(Tea Party PAC) – In an article in the San Francisco Chronicle this week, former San Francisco mayor Willie Brown admitted to having an extramarital affair with Kamala Harris when he was in office, and also to giving her her first two state jobs.
Don’t expect this dirty #MeToo history to get splashed all over the headlines as Harris revs up her 2020 run.
“Yes, we dated,” Brown wrote. “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.
“And I certainly helped with her first race for district attorney in San Francisco. I have also helped the careers of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Gov. Gavin Newsom, Sen. Dianne Feinstein and a host of other politicians.”
The San Francisco Chronicle reported on Harris’ affair with Willie Brown in 2003:
If she can just get out from under this damn Willie Brown thing.
Harris routinely tries to distance herself from her ex-squeeze, whom she hates even talking about. The mere mention of their former liaison makes her shoulders tense, her hands clench, and her eyes narrow.
“I refuse,” she says vehemently, “to design my campaign around criticizing Willie Brown for the sake of appearing to be independent when I have no doubt that I am independent of him — and that he would probably right now express some fright about the fact that he cannot control me.
“His career is over; I will be alive and kicking for the next 40 years. I do not owe him a thing.”
She acknowledges that Brown is an “albatross hanging around my neck” and fears that voters who dislike him will ignore her candidacy — even as she dismisses such an act as irrational. “Would it make sense if you are a Martian coming to Earth that the litmus test for public office is where a candidate is in their relationship to Willie Brown?” Harris asks. “Willie Brown is not going to be around. He’s gone — hello people, move on. If there is corruption, it will be prosecuted. It’s a no-brainer, but let’s please move on.”
Would that politics were so simple.
San Francisco voters tend to have long memories, and Brown himself is complicating Harris’ attempts to shed him politically. He personally gave $500 to her campaign, and a political consultant who worked on both of his mayoral runs is raising money for Harris — without her consent — using a pitch letter signed by Brown. Harris denies asking the mayor for fund-raising help and knows it gives her antagonists even more ammunition.
She also knows there’s not much she can do about it, except to keep saying that the affair is ancient history and that she is a good candidate with good ideas. But as Harris well understands, the more she tries to explain away the Willie factor, the bigger a factor he becomes.