March 22, 2008
Wilmer, Texas (The Weekly Vice) -- If you live in Wilmer, Texas, 42 year old James Brian Sliter would like to be your next mayor. There's just one itsy bitsy detail that has residents a bit uneasy about his candidacy. Sliter is a registered sex offender.
Regardless of the controversy, Sliter is running for mayor anyway. He insists that the town of about 3,400 residents should elect him despite their feelings about his prior activities.
"People need to realize that people make mistakes and they need to look past those mistakes and forgive and move on," said Sliter. "I'm not asking anybody to condone what I did."
Sliter was caught in a police sting that was arranged to capture suspects who were attempting to take their sex chats with teens a step further. About four years ago,Sliter chatted with a person that he knew to be a 15 year old minor. He then arranged a meeting for sex with the would-be teen, only to find police waiting for him when he arrived.
In exchange for his plea, Sliter avoided a conviction of the charge - but was sentenced to 10 years probation and was required to register as a sex offender. This enables Sliter to legally file as a candidate for the position because he received a deferred adjudication instead of a conviction.
Sliter says that he's not asking residents to condone what he did. He just wants them to forgive him and give him a chance.
The election for town Mayor will be on May 10th.
The Weekly Vice Opinion:
Sliter has stated, "people need to realize that people make mistakes." We'd like Sliter to remember that dialing the wrong phone number is a mistake - attempting to rape a 15 year old kid is a behavioral act. Forgetting your wallet as you head for work is a mistake. Attempting to influence a child to meet you for a sex romp is a behavioral act.
Many Wilmer residents likely consider a vote for a sex offender as a potential mistake. Responsible adults typically try to avoid mistakes - as opposed to going on ahead and overlooking the mistake, Mr.Sliter . That's the difference between a man that evaluates the consequences of his actions as opposed to the man that chooses to indulge those actions.
Mr. Sliter at one point chose to overlook the consequences of his actions - and now asks Wilmer residents to overlook his actions. The same sense of wrong and right he overlooked, he'd like residents to overlook.
While it's true, some people can change their behavior, politics is all about decision making. A track record of decision making ability is one of the few assets a voter has to evaluate a candidate by sometimes. Asking voters to 'overlook' this track record, is a 'mistake' we hope Wilmer residents will NOT be willing to make.
The Weekly Vice