Cooley: the law-and-order guy!

Steven Greenhut: The Covina mayor is introducing Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley as a tough drug warrior, pro-law-enforcement guy who will be the rare career prosecutor as attorney general — this is red meat for a law-and-order crowd. Cooley blasts the career politicians who use the office as a stepping stone for something else, which is true, although it’s always a mixed bag to have career prosecutors as the top cop in the state. Career prosecutors see the world only from one place — from the view of the government and they rarely care much about civil liberties. Cooley has made a name for himself clamping down on medical marijuana clinics.

However, Cooley is right in his attacks on AG Jerry Brown, who uses the office to clamp down on private businesses and relies on press conferences to advance his political career. And he is right to depict his opponent at a left-winger who will embrace odd causes and will focus more on attacking business violations than in focusing on criminals. Cooley notes that his opponent Kamala Harris is against the death penalty. He says she is beyond liberal. Cooley brags that Los Angeles County had more death penalties than the state of Texas. He blasts Harris for her view on sanctuary cities. “Last time I looked cities don’t get to engage in foreign policy,” he said.

“She is a tremendous threat to public safety. If that’s not bad enough, watch out business community,” he said. She will go after businesses “because she doesn’t value you.”

This is one of those bad choices: a Democrat who is a big-government leftist who will use the office to persecute businesses for technical violations of regs and a big-government prosecutor who will clamp down on minor violations of law and order and who won’t exactly be a huge advocate for civil liberties.

Such is life in California these days!

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  1. David
    David 21 August, 2010, 16:07

    Could you give an example of Brown, as attorney general, “clamping down on private businesses”? I wonder what you are referring to, and whether I would agree with that characterization of it.

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  2. David
    David 22 August, 2010, 11:53

    I don’t think the issues regarding our choice of CA’s next AG are quite as bad as you say. On the one hand there’s Kamala Harris who has a record of failure that is unimaginable anywhere other than in San Francisco, where her strong Democrat support gets her a pass on anything. San Francisco Weekly recently published figures showing that under Kamala’s leadership, the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office has the lowest conviction rate of any major California city – 53% of criminal trials in San Francisco result in a conviction, compared with 83% statewide. Equally, Harris has mismanaged her response to the scandal in the San Francisco Crime Lab, where a technician had been stealing narcotics. Harris should have immediately notified defendants who had been, or who were facing, convictions based on narcotics analysis performed by the technician. Instead, Harris appears to have tried to cover up the problem.

    Both these issues should be grounds for grave concern to all Californians regardless of political persuasion, because they speak to Kamala’s ability to do the job, not her ideology.

    Cooley, on the other hand, has a proven track record of staying out of politics and being very effective in doing the job. He was the first DA to develop special prosecutors to handle political corruption cases, and corrupt politicians from both parties have been successfully prosecuted. When a scandal involving poor crime lab practices came to his attention, his response wasn’t a cover up, instead he supported and was highly active in founding a state of the art crime lab which currently leads the state, if not the nation, in setting the highest standards in forensic science. Just recently, a serial killer was arrested after a 20 year career claiming the live on 10 women, and that was done using cutting-edge ‘familial DNA’ analysis with protocols developed by Cooley’s Office.

    So when it comes to making a choice, it’s not a left wing liberal versus a right wing law and order guy, it’s about who actually can do the job they’re elected to do. And when the question is framed that way, Cooley is the clear winner.

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  3. John Seiler
    John Seiler 22 August, 2010, 20:18

    Good summary. So, here’s your choice, California voters. Elect the Democrat and go to prison because you run a business. Elect the Republican and go to jail because you have cancer and use medical marijuana to restore your appetite so you can eat.

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  4. David
    David 22 August, 2010, 22:41

    “Go to prison because you run a business”? Example, please? What in the world are you talking about?

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  5. John Seiler
    John Seiler 23 August, 2010, 00:37


    From Jerry Brown’s own Website, click here for a list of his boasting of attacks on businesses as atty. gen., supposedly to fight “global warming” (which is bogus) and other bogus menaces. You’d have to be crazy to start or expand a business in Brownifornia:

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  6. David
    David 23 August, 2010, 05:51

    John, you won’t go to jail if “you have cancer and use medical marijuana to restore your appetite so you can eat.” Cooley has made it clear that he believes people who follow the law of the Compassionate Use Act, have every right to grow their own marijuana and, under the Medical Marijuana Program Act, share it with fellow sufferers.

    He, quite rightly, does not agree that either acts allow for the retail sales of Marijuana and the California Supreme Court supports that view, as does Jerry Brown. What Los Angeles witnessed since 2007 when the City of Los Angeles found itself incapable of regulating the distribution of ‘medical’ marijuana, was an explosive growth in illegal marijuana sales, with none, that’s right, none, of the so-called patients (i.e. customers) being cancer patients – they were almost all exclusively males between the ages of 18 and 35, looking for marijuana for recreational use. That’s not allowed by any California law, and it took a City Attorney with the guts to tackle the problem to restore some order to the situation.

    As for Jerry Brown’s anti-business bias that reflects the Democrat way, look at the way he pounced on Toyota when we were led to believe there was a problem with their cars suddenly accelerating. Turns out it was a driver problem, not a car problem, but that didn’t stop Brown. Perhaps now all Toyotas will have to be fitted with a warning system that tells the driver they are pressing the wrong pedal if they need to stop or slow down. You know, one of those useless labels like the one that tell us not to put pets in microwaves.

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  7. John Seiler
    John Seiler 23 August, 2010, 15:42


    Thank you for the update on Cooley. But I expect all Republicans as AGs would be like Lungren was, or worse. They need to prove me wrong.

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