Here’s a nice little turn. A primary race for Attorney General where it becomes important to show your drug policy reform bona fides.
The presumed Democratic frontrunner for attorney general is facing questions from critics who accuse her of flip-flopping on a progressive touchstone: Rockefeller-era drug law reform. […]
[Kathleen] Rice, Nassau County’s district attorney, insisted at a recent candidates forum in Brooklyn she has always supported efforts to roll back parts of the ultraharsh 1973-era laws.
That claim startled reform advocates, who quickly noted she was a board member of the state District Attorneys Association when it lobbied against the most recent reforms enacted last year. […]
Rice spokesman Eric Phillips insisted Rice “disagreed with the [DA] association’s overall opposition to the reforms” – but he admitted she didn’t “publicly rebuke” its anti-reform efforts.
Phillips said Rice would have voted “yes” to the 2009 reforms if she had been in the Legislature. He said she has “always” supported alternatives to incarceration for nonviolent drug offenders and started a successful community-based diversion program in 2008.
“We look forward to working with the [Drug Policy] Alliance on these issues in the future,” Phillips said. “It is my hope that they will take a moment to look at her record, which I believe they will find incredibly innovative and progressive on the issues they care most about.”
I like this. I have no opinion of Rice, but I love the idea of politicians feeling the political heat to be known as drug policy reformers and to want to please drug policy reform organizations.