FACT CHECK: California Politicians Need Private Security To Protect Them From Conservatives

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March 30, 2023

Who said it:

Mia Bonta (D.), a California assemblywoman and the wife of progressive state attorney general Rob Bonta (D.), introduced a bill with state senator Scott Wiener (D.) that would allow politicians to spend unlimited campaign funds on private security. The lawmakers claim they and their colleagues face a "rising tide of political violence" thanks to former president Donald Trump and his supporters.

Why it matters:

A legislative committee this week advanced the Bonta-Wiener proposal, which would unwind decades-old campaign finance rules. Lawmakers are allowed to divert up to $5,000 in campaign donations for their security, and only if they have faced real threats verified by law enforcement related to their politics, official duties, or status.


Violent crime is on the rise in California—but not because of politics.

Rob Bonta, the state's top cop, has implemented a variety of soft-on-crime policies since Gov. Gavin Newsom (D.) appointed him in 2021. After Bonta's first year on the job, he boasted that although homicides, property crime, and violent crime went up, arrest rates and probation levels declined. Bonta has focused his resources on investigating police and suing cities over their zoning policies as car thefts and violent crime mount.

Before he became attorney general, Bonta as a state legislator helped secure softer sentencing laws and reduced jail time for felons.

Mia Bonta, who holds her husband's former seat, has complemented his lenient enforcement efforts while serving as chairwoman of the State Assembly's budget committee for the criminal justice system, though she has recused herself from overseeing the budget for her husband's department. She also sits on the public safety committee, which is stacked with progressive Democrats focused on softening the state's treatment of violent criminals.

Earlier this month Bonta unilaterally killed a proposal to enhance sentencing for violent crimes committed with guns. She has recently introduced bills that would roll back penalties for juvenile criminals and direct prisons to coach inmates through "restorative justice" and "heal from trauma" programs.


Like Rep. Cori Bush (D., Mo.), who wants to defund the police but spends hundreds of thousands of campaign dollars on private security, Bonta seems comfortable with armed protection for herself, but not her constituents.

It is also curious that Mia Bonta keeps her finger pointed at Trump supporters when the most shocking act of political violence her state has seen in years—the 2022 attack on Paul Pelosi—was perpetrated by a mentally ill left-winger. Her argument also conveniently omits the fact that the biggest attempted political assassination in recent decades was perpetrated by a Bernie Sanders supporter who shot six people at a Republican baseball practice, wounding Rep. Steve Scalise (R., La.).

Verdict: We rate this claim 5 Clintons.
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