Brenda Tillett, founder and president of Stand Up Virginia, joins “The Daily Signal Podcast” to talk about the new organization and how it intends to hold rogue prosecutors accountable.

“In Fairfax County, Steve Descano was funded by George Soros,” Tillett says, referring to the elected commonwealth’s attorney in Fairfax County, Virginia, and the billionaire financier who funds a wide variety of left-wing candidates and causes, respectively.

Tillett adds:

And there are four other rogue commonwealth’s attorneys in Virginia who were also funded by George Soros. What they do is, they go in, and they completely dismantle law enforcement.

And what do I mean by that? Well, for instance, Steve Descano has a policy that if you’re a juvenile, meaning 17 years old, you will not have a public record. You won’t have a criminal record.

So if you want to get together with your friends who are gang members and beat up a 30-year-old man who’s leaving a convenience store, bash his teeth in, leave him bleeding to die, Steve Descano will either bring that down to a misdemeanor or not prosecute you.

Jeff Hunt, director of the Lakewood, Colorado-based Centennial Institute, also joins “The Daily Signal Podcast.”

Hunt’s organization this week is hosting the Western Conservative Summit, which includes live speakers and “mini-documentaries showcasing Western leaders, Western issues, and the beauty and majesty of the Western United States.”

We also cover these stories:

  • President Joe Biden arrives at NATO headquarters in Brussels and reaffirms America’s commitment to the North Atlantic alliance. 
  • Before meeting with Biden, Russian President Vladimir Putin tells NBC News that he isn’t able to give his word that Alexei Navalny, an opposition leader and Putin critic, will leave prison alive.
  • Republicans introduce a resolution to censure Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and the other three members of “the squad” for comments likening the U.S. and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban. 

“The Daily Signal Podcast” is available on Ricochet, Apple PodcastsPippaGoogle Play, and Stitcher. All of our podcasts can be found at If you like what you hear, please leave a review. You also can write to us at

Rachel del Guidice: I’m joined today on The Daily Signal by Brenda Tillett. She’s the president and founder of Stand Up Virginia. Brenda, it’s great to have you back on The Daily Signal.

Brenda Tillett: Thank you so much, Rachel. Thank you for having me today.

Del Guidice: It’s great to have you with us. So, you started an organization—it’s a 501(c)(4) organization called Stand Up Virginia. Can you tell us about it?

Tillett: Yes. Stand Up Virginia actually started originally last summer as Bolster the Blue. My son and I wanted to find a way to show our appreciation to law enforcement officers and from one kind gesture with a law enforcement officer, taking lunch to our local precinct and being asked to speak at a board meeting, I then overnight became an activist fighting for keeping our police stations funded, trying to protect qualified immunity, and just making sure our communities are safe.

And we had so much success with that organization that we were approached by individuals who said, “Why don’t you stretch out across Virginia and let’s add some other pillars. Let’s find some common values that people who want safe communities and who want to protect law enforcement would also share.”

So we also focus on teaching our children, making sure they’re in schools, that they have an apolitical education. And also election integrity, making sure that only those individuals who should vote are voting in jurisdictions.

Del Guidice: You mentioned Bolster the Blue and actually, the last time we had you on the podcast was to talk about that. That’s one of the projects, Bolster the Blue, of your organization, now Stand Up Virginia. Can you tell us about Bolster the Blue and then those other pillars that are under Stand Up Virginia?

Tillett: Yeah. We’ve had tremendous success with Bolster the Blue, just starting as individuals like me, who … I’m a mom. I have an almost 10-year-old son and I was concerned about public safety. And I decided that the time for sitting back and letting other people fight for me could not continue, that I had to stand up and fight for my son’s future. And I had to be the one to speak out.

I think what’s so unique about that, Rachel, is a lot of people are … afraid. They don’t have the courage or the boldness to be the one to speak out. And so they want to be involved, but they don’t know how to be involved.

So what we do at Stand Up Virginia is we help individuals follow. So you don’t have to be the first person to speak out or even the second, be the third, be the fourth, be the fifth, and then your neighbors will come and they will see you and they will support you. Other mothers, other dads will see what you’re doing and they’ll fight for their children as well and for their communities.

So we speak at board meetings, we send emails, we hold community events to increase awareness. We do digital ads. And our whole focus is about increasing awareness and giving people opportunities where they’re comfortable to be able to push back and fight back for our values.

Del Guidice: You’re holding an event soon called Virginia’s Freedom Fest. Can you tell us about that and how people, if they’re interested, can be involved and can come?

