Democrat Katie Porter, who is challenging incumbent Rep. Mimi Walters (R-CA) in California’s 45th congressional district, has been accused of flip-flopping on the state’s controversial gas tax and misrepresenting her earlier support for raising it.
Last year, the California state legislature raised taxes on gasoline by 12 cents per gallon, along with other automotive fees and taxes, ostensibly to fund transportation expenditures. The gas tax, which hits working-class Californians hardest, is unpopular and led to the recall of freshman State Sen. Josh Newman earlier this year. Republicans have placed a referendum on the November 2018 ballot to repeal the gas tax, and are using the initiative to increase Republican voter turnout in other races.
In lat August, Breitbart News noted that several Democrats running for key U.S. House seats in conservative areas appeared to have broken ranks with their party to support the repeal effort. Breitbart News’ Chriss Street noted: “For example, Democrat Katie Porter, running against incumbent Rep. Mimi Walters (R-CA) in the 45th congressional district, started a cable ad campaign last week opposing higher gas taxes as polls showed Prop 6 [the gas tax repeal] is now highly favored to win.”
However, new audio released by the Washington Free Beacon earlier this week suggests that Porter once supported the gas tax — or, at least, opposed efforts to repeal it.
In the recording, reportedly made at a town hall meeting in May, Porter attacks her opponent for focusing on the gas tax, saying that Walters is using the issue “to distract people.”
Porter also says that she supports the Democrats who voted for the gas tax, including Newman. And she suggests that she supports proposals to use the gas tax to spend on “clean energy” and infrastructure.
Walters seized on the new evidence of Porter’s flip-flopping:
Liberal Katie Porter’s many “positions” on the Gas Tax Repeal:
— Mimi Walters (@MimiWaltersCA) September 11, 2018
The race for the 45th district seat is one of seven that Democrats have targeted in California in which a Republican represents a district that voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.