- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 3, 2001

Jerry Kilgore, the Republican nominee for Virginia attorney general, believes parents should have a say in where their children should go to school.
"Parents should not have to worry about the safety their children each time they send them off to school," Mr. Kilgore said yesterday during a meeting with editors and reporters at The Washington Times. "We need to have choice in education."
Mr. Kilgore, a 40-year-old father of two school-age children, said he supports school choice for poor children through tax credits and scholarship programs. He is running against state Delegate A. Donald McEachin, Richmond Democrat.
Mr. Kilgore, who was the state public safety secretary under former Gov. George F. Allen, said, if elected, he would develop policies that would keep all adults and children safe from crime, and politicians under check.
His top priorities include increasing penalties in domestic-violence and drug cases, and strengthening the state's stalking laws.
One of his goals is to create a statewide online service for police officers to locate protective orders, broaden the scope of those orders and require courts to address domestic violence in custody decisions. Mr. Kilgore said he wants to work on opening more shelters or safe houses for victims of abuse and charge suspects with felonies if they had been convicted of an offense once before.
Mr. Kilgore said he also wants to expand the state's DNA databank by including those who have been accused of a violent crime and not yet tried to submit a blood or saliva sample.
"We have to let Virginia to continue to be on the forefront of this issue," he said.
Mr. Kilgore already has laid out a plan to implement higher ethical standards for public officials and reform the judicial system by stripping all circuit court judges of appointment powers.
Once a legal counsel for the state Republican Party, Mr. Kilgore said as attorney general he would set up policies requiring public officials to disclose legislative office allowances on a monthly basis.
He also wants to require electronic filing of lobbyist-disclosure forms and bar legislators from representing clients before state agencies and commissions.
"Having sat on several boards, it puts everyone in an awkward situation," Mr. Kilgore said.
Mr. Kilgore also said he wants to bar a state legislator from acting as commissioner of accounts, which oversees, among other things, estates in Virginia. "It looks bad," he said. "That can be a very lucrative position, and it can really make a great practice for someone."
To curb the illegal use of the painkiller OxyContin in Southwest Virginia, Mr. Kilgore said he wants to create a statewide pharmacy registry that would require each pharmacy to log every purchase of the drug. Since 1997, illegal use of the drug meant for severe and chronic pain has led to 64 deaths in the state and more than 100 nationwide. But he said he is against suing any company or manufacturer.
"An attorney general needs to have the guts to say litigation is the last resort than the first resort," Mr. Kilgore said.

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