John Zaring: Time for a change in US Congress


Republican Steve Knight from Palmdale is a vulnerable congressman who has the dubious distinction of serving in what has been the most ineffective and despised Congress in history, promulgating out-of-the-mainstream views on things like Social Security – which he called “a bad idea” – opposition to equal pay for women, and even refusing to allow any exceptions to his abortion stance, even if a woman had been raped or it means she’ll die.

Yes, you read that correctly. No exceptions!

Most people in the United States do not share Knight’s extremist views, and polling has shown that the majority of Santa Claritans and the broader 25th Congressional District support a woman’s right to make her own health decisions and receive equal work for equal pay.

It is 2016, after all.

Democrats in the 25th District are certainly unhappy that Knight has joined House Republicans in voting more than 50 times to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and without offering up any real alternatives.

Yep, Knight is okay with tossing the more than 20 million Americans who now have health insurance thanks to Obamacare, back into our emergency rooms.

With Republican nominee Donald J. Trump wreaking havoc in the presidential race, and Knight refusing to disavow him, it is very likely that Republican turnout could be depressed, which Democrats hope will further impact Knight’s ability to keep his seat.

National Republicans recognize just how vulnerable Knight is, which is why the national party and various “dark money” groups have run to Knight’s rescue to try to prop up his flailing and failing re-election bid.

Knight’s Democratic opponent is UCLA grad turned Yale-trained consumer rights attorney Bryan Caforio, who moved to Valencia with his wife, Lisa, an L.A. city attorney, late last year to start a family.

Caforio was raised by two public school teachers here in Southern California and has a fierce intelligence that allows him to go toe-to-toe with Knight on policy.

He’s demonstrated a mastery of the issue in the few times Knight has been willing to debate him and an ability to get under Knight’s skin with facts.

Kind of like when Clinton uses Trump’s own words against him. It is hard to run when you can’t hide.

Since the end of the primary, Caforio has built a broad coalition support for his campaign and has secured the endorsement of almost every prominent Democrat from across L.A. County and the state, including Senators Feinstein and Boxer, Gov. Jerry Brown, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, Attorney General Kamala Harris, as well as every other Democratic congressional representative in L.A. County.

He also has the support of every Democratic club as well as the Los Angeles County Young Democrats, nurses, school employees, not to mention organizations like Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Equality California and the Alliance for Retired Americans.

With this support come financial resources – not only local funding but, more importantly, from Democrats and pro-Democrat groups from across the country – that will allow him to match, if not dwarf, Knight on the all-important messaging front.

Expect to be inundated with traditional mailers, print, radio and television ads, as well as a dominant social media presence.

That’s right, folks, this time around there will be television ads actually running on television, not just YouTube.

This race has already been the most expensive ever waged in the 25th Congressional District, but projected spending over the final four weeks will likely make it one of the most costly House races anywhere in America this cycle.

Spending in support of Caforio will reach into the millions. As in dollars, that is.

And with a registered voter advantage that is fast pushing toward 7,000, Democrats understand that now is the time to turn what has always been a red seat into a blue seat. If Democrats vote, if they actually go to their polling sites and vote, Caforio will win. Not can win – he will win.

So get out and vote, Democrats. No excuses this time. Let’s send Bryan Caforio to Washington.

John Zaring’s columns are called too conservative by liberals and too liberal by conservatives – thus his claim to “The Rational Center.” He lives in Castaic, is a registered Democrat and has been an SCV resident since 2000.

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