Home | About | Donate

'For the People': California Sen. Kamala Harris Announces 2020 Run

My guess is that the limited reforms they just instituted with less power for super delegates is as far as we’re likely to see for awhile from the Democrats. I think your suggestion for a primary system makes much more sense for the Green Party. Third parties should be the incubator of that type of innovation - and the Greens badly need to go beyond their current system which is less democratic than the Democrats.


Bernie ran a somewhat purist campaign. I think if he does so again, the only competition he would worry about, is another purist.
Is that where Harris is hailing from?

And thus the Dems appointed 2020 nominee announces her candidacy. I wonder who will get more media coverage. Her, Warren, or Tulsi? Actually don’t answer that, I already know the answer.


The word misconduct has been used in some articles about her (e.g. https://www.businessinsider.com/kamala-harris-law-enforcement-record-is-facing-renewed-scrutiny-2019-1). I’m aware that she wasn’t accused in a forum were she could have been disbarred or something.

I just read the NYT piece (sounds like there is likely an innocent man in jail thanks to her):

A good first step would be to apologize to the wrongfully convicted people she has fought to keep in prison and to do what she can to make sure they get justice. She should start with George Gage.

and the David Doel video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ym_MnjUWDak (in addition to summarizing some the NYT piece, it becomes clear she is a big donor candidate, not a small donor one like Sanders or Warren).

I don’t think I need to know any more, but like David Doel, in the unlikely event she won the nomination, I would like her to beat Trump (I still won’t vote for her though).

I haven’t read many articles about her, but I really liked how she questioned Mr. Barr—and I don’t think he fared all that well. : )

1 Like

If the New York Times piece you refer to is an op-Ed, I would encourage you to read more about the situation from the time. The author takes some pretty big liberties in it, like making it seem as if Harris was responsible for the acts of her predecessors. Most of the convictions tossed predate her time in office—the op-Ed doesn’t tell the audience that. Moreover, the fact the op-Ed doesn’t note it was her office that prosecuted the lab technician seems a little problematic, right? Perhaps it’s more a politically colored hit piece, designed to tic “concerns” more than illuminate history?

As for the video you link to, if you like that guy’s views, okay I guess. Myself, I need more than litmus test grievance hints and shadows to get a bearing on a candidate. FDR was family friends with the Rockefellers, after all.

1 Like

Bernie was overwhelmingly running a campaign concentrating on homeland issues. What countries have we usurped sovereignty from? Who do we own that we didn’t last year or the year before?
I can see where sweeping through the mid-east in some ways qualifies as imperialism, and Bernie must have talked about that somewhere along the campaign, but I can;t prove it just now.
Reasonable question though.

1 Like

There isn’t a single proposed or announced Democratic candidate for President who is truly progressive, and I’m not talking about small degrees of disagreement. This latest, Harris, refused to criminally pursue Steve Mnuchin for the mortgage foreclosure scandal, then he becomes one of her largest campaign donors (and the only Democrat he gave money to), and now the SOB is Sec. of the Treasury thank you very much!. I’ve had enough of the “law and order” type of prosecutor Dems running for other offices. We need dissenters and dissidents running to control our government for the actual people. They’re all corporate shills of some kind. This is why I left the Dems for the Greens in 2016 and will not look back, no matter what, and will NEVER again vote for another one of them, no matter how many blank spaces I end up leaving on my ballot from now on.


The relevant portion would seem to be:

Consider her record as San Francisco’s district attorney from 2004 to 2011. Ms. Harris was criticized in 2010 for withholding information about a police laboratory technician who had been accused of “intentionally sabotaging” her work and stealing drugs from the lab. After a memo surfaced showing that Ms. Harris’s deputies knew about the technician’s wrongdoing and recent conviction, but failed to alert defense lawyers, a judge condemned Ms. Harris’s indifference to the systemic violation of the defendants’ constitutional rights.

Ms. Harris contested the ruling by arguing that the judge, whose husband was a defense attorney and had spoken publicly about the importance of disclosing evidence, had a conflict of interest. Ms. Harris lost. More than 600 cases handled by the corrupt technician were dismissed.

I don’t care if most of the 600 cases were before her time - we are talking about this one case for which the conviction does not predate her time in office. I also am not seeing how the fact that she prosecuted the lab technician is the least bit relevant. I suppose anybody unjustly convicted would like to see that person in jail, but what matters most to them is their own conviction don’t you think? And unrelated to this case is the very worrisome case of Mr. Gage. It doesn’t sound like that case was handled well at all by the time she had it (again it doesn’t matter if she was the original prosecutor or not):

Worst of all, though, is Ms. Harris’s record in wrongful conviction cases. Consider George Gage, an electrician with no criminal record who was charged in 1999 with sexually abusing his stepdaughter, who reported the allegations years later. The case largely hinged on the stepdaughter’s testimony and Mr. Gage was convicted.

Afterward, the judge discovered that the prosecutor had unlawfully held back potentially exculpatory evidence, including medical reports indicating that the stepdaughter had been repeatedly untruthful with law enforcement. Her mother even described her as “a pathological liar” who “lives her lies.”

In 2015, when the case reached the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco, Ms. Harris’s prosecutors defended the conviction. They pointed out that Mr. Gage, while forced to act as his own lawyer, had not properly raised the legal issue in the lower court, as the law required.

The appellate judges acknowledged this impediment and sent the case to mediation, a clear signal for Ms. Harris to dismiss the case. When she refused to budge, the court upheld the conviction on that technicality. Mr. Gage is still in prison serving a 70-year sentence.

That sounds completely fucked. If Harris wants to respond and give a piece of information exculpatory towards her performance, I’d like to hear it because I can’t imagine what it could be.

