Former San Francisco Mayor and Speaker of the California State Assembly Willie Brown claimed to have "influenced" the career of US Sen. Kamala Harris with political appointments while the two were having an extramarital affair, Brown admits in a short article in the San Francisco Chronicle.
Harris was 30 years Brown's junior when the two were dating, approximately half his age at the time.
"Yes, we dated. It was more than 20 years ago. Yes, I may have influenced her career by appointing her to two state commissions when I was Assembly speaker," writes Brown, adding "And I certainly helped with her first race for district attorney in San Francisco."
Brown noted that he also helped the careers of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Gov. Gavin Newsom and Sen. Dianne Feinstein - though it is unclear whether any of them were also boffing Brown.
Concluding with what may be sour grapes, Brown writes: "The difference is that Harris is the only one who, after I helped her, sent word that I would be indicted if I "so much as jaywalked" while she was D.A."
As a powerful assembly speaker, Brown appointed Harris to a $97,000 per year position on the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board, then appointed her to the California Medical Assistance Commission for $72,000 per year, according to a 1994 report in the Los Angeles Times.
Harris, a former deputy district attorney in Alameda County, was described by several people at the Capitol as Brown's girlfriend. In March, San Francisco Chronicle columnist Herb Caen called her "the Speaker's new steady." -Los Angeles Times
Brown also connected Harris with campaign donors who helped her outspend her opponent in the race for San Francisco district attorney, according to Business Insider.