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Wednesday, May 14 2014 11:01 PM

FRANK MOORE: Harris is bad news for gun owners and a bad pick for attorney general

Does The Californian really think a staunch anti-gun-rights Democrat will fly in Kern County ("Enough nonsense; Harris best choice for AG," May 11)? Attorney General Kamala Harris has shown herself to be a tool of the left in regards to attempting to take away Californians' rights to own guns, carry guns and the types of guns they can own. She has aggressively pursued gun confiscation with a guilty-until-proven-innocent attitude about who her enforcers target via the Armed Prohibited Persons System program. She has actively promoted and encouraged the adaptation of similar gun-confiscation programs on a national level.

In the words of Calguns Foundation President Brandon Combs: "Gun confiscation efforts pushed by Attorney General Kamala Harris have apparently led to unconstitutional arrests of regular, non-prohibited gun owners as well as the seizure of their firearms and ammunition." Their oft-mistaken and misguided policy has been to break down doors, take the guns and put the onus on the citizen to prove they are not prohibited and have a legal right to gun ownership.

I realize the rest of the attorney general field is weak. Phil Wyman is a perpetual joke right out of the gate. (Heck, not even Tehachapi folks will vote for him.) But I would certainly challenge The Californian to qualify this statement: "Harris, a Democrat, has done an excellent job as California's top prosecutor." How is that? What are her notable achievements? How has she been "excellent"? Time and time again, Harris has been misleading -- bordering on unethical -- in the biased titles and summaries she and her staff have written for various California ballot initiatives. In September 2012, supporters of public employees pension reform pulled the plug on an initiative after Harris labeled it, "Reduces pensions for public employees," when it did no such thing. Per the supporters, and even the editorial boards of some liberal newspapers, "Her summary was filled with distortions meant to sway voters against them."

The editorial board of The Modesto Bee stated, "Her office's official description of the two measures read like talking points taken straight from a public employee union boss' campaign handbook. Harris claimed the measures would reduce retirement income for current employees, which is not true. She also claimed that future government employees would lose survivor and death benefits, also not true." The San Diego Union-Tribune's editorial board referred to it as "Kamala Harris' dirty trick on California," and the editorial board of the Contra Costa Times wrote in an editorial, "Dan Pellissier, president of California Pension Reform, which presented the ballot initiatives to Harris, called her titles and summaries ugly, partisan and manipulative. He's absolutely right; union opponents of the measure couldn't have been more partisan had they written the summary."

In like manner, she has done the same thing with a ballot initiative concerning increasing the cap on medical malpractice awards. As The Wall Street Journal said, "Attorney General Kamala Harris greased the skids for the initiative by devising an egregiously misleading title and summary for the ballot." She hid the primary reason for the initiative -- the increased medical malpractice award cap -- in this summary. The initiative, she wrote, "Requires drug and alcohol testing of doctors and reporting of positive test to the California Medical Board. Requires Board to suspend doctor pending investigation of positive test and take disciplinary action if doctor was impaired while on duty. Requires doctors to report any other doctor suspected of drug or alcohol impairment or medical negligence. Requires health care practitioners to consult state prescription drug history database before prescribing certain controlled substances. Increases $250,000 cap on pain and suffering damages in medical negligence lawsuits to account for inflation."

What's that new cap, as allegedly "adjusted for inflation"? Try $1.1 million. With Harris' help, the plaintiffs' attorneys cleverly buried the target of their initiative in a measure cracking down on narcotics abuse by doctors. Is it any wonder? She's pandering to her trial attorney friends and, in addition, she's engaged to a tort attorney? The Californian would have been wise -- and would have served the demographic of their readership better -- by making no endorsement rather than endorsing the blatant political tool that is Kamala Harris.

Frank Moore of Tehachapi is a retired peace officer/supervisor.

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