Moffatt Advocating Reform In Run For State Senate In 21st District

Star Moffatt, a paralegal and founder of a non-profit dedicated to helping the downtrodden turn their lives around, is seeking election to the state Senate.
Moffatt is running as a Democrat in the newly drawn 21st District, which pits her in a head-to-head contest against Republican Steve Knight, an incumbent two-term assemblyman seeking to move from California’s lower house to the upper house.
While Moffatt makes no bones about her fidelity to progressive ideals of social change, she touts herself as a conservative with regard to family values and fiscal policy. She said her extensive experience in the private sector distinguishes her from her opponent, whom she characterized as a life-long government employee.
Moffatt said her platform, which lays out the three things she is most committed to achieving if she is elected, covers what she considers to be the major issues she sees facing both the state and the 21st Senatorial District, which encompasses Lancaster, Palmdale, Santa Clarita, Victorville, Hesperia, Apple Valley, Adelanto, Oak Hills and Spring Valley Lake,  “My platform consists of three basic themes,” Moffatt said. “I want to reform the public education system, I want to reform our approach to job creation and job retention and I want to reform the health care industry.”
Moffatt said she intends to improve the public educational system by “holding the state accountable to the constituents when it shifts, borrows or transfers educational funding to other programs. We need greater transparency. The state is borrowing from educational funds and not paying them back. In 2008 alone, the state took $16 billion from the education budget. It was supposed to put that money back. Instead, we ended up laying off 17,000 teachers. If I were entrusted with being in office, I would introduce legislation to prevent educational funds from being tapped into without a strict specification and timeline for where the money is going and when it will be paid back. We should have transparency and complete accountability. And if there is to be an increase in taxes, there should be a requirement that the state account for and show what is being done with that money. Last year the state on the governor’s initiative did away with redevelopment agencies and said that $5 billion of that redevelopment money would go to public education, K through higher education. We should be making sure that money is going to education in the amounts promised. My remedy would be to sponsor legislation to make it the law that money is used as specified and accounted for and to prohibit the borrowing of educational funds if the accountability is not maintained.”
With regard to maintaining transparency and accountability, Moffatt said she would simultaneously push for a requirement that “the state update its auditing software system. We are currently using one that was put in during the 1990s and is out-of-date, if not obsolete entirely. That software system only records receivables and not expenditures. How can you balance your ledgers and budgets if you do not have all of the information to consider and work with? Some people have said it’s too expensive to update. I say it is too expensive not to update it. In the private sector it would be called cooking the books. Auditors at the state level are aware of all of that. I would write legislation to accomplish that change.”
Moffatt was a bit coy when asked to expound on her plan for using the authority in Sacramento to create jobs and retain them within the state, saying she intends to “unveil my job plan at the Palmdale Chamber of Commerce on May 16.” Pressed for a hint of her jobs creation blueprint, Moffatt said that her ideas hinge on “getting large numbers of dislocated workers back to work.”
In addressing the third plank of her platform, healthcare reform, Moffatt said affordable healthcare has to be made available to all citizens. “I’m not talking about a giveaway,” she said. “But we need healthcare to be available and affordable to everyone.” She said that healthcare is available to the classes at the extreme ends of society, the top and the bottom. Those in the middle deserve healthcare no less than the others, she said.
“The law firm I am with represents several corrections officers, so I have a chance to talk with people working within penal institutions,” she said. “Inmates receive the best of healthcare. Inmates receive organ transplants. They get routine healthcare. Many have individual specialized needs for types of medications, many times expensive medications. We even have inmates who have chosen to change their gender and they are receiving medications for that. What I would say is that the same type of state of the art healthcare offered to inmates should be offered to citizens who have fallen between the cracks. It is a shame to see people in America who are law abiding citizens and are not a burden to society who do not have health coverage and are not receiving benefits we give to criminals. What I would do in office is introduce legislation that opens the door for health coverage for all individuals at fair and reasonable rates. There is no good reason why someone who is going to work every day should not have healthcare.”
Moffatt said she would further push legislation prohibiting insurance companies from denying coverage to people with pre-existing medical conditions. On just this issue, Moffatt endeavored to draw a clear distinction between herself and Knight.
“My opponent had an opportunity to vote for a bill that came before him in the Assembly that said insurance companies could not discriminate against children with pre-existing medical conditions. He voted no on that. He voted no because he was getting money from the insurance companies. He is getting money from special interests and supporting those special interests. What about the parents of a special needs child who might die without proper care?  We need someone in office who is a humanitarian and cares about his constituents. My opponent’s voting record speaks for itself and speaks for him whenever there is a difference between special interests and his constituents.”
Moffatt said she hoped the district’s voters would closely examine her and Knight’s respective careers and backgrounds. In every regard, Moffatt said, she comes off better by comparison or at worst even. She is a creature of the private sector, she said, while Knight’s resumé shows he is a long term and almost exclusive government employee. Though Knight hails from the GOP, which has traditionally been sympathetic to the entrepreneurial class’s call for lower taxation and less government regulation, Moffatt pointed out that her experience in the business world has oriented her toward limiting taxation and government interference with those risking their life savings in an effort to succeed in the marketplace.
“I have real world business experience,” she said. “I worked for both Security Pacific Bank and Bank of America managing trust funds. I started and ran a non-profit, MiracleStar Women’s Recovering Community Home, providing housing, treatment, counseling and assistance for drug addicts, homeless people, battered women, families caught up in dependency court or trying to get back into dependency court. I now work for a law firm that specializes in tax issues and rehabilitating businesses. I understand what it takes to run a business. I think changing our tax structure is absolutely necessary to helping business to move forward. I favor a flat tax, for taking the complication out of the process. I am in favor of keeping American jobs here.”
She is better educated than her opponent, Moffatt asserted. “As opposed to my opponent, I have college degrees and have gone to law school. I attended Antelope Valley College, L.A. Mission College and William Howard Taft University School of Law. When I was in law school, I became pregnant with quintuplets and had to leave because of complications with the pregnancy.” Four of the five she carried were lost, but Moffatt did bring one child to term. “I am still involved in the legal field, working as a paralegal,” she said. “I have not yet taken the bar exam.”
Like Knight, Moffatt is a veteran, having served in the Army for six years, primarily in supply and transportation, during the 1980s. She served as both a truck driver, jockeying a 5,000-gallon fuel tanker, and then later moved into a material control accountant specialist position before retiring from the Army with a rank of E-4.
Ironically, Moffatt coordinated with Steve Knight’s father, Pete Knight, when he was in the legislature, authoring several pieces of legislation. That experience, she said, offsets Knight’s perceived leg up on her because of his experience as a lawmaker.
And Knight’s other claim to fame, his law enforcement experience as a 17-year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department, does not hold up to scrutiny, she said.
“Steve promotes the fact he is or was an LAPD officer,” she said “But he is no longer with the department. My opposition research has found he was asked to resign in order to prevent being terminated. It is almost unheard of for someone who has been with the police department for 17 years to not serve out to get their 20 retirement.”
Moffatt claims her own pro-law enforcement credentials as a participant in  InfraGard,  an information sharing and analysis program consisting of  a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the private sector. InfraGard is an association of businesses, academic institutions, state and local law enforcement agencies, and other participants dedicated to sharing information and intelligence to prevent hostile acts against the United States. InfraGard chapters function out of local FBI field offices.
Moffatt, 48, lives in Palmdale with her husband and five-year-old son. She was raised in North Hills and attended and graduated from Monroe High School.

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