Because Kamala Harris and Steve Cooley have each declared victory in the race for Attorney General in California, and just going out on a limb here, one of them is probably wrong. Last night around 11pm, Cooley gave a full-on victory speech at his election night party:
At the time, he had a slight lead over Harris. But by the time he woke up (if he went to bed at all), the precincts were all reporting in and Harris had taken the lead–a relatively slight one, 22,000 votes. Now, with some provisional and absentee ballots still uncounted, Harris has declared victory, saying the outstanding votes are likely to go her way. Harris, perhaps wisely, decided to declare the win in a press release and not on live (and endlessly replay-able) television. Cooley canceled his scheduled press conference this morning and headed to a thank-you event for donors: a $2,500 per person Kings-Lakers game with the either champ or defeated candidate.
UPDATE: Harris campaign says they’re not declaring victory… they’re just saying that Kamala Harris will be the next attorney general. I’ll not speculate as to the difference.
As a recent Sacramento Bee editorial put forth, if you’re looking for a statewide candidate who embraces full-on prison reform in this election, you’re going to be disappointed. The candidates have mostly steered clear of making any promises or plans for changing the state’s overcrowded and heavily scrutinized prison system, or taking on the state’s high recidivism rate. Yet the candidates do display subtle differences.
“Cooley and Harris both know that California cannot possibly empty death row, unless capital punishment is abolished, which is unlikely, or the state were to figure out some way to persuade courts to rubber-stamp death penalty appeals. That’s even less likely, and no one should want that.”
- Dan Morain, opining that a candidate’s stance on the death penalty shouldn’t be a major factor in the race for attorney general. (Sacramento Bee)
So far, we’ve seen a lot from the candidates for governor in the upcoming election. And we’ve seen possibly even more from the two major candidates for US senate. (The phrase “ad nauseam” comes to mind.) The race for attorney general has largely fallen to the back burner. Which made today’s debate at UC-Davis between Republican Steve Cooley and Democrat Kamala Harris, the two major candidates, a good opportunity for some insight into how the candidates see themselves–or at least, want to be seen by voters.
The death penalty is emerging as a major political issue in the upcoming race between Kamala Harris and Steve Cooley for attorney general. But does an attorney general’s stance on capital punishment change anything on the ground? I sat down with Holly Kernan to flush out that question and talk about the political rumors behind why executions are scheduled to restart in California this week.
Kamala Harris (left) and Steve Cooley have radically different approaches to the death penalty. Does it matter?
Much to-do has been made of the fact that Kamala Harris, the Democratic candidate for state attorney general, is against the death penalty. During her time as San Francisco’s district attorney, she has never asked a jury to consider the death penalty as an option. Harris particularly came under fire from law enforcement (like San Francisco’s police officers association) for not seeking capital punishment for the murderer of Officer Isaac Espinoza. By contrast, Republican candidate Steve Cooley is an unambiguous death penalty supporter–while capital punishment has declined nationwide, Los Angeles County, where Cooley is the district attorney, bucked that trend. As district attorneys, Harris and Cooley have both had the opportunity to be very influential when it comes to how many capital cases go through their districts–the 58 district attorneys in California’s 58 counties make decisions when it comes to charges, plea bargaining, and prosecutions. But what would their stances mean on the state level?
The Sac Bee provides a roundup of recent criticism coming from the pro-pot community targeted at Proposition 19, which would legalize recreational marijuana in California. The arguments? Alternatively that the proposition is too restrictive–placing regulations and restrictions where previously there were none–and that it doesn’t go far enough in legalizing the drug. . .
Probably not. But according to a new analysis by the California Chamber of Commerce, if Proposition 19 passes and he shows up for a job interview, has all the right qualifications, and is the best man for the job, you’d have to hire him, regardless of his apparent fondness for marijuana.