08 November 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Will California Get Its First Female and Non-White Top Cop?

It’s now up to vote count observers and monitors to ensure that the right winner emerges in the race for the coveted Attorney General office in California.

With over one million provisional, absentee and ineligible ballots to go, California may not know the winner of the race until early December. Republican Steve Cooley is leading the race by approximately 26,000 votes and declared victory on election night only to have Democrat Kamala Harris take the lead by Wednesday morning. Cooley retained the lead yesterday and people are starting to pay more attention to the nail-biting race. Already, we are getting warnings about Republicans playing dirty tricks and how there needs to be provisions for more vote count monitors to be sent to California.

No one other than a white male has served as the state’s top prosecutor. And the differences between Harris and Cooley are quite stark. Big oil and Karl Rove partnered to spend over a million dollars in TV ads against Harris, who has a better environmental track record than Cooley. The next Attorney General of California may also decide the future of Proposition 8. Cooley supports the ban on same-sex marriage and has promised to fight it while Kamala Harris has staunchly stood up against the ban deemed unconstitutional.

Moreover, Harris believes that capital punishment is unjust and immoral, a fact that Cooley capitalized on to brand Harris as too radical and soft-on-crime during the campaign. But the District Attorney from San Francisco believes that her long decade spent in the courtroom prosecuting rapists and child molesters should be enough to show how tough she is as a prosecutor. But Harris is a different kind of prosecutor, one who knows that California’s punitive law enforcement mentality has created a system that is broken, overcrowded and a revolving-door that does little to make the state safer.

As a child of one of the first black economics professors at Stanford University and an Indian physician at a time when interracial marriage was still illegal in many parts of the United States, Kamala Harris has already made history. As a black-South Asian female candidate for the position, Kamala is on the verge of making history all over again. While history is hanging in the balance, don’t let the big oil and big tobacco allies of Steve Cooley steal an election all over again. California is well worth the fight.

Photo Credit: sfbart

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