A Democrat plant? Arizona congressional hopeful who says he’s Republican wants to eliminate cash bail

A Democrat plant? Arizona congressional hopeful who says
he’s Republican wants to eliminate cash bail 1

The following contains editorial content written by a retired Chief of Police and current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today.

PHOENIX, AZ- Arizona Rep. Walt Blackman, who claims to be a Republican, is running in the GOP primary for the Second Congressional District in that state.

His opponents include the incumbent, Rep. Thomas O’Halleran (R) and former Navy SEAL Eli Crane. In the interest of full disclosure, Law Enforcement Today has endorsed Crane for the seat.

Blackman has co-sponsored legislation which would completely gut Arizona’s bail laws, probably to show how “bipartisan” he can be.

For someone who claims to be a Republican, Blackman tends to come down on the RINO side of the aisle, much in the vein of such RINO stalwarts as Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL).

For example, despite all manner of evidence of improprieties in Arizona’s results in the 2020 election, Blackman is opposed to any talk of decertifying that state’s election results. Our previous story about that may be found below.

All you need to know about Blackman, according to DC Weekly is that he has been endorsed by House Speaker Rusty Bowers (R), who blocked election reform in the Arizona House and came down on the side of Democrats after the 2020 election, going so far as to mock the state representative who filed a resolution to decertify Arizona’s electoral votes.

Equally egregious, Blackman has co-sponsored HRC-2022, the “prohibited bail; pretrial release presumption” bill. This proposed law is a progressive Democrat’s dream, one that members of the “Squad” would be happy to support. Among its provisions:

  1. Prohibits the requirement of monetary bail. [emphasis added] (Sec. 1)
  2. Specifies that a person taken into jail custody is presumed eligible for pretrial release. [emphasis added] (Sec. 2)
  3. Specifies pretrial release may only be overcome by clear and convincing evidence that the person’s behavior demonstrates a significant risk to the physical safety of the victim or the community. (Sec. 2)
  4. States pretrial release is not presumed for those accused of the following crimes:
    1. A capital offense, first degree murder, sexual assault, sexual conduct with a child under fifteen years of age or molestation of a child under fifteen years of age;
    2. A violent felony offense committed when the person is already on pretrial release for a separate felony;
    3. A felony offense if the person threatens the physical safety of any other person; or
    4. A serious felony offense if the accused entered the United States illegally. (Sec. 2)
  5. Specifies that pretrial detention is authorized if the court determines the person is a flight risk or the person’s behavior presents a threat to public safety (Sec. 2)
  6. Authorizes judicial officers to impose pretrial release conditions to ensure the accused attends future court hearings or for the victim or community’s safety. (Sec. 2)
  7. Requires the Secretary of State to submit this proposition to the voters at the next general election. (Sec. 3)
  8. Makes technical and conforming changes. (Sec. 2)

Under the bill, Section 15 says: MONETARY bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishment inflicted. This section is straight out of the AOC, Ayanna Pressley, Cori Bush playbook.

Yet he’s trying to convince voters that he is a “conservative” Republican. Sure, “conservative” like Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

A number of Arizona law enforcement officials have weighed in on the bill, and have slammed it as putting the focus on criminals and ignoring their victims. Such is the opinion of Sheriff Mark Dannels of Cochise County, Arizona, whom Law Enforcement Today spoke with.

“Once again, we place focus on the criminals and set aside our victims leaving communities exposed to these violent criminals,” Dannels said. “Past horrific crimes in states and communities that prioritize  criminals over victims are true lessons we should learn from.

“Detention and prisons were authorized and constructed by the people to protect hard-working, good Americans from those who choose to violate the norms of society,” he continued. “We shall never defy the people’s rule of law.”

We also spoke to Mat Silverman, Executive Vice President of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA) also weighed in, sharply criticizing the proposal, noting that change for change’s sake doesn’t work.

“If we have learned anything over the last two years of moving forward with criminal justice reform, it’s that change for the sake of change doesn’t work. We need to remember that victims are the actual victims, and we need to protect the innocent at all costs. This proposed legislation does the opposite.”

