Congressional candidates vying to represent the South Shore
On Tuesday, voters will choose from several Republican candidates, or two Democratic candidates, in the race for California’s 4th Congressional District seat being vacated by Rep. John Doolittle. The district includes all of El Dorado and Placer counties. The winners in Tuesday’s primary will face off in the November general election. Here are profiles of each of the contenders:
Democrat Charlie Brown, who came within 3 percentage points in 2006 of upsetting Republican stalwart John Doolittle in Congressional District 4, says the politics of partisan division are tearing at the fabric of the country, and he’s the one to put an end to it.
And the stakes are high, especially during wartime, he says.
The 26-year Air Force lieutenant colonel has was involved in military conflicts from Vietnam to Desert Storm. As a rescue helicopter pilot based in Thailand at the end of the Vietnam War, Brown participated in the evacuations of Saigon, Phnom Penh and the infamous Mayaguez Incident – for which he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.
After the war, Brown transitioned to fixed-wing aircraft and worked gathering intelligence.
Brown retired from the Air Force in 1998. In 1996, he was elected chair of the supervisory committee of a $5 million credit union in Roseville.
He earned his California teaching credential and spent eight years on the professional staff of the Roseville Police Department. He was elected to two terms as vice president of the Roseville Police Association and has advocated for veterans rights.
Brown has developed a four-pronged platform for Congress:
— Winning the war against terrorism means ending the war in Iraq, he says. Brown says he will bring the troops home from Iraq and ensure they are properly equipped before redevelopment.
— Energy security. Brown says America’s energy policies and dependence on foreign oil have fueled the war in Iraq and influenced national security. He said he would lead efforts to ensure the government works toward energy independence.
— Real support for war veterans. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have left an already underresourced Veterans Administration in a state of crisis, he contends. Brown will work to ensure veterans receive quality health care and support services.
— Local communities first. Brown vows to fight partisan bickering and bring issues home for citizens to help resolve.
Brown is married to his wife, Jan, who also served in the Air Force as a nurse. Their son, Jeff, is an Air Force captain who is serving his fourth rotation in Iraq, and their daughter, Stacey, is a recent graduate of the University of California, Irvine. The Browns live in Roseville.
A self-described writer and former lawyer, Democrat John “Wolf” Wolfgram, 63, of Foresthill wants to revitalize the district by shifting payroll taxes to sales taxes and personal income taxes to corporations.
Calling himself a “Libertarian Democrat,” he wants to forge a treaty with Mexico allowing that country to license workers for U.S. jobs, which he contends will stop illegal immigration and the smuggling of workers.
The Vietnam veteran grew up in the Midwest but has lived in California for more than 30 years. Although he never has held office, Wolfgram ran for El Dorado County judge in 1988.
Wolfgram will face Democratic challenger Charlie Brown in Tuesday’s primary election but admitted in a recent interview that his “chances are slim to none” for upsetting Brown.
Wolfgram received his law degree from Southwestern University School of Law in 1977 and his undergraduate degree in philosophy from the University of Wisconsin in 1975.
He currently is president and constitutional advocate of the Constitutional Defender Association. He is married to wife Kristine and has two children, Alexander and Simon.
In a political age that has become careful and scripted, Theodore “Ted” Terbolizard has bucked the system by saying exactly what’s on his mind.
Known for his free-spirited swagger, this self-described technophile is part of a growing movement of candidates nationwide who look at former Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul as the godfather of the “real change” movement.
Terbolizard – that actually is his legal name – considers himself a principled paleo-conservative. Like Paul, this part of the GOP says Republicans are peddlers to money interests, war profiteering, less personal freedom and more overall government. Republicans, he says, have lost their core values.
As District 4 representative, Terbolizard, 39, says he would vote to uphold the Constitution, respect the rules of Congress and communicate to serve his constituents.
His three main campaign themes are personal freedom, government restraint and promoting “greater understanding,” according to his Web site.
Terbolizard is an editor, interviewer and producer. He believes in small government and lower taxes, and he is not currently interested in expensive television advertising campaigns requiring large-scale election financing and FEC oversight.
“If you are a representative of the people, you have to listen to the people, right?” he told The Union newspaper of Grass Valley in January. “As a congressman, I can come off a floor vote, set up my camera, get in front of it, shoot my own video and post my own video blog. I don’t need ABC.”
If elected, Terbolizard says he wants to serve on the House Committee on Science and Technology. He is against regulating the Internet and wishes to serve at a subcommittee level of technology and innovation that would oversee competitiveness, technology, standards and innovation, his Web site indicated.
Terbolizard would work to slash taxes, abolish the IRS, broaden the worker visa program to encourage legal immigration, promote “sensible, sustainable use of the environment,” and expand free trade with rogue nations.
The last Republican to enter the 4th Congressional District race, Suzanne Jones is confident she can catch up and take the win in Tuesday’s primary.
