Dem Rep. Katie Porter Still Lives in Taxpayer-Subsidized Housing Provided by Her 'Employer,' UC Irvine

(AP Photo/Chris Carlson, File)

The Associated Press reports that Orange County Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA45) may be benefiting from a sweetheart deal on her California residence, which is located on the University of California Irvine (UCI) campus. Porter has been on unpaid leave from the institution since she took office in 2019.


WASHINGTON (AP) — In Orange County, California, where the typical house sells for $1 million, Rep. Katie Porter’s four-bedroom, three-bath residence in a leafy subdivision on the University of California Irvine campus is a bargain.

The progressive Democrat and law professor, who has lamented the cost of housing in her district, purchased it in 2011 for $523,000, a below-market price secured through a program the university uses to lure academics who couldn’t otherwise afford to live in the affluent area. The only eligibility requirement was that she continue working for the school.

For Porter, this version of subsidized housing has outlasted her time in the classroom, now extending nearly four years after she first took unpaid leave from her $258,000-a-year teaching job to serve in the U.S. House.

Porter is again running for re-election, so if she retains her seat, she probably has no plans of returning to teaching any time soon.

First truth bomb: In California, tenured teaching positions are filler for politicians and former politicians. This is also true in other states, but as in most things, California has made it a unique art form.

These politicians and party “rising stars” are often invited by college administrators to take the position in order to raise the profile of the college or university, but also to raise their profile within the community toward a future run for local, state, or national office. It’s also used as a landing/relaunch pad where the politician strategizes their next move. Look at the careers of San Diego Board of Supervisors Nathan Fletcher and Tom Hayden for examples.


There are some additional, ahem, complications for Rep. Porter. It turns out that one of her donors is pulling strings to “secure extensions of her tenure,” which would presumably help her retain eligibility for the housing deal.

But the ties go deeper, with at least one law school administrator, who was also a donor to her campaign, helping secure extensions of her tenure while she remained in Congress, according to university emails obtained by The Associated Press.

That has allowed Porter, a rising Democratic star and fundraising powerhouse whose own net worth is valued at as much as $2 million, to retain her home even as her return to the school remains in doubt.

Second truth bomb: California’s education-to-politics-to-public policy pipeline is a huge racket. A university grants favors to someone in political office (or running for office) in order to curry more favor on policy, especially policy related to educational funding.

The University of California Hastings School of Law is one example of this. Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, the former Assemblywoman who pushed through AB5 (the anti-independent contractor law), curried favor with labor activist and UC Hastings law professor Veena Dubal. Dubal worked with the California Federation of Labor to craft the legislation and did her utmost to lie and deceive legislators about the bill and target AB5 opponents in order to see it signed into law.


The full benefit to Hastings and Dubal is unknown, but Californians, and especially independent professionals, have been paying a high price for this ever since.

Former member of Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Mark Ridley-Thomas has been indicted on federal charges over his solicitation and receipt of a full-tuition scholarship for his son to the University of Southern California (USC)’s once-prestigious social work program. Current Congresswoman and candidate for Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass, who also received a full-ride scholarship to the program, is now under scrutiny:

During the last decade, two influential Los Angeles politicians were awarded full-tuition scholarships valued at nearly $100,000 each from USCs social work program.

One of those scholarships led to the indictment of former L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and the former dean of USCs social work program, Marilyn Flynn, on bribery and fraud charges.

The other scholarship recipient, Rep. Karen Bass, is the leading contender to be L.A.’s next mayor.

Federal prosecutors have made no indication that Bass is under a criminal investigation.

But prosecutors have now declared that Bass scholarship and her dealings with USC are critical to their bribery case and to their broader portrayal of corruption in the university’s social work program.


As the expression goes, where there is smoke, there is fire, and currently, smoke signals are wafting from Porter’s Irvine home.

Porter’s housing situation does not violate U.S. House ethics rules. But it cuts against the profile she has sought to cultivate in Washington as an ardent critic of a political system that allows “the wealthy and well-connected” to “live in one reality while the rest of us live in another,” as she wrote in an online fundraising solicitation in 2020.

It also coincides with a growth in interest in the school’s housing program, which has resulted in a yearslong waitlist of more than 250 school academics and administrators, as a nationwide housing shortage sends prices for homes outside the on-campus development skyrocketing, university figures from 2021 show.

When Porter was recruited to UCI in 2010, university officials informed her in a letter obtained by the Associated Press that they would sponsor her application to the housing program and that her “primary duties, of course, will be to serve as a professor of law. It is expected that you will teach two classes … you will be expected to hold office hours and be available to mentor students.” AP also reports that the only built-in exception is for retirees, and that:

For those no longer employed by the school, however, an enforcement provision kicks in, which in Porter’s case would require her to pay off her mortgage within months.


In addition to below-market sales prices, the UCI program offers “favorable mortgage rates…for those who are approved to live there.”

The arrangement could land her in hot water with the Federal Election Commission, said former commissioner Bradley A. Smith, a Republican who was appointed by Bill Clinton.

Smith said the arrangement could run afoul of an FEC prohibition on third parties paying the living expenses of federal candidates. He cautioned, however, that the situation was nuanced and unique.

“Let’s suppose they were paying her mortgage? I think that would pretty clearly be a problem,” Smith said. “Here, it is a little different than that. They are just letting her keep a deal that she had previously. But it does seem to subsidize her income. If I were still serving on the commission and that complaint came in, I’d be very interested in seeing her response.”

Porter and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) love to talk about “dark money,” as if nefarious and hidden money forces are the only thing behind conservative and right-leaning advocacy to their elected officials. Note they never talk about what Democrats and Leftists do that also fall under that shadow.

However, it’s hardly necessary to look under a rock with this bunch because their dark money and connections are always right in front of our faces.


This housing bonus, which currently appears to have been maintained on Porter’s behalf, is a case in point. It seems the Orange County family that Porter puts first is her own.

I am cognizant of talented teachers and professors who have left the state because they could not find a position that paid enough to support their families or because they could not afford adequate housing for their families, while Porter seems to be in league with UCI school administrators to keep one on hold for her benefit.


Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Trending on RedState Videos