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Wisconsin Crime Rise Caused by Tony Evers’ ‘Weak Leadership’: GOP Candidate Tim Michels


Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate Tim Michels blamed Gov. Tony Evers’ “weak leadership” for the rise in crime and vowed to work with law enforcement to curb violence if elected in the November midterm elections.

Evers and Michels are locked in a tight race with the Republican challenger with a 50% to 47% lead and a seven-point lead among independents, according to an AARP poll released last week. The two are scheduled to debate on October 14.

“We’ve had a tremendous increase in crime in this state in the last two years,” said Michels, an Army veteran. “One of the reasons we have this increase is because we have weak leadership in the governor’s office right now.”

Evers’ campaign did not respond to an interview request.

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Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate Tim Michels said his top priority is reducing crime.
(Fox Digital News)

Wisconsin saw 321 homicides in 2021, reflecting an increase of more than 70% from 2019, according to Wisconsin Department of Justice data. Aggravated assaults are up 12% over the same period, but robberies are down 10% and rapes are nearly the same.

A Political Survey/Morning Consult released Wednesday found that 94% of registered voters felt crime was a problem in the US.

“It’s so imperative that our communities function properly, function safely,” Michels said. “We are going to bring back the rule of law in the state of Wisconsin.”

Michels called his Democratic rival soft on crime and criticized his response to the Kenosha riots in 2020. Evers, after the city descended into violence and destruction following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, did not deploy the National Guard until 3 a.m.

The Republican also criticized Evers’ parole policies that have allowed convicted felons to leave prison early.

“Tony Evers campaigned four years ago to cut the prison population in half, and he’s on track to do so after last year,” Michels said. “Society is not safer because of this massive launch that Tony Evers has been doing.”

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Incumbent Governor Tony Evers has said he supports cutting the prison population in half.

Incumbent Governor Tony Evers has said he supports cutting the prison population in half.
(AP Photo/Andy Manis, File)

Evers, as part of his 2018 campaign pledge to reform parole, promised release only non-violent offenders early.

More than 880 criminals were paroled early between 2019 and 2021, including 274 murderers or attempted murderers, according to Wisconsin Parole Commission data obtained by wisconsin right now through an open records request.

“They are on the streets of Wisconsin today,” Michels said.

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The Republican met with Wisconsin sheriffs in Green Bay on September 30 to discuss methods to reduce crime. Oconto County Sheriff Todd Skarban told Fox News that an increase in drug use, specifically fentanyl, has contributed to the rise in crime.

Wisconsin's Oconto County Sheriff Todd Skarban says drugs are rampantly crossing the border from Mexico, leading to a spike in overdose deaths in his area and a spike in violent crime.

Wisconsin’s Oconto County Sheriff Todd Skarban says drugs are rampantly crossing the border from Mexico, leading to a spike in overdose deaths in his area and a spike in violent crime.
(Arizona Department of Public Safety)

“Violent crime has increased exponentially,” Skarban said. “When you have drugs in your community like that, property crime is going to go up and violent crime is going to go up.”

Opioid drug deaths nationwide topped 70,000 in 2021, with all drug overdose deaths up nearly 15% since 2020, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Skarban said overdose deaths have risen sharply in Oconto County.

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“It’s unheard of, what we’ve seen in Oconto County, in my 25-year tenure working for the sheriff’s office,” Skarban said. He told Fox News that law enforcement officials and state leaders should work together to address the rise in violence.

Milwaukee is one of five major US cities on track to exceed their homicide totals as of 2021, according to crime data analyzed by Fox News. In June, Cream City led the pack with a 25% year-over-year increase.

Michels speaks to local sheriffs in Green Bay, Wisconsin, about crime concerns ahead of the November midterm elections.

Michels speaks to local sheriffs in Green Bay, Wisconsin, about crime concerns ahead of the November midterm elections.
(Fox Digital News)

“It’s astronomical, a lot of things that we have to address today,” Skarban said.

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Michels told Fox News that the “defund the police” movement made crime rates worse.

“Right now, there seems to be an attitude in society that fewer police is better, or police are bad,” Michels said.

“We’re going to have a cultural change here in Wisconsin,” Michels said. “I’m going to let everyone know that the police are happy to be respected.”



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