The 2018 mid-term elections for the American Police Officers Alliance brought both victory and defeat. Having the opportunity to help win an election in an mid-term election cycle is both satisfying and promising. Here is a recap of our election-related activity:
Minnesota-8 Congress: Mid-Term Victory
Volunteers from the American Police Officers Alliance helped the Congressional Leadership Fund with a canvassing deployment effort in Duluth, MN. The volunteers were deployed during the final 72 hours of the general election campaign in Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District. Congressman Rick Nolan’s (D) retirement earlier this year opened up a Congressional seat that both political parties targeted in the mid-term election cycle. Former Duluth Police Captain, Pete Stauber ®, ran against State Representative Joe Radinovich (D). Radinovich previously served as a chief of staff to the Mayor of Minneapolis. The efforts of our volunteers helped reach thousands of voters by knocking on doors which paid off tremendously as Stauber won a tight race against Radinovich by a 50-45 percent margin. Skip Sandman, a third party candidate, ended with 4.1 percent of the vote effectively denying Radinovich a victory. We are proud to have a part in electing a former police officer to Congress and congratulate Congressman-elect Stauber for his election win.
Disappointment in Nashville
Despite a big victory in Minnesota, our focus issue that will have a big impact on police suffered defeat in Nashville. Voters in the largest city of Tennessee voted on Amendment 1 which would change the city’s charter to establish a police oversight board. American Police Officers Alliance opposes the concept of the police oversight board because the oversight board would be comprised of civilians and mostly replace other law enforcement professionals in determining if the conduct of police officers violated standards. Amendment 1 specifically, would also cost the citizens of Nashville up to $10 million dollars in additional taxpayer money by requiring the board to employ full-time staff to ensure day to day operations causing other scarce city resources to also be diverted away from direct efforts of law enforcement. The amendment was approved by the voters by a margin of 59 to 41 percent. Amendment 1 in Nashville was looked at by outside observers nationally as a proof-of-concept referendum to implement police oversight boards in other major cities. Only time will tell if more cities will follow the lead of Nashville and try to implement similar measures.
After a contentious 2018 mid-term election, we can only expect that law enforcement issues will remain a constant in American elections. It is great to see a former police officer in Pete Stauber join the ranks of Congress. We are excited to see Stauber contribute to Congress and to provide a much needed voice for our nation’s law enforcement officers especially with both houses split on party control. We are concerned about the issue of police oversight boards. Given the defeat in Nashville, we may continue in enhancing the public awareness and policy campaigns on the issues relating to civilian oversight of law enforcement officers.