Gary Horton | It’s Not About Steve; It’s About California


You’ve heard it said, “When you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go.”

Well, it’s time for Steve Knight to go.

California has been putting up a lot with Washington these past two years and it’s time for a change. And the reality is, change in Washington requires a change in the 25th Congressional District. Simply put, our only option to improve California’s lot in Washington is to flip the 25th district. We’ve got to lead the Blue Wave.

The situation isn’t particularly Steve Knight’s fault. By all accounts, Steve is a good guy, a guy you would love to have as a neighbor. But the bad behavior being tolerated and encouraged in Washington is much bigger than Steve — it’s built-in structural; fully baked into the system. As long as politics remains fully polarized, with close to zero collaboration between parties, California automatically gets far less than its due — and California voters have virtually no say in politics at the national level. That’s why Steve has to go, and Katie Hill must replace him as the 25th District Congressional representative.

Check it out:

California is the largest state in the union by population and productivity. We’re the 6th largest GDP nation on Earth, for heaven’s sake! California GDP dominates the U.S. at over $2.7 trillion. Next up is a distant Texas, at $1.7 trillion. A host of tiny red states fill out the bottom of U.S. productivity with Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, Alaska, North Dakota, all with paltry GDP contributions between $40 billion and $60 billion each. No contest with California.

By population, California boasts 40 million, with Texas a distant second at 29 million, and little red states from Montana to Wyoming sporting around a million or less. Wyoming is virtually unpopulated, save for some 600,000 souls herding cows around and sucking oil here and there…

California dominates the U.S. economically and demographically. Yet, because Republicans hold a majority in the House, our overwhelmingly Democratic state has almost no voice in the U.S. House of Representatives. Our 39 Democratic representatives are muted and powerless in this partisan game. Yes, guys like Steve get tossed token bills as window dressing, but influence in the big stuff remains out of reach.

The House must flip Democratic in order for California to again have strong say in the country to which we’re glued. Because of party affiliation alone, Steve Knight must go. Sorry Steve, it’s just that way. It’s not you, it’s the company you keep. And the company you keep have been reckless, thoughtless, overtly partisan, and now, even obstructing justice.

But it’s not just Steve Knight and Congress. Californians are out-voted in the Senate by as much as 66 to 1 compared with other states. Tiny ones like Wyoming, North Dakota, Montana, Kansas, and all the rest of the flyover plains get two senators each. Wyoming, with 600,000 lonely souls waiting out winter in log cabins, gets two senators. California, the 6th largest economy in the world, gets two senators.

Things are so upside down in the Senate you have to add the entire population of the 22 smallest states to add up to California. Do the math: That’s 44 senators from Podunk states against California’s minuscule two. And ours are Democratic, against the slim Republican-majority-held Senate — thus again California has almost no voice. Our 40 million people are out-influenced by states fractions of our size. Politically, we’re Alice in the looking glass and down a rabbit hole.

The upshot of all this is that California — the powerhouse, essential, economic, environmental, cultural leader of the United States — is currently an effectual political eunuch. We’re out-voiced, out-maneuvered by states 1/66th our size. We’re net tax exporters, experiencing “taxation without representation.” Want better roads? Let’s get some of our federal tax pumped back into our state…

It’s time for California to empower our national standing. We start by flipping the House of Representatives on Nov. 4. The House must turn blue. A blue House is a California-dominated House. Almost magically, California turns from no voice to having a booming, dominating voice.

We again get say over the tax dollars we export to the beggar states. We again get say over our shorelines. We again get say about the gross decay in values and ethics currently present in our White House and the Republican-controlled House. We get a say on sane and rational health care. We can restore checks and balances to our out-of-control national government.

Simply put, when the House flips blue, California gets its due. And the time is past due.

Respectfully, and sorry Steve Knight — it’s not you. It’s the darn polarized party you represent. We’ve got to take your office keys and hand them to Katie Hill. California must get its voice back. Steve, I hope you understand. It’s nothing personal — it’s about California.

Gary Horton is a Santa Clarita resident. His“Full Speed to Port!” has appeared on Wednesdays in The Signal since 2006. Mr. Horton is the longest regular, continuously published columnist in The Signal with over 600 columns to his credit.

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