Tillett: Yeah. Freedom Fest is going to be on June 19 at Bull Run Special Events Center in Centerville. We have an amazing lineup of speakers. Sheriff David Clarke will be coming in from Wisconsin. We have Chris Plante from “The Chris Plante Show.” Also, C.L. Bryant will be there and Pierre Wilson. So we’re extremely excited about our lineup of speakers.

We’re also going to have a DJ and music and food, and you’re going to be able to be with families and other like-minded individuals. Just having a nice afternoon from 2 until 5. It’s a Saturday afternoon in Centerville.

Del Guidice: Another project that Stand Up Virginia has launched is a recall of the Soros-backed attorney. Can you tell us about this recall? What went into it, what’s happening?

Tillett: That’s a great question, Rachel. We did not set out with Stand Up Virginia with an idea to start recalling public officials. Our idea was to increase public awareness and get people to speak out for what they believe. And we were approached by many individuals on both sides of the aisle, Democrats and Republicans, who touch victims’ lives in Fairfax County—people within the government, law enforcement. And they shared stories with us that were so egregious that we could not sit back any longer and let these policies continue.

So, in Fairfax County, Steve Descano was funded by George Soros. And there are four other rogue commonwealth’s attorneys in Virginia who were also funded by George Soros. What they do is they go in and they completely dismantle law enforcement.

And what do I mean by that? Well, for instance, Steve Descano has a policy that if you’re a juvenile, meaning 17 years old, you will not have a public record. You won’t have a criminal record.

So if you want to get together with your friends who are gang members and beat up a 30-year-old man who’s leaving a convenience store, bash his teeth in, leave him bleeding to die, Steve Descano will either bring that down to a misdemeanor or not prosecute you.

Those individuals are released right back on the streets. They are criminals. They are felons. And law enforcement officers have told us, and we have recorded audio on our Facebook page, Stand Up Virginia, where they tell Steve Descano, “These criminals are laughing at us. They’re walking right back out onto the streets a week later. We’re demoralized. We can’t do our jobs with your policies.”

Steve Descano said, “Criminals are voters.” Every policy he has protects those individuals who are criminals.

The case I just told you, or shared with you, Rachel, is an actual case of a 30-year-old man who was beat up in Fairfax County.

That’s just one policy. Every policy that Steve Descano puts forward is about protecting criminals, making felonies misdemeanors, releasing people without talking to their parents.

We have child sex abuse victims in Fairfax County, the predators have been released back into the community or given a plea deal that is so egregious and so beneath for Virginia state law that it would make your jaw drop. And Steve Descano will not even return the calls to the parents. Numerous cases of that.

So Steve Descano is just quite simply not doing his job. And there are many others like him in Virginia.

Del Guidice: How would you encourage people in other states? Maybe they’re not in Virginia, they want to hold these people accountable, they see your organization and they’re like, “Hey, we have a need for this.” How would you encourage them to go about that? To hold that accountability?

Tillett: Rachel, that is the best question I have been asked in any interview. And I’ve never been asked that. The secret to our success has been inside information.

So if you want to get started, go to a police department, call some of the police associations, show up in court, and actually watch some court cases. They’re open to the public. Go in and see what type of plea deals are offered to these criminals.

And once you start showing up, building that rapport, and say, “I’m willing to speak out. I know you can’t because you work within the government. You touch victims’ lives. You’re a law enforcement officer or whomever you may be. I’m willing to speak out and share that story. We will protest. We will go to board meetings.”

They want their story told. All they want is someone who’s going to uphold the law, whether it’s a Democrat or Republican, and they can’t fight publicly for that, but we can. So give them a voice and be that person who’s going to stand in the gap for victims, for law enforcement officers, and for law-abiding residents. And they will welcome you with open arms.

Del Guidice: What I want to go back to just for a minute, the whole “defund the police” movement. We were talking before we sat down right here about how it’s been a year since the defund the police movement started and exploded. What do you think of what has happened in the past year? Has the movement gained or lost strength? … If you put your finger on the pulse of what’s happening in that area of support for police, what are you seeing?

Tillett: We see across the country now that “defund the police” has actually become “refund the police” because amazingly, when you have policies that are pro-criminal and anti-victim, and you start stripping our law enforcement agencies of money, officers don’t want to do their jobs anymore. They want to find another profession. They leave. So in Fairfax County, 188 officers have already left this last year. And that’s a recipe for disaster. We see it happening with crime spiking. And I referenced Fairfax County because that’s what I’m so familiar with, but this is happening all across the country.

So we know that the second stage of this—the first stage was the protesting, the burning of cities, small businesses, many of which were owned by minorities, and really standing up, speaking out, twisting the arms of board of supervisors members and state legislators to have ordinances and laws passed that are not good for law enforcement, to defund them.

