This week’s Spotlight is focused on California’s new 47th Congressional District. The Democrat running there is Katie Porter who currently serves the 45th CD. First elected in 2018 with the help of ADA's Southern California chapter, she quickly catapulted into national attention. With her intellect, style and sharp wit and an 88 percent ADA voting record, our Southern California chapter calls her a “progressive superstar.” The fact that she has earned that accolade despite coming from the notorious Orange County and being the first Democrat elected in her district merits our full praise and support. She even managed to increase her margin of victory in 2020 to 53.5 percent. But, we can’t take anything for granted and this promises to be a difficult year.
Porter is a Yale undergrad who got her law degree from Harvard. Since then, she has taught and practiced law – almost always as a consumer advocate. In 2012, then California Attorney General Kamala Harris appointed her to be the state’s independent monitor of banks in a nationwide $25 billion mortgage settlement. In her campaigns, she has refused to accept corporate PAC donations and has stuck true to her liberal credentials.  Her priorities include overhaul of campaign finance laws and protection of voting rights. She is a strong advocate against anticompetitive business behavior and for creating a competitive economy. She sees an urgent need to tackle the climate crisis and to treat climate change as a national security threat. Not surprisingly, she is pro-choice and for common sense gun control laws. She fully supports workers’ rights which include the right to organize free from corporate intimidation. She serves on the Committee on Natural Resources and the Committee on Oversight and Reform and is a vice-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
Porter is best known, however, for holding big banking and large corporate feet to the fire. In her best schoolmarm style with her ever-handy whiteboard, she points out the error of their ways,  demonstrates the facts, brooks no nonsense and takes no prisoners. No wonder she has become a prime target for Republicans eager to take back the House of Representatives.
Porter’s general election opponent is former GOP state representative Scott Baugh who also served as the one-time head of the Orange County GOP. His career is tainted by multiple scandals. Like so many other candidates, his statements about issues of concern to liberals are sheathed in meaningless platitudes, refusal to answer questions or simply dodging the issues entirely. There are, however, plenty of clues to underscore the fact that this is yet another MAGA Republican in sheep’s clothing. His undergraduate degree is from Liberty University and his campaign website states that Porter is a member of the “Congressional Progressive (Socialist) Caucus.” He opposes California’s “crazy sanctuary city laws” and is for repeal of the Affordable Care Act. He also refuses to admit that Biden won the election. Although nowhere does he take a position on reproductive health care, he has been endorsed by the California Pro-Life PAC, so one can safely assume he is anti-choice. What we do know is that Katie Porter is his polar opposite and deserves liberal support.
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