Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Harman Unleashes Web Ad Assailing Cooley as ‘Loser’
Opponent in Attorney General Race Says District Attorney Backs ‘Liberal Judges’
By KENNETH OFGANG, Staff Writer
Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley is unfit to be the Republican nominee for attorney general because he is a soft-on-crime liberal who opposed the Three Strikes Law and “supports liberal judges,” state Sen. Tom Harman’s campaign said in a newly released Web ad.
The ad, which debuted on YouTube Sunday, is titled “Steve Cooley Is a Loser” and uses a whimsical and, at times, sarcastic tone to present what has become Harman’s primary campaign theme since Cooley’s recent entry into the race.
Harman has trumpeted his longtime support for the Three Strikes Law, contrasting it with Cooley’s policy of not seeking the maximum term authorized by the law in the cases of certain nonviolent offenders and his support for an initiative that would make a similar change in the law itself.
The ad puts a new spin on that theme, saying Cooley not only wants to change the law, but is a “different kind of Republican...who not only wants to turn criminals loose....he routinely endorses liberal Democrats to serve as judges so that they can turn criminals free, too.”
At that point, a black-robed character labeled “Judge Gofree” pops up on the screen, as the narrator proceeds to trumpet polling purporting to show Harman leading in the GOP race, in which law professor John Eastman is the third candidate.
Harman campaign spokesman Tim Rosales declined to identify which judicial candidates he was referring to, saying the ad was a “first salvo” and that naming names would come later. Cooley has endorsed a number of Los Angeles Superior Court candidates over the years, mostly, but not exclusively, prosecutors in his office.
Cooley campaign consultant Kevin Spillane sounded unamused in discussing the ad with the MetNews yesterday.
“Republican leaders....urged Steve Cooley to run because they didn’t believe Tom Harman has a snowball’s chance in hell of being elected attorney general of California,” Spillane said, describing the ad as “juvenile” and “amateurish” and said it deserved an “F in creativity and an F when it comes to the truth” and that “it’s time to send Harman’s campaign team back to art school.”
The notion that Cooley is “soft on crime” is “ridiculous,” the consultant said, given his 36 years as a prosecutor and his record on issues like extradition and the death penalty, the fact that his office has won prosecuted more than 1,000 Three Strikes cases, and his endorsements by district attorneys and law enforcement groups across the state.
In contrast, Spillane said, Harman is “a Sacramento politician who’s never prosecuted a case in his life” and finds it necessary to run a “cynical...and desperate” campaign because he “has been running for over a year and has failed to gain any traction.”
Democrats seeking the attorney general’s post, which Jerry Brown is vacating to run for governor, include former Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo, San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris, former Facebook executive Chris Kelly, and Assembly members Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, Albert Torrico, D-Newark, and Pedro Nava, D-Santa Barbara.
Copyright 2010, Metropolitan News Company