Congressional candidate Charlie Brown said Wednesday he was “flattered” by the “statewide talent search” the Republicans have launched to find a candidate who can beat him in November.
Democrat Brown called his possible GOP opponents – Doug Ose and Rico Oller, who have thrown their hat in the ring, and state Sen. Tom McClintock, a Southern Californian who is eying the race – “career politicians” who don’t understand what it is to run a business or live on a budget.
“Career politicians are not results-oriented,” Brown said. “We’ve got to get people into office who believe in results.”
Brown – a retired Air Force officer who has lived in the 4th District for 17 years – said it was important for voters to know he has raised his children in the district and that both he and his wife have been employed and volunteered in the area he hopes to serve. None of the three Republicans live in the district, but Ose and Oller, of the Sacramento area, have said they will move here. Republican candidate Eric Egland lives in the district, but said he would throw his support to McClintock should he jump in. California law only requires that a congressional candidate live in the state.
Polls taken by Brown potential opponents saying who might beat whom in the race don’t bother Brown, who noted that pollsters haven’t always been correct in today’s liquid political arena.
“Pick a poll: They all say I’m the candidate people are looking to,” Brown said in an interview at The Union.
The Republican candidates represent business as usual, Brown said, noting current Rep. John Doolittle’s decision to not run again for the seat was shadowed by the investigation into his relationship with jailed lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
“You do not have to accept this status quo,” Brown added. “Why should people want to change back to career politicians?”
Brown has no opposition within the Democratic Party and lost to Doolittle by only 9,000 votes districtwide in 2006.
Brown said the U.S. military has done its job well to lower the level of violence in Iraq so the politicians can build a political solution. Now, the troops need to be brought home.
American troops “are not the Baghdad police department, and Gen. Petraeus knows that,” Brown said. “We have to have enforceable benchmarks and make the (Iraqi) politicians stand up to solve the problems there. It may take a troop withdrawal” to do that. …
“There’s a small group in power (in Iraq) getting rich off this war,” he said. But they have no incentive to solve their problems when “we tell them, ‘If you continue to fail, we’re going to continue to send you millions of dollars in aid and the lives of our troops.'”
Brown had been an intelligence expert during his 26 years with the Air Force, and while stationed in Saudi Arabia, he personally ordered intelligence flights over Iraq in the 1990s. Those flights showed no signs of weapons of mass destruction or of a relationship between al-Qaida and Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
Fighting the war on terrorism requires both high-level intelligence and decisions based on what is best for the country.
“It comes back to real intelligence that is not politicized,” Brown said. “Breaks in terrorism come from good police work.”
The war is directly related to the country’s sagging economy, Brown said.
“We financed this war on credit, and at the same time, we said we don’t have health care for our children,” Brown said. “It’s not just dollars lost, it’s opportunity lost.
“We had a balanced budget, and now we have the worst deficit in the history of the world,” Brown said. “Your security really does hinge on a balanced budget. Housing, shelter and health care haven’t been taken care of.”
On the home front, Brown said medical marijuana is a states’ rights issue, and Californians have made clear through the vote that they want it.
Methamphetamine is the drug problem Northern California has to worry about, Brown said.
“Let’s not worry about medical marijuana.”
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