Kamala Harris

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Senator Kamala Harris
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Kamala Harris (1964–) is a politician and attorney from the Democratic Party and a Senator from California. She graduated from the University of California, Hastings, receiving a Juris Doctor.[1] She has also served as the Attorney General of California and the District Attorney of San Francisco. Harris is a Baptist.[2] In 2019, she announced a plan to run for President in 2020.[3]

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.[1]

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. [4]
  • 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. [5]
  • Kept a top aide in the office for months after he was ordered to pay $400,000 in a workplace sexual harassment lawsuit; then lied about knowledge of the lawsuit despite having been notified on it.[6]
  • Had tried to criminalize the parents of chronically truant children.[7]
  • Had 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[8]

All of this is ironic given that she has portrayed herself as a "progressive prosecutor".[9]

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.[10] It'll be interesting to see if she does or doesn't back paddle on this issue later on, the Democratic Party does not officially support Medicare for All, but rather expansions to the Affordable Care Act.

Gun ownership[edit]

She has earned an "F" from the NRA for her gun control stance.[11]

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."[12]

Israel and Palestine[edit]

Harris' rhetoric on the Israel and Palestine conflict has so far been pro-Israel, and quiet on Palestinian issues.[13] 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.[14]

Notes[edit]

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

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 https://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/29/magazine/kamala-harris-a-top-cop-in-the-era-of-black-lives-matter.html?_r=0
  2. https://votesmart.org/candidate/biography/120012/kamala-harris#.XGeNYOhKhPY
  3. https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/27/politics/kamala-harris-2020-presidential-campaign/index.html
  4. Judge rips Harris' office for hiding problems’, by Jaxon Van Derbeken, SF Gate, 21 May 2010
  5. Kamala Harris Was Not a ‘Progressive Prosecutor’, by Lara Bazelon, The New York Times, 17 January 2019
  6. Misconduct claim involving Kamala Harris aide came to agency months before she left office, by ALEXEI KOSEFF, The Sacramento Bee, 18 December 2018
  7. The Two Faces of Kamala Harris by Branko Marcetic (08.10.2017) Jaocbin.
  8. The Left’s Misguided Debate Over Kamala Harris by David Dayen (August 8, 2017) The New Republic.
  9. Kamala Harris’ Presidential Run Will Force Democrats to Decide Where They Really Stand on Criminal Justice by Jamilah King (January 9, 2019) Mother Jones.
  10. Weigel, David (August 30, 2017). "Sen. Kamala Harris backs Bernie Sanders's single-payer bill". https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2017/08/31/sen-kamala-harris-backs-bernie-sanderss-single-payer-bill/. Retrieved August 31, 2017. 
  11. http://www.ontheissues.org/Domestic/Kamala_Harris_Gun_Control.htm
  12. Johnson, Chris (October 25, 2017). "Kamala Harris emerges as LGBT favorite for 2020 — there’s just one thing". https://www.washingtonblade.com/2017/10/25/kamala-harris-rises-as-lgbt-favorite-for-2020-theres-just-one-thing/. 
  13. http://www.policyconference.org/article/transcripts/2017/harris.asp
  14. https://www.timesofisrael.com/multiple-2020-democrats-say-they-wont-attend-aipac-summit/