HITTING LEFT #110

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Kamala Harris announces on King Day. And why not?

Kamala Harris announced her candidacy in the 2020 presidential race on King Day. And why not? An electable black woman (running against Trump at least), a California senator, who will run a little to the left of a Joe Biden or Hillary Clinton and potentially become the first African-American woman U.S. president? (Obviously, no dick problems here.) I'm not jumping on board yet. It's way too early, at least for me to pick a favorite. But I'm glad Harris is in the race, in what's obviously going to be a crowded field. 

Some lefties are already throwing up #NeverKamala signs. This according to Branco Marcetic whose attempted slam piece, "The Two Faces of Kamala Harris" in the latest issue of Jacobin, actually makes her look pretty good, at least when compared to the other Dem Party regulars.

I have big issues with Harris over her record as a state prosecutor. For one, she opposed an early release program for non-violent offenders claiming it would diminish the prison labor pool. For another, her apparent support for the death penalty.

Here's an interesting connection. Harris began her political career as the DA in San Francisco, a job that later led to her becoming the state's attorney general and then senator. You don't see many progressive big-city prosecutors and I'm not prepared to say Harris is one of them.. Chicago's Kim Foxx is one and Philly's Larry Krasner is another breaking from the mass-incarceration, racist law-and-order mode.

But look who's following in Harris' path and running for DA in San Francisco this time around?

It's none other than brilliant, young movement activist lawyer, and friend of mine, Chesa Boudin.

DeChesa Boudin files papers for district attorney, flanked by Supervisors Hillary Ronen and Aaron Peskin. (Image: Nuala Sawyer)

According to the San Francisco Chronicle:
When he was just over a year old, his parents — left-wing radicals in the Weather Underground — took part in a Brinks armored car robbery outside New York City that ended in the murder of two police officers and a security guard.
Before he could walk, he was making monthly trips through prison metal detectors and steel bars to visit his mom and dad. Like many other children of incarcerated parents, he was set up for a life of hardship and heartbreak. 
But nearly four decades later, Boudin, 38, is a deputy public defender in San Francisco. His impressive ascent to the office includes becoming a Rhodes scholar, earning a law degree from Yale and clerking for two federal judges. He recently helped upend California’s cash bail system, which was widely seen as inequitable to people of color and the poor.
I obviously can't vote for Chesa, but my check's in the mail. Yours too, I hope.

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