The second stage of this is now commonwealth’s attorneys or county attorneys, depending where you live, who are just going to brazenly ignore law, release criminals back into the streets, demoralize law enforcement officers to the point where they leave on their own accord, inciting a mass exodus. And from that, they can completely just reform and restructure what law enforcement looks like in the United States.

The endgame is a national law enforcement controlled by the federal government. And we’ve already seen what the federal government has done in schools. So I don’t think there’s any fault whatsoever anyone should believe that if the government takes over law enforcement, that that’s going to look any better than our schools do right now. And we know our schools are a disaster.

Del Guidice: What are you hearing in terms of what you’re doing with … Stand Up Virginia and even Bolster the Blue from residents in Virginia about the work you’re doing? Are they really receptive? Are people wanting to get involved? What are you hearing from the people that you live with and work with?

Tillett: People are excited, specifically in Virginia, that’s where I have my relationships. Stand Up Virginia has given people an option. It’s given people a platform and a structure, people to follow.

Again, we talked about that earlier to be able to feel that you’re around other people who feel the same way you do. You’re not isolated. You’re not alone. You’re not the minority. People who want safe streets and safe communities for their children are the majority. Everyone does, right?

People who want public schools that are free from political agendas, who teach history as it was written, who celebrate the self-worth of children and don’t teach them to self-deprecate. That’s what we all want for our children. So that crosses party lines.

We’re finding at Stand Up Virginia that everyone is reaching out to us. Minorities are reaching out to us. Democrats and Republicans are reaching out to us and they’re asking, “How can I get involved? I may not be able to show up at a rally publicly, but can I be on your email list? Can I share emails? Can I come to Freedom Fest on June 19? Can I donate to you? Can I help support your efforts?”

No one at Stand Up Virginia is paid. We are all volunteers. So when we create signs to go and protest, or when we do a digital ad online, or when we go out and try to get these signatures to recall Steve Descano—and we’re launching another recall very soon—all of that is funded by people who say, “I’ll stand in the gap. I’ll stand in the gap for a victim. I’ll stand in the gap for a law enforcement officer. I can’t come out publicly, but I’m going to support you with $20 a month,” as an example.

So everybody pulling together is where we’re seeing that huge success and momentum.

Del Guidice: That’s really inspiring. And I feel like when we see news stories today about all the bad things that are happening—stuff that’s going on in Portland with Antifa and just around the country and even the world—it is really inspiring to hear that there are people who are engaged, who are civically minded, and who care about their communities and want to see them flourish rather than deteriorate. That’s awesome.

Before we close, I wanted to ask you: Brenda, you mentioned being a mom, how do you balance everything, your activism being a mom? What kind of encouraging words would you give to moms out there who maybe want to get involved but feel like they can’t, or are looking for something to put their efforts toward with something they really believe in? What would you say to them?

Tillett: So, Rachel, my son just wrote a card for me recently this last week. And it said, “I love my mom.” And it listed a few reasons why. And he said one was, “Because my mom fights for Virginia, for my future.” And he’s 10, so he knows about Stand Up Virginia and he knows why mom is doing what she’s doing and why all of us are joining together. The greatest gift we have in life is what we leave to those in the future who come behind us.

For some of us that will be our children, for some of us that will be people we mentor, but it’s not the here and now, it’s what happens after we’re gone. And I always think about that. And I think, “What do I want my legacy to be?”

Do I want to be the person who sat in the background who was too afraid and too scared and thought someone else would do my job or am I going to take ownership for my son’s future? Am I going to take ownership for the victim who can’t speak English well, who’s left in court to defend herself against a criminal defense attorney after she was battered for years by her boyfriend and Steve Descano sent no one to represent her or prosecute that case—which happens all the time. Am I going to be that person or am I going to be the person who bends, who folds, and fails?

I’m choosing to be the strong person, the strong leader. So for any woman who’s listening, any father, any mother, anyone who wants to get involved, just take that first step. Find someone else who’s already stepping forward and follow them.

You don’t have to be the leader because being a leader can be scary. It can be scary to have the strategy or to have the messaging. Connect with people who are already like-minded on Facebook or within your community and follow them and just show up and stand and listen and learn. And then you’ll see what others are doing. And you can take steps to encourage others in your community.

Del Guidice: Brenda, thank you so much for joining us on The Daily Signal. It’s great having you with us.

Tillett: Thank you. And I just want to remind people, go to our website——please, and become a member. Get on our email list and join us at Freedom Fest.

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