Kamala Harris’ First California Campaign Office a ‘Waste of Time’

Photo courtesy of Steve Rhodes, flickr

Even though recent polls show Democratic presidential hopeful Kamala Harris trailing badly in her home state – including in San Francisco where she was born, raised and held office – the former California attorney general decided it was a good time to open up a new campaign office in Oakland.

According to Trump Victory Spokesperson Samantha Zager, “Kamala Harris is wasting her time by opening her first California campaign office today. Voters have watched as she has ignored her home state, and her poll numbers have plummeted as a result. Just like her tenure as California Attorney General, Kamala’s candidacy for president is a true disappointment to voters in the Golden State.”

As little background:

  • Kamala Harris was recently overheard saying that she is “moving to Iowa” to pull her out of her summer polling slump.
  • Harris has plummeted in national polling recently and her numbers are now suffering in California as well.
  • Tulsi Gabbard called out Kamala Harris during the second Democrat debate for her record as California Attorney General.

Kamala Harris Holds More Fundraising Events in California

U.S. Senator and former California Attorney General Kamala Harris is predictably going to the well of California Democratic donors to boost her war chest in her bid for president of the United States.

Trump Victory Spokesperson Samantha Zager reminds us of why Harris is a dangerous choice to lead the country:

“Whether she is flip-flopping on government-run healthcare, supporting rights for illegal immigrants over U.S. citizens, or downplaying her disastrous record as California Attorney General, it is obvious Kamala Harris is only interested in scoring political points for her presidential bid. As Harris sinks lower in the polls, voters are sending a clear message: they do not want a Kamala Harris presidency.”

Background:

  • Kamala Harris cosponsored Bernie Sanders’ Medicare-For-All legislation, only to later say she was “uncomfortable” with it.
  • Tulsi Gabbard called out Kamala Harris during the second Democrat debate for her record as California Attorney General.
  • During the first Democrat debates, Kamala Harris raised her hand when asked if she would offer health insurance to immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally.
  • Harris has plummeted in national polling recently.

Candidates Reveal Dangerous Agenda During Democratic Presidential Primary Debate

On Wednesday and Thursday night, 20 candidates took to the debate stage, hoping to stand out from the crowd and increase their chances of snagging the Democratic presidential primary nomination.

This was the first debate of the presidential primary season, and the candidates, including California Senator Kamala Harris, proudly revealed their radical progressive agendas.

As RNC Spokesperson Samantha Zager observed, “In last night’s debate, Kamala Harris, Eric Swalwell and the rest of the 2020 Democrats proved that every single candidate supports a dangerous open borders agenda with free healthcare for illegal immigrants, paid for by crippling taxes on the middle class. Californians have already seen what decades of progressive, socialist policies look like for the middle class – and it leads to extreme income inequality, a high cost of living, and chronic homelessness. Meanwhile, President Trump continues to put America first and that includes a secure border and a booming economy that works for all Americans.”

Kamala Harris: Candidate of Big Tech

In the free-form, roller derby race for the Democratic presidential nomination, few candidates are better positioned than California’s Senator Kamala Harris. She is a fresh and attractive mid-fifties face, compared with septuagenarian frontrunners Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, or the aging progressive Elizabeth Warren. Part Asian-Indian, part Afro-Caribbean, and female, Harris seems the frontrunner in the intersectionality sweepstakes that currently largely defines Democratic politics. Yet the national obsession with ethnicity and novelty obscures the more important reality: Harris is also the favored candidate of the tech and media oligarchy now almost uniformly aligned with the Democratic Party. She has been a hit in all the important places—the HamptonsHollywood, and Silicon Valley—that financed Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign.

Unlike Warren and Sanders, or Minnesota’s Amy Klobuchar, Harris has not called for curbs on, let alone for breaking up, the tech giants. As California’s attorney general, she did little to prevent the agglomeration of economic power that has increasingly turned California into a semi-feudal state dominated by a handful of large tech firms. These corporate behemoths now occupy 20 percent of Silicon Valley’s office space, and they have undermined the start-up culturethat once drove the area’s growth.

