Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The DCCC Thinks What Orange County Needs In Congress Is Another Multimillionaire Who Opposes Single Payer-- Meet Hans Keirstead


Still, a better candidate than the lottery winner 

A couple months back, a Democratic Party operative called me and told me he couldn't wait to introduce me to the "dream candidate" the DCCC had recruited to run in Orange County against Dana Rohrabacher. Hans Keirstead is a super rich-- a DCCC requirement-- stem cell scientist who looks GREAT... at least on paper. I've tried to meet him, but he's managed to avoid meeting or talking. I haven't seen him in action either but I do know the DCCC has been working to clear the field for him. They've persuaded candidates from the district to run in CA-39 (against Ed Royce) and CA-45 (against Mimi Walters) and dropped their early support of "ex"-Republican Harley Rouder in favor of Keirstead, who is sounding very... centrist for a 2018 Democrat. Cathleen Decker introduced him to L.A. Times readers a few weeks ago, when he officially tossed his hate into the ring.

He's 50, from Laguna Beach and an internationally reknowned stem cell scientist and very successful entrepreneur. Rohrabacher, a lockstep Trump ally, is about to turn 70 and is widely considered to be batshitcrazy and to have passed his expiration date. The DCCC has never challenged him before and he's had an easy reelection every two years. Last year, Trump narrowly lost the district to Hillary, 47.9% to 46,2% after Romney had beaten Obama handily there, 54.7% to 43.0%. This is a district that Hillary didn't win as much as Trump lost. The DCCC strategy for 2018 is two-fold-- run dull, rich, inoffensive centrist candidates in districts Trump lost and pray for a BIG anti-Trump wave.
Nationally and in California, Democrats say they have been swamped by candidates interested in running for office to oppose Trump and Republican majorities in the House and Senate. Keirstead said that is one of his motivations.

“I’ve come to realize more acutely than ever before the deficits in Congress and how my profile can actually benefit Congress,” he said. “I’d like to do what I’m doing but on a larger stage-- and I think Congress provides that, provides a forum for doing the greater good.”

Keirstead was a pioneer in stem cell research, first in his native Canada and, since 2000, in Southern California. He helped lead UC Irvine’s stem cell research program and, in his only political endeavor, served as an advisor to a successful 2004 state measure, Proposition 71, that sought to steer $3 billion into medical research.

He also has started and sold several medical research companies that have invented therapies for ovarian, skin and brain cancer, as well as spinal cord injuries, rheumatoid arthritis and ulcerative colitis.

Keirstead has made millions of dollars off of his business endeavors but said he will not use his own money for his campaign.

Although his background gives him a network of allies to help raise money, Keirstead is likely to face criticism for leaping into politics mid-ladder, without the relationship-building that usually precedes a first run.

He became a citizen in 2008, he said. County voting records show he cast ballots in general elections that year and in 2010, 2012 and 2016. The records indicate that he did not cast any ballots in the 2014 midterm elections, and he has not voted in primary elections.

Asked about the missing votes, Keirstead said he had “other commitments and responsibilities” but stressed that the result of last fall’s elections show “how important it is to participate in our democracy.”

Campaign finance records show he has not donated to federal or state candidates.

In an interview, Keirstead suggested he is still studying policy positions. He said that he would prefer to improve the Obamacare insurance program rather than adopt a universal healthcare plan favored by some liberal Democrats.

“I think Obamacare put in place a very large system that is fantastic in some measures and very flawed in others,” he said. “There’s a lot we can do with the existing system rather than cripple it first as the Trump administration is doing in order to justify a replacement.”

On trade, another issue that has divided Democrats, he declined to take a position on the North American Free Trade Agreement, which Trump and some Democrats favor dumping. He also would not say whether he favored Clinton or Sen. Bernie Sanders last year.

“I just don’t really like the labels,” he said. “I’m trying to run as authentic Hans… I am personally tired of partisan politics where the labels are driving the decision making. I think we should be more results driven.”

But he was happy to criticize Rohrabacher for his advocacy of friendlier relations with Russia and for voting for the House Republican healthcare plan. And he also defended, with a laugh, his unorthodox path to politics.

“I can tell you without a doubt my cancer treatment, my spinal cord injury treatment, would never have been invented had I followed a step-by-step straight path in academia and business, for sure,” he said. “Doing things differently has been responsible for my success. And it’s actually encouraged me to take on bigger initiatives like running for Congress.”
Yeah... good on paper. And... better than the lottery winner, who lives in the district but is running in an unrelated district over an hour away. The DCCC is finally running candidates in Orange County... and they're already giving voters a bad picture of what the Democratic Party is all about... but how could they not? At least Cisneros will be able to vote for Hans!

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At 6:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yet more proof.

And are we trying to promote good people for office or are we regressing to more rationalization as validation of the lesser evil ("still better than...")?

Look DWT, The steady march of lesser evilism has gotten us this far down in the pit. And you want to do more?

At 6:33 AM, Blogger DownWithTyranny said...

What are you babbling about now, Anonymous? You appear to have not read the post you're commenting on.

At 2:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

After the DCCC gets its guy elected, we'll talk. Again.


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