By M.D. Kittle
MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers’ latest veto puts the Democrat squarely in line with the radical left’s defund the police movement, according to conservative lawmakers.
As Evers last week signed a bipartisan reform bill on police use of deadly force, he killed a measure that would have taken state funding from local governments that cut their law enforcement budgets. That money would then be shared among municipalities that fully fund public safety.
Liberal city officials in Milwaukee, Madison and elsewhere have moved to “defund the police,” or divert funding from law enforcement to social programs in a radical campaign built on the proposition that America’s system of criminal justice is systemically racist.
The bill was supported by law enforcement associations, while it was opposed by the cities that have flirted with the defund police effort.
“Rather than help with the fiscal constraints that local governments are experiencing, this bill seeks to micromanage local decision-making,” Evers said in his veto message.
A little reason and assistance from the state may be just the answer for many residents of cities like Milwaukee and Madison that have seen crime in their neighborhoods — particularly violent crime — soar as leftist politicians threaten to cut law enforcement spending.
“There’s no other way to spin this. At a time when crime is running rampant in our state, Governor Evers wants to defund the police. Otherwise, he would have signed the bill,” said Sen. Van Wanggaard (R-Racine).
Wanggaard and other Kenosha-area representatives a year ago pleaded with Evers to call up an adequate number of National Guard members to help police restore law and order to a riot-ravaged city. Instead, Evers coddled the radicals who encouraged the violent response to the police-officer shooting of a black man wanted on a warrant who had repeatedly resisted arrest.
“He loves government spending except when it comes to making sure our communities are safe and our law enforcement is supported,” said Rep. Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna), majority leader of the Wisconsin state Assembly. “It’s not surprising but it’s also disappointing when we continue to see how hard left this governor has gone.”
Wanggaard noted that there are cities in Wisconsin where it takes first responders more than 35 minutes to respond to a 911 calls. All across the country, he said, cities that cut their police departments are seeing skyrocketing crime.
“And rather than connect the dots, rather than following the science, he listens to the looney left and says ‘Ya, let’s cut the police and fire budgets more. Another government program will make our children and grandchildren all safer.’ Good Grief,” the senator said.