Mike Schmidt destroyed Portland and the left is willing to re-elect him

Mike Schmidt, the leftist prosecutor in Portland, Ore., is asking voters to give him the opportunity to serve four more years as head of the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office.

In an interview with local media last October, he graded himself an “A” for his performance. 

But if the past four years of record homicides, decriminalized antifa rioting and surging street overdoses represent Schmidt as his best, Portland may not survive another four years with him at the helm. 

Schmidt’s re-election is being challenged by his subordinate, Nathan Vasquez, a senior deputy district attorney and moderate candidate who promises to prosecute crimes and restore the office’s relationship with police, which was broken by Schmidt’s open cop hatred. 

Law and order 

Vasquez’s law-and-order message to Portland voters is resonating, even in the ultra-left-wing “City of Roses,” where residents have finally grown weary of crime and open drug abuse after tolerating them in 2020 following George Floyd’s death. 

The effects of that period of collective insanity can still be seen today. 

The population has declined for the first time in decades from outward migration.

From 2020 to 2022, Portland lost around 18,200 residents, or 2.8% of its population.

The decline has continued each year since, according to US Census Bureau data. 

The city is a shell of itself, particularly in downtown, where businesses fled after dealing with the triple whammy of the pandemic lockdown, months of nightly rioting by Black Lives Matter-antifa and violent homeless encampments. 

Residents want change.

A protester lights an American flag on fire during a demonstration Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, in Portland, Oregon. AP

Polling shows Vasquez ahead of Schmidt by nearly 20 percentage points. 

Fearing the ignominy of a humiliating election defeat and a death blow to higher-office ambitions, Schmidt is now gaslighting us all about his record by rebranding himself as a “Democrat” prosecutor who was and is tough on crime. 

But Schmidt can’t run from his legacy’s trail of blood and misery. 

Schmidt won in a landslide election in 2020, winning over 76% of the vote while campaigning as a progressive prosecutor.

He joined a class of new leftist district attorneys — many whose campaigns were supported by George Soros’ money through various political action campaigns — who vowed to use their offices to further a left-wing agenda of not prosecuting crimes because of racial disparities among suspects and convicts. 

Despite having limited experience actually prosecuting crimes (he worked for only six years as a lower-level prosecutor in Multnomah County and never handled a murder case), he was given the reins to the most populous county in Oregon. 

John Hood smokes methamphetamine with a friend outside a homeless shelter in downtown Portland, Oregon, U.S. February 9, 2024. REUTERS

Heavy consequences 

The consequences have been devastating. 

Schmidt took power in August 2020 — during the height of the Black Lives Matter-antifa riots.

His office immediately announced that most riot-related offenses were decriminalized. 

Interfering with an officer?

Felony rioting?

No problem.

Tents line the sidewalk on Clay Street, Dec. 9, 2020, in Portland, Oregon. AP

Disorderly conduct?

No longer a crime.

Criminal trespass, escape and harassment?

All decriminalized. 

During his inauguration speech, Schmidt repeatedly chanted in support of Black Lives Matter.

And just before taking office, Schmidt hinted at his own views on leftist crime when he said in a Facebook livestream that “the foundations of this country were also built on protests that destroyed property, and sometimes it’s necessary to get people’s attention.” 

Anti-police protesters rally outside the Portland Police Association building on Friday, Sept. 4, 2020, in Portland, Oregon. AP

Schmidt’s policies got the attention of antifa. 

Antifa’s violence became entrenched and more extreme as riot­ers felt emboldened to commit crimes with impunity.

For more than 120 nights straight in 2020, antifa smashed up businesses and set fires to buildings and property.

Responding police were assaulted and beaten by coordinated riot ­brigades armed with melee and projectile weapons. 

Those who were arrested were quickly released without bail to return to rioting, sometimes within the same day.

One serial antifa riot arrestee had been arrested at least seven times, having her charges dropped by Schmidt’s office every time. 

A clothing store is vandalized as police confront protesters in Portland, Oregon on November 4, 2020, during a demonstration called by the “Black Lives Matter” movement, a day after the US Presidential Election. AFP via Getty Images

Around 90% of the riot-related cases in Portland were dropped by the district attorney’s office in 2020, and none were taken to trial if they involved far-left suspects. 

Instead, Schmidt’s office offered the antifa rioters sweetheart plea deals, under which they wouldn’t serve prison time and would often have their convictions expunged following probation. 

Antifa member Blake David Hampe, who spent years in prison for a federal child sex crime conviction, was recorded stabbing a black conservative livestreamer during a riot in July 2020.

Schmidt’s office allowed him to plead guilty to only second-degree attempted assault last year and he was sentenced to probation.

The victim was nearly paralyzed in the stabbing. 

Schmidt’s legacy isn’t only the mishandling of the deadly riots. 

He campaigned for Measure 110, a Democrat-supported ballot initiative that decriminalized the possession of hard drugs like fentanyl, methamphetamine and heroin.

The initiative passed and what happened next was predictable: record overdose deaths and downtown became an open-air drug market and insane asylum littered with feces and drug paraphernalia. 

Between 2018–2022, nearly 600 people died from fentanyl overdoses.

More people died in Multnomah County from drugs than COVID-19. 

“He allowed bullying, corrupt managers to run that office, creating all kinds of chaos,” a former Multnomah County prosecutor who worked under Schmidt told The Post.

“Schmidt created an impossible work environment where the only rule was to make him look good in the media.” 

The sobering reality 

And even the local media could no longer do that in the sobering reality of weekly death on the streets. 

Portland broke its all-time homicide records back-to-back in 2021 and 2022.

In 2019, the year before Schmidt took office, there were 36 homicides.

Halfway into his term in 2022, homicides jumped to over 100, among the highest percentage increases in the country.

Nonfatal shootings also more than tripled during this time in Portland. 

Businesses have also fled Portland, often citing theft and public safety as the reasons.

Big brands REI, Walmart, Starbucks, Target, Nike and Cracker Barrel are among those who have downsized or closed all of their Portland locations, joining the dozens of local businesses who shut down earlier. 

Schmidt’s scandals may linger beyond his time in office even if he is voted out. 

In 2021, Schmidt received a list of incarcerated felony inmates to vet before they were offered clemency by then-Gov. Kate Brown.

Schmidt’s district attorney’s office did not object or raise concern on any of the 14 ­felony convicts. 

One of the men whose sentence was then commutated by Brown, with the blessing from Schmidt, is the person of interest in the serial killing of at least four Portland women. 

A secret grand jury is expected to hear the serial murder case next week.

Voters in Multnomah County have an opportunity on May 21 to reject Schmidt.

The outcome is significant beyond Portland. 

One person paying attention is George Soros, who has poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into Schmidt’s campaign through nonprofits Working Families Party of Oregon and the Drug Policy ­Alliance. 

Repudiating Schmidt is repudiating the dangerous political agenda he represents that has killed and harmed too many. 

Andy Ngo is a senior editor at The Post Millennial and author of The New York Times bestseller “Unmasked: Inside Antifa’s Radical Plan to Destroy Democracy.”

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