Kamala Harris: Nevertheless, she dated Willie Brown

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Kamala Harris: Nevertheless, she dated Willie Brown

Microsoft Edge auto com­plete for “Kamala Har­ris Willie Br”

By John Ruberry

Willie Brown is not a house­hold name unless you are a polit­i­cal junkie – or a Cal­i­forn­ian. Nation­ally he may be bet­ter known for play­ing him­self, when he was mayor of San Fran­cisco, in The Princess Diaries. When asked if it would rain by a reporter, the Demo­c­rat replied, “It never comes down on Willie Brown.”

Indeed it does not. Despite eth­i­cal lapses that go back decades–as well as sev­eral FBI inves­ti­ga­tions–like Bill and Hillary Clin­ton, there is plenty of smoke sur­round­ing Brown, who was also a long­time speaker of the Cal­i­for­nia State Assem­bly, but the law can never find the fire.

Why does this mat­ter? Last week, on Mar­tin Luther King Day, Sen. Kamala Har­ris (D-​CA), announced that she is run­ning for president.

Let’s get back to Brown. On the cur­rent ver­sion of Har­ris’ Wikipedia page is this inno­cent sen­tence, “In the 1990’s she dated Cal­i­for­nia Speaker of the Assem­bly Willie Brown.” Well, I guess you can call it dat­ing. Did they par­tic­i­pate in can­dle­light bowl­ing? The rela­tion­ship began in 1994 when Brown was 60 and Har­ris was 30. Brown was mar­ried at the time and he still is. The affair lasted two years.

The morals argu­ment against such behav­ior in regards to politi­cians is out the win­dow and drowned in the river. Bill Clin­ton and Don­ald Trump’s moral short­com­ings have seen to that. But the prob­lem with affairs involv­ing peo­ple in power is that the less pow­er­ful per­son in the rela­tion­ship often gets rewarded in ways that raise eyebrows.

From the Wash­ing­ton Exam­iner:

More ques­tion­able than the romance is the relationship’s appar­ent effect on her finances and her career. Brown, accord­ing to con­tem­po­rary news accounts, gifted his then-​girlfriend two gov­ern­ment jobs with ample salaries — while she was just get­ting her start as an assis­tant DA.

As the San Fran­cisco Weekly reported in 2003:

Aside from hand­ing her an expen­sive BMW, Brown appointed her to two patron­age posi­tions in state gov­ern­ment that paid hand­somely — more than $400,000 over five years. In 1994, she took a six-​month leave of absence from her Alameda County job to join the Unem­ploy­ment Insur­ance Appeals Board. Brown then appointed her to the Cal­i­for­nia Med­ical Assis­tance Com­mis­sion, where she served until 1998, attend­ing two meet­ings a month for a $99,000 annual salary.

Brown con­tin­ued to aid Har­ris’ career after they stopped “dat­ing,” most notably by con­vinc­ing for­mer Los Ange­les mayor Anto­nio Vil­laraigosa not to run for the US Sen­ate seat against Harris.

In case you think I’ve been drowned by a tidal wave of con­ser­v­a­tive rage and innu­endo on Brown and Har­ris, the word came down yes­ter­day from Willie Brown, who admit­ted in a San Fran­cisco Chron­i­cle piece to what many peo­ple already knew.

I’ve been pep­pered with calls from the national media about my “rela­tion­ship” with Kamala Har­ris, par­tic­u­larly since it became obvi­ous that she was going to run for pres­i­dent. Most of them, I have not returned.

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.

This is a big prob­lem for Har­ris. I’ve worked sev­eral jobs – but not my cur­rent one – where bosses were sex­u­ally involved with under­lings and those sub­or­di­nates were pro­moted. Once the snick­er­ing about it wears off anger set­tles in. More deserv­ing employ­ees won­der if they have to “date” the boss to move ahead and earn more money. Many peo­ple will believe that Har­ris got ahead by going to bed.

