Will Katherine Porter Give Mimi Walters a Run for Her Congressional Seat?

Remember when Mimi Walters used to meet with her constituents?
Remember when Mimi Walters used to meet with her constituents?
California 37th State Senate District

The Weekly has previously written about UC Irvine law professor Katherine "Katie" Porter being appointed by the state to oversee an $18 billion mortgage settlement with banks and opening a consumer protection clinic at UCI tied to that accord.

But we never imagined the 43-year-old professor would try to parlay her war on mortgage fraud by Wall Street banks into a 45th Congressional District seat.

You know, the one currently darkened by Rep. Mimi Walters (R-Irvine).

Porter, who is a Democrat, has been giving interviews recently saying she plans to take her fight against special interests to Washington by winning the 45th in 2018. She has already received endorsements from two prominent U.S. senators, Democrats Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Kamala Harris of California.

Harris was California's attorney general in 2012, when she picked Porter to monitor distribution of California's share of a $25-billion national mortgage foreclosure settlement. Warren was one of Porter's professors at the Harvard Law School and they co-authored a book on debt and credit law.

"Katie is a fighter! She's been in the trenches with me fighting for families for nearly two decades—and she's gotten real results," says Warren, who  in a statement. "She's fought relentlessly for important protections that safeguard consumers and force banks to give families a fair shake. There's no one I trust more to take on Donald Trump and the entrenched special interests in Washington on behalf of working families."

Before coming to UCI, Porter worked with the Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on issues relating to mortgage servicing. The author of the book Broke: How Debt Bankrupts the Middle Class was credited with authoring an empirical study that exposed problems that harmed homeowners.

Despite Porter's impressive credentials and high-powered backing, defeating a Republican in that district will be a slog, since Walters won reelection in 2016 with 58.6 percent of the vote. Then again, Mimi's popular support could be waning given the weekly protests outside her district office by constituents demanding a town hall meeting.

Wouldn't you know it? Among the members of the local Indivisible group staging those demonstrations is ... Katie Porter!


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