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Gillespie chooses Leesburg to roll out public safety plan targeting gangs, sanctuary cities

Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie rolled out a public safety plan on the Loudoun County Courthouse grounds Thursday. Times-Mirror/Sydney Kashiwagi
Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie rolled out a public safety plan on the Loudoun County Courthouse grounds Thursday he said would reinstate Project Exile and crack down on sanctuary cities and gang activity around the commonwealth.

Gillespie was joined by Loudoun Commonwealth’s Attorney Jim Plowman (R), Republican Attorney General nominee John Adams, Del. Randy Minchew (R-10th), former Attorney General Jerry Kilgore and other supporters.

“Gangs prey on our most vulnerable communities, and we need to eradicate gang activity in these communities and everywhere in the commonwealth, and to do that I will ask our attorney general to lead the commonwealth’s response to the gang crisis,” Gillespie said.

To reduce violent crime and target some of the most violent criminals, Gillespie said under his plan he would reinstate Project Exile -- a program introduced in Richmond in 1997 that gave firearm violators long sentences and sent them to faraway prisons.

In an effort to “keep us safer,” Gillespie said he would ban the establishment of sanctuary cities around the commonwealth.

If elected, the former Republican National Committee chairman said he would sign a bill to ensure every city and county in the commonwealth complies with federal immigration laws. Under his plan, he said illegal immigrants who commit a crime would be deported.

“We cannot allow for the establishment of sanctuary cities. We need our cities and counties to fully cooperate with federal law enforcement officials,” he said.

The Republican candidate also said he would reform the Predicate Criminal Act definition to add felonies and violent misdemeanors. Consolidating the definition, he said, would provide a more “efficient and effective path” for law enforcement to put gang members behind bars.

Gillespie said the idea to reform the definition of the act had been pitched by commonwealth’s attorneys and prosecutors around the state who expressed frustration over the act’s narrow definition that made it hard for them to prosecute gang activity.

The GOP nominee's decision to unveil his public safety plan in Loudoun followed a ride-along he joined about a week ago with the Northern Virginia Gang Task Force through the county. He also said Loudoun officials had expressed concern about gang activity around the county.

Gillespie said that Chapman, Plowman and other Loudoun officials worked with him on his public safety policy plan.

“Given my experiences here and the conversations I’ve had with people in Loudoun County, my understanding is there are concerns here that it would be helpful to do [the policy announcement] here in Loudoun,” Gillespie said.

Other aspects of Gillespie’s plan include appointing his attorney general to serve as the commonwealth’s anti-gang chief, appointing a statewide prisoner re-entry advisor, securing funding for the Northern Virginia Regional Gang Task Force, providing counseling for sexual assault victims and setting a strategy to functionally end human trafficking in Virginia.
A dozen protesters from the Democratic Party of Virginia lined up behind Gillespie during the event holding anti-Trump and “silent Ed” signs. Democats have called out Gillespie for his silence on the in-flux Republican health care proposal, and they say Gillespie is lock-step with the president on the issues – a strategy they hope will win the governor's mansion in Virginia, a state Trump lost by more than 5 points.

Current Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam is the Democratic nominee in the commonwealth's closely watched gubernatorial race.

Gillespie's location selection of the Loudoun courthouse grounds, where a Confederate statue is placed, is noteworthy. His primary opponent, the more conservative Corey Stewart, who nearly upset Gillespie, was an outspoken supporter of Confederate monuments, while Gillespie took a softer stance on issue. Gillespie has been seeking the support of Stewart's supporters, many of whom fall in the pro-Trump, anti-Washington crowd.

A former lobbyist and adviser to President George W. Bush, Gillespie was long considered a textbook Washington insider.


Contact the writer at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or on Twitter at @SydneyKashiwagi.

Comments


Of course democrats would cry racism and be against the rule of law. Scapegoating the police will come next huh.


No no, will not be voting for Ed the DC lobbyist…nice prop for him though, most trump supporters realize Ed is the sewer DT talks about…


Nice job, first rolling out crime initiative in Loudoun County a place with little to no real crime, yes we have an issue or two, but, no one except the most paranoid racist believes we have a crime problem in Loudoun County.  Second, talking about crime and having no Blacks or Hispanics around you makes it look like the same old white Republican get tough on crime message to scare all the white people to vote for them.  Lastly, to have Plowman, the man who just a week or so ago said Black people are not qualified to care for a slave cemetery, so I want to make sure we get some good white folks to handle this.  Plowman if not a racist definitely is no friend to the minority community.  Good job Ed, might as well have had Corey Stewart standing next to you in front of that Confederate Statue with a rebel flag.


LOL. That guy in the back holding up a Trump sign. How did he sneak in? Is that you L4T?


Hope Gillespie can find his voice and speak out against the sanctuary that Washington DC is providing a man trapped in a toddler’s temperament, given to magical thinking and living in an ego-driven world of make believe. 

That’s something he needs to address if he wants the vote of any who aren’t part of the fringe who even still think Trump is what we need.


There is a well founded argument that people in an illegal immigration status will simply not report crimes and will not weed out the thugs in their own community if they fear being deported. This is really an issue that is drummed up out of racism and politicians deflecting their failures by scapegoating what is actually a hard-working and peaceful group of people just trying to make a living.

I’m sure all the bigots will reply with their tired arguments and examples of isolated crimes.  The real crimes that hurt our communities are committed on Wall Street.  But all you sheep will continue to blame the designated group to hate instead of realizing it’s the fat cats building factories in China and call centers in India taking your jobs not the guy sweltering on your roof nailing shingles.

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