California Attorney General Kamala Harris To Run For Senate

Kamala HarrisCalifornia Attorney General Kamala Harris has announced her intention to run for the Senate seat which will be vacated by Barbara Boxer.

Harris, 50, recently made news after filing a lawsuit against the Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel for taking real money wagers on the website DesertRoseBingo.com. In the suit, Harris argued that the tribe had broken its compact with the state of California by allowing individuals inside the state to make bets without being on Santa Ysabel land.

The tribe claims that due to its use of a technically complex proxy system, that it is within its right to operate the site. Harris countered those claims, and argued that the Santa Ysabel were breaking a variety of laws by taking real money wagers.

“The Tribe’s self-proclaimed ‘groundbreaking’ efforts to make Internet gambling available to Californians ‘anytime and anywhere’ breach the tribal-state class III gaming compact between Tribe and the State, do not comply with the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and violate the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act,” she said in the suit.

A judge eventually agreed and placed a temporary restraining order on the website; at the moment, the site’s front page simply displays a splash screen with text defending the tribe’s position.

The competition

Harris’ campaign announcement comes soon after Gavin Newsom, the California Lieutenant Governor, told supporters that he would not run for the seat. If Newsom, who is also a Democrat, were to have opted in, the two candidates would have run the risk of dividing their base and giving the seat to a third challenger.

Potential opponents may include billionaire Tom Steyer, a Democrat who works vigorously for the protection of the environment, and representative Loretta Sanchez, a Democratic Congresswoman.

In one of her first statements as a candidate, Harris vowed to fight on behalf of middle-class families “who are feeling the pinch of stagnant wages and diminishing opportunity.” She steered clear of environmental issues which would no doubt be dominated by Steyer.

“I will be a fighter for our children who deserve a world-class education, and for students burdened by predatory lenders and skyrocketing tuition,” she continued. “And I will fight relentlessly to protect our coast, our immigrant communities and our seniors.”

Harris will continue her argument against the Santa Ysabel when a federal judge hears both sides and decides the fate of the gambling site. A favorable outcome for the Attorney General could very well give her some positive publicity which would surely be beneficial to her campaign.