By Steve Knight
For someone running on a platform of changing “politics as usual,” my opponent in Tuesday’s election sure does seem to pull a lot of tired old tricks out of the Washington grab-bag of false attacks and talking points.
She claims I’m a “career politician” who sells out the well-being of my friends and neighbors in favor of the interests of corporate donors; that I am somehow a member of the “political elite” without any ties to our district.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Throughout my career, for more than 30 years, my first priority has been service to our community and our nation.
At 18, I joined the Army, where I was stationed in Germany to stand with our European allies. Later, as an officer in the Los Angeles Police Department, I served on the gangs division and worked every day to keep our families and streets safe. As a member of the Palmdale City Council, I worked closely with other local officials to help the Antelope Valley grow into the bustling and successful economy it is today.
As an assemblyman and senator in the state Legislature, I worked with the governor and other leaders in Sacramento to improve the quality of life of all Californians as we served the people of our great state. I had more bills signed into law than any other Republican in a Legislature where Democrats held a super majority.
In all the roles I’ve had the honor of filling, public service has been my No. 1 motivating factor.
Now, as your representative in the U.S. Congress, my duty is to advocate for our community at the national level, defend the homeland from threats abroad, protect the sacred freedoms we cherish as Americans, and enact national policies that allow hardworking American families to succeed. In my three and a half years in Washington, I’ve continued to fulfill this duty in spite of our current hyper-partisan climate.
I have introduced, and advanced through House passage, bipartisan legislation addressing school safety, groundbreaking treatment for veterans with PTSD, support for women-owned businesses, aeronautics research and development, updating our security clearance process to support local businesses, promoting STEM education in schools, supporting local industries on the forefront of renewable energy, and a litany of other important issues. I’ve had more bills pass the House than 52 of the 55 members of the California congressional delegation. The majority of my bills, 28 of 40, are cosponsored by Democrats, and I have had bills signed into law by both President Obama and President Trump.
I’ve worked directly with the VA to create a first-in-the-nation program here in our district to improve options and access to health care for our area’s veterans. I’ve secured federal resources to build a much-needed air traffic control tower at Plant 42, as well as $47 million to improve traffic on the I-5 interchange chokepoint. My bill to improve safety standards at natural gas storage facilities was signed into law by President Obama and will help ensure a disaster like the Aliso Canyon leak will never happen again. I helped halt future mining operations in Soledad Canyon that would cripple our environment and passed legislation to preclude future contracts once the current ones expire.
I fought against President Obama’s disastrous Iran nuclear deal and his veto of the National Defense Authorization Act funding our troops. I fought against President Trump’s separation of immigrant children from their families and the administration’s actions to reverse net neutrality standards.
This is not the record of a politician in the pockets of corporate interests or party leaders. This is my record of commitment to the unique strengths and challenges of our community here in Southern California. This is the community where I was raised, where my wife and I have raised our kids; the one in which my wife saves lives every day as a NICU nurse; and the one in which we’ve served for decades.
My opponent would have you ignore this record of achievement. She, Swing Left and the nearly $10 million of SuperPAC money that is supporting her, will run ads falsely claiming I am out to hurt middle-class families, that I want to gut Social Security and Medicare, and that I put my party affiliation above the interests of my neighbors.
These are the same old tactics used by my opponent in 2016. Fortunately, voters saw through that charade, and I have full confidence they will see through this one as well. In California’s 25th Congressional District, achievements matter more than the party listed next to a candidate’s name. No amount of celebrity endorsements or HBO specials will ever change that.
Rep. Steve Knight represents the 25th Congressional District, which includes the Santa Clarita Valley.