We learned this year that Orange County state Senator Tom Harman shamelessly used personal connections in the local district attorney's office in a plot to steal the weighty if deceitful ballot designation "prosecutor" in his campaign to win the Republican Party primary for California attorney general.
Under pressure from reporters several months ago, DA Tony Rackauckas admitted that he allowed Harman to sign up for a special program that allows private attorneys to serve as prosecutors, take the title and then prematurely dropout of the legitimate program once his political need was met.
That disgraceful history wasn't mentioned in today's Sacramento Bee editorial because the paper slammed Harman for another move: recently proposing the "Ballot Box Defense Act."
It appears that Harman is, at least in this case, worried about government officials acting with integrity.
The proposal would require the state attorney general to "zealously defend" any voter-approved initiative or constitutional amendment, though the current requirement is different: to defend the California Constitution.
This comes in response to current AG (and incoming governor) Jerry Brown's refusal to use his office to defend Proposition 8, the successful anti-gay marriage initiative.
But the Bee editorial writers say the Huntington Beach Republican's idea is "misguided."
"Californians should expect judgment and courage when they elect an attorney general," wrote the paper which cited an example it says is on par with discrimination against gays, today's "disfavored group."
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Some background: Harman wasn't the only OC Republican to pursue the gay rights issue zealously. Chapman University law professor John Eastman, one of Harman's primary challengers in the AG's race, argued to a conservative Buena Park crowd that if gays are allowed to marry then heterosexual citizens have a right to react to "insufferable" government policies by "rising up and abolishing those governments!" The room erupted in vigorous applause.
(Both Harman and Eastman lost the primary to Los Angeles County DA Steve Cooley, who went on to lose the general election to San Francisco DA Kamala Harris.)
You can read the Bee editorial HERE.
--R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly