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L.A. Still Has Cooley to Kick Around

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While votes remain to be counted, after weeks of uncertainty our County D.A. Steve Cooley has conceded the victory in the statewide Attorney General race to San Francisco's Kamala Harris.

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His full concession can be found at LAObserved. An excerpt:

"It is unfortunate that someone who is a non-partisan non-politician could not overcome the increasingly partisan tendencies of the state, even for an office that by its nature necessitates a non-partisan approach.

"I take great pride in the fact that I received the endorsement of every law enforcement organization in this race as well as that of every major daily newspaper in California but one. I was particularly gratified to receive the support of so many fellow district attorneys. While my campaign team tells me that endorsements do not necessarily win elections - and the results confirm that - it still means a great deal to me on a personal level.

Perhaps the blame lies not in your party, D.A. Cooley, but in yourself. As the Capitol Weekly noted, here where we know you best, Harris beat you by 300,000 votes.

The L.A. Weekly mocks Cooley's nonpartisan pretension:

there's a reason the attorney general's office is a partisan position. The portfolio includes hot-button issues such as enforcing environmental regulations, pursuing mortgage fraud, and enforcing drug laws. That's not to mention the major role the A.G. plays in labeling ballot measures and defending them (or not) from legal challenges. This is not county clerk or dogcatcher. It's a political job. There are politics involved.

So when you run for partisan office, you shouldn't be surprised that voters start to see you in partisan terms. That's especially the case when you won't defend the state's climate change law, when you oppose medical marijuana, when you say you will sue to block health care reform, and when you defend Proposition 8.

There is a word for someone who holds those views, and that word is Republican.

One immediate policy implication: Harris, unlike Cooley, vowed to not fight to defend the gay-marriage-banning Prop. 8 in court. That could result in no one having legal standing to challenge the earlier court takedown of the proposition.

Follow the official returns at the Cali Secretary of State site.

Image taken by Flickr user Rberteig. Used under user Creative Commons license.

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