NASHVILLE, Tennessee–In an exclusive interview with The Tennessee Star on Saturday, State Senator Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet), one of three announced candidates for the Republican gubernatorial nomination in 2018, said that civil asset forfeiture is a prime example of the doctrine of unintended consequences.
“Civil asset forfeiture is a prime example of how the doctrine of unintended consequences can skew public policy, particularly when bad policy results get locked in place by bureaucrats who become addicted to a funding source that is fundamentally unfair,” Beavers told The Star.
Beavers was at Nashville’s Hermitage Hotel downtown attending an event co-sponsored by the Tennessee Republican Assembly that featured a speech by Bryce W. McKenzie titled “Civil Asset Forfeiture: A Threat to Property Rights.”
“Taking money and property that criminals obtain through illegal activity sounds like a good idea until aggressive policing takes money and property from people who are supposedly innocent until proven guilty under our system of justice. We can’t allow the ‘good’ idea of depriving criminals from their ill gotten gains to pervert our system into policy for profit, where prosecutions that produce profit for law enforcement are given priority over other criminal investigations and prosecutions,” Beavers said.
“There may be times where those engaged in criminal activity don’t show up to claim their drugs, weapons, and cash; but where presumptively innocent citizens demand the return of their property from law enforcement officials, the process of returning that property should be transparent, quick, and relatively simple,” she concluded.
Beavers became the third announced candidate for the Republican nomination for governor a week ago Saturday. She joined the other announced candidates, Knoxville businessman Randy Boyd and Williamson County businessman Bill Lee. Three other potential candidates–Congresswoman Diane Black, State Senator Mark Norris (R-Collierville), and Speaker of the House Beth Harwell (R-Nashville)–are considering getting into the race as well.
The Tennessee Star Poll released last week showed that none of the announced or potential candidates have more than 10 percent of the vote among likely Republican primary voters and the race for the GOP’s gubernatorial nomination in 2018 is wide open. The primary will be held in August 2018, more than a year from now.