GOP Chairman Hupfer: Don’t Fall for Democrat Gaslighting on Police
Jul 6, 2021

INDIANAPOLIS- Indiana Republican Party Chairman Kyle Hupfer wrote the following op-ed:

GOP Chairman Hupfer: Don’t Fall for Democrat Gaslighting on Police

For the last year and a half, leaders of the Democrat Party have embraced the radical, ANTIFA’-inspired agenda to “defund the police.” Several Democrat-run cities drastically cut their law enforcement budgets over the last year. Democrat Party officials, including Joe Biden’s handlers, Nancy Pelosi, and the Squad, have encouraged this movement and their dangerous rhetoric has made it more difficult for the men and women of law enforcement to do their jobs and keep us safe.

Well, it seems someone in the Democrat Party looked at some disastrous polling because for the last week or so they, along with their allies in the national news media, have embarked on a hilarious attempt at gaslighting the American people. They contend it is actually the Republican Party that wants to defund the police. In making this argument, Democrats are 1) lying to you and 2) must think you’re stupid.

The lie goes something like this: there was some money for police in their monstrosity of a “COVID relief” bill. The bill, which spent nearly $2 trillion dollars on everything under the sun with less than 9% dealing with healthcare and only 1% going to COVID vaccination efforts, was rightly opposed by Republicans and since Republicans voted against it somehow this means Republicans defunded the police.

Our Republican Senators—Todd Young and Mike Braun—and our Republican House delegation— Jim Baird, Jim Banks, Dr. Larry Bucshon, Trey Hollingsworth, Greg Pence, Victoria Spartz, and Jackie Walorski—were right to oppose the leftwing Trojan Horse masquerading as pandemic relief. They voted against reckless spending, mountains of new debt, and skyrocketing inflation that is already causing your gas prices and grocery bills to go up and up.

You almost have to give Democrat officials and talking heads credit. It’s a bold strategy, one that assumes you have a short memory and don’t have access to Google or YouTube, where simple searches reveal example after example of Democrat candidates and office holders embracing the defund the police movement.

Republicans will always back the blue – and we hope our Democrat friends across the country can renounce the radical leaders of their party and join us in supporting the police. In fact, during Governor Holcomb’s first legislative session in 2017, he advocated for a pay raise for all Indiana State Police personnel. The governor’s proposal passed, and our state police officers have received well-deserved pay raises each year Holcomb has been in office.

But that’s not all. Under Governor Eric Holcomb’s leadership, a landmark law enforcement bill was unanimously passed by both houses of the Indiana General Assembly during the most recent legislative session. HB-1006 is investing in law enforcement by improving training, increasing resources, and giving our men and women in blue the support they need to do their jobs safely and effectively. It’s a model that other states should follow.

The bill was part of Governor Holcomb’s 2021 legislative agenda, received support from both parties, and is also supported by the Fraternal Order of Police, the Indiana Association of Chiefs of Police, the Indiana Sheriff’s Association, NAACP, Indianapolis Urban League, Indiana Black Expo, and members of the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus.

HB-1066 invests $70 million to modernize the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA), ensuring our officers receive the best training possible. The bill also mandated de-escalation training and prohibits the use of chokeholds in most circumstances. It also established procedures for ILEA to decertify officers for misconduct and makes it illegal to turn off officer-worn body cameras. Additionally, the General Assembly is purchasing body cameras for all law enforcement agencies in the state and is modernizing several Indiana State Police posts as well as National Guard armories.

As Governor Holcomb says, it takes teamwork to take Indiana to the Next Level. When it came to HB-1066, we had an all-star team of state legislators that got this bill to the governor’s desk, including Speaker of the House Todd Huston, Senate President Pro Tempore Rod Bray, and Senator Mike Young. Our point guard was Representative Greg Steuerwald, whose tireless efforts brought together a huge coalition that led to unanimity. The standing ovation Rep. Steuerwald received from his colleagues upon passage was well deserved.

These Republican-led efforts are exactly how you back the blue. Compare that to the rhetoric of Democrat leaders Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, AOC, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and others and it is clear to see which party steadfastly supports law enforcement and which party’s dangerous rhetoric has endangered those serving on the thin blue line.

Don’t let the Democrats gaslight you. The record is clear.

Kyle Hupfer is Chairman of the Indiana Republican Party and serves as General Counsel of the Republican National Committee.

A headshot of Chairman Hupfer is available here.