BAKER: Anti-Police Mayoral Candidate Would Bring Failed Chicago, LA Policies To America’s 4th Largest City

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You may have recently heard leaked audio of Democratic Texas Rep. Shiela Jackson Lee berating her staffers, calling them horrible names and showing a blatant disregard for basic human decency. While treating your employees horribly is reason enough for Houstonians to reject Jackson Lee’s bid to become their next mayor, what she would do to law enforcement in America’s fourth largest city is far worse.

In a city of 2.3 million people, Houston cannot afford a mayor who does not support those who put on the uniform every day to protect us. 

With crime consistently ranked in poll after poll as the most important issue for Houston voters, Jackson Lee’s record on law enforcement should concern everyone. Consider this: 

  • Jackson Lee proudly sponsored legislation that she said “answers the concerns” of radical anti-police protesters calling for the defunding of police departments. “What I hear when they say defund, they want reprogrammed dollars,” she said.
  • Jackson Lee actively campaigned for and supported radical Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson, who ran on a platform of “redirecting money away from policing.”
  • Sheila Jackson Lee was “proud” to stand alongside radical “squad” politician Ilhan Omar to introduce legislation that would weaponize the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate and prosecute law enforcement officers.
  • Sheila Jackson Lee vocally defended the City of Philadelphia after it cut its police budget by $33 million, saying that “defund police” had been “misinterpreted” and was instead a “reimagining,” which “means you fund housing, education, and policing…”
  • In Feb. 2023, Sheila Jackson Lee voted against H.J.R. 26, which blocked Washington, D.C.’s radical rewrite of the city’s criminal code that would have “reduced maximum sentences for robberies, carjackings, home invasion burglaries, and illegal gun possessions, which have spiked in the District over the past three years.”
  • The radical anti-cop Texas Organizing Project (TOP), which has advocated for the “dismantling” of police departments, has endorsed Jackson Lee for Houston mayor. In 2020, TOP promoted pro-defund messages, even going so far as to suggest that police departments should eventually be “abolished.”
  • In August, George Soros funneled $250,000 to TOP to support radical, anti-police candidates, including Jackson Lee, who recently used her platform on the U.S. House Judiciary Committee to praise Soros as a “patriot,” and defend the soft-on-crime district attorneys Soros has backed in recent election cycles: “We have accusatory commentary of Soros’ DAs,” Jackson Lee said. “Let us not put an individual that is not here, a contributing American, and jeopardize his life by always throwing his name out in the most ugly of ways. I am offended by that. Mr. Soros does not deserve that. He is an American and a patriot.”

This is just a small sample of the anti-police legislation and rhetoric from the Congresswoman. As a former police commander and law enforcement officer for more than three decades, I understand how poor leadership at the local level can cripple a police department’s ability to recruit and retain officers.

If Houston voters make the critical mistake of electing Sheila Jackson Lee as mayor, that’s exactly the type of crisis in law enforcement leadership they can expect. This is especially troublesome at a time when Houston has become the sixth most vulnerable city for burglaries and when 63 percent of Houston voters say they are afraid to walk at night.

We cannot allow the fourth largest city in the country to go the way of Chicago, Philadelphia, or San Francisco. Voters who care about tackling rising crime must reject Jackson Lee on Dec. 9.

Donald Baker is a former police officer and commander with 35 years of experience in law enforcement.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller.