Crime might trail education and illegal immigration in surveys of what is important to Californians, but it still commands center stage in the race for top state lawman, reports the Los Angeles Times. In TV ads and on the stump, candidates Jerry Brown and Chuck Poochigian are warring over criminal justice credentials and crime-fighting philosophies.
Brown calls Poochigian, a three-term Republican legislator, an extremist on the conservative right. Poochigian labels Democrat Brown, a two-term former governor and three-time presidential contender, an extremist of the liberal left. Brown has reinvented himself in Oakland as a mayor unafraid to live in a high-crime neighborhood and eager to support the needs of local police. He ridicules Poochigian for voting in 2004 against legislation banning .50-caliber sniper rifles. Poochigian and his campaign team have dubbed the Democrat a “fictional crime fighter” and focused on his “Gov. Moonbeam” past.