David Perdue’s run for the Senate as a political outsider catapulted him into the spotlight in 2014. The rookie lawmaker is now receiving national attention for a different reason: his opposition to a major bipartisan effort to overhaul federal criminal justice laws.
His position puts him against a powerful coalition that includes the ACLU, Koch brothers and several senior Republicans with “tough on crime” reputations. But Perdue, who said he was inspired by Gov. Nathan Deal’s reform efforts on the state level, said he’s concerned the federal bill as written is too broad and would lead to the early release of violent criminals, not low-level drug offenders.
Now he’s the target of national and state criminal justice advocates, who worry the opposition voiced by Perdue and a group of conservatives intent on killing the measure in its current form will take the wind out of the sails of what’s been considered the best chance for a major overhaul in a generation.