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Kamala Harris focuses on Steve Cooley's abortion record

September 24, 2010 |  9:15 am

http://opinion.latimes.com/.a/6a00d8341c7de353ef0120a78ead93970b-320wiDemocratic state attorney general nominee Kamala Harris is calling out Republican rival Steve Cooley on the abortion issue, hoping to find an issue that will help the Democrat gain traction. “Women in California want someone with the power of the attorney general's office in our nation's largest state to protect their rights," the Harris campaign stated in a press release.

Cooley's campaign said Harris' latest gambit is a sign of a desperate candidate grasping for an issue. “Steve Cooley is pro-choice. He’s always been pro-choice. And what’s worse, Kamala Harris knows he’s pro-choice. How lame can the Harris campaign get?" said campaign spokesman Kevin Spillane.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/images/2008/11/12/kamala_harris.jpgHarris, the San Francisco district attorney, will hold the press conference in her hometown at the offices of the group NARAL Pro-choice California. NARAL has endorsed Harris, and the group’s director has criticized Cooley for not clarifying his position on abortion issues. “Despite numerous attempts to get the campaign to clarify his position, it is unclear where Harris’ opponent Steve Cooley stands on these issues. However, there is no doubt that Harris has a demonstrated commitment to reproductive rights," the organization said in a statement released in August.

Spillane said that Cooley, the Los Angeles County district attorney, did not respond to a questionnaire from NARAL because "they’re basically an arm of the Democratic Party."

-- Phil Willon

Photos: Cooley and Harris. L.A. Times file.