Sunday, June 04, 2017

Santa Clarita Gives Right Wing Radical Steve Knight An Angry, Sour Reception


Steve Knight has a long history in politics-- and one word no one who has ever followed his career would use to describe him is "moderate" or even "mainstream." He was a Palmdale city councilman (2006), then an assemblyman (2009) and then a state senator (2013) before he was elected to Congress in 2014. Until recently he always seemed to take delight in being the furthest right crackpot in the room.

Knight's voting record in the state legislature would be ultra-conservative if he represented a backward district in Alabama or Mississippi. In suburban L.A., it's just bizarre... and a throwback to another century. Widely considered a shill for the NRA and an automaton for the most extreme right-wing proposals that ever came up in Sacramento, Knight was one of only 11 state senators who voted against increasing the minimum wage and, despite representing a district with a huge Hispanic population, he was one of only 8 senators who voted against drivers licenses for undocumented immigrants. When the Governor decided to expand Medicaid in line with the Affordable Care Act, only 7 die-hard right-wingers opposed it, Knight being one of them, naturally. He was also one of only 8 senators to fully back unregulated fracking in earthquake zones in California. He was always vehemently anti-Choice and anti-gay and voted against every piece of legislation promoting equality that has ever come before him. For example, in May, 2013 he was one of only 9 senators to vote against a bipartisan bill that prohibits tax-exempt status for organizations that discriminate against the LGBT community and he also one of only seven sociopaths who opposed an anti-bullying bill that passed the Senate with huge bipartisan support. One legislator who served with him told me that Knight isn't a bad guy on a personal level but that he's "an inflexible ideologue… probably the single least effective member of the state legislature."

Knight's district has turned pretty blue of late and he's really an anomaly who was left behind primarily because of grotesque DCCC incompetence and corruption. Eric Bauman should throw the DCCC out of the state and have the California Democratic Party take over recruitment of candidates and allow the DCCC to send and spend only through the state party. (Every state should do that but California is in position to lead the way. Sorry for the tangent.) Although Obama won the district-- very narrowly, 49.4% to 48.3% in 2008, the district voted for crackpot Republican Carly Fiorina in 2010 by a pretty wide margin over Democratic incumbent Barbara Boxer, 54.0% to 38.9% and two years later supported Meg Whitman for governor over Jerry Brown, 50.9% to 41.4%, and Romney over Obama, 49.7% to 47.8%. Trump seems to have turned the beat around entirely, Hillary kicking his ass 50.3% to a dismal 43.6%. But all the while, the DCCC has stumbled all over itself, unable to win the congressional seat. Last year the party bosses in DC decided to parachute in some guy from Orange County who worked at a law firm in Beverly Hills and had never previously set foot in the district. That went over badly and their candidate, some guy named Caforio, was clobbered as Clinton voters ignored him. Knight beat him 53.1% to 46.9%. (That was even too much for the DCCC and they decided to discourage him from running again in 2016, although their clueless West Coast staffer, conservative shill Kyle Layman, didn't get the message and persuaded him to run again anyway.)

Thursday afternoon-- when most people are working or at school-- Knight held a sparsely attended but raucous town hall meeting at Canyon High School in Santa Clarita. It got really raucous when he started lying to a woman claiming "On the AHCA, no one will be kicked off Medicaid," a program that is slated to be cut by around 800 billion dollars under the TrumpCare bill he voted for. He committed to another woman that he would never vote to cut Medicaid, which he had already done over and over and over, including just 2 weeks ago. "I don’t see cutting any of those programs. You’ve got my commitment," he lied. Or does he not even know what he's voting for and against? It's like he's from another planet. He told the audience that Congress would never, ever, cut that safety next-- even though that's exactly what Congress has been doing at every opportunity, something Ryan and his puppets like Knight attempt to whittle away day in and day out.

When several other constituents confronted him about his vote to allow internet service providers to sell people's private information without their permission or even knowledge, he pretty much admitted he didn't know what was in the bill he just voted for by rote, like every other bill Ryan and McCarthy put in front of him.
Closing the event, Carole Lutness, an elderly Valencia resident, said she believed America was witnessing the collapse of democracy and said Trump is a “crook” who only cares about himself.

She was met with a standing ovation.

Lutness told The Signal this was the core issue America is facing and said the “one percent” are stealing from the rest of Americans.

It is the change of the whole structure of government,” Lutness said to Knight. “We have to get money out of politics.”

Knight said if money was going to stay out of elections, it would have to be all money.

“If we want to get corporate money out of politics, they also want to get union money out,” Knight said.
Goal Thermometer Hopefully the DCCC will stay out of CA-25 this primary season and allow a hometown girl, Katie Hill, to win the nomination without their heavy-handed interference. We asked her why she thought Knight got such an surly reception in Santa Clarita. "The bottom line," she told us, "is that people are angry and they are scared. Health care is something that we just shouldn't have to worry about whether we can afford-- people shouldn't forsake their own health and well-being because they need to pay the rent. Knight's constituents know that the AHCA is going to make things harder for them and the people they care about, while the wealthiest Americans get huge tax breaks and insurance companies and big pharma continue to make record profits. His vote shows whose side he's on-- and it's not ours." Blue America has endorsed Katie and if you'd like to help her end Knight's ridiculous career, please tap the thermometer on the right and contribute what you can.

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At 5:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quick. Someone tell Tim Olyphant and Drew Barrymore about that guy. I bet he'd be nutritious, easy to catch and someone nobody much would miss.

great show, btw.


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