“Poontranage” or just venial ‘Patronage’ – The Mayor Willie Brown, Kamala Harris hookup?
Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown addressed his past relationship with Sen. Kamala Harris in a letter to the San Francisco Chronicle on Saturday and acknowledged giving her appointments that furthered her career.
“Yes, we dated. It was more than 20 years ago,” wrote Brown, who said he had “been peppered with calls from the national media about my ‘relationship’ with Kamala Harris, particularly since it became obvious that she was going to run for president.”
Brown was married at the time he and Harris dated, but – because he had been “estranged from his wife” Blanche Brown since 1981, according to People magazine –the relationship was not kept secret. A Sacramento Bee reporter told People that Brown “had a succession of girlfriends” and would “go to a party with his wife on one arm and his girlfriend on the other.”
Or from American Greatness, “‘Poontronage’: When Kamala Met Willie.“
As speaker of the California State Assembly from 1980 to 1995, Willie Brown was by far the Golden State’s most powerful shot-caller. In 1994 Brown, 60, met Kamala Harris, a full 30 years his junior, and she became “the Speaker’s new steady,” Brown’s “girlfriend” and “frequent companion.” The two-year relationship worked out well for Harris.
Willie Brown appointed Harris to the state Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board, which paid $97,088 a year. She served six months and Brown then appointed her to the California Medical Assistance Commission, which met only once a month but paid Harris $72,000. Call it “poontronage,” a politician’s appointment of his steady girlfriend, frequent companion, and main squeeze to a lucrative government position requiring little work.