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As I See It

What does being tough on crime mean?



Be afraid. Be very, very afraid. That seems to be the message from the Republican party in advance of next week’s elections. Their sometimes overtly racist ads portray Republicans as tough on crime, and Democrats soft on crime. That has certainly been the case in the race between Senator Ron Johnson and Mandela Barnes, and it seems to be working, according to the polls. Johnson’s ads suggest Barnes is no friend of the police and that crime is rampant. Indeed, violent crime did soar during the pandemic, but has since leveled off. What does it mean exactly to be tough on crime? That they don’t say. It certainly means more than saying you back the badge.  Republican candidates point to the revolving door of criminals, but it is the judicial branch, not the executive branch that determines when a prisoner is set free. They have tried to suggest Governor Evers is part of the problem behind rising crime because his Parole Board releases prisoners, but the Parole Board is an independent agency. In Wisconsin, Republicans who control the Legislature won’t even meet to discuss gun control, as if there is no connection between guns and violence. Of the ten states with the highest homicide rates, eight are in deep-red states where gun controls are lax. Before we believe candidates who tell us they are tough on crime, we need to ask them just what that even means.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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  1. Kent Porter

    November 1, 2022 at 6:56 am

    Mandela Barnes said” releasing criminals is “now sexy” Sorry Mandela , that is DANGEROUS to our community’s , I think Scotty Robert Shaw is getting alot nervous as the REPUBLICANS are going to crush the DEMS next week , no cheating this time around , Vote Kent Porter (write in ) for Mayor in 2025 , I will donate my Mayors pay to veterans and Police K 9 projects .

  2. Nick

    November 1, 2022 at 3:45 pm

    People are scared on the subways of New York. The CEO of McDonalds says the stores in downtown Chicago. One of the largest Chicago firms is leaving after the CEO stated his employees have been assaulted and wants them safe. A trendy store in San Francisco is closing its stores since organized gangs keep hitting it. Open up the Philadelphia Inquirer and read about all the daily murders. A gubnetorial candidate in Oregon may win. Horrors it is the Republican and the Democrat is attacking the current governor over – CRIME.
    The Republican candidate for Governor in New York but has dramatically closed the gap and the driver CRIME.
    You can claim they are racist ads but victims and facts do not lie.
    I could go on and on but have made my point.
    I am not sure what world you are living in but snap out of it
    The national media will not put any of this on national news- destroys their facade

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