Thug Beats Thug In AG Race

Steven Greenhut: It’s too bad it wasn’t possible for both Kamala Harris and Steve Cooley to lose, but that’s not the way elections are set up. These two AG candidates were remarkably bad, a sign that Californians no longer have even the slightest respect for freedom and limited government. Unfortunately, the horrifically bad candidate beat the really bad candidate in this race. Read SF Weekly’s account of how Harris covered up the criminal backgrounds of police employees in the city’s crime-lab scandal. Harris opposes the death penalty, even for the most atrocious killers, yet wants to use the full power of the government to crack down on truants. Her approach is totalitarian — going easy on corrupt government employees and denying due-process to criminal defendants while focusing her attention on social engineering.

Unlike the attractive and articulate Harris, Cooley has the problem of looking like a mob enforcer, which couldn’t have helped in the election. I recall people laughing at GOP events as the rather slovenly looking Cooley strutted around with his official sycophants in tow. And his response to a reporter’s question about double-dipping was the perfect fodder for Democratic commercials. Will he take the $150K salary in addition to his huge pension, the LA Times asked him. “Yes, I do. I earned it. I definitely earned whatever pension rights I have and I will certainly rely upon that to supplement the very low, incredibly low, salary that’s paid to the state attorney general.”

According to analyst Tony Quinn, those remarks set his approval numbers southward, given that most Californians don’t think that 150K is incredibly low. This was an arrogant answer. Cooley’s staff wouldn’t even return our calls seeking comments about the size of his pension. It was none of our business. Furthermore, Cooley focused his attention in Los Angeles County on cracking down on medical marijuana clinics, which shows that his sense of justice isn’t that much different from Harris’ big-government view of such things. Cooley said he would prosecute dispensaries even if the LA City Council passed a law that does not ban pot sales. Just like Harris — he used his powers to wage a social engineering crusade rather than to protect individual rights and uphold the law. These type of candidates are about power, nothing more.

Granted, California has suffered under insufferable AG brutes before (Dan Lungren and his civil forfeiture mania, Jerry Brown, who has cracked down on property rights to save the world from global warming) and will somehow survive again. Granted, it’s really tough to find anyone in law enforcement who values civil liberties rather than the raw exercise of government power. But it’s bad that Harris won even though it’s good that Cooley lost.

NOV. 30

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  1. John Seiler
    John Seiler 30 November, 2010, 19:13

    Contrast Cooley’s arrogance and secretiveness about his pension with Jerry Brown’s openness about his, even joking about how electing him would postpone the day he gets his pension.

    Cooley, Whitman, Villines, Maldonado — what a group of losers Republicans nominated.

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