I was one of the first Republicans in Simi Valley to publicly support Steve Knight’s campaign for Congress in 2014. I supported him both because I agreed with his policy positions and because I found him to be someone with integrity whom I could trust to be straight with his constituents, whether he agreed with them or not.
Four years later it’s surreal to see this race, in which Knight spent less than $500,000 in 2014, rank as one of national import. Back then, when I mentioned the name “Steve Knight” to colleagues in Washington, D.C., they had no idea who he was, and they certainly didn’t imagine that we’d win in November as we were being vastly outspent. They all know who he is now.
Over these last four years a lot has changed, but the reasons I support Steve Knight remain the same.
I still support Steve Knight because he believes in small government. He’s taken a lot of heat for his comment at a debate in a prior cycle that he thinks Social Security is a bad idea. I think the government being in charge of my retirement dollars is a bad idea, too, especially since they can’t seem to keep their hands out of the cookie jar. His comments don’t mean, though, that he supports lowering payments to current retirees or not upholding promises made (nasty campaign ads aside).
I still support Steve Knight because he has been effective in passing legislation that’s important to our community, such as legislation ending the legal battle with CEMEX and ending mining in Soledad Canyon and the Natural Gas Leak Prevention Act to prevent what happened at Aliso Canyon from ever happening again. He introduced the St. Francis Dam Disaster Memorial Act, and supported Rep. Adam Schiff’s Rim of the Valley Preservation Act.
I still support Steve Knight because he puts a high priority on national security and taking care of our veterans. He’s championed reforms to the VA Medical Center to allow veterans to have easier access to local healthcare, including starting a pilot program, the Convenience Care Initiative. He also sponsored the No Hero Left Untreated Act and the Sexual Trauma Response and Treatment Act, both of which have passed the House with bipartisan support.
I still support Steve Knight because he has a common-sense view of immigration reform. His wife, Lily, is an immigrant who is now a U.S. citizen. Having gone through that process with her, Knight understands the bureaucratic nightmare people who want to legally go through the process endure. He knows what needs to be fixed to streamline the process, and also knows that without a secure border any other reforms are useless.
I still support Steve Knight because he pushes for innovative educational programs, especially in STEM. His Women in Aerospace Education Act, which funded an increase in STEM and aerospace education for young girls and women, passed the House with bipartisan support.
I still support Steve Knight because he values the contribution women make to our society. Knight introduced the Women’s Business Center Improvement Act, which was passed in the House. He also introduced the Friendly Airports for Mothers Act, directing the FAA to include special areas in airports for breastfeeding mothers, and the Workplace Advancement Act, which would protect women from discriminatory employers and advocate for equal pay for equal work.
I still support Steve Knight because he understands how disastrous Obamacare has been for many families, including mine. Prior to Obamacare I had a high-deductible major medical policy with an attached HSA. That plan was affordable for me and my son, with a $100/month premium, and my doctors were contractually obligated to charge me the same negotiated rates they charged insurance companies until I met my deductible. Under Obamacare, that policy was deemed “unqualified,” and my premiums went up to $500/month with a higher deductible than my former “high deductible” plan! It’s so absurd it would be funny – if it weren’t for the real harm it has caused my ability to provide for my son. Steve Knight understands that having an insurance policy is useless if one can’t afford to pay the deductibles associated with going to the doctor.
I still support Steve Knight because he still speaks his mind, even when it can be (and has been) twisted to attack him – such as the Social Security comment I referenced at the beginning of the column. I’ve often told people that you might not agree with Steve Knight’s positions, but you’ll know what they are. That is rare in politics these days.
I still support Steve Knight because he is a man of integrity. There is no doubt that his wife and children are at the top of his priority list and he is loyal to his family, his friends and his country.
Jennifer Van Laar is a communications consultant, writer and RedState contributor.
The Santa Clarita Valley Proclaimer’s opinion section does not represent the official opinions of Radio Free Santa Clarita, its board and its supporters.