Larry Cosme, President of the FLEOA also weighed in on the proposal, slamming the decision to eliminate cash bail, noting such legislation putting “more criminals to run the street” is the wrong approach to “take the streets back from the criminals.”

“This country needs a change, but a change in the wrong direction can cause even more heartache for so many Americans. Eliminating cash bail and allowing more criminals to run the street is not the way to take the streets back from the criminals; it’s only going to further the devastation we are seeing around this country with out-of-control crime,” Cosme told Law Enforcement Today.

He noted that law enforcement is already undergoing tremendous strain and putting more criminals out on the street will only increase that stress.

“Now is not the time for reforms that essentially eliminate the option of cash bail. Rising violent crime is causing significant strains on local law enforcement—increasingly requiring federal law enforcement to become involved in state and local matters to keep crime under control.

“Given the strain already on law enforcement, cash bai is a useful mechanism for preventing potentially violent criminals from reentering society and causing additional harm while awaiting trial or allowing those criminals to leave the jurisdiction and evade responsibility entirely,” Cosme continued.

He noted that there are already mechanisms in place to reduce the cost of bail for those who commit minor crimes and who do not pose a threat. However he believes it is short-sighted to place additional burdens on law enforcement.

“While we encourage states to experiment with reforms aimed at improving their system of justice, the current burden on law enforcement is too heavy to allow cash bail reforms which are known to increase the risk of crime. State governments should not experiment with potentially dangerous policies when federal law enforcement is already stepping in to help keep the crime under control,” Cosme stated.

We have enough RINOs in Congress. The last thing we need is another one.

For more on Mr. Blackman, we invite you to:


The following contains editorial content which is the opinion of the writer, a retired Police Chief and current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today. 

The article has been updated to reflect Blackman is running for Republican nod in Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District, not the 1st. 

ARIZONA- Whether one believes the 2020 election was in fact “stolen” or not, one has to admit that there was some funky stuff which occurred primarily in so-called “swing” states. Several states have been working to tighten their election laws in response, including Arizona.

In that state, the legislature is looking to “reclaim” Arizona’s eleven 2020 presidential electors, which comes on the heels of the Wisconsin legislature moving forward on a resolution to reclaim that state’s electors.

In Arizona, an audit report was completed which suggested some evidence of election law violations, as well as what is purported to be hundreds of thousands of fraudulent ballots. The evidence was delivered to Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich over four months ago, and a criminal investigation is currently underway, Gateway Pundit reports.

This runs counter to a Nov. 12, 2020 statement from the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency, a federal
agency that oversees U.S. election security, which dismissed prior allegations. “There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised,” the agency concluded.

The report also noted that Brnovich’s office has obtained additional evidence from across the state, with investigators having spoken to multiple suspects.

Arizona state representative and candidate for Arizona Secretary of State Mark Finchem, who has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump, is in the process of drafting a resolution for the purposes of decertifying Arizona’s 2020 presidential election results.

Finchem’s efforts, however, are not receiving the support of Arizona State Representative Walter Blackman, who is running for a Congressional seat, and went out of his way to slam Finchem for calling to decertify Arizona’s electors.

In a recent interview, Blackman, who sounds more like a Democrat than a Republican was asked why he wasn’t supporting Finchem in the Secretary of State race.

“I understand he’s been active in the audit, but I just want to tell things that are real. Because I, you know, like to be straight, straight with the folks.

There’s been a lot of chatter about decertifying the election. There’s a couple of things wrong with that, that we can’t do that. We are not going to be able to decertify an election…number two [was there a number one?] you look at the Constitution.

There is nothing in the Constitution that says that we can decertify.”

Blackman might want to brush up on the Constitution. Article II, Section 1, Clause II of the Constitution grants power over how their electors are chosen to state legislatures: “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors…”

Moreover, state legislatures have plenary power, or in other words, the power to appoint electors to the Electoral College as they see fit. Legislatures are not mandated to “ratify” the popular votes in their states; they can choose any slate of electors they want. Plenary power is absolute, unlimited, and not even subordinate to state laws.

