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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Dianne Feinstein Was Against Kamala Harris' 'Strong Track Record' Before She Was For It

Posted By on Tue, Oct 26, 2010 at 6:55 AM

An unlikely ally?
  • An unlikely ally?
An unlikely ally?
In an effort to combat the mudslide of Republican money pouring into California to fund attack ads on San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris in the California Attorney General's race, the Harris campaign today released a "statement" from U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

"Kamala Harris is my choice for Attorney General because she has a strong track record of fighting crime and will work hard to make California a safer place where everyone's rights are protected," Feinstein's statement reads. "Together, we can prove that our elected offices can't be bought by out-of-state shadow groups like the Republican State Leadership Association, which is funded by big oil and tobacco corporations."

Feinstein's a big gun in state politics, but for those who have followed Harris' tenure as D.A., this maneuver is a bit odd. That's because Feinstein was also the first and most prominent politician to attack Harris on the death penalty -- voicing essentially the same complaint as the GOP attack ad she's now, um, attacking.

It was Feinstein, after all, who catalyzed public outrage over Harris' refusal to seek the death penalty in the 2004 killing of SFPD Officer Isaac Espinoza, during remarks she made at Espinoza's funeral at St. Mary's Cathedral.

"This is not only the definition of tragedy, it's the special circumstance called for by the death penalty law," Feinstein said then, prompting a standing ovation from police officers at the service. The pointed remarks were obviously intended to call out Harris, who had already announced that she would not seek the death penalty against Espinoza's killer.

A new ad paid for by the Republican State Leadership Committee, an out-of-state group led by former Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie and former Bush adviser Karl Rove, calls out Harris on exactly the same issue.

The ad, which was paid for with more than $1 million from the RSLC, is also being subjected to a legal challenge from the Harris campaign, which argues that it violates state election laws by not properly disclosing specific committee donors.

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Peter Jamison

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