Thursday Apr 17 2008
Ose, McClintock in mud-slinging debate
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
Candidates hammer each other on liberal, carpet-bagger charges
ROCKLIN – Vying for the 4th District’s Republican nomination, congressional candidates Doug Ose and Tom McClintock kicked the contest up a notch Wednesday with a mud-slinging debate that drew a sometimes-raucous crowd of nearly 1,000. Organized by the Lincoln Club of Placer County, the debate turned heated at times as both candidates attempted to score points with the audience by attacking the other on accusations that have been brought up in campaign ads and on a circuit of all-candidates forums around the district. Crowd members responded with applause, cheers and booing. McClintock’s central theme has been that he’ll represent the conservative values of a primarily Republican district while Ose’s six-year record as a congressman for the neighboring 3rd District reflects a liberal bias. Ose meanwhile, continued to hammer McClintock on his ties as Ventura County state senator and his representation of Southern California voters over 22 years in the state Legislature, while emphasizing his own Northern California roots. On abortion, the candidates – the leading hopefuls in a field of four Republicans – were asked what their stance was on whether one should be legally allowed if a woman was raped. McClintock turned to his own 100 percent rating on legislation from the California Pro Life Council and said Ose had the lowest pro-life rating of any congressman from California during his time as a lawmaker. Ose said that while every abortion is tragic he would “absolutely stand by” a woman who was raped, who was a victim of incest or whose life was at risk. Ose summed up his qualifications at the end of the debate by saying he has the experience and ability to get the country back on track while his opponent has spent 22 years representing Southern California and won’t even be able to vote in the district because he’s maintaining his permanent residency address in Ventura County. McClintock, referred to Ose, stating that voters have the choice between “the politics of character assassination and the conservative course I’ve steered.” After the debate, Rocklin’s Jack Reddy – who lives in the house McClintock resided in Rocklin during the mid-1990s – said that he appreciated the opportunity to get an in-depth impression of both candidates. “Ose needs to lighten up and McClintock needs to shed his carpet-bagger image,” Reddy said. Roseville’s Darla Pelton, said she came to the debate a McClintock supporter and nothing during the evening had lessened that conviction. “Ose was bashing McClintock, saying the same thing over and over again,” she said. “McClintock tells it like it is and doesn’t mess around. I don’t care if he’s from Southern California. We’re conservative Christians, we love the Lord and McClintock’s doing the right thing.” The Journal’s Gus Thomson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.