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A wrist-slap for Kamala Harris and Steve Cooley

October 20, 2010 |  2:24 pm

We in California have grown accustomed to our gubernatorial races veering into the gutter of endless umbrage-taking and pointless sideshows. So while it's perfectly understandable for voters to be disappointed that the Meg Whitman-Jerry Brown contest became overshadowed by meaningless late-campaign "scandals," we can't truly say we're surprised.

Not so with the attorney general's race. For two candidates -- San Francisco Dist. Atty. Kamala Harris and L.A. County D.A. Steve Cooley -- boasting impressive records and independent streaks, you'd expect that the campaign would center on the meaningful discussion of law enforcement that California desperately needs. Both have instead provided a fine imitation of the glib races for governor and U.S. Senate, with Harris having insinuated in one ad that Cooley is sexist (he said a way to guarantee a law's passage is to "name it after a female," an astute observation of California lawmaking, if you ask me), and Cooley getting too much mileage out Harris' refusal to send a San Francisco cop killer to the lethal injection gurney. Harris' most recent cheap shot shows Cooley in a debate vowing to "double dip," or collect his L.A. County pension while earning about $150,000 a year as attorney general.

 Endorsing Cooley over Harris was one of the more difficult choices for the editorial board to make this election cycle -- and not because The Times had its pick of one of two evils. Both would do a fine job as California's top law enforcement official, but they're running their campaigns as if the winner will be determined by which candidate gets in the final dig.
-- Paul Thornton
"Go for it, Steve. You've earned it, there's no question."

Read more: http://www.sacbee.com/2010/10/17/3109880/harris-ad-hits-the-mark-on-cooleys.html#ixzz12vzNTzj5
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