In light of the recent nomination of Howard alum, Kamala Harris, being elected to serve as California’s next senator in the coming term, I wanted to see where she draws most of her financial support from.
Most notably, a significant amount of her financial backing came from her own political party. Back in 2010, when Harris was running for Attorney General of California, the democratic party contributed $282,844. Although the democratic party, as a group, fundraised the largest sum this contribution accounts for less than five percent of the money raised that years. In total, $7,560,628 raised in 2010 with top contributors including United Long Term Care Workers Local 6434, Northern California Carpenters Regional Council and California State Council of Service Employees donating $25,800 each. California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Cmte and California Federation of Teachers also donated $13,900 each.
In recent news one of Harris’ 2010 main contributors celebrated a recent victory in legislation. SEIU ULTCW, which is the second largest union of long term caregivers, and its leadership lobbied to get the state budget to protect vital funding for nursing homes and restore the 7% cut made to IHSS hours. The law became effective this year on July 1st. The website accounts this recent success to successful lobbying and community support.
With the support of aforementioned organizations, in 2011 Kamala Harris went on succeeded Jerry Brown as attorney general. She was reappointed four years later, yet she raised less money than the previous campaign and her donor bracket changed.
As seen with the first race, the majority of Harris’ support came from service organizations that represented teachers, carpenters, nurses and so forth. With the 2014 election, top support came from companies such as Professional Engineers in California Government, California Association of Realtors, and State Building & Construction Trades Council of California all donating upwards of $27,000 each.
This change in support coincides with the recent change in California law, which benefits one of Harris’ 2014 top supporters, California Association of Realtors. Current law mandates that a discipline notice against a realtor licensee’s name in the CalBRE’s online database must be reported indefinitely. However, beginning in January 2018, a new law creates a process by which a licensee can apply to have this record removed with upon written request accompanied by a specified fee.
Following her reelection in 2014, in January 2015 Kamal Harris announced that she would seek election to the U.S. Senate, hopefully fulfilling the seat vacated by Barbra Boxer. This would prove to be an uphill battle. Harris was amongst 34 candidates who filed to run for the Boxer’s seat. Of that 34, seven were Democrats, 12 Republicans, and 15 third-party candidates. Ultimately Kamala Harris and fellow democrat, Representative Loretta Sanchez, were the last two standing, left to battle it out in the primary. Kamala Harris was a strong contender with nearly 63 percent of the votes, as she had the sole support of the democratic party. The California Democrats donated over $609,000, and none was reported for Sanchez.
The pre-primary reports from the Federal Election Commission show Harris’ total contributions tally at $4,990,735. With the continued support of the party and increased fundraising ability, she was off to face Republican Ronald Gold in the general election on November 4, 2014.
Public Endorsements included that of President Obama and Vice President Biden, an array of Congressmen and women, as well national organization including but not limited to Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, California League of Conservation Voters, Congressional Black Caucus Political Action Committee.
Donations during the Senate race almost doubled in comparison to her time campaigning as attorney general. 21st Century Fox Her Senate was her highest contributor at $145,925. Time Warner followed for a close second with $109,975. Creative Artist Agency, Alphabet Inc, and Zifferen Brittenham et al complete the top 5 with contributions totaling upwards of $284,000.
With a victory in the general election, Kamala Harris will now be the next senator of California. Making her the first African American woman to be elected from California and the second African American female senator.
As of October 19, 2016, numbers show that over the past two years Harris has raised $13,507,231. Time will tell, what this money will mean for new legislation. If the pattern continues, laws benefiting her donors may be on the horizons.
This article is not meant to defame Senator-Elect Kamala Harris, only highlight the pattern of behavior amongst her top support system.
@KamalaHarris. “Endorsements.” Kamala Harris. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Nov. 2016.
“US Government Publishing Office – FDsys – Home.” US Government Publishing Office – FDsys – Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Nov. 2016.
“SEIU-ULTCW | United Long Term Care Workers.” SEIUULTCW. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Nov. 2016.
Willon, Phil. “Kamala Harris Continues to Cash in on California’s Democratic Party Support.” Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times, 21 Oct. 2016. Web. 22 Nov. 2016.
“Details for Committee ID : C00571919.” Committee/Candidate Details. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Nov. 2016.
“The Voter’s Self Defense System.” Project Vote Smart. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Nov. 2016.
“United States Senate Election in California, 2016 – Ballotpedia.” Ballotpedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Nov. 2016.