Diary of a Mad County

In other attack anniversary news, people at Orange Coast College hold hands.

THURSDAY, Sept. 12 State Senator Dick Ackerman (R-Fullerton), the Republican nominee for state attorney general, calls on current Attorney General Bill Lockyer to investigate Governor Gray Davis' "borderline extortion" brand of campaign fundraising. To press his case, Ackerman cites a recent San Jose Mercury News story about a high-tech executive who called Davis to express support for a bill to fight global warming. The governor's first question to the executive was allegedly, "How come you weren't at my last fund-raiser?" The Davis campaign dismisses Ackerman's call for a probe, while the attorney general's office says it needs evidence—not a newspaper story—to conduct an investigation.

FRIDAY, Sept. 13 Fullerton Police Chief Pat McKinleyidentifies a scapegoat for his city's overall crime rate jumping 11.6 percent from 2000 to 2001: activists who call for reform of the state's three-strikes law. He also blames California voters who, in 2000, overwhelmingly supported Proposition 36, which lets petty drug offenders get substance-abuse treatment instead of prison time. "This is not rocket science," McKinley tells the Fullerton News Tribune. "If you put people who commit crime in jail, crime goes down. If you let them out, it goes up." Logic would dictate that Fullerton could not experience substantial statistical ramifications from the extremely rare sentences that go against the three-strikes law nor a drug-treatment initiative that kicked in the same year crime jumped. But why bring logic into the debate. Confronted with experts' opinions that a poor economy creates more criminals, McKinley only accepts half that argument, saying an economic downturn means he can't afford more cops on the street.

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