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Kamala Harris

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Senator Kamala Harris
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Kamala Harris (1964–) (pronounced COMMA-la[1]), a politician and attorney and a member of the Democratic Party, has served since 2017 as a Senator from California. She graduated from the University of California, Hastings, receiving a Juris Doctor.[2] She has also served as the Attorney General of California and as the District Attorney of San Francisco. A Baptist,[3] she announced in January 2019 a plan to run for President in 2020;[4] she withdrew her candidacy in December 2019, then was chosen as Joe Biden's vice presidential candidate. She is currently the Vice President Elect of the United States[5], and will be the first woman and second person of color to hold the office (after Charles Curtis, a member of the Kaw Nation who served as Herbert Hoover's veep [6]).

Policy positions and record[edit]

As of the writing of this article, Kamala Harris has not yet released an official platform of policy positions for her presidential run. As a Senator, she is against the death penalty, is pro-choice, has co-sponsored California's Marijuana Justice Act and is pro-sanctuary cities.[2]

Criminal justice[edit]

As the former top prosecutor of the largest state in the country, the most scrutiny into Harris's record has come from her actions as California Attorney General. In that capacity, she covered up information revealing that the police crime lab had been falsifying or tampering with evidence against over 600 defendants in criminal cases,[7] withheld evidence proving people's innocence during prosecutions then fought on numerous occasions to stop innocent people from being released after it was proven that they were falsely convicted,[8] kept a top aide in the office for months after he was ordered to pay $400,000 in a workplace sexual harassment lawsuit and falsely claimed to have no knowledge of the settlement,[9] tried to hold criminally liable the parents of chronically truant children,[10] and refused[note 1] to prosecute Steven Mnuchin's OneWest Bank for illegal foreclosure during the Great Recession (though non-prosecution and weak settlements were the national norm during that crisis and Harris was not exceptional).[11]

All of this is ironic given that she has portrayed herself as a "progressive prosecutor".[12]

Healthcare[edit]

Harris has said she would co-sponsor Bernie Sanders' Medicare for All bill, which would implement a single-payer universal healthcare system in the United States.[13]

Gun ownership[edit]

She has earned an "F" from the NRA for her gun control stance.[14] This grade, of course, translates into an "A" in Reality Land.

Trans rights[edit]

As Attorney General of California, Kamala Harris argued on behalf of the state to withhold reassignment surgeries from two transgender inmates who were prescribed those procedures while serving their sentences, stating in a court briefing that: "The essential test is one of medical necessity and not one simply of desirability."[15] In explaining her actions, Harris said, "When that case came up, I had clients, and one of them was the California Department of Corrections. It was their policy. When I learned about what they were doing, behind the scenes, I got them to change the policy."[16]

Notably, while she was San Francisco District Attorney, Harris organized a conference of 200 prosecutors in response to the murder of the transgender woman Gwen Araujo, on the topic of how to defeat the bogus trans panic/gay panic defense strategy.[16][17]

Israel and Palestine[edit]

Harris' rhetoric on the Israel and Palestine conflict has so far been pro-Israel, and quiet on Palestinian issues.[18] In 2020 Harris, like most Democratic candidates including Bernie Sanders, decided not to attend the AIPAC summit, after progressive advocacy group MoveOn urged candidates not to go.[19]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. Against the recommendation of state's Justice Department.

References[edit]

  1. Tucker Carlson can't pronounce her name
  2. 2.0 2.1 https://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/29/magazine/kamala-harris-a-top-cop-in-the-era-of-black-lives-matter.html?_r=0
  3. https://votesmart.org/candidate/biography/120012/kamala-harris#.XGeNYOhKhPY
  4. https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/27/politics/kamala-harris-2020-presidential-campaign/index.html
  5. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/11/03/us/elections/results-president.html/
  6. https://www.theonefeather.com/2014/02/charles-curtis-americas-indian-vice-president/
  7. Judge rips Harris' office for hiding problems’, by Jaxon Van Derbeken, SF Gate, 21 May 2010
  8. Kamala Harris Was Not a ‘Progressive Prosecutor’, by Lara Bazelon, The New York Times, 17 January 2019
  9. Misconduct claim involving Kamala Harris aide came to agency months before she left office, by ALEXEI KOSEFF, The Sacramento Bee, 18 December 2018
  10. The Two Faces of Kamala Harris by Branko Marcetic (08.10.2017) Jaocbin.
  11. The Left’s Misguided Debate Over Kamala Harris by David Dayen (August 8, 2017) The New Republic.
  12. Kamala Harris’ Presidential Run Will Force Democrats to Decide Where They Really Stand on Criminal Justice by Jamilah King (January 9, 2019) Mother Jones.
  13. Weigel, David (August 30, 2017). "Sen. Kamala Harris backs Bernie Sanders's single-payer bill". Retrieved August 31, 2017. 
  14. http://www.ontheissues.org/Domestic/Kamala_Harris_Gun_Control.htm
  15. Johnson, Chris (October 25, 2017). "Kamala Harris emerges as LGBT favorite for 2020 — there’s just one thing". 
  16. 16.0 16.1 Kamala Harris on Denying Gender Affirmation Surgery to Trans Inmates by Tracy E. Gilchrist (September 20 2019 10:38 PM EDT) The Advocate.
  17. 'Gay panic' defense tactic under scrutiny at conference by Wyatt (4:00 am PDT, Wednesday, July 19, 2006) The San Francisco Chronicle.
  18. http://www.policyconference.org/article/transcripts/2017/harris.asp
  19. https://www.timesofisrael.com/multiple-2020-democrats-say-they-wont-attend-aipac-summit/