When I started covering Silicon Valley in the mid-1970s, most top executives—such as David Packard—tended to be middle-of-the-road Republicans, supportive of some government role in the economy, including providing for physical infrastructure, but strongly committed to the idea of competition-driven innovation. This pattern changed dramatically as the Valley began to move away from manufacturing products—often by shifting production to less-expensive states and then, ultimately, to Asia—toward a focus largely on media, advertising, and Internet search. These new companies, unlike, say, chip manufacturers, were less concerned with electricity prices, road conditions, or environmental regulations. Many of these “second wave” firms are essentially involved in “information peddling,” which requires a workforce divided between elite managers and a large, impermanent base of coders, many living only for a brief time in the Bay Area. Such firms, which don’t require as many longtime employees as traditional companies, have largely emerged from San Francisco, arguably the most progressive city in the United States.

The massive inequality that characterizes the region would seem to undercut the progressive narrative that sees California, and particularly the Bay Area, as a harbinger of a more enlightened future. Increasingly under fire from both left and right for abusing its power, Silicon Valley could find  Kamala Harris a convenient way to counter criticism while maintaining a tolerant, “woke” facade.

The shift in tech firms’ focus has fit perfectly with the trajectory of Harris’s career. As district attorney of San Francisco, Harris had the opportunity to cultivate the tech aristocracy. Her intermittently “tough on crime” positions would not offend corporate executives who find themselves in a city that even the New York Times has labelled “dystopia by the bay”—rife with petty crime, homelessness, and sometimes violent mentally-ill people.

Elected state attorney general in 2010, Harris got decidedly mixed results, with some notable abuses of office and a demonstrated disinterest in individual rightsand privacy protections—a record that alienated some on the left. On economics, she talked tough on energy companies and homebuilders, but when it came to privacy legislation, she supported policies favored by her tech backers.

By the time Harris ran for the Senate, she could count on massive support from Bay Area law firms, real-estate developers, and Hollywood. More important, she appealed, early on, to tech mavens such as Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg and Sean Parker, Marc Benioff of Salesforce, Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer, venture capitalist John Doerr, Steve Jobs’s widow Laurene Powell, and various executives at tech firms such as Airbnb, Google, and Nest, who have collectively poured money into her campaigns. Their investment was not ill-considered. Harris seems a sure bet for the tech leaders. Her husband, attorney Doug Emhoff, was a managing partner with Venable Partners, whose clients include Microsoft, Apple, Verizon, and trade associations opposing strict Internet regulations.

This year, Harris keynoted the Joint Venture Silicon Valley conference, and she is once again reaping large donations from tech and media giants. As the most significant California candidate in the race, she has a big advantage in harvesting the lion’s share of these riches: California donors collectively contributed over $500 million to the 2016 campaign. The largest benefactors so far to Harris’s 2020 campaign include employees at Alphabet (the parent of Google)—including its former chairman, Eric Schmidt—Cisco, and Apple, as well as many prominent media and entertainment interests. For these companies, with few non-Asian minorities or women in senior positions, and some executives implicated in #MeToo infractions, Harris offers a low-impact way to connect to contemporary progressive concerns.

Today’s Democratic Party is increasingly defined by the progressive Left, with competing factions focused on basic economic issues, on the one hand, and identity politics (greens, gays, feminists, racial identity, and legalizing undocumented migrants) on the other. Another vital faction is made up of employees of public-employee unions, which dominate the party in California. Harris has already maneuvered to appeal to this powerful sector, proposing legislation that would send  billions of dollars from Washington to pay teachers’ salaries. The more economically focused progressives like Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Warren, and Ohio’s Tim Ryan seek primarily to address income inequality. They see the tech giants, in control of much information media, as a danger both to the economy and to democracy. Whatever one thinks of their approach, the economic populists at least reflect a tradition that seeks to make capitalism more beneficial for working people. They don’t excuse the tech firms for their offshoring practices, lack of unionization, and stifling of competition.

Harris’s appeal to Silicon Valley is that she can appeal to restive progressive tech employees, who bristle against working for the Pentagon or ICE, while also connecting with the left-leaning (often tech-financed) nonprofits that sometimes hector the wealthy to engage in virtue-signaling. To appeal to middle-class voters, Harris favors a massive redistribution of income, through the tax system, a measure supported by many of her wealthy allies.