The candidate, who currently is an attorney for the Sacramento City Unified School District, worked for the Army in Saudi Arabia and Europe, and said her experience will help her make decisions on international issues. Jones believes in a fence on U.S. borders to stop illegal immigrants. She also thinks state and federal regulations for infrastructure should be relaxed to accommodate California growth.
Jones, 53, told The Union newspaper of Grass Valley that she will move back to her Granite Bay home in the 4th District. She and her husband have owned a home there for years but spent the last several years in Citrus Heights taking care of her mother before she died.
According to her Web site, her first priority is the economy. She says her philosophy is to reward producers and grow the economy. She says small businesses today are the backbone of the new American economy, and taxes, in the form of employer taxes and the AMT, hurt the economy. Her goal will be to expand the economy through tax reform and reduction.
Jones also holds strong opinions on immigration. On her Web site, she vows to secure U.S. borders and enforce immigration laws.
“I believe that national security is a primary job of the federal government,” her Web site states.
With her father and husband both career military men, Jones says she finds it “reprehensible and disgraceful” that veterans benefits have been cut.
“When men and women volunteer to potentially put their lives on the line, or have retired after serving honorably, or have been wounded and disabled in service to their country, they should be taken care of, period,” according to her Web site.
She said she would work to reform the VA system and increase the budget for veteran retiree benefits.
Jones received her undergraduate degree from California State University, Sacramento, with a bachelor’s degree in biological science. She graduated from Lincoln Law School in Sacramento with a juris doctor degree and passed the California State Bar Exam. Jones grew up in Citrus Heights.
Ose promises low taxes, shrewd governance and tough immigration. He says he’s the one to deliver respect when it comes to public service.
Ose, a former 3rd District congressman, is running for the Republican nomination for the 4th District to fill the shoes of Rep. John Doolittle, R-Roseville.
When he first was elected to Congress in 1998, Ose promised to serve three consecutive terms, then retire to private life for a time before returning to public service. He was one of the few members of Congress to honor this pledge.
“America is drifting,” he says of his decision to return to public service. “This is stifling our entrepreneurial spirit and economic strength, undermining our credibility as a world power, and eroding our confidence in government’s ability and willingness to serve taxpayers and do the right thing. I want to help set a new course for our nation – to rebuild our economy, secure our borders, defend our national security and restore faith in government.”
In Congress, Ose voted for one of the largest tax cuts in American history – a $1.35 trillion tax reform package that ended the marriage penalty tax, lowered the death tax and increased child tax credits for American families. He was chairman of the House Government Reform Committee.
He is opposed to automatic pay raises for members of Congress and introduced legislation requiring members to forfeit their pay for every day the federal budget is late.
To fight illegal immigration, Ose voted to use new technology and additional agents to secure America’s borders and fought efforts to block construction of a border fence. Ose supporters highlight his position on illegal immigration, a theme that resonates in the largely Caucasian 4th District.
Ose was born in Sacramento in 1955. He earned a degree in business administration from the University of California, Berkeley. He and his wife, Lynnda, have two daughters, Erika and Emily.
During 19 years in the state legislature, State Sen. Tom McClintock has become one of the most recognizable Republicans in California, even before he ran for governor against Arnold Schwarzenegger.
First elected to the California Assembly at age 26, McClintock, of Thousand Oaks, distinguished himself as an expert in parliamentary procedure and fiscal policy, according to his Web site.
Because of his Southern California roots, he has been labeled a carpetbagger by his opponents. McClintock brushes aside the criticism, saying that in Washington, he’s the best man for the job to replace John Doolittle.
He served in the California Assembly from 1982 to 1992 and again from 1996 to 2000.
During these years, he authored the state’s current lethal-injection death penalty law, spearheaded the campaign to rebate $1.1 billion in tax overcollections to the people of California, and became the driving force in the legislature to abolish the car tax. He has proposed hundreds of specific reforms to streamline state government and reduce state spending, his Web site states.
In 2000, McClintock was elected to the California State Senate, where he has worked on budget solutions such as performance-based budgeting, and says he advocates for restoring California’s public works.
From 1992 to 1994, McClintock served as director of the Center for the California Taxpayer, a project of the National Tax Limitation Foundation. In 1995, he was named director of economic regulatory affairs for the Claremont Institute’s Golden State Center for Policy Studies, a position he held until his return to the Assembly in 1996. In that capacity, he wrote and lectured on state fiscal policy, privatization, bureaucratic reform and governmental streamlining.
McClintock twice has received the Republican nomination for the office of state controller.
McClintock currently serves as vice chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee. He also serves on the Senate committees on energy and public utilities, banking, commerce and international trade, labor and industrial relations, and constitutional amendments.
He and his wife, Lori, have two children, Shannah and Justin.