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Kamala Harris, the junior U.S. senator from California who is battling among some two-dozen other candidates for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, didn’t have much of a career before 1994. That was the year she became the new “steady” of California Assembly Speaker Willie Brown, a man who is a full 30 years her senior. In a process of poontronage, Brown appointed Harris to lucrative sinecures in state government and raised money for her successful run for San Francisco district attorney.
Harris went on to win election as state attorney general in 2010, even though the Sacramento Bee endorsed her Republican rival, Steve Cooley. (So much for the power of endorsements!) In 2016, Brown urged former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to drop out of the U.S. Senate race, and his former steady went on to win the November election handily. Harris now wants to be president, but she is hardly the only Willie Brown understudy on the rise.
In 1995, a year after he met Harris, Brown encountered fundraiser Carolyn Carpeneti, an elegant blond of 32, and the two became romantically involved. In fact, the pair had a daughter in 2001, when Carpeneti was 38 and Brown 67. As the San Francisco Chronicle noted in 2003, “people familiar with her career—political professionals, city officials, her ex-husband—say Carpeneti’s success is rooted in her relationship with Brown.”
Over a five-year period, groups controlled by Brown paid $2.3 million to Carpeneti, recently granted a sweetheart no-bid deal to recruit for California’s online college project. As Dan Morain noted in CALmatters, the person who selected Carpeneti, Heather Hiles, “is connected to San Francisco politics, having overseen communications for Gov. Gavin Newsom while he was running to succeed Brown as mayor of San Francisco in 2003.”
Like Carpeneti, the success of Kamala Harris is also rooted in her relationship with Willie Brown. The most successful Brown understudy recently announced that, that if she is elected president, within 100 days she would issue an executive order against “assault weapons,” because “1 in 4 police officers killed in the line of duty by gunfire is killed by an assault weapon.”
But just as the corporate leftist media ignored Harris’s relationship with Brown, so too have they ignored her most notable encounter with a cop killer.
As San Francisco’s D.A., Harris promised she would never seek the death penalty. But a murder of a police officer was one of the special circumstances for which voters approved the death penalty in 1977. The San Francisco Chronicle examined 90 cases of cop killings since 1987, and found that prosecutors sought the death penalty in nearly every case.
In 2004, David Hill, 21, a member of the Mob Hill gang, deployed an AK-47 to gun down San Francisco police officer Isaac Espinosa, 29. Harris announced, “today I want to be very clear: in the city and county of San Francisco, anyone who murders a police officer engaged in his or her duties will be met with the most severe consequences.” Despite the tough rhetoric, however, Harris would not seek the death penalty for Hill.
Senator Dianne Feinstein, a former mayor of San Francisco, showed up at Espinosa’s funeral and said, “This is not only the definition of tragedy, it’s the special circumstance called for by the death penalty law.” Police union president Gary Delagnes demanded that Espinosa’s killer “pay the ultimate price.” Delagnes also drew an ovation, but according to the San Francisco Chronicle report, the officer earned “a dirty look from Harris, who was sitting in the front row.”
San Francisco police officer Mike Nevin argued that the death penalty is already reserved for a small percentage of the most heinous crimes. Killing a police officer should qualify, the officer said, “because if you’re willing to kill a cop, you’re willing to kill anybody.” That failed to change the thinking of Harris, and in her 2009 Smart on Crime: A Career Prosecutor’s Plan to Make Us Safer, Harris found the number of nonviolent offenders “truly staggering” and put them at the top of her “crime pyramid.”
Harris won a narrow victory in 2010 but the Attorney General stayed quiet in 2014 when previously deported Mexican national Luis Bracamontes gunned down police officers Danny Oliver and Michael Davis. The Mexican’s weapon of choice was an assault rifle and during his trial, he shouted “black lives don’t matter” at family members of the victims.
In 2015, repeatedly deported Mexican felon Jose Inez Garcia Zarate shot and killed Kate Steinle on a San Francisco pier. Harris defended the city’s sanctuary policy and failed even to decry “gun violence” in the case
That same year, Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik used assault rifles to kill 14 unarmed innocents and wounded 22 at an office party in San Bernardino. A year later, Harris issued a statement on the “devastating and tragic terrorist attack,” but failed to name the Islamic terrorists and their motive for the mass murder.
Meanwhile, for murdering Isaac Espinosa with an AK-47 and attempting to murder his partner, Barry Parker, David Hill drew a life sentence, without the possibility of parole. Had Hill been sentenced to death, as Feinstein and others wanted, the killer would have been saved by Governor Gavin Newsom. In March, Newson reprieved all 737 murderers on California’s death row, including Luis Bracamontes who said during his trial that he wished he had killed more cops.
But opposing the death penalty in San Francisco means never having to say you’re sorry. Then again, the rest of America might think otherwise.
Photo credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images