Pat Miles gave a recent interview to Michigan Radio on the subject of civil asset forfeiture. It’s troubling to listen to.
Here’s a link. Civil asset forfeiture is the procedure police can use to seize a person’s assets before they are charged with a crime. There’s currently a bill being considered in the Michigan Legislature to change that. The bill has bipartisan support because many view asset forfeiture as a violation of due process. Just in 2016, over 500 people in Michigan had assets seized by police without ever being charged with a crime.
At the beginning of the interview with Lester Graham, Miles stated he supports the use of civil asset forfeiture before charges are brought. Later in the interview, he asked for an opportunity to “give a better sound-bite” and reversed his position. The Michigan Radio interview has a link to the audio.
Many candidates claim to “evolve” on issues, and that’s usually a good thing. People learn and get new information, and we should credit candidates when they move towards more progressive positions. But there’s a difference between “evolving” and “pandering” or “flip-flopping.” One is (purportedly) a sincere change. The other is just political expediency.
Here’s a list of the issues that Miles has flip-flopped on. It gets longer by the day:
- Medical Marijuana: In an interview on “Off the Record with Tim Skubick,” Miles refused to say how he voted on the Medical Marijuana Act, which Michigan voters approved in 2008. He also questioned the efficacy and value of medical marijuana, and suggested people could overdose on THC. Now he claims to have voted for medical marijuana in 2008.
- Marijuana Legalization: Miles had stated for months that he would not take a position on legalization, but follow “the will of the voters” at the ballot box. Two days after a poll was released showing legalization at 61 percent support, Miles reversed his position to be in support of legalization.
- LGBTQ Rights: When Miles ran for Congress against Justin Amash in 2010, he opposed same sex-marriage. He also denied a speaking opportunity to an LGBTQ activist as Chairman of the Aquinas College Board, and has troubling anti-LGBTQ ties. Now, he calls himself an “ally” of the LGBTQ community. The first time we can find him on record ever referring to himself as an “ally” was several months ago.
- Capital Punishment: Miles said he supported the death penalty in his 2010 congressional run. Now he says he is opposed to it.
- Civil Asset Forfeiture: Flip-flopped in the same interview! That’s got to be a record.
Being “progressive” means leading on issues, not following. It’s about doing the right thing, even when it’s not popular. But Miles’ pandering is an issue itself. Will Patrick Miles say anything to get elected?