Friday, December 08, 2017

#CA25 Is On Fire... As Steve Knight Votes To Abolish Tax Deductions For Fire Damage


I read the Sarah Wire story about the congressional race in CA-25, the swing district that encompasses Santa Clarita, Simi Valley and the Antelope Valley, in the L.A. Times this week and felt a little weird about the new candidate who jumped into the race and who she describes as a "cancer biologist, Michael Masterman-Smith.

CA-25 is a district with a Democratic registration advantage that the DCCC has botched for several cycles in a row, losing it with a vapid carpetbagger they recruited last year (54.2% to 45.8%) even as Hillary was beating Trump in the district on the same day 50.3% to 43.6%. This cycle there are at least 8 Democrats battling it out for the nomination-- the same vapid carpetbagger who lost in 2016 (Bryan Caforio), a volcano researcher named Jess Phoenix, someone named Diedra Greenaway, Masterman-Smith, as of a couple days ago, and the qualified progressive endorsed by Blue America, Katie Hill. (There are also 3 vanity candidates who are just running for the attention and thrill.)

Right-wing incumbent Steve Knight sold out his constituents again and again but really infuriated the district this week when they realized he voted to remove tax deductions for fire and earthquake damages while including similar deductions for problems that plague the red, red South. Why is that such a big deal right now? CA-25 is on fire this week-- in a very, very big way-- and people are losing their homes. And starting to look at Paul Ryan puppet Steve Knight with new eyes-- woke eyes.

Meanwhile, who is Michael Masterman-Smith, aside from another "scientist" playing identity politics by saying it’s time for scientists to help draft healthcare policy? This statement from him sounds sensible enough: "Our leaders are defining these healthcare policies and yet they themselves have no experience in healthcare,," until you realize that most of the doctors in Congress aren't especially any good on healthcare policy issues anyway and just follow their political parties' ideological efforts.

I reached out to prominent cancer researchers about Mastermind-Smith and none of them-- in a very tight community of peers-- had ever heard of him. His research apparently is just about how weed can cure cancer and he's the CEO of CA Labs, Inc., a cannabis pharmaceutical company.

Nor does he live anywhere near CA-25. Wire reported that he "currently lives on a boat in Marina del Rey, but is registered to vote at an address in La Habra, neither of which is in the 25th District." She doesn't answer another question: Is he an actual medical doctor?
Masterman-Smith has degrees from Florida State University and Pepperdine University, and postdoctorate degrees in molecular and medical pharmacology from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

He said he’s watched as more money and research poured into a healthcare system that just gets more expensive, and he’s seen less respect for scientific thought and reasoning.

“This is the first time in my life I feel my country is not treating me as a citizen because I am a scientist,” he said.

Masterman-Smith said he’s hoping his focus on healthcare policy will set him apart from the more than half a dozen other Democrats who have filed to challenge Knight, a Republican.

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