Here are Kamala Harris’s K Street connections
Former staffers and associates of Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) just got a lot more influential.
Harris, who was named running mate for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Tuesday, has a former staffer working as a lobbyist, and several lobbyists in D.C. have thrown fundraisers for the California Democrat over the years.
Grant Barbosa, a former aide to Harris, is director of government affairs and policy at Emergent BioSolutions, a biopharmaceutical company that develops vaccines and therapeutics and provides medical devices for biodefense.
Before becoming a lobbyist, Barbosa was legislative assistant to Harris for a year starting in March 2017. Before that, he was legislative assistant to former Rep. Sander Levin (D-Mich.).
Harris’s connections also extend to D.C. law firms. Three attorneys at DLA Piper’s Washington office — Ann Ford, Edward Smith and Jim Halpert, a former registered lobbyist — threw Harris a fundraiser in fall 2019 when she was running for president. Harris’s husband, Douglas Emhoff, is a partner at DLA Piper’s office in Los Angeles.
Tony West, Harris’s brother-in-law, was an assistant attorney general at the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) civil division for three years and associate attorney general for just over 2 ½ years during the Obama administration. He now is senior vice president and chief legal officer at Uber in San Francisco.
Leon Fresco, an immigration attorney with Holland & Knight LLP, worked with West at DOJ. He donated $2,700 to Harris’s campaign in April 2019. Fresco was deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Immigration Litigation under Obama for more than two years.
Notable Democrats who hosted fundraisers for Harris include Michael Kempner, founder of the public relations firm MWWPR who held an event for her in August 2019 in Southampton, N.Y.
Harris dropped out of the presidential race in December 2019.
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