Senior Staff Writer
A wild scramble was underway for the 4th District Congressional seat even before beleaguered Rep. John Doolittle announced he would not run again.
On Tuesday, four Republicans and two Democrats will seek their party’s nomination to replace him. Doolittle, of Roseville, will end his ninth term under the cloud of the Jack Abramoff political lobbying scandal.
Democrat Charlie Brown’s surge in 2006 and his loss by just 9,000 votes pointed out the Republican congressman’s vulnerability in what has long been considered a strong Republican district. Although Doolittle has never been indicted or arrested for anything surrounding the Abramoff case, his home and his wife’s office were raided by the FBI, casting a long shadow over his ability to keep his post.
And some local Republicans have speculated that Brown’s strong showing – he carried Nevada County – reflects Republican dismay with Doolittle more than enthusiasm for a Democrat.
When Doolittle announced he would not run in January, Brown already was poised for another run, and a wide range of Republicans also showed interest. In the end, four filed for the GOP nomination, including Doug Ose, Tom McClintock, Ted Terbolizard and Suzanne Jones.
Democrat John Wolfgram filed late, challenging Brown for their party’s nomination. The nomination winners will square off in the November general election.
According to the Federal Elections Commission, here is how much the six candidates have raised in campaign contributions: Ose, $3.3 million; Brown, $1 million; McClintock, $1 million; Terbolizard, $42,000; Jones, $5,660; Wolfgram, zero.
At right are profiles of the six candidates and their stances on some major issues, taken from a recent League of Women Voters forum in Nevada City.
Republican Suzanne Jones, 53, is a lawyer from Citrus Heights.
She has been in the U.S. Civil Service in Saudi Arabia and Europe, working for the U.S. Army.
The candidate said she is “unhappy with the status quo” and upset at her party for deficit spending and for what she called turning to the left.
Working overseas proved to Jones the need for a strong national defense. She said America’s global presence is “not a police force. We’re there for our own interests.”
The top fiscal priority of government is to use taxes wisely to balance the budget. The U.S. needs “a simpler tax code” to stimulate the economy, Jones said.
The “threat of terrorism” makes border security a high priority, Jones said.
To deal with the nation’s energy problems, Jones would vote to drill for oil in U.S. reserves and build more refineries to turn it into gasoline.
Republican Doug Ose, 52, is from Sacramento and has business and development interests. He is a former three-term U.S. congressman.
The candidate fears “our nation is adrift,” and needs new direction with strong defense and tax limits.
The nation’s security must be met by engaging our “wide interests around the globe,” Ose said. His travels to the Middle East and South America proved to him that national security is paramount, he said.
The former congressman said he has already helped the nation financially with tax cuts from his prior terms, and he thinks the nation’s top fiscal priority is “protection of the country from all challenges.”
More Border Patrol agents and a fence along the southern border with Mexico are needed to secure the country, Ose said.
To help turn the country’s energy problems around, Ose would try for a “portfolio of sources,” including coal, nuclear, wind and hydroelectric power.
Republican state Sen. Tom McClintock, 51, is from Southern California and has been in the state Legislature for 19 years. He has worked in the past for taxpayers groups.
“The government is not our nanny,” McClintock said, and elected representatives need to stop pork barrel politics.
To secure the nation, McClintock would use the Armed Forces to stem illegal immigration. “If the military can’t defend our borders, what good are they?” he asked.
The top spending priority of the country should be national defense. Illegal immigration is hurting the country, and a federal fence along the entire border should be erected to stem illegal it, McClintock said.
McClintock wants to see health care tax credits for individuals.
Oil reserves off the California coast and in Alaska need to be developed along with nuclear power, coal and hydroelectric, McClintock said.
Republican Ted Terbolizard, 39, is from Cedar Ridge in Nevada County and ran for governor during the 2003 recall of Gray Davis. The businessman designs Web sites and has a rock band called the Chief Enablers.
The candidate noted that “a lot of people” are with him in his opposition to the Iraq War, which he considers unconstitutional.
National security should come from peaceful business negotiations, Terbolizard said, and America should stop being the world’s police force.
He advocated eliminating the Internal Revenue Service, bringing home all American troops and closing all U.S. bases abroad, moves he estimates would cut one-third of the $3 trillion national budget.
The borders of the United States should remain open to protect free trade, and immigrants should be “treated like brothers,” Terbolizard said, citing the Old Testament Book of Leviticus.
Energy policy should not be the government’s bailiwick, Terbolizard said. “That should be (done) by the private sector.”
Democrat Charlie Brown, 58, is from Roseville and a retired Air Force officer who worked at Beale Air Force Base in intelligence.
“The foremost duty of government is to keep our country safe,” Brown said. The candidate said his campaign “is about the military way of getting results.”
National security would be best served by taking politics out of the intelligence arena, Brown said, because, “having the biggest military inn the world does no good if we don’t know how to use it.”
The Vietnam veteran said the country’s monetary priorities should not include “propping up governments,” adding that tax cuts should be evenly distributed to include the middle class.
The military should not be used to secure our borders, but electronic sensors should be used to stop the flow of illegal immigrants, Brown said.
The country needs to turn to alternative energies to get the economy back on track, and businesses who invest in it will be leading the future, Brown said.
Democrat John Wolfgram, 63, is a retired lawyer and political writer and philosopher from Foresthill.
The candidate said he is running to stem the nation’s No. 1 problem, “fundamental corruption in government. We need to bring the judiciary to account,” Wolfgram said
The nation’s security would be better off if Congress took back the right to declare war from the president, the Vietnam veteran said, adding that “war is institutionalized insanity.”
U.S. financial priorities include turning around the international trade deficit, and he would shift half of the income tax burden to corporations and sales taxes to stimulate personal spending, Wolfgram said.
Signing a treaty with Mexico could help stop the flow of illegal drugs and immigrants, but the southern neighbor should be responsible for securing the border, not the U.S., Wolfgram said.
The nation’s energy problems can be addressed by rebuilding the economic base with clean alternatives, Wolfgram said.
To contact Senior Staff Writer Dave Moller, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 477-4237.
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