Harris’ alliance with the tech giants provides her with a potentially bottomless cash hoard, as well as the cooperation of skilled Obama-era operatives, many doing well in their new roles as top executives of tech firms. This cohort includes Chris Lehane, the Obama strategist who now heads global policy and public affairs at Airbnb, as well as other officials who have landed gigs at Uber, Netflix, and Amazon. Once politically disengaged, firms like Apple and Google enjoyed extensive access to the Obama administration—some 250 people moving back and forth from the company to the government—and they could expect similar treatment under a President Harris. Her proposals to underwrite massive spending on new government technology certainly please these backers.

Perhaps even more important, Harris is almost certain to be treated well by the mainstream media, so much of which is now owned directly by tech leaders or their heirs. (The Atlantic, owned by Laurene Powell, has already published a warm profile of Harris.) Those who threaten tech wealth, as Bernie Sanders did in 2016, will likely find themselves less positively regarded. More important still, firms like Facebook and Google, which control a growing percentage of the flow of news, will probably favor Harris over her more genuinely populist Democratic opponents—and certainly over President Trump.

Yet Harris’s liaison with the Valley could backfire, whether in the Democratic primaries or in the general election, if she gets that far. Warren and Sanders can cast her, with some justification, as too friendly to the tech giants, and Trump will have a field day linking her to San Francisco, a city with more drug addictsthan high school students, and which has so much feces on the street that one website has created a “poop map.” More than half of the Bay Area’s lower-income communities, notes a recent UC Berkeley study, are in danger of mass displacement because of rising costs. Nevertheless, Harris is a formidable opportunist and a focused campaigner. And her willingness to stretch the truth, for example, during the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation battle, might also prove useful in today’s partisan climate.

Given the media’s obsession with style, race, and gender, we would do well to understand what agenda lurks behind Harris’s atmospherics. The reality: if she wins, the tech oligarchy—titans of today’s Gilded Age—will have achieved commanding influence, not just in the information business and the media, but in the White House as well.

Joel Kotkin is the presidential fellow in urban futures at Chapman University and executive director of the Center for Opportunity Urbanism. His latest book is The Human City: Urbanism for the Rest of Us.

This article was originally published by City Journal Online.

Will Kamala Harris Pay Reparations for HER Slave Owning Heritage?

As we know, Sen. Kamala Harris is a real embarrassment to the people of California. Besides wanting higher taxes and more illegal aliens (the more the merrier), she wants to take away your freedom of choice for health care — government or no health care are her choices for you. She believes that there should be “reparations” for slavery.

Yet, her heritage and family background is in the OWNING of slaves in Jamaica. Not, not rumor — but in a little noted book written by her FATHER. This was written by HER FATHER:

“Harris doesn’t owe anyone in America, but does she have some mea culpas to make in Jamaica? Her father, Donald J. Harris, wrote an extensive essay about the family’s heritage in Jamaica at Jamaican Global Online in January, claiming to be the descendant of a famed slave owner.

“My roots go back, within my lifetime, to my paternal grandmother Miss Chrishy (née Christiana Brown, descendant of Hamilton Brown who is on record as plantation and slave owner and founder of Brown’s Town) and to my maternal grandmother Miss Iris (née Iris Finegan, farmer and educator, from Aenon Town and Inverness, ancestry unknown to me).  The Harris name comes from my paternal grandfather Joseph Alexander Harris, land-owner and agricultural “produce” exporter (mostly pimento or all-spice), who died in 1939 one year after I was born and is buried in the church yard of the magnificent Anglican Church which Hamilton Brown built in Brown’s Town (and where, as a child, I learned the catechism, was baptized and confirmed, and served as an acolyte).”

Hamilton Brown was born in 1776 in Ireland. He became a sugar plantation owner and founder of Brown’s Town in Jamaica, according to university papers, textbooks, and historical documents. Henry Whiteley wrote a pamphlet entitled “Three months in Jamaica in 1832, Comprising a Residence on a Sugar Plantation,” where he describes Brown’s views on his slaves.

Will she give reparations to the slaves owned by her family. My family did not come to this country until the 1880s — after slavery was ended, by Lincoln, over the objections of the Democrats. Why should I or other who did not own slaves be forced to pay? In her case, her own Father admits the family was based on owning slaves. Pay up Kamala and stop forcing those of us who never owned slaves to pay for the abuse your family gave to black people.