Plenary power of state legislatures was addressed by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1892, in a case called McPherson v Blacker.

In that decision, American Thinker notes, there are two versions of “plenary” in the decision, including: “…the practical construction of the clause has conceded plenary power to the state legislatures in the matter of appointment of electors.”

Bush v Gore (2000) affirmed that position, using the word “plenary” one time within.

In the second sentence of section II,B:

“This is the source of the statement in McPherson v Blacker, 146 U.S. 1, 35 (1892), that the State legislature’s power to select the manner for appointing electors is plenary; it may, if it so chooses, select the electors itself, which indeed was the manner used by State legislatures in several States for many years after the Framing of our Constitution.”

All of this seems to show that Walt Blackman is too ignorant about the Constitution to be able to serve Arizona in Congress. Blackman might want to meet up with Finchem and brush up on his Constitution and the power of state legislatures in the election process.

Arizona needs a powerful, educated voice in Congress. Blackman isn’t the guy.

Blackman is running in the Republican primary for Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District against three-term incumbent Rep. Tom O’Halleran and former Navy SEAL Eli Crane, whom Law Enforcement Today has endorsed.

Crane had five war-time deployments with the SEALS including three to the Middle East during a 13-year military career, Arizona Republic reported.

A Democrat plant? Arizona congressional hopeful who says he's Republican wants to eliminate cash bail

For more on why we endorsed hero SEAL Eli  Crane for Congress, we invite you to:


Editor note: Law Enforcement Today, the largest police-owned media company in America, has only endorsed one other person in the history of our organization – and that was President Trump.  ‘nuf said.  Let’s roll.

TUCSON, AZ – Eli Crane. Man of faith. Husband. Father. Veteran Navy SEAL. Entrepreneur.  And now, candidate for Congress in Arizona’s battleground First District.

Law Enforcement Today is pleased to present our profile and endorsement of a man of integrity, principle, and honor, a man who we believe is destined to help usher in a brighter future for We the People in Arizona and this great nation.

Eli Crane was in his senior year of college at the University of Arizona when the United States was attacked on September 11, 2001.  He left school one week later to join the Navy, and then ultimately became a Navy SEAL.

(Above – an exclusive interview with Eli Crane about why he’s running for Congress).

After he completed his second of five deployments, Crane began tinkering in his garage with a bottle opener crafted from a .50 caliber bullet.  He began creating bottle openers while working stateside for the Navy, all the while juggling his work as a Navy instructor with a busy family life with a wife and two small children.

The bottle openers, as it turned out, were wildly popular.  Crane’s wife, Jen, began selling the items online.  With prayerful persistence, Eli and Jen grew their entrepreneurial venture, Bottle Breacher, and within a matter of months, they were doing $20,000-$30,000 in business monthly out of their garage.


Next for the Cranes’ entrepreneurial journey came an appearance on Shark Tank in 2014, shortly after Eli Crane left the Navy after 13 years of service.  Kevin O’Leary and Mark Cuban both invested in the Cranes’ venture, and their company grew into a multi-million dollar business.

Today, Bottle Breacher offers a wide variety of bottle openers crafted in Tucson from .50 caliber bullets, as well as an array of military and firearm-themed gifts.  Personalization is available, making their offerings highly popular for uses such as groomsmen gifts.

Already a model of generosity and servanthood through his honorable and selfless service as a Navy SEAL, Crane has not been one to merely rest on his profitable laurels with Bottle Breacher.  He generously gives back to his community and nation through his company.

Not only does Bottle Breacher offer steady employment to local Arizonans, including veterans and active duty military, but the enterprise also donates generously to non-profits that support veterans, active duty military, and their families, as well as law enforcement.

Serving others is also playing a very large and vital part in Eli Crane’s next life-changing endeavor: running for office in Arizona’s First District, hoping to unseat Democratic incumbent Tom O’Halleran.

Crane spoke to us of how servanthood became an integral part of his life:

“I think it’s all a part of a servant mindset…. I was always taught… that it’s better to give than to receive.  It sounds great, but when you’re growing up, that’s not what you believe at all, just me, me, me, take, take, take. 

