It takes a special kind of asshole to politicize rape, but if we’ve learned anything about him in the past couple of years, it’s that “Champ” Edmunds is indeed special. After all, he opposed memorializing a slain Montana Highway Patrol officer and argued that students at the University of Montana could not be trusted to deliver mail ballots to students on campus.
This past week, he came out against the Department of Justice’s decision to investigate Missoula’s handling of sexual assault cases, seeming to agree with an absolutely idiotic suggestion that the decision was designed to promote Vice President Joe Biden’s decade-old Violence Against Women Act:
Republican state lawmaker Champ Edmunds shared on social media a KGVO story questioning whether the probe is meant to highlight vice president Joe Biden’s Violence Against Women Act since it’s the first time the DOJ has probed a county attorney’s office.
His assertions come straight out of the seemingly mandated Montana Republican playbook of studiously avoiding the use of evidence and diligently denying logic.
Mr. Edmunds, it appears, would rather cast aspersions on the Department of Justice and its attorneys than accept the relatively obvious answer: Missoula needs to do a better job of dealing with sexual assault, from prevention to prosecution.
There is more than ample evidence that the response, from city, county and University, has been entirely inadequate, the “average number” of rapes notwithstanding. If Mr. Edmunds truly wants to be a community leader and representative of the people of Missoula, he needs to put aside the politics and put the safety of Missoula’s citizens first.