SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris returned to California’s capital Monday night to collect some campaign cash and bask in repeated standing ovations from an appreciative union audience.
While she never mentioned Republican President Donald Trump by name, she said she decided to seek the Democratic nomination to challenge him because “we are better than this.”
“This is a moment that is requiring us to fight for the best of who we are,” the state’s junior senator told several hundred people attending the legislative conference dinner of the California Labor Federation and the State Building and Construction Trades Council.
“America is not working for working people,” she said, listing the financial challenges facing many families.
She promoted her proposed $6,000 tax credit for those paid under $100,000 and her goal of erasing what she called a $13,500-a-year pay gap for teachers compared to other professionals. The money, she said, should come from repealing Trump tax cuts that favor corporations and the wealthy.
Harris did not take questions nor address the controversy facing a potential rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, former Vice President Joe Biden. A second woman on Monday said Biden acted inappropriately in the past, while Biden aides said his embracing of acquaintances, colleagues and friends does not equate to uninvited touching.
Harris also did not address criticism from some more liberal critics about her track record while she was San Francisco’s district attorney and California’s attorney general before winning her Senate seat in 2016. Though Harris has long said she is “smart on crime,” critics recently have said she was late to lobby for bail reform, marijuana legalization and an end to the death penalty, among other hot topics.
She earlier was feted at a campaign fundraiser hosted by Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis, among others, at the Sacramento home of Kounalakis’ parents, wealthy developer Angelo Tsakopoulos and his wife, Sofia.
Tickets ranged from $1,000 to $2,800.
Her campaign on Monday reported raising $12 million this year from more than 218,000 individual contributions. Despite Monday’s high-priced tickets, her campaign said 98% of contributions were under $100.