Now that Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris (CA) has announced that she will run for the presidency in 2020, rumors about special assistance she received early in her career have once again bubbled to the surface.
In a recent column, former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown openly admitted that he was involved in an affair with Harris in the 1990s when she was fresh out of law school and he was the California State Assembly speaker — an affair that he says had a profound impact on her career.
Special support from a special someone
“I’ve been peppered with calls from the national media about my ‘relationship’ with Kamala Harris, most of which I have not returned,” Brown wrote in the San Francisco Chronicle. “Yes, we dated. It was more than 20 years ago. Yes, I may have influenced her career by appointing her to two state commissions when I was Assembly speaker.”
In addition to the extramarital affair, Brown, who is 31 years older than Harris, admitted in his column that shortly after the two became involved, the then-inexperienced Harris was appointed by Brown to two highly-paid posts: on the California Medical Assistance Commission and the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board.
Harris netted over $400,000 in just five years from her work on these commissions.
The affair reportedly ended in 1995, less than a year after Brown reportedly gifted the now-senator a BMW — but that wasn’t the end of their working relationship.
Boosting her numbers
Brown is also alleged to have provided a significant boost for Harris among donors when she successfully ran to be San Francisco district attorney in 2003.
“I certainly helped with her first race for district attorney in San Francisco,” Brown admitted. “I have also helped the careers of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Gov. Gavin Newsom, Sen. Dianne Feinstein and a host of other politicians.” It doesn’t seem that Harris has maintained her rosy relationship with Brown, however.
“The difference is that Harris is the only one who, after I helped her, sent word that I would be indicted if I ‘so much as jaywalked’ while she was [district attorney],” he said. “That’s politics for ya.”
Brown went on to lament the “buzz” and positive media attention surrounding Harris’ 2020 campaign, saying it doesn’t necessarily translate into actual support from voters.
“As exciting as good media and internet buzz are, they don’t always translate to votes,” he wrote. “Just ask independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. All the talk was about people ‘feeling the Bern’ in 2016, but it was Hillary Clinton’s block-and-tackle operation that won the nomination.”
Indeed, while CNN and other liberal media outlets have kept Harris in the headlines over the last week since she announced her candidacy, reports like these are already clouding her campaign — and the primary season has only just begun.