Willie Brown: So What If I Dated Kamala Harris and Gave Her State Jobs?

Willie Brown and Kamala Harris (Scott Strazzante / Associated Press)
Scott Strazzante / Associated Press

Former San Francisco mayor and California State Assembly speaker Willie Brown confirmed Saturday that he had dated Democratic presidential hopeful Kamala Harris and appointed her to two state jobs — and dismissed the fuss.

As Breitbart News reported earlier this month, “Kamala Harris’s career received a boost from a patronage job in dubious circumstances.” In particular:

In 1994, then-outgoing Speaker of the California State Assembly Willie Brown (D-San Francisco) appointed Harris to a state board with a $72,000 salary. The Los Angeles Times reported: “Harris, a former deputy district attorney in Alameda County, was described by several people at the Capitol as Brown’s girlfriend.” (Brown was married but separated.)

The problem was not that Brown was dating Harris, but the apparent nepotism involved in her appointment.

Brown published a short article in the San Francisco Chronicle this weekend, “Sure, I dated Kamala Harris. So what?” In the article, he acknowledged the facts but not the reasons for the controversy:

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.

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.

Brown did not — as far as is known — have intimate relationships with any of the other politicians he named.

He also claimed that Harris told him that she would be particularly harsh on him once she won election to the office of San Francisco District Attorney, though it is not clear why that would be relevant to the questions surrounding her earlier appointments.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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