Editor’s note: The following letter to the editor was published in the Sarasota Herald Tribune on June 7, 2022.
The headline June 2, “Demings files to battle Rubio,” brought to mind a headline last August from the New York Times, “Why do Republicans hate cops?”
Congresswoman Val Demings, a Democrat, was formerly a successful police chief in Orlando. Republican Sen. Marco Rubio follows the political winds to either pander to police or turn his back on them.
In March 2021, Rubio voted against $350 billion in government and local police funding, essentially siding with the “defunders” and calling the bill, including $200 million to pay bonuses for Florida law enforcement, “irresponsible.”
Later that year he voted against holding rioters accountable for attacking police. The bill Rubio opposed, HR 3233, created the committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
As police chief, Demings was criticized for being too tough on crime, if anything. What is undeniable is that her “community-oriented policing” approach reduced violent crime by 40%.
In stark contrast to Marco Rubio, she has a backbone and gets results. It would be refreshing to put some backbone back into the U.S. Senate.
Mike Weddle, Venice