By M.D. Kittle
MADISON — Talk about your revisionist history. Police-bashing Gov. Tony Evers is suddenly trying to paint himself as a friend of law enforcement.
It’s an extreme makeover for an extreme liberal governor who less than two years ago was shouting with the radical left that Wisconsin’s crime fighters were part of a systemically racist profession “mercilessly” killing black men.
Crime is a big problem and a huge concern for voters. What Evers wants them to forget is how he stood with the fringe Defund the Police movement and how he proposed policies that would have made life tougher on law enforcement.
Here’s the real Tony Evers:
- Evers pushed for ending felony bail-jumping penalties in his budget.
“The governor recommends eliminating the felony penalty for bail jumping and allowing for a misdemeanor penalty regardless of the original charge,” the plan declared. It was part of a paragraph in which Evers recommended legalizing marijuana.
- Evers stood with the Defund the Police movement.
He vetoed a bill that would have cut shared revenue payments to municipalities that defund police.
- Evers attacked police just as rioters and looters were attacking Kenosha.
Just hours after a Kenosha police officer shot Jacob Blake, a black man who repeatedly resisted arrest and brandished a knife at a domestic disturbance, Evers fired off an incendiary statement. The governor denounced police, saying Blake was not “the first Black man or person to have been shot or injured or mercilessly killed at the hands of individuals in law enforcement.” Law enforcement called Evers’ comments “premature, judgmental, inflammatory.”
- Evers made life hell for law enforcers trying to restore law and order in Kenosha.
As has been widely documented, the governor was painfully slow in sending enough Wisconsin National Guard members to assist police outmanned in a riot war zone. He turned down help from the Trump administration, snidely telling the White House he would not need federal assistance “in response to protests but would welcome additional federal support and resources for our state’s response to COVID-19.”
- Evers doubled down on his incendiary rhetoric about police.
Two days after the worst of the Kenosha riots, the governor stood by his controversial comments, saying he and the law enforcement groups would “have to agree to disagree.” Evers insisted he was just “stating facts.”
- Evers refused to investigate progressive “justice” ally John Chisholm.
After career criminal Darrell Brooks Jr. was charged with killing six people and injuring scores more in the Waukesha Christmas parade massacre, Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm was forced to acknowledge his office erred in recommending “inappropriately low” bail for Brooks just days before he drove his truck into the parade. It wasn’t the first time. Chisholm early in his career predicted his liberal criminal justice policies would prove deadly. Despite public outcry, Evers rejected a complaint against Chisholm and refused to investigate his fellow Democrat on charges of dereliction of duty.
“Two years ago, he joined with Black Lives Matter in denouncing law enforcement across the state. He proposed bills that would make the jobs of law enforcement tougher, not easier. Evers even vetoed a bill last summer requiring communities to ‘Fund the Police,’” said state Sen. Van Wanggaard (R-Racine), a former police officer.
“Now, months from an election he is giving communities pennies on the dollar to correct the harm he has caused. While more money for policing is almost always good, nothing Governor Evers has proposed will stop the crime epidemic across the state. He’s giving nearly half the money to Milwaukee County so they can process criminals through their same revolving door criminal justice operation faster,” Wanggaard added.
While he scurries to rewrite history in an election year in which rising crime is a significant campaign issue, the record shows Gov. Tony Evers is weak on crime and no friend of law enforcement.