Doolittle and Brown face off
The Union posed questions to Rep. John Doolittle (R-Roseville) and Democratic challenger Charlie Brown for the 4th Congressional District. Here are the answers:
John T. Doolittle
Occupation: United States Representative
Education: Bachelor’s degree in history from University of California, Santa Cruz; law degree from University of the Pacific, McGeroge School of Law
Background/Experience: California State Senate, 1981-1990; United States House of Representatives 1991-present.
Occupation: Retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel
Education: Bachelor of arts, United States Air Force Academy, 1972; masters in aviation management, Embry Riddle University, 1985; California Teaching Credential, chapman University 1997.
Background/Experience: Grew up working on farms in rural Iowa. twenty-six year Air Force veteran ” helicopter rescue pilot in vietnam, intelligence aircraft pilot in vietnam, intelligence aircraft pilot, coordinated surveillance over Iraw in the ’90s. Eight years on Professional Staff of Roseville Police Department. Former union Vice-President and Credit Board Chair. Fifteen-year resident of Roseville.
The Union posed questions to Rep. John Doolittle (R-Roseville) and Democratic challenger Charlie Brown for the 4th Congressional District.
Should the U.S. change its approach to the war in Iraq? Should there be a timetable for withdrawal?
Doolittle: U.S. armed forces have achieved tremendous success in bringing down a despotic regime and enabling the people of Iraq to form their first-ever constitutional democracy. As the Iraqi military stands up, our troops will progressively stand down. However, to cut and run according to an artificial timeline before Iraq is militarily self-sufficient would jeopardize all that we have accomplished through the sacrifice of our soldiers and would encourage further terrorist attacks against the United States and its allies.
Brown: Like a growing number of military officers, as well the U.S. intelligence community and leaders from both political parties, I think we need a new approach in Iraq and a timetable for withdrawal of U.S. Forces. Our military accomplished its mission of defeating Saddam’s Army, but the new mission of preventing Iraq from becoming a terrorist haven is much tougher. To succeed, we must accelerate the re-building process, re-engage regional leaders in the reconstruction effort, separate the warring factions, make it clear that the U.S. will not seek a permanent military presence, and create a realistic timetable for re-deploying U.S. troops — giving our military the flexibility it needs to root out terrorism around the world, and ending the
perceived occupation inside Iraq that is fueling sectarian violence and civil war.
Do you think development in western Nevada County poses a threat to the environment or quality of life?
Doolittle: Land use planning decisions are and should remain a function of local governments, not the federal government. Therefore, as Nevada County decides to grow, I stand committed to helping them secure funding for the infrastructure that will preserve a high quality of life. I have a very strong record of helping build roads, bridges, and water and sewage treatment plants that keep communities healthy and vibrant.
Brown: As someone who grew up on a farm, I understand the balance between drawing sustenance from our land and making sure we protect it so it stays
productive for future generations. That’s why I will take a balanced “smart growth” approach to development that will keep pace with infrastructure
needs and ensure we can create enough high-wage jobs in our communities to preserve a high quality of life.
Do you think campaign finance is in need of reform? If so, what kinds of reform and how should it be implemented?
Doolittle: The Founding Fathers viewed political speech as the form of speech most in need of protection by the First Amendment. Therefore, I oppose any attempt to limit an individual’s ability to convey political ideas through their funding of the campaigns which share those ideas. We should remove all contribution limits and instead require full disclosure within 24 hours. We must also resist establishing a public campaign finance system which uses people’s taxes to endorse ideas they may strongly oppose.
Brown: We absolutely need reform. We should start by forbidding Members of Congress from personally benefiting from fundraising. Like most citizens I am shocked that Congressman John Doolittle has created a situation where he can personally benefit from up to 15 percent of every special interest dollar
raised. What he is doing is clearly wrong. It should also be illegal.
How would you rate the U.S. economy? What steps can be taken to improve it?
Doolittle: Since the tax cuts of 2003, the U.S. economy has enjoyed 37 consecutive months of job creation. We are now experiencing the longest sustained period of economic growth in American history. During that time, 6.6 million new jobs have been added because we provided incentives to invest in the creation and expansion of businesses. The 4.6 percent unemployment rate is an historic low while the stock market is at a historic high. Clearly, we must make the tax cuts permanent.
Brown: Our current economy is burdened by the trillions of dollars in national debt run up by the current Congress. We need to rein in wasteful government
spending so there is more money available for economically beneficial efforts like quality schools, greater access to college and new investments
in technology, and infrastructure. One of the first things we can do to improve our economy is to make sure American companies and workers are not undermined by unfair trade agreements.
What would you do to improve healthcare availability and affordability?
Doolittle: We must reinsert market forces into the healthcare industry by re-establishing a direct link between patients and healthcare providers. I have been a strong supporter of health savings accounts which use the free market to reduce health insurance costs, give consumers greater choice and reduce the number of uninsured.
Brown: Everyone agrees that we need access to affordable healthcare. The record of the current Congress is shameful–costs are growing faster than wages, 45
million Americans are uninsured, and benefits are shrinking. It is time for a serious dialogue on healthcare in America that is focused on results, not
partisanship. I support the concept of the state, citizens and employers sharing responsibility for providing health coverage to every single citizen.
Do you think there should be term limits for congressional representatives?
Doolittle: Appropriate term limits on Members of Congress are in the hands of voters every election when they cast their ballots. However, I oppose arbitrary term limits because they remove choices from the voters. If the electorate is satisfied with its representation, it should have the option to continue it. In every other field experience, institutional knowledge, effective working relationships, and subject matter expertise are vital assets. The same is true in public service.
Brown: Yes. We either need to guarantee that Congressional districts are drawn in such a way that they promote competition and accountability, or we need to
implement term limits. We see right now what happens when Members of Congress stay too long in Washington. The documented corruption of Leaders
and former leaders like Tom Delay, Mark Foley and John Doolittle illustrate the dangers of unchecked incumbency. And it is notable that these same
leaders have neglected to keep promises, like the term limits pledge that they signed on to champion as part of the GOP “Contract with America” in
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