I’m a Criminal and a Sinner

As a matter of transparency, I confess to being a criminal and a sinner. First off, my crime: In 2004, just weeks before my wife gave birth to our first daughter, Kira, I attended an Angels home game, alone with 4 tickets that I bought for our family. My wife stopped attending games as she got closer to giving birth. I usually invited family and friends to use our extra tickets, but I was alone for this game. 

This game happened to sell out when I arrived. I saw a couple guys walking away from the ticket area and asked if they needed tickets. They said they were looking for a couple tickets. I told them I had extras right next to me and that we’d be sitting next to each other. They asked what I wanted for the tickets, and I asked them if they were cool giving me what they would’ve cost at the ticket office, like $15 each. They happily agreed. I was then cited for a misdemeanor. Resale of tickets on the premises of Angel Stadium was strictly prohibited. The police told me it was okay to sell extra tickets on the sidewalk outside the stadium premises, but not on the parking lot or stadium grounds, and that they were going to have to cite me. It didn’t matter what the asking price was; it was strictly prohibited. I asked for mercy, but they cited me. The law is the law. 

At court, the judge told me I could get it expunged after a year, but I chose not to have it expunged after a year — and still haven’t. Maybe I should file the paperwork and send the processing fee, but I’d honestly rather save the money and spend it on a sushi date with my wife. Even if I got it expunged, it still happened. I’ve told my kids about it, and they don’t understand why it’s criminal (they’re always selling stuff at the local park to other kids, like homemade goo –and believe it or not, kids buy it, voluntarily). But I get to teach my kids that we live under the rule of law, even laws we might think are excessive. Unless the law explicitly requires disobedience to God, we must comply. There’s also the other option of changing laws. 

Anyhow, I never sold my extra tickets on the premises again. In fact, the Angels created a ticket exchange program for season ticket holders to sell tickets to the public through their official website. I used the ticket exchange program to sell extra tickets in the future. The resale of tickets online and outside the stadium on surrounding property was/is legal, even for prices well in excess of face value. Selling tickets on the premises, however, is strictly prohibited, even if below face value. I learned the costly way. 

As for my credit history, it’s excellent. No bankruptcy. No walking away from financial commitments. I have no credit card debt beyond what we use and pay off monthly for the sake of reward points. School loans have been paid off. No consumer debt. No car loans. I have a mortgage and avoid all other debt like the plague. Nothing to boast about; I just hate the feeling of being in debt. Considering the large financial responsibility that comes with handling the public’s money, I think how I handle my finances is relevant.

My driving record is clean, but I’ve received a couple warnings. A clean record doesn’t mean I’m a perfect driver. Nampa PD was kind enough to give me a warning for not coming to a complete stop, or else I would have a ticket on my record. Driving safely is a public safety concern, and I try my best. 

I’ve never tried any illegal drugs. I’ve honestly never been tempted. Nothing to boast about. Substance abuse frankly terrified me, the thought of being under the control of something destructive. I want to be able to help others. 

All this being said, I do confess to being a sinner. I’ve fallen short of God’s law. In my lifetime, I’ve dishonored my parents, I’ve been filled with hatred for others, I’ve lusted, I’ve stolen, I’ve lied and gossiped, and I’ve coveted. I also fall short as a husband and father. My selfishness and pride often get in the way of loving others as God would have me. God’s constantly working on me. 

I also believe that God has forgiven me through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Though I’ll never be perfect, I do seek to live a life of gratitude in conformity to God’s law, which is more than just avoiding bad things but actually doing things that honor God and lift up my neighbor. And to be clear, even these good things are nothing to boast about; they are fruit of God’s grace at work in me. To God be the glory! And when I fall, woe is me, but thanks be to God for forgiveness in Christ! 

My prayer is that I would conduct myself honorably in service to the city, that I would never embarrass my family and those I serve. Most oaths contain the words, “so help me God,” but I seek to live out each day, every moment, with that conscious dependence on God’s strength in all that I do, privately and publicly. While serving in elected office certainly carries greater responsibility, I’d hope that I’m already living a lifestyle that would be consistent with that greater responsibility. If elected, I pray I’d conduct myself in a worthy fashion of the office, that by God’s grace I would serve as an example for my own children of the dignity elected office requires. This is also a good reminder to pray for those in authority, that they’d all live and serve with honor. 

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