UCI law professors David Min and Katie Porter are challenging Republican incumbent Mimi Walters by running for the 45th district Congress seat in the 2018 midterm election. While Min has the Democratic Party’s endorsement for Congress, Porter is endorsed by political figures including current California Senator and former Attorney General Kamala Harris and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
While Min’s platform focuses on healthcare, preventing gun violence, immigration, climate change, education, women’s issues, economic policy, campaign finance reform and foreign policy/trade, Porter’s platform puts an emphasis on universal Medicare, women’s health, reversing the recently passed national tax bill, immigration, environment and public education.
According to the “issues” page on his campaign website, Min believes healthcare is a human right, and feels that the country should be working toward a system in which everyone has healthcare coverage.
He has also expressed a desire to get behind common-sense “restrictions on gun access for domestic abusers, the mentally ill, [and] those on the terrorist watch list” as a country.
His wife, Jane Stoever, who runs the Domestic Violence Clinic at UCI Law School, has seen first-hand what happens when legislation meant to protect the most vulnerable populations in America fails to pass; Min mentions her work and experience on his website as proof that the country “must do better.”
In terms of immigration, Min also stated on his website that he hopes for his children to grow up in an America that represents the core values that drew his parents, and millions of immigrants just like them, to this country: the values of inclusion, diversity, and economic opportunity.
In regards to climate change, Min supports measures to begin immediately limiting carbon emissions, and at a bare minimum wants to “reverse course on Donald Trump’s reckless decision to unilaterally withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord and the EPA’s decision to repeal the Clean Power Plan.”
Education is also one of Min’s top priorities for domestic spending, and he believes federal investments should significantly increase in education at the primary, secondary, and university levels.
Min argues that the government should not be regulating the personal healthcare decisions of its citizens, and that includes women and their reproductive health. He opposes efforts to reduce funding to Planned Parenthood and the essential health care services it provides.
His economic policy includes plans to create good-paying jobs that support a middle-class standard of living.
Min believes that everyone and every business organization who contributes or spends on political campaigns should be required to disclose who they are (and who their investors or principles are), that campaign finance laws should help reflect this basic principle and not allow electoral politics to be distorted by outsized campaign spending by wealthy individuals or business organizations, and that gerrymandering (whether for racial, partisan, or other purposes) undermines the principle of “one person, one vote” and should be prohibited.
Min claims that America will alienate allies and bankrupt the country if the government continues to invest in bombs over diplomacy. He recognizes that diplomacy can be a long, difficult, and intensive process, but one that can pay dividends over the long run, and wants to keep in mind Teddy Roosevelt’s advice —“speak softly and carry a big stick” — which he says has served America well in the past.
On trade, he believes in ensuring that American priorities and values are reflected, but also recognizes that existing trade agreements (including NAFTA) do not always reflect these American priorities and values, and therefore should seek to modify these agreements to better represent the interests of all Americans and not just the shareholders of large multinational corporations.
According to the “issues” page on Porter’s campaign website, she will fight for a “Medicare for All” system in which every American has quality health insurance, because she believes affordable health care is a human right. As Congresswoman, she says she would fight Republican efforts to repeal Obamacare.
Porter states that she will always protect a woman’s right to an abortion and believes that women’s health care and birth control shouldn’t be luxuries She says she will fight any efforts by Republicans to defund Planned Parenthood, restrict access to birth control, or ban the right to abortion.
She hopes to help overturn the Republican tax plan, and instead pass real tax reform that will require wealthy corporations to pay their fair share and cuts taxes on the middle class and small businesses.
Porter also wants immigration reform that provides a fair pathway to citizenship for those who are undocumented.
In regards to environment, Porter states that she will take on big oil and the corporate polluters to stop offshore drilling, and will fight to invest in renewable energy development, and support high emission standards and save important environmental protections.
Porter believes that quality public education is the bedrock of the American dream. She supports increasing our investment in education, expanding early childhood education and making college more affordable for our kids.
Katie Porter was the first to announce that she was running to unseat Walters, and she is an expert in consumer law and bankruptcy and co-wrote a book on debt and credit law with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, (D-MA).
Dave Min was the second to announce his candidacy, and was a former aide to Sen. Chuck Schumer, (D-NY), with an expertise in banking regulations. He also has worked with the Center for American Progress.
Both of the UCI law professors have law degrees from Harvard.
While both UCI candidates have garnered much community support, the process of winning the Democratic endorsement (which went to Min) involved an intense fight on the convention floor in late February. Although Min had received 60 percent of votes in a meeting of Democrats, his opponents tried to block his endorsement by gathering more than 300 signatures from convention-goers. During this process, the Min campaign supporters and the signature-gatherers had a couple of confrontations in the convention center halls. Eventually, the signature effort succeeded and forced Min’s endorsement to a floor fight.
According to the Los Angeles Times, State Party Chair Eric Bauman gave a speech in response to this discord at the convention, stressing the need to unite behind a Democrat in competitive House races to avoid the potential of too many candidates splintering the June 5 primary vote.
“We have an overpopulation problem. We don’t have one or two Democrats running in these seats, we have four and five and six and seven,” Bauman said. “We may be aced out of seats that are primed, set and ready for us.”
Of the 2018 democratic challengers to Mimi Walters, Katie Porter, Kia Hamadanchy and Brian Forde all spoke against Min’s endorsement, and accusations flew about Min’s campaign staff intimidating others.
“We know it isn’t just about electing any Democrat,” Porter said. “It’s about electing a Democrat who will act like a Democrat!”
The 2018 midterm election challengers to Mimi Walters in the 45th district include Brian Forde (D), John Lawrence Graham (NPP), Kia Hamadanchy (D), Dave Min (D), and Katie Porter (D).