California, Harris in Trouble

Kamala Harris / Wikimedia Commons


As California’s debt spirals out of control due to the profligacy of the state's Democrats, violent crime rises in California cities under Attorney General Kamala Harris.

Governor Jerry Brown announced in May that the budget’s projected deficit had risen to $16 billion, almost $7 billion more than the projection in January. $2.1 billion in overspending this fiscal year combined with a $3.5 billion shortfall in tax revenues to increase the state’s already overwhelming debt.

Meanwhile, Attorney General Kamala Harris’s first year in office saw violent crime rise in California cities Ventura, San Bernardino, and Anaheim, among others, bucking a national trend that saw violent crime drop.

The California Assembly recently released statistics showing significant discrepancies in crime rates between ethnic groups. For example, "[y]oung Latino men are toughly 40 percent more likely than white men to wind up serving time in an adult prison," the Oakland Tribune reported.

Harris’s failure to stem the rising tide of violent crime in these cities and to close the crime gap comes after she was accused in 2010 of illegally withholding key background information on witnesses when she was district attorney. San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi accused Harris of "malfeasance, or unethical behavior" for failing to disclose the background of 80 officers that had past criminal activity.

Harris did not admit her failing, instead attacking Public Defender Adachi’s motives and downplaying the extent of her illegal failure to disclose: "It’s irresponsible to incite fear," she said, "especially when there is no credible information about the number of officers that are involved or the number of cases that are involved."

Even one of her largest accomplishments has been marred by unethical action.

In February, Kamala Harris hailed a mortgage settlement between banks and homeowners as a "victory for California." In an announcement, she said, "It was imperative that we not give a blank check of immunity to the banks for their wrongdoing." Out of the estimated $40 billion in federal help for homeowners, California homeowners will receive $18 billion.

The settlement is far from sufficient to solve the problem, however. USA Today reported:

But the settlement falls far short of fixing all that went wrong in the U.S. mortgage industry, after risky loans were extended to millions who couldn't afford the loans. That helped lead to a collapse in U.S. home prices, which are down an average of 33% nationwide since 2006. The settlement will not compensate the vast majority of U.S. homeowners who have kept making payments while their home values plunged.

Harris was also accused of inappropriately aiding the very banks she was prosecuting.

She sued a lawyer involved in mass lawsuits against Bank of America. The lawyer argued that "Harris’ actions primarily benefitted Bank of America, which has sought repeatedly to discredit attorney Stein ever since he filed the original lawsuit against Bank of America in 2009."

The lawyer noted that earlier in the year Harris received four donations "from attorneys with the law firm representing Bank of America," California Watch reported.

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