The Fog of Political Campaigns

Del. Kim Taylor (R) Photo Credit: Richmond Times-Dispatch

by Dick Hall-Sizemore

During the campaign season, I often get so frustrated with the pronouncements of candidates that I wish I could publicly pose questions that they would have to answer. The most recent example comes from a story in today’s Richmond Times-Dispatch about the highly competitive House race in the Petersburg area.

The incumbent, Del. Kim Taylor (R) says she “wants harsher punishments for opioid dealers.” To be fair to the delegate, that is a common refrain among a lot of politicians. I have two questions:

  1. The type of opioids that are primarily abused are Schedule I or II drugs. The current statutory penalty for the distribution of Schedule I or II drugs is a sentence of five to 40 years. For the second conviction, the sentence range is five years to life, with a three-year mandatory minimum sentence. If the possibility of a 5 to 40-year sentence is not enough of a deterrent, what sentence would you propose?
  2. You have been in the legislature for two years. Why haven’t you introduced a bill to increase the sentence for opioid dealers?

The three top priorities of her Democratic opponent, Kimberly Adams, are

Kimberly Adams (D) Photo credit: Richmond Times-Dispatch

“building affordable housing, keeping the community safe from violence and preserving abortion rights.” Who could argue with building affordable housing and keeping the community safe from violence? The question I would ask is: What specific actions do you propose to accomplish these goals? As for abortion rights, she was specific on that. She supports the current law.