DC Attorney General election: why I won't be voting for Karl Racine...
A few years ago, citizens voted in a referenda to have an elected Attorney General. It's a bit tricky because in other jurisdictions, the "Attorney General" (or Prosecutor) has responsibility for trying crimes. In DC, those responsibilities rest within the US Attorney's Office, one of the many effects of DC being under the control of the federal government.
For that reason, DC's top legal officer has been an appointed official, focused more on meeting the legal needs of the government, particularly the Executive Branch. Over the past few administrations, the office and position have been reorganized to be more like an AG office, and strife between the legislative branch and the executive branch over this office and "who it represents" led to the referendum.
While the referendum passed in 2010, opposition to the creation of the position by the Executive Branch and quiescence amongst the Council led to the City Council voting to delay the election for four years to 2018, because they said the ability to organize the functions of the office wasn't present.
Paul Zukerberg, a lawyer who has in the past run for City Council on a pro-legalization of marijuana platform, was key to getting the election up and running by taking the city to court, and winning.
Since then four others have joined the race: Lorrie Masters; Karl Racine; Edward “Smitty” Smith; and Lateefah Williams.
The Post, which routinely editorialized against creating an elected Attorney General, as part of its general somewhat authoritarian agenda on local politics and governance (see the 2010 blog entry, "Another wrong judgement by the Washington Post: an elected Attorney General is a good idea and should be supported"), endorsed Karl Racine ("Karl Racine for DC attorney general"), and I hate to say, that's probably the best reason to not vote for him.
It makes sense that the Post endorsed Racine, because as a letter writer to the paper pointed out, "In DC attorney general race, Karl Racine represents the influence of money." Also see "DC’s Attorney General Jumps Into a Race He Didn’t Want: Did Irvin Nathan use a staff meeting to endorse Karl Racine?" from the Washingtonian.
Another is Racine's pandering in campaign literature. In the last few days I got a couple different pieces of campaign literature from him with one focused on early childhood education and providing "wrap around" services for impoverished families.
While I do think childhood education must be focused upon in order to interdict multi-generational poverty, it's not the job of the Attorney General, and is mission creep of massive proportions.
Everybody values education.
I want an Attorney General to represent the people's interest in law, civil rights, etc.
They are connected. But the AG position was never conceptualized as a primary element of the K-12 education infrastructure.
In any case, I'm inclined to vote for Zuckerberg because of his efforts to get the office back on the ballot, the way that the electorate intended.