot is at the top. This is because many voters don’t have a good idea of who they are voting for and without any strong name recognition they tend to mark the top of ballot, feel good about the fact they voted, and move on about their merry way. Mr. Norris occupies the top of the ballot.

For Clay County Auditor I am endorsing Jay Jones. I spoke with Mr. Jones earlier today and I must admit I am impressed. Jay has been a resident of Clay County for over 30 years, graduated from William Jewell magna cum laude, and has been employed in various financial roles throughout his career (29 years) serving as a controller and Chief Financial Officer.

William Norris on the other hand is a kid in comparison. I don’t know Mr. Norris very well, but I cannot place the confidence in him that I can place in Mr. Jones. Mr. Norris is only 26 years of age, this means that his age is three years less than the totality of Mr. Jones’ career. The role of the auditor is to protect the assets of the County. I would much rather have a person of 29 years experience who has dealt with large amounts of money, and large amounts of assets, auditing the books of this county.

This race is a great example of why we need more people involved and informed about local politics. Please join me in supporting Jay Jones for Clay County Auditor in August when you go to the polls. While you are there don’t forget to vote for the Health Care Freedom Act and tell Mr. Obama that you don’t like his health care plan either.

Update 7/10/2010:

I wanted to clarify one thing. This can be read to be an endorsement of Mr. Jones solely because William Norris is “too young.” I understand how my words can be interpreted, for that I apologize. To be clear it is not because of his age, it is a matter of experience. I have been in contact with Mr. Norris since yesterday. He feels that I haven’t been fair, that’s well within his right to say so. The conversation is open, it’s up to him to follow through.

Update 7/18/2010:

Communication with William James Norris has gone silent.

Update 7/19/2010:

The Liberty Tribune broke this story today on their website. It appears that there are some questions regarding Mr. Norris’ auditor certification. I did ask Mr. Norris about this about a week about, and was told something similar the Tribune was told in this article. This was his response to, “I am licensed in the state of MO. I got a letter from the state 6 months or so ago stating that I needed to update my continuing education for my licensure. It is an every 5yr thing. I’m not sure if they remove you from the website when the time frame expires or not. Back when I received the letter I did not intend to renew the license as I was not using it or even doing work pertaining to public accounting. I have taken care of this however since deciding to run for auditor. Should be listed again soon.”

The issue becomes why didn’t he maintain proper requirements for the license. If he is committed to the profession then logically he would be well of aware of requirements to maintain his license. If he can’t maintain his requirements to be a CPA, how are we supposed to trust him to keep track of things in the Auditor’s office?

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Comments
  1. Julie Dailey says:

    I’ve had the pleasure to meet William James Norris and I’d like to say that youth is not always an indicator of ability. Mr. Norris is a CPA and has a wealth of experience that is uncommon in someone of his years. He’s a hard worker and is fiscally responsible, something that is sorely lacking in our gov’t today.
    Don’t make the mistake of equating age with ability. Judge your canditates on what they believe, what they’ve accomplished, and what their vision is for your county. Only wine and cheese should be judged by age alone.

  2. Cherie Warren says:

    I have had the pleasure of knowing Mr. Norris for several years and he has always been an honest, caring man interested in the community and the business of Clay County. William Norris also graduated from William Jewell and is a CPA. Just because Jay Jones is older, it does not make him more qualified, just older. I am of the opinion that William’s age is one of his advantages. Do we really need more senior citizens in politics that are out of touch with young people and the issues of this generation?

  3. ClayCoMOPolitics says:

    Cherie,

    I see that you truly thought through your comment because you say that age doesn’t matter, but then it does because we don’t need any “more senior citizens in politics”. Thanks for stopping by!

    • Cherie Warren says:

      If you try reading my comment again, you will find nothing in it about age not mattering. What I wrote, not said, was that William’s age is an advantage. Accounting rules and standards change frequently and it takes an agile mind to comprehend many of them. I am in no way implying anything negative about Jay Jones’ cognitive abilities. Why don’t you take a look at the candidates previous employers and let their work stand on its own merit instead of assuming that someone is more qualified just because he is older.

      • Lyda Loehring says:

        Where is Mr. Norris a CPA? I called the agency in Jeff City. They have no listing for him to be a CPA? So how can he be a CPA.

  4. Jay Jones says:

    Andrew, thanks for your support and for providing a forum where we can discuss the issues.
    Since when is someone who is 51 years old a “senior citizen” who is “out of touch”? The last time I checked, my mental faculties are still very much intact. So don’t put me out to pasture any time soon.
    I am a CPA (license # 008879) and keep up with the continuing education requirements. Therefore, I do follow and understand the ever-changing accounting rules and standards. But there is so much more involved in managing the finances of a business than simply knowing accounting theory. The county government is a multi-million dollar business and it needs qualified, experienced people to run it. After all, this “business” belongs to us taxpayers.

  5. Luke says:

    I cannot speak from personal experience as to the character of Mr. Norris. Yet, if the recent imbroglio over the authenticity of his William Jewell College degree and CPA certification are any indication of his so-called character, those rooting for “responsible government” should take a second look at Mr. Norris. I’m not a follower of local elections and I must confess that I knew next to nothing about Mr. Norris or even the race he is running. Yet, as a Jewell alum, this story made me take notice for two reasons. First, as a graduate of the department of Political Science, I know a thing or two about “responsible government.” Therefore, I feel it is my civic duty to expose the blatant fraud going on here. Second, the Jewell alma mater states “We will love thee, serve thee forever, William Jewell.” (An alma mater the words to which Mr. Norris could probably not recite.) Therefore, I feel a certain responsibility to protect the dignity of William Jewell College.
    Enough philosophizing. In the fall of 2003, Dr. John Westlie was invested as Dean of the College. Dr. Westlie left this post in 2007 to be followed by Dr. Tim Fullop. Mr. Norris has been kind enough to post a picture of his Jewell diploma on Facebook for all to see. If you look closely, you can see two signatures: President and Dean. My Jewell diploma (it is real, I promise) lists David Sallee (President) and John Westlie (Dean). I was a student at Jewell during Dr. Westlie’s tenure as Dean, therefore my diploma reflects this. If, as Mr. Norris claims, he did in fact graduate in 2004, the signature for Dean should look exactly like the Dean’s signature on my diploma. Alas, it does not. It appears to say Tim Fullop, but this is just speculation until Mr. Norris posts a clearer picture. Finally, if the Registrar does not have a record of Mr. Norris’s graduation, it probably isn’t so. After all, the Registrar is the authoritative voice on student information not just at Jewell but at any college or university. The onus is on Mr. Norris to prove beyond a doubt that he is a graduate of William Jewell. Based on the facts, this seems to be a tall order.

  6. Christopher Till says:

    I’m curious. William James Norris was born in 1983. He claims he graduated from William Jewell College in 2004. I was born in 1985 and I graduated from High School in 2004. That means that either William went non stop through William Jewell or he graduated from High School early. If I graduated from High School in 2004, that would make him a Sophomore at William Jewell or at most, a Junior.

  7. clycores says:

    I think that everyone should take a closer look at the past of the younger candidate in this race. It seems that fraud of educational attainment and certifications are not the only fraudulent activities he has been a part of. For only being 26 years old, he sure has had a lot of experience-in establishing a criminal record! Mr. Norris is correct in saying that one should not be judged on age alone!

  8. Baje says:

    The Emporer’s New Clothes-how you like em?

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