The Green Attorney General

Katy Grimes: As I stood in the cold yesterday watching Kamala Harris as she was sworn in as Attorney General, my eyes roamed the large audience. I found myself scanning the crowd, identifying the the many familiar Democratic faces attending the event. It was like picking out the green jelly beans from the bowl full of Jelly Bellies. I saw Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, former Legislator Art Torres, Sen. Ellen Corbett. Oooh, and standing by the stage was former Legislator Rusty Areias. Newly elected Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, and Assemblyman Steven Bradford were there, and Assemblyman Charles Calderone was incognito, wearing Jack Nicholson-style sunglasses.

Harris gave a mostly tough-on-crime speech – until she got to the part about the environment. Announcing her determined promise to uphold AB 32, California’s global warming legislation, Harris launched into the need for the attention of the state’s top cop on the crimes of “big oil” in the state.

Al Gore could have written the script.

She was doing great until that point in the program. Harris had addressed the need for stepped up attention on violent crimes, gang crimes, fraud against homeowners, and financial crimes. The pander she offered to the AB 32 special interest crowd was really obvious, and out of place in her speech.

But, by the end of the program, Senate Pro Tem President Darrell Steinberg jumped up to join in clapping and singing to a performance of “Oh Happy Day” signifying the happy times for his party.

Harris ended her speech with “Now let’s get to work.” We can hope that she keeps her sites set on actual crime and gang problems in the state, and doesn’t develop a force of green police.

JAN. 3, 2011

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