Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Jason Westin Officially Announces His Run For The Houston Seat Held By Reactionary Republican John Culberson


I spent yesterday at City of Hope, taking in-- literally-- some of the glories of the advanced medical treatment that keeps me alive and blogging. My doctor is one of the country's foremost specialists in cancer research. When I mentioned to her that I've been talking with another renowned cancer specialist, Dr. Jason Westin in Houston, she was very excited because they're both working on the one of the most advanced immunotherapy treatment protocols for cancer, CAR-T, and will be together in a couple weeks. Jason will have to take off from his campaign for Congress-- which officially begins this morning.

All through this TrumpCare saga, Jason's been a reliable source of analysis about how Ryan, Price, Pence and the Trump Regime in general have been deceiving the public with their phony "healthcare" bill. You can read his comments here. His opponent is an entrenched knee-jerk GOP hack, John Culberson whose brand of politics is at odds with a blue-trending district that Hillary won last year.

Yesterday, in a post at The Hill about scientists running against Republican congressmen, Lisa Hagen kicked off her story using Jason as the example. Jason Westin works in Texas at one of the country’s top cancer hospitals," she wrote, "but on Wednesday he’ll ditch his lab for the campaign trail and an upstart congressional bid."
Westin, a cancer research doctor at Houston’s renowned MD Anderson Cancer Center, is launching his campaign Wednesday against Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas). Culberson is the chairman of the Appropriations subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science that oversees NASA and the National Science Foundation.

...Westin said his splash into politics has been a big sacrifice. The father of three young children said he’ll need to give up his role leading the research team to focus on his congressional bid.

“I think the U.S. House is where I feel I can make my greatest impact on things like healthcare, science funding,” Westin said.
Jason seems like an excellent candidate. Blue America is in the middle of getting to know him better, not just about his work as a scientist but in a way that will give us a clue to what kind of a congressman he'd be. Remember, Bill Foster (D-IL) is often touted as how glorious it is to elect scientists to Congress. But Foster is-- at best-- a mediocre member, a New Dem with a ProgressivePunch lifetime crucial vote score of 61.30-- an "F." That's what happens when you look at a candidate through one prism. Most EMILY's List candidates are just awful because their only criteria is to elect women. Two of the very worst Democrats in the House-- Sean Patrick Maloney (NY) and Kyrsten Sinema (AZ)-- are pushed by LGBT groups because they're gay. They're also devoted servants of Wall Street banksters and both have overall "F" rated voting records. His work as a scientist should weigh heavily in Jason Westin's favor, while his overall vision of governance and what he can offer to TX-07's working families will determine whether or not he winds up on the Blue America endorsement page.

Hagen's piece about scientists mentions Joseph Kopser as a candidate running against science denier Lamar Smith in TX-21. Kopser, a wealthy, conservative "ex"-Republican is the worst kind of candidate anyone could ask for but he's passing himself off as a "scientist," which he isn't, and finding support from foolish people. On the other hand, Hagen seems to have left out Hans Keirstead, a gigantically successful stem cell researcher in Orange County who is about to launch his campaign against Dana Rohrabacher. Let's not give in to making scientists just another opportunity for out-of-touch, lazy Democrats to play their identity politics game.

UPDATE: Westin's official announcement

He went right for the jugular immediately: "As a doctor, I know firsthand the risks people here in my district and throughout the country will face if Donald Trump and John Culberson have their way. Their plans to kick hard-working Americans off their health insurance are callous and dangerous. Texans in our district deserve better. I’m not a career politician, I’m a cancer research doctor and I’ve spent more than 15 years tackling life and death issues for my patients. As a physician, I took an oath to first do no harm. For too long, career politicians like John Culberson have tried the same failed partisan prescriptions, leaving our community worse off than if they’d done nothing at all. It’s time for a new treatment for what ails Washington and that starts with listening to the people in our district and using facts and evidence to find real solutions, not partisan soundbites, to the problems we face."

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