In prepa­ra­tion for this post I typed “Kamala Har­ris Wille Br” into my Microsoft Edge browser bar. The auto­com­plete sup­plied these responses, “Kamala Har­ris Willie Brown rela­tion­ship, Kamala Har­ris Willie Brown cheats, Kamala Har­ris Willie Brown girl­friend, and Kamala Har­ris Willie Brown albatross.”

Willie Brown may come down as Har­ris’ albatross.

Sen. Eliz­a­beth War­ren (D-​MA) is another Dem can­di­date for pres­i­dent. After vio­lat­ing a Sen­ate rule pro­hibit­ing insult­ing another sen­a­tor, War­ren defended her­self by declar­ing, “Nev­er­the­less, she persisted.”

Har­ris can build on that by answer­ing, “Nev­er­the­less, she dated Willie Brown.”

John Ruberry reg­u­larly blogs at Marathon Pun­dit.

Microsoft Edge auto complete for “Kamala Harris Willie Br”

By John Ruberry

Willie Brown is not a household name unless you are a political junkie–or a Californian. Nationally he may be better known for playing himself, when he was mayor of San Francisco, in The Princess Diaries. When asked if it would rain by a reporter, the Democrat replied, “It never comes down on Willie Brown.”

Indeed it does not. Despite ethical lapses that go back decades–as well as several FBI investigations–like Bill and Hillary Clinton, there is plenty of smoke surrounding Brown, who was also a longtime speaker of the California State Assembly, but the law can never find the fire.

Why does this matter? Last week, on Martin Luther King Day, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), announced that she is running for president.

Let’s get back to Brown. On the current version of Harris’ Wikipedia page is this innocent sentence, “In the 1990’s she dated California Speaker of the Assembly Willie Brown.” Well, I guess you can call it dating. Did they participate in candlelight bowling? The relationship began in 1994 when Brown was 60 and Harris was 30. Brown was married at the time and he still is. The affair lasted two years.

The morals argument against such behavior in regards to politicians is out the window and drowned in the river. Bill Clinton and Donald Trump’s moral shortcomings have seen to that. But the problem with affairs involving people in power is that the less powerful person in the relationship often gets rewarded in ways that raise eyebrows.

From the Washington Examiner:

More questionable than the romance is the relationship’s apparent effect on her finances and her career. Brown, according to contemporary news accounts, gifted his then-girlfriend two government jobs with ample salaries — while she was just getting her start as an assistant DA.

As the San Francisco Weekly reported in 2003:

Aside from handing her an expensive BMW, Brown appointed her to two patronage positions in state government that paid handsomely — more than $400,000 over five years. In 1994, she took a six-month leave of absence from her Alameda County job to join the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board. Brown then appointed her to the California Medical Assistance Commission, where she served until 1998, attending two meetings a month for a $99,000 annual salary.

Brown continued to aid Harris’ career after they stopped “dating,” most notably by convincing former Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa not to run for the US Senate seat against Harris.

In case you think I’ve been drowned by a tidal wave of conservative rage and innuendo on Brown and Harris, the word came down yesterday from Willie Brown, who admitted in a San Francisco Chronicle piece to what many people already knew.

I’ve been peppered with calls from the national media about my “relationship” with Kamala Harris, particularly since it became obvious that she was going to run for president. Most of them, I have not returned.

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.

This is a big problem for Harris. I’ve worked several jobs–but not my current one–where bosses were sexually involved with underlings and those subordinates were promoted. Once the snickering about it wears off anger settles in. More deserving employees wonder if they have to “date” the boss to move ahead and earn more money. Many people will believe that Harris got ahead by going to bed.

In preparation for this post I typed “Kamala Harris Wille Br” into my Microsoft Edge browser bar. The autocomplete supplied these responses, “Kamala Harris Willie Brown relationship, Kamala Harris Willie Brown cheats, Kamala Harris Willie Brown girlfriend, and Kamala Harris Willie Brown albatross.”

Willie Brown may come down as Harris’ albatross.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is another Dem candidate for president. After violating a Senate rule prohibiting insulting another senator, Warren defended herself by declaring, “Nevertheless, she persisted.”

Harris can build on that by answering, “Nevertheless, she dated Willie Brown.”

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.