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Eastman campaign spins court defeat as victory

April 2, 2010 |  8:21 am

John Eastman, the Republican candidate for California attorney general, may have lost a battle in court Thursday over his description on the June ballot, but that didn't stop his campaign from spinning the court date as a victory.

Eastman had wanted to call himself "assistant attorney general" on the ballot, even though that title is one he holds in South Dakota. A judge rejected that request Thursday. But you wouldn't know it from reading the memo from Eastman's campaign strategist, Jeff Flint.

"After a flurry of legal skirmishes, I'm happy to let you know that John Eastman's ballot designation will be "Constitutional Law Attorney." This is an extremely strong ballot designation and will clearly set John apart from the other candidates in the race. John is the clear conservative candidate in this contest, a fact emphasized by our approved ballot designation."

A spokesman for Eastman's primary rival, Steve Cooley, responded to the Eastman campaign spin Thursday.

"Eastman’s campaign is also claiming that 'he’s the one person who we can trust…'" wrote Cooley strategist Kevin Spillane. "But if you can’t trust John Eastman to tell you the truth about himself on something as basic as his occupation and credentials, how can we trust him on any other matter?"

A third Republican in the race, state Sen. Tom Harman (R-Huntington Beach), had wanted to be called "prosecutor" on the ballot. The court ruled Thursday his ballot designation will be "state senator."

-- Anthony York