Republican Lawmaker Who Got Caught Driving Wasted Loves Drug-Testing Poor People

This article was originally published by The Influence, a news site that covers the full spectrum of human relationships with drugs. Follow The Influence on Facebook or Twitter.

On April 7, Georgia Rep. Tom Taylor was caught careening through a 45-mile-an-hour zone at 72 mph. In the car were four underaged exchange students, a water bottle that smelled like booze, and a gun: quite the party for 2:46 in the afternoon.

Taylor told the officer he’d had a glass of wine the night before and nothing to drink that day, but blew a .225 on a breathalyzer test—close to three times the legal limit, according to the police report.

This week, the Atlanta-Journal Constitution reported that following his arrest, Taylor received at total of $20,000 from groups associated with the liquor industry, as well as from a handful of lawmakers. It’s not hard to see why. Taylor is a member of the House Regulated Industries Committee, which oversees liquor laws. In 2015, he voted to expand Sunday sale times for alcohol. 

But Taylor’s liberal attitude towards mind-altering substances does not stretch to the poorer people living in his state. In 2012 and 2014 Taylor voted for measures that would have forced welfare applicants to take a drug test before receiving government aid. The 2012 measure applied to people requesting TANF, or welfare benefits. The 2014 one would have forced people applying for food stamps to take a drug test if they raised “reasonable” suspicion of using drugs.

As the Influence has noted, drug-testing welfare and food stamp recipients is ludicrously ineffective: It basically blows a ton of state money on not catching large numbers of drug users. It’s seen as a) good political theater for Republicans who get to vilify the poor by implying they’re getting wasted on the taxpayers’ dime, and b) a way to discourage people from applying for aid.

Lawmakers who’ve opposed the legislation make the obvious point that recipients of far larger amounts of government money—like, say, politicians—do not have to undergo testing for irresponsible or problematic substance use.

h/t Raw Story


Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ }}

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.