Wednesday, June 7, 2006

California primaries

State Treasurer Phil Angelides won the Democratic nomination to unseat Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in yesterday's vote.

The California race I'm most interested in is Jerry Brown's run for state attorney general.  Brown handily won the Democratic nomination on Tuesday.  Brown captures AG nomination by Josh Richman Oakland Tribune 06/07/06 reports:

Brown, 68, a two-term former governor who three times has sought the Democratic presidential nomination, was catapulted back into the national spotlight by his campaign for attorney general, garnering stories in Time magazine and on the New York Times' front page. He held a wide lead over Delgadillo, 45, in polls throughout the race despite intense attacks criticizing his mayoral record on crime.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Brown earned 63 percent of the vote versus Delgadillo's 37 percent.

"I think we did everything pretty right. ... You have to raise the money and you have to build the alliances," Brown said soon after accepting Delgadillo's concession Tuesday, adding that he believes his primary rival "certainly has a future" in California politics.

Delgadillo said he was proud of having "put on a great fight and demonstrating to people it's worth taking on the Goliath," but he had told Brown late Tuesday he will "give him all the staying power I have, and I have a lot of it, to make sure he's the next attorney general."

Brown in November will face state Sen. Charles Poochigian, R-Fresno, 57, who was unopposed in Tuesday's GOP primary ...

Said Brown: "It's going to be challenging. ... There are a lot of very clever smear-meisters waiting to raise their dark arts, but we'll be ready for them, we'll have our truth squad ready." (my emphasis)

In it's earlier endorsement of Brown (Brown right for attorney general 05/31/06), the Oakland Tribune summarized Brown's eperience dealing with both the high crime rate.  Brown also had to contend with some serious police misconduct problems during his eight years as mayor of Oakland:

If [Brown's primary opponent Rocky] Delgadillo had his way and Oakland's current homicide rate were the only measure in this race, Brown could find himself on the defensive. But as he points out, even with the recent spike, serious crimes have actually decreased 33 percent during his seven-year tenure from the previous seven years, while homicides are down 34 percent over the same period.

Although he has made some mistakes,  such as proposing cuts in the police budget three years ago when the city was financially ailing, Brown has demonstrated he is far from soft on crime.

Though controversial because of its civil liberties implications, a curfew Brown imposed on parolees and people on probation under certain circumstances was embraced by police and prosecutors as a valuable tool against repeat offenders.

And in the past few years Brown has taken a more proactive role in overseeing a police department that was reeling from the "Riders"misconduct scandal. He has navigated it through a court-monitoring consent decree while fostering its aggressive posture against crime.

The issue of re-integrating parollees successfully into regular life after release is one on which Brown has focused in his attorney general campaign.

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