California's race for attorney general could be the environmental sleeper race of the year. Republican and current Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley is running for state attorney general against San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris. Cooley is a traditional "tough-on-crime" prosecutor and ex-cop who first made environmental waves back in 2003 when he disbanded L.A.'s Environmental Crimes Unit, leaving one attorney to handle all of the environmental crime in Los Angeles County.
Opponent Harris has accused Cooley of shutting down the unit to protect Newhall Land & Farming Co, one of his campaign contributors and a company that was facing investigation for submitting false documents regarding an endangered plant, a charge Cooley denies. Cooley is on the record as saying that Jerry Brown hurt the business community with overreaching environmental lawsuits and he has refused to take a stand on Proposition 23, which would reverse the state's environmental progress and which is being pushed and funded mostly by oil and energy companies based outside of California.
The passage of Prop 23 would affect California but also the nation as a whole — the state is big enough that when it does something like commit to cutting greenhouses gases to 1990 levels by 2020, the effects ripple out across the entire country. Having Steve Cooley as the state's top law enforcement officer would be a one-two punch right in the green gut.
The video below is provided by a group obviously opposed to Cooley — but not for the reason you might think. They're upset about his opinion on another hot California election topic, marijuana.
Via Not Cooley