Friday, August 17, 2012

California's Black Attorney General Kamala Harris visits Cleveland, thanks Obama campaign volunteers, does one-on-one interview with Cleveland Urban News.Com, says Romney's tax plan hurts middle class, Black community, meets with Black elected officials at the offices of Call and Post Newspaper

California Attorney General Kamala Harris

By Kathy Wray Coleman, Associate Publisher, Editor, Cleveland Urban News.Com and the Kathy Wray Coleman Online News Blog.Com (www.kathywraycoleman and (

CLEVELAND, Ohio-California Attorney General Kamala Harris, the first Black to win a statewide election there, flew to Cleveland from San Francisco last week to thank Obama campaign volunteers, and to warn Blacks that Mitt Romney's proposed tax plan is what she dubs elitist and hostile to middle class Americans and the Black community, particularly in comparison to the tax platform the president offers.

"The president has created jobs outside of the corporate tax policy and wants tax reform, and Mitt Romney wants to raise taxes on the middle class, cut taxes for the richest Americans, and eliminate cuts to college tuition." said Harris, who added that she is African American and proud of it, a comment that came after Cleveland Urban News.Com asked what nationality she claims, given that she is Black and of Chinese and Indian American descent.

Labeled the female Obama by some of her admirers, and possibly by her political foes,  Harris said that Romney, the presumptive nominee for president for the Republican Party, wants middle class Americans to bear the brunt of the fallout from the failed economic policies of the George W. Bush administration.

Obama's tax  plan, she says, is not deficit driven as is Romney's, and it stops the Bush tax cuts and keeps tax cuts in place for middle and working class people.

Volunteers at Obama's campaign office at the Shaker Square location in the majority Black city of Cleveland were elated that Harris thought enough of their public service to stop through and say thanks.

California Attorney General Kamala Harris, below, speaks to Obama campaign volunteers at the Obama for America  Shaker Square campaign office in Cleveland, Oh.
"Attorney General Kamala Harris laid out the stark contrast between President Obama and Mitt Romney, especially when it comes to building an economy from the middle out rather than the top down," said Frances Hunter, a volunteer with the Obama for America Campaign. "Like President Obama, I believe that we can no longer ask everything from the middle class and seniors like myself while asking nothing from  the top, and it is not fair that folks like me pay a higher tax rate than millionaires and billionaires like Mitt Romney.'"

California's chief elected law enforcement officer, famous in part for winning a $29 million lawsuit as attorney general on behalf of the state and its people against foreclosure fraud and mortgage malfeasance
by prominent banks and mortgage companies such as J.P. Morgan Chase Bank and Wells Fargo, Harris
 took the time for a one-on-one interview with Cleveland Urban News.Com. before meeting with a group of Black elected officials and other Black leaders at the Cleveland offices of the Call and Post Newspaper, Ohio's Black press.

Among the 70 or so people at the Call and Post gathering were Cleveland Ward 8 Councilman Jeff Johnson,  Cuyahoga County Council President C. Ellen Connally (D-9), County Councilpersons Yvonne Conwell (D-7) and Penell Jones Jr. (D-8), Cuyahoga County Democratic prosecutor hopeful Tim McGinty, and Frances Caldwell, a community activist and the executive director of the Cleveland African-American Museum.

Asked if her visit to Ohio had anything to do with it being a key battleground state for presidential elections Harris, 47 and single, who pledged with the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority at Howard University in undergraduate school and earned a law degree from the University of California Hastings College of Law,  said yes, emphatically.

"Yes, Ohio is pivotal," said Harris, who served two terms as San Francisco district attorney before winning the California attorney general election  in 2010. "And that is why I got on an airplane and rode all night long from California. We need everybody to go to the polls to vote in November, and take your mother, your father, your sisters, your brothers, and your aunts, uncles, cousins, neighbors and friends."

Harris agreed that Cleveland is a political gold mine, having elected the first Black mayor of a major American city in electing the late Carl B. Stokes in 1967, and she said that current Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman. who is also Black, is a political friend.

Asked what Obama has done for the Black community since taking office, the Democratic attorney general had a lot to say.

 Harris bragged of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the first legislation that the president signed into law when he took office, legislation that extends the statute of limitations for filing lawsuits on equal pay and  complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to the last act of alleged discrimination.

And, said Harris, he signed into law legislation that precludes disparities in sentencing of crack and powder cocaine, legislation that Obama championed when he sought the presidency for his first term in 2008 and during an interview that year with Cleveland Urban News.Com Associate Editor and Publisher Kathy Wray Coleman, then a freelance journalist for the Call and Post.

Obama said during that interview that the U.S. Supreme Court decision that held that the sentencing disparities between crack and powder cocaine  are outright unconstitutional should have been retroactively applied, a posture that the Democratic primary presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who is now the U.S. Secretary of State, did not support, and an instance were the two differed in addition to the No Child Left Behind Act where Clinton wanted the act abolished and Obama wanted it modified. 

Harris said that Obama  established the first office of urban affairs, fought against illegal foreclosures, bailed out the automobile industry to help working class people, and supported federal legislation against unnecessary fees by banks and mortgage companies.

She said that Obama is simply the better choice over Romney, especially for minorities, women , and the poor. 

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