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Campaign Ad Attacks Rand Paul as Soft on Drugs

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #654)
Drug War Issues
Politics & Advocacy

Kentucky Democratic US Senate hopeful Jack Conway and his allies continue to attack Republican hopeful Rand Paul for his dissent from drug war orthodoxy. The latest salvo came in an attack ad by Common Sense Ten, an independent "super-PAC" that supports Democratic candidates by attacking Republican ones.

While Common Sense Ten is not directly tied to the Conway campaign, its attack on Paul for his perceived "softness" on drugs echoes themes used by Conway and his campaign. (See our recent feature article on drug policy in the Kentucky Senate campaign here.)

"Here's Rand Paul," the narrator of the Common Sense Ten ad intones, then goes to a voiceover of Paul saying, "Things that are nonviolent shouldn't be against the law," while the words "Libertarian Philosophy" appear on the screen.

"Like other libertarians, he says drug laws are too harsh, and Rand Paul says drugs are not a quote pressing issue here in Kentucky," the narrator continues. "Not pressing? Drugs, especially meth are an epidemic in Kentucky. Lives, families, and whole communities are destroyed every day."

The ad then repeats the Paul quote on nonviolent offenses while the words "Ron Paul -- Wrong for Kentucky" appear on the screen.

While the ad waxes hyperbolic ("whole communities are destroyed every day") and metaphoric (meth is "an epidemic in Kentucky"), the numbers don't back up those claims. According to a recent report from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, drug use levels in Kentucky are in line with those in the rest of the country. The "epidemic," in other words, is a politically convenient figment of the collective imagination.

Democrat Jack Conway did not pay for the ad and his name does not appear on it. But it appears Conway and Common Sense Ten are all too happy to engage in regressive drug war politics if it will help them win the election. So far, though, it's not working: According to poll aggregator Real Clear Politics, Paul is leading Conway by an average of 46.0% to 41.7%.

(This article was published by's lobbying arm, the Drug Reform Coordination Network, which also shares the cost of maintaining this web site. DRCNet Foundation takes no positions on candidates for public office, in compliance with section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and does not pay for reporting that could be interpreted or misinterpreted as doing so.)
Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


Barefoot Ben (not verified)

Whatever... Rand Paul has backed off his formerly principled stand against the war on drugs anyways. I don't care who wins this one.

Fri, 10/15/2010 - 3:03pm Permalink
mlang52 (not verified)

In reply to by Barefoot Ben (not verified)

Why would you say that?  It would, in Kentucky anyway, be a bad move to come out against the war on drugs. We all know the "problem" with "Hillbilly heroin", that the kentuckians so love!  If I were campaigning, you can bet your ass, I would not say anything!  I would let that issue slide, or maybe even lie dormant!  I would trust Rand a lot more to do the right thing than I would the jerk-off "progressive" Democrat, who trashes anyone who would support drug law reform, calling them "soft on crime"! (From what I understand, it is a false claim, anyway) We must be wise in our decisions.  Your message does not confer any sign of that, to me!

Imagine that, a Republican who would want to change the war on drugs! 

But, I admit, one would have to be a one issue person, to change their vote to Republican from Democrat.  Then again, I don't like either party, right now!

There are other issues.

Fri, 10/15/2010 - 3:41pm Permalink
Jim Rogers (not verified)

Wheres the honesty anymore,at least Paul is not afraid to speak the truth like his father. I am so tired of these  lying rich boys and girls that we are put in a position to have to make a decision one way or the other, when it comes time to vote. It's no wonder the people of this country are so apathetic when it comes time to vote. The issues that are important to the people, are not the same issues that are important to business, so don't expect to see any change in the status quo no matter what scare tactics the millionaires use in their brainwashing TV ads. Them the Politicians, are not even on the same page as We The People, when it comes to quality of life. How can these rich kids ever be counted on to understand what it is really like to deal with all the issues that real people deal with on a daily basis, if they don't live it. Being soft on drugs, would be a human experiment that a lot of good people would probably get behind, because jailing people and making new criminals to fill our already filled jails, has not.

Sat, 10/16/2010 - 12:14pm Permalink

If the Legalizers keep refusing to take phone calls trying to tell them about the cure for crystal meth addiction, because they're so determined to legalize drugs that they're ideologically committed to the proposition that addiction doesn't exist, then they deserve it. Dr. Rand Paul refused to take my phone calls several times, and that was 3 years ago, when he wasn't running for anything. My friend Gatewood Galbraith couldn't even get his attention. So, no ibogaine for him.

Sun, 10/17/2010 - 12:16pm Permalink

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