A candidate running for a U.S. House seat in Michigan has donated hundreds of dollars to groups that support reducing funding for the Grand Rapids Police Department (GRPD), according to records reviewed by the Daily Caller.
Hillary Scholten gave hundreds of dollars to the Progressive Women’s Alliance of West Michigan, which supports cutting the budget of the GRPD. Scholten has also made thirteen separate contributions to Equity PAC, which also supports defunding the department.
One day after a May protest in Grand Rapids turned into a riot, Equity PAC argued that the City of Grand Rapids should not implement a curfew and further implored the city to “expunge any records and waive all fines” for people who violate the curfew.
Scholten gave $300 to the Progressive Women’s Alliance of West Michigan, which supports reducing funding for the Grand Rapids Police Department, between 2019 and 2021.
Scholten also made thirteen separate donations to Equity PAC, which supports defunding the GRPD:
In 2020, the Progressive Women’s Alliance of West Michigan issued a statement calling for the Grand Rapids Police Department’s budget to be reduced by approximately $9 million.
“The Grand Rapids City budget is a values statement. It can show how much we value (or do not value) true equity for traditionally ignored individuals. The Progressive Women’s Alliance stands with communities of color and others to ask that the Mayor and City Commissioners adopt a motion to reduce the Grand Rapids Police Department’s budget from 38% to 32% of the city budget. This will fund the GRPD at roughly the same level it was in 2015 and free up approximately $9 million for true equity work… If this additional $9 million was needed, we would have seen a line-item budget by now, yet we have not. If there was evidence that this additional $9 million truly stopped crime in process, we would have seen it by now.”
In August 2020, Scholten claimed that she does not support defunding the police, but she also stated that “we absolutely need to be having critical conversations right now about resource allocation” and has taken thousands of dollars from groups that support defunding the police.
The Caller reported Thursday that Scholten, who supported bail reform during her 2020 campaign to represent Michigan’s Third Congressional District, had apparently removed the entire criminal justice reform section from her 2022 campaign website. Scholten kept most sections of her website the same from 2020 to 2022, including Healthcare, Jobs & the Economy, Education, Social Security & Medicare, Energy and the Environment and Roads & Infrastructure. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Swing-District Democrat Hillary Scholten Scrubs ‘Bail Reform’ Section From Campaign Website)
The Michigan Democrat lost the 2020 election to Republican Peter Meijer, who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump over his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. Meijer lost his Aug. 2 primary to Trump-endorsed challenger John Gibbs.
Scholten and her campaign did not respond to the Caller’s questions about the donations and whether she supports defunding the Grand Rapids Police Department.