The office of the attorney general of California is unlike any other elected position.
That person serves as California’s top law enforcement official.
In addition to the same oath of office that most public officials take to uphold the constitutions of both the United States and California, an attorney general also has fiduciary obligations to apply the law equally and fairly. It is an office that requires both integrity and honesty.
While it is hoped that the attorney general would approach their duties in a non-partisan manner, the attorney general post is nonetheless a partisan office.
This has been troubling in recent years as the holders of that office have wrongfully politicized the process of writing the official descriptions of measures that appear on the ballot.
Attorney General Xavier Becerra was roundly criticized by both progressive and conservative media for preparing deceptive ballot titles and summaries in order to placate his political allies and punish his political adversaries.
But no amount of past abuses in the office of attorney general would likely exceed that which would occur should current Congressman Adam Schiff be selected by Gov. Gavin Newsom to replace Secretary of Health and Human Services nominee Becerra.
There is no debate that Schiff, a House manager of the first failed impeachment effort, is a hyper-partisan politician who craves both the limelight and more power. Nor is there doubt he has his eyes on even higher office.
Schiff’s biggest liability, however, is his abject lack of integrity. To put it succinctly, his history of habitual lying makes him unfit to be California’s top cop. During the entire impeachment fiasco, Schiff was pushing a narrative that he knew had no factual basis.
A May 12, 2020 editorial in the Wall Street Journal summarized: “Americans expect that politicians will lie, but sometimes the examples are so brazen that they deserve special notice. Newly released Congressional testimony shows that Adam Schiff spread falsehoods shamelessly about Russia and Donald Trump for three years even as his own committee gathered contrary evidence.”
The Boston Herald was equally stunned: “House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff has been feeding the American people misinformation for years. He used his position — replete with access to information and people in the know — to distribute wild accounts of Russian collusion with the Trump campaign.”
Several mainstream media outlets have rendered a similar judgment.
For example, there was this analysis by PolitiFact: “Schiff said, ‘We have not spoken directly with the whistleblower.’ We rate this statement False.”
In the Washington Post: “Schiff earns Four Pinocchios.”
From Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass: “Schiff is a dissembler, a prevaricator, a distortionist, a spreader of falsehoods. In Chicago we use the short word: liar.”
Schiff’s history of lying goes back decades. Former congressman John Campbell of Orange County was a regular guest on the NPR affiliate in Pasadena, KPCC, where he would debate Adam Schiff on the issues of the day. According to Campbell, Schiff would lie with an ease that is breathtaking: “He would just make stuff up to prove his point knowing that what was coming out of his mouth wasn’t true. And he would do it so convincingly you’d almost believe him even when you knew he was lying.”
California does not need someone as attorney general who has more Pinocchios than the souvenir shop in Disneyland.
Jon Coupal is president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.