Of course they did.
A few excerpts from Politico Mag on the rise of Kamala Harris. Which, like most lefty candidates who rant about the people, came by way of the people who really matter.
The ones with high society ties and lots of money.
But first, Willie Brown, the much older, and much shadier married politician she had an affair with.
It’s hard to think honestly about the origins of the rise of Harris without grappling with the reality of the role of Brown. He helped her. He put her on a pair of state boards that required not much work and paid her more than $400,000 across five years on top of her salary as a prosecutor. He gave her a BMW. He helped her, too, though, in a way that was less immediately material but arguably far more enduringly important.
“Brown, of course, was the darling of the well-to-do set, if you will,” veteran political consultant Jack Davis, who managed Brown’s mayoral campaign, told me. “And she was the girlfriend, and so she met, you know, everybody who’s anybody, as a result of being his girl.”
“I met her through Willie,” John Burton, the former San Francisco congressman and chairman of the California Democratic Party, said in an interview. “I would think it’s fair to say that most of the people in San Francisco met her through Willie.”
Kamala Harris for the People… that matter.
“Few women,” gushed the Gazette, “are more involved than (equally glamorous) attorney Kamala Harris.”
In the outlet distributed specifically to the neighborhoods of the rich, she was featured in a fashion spread, shown wearing $565 boots, a $975 skirt and a $1,095 coat, all made by Burberry.
She went to the 25th anniversary showing of San Francisco’s “Beach Blanket Babylon” and was spotted slipping out of the afterparty for a dinner at Jardinière with Willie Brown and high society grande dame Denise Hale. She went to a Ricky Martin concert in a limo with Hale and Denton and scenester Harry de Wildt. She went to the parties of haute couture clothier Wilkes Bashford. She went to ladies’ luncheons at Pacific Heights homes. She had Sunday dinners with the Gettys.
Outfitted in sharp designer suits and strands of bright pearls, Harris kickstarted her drive to become San Francisco’s top cop—in its ritziest, most prestigious locale. Predominantly white Pacific Heights—hills upon hills, gobsmacking views of the Golden Gate strait, mansions built and bought with both new tech money and old gold rush cash—is home to Nancy Pelosi, Dianne Feinstein, Gavin Newsom and others, one of the country’s foremost concentrations of politicians and their patrons. Including the Buells. In late 2002, this became the campaign routine, Buell recalled: “Thirty to 50 people in a room … cocktails … a nice introduction by the host.”
“Kamala would make her pitch.”
“We’d go around with the bag and collect the money.”
Gotta have a bag man.
By the close of the calendar year, Harris had raised $100,560—nearly 23 percent of which came from the three ZIP codes of Pacific Heights. It’s a roster of early donors that reads like a who’s who of the city. “That crowd really got her started to be taken seriously,” Buell said.
For the people indeed.