Rantz: On crime, Bob Ferguson campaign made its first massive blunder

Mar 24, 2024, 5:55 PM

WA State Attorney General Bob Ferguson campaigning.  (Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)...

WA State Attorney General Bob Ferguson campaigning. (Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)

(Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)

The Bob Ferguson campaign for governor just made its first massive blunder, and it’s not just Republicans calling him out. He’s now pretending to be focused one of the most critical issues on voters’ minds: crime. It should only serve as a reminder that one of his challengers is Dave Reichert, a popular former Sheriff known for his bipartisan support.

With the help of a puff piece on KING 5, Ferguson pivoted his campaign message. Though as Attorney General he has focused primarily on going after then-President Donald Trump, Ferguson now claims that reducing crime would be his top priority. His newly released “plan” promises to increase the size of the Washington State Patrol (WSP), reduce gun violence, and arrest more criminals. But neither he nor his party have done that while in office. In fact, they’re responsible for the very crisis he aims to fix.

Voters on both sides of the aisle are now criticizing Ferguson for claiming he’ll tackle crime and public safety. Republicans rightly point out that Ferguson helped create the crisis. He is also no friend to the police. Progressive Democrats rightly point out that he’s too scared to admit he backed the criminal justice reforms they favored. They backed his previous anti-police posture that he’s now running from. This vulnerability should help Reichert.

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Why does Bob Ferguson want more troopers when he helped fire them?

Ironically, Ferguson said hiring more state troopers is the biggest agenda item. Perhaps he could have stopped them from getting fired for not getting the COVID vaccine, helping the state avoid its current staffing crisis.

For over a year, WSP troopers successfully worked without a vaccine, using personal protective gear to avoid serious COVID outbreaks. But then came the COVID vaccine mandates. Troopers’ religious accommodations were all denied after human resources consulted with the Attorney General’s office. At the time, a WSP captain emailed staff bewildered at the automatic denial of religious accommodations.

According to a leaked email showing deliberations between Gov. Inslee’s office and representatives for Attorney General Bob Ferguson, the state wrote an employee religious exemption form to be as “narrow as possible.” It was meant to stop religious staffers from receiving accommodation.

As a result of his office’s guidance, 127 troopers were fired, representing 5% of the department. He enabled the current staffing crisis. Should the Bob Ferguson campaign earn points for hiring back the positions he helped terminate?

Bob Ferguson is no friend to cops

The Bob Ferguson campaign wants you to think he’s cop-friendly, given the dramatic shift in polling around crime concerns. He’s hardly a friend to cops — just ask some.

Ferguson helped to defend Ronald Turney Williams, a notorious cop-killer sentenced to death. In an interview at the time, Ferguson said he helped Williams because he became a lawyer to end the death penalty. After his experience, he said he was “almost radicalized against the death penalty.”

As Attorney General, the 2020 Black Lives Matter activism inspired him and his party and he’s been on a crusade to jail police. He pushed legislation to make it easier to charge police and has been trying for two years to earn his first conviction. But he’s been 0-4 in prosecuting cops. Those are the kind of results you get when you abuse the Attorney General’s office to earn political points amongst the BLM crowd.

More from Jason Rantz: AG Bob Ferguson pushing most dangerous bill in legislative history

The plan to stop ‘gun violence’ is a ruse

While wordy, there aren’t many specifics in Ferguson’s plan to combat gun violence.

Ferguson says he will reduce and prevent gun violence, but doesn’t explain how. He leans on “pursuing common sense gun reforms,” but doesn’t say what those are. He’s wise not to be specific given the state has seen a rise in violent crime despite having some of the harshest gun laws in the country.

The reason the state has a crime crisis is Democrat soft-on-crime policies that Ferguson has and will continue to back. While his plan claims a mission to “keep firearms out of the hands of dangerous individuals,” Democrat lawmakers have been trying to lessen the penalties for gun crimes in removing gun enhancement charges and extra punishment for drive-by shooters. The only people Ferguson and Democrats want to take guns away from are the law abiding. When Democrats are not trying to release sex offenders into small community playgrounds, they’re working hard to depopulate prisons of dangerous criminals, all while giving them more rights and forgetting about their victims.

On crime, media will give Ferguson a pass

Ferguson hasn’t said a thing about his new messaging around crime conflicting with his entire political history. He’ll likely continue to get a pass unless media consumers start demanding better political coverage.

Ferguson gets away with his hypocrisy because he knows media outlets aren’t likely to press him on it. It’s why he goes to KING 5 for a report that sounded more like a campaign commercial. Many liberal reporters want to get on his good side because, as a Democrat, he’s favored to win and they’ll need access to his office. Without that access, they won’t be able to do their job. Democrats in power in a one-party state can ice reporters out when they’re unhappy with coverage because they have many other options to get their messages out without pushback. It’s why KING 5 is favored amongst Democrat lawmakers: they’re overtly progressive.

Plus, many local reporters plan to vote for him and don’t want to do his campaign harm. It takes just a casual review of reporters’ X accounts to see the political bias on display.

But not everyone is holding their criticism. The Bob Ferguson campaign X feed earned a hefty ratio for promoting that crime-fighting agenda. And the blowback from the Left could be just enough to push Ferguson back to the far-left where he naturally exists.

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Activists on both sides push back

Both sides of the aisle called out Ferguson. While the conservative pushback was inevitable, the campaign may be shocked with the friendly fire.

Radical progressive community activist Dae Shik Kim said Democrats like Ferguson “deserve to be made fun of” for his hypocrisy.

“Dems are scared and the 2024 strategy is to betray communities most impacted by voter suppression/won’t get them into office. They’ll placate both sides and fail to build a proper base,” Kim said, highlighting what will be a vulnerability with the Seattle radical progressive base who may view him as not far-left enough. (Wait until he gets asked a question about Israel vs. terrorist group Hamas.)

Left-wing activist and X troll Colin O’Keefe asked, “Hey so random question who is running to the left of Bob Ferguson?” Progressive voter Kat (she/her), meanwhile, commented, “Sad that THIS is what Democrats keep doubling down on. What’s the point of even voting in WA state anymore (besides ballot measures)?”

It’s like the Bob Ferguson campaign is really pushing Dave Reichert

The focus on crime is already his campaign’s first massive blunder. You should expect he’ll correct it soon.

Anyone worried about the crime crisis will naturally gravitate towards former King County Sheriff and congressman Dave Reichert. When Ferguson talks about crime and police, it’s very, very easy to explain his record shows his interests are the exact opposite of his campaign agenda. If even a small percentage of media, and a whole lot of Washington X users, point it out, Reichert becomes even more electable.

Reichert is being attacked by a small and loud group of conservatives for being too open to bipartisanship. But that’s the very quality Washington Democrats outside of Seattle have said they now want. That makes Reichert a real threat.

More from Jason Rantz: Officer suing Seattle police for gender discrimination accused of gender bias

Antisemitic progressive base might turn on Ferguson like they did Joe Biden

Ferguson risks losing the Seattle progressive base if he talks about crime too much.

The overlap between Jew-hating progressives and defund police loving progressives is virtually 100%. Their antisemitism is likely to suppress voter turnout during the presidential election, assuming they actually hold true to the principles they claim to have (it’s just too bad their principled passion is focused on destroying the only Jewish state and supporting terrorists who raped and murdered for power).

While they could still vote for a third party candidate or skip the presidential race, they could just easily skip filling in that over for the Bob Ferguson campaign.

Listen to The Jason Rantz Show on weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here. Follow Jason on X, formerly known as TwitterInstagram and Facebook.

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Rantz: On crime, Bob Ferguson campaign made its first massive blunder