Voters wanting to see for themselves what the fuss over Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris’ tenure as California attorney general is all about are out of luck.
However, the state explains away the departure of information related to Harris’ controversial years as the state’s top prosecutor as nothing nefarious, and simply the way the bureaucracy bounces.
The disappearance of information related to Harris’ record as a prosecutor was first reported by the Washington Free Beacon.
As of this spring, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation website carried reports on prisoner incarcerations that went back to 2009. The reports, which included extensive demographic data, covered the entire length of Harris’ tenure as attorney general from 2011 through 2017.
But if a voter intrigued by the back-and-forth over her record that is now taking place in the Democratic presidential primary process goes to that page today, everything from Harris’ era is gone.
The state insists the change is part of the department’s response to a new California law to make state websites more accessible.
“Making our website fully compliant was a significant and ongoing undertaking. It required a redesign of the look and feel of the website, and a need to evaluate all of the thousands of documents and other files that were linked to our website,” Jeffrey Callison, the department’s assistant secretary for communications, told the Free Beacon.
He said that not everything is gone forever.
“While many documents that are not accessible can be remediated, it is a significant use of resources to do it across the board. Some older documents have been removed from our website but are still available upon request; others are temporarily removed while they are being remediated; and many others have already been remediated and are on our website,” he said.
Voters who know the documents exist and want a peek can request them via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, he said.
“Senator Harris says she’s proud of her record as a prosecutor and that she’ll be a prosecutor president,” Gabbard said.
“But I’m deeply concerned about this record. 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.”
“She blocked evidence — she blocked evidence that would have freed an innocent man from death row until the courts forced her to do so. She kept people in prison beyond their sentences to use them as cheap labor for the state of California,” Gabbard said.
After Harris was given time to respond and said she was proud of her record, Gabbard resumed her attack.
“The bottom line is, Senator Harris, when you were in a position to make a difference and an impact in these people’s lives, you did not,” she said.
“And worse yet, in the case of those who were on death row, innocent people, you actually blocked evidence from being revealed that would have freed them until you were forced to do so. There is no excuse for that and the people who suffered under your reign as prosecutor owe — you owe them an apology.”
The impact of the attack was noted in an Op-Ed by CNN contributor Jeff Yang.
“There’s an uncomfortable case to be made that this could be a knockout punch for Harris’s candidacy,” he wrote.
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