It Pays (14 Grand) to Have Friends in Far Places

As a fundraiser she’s slowed down, but she’s still far from idling.

Two years after Kamala Harris won her job, and two years before any potential re-election, the San Francisco DA is still managing to pull in some decent donations.

She was a big spender in 2003, when she went through an initial election and then a run-off to unseat an incumbent. That year, she raised about $740,000, and burned through nearly $900,000 — almost three times as much as either of her competitors.

By the end of last year, she’d chipped her debt down to something just north of $70,000, thanks in part to the $135,000 that she raised throughout 2005.

Of those donations, $33,555 came in during the last six months of the year. And about $14,000 of that came from donors in Georgia.

That’s a little puzzling, given that Harris is a Bay Area native (albeit one who went to college in Washington, D.C.) in a locally elected office.

So what had Georgia on her mind — and vice versa?

She knows people who know some more people, according to her campaign manager, Jim Stearns. As he tells it, Harris has worked on some policy-type issues with Paul Howard Jr., the district attorney in Georgia’s Fulton County. So when our DA was out on the East Coast at some point last year, Howard and four other people showed her some real southern hospitality they threw her a fundraiser.

“She’s been spending 110 percent of her time working in the San Francisco office, but when she does travel … she’s just been trying to build her network,? Stearns said.

— Pam Smith

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