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Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press
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A well-known progressive activist made an appearance at the recent CPAC conservative gathering outside Washington DC to heap actual praise on conservatives for their successful work in the area of criminal justice reform.
Donald Trump raised the profile of criminal justice reform with his surprise commutation of the life sentence of convicted Memphis, Tenn., drug trafficker Alice Johnson. Johnson had for some time been seeking leniency when her case was brought to Trump’s attention by celebrity Kim Kardashian and Trump son-in-law and White House adviser Jared Kushner.
Trump and congressional Republicans followed that up with the passage of a prison reform law known as the FIRST STEP Act, aimed at reducing recidivism among other objectives.
“My problem is I now have a conservative movement that–for libertarian reasons, for Christian conservative reasons, and for fiscally conservative reasons–is actually doing a great job on what should be my issue,” said activist and CNN host Van Jones. “This is supposed to be my issue. You are stealing my issue. Take some dadgum credit for being smart. Take some dadgum credit for getting it right.”