Before we get to the flat-out, wild lies by VA GOP U.S. Senate nominee Daniel Gade, let’s first state the FACTS.
- On June 11, Sen. Mark Warner was quoted as follows: “I think there are ways that we can make our police departments more effective, more responsive to the communities they serve, but I don’t think we should get caught in these slogans like defunding the police,” Warner said. “To me, that’s not where I’m headed. I’m looking at reform, criminal justice reform.”
- On June 19, NBC12 reported: “Virginia Democratic Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, plus GOP Congressman Denver Riggleman all want to take action in response to George Floyd’s death – and other tragedies involving African Americans dying in police custody. All three disagree with the ‘defund the police’ slogan, but they want to look at proposals like setting up a national database of excessive-force incidents and banning police chokeholds.”
- Also see The Hill from June 8, which reported: “Hill Democrats quash liberal push to ‘defund the police’…Top Democrats are carefully — but forcefully — speaking out against growing calls from activists to defund police departments.”
- And check out this AP fact check, which finds: “Biden has not joined the call of protesters for whom ‘defund the police’ became a rallying cry after Floyd’s killing in Minneapolis. Biden has proposed more money for police, conditioned on improvements in their practices…Specifically, he calls for a $300 million infusion into federal community-policing grant programs. That adds up to more money for police, not defunding law enforcement.”
So, bottom line: VP Joe Biden, Sen. Mark Warner, and most Democratic elected officials support reforming the police (see Sens. Warner, Kaine Join Colleagues in Introducing Sweeping Police Reform Bill), but definitely not “defunding the police.” It’s just flat-out false to claim otherwise. Which brings us to the 2020 VA GOP nominee for U.S. Senate, whose campaign so far has consisted of not much, other than:
- Squabbling over Sen. Warner’s offer to hold three debates, including ” one specifically focused on racial equality and justice that the senator wants to be held at one of the state’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities.”
- Irresponsibly pushing to “reopen” as quickly as possible, despite the COVID-19 pandemic raging out of control.
- Pushing an unscientific, online “reader poll” of the U.S. Senate race, which laughably showed him beating Sen. Warner. In fact, the only question is how badly Sen. Warner defeats Gade this November 3. I can’t wait! 🙂
- Disregarding social distancing and mask-wearing guidelines, because apparently he just doesn’t care about either getting COVID-19 himself or spreading it to others. Also note: “Gade has been a vocal critic of masks as a public health and safety initiative. In a recent interview, Gade called government mask mandates ‘ridiculous’ and ‘tyranny.’ Polling shows the vast majority of people think behavior like this is wrong and dangerous.”
- And now, spreading the wild lie that Sen. Warner and the Democratic Party (supposedly) supports the call to “defund our police.” As we already reviewed, above, Democrats support police reform, and if anything support targeted “more money for police, conditioned on improvements in their practices.” But they do NOT support “defunding the police,” as Gade falsely claims.
Bottom line: So far, Daniel Gade’s came has demonstrated one thing clearly – that he is not even remotely close to being someone Virginians should consider sending to the U.S. Senate this November 3. To the contrary, Virginians should overwhemlingly return Sen. Mark Warner, who has been doing a superb job on a wide range of issues – from protecting our democracy and defending our constitution, to pushing through the “Great American Outdoors Act,” to pushing back against DeVos’ and Trump’s irresponsible ideas regarding reopening schools in the midst of a pandemic, to introducing the “Virginia Plan to Reduce Gun Violence Act of 2020,” etc, etc. Oh, and as an added bonus, Sen. Warner actually tells the truth, unlike Gade…