Family says Harris and Newsom trespassed for photo op
A family who lost their Fresno area home in the Creek Fire said Gov. Gavin Newsom and vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris went on their property without permission.
Newsom and Harris, in Fresno County to see areas ravaged by the fire, toured the Pine Ridge Elementary School on Tuesday when they crossed the road to walk around the destroyed house.
“Those chimneys, they remind me - when you look at a neighborhood that’s been wiped out, those chimneys remind me of tombstones,” remarked Harris.
The homeowners, not enthused that Harris used the ashes of their property as a backdrop for the press, said neither she nor Newsom had the right to be there.
‘They used my parents’ loss’
“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,” said Trampas Patten.
“Decent human beings that have character and class, wouldn’t air someone else’s misfortune on national television!” Trampas posted on Facebook.
He said his parents never gave the Democratic duo permission to go on their property in Auberry, a rural community of 2,000 east of Fresno in the Sierra foothills.
Bailee Patten, Trampas’ sister, said the family hasn’t been allowed to go the property because an evacuation order remains in effect for the neighborhood. She was stunned when she saw Newsom and Harris there.
Family not allowed to visit
“When we saw those photos, it was - there aren’t words, because it’s like, we haven’t even seen our house. We haven’t seen our property. There is no house, we haven’t even seen our property,” she told Fox26 News in Fresno.
“This isn’t just devastation, this is our lives. This is where we grew up, these are our memories. And to not have that - to feel so helpless - and I guess that’s what we’ve all been thinking, is that we were so helpless,” Patten said on Facebook.
“Because we weren’t there, we haven’t gotten to deal with our loss. Instead, we’re having to watch it play out on social media and news.”
The masked Senator had this to say as she walked around the premises:
“These are the stories behind these fires. It is incumbent on us, in terms of the leadership of our nation, to take seriously the extreme changes in our climate.”
She didn’t see interested in this story. Neither she nor Newsom contacted the family to see if they needed assistance, Patten said.