Reparations Time? Kamala Harris’ Father Says Family Descended from a Jamaican Slave Owner

By Megan Fox, PJ Media – 2/22/19  

https://pjmedia.com/trending/kamala-harris-father-claims-family-descended-from-jamaican-slave-owner-will-she-be-writing-a-reparations-check/

Sen Kamala Harris (D-Calif) is on the record as backing “some form of reparations” for slavery. In a recent interview, Harris agreed with the host’s suggestion that government reparations for black Americans were necessary to address past discrimination. The 2020 presidential hopeful later “affirmed that support” in a statement to The New York Times.

“We have to be honest that people in this country do not start from the same place or have access to the same opportunities,” she said in an interview with “The Breakfast Club.”

Harris continued:

Well look, I think that we have got to address that again, it’s back to the inequities. There, through–look, America has a history of 200 years of slavery. We had Jim Crow. We had legal segregation in America for a very long time. The Voting Rights Act was only strong for 50 years and then they wiped it out with this United States Supreme Court in the Shelby decision, to the point that 22 states immediately thereafter put in place laws that one court found were crafted with surgical precision to have black people not be able to vote.

So we’ve got to recognize, back to that earlier point, people aren’t starting out on the same base, in terms of their ability to succeed and so we have got to recognize that and give people a lift up. And, there are a number of ways to do it. Part of my initiative again around the “Lift Act” is that same point–you lifting people up who are making less than a hundred thousand dollars a year. What I want to do about rent is the same thing. What we need to do around education and understanding disparities, what we need to do around HBCUs. But we have a history of racism in America.

Harris doesn’t owe anyone in America, but does she have some mea culpas to make in Jamaica? Her father, Donald J. Harris, wrote an extensive essay about the family’s heritage in Jamaica at Jamaican Global Online in January, claiming to be the descendant of a famed slave owner.

My roots go back, within my lifetime, to my paternal grandmother Miss Chrishy (née Christiana Brown, descendant of Hamilton Brown who is on record as plantation and slave owner and founder of Brown’s Town) and to my maternal grandmother Miss Iris (née Iris Finegan, farmer and educator, from Aenon Town and Inverness, ancestry unknown to me).  The Harris name comes from my paternal grandfather Joseph Alexander Harris, land-owner and agricultural “produce” exporter (mostly pimento or all-spice), who died in 1939 one year after I was born and is buried in the church yard of the magnificent Anglican Church which Hamilton Brown built in Brown’s Town (and where, as a child, I learned the catechism, was baptized and confirmed, and served as an acolyte).

Hamilton Brown was born in 1776 in Ireland. He became a sugar plantation owner and founder of Brown’s Town in Jamaica, according to university papers, textbooks, and historical documents. Henry Whiteley wrote a pamphlet entitled “Three months in Jamaica in 1832, Comprising a Residence on a Sugar Plantation,” where he describes Brown’s views on his slaves:

The same day I dined at St. Ann’s Bay, on board the vessel I arrived in, in the company with several colonists, among whom was Mr. Hamilton Brown, representative for the parish of St. Ann in the Colonial Assembly… I was rather startled to hear that gentleman swear by his Maker that that Order should never be adopted in Jamaica; nor would the planters of Jamaica, he said, permit the interference of the Home Government with their slaves in any shape. A great deal was said by him and others present about the happiness and comfort enjoyed by the slaves, and the many advantages possessed by them of which the poor in England were destitute. Among other circumstances mentioned in proof of this, Mr. Robinson, a wharfinger, stated that a slave in that town had sent out printed cards to invite a part of his negro acquaintance to a supper party. One of these cards was handed to Mr. Hamilton Brown, who said he would present it to the Governor, as a proof of the comfortable condition of the slave population.

But later that day, after he witnessed slaves being punished by Brown’s overseer, Whiteley wrote:

The first was a man of about thirty-five years of age. He was what is called a pen-keeper or cattle herd; and his offence was having suffered a mule to go astray. At the command of the overseer he proceeded to strip off part of his clothes, and laid himself flat on his belly, his back and buttocks being uncovered. One of the drivers then commenced flogging him with the cart whip. This whip is about ten feet long, with a short stout handle, and is an instrument of terrible power. It is whirled by the operator round his head, and then brought down with a rapid motion of the arm upon the recumbent victim, causing the blood to spring at every stroke. When I saw this spectacle now for the first time exhibited before my own eyes, with all its revolting accompaniments, and saw the degraded and mangled victim writhing and groaning under the infliction, I felt horror-struck. I trembled and turned sick; but being determined to see the whole to an end, I kept my station at the window. The sufferer, writhing like a wounded worm, every time the lash cut across his body, cried out, “Lord! Lord! Lord!” When he had received about twenty lashes, the driver stopped to pull up the poor man’s shirt (or rather smock frock), which had worked down upon his galled posteriors. The sufferer then cried, “Think me no man? Think me no man?” By that exclamation I understood him to say, “Think you I have not the feelings of a man?” The flogging was instantly recommenced and continued; the negro continuing to cry “Lord! Lord! Lord!” till thirty-nine lashes had been inflicted. When the man rose up from the ground, I perceived the blood oozing out from the lacerated and [illegible] parts where he had been flogged; and he appeared greatly exhausted. But he was instantly ordered off to his usual occupation.

