Did Harris and Newsom Trespass for Political Photo Op? - GV Wire - Explore. Explain. Expose
Connect with us


Did Harris and Newsom Trespass for Political Photo Op?



Share with friends

Were Kamala Harris and Gavin Newsom trespassing when they viewed a burned out home during a campaign stop yesterday in Auberry?

The son of the owners says so, and does not appreciate his family’s misfortune being turned into a political prop.

As California senator and vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris and Gov. Gavin Newsom toured Creek Fire damage yesterday, they visited the remains of a home across the street from Pine Ridge Elementary School in Auberry.

In a Facebook message posted later that evening, Trampas Patten criticized Harris and Newsom, accusing them of using his family’s tragedy for political gain.

“What has me really frustrated right now is the fact that these two politicians used my parents loss for a photo opportunity to push their political agenda! Political party wouldn’t have made a difference in this moment. Decent human beings that have character and class, wouldn’t air someone else’s misfortune on national television!” Patten wrote.

The home on Auberry Road is still under an evacuation order as of Wednesday.

Neither the Biden/Harris campaign nor Newsom’s office replied to requests for comment.

Harris, Newsom Blame Climate Change

During remarks to the press pool, both Harris and Newsom blamed climate change for the devastating effects of California wildfires.

Harris called the climate a “public health crisis.”

“Sadly, these wildfires and the devastation they cause are utterly predictable,” Harris said. “Especially in residential areas, and you’ll see where the fire has just swept through. Everything is gone except the chimney… Those chimneys remind me of tombstones,” Harris said.

All that was remaining from the Patten home was a chimney and a truck parked in what was the driveway.

“The hots are getting hotter. The dries are getting dryer. Climate change is real. If you don’t believe in science, come to California and observe with your own eyes and not be in denial about this reality,” Newsom said.

Newsom praised Harris for her leadership in efforts to “decarbonize the economy.”

Harris called for more investment in solar panels and wind turbines.

Permission Not Granted

Patten wrote that Harris and Newsom visited the property without permission.

“For the record, my parents haven’t even been let back in yet themselves, to sort through what is left of their lives, but these two felt the need to go traipsing around my parents property without permission. I guess those property taxes my parents pay allow politicians to do this! Private property doesn’t exist in California anymore!” Patten wrote.

A Fresno County Sheriff’s Office spokesman said the exact letter of the law isn’t clear.

Voting records show that Patten and his mother, Bonnie Patten, are registered Republicans.

Gov. Gavin Newsom and Sen. Kamala Harris tour a burned home in Auberry. (GV Wire/David Taub)

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email