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California’s Attorney General Likely Headed to Washington ... Again

California’s Attorney General Likely Headed to Washington ... Again

California Attorney General Rob Bonta speaks during a press conference in Sacramento on Feb. 1, 2023. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Douglas Eckenrod

Douglas Eckenrod

8/7/2023

Updated: 8/8/2023

Commentary
One of the most important public safety positions in California is the state’s attorney general. Codified by article 5, section 13 of the California constitution, the position centers around ensuring “that the laws of the State are uniformly and adequately enforced.”
As an elected position (in tandem with the governor’s race), attorney general candidates have traditionally expressed their views on the current status, trajectory, and needed changes regarding public safety. The job description does not include the statement “must be capable of providing cover for the Left.”
Today’s Attorney General Rob Bonta was gifted his position by Gov. Gavin Newsom outside of the electoral process as a result of the prior Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s timely escape from California. Mr. Becerra was appointed as President Joe Biden’s Secretary of Health and Human Services in 2021. You may ask why I use the term “escape.” Mr. Becerra left his position a few months before his office released California’s notorious 2020 crime and homicide reports. Those reports most clearly articulated the “before Gavin” and “after Gavin” crime free-for-all. Hopefully Mr. Biden places the blame for California’s Criminal justice implosion on Gov. Newsom and didn’t use the destructive outcome as justification to move Mr. Becerra further up the food chain.
Don’t forget, Mr. Biden’s team used the California attorney general position for both his vice president and HHS secretary—they served consecutively in that capacity. Vice President Kamala Harris held the position of California’s attorney general for seven years and is a contributor to the construction (or maybe I should say destruction) of much of California’s criminal justice system. As a result of the state and federal positional shuffle, Mr. Newsom was able to appoint Mr. Bonta to the vacant position March 24, 2021, outside the democratic process.
As you are likely aware, the Democratic National Committee uses the vast California talent pool to find the brightest and most committed socialist minds in the country. In all seriousness, the above means that we better start scrutinizing not only who are placed in these positions, but their record and truthfulness in representing the facts on the ground.
The attorney general’s office released their 2022 crime crime report June 30th of this year. You were about to ask out loud: What did we learn? Well, in my typically sarcastic fashion, let me begin with what we were told. Mr. Bonta’s press release that was intended to summarize the findings and make actually reading the report obsolete. We were told that crime rates remain significantly below their historic highs. Mr. Bonta’s office skillfully made comparisons between today’s crime rates and rates of crime in the 80s and 90s. Imagine how bad things are if you’ve got got to go back three or four decades to find a worse number to conceal your failure. If you actually read the very well compiled report, you will learn the following:
  • California’s violent crime rate is up 14 percent since Mr. Newsom’s inauguration and is the highest it’s been in nearly 15 years.
  • During Ms. Harris’s 2011–17 reign, rapes in the state of California doubled. Go to page 11 of the report if you don’t believe me.
  • During his time in office, Mr. Newsom presided over all three of the highest homicide rates in 15 years.
  • During the last three years, there’s been a statewide trend of downgrading robbery charges to aggravated assault. The result of this reduction of penalties for felons results in the diversion of thousands violent felons to probation instead of prison.
Looking at the “after Gavin” years, it is quite clear that California is in catastrophic decline—yet to move your political career forward, it appears there is a prerequisite that you must have contributed to it. Much of Mr. Bonta’s legal career came from the San Francisco city attorney’s office; in parallel, Ms. Harris spent years deconstructing the San Francisco district attorney’s office. Is this a coincidence, a résumé builder, or something else? Oh, yeah, I must mention that our governor had some degree of oversight over both of them as his tenure as San Francisco’s mayor overlapped with both of their Bay Area careers. Only Mr. Becerra had any experience with the California Department of Justice before running it, and don’t forget, he was Ms. Harris’s replacement when she left the position for her very short stint in the Senate.
What we are witnessing is surgical leadership transplant on wheels, and it’s headed from the Left Coast to Washington. The fact that the state attorney general’s office, which is tasked with improving public safety, is prioritizing Pride Month, immigration, and environmental justice over massive violent crime and rape increases, means their leadership knows where they fall in the food chain. Don’t believe me? Go to their homepage—everything you need to understand about the utter failure of the office can be found on that one page. Now I just need to figure out what federal cabinet position Mr. Bonta will be appointed to by President Newsom.
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Douglas Eckenrod

Douglas Eckenrod

Author

Douglas Eckenrod is the retired deputy director for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Division of Adult Parole Operations. He has dedicated his career to improving the effectiveness of California’s criminal justice system and the safety of those who work in it. In retirement, Eckenrod shares his expertise and experience with policy and lawmakers in efforts support improvements to public safety. Over his 21-year law-enforcement career, he has worked in, supervised, and managed California State Parole’s Sex Offender, Gang, and Fugitive operations. He was also chair of the State’s Weapons and Safety Committee, managed Peace Officer Academy Operations, and oversaw Parole operations for the entire State of California. Eckenrod is a graduate of the Los Angeles Police Departments Leadership Academy.

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