Whiteley’s account goes on, describing one victim after the next, including women and young boys. It is truly sickening to read. Brown didn’t stop after the Jamaican slaves were freed. He attempted to make the Irish work on his plantation but failed when he was accused of trying to enslave more people. The historical accounts are so detailed that should Kamala Harris want to search out the families of the people her relative reportedly tortured, she would probably be able to find them.

Will she write a check to repair the damage her ancestor Hamilton Brown did to the slaves in Jamaica? Perhaps the media can do its job and ask her. Don Lemon might, as he seems concerned about her authentic blackness.

He may have a point. Not only is she not “African-American,” but she appears to be descended from violent slave owners.

It is possible Kamala Harris’ lineage came from Brown spreading his seed among his slaves through force, however, Donald Harris’ account is that Christiana Brown, his grandmother, carried the same name as Hamilton Brown and owned a general store in town while her sons worked the family farmland at Orange Hill. If they did descend from slaves, it appears they ended up owning and profiting from the land and business and family name. By the left’s standards, that would make Harris culpable for the suffering of the slaves who worked that plantation under Brown.

It’s a ridiculous supposition, of course, to hold anyone responsible for the actions of distant relatives hundreds of years ago. If we travel far enough back, most of us are likely related to slave owners at some point in history since selling people into slavery has always been a part of the human story across the globe. But since Harris has decided to embrace reparation theology, shouldn’t she lead by example?

If we had a curious or intellectually honest press, they would be lined up outside her door to find out if she’s going to send reparations checks to the descendants of her family’s slaves.

PJM reached out to Harris’ press office and Donald J. Harris for comment and received no response.

.A. Mayor Says Kamala Harris Doesn’t Have California Locked Up


Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris urges funds for tracking prescription drugsLos Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Democratic U.S. Senator Kamala Harris has strong support for her presidential bid in her home state of California, but she doesn’t have it locked up as her competitors aggressively campaign there.

“Everybody’s been here,” Garcetti said in an interview, citing visits by Democratic candidates including New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, Washington Governor Jay Inslee and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, whose rally on Saturday in front of the Los Angeles City Hall drew thousands of supporters. “California will very much be in play.”

California’s presidential primary, historically held in June, has often had less impact than those in other states because the candidate field is thinned by then. The state’s primary has been moved to March next year, which will put it immediately after the traditional early contests in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina in early February. …

Click here to read the full article from Bloomberg

Medicare expansion would make socialized health insurance inevitable


MedizinSeveral lawmakers want to pull more people into Medicare. This would hurt anyone with private insurance, and it would inevitably lead to single-payer, government funded healthcare, which would deprive people of any choice over their healthcare.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., recently introduced S.470, a bill that would let any citizen or permanent resident between the ages of 50 and 64 buy into Medicare. It received broad support from her Democratic colleagues. Numerous 2020 presidential hopefuls, including Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J., Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., have co-sponsored the bill.

Lawmakers in the House of Representatives want to go even further. In December, Reps. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., and Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., introduced a plan called Medicare for America. It would allow anyone in America, regardless of age, to buy into an expanded Medicare system that covers prescription drugs along with dental, vision, and hearing benefits. Those currently covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP would be shunted onto the new plan, as would anyone who buys policies on the individual market.

These proposals would cause prices for private plans to spike.

Medicare underpays for the services its beneficiaries receive. In 2017, hospitals only received 87 cents per dollar spent treating Medicare patients. That means Medicare underpaid hospitals by $53.9 billion.

As more patients shift to Medicare, providers will have to charge private insurers more to make up the difference. That will result in higher premiums for the privately insured.

