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Senator Kamala Harris during her most Recent Campaign for Senate. (kamalaharris.org)

The Audacity of Harris

Willie Brown’s understudy takes aim at the White House

By Lloyd Billingsley, January 24, 2019 8:00 am

“Kamala Harris aiming to pull off an Obama-sized feat in 2020,” ran the Sacramento Bee headline on the junior California Senator’s decision to seek the presidency of the United States. Harris is running to “fight for our American values” and “bring our voices together,” but outside of California voters may have little idea where the Democrat is coming from.

In 2013, then-President Barack Obama called Harris “by far, the best looking attorney general in the country.” The daughter of Indian and Jamaican immigrants also attracted the attention of Willie Brown, speaker of the California State Assembly from 1980 to 1995. In 1994 Brown was 60 and Harris a full 30 years his junior, but the two became an item. The two-year relationship worked out well for Harris, a graduate of Howard University and the University of California Hastings law school.

Willie Brown appointed Harris to the state Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board, which paid $97,088 a year. She served six months and Brown then appointed her to the California Medical Assistance Commission, which met only once a month but paid Harris $72,000. Brown also raised money for Harris in her run for San Francisco district attorney in 2003.

Harris defeated her former boss, Terence Hallinan, but promised never to seek the death penalty. She kept that promise the next year when gang member David Hill used an AK-47 to gun down San Francisco police officer Isaac Espinoza. Even Dianne Feinstein took Harris to task, as she alienated police across the state. In her 2009 Smart on Crime: A Career Prosecutor’s Plan to Make us Safer, Harris found the number of nonviolent offenders “truly staggering” and put them at the top of her “crime pyramid.”

The next year, Harris ran for state attorney general and the Sacramento Bee endorsed her Republican rival Steve Cooley. Harris won by less than one percentage point, but as the Bee saw it, “she could be more aggressive on public corruption cases, though her handlers might worry that would cause friction with fellow Democratic politicians.”

When whistleblowers called for a criminal investigation of the new Bay Bridge, 10 years late and $5 billion over budget, Harris looked the other way. As attorney general she targeted for-profit colleges, supported gun control and in 2013 refused to appeal the court decision overturning the 2008 Proposition 8, which sought to ban same-sex marriage.

California’s attorney general stayed quiet in 2014 when racist Mexican national Luis Bracamontes gunned down police officers Danny Oliver and Michael Davis. At his trial, Bracamontes yelled “black lives don’t matter” at the jury. In 2015, repeatedly deported felon Jose Inez Garcia Zarate shot and killed Kate Steinle on a San Francisco pier. Attorney General Harris defended the city’s sanctuary policy.

That same year Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik killed 14 unarmed innocents and wounded 22 at an office party in San Bernardino. A year later Harris issued a statement on the “devastating and tragic terrorist attack,” but failed to name the Islamic terrorists and their motive for the mass murder.

For his first address to Congress in 2017, President Trump invited Danny Oliver’s wife Susan, an African-American, and the wife of slain deputy Michael Davis. Kamala Harris brought along DACA “Dreamer” Yuriana Aguilar, a Salvadoran national. Senator Harris was the first Democrat to announce that she would vote against any spending deal that did not include a fix for DACA illegals.

The day after Christmas, criminal illegal Gustavo Perez Arriaga, who used multiple fake identities, gunned down Newman, California, police officer Cpl. Ronil “Ron” Singh, a legal immigrant from Fiji. California senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris made no statement on the shooting and even failed to decry the “gun violence” in the case.

When President Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court, Sen. Harris said “we cannot possibly move forward” with the hearing. Harris backed Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her thirty years ago.

All told, voters have good reason to see Harris as weak on the presumption of innocence, hostile to an elected president, soft on crime and public corruption, a promoter of open borders and a champion of false-documented illegals. On the other hand, Willie Brown, now in his 80s, is still in Harris’ corner.

Indeed, as Democrats vied for the Senate seat vacated by Barbara Boxer, Brown suggested that former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa should stay out of the race in favor of Kamala Harris. He did and she won. Brown will doubtless back his former flame for president but Harris and her current squeeze have other fans.

Brides magazine has cited “7 Reasons Sen. Kamala Harris’s Husband Douglas Emhoff Would Make a Great First Man.” The high-profile attorney Emhoff is willing to compromise and cares about children but most important, he’s married to Kamala Harris. So “If he’s First Whatever, this means in 2020, we’d elect our first female president. This reason’s a no-brainer, right?” Other prominent Democrats might not think so.

Senators Kirsten Gillibrand, Elizabeth Warren, and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard are seeking the nomination. So are former San Antonio mayor Julian Castro, former vice president Joe Biden, former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke and Vermont socialist Bernie Sanders.

Lloyd Billingsley

Lloyd Billingsley has written for the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, and others. He covered the Marsh trial for City Journal and His most recent crime book is Lethal Injections: Elizabeth Tracy Mae Wettlaufer, Canada’s Serial Killer Nurse. His new book about the 2013 Davis murders, "A Shut and Open Case" is now available at Amazon. Lloyd isa policy fellow with the Independent Institute and a columnist for the Daily Caller.

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