I did notice there was a very brief response in the NYT (https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/18/opinion/letters/kamala-harris-district-attorney-record.html) which doesn’t address a single one of the points in the ‘hit piece’, but adds information on some good things she did (and I’m sure she did many good things).

I don’t mind in this case reacting to grievances hints and shadows. If Harris herself has a decent defense I’ll listen but I’m not looking forward to her using any oxygen in the room - I’m sure she won’t be the last democrat who is not that great for progressives to join the race.


The problem is that the case as presented wasn’t an easy call, with clear and risky downsides, and it was premised on making a statement more than receiving restitution. As the Request for Action notes clearly, “The proposed action would be the first of its kind in California and raises complex legal and factual issues which may lessen the prospect of settlement and/or require appellate review. If we take the enforcement action to trial, we face a higher than average risk the court may choose to award minimal amounts in restitution and/or penalties.” There was also a strong possibility of Federal preemption and significant court delays, like up to two years before the AG’s office could even argue the merits of discovery.

I’m not trying to defend Harris here, but every AG has to make difficult decisions. It’s not just bringing a case, but bringing one that is successful at trial.

Unfortunately, learned helplessness is so ingrained in the American psyche that most will never stop looking for a savior, which is why every politician presents themselves as such.
Therefore, far too many will keep making excuses and do the usual mental gymnastics every time their chosen party trots out the next savior.
Simply put, they want to “believe”.

1 Like

This was my number one complaint with Bernie’s last campaign - he could have used multiple stump speeches and not given the inequality one all the time (of course I’m only going off what snippets I hear, but I don’t believe he covered much foreign policy at all during the campaign).

However, there is an excellent speech (after the election) that was linked to in RoseAnn DeMoro’s piece (https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/01/17/10-things-we-all-lose-if-bernie-chooses-not-run-2020). See https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/09/21/watch-bernie-sanders-lays-out-progressive-foreign-policy-vision for the speech. Worth a listen if you like Sanders at all and are interested in the topic. I recall he mentions the CIA coup in Iran - you don’t hear many US politicians bringing up that tragedy.

1 Like

They probably don’t mention that Iranian coup so we won’t have it in our thoughts when they do the next one. Perhaps sooner that we think.
Thanks for the links.


It’s an op-Ed. I suggest you actually read about the case at the time. You realize the conviction the author is alluding to isn’t related to the crime lab technician’s problems at the crime lab (which featured two mistrials before a misdemeanor conviction), but her 2008 prosecution for domestic violence while she was under the influence, right? That’s what makes the op-Ed a hit piece. It’s deceiving its readers into thinking what prosecutors didn’t inform defendant attorneys about were problems at the lab, again not known until 2009, not the domestic abuse arrest. And, of course, it was Harris’s office that dropped 1700 cases after the technician’s criminality was revealed in December 2009. That, quite conveniently, wasn’t mentioned either.

I’m not familiar with the Gage case so cannot speak to that. After reading the op-Ed though, I wouldn’t be surprised if it papered over plenty of context to make its point.

For the record, I likely will not vote for Harris either. She’s not my preference, but I saw the holes in that op-Ed right away.


Jamaican & Indian.

You know the Brits called Indian “negroes,” right? The probably still do.

I and a couple of others actually had a meeting with her during the anti-Iraq war demonstrations back in 2003. We were demonstrators. She wasn’t particularly hostile, just vaguely unsupportive. I made a forceful comment to her about “War against the planet,” and she looked kind of abashed. It seemed to me she had no understanding, no commitments, and perhaps was even a bit ashamed of her lack of moral focus.

1 Like

He voted for all the appropriations bills for the war in Iraq, he voted for the resolution against Iran, it was the same with Yugoslavia. He’s in support of drone killing, and even of the Kill Matrix. Those in Burlington knew what he was about. He even stood against protesters there who were blockading the factory making gatling guns for the helicopters being sent to the Contras. He literally stood arm-in-arm with the police commissioner, protecting the factory, and condemned the protesters, saying they “hated workers.”

I could go on, but trying to get through to the Berie-bots was as bad as trying to get through to the Obama-bots, and in the end those of us who were trying just shut up and went away - which is what they wanted. We are simply not going to get a damn thing out of someone who will not confront the MIC.

And if you want references for this, it’s all over. You do have to look, though.


As a former but not the latter (I was still hopefull in 08 but disillusioned fast in 09), I appreciate your efforts. I would rather Bernie was as good as Barbara Lee on the military but I think he could still be an improvement over Obama/Clinton or Trump. The helicopter comment is especially galling. I

Do you think there is anyone better on the peace issue in the list of Democrats now running or thought likely to run?

That’s what I’ve found too, when involved in organizing activities. Instead of building community to be prepared to make a ruckus and to challenge uncooperative elected officials, the minute there’s a chance to talk to the guy/gal who appears to be “in charge,” all organizing stops in the desperate hope that the king/queen will save them. We have so far to go that I think there is little short, or even medium-term, hope.


I knew about F-35 issues which I never liked but now in addition to the GE helicopter gun story (which I read more of in https://www.thedailybeast.com/bernie-sanders-loves-this-dollar1-trillion-war-machine?ref=scroll, I see apparently he originally was in favor of Saudi Arabia going into Yemen (https://www.counterpunch.org/2015/08/27/foreign-policy-sanders-style-backing-saudi-intervention/). That one I have to look into further. Even if he wasn’t advocating for a Yemen attack in particular but just egging on Saudi Arabia to do more fighting in other spots, that is about the worst thing I’ve read about Bernie thus far.

Do you think there is anyone better on the peace issue in the list of Democrats now running or thought likely to run? If only Barbara Lee would run and if only we were wise enough to vote for her in high enough numbers to win.