Kamala Harris has just released some 15 years of her tax returns. This is interesting, certainly, and is obviously a little dig at Bernie Sanders and a much larger one at Donald Trump. Except it’s not really all that important, given that this is the period she’s been holding either state-wide in California or national office as a Senator. Both sets of jobs having pretty strict limits on what it is that can be done as an outside economic interest. Writing, speeches, sure, a continuing interest in a family business, but not a great deal more than that.
Perhaps most importantly, the usual sources of state patronage are cut off. And that’s the only part of Kamala Harris’ economic life that we might have an interest in too. So, this isn’t what we really want to see:
Throwing down the tax return gauntlet against both Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders and President Donald Trump, Sen. Kamala Harris of California released 15 years of her tax returns, the most of any 2020 Presidential candidate. Harris released her taxes from 2004 to 2018, “making her the most transparent candidate in the field when it comes to information about personal finances,” said a campaign aide. “This is a stark contrast with President Trump, who refuses to release his tax returns.”
Meh. Given the fuss that’s been made about Trump’s returns there’s not a Democrat on the planet who isn’t going to be releasing their returns.
What’s much, much, more interesting is this:
A 1994 Los Angeles Times report about then-California Assembly Speaker Brown’s “rush to hand out patronage jobs” described Harris as Brown’s “frequent companion” and said several people referred to her as Brown’s girlfriend. That report also cited a column from the Chronicle’s Herb Caen that called Harris “the Speaker’s new steady.” When they met, she was 29 and Brown was 60.
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.
One of the key points of scrutiny related to their relationship has been the two jobs that Brown appointed Harris to around the time they were dating. One position was on the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board and the other was on the Medical Assistance Commission. Harris held both jobs in 1994, the same year she was linked with Brown, according to the Los Angeles Times. The two ultimately ended their relationship the following year.
Rumour has it that just the one of those jobs paid $80,000 a year. Back in the 1990s that was serious money. Especially for a part time job.
Sure, and it’s not uncommon for a man to find a sinecure job for his mistress in order to provide her with an income. But that’s why those Kamala Harris tax returns from 1993 through 1996 or 7 would be so interesting. For we’d be able to find out how much of Harris’ income was coming from those patronage jobs. You know, how much of Brown’s provision of her sinecure was with our money not his? Even, if a man wants to keep a mistress aren’t we allowed to ask that he keep her, not us keep her for him?
Yes, yes, I know, this isn’t an abnormal career path in the slightest. Been going on since the first time an older man noted a younger woman. But it’s still true that those are going to be the tax returns of interest….how much of her income was coming from those sinecures? And yes, we can tell, we can just deduct her deputy district attorney salary from her total labour income.
If we’re going to have transparency then why not have real transparency?