“You get to a point where you realize it’s kind of empty, it doesn’t really fill your cup, your soul, and I think once you start being a little selfless, less selfish, you realize, well, there  might be something here.  And you do it more and more and you realize that that’s actually what fills your cup all along.”

He added:

“I’m not saying that I don’t like nice things, like the next person, or anything like that, I’m just saying that I learned a long time ago that my life was going to be barren and unfulfilling if there was no greater service to something much bigger than me involved in it. 

“And so that’s what took me down the path of going into the military, and that’s what took us down the path of trying to incorporate a servant leadership in our business.

“I think that’s one of the big problems with a lot of people in Congress is that I don’t think that they are strong enough to withstand the pull towards climbing the ladder and getting ahead.  I’m grateful in a way because I’ve seen how that doesn’t fill your cup, and it’s not what it’s about.”

Crane continued:

“That’s why we’re doing this, and it is part of the bigger theme, but I want to spend the rest of my life in some way, shape or form trying to encourage, uplift, and fight for something bigger than myself.”

Hand-in-hand with a servanthood mindset goes Eli Crane’s Christian faith, which has been a firm foundation for his life choices in the past, and speaks into his decision to run for Congress.

Crane’s wife, Jen, told us:

“We felt God’s calling into this new season earlier this year, and after many weeks of prayer, our family is excited and ready to serve our country again.”

Noting that his current steps toward a Congressional seat are for the glory of God and not for himself, Eli Crane added:

“I’m a man of faith, and I also feel that this is a calling.  I wouldn’t be doing this if it didn’t feel like we weren’t walking in God’s favor, a path that He is guiding us. 

“And so, there was a lot of prayer that went into this decision, and that’s something that as I’ve gotten older that I really try to make sure that I do a much better job at staying closer to God, trying to understand that this story isn’t about me. 

“It’s about Him.”

Crane also models sharing his faith after Jesus Christ’s example, never forcing beliefs and always respecting the Constitutionally-protected right to worship.

He told us:

“I’m a follower of Christ and I watched how he lived his life; he never forced anybody to follow him.  And I see a similarity in our Constitution, in that we have freedom of religion, and I swore an oath to uphold and protect that Constitution….

“I don’t try and force my faith on anybody.  I want anybody who lives in this country to have the Constitutional right to worship how they want to worship.

“If God does want me to be in Congress, I will use that opportunity and that platform like I always have, to encourage people and point them towards Christ.  But at the same time, I will also uphold and support people’s right to worship how they want to worship, or not at all.”

Crane’s Biblical worldview also molds his attitude toward his fellow Americans, including those who might disagree politically in a current climate that seems to divide rather than unite.

He said:

“People that know me, know that I love all people.  I could give a hoot what color you are, where you’re from, what neighborhood, what ethnicity, and I say that because that’s how the cultural Marxists are trying to divide and conquer us right now, based on race and ethnicity….

“In the Word of God it says that we are all created in His image.  And I one hundred percent believe that.  I know that the amount of melanin in our skin means nothing as far as worth or value, especially when we’re created in God’s image.” 

He continued:

“And that’s why I’m doing this, because even the ones that don’t agree with me, I love that they have the right to disagree with me here in this country because it’s in our founding documents….

“I love people, and that’s why I’m doing this.  It’s not because I hate what’s in front of me.  It’s because I love what’s behind me.”

Crane’s faith-inspired propensity for servanthood and his love for his fellow man are not keeping him from tackling extremely difficult issues in his campaign, however.

One “front and center” issue that he describes as “unpopular” is election integrity.

Crane told us that he believes from recent polls that “a lot of Americans lack confidence in the last election cycle.”

Adding that he disagreed with persons who dismiss those who are calling for election audits as “kooks and conspiracy theorists,” Crane told us:

“I don’t think there’s anything more patriotic, and I don’t think there’s anything that is more democratic, than the people who own these elections being able to check them out for themselves and see the receipts, if you will. 

“So that’s something that I want to see get tightened up.  I want to see confidence restored in our elections….

