Kamala Harris in Democratic Primary Debates and news

On Jobs: Require "equal pay certification" for government contracts

Harris is vowing to "flip the script and finally hold corporations accountable for pay inequality in America." To narrow gender pay disparities, she says she wants to leverage the power of the public purse by requiring corporations to obtain an "equal pay certification" before they can gain lucrative government contracts.
Source: The Nation magazine on 2019 Democratic primary Nov 19, 2019

On Tax Reform: Higher tax on wealthy to fund Medicare-for-All & teacher pay

The Harris version of Medicare for All would rest on much the same tax-the-rich moves the Sanders plan suggests. But she would limit her plan's premium fee to households making over $100,000 a year. To fund a $315 billion plan to raise teacher salaries, she calls for strengthening the estate tax and cracking down on loopholes that let our wealthy avoid taxes on "estates worth multiple millions or billions."
Source: The Nation magazine on 2019 Democratic primary Nov 19, 2019

On Energy & Oil: Shouldn't sell/lease public land for drilling

Q: How do you plan to support already at-risk and marginalized people who are experiencing the impact of climate change now?

HARRIS: Ultimately, it's about empowering communities that are often ignored. All of those communities have been disproportionately impacted by the change that we are seeing in our climate, not to mention the kind of behaviors by the fossil fuel industry that have been about pollution, about dumping and all that. It should be our responsibility to make sure that we leverage the incredible power we have in a way that is about empowering the communities that have been long overlooked and ignored.

Q: What about public lands?

HARRIS: We should not be selling or leasing public land for the purposes of drilling. One of my greatest priorities on this subject will be about preservation of public lands.

Source: Climate Crisis Town Hall (CNN 2019 Democratic primary) Sep 4, 2019

On Environment: Take on interests with profit motive to pollute

Leaders have to lead. I'm prepared to do it, because, on this issue, it's not a question of debating the science. It's a question of taking on powerful interests, taking on the polluters, understanding that they have a profit motive to pollute. Let's take them to court. Let's require that, if they don't change their behaviors, they will pay those fines and there will be accountability and consequences.
Source: Climate Crisis Town Hall (CNN 2019 Democratic primary) Sep 4, 2019

On Crime: FactCheck: Denied DNA evidence in 1980s; backtracked in 2018

The attack: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard said Kamala Harris "blocked evidence from being revealed that would have freed an innocent man from Death Row until the courts forced her to do so."

The context: Gabbard is referring to the case of Kevin Cooper, a Death Row inmate convicted of quadruple murder in 1983. Harris, during her tenure as attorney general, declined to use advanced DNA testing in the widely publicized case.

Last year, after the New York Times published an investigative piece on Cooper's case, then-Sen. Harris backtracked, saying, "I feel awful about this," and that she hoped the governor would order the testing. In February, Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered new tests. The results are pending.

Source: S.F.Chronicle FactCheck: July 2019 Democratic Primary debate Jul 31, 2019

On Crime: I chose the unpopular thing to NOT seek the death penalty

[Harris said during the debate]: "My entire career I have been personally opposed to the death penalty and that has never changed. And I dare anybody who is in a position to make that decision, to face the people I have faced to say I will not seek the death penalty. That is my background; that is my work. When I was in the position of having to decide whether or not to seek a death penalty on cases I prosecuted, I made a very difficult decision that was not popular to not seek the death penalty."

[Is that true? FactCheck by Vox.com:]

In 2004, as district attorney of San Francisco, she refused to seek the death penalty against a man convicted of shooting police officer Isaac Espinoza. She faced opposition from fellow Democrats; Sen. Dianne Feinstein called for the death penalty at the officer's funeral. But Harris didn't budge--an act of principle that cost her key political allies (as she received almost no support from police groups during her first run for attorney general in 2010).

Source: Vox.com FactCheck on July 2019 Democratic Primary debate Jul 31, 2019

On Education: FactCheck: Did not desegregate LA and SF school districts

The attack: V.P. Joe Biden said that when Harris was attorney general "there were two of the most segregated school districts in the country, in Los Angeles and in San Francisco. And I didn't see a single solitary time she brought a case against them to desegregate them."

The context: Yes, both districts have struggled to better integrate. But it was difficult -- and highly unusual -- for a state attorney general at that time to file suit to desegregate a school, said [a California schools expert].

A series of federal court decisions in the mid-1990s made it much tougher to bring desegregation lawsuits. Few state attorneys general even try. "There was nothing she could really do in San Francisco to force the district to use race-conscious efforts to desegregate the schools. The legal standard would be very difficult to prove," the expert said. "San Francisco has tried a lot of different things to make less segregated schools -- it's just a very difficult thing to do."

Source: S.F.Chronicle FactCheck: July 2019 Democratic Primary debate Jul 31, 2019

On Civil Rights: Supports commission investigating reparations for slavery

At Al Sharpton's National Action Network convention in New York City, most of the 2020 contenders affirmed their support for a bill that would create a commission to study reparations for African-Americans. "When I am elected president, I will sign that bill." Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., told Sharpton.
Source: CNBC: 2019 National Action Network & 2020 Democratic primary Apr 5, 2019

On Homeland Security: Domestic terrorism as national security priority

Harris pledged to double the size of the civil rights division of the Justice Department: "Justice means recognizing domestic terrorism, including white nationalist extremism," which Harris said "should be considered a national security priority."
Source: CNBC: 2019 National Action Network & 2020 Democratic primary Apr 5, 2019

The above quotations are from Democratic Primary Debates and news coverage during 2019.
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Page last updated: Jan 12, 2020