February 22, 2023

by Michael Moline, Florida Phoenix, February 20, 2023

Will Gov. Ron DeSantis try to poach Chicago area-cops for Florida when he addresses that city’s Lodge No. 7 of the Fraternal Order of Police?

Stands to reason: The governor’s been aggressively courting law enforcement officers from states where cops feel undersupported by political leaders, through offers of $5,000 signing bonuses and other inducements.

DeSantis, widely expected to announce a presidential campaign shortly, was in suburban Elmhurst for the speech Monday afternoon.

“Gov. Ron DeSantis would appreciate your support at an event on Monday, Feb. 20, to Back the Blue!” the union announced on its website. “This event is open to law enforcement members only, spouses are not included.”

DeSantis first began offering $1,000 bonuses to people joining in-state police forces, either as transplants from other states as fresh recruit in 2020, at the height of the COVID pandemic, although he insisted he wasn’t encouraging cops to evade vaccine mandates in their jurisdictions or blowback from the George Floyd protests.

He voiced his support for cops in a campaign-style ad released in late December, 2021. “We’re not going to denigrate you. We’re not going to treat you poorly. We’re not going to treat you as a political tool,” he vowed.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker didn’t let the Florida governor’s visit go unnoticed.

“He does not represent the values of the people of Illinois,” Pritzker said, as reported by the suburban Daily Herald.

“In fact, he’s the antithesis to that. He’s demonstrated that he’s homophobic, that’s he’s got tendencies that provoke racism. He’s somebody who doesn’t mix well with the values of the people of Illinois.”

Earlier Monday, DeSantis addressed a pro-cop crowd in Staten Island, N.Y, prompting this tweet from Mayor Eric Adams:

“Welcome to NYC, @GovRonDeSantis, a place where we don’t ban books, discriminate against our LGBTQ+ neighbors, use asylum seekers as props, or let the government stand between a woman and health care. We’re happy to teach you something about values while you’re here.”

DeSantis tweeted this:

“I visited Staten Island to talk about how law & order has been central to FL’s success. FL leads the nation in protecting LEOs & our crime rate is at a 50-year low, while NYC saw a 23% surge in major crime in 2022. Anti-police politicians should stop catering to the woke mob.”

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