Granted that Poochigian seems to be running an abysmal campaign right now, he has a remarkable history when it comes to public safety and criminal justice. Before serving in both houses of the California Legislature, Pooch served in Governor Wilson's administration to appoint justices to the bench. Later, he worked to establish stronger criminal penalties for violent crimes and has tirelessly promoted sensible public safety reforms.
His opponent, Moonbeam, had a job where he appointed judges, too. His most famous appointee, Rose Bird, was the key justice responsible for overturning the death penalty. Despite the public outcry, Brown packed the California Supreme Court to ensure that the death penalty would be stopped. He is the reason notorious murderers like Charles Manson and Sirhan Sirhan are still alive today. After his term as governor, he called on Governor Wilson to allow the Freeway Killer (aka William Bonin) to live.
As I mentioned earlier, Poochigian tended to favor the Republican party line on Gay Rights legislation. He certainly doesn't earn many points in my book for his record on failing to support the GLBT community. Brown, however, deserves no respect in this regard either. While the Knight Amendment, Prop 22 defined marriage in California as a union between a man and woman, California law had already been amended to deny our community the right to marry. In 1977, Governor Jerry Brown signed California's first openly homophobic bill into law. Prior to Governor Moonbeam, California law defined marriage as a relationship between two "persons." Thanks, Jerry!
Another issue that is important to me is gun rights. Supporters of the Second Amendment have a friend in Chuck Poochigian. In a state where the right to bear arms is severely impeded already, Poochigian has attempted to preserve the rights of Californians to safely and legally possess firearms with sensible restrictions. Brown would have you believe that Pooch wants to arm every man woman and child with .50 caliber Browning Machine Guns. This couldn't be further from the truth. The vote Brown refers to in his attack ads is in regards to a ban on .50 caliber rifles. Already, .50 BMGs are banned in this state as are all assault weapons. Firearms larger than .50 caliber are made illegal by federal law. And, frankly, .50 caliber rifles are too big, heavy, and cumbersome for most people to use at all. Californians are in practically no danger from being shot with a .50 caliber rifle. In fact, we are all at a much greater risk of being shot and killed with a .22 caliber round fired from a handgun.
Brown opposes the Second Amendment. He doesn't believe that law abiding citizens should be allowed to purchase, own, and use firearms for our own protection. While I doubt he would support an outright ban on firearms in California, he has yet to meet an anti-gun bill he didn't like. But as we all know, laws restricting firearms only affect the people who follow the laws. Criminals, by definition, do not abide by the law. Murderers do not care whether the gun in their hands is legal or not. While Brown has attempted to restrict firearms in Oakland, along with other measures intended to fight crime, the murder rate has increased dramatically. The only people he is disarming are the good guys!
While I certainly have my issues with supporting Poochigian given that the Attorney General will likely be representing California in some important Gay Marriage cases in the next few years, Jerry Brown is the absolute worst person to elect. Frankly, I care more about public safety and criminal justice more than I do about same-sex marriage. That is why I am supporting Pooch for AG.