Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown addressed his past extramarital relationship with U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris in his weekly column Saturday, saying he may have boosted the presidential hopeful’s career.
“Yes, we dated. It was more than 20 years ago,” Brown wrote in the San Francisco Chronicle.
“Yes, I may have influenced her career by appointing her to two state commissions when I was [California] Assembly speaker. And I certainly helped with her first race for district attorney in San Francisco.”
Brown, 84, pointed out that he also helped the careers of other prominent California Democrats, such as U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Gov. Gavin Newsom and U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein.
“The difference is that Harris is the only one who, after I helped her, sent word that I would be indicted if I ‘so much as jaywalked’ while she was D.A.,” Brown wrote. “That’s politics for ya.”
Kamala Harris’ rise to political power started in California, where she served as a district attorney and attorney general for the state. And it might culminate in a 2020 presidential run.
Brown appointed Harris — about 30 years younger than Brown and just a few years out of law school – to two well-paid state commission assignments on the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board and the California Medical Assistance Commission, the Washington Free Beaconreported.
“Whether you agree or disagree with the system, I did the work,” Harris said in a 2003 interview with SF Weekly. “I brought a level of life knowledge and common sense to the jobs.”
The former mayor also connected Harris with campaign donors, which helped her outraise her opponent for San Francisco district attorney, Business Insider reported. Brown’s involvement in her election raised questions as to how Harris would remain impartial, given his enormous political clout.
As the Democrats’ 2020 field grows, presidential candidates face pressure over past positions; reaction and analysis on ‘Outnumbered.’
Questions about Brown’s relationship with Harris began anew after she announced her 2020 presidential bid on Martin Luther King Day.
During his two terms as mayor of San Francisco, Brown was known for his charm, arrogance and ego, according to a 1996 profile in People magazine.
Named one of the world’s 10 sexiest men by Playgirl magazine in 1984, Brown sometimes attended parties with his wife on one arm and a girlfriend on the other, according to a reporter quoted by the magazine.