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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Union Boss: 'No Way' Kamala Harris Gets Cops' Endorsement for Attorney General

Posted By on Tue, Jul 6, 2010 at 3:15 PM

Tyra Banks is supporting Kamala Harris. The city's cops are not.
  • Tyra Banks is supporting Kamala Harris. The city's cops are not.
California Watch has a good story up today on the role the state's influential police unions will play in deciding the attorney general's race between Kamala Harris and Steve Cooley. As reporter Timothy Sandoval notes, San Francisco D.A. Harris could be facing a "big blue wall" opposing her run for the state's top law-enforcement job, composed of cops who aren't thrilled with her opposition to the death penalty.

The most interesting section of the article, from a local perspective, is a zinger of an anti-Harris quote from San Francisco Police Officers Association president Gary Delagnes. "There is no way that my members would ever allow me to endorse Kamala Harris after she refused to seek the death penalty on the guy that killed the cop," Delagnes said, referring to Harris' decision not to seek the death penalty when filing charges in the 2004 murder of SFPD Officer Isaac Espinoza. "That is a relationship that is never going to be okay."

As the California Watch piece notes, police agencies could well be inclined to throw their support behind the prosecutor -- Cooley is the Los Angeles D.A. -- who appears toughest on crime. And while Harris has posted increasing overall felony conviction rates in recent years, her office's success rate in felony trials -- particularly homicides -- has declined dramatically, as SF Weekly reported in May.

Not that it's all bad news for Harris: Over the weekend she got the endorsement of the California Professional Firefighters. San Francisco Chronicle columnists Matier and Ross report that Harris picked up the firefighters' endorsement by promising to protect them from cuts to their jobs and pensions.

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Peter Jamison

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