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Former AG candidate blasts Harris for backing law

State Sen. Tom Harman, who while seeking the GOP nomination for attorney general less than a year ago said California should join with states suing to overturn the health care reforms passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama, today blasted Attorney General Kamala Harris for helping to file a brief in the law’s defense.

Harman, R-Huntington Beach, issued a news release a few hours after Harris announced that she and eight other Democratic attorneys general were filing a friend of the court brief with the Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals:

Tom Harman“The time for California to involve itself in the legal proceedings surrounding Obamacare has long passed and it is now a matter for the U.S. Supreme Court. Certainly filing a brief in support of a program universally disliked by voters and estimated to cost Californians billions of additional tax dollars at a time when we are facing multi-billion dollar deficits and record unemployment sends a mixed message.

“The Attorney General’s time and resources would be better spent focusing on the most pressing issues facing Californians – promoting private sector jobs and stimulating the economy. Spearheading efforts to put a lid on frivolous lawsuits and regulations that threaten our small businesses would be of more benefit to the average Californian than supporting a program that is certain to add hundreds of billions of dollars to our tax burden.

“California is currently facing a $28 billion dollar deficit. Our taxes are among the highest in the nation. The federal health plan stands to only exacerbate these problems. As details have emerged about the federal law, national opposition to it has grown to such a point that the new Congress is actively trying to repeal and replace it.

“I would urge the Attorney General to use her department’s resources to tackle California’s immediate concerns.”

Harman finished a distant third in last June’s GOP primary to relatively more moderate Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley, who had not ruled out joining a lawsuit challenging the law; he said he would do so if directed by the new governor and Legislature. Cooley then lost November’s general election to Harris by less than one percentage point.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • Gus Morrison

    Yesterday, my wife got a check for $250 from Medicare because she fell into the Part D doughnut hole, a result of the new law. Tell me again why it should be repealed.

  • Elwood

    Aren’t entitlements wonderful?

    Especially when you’re the payee, not the payor.

  • StevefromSacto

    “The Attorney General’s time and resources would be better spent focusing on the most pressing issues facing Californians – promoting private sector jobs and stimulating the economy.”

    Gee, Tom, I was going to say the same thing about the Repubs in the U.S. House of Representatives. Why are they wasting time and valuable resources trying to repeal the new health care law when it is supported by the majority of the American people and when they have no real chance to get the law repealed?

    What a bunch of hypocrites!

  • John W

    “The time for California to involve itself in the legal proceedings surrounding ObamaCare has long passed and is now a matter for the U.S. Supreme Court.”

    “…time and resources would be better spent…promoting private sector jobs and stimulating the economy.

    Right, the cutoff date was as soon as all the Republican AG’s finished involving themselves!

    Somebody should inform Mr. Harman that this is not yet a matter for the Supreme Court, as the matter is still being litigated in numerous District and Appellate venues. I’m pretty sure filing legal briefs in these proceedings falls more within the job description of the AG than does “stimulating the economy.”