The GOP has a message for lawless Democrats: their soft-on-crime policies are costing businesses dearly. Nowhere is this more evident than in Portland, Oregon, where Mayor Ted Wheeler has refused Nike’s request for help with theft in its Northeast store and Walmart has been forced to close its remaining stores in the city.
The story of Nike’s store is a prime example of the problems businesses in liberal-run cities are facing. Nike asked Mayor Wheeler if the city could either pay to hire additional cops to patrol the area or pay off duty cops to do so, but Wheeler refused, citing the city’s “significant personnel constraint” as a result of their “brush with defunding the police” – a move that sent experienced officers running for the exits.
Mayor Wheeler then asked Nike to re-open its store “on a limited basis” and suggested that the company may be part of the problem by refusing to allow its security guards to detain shoplifters. Of course, Nike won’t do that for fear of liability, and it’s no wonder Amazon hasn’t wiped out 100% of local businesses trying to deal with this nonsense.
Walmart has also been forced to close its remaining stores in the city due to rampant theft. Walmart CEO Doug McMillon warned in December that the company might have to close stores or raise prices if things didn’t improve, and he noted that local law enforcement needs to be “staffed and being a good partner”—but in Portland, they’re not staffed and they’re not a good partner, so Walmart is closing its stores. The same thing has happened in other cities with Democrat rule, such as Washington DC, Chicago, Milwaukee, and Albuquerque.
It’s time for the GOP to step up and point out the truth: the defund the police movement is having a major effect on businesses in liberal-run cities. While the media often refuses to make the connection, the GOP must make it clear that these policies are having a detrimental effect on businesses and must be addressed.
The GOP stands for business, safety, and security—all of which are being undermined by the lawless policies of Democrats. Businesses are being hurt, crime is increasing, and communities are being destabilized. It’s time for the GOP to act and stand up for safety, security, and the right of businesses to operate without fear of theft and destruction.