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Sen. Cruz in Wall Street Journal: A Way to Take Back Portland

‘Local leaders who allow rioters to destroy lives and businesses need to be held accountable’

July 22, 2020

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - In his latest op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today outlined a plan to take America's cities back from violent rioters. Sen. Cruz's RECLAIM Act would hold local officials accountable for failing to protect their constituents.

In the op-ed, Sen. Cruz wrote:

"These radicals hate the police, reject the rule of law, and are intent on terrorizing their communities. In Seattle, police were forced to abandon the precinct building in 'CHAZ' and city officials told the police they could respond to calls for help only in the event of mass casualties. Families and business owners were left to fend for themselves.

"In Portland's antifa-occupied land, Fox News reports, 'businesses have racked up millions in property damage and lost sales, and hundreds of thousands of Portland residents have stayed off the streets for six weeks.'"

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He continued:

"This is not the American way. Local leaders who allow rioters to destroy lives and businesses need to be held accountable. That's why I'm introducing the Restitution for Economic losses Caused by Leaders who Allow Insurrection and Mayhem Act-Reclaim for short. The bill would hold state and local officials liable when they abdicate their legal duty to protect the public in cases where death, serious bodily harm or significant property damage have occurred."

Read the full op-ed here and below.

A Way to Take Back Portland
Wall Street Journal
Sen. Ted Cruz
July 21, 2020

My bill would hold officials accountable for failing to protect their constituents.

‘Every city, every town, burn the precinct to the ground," read a sign in the "autonomous zone" Antifa rioters established in Portland, Ore. Another: "The only good cop is a dead one."

The area radicals took over in Portland last week is the second autonomous zone lawless criminals have set up in the city during the eight weeks of riots since the death of George Floyd.

Fringe progressives have also set up autonomous protest zones in six other cities in the past few weeks-in Asheville, N.C.; New York; Philadelphia; Richmond, Va.; Seattle and Washington.

These radicals hate the police, reject the rule of law, and are intent on terrorizing their communities. In Seattle, police were forced to abandon the precinct building in "CHAZ" and city officials told the police they could respond to calls for help only in the event of mass casualties. Families and business owners were left to fend for themselves.

In Portland's antifa-occupied land, Fox News reports, "businesses have racked up millions in property damage and lost sales, and hundreds of thousands of Portland residents have stayed off the streets for six weeks."

And in the autonomous zone in New York, "local residents-even those who say they support the camp's politics-have complained that it has turned into a disorderly shantytown where violence has occurred," according to the New York Times. Mayor Bill de Blasio has allowed the zone to thrive and, despite the pandemic, has tolerated squatters convening there without social distancing. By contrast, Mr. de Blasio had the entrance to a playground in a predominantly Orthodox neighborhood welded shut to keep out children and sent the police to break up a gathering of Jews mourning the loss of a beloved rabbi.

This is not the American way. Local leaders who allow rioters to destroy lives and businesses need to be held accountable. That's why I'm introducing the Restitution for Economic losses Caused by Leaders who Allow Insurrection and Mayhem Act-Reclaim for short. The bill would hold state and local officials liable when they abdicate their legal duty to protect the public in cases where death, serious bodily harm or significant property damage have occurred.

Specifically, my bill would allow for treble damages, meaning a plaintiff could be awarded triple the amount of the damage done to his property. It would also establish a federal cause of action, which would empower victims of violence in autonomous zones to take legal action against senior local or state lawmakers who have tolerated or encouraged radicals to take over the area. Finally, when politicians refuse to defend innocent Americans, this bill would remove or limit federal funding under grant programs that supply important law-enforcement and crime-prevention programs for local governments.

As public officials, our first responsibility is to protect our fellow citizens. Any politician who willfully ignores that sacred duty is in gross violation of that oath. It's time to restore civility, hold government officials accountable, and take our cities back.

Mr. Cruz, a Republican, is a U.S. senator from Texas.

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