In other words, Uncle Sam would charge people twice for Medicare, once through the IRS and again at the doctor’s office.

Gradually, people on private plans would get sick of high prices and start moving to Medicare. As people abandoned private plans, insurers would start going out of business. Before long, it would be easy to turn Medicare into an obligatory, single-payer program. That would leave patients with no insurance options.

Patients wouldn’t like that. More than seven in 10 folks with employer-sponsored health insurance are satisfied with their plans. Nearly 60 percent of people say they oppose Medicare for All if it comes at the expense of private insurance, according to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll.

Expanding Medicare is a bad deal. Lawmakers should abandon the idea.

This article was originally published by the Pacific Research Institute.

Kamala Harris Enthusiastically Endorses Rent Control


Rent ControlDemocratic presidential contender Kamala Harris shored up her progressive bona fides this weekend by endorsing Oregon’s first-in-the-nation statewide rent control policy, which became law last week.

“Earlier this week, [Oregon Gov. Kate Brown] made it easier for families to stay in their neighborhoods by enacting statewide rent control,” Harris tweeted yesterday. “No one should ever have to choose between paying their rent each month or feeding their children,” the California senator added.

Oregon’s new law caps rent increases at 7 percent plus inflation per year, and it imposes new restrictions on landlords’ ability to kick out tenants.

The law resembles the rent control system in San Francisco, where Harris was once district attorney. There, the price controls on rental properties resulted in exactly what most economists warn will happen: The supply of rental housing fell, and rents increased citywide.

That’s according to a 2018 study from three Stanford economists who looked at an expansion of San Francisco’s rent control in 1994. That year the city expanded its already existing rent regulations—which, as in Oregon, capped annual rent increases at 7 percent per year—to owner-occupied rental properties with four or fewer units, which had previously been exempted.

Because this expansion did not cover buildings that were constructed after 1980, the researchers were able to measure the effects of rent control by comparing very similar sets of housing in the same city. What they found vindicated a lot of standard critiques of rent control.

The Stanford study found that pre-1980 rent-controlled small apartment buildings saw a 25 percent decline in the number of tenants living in them compared to post-1980, non-rent-controlled buildings—often driven by landlords buying out or evicting their tenants and then converting formerly rent-controlled units to condos they’re able to sell at a market price.

The same study found that tenants in rent-controlled housing were more likely to be living at the same address ten years later, and that they saved anywhere from $2,300 to $6,600 a year on rent, adding up to some $2.9 billion in savings during the period examined in the study. That sounds like fodder for rent-control fans—except that the $2.9 billion saved by tenants in rent-controlled units was matched by a 5.1 percent increase in citywide rents, which cost tenants in non-rent-controlled buildings $2.9 billion.

San Francisco today is one of the most expensive places in the country to rent, with the average one-bedroom rent going as high as $3,000 a month. It also has a persistent and worsening homelessness crisis.

Harris’ enthusiastic endorsement of a policy that has failed so miserably in her own backyard is concerning, particularly as the senator has tried to present herself as a bold housing reformer.

Last summer, she introduced the Rent Relief Act, which promised refundable tax credits to folks earning as much as $125,000 per year and paying more than 30 percent of their monthly income in rent. As many pointed out at the time, this would if anything make housing more expensive by essentially subsidizing landlords for increasing rents without actually increasing the supply of rental housing.

There’s a broad consensus that high housing costs in and around many of America’s urban areas are the result of restrictions on new construction, and the best way of bringing prices down is to get rid of some of those restrictions. Instead, Harris is doubling down on counterproductive measures like poorly designed rent subsidies and price controls.

There’s not a lot any president can do about local restrictions on new housing supply. Land use decisions are almost entirely the province of state and local governments. But there is a lot that the feds could do to make America’s housing affordability problems worse. If a presidential candidate endorses statewide rent control, it’s not a good sign.

Christian Britschgi is an associate editor at Reason.

This article was originally published by Reason.com.

Harris Wants to Legalize Prostitution Nationwide


Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris urges funds for tracking prescription drugsSen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) says that she supports the decriminalization of sex work nationwide, noting that “we can’t criminalize consensual behavior as long as no one is being harmed.”

In an interview with The Root, Harris was asked whether sex work “ought to be decriminalized,” though the interviewer did not specify at which level.

