I’m not sure exactly what abortion has to do with the San Diego city attorney’s race, but that’s the subject of the latest attack ad put out by the San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council against city attorney candidate Jan Goldsmith.

According to the mailer, Goldsmith, who served as a state legislator from 1992 to 1998, voted in support of an assembly bill, AB2774, that would have made it more difficult for a woman in California to get an abortion.

The mailer reads:

A City Attorney Should Defend All of Us.

Assemblyman Jan Goldsmith did not defend a woman’s right to choice.

Evan McLaughlin, Labor Council political director, said the mailer is the third of three Goldsmith-related leaflets sent out to city residents. So far, the Labor Council has spent $54,064 campaigning against Goldsmith and has spent $63,265 supporting City Council President Scott Peters’ run for city attorney.

Goldsmith has run his campaign on a message of “the law, the law and nothing but the law.” He has sought to portray himself as above what he calls “the political sandbox,” pointing to his career as a judge as evidence that he would bring an impartial, apolitical stand to the City Attorney’s Office.

McLaughlin said the issue, and the message of the mailer, are pertinent to the race.

“(Goldsmith) is out to have this judicial halo over his head,” McLaughlin said.

He argued that Goldsmith’s history shows he’s been in the thick of politics before. “He’s a politician. Once a politician, always a politician,” McLaughlin said.

I put in a call to Goldsmith. I haven’t heard back yet.

I do, however, know that Goldsmith ran against an anti-abortion candidate, Connie Youngkin, in his first election to the Legislature. At the time, he made it very clear that he was pro-choice, a tactic that he believed won the election for him.

Here’s a quote from a June 4, 1992 story in The San Diego Union-Tribune:

Goldsmith said he believes abortion was a key factor in the (election) outcome. A Planned Parenthood survey three weeks ago showed that 62 percent of the Republican women in the district support abortion rights. The California Abortion Rights Action League phoned voters in an effort to sway them against Youngkin.

Youngkin acknowledged that her anti-abortion message did not sell to enough voters in the district.


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