“And I want Americans to know that not only does your vote count, but it doesn’t count any more or any less than anybody else’s.  And that’s a big part of being a citizen in a Constitutional Republic.”

A second large issue, one that can also be quite controversial, is that of border security.

Crane told us that Arizona’s border issues are a “massive problem,” and that “people describe it as an invasion,”  a notion bolstered by reports from his contacts with the Border Patrol and ICE, as well as those who work in the private sector on stopping child sex trafficking.

Part of Crane’s solution incorporates returning to Trump-era immigration policies.  In addition, he added:

“We’re going to have to roll up the red carpet that was laid out by the Biden administration, and we’re going to have to enforce laws that are on the books.”

Crane explained further:

“Any country out there deserves the right to have its sovereignty….

“We all deserve to protect our borders and know who is coming in and going out.  We owe that to our citizens. 

“There’s folks out there that are trying to paint that as racist or xenophobic if you want to have your own border, and you want to protect the citizens that you’re taxing and have to respect your laws.

“To me that’s unsatisfactory.  And it’s not right and it needs to be taken care of.”

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LET Unity

To get things taken care of in his campaign and in Congress, Crane is well-prepared with his background in the SEALS and in his successful business.

Leadership skills, for instance, have been part and parcel of his history in both endeavors, and those skills tie in perfectly with teamwork and difficult decision-making processes that go along with a Congressional run and a position in politics.

He told us:

“When you’re working with a team, you need to be able to at times take the best information that you have and just make a decision.  Some people get analysis paralysis where they feel like they have to have a board meeting for every single decision. 

“I learned that in the SEAL Teams and I learned it in business, sometimes you’re not going to have all the information.  Sometimes you’re not going to feel like oh, this is the greatest decision that could have ever possibly been made.  This is what I think the best course of action here, we’re just going to move, we’re going to go and row in the same direction.”

Crane also learned the value of calmness under stress, a skill which will undoubtedly prove particularly helpful in a potentially volatile political climate.

He told us:

“One of the things especially during this week that I took from business and huge days like Shark Tank and being shot at is: Calm is contagious. 

“It’s easy to get spun up. It’s easy to get frustrated and start yelling at people, to let your temper or your ego rule the day, but there’s a proverb that talks about how a kind word turns away anger but a harsh word stirs up wrath.

“I’ve learned that from experience by failing at that at times, but by just staying calm and being able to make decisions and clearly communicate the direction and the vision you want to see, is something that I’ve taken from both of those places.”

Strength in calmness shines through in Crane’s latest campaign video, embedded below, in which Crane quietly receives a tattoo of “We the People” on his right arm, while telling viewers that Washington politicians “have no skin in the game.”


When we asked him what “We the People” meant to him, Crane pointed to the nation’s founding documents, recalling:

“I look at the Declaration of Independence and it talks about country, and a government of the people by the people for the people.”

He continued:

“We the People are supposed to be the ones with the power in this country, in this great experiment.  And you wouldn’t know that nowadays, when you see mandatory masking, and businesses forced to shut down….

“It’s condescending.  I think we need leaders who want to keep the government limited and keep the power with the people.”

Crane added:

“It’s supposed to be about us, it’s supposed to be controlled by us, but that’s not the direction that we’re headed.  And if we don’t get men and women with character and courage in these key places ASAP, this experiment is over….

“I’m doing this because I want We the People to have the power to direct and to preserve our unalienable rights.”

As he prepares to act to serve Arizona and this country, Crane has a pointed wake-up call for his fellow Americans:

“Dear America:

“Wake up, complacency kills. 

“We’ve had it far too good for far too long.   We’ve been lulled to sleep, and we don’t realize that we are losing our freedoms and prosperity, one cut at a time.  It won’t last long. 

“Even the greatest country of all time can only withstand the weight of so much corruption, so much evil.”

Law Enforcement today is officially endorsing Eli Crane as he continues his campaign journey to fight for We the People as a Congressional representative for Arizona’s First District.

For more information Eli Crane’s campaign, as well as donation links, please visit his campaign website, EliforArizona.

In addition, you can follow Crane’s campaign on his Twitter page, on Facebook, and on Instagram.


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