Prop Zero
The Starting Point for Commentary and Coverage of California Politics

Wishing They'd Cancel the Attorney General Count

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Predictably, the close, still undecided race for state attorney general -- with a count that shows a small margin separating Democrat Kamala Harris and Republican Steve Colley -- is now producing allegations by both sides.

    Why bother? Add this nonsense to the list of reasons why California shouldn't bother having an elected attorney general. The state doesn't need any more political sport, which is about all Californians get for the trouble of having this office be an elected one.

    It would be far better if the governor appointed the attorney general (and a number of other executive offices that are elected, including treasurer, controller, superintendent of public instruction and insurance commissioner). Governing California is a hard enough job without having the person who represents the state in court -- the a.g. -- being a potential political rival of a different party.

    One other reason: we'd be spared elections that produce acrimony -- and corruption. The only people who are intensely interested in these other executive offices are those with strong financial interests in the outcome of decisions made by them. No one else much pays attention. As a result, these offices have mostly served as incubators of political ambition -- and of pay-to-play politics. If there's anything good that comes out of the Harris-Cooley race, it might be a constitutional reform making sure there's never another election for attorney general.