“I do,” Harris responded. “I think we have to understand though that it is not as simple as that. It’s about … there’s an ecosystem around that, that involves crimes that harm people. And for those issues, I do not believe that anyone that hurts another human being or profits off of their exploitation should be … free of criminal prosecution.”

“But when you’re talking about consenting adults? Yes, I think you have to really consider that we can’t criminalize consensual behavior as long as no one is being harmed,” she added. …

Click here to read the full article from The Hill

Can California Afford to Provide Universal Health Care Coverage?


Healthcare costsPerhaps no issue looms larger on both the state and national political stage than the question of universal health care coverage.

U.S. Presidential hopeful Kamala Harris (D) sent a shockwave through the national health care debate on Monday Jan. 28th by nonchalantly stating that she would eliminate private insurers as a necessary part of implementing “Medicare-for-all,” according to a CNN report.

Due to a firestorm of attention, most of it negative, the next day the Harris campaign walked back the previous day’s remarks in large part by stating that the candidate would also be open to more moderate health reform plans, which would preserve the private industry, according to the CNN report.

Newly elected California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) campaigned on the issue of single-payer health care and on his very first day in office unveiled a comprehensive package of reform proposals aimed at expanding state health care coverage subsidies and lowering its costs, which includes extending Medi-Cal to undocumented immigrants, according to a report by the LA Times.

In an interview, Gov. Newsom told the LA Times “These are not just symbolic gestures…We’re hoping to ignite a new conversation. It’s a moral imperative, not just economic,” states the LA Time report.

But as many experts, including Gov. Newsom, have pointed out, big systemic reform to the system, such as a move to a single-payer health system, would require the unlikely support of the Trump Administration.

Newsom has done a good job of tempering expectations for single-payer health care and his proposed coverage expansions and prescription cost controls demonstrate to the his supporters and the public that he is serious about expanding coverage as well containing costs.

But the 800-pound guerilla in the universal health care conversation is where will all the money come from to provide guaranteed government financed coverage to every Californian and everyone who likely to come to California once universal health care is guaranteed by the state?

“Where do you get the extra money? This is the whole question…I don’t even get it…how do you do that?,” said former California Governor Jerry Brown (D) following a universal healthcare discussion in Washington, D.C. in a 2017 interview with the LA Times.

At the time, Gov. Brown pointed out that the overall cost of medical care in California is equal to 18% of the state’s gross domestic product, which would be about $450 billion.

“You take a problem and say I’m going to solve it by something that’s an even bigger problem, which makes no sense,” then Governor Brown said at the time, according to the LA Times report.

Gov. Newsom developed some questionable rhetoric during the 2018 campaign, where he said that the State of California cannot afford not to move to a single-payer system because health care has become such a big expense in the state.

It appears that one of the major points of disagreement between former Gov. Brown and now Governor Gavin Newsom is the question of whether the State of California can afford to move to a universal health care system, specifically a single-payer system?

More recently, other high-profile liberal Democrats have come out against single-payer health care with former Mayor of New York City and billionaire Michael Bloomberg stating that Medicare-for-all “would bankrupt us for a very long time,” according to a CNN report.

“I think we could never afford that,” Bloomberg said, addressing pin factory employees in New Hampshire. “We are talking about trillions of dollars.”

“I think you could have Medicare-for-all people who are uncovered, but that’s a smaller group,” Bloomberg said.

“But to replace the entire private system where companies provide health care for their employees would bankrupt us for a very long time,” said Bloomberg according to the CNN report, which noted that Bloomberg made the comments in response to Sen. Kamala Harris calling for an end to the private health care market.

So what does all this mean for the current universal health care debate in California?

It means that California Democrats might want to heed the advice of two of the county’s most prominent liberal Democrats—former Gov. Jerry Brown and Michael Bloomberg—and proceed with great caution regarding the feasibility of California going it alone on universal health care.

There is no question that the state could choose to enact a single-payer or Obamacare-type universal health care system, but the million dollar question, or trillion dollar question rather in this case, is would such a system work and be fiscally sustainable over the long-term?

As a long-time analyst of fiscal issues in California, I believe that former Gov. Jerry Brown and Michael Bloomberg are correct to point out the major challenges and risks of moving to a universal health care system—both at the state level and the federal level.

David Kersten is an independent political consultant who lives in the Bay Area. Kersten is also an adjunct professor of public budgeting at the University of San Francisco.