Thanks to a recent windfall of official announcements, the Republican primaries are now officially underway. Even if they’re often seen as “less critical” than the Big Main Election, the nomination process is a key opportunity to ensure at least one presidential candidate supports the men and women in blue.
As “defunding” initiatives still set the standard among left-leaning candidates, this places extra pressure on the potential Republican nominees. Law enforcement officers need to ensure the place goes to someone who is openly friendly to our needs, who won’t sacrifice police departments for political convenience – and perhaps what’s most important, who has a proven track record of passing pro-police legislation.
And how do we do this? It all starts by looking at each candidate with a critical eye. Today’s turn in the hot seat goes to South Carolina Senator Tim Scott. What lies behind his public pro-ICE speeches? Will he take a stand for policemen?
About Tim Scott
Tim Scott rarely goes unnoticed in the Senate halls. He is not just one of the youngest faces in the Upper House, but he is also the first African-American Senator to come from the South since the Reconstruction Era.
This grants him a unique “middle of the aisle” perspective, which has helped establish him firmly as one of the top “moderate” figures in the Republican Party.
After missing a big break as a football recruit due to a car accident, Tim Scott attended Presbyterian College and eventually graduated from Charleston Southern University. His academic records are a testament to the values of reinvention, hard work, and Christianity. Upon graduation, he worked shortly in the insurance and finance industries before running for the Charleston County Council.
After 14 years in local politics, Scott was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives in 2009. Here, he served in several special committees and took a special interest in Labor and Commerce legislation. In 2010, he was elected to the United States House of Representatives, and in 2012, he was appointed a Senator by Gov. Nikki Haley.
More funds, more patrols, better detection
As a former financial advisor, Tim Scott’s main area of expertise remains Trade and Commerce issues. Perhaps that’s why he’s always been quick to recognize the importance of cash flows in law enforcement, as well as the toxic effects of illegal trades.
This helped him establish two firm positions: first, that Border Patrol agents need all the help they can get. Second, we need tools and robust institutions to combat drug trade and smuggling effectively.
Some of Scott’s key positions include:
- Calling attention to the inner-border Fentanyl trade, naming it “an emergency”
- Pushing for the recruitment of 87,000 Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in border states
- Increasing spending in technology and equipment for all law enforcement at our entry ports
“Black Lives Matter” – Did He Pander to the Left?
Unfortunately, Scott’s positions weren’t always as clear in the wake of the “Black Lives Matter” riots. Following the killing of Walter Scott, some of his statements may have added more fuel to the anti-police fires:
“In the course of one year, I’ve been stopped seven times by law enforcement officers. While I thank God I have not endured bodily harm, I have however felt the pressure applied by the scales of justice when they are slanted.”
And this gave way to what’s perhaps the biggest red flag in Scott’s record. Under the wording of “reform” and “increased accountability”, Scott was among the main defenders of the JUSTICE Act (Bill S.3985 bill). This legislation included steep financial penalties for any Police Departments that “refused to ban chokeholds” – even in situations where an officer’s life may be at risk. He also supported the increased use of bodycams as a way to improve accountability and supported “withholding funds” from Police Departments that refused to comply.
Where Will He Take The Police Next?
At this point, it is impossible to determine. When it comes to policing issues, Tim Scott hasn’t exactly been an unconditional friend to police. The bills and reforms included in the Justice Act were far more moderate than what some rivals were asking for. And yet, they still came at a delicate time and were felt as a betrayal by many.
If he does win the nomination, it will be up to us to show where the American public truly stands. And no matter what happens to his overall campaign, he will have our thanks for the extra 87,000 ICE officers – once he delivers them.
Image Credit: Photo by Gage Skidmore on Flickr