Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Democratic Nomination, California Attorney General
KAMALA D. HARRIS is the only one of the seven Democratic aspirants for their party’s nomination for attorney general who has the credentials for the job.
She’s currently San Francisco’s district attorney, a post to which she was elected in 2003 and 2007. Harris was a deputy district attorney in Alameda County from 1990-98, then becoming a deputy DA in San Francisco.
Under her leadership, her office’s conviction rate has risen, as has the percentage of felons going to prison. She’s been innovative and effective.
ROCKY DELGADILLO was Los Angeles city attorney for two terms. He has much ambition and little talent.
This is his second try for the Democratic nomination for attorney general.
When Delgadillo departed as city attorney last year, the office was one with low morale. Indeed, for eight years it had lacked competent leadership. Delgadillo now wants to bring to the Office of Attorney General what he fostered at the Office of City Attorney: lethargy and dysfunctionality.
Delgadillo had no better sense than to allow his wife, while he was city attorney, to use a city car as if it were a personal vehicle and then, when she smashed it up, put the city to the expense of repairing it. He proffered a check to the city for $1,222 only after the Los Angeles Times uncovered the matter. The then-city attorney also used city personnel to baby-sit his children and perform other personal chores for him.
The Los Angeles Daily News predicted in a June 20, 2007, editorial: “The ultimate punishment that Rocky Delgadillo will receive for misusing his city SUV, lying about it and stealing from the public will likely be doled out on a future election.”
This might well prove to be that future election.
CHRIS KELLY, a former Facebook executive, says he will plunk into his campaign somewhere between $5 million to $10 million. It is to be hoped that nominations of either major party for state constitutional offices will not prove to be purchasable. If the Los Angeles County Bar Assn. rated attorney general candidates, as it rates judicial aspirants, it would doubtlessly find Kelly “not qualified.”
ALBERT TORRICO, from Alameda County, is Assembly majority leader. Yet, apparently sensing that politicians are in disfavor with voters these days, he’s listed on the ballot as “Workers’ Rights Attorney.” Torrico, who has endorsements of various law enforcement groups, maintains a law practice in Fremont. Admitted to the bar in 1996, and elected to the Legislature in 2004, there is nothing in his background indicating a particular fitness for the office of attorney general.
TED W. LIEU, of Torrance, gained his Assembly seat in a 2005 special election. He’s identified on the ballot as “Military Prosecutor/Lawmaker.” It’s a phony designation. He’s a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserves, and when he serves for a month each year, it’s in the Judge Advocate General Corps. But service as a “prosecutor” is not one of his “principle...occupations,” as statutorily required for a ballot designation. Over the past year, he merely did some preliminary work on one court-martial.
PEDRO NAVA has been in the Assembly since December 2004. Presently a member of a Santa Barbara law firm, he went to work as a Fresno deputy district attorney in the early 1980s, assumed that same role in Santa Barbara in 1985, and became a civil litigator in 1987. He describes himself as a “dark horse.”
MIKE SCHMIER, of Emeryville, is running as an “Employee Rights Attorney.” On his website, he claims to have served in that capacity “[f]or over 40 years.” If he’s been practicing law for more than 40 years, he was doing so unlawfully during part of that time; taking into account periods of inactive status, he’s been eligible to practice law for about 36½ years. For the third time, he’s running for this post, apparently as a lark.
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