Top White House adviser Kellyanne Conway predicted criminal justice reform activists will spend the next several months attacking California Sen. Kamala Harris over her history prosecuting people for marijuana crimes and other nonviolent offenses during her time as California’s attorney general.
“I think as attorney general in California, the position that Kamala Harris has held much longer than she’s been a United States senator, people will dig into that record,” Conway said during an interview with Fox News this week. “It looks like she left nobody happy.”
Harris was chosen by presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden this week to be his running mate. The Biden campaign has promoted the senator as a skilled public official with an apt legal mind and commitment to justice.
“As attorney general of the largest state in the country, Kamala took on the big banks over mortgage fraud and won. [She] took on big oil that wanted to pollute without consequences. She was a pioneer in marriage equality and tackled the gun lobby,” Biden said on Wednesday. “You know, we’ve all watched her in the United States Senate go toe-to-toe with Trump officials trying to hide the truth, asking the tough questions that needed to be asked and not stopping until she got an answer. And when none was forthcoming, it was obvious what the answer was.”
But members of the Democratic Party’s more progressive wing say Harris’s record of prosecuting parents of perpetually truant children and her pursuit of harsh punishments for marijuana-related offenses do not represent the kind of change they wish to see in the criminal justice system.
“He’s gone and also selected a running mate who is known for being the top cop from California — the state that has the second-highest number of incarcerated people in America,” said Briahna Joy Gray, the former national press secretary for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’s campaign.
Harris’s Democratic primary opponents also took issue with her record on prosecuting drug crimes.
“Kamala Harris says she’s proud of her record as a prosecutor and she’ll be a prosecutor president, but I’m deeply concerned about this record,” Rep. Tulsi Gabbard said last July. “There are too many examples to cite, but she put over 1,500 people in jail for marijuana violations and then laughed about it when she was asked if she ever smoked marijuana.”
Conway warned it is only a matter of time before political operatives looking to attack the Biden-Harris campaign drag the senator’s prosecutorial record to the front of the debate about her candidacy.
“She will raise your taxes. She will put our regulations back. She’s been terrible on criminal justice,” Conway said. “And may I just say … as the last point, the Democrats rejected her.”
Author: Dominick Mastrangelo
Source: Washington Examiner: ‘She left nobody happy’: Kellyanne Conway says Kamala Harris is a liability for Biden on criminal justice reform