Kamala Harris’ Presidential Run Ruined: Attorney General Office Tried to Keep Inmates Locked Up Longer for Slave Labor in California to Fight Wildfires
Under Kamilla Harris’ watch, lawyers at her Attorney General Office in California argued that allowing certain inmates to be paroled early would deplete a program that allowed prisons to fight wildfires – using prisoners as slave labor – sometimes as low as $1 per hour!
At the time, they did not even try to hide it: “Extending 2-for-1 credits to all minimum custody inmates at this time would severely impact fire camp participation — a dangerous outcome while California is in the middle of a difficult fire season and severe drought,” lawyers from Harris’s office wrote in a filing.
In 2011, the Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Plata that California’s prisons were so overcrowded they violated the Constitution’s prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment. In 2014, California was ordered to allow non-violent, second time offenders who have served half of their sentence to be eligible for parole.
Not so fast, argued Attorney General Kamilla Harris’ lawyers… The State was getting grueling, cheap labor out of the prisoners by having them fight wildfires. Dangerous work, but with slave wages to help the State’s bottom line.
Lawyers for Harris’ office also argued that draining the prisons of “minimum custody inmates” would deplete the labor force in local communities where the inmates worked for pennies on the dollar, earning Harris the nickname; ‘The Progressive Prosecutor.”
This comes on the heels of Larry Wallace, a top staff member to US Senator Kamala Harris, resigning after after a harassment and retaliation settlement surfaced. Wallace, who served as the director of the Division of Law Enforcement under then-Attorney General Harris, was accused by his former executive assistant in December 2016 of harassment and other demeaning behavior, including frequently asking her to crawl under his desk to change the paper in his printer.
This comes on the heels of former San Francisco Mayor, Willie Brown throwing the 2020 Democrat nominee hopeful under the bus, by confirming he and Harris had a sexual, “Friends with Benefits” relationship which resulted in Brown – 30-years her senior – moved Kamilla up the ladder in California politics. Those are some benefits.
Many say Kamilla Harris got to where she is by having the affair with Brown after he wrote in the San Francisco Chronicle; “Yes, we dated” and; “I may have influenced her career by appointing her to two state commissions when I was [California] Assembly speaker. And I certainly helped with her first race for district attorney in San Francisco.”
The extra-marital affair was denied by Ms. Harris, but well-known in California political circles. Brown confirmed the relationship and although he said he helped many people climb the ladder; “The difference is that Harris is the only one who, after I helped her, sent word that I would be indicted if I ‘so much as jaywalked’ while she was D.A.,” Brown wrote. “That’s politics for ya.”
We used to have a different name for women who slept with old, powerful men to get ahead.
The new allegations regarding holding prisoners longer so they could be used by the State for slave labor is one which might stick directly to Harris’ presidential campaign. According to court filings, lawyers for the state said California met benchmarks, and argued that if certain potential parolees were given a faster track out of prison, it would negatively impact the prison’s labor program including one that allowed certain inmates to work fighting California’s wildfires for about $2 a day.
“Once we ridiculed and flagged them for that, they changed their tune, but that was their initial response,” Donald Specter, executive director of the Prison Law Office and lead counsel on Brown v. Plata, said. “As far as I know, she did very little if anything to improve the criminal justice system when she was attorney general,” Specter remarked.
Criticism against Harris resurfaced after her announcement for president last month brought heightened scrutiny. In 2014, Harris told said she was “shocked” to learn about what her lawyers were arguing in court and claimed to have no knowledge of it.
Harris’ presidential campaign repeated that claim this week to the Daily Beast: “As she said at the time, Sen. Harris was shocked and troubled by the use of this argument. She looked into it and directed the department’s attorneys not to make that argument again.”
“Time after time, when progressives urged her to embrace criminal justice reforms as a district attorney and then the state’s attorney general, Ms. Harris opposed them or stayed silent,” Lara Bazelon, a law professor and the former director of the Loyola Law School Project for the Innocent in Los Angeles, wrote in a blistering op-ed in The New York Times a week before Harris formally launched her campaign.
I wonder if any of the other Democrat candidates will have